Multi-locus sequence typing: a tool for global epidemiology.
Urwin R., Maiden MCJ.
The characterization of pathogenic isolates plays a pivotal role in the epidemiology of infectious diseases, generating the information necessary for identifying, tracking, and intervening against disease outbreaks. In 1998 multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) was proposed as a nucleotide sequence-based approach that could be applied to many bacterial pathogens. It combined developments in high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics with established population genetics techniques to provide a portable, reproducible, and scalable typing system that reflected the population and evolutionary biology of bacterial pathogens. MLST schemes have been developed for a variety of procaryotic and eucaryotic pathogens and the data generated have contributed to both epidemiological surveillance and fundamental studies of pathogen biology.