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Franz Allerberger 1 Article
Molecular Typing in Public Health Laboratories: From an Academic Indulgence to an Infection Control Imperative
Franz Allerberger
J Prev Med Public Health. 2012;45(1):1-7.   Published online January 31, 2012
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.2012.45.1.1
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AbstractAbstract PDF

Using three Austrian case studies, the variegated applications of molecular typing in today's public health laboratories are discussed to help illustrate preventive management strategies relying on DNA subtyping. DNA macrorestriction analysis by pulsed field gel electrophoresis has become the gold standard for subtyping of food borne pathogens like listeria, salmonella, campylobacter and Bacillus cereus. Using a Salmonella Mbandaka outbreak from the year 2010 as example, it is shown how the comparison of patterns from human isolates, food isolates, animal isolates and feed isolates can allow to identify and confirm a source of disease. An epidemiological connection between the simultaneous occurrence of tuberculosis in cattle and deer with cases of human tuberculosis due to Mycobacterium caprae in 2010 was excluded using mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units variable-number tandem repeats subtyping. Also in 2010, multilocus sequence typing with nonselective housekeeping genes, the so-called sequence based typing protocol, was used to elucidate connections between an environmental source (a hospital drinking water system) and a case of legionellosis. During the last decades, molecular typing has evolved to become a routine tool in the daily work of public health laboratories. The challenge is now no longer to simply type microorganisms, but to type them in a way that allows for data exchange between public health laboratories all over the world.

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health