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Vol. 1492, 2016, Pages: 203-220

Rapid SNP Detection and Genotyping of Bacterial Pathogens by Pyrosequencing

Kingsley K. Amoako, Matthew C. Thomas, Timothy W. Janzen, Noriko Goji

Canadian Food Inspection Agency, National Centers for Animal Disease, Lethbridge Laboratory, 640, Township Road 9-1, Lethbridge, AB, Canada, T1J 3Z4.


Bacterial identification and typing are fixtures of microbiology laboratories and are vital aspects of our response mechanisms in the event of foodborne outbreaks and bioterrorist events. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is leading the way in terms of expanding our ability to identify and characterize bacteria through the identification of subtle differences between genomes (e.g. single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions/deletions). Modern high-throughput technologies such as pyrosequencing can facilitate the typing of bacteria by generating short-read sequence data of informative regions identified by WGS analyses, at a fraction of the cost of WGS. Thus, pyrosequencing systems remain a valuable asset in the laboratory today. Presented in this chapter are two methods developed in the Amoako laboratory that detail the identification and genotyping of bacterial pathogens. The first targets canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNPs) of evolutionary importance in Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of Anthrax. The second assay detects Shiga-toxin (stx) genes, which are associated with virulence in Escherichia coli and Shigella spp., and differentiates the subtypes of stx-1 and stx-2 based on SNP loci. These rapid methods provide end users with important information regarding virulence traits as well as the evolutionary and biogeographic origin of isolates.

Keywords: Pyrosequencing, Genotyping, SNP, canSNP, Bacillus anthracis, Escherichia coli, Shiga-toxin.

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