Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Closely related bacterial isolates can display divergent phenotypes. This can limit the usefulness of phylogenetic studies for understanding bacterial ecology and evolution. Here, we compare phenotyping based on Raman spectrometric analysis of cellular composition to phylogenetic classification by ribosomal multilocus sequence typing (rMLST) in 108 isolates of the zoonotic pathogens Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli. Automatic relevance determination (ARD) was used to identify informative peaks in the Raman spectra that could be used to distinguish strains in taxonomic and host source groups (species, clade, clonal complex, and isolate source/host). Phenotypic characterization based on Raman spectra showed a degree of agreement with genotypic classification using rMLST, with segregation accuracy between species (83.95%), clade (in C. coli, 98.41%), and, to some extent, clonal complex (86.89% C. jejuni ST-21 and ST-45 complexes) being achieved. This confirmed the utility of Raman spectroscopy for lineage classification and the correlation between genotypic and phenotypic classification. In parallel analysis, relatively distantly related isolates (different clonal complexes) were assigned the correct host origin irrespective of the clonal origin (74.07 to 96.97% accuracy) based upon different Raman peaks. This suggests that the phenotypic characteristics, from which the phenotypic signal is derived, are not fixed by clonal descent but are influenced by the host environment and change as strains move between hosts.

Original publication




Journal article


Appl Environ Microbiol

Publication Date





965 - 973


Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Genotype, Multilocus Sequence Typing, Phenotype, Ribosomes, Spectrum Analysis, Raman