June 1, 2021  |  

Comparative genomics of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O145:H28 strains associated with the 2007 Belgium and 2010 US outbreaks.

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is an emerging pathogen. Recently there has been a global in the number of outbreaks caused by non-O157 STECs, typically involving six serogroups O26, O45, 0103, 0111, and 0145. STEC O145:H28 has been associated with severe human disease including hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), and is demonstrated by the 2007 Belgian ice-cream-associated outbreak and 2010 US lettuce-associated outbreak, with over 10% of patients developing HUS in each. The goal of this work was to do comparative genomics of strains, clinical and environmental, to investigate genome diversity and virulence evolution of this important foodborne pathogen.


June 1, 2021  |  

New discoveries from closing Salmonella genomes using Pacific Biosciences continuous long reads.

The newer hierarchical genome assembly process (HGAP) performs de novo assembly using data from a single PacBio long insert library. To assess the benefits of this method, DNA from several Salmonella enterica serovars was isolated from a pure culture. Genome sequencing was performed using Pacific Biosciences RS sequencing technology. The HGAP process enabled us to close sixteen Salmonella subsp. enterica genomes and their associated mobile elements: The ten serotypes include: Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) S. Bareilly, S. Heidelberg, S. Cubana, S. Javiana and S. Typhimurium, S. Newport, S. Montevideo, S. Agona, and S. Tennessee. In addition, we were able to detect novel methyltransferases (MTases) by using the Pacific Biosciences kinetic score distributions showing that each serovar appears to have a novel methylation pattern. For example while all Salmonella serovars examined so far have methylase specific activity for 5’-GATC-3’/3’-CTAG-5’ and 5’-CAGAG-3’/3’-GTCTC-5’ (underlined base indicates a modification), S. Heidelberg is uniquely specific for 5’-ACCANCC-3’/3’-TGGTNGG-5’, while S. Typhimurium has uniquely methylase specific for 5′-GATCAG-3’/3′- CTAGTC-5′ sites, for the samples examined so far. We believe that this may be due to the unique environments and phages that these serotypes have been exposed to. Furthermore, our analysis identified and closed a variety of plasmids such as mobilization plasmids, antimicrobial resistance plasmids and IncX plasmids carrying a Type IV secretion system (T4SS). The VirB/D4 T4SS apparatus is important in that it assists with rapid dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence determinants. Presently, only limited information exists regarding the genotypic characterization of drug resistance in S. Heidelberg isolates derived from various host species. Here, we characterize two S. Heidelberg outbreak isolates from two different outbreaks. Both isolates contain the IncX plasmid of approximately 35 kb, and carried the genes virB1, virB2, virB3/4, virB5, virB6, virB7, virB8, virB9, virB10, virB11, virD2, and virD4, that are associated with the T4SS. In addition, the outbreak isolate associated with ground turkey carries a 4,473 bp mobilization plasmid and an incompatibility group (Inc) I1 antimicrobial resistance plasmid encoding resistance to gentamicin (aacC2), beta-lactam (bl2b_tem), streptomycin (aadAI) and tetracycline (tetA, tetR) while the outbreak isolate associated with chicken breast carries the IncI1 plasmid encoding resistance to gentamicin (aacC2), streptomycin (aadAI) and sulfisoxazole (sul1). Using this new technology we explored the genetic elements present in resistant pathogens which will achieve a better understanding of the evolution of Salmonella.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome sequence analysis of 91 Salmonella Enteritidis isolates from mice caught on poultry farms in the mid 1990s.

A total of 91 draft genome sequences were used to analyze isolates of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis obtained from feral mice caught on poultry farms in Pennsylvania. One objective was to find mutations disrupting open reading frames (ORFs) and another was to determine if ORF-disruptive mutations were present in isolates obtained from other sources. A total of 83 mice were obtained between 1995-1998. Isolates separated into two genomic clades and 12 subgroups due to 742 mutations. Nineteen ORF-disruptive mutations were found, and in addition, bigA had exceptional heterogeneity requiring additional evaluation. The TRAMS algorithm detected only 6 ORF disruptions. The sefD mutation was the most frequently encountered mutation and it was prevalent in human, poultry, environmental and mouse isolates. These results confirm previous assessments of the mouse as a rich source of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis that varies in genotype and phenotype. Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.


