Comparison of Two Multilocus Sequence Typing Schemes for Mycoplasma bovis and Revision of the PubMLST Reference Method

J Clin Microbiol. 2020 May 26;58(6):e00283-20. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00283-20. Print 2020 May 26.


Mycoplasma bovis causes pneumonia, pharyngitis, otitis, arthritis, mastitis, and reproductive disorders in cattle and bison. Two multilocus sequence typing (MLST) schemes have been developed for M. bovis, with one serving as the PubMLST reference method, but no comparison of the schemes has been undertaken. Although the PubMLST scheme has proven to be highly discriminatory and informative, the recent discovery of isolates missing one of the typing loci, adh-1, raises concern about its suitability for continued use. The goal of our study was to compare the performance of the two MLST schemes and identify a new reference scheme capable of fully typing all isolates. We evaluated 448 isolates from diverse geographic and anatomic sites that collectively represent cattle, bison, deer, and a goat. The discrimination indexes (DIs) for the PubMLST and the alternative scheme are 0.909 (91 sequence types [STs]) and 0.842 (77 STs), respectively. Although the PubMLST scheme outperformed the alternative scheme, the adh-1 locus must be retired from the PubMLST scheme if it is to be retained as a reference method. The DI obtained using the six remaining PubMLST loci (0.897, 79 STs) fails to reach the benchmark recommended for a reference method (0.900), mandating the addition of a seventh locus. Comparative analysis of genome sequences from the isolates used here identified the dnaA locus from the alternative scheme as the optimal replacement for adh-1 This revised scheme, which will be implemented as the new PubMLST reference method, has a DI of 0.914 and distinguishes 88 STs from the 448 isolates evaluated.

Keywords: MLST; Mycoplasma bovis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Deer*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Goats
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Mycoplasma bovis* / genetics
  • Phylogeny