An amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) method, developed to genotype Yersinia enterocolitica, has been used to investigate 70 representative strains isolated from humans, pigs, sheep, and cattle in the United Kingdom. AFLP primarily distinguished Y enterocolitica strains according to their biotype, with strains dividing into two distinct clusters: cluster A, comprising largely the putatively pathogenic biotypes (BT2 to -4), and cluster B, comprising the putatively nonpathogenic biotype 1A strains and a single BT1B isolate. Within these two clusters, subclusters formed largely on the basis of serotype. However, AFLP profiles also allowed differentiation of strains within these serotype-related subclusters, indicating the high discriminatory power of the technique for Y. enterocolitica. Investigation of the relationship between strain AFLP profile and host confirmed that pigs are, and provides further proof that sheep may be, potential sources of human infection with putatively pathogenic strains. However, the results suggest that some strains causing human disease do not come from veterinary sources identifiable at this time. The distribution of some BT1A isolates within cluster A raises questions about the relationship between virulence potential and biotype.
|Journal||Applied and Environmental Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|