Legionella is a gram-negative genus of bacteria that is the cause of Legionnaires disease. Currently, 50 species and 70 serogroups of Legionella have been identified. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta maintains a bank of identified and unidentified Legionella samples. The availability of sequencing technologies has increased since many samples were collected allowing for identification of many previously unidentifiable isolates. We received 68 unidentified samples from the CDC. A sequence based typing scheme was used for characterization. Genomic DNA was extracted from samples and polymerase chain reactionwas performed on the 16S and mip genes. These samples were then sequenced at Clemson University Genomics Institute. Currently, we have identified several samples which were previously undescribed. Once a sample is identified as novel, characterization through sequencing other genes along with morphological and biochemical assays will be conducted. As a collaborative project, regular meetings occur with scientists from the CDC. Characterization of novel strains expands this lab's ability to conduct outbreak analysis and risk assessment along with expanding our knowledge of the pathogen.
Howard, C.; Remillard, K.; Toth, K.; Hardy, R.; Painter, J.; Limbaugh, D.; McNealy, T.; and Wells, C., "CU and the CDC" (2014). Focus on Creative Inquiry. 32.