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Disease Markers
Volume 2018, Article ID 1351634, 9 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of BOX-PCR and ERIC-PCR as Molecular Typing Tools for Pathogenic Leptospira

1Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
2Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Lesley Maurice Bilung; ym.saminu@yelselbm

Received 11 April 2018; Revised 5 July 2018; Accepted 18 July 2018; Published 1 August 2018

Academic Editor: Massimiliano M. Corsi Romanelli

Copyright © 2018 Lesley Maurice Bilung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the last decades, leptospirosis had gained public health concern due to morbidity and mortality rates caused by pathogenic Leptospira. The need for rapid and robust molecular typing methods to differentiate this zoonotic pathogen is of utmost importance. Various studies had been conducted to determine the genetic relatedness of Leptospira isolates using molecular typing methods. In this study, 29 pathogenic Leptospira isolates from rat, soil, and water samples in Sarawak, Malaysia, were characterized using BOX-PCR and ERIC-PCR. The effectiveness of these two methods with regard to the ease of interpretation, reproducibility, typeability, and discriminatory power was also being evaluated. Using BOX-PCR, six clusters and 3 single isolates were defined at a genetic distance percentage of 11.2%. ERIC-PCR clustered the isolates into 6 clusters and 2 single isolates at a genetic distance percentage of 6.8%. Both BOX-PCR and ERIC-PCR produced comparable results though the discriminatory index for ERIC-PCR (0.826) was higher than that for BOX-PCR (0.809). From the constructed dendrogram, it could be summarized that the isolates in this study were highly heterogeneous and genetically diverse. The findings from this study indicated that there is no genetic relatedness among the pathogenic Leptospira isolates in relation to the locality, source, and identity, with some exceptions. Out of the 29 pathogenic Leptospira isolates studied, BOX-PCR and ERIC-PCR successfully discriminated 4 isolates (2 isolates each) into the same cluster in relation to sample sources, as well as 2 isolates into the same cluster in association with the sample locality. Future studies shall incorporate the use of other molecular typing methods to make a more thorough comparison on the genetic relatedness of pathogenic Leptospira.