In this work, we describe hypervariable-locus melting typing (HLMT), a novel fast approach to pathogen typing using the high-resolution melting (HRM) assay. The method includes a novel approach for gene target selection, primer design, and HRM data analysis.Pathogen typing is pivotal to detecting the emergence of high-risk clones in hospital settings and to limit their spread. Unfortunately, the most commonly used typing methods (i.e., pulsed-field gel electrophoresis [PFGE], multilocus sequence typing [MLST], and whole-genome sequencing [WGS]) are expensive or time-consuming, limiting their application to real-time surveillance. High-resolution melting (HRM) can be applied to perform cost-effective and fast pathogen typing, but developing highly discriminatory protocols is challenging. Here, we present hypervariable-locus melting typing (HLMT), a novel approach to HRM-based typing that enables the development of more effective and portable typing protocols. HLMT types the strains by assigning them to melting types (MTs) on the basis of a reference data set (HLMT-assignment) and/or by clustering them using melting temperatures (HLMT-clustering). We applied the HLMT protocol developed on the capsular gene wzi for Klebsiella pneumoniae on 134 strains collected during surveillance programs in four hospitals. Then, we compared the HLMT results to those obtained using wzi, MLST, WGS, and PFGE typing. HLMT distinguished most of the K. pneumoniae high-risk clones with a sensitivity comparable to that of PFGE and MLST+wzi. It also drew surveillance epidemiological curves comparable to those obtained using MLST+wzi, PFGE, and WGS typing. Furthermore, the results obtained using HLMT-assignment were consistent with those of wzi typing for 95% of the typed strains, with a Jaccard index value of 0.9. HLMT is a fast and scalable approach for pathogen typing, suitable for real-time hospital microbiological surveillance. HLMT is also inexpensive, and thus, it is applicable for infection control programs in low- and middle-income countries. IMPORTANCE In this work, we describe hypervariable-locus melting typing (HLMT), a novel fast approach to pathogen typing using the high-resolution melting (HRM) assay. The method includes a novel approach for gene target selection, primer design, and HRM data analysis. We successfully applied this method to distinguish the high-risk clones of Klebsiella pneumoniae, one of the most important nosocomial pathogens worldwide. We also compared HLMT to typing using WGS, the capsular gene wzi, MLST, and PFGE. Our results show that HLMT is a typing method suitable for real-time epidemiological investigation. The application of HLMT to hospital microbiology surveillance can help to rapidly detect outbreak emergence, improving the effectiveness of infection control strategies.

Hypervariable-Locus Melting Typing: a Novel Approach for More Effective High-Resolution Melting-Based Typing, Suitable for Large Microbiological Surveillance Programs / M. Perini, A. Piazza, S. Panelli, S. Papaleo, A. Alvaro, F. Vailati, M. Corbella, F. Saluzzo, F. Gona, D. Castelli, C. Farina, P. Marone, D.M. Cirillo, A. Cavallero, G.V. Zuccotti, F. Comandatore. - In: MICROBIOLOGY SPECTRUM. - ISSN 2165-0497. - 10:4(2022 Aug), pp. e0100922.1-e0100922.10. [10.1128/spectrum.01009-22]

Hypervariable-Locus Melting Typing: a Novel Approach for More Effective High-Resolution Melting-Based Typing, Suitable for Large Microbiological Surveillance Programs

M. Perini
Primo
;
A. Piazza;S. Panelli;S. Papaleo;A. Alvaro;G.V. Zuccotti;F. Comandatore
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

In this work, we describe hypervariable-locus melting typing (HLMT), a novel fast approach to pathogen typing using the high-resolution melting (HRM) assay. The method includes a novel approach for gene target selection, primer design, and HRM data analysis.Pathogen typing is pivotal to detecting the emergence of high-risk clones in hospital settings and to limit their spread. Unfortunately, the most commonly used typing methods (i.e., pulsed-field gel electrophoresis [PFGE], multilocus sequence typing [MLST], and whole-genome sequencing [WGS]) are expensive or time-consuming, limiting their application to real-time surveillance. High-resolution melting (HRM) can be applied to perform cost-effective and fast pathogen typing, but developing highly discriminatory protocols is challenging. Here, we present hypervariable-locus melting typing (HLMT), a novel approach to HRM-based typing that enables the development of more effective and portable typing protocols. HLMT types the strains by assigning them to melting types (MTs) on the basis of a reference data set (HLMT-assignment) and/or by clustering them using melting temperatures (HLMT-clustering). We applied the HLMT protocol developed on the capsular gene wzi for Klebsiella pneumoniae on 134 strains collected during surveillance programs in four hospitals. Then, we compared the HLMT results to those obtained using wzi, MLST, WGS, and PFGE typing. HLMT distinguished most of the K. pneumoniae high-risk clones with a sensitivity comparable to that of PFGE and MLST+wzi. It also drew surveillance epidemiological curves comparable to those obtained using MLST+wzi, PFGE, and WGS typing. Furthermore, the results obtained using HLMT-assignment were consistent with those of wzi typing for 95% of the typed strains, with a Jaccard index value of 0.9. HLMT is a fast and scalable approach for pathogen typing, suitable for real-time hospital microbiological surveillance. HLMT is also inexpensive, and thus, it is applicable for infection control programs in low- and middle-income countries. IMPORTANCE In this work, we describe hypervariable-locus melting typing (HLMT), a novel fast approach to pathogen typing using the high-resolution melting (HRM) assay. The method includes a novel approach for gene target selection, primer design, and HRM data analysis. We successfully applied this method to distinguish the high-risk clones of Klebsiella pneumoniae, one of the most important nosocomial pathogens worldwide. We also compared HLMT to typing using WGS, the capsular gene wzi, MLST, and PFGE. Our results show that HLMT is a typing method suitable for real-time epidemiological investigation. The application of HLMT to hospital microbiology surveillance can help to rapidly detect outbreak emergence, improving the effectiveness of infection control strategies.
high-resolution melting; low- and middle-income countries; microbiological surveillance; outbreak reconstruction; real-time surveillance
Settore MED/38 - Pediatria Generale e Specialistica
Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali
ago-2022
1-ago-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/948348
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