Molecular Subtyping of Poultry-Associated Type A Clostridium perfringens Isolates by Repetitive-Element PCR
Journal - Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Clostridium perfringens strains (type A) isolated from an integrated poultry operation were subtyped using repetitive-element PCR with Dt primers. Isolates were obtained from fecal, egg shell, fluff, and carcass rinse samples as part of a previously reported temporally linked epidemiological survey. A total of 48 isolates of C. perfringens were obtained from different stages of the broiler chicken production chain from two separate breeder farms that supplied a single hatchery that in turn provided chicks to a single grow-out farm whose flocks were processed at a single plant. All 48 isolates were typeable (100% typeability) by repetitive-element PCR with Dt primers. This subtyping method was highly reproducible and discriminatory. By repetitive-element PCR with Dt primers, isolates were classified into four major branches with 12 subgroups or clades. The Simpson's index of discrimination was calculated to be 0.96 for groupings of >95% correlation. Toxin gene profiles of the isolates indicated that all of the isolates were C. perfringens alpha-toxin gene positive and 46 of 48 isolates were beta2-toxin gene positive. All strains were negative for beta- and epsilon-toxin genes. Repetitive sequence-based PCR was found to be a technically practical and reproducible means of subtyping C. perfringens libraries from specific epidemiological or production environment settings.