Introduction. Rapid, reliable and accurate molecular typing methods are essential for outbreaks detection and infectious diseases control, for monitoring the evolution and dynamics of microbial populations, and for effective epidemiological surveillance. The introduction of a novel method based on the analysis of melting temperature of amplified products, known as High Resolution Melting (HRM) since 2002, has found applications in epidemiological studies, either for identification of bacterial species or molecular typing, as well as an extensive and increasing use in many research fields. HRM method is based on the use of saturating third generation dyes, advanced real-time PCR platforms, and bioinformatics tools. Objective. To describe, by a comphrehensive review of the literature, the use, application and usefulness of HRM for the genotyping of bacterial pathogens in the context of epidemiological surveillance and public health. Materials and Methods. A literature search was carried out during July-August 2016, by consulting the biomedical databases PubMed/Medline, Scopus, EMBASE, and ISI Web of Science without limits. The search strategy was performed according to the following keywords: high resolution melting analysis and bacteria and genotyping or molecular typing. All the articles evaluating the application of HRM for bacterial pathogen genotyping were selected and reviewed, taking into account the objective of each study, the rationale explaining the use of this technology, and the main results obtained in comparison with gold standards and/or alternative methods, when available. Results. HRM method was extensively used for molecular typing of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, representing a versatile genetic tool: a) to evaluate genetic diversity and subtype at species/subspecies level, based also on allele discrimination/identification and mutation screening; b) to recognize phylogenetic groupings (lineage, sublineage, subgroups); c) to identify antimicrobial resistance; d) to detect and screen for mutations related to drug-resistance; e) to discriminate gene isoforms. HRM method showed, in almost all instances, excellent typeability and discriminatory power, with high concordance of typing results obtained with gold standards or comparable methods. Conversely, for the evaluation of genetic determinants associated to antibiotic-resistance or for screening of associated mutations in key gene fragments, the sensitivity and specificity was not optimal, because the targeted amplicons did not encompass all the crucial mutations. Conclusions. Despite the recent introduction of sequencing-based methods, the HRM method deserves consideration in research fields of infectious diseases, being characterized by low cost, rapidity, flexibility and versatility. However, there are some limitations to HRM assays development, which should be carefully considered. The most common application of HRM for bacterial typing is related to Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)-based genotyping with the analysis of gene fragments within the multilocus sequence typing (MLST) loci, following an approach termed mini-MLST or Minim typing. Although the resolving power is not totally correspondent to MLST, the Simpson's Index of Diversity provided by HRM method typically >0.95. Furthermore, the cost of this approach is less than MLST, enabling low cost surveillance and rapid response for outbreak control. Hence, the potential of HRM technology can strongly facilitate routine research and diagnostics in the epidemiological studies, as well as advance and streamline the genetic characterization of bacterial pathogens.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.7416/ai.2017.2153|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000417837300006|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-85022199658|
|Titolo:||High Resolution Melting as a rapid, reliable, accurate and cost-effective emerging tool for genotyping pathogenic bacteria and enhancing molecular epidemiological surveillance: a comprehensive review of the literature|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|