July 7, 2019  |  

Whole-genome analysis of Exserohilum rostratum from an outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections.

Exserohilum rostratum was the cause of most cases of fungal meningitis and other infections associated with the injection of contaminated methylprednisolone acetate produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC). Until this outbreak, very few human cases of Exserohilum infection had been reported, and very little was known about this dematiaceous fungus, which usually infects plants. Here, we report using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and phylogenetic analysis to investigate the molecular origin of the outbreak using 22 isolates of E. rostratum retrieved from 19 case patients with meningitis or epidural/spinal abscesses, 6 isolates from contaminated NECC vials, and 7 isolates unrelated to the outbreak. Our analysis indicates that all 28 isolates associated with the outbreak had nearly identical genomes of 33.8 Mb. A total of 8 SNPs were detected among the outbreak genomes, with no more than 2 SNPs separating any 2 of the 28 genomes. The outbreak genomes were separated from the next most closely related control strain by ~136,000 SNPs. We also observed significant genomic variability among strains unrelated to the outbreak, which may suggest the possibility of cryptic speciation in E. rostratum. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Klebsiella pneumoniae strain ATCC 43816 KPPR1, a rifampin-resistant mutant commonly used in animal, genetic, and molecular biology studies.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is an urgent public health threat due to the spread of carbapenem-resistant strains causing serious, and frequently fatal, infections. To facilitate genetic, molecular, and immunological studies of this pathogen, we report the complete chromosomal sequence of a genetically tractable, prototypical strain used in animal models. Copyright © 2014 Broberg et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequences of Vibrio navarrensis, a potential human pathogen.

Vibrio navarrensis is an aquatic bacterium recently shown to be associated with human illness. We report the first genome sequences of three V. navarrensis strains obtained from clinical and environmental sources. Preliminary analyses of the sequences reveal that V. navarrensis contains genes commonly associated with virulence in other human pathogens. Copyright © 2014 Gladney et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Global phylogenomic analysis of nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae reveals a deep-branching classic lineage that is distinct from multiple sporadic lineages.

The surrounding capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae has been identified as a major virulence factor and is targeted by pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV). However, nonencapsulated S. pneumoniae (non-Ec-Sp) have also been isolated globally, mainly in carriage studies. It is unknown if non-Ec-Sp evolve sporadically, if they have high antibiotic nonsusceptiblity rates and a unique, specific gene content. Here, whole-genome sequencing of 131 non-Ec-Sp isolates sourced from 17 different locations around the world was performed. Results revealed a deep-branching classic lineage that is distinct from multiple sporadic lineages. The sporadic lineages clustered with a previously sequenced, global collection of encapsulated S. pneumoniae (Ec-Sp) isolates while the classic lineage is comprised mainly of the frequently identified multilocus sequences types (STs) ST344 (n = 39) and ST448 (n = 40). All ST344 and nine ST448 isolates had high nonsusceptiblity rates to ß-lactams and other antimicrobials. Analysis of the accessory genome reveals that the classic non-Ec-Sp contained an increased number of mobile elements, than Ec-Sp and sporadic non-Ec-Sp. Performing adherence assays to human epithelial cells for selected classic and sporadic non-Ec-Sp revealed that the presence of a integrative conjugative element (ICE) results in increased adherence to human epithelial cells (P = 0.005). In contrast, sporadic non-Ec-Sp lacking the ICE had greater growth in vitro possibly resulting in improved fitness. In conclusion, non-Ec-Sp isolates from the classic lineage have evolved separately. They have spread globally, are well adapted to nasopharyngeal carriage and are able to coexist with Ec-Sp. Due to continued use of PCV, non-Ec-Sp may become more prevalent. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of a multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium var. 5- strain isolated from chicken breast.

Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium is a leading cause of salmonellosis. Here, we report a closed genome sequence, including sequences of 3 plasmids, of Salmonella serovar Typhimurium var. 5- CFSAN001921 (National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System [NARMS] strain ID N30688), which was isolated from chicken breast meat and shows resistance to 10 different antimicrobials. Whole-genome and plasmid sequence analyses of this isolate will help enhance our understanding of this pathogenic multidrug-resistant serovar.


July 7, 2019  |  

A hybrid approach for the automated finishing of bacterial genomes.

Advances in DNA sequencing technology have improved our ability to characterize most genomic diversity. However, accurate resolution of large structural events is challenging because of the short read lengths of second-generation technologies. Third-generation sequencing technologies, which can yield longer multikilobase reads, have the potential to address limitations associated with genome assembly. Here we combine sequencing data from second- and third-generation DNA sequencing technologies to assemble the two-chromosome genome of a recent Haitian cholera outbreak strain into two nearly finished contigs at >99.9% accuracy. Complex regions with clinically relevant structure were completely resolved. In separate control assemblies on experimental and simulated data for the canonical N16961 cholera reference strain, we obtained 14 scaffolds of greater than 1 kb for the experimental data and 8 scaffolds of greater than 1 kb for the simulated data, which allowed us to correct several errors in contigs assembled from the short-read data alone. This work provides a blueprint for the next generation of rapid microbial identification and full-genome assembly.


July 7, 2019  |  

Analysis of a unique Clostridium botulinum strain from the Southern hemisphere producing a novel type E botulinum neurotoxin subtype.

Clostridium botulinum strains that produce botulinum neurotoxin type E (BoNT/E) are most commonly isolated from botulism cases, marine environments, and animals in regions of high latitude in the Northern hemisphere. A strain of C. botulinum type E (CDC66177) was isolated from soil in Chubut, Argentina. Previous studies showed that the amino acid sequences of BoNT/E produced by various strains differ by < 6% and that the type E neurotoxin gene cluster inserts into the rarA operon.Genetic and mass spectral analysis demonstrated that the BoNT/E produced by CDC66177 is a novel toxin subtype (E9). Toxin gene sequencing indicated that BoNT/E9 differed by nearly 11% at the amino acid level compared to BoNT/E1. Mass spectrometric analysis of BoNT/E9 revealed that its endopeptidase substrate cleavage site was identical to other BoNT/E subtypes. Further analysis of this strain demonstrated that its 16S rRNA sequence clustered with other Group II C. botulinum (producing BoNT types B, E, and F) strains. Genomic DNA isolated from strain CDC66177 hybridized with fewer probes using a Group II C. botulinum subtyping microarray compared to other type E strains examined. Whole genome shotgun sequencing of strain CDC66177 revealed that while the toxin gene cluster inserted into the rarA operon similar to other type E strains, its overall genome content shared greater similarity with a Group II C. botulinum type B strain (17B).These results expand our understanding of the global distribution of C. botulinum type E strains and suggest that the type E toxin gene cluster may be able to insert into C. botulinum strains with a more diverse genetic background than previously recognized.


July 7, 2019  |  

Spike gene deletion quasispecies in serum of patient with acute MERS-CoV infection.

The spike glycoprotein of the Middle East respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV) facilitates receptor binding and cell entry. During investigation of a multi-facility outbreak of MERS-CoV in Taif, Saudi Arabia, we identified a mixed population of wild-type and variant sequences with a large 530 nucleotide deletion in the spike gene from the serum of one patient. The out of frame deletion predicted loss of most of the S2 subunit of the spike protein leaving the S1 subunit with an intact receptor binding domain. This finding documents human infection with a novel genetic variant of MERS-CoV present as a quasispecies. J. Med. Virol. 89:542-545, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


July 7, 2019  |  

Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution.

Elucidation of the evolutionary history and interrelatedness of Plasmodium species that infect humans has been hampered by a lack of genetic information for three human-infective species: P. malariae and two P. ovale species (P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri). These species are prevalent across most regions in which malaria is endemic and are often undetectable by light microscopy, rendering their study in human populations difficult. The exact evolutionary relationship of these species to the other human-infective species has been contested. Using a new reference genome for P. malariae and a manually curated draft P. o. curtisi genome, we are now able to accurately place these species within the Plasmodium phylogeny. Sequencing of a P. malariae relative that infects chimpanzees reveals similar signatures of selection in the P. malariae lineage to another Plasmodium lineage shown to be capable of colonization of both human and chimpanzee hosts. Molecular dating suggests that these host adaptations occurred over similar evolutionary timescales. In addition to the core genome that is conserved between species, differences in gene content can be linked to their specific biology. The genome suggests that P. malariae expresses a family of heterodimeric proteins on its surface that have structural similarities to a protein crucial for invasion of red blood cells. The data presented here provide insight into the evolution of the Plasmodium genus as a whole.


July 7, 2019  |  

Toward a complete North American Borrelia miyamotoi genome.

Borrelia miyamotoi, of the relapsing-fever spirochete group, is an emerging tick-borne pathogen causing human illness in the northern hemisphere. Here, we present the chromosome, eight extrachromosomal linear plasmids, and a draft sequence for five circular and one linear plasmid of a Borrelia miyamotoi strain isolated from an Ixodes sp. tick from Connecticut, USA. Copyright © 2017 Kingry et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Surveillance of bat coronaviruses in Kenya identifies relatives of human coronaviruses NL63 and 229E and their recombination history.

