September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomic and methylome analysis of non-virulent D74 and virulent Nagasaki Haemophilus parasuis isolates.

Haemophilus parasuis is a respiratory pathogen of swine and the etiological agent of Glässer’s disease. H. parasuis isolates can exhibit different virulence capabilities ranging from lethal systemic disease to subclinical carriage. To identify genomic differences between phenotypically distinct strains, we obtained the closed whole-genome sequence annotation and genome-wide methylation patterns for the highly virulent Nagasaki strain and for the non-virulent D74 strain. Evaluation of the virulence-associated genes contained within the genomes of D74 and Nagasaki led to the discovery of a large number of toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems within both genomes. Five predicted hemolysins were identified as unique to Nagasaki and seven putative contact-dependent growth inhibition toxin proteins were identified only in strain D74. Assessment of all potential vtaA genes revealed thirteen present in the Nagasaki genome and three in the D74 genome. Subsequent evaluation of the predicted protein structure revealed that none of the D74 VtaA proteins contain a collagen triple helix repeat domain. Additionally, the predicted protein sequence for two D74 VtaA proteins is substantially longer than any predicted Nagasaki VtaA proteins. Fifteen methylation sequence motifs were identified in D74 and fourteen methylation sequence motifs were identified in Nagasaki using SMRT sequencing analysis. Only one of the methylation sequence motifs was observed in both strains indicative of the diversity between D74 and Nagasaki. Subsequent analysis also revealed diversity in the restriction-modification systems harbored by D74 and Nagasaki. The collective information reported in this study will aid in the development of vaccines and intervention strategies to decrease the prevalence and disease burden caused by H. parasuis.


September 22, 2019  |  

Emergence of pathogenic and multiple-antibiotic-resistant Macrococcus caseolyticus in commercial broiler chickens.

Macrococcus caseolyticus is generally considered to be a non-pathogenic bacterium that does not cause human or animal diseases. However, recently, a strain of M. caseolyticus (SDLY strain) that causes high mortality rates was isolated from commercial broiler chickens in China. The main pathological changes caused by SDLY included caseous exudation in cranial cavities, inflammatory infiltration, haemorrhages and multifocal necrosis in various organs. The whole genome of the SDLY strain was sequenced and was compared with that of the non-pathogenic JCSC5402 strain of M. caseolyticus. The results showed that the SDLY strain harboured a large quantity of mutations, antibiotic resistance genes and numerous insertions and deletions of virulence genes. In particular, among the inserted genes, there is a cluster of eight connected genes associated with the synthesis of capsular polysaccharide. This cluster encodes a transferase and capsular polysaccharide synthase, promotes the formation of capsules and causes changes in pathogenicity. Electron microscopy revealed a distinct capsule surrounding the SDLY strain. The pathogenicity test showed that the SDLY strain could cause significant clinical symptoms and pathological changes in both SPF chickens and mice. In addition, these clinical symptoms and pathological changes were the same as those observed in field cases. Furthermore, the anti-microbial susceptibility test demonstrated that the SDLY strain exhibits multiple-antibiotic resistance. The emergence of pathogenic M. caseolyticus indicates that more attention should be paid to the effects of this micro-organism on both poultry and public health.© 2018 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


September 22, 2019  |  

Novel linezolid resistance plasmids in Enterococcus from food animals in the USA.

To sequence the genomes and determine the genetic mechanisms for linezolid resistance identified in three strains of Enterococcus isolated from cattle and swine caecal contents as part of the US National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) surveillance programme.Broth microdilution was used for in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility testing to assess linezolid resistance. Resistance mechanisms and plasmid types were identified from data generated by WGS on Illumina® and PacBio® platforms. Conjugation experiments were performed to determine whether identified mechanisms were transmissible.Linezolid resistance plasmids containing optrA were identified in two Enterococcus faecalis isolates and one Enterococcus faecium. The E. faecium isolate also carried the linezolid resistance gene cfr on the same plasmid as optrA. The linezolid resistance plasmids had various combinations of additional resistance genes conferring resistance to phenicols (fexA), aminoglycosides [spc and aph(3′)-III] and macrolides [erm(A) and erm(B)]. One of the plasmids was confirmed to be transmissible by conjugation, resulting in linezolid resistance in the transconjugant.To the best of our knowledge, this is the first identification of linezolid resistance in the USA in bacteria isolated from food animals. The oxazolidinone class of antibiotics is not used in food animals in the USA, but the genes responsible for resistance were identified on plasmids with other resistance markers, indicating that there may be co-selection for these plasmids due to the use of different antimicrobials. The transmissibility of one of the plasmids demonstrated the potential for linezolid resistance to spread horizontally. Additional surveillance is necessary to determine whether similar plasmids are present in human strains of Enterococcus.


July 19, 2019  |  

A comparative analysis of methylome profiles of Campylobacter jejuni sheep abortion isolate and gastroenteric strains using PacBio data.

Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of human gastrointestinal disease and small ruminant abortions in the United States. The recent emergence of a highly virulent, tetracycline-resistant C. jejuni subsp. jejuni sheep abortion clone (clone SA) in the United States, and that strain’s association with human disease, has resulted in a heightened awareness of the zoonotic potential of this organism. Pacific Biosciences’ Single Molecule, Real-Time sequencing technology was used to explore the variation in the genome-wide methylation patterns of the abortifacient clone SA (IA3902) and phenotypically distinct gastrointestinal-specific C. jejuni strains (NCTC 11168 and 81-176). Several notable differences were discovered that distinguished the methylome of IA3902 from that of 11168 and 81-176: identification of motifs novel to IA3902, genome-specific hypo- and hypermethylated regions, strain level variability in genes methylated, and differences in the types of methylation motifs present in each strain. These observations suggest a possible role of methylation in the contrasting disease presentations of these three C. jejuni strains. In addition, the methylation profiles between IA3902 and a luxS mutant were explored to determine if variations in methylation patterns could be identified that might explain the role of LuxS-dependent methyl recycling in IA3902 abortifacient potential.


July 19, 2019  |  

Large genomic differences between Moraxella bovoculi isolates acquired from the eyes of cattle with infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis versus the deep nasopharynx of asymptomatic cattle.

Moraxella bovoculi is a recently described bacterium that is associated with infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) or “pinkeye” in cattle. In this study, closed circularized genomes were generated for seven M. bovoculi isolates: three that originated from the eyes of clinical IBK bovine cases and four from the deep nasopharynx of asymptomatic cattle. Isolates that originated from the eyes of IBK cases profoundly differed from those that originated from the nasopharynx of asymptomatic cattle in genome structure, gene content and polymorphism diversity and consequently placed into two distinct phylogenetic groups. These results suggest that there are genetically distinct strains of M. bovoculi that may not associate with IBK.


July 19, 2019  |  

First report of two complete Clostridium chauvoei genome sequences and detailed in silico genome analysis.

Clostridium (C.) chauvoei is a Gram-positive, spore forming, anaerobic bacterium. It causes black leg in ruminants, a typically fatal histotoxic myonecrosis. High quality circular genome sequences were generated for the C. chauvoei type strain DSM 7528(T) (ATCC 10092(T)) and a field strain 12S0467 isolated in Germany. The origin of replication (oriC) was comparable to that of Bacillus subtilis in structure with two regions containing DnaA boxes. Similar prophages were identified in the genomes of both C. chauvoei strains which also harbored hemolysin and bacterial spore formation genes. A CRISPR type I-B system with limited variations in the repeat number was identified. Sporulation and germination process related genes were homologous to that of the Clostridia cluster I group but novel variations for regulatory genes were identified indicative for strain specific control of regulatory events. Phylogenomics showed a higher relatedness to C. septicum than to other so far sequenced genomes of species belonging to the genus Clostridium. Comparative genome analysis of three C. chauvoei circular genome sequences revealed the presence of few inversions and translocations in locally collinear blocks (LCBs). The species genome also shows a large number of genes involved in proteolysis, genes for glycosyl hydrolases and metal iron transportation genes which are presumably involved in virulence and survival in the host. Three conserved flagellar genes (fliC) were identified in each of the circular genomes. In conclusion this is the first comparative analysis of circular genomes for the species C. chauvoei, enabling insights into genome composition and virulence factor variation. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Mycoplasma yeatsii strain GM274B (ATCC 43094).

Mycoplasma yeatsii is a goat mycoplasma species that, although an obligate parasite, accommodates this lifestyle as an inapparent commensalist. High-frequency transformation has also been reported for this species. The complete 895,051-bp genome sequence of strain GM274B has been determined, enabling an analysis of the features of this potential cloning host. Copyright © 2015 Calcutt et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete closed genome sequences of a Mannheimia haemolytica serotype A1 leukotoxin deletion mutant and its wild-type parent strain.

Mannheimia haemolytica is a bacterial pathogen that secretes leukotoxin (LktA) which binds to leukocyte membranes via CD18, causing bacterial pneumonia in ruminants. We report the complete closed genome sequences of a leukotoxin mutant and its parent strain that are frequently used in respiratory disease studies. Copyright © 2015 Heaton et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Acetylcholinesterase 1 in populations of organophosphate-resistant North American strains of the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae).

