On-line resources for bacterial micro-evolution studies using MLVA or CRISPR typing

Biochimie. 2008 Apr;90(4):660-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2007.07.014. Epub 2007 Jul 28.


The control of bacterial pathogens requires the development of tools allowing the precise identification of strains at the subspecies level. It is now widely accepted that these tools will need to be DNA-based assays (in contrast to identification at the species level, where biochemical based assays are still widely used, even though very powerful 16S DNA sequence databases exist). Typing assays need to be cheap and amenable to the designing of international databases. The success of such subspecies typing tools will eventually be measured by the size of the associated reference databases accessible over the internet. Three methods have shown some potential in this direction, the so-called spoligotyping assay (Mycobacterium tuberculosis, 40,000 entries database), Multiple Loci Sequence Typing (MLST; up to a few thousands entries for the more than 20 bacterial species), and more recently Multiple Loci VNTR Analysis (MLVA; up to a few hundred entries, assays available for more than 20 pathogens). In the present report we will review the current status of the tools and resources we have developed along the past seven years to help in the setting-up or the use of MLVA assays or lately for analysing Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats called CRISPRs which are the basis for spoligotyping assays.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria* / classification
  • Bacteria* / genetics
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques*
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Internet*
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Software*