September 22, 2019  |  

Antagonism between Staphylococcus epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes and its genomic basis.

Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis live in close proximity on human skin, and both bacterial species can be isolated from normal and acne vulgaris-affected skin sites. The antagonistic interactions between the two species are poorly understood, as well as the potential significance of bacterial interferences for the skin microbiota. Here, we performed simultaneous antagonism assays to detect inhibitory activities between multiple isolates of the two species. Selected strains were sequenced to identify the genomic basis of their antimicrobial phenotypes.First, we screened 77 P. acnes strains isolated from healthy and acne-affected skin, and representing all known phylogenetic clades (I, II, and III), for their antimicrobial activities against 12?S. epidermidis isolates. One particular phylogroup (I-2) exhibited a higher antimicrobial activity than other P. acnes phylogroups. All genomes of type I-2 strains carry an island encoding the biosynthesis of a thiopeptide with possible antimicrobial activity against S. epidermidis. Second, 20?S. epidermidis isolates were examined for inhibitory activity against 25 P. acnes strains. The majority of S. epidermidis strains were able to inhibit P. acnes. Genomes of S. epidermidis strains with strong, medium and no inhibitory activities against P. acnes were sequenced. Genome comparison underlined the diversity of S. epidermidis and detected multiple clade- or strain-specific mobile genetic elements encoding a variety of functions important in antibiotic and stress resistance, biofilm formation and interbacterial competition, including bacteriocins such as epidermin. One isolate with an extraordinary antimicrobial activity against P. acnes harbors a functional ESAT-6 secretion system that might be involved in the antimicrobial activity against P. acnes via the secretion of polymorphic toxins.Taken together, our study suggests that interspecies interactions could potentially jeopardize balances in the skin microbiota. In particular, S. epidermidis strains possess an arsenal of different mechanisms to inhibit P. acnes. However, if such interactions are relevant in skin disorders such as acne vulgaris remains questionable, since no difference in the antimicrobial activity against, or the sensitivity towards S. epidermidis could be detected between health- and acne-associated strains of P. acnes.


September 22, 2019  |  

Gene activity in primary T cells infected with HIV89.6: intron retention and induction of genomic repeats.

HIV infection has been reported to alter cellular gene activity, but published studies have commonly assayed transformed cell lines and lab-adapted HIV strains, yielding inconsistent results. Here we carried out a deep RNA-Seq analysis of primary human T cells infected with the low passage HIV isolate HIV89.6.Seventeen percent of cellular genes showed altered activity 48 h after infection. In a meta-analysis including four other studies, our data differed from studies of HIV infection in cell lines but showed more parallels with infections of primary cells. We found a global trend toward retention of introns after infection, suggestive of a novel cellular response to infection. HIV89.6 infection was also associated with activation of several human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) and retrotransposons, of interest as possible novel antigens that could serve as vaccine targets. The most highly activated group of HERVs was a subset of the ERV-9. Analysis showed that activation was associated with a particular variant of ERV-9 long terminal repeats that contains an indel near the U3-R border. These data also allowed quantification of >70 splice forms of the HIV89.6 RNA and specified the main types of chimeric HIV89.6-host RNAs. Comparison to over 100,000 integration site sequences from the same infected cell populations allowed quantification of authentic versus artifactual chimeric reads, showing that 5′ read-in, splicing out of HIV89.6 from the D4 donor and 3′ read-through were the most common HIV89.6-host cell chimeric RNA forms.Analysis of RNA abundance after infection of primary T cells with the low passage HIV89.6 isolate disclosed multiple novel features of HIV-host interactions, notably intron retention and induction of transcription of retrotransposons and endogenous retroviruses.


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  |  

Distinguishing highly similar gene isoforms with a clustering-based bioinformatics analysis of PacBio single-molecule long reads.

