Development and Evaluation of Multiplex PCR Assays for Rapid Detection of Virulence-associated Genes in Arcobacter Species.

Whiteduck-Léveillée, J., Cloutier, M., Topp, E., Lapen, D.R., Talbot, G., Villemur, R., and Khan, I.U.H. (2016). "Development and Evaluation of Multiplex PCR Assays for Rapid Detection of Virulence-associated Genes in Arcobacter Species.", Journal of Microbiological Methods, 121, pp. 59-65. doi : 10.1016/j.mimet.2015.12.017  Access to full text

Abstract

As the pathogenicity of Arcobacter species might be associated with various virulence factors, this study was aimed to develop and optimize three single-tube multiplex PCR (mPCR) assays that can efficiently detect multiple virulence-associated genes (VAGs) in Arcobacter spp. including the A. butzleri, A. cryaerophilus and A. skirrowii, respectively. The recognized target virulence factors used in the study were fibronectin binding protein (cj1349), filamentous hemagglutinin (hecA), hemolysin activation protein (hecB), hemolysin (tlyA), integral membrane protein virulence factor (mviN), invasin (ciaB), outer membrane protein (irgA) and phospholipase (pldA). Identical results were obtained between singleplex PCR and mPCR assays and no cross- and/or non-specific amplification products were obtained when tested against other closely related bacterial species. The sensitivities of these three mPCR assays were ranging from 1 ng μL− 1 to 100 ng μL− 1 DNA. The developed assays with combinations of duplex or triplex PCR primer pairs of VAGs were further evaluated and validated by applying them to isolates of the A. butzleri, A. cryaerophilus and A. skirrowii recovered from fecal samples of human and animal origins. The findings revealed that the distribution of the ciaB (90%), mviN (70%), tlyA (50%) and pldA (45%) genes among these target species were significantly higher than the hecA (16%), hecB (10%) and each of irgA and cj1349 (6%) genes, respectively. The newly developed mPCR assays can be used as rapid technique and useful markers for the detection, prevalence and profiling of VAGs in the Arcobacter spp. Moreover, these assays can easily be performed with a high throughput to give a presumptive identification of the causal pathogen in epidemiological investigation of human infections.

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