Epidemiological Typing of Serratia marcescens Isolates by Whole-Genome Multilocus Sequence Typing

Rossen, J. W. A., Dombrecht, J., Vanfleteren, D., De Bruyne, K., van Belkum, A., Rosema, S., Lokate, M., Bathoorn, E., Reuter, S., Grundmann, H., Ertel, J., Higgins, P. G. & Seifert, H., Apr-2019, In : Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 57, 4, 16 p., UNSP e01652-18.

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Serratia marcescens is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen. It is notorious for its increasing antimicrobial resistance and its potential to cause outbreaks of colonization and infections, predominantly in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). There, its spread requires rapid infection control response. To understand its spread, detailed molecular typing is key. We present a whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) method for S. marcescens. Using a set of 299 publicly available whole-genome sequences (WGS), we developed an initial wgMLST system consisting of 9,377 gene loci. This included 1,455 loci occurring in all reference genomes and 7,922 accessory loci. This closed system was validated using three geographically diverse collections of S. marcescens consisting of 111 clinical isolates implicated in nosocomial dissemination events in three hospitals. The validation procedure showed a full match between epidemiological data and the wgMLST analyses. We set the cut- off value for epidemiological (non)relatedness at 20 different alleles, though for the majority of outbreak-clustered isolates, this difference was limited to 4 alleles. This shows that the wgMLST system for S. marcescens provides prospects for successful future monitoring for the epidemiological containment of this opportunistic pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberUNSP e01652-18
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number4
Early online date6-Feb-2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2019


  • Serratia marcescens, WGS, bionumerics, molecular typing, neonatal intensive care, outbreak management, wgMLST, INTENSIVE-CARE-UNIT, HOSPITAL HYGIENE, OUTBREAK, DISEASE, INFECTIONS

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