Browsing by Author "Nakari, Ulla-Maija"

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  • Nakari, Ulla-Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    C. jejuni constitutes the majority of Campylobacter strains isolated from patients in Finland, and C. coli strains are also reported. To improve the species identification, a combination of phenotype- and genotype-based methods was applied. Standardising the cell suspension turbidity in the hippurate hydrolysis test enabled the reliable identification of hippurate-positive Campylobacter strains as C. jejuni. The detection of species-specific genes by PCR showed that about 30% of the hippurate-negative strains were C. jejuni. Three typing methods, serotyping, PCR-RFLP analysis of LOS biosynthesis genes and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were evaluated as epidemiological typing tools for C. jejuni. The high number of non-typeable strains lowered the discriminatory ability of serotyping. PCR-RFLP typing offered high discrimination for both serotypeable and non-typeable strains, but the correlation between serotypes and RFLP-types was not high enough to enable its use for molecular serotyping of non-typeable strains. PFGE was a highly discriminative typing method. Although the use of two restriction enzymes generally increases the discriminatory ability, KpnI alone offered almost as high discrimination as the use of SmaI and KpnI. The characteristic seasonal distribution of Campylobacter infections with a peak in summer and low incidence in winter was mainly due to domestically acquired infections. Of the C. jejuni strains, 41% were of domestic origin compared to only 17% of the C. coli strains. Serotypes Pen 12, Pen 6,7 and Pen 27 were significantly associated with domestic C. jejuni infections, Pen 1,44, Pen 3 and Pen 37 with travel-related infections. Pen 2 and Pen 4-complex were common both in domestic and travel-related infections. Serotype Pen 2 was less common among patients 60 years or older than in younger patients, more prevalent in Western Finland than in other parts of the country and more prevalent than other serotypes in winter. The source of Pen 2 infections may be related to cattle, since Pen 2 is the most common serotype in isolates from Finnish cattle. PFGE subtypes among isolates from patients and chickens during the summer 2003 and from cattle during the whole year were compared. The analysis of indistinguishable SmaI/KpnI subtypes suggested that up to 31% of the human infections may have been mediated by chickens and 19% by cattle. Human strains isolated during two one-year sampling periods were studied by PFGE. Of the domestic strains, 69% belonged to SmaI subtypes found during both sampling periods. Four SmaI subtypes accounted for 45% of the domestic strains, further typing of these subtypes by KpnI revealed six temporally persistent SmaI/KpnI subtypes. They were only occasionally identified in travel-related strains, and therefore, can be considered to be national subtypes. Each subtype was associated with a serotype: Pen 2, Pen 12, Pen 27, Pen 4-complex, Pen 41, and Pen 57. Five of these subtypes were identified in cattle (S5/K27, S7/K1, S7/K2, S7/K5 and S64/K19), and two in chickens (S7/K1 and S64/K19) with a temporal association with human infections in 2003. Cattle are more likely potential sources of these persistent subtypes, since long-term excretion of Campylobacter strains by cattle has been reported.