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Determining the most appropriate way to represent the relationships between bacterial isolates is complicated by the differing rates of recombination within species. In many cases, a bifurcating tree can be positively misleading. The recently described program eBURST can be used with multilocus data to define groups or clonal complexes of related isolates derived from a common ancestor, the patterns of descent linking them together, and the ancestral genotype. eBURST has recently been extensively updated to include additional tools for exploring the relationships between isolates. We discuss the advantages of this approach and describe its use to explore patterns of descent within clonal complexes identified using multilocus sequence typing.

Original publication




Journal article


FEMS Microbiol Lett

Publication Date





129 - 134


Algorithms, Bacteria, Bacterial Infections, Bacterial Typing Techniques, Evolution, Molecular, Humans, Software