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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-162

Current strategy for local- to global-level molecular epidemiological characterisation of global antimicrobial resistance surveillance system pathogens

Department of Clinical Microbiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Veeraraghavan Balaji
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_19_396

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The prime goal of molecular epidemiology is to identify the origin and evolution of pathogens, which can potentially influence the public health worldwide. Traditional methods provide limited information which is not sufficient for outbreak investigation and studying transmission dynamics. The recent advancement of next-generation sequencing had a major impact on molecular epidemiological studies. Currently, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) has become the gold standard typing method, especially for clinically significant pathogens. Here, we aimed to describe the application of appropriate molecular typing methods for global antimicrobial resistance surveillance system pathogens based on the level of discrimination and epidemiological settings. This shows that sequence-based methods such as multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) are widely used due to cost-effectiveness and database accessibility. However, WGS is the only method of choice for studying Escherichia coli and Shigella spp. WGS is shown to have higher discrimination than other methods in typing Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii and Salmonella spp. due to its changing accessory genome content. For Gram positives such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, WGS would be preferable to understand the evolution of the strains. Similarly, for Staphylococcus aureus, combination of MLST, staphylococcal protein A or SCCmec typing along with WGS could be the choice for epidemiological typing of hospital- and community-acquired strains. This review highlights that combinations of different typing methods should be used to get complete information since no one standalone method is sufficient to study the varying genome diversity.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
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