September 22, 2019  |  

Using PacBio long-read high-throughput microbial gene amplicon sequencing to evaluate infant formula safety.

Infant formula (IF) requires a strict microbiological standard because of the high vulnerability of infants to foodborne diseases. The current study used the PacBio single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing platform to generate full-length 16S rRNA-based bacterial microbiota profiles of thirty Chinese domestic and imported IF samples. A total of 600 species were identified, dominated by Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactococcus lactis and Lactococcus piscium. Distinctive bacterial profiles were observed between the two sample groups, as confirmed with both principal coordinate analysis and multivariate analysis of variance. Moreover, the product whey protein nitrogen index (WPNI), representing the degree of preheating, negatively correlated with the relative abundances of the Bacillus genus. Our study has demonstrated the application of the PacBio SMRT sequencing platform in assessing the bacterial contamination of IF products, which is of interest to the dairy industry for effective monitoring of microbial quality and safety during production.


September 22, 2019  |  

Evaluation of bacterial contamination in raw milk, ultra-high temperature milk and infant formula using single molecule, real-time sequencing technology.

The Pacific Biosciences (Menlo Park, CA) single molecule, real-time sequencing technology (SMRT) was reported to have some advantages in analyzing the bacterial profile of environmental samples. In this study, the presence of bacterial contaminants in raw milk, UHT milk, and infant formula was determined by SMRT sequencing of the full length 16S rRNA gene. The bacterial profiles obtained at different taxonomic levels revealed clear differences in bacterial community structure across the 16 analyzed dairy samples. No indicative pathogenic bacteria were found in any of these tested samples. However, some of the detected bacterial species (e.g., Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus casseliflavus, and Enterococcus gallinarum) might potentially relate with product quality defects and bacterial antibiotic gene transfer. Although only a limited number of dairy samples were analyzed here, our data have demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of using the SMRT sequencing platform in detecting bacterial contamination. Our paper also provides interesting reference information for future development of new precautionary strategies for controlling the dairy safety in large-scale industrialized production lines. Copyright © 2015 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Diverse antibiotic resistance genes in dairy cow manure.

Application of manure from antibiotic-treated animals to crops facilitates the dissemination of antibiotic resistance determinants into the environment. However, our knowledge of the identity, diversity, and patterns of distribution of these antibiotic resistance determinants remains limited. We used a new combination of methods to examine the resistome of dairy cow manure, a common soil amendment. Metagenomic libraries constructed with DNA extracted from manure were screened for resistance to beta-lactams, phenicols, aminoglycosides, and tetracyclines. Functional screening of fosmid and small-insert libraries identified 80 different antibiotic resistance genes whose deduced protein sequences were on average 50 to 60% identical to sequences deposited in GenBank. The resistance genes were frequently found in clusters and originated from a taxonomically diverse set of species, suggesting that some microorganisms in manure harbor multiple resistance genes. Furthermore, amid the great genetic diversity in manure, we discovered a novel clade of chloramphenicol acetyltransferases. Our study combined functional metagenomics with third-generation PacBio sequencing to significantly extend the roster of functional antibiotic resistance genes found in animal gut bacteria, providing a particularly broad resource for understanding the origins and dispersal of antibiotic resistance genes in agriculture and clinical settings. IMPORTANCE The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance among bacteria is one of the most intractable challenges in 21st-century public health. The origins of resistance are complex, and a better understanding of the impacts of antibiotics used on farms would produce a more robust platform for public policy. Microbiomes of farm animals are reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes, which may affect distribution of antibiotic resistance genes in human pathogens. Previous studies have focused on antibiotic resistance genes in manures of animals subjected to intensive antibiotic use, such as pigs and chickens. Cow manure has received less attention, although it is commonly used in crop production. Here, we report the discovery of novel and diverse antibiotic resistance genes in the cow microbiome, demonstrating that it is a significant reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes. The genomic resource presented here lays the groundwork for understanding the dispersal of antibiotic resistance from the agroecosystem to other settings.


September 22, 2019  |  

Early transmissible ampicillin resistance in zoonotic Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium in the late 1950s: a retrospective, whole-genome sequencing study.

Ampicillin, the first semi-synthetic penicillin active against Enterobacteriaceae, was released onto the market in 1961. The first outbreaks of disease caused by ampicillin-resistant strains of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium were identified in the UK in 1962 and 1964. We aimed to date the emergence of this resistance in historical isolates of S enterica serotype Typhimurium.In this retrospective, whole-genome sequencing study, we analysed 288 S enterica serotype Typhimurium isolates collected between 1911 and 1969 from 31 countries on four continents and from various sources including human beings, animals, feed, and food. All isolates were tested for antimicrobial drug susceptibility with the disc diffusion method, and isolates shown to be resistant to ampicillin underwent resistance-transfer experiments. To provide insights into population structure and mechanisms of ampicillin resistance, we did whole-genome sequencing on a subset of 225 isolates, selected to maximise source, spatiotemporal, and genetic diversity.11 (4%) of 288 isolates were resistant to ampicillin because of acquisition of various ß lactamase genes, including blaTEM-1, carried by various plasmids, including the virulence plasmid of S enterica serotype Typhimurium. These 11 isolates were from three phylogenomic groups. One isolate producing TEM-1 ß lactamase was isolated in France in 1959 and two isolates producing TEM-1 ß lactamase were isolated in Tunisia in 1960, before ampicillin went on sale. The vectors for ampicillin resistance were different from those reported in the strains responsible for the outbreaks in the UK in the 1960s.The association between antibiotic use and selection of resistance determinants is not as direct as often presumed. Our results suggest that the non-clinical use of narrow-spectrum penicillins (eg, benzylpenicillin) might have favoured the diffusion of plasmids carrying the blaTEM-1gene in S enterica serotype Typhimurium in the late 1950s.Institut Pasteur, Santé publique France, the French Government’s Investissement d’Avenir programme, the Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Emergence of an extensively drug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi clone harboring a promiscuous plasmid encoding resistance to fluoroquinolones and third-generation cephalosporins.

Antibiotic resistance is a major problem in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, the causative agent of typhoid. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolates are prevalent in parts of Asia and Africa and are often associated with the dominant H58 haplotype. Reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones is also widespread, and sporadic cases of resistance to third-generation cephalosporins or azithromycin have also been reported. Here, we report the first large-scale emergence and spread of a novel S. Typhi clone harboring resistance to three first-line drugs (chloramphenicol, ampicillin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) as well as fluoroquinolones and third-generation cephalosporins in Sindh, Pakistan, which we classify as extensively drug resistant (XDR). Over 300 XDR typhoid cases have emerged in Sindh, Pakistan, since November 2016. Additionally, a single case of travel-associated XDR typhoid has recently been identified in the United Kingdom. Whole-genome sequencing of over 80 of the XDR isolates revealed remarkable genetic clonality and sequence conservation, identified a large number of resistance determinants, and showed that these isolates were of haplotype H58. The XDR S. Typhi clone encodes a chromosomally located resistance region and harbors a plasmid encoding additional resistance elements, including the blaCTX-M-15 extended-spectrum ß-lactamase, and carrying the qnrS fluoroquinolone resistance gene. This antibiotic resistance-associated IncY plasmid exhibited high sequence identity to plasmids found in other enteric bacteria isolated from widely distributed geographic locations. This study highlights three concerning problems: the receding antibiotic arsenal for typhoid treatment, the ability of S. Typhi to transform from MDR to XDR in a single step by acquisition of a plasmid, and the ability of XDR clones to spread globally. IMPORTANCE Typhoid fever is a severe disease caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. Antibiotic-resistant S. Typhi strains have become increasingly common. Here, we report the first large-scale emergence and spread of a novel extensively drug-resistant (XDR) S. Typhi clone in Sindh, Pakistan. The XDR S. Typhi is resistant to the majority of drugs available for the treatment of typhoid fever. This study highlights the evolving threat of antibiotic resistance in S. Typhi and the value of antibiotic susceptibility testing and whole-genome sequencing in understanding emerging infectious diseases. We genetically characterized the XDR S. Typhi to investigate the phylogenetic relationship between these isolates and a global collection of S. Typhi isolates and to identify multiple genes linked to antibiotic resistance. This S. Typhi clone harbored a promiscuous antibiotic resistance plasmid previously identified in other enteric bacteria. The increasing antibiotic resistance in S. Typhi observed here adds urgency to the need for typhoid prevention measures.