Bats harbor a large diversity of coronaviruses (CoVs), several of which are related to zoonotic pathogens that cause severe disease in humans. Our screening of bat samples collected in Kenya from 2007 to 2010 not only detected RNA from several novel CoVs but, more significantly, identified sequences that were closely related to human CoVs NL63 and 229E, suggesting that these two human viruses originate from bats. We also demonstrated that human CoV NL63 is a recombinant between NL63-like viruses circulating in Triaenops bats and 229E-like viruses circulating in Hipposideros bats, with the breakpoint located near 5′ and 3′ ends of the spike (S) protein gene. In addition, two further interspecies recombination events involving the S gene were identified, suggesting that this region may represent a recombination “hot spot” in CoV genomes. Finally, using a combination of phylogenetic and distance-based approaches, we showed that the genetic diversity of bat CoVs is primarily structured by host species and subsequently by geographic distances.IMPORTANCE Understanding the driving forces of cross-species virus transmission is central to understanding the nature of disease emergence. Previous studies have demonstrated that bats are the ultimate reservoir hosts for a number of coronaviruses (CoVs), including ancestors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and human CoV 229E (HCoV-229E). However, the evolutionary pathways of bat CoVs remain elusive. We provide evidence for natural recombination between distantly related African bat coronaviruses associated with Triaenops afer and Hipposideros sp. bats that resulted in a NL63-like virus, an ancestor of the human pathogen HCoV-NL63. These results suggest that interspecies recombination may play an important role in CoV evolution and the emergence of novel CoVs with zoonotic potential. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Simultaneous emergence of multidrug-resistant Candida auris on 3 continents confirmed by whole-genome sequencing and epidemiological analyses.

Candida auris, a multidrug-resistant yeast that causes invasive infections, was first described in 2009 in Japan and has since been reported from several countries.To understand the global emergence and epidemiology of C. auris, we obtained isolates from 54 patients with C. auris infection from Pakistan, India, South Africa, and Venezuela during 2012-2015 and the type specimen from Japan. Patient information was available for 41 of the isolates. We conducted antifungal susceptibility testing and whole-genome sequencing (WGS).Available clinical information revealed that 41% of patients had diabetes mellitus, 51% had undergone recent surgery, 73% had a central venous catheter, and 41% were receiving systemic antifungal therapy when C. auris was isolated. The median time from admission to infection was 19 days (interquartile range, 9-36 days), 61% of patients had bloodstream infection, and 59% died. Using stringent break points, 93% of isolates were resistant to fluconazole, 35% to amphotericin B, and 7% to echinocandins; 41% were resistant to 2 antifungal classes and 4% were resistant to 3 classes. WGS demonstrated that isolates were grouped into unique clades by geographic region. Clades were separated by thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, but within each clade isolates were clonal. Different mutations in ERG11 were associated with azole resistance in each geographic clade.C. auris is an emerging healthcare-associated pathogen associated with high mortality. Treatment options are limited, due to antifungal resistance. WGS analysis suggests nearly simultaneous, and recent, independent emergence of different clonal populations on 3 continents. Risk factors and transmission mechanisms need to be elucidated to guide control measures. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complex routes of nosocomial vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium transmission revealed by genome sequencing.

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) is a leading cause of nosocomial infection. Here, we describe the utility of whole-genome sequencing in defining nosocomial VREfm transmission.A retrospective study at a single hospital in the United Kingdom identified 342 patients with E. faecium bloodstream infection over 7 years. Of these, 293 patients had a stored isolate and formed the basis for the study. The first stored isolate from each case was sequenced (200 VREfm [197 vanA, 2 vanB, and 1 isolate containing both vanA and vanB], 93 vancomycin-susceptible E. faecium) and epidemiological data were collected. Genomes were also available for E. faecium associated with bloodstream infections in 15 patients in neighboring hospitals, and 456 patients across the United Kingdom and Ireland.The majority of infections in the 293 patients were hospital-acquired (n = 249) or healthcare-associated (n = 42). Phylogenetic analysis showed that 291 of 293 isolates resided in a hospital-associated clade that contained numerous discrete clusters of closely related isolates, indicative of multiple introductions into the hospital followed by clonal expansion associated with transmission. Fine-scale analysis of 6 exemplar phylogenetic clusters containing isolates from 93 patients (32%) identified complex transmission routes that spanned numerous wards and years, extending beyond the detection of conventional infection control. These contained both vancomycin-resistant and -susceptible isolates. We also identified closely related isolates from patients at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and regional and national hospitals, suggesting interhospital transmission.These findings provide important insights for infection control practice and signpost areas for interventions. We conclude that sequencing represents a powerful tool for the enhanced surveillance and control of nosocomial E. faecium transmission and infection.


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