July 7, 2019  |  

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 SmaI fragment, confirming the transfer of the fragment containing the erythromycin resistance gene. Whole genome sequencing and sequence analysis revealed a mobile element, ICESag37, which was characterized using several molecular methods and in silico analyses. ICESag37 was excised to generate a covalent circular intermediate, which was transferable to S. agalactiae. Inverse PCR was performed to detect the circular form. A serine family integrase mediated its chromosomal integration into rumA, which is a known hotspot for the integration of streptococcal ICEs. The integration site was confirmed using PCR. ICESag37 carried genes for resistance to multiple antibiotics, including erythromycin [erm(B)], tetracycline [tet(O)], and aminoglycosides [aadE, aphA, and ant(6)]. Potential virulence factors, including a two-component signal transduction system (nisK/nisR), were also observed in ICESag37. S1-PFGE analysis ruled out the existence of plasmids. ICESag37 is the first ICESa2603 family-like element identified in S. agalactiae carrying both resistance and potential virulence determinants. It might act as a vehicle for the dissemination of multidrug resistance and pathogenicity among S. agalactiae.


July 7, 2019  |  

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]), which is similar to iGAS isolates identified in the UK (2013) and Switzerland (2015).We conclude that the global dissemination of emm3/ST15 GAS strain has the potential to cause invasive disease.


July 7, 2019  |  

High incidence of invasive group A Streptococcus disease caused by strains of uncommon emm types in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

An outbreak of type emm59 invasive group A Streptococcus (iGAS) disease was declared in 2008 in Thunder Bay District, Northwestern Ontario, two years after a country-wide emm59 epidemic was recognized in Canada. Despite a declining number of emm59 infections since 2010, numerous cases of iGAS disease continue to be reported in the area. We collected clinical information on all iGAS cases recorded in Thunder Bay District from 2008-2013. We also emm typed and sequenced the genomes of all available strains isolated in 2011-2013 from iGAS infections, and from severe cases of soft tissue infections. We used whole-genome data to investigate the population structure of GAS strains of the most frequently isolated emm types. We report increased incidence of iGAS in Thunder Bay compared to the metropolitan area of Toronto/Peel and the province of Ontario. Illicit drug use, alcohol abuse, homelessness and hepatitis C infection were underlying diseases or conditions that might have predisposed patients to iGAS disease. Most cases were caused by clonal strains of “skin” or “generalist” emm types (i.e. emm82, emm87, emm101, emm4, emm83, and emm114), uncommonly seen in other areas of the province. We observed rapid waxing and waning of emm types causing disease and their replacement by other emm types associated with the same tissue tropisms. Thus, iGAS disease in Thunder Bay District predominantly affects a select population of disadvantaged persons and is caused by clonally related strains of a few “skin” and “generalist” emm types less commonly associated with iGAS in other areas of Ontario. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Oral phage therapy of acute bacterial diarrhea with two coliphage preparations: A randomized trial in children from Bangladesh

Background Antibiotic resistance is rising in important bacterial pathogens. Phage therapy (PT), the use of bacterial viruses infecting the pathogen in a species-specific way, is a potential alternative. Method T4-like coliphages or a commercial Russian coliphage product or placebo was orally given over 4 days to Bangladeshi children hospitalized with acute bacterial diarrhea. Safety of oral phage was assessed clinically and by functional tests; coliphage and Escherichia coli titers and enteropathogens were determined in stool and quantitative diarrhea parameters (stool output, stool frequency) were measured. Stool microbiota was studied by 16S rRNA gene sequencing; the genomes of four fecal Streptococcus isolates were sequenced. Findings No adverse events attributable to oral phage application were observed (primary safety outcome). Fecal coliphage was increased in treated over control children, but the titers did not show substantial intestinal phage replication (secondary microbiology outcome). 60% of the children suffered from a microbiologically proven E. coli diarrhea; the most frequent diagnosis was ETEC infections. Bacterial co-pathogens were also detected. Half of the patients contained phage-susceptible E. coli colonies in the stool. E. coli represented less than 5% of fecal bacteria. Stool ETEC titers showed only a short-lived peak and were otherwise close to the replication threshold determined for T4 phage in vitro. An interim analysis after the enrollment of 120 patients showed no amelioration in quantitative diarrhea parameter by PT over standard care (tertiary clinical outcome). Stool microbiota was characterized by an overgrowth with Streptococcus belonging to the Streptococcus gallolyticus and Streptococcus salivarius species groups, their abundance correlated with quantitative diarrhea outcome, but genome sequencing did not identify virulence genes. Interpretation Oral coliphages showed a safe gut transit in children, but failed to achieve intestinal amplification and to improve diarrhea outcome, possibly due to insufficient phage coverage and too low E. coli pathogen titers requiring higher oral phage doses. More knowledge is needed on in vivo phage–bacterium interaction and the role of E. coli in childhood diarrhea for successful PT. Funding The study was supported by a grant from Nestlé Nutrition and Nestlé Health Science. The trial was registered with Identifier NCT00937274 at ClinicalTrials.gov.


