Reference isolates for the clonal complexes of Campylobacter jejuni.
Wareing DRA., Ure R., Colles FM., Bolton FJ., Fox AJ., Maiden MCJ., Dingle KE.
AIMS: To identify and make available through the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) a set of reference isolates for the clonal complexes of Campylobacter jejuni. METHODS AND RESULTS: The development of a multilocus sequence typing scheme for C. jejuni enabled the genetic characterization of a large number of isolates (n = 814) from cases of human disease, animals, birds and their food products. The nucleotide sequence data were used to assign each isolate an allelic profile or sequence type (ST) and examine the C. jejuni population structure in terms of clonal complexes. The clonal complexes consisted of an abundant central or founder genotype (ST), after which the complex was named, together with very closely related, generally less abundant genotypes differing from the founder at one, two or three loci. The clonal complex is an informative unit for the study C. jejuni epidemiology. It provides data which enabled the choice of 13 C. jejuni founder isolates for submission to the NCTC as a representative cross-section of the C. jejuni population. CONCLUSIONS: These 13 isolates provide a defined resource for further research into aspects of C. jejuni biology such as genomic diversity, virulence and adaptation to particular hosts or environmental survival. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF STUDY: This isolate collection is available through the NCTC and provides a resource for further research.