A total of 63 isolates of Pasteurella multocida from Australian poultry, all associated with fowl cholera outbreaks, and three international reference strains, representing the three subspecies within P. multocida were used to develop a multi-locus sequence typing scheme. Primers were designed for conserved regions of seven house-keeping enzymes -adk, est, gdh, mdh, pgi, pmi and zwf - and internal fragments of 570-784 bp were sequenced for all isolates and strains. The number of alleles at the different loci ranged from 11 to 20 and a total of 29 allelic profiles or sequence types were recognised amongst the 66 strains. There was a strong concordance between the MLST data and the existing multi-locus enzyme electrophoresis and ribotyping data. When used to study a sub-set of isolates with a known detailed epidemiological history, the MLST data matched the results given by restriction endonuclease analysis, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, ribotyping and REP-PCR. The MLST scheme provides a high level of resolution and is an excellent tool for studying the population structure and epidemiology of P. multocida.
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