• Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis of Neisseria meningitidis yields groupings similar to those obtained by multilocus sequence typing.

      Schouls, Leo M; Ende, Arie van der; Damen, Marjolein; Pol, Ingrid van de (2006-04-01)
      We identified many variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) loci in the genomes of Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, B, and C and utilized a number of these loci to develop a multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Eighty-five N. meningitidis serogroup B and C isolates obtained from Dutch patients with invasive meningococcal disease and seven reference strains were analyzed using MLVA and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). MLVA, based on eight VNTR loci with limited variability in the number of repeats, yielded clustering of the strains similar to that obtained by MLST, with congruence between both methods amounting to 69%. The ability to recognize clonal complexes makes MLVA a valuable high-throughput method to serve as a tool complementary to MLST. Four highly variable VNTR loci were used in a second assay to analyze N. meningitidis serogroup C strains collected during an outbreak of meningococcal disease in The Netherlands. Typing based on the latter VNTR loci enabled differentiation of isolates with identical MLST sequence types and grouped epidemiologically related strains.