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Multiple-locus variable-number of tandem-repeats analysis (MLVA) has emerged as a valuable method for subtyping bacterial pathogens and has been adopted in many countries as a critical component of their laboratory-based surveillance. Lack of harmonisation and standardisation of the method, however, has made comparison of results generated in different laboratories difficult, if not impossible, and has therefore hampered its use in international surveillance. This paper proposes an international consensus on the development, validation, nomenclature and quality control for MLVA used for molecular surveillance and outbreak detection based on a review of the current state of knowledge.


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