July 7, 2019  |  

Horizontal transfer of carbapenemase-encoding plasmids and comparison with hospital epidemiology data.

Carbapenemase-producing organisms have spread worldwide, and infections with these bacteria cause significant morbidity. Horizontal transfer of plasmids that encode carbapenemases plays an important role in the spread of multidrug resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Here we investigate parameters regulating conjugation using an E. coli laboratory strain that lacks plasmids or restriction-enzyme modification systems as a recipient and also using patient isolates as donors and recipients. Because conjugation is tightly regulated, we performed a systematic analysis of the transfer of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (blaKPC)-encoding plasmids into multiple strains under different environmental conditions to investigate critical variables. We used four blaKPC-plasmids isolated from patient strains obtained from two hospitals: pKpQIL and pKPC-47e from the National Institutes of Health, and pKPC_UVA01 and pKPC_UVA02 from the University of Virginia. Plasmid transfer frequency differed substantially between different donor and recipient pairs, and was influenced by plasmid content, temperature, and substrate, in addition to donor and recipient strain. pKPC-47e was attenuated in conjugation efficiency across all conditions tested. Despite its presence in multiple clinical species, pKPC_UVA01 had lower conjugation efficiencies than pKpQIL into recipient strains. The conjugation frequency of these plasmids into K. pneumoniae and E. coli patient isolates ranged widely without a clear correlation with clinical epidemiological data. Our results highlight the importance of each variable examined in these controlled experiments. The in vitro models did not reliably predict plasmid mobilization observed in a patient population, indicating that further studies are needed to understand the most important variables affecting horizontal transfer in vivo. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Plasmid dynamics in KPC-positive Klebsiella pneumoniae during long-term patient colonization.

Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strains are formidable hospital pathogens that pose a serious threat to patients around the globe due to a rising incidence in health care facilities, high mortality rates associated with infection, and potential to spread antibiotic resistance to other bacterial species, such as Escherichia coli Over 6 months in 2011, 17 patients at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center became colonized with a highly virulent, transmissible carbapenem-resistant strain of K. pneumoniae Our real-time genomic sequencing tracked patient-to-patient routes of transmission and informed epidemiologists’ actions to monitor and control this outbreak. Two of these patients remained colonized with carbapenemase-producing organisms for at least 2 to 4 years, providing the opportunity to undertake a focused genomic study of long-term colonization with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Whole-genome sequencing studies shed light on the underlying complex microbial colonization, including mixed or evolving bacterial populations and gain or loss of plasmids. Isolates from NIH patient 15 showed complex plasmid rearrangements, leaving the chromosome and the blaKPC-carrying plasmid intact but rearranging the two other plasmids of this outbreak strain. NIH patient 16 has shown continuous colonization with blaKPC-positive organisms across multiple time points spanning 2011 to 2015. Genomic studies defined a complex pattern of succession and plasmid transmission across two different K. pneumoniae sequence types and an E. coli isolate. These findings demonstrate the utility of genomic methods for understanding strain succession, genome plasticity, and long-term carriage of antibiotic-resistant organisms.In 2011, the NIH Clinical Center had a nosocomial outbreak involving 19 patients who became colonized or infected with blaKPC-positive Klebsiella pneumoniae Patients who have intestinal colonization with blaKPC-positive K. pneumoniae are at risk for developing infections that are difficult or nearly impossible to treat with existing antibiotic options. Two of those patients remained colonized with blaKPC-positive Klebsiella pneumoniae for over a year, leading to the initiation of a detailed genomic analysis exploring mixed colonization, plasmid recombination, and plasmid diversification. Whole-genome sequence analysis identified a variety of changes, both subtle and large, in the blaKPC-positive organisms. Long-term colonization of patients with blaKPC-positive Klebsiella pneumoniae creates new opportunities for horizontal gene transfer of plasmids encoding antibiotic resistance genes and poses complications for the delivery of health care. Copyright © 2016 Conlan et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Distinct Salmonella enteritidis lineages associated with enterocolitis in high-income settings and invasive disease in low-income settings.

