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November 20, 2014

Genome sequences of Vibrio navarrensis, a potential human pathogen.

Vibrio navarrensis is an aquatic bacterium recently shown to be associated with human illness. We report the first genome sequences of three V. navarrensis strains obtained from clinical and environmental sources. Preliminary analyses of the sequences reveal that V. navarrensis contains genes commonly associated with virulence in other human pathogens. Copyright © 2014 Gladney et al.

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November 20, 2014

Whole-genome assemblies of 56 Burkholderia species.

Burkholderia is a genus of betaproteobacteria that includes three notable human pathogens: B. cepacia, B. pseudomallei, and B. mallei. While B. pseudomallei and B. mallei are considered potential biowarfare agents, B. cepacia infections are largely limited to cystic fibrosis patients. Here, we present 56 Burkholderia genomes from 8 distinct species. Copyright © 2014 Daligault et al.

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November 13, 2014

Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor.

Female mosquitoes are major vectors of human disease and the most dangerous are those that preferentially bite humans. A 'domestic' form of the mosquito Aedes aegypti has evolved to specialize in biting humans and is the main worldwide vector of dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya viruses. The domestic form coexists with an ancestral, 'forest' form that prefers to bite non-human animals and is found along the coast of Kenya. We collected the two forms, established laboratory colonies, and document striking divergence in preference for human versus non-human animal odour. We further show that the evolution of preference for human odour…

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November 8, 2014

The extant World War 1 dysentery bacillus NCTC1: a genomic analysis.

Shigellosis (previously bacillary dysentery) was the primary diarrhoeal disease of World War 1, but outbreaks still occur in military operations, and shigellosis causes hundreds of thousands of deaths per year in developing nations. We aimed to generate a high-quality reference genome of the historical Shigella flexneri isolate NCTC1 and to examine the isolate for resistance to antimicrobials.In this genomic analysis, we sequenced the oldest extant Shigella flexneri serotype 2a isolate using single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology. Isolated from a soldier with dysentery from the British forces fighting on the Western Front in World War 1, this bacterium, NCTC1, was the…

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November 8, 2014

Bacillary dysentery from World War 1 and NCTC1, the first bacterial isolate in the National Collection.

In early 1915, a 28-year-old man arrived at No 14 Stationary Hospital in Wimereux, France. Although no clinical records remain, we believe he would have presented with bloody diarrhoea and severe abdominal cramping, and he was diagnosed with dysentery. On March 13, 1915, the patient, who we believe was Private Ernest Cable of the 2nd Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment (appendix), died. Lieutenant William Broughton-Alcock, whose military records1 identify him as a bacteriologist for No 14 Stationary Hospital, collected this isolate—later identified as a Shigella flexneri serotype 2a bacterium—which was the first bacterial isolate deposited in the UK National…

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November 1, 2014

Potential impact on kidney infection: a whole-genome analysis of Leptospira santarosai serovar Shermani.

Leptospira santarosai serovar Shermani is the most frequently encountered serovar, and it causes leptospirosis and tubulointerstitial nephritis in Taiwan. This study aims to complete the genome sequence of L. santarosai serovar Shermani and analyze the transcriptional responses of L. santarosai serovar Shermani to renal tubular cells. To assemble this highly repetitive genome, we combined reads that were generated from four next-generation sequencing platforms by using hybrid assembly approaches to finish two-chromosome contiguous sequences without gaps by validating the data with optical restriction maps and Sanger sequencing. Whole-genome comparison studies revealed a 28-kb region containing genes that encode transposases and hypothetical…

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November 1, 2014

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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November 1, 2014

Diversification of bacterial genome content through distinct mechanisms over different timescales.

Bacterial populations often consist of multiple co-circulating lineages. Determining how such population structures arise requires understanding what drives bacterial diversification. Using 616 systematically sampled genomes, we show that Streptococcus pneumoniae lineages are typically characterized by combinations of infrequently transferred stable genomic islands: those moving primarily through transformation, along with integrative and conjugative elements and phage-related chromosomal islands. The only lineage containing extensive unique sequence corresponds to a set of atypical unencapsulated isolates that may represent a distinct species. However, prophage content is highly variable even within lineages, suggesting frequent horizontal transmission that would necessitate rapidly diversifying anti-phage mechanisms to prevent…

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November 1, 2014

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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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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November 1, 2014

Single-molecule long-read 16S sequencing to characterize the lung microbiome from mechanically ventilated patients with suspected pneumonia.

In critically ill patients, the development of pneumonia results in significant morbidity and mortality and additional health care costs. The accurate and rapid identification of the microbial pathogens in patients with pulmonary infections might lead to targeted antimicrobial therapy with potentially fewer adverse effects and lower costs. Major advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) allow culture-independent identification of pathogens. The present study used NGS of essentially full-length PCR-amplified 16S ribosomal DNA from the bronchial aspirates of intubated patients with suspected pneumonia. The results from 61 patients demonstrated that sufficient DNA was obtained from 72% of samples, 44% of which (27 samples)…

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November 1, 2014

Complete sequence of a conjugative IncN plasmid harboring blakpc-2, blashv-12, and qnrS1 from an Escherichia coli sequence type 648 strain

We sequenced a novel conjugative blaKPC-2-harboring IncN plasmid, pYD626E, from an Escherichia coli sequence type 648 strain previously identified in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. pYD626E was 72,800 bp long and carried four ß-lactamase genes, blaKPC-2, blaSHV-12, blaLAP-1, and blaTEM-1. In addition, it harbored qnrS1 (fluoroquinolone resistance) and dfrA14 (trimethoprim resistance). The plasmid profile and clinical history supported the in vivo transfer of this plasmid between Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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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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