Sequence based typing of Legionella pneumophila sg 1 isolated in nosocomial acquired infections in Apulia, Southern Italy


Objective. The present report aims to molecularly characterize seven clinical L. pneumophila (L. pn.) sg 1 isolated from noso- comial acquired infections in Apulia region, using the European Working Group on Legionella Infections (EWGLI), sequence- based typing (SBT) and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) protocols and to compare the identified sequence types (STs) with those available in the EWGLI database. Methods. In the period, January 2000 - December 2012, 151 cases (136 of community and 15 of nosocomial origin) of Legion- naires? disease were notified to the Regional Center for Epide- miology. With regard to nosocomial cases, 8 were confirmed by the isolation of Legionella spp. from respiratory secretions. These clinical isolates were characterized by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and sequence-based typing (SBT), using the EWGLI standardized protocol. Results. The clinical isolates belong to ST42, ST23 and ST1. The AFLP confirms the SBT results. Comparing the STs herein detected with those already in the EWGLI SBT database, the 3 STs are frequent in other European countries. Conclusions. The molecular analysis demonstrates that the 3 STs are the most frequent in Italy and in Europe, supporting the hypothesis that some specific L. pn. sg 1 clones have gained widespread dissemination probably due to a common ecological niche. Further researches are required to investigate the potential changing incidence of STs and the fitness of emerging strains or clonal groups in environmental strains.