Improved DNA Amplification of the Hallmark IS 900 Element in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis : a Reexamination Based on Whole-Genome Sequence Analysis - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Applied and Environmental Microbiology Year : 2023

Improved DNA Amplification of the Hallmark IS 900 Element in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis : a Reexamination Based on Whole-Genome Sequence Analysis

Abstract

Amplification of the IS900 multicopy element is a hallmark nucleic acid-based diagnostic test for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, which causes Johne's disease in ruminants. This assay is frequently used to determine the presence of the bacterium in feces of infected cattle and sheep. Two IS900 primer sets developed in the 1990s were widely used for decades, and their use has continued in current studies. However, these primers were developed prior to the availability of complete genome sequences. Recent sequence analysis of the binding locations for one primer pair (P90/P91) identified errors and binding inefficiencies that can be easily corrected to further increase detection sensitivity. The P90 primer is missing two nucleotides that should be present near the 3' end, and it does not bind all copies of IS900 due to 5' deletions at some IS900 loci. These IS900 primer pairs, along with newly developed primers, were tested by real-time PCR on purified genomic DNA to determine which primer set performed the best and how primer design errors affect amplification efficiencies. The newly designed PCR primer set (JB5) showed increased sensitivity by two to three quantification cycles using purified genomic DNA and was similar in efficiency to 150C/921. These tests were extended using DNA from feces and tissues of infected cows, which showed similar results. Finally, a 167-bp partial duplication of IS900 was found in type I strains. Although P90 and P91 primers successfully amplify M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis DNA, their use should be discontinued in favor of more efficient primer pairs in future studies. IMPORTANCE This study is an example of how applied genomic analysis can aid diagnostic test improvements. Detection of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection of livestock prior to the appearance of clinical disease signs is very difficult but essential for identifying animals shedding the bacterium to prevent transmission of Johne's disease. Total M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis quantity in the feces as determined by real-time PCR (qPCR) using the IS900 target indicates bacterial shedding status and potential for transmission of the pathogen. However, legacy primers designed prior to the availability of complete genome sequences that are used in these tests to detect M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis were based on data from only a single copy of IS900 and not considering all copies collectively as a group. This approach resulted in primer design errors which can be easily corrected to improve test sensitivities. We tested original primers that contain these errors and their corrected versions by qPCR and showed improved sensitivity on purified genomic DNA as well as fecal and tissue samples. These findings may help detect the organism from environmental samples on farms where sensitivity is currently lacking.

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hal-04003630 , version 1 (24-02-2023)

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John Bannantine, Judith Stabel, Darrell Bayles, Franck Biet. Improved DNA Amplification of the Hallmark IS 900 Element in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis : a Reexamination Based on Whole-Genome Sequence Analysis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2023, 89 (2), pp.e0168222. ⟨10.1128/aem.01682-22⟩. ⟨hal-04003630⟩
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