June 1, 2021  |  

Multiplexing strategies for microbial whole genome sequencing using the Sequel System

For microbial sequencing on the PacBio Sequel System, the current yield per SMRT Cell is in excess relative to project requirements. Multiplexing offers a viable solution; greatly increasing throughput, efficiency, and reducing costs per genome. This approach is achieved by incorporating a unique barcode for each microbial sample into the SMRTbell adapters and using a streamlined library preparation process. To demonstrate performance,12 unique barcodes assigned to B. subtilis and sequenced on a single SMRT Cell. To further demonstrate the applicability of this method, we multiplexed the genomes of 16 strains of H. pylori. Each DNA was sheared to 10 kb, end-repaired and ligated with a barcoded adapter in a single-tube reaction. The barcoded samples were pooled in equimolar quantities and a single SMRTbell library was prepared. Successful de novo microbial assemblies were achieved from all multiplexes tested (12-, and 16-plex) using data generated from a single SMRTbell library, run on a single SMRT Cell 1M with the PacBio Sequel System, and analyzed with standard SMRT Analysis assembly methods. Here, we describe a protocol that facilitated the multiplexing up to 12-plex of microbial genomes in one SMRT Cell 1M on the Sequel System that produced near-complete microbial de novo assemblies of <10 contigs for genomes <5 Mb in size.


September 22, 2019  |  

Automated broad range molecular detection of bacteria in clinical samples.

Molecular detection methods, such as quantitative PCR (qPCR), have found their way into clinical microbiology laboratories for the detection of an array of pathogens. Most routinely used methods, however, are directed at specific species. Thus, anything that is not explicitly searched for will be missed. This greatly limits the flexibility and universal application of these techniques. We investigated the application of a rapid universal bacterial molecular identification method, IS-pro, to routine patient samples received in a clinical microbiology laboratory. IS-pro is a eubacterial technique based on the detection and categorization of 16S-23S rRNA gene interspace regions with lengths that are specific for each microbial species. As this is an open technique, clinicians do not need to decide in advance what to look for. We compared routine culture to IS-pro using 66 samples sent in for routine bacterial diagnostic testing. The samples were obtained from patients with infections in normally sterile sites (without a resident microbiota). The results were identical in 20 (30%) samples, IS-pro detected more bacterial species than culture in 31 (47%) samples, and five of the 10 culture-negative samples were positive with IS-pro. The case histories of the five patients from whom these culture-negative/IS-pro-positive samples were obtained suggest that the IS-pro findings are highly clinically relevant. Our findings indicate that an open molecular approach, such as IS-pro, may have a high added value for clinical practice. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Chromosomally encoded mcr-5 in colistin non-susceptible Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of historical Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates identified a chromosomal copy of mcr-5 within a Tn3-like transposon in P. aeruginosa MRSN 12280. The isolate was non-susceptible to colistin by broth microdilution and genome analysis revealed no mutations known to confer colistin resistance. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of mcr in colistin non-susceptible P. aeruginosa.


July 19, 2019  |  

Population structure of KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from midwestern U.S. hospitals.

Genome sequencing of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from regional U.S. hospitals was used to characterize strain diversity and the bla(KPC) genetic context. A phylogeny based on core single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) supports a division of sequence type 258 (ST258) into two distinct groups. The primary differences between the groups are in the capsular polysaccharide locus (cps) and their plasmid contents. A strict association between clade and KPC variant was found. The bla(KPC) gene was found on variants of two plasmid backbones. This study indicates that highly similar K. pneumoniae subpopulations coexist within the same hospitals over time. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Parallel epidemics of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA300 infection in North and South America.

The community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) epidemic in the United States is attributed to the spread of the USA300 clone. An epidemic of CA-MRSA closely related to USA300 has occurred in northern South America (USA300 Latin-American variant, USA300-LV). Using phylogenomic analysis, we aimed to understand the relationships between these 2 epidemics.We sequenced the genomes of 51 MRSA clinical isolates collected between 1999 and 2012 from the United States, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Phylogenetic analysis was used to infer the relationships and times since the divergence of the major clades.Phylogenetic analyses revealed 2 dominant clades that segregated by geographical region, had a putative common ancestor in 1975, and originated in 1989, in North America, and in 1985, in South America. Emergence of these parallel epidemics coincides with the independent acquisition of the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) in North American isolates and a novel copper and mercury resistance (COMER) mobile element in South American isolates.Our results reveal the existence of 2 parallel USA300 epidemics that shared a recent common ancestor. The simultaneous rapid dissemination of these 2 epidemic clades suggests the presence of shared, potentially convergent adaptations that enhance fitness and ability to spread.© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 19, 2019  |  

Detection and whole genome sequencing of carbapenemase-producing Aeromonas hydrophila isolated from routine perirectal surveillance culture.