July 7, 2019  |  

Clonal Complex 17 group B Streptococcus strains causing invasive disease in neonates and adults originate from the same genetic pool.

A significant proportion of group B Streptococcus (GBS) neonatal disease, particularly late-onset disease, is associated with strains of serotype III, clonal complex (CC) 17. CC17 strains also cause invasive infections in adults. Little is known about the phylogenetic relationships of isolates recovered from neonatal and adult CC17 invasive infections. We performed whole-genome-based phylogenetic analysis of 93 temporally and geographically matched CC17 strains isolated from both neonatal and adult invasive infections in the metropolitan region of Toronto/Peel, Canada. We also mined the whole-genome data to reveal mobile genetic elements carrying antimicrobial resistance genes. We discovered that CC17 GBS strains causing neonatal and adult invasive disease are interspersed and cluster tightly in a phylogenetic tree, signifying that they are derived from the same genetic pool. We identified limited variation due to recombination in the core CC17 genome. We describe that loss of Pilus Island 1 and acquisition of different mobile genetic elements carrying determinants of antimicrobial resistance contribute to CC17 genetic diversity. Acquisition of some of these mobile genetic elements appears to correlate with clonal expansion of the strains that possess them. Our results provide a genome-wide portrait of the population structure and evolution of a major disease-causing clone of an opportunistic pathogen.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Streptococcus salivarius HSISS4, a human commensal bacterium highly prevalent in the digestive tract.

The human commensal bacterium Streptococcus salivarius plays a major role in the equilibrium of microbial communities of the digestive tract. Here, we report the first complete genome sequence of a Streptococcus salivarius strain isolated from the small intestine, namely, HSISS4. Its circular chromosome comprises 1,903 coding sequences and 2,100,988 nucleotides. Copyright © 2016 Mignolet et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

A highly arginolytic Streptococcus species that potently antagonizes Streptococcus mutans.

The ability of certain oral biofilm bacteria to moderate pH through arginine metabolism by the arginine deiminase system (ADS) is a deterrent to the development of dental caries. Here, we characterize a novel Streptococcus strain, designated strain A12, isolated from supragingival dental plaque of a caries-free individual. A12 not only expressed the ADS pathway at high levels under a variety of conditions but also effectively inhibited growth and two intercellular signaling pathways of the dental caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans. A12 produced copious amounts of H2O2 via the pyruvate oxidase enzyme that were sufficient to arrest the growth of S. mutans. A12 also produced a protease similar to challisin (Sgc) of Streptococcus gordonii that was able to block the competence-stimulating peptide (CSP)-ComDE signaling system, which is essential for bacteriocin production by S. mutans. Wild-type A12, but not an sgc mutant derivative, could protect the sensitive indicator strain Streptococcus sanguinis SK150 from killing by the bacteriocins of S. mutans. A12, but not S. gordonii, could also block the XIP (comX-inducing peptide) signaling pathway, which is the proximal regulator of genetic competence in S. mutans, but Sgc was not required for this activity. The complete genome sequence of A12 was determined, and phylogenomic analyses compared A12 to streptococcal reference genomes. A12 was most similar to Streptococcus australis and Streptococcus parasanguinis but sufficiently different that it may represent a new species. A12-like organisms may play crucial roles in the promotion of stable, health-associated oral biofilm communities by moderating plaque pH and interfering with the growth and virulence of caries pathogens. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of emm28 type Streptococcus pyogenes MEW123, a streptomycin-resistant derivative of a clinical throat isolate suitable for investigation of pathogenesis.

We present here the complete genome sequence of Streptococcus pyogenes type emm28 strain MEW123, a streptomycin-resistant derivative of a pediatric throat isolate. The genome length is 1,878,699 bp, with 38.29% G+C% content. The genome sequence adds value to this virulent emm28 representative strain and will aid in the investigation of streptococcal pathogenesis. Copyright © 2016 Jacob et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of emm4 Streptococcus pyogenes MEW427, a throat isolate from a child meeting clinical criteria for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus (PANDAS).

We report the complete genome assembly of the Streptococcus pyogenes type emm4 strain MEW427 (also referred to as strain UM001 in the Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome [PANS] Research Consortium), a throat isolate from a child with acute-onset neuropsychiatric symptoms meeting clinical criteria for PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus). The genome length is 1,814,455 bp with 38.51% G+C%. Copyright © 2016 Jacob et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Streptococcus mitis strain SVGS_061 isolated from a neutropenic patient with viridans group streptococcal shock syndrome.

Streptococcus mitisfrequently causes invasive infections in neutropenic cancer patients, with a subset of patients developing viridans group streptococcal (VGS) shock syndrome. We report here the first complete genome sequence ofS. mitisstrain SVGS_061, which caused VGS shock syndrome, to help elucidate the pathogenesis of severe VGS infection. Copyright © 2016 Petrosyan et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Streptococcus thermophilus MN-BM-A01, a strain with high exopolysaccharides production.

Streptococcus thermophilus MN-BM-A01 (ST MN-BM-A01) (CGMCC No. 11383) was a strain isolated from Yogurt Block in Gansu, China. The yogurt fermented with this strain has good flavor, acidity, and viscosity. Moreover, ST MN-BM-A01 could produce a high level of EPS which can confer the yogurt with improved rheological properties. We reported the complete genome sequence of ST MN-BM-A01 that contains 1,876,516bp encoding 1704 coding sequences (CDSs), 67 tRNA genes and 6 rRNA operons. The genomic sequence indicated that this strain included a 35.3-kb gene cluster involved in EPS biosynthesis. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.


July 7, 2019  |  

Bacterial genetics: SMRT-seq reveals an epigenetic switch.

Streptococcus pneumoniae uses genetic diversification as a strategy to achieve phenotypic plasticity. For example, DNA inversion of the hsdS genes of type I restriction-modification (R-M) systems determines whether S. pneumoniae forms opaque or transparent colonies, which have different colonization and virulence characteristics. Zhang and colleagues now use single-molecule, real-time sequencing (SMRT-seq) to show the allelic variation of hsdS that results from site-specific recombination forms part of an epigenetic switch.


July 7, 2019  |  

Lysosomal Cathepsin A plays a significant role in the processing of endogenous bioactive peptides.

Lysosomal serine carboxypeptidase Cathepsin A (CTSA) is a multifunctional enzyme with distinct protective and catalytic function. CTSA present in the lysosomal multienzyme complex to facilitate the correct lysosomal routing, stability and activation of with beta-galactosidase and alpha-neuraminidase. Beside CTSA has role in inactivation of bioactive peptides including bradykinin, substances P, oxytocin, angiotensin I and endothelin-I by cleavage of 1 or 2 amino acid(s) from C-terminal ends. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the regulatory role of CTSA on bioactive peptides in knock-in mice model of CTSA(S190A) . We investigated the level of bradykinin, substances P, oxytocin, angiotensin I and endothelin-I in the kidney, liver, lung, brain and serum from CTSA(S190A) mouse model at 3- and 6-months of age. Our results suggest CTSA selectively contributes to processing of bioactive peptides in different tissues from CTSA(S190A) mice compared to age matched WT mice.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequence of the oral probiotic Streptococcus salivarius JF.

Streptococcus salivarius is a nonpathogenic Gram-positive bacterium and the predominant colonizer of the oral microbiota. It finds a wide application in the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections, also reducing the frequency of other main pathogens. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of the oral probiotic S. salivarius JF. Copyright © 2016 Jia.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics analysis of Streptococcus tigurinus strains identifies genetic elements specifically and uniquely present in highly virulent strains.

Streptococcus tigurinus is responsible for severe invasive infections such as infective endocarditis, spondylodiscitis and meningitis. As described, S. tigurinus isolates AZ_3aT and AZ_14 were highly virulent (HV phenotype) in an experimental model of infective endocarditis and showed enhanced adherence and invasion of human endothelial cells when compared to low virulent S. tigurinus isolate AZ_8 (LV phenotype). Here, we sought whether genetic determinants could explain the higher virulence of AZ_3aT and AZ_14 isolates. Several genetic determinants specific to the HV strains were identified through extensive comparative genomics amongst which some were thought to be highly relevant for the observed HV phenotype. These included i) an iron uptake and metabolism operon, ii) an ascorbate assimilation operon, iii) a newly acquired PI-2-like pilus islets described for the first time in S. tigurinus, iv) a hyaluronate metabolism operon, v) an Entner-Doudoroff pathway of carbohydrates metabolism, and vi) an alternate pathways for indole biosynthesis. We believe that the identified genomic features could largely explain the phenotype of high infectivity of the two HV S. tigurinus strains. Indeed, these features include determinants that could be involved at different stages of the disease such as survival of S. tigurinus in blood (iron uptake and ascorbate metabolism operons), initial attachment of bacterial pathogen to the damaged cardiac tissue and/or vegetation that formed on site (PI-2-like pilus islets), tissue invasion (hyaluronate operon and Entner-Doudoroff pathway) and regulation of pathogenicity (indole biosynthesis pathway).


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