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May 26, 2017

Whole genome and core genome multilocus sequence typing and single nucleotide polymorphism analyses of Listeria monocytogenes associated with an outbreak linked to cheese, United States, 2013.

Epidemiological findings of a listeriosis outbreak in 2013 implicated Hispanic-style cheese produced by Company A, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) were performed on clinical isolates and representative isolates collected from Company A cheese and environmental samples during the investigation. The results strengthened the evidence for cheese as the vehicle. Surveillance sampling and WGS three months later revealed that the equipment purchased by Company B from Company A yielded an environmental isolate highly similar to all outbreak isolates. The whole genome and core genome multilocus sequence typing and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analyses were compared to…

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May 15, 2017

2015 epidemic of severe Streptococcus agalactiae sequence type 283 infections in Singapore associated with the consumption of raw freshwater fish: a detailed analysis of clinical, epidemiological, and bacterial sequencing data.

Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus [GBS]) has not been described as a foodborne pathogen. However, in 2015, a large outbreak of severe invasive sequence type (ST) 283 GBS infections in adults epidemiologically linked to the consumption of raw freshwater fish occurred in Singapore. We attempted to determine the scale of the outbreak, define the clinical spectrum of disease, and link the outbreak to contaminated fish.Time-series analysis was performed on microbiology laboratory data. Food handlers and fishmongers were screened for enteric carriage of GBS. A retrospective cohort study was conducted to assess differences in demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with…

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March 1, 2017

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.…

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December 15, 2016

Complete genome sequences of six Legionella pneumophila isolates from two collocated outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in 2005 and 2008 in Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad, Norway.

Here, we report the complete genome sequences of Legionella pneumophila isolates from two collocated outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease in 2005 and 2008 in Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad, Norway. One clinical and two environmental isolates were sequenced from each outbreak. The genome of all six isolates consisted of a 3.36 Mb-chromosome, while the 2005 genomes featured an additional 68 kb-episome sharing high sequence similarity with the L. pneumophila Lens plasmid. All six genomes contained multiple mobile genetic elements including novel combinations of type-IVA secretion systems. A comparative genomics study will be launched to resolve the genetic relationship between the L. pneumophila isolates. Copyright © 2016 Dybwad et al.

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July 21, 2016

Complete genome sequences of three outbreak-associated Legionella pneumophila isolates.

We report here the complete genome sequences of three Legionella pneumophila isolates that are associated with a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in New York in 2012. Two clinical isolates (D7630 and D7632) and one environmental isolate (D7631) were recovered from this outbreak. A single isolate-specific virulence gene was found in D7632. These isolates were included in a large study evaluating the genomic resolution of various bioinformatics approaches for L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates. Copyright © 2016 Morrison et al.

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December 1, 2015

Next-generation sequencing and comparative analysis of sequential outbreaks caused by multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii at a large academic burn center.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis has emerged as a promising molecular epidemiological method for investigating health care-associated outbreaks. Here, we used NGS to investigate a 3-year outbreak of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDRAB) at a large academic burn center. A reference genome from the index case was generated using de novo assembly of PacBio reads. Forty-six MDRAB isolates were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and sequenced using an Illumina platform. After mapping to the index case reference genome, four samples were excluded due to low coverage, leaving 42 samples for further analysis. Multilocus sequence types (MLST) and the presence of acquired…

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September 11, 2015

Genomic epidemiology of hypervirulent serogroup W, ST-11 Neisseria meningitidis

Neisseria meningitidis is a leading bacterial cause of sepsis and meningitis globally with dynamic strain distribution over time. Beginning with an epidemic among Hajj pilgrims in 2000, serogroup W (W) sequence type (ST) 11 emerged as a leading cause of epidemic meningitis in the African ‘meningitis belt’ and endemic cases in South America, Europe, Middle East and China. Previous genotyping studies were unable to reliably discriminate sporadic W ST-11 strains in circulation since 1970 from the Hajj outbreak strain (Hajj clone). It is also unclear what proportion of more recent W ST-11 disease clusters are caused by direct descendants of…

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July 2, 2015

Complete genome sequence of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Agona 460004 2-1, associated with a multistate outbreak in the United States.

