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De l’usage du polymorphisme de répétitions en tandem pour l’étude des populations bactériennes : mise au point et validation d’un système de génotypage automatisé utilisant la technique de MLVA

Abstract : Bacterial species exhibit diversity in their population structure varying from clonal to panmictic according to the abundance of horizontal transfer and the nature of their ecosystem. During my PhD, I focused on three bacterial species, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Legionella pneumophila, which reflect three different situations. To perform the characterisation of large strain collections, I studied the polymorphism of molecular markers called VNTRs for Variable Number Tandem Repeat. MLVA (Multiple Loci VNTR Analysis) is a PCR based typing method that relies on the concomitant analysis of several VNTRs loci. Initially, I designed automated typing protocols for the three species, then I applied these tools to address issues of epidemiology. S. aureus, a clonal species, is a major cause of food poisoning. The present work confirmed the existence of host-specific clonal complexes and demonstrated the predominantly human origin of foodborne disease cases. L. pneumophila is an environmental pathogen whose population structure is atypical: it is presumed panmictic in the environment but the bacterium expands clonally when the ecosystem is restricted, in an anthropogenic habitat for instance. A long-term epidemiological monitoring of L. pneumophila populations in the city of Rennes highlighted the presence of an ecotype, not involved in epidemic cases, particularly adapted to hot water supply systems. P. aeruginosa, a well-described panmictic bacterium, colonizes CF patients’ airways. The longitudinal monitoring of patients provided evidence that the settled strains were persistent and exhibited strong exclusivity for the occupied niche. Exploring the bacterial world diversity is a prerequisite for epidemiological investigation of infectious diseases. Using a first-line molecular tool, these works trace the epidemiology and the population structure of three bacterial species. The adaptation to a new environment (animal host, ecological niche, organ) generally results in clonal expansions.
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Daniel Sobral. De l’usage du polymorphisme de répétitions en tandem pour l’étude des populations bactériennes : mise au point et validation d’un système de génotypage automatisé utilisant la technique de MLVA. Sciences agricoles. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012PA112074⟩. ⟨tel-00700479⟩

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