Population genetic analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa using multilocus sequence typing

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2005 Jan 1;43(1):29-35. doi: 10.1016/j.femsim.2004.06.024.


To study the population genetic structure of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we developed a multilocus sequence typing scheme. The sequences of internal fragments of seven housekeeping genes were obtained for 34 P. aeruginosa isolates from patients hospitalized in five different European cities. Twenty-six different allelic profiles were identified. The mean allelic diversity was 0.854 (range: 0.606-0.978), which was about six times greater than the results obtained with the multilocus enzyme electrophoresis method. Linkage disequilibrium was measured with the index of association. An index of 1.95+/-0.24 was calculated when all the strains were considered. This index was 1.76+/-0.27 when only one strain per sequence type was considered. Both results were different from 0, indicating linkage among loci, which means that the population structure of our set of P. aeruginosa isolates is clonal. The clonal structure of the population was also suggested by the congruence of the topology of the different trees obtained from the seven housekeeping genes. These results are in contrast to previous studies, finding a non clonal population structure. Since a small number of isolates was analyzed in this study, there might be a bias of selection which includes the possibility that they belong to widely disseminated epidemic clones. Another possibility is that recombination did not occurred homogeneously throughout the genome of P. aeruginosa, so that part of it has a clonal structure, while the remaining part of the genome is more frequently subject to recombination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques*
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / classification*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / isolation & purification
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial