Multiple Loci VNTR Analysis

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Multiple Loci VNTR Analysis (MLVA ) is a method employed for the genetic analysis of particular microorganisms, such as pathogenic bacteria, that takes advantage of the polymorphism of tandemly repeated DNA sequences. A "VNTR" is a "variable-number tandem repeat". This method is well known in forensic science since it is the basis of DNA fingerprinting in humans. When applied to bacteria, it contributes to forensic microbiology through which the source of a particular strain might eventually be traced back making it a useful technique for outbreak surveillance. In a typical MLVA assay, a number of well-selected and characterised (in terms of mutation rate and diversity) loci are amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) so that the size of each locus can be measured, usually with capillary electrophoresis. From this size, the number of repeat units at each locus can be deduced. The resulting information is a code which can be easily compared to reference databases once the assay has been harmonised and standardised.[1] MLVA has become a major first line typing tool in a number of pathogens where such an harmonisation could be achieved, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Bacillus anthracis, Brucella.[2]

Some MLVA associated web sites[edit]

Software for analysis of MLVA data[edit]

  • GeneMapper Software for normalisation and size calling of peaks from capillary electrophoresis.
  • BioNumerics One universal bioinformatics solution to store and analyze all your biological data. Normalisation, size calling, size correction, assignment of number of repeats and cluster analysis on MLVA data can be performed.


  1. ^ Nadon CA, Trees E, Ng LK, Møller Nielsen E, Reimer A, Maxwell N, Kubota KA, Gerner-Smidt P, the MLVA Harmonization Working Group (2013). "Development and application of MLVA methods as a tool for inter-laboratory surveillance". Euro Surveill. 18 (35): 20565. doi:10.2807/1560-7917.es2013.18.35.20565. PMID 24008231. 
  2. ^ Lindstedt BA, Torpdahl M, Vergnaud G, Le Hello S, Weill FX, Tietze E, Malorny B, Prendergast DM, Ní Ghallchoir E, Lista RF, Schouls LM, Söderlund R, Börjesson S, Åkerström S (2013). "Use of multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) in eight European countries, 2012". Euro Surveill. 18 (4). PMID 23369388.