N. meningitidis remains a major cause of meningitis and septicemia worldwide. Conjugated polysaccharide vaccines against serogroup A, C, Y and W135 are available. Due to the poor immunogenicity and its cross reactivity with neural tissue a vaccine based on the serogroup B polysaccharide is not available. A licensed vaccine against serogroup B meningococci based on other components of the pathogen will not become available for some time. While in Africa and Asia disease due to serogroup A and C meningococci is prevalent, in Europe and the Americas serogroup B meningococci is causing most of the cases of meningococcal disease.

Multiple-Locus Variable number of tandem repeat Analysis (MLVA) of N. meningitidis

Study of the epidemiology of N. meningitidis increases knowledge about the spread of the bacterium and has identified particular clones with apparent increased virulence. Many different typing techniques have been employed to characterize meningococci. This is particularly true for the molecular techniques which are ranging from multilocus enzyme electrophoresis to PorA variable region typing, and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST). MLST can now be considered the gold standard for genotyping N. meningitidis and a large database is accessible via the internet (http://pubmlst.org/neisseria/). However, despite the obvious advantages, MLST is a costly and labor intensive typing technique. We have developed a typing technique based on the composition of genomic loci containing tandem repeats. Another MLVA scheme for N. meningitidis has been designed and used to type this pathogen. However, that MLVA scheme relies on analysis in agarose gels making it less accurate and not portable. The MLVA used here is based on accurate band sizing using an automated DNA sequencer.

MLVA for N. meningitidis has been developed by Leo Schouls et al. in the Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Perinatal Screening (LIS) of the Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands (CIb) at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
Schouls, L. M., A. van der Ende, M. Damen, and I. van de Pol. 2006. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis of Neisseria meningitidis yields groupings similar to those obtained by multilocus sequence typing. J Clin Microbiol 44:1509-18.

Profiles and types

In the MLVA of N. meningitidis 8 VNTR loci are used. The N. meningitidis MLVA type list contains over 300 distinct allelic profiles and their corresponding MLVA type designation. These profiles were obtained from more than 1,400 N. meningitidis isolates predominantly serogroup B isolates originating from Dutch and German patients with invasive meningococcal disease.

Protocol and tables for data analysis.

A number of files that may be useful if you want to perform MLVA can be downloaded here. These files may be updated if alterations in the protocol or allele tables have been made.

Please enter your MLVA profile in the following text boxes and click submit.

If you discover a new allele or MLVA type please which you would like to be added to the list please contact Leo Schouls. You probably will need to send either the .fsa trace files or DNA/lysate for confirmation and official assignment of a new allele or MLVA type.

V09_01
V07_02
V07_01
V21_02
V13_01
V03_02
V06_01
V04_05

Please enter MLVA profiles with an isolate identifier in TAB delimited format.
(Click here for example data)

If you discover a new allele or MLVA type please which you would like to be added to the list please contact Leo Schouls. You probably will need to send either the .fsa trace files or DNA/lysate for confirmation and official assignment of a new allele or MLVA type.