September 22, 2019  |  

A validation approach of an end-to-end whole genome sequencing workflow for source tracking of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS), using high throughput sequencing technology, reveals the complete sequence of the bacterial genome in a few days. WGS is increasingly being used for source tracking, pathogen surveillance and outbreak investigation due to its high discriminatory power. In the food industry, WGS used for source tracking is beneficial to support contamination investigations. Despite its increased use, no standards or guidelines are available today for the use of WGS in outbreak and/or trace-back investigations. Here we present a validation of our complete (end-to-end) WGS workflow for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica including: subculture of isolates, DNA extraction, sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. This end-to-end WGS workflow was evaluated according to the following performance criteria: stability, repeatability, reproducibility, discriminatory power, and epidemiological concordance. The current study showed that few single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) were observed for L. monocytogenes and S. enterica when comparing genome sequences from five independent colonies from the first subculture and five independent colonies after the tenth subculture. Consequently, the stability of the WGS workflow for L. monocytogenes and S. enterica was demonstrated despite the few genomic variations that can occur during subculturing steps. Repeatability and reproducibility were also demonstrated. The WGS workflow was shown to have a high discriminatory power and has the ability to show genetic relatedness. Additionally, the WGS workflow was able to reproduce published outbreak investigation results, illustrating its capability of showing epidemiological concordance. The current study proposes a validation approach comprising all steps of a WGS workflow and demonstrates that the workflow can be applied to L. monocytogenes or S. enterica.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genomic analysis of a Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium isolate cultured from ready-to-eat pork in China carrying one large plasmid containing mcr-1.

One mcr-1-carrying ST34-type Salmonella Typhimurium WW012 was cultured from 3,200 ready-to-eat (RTE) pork samples in 2014 in China. Broth dilution method was applied to obtain the antimicrobial susceptibility of Salmonella Typhimurium WW012. Broth matting assays were carried out to detect transferability of this phenotype and whole-genome sequencing was performed to analyze its genomic characteristic. Thirty out of 3,200 RTE samples were positive for Salmonella and the three most frequent serotypes were identified as S. Derby (n = 8), S. Typhimurium (n = 6), and S. Enteritidis (n = 6). One S. Typhimurium isolate (S. Typhimurium WW012) cultured from RTE prepared pork was found to contain the mcr-1 gene. S. Typhimurium WW012 expressed a level of high resistance to seven different antimicrobial compounds in addition to colistin (MIC = 8 mg/L). A single plasmid, pWW012 (151,609-bp) was identified and found to be of an IncHI2/HI2A type that encoded a mcr-1 gene along with six additional antimicrobial resistance genes. Plasmid pWW012 contained an IS30-mcr-1-orf-orf-IS30 composite transposon that can be successfully transferred to Escherichia coli J53. When assessed further, the latter demonstrated considerable similarity to three plasmids pHYEC7-mcr-1, pSCC4, and pHNSHP45-2, respectively. Furthermore, plasmid pWW012 also contained a multidrug resistance (MDR) genetic structure IS26-aadA2-cmlA2-aadA1-IS406-sul3-IS26-dfrA12-aadA2-IS26, which showed high similarity to two plasmids, pHNLDF400 and pHNSHP45-2, respectively. Moreover, genes mapping to the chromosome (4,991,167-bp) were found to carry 28 mutations, related to two component regulatory systems (pmrAB, phoPQ) leading to modifications of lipid A component of the lipopolysaccharide structure. Additionally, one mutation (D87N) in the quinolone resistance determining region (QRDR) gene of gyrA was identified in this mcr-1 harboring S. Typhimurium. In addition, various virulence factors and heavy metal resistance-encoding genes were also identified on the genome of S. Typhimurium WW012. This is the first report of the complete nucleotide sequence of mcr-1-carrying MDR S. Typhimurium strain from RTE pork in China.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genetic relationships among multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains from humans and animals.

We identified 20 to 22 resistance genes, carried in four incompatibility groups of plasmids, in each of five genetically closely related Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains recovered from humans, pigs, and chickens. The genes conferred resistance to aminoglycosides, chloramphenicol, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, tetracycline, fluoroquinolones, extended-spectrum cephalosporins and cefoxitin, and azithromycin. This study demonstrates the transmission of multidrug-resistant Salmonella strains among humans and food animals and may be the first identification of mphA in azithromycin-resistant Salmonella strains in Taiwan. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Sequence analysis of IncA/C and IncI1 plasmids isolated from multidrug-resistant Salmonella Newport using Single-Molecule Real-Time Sequencing.

