J Vet Sci.  2013 Dec;14(4):457-465. 10.4142/jvs.2013.14.4.457.

Genetic diversity of Korean Bacillus anthracis isolates from soil evaluated with a single nucleotide repeat analysis

  • 1Division of Molecular and Life Sciences, Hanyang University, Ansan 426-791, Korea. ygchai@hanyang.ac.kr
  • 2Samyang Chemical Co., Ltd., Anyang 430-852, Korea.
  • 3Agency of Defense Development, Daejeon 305-152, Korea.


Bacillus (B.) anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is one of the most genetically monomorphic bacteria species in the world. Due to the very limited genetic diversity of this species, classification of isolates of this bacterium requires methods with high discriminatory power. Single nucleotide repeat (SNR) analysis is a type of variable-number tandem repeat assay that evaluates regions with very high mutation rates. To subtype a collection of 21 isolates that were obtained during a B. anthracis outbreak in Korea, we analyzed four SNR marker loci using nucleotide sequencing analysis. These isolates were obtained from soil samples and the Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The SNR analysis was able to detect 13 subgenotypes, which allowed a detailed evaluation of the Korean isolates. Our study demonstrated that the SNR analysis was able to discriminate between strains with the same multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis genotypes. In summary, we obtained SNR results for four SNR marker loci of newly acquired strains from Korea. Our findings will be helpful for creating marker systems and help identify markers that could be used for future forensic studies.


Bacillus anthracis; molecular diversity; single nucleotide repeats; subgenotyping
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