Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22623967
PLoS ONE 2012;7(5):e36995
Laboratory surveillance systems for salmonellosis should ideally be based on the rapid serotyping and subtyping of isolates. However, current typing methods are limited in both speed and precision. Using 783 strains and isolates belonging to 130 serotypes, we show here that a new family of DNA repeats named CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is highly polymorphic in Salmonella. We found that CRISPR polymorphism was strongly correlated with both serotype and multilocus sequence type. Furthermore, spacer microevolution discriminated between subtypes within prevalent serotypes, making it possible to carry out typing and subtyping in a single step. We developed a high-throughput subtyping assay for the most prevalent serotype, Typhimurium. An open web-accessible database was set up, providing a serotype/spacer dictionary and an international tool for strain tracking based on this innovative, powerful typing and subtyping tool.