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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Genetic relationships between clinical and non-clinical strains of Yersinia enterocolitica biovar 1A as revealed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and multilocus restriction typing

Sarita Mallik and Jugsharan S Virdi*

Author Affiliations

Microbial Pathogenicity Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, University of Delhi South Campus, Benito Juarez Road, New Delhi - 110 021, India

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BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:158  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-158

Published: 28 May 2010



Genetic relationships among 81 strains of Y. enterocolitica biovar 1A isolated from clinical and non-clinical sources were discerned by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE) and multilocus restriction typing (MLRT) using six loci each. Such studies may reveal associations between the genotypes of the strains and their sources of isolation.


All loci were polymorphic and generated 62 electrophoretic types (ETs) and 12 restriction types (RTs). The mean genetic diversity (H) of the strains by MLEE and MLRT was 0.566 and 0.441 respectively. MLEE (DI = 0.98) was more discriminatory and clustered Y. enterocolitica biovar 1A strains into four groups, while MLRT (DI = 0.77) identified two distinct groups. BURST (Based Upon Related Sequence Types) analysis of the MLRT data suggested aquatic serotype O:6,30-6,31 isolates to be the ancestral strains from which, clinical O:6,30-6,31 strains might have originated by host adaptation and genetic change.


MLEE revealed greater genetic diversity among strains of Y. enterocolitica biovar 1A and clustered strains in four groups, while MLRT grouped the strains into two groups. BURST analysis of MLRT data nevertheless provided newer insights into the probable evolution of clinical strains from aquatic strains.