Rhipicephalus microplus, the cattle fever tick, is a global economic problem to the cattle industry due to direct infestation of cattle and pathogens transmitted during feeding. Cattle fever tick outbreaks continue to occur along the Mexico-US border even though the tick has been eradicated from the USA. The organophosphate (OP) coumaphos targets acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and is the approved acaricide for eradicating cattle fever tick outbreaks. There is evidence for coumaphos resistance developing in cattle ticks in Mexico, and OP-resistant R. microplus ticks were discovered in outbreak populations of Texas in 2005. The molecular basis of coumaphos resistance is not known, and our study was established to gather further information on whether AChE1 is involved in the resistance mechanism. We also sought information on allele diversity in tick populations with different levels of coumaphos resistance. The overarching project goal was to define OP resistance-associated gene mutations such that a DNA-based diagnostic assay could be developed to assist the management of resistance. Three different AChE transcripts have been reported in R. microplus, and supporting genomic and transcriptomic data are available at CattleTickBase. Here, we report the complete R. microplus AChE1 gene ascertained by sequencing a bacterial artificial chromosome clone containing the entire coding region and the flanking 5′ and 3′ regions. We also report AChE1 sequences of larval ticks from R. microplus strains having different sensitivities to OP. To accomplish this, we sequenced a 669-bp region of the AChE1 gene corresponding to a 223 amino acid region of exon 2 to assess alleles in seven strains of R. microplus with varying OP resistance phenotypes. We identified 72 AChE1 sequence variants, 2 of which are strongly associated with OP-resistant phenotypes. Esterase-like sequences from the R. microplus transcriptome RmiTr Version 1.0 were compared to the available sequence databases to identify other transcripts with similarity to AChE1.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics and characterization of hybrid Shigatoxigenic and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC/ETEC) strains.

Shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) cause serious foodborne infections in humans. These two pathogroups are defined based on the pathogroup-associated virulence genes: stx encoding Shiga toxin (Stx) for STEC and elt encoding heat-labile and/or est encoding heat-stable enterotoxin (ST) for ETEC. The study investigated the genomics of STEC/ETEC hybrid strains to determine their phylogenetic position among E. coli and to define the virulence genes they harbor.The whole genomes of three STEC/ETEC strains possessing both stx and est genes were sequenced using PacBio RS sequencer. Two of the strains were isolated from the patients, one with hemolytic uremic syndrome, and one with diarrhea. The third strain was of bovine origin. Core genome analysis of the shared chromosomal genes and comparison with E. coli and Shigella spp. reference genomes was performed to determine the phylogenetic position of the STEC/ETEC strains. In addition, a set of virulence genes and ETEC colonization factors were extracted from the genomes. The production of Stx and ST were studied.The human STEC/ETEC strains clustered with strains representing ETEC, STEC, enteroaggregative E. coli, and commensal and laboratory-adapted E. coli. However, the bovine STEC/ETEC strain formed a remote cluster with two STECs of bovine origin. All three STEC/ETEC strains harbored several other virulence genes, apart from stx and est, and lacked ETEC colonization factors. Two STEC/ETEC strains produced both toxins and one strain Stx only.This study shows that pathogroup-associated virulence genes of different E. coli can co-exist in strains originating from different phylogenetic lineages. The possibility of virulence genes to be associated with several E. coli pathogroups should be taken into account in strain typing and in epidemiological surveillance. Development of novel hybrid E. coli strains may cause a new public health risk, which challenges the traditional diagnostics of E. coli infections.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complex population structure and virulence differences among serotype 2 Streptococcus suis strains belonging to sequence type 28.

Streptococcus suis is a major swine pathogen and a zoonotic agent. Serotype 2 strains are the most frequently associated with disease. However, not all serotype 2 lineages are considered virulent. Indeed, sequence type (ST) 28 serotype 2 S. suis strains have been described as a homogeneous group of low virulence. However, ST28 strains are often isolated from diseased swine in some countries, and at least four human ST28 cases have been reported. Here, we used whole-genome sequencing and animal infection models to test the hypothesis that the ST28 lineage comprises strains of different genetic backgrounds and different virulence. We used 50 S. suis ST28 strains isolated in Canada, the United States and Japan from diseased pigs, and one ST28 strain from a human case isolated in Thailand. We report a complex population structure among the 51 ST28 strains. Diversity resulted from variable gene content, recombination events and numerous genome-wide polymorphisms not attributable to recombination. Phylogenetic analysis using core genome single-nucleotide polymorphisms revealed four discrete clades with strong geographic structure, and a fifth clade formed by US, Thai and Japanese strains. When tested in experimental animal models, strains from this latter clade were significantly more virulent than a Canadian ST28 reference strain, and a closely related Canadian strain. Our results highlight the limitations of MLST for both phylogenetic analysis and virulence prediction and raise concerns about the possible emergence of ST28 strains in human clinical cases.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome and plasmid sequences of three Canadian strains of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis belonging to phage types 8, 13, and 13a.

Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis is a prominent cause of human salmonellosis frequently linked to poultry products. In Canada, S. Enteritidis phage types 8, 13, and 13a predominate among both clinical and poultry isolates. Here, we report the complete genome and plasmid sequences of poultry isolates of these three phage types. Copyright © 2015 Rehman et al.


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