Unexpected similarity of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns of unrelated clinical isolates of Legionella pneumophila, serogroup 1
Drenning, S.D.; Stout, J.E.; Joly, J.R.; Yu, V.L.
Journal of Infectious Diseases 183(4): 628-632
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1899 PMID: 11170989 DOI: 10.1086/318525
Phenotypic and genotypic methods identify subtypes of Legionella pneumophila, serogroup 1, and match patient and environmental isolates from suspected sources. The strength of this association is limited by the lack of information regarding the frequency and distribution of isolates belonging to various subtypes. In this study, 62 clinical isolates of L. pneumophila, serogroup 1, were subtyped by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), to determine the distribution and degree of diversity of PFGE patterns among monoclonal antibody (MAb) subtypes. Unexpectedly, 8 of 21 MAb Philadelphia 1 isolates had a common PFGE pattern, and, among 12 MAb OLDA isolates, only 2 PFGE patterns were seen. Our hypothesis was that PFGE patterns were distributed randomly; however, statistical analysis showed that the distribution of subtypes was not random (Fisher's exact test 0.13; P>.05). In light of these results, researchers who do epidemiological investigations should use caution when interpreting the significance of matching PFGE patterns of L. pneumophila, serogroup 1.