Chlamydia trachomatis: Development of molecular typing methods and applications in epidemiology
Sammanfattning: A general aim was to combine molecular typing methods with clinical background information to increase epidemiological knowledge about Chlamydia trachomatis infections.An outbreak of Lymfogranuloma venereum (LGV), caused by a more invasive variant of C. trachomatis, was reported from the Netherlands in 2003 among men who have sex with men (MSM). All Chlamydia positive specimens from a venereal disease clinic for MSM in Stockholm during one year were genotyped. No spread of LGV was found, apart from three symptomatic cases. The same ompA genotypes were found among MSM in Melbourne, but the genotype distribution was different compared to findings among the heterosexual population in Sweden.The standard method for genotyping of Chlamydia is ompA-sequencing, but it has low resolution because one genotype predominates. A multilocus sequence typing (MLST) system based on five targets was developed. In a sample of 47 specimens, 32 variants were found with MLST, but only 12 variants with ompA-sequencing. The polymorphisms in the hctB gene, one MLST target, are caused by an element of 108 bp that is present in two to four repetitions and in different variants. Although the DNA-binding function of Hc2 that is encoded by hctB has been studied, our findings of a considerable size variation show that new studies are needed.In 2006, specimens with a 377 bp deletion in the cryptic plasmid covering the target region for diagnostic test systems from Abbott and Roche were discovered in Sweden. Applying MLST to these specimens indicated that there was a single clone, denoted nvCT. The proportion of nvCT in all detected Chlamydia cases was higher (20% to 65%) in counties using Abbott/Roche compared to counties using the BectonDickinson test system (7% to 20%). The proportions of nvCT converge in counties with high or low levels when detection systems were adjusted to detect nvCT.
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