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Multilocus variable number of tandem repeats analysis (MLVA) has recently become a widely used highly discriminatory molecular method for typing of the foodborne pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium. This method is based on amplification and fragment size analysis of five repeat loci. To be able to easily compare MLVA results between laboratories there is a need for a simple and definitive nomenclature for MLVA profiles. Based on MLVA results for all human S. Typhimurium isolates in Denmark from the last five years and sequence analysis of a selection of these isolates, we propose a MLVA nomenclature that indicates the actual number of repeat units in each locus. This nomenclature is independent of the equipment used for fragment analysis and, in principle, independent of the primers used. A set of reference strains is developed that can be used for easy normalisation of fragment sizes in each laboratory.


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