An epidemiological paradox surrounds Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. In high-income settings, it has been responsible for an epidemic of poultry-associated, self-limiting enterocolitis, whereas in sub-Saharan Africa it is a major cause of invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella disease, associated with high case fatality. By whole-genome sequence analysis of 675 isolates of S. Enteritidis from 45 countries, we show the existence of a global epidemic clade and two new clades of S. Enteritidis that are geographically restricted to distinct regions of Africa. The African isolates display genomic degradation, a novel prophage repertoire, and an expanded multidrug resistance plasmid. S. Enteritidis is a further example of a Salmonella serotype that displays niche plasticity, with distinct clades that enable it to become a prominent cause of gastroenteritis in association with the industrial production of eggs and of multidrug-resistant, bloodstream-invasive infection in Africa.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete circular genome sequence of successful ST8/SCCmecIV community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (OC8) in Russia: one-megabase genomic inversion, IS256’s spread, and evolution of Russia ST8-IV.

ST8/SCCmecIV community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has been a common threat, with large USA300 epidemics in the United States. The global geographical structure of ST8/SCCmecIV has not yet been fully elucidated. We herein determined the complete circular genome sequence of ST8/SCCmecIVc strain OC8 from Siberian Russia. We found that 36.0% of the genome was inverted relative to USA300. Two IS256, oppositely oriented, at IS256-enriched hot spots were implicated with the one-megabase genomic inversion (MbIN) and vSaß split. The behavior of IS256 was flexible: its insertion site (att) sequences on the genome and junction sequences of extrachromosomal circular DNA were all divergent, albeit with fixed sizes. A similar multi-IS256 system was detected, even in prevalent ST239 healthcare-associated MRSA in Russia, suggesting IS256’s strong transmission potential and advantage in evolution. Regarding epidemiology, all ST8/SCCmecIVc strains from European, Siberian, and Far Eastern Russia, examined had MbIN, and geographical expansion accompanied divergent spa types and resistance to fluoroquinolones, chloramphenicol, and often rifampicin. Russia ST8/SCCmecIVc has been associated with life-threatening infections such as pneumonia and sepsis in both community and hospital settings. Regarding virulence, the OC8 genome carried a series of toxin and immune evasion genes, a truncated giant surface protein gene, and IS256 insertion adjacent to a pan-regulatory gene. These results suggest that unique single ST8/spa1(t008)/SCCmecIVc CA-MRSA (clade, Russia ST8-IVc) emerged in Russia, and this was followed by large geographical expansion, with MbIN as an epidemiological marker, and fluoroquinolone resistance, multiple virulence factors, and possibly a multi-IS256 system as selective advantages.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genetic characterization of a blaVEB-2-carrying plasmid in Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

This study reports the first detection of blaVEB-2 gene in Vibrio parahaemolyticus strain isolated from a shrimp sample. The blaVEB-2 was carried on a novel Inc type plasmid, was likely to originate from aquatic organisms upon comparison with other known genetic elements in the GenBank. However, the plasmid contains resistance elements usually harbored by members of Enterobacteriaceae, suggesting that gene transfer events occurred and contributed to the formation of this multidrug resistance-encoding plasmid. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Use of WGS data for investigation of a long-term NDM-1-producing Citrobacter freundii outbreak and secondary in vivo spread of blaNDM-1 to Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Klebsiella oxytoca.

An outbreak of NDM-1-producing Citrobacter freundii and possible secondary in vivo spread of blaNDM-1 to other Enterobacteriaceae were investigated.From October 2012 to March 2015, meropenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae were detected in 45 samples from seven patients at Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark. In silico resistance genes, Inc plasmid types and STs (MLST) were obtained from WGS data from 24 meropenem-resistant isolates (13 C. freundii, 6 Klebsiella pneumoniae, 4 Escherichia coli and 1 Klebsiella oxytoca) and 1 meropenem-susceptible K. oxytoca. The sequences of the meropenem-resistant C. freundii isolates were compared by phylogenetic analyses. In vitro susceptibility to 21 antimicrobial agents was tested. Furthermore, in vitro conjugation and plasmid characterization was performed.From the seven patients, 13 highly clonal ST18 NDM-1-producing C. freundii were isolated. The ST18 NDM-1-producing C. freundii isolates were only susceptible to tetracycline, tigecycline, colistin and fosfomycin (except for the C. freundii isolates from Patient 2 and Patient 7, which were additionally resistant to tetracycline). The E. coli and K. pneumoniae from different patients belonged to different STs, indicating in vivo transfer of blaNDM-1 in the individual patients. This was further supported by in vitro conjugation and detection of a 154 kb IncA/C2 plasmid with blaNDM-1. Patient screenings failed to reveal any additional cases. None of the patients had a history of recent travel abroad and the source of the blaNDM-1 plasmid was unknown.To our knowledge, this is the first report of an NDM-1-producing C. freundii outbreak and secondary in vivo spread of an IncA/C2 plasmid with blaNDM-1 to other Enterobacteriaceae.© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome and plasmid analysis of blaIMP-4 -carrying Citrobacter freundii B38.

Sequencing of the blaIMP-4 -carrying C. freundii B38 using PacBio SMRT technique revealed that the genome contained a chromosome of 5,134,500 bp, and three plasmids, pOZ172 (127,005 bp), pOZ181 (277,592 bp), and pOZ182 (18,467 bp). Plasmid pOZ172 was identified as IncFIIY, like pP10164-NDM and pNDM-EcGN174. It carries a class 1 integron with four cassettes: blaIMP-4-qacG2-aacA4-aphA15, and a complete hybrid tni module (tniR-tniQ-tniB-tniA). The recombination of tniR from Tn402 (identical) with tniQBA (99%) from Tn5053 occurred within the res site of Tn402/5053. The Tn402/5053-like integron, named Tn6017, was inserted into Tn1722 at the res II site. The replication, partitioning and transfer systems of pOZ181 were similar to IncHI2 (e.g. R478) and contained a sul1-type class 1 integron with the cassette array: orf-dfrA1-orf-gcu37-aadA5 linked to an upstream Tn1696 tnpA-tnpR and to a downstream 3′ CS and ISCR1 A Tn2 transposon with a blaTEM-1b ß-lactamase was identified on pOZ182. Other interesting resistance determinants on the B38 chromosome included MDR efflux pumps, AmpC ß-lactamase, and resistances to Cu, Ag, As, and Zn. This is the first report of a complete tni module linked to a blaIMP- 4 carrying class 1 integron, and together with other recently reported non-sul1 integrons, represents the emergence of a distinct evolutionary lineage of class 1 integrons lacking a 3′ -CS (qacE?1-sul1). The unique cassette array, complete tni module of Tn6017, and incompatibility group of pOZ172 suggests a different blaIMP-4 evolutionary pathway in C. freundii B38 compared to other blaIMP-4 foundin Gram-negative bacteria in the Western Pacific Region. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Tracking inter-institutional spread of NDM and identification of a novel NDM-positive plasmid, pSg1-NDM, using next-generation sequencing approaches.

Owing to gene transposition and plasmid conjugation, New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase (NDM) is typically identified among varied Enterobacteriaceae species and STs. We used WGS to characterize the chromosomal and plasmid molecular epidemiology of NDM transmission involving four institutions in Singapore.Thirty-three Enterobacteriaceae isolates (collection years 2010-14) were sequenced using short-read sequencing-by-synthesis and analysed. Long-read single molecule, real-time sequencing (SMRTS) was used to characterize genetically a novel plasmid pSg1-NDM carried on Klebsiella pneumoniae ST147.In 20 (61%) isolates, blaNDM was located on the pNDM-ECS01 plasmid in the background of multiple bacterial STs, including eight K. pneumoniae STs and five Escherichia coli STs. In six (18%) isolates, a novel blaNDM-positive plasmid, pSg1-NDM, was found only in K. pneumoniae ST147. The pSg1-NDM-K. pneumoniae ST147 clone (Sg1-NDM) was fully sequenced using SMRTS. pSg1-NDM, a 90?103 bp IncR plasmid, carried genes responsible for resistance to six classes of antimicrobials. A large portion of pSg1-NDM had no significant homology to any known plasmids in GenBank. pSg1-NDM had no conjugative transfer region. Combined chromosomal-plasmid phylogenetic analysis revealed five clusters of clonal bacterial NDM-positive plasmid transmission, of which two were inter-institution clusters. The largest inter-institution cluster involved six K. pneumoniae ST147-pSg1-NDM isolates. Fifteen patients were involved in transmission clusters, of which four had ward contact, six had hospital contact and five had an unknown transmission link.A combined sequencing-by-synthesis and SMRTS approach can determine effectively the transmission clusters of blaNDM and genetically characterize novel plasmids. Plasmid molecular epidemiology is important to understanding NDM spread as blaNDM-positive plasmids can conjugate extensively across species and STs.© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 7, 2019  |  

Transfer of the methicillin resistance genomic island among staphylococci by conjugation.

Methicillin resistance creates a major obstacle for treatment of Staphylococcus aureus infections. The resistance gene, mecA, is carried on a large (20 kb to?>?60 kb) genomic island, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), that excises from and inserts site-specifically into the staphylococcal chromosome. However, although SCCmec has been designated a mobile genetic element, a mechanism for its transfer has not been defined. Here we demonstrate the capture and conjugative transfer of excised SCCmec. SCCmec was captured on pGO400, a mupirocin-resistant derivative of the pGO1/pSK41 staphylococcal conjugative plasmid lineage, and pGO400::SCCmec (pRM27) was transferred by filter-mating into both homologous and heterologous S. aureus recipients representing a range of clonal complexes as well as S. epidermidis. The DNA sequence of pRM27 showed that SCCmec had been transferred in its entirety and that its capture had occurred by recombination between IS257/431 elements present on all SCCmec types and pGO1/pSK41 conjugative plasmids. The captured SCCmec excised from the plasmid and inserted site-specifically into the chromosomal att site of both an isogenic S. aureus and a S. epidermidis recipient. These studies describe a means by which methicillin resistance can be environmentally disseminated and a novel mechanism, IS-mediated recombination, for the capture and conjugative transfer of genomic islands. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

Assembly and transfer of tripartite integrative and conjugative genetic elements.

Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) are ubiquitous mobile genetic elements present as “genomic islands” within bacterial chromosomes. Symbiosis islands are ICEs that convert nonsymbiotic mesorhizobia into symbionts of legumes. Here we report the discovery of symbiosis ICEs that exist as three separate chromosomal regions when integrated in their hosts, but through recombination assemble as a single circular ICE for conjugative transfer. Whole-genome comparisons revealed exconjugants derived from nonsymbiotic mesorhizobia received three separate chromosomal regions from the donor Mesorhizobium ciceri WSM1271. The three regions were each bordered by two nonhomologous integrase attachment (att) sites, which together comprised three homologous pairs of attL and attR sites. Sequential recombination between each attL and attR pair produced corresponding attP and attB sites and joined the three fragments to produce a single circular ICE, ICEMcSym(1271) A plasmid carrying the three attP sites was used to recreate the process of tripartite ICE integration and to confirm the role of integrase genes intS, intM, and intG in this process. Nine additional tripartite ICEs were identified in diverse mesorhizobia and transfer was demonstrated for three of them. The transfer of tripartite ICEs to nonsymbiotic mesorhizobia explains the evolution of competitive but suboptimal N2-fixing strains found in Western Australian soils. The unheralded existence of tripartite ICEs raises the possibility that multipartite elements reside in other organisms, but have been overlooked because of their unusual biology. These discoveries reveal mechanisms by which integrases dramatically manipulate bacterial genomes to allow cotransfer of disparate chromosomal regions.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of six Legionella pneumophila isolates from two collocated outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in 2005 and 2008 in Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad, Norway.

Here, we report the complete genome sequences of Legionella pneumophila isolates from two collocated outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in 2005 and 2008 in Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad, Norway. One clinical and two environmental isolates were sequenced from each outbreak. The genome of all six isolates consisted of a 3.36 Mb-chromosome, while the 2005 genomes featured an additional 68 kb-episome sharing high sequence similarity with the L. pneumophila Lens plasmid. All six genomes contained multiple mobile genetic elements including novel combinations of type-IVA secretion systems. A comparative genomics study will be launched to resolve the genetic relationship between the L. pneumophila isolates. Copyright © 2016 Dybwad et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

The draft genome of whitefly Bemisia tabaci MEAM1, a global crop pest, provides novel insights into virus transmission, host adaptation, and insecticide resistance.

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is among the 100 worst invasive species in the world. As one of the most important crop pests and virus vectors, B. tabaci causes substantial crop losses and poses a serious threat to global food security. We report the 615-Mb high-quality genome sequence of B. tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1), the first genome sequence in the Aleyrodidae family, which contains 15,664 protein-coding genes. The B. tabaci genome is highly divergent from other sequenced hemipteran genomes, sharing no detectable synteny. A number of known detoxification gene families, including cytochrome P450s and UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, are significantly expanded in B. tabaci. Other expanded gene families, including cathepsins, large clusters of tandemly duplicated B. tabaci-specific genes, and phosphatidylethanolamine-binding proteins (PEBPs), were found to be associated with virus acquisition and transmission and/or insecticide resistance, likely contributing to the global invasiveness and efficient virus transmission capacity of B. tabaci. The presence of 142 horizontally transferred genes from bacteria or fungi in the B. tabaci genome, including genes encoding hopanoid/sterol synthesis and xenobiotic detoxification enzymes that are not present in other insects, offers novel insights into the unique biological adaptations of this insect such as polyphagy and insecticide resistance. Interestingly, two adjacent bacterial pantothenate biosynthesis genes, panB and panC, have been co-transferred into B. tabaci and fused into a single gene that has acquired introns during its evolution.The B. tabaci genome contains numerous genetic novelties, including expansions in gene families associated with insecticide resistance, detoxification and virus transmission, as well as numerous horizontally transferred genes from bacteria and fungi. We believe these novelties likely have shaped B. tabaci as a highly invasive polyphagous crop pest and efficient vector of plant viruses. The genome serves as a reference for resolving the B. tabaci cryptic species complex, understanding fundamental biological novelties, and providing valuable genetic information to assist the development of novel strategies for controlling whiteflies and the viruses they transmit.


July 7, 2019  |  

De novo mutations resolve disease transmission pathways in clonal malaria

Detecting de novo mutations in viral and bacterial pathogens enables researchers to reconstruct detailed networks of disease transmission and is a key technique in genomic epidemiology. However, these techniques have not yet been applied to the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, in which a larger genome, slower generation times, and a complex life cycle make them difficult to implement. Here, we demonstrate the viability of de novo mutation studies in P. falciparum for the first time. Using a combination of sequencing, library preparation, and genotyping methods that have been optimized for accuracy in low-complexity genomic regions, we have detected de novo mutations that distinguish nominally identical parasites from clonal lineages. Despite its slower evolutionary rate compared with bacterial or viral species, de novo mutation can be detected in P. falciparum across timescales of just 1-2?years and evolutionary rates in low-complexity regions of the genome can be up to twice that detected in the rest of the genome. The increased mutation rate allows the identification of separate clade expansions that cannot be found using previous genomic epidemiology approaches and could be a crucial tool for mapping residual transmission patterns in disease elimination campaigns and reintroduction scenarios.


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