Comparing Multiple Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analyses with Whole-Genome Sequencing as Typing Method for Salmonella Enteritidis Surveillance in The Netherlands, January 2019 to March 2020

Roan Pijnacker*, Maaike van den Beld, Kim van der Zwaluw, Anjo Verbruggen, Claudia Coipan, Alejandra Hernandez Segura, Lapo Mughini-Gras, Eelco Franz, Thijs Bosch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In the Netherlands, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was implemented as routine typing tool for Salmonella Enteritidis isolates in 2019. Multiple locus variable-number tandem repeat analyses (MLVA) was performed in parallel. The objective was to determine the concordance of MLVA and WGS as typing methods for S. Enteritidis isolates. We included S. Enteritidis isolates from patients that were subtyped using MLVA and WGS-based core-genome Multilocus Sequence Typing (cgMLST) as part of the national laboratory surveillance of Salmonella during January 2019 to March 2020. The concordance of clustering based on MLVA and cgMLST, with a distance of ≤5 alleles, was assessed using the Fowlkes-Mallows (FM) index, and their discriminatory power using Simpson's diversity index. Of 439 isolates in total, 404 (92%) were typed as 32 clusters based on MLVA, with a median size of 4 isolates (range:2 to 141 isolates). Based on cgMLST, 313 (71%) isolates were typed as 48 clusters, with a median size of 3 isolates (range:2 to 39 isolates). The FM index was 0.34 on a scale from 0 to 1, where a higher value indicates greater similarity between the typing methods. The Simpson's diversity index of MLVA and cgMLST was 0.860 and 0.974, respectively. The median cgMLST distance between isolates with the same MLVA type was 27 alleles (interquartile range [IQR]:17 to 34 alleles), and 2 alleles within cgMLST clusters (IQR:1-5 alleles). This study shows the higher discriminatory power of WGS over MLVA and a poor concordance between both typing methods regarding clustering of S. Enteritidis isolates. IMPORTANCE Salmonella is the most frequently reported agent causing foodborne outbreaks and the second most common zoonoses in the European Union. The incidence of the most dominant serotype Enteritidis has increased in recent years. To differentiate between Salmonella isolates, traditional typing methods such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multiple locus variable-number tandem repeat analyses (MLVA) are increasingly replaced with whole-genome sequencing (WGS). This study compared MLVA and WGS-based core-genome Multilocus Sequence Typing (cgMLST) as typing tools for S. Enteritidis isolates that were collected as part of the national Salmonella surveillance in the Netherlands. We found a higher discriminatory power of WGS-based cgMLST over MLVA, as well as a poor concordance between both typing methods regarding clustering of S. Enteritidis isolates. This is especially relevant for cluster delineation in outbreak investigations and confirmation of the outbreak source in trace-back investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0137522
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Clustering
  • Multiple locus variable-number tandem repeat analyses
  • Salmonella
  • Whole-genome sequencing

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