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Sunday, July 7, 2019

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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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Seeking the source of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in a recently opened hospital: an observational study using whole-genome sequencing.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common nosocomial pathogen responsible for significant morbidity and mortality internationally. Patients may become colonised or infected with P. aeruginosa after exposure to contaminated sources within the hospital environment. The aim of this study was to determine whether whole-genome sequencing (WGS) can be used to determine the source in a cohort of burns patients at high risk of P. aeruginosa acquisition.An observational prospective cohort study.Burns care ward and critical care ward in the UK.Patients with >7% total burns by surface area were recruited into the study.All patients were screened for P. aeruginosa on admission and samples taken…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome sequencing of an extended series of NDM-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from Neonatal infections in a Nepali hospital characterizes the extent of community- versus hospital-associated transmission in an endemic setting.

NDM-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae strains represent major clinical and infection control challenges, particularly in resource-limited settings with high rates of antimicrobial resistance. Determining whether transmission occurs at a gene, plasmid, or bacterial strain level and within hospital and/or the community has implications for monitoring and controlling spread. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is the highest-resolution typing method available for transmission epidemiology. We sequenced carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates from 26 individuals involved in several infection case clusters in a Nepali neonatal unit and 68 other clinical Gram-negative isolates from a similar time frame, using Illumina and PacBio technologies. Within-outbreak chromosomal and closed-plasmid structures were…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

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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Sunday, 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…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Development of new methods for the quantitative detection and typing of Lactobacillus parabuchneri in dairy products

Thirty-one isolates of Lactobacillus parabuchneri were obtained from cheese containing histamine; of these, 26 were found to possess the hdcA gene encoding histidine decarboxylase. By analysing the genome data of 13 isolates, specific targets for the development of PCR-based detection and typing systems for L. parabuchneri were identified. The real-time PCR for detection showed a linear quantification over a range of 7 logs and a detection limit of 10 gene equivalents per reaction. The strain typing method utilised the amplification of repeat sequences and showed discrimination comparable with a phylogenetic tree, based on genome comparisons. The method was suitable for detecting…

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Sunday, 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…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Regulation of PI-2b pilus expression in hypervirulent Streptococcus agalactiae ST-17 BM110.

The widely spread Streptococcus agalactiae (also known as Group B Streptococcus, GBS) “hypervirulent” ST17 clone is strongly associated with neonatal meningitis. The PI-2b locus is mainly found in ST17 strains but is also present in a few non ST17 human isolates such as the ST-7 prototype strain A909. Here, we analysed the expression of the PI-2b pilus in the ST17 strain BM110 as compared to the non ST17 A909. Comparative genome analyses revealed the presence of a 43-base pair (bp) hairpin-like structure in the upstream region of PI-2b operon in all 26 ST17 genomes, which was absent in the 8…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Population genomic analysis of 1,777 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, Houston, Texas: unexpected abundance of clonal group 307.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is a major human pathogen responsible for high morbidity and mortality rates. The emergence and spread of strains resistant to multiple antimicrobial agents and documented large nosocomial outbreaks are especially concerning. To develop new therapeutic strategies for K. pneumoniae, it is imperative to understand the population genomic structure of strains causing human infections. To address this knowledge gap, we sequenced the genomes of 1,777 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing K. pneumoniae strains cultured from patients in the 2,000-bed Houston Methodist Hospital system between September 2011 and May 2015, representing a comprehensive, population-based strain sample. Strains of largely uncharacterized clonal group 307 (CG307) caused…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

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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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Transcriptome Remodeling of Acinetobacter baumannii during Infection and Treatment.

Acinetobacter baumannii is an increasingly common multidrug-resistant pathogen in health care settings. Although the genetic basis of antibiotic resistance mechanisms has been extensively studied, much less is known about how genetic variation contributes to other aspects of successful infections. Genetic changes that occur during host infection and treatment have the potential to remodel gene expression patterns related to resistance and pathogenesis. Longitudinal sets of multidrug-resistant A. baumannii isolates from eight patients were analyzed by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to identify differentially expressed genes and link them to genetic changes contributing to transcriptional variation at both within-patient and population levels. The number of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Modulation of aneuploidy in Leishmania donovani during adaptation to different in vitro and in vivo environments and its impact on gene expression.

Aneuploidy is usually deleterious in multicellular organisms but appears to be tolerated and potentially beneficial in unicellular organisms, including pathogens. Leishmania, a major protozoan parasite, is emerging as a new model for aneuploidy, since in vitro-cultivated strains are highly aneuploid, with interstrain diversity and intrastrain mosaicism. The alternation of two life stages in different environments (extracellular promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes) offers a unique opportunity to study the impact of environment on aneuploidy and gene expression. We sequenced the whole genomes and transcriptomes of Leishmania donovani strains throughout their adaptation to in vivo conditions mimicking natural vertebrate and invertebrate host environments.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Evidence for the evolutionary steps leading to mecA-mediated ß-lactam resistance in staphylococci.

The epidemiologically most important mechanism of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus is associated with mecA-an acquired gene encoding an extra penicillin-binding protein (PBP2a) with low affinity to virtually all ß-lactams. The introduction of mecA into the S. aureus chromosome has led to the emergence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) pandemics, responsible for high rates of mortality worldwide. Nonetheless, little is known regarding the origin and evolution of mecA. Different mecA homologues have been identified in species belonging to the Staphylococcus sciuri group representing the most primitive staphylococci. In this study we aimed to identify evolutionary steps linking these mecA precursors…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

ALUMINUM RESISTANCE TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR 1 (ART1) contributes to natural variation in aluminum resistance in diverse genetic backgrounds of rice (O. sativa)

Abstract Transcription factors (TFs) regulate the expression of other genes to indirectly mediate stress resistance mechanisms. Therefore, when studying TF-mediated stress resistance, it is important to understand how TFs interact with genes in the genetic background. Here, we fine-mapped the aluminum (Al) resistance QTL Alt12.1 to a 44-kb region containing six genes. Among them is ART1, which encodes a C2H2-type zinc finger TF required for Al resistance in rice. The mapping parents, Al-resistant cv Azucena (tropical japonica) and Al-sensitive cv IR64 (indica), have extensive sequence polymorphism within the ART1 coding region, but similar ART1 expression levels. Using reciprocal near-isogenic lines…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Tracing origins of the Salmonella Bareilly strain causing a food-borne outbreak in the United States.

Using a novel combination of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analysis and geographic metadata, we traced the origins of Salmonella Bareilly isolates collected in 2012 during a widespread food-borne outbreak in the United States associated with scraped tuna imported from India.Using next-generation sequencing, we sequenced the complete genome of 100 Salmonella Bareilly isolates obtained from patients who consumed contaminated product, from natural sources, and from unrelated historically and geographically disparate foods. Pathogen genomes were linked to geography by projecting the phylogeny on a virtual globe and produced a transmission network.Phylogenetic analysis of WGS data revealed a common origin for outbreak strains, indicating…

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