Perirectal surveillance cultures and a stool culture grew Aeromonas species from three patients over a six-week period without epidemiological links. Detection of the blaKPC-2 gene in one isolate prompted inclusion of non-Enterobacteriaceae in our surveillance culture workup. Whole genome sequencing confirmed isolates were unrelated, and provided data for Aeromonas reference genomes. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Nested Russian doll-like genetic mobility drives rapid dissemination of the Carbapenem resistance gene blaKPC

The recent widespread emergence of carbapenem resistance in Enterobacteriaceae is a major public health concern, as carbapenems are a therapy of last resort against this family of common bacterial pathogens. Resistance genes can mobilize via various mechanisms, including conjugation and transposition; however, the importance of this mobility in short-term evolution, such as within nosocomial outbreaks, is unknown. Using a combination of short- and long-read whole-genome sequencing of 281 blaKPC-positive Enterobacteriaceae isolates from a single hospital over 5 years, we demonstrate rapid dissemination of this carbapenem resistance gene to multiple species, strains, and plasmids. Mobility of blaKPC occurs at multiple nested genetic levels, with transmission of blaKPC strains between individuals, frequent transfer of blaKPC plasmids between strains/species, and frequent transposition of blaKPC transposon Tn4401 between plasmids. We also identify a common insertion site for Tn4401 within various Tn2-like elements, suggesting that homologous recombination between Tn2-like elements has enhanced the spread of Tn4401 between different plasmid vectors. Furthermore, while short-read sequencing has known limitations for plasmid assembly, various studies have attempted to overcome this by the use of reference-based methods. We also demonstrate that, as a consequence of the genetic mobility observed in this study, plasmid structures can be extremely dynamic, and therefore these reference-based methods, as well as traditional partial typing methods, can produce very misleading conclusions. Overall, our findings demonstrate that nonclonal resistance gene dissemination can be extremely rapid, presenting significant challenges for public health surveillance and achieving effective control of antibiotic resistance. Copyright © 2016 Sheppard et al.


July 19, 2019  |  

Initial assessment of the molecular epidemiology of blaNDM-1 in Colombia.

We report complete genome sequences of fourblaNDM-1-harboring Gram-negative multidrug resistant (MDR) isolates from Colombia. TheblaNDM-1genes were located 193Kb-Inc FIA, 178Kb-Inc A/C2 and 47Kb (unknown Inc type) plasmids. MLST revealed that isolates belong to ST10 (Escherichia coli), ST392 (Klebsiella pneumoniae), and ST322 and ST464 (Acinetobacter baumanniiandA. nosocomialis, respectively). Our analysis identified that the Inc A/C2 plasmid inE. colicontained a novel complex transposon (Tn125and Tn5393with 3 copies ofblaNDM-1) and a recombination “hotspot” for the acquisition of new resistance determinants. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genome structural diversity among 31 Bordetella pertussis isolates from two recent U.S. whooping cough statewide epidemics

During 2010 and 2012, California and Vermont, respectively, experienced statewide epidemics of pertussis with differences seen in the demographic affected, case clinical presentation, and molecular epidemiology of the circulating strains. To overcome limitations of the current molecular typing methods for pertussis, we utilized whole-genome sequencing to gain a broader understanding of how current circulating strains are causing large epidemics. Through the use of combined next-generation sequencing technologies, this study compared de novo, single-contig genome assemblies from 31 out of 33 Bordetella pertussis isolates collected during two separate pertussis statewide epidemics and 2 resequenced vaccine strains. Final genome architecture assemblies were verified with whole-genome optical mapping. Sixteen distinct genome rearrangement profiles were observed in epidemic isolate genomes, all of which were distinct from the genome structures of the two resequenced vaccine strains. These rearrangements appear to be mediated by repetitive sequence elements, such as high-copy-number mobile genetic elements and rRNA operons. Additionally, novel and previously identified single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected in 10 virulence-related genes in the epidemic isolates. Whole-genome variation analysis identified state-specific variants, and coding regions bearing nonsynonymous mutations were classified into functional annotated orthologous groups. Comprehensive studies on whole genomes are needed to understand the resurgence of pertussis and develop novel tools to better characterize the molecular epidemiology of evolving B.~pertussis populations.IMPORTANCE Pertussis, or whooping cough, is the most poorly controlled vaccine-preventable bacterial disease in the United States, which has experienced a resurgence for more than a decade. Once viewed as a monomorphic pathogen, B.~pertussis strains circulating during epidemics exhibit diversity visible on a genome structural level, previously undetectable by traditional sequence analysis using short-read technologies. For the first time, we combine short- and long-read sequencing platforms with restriction optical mapping for single-contig, de novo assembly of 31 isolates to investigate two geographically and temporally independent U.S. pertussis epidemics. These complete genomes reshape our understanding of B.~pertussis evolution and strengthen molecular epidemiology toward one day understanding the resurgence of pertussis.


July 19, 2019  |  

Survey on the use of whole-genome sequencing for infectious diseases surveillance: Rapid expansion of European national capacities, 2015-2016.

Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) has become an essential tool for public health surveillance and molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases and antimicrobial drug resistance. It provides precise geographical delineation of spread and enables incidence monitoring of pathogens at genotype level. Coupled with epidemiological and environmental investigations, it delivers ultimate resolution for tracing sources of epidemic infections. To ascertain the level of implementation of WGS-based typing for national public health surveillance and investigation of prioritized diseases in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA), two surveys were conducted in 2015 and 2016. The surveys were designed to determine the national public health reference laboratories’ access to WGS and operational WGS-based typing capacity for national surveillance of selected foodborne pathogens, antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, and vaccine-preventable diseases identified as priorities for European genomic surveillance. Twenty-eight and twenty-nine out of the 30 EU/EEA countries participated in the survey in 2015 and 2016, respectively. National public health reference laboratories in 22 and 25 countries had access to WGS-based typing for public health applications in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Reported reasons for limited or no access were lack of funding, staff, and expertise. Illumina technology was the most frequently used followed by Ion Torrent technology. The access to bioinformatics expertise and competence for routine WGS data analysis was limited. By mid-2016, half of the EU/EEA countries were using WGS analysis either as first- or second-line typing method for surveillance of the pathogens and antibiotic resistance issues identified as EU priorities. The sampling frame as well as bioinformatics analysis varied by pathogen/resistance issue and country. Core genome multilocus allelic profiling, also called cgMLST, was the most frequently used annotation approach for typing bacterial genomes suggesting potential bioinformatics pipeline compatibility. Further capacity development for WGS-based typing is ongoing in many countries and upon consolidation and harmonization of methods should enable pan-EU data exchange for genomic surveillance in the medium-term subject to the development of suitable data management systems and appropriate agreements for data sharing.


July 7, 2019  |  

Emergence of scarlet fever Streptococcus pyogenes emm12 clones in Hong Kong is associated with toxin acquisition and multidrug resistance.

A scarlet fever outbreak began in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2011 (refs. 1-6). Macrolide- and tetracycline-resistant Streptococcus pyogenes emm12 isolates represent the majority of clinical cases. Recently, we identified two mobile genetic elements that were closely associated with emm12 outbreak isolates: the integrative and conjugative element ICE-emm12, encoding genes for tetracycline and macrolide resistance, and prophage FHKU.vir, encoding the superantigens SSA and SpeC, as well as the DNase Spd1 (ref. 4). Here we sequenced the genomes of 141 emm12 isolates, including 132 isolated in Hong Kong between 2005 and 2011. We found that the introduction of several ICE-emm12 variants, FHKU.vir and a new prophage, FHKU.ssa, occurred in three distinct emm12 lineages late in the twentieth century. Acquisition of ssa and transposable elements encoding multidrug resistance genes triggered the expansion of scarlet fever-associated emm12 lineages in Hong Kong. The occurrence of multidrug-resistant ssa-harboring scarlet fever strains should prompt heightened surveillance within China and abroad for the dissemination of these mobile genetic elements.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences for 59 burkholderia isolates, both pathogenic and near neighbor.

The genus Burkholderia encompasses both pathogenic (including Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category B listed), and nonpathogenic Gram-negative bacilli. Here we present full genome sequences for a panel of 59 Burkholderia strains, selected to aid in detection assay development. Copyright © 2015 Johnson et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Thirty-two complete genome assemblies of nine Yersinia species, including Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica.

The genus Yersinia includes three human pathogens, of which Yersinia pestis is responsible for >2,000 illnesses each year. To aid in the development of detection assays and aid further phylogenetic elucidation, we sequenced and assembled the complete genomes of 32 strains (across 9 Yersinia species). Copyright © 2015 Johnson et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Surveillance of Klebsiella pneumoniae and antibiotic resistance a retrospective and comparative study through a period in Nepal

Among the Enterobacteriacea Klebsiella pneumoniae is for the most part obtained from clinical samples and most probable cause of a typical form of primary pneumonia. It can also responsible for a variety of extrapulmonary infections, counting enteritis and meningitis in infants, urinary tract infections in children and adults and septicaemia in all age groups. Like wise these pathogens are significant cause of hospital acquired infections right through the world. The remarkable increase in the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in bacteria noticed in recent years represents a considerable challenge to public health microbiology worldwide. Klebsiellae have a tendency to possess antibiotic resistant plasmids; as a result, infections with multiple antibiotic-resistant strains can be likely. Only some degree of studies had been accounted in this regard from Nepal. The study was performed from January 1999 to March 2001. To come upon the existing dated antibiotic resistance pattern of Klebsiella pneumoniae. The study was carried out at TUTH laboratory with the objectives to ascertain the prevalence of Klebsiella pneumoniae in conjunction with to calculate the significance antibiotic resistance correlation between various antibiotics. By which the later 15 years analysis of antibiotic resistance was evaluated with comparison to this study.In this scrutiny the result was established that the numbers of total isolates including both klebsiella pneumoniae and other Kebsiella species were 62 from urine samples, 78 from pus samples and 96 from sputum samples and 34 from other miscellaneous samples. In this study positive culture for Klebsiella pneumoniae was 32.83% for sputum samples, 23.62.% for urine samples and 24.57% for pus samples. Majority of the strains isolated were sensitive to ß- lactamases, Floroquinolones, Aminoglycosides, Tetracycline and Cotrimoxazole, combined antibiotics. The current review study from 1999 to 2014 discloses the frequency of infections due to klebsiella pneumoniae strains in the hospitalized patients and their tendency towards antibiotic resistance was on the increase. Large quantity of antibiotics exploited for human therapy has resulted in the selection of pathogenic bacteria resistant to multiple antimicrobial drugs. This has become a vital clinical and infection control challenge, particularly in resource-limited settings with far above the ground a raising rate of antimicrobial resistance.


July 7, 2019  |  

Surveillance of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae: tracking molecular epidemiology and outcomes through a regional network.

Carbapenem resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is on the rise in the United States. A regional network was established to study microbiological and genetic determinants of clinical outcomes in hospitalized patients with carbapenem-resistant (CR) Klebsiella pneumoniae in a prospective, multicenter, observational study. To this end, predefined clinical characteristics and outcomes were recorded and K. pneumoniae isolates were analyzed for strain typing and resistance mechanism determination. In a 14-month period, 251 patients were included. While most of the patients were admitted from long-term care settings, 28% of them were admitted from home. Hospitalizations were prolonged and complicated. Nonsusceptibility to colistin and tigecycline occurred in isolates from 7 and 45% of the patients, respectively. Most of the CR K. pneumoniae isolates belonged to repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) types A and B (both sequence type 258) and carried either blaKPC-2 (48%) or blaKPC-3 (51%). One isolate tested positive for blaNDM-1, a sentinel discovery in this region. Important differences between strain types were noted; rep-PCR type B strains were associated with blaKPC-3 (odds ratio [OR], 294; 95% confidence interval [CI], 58 to 2,552; P < 0.001), gentamicin nonsusceptibility (OR, 24; 95% CI, 8.39 to 79.38; P < 0.001), amikacin susceptibility (OR, 11.0; 95% CI, 3.21 to 42.42; P < 0.001), tigecycline nonsusceptibility (OR, 5.34; 95% CI, 1.30 to 36.41; P = 0.018), a shorter length of stay (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.00; P = 0.043), and admission from a skilled-nursing facility (OR, 3.09; 95% CI, 1.26 to 8.08; P = 0.013). Our analysis shows that (i) CR K. pneumoniae is seen primarily in the elderly long-term care population and that (ii) regional monitoring of CR K. pneumoniae reveals insights into molecular characteristics. This work highlights the crucial role of ongoing surveillance of carbapenem resistance determinants. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


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