J Vis Exp 2016 11 4(117). Epub 2016 Nov 4.
Institute for Food Sciences IFS, Agroscope;
The ribosomal spacer PCR (RS-PCR) is a highly resolving and robust genotyping method for S. aureus that allows a high throughput at moderate costs and is, therefore, suitable to be used for routine purposes. For best resolution, data evaluation and data management, a miniaturized electrophoresis system is required. Together with such an electrophoresis system and the in-house developed software (freely available here) assignment of the pattern of bands to a genotype is standardized and straight forward. DNA extraction is simple (boiling prep), setting-up of the reactions is easy and they can be run on any standard PCR machine. PCR cycling is common except prolonged ramping and elongation times. Compared to spa typing and Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST), RS-PCR does not require DNA sequencing what simplifies the analysis considerably and allows a high throughput. Furthermore, the resolution for bovine strains of S. aureus is at least as good as spa typing and better than MLST or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The RS-PCR data base includes presently a total of 141 genotypes and variants. The method is highly associated with the virulence gene pattern, contagiosity and pathogenicity of S. aureus strains involved in bovine mastitis. S. aureus genotype B (GTB) is contagious and causes herds problems causing large costs in the Switzerland and other European countries. All the other genotypes observed in Switzerland infect individual cows and quarters. Genotyping by RS-PCR allows the reliable prediction of the epidemiological and the pathogenic potential of S. aureus involved in bovine intramammary infection (IMI), two key factors for clinical veterinary medicine. Because of these beneficial properties together with moderate costs and a high sample throughput the goal of this publication is to give a detailed, step-by-step protocol for easily establishing and running RS-PCR for genotyping S. aureus in other laboratories.