Development of a custom-designed, pan genomic DNA microarray to characterize strain-level diversity among Cronobacter spp.

Ben Davies Tall (Lead / Corresponding author), Jayanthi Gangiredla, Gopal R. Gopinath, Qiongqiong Yan, Hannah R. Chase, Boram Lee, Seongeun Hwang, Larisa Trach, Eunbi Park, YeonJoo Yoo, TaeJung Chung, Scott A. Jackson, Isha R. Patel, Venugopal Sathyamoorthy, Monica Pava-Ripoll, Michael L. Kotewicz, Laurenda Carter, Carol Iversen, Franco Pagotto, Roger StephanAngelika Lehner, Séamus Fanning, Christopher J. Grim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Cronobacter species cause infections in all age groups; however neonates are at highest risk and remain the most susceptible age group for life-threatening invasive disease. The genus contains seven species:Cronobacter sakazakii, Cronobacter malonaticus, Cronobacter turicensis, Cronobacter muytjensii, Cronobacter dublinensis, Cronobacter universalis, and Cronobacter condimenti. Despite an abundance of published genomes of these species, genomics-based epidemiology of the genus is not well established. The gene content of a diverse group of 126 unique Cronobacter and taxonomically related isolates was determined using a pan genomic-based DNA microarray as a genotyping tool and as a means to identify outbreak isolates for food safety, environmental, and clinical surveillance purposes. The microarray constitutes 19,287 independent genes representing 15 Cronobacter genomes and 18 plasmids and 2,371 virulence factor genes of phylogenetically related Gram-negative bacteria. The Cronobacter microarray was able to distinguish the seven Cronobacter species from one another and from non-Cronobacter species; and within each species, strains grouped into distinct clusters based on their genomic diversity. These results also support the phylogenic divergence of the genus and clearly highlight the genomic diversity among each member of the genus. The current study establishes a powerful platform for further genomics research of this diverse genus, an important prerequisite toward the development of future countermeasures against this foodborne pathogen in the food safety and clinical arenas.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number36
    Number of pages11
    JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2015


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