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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Genotypic and phenotypic diversity of Ralstonia pickettii and Ralstonia insidiosa isolates from clinical and environmental sources including High-purity Water. Diversity in Ralstonia pickettii

Michael P Ryan1, J Tony Pembroke2 and Catherine C Adley1*

Author Affiliations

1 Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Environmental Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

2 Molecular and Structural Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Environmental Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

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BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:194  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-194

Published: 30 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Ralstonia pickettii is a nosocomial infectious agent and a significant industrial contaminant. It has been found in many different environments including clinical situations, soil and industrial High Purity Water. This study compares the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of a selection of strains of Ralstonia collected from a variety of sources.

Results

Ralstonia isolates (fifty-nine) from clinical, industrial and environmental origins were compared genotypically using i) Species-specific-PCR, ii) PCR and sequencing of the 16S-23S rRNA Interspatial region (ISR) iii) the fliC gene genes, iv) RAPD and BOX-PCR and v) phenotypically using biochemical testing. The species specific-PCR identified fifteen out of fifty-nine designated R. pickettii isolates as actually being the closely related species R. insidiosa. PCR-ribotyping of the 16S-23S rRNA ISR indicated few major differences between the isolates. Analysis of all isolates demonstrated different banding patterns for both the RAPD and BOX primers however these were found not to vary significantly.

Conclusions

R. pickettii species isolated from wide geographic and environmental sources appear to be reasonably homogenous based on genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. R. insidiosa can at present only be distinguished from R. pickettii using species specific PCR. R. pickettii and R. insidiosa isolates do not differ significantly phenotypically or genotypically based on environmental or geographical origin.

Keywords:
Ralstonia pickettii; random amplified polymorphic DNA; PCR; genotyping; High-Purity Water