Molecular characterization and distribution of virulence-associated genes amongst Aeromonas isolates from Libya.

Original article


Abdullah AI, Hart CA, Winstanley C.

Department Medical Microbiology and Genitourinary Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

J Appl Microbiol. 2003;95(5):1001-7.


AIMS: The aim of the study was to type 52 Aeromonas spp. isolates from chicken carcasses, children with diarrhoea and a hospital environment in Libya, and to determine the distribution of putative virulence genes amongst them. METHODS AND RESULTS: Macrorestriction analysis using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis of 16S rRNA and aroA genes were used to type the isolates. Whereas 30 of 32 chicken isolates were identified as Aeromonas veronii, eight of 12 environmental isolates were Aer. caviae. Three species were identified amongst the eight isolates from children. Aeromonas veronii and Aer. caviae isolates could be divided into eight and five PFGE types, respectively. All species could be further subtyped into one of 21 aroA PCR-RFLP groups. Aerolysin-like haemolysin or enterotoxin gene sequences were detected in all the isolates. Overall carriage rates for hlyA and alt were 77 and 75%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Seven of eight isolates from children were of different subtypes, indicating a lack of any common source of acquisition. Isolates of common molecular type did not share identical distributions of putative virulence genes. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This study demonstrates the effectiveness of using molecular typing to identify and study genetic variation amongst Aeromonas isolates.

Keywords: Aeromonas, molecular typing