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December 1, 2018

Hypervirulent group A Streptococcus emergence in an acaspular background is associated with marked remodeling of the bacterial cell surface

Inactivating mutations in the control of virulence two-component regulatory system (covRS) often account for the hypervirulent phenotype in severe, invasive group A streptococcal (GAS) infections. As CovR represses production of the anti-phagocytic hyaluronic acid capsule, high level capsule production is generally considered critical to the hypervirulent phenotype induced by CovRS inactivation. There have recently been large outbreaks of GAS strains lacking capsule, but there are currently no data on the virulence of covRS-mutated, acapsular strains in vivo. We investigated the impact of CovRS inactivation in acapsular serotype M4 strains using a wild-type (M4-SC-1) and a naturally-occurring CovS-inactivated strain (M4-LC-1) that…

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November 1, 2018

Deep genome annotation of the opportunistic human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae D39.

A precise understanding of the genomic organization into transcriptional units and their regulation is essential for our comprehension of opportunistic human pathogens and how they cause disease. Using single-molecule real-time (PacBio) sequencing we unambiguously determined the genome sequence of Streptococcus pneumoniae strain D39 and revealed several inversions previously undetected by short-read sequencing. Significantly, a chromosomal inversion results in antigenic variation of PhtD, an important surface-exposed virulence factor. We generated a new genome annotation using automated tools, followed by manual curation, reflecting the current knowledge in the field. By combining sequence-driven terminator prediction, deep paired-end transcriptome sequencing and enrichment of primary…

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November 1, 2018

Excision-reintegration at a pneumococcal phase-variable restriction-modification locus drives within- and between-strain epigenetic differentiation and inhibits gene acquisition.

Phase-variation of Type I restriction-modification systems can rapidly alter the sequence motifs they target, diversifying both the epigenetic patterns and endonuclease activity within clonally descended populations. Here, we characterize the Streptococcus pneumoniae SpnIV phase-variable Type I RMS, encoded by the translocating variable restriction (tvr) locus, to identify its target motifs, mechanism and regulation of phase variation, and effects on exchange of sequence through transformation. The specificity-determining hsdS genes were shuffled through a recombinase-mediated excision-reintegration mechanism involving circular intermediate molecules, guided by two types of direct repeat. The rate of rearrangements was limited by an attenuator and toxin-antitoxin system homologs that…

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June 1, 2018

Whole genome sequence and phenotypic characterization of a Cbm+ serotype e strain of Streptococcus mutans.

We report the whole genome sequence of the serotype e Cbm+ strain LAR01 of Streptococcus mutans, a dental pathogen frequently associated with extra-oral infections. The LAR01 genome is a single circular chromosome of 2.1 Mb with a GC content of 36.96%. The genome contains 15 phosphotransferase system gene clusters, seven cell wall-anchored (LPxTG) proteins, all genes required for the development of natural competence and genes coding for mutacins VI and K8. Interestingly, the cbm gene is genetically linked to a putative type VII secretion system that has been found in Mycobacteria and few other Gram-positive bacteria. When compared with the UA159…

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April 1, 2018

Complete genome sequence of multiple-antibiotic-resistant Streptococcus parauberis strain SPOF3K, isolated from diseased olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus).

Here, we report the complete genome sequence of multiple-antibiotic-resistant Streptococcus parauberis strain SPOF3K, isolated from the kidney of a diseased olive flounder in South Korea in 2013. Sequencing using a PacBio platform yielded a circular chromosome of 2,128,740?bp and a plasmid of 23,538?bp, harboring 2,123 and 24 protein-coding genes, respectively. Copyright © 2018 Lee et al.

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March 1, 2018

A sub-population of group A Streptococcus elicits a population-wide production of bacteriocins to establish dominance in the host.

Bacteria use quorum sensing (QS) to regulate gene expression. We identified a group A Streptococcus (GAS) strain possessing the QS system sil, which produces functional bacteriocins, through a sequential signaling pathway integrating host and bacterial signals. Host cells infected by GAS release asparagine (ASN), which is sensed by the bacteria to alter its gene expression and rate of proliferation. We show that upon ASN sensing, GAS upregulates expression of the QS autoinducer peptide SilCR. Initial SilCR expression activates the autoinduction cycle for further SilCR production. The autoinduction process propagates throughout the GAS population, resulting in bacteriocin production. Subcutaneous co-injection of…

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December 18, 2017

Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome caused by the dissemination of an invasive emm3/ST15 strain of Streptococcus pyogenes.

Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus [GAS]) is a major human pathogen that causes a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. Although invasive GAS (iGAS) infections are relatively uncommon, emm3/ST15 GAS is a highly virulent, invasive, and pathogenic strain. Global molecular epidemiology analysis has suggested that the frequency of emm3 GAS has been recently increasing.A 14-year-old patient was diagnosed with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome and severe pneumonia, impaired renal function, and rhabdomyolysis. GAS was isolated from a culture of endotracheal aspirates and designated as KS030. Comparative genome analysis suggested that KS030 is classified as emm3 (emm-type) and ST15 (multilocus sequencing typing [MLST]),…

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November 9, 2017

Complete genome sequence of Streptococcus thermophilus strain B59671, which naturally produces the broad-spectrum bacteriocin thermophilin 110.

Streptococcus thermophilus strain B59671 is a Gram-positive lactic acid bacterium that naturally produces a broad-spectrum bacteriocin, thermophilin 110, and is capable of producing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The complete genome sequence for this strain contains 1,821,173 nucleotides, 1,936 predicted genes, and an average G+C content of 39.1%.

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October 25, 2017

Gene acquisition by a distinct phyletic group within Streptococcus pneumoniae promotes adhesion to the ocular epithelium.

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) displays broad tissue tropism and infects multiple body sites in the human host. However, infections of the conjunctiva are limited to strains within a distinct phyletic group with multilocus sequence types ST448, ST344, ST1186, ST1270, and ST2315. In this study, we sequenced the genomes of six pneumococcal strains isolated from eye infections. The conjunctivitis isolates are grouped in a distinct phyletic group together with a subset of nasopharyngeal isolates. The keratitis (infection of the cornea) and endophthalmitis (infection of the vitreous body) isolates are grouped with the remainder of pneumococcal strains. Phenotypic characterization is consistent with morphological…

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October 5, 2017

ICESag37, a novel integrative and conjugative element carrying antimicrobial resistance genes and potential virulence factors in Streptococcus agalactiae.

ICESag37, a novel integrative and conjugative element carrying multidrug resistance and potential virulence factors, was characterized in a clinical isolate of Streptococcus agalactiae. Two clinical strains of S. agalactiae, Sag37 and Sag158, were isolated from blood samples of new-borns with bacteremia. Sag37 was highly resistant to erythromycin and tetracycline, and susceptible to levofloxacin and penicillin, while Sag158 was resistant to tetracycline and levofloxacin, and susceptible to erythromycin. Transfer experiments were performed and selection was carried out with suitable antibiotic concentrations. Through mating experiments, the erythromycin resistance gene was found to be transferable from Sag37 to Sag158. SmaI-PFGE revealed a new…

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September 5, 2017

Parallel evolution of group B Streptococcus hypervirulent clonal complex 17 unveils new pathoadaptive mutations.

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a commensal of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts, while a prevailing cause of neonatal disease worldwide. Of the various clonal complexes (CCs), CC17 is overrepresented in GBS-infected newborns for reasons that are still largely unknown. Here, we report a comprehensive genomic analysis of 626 CC17 isolates collected worldwide, identifying the genetic traits behind their successful adaptation to humans and the underlying differences between carriage and clinical strains. Comparative analysis with 923 GBS genomes belonging to CC1, CC19, and CC23 revealed that the evolution of CC17 is distinct from that of other human-adapted lineages and recurrently…

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September 1, 2017

Genome evolution to penicillin resistance in serotype 3 Streptococcus pneumoniae by capsular switching.

Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates of serotype 3 were collected from cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (n= 124) throughout Japan between April 2010 and March 2013. A penicillin-resistantS. pneumoniae(PRSP) isolate from an adult patient, strain KK0981 of serotype 3, was identified among these strains. Whole-genome analysis characterized this PRSP as a recombinant strain derived from PRSP of serotype 23F with thecpslocus (20.3 kb) replaced by that of a penicillin-susceptible strain of serotype 3. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

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