Identification and typing of Francisella tularensis with a highly automated genotyping assay (pages 128–134)
D.D. Duncan, A.J. Vogler, M.J. Wolcott, F. Li, D.S. Sarovich, D.N. Birdsell, L.M. Watson, T.A. Hall, R. Sampath, R. Housley, L.B. Blyn, S.A. Hofstadler, D.J. Ecker, P. Keim, D.M. Wagner and M.W. Eshoo
Article first published online: 28 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12022
Significance and Impact of the Study: Molecular characterization of pathogenic subspecies of Francisella tularensis can be obscured by their near neighbours, which can be prevalent in environmental samples. This study describes a multilocus PCR assay for characterizing key species and subspecies of Francisella at multiple levels of resolution, using stable markers defining phylogenetic groups, together with more variable strain-defining markers. Target loci were selected to form an integrated and semi-redundant panel enabling robust identification of samples, including unique samples showing novel assay signatures. Analyses of environmental isolates and a diverse panel of curated samples exemplified the applications of this approach in surveillance and outbreak studies.