Multidrug-resistant (MDR) plasmids play an important role in disseminating antimicrobial resistance genes. To elucidate the antimicrobial resistance gene compositions in A/C incompatibility complex (IncA/C) plasmids carried by animal-derived MDR Salmonella Newport, and to investigate the spread mechanism of IncA/C plasmids, this study characterizes the complete nucleotide sequences of IncA/C plasmids by comparative analysis. Complete nucleotide sequencing of plasmids and chromosomes of six MDR Salmonella Newport strains was performed using PacBio RSII. Open reading frames were assigned using prokaryotic genome annotation pipeline (PGAP). To understand genomic diversity and evolutionary relationships among Salmonella Newport IncA/C plasmids, we included three complete IncA/C plasmid sequences with similar backbones from Salmonella Newport and Escherichia coli: pSN254, pAM04528, and peH4H, and additional 200 draft chromosomes. With the exception of canine isolate CVM22462, which contained an additional IncI1 plasmid, each of the six MDR Salmonella Newport strains contained only the IncA/C plasmid. These IncA/C plasmids (including references) ranged in size from 80.1 (pCVM21538) to 176.5?kb (pSN254) and carried various resistance genes. Resistance genes floR, tetA, tetR, strA, strB, sul, and mer were identified in all IncA/C plasmids. Additionally, blaCMY-2 and sugE were present in all IncA/C plasmids, excepting pCVM21538. Plasmid pCVM22462 was capable of being transferred by conjugation. The IncI1 plasmid pCVM22462b in CVM22462 carried blaCMY-2 and sugE. Our data showed that MDR Salmonella Newport strains carrying similar IncA/C plasmids clustered together in the phylogenetic tree using chromosome sequences and the IncA/C plasmids from animal-derived Salmonella Newport contained diverse resistance genes. In the current study, we analyzed genomic diversities and phylogenetic relationships among MDR Salmonella Newport using complete plasmids and chromosome sequences and provided possible spread mechanism of IncA/C plasmids in Salmonella Newport Lineage II.


September 21, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O145:H28 demonstrates a common evolutionary lineage with Escherichia coli O157:H7.

Although serotype O157:H7 is the predominant enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), outbreaks of non-O157 EHEC that cause severe foodborne illness, including hemolytic uremic syndrome have increased worldwide. In fact, non-O157 serotypes are now estimated to cause over half of all the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cases, and outbreaks of non-O157 EHEC infections are frequently associated with serotypes O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145. Currently, there are no complete genomes for O145 in public databases.We determined the complete genome sequences of two O145 strains (EcO145), one linked to a US lettuce-associated outbreak (RM13514) and one to a Belgium ice-cream-associated outbreak (RM13516). Both strains contain one chromosome and two large plasmids, with genome sizes of 5,737,294 bp for RM13514 and 5,559,008 bp for RM13516. Comparative analysis of the two EcO145 genomes revealed a large core (5,173 genes) and a considerable amount of strain-specific genes. Additionally, the two EcO145 genomes display distinct chromosomal architecture, virulence gene profile, phylogenetic origin of Stx2a prophage, and methylation profile (methylome). Comparative analysis of EcO145 genomes to other completely sequenced STEC and other E. coli and Shigella genomes revealed that, unlike any other known non-O157 EHEC strain, EcO145 ascended from a common lineage with EcO157/EcO55. This evolutionary relationship was further supported by the pangenome analysis of the 10 EHEC str ains. Of the 4,192 EHEC core genes, EcO145 shares more genes with EcO157 than with the any other non-O157 EHEC strains.Our data provide evidence that EcO145 and EcO157 evolved from a common lineage, but ultimately each serotype evolves via a lineage-independent nature to EHEC by acquisition of the core set of EHEC virulence factors, including the genes encoding Shiga toxin and the large virulence plasmid. The large variation between the two EcO145 genomes suggests a distinctive evolutionary path between the two outbreak strains. The distinct methylome between the two EcO145 strains is likely due to the presence of a BsuBI/PstI methyltransferase gene cassette in the Stx2a prophage of the strain RM13514, suggesting a role of horizontal gene transfer-mediated epigenetic alteration in the evolution of individual EHEC strains.


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