Within the last several years, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Agona has been among the 20 most frequently isolated serovars in clinical cases of salmonellosis. In this report, the complete genome sequence of S. Agona strain 460004 2-1 isolated from unsweetened puffed-rice cereal during a multistate outbreak in 2008 was sequenced using single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing. Copyright © 2015 Hoffmann et al.

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May 1, 2015

What caused the outbreak of ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in a neonatal intensive care unit, Germany 2009 to 2012? Reconstructing transmission with epidemiological analysis and whole-genome sequencing.

We aimed to retrospectively reconstruct the timing of transmission events and pathways in order to understand why extensive preventive measures and investigations were not sufficient to prevent new cases.We extracted available information from patient charts to describe cases and to compare them to the normal population of the ward. We conducted a cohort study to identify risk factors for pathogen acquisition. We sequenced the available isolates to determine the phylogenetic relatedness of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates on the basis of their genome sequences.The investigation comprises 37 cases and the 10 cases with ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamase)-producing K. pneumoniae bloodstream infection. Descriptive epidemiology…

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November 1, 2014

The Harvest suite for rapid core-genome alignment and visualization of thousands of intraspecific microbial genomes.

Whole-genome sequences are now available for many microbial species and clades, however, existing whole-genome alignment methods are limited in their ability to perform sequence comparisons of multiple sequences simultaneously. Here we present the Harvest suite of core-genome alignment and visualization tools for the rapid and simultaneous analysis of thousands of intraspecific microbial strains. Harvest includes Parsnp, a fast core-genome multi-aligner, and Gingr, a dynamic visual platform. Together they provide interactive core-genome alignments, variant calls, recombination detection, and phylogenetic trees. Using simulated and real data we demonstrate that our approach exhibits unrivaled speed while maintaining the accuracy of existing methods. The…

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October 30, 2014

First fully closed genome sequence of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Cubana associated with a food-borne outbreak.

Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Cubana (Salmonella serovar Cubana) is associated with human and animal disease. Here, we used third-generation, single-molecule, real-time DNA sequencing to determine the first complete genome sequence of Salmonella serovar Cubana CFSAN002050, which was isolated from fresh alfalfa sprouts during a multistate outbreak in 2012. Copyright © 2014 Hoffmann et al.

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October 2, 2014

First complete genome sequence of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium strain ATCC 13311 (NCTC 74), a reference strain of multidrug resistance, as achieved by use of PacBio Single-Molecule Real-Time technology.

We report the first complete genomic sequence of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium strain ATCC 13311, the leading food-borne pathogen and a reference strain used in drug resistance studies. De novo assembly with PacBio sequencing completed its chromosome and one plasmid. They will accelerate the investigation into multidrug resistance in Salmonella Typhimurium. Copyright © 2014 Terabayashi et al.

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October 1, 2014

An evaluation of alternative methods for constructing phylogenies from whole genome sequence data: a case study with Salmonella.

Comparative genomics based on whole genome sequencing (WGS) is increasingly being applied to investigate questions within evolutionary and molecular biology, as well as questions concerning public health (e.g., pathogen outbreaks). Given the impact that conclusions derived from such analyses may have, we have evaluated the robustness of clustering individuals based on WGS data to three key factors: (1) next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform (HiSeq, MiSeq, IonTorrent, 454, and SOLiD), (2) algorithms used to construct a SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) matrix (reference-based and reference-free), and (3) phylogenetic inference method (FastTreeMP, GARLI, and RAxML). We carried out these analyses on 194 whole genome…

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August 14, 2014

A gapless, unambiguous genome sequence of the Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain EDL933.

Escherichia coli EDL933 is the prototypic strain for enterohemorrhagic E. coli serotype O157:H7, associated with deadly food-borne outbreaks. Because the publicly available sequence of the EDL933 genome has gaps and >6,000 ambiguous base calls, we here present an updated high-quality, unambiguous genome sequence with no assembly gaps. Copyright © 2014 Latif et al.

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