BioScience Trends. 2015;9(4):214-220. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2015.01075)

Prevalence of 7 virulence genes of Legionella strains isolated from environmental water sources of public facilities and sequence types diversity of L. pneumopila strains in Macau.

Xiong LN, Zhao HB, Mo ZY, Shi L


In this study, we analyzed 7 virulence genes in 55 Legionella species (including 29 L. pneumophila and 26 non-L. pneumophila strains) which isolated from environmental water sources of the public facilities in Macau by using PCR and real-time PCR. In addition, 29 Legionella pneumophila isolates were subjected to genotyping by sequence-based typing scheme and compared with the data reported. The detection rate of flaA, pilE, asd, mip, mompS, proA and neuA genes in the L. pneumophila were 100.0%, respectively. The neuA gene was not detected in the non-L. pneumophila strains, but flaA, pilE, asd, mip, mompS, and proA genes could be amplified with a positive rate of 15.4%, 15.4%, 53.8%, 38.5%, 15.4%, and 38.5%, respectively. The results from real-time PCR were generally consistent with that of PCR. Those L. pneumophila strains were assigned into 10 sequence types (STs) and ST1 (9/29) was the dominant STs. Four new STs were found to be unique in Macau. The analysis of population structure of L. pneumophila strains which isolated from Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen indicated that the similar clones were existed and ST1 was the most prevalent STs. However, the distribution of the subtypes isolated from Macau was not the same extensive as those from Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The different detection rates of the 7 virulence genes in different species of Legionella might reflect their own potential for environmental adaptability and pathogenesis. And the data analyzed from STs diversity indicated the Macau L. pneumophila possessed obvious regional specificity and high genetic diversity.

KEYWORDS: Sequence-based typing, population structure, phylogenetic relationship

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