April 21, 2020  |  

Whole-genome sequence of the bovine blood fluke Schistosoma bovis supports interspecific hybridization with S. haematobium.

Mesenteric infection by the parasitic blood fluke Schistosoma bovis is a common veterinary problem in Africa and the Middle East and occasionally in the Mediterranean Region. The species also has the ability to form interspecific hybrids with the human parasite S. haematobium with natural hybridisation observed in West Africa, presenting possible zoonotic transmission. Additionally, this exchange of alleles between species may dramatically influence disease dynamics and parasite evolution. We have generated a 374 Mb assembly of the S. bovis genome using Illumina and PacBio-based technologies. Despite infecting different hosts and organs, the genome sequences of S. bovis and S. haematobium appeared strikingly similar with 97% sequence identity. The two species share 98% of protein-coding genes, with an average sequence identity of 97.3% at the amino acid level. Genome comparison identified large continuous parts of the genome (up to several 100 kb) showing almost 100% sequence identity between S. bovis and S. haematobium. It is unlikely that this is a result of genome conservation and provides further evidence of natural interspecific hybridization between S. bovis and S. haematobium. Our results suggest that foreign DNA obtained by interspecific hybridization was maintained in the population through multiple meiosis cycles and that hybrids were sexually reproductive, producing viable offspring. The S. bovis genome assembly forms a highly valuable resource for studying schistosome evolution and exploring genetic regions that are associated with species-specific phenotypic traits.


April 21, 2020  |  

The bacteriocin from the prophylactic candidate Streptococcus suis 90-1330 is widely distributed across S. suis isolates and appears encoded in an integrative and conjugative element.

The Gram-positive a-hemolytic Streptococcus suis is a major pathogen in the swine industry and an emerging zoonotic agent that can cause several systemic issues in both pigs and humans. A total of 35 S. suis serotypes (SS) have been identified and genotyped into > 700 sequence types (ST) by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Eurasian ST1 isolates are the most virulent of all S. suis SS2 strains while North American ST25 and ST28 strains display moderate to low/no virulence phenotypes, respectively. Notably, S. suis 90-1330 is an avirulent Canadian SS2-ST28 isolate producing a lantibiotic bacteriocin with potential prophylactic applications. To investigate the suitability of this strain for such purposes, we sequenced its complete genome using the Illumina and PacBio platforms. The S. suis 90-1330 bacteriocin was found encoded in a locus cargoed in what appears to be an integrative and conjugative element (ICE). This bacteriocin locus was also found to be widely distributed across several streptococcal species and in a few Staphylococcus aureus strains. Because the locus also confers protection from the bacteriocin, the potential prophylactic benefits of using this strain may prove limited due to the spread of the resistance to its effects. Furthermore, the S. suis 90-1330 genome was found to code for genes involved in blood survival, suggesting that strain may not be a benign as previously thought.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic characterization of Nocardia seriolae strains isolated from diseased fish.

Members of the genus Nocardia are widespread in diverse environments; a wide range of Nocardia species are known to cause nocardiosis in several animals, including cat, dog, fish, and humans. Of the pathogenic Nocardia species, N. seriolae is known to cause disease in cultured fish, resulting in major economic loss. We isolated two N. seriolae strains, CK-14008 and EM15050, from diseased fish and sequenced their genomes using the PacBio sequencing platform. To identify their genomic features, we compared their genomes with those of other Nocardia species. Phylogenetic analysis showed that N. seriolae shares a common ancestor with a putative human pathogenic Nocardia species. Moreover, N. seriolae strains were phylogenetically divided into four clusters according to host fish families. Through genome comparison, we observed that the putative pathogenic Nocardia strains had additional genes for iron acquisition. Dozens of antibiotic resistance genes were detected in the genomes of N. seriolae strains; most of the antibiotics were involved in the inhibition of the biosynthesis of proteins or cell walls. Our results demonstrated the virulence features and antibiotic resistance of fish pathogenic N. seriolae strains at the genomic level. These results may be useful to develop strategies for the prevention of fish nocardiosis. © 2018 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

First report of isolation and complete genome of Vibrio rotiferianus strain SSVR1601 from cage-cultured black rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii) associated with skin ulcer.

Vibrio rotiferianus is an important marine pathogen of various aquatic organisms and can be found widely distributed in the marine environment. To further characterize this pathogen, the pathogenic properties and genome of V. rotiferianus SSVR1601 isolated from Sebastes schlegelii with skin ulcer were analysed. SSVR1601 was shown to be short rod-shaped cell with a single polar flagellum. Different degrees of pathological changes in fish kidney, intestine, gills and liver were observed after SSVR1601 challenge. The SSVR1601 genome consists of two chromosomes and two plasmids with a total of 5,717,113 bp, 42.04%-44.93% GC content, 5,269 predicted CDSs, 134 tRNAs and 40 rRNAs. The common virulence factors including OMPs, haemolysin, flagellin, DNase, entF, algU, tcpI, acfB and rfaD were found in strain SSVR1601. Furthermore, factors responsible for iron uptake (fur, fepC and ccmC) and types II, IV and VI secretion systems were detected, which are likely responsible for the pathogenicity of SSVR1601. The antimicrobial resistance genes, bacA, tet34 and norM, were detected based on Antibiotic Resistance Genes Database. The phylogenetic analysis revealed SSVR1601 to be most closely related to V. rotiferianus strains CAIM577 and B64D1. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Evolution of a major bovine mastitic genotype (rpoB sequence type 10-2) of Staphylococcus aureus in cows.

Staphylococcus aureus is the major pathogen leading to bovine mastitis globally while livestock-associated methicillin resistant S. aureus (LA-MRSA) has become a potential threat to public health. MRSA from bovine mastitis is not common but a methicillin susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) genotype, rpoB sequence type (RST)10-2 (RST10-2), is prevalent in Korea. To date, many genomic sequences from S. aureus have been elucidated, but the complete genome sequences of RST10-2 MSSA from bovine mastitis has never been reported. In this study, we determined the complete genome sequence of two RST10-2 MSSA that differ from each other in staphylococcal protein A and molecular prophage types [PMB64-1 (t2489/ mPPT0) and PMB81-4 (t127/mPPT1-2-3)] and conducted a comparative genomics study. The genomic sequences of PMB64-1 and PMB81-4 were more homologous to the representative human RST10-2 strains (MSSA476, MW2 etc.) compared to other RSTs. Most of them shared five common pseudogenes, along with high amino acid identity of four variable virulence genes that were identified in this study. However, PMB64-1 and PMB81-4 acquired different strainspecific pseudogenes and mobile genetic elements than the human strains. The unique pseudogene profile and high identity of the virulence genes were verified in RST10-2 field strains from bovine mastitis. Thus, bovine mastitic RST10-2 MSSA may have an evolutionary relationship with the human RST10-2 community-associated (CA) MSSA and CA-MRSA strains but may have adapted to cows.


April 21, 2020  |  

One Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida isolate with a pAsa5 variant bearing antibiotic resistance and a pRAS3 variant making a link with a swine pathogen.

The Gram-negative bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida is an aquatic pathogen which causes furunculosis to salmonids, especially in fish farms. The emergence of strains of this bacterium exhibiting antibiotic resistance is increasing, limiting the effectiveness of antibiotherapy as a treatment against this worldwide disease. In the present study, we discovered an isolate of A. salmonicida subsp. salmonicida that harbors two novel plasmids variants carrying antibiotic resistance genes. The use of long-read sequencing (PacBio) allowed us to fully characterize those variants, named pAsa5-3432 and pRAS3-3432, which both differ from their classic counterpart through their content in mobile genetic elements. The plasmid pAsa5-3432 carries a new multidrug region composed of multiple mobile genetic elements, including a Class 1 integron similar to an integrated element of Salmonella enterica. With this new region, probably acquired through plasmid recombination, pAsa5-3432 is the first reported plasmid of this bacterium that bears both an essential virulence factor (the type three secretion system) and multiple antibiotic resistance genes. As for pRAS3-3432, compared to the classic pRAS3, it carries a new mobile element that has only been identified in Chlamydia suis. Hence, with the identification of those two novel plasmids harboring mobile genetic elements that are normally encountered in other bacterial species, the present study puts emphasis on the important impact of mobile genetic elements in the genomic plasticity of A. salmonicida subsp. salmonicida and suggests that this aquatic bacterium could be an important reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes that can be exchanged with other bacteria, including human and animal pathogens. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Iron-associated protein interaction networks reveal the key functional modules related to survival and virulence of Pasteurella multocida.

Pasteurella multocida causes respiratory infectious diseases in a multitude of birds and mammals. A number of virulence-associated genes were reported across different strains of P. multocida, including those involved in the iron transport and metabolism. Comparative iron-associated genes of P. multocida among different animal hosts towards their interaction networks have not been fully revealed. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the iron-associated genes from core- and pan-genomes of fourteen P. multocida strains and to construct iron-associated protein interaction networks using genome-scale network analysis which might be associated with the virulence. Results showed that these fourteen strains had 1587 genes in the core-genome and 3400 genes constituting their pan-genome. Out of these, 2651 genes associated with iron transport and metabolism were selected to construct the protein interaction networks and 361 genes were incorporated into the iron-associated protein interaction network (iPIN) consisting of nine different iron-associated functional modules. After comparing with the virulence factor database (VFDB), 21 virulence-associated proteins were determined and 11 of these belonged to the heme biosynthesis module. From this study, the core heme biosynthesis module and the core outer membrane hemoglobin receptor HgbA were proposed as candidate targets to design novel antibiotics and vaccines for preventing pasteurellosis across the serotypes or animal hosts for enhanced precision agriculture to ensure sustainability in food security. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Real time monitoring of Aeromonas salmonicida evolution in response to successive antibiotic therapies in a commercial fish farm.

Our ability to predict evolutionary trajectories of pathogens in response to antibiotic pressure is one of the promising leverage to fight against the present antibiotic resistance worldwide crisis. Yet, few studies tackled this question in situ at the outbreak level, due to the difficulty to link a given pathogenic clone evolution with its precise antibiotic exposure over time. In this study, we monitored the real-time evolution of an Aeromonas salmonicida clone in response to successive antibiotic and vaccine therapies in a commercial fish farm. The clone was responsible for a four-year outbreak of furunculosis within a Recirculating Aquaculture System Salmo salar farm in China, and we reconstructed the precise tempo of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) acquisition events during this period. The resistance profile provided by the acquired MGEs closely mirrored the antibiotics used to treat the outbreak, and we evidenced that two subclonal groups developed similar resistances although unrelated MGE acquisitions. Finally, we also demonstrated the efficiency of vaccination in outbreak management and its positive effect on antibiotic resistance prevalence. Our study provides unprecedented knowledge critical to understand evolutionary trajectories of resistant pathogens outside the laboratory. © 2019 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequence of Photobacterium damselae Subsp. damselae Strain SSPD1601 Isolated from Deep-Sea Cage-Cultured Sebastes schlegelii with Septic Skin Ulcer.

Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae (PDD) is a Gram-negative bacterium that can infect a variety of aquatic organisms and humans. Based on an epidemiological investigation conducted over the past 3 years, PDD is one of the most important pathogens causing septic skin ulcer in deep-sea cage-cultured Sebastes schlegelii in the Huang-Bohai Sea area and present throughout the year with high abundance. To further understand the pathogenicity of this species, the pathogenic properties and genome of PDD strain SSPD1601 were analyzed. The results revealed that PDD strain SSPD1601 is a rod-shaped cell with a single polar flagellum, and the clinical symptoms were replicated during artificial infection. The SSPD1601 genome consists of two chromosomes and two plasmids, totaling 4,252,294?bp with 3,751 coding sequences (CDSs), 196 tRNA genes, and 47 rRNA genes. Common virulence factors including flagellin, Fur, RstB, hcpA, OMPs, htpB-Hsp60, VasK, and vgrG were found in strain SSPD1601. Furthermore, SSPD1601 is a pPHDD1-negative strain containing the hemolysin gene hlyAch and three putative hemolysins (emrA, yoaF, and VPA0226), which are likely responsible for the pathogenicity of SSPD1601. The phylogenetic analysis revealed SSPD1601 to be most closely related to Phdp Wu-1. In addition, the antibiotic resistance phenotype indicated that SSPD1601 was not sensitive to ceftazidime, pipemidic, streptomycin, cefalexin, bacitracin, cefoperazone sodium, acetylspiramycin, clarithromycin, amikacin, gentamycin, kanamycin, oxacillin, ampicillin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, but only the bacitracin resistance gene bacA was detected based on Antibiotic Resistance Genes Database. These results expand our understanding of PDD, setting the stage for further studies of its pathogenesis and disease prevention.


April 21, 2020  |  

Analysis of the Complete Genome Sequence of a Novel, Pseudorabies Virus Strain Isolated in Southeast Europe.

Pseudorabies virus (PRV) is the causative agent of Aujeszky’s disease giving rise to significant economic losses worldwide. Many countries have implemented national programs for the eradication of this virus. In this study, long-read sequencing was used to determine the nucleotide sequence of the genome of a novel PRV strain (PRV-MdBio) isolated in Serbia.In this study, a novel PRV strain was isolated and characterized. PRV-MdBio was found to exhibit similar growth properties to those of another wild-type PRV, the strain Kaplan. Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing has revealed that the new strain differs significantly in base composition even from strain Kaplan, to which it otherwise exhibits the highest similarity. We compared the genetic composition of PRV-MdBio to strain Kaplan and the China reference strain Ea and obtained that radical base replacements were the most common point mutations preceding conservative and silent mutations. We also found that the adaptation of PRV to cell culture does not lead to any tendentious genetic alteration in the viral genome.PRV-MdBio is a wild-type virus, which differs in base composition from other PRV strains to a relatively large extent.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic analyses of two Alteromonas stellipolaris strains reveal traits with potential biotechnological applications.

The Alteromonas stellipolaris strains PQQ-42 and PQQ-44, previously isolated from a fish hatchery, have been selected on the basis of their strong quorum quenching (QQ) activity, as well as their ability to reduce Vibrio-induced mortality on the coral Oculina patagonica. In this study, the genome sequences of both strains were determined and analyzed in order to identify the mechanism responsible for QQ activity. Both PQQ-42 and PQQ-44 were found to degrade a wide range of N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) QS signals, possibly due to the presence of an aac gene which encodes an AHL amidohydrolase. In addition, the different colony morphologies exhibited by the strains could be related to the differences observed in genes encoding cell wall biosynthesis and exopolysaccharide (EPS) production. The PQQ-42 strain produces more EPS (0.36?g?l-1) than the PQQ-44 strain (0.15?g?l-1), whose chemical compositions also differ. Remarkably, PQQ-44 EPS contains large amounts of fucose, a sugar used in high-value biotechnological applications. Furthermore, the genome of strain PQQ-42 contained a large non-ribosomal peptide synthase (NRPS) cluster with a previously unknown genetic structure. The synthesis of enzymes and other bioactive compounds were also identified, indicating that PQQ-42 and PQQ-44 could have biotechnological applications.


April 21, 2020  |  

ICESsuHN105, a Novel Multiple Antibiotic Resistant ICE in Streptococcus suis Serotype 5 Strain HN105.

Streptococcussuis serotype 5, an emerging zoonosis bacterial pathogen, has been isolated from infections in both pigs and humans. In this study, we sequenced the first complete genome of a virulent, multidrug-resistant SS5 strain HN105. The strain HN105 displayed enhanced pathogenicity in zebrafish and BABL/c mouse infection models. Comparative genome analysis identified a novel 80K integrative conjugative element (ICE), ICESsuHN105, as required for the multidrug resistance phenotype. Six corresponding antibiotic resistance genes in this ICE were identified, namely tet (O), tet (M), erm (two copies), aph, and spc. Phylogenetic analysis classified the element as a homolog of the ICESa2603 family, containing the typical family backbone and insertion DNA. DNA hybrids mediated by natural transformation between HN105 and ZY05719 verified the antibiotic resistant genes of ICESsuHN105 that could be transferred successfully, while they were dispersedly inserted with a single gene in different genomic locations of ZY05719(HN105) transformants. To further identify the horizontal transfer of ICESsuHN105 as a whole mobile genetic element, a circular intermediate form of ICESsuHN105 was detected by PCR. However, the effective conjugation using serotype 2 S. suis as recipients was not observed in current assays in vitro. Further studies confirmed the presence of the complete lantibiotic locus encoded in ICESsuHN105 that effectively inhibits the growth of other streptococci. In summary, this study demonstrated the presence of antibiotic resistance genes in ICE that are able to transfer between different clinical isolates and adapt to a broader range of Streptococcus serotype or species.


April 21, 2020  |  

Long-read sequencing reveals a 4.4 kb tandem repeat region in the mitogenome of Echinococcus granulosus (sensu stricto) genotype G1.

Echinococcus tapeworms cause a severe helminthic zoonosis called echinococcosis. The genus comprises various species and genotypes, of which E. granulosus (sensu stricto) represents a significant global public health and socioeconomic burden. Mitochondrial (mt) genomes have provided useful genetic markers to explore the nature and extent of genetic diversity within Echinococcus and have underpinned phylogenetic and population structure analyses of this genus. Our recent work indicated a sequence gap (>?1 kb) in the mt genomes of E. granulosus genotype G1, which could not be determined by PCR-based Sanger sequencing. The aim of the present study was to define the complete mt genome, irrespective of structural complexities, using a long-read sequencing method.We extracted high molecular weight genomic DNA from protoscoleces from a single cyst of E. granulosus genotype G1 from a sheep from Australia using a conventional method and sequenced it using PacBio Sequel (long-read) technology, complemented by BGISEQ-500 short-read sequencing. Sequence data obtained were assembled using a recently-developed workflow.We assembled a complete mt genome sequence of 17,675 bp, which is >?4 kb larger than the complete mt genomes known for E. granulosus genotype G1. This assembly includes a previously-elusive tandem repeat region, which is 4417 bp long and consists of ten near-identical 441-445 bp repeat units, each harbouring a 184 bp non-coding region and adjacent regions. We also identified a short non-coding region of 183 bp, which includes an inverted repeat.We report what we consider to be the first complete mt genome of E. granulosus genotype G1 and characterise all repeat regions in this genome. The numbers, sizes, sequences and functions of tandem repeat regions remain to be studied in different isolates of genotype G1 and in other genotypes and species. The discovery of such ‘new’ repeat elements in the mt genome of genotype G1 by PacBio sequencing raises a question about the completeness of some published genomes of taeniid cestodes assembled from conventional or short-read sequence datasets. This study shows that long-read sequencing readily overcomes the challenges of assembling repeat elements to achieve improved genomes.


April 21, 2020  |  

Survival Mechanisms of Campylobacter hepaticus Identified by Genomic Analysis and Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of in vivo and in vitro Derived Bacteria.

Chickens infected with Campylobacter jejuni or Campylobacter coli are largely asymptomatic, however, infection with the closely related species, Campylobacter hepaticus, can result in Spotty Liver Disease (SLD). C. hepaticus has been detected in the liver, bile, small intestine and caecum of SLD affected chickens. The survival and colonization mechanisms that C. hepaticus uses to colonize chickens remain unknown. In this study, we compared the genome sequences of 14 newly sequenced Australian isolates of C. hepaticus, isolates from outbreaks in the United Kingdom, and reference strains of C. jejuni and C. coli, with the aim of identifying virulence genes associated with SLD. We also carried out global comparative transcriptomic analysis between C. hepaticus recovered from the bile of SLD infected chickens and C. hepaticus grown in vitro. This revealed how the bacteria adapt to proliferate in the challenging host environment in which they are found. Additionally, biochemical experiments confirmed some in silico metabolic predictions. We found that, unlike other Campylobacter sp., C. hepaticus encodes glucose and polyhydroxybutyrate metabolism pathways. This study demonstrated the metabolic plasticity of C. hepaticus, which may contribute to survival in the competitive, nutrient and energy-limited environment of the chicken. Transcriptomic analysis indicated that gene clusters associated with glucose utilization, stress response, hydrogen metabolism, and sialic acid modification may play an important role in the pathogenicity of C. hepaticus. An understanding of the survival and virulence mechanisms that C. hepaticus uses will help to direct the development of effective intervention methods to protect birds from the debilitating effects of SLD.


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