Multi locus variable-number tandem repeat (MLVA) typing tools improved the surveillance of Salmonella enteritidis: a 6 years retrospective study

Sophie Bertrand, Guillaume De Lamine de Bex, Christa Wildemauwe, Octavie Lunguya, Marie France Phoba, Benedikt Ley, Jan Jacobs, Raymond Vanhoof, Wesley Mattheus

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

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Surveillance of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis is generally considered to benefit from molecular techniques like multiple-locus variable-number of tandem repeats analysis (MLVA), which allow early detection and confinement of outbreaks. Here, a surveillance study, including phage typing, antimicrobial susceptibility testing and MLVA on 1,535 S. Enteritidis isolates collected between 2007 and 2012, was used to evaluate the added value of MLVA for public health surveillance in Belgium. Phage types PT4, PT8, PT21, PT1, PT6, PT14b, PT28 and PT13 dominate the Belgian S. Enteritidis population. The isolates of S. Enteritidis were most frequently susceptible to all antibiotics tested. 172 different MLVA profiles were detected, of which 9 frequent profiles included 67.2% of the S. Enteritidis population. During a serial passage experiment on selected isolates to investigate the in vitro stability of the 5 MLVA loci, no variations over time were observed indicating that the MLVA profiles were stable. The MLVA profile of isolates originating from different outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 2010 and 2011 were distinct from any of the MLVA profiles found in Belgian isolates throughout the six year observational period and demonstrates that MLVA improves public health surveillance of S. Enteritidis. However, MLVA should be complemented with other subtyping methods when investigating outbreaks is caused by the most common MLVA profile.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0117950
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Genetic Loci
  • Humans
  • Minisatellite Repeats
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salmonella Infections
  • Salmonella enteritidis


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