Genetic populations of Bacillus anthracis isolates from Korea
Kyoung Hwa Jung1,†, Sang Hoon Kim2,†, Se Kye Kim2, Soo Young Cho2, Jin Choul Chai2, Young Seek Lee2, Ji Cheon Kim2, Seoung Joo Kim2, Hee-Bok Oh3, Young Gyu Chai2,*
1Institute of Natural Science and Technology, and 2Division of Molecular and Life Sciences, Hanyang University, Ansan 426-791, Korea 3Department of Bacteriology, National Institute of Health, Cheongwon 363-951, Korea
Bacillus (B.) anthracis is the pathogen that causes fatal anthrax. Strain-specific detection of this bacterium using molecular approaches has enhanced our knowledge of microbial population genetics. In the present study, we employed molecular approaches including multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and canonical single-nucleotide polymorphism (canSNP) analysis to perform molecular typing of B. anthracis strains isolated in Korea. According to the MLVA, 17 B. anthracis isolates were classified into A3a, A3b, and B1 clusters. The canSNP analyses subdivided the B. anthracis isolates into two of the three previously recognized major lineages (A and B). B. anthracis isolates from Korea were found to belong to four canSNP sub-groups (B.Br.001/2, A.Br.005/006, A.Br.001/002, and A.Br.Ames). The A.Br.001/002 and A.Br.Ames sub-lineages are closely related genotypes frequently found in central Asia and most isolates were. On the other hand, B. anthracis CH isolates were analyzed that belonged to the B.Br.001/002 sub-group which found in southern Africa, Europe and California (USA). B.Br.001/002 genotype is new lineage of B. anthracis in Korea that was not found before. This discovery will be helpful for the creation of marker systems and might be the result of human activity through the development of agriculture and increased international trade in Korea.
Keywords: Bacillus anthracis, canonical single-nucleotide polymorphism (canSNP), genotyping, multiple-locus variable- number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA)