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December 1, 2018