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Friday, July 19, 2019

Full-Length Envelope Analyzer (FLEA): A tool for longitudinal analysis of viral amplicons.

Next generation sequencing of viral populations has advanced our understanding of viral population dynamics, the development of drug resistance, and escape from host immune responses. Many applications require complete gene sequences, which can be impossible to reconstruct from short reads. HIV env, the protein of interest for HIV vaccine studies, is exceptionally challenging for long-read sequencing and analysis due to its length, high substitution rate, and extensive indel variation. While long-read sequencing is attractive in this setting, the analysis of such data is not well handled by existing methods. To address this, we introduce FLEA (Full-Length Envelope Analyzer), which performs…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing K. pneumoniae at a single institution: insights into endemicity from whole-genome sequencing.

The global emergence of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae (KPC-Kp) multilocus sequence type ST258 is widely recognized. Less is known about the molecular and epidemiological details of non-ST258 K. pneumoniae in the setting of an outbreak mediated by an endemic plasmid. We describe the interplay of blaKPC plasmids and K. pneumoniae strains and their relationship to the location of acquisition in a U.S. health care institution. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analysis was applied to KPC-Kp clinical isolates collected from a single institution over 5 years following the introduction of blaKPC in August 2007, as well as two plasmid transformants. KPC-Kp from…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

What caused the outbreak of ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in a neonatal intensive care unit, Germany 2009 to 2012? Reconstructing transmission with epidemiological analysis and whole-genome sequencing.

We aimed to retrospectively reconstruct the timing of transmission events and pathways in order to understand why extensive preventive measures and investigations were not sufficient to prevent new cases.We extracted available information from patient charts to describe cases and to compare them to the normal population of the ward. We conducted a cohort study to identify risk factors for pathogen acquisition. We sequenced the available isolates to determine the phylogenetic relatedness of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates on the basis of their genome sequences.The investigation comprises 37 cases and the 10 cases with ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamase)-producing K. pneumoniae bloodstream infection. Descriptive epidemiology…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

First detection of Klebsiella variicola producing OXA-181 carbapenemase in fresh vegetable imported from Asia to Switzerland.

The emergence and worldwide spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae is of great concern to public health services. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in fresh vegetables and spices imported from Asia to Switzerland.Twenty-two different fresh vegetable samples were purchased in March 2015 from different retail shops specializing in Asian food. The vegetables included basil leaves, bergamont leaves, coriander, curry leaves, eggplant and okra (marrow). Samples had been imported from Thailand, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and India. After an initial enrichment-step, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae were isolated from two carbapenem-containing selective media (SUPERCARBA II and Brilliance…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Molecular characterization using next generation sequencing of plasmids containing blaNDM-7 in Enterobacteriaceae from Calgary, Canada.

Enterobacteriaceae with blaNDM-7 is relatively uncommon and had previously been described in Europe, India, USA and Japan. This study describes the characteristics of Enterobacteriaceae [Klebsiella pneumoniae (n=2), Escherichia coli (n=2), Serratia marcescens (n=1), Enterobacter hormaechei (n=1)] with blaNDM-7 obtained in 4 patients from Calgary, Canada during 2013-4. The 46,161 bp IncX3 plasmids with blaNDM-7 are highly similar to other blaNDM-harboring IncX3 plasmids and interestingly, showed identical structures within the different isolates. This finding may indicate horizontal transmission within our health region or may indicate contact with individuals from endemic areas within the hospital setting. Patients infected or colonized with bacteria…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete sequence of conjugative IncA/C plasmid encoding CMY-2 ß-lactamase and RmtE 16S rRNA methyltransferase.

RmtE is a rare 16S-RMTase which was first reported in an aminoglycoside-resistant Escherichia coli strain of calf origin (1). Subsequently, we reported the first human case of infection caused by RmtE-producing E. coli (2). The rmtE gene is carried on a self-conjugative plasmid (pYDC637) in the latter strain. The present work aimed to elucidate the genetic context of rmtE. The sequencing approach has been described previously (3). In brief, the plasmid was extracted from an E. coli TOP10 transformant carrying pYDC637 and sequenced on a PacBio RS II sequencing instrument (Pacific Biosciences, Menlo Park, CA). Assembly was also conducted using…

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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

Dissemination of cephalosporin resistance genes between Escherichia coli strains from farm animals and humans by specific plasmid lineages.

Third-generation cephalosporins are a class of ß-lactam antibiotics that are often used for the treatment of human infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, especially Escherichia coli. Worryingly, the incidence of human infections caused by third-generation cephalosporin-resistant E. coli is increasing worldwide. Recent studies have suggested that these E. coli strains, and their antibiotic resistance genes, can spread from food-producing animals, via the food-chain, to humans. However, these studies used traditional typing methods, which may not have provided sufficient resolution to reliably assess the relatedness of these strains. We therefore used whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to study the relatedness of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Absence of genome reduction in diverse, facultative endohyphal bacteria.

Fungi interact closely with bacteria, both on the surfaces of the hyphae and within their living tissues (i.e. endohyphal bacteria, EHB). These EHB can be obligate or facultative symbionts and can mediate diverse phenotypic traits in their hosts. Although EHB have been observed in many lineages of fungi, it remains unclear how widespread and general these associations are, and whether there are unifying ecological and genomic features can be found across EHB strains as a whole. We cultured 11 bacterial strains after they emerged from the hyphae of diverse Ascomycota that were isolated as foliar endophytes of cupressaceous trees, and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic analysis of 495 vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium reveals broad dissemination of a vanA plasmid in more than 19 clones from Copenhagen, Denmark.

From 2012 to 2014, there has been a huge increase in vancomycin-resistant (vanA) Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) in Copenhagen, Denmark, with 602 patients infected or colonized with VREfm in 2014 compared with just 22 in 2012. The objective of this study was to describe the genetic epidemiology of VREfm to assess the contribution of clonal spread and horizontal transfer of the vanA transposon (Tn1546) and plasmid in the dissemination of VREfm in hospitals.VREfm from Copenhagen, Denmark (2012-14) were whole-genome sequenced. The clonal structure was determined and the structure of Tn1546-like transposons was characterized. One VREfm isolate belonging to the largest clonal…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Whole-genome sequences of Mycobacterium tuberculosis TB282 and TB284, a widespread and a unique strain, respectively, identified in a previous study of tuberculosis transmission in central Los Angeles, California, USA.

We report here the genome sequences of two Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates previously identified in central Los Angeles, CA, in the 1990s using a PacBio platform. Isolate TB282 represents a large-cluster strain that caused 27% of the tuberculosis cases, while TB284 represents a strain that caused disease in only one patient. Copyright © 2017 Zhang and Yang.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Analysis of serial isolates of mcr-1-positive Escherichia coli reveals a highly active ISApl1 transposon.

The emergence of a transferable colistin resistance gene (mcr-1) is of global concern. The insertion sequence ISApl1 is a key component in the mobilization of this gene, but its role remains poorly understood. Six Escherichia coli isolates were cultured from the same patient over the course of 1 month in Germany and the United States after a brief hospitalization in Bahrain for an unconnected illness. Four carried mcr-1 as determined by real-time PCR, but two were negative. Two additional mcr-1-negative E. coli isolates were collected during follow-up surveillance 9 months later. All isolates were analyzed by whole-genome sequencing (WGS). WGS…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Surveillance of bat coronaviruses in Kenya identifies relatives of human coronaviruses NL63 and 229E and their recombination history.

Bats harbor a large diversity of coronaviruses (CoVs), several of which are related to zoonotic pathogens that cause severe disease in humans. Our screening of bat samples collected in Kenya from 2007 to 2010 not only detected RNA from several novel CoVs but, more significantly, identified sequences that were closely related to human CoVs NL63 and 229E, suggesting that these two human viruses originate from bats. We also demonstrated that human CoV NL63 is a recombinant between NL63-like viruses circulating in Triaenops bats and 229E-like viruses circulating in Hipposideros bats, with the breakpoint located near 5′ and 3′ ends of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complex routes of nosocomial vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium transmission revealed by genome sequencing.

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) is a leading cause of nosocomial infection. Here, we describe the utility of whole-genome sequencing in defining nosocomial VREfm transmission.A retrospective study at a single hospital in the United Kingdom identified 342 patients with E. faecium bloodstream infection over 7 years. Of these, 293 patients had a stored isolate and formed the basis for the study. The first stored isolate from each case was sequenced (200 VREfm [197 vanA, 2 vanB, and 1 isolate containing both vanA and vanB], 93 vancomycin-susceptible E. faecium) and epidemiological data were collected. Genomes were also available for E. faecium associated…

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