Multilocus Sequence Typing of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Competently Depicts the Population Structure of the Species

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  • Signe Nedergaard
  • ,
  • Anne Birkeholm Jensen
  • Dorte Haubek
  • ,
  • Niels Nørskov-Lauritsen, Syddansk Universitet, Danmark
We developed a multilocus sequence typing scheme (MLST) for Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans based on seven housekeeping genes, adk, atpG, frdB, mdh, pgi, recA, and zwf. A total of 188 strains of seven serotypes were separated into 57 sequence types. Whole-genome sequences were available for 140 strains, and in contrast to comparison of 16S rRNA genes, phylogenetic analysis of concatenated MLST gene fragments was in accordance with the population structure revealed by alignment of 785 core genes. MLST could not decisively identify the so-called JP2 clone associated with rapidly progressing periodontitis in adolescents, but noticeable clustering of JP2 genotype strains was revealed. The MLST scheme of A. actinomycetemcomitans can be assessed at

IMPORTANCE Accurate diagnosis of infectious disease comprise identification, typing, and antimicrobial resistance of the infective agent. Bacteria are sometimes grouped within their species according to expression of specific toxins or particular antimicrobial resistance traits, but explicit typing for infection control and survey of pathogenesis necessitates genetic analysis such as multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Schemes for the most prevalent human pathogens have been available for more than 10 years, and time has come to extend the scrutiny to second-line infectious agents. One such pathogen is Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, which is commonly involved in periodontitis, and more rarely as the cause of infective endocarditis or spontaneous brain abscess. A MLST scheme for A. actinomycetemcomitans is now available at Whole-genome sequencing of a large number of isolates confirms that MLST competently depicts the population structure of the species.
TidsskriftMicrobiology spectrum
StatusUdgivet - 2021


  • Multilocus sequence abalysis, clonal types, leukotoxin, promoter region, periodontitis

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