Campylobacter typing

Campylobacteriosis is the most common cause of human bacterial gastroenteritis (food borne illness) in Aotearoa. It’s often the result of eating undercooked meat or something it came in contact with.

To assist with outbreak investigations and surveillance, a typing system helps to discriminate among different bacterial strains and identify the source of an outbreak.

ESR uses one of the fastest and most powerful typing systems for subtyping both Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. Multiplex Ligation dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA®) is a powerful molecular technique that allows up to 50 gene targets to be detected in a single PCR-type reaction. Developed by MRC-Holland(external link), this multiplexing power has been applied to the detection of genes involved in human genetic diseases, genetically modified food crops and identification of bacteria.

ESR has applied this technique to the detection of genes thought to be involved in the survival and/or pathogenicity of foodborne bacterial pathogens such as campylobacteriosis. The variable carriage of these genes between isolates provides a binary typing system that is highly discriminative. Other advantages of using this technique include:

  • Results within six hours
  • Hundreds of strains typable within 24 hours
  • Resolution better than MLST, comparable to PFGE
  • Affordable at ten Euros per sample
  • Relevant results-based on presence/absence key virulence genes
  • Can be used in outbreak investigations or source attribution studies
  • Use on single colonies or PFGE plugs
  • No complex software required, data exchanged by email
  • Developed by leading researchers, published in peer-reviewed journals

If you’re interested in ESR’s Campylobacter typing, please contact: Angela Cornelius