Gene isoforms are commonly found in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Since each isoform may perform a specific function in response to changing environmental conditions, studying the dynamics of gene isoforms is important in understanding biological processes and disease conditions. However, genome-wide identification of gene isoforms is technically challenging due to the high degree of sequence identity among isoforms. Traditional targeted sequencing approach, involving Sanger sequencing of plasmid-cloned PCR products, has low throughput and is very tedious and time-consuming. Next-generation sequencing technologies such as Illumina and 454 achieve high throughput but their short read lengths are a critical barrier to accurate assembly of highly similar gene isoforms, and may result in ambiguities and false joining during sequence assembly. More recently, the third generation sequencer represented by the PacBio platform offers sufficient throughput and long reads covering the full length of typical genes, thus providing a potential to reliably profile gene isoforms. However, the PacBio long reads are error-prone and cannot be effectively analyzed by traditional assembly programs.We present a clustering-based analysis pipeline integrated with PacBio sequencing data for profiling highly similar gene isoforms. This approach was first evaluated in comparison to de novo assembly of 454 reads using a benchmark admixture containing 10 known, cloned msg genes encoding the major surface glycoprotein of Pneumocystis jirovecii. All 10 msg isoforms were successfully reconstructed with the expected length (~1.5 kb) and correct sequence by the new approach, while 454 reads could not be correctly assembled using various assembly programs. When using an additional benchmark admixture containing 22 known P. jirovecii msg isoforms, this approach accurately reconstructed all but 4 these isoforms in their full-length (~3 kb); these 4 isoforms were present in low concentrations in the admixture. Finally, when applied to the original clinical sample from which the 22 known msg isoforms were cloned, this approach successfully identified not only all known isoforms accurately (~3 kb each) but also 48 novel isoforms.PacBio sequencing integrated with the clustering-based analysis pipeline achieves high-throughput and high-resolution discrimination of highly similar sequences, and can serve as a new approach for genome-wide characterization of gene isoforms and other highly repetitive sequences.


September 22, 2019  |  

Characterization of novel transcripts in pseudorabies virus.

In this study we identified two 3′-coterminal RNA molecules in the pseudorabies virus. The highly abundant short transcript (CTO-S) proved to be encoded between the ul21 and ul22 genes in close vicinity of the replication origin (OriL) of the virus. The less abundant long RNA molecule (CTO-L) is a transcriptional readthrough product of the ul21 gene and overlaps OriL. These polyadenylated RNAs were characterized by ascertaining their nucleotide sequences with the Illumina HiScanSQ and Pacific Biosciences Real-Time (PacBio RSII) sequencing platforms and by analyzing their transcription kinetics through use of multi-time-point Real-Time RT-PCR and the PacBio RSII system. It emerged that transcription of the CTOs is fully dependent on the viral transactivator protein IE180 and CTO-S is not a microRNA precursor. We propose an interaction between the transcription and replication machineries at this genomic location, which might play an important role in the regulation of DNA synthesis.


September 22, 2019  |  

Metataxonomic and metagenomic approaches vs. culture-based techniques for clinical pathology.

Diagnoses that are both timely and accurate are critically important for patients with life-threatening or drug resistant infections. Technological improvements in High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) have led to its use in pathogen detection and its application in clinical diagnoses of infectious diseases. The present study compares two HTS methods, 16S rRNA marker gene sequencing (metataxonomics) and whole metagenomic shotgun sequencing (metagenomics), in their respective abilities to match the same diagnosis as traditional culture methods (culture inference) for patients with ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP). The metagenomic analysis was able to produce the same diagnosis as culture methods at the species-level for five of the six samples, while the metataxonomic analysis was only able to produce results with the same species-level identification as culture for two of the six samples. These results indicate that metagenomic analyses have the accuracy needed for a clinical diagnostic tool, but full integration in diagnostic protocols is contingent on technological improvements to decrease turnaround time and lower costs.


September 22, 2019  |  

Next generation multilocus sequence typing (NGMLST) and the analytical software program MLSTEZ enable efficient, cost-effective, high-throughput, multilocus sequencing typing.

Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) has become the preferred method for genotyping many biological species, and it is especially useful for analyzing haploid eukaryotes. MLST is rigorous, reproducible, and informative, and MLST genotyping has been shown to identify major phylogenetic clades, molecular groups, or subpopulations of a species, as well as individual strains or clones. MLST molecular types often correlate with important phenotypes. Conventional MLST involves the extraction of genomic DNA and the amplification by PCR of several conserved, unlinked gene sequences from a sample of isolates of the taxon under investigation. In some cases, as few as three loci are sufficient to yield definitive results. The amplicons are sequenced, aligned, and compared by phylogenetic methods to distinguish statistically significant differences among individuals and clades. Although MLST is simpler, faster, and less expensive than whole genome sequencing, it is more costly and time-consuming than less reliable genotyping methods (e.g. amplified fragment length polymorphisms). Here, we describe a new MLST method that uses next-generation sequencing, a multiplexing protocol, and appropriate analytical software to provide accurate, rapid, and economical MLST genotyping of 96 or more isolates in single assay. We demonstrate this methodology by genotyping isolates of the well-characterized, human pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Bypassing the Restriction System To Improve Transformation of Staphylococcus epidermidis.

Staphylococcus epidermidis is the leading cause of infections on indwelling medical devices worldwide. Intrinsic antibiotic resistance and vigorous biofilm production have rendered these infections difficult to treat and, in some cases, require the removal of the offending medical prosthesis. With the exception of two widely passaged isolates, RP62A and 1457, the pathogenesis of infections caused by clinical S. epidermidis strains is poorly understood due to the strong genetic barrier that precludes the efficient transformation of foreign DNA into clinical isolates. The difficulty in transforming clinical S. epidermidis isolates is primarily due to the type I and IV restriction-modification systems, which act as genetic barriers. Here, we show that efficient plasmid transformation of clinical S. epidermidis isolates from clonal complexes 2, 10, and 89 can be realized by employing a plasmid artificial modification (PAM) in Escherichia coli DC10B containing a ?dcm mutation. This transformative technique should facilitate our ability to genetically modify clinical isolates of S. epidermidis and hence improve our understanding of their pathogenesis in human infections.IMPORTANCEStaphylococcus epidermidis is a source of considerable morbidity worldwide. The underlying mechanisms contributing to the commensal and pathogenic lifestyles of S. epidermidis are poorly understood. Genetic manipulations of clinically relevant strains of S. epidermidis are largely prohibited due to the presence of a strong restriction barrier. With the introductions of the tools presented here, genetic manipulation of clinically relevant S. epidermidis isolates has now become possible, thus improving our understanding of S. epidermidis as a pathogen. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Metataxonomics reveal vultures as a reservoir for Clostridium perfringens.

The Old World vulture may carry and spread pathogens for emerging infections since they feed on the carcasses of dead animals and participate in the sky burials of humans, some of whom have died from communicable diseases. Therefore, we studied the precise fecal microbiome of the Old World vulture with metataxonomics, integrating the high-throughput sequencing of almost full-length small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene amplicons in tandem with the operational phylogenetic unit (OPU) analysis strategy. Nine vultures of three species were sampled using rectal swabs on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Using the Pacific Biosciences sequencing platform, we obtained 54 135 high-quality reads of 16S rRNA amplicons with an average of 1442±6.9?bp in length and 6015±1058 reads per vulture. Those sequences were classified into 314 OPUs, including 102 known species, 50 yet to be described species and 161 unknown new lineages of uncultured representatives. Forty-five species have been reported to be responsible for human outbreaks or infections, and 23 yet to be described species belong to genera that include pathogenic species. Only six species were common to all vultures. Clostridium perfringens was the most abundant and present in all vultures, accounting for 30.8% of the total reads. Therefore, using the new technology, we found that vultures are an important reservoir for C. perfringens as evidenced by the isolation of 107 strains encoding for virulence genes, representing 45 sequence types. Our study suggests that the soil-related C. perfringens and other pathogens could have a reservoir in vultures and other animals.


September 22, 2019  |  

Long-read isoform sequencing reveals a hidden complexity of the transcriptional landscape of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1.

In this study, we used the amplified isoform sequencing technique from Pacific Biosciences to characterize the poly(A)(+) fraction of the lytic transcriptome of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Our analysis detected 34 formerly unidentified protein-coding genes, 10 non-coding RNAs, as well as 17 polycistronic and complex transcripts. This work also led us to identify many transcript isoforms, including 13 splice and 68 transcript end variants, as well as several transcript overlaps. Additionally, we determined previously unascertained transcriptional start and polyadenylation sites. We analyzed the transcriptional activity from the complementary DNA strand in five convergent HSV gene pairs with quantitative RT-PCR and detected antisense RNAs in each gene. This part of the study revealed an inverse correlation between the expressions of convergent partners. Our work adds new insights for understanding the complexity of the pervasive transcriptional overlaps by suggesting that there is a crosstalk between adjacent and distal genes through interaction between their transcription apparatuses. We also identified transcripts overlapping the HSV replication origins, which may indicate an interplay between the transcription and replication machineries. The relative abundance of HSV-1 transcripts has also been established by using a novel method based on the calculation of sequencing reads for the analysis.


September 22, 2019  |  

Resistance to ceftazidime-avibactam in Klebsiella pneumoniae due to porin mutations and the increased expression of KPC-3.

We reported the first clinical case of a ceftazidime-avibactam resistant KPC-3-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (1), from a patient with no history of ceftazidime-avibactam therapy. We now present data documenting mechanisms of ceftazidime-avibactam resistance in this isolate. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was performed on two isolates: KP1245 (ceftazidime-avibactam MIC, 4 µg/ml; from blood on hospital day 1; referred to as isolate 1 in our previous report [1]) and KP1244 (ceftazidime-avibactam MIC, 32 µg/ml; from blood on hospital day 2; referred to as isolate 2 in our previous report [2]), using MiSeq (Illumina, San Diego, CA) and PacBio RSII (Menlo Park, CA) systems (2). The in silico multilocus sequence type (ST) was ST258. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis revealed 17 SNPs between KP1245 and KP1244, indicating that the isolates were related but that significant diversity existed in this patient (2). Nonsynonymous mutations are shown in Table 1; the most striking of these is in the OmpK36 porin gene. KP1244 contained a missense mutation predicted to encode a T333N mutation. Both isolates also harbored a mutation predicted to encode R191L in OmpK36 and had a nonfunctional OmpK35, due to a frameshift mutation that truncated the protein at amino acid 42, common to K. pneumoniae ST258 (3). Association between mutations in ompK36 and elevated ceftazidime-avibactam MICs has been shown previously (4). However, T333N, found in one of the ß-sheet domains of the OmpK36 subunit, has not been described in K. pneumoniae; as such, further validation is required to confirm the role of the OmpK36 mutation in this isolate’s ceftazidime-avibactam resistance phenotype.


September 22, 2019  |  

Role of clinicogenomics in infectious disease diagnostics and public health microbiology.

Clinicogenomics is the exploitation of genome sequence data for diagnostic, therapeutic, and public health purposes. Central to this field is the high-throughput DNA sequencing of genomes and metagenomes. The role of clinicogenomics in infectious disease diagnostics and public health microbiology was the topic of discussion during a recent symposium (session 161) presented at the 115th general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology that was held in New Orleans, LA. What follows is a collection of the most salient and promising aspects from each presentation at the symposium. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


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  |  

Different next generation sequencing platforms produce different microbial profiles and diversity in cystic fibrosis sputum.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by recurrent lung infections. Studies of the lung microbiome have shown an association between decreasing diversity and progressive disease. 454 pyrosequencing has frequently been used to study the lung microbiome in CF, but will no longer be supported. We sought to identify the benefits and drawbacks of using two state-of-the-art next generation sequencing (NGS) platforms, MiSeq and PacBio RSII, to characterize the CF lung microbiome. Each has its advantages and limitations.Twelve samples of extracted bacterial DNA were sequenced on both MiSeq and PacBio NGS platforms. DNA was amplified for the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene and libraries were sequenced on the MiSeq sequencing platform, while the full 16S rRNA gene was sequenced on the PacBio RSII sequencing platform. Raw FASTQ files generated by the MiSeq and PacBio platforms were processed in mothur v1.35.1.There was extreme discordance in alpha-diversity of the CF lung microbiome when using the two platforms. Because of its depth of coverage, sequencing of the 16S rRNA V4 gene region using MiSeq allowed for the observation of many more operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and higher Chao1 and Shannon indices than the PacBio RSII. Interestingly, several patients in our cohort had Escherichia, an unusual pathogen in CF. Also, likely because of its coverage of the complete 16S rRNA gene, only PacBio RSII was able to identify Burkholderia, an important CF pathogen.When comparing microbiome diversity in clinical samples from CF patients using 16S sequences, MiSeq and PacBio NGS platforms may generate different results in microbial community composition and structure. It may be necessary to use different platforms when trying to correctly identify dominant pathogens versus measuring alpha-diversity estimates, and it would be important to use the same platform for comparisons to minimize errors in interpretation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Long-read sequencing of human cytomegalovirus transcriptome reveals RNA isoforms carrying distinct coding potentials.

The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous, human pathogenic herpesvirus. The complete viral genome is transcriptionally active during infection; however, a large part of its transcriptome has yet to be annotated. In this work, we applied the amplified isoform sequencing technique from Pacific Biosciences to characterize the lytic transcriptome of HCMV strain Towne varS. We developed a pipeline for transcript annotation using long-read sequencing data. We identified 248 transcriptional start sites, 116 transcriptional termination sites and 80 splicing events. Using this information, we have annotated 291 previously undescribed or only partially annotated transcript isoforms, including eight novel antisense transcripts and their isoforms, as well as a novel transcript (RS2) in the short repeat region, partially antisense to RS1. Similarly to other organisms, we discovered a high transcriptional diversity in HCMV, with many transcripts only slightly differing from one another. Comparing our transcriptome profiling results to an earlier ribosome footprint analysis, we have concluded that the majority of the transcripts contain multiple translationally active ORFs, and also that most isoforms contain unique combinations of ORFs. Based on these results, we propose that one important function of this transcriptional diversity may be to provide a regulatory mechanism at the level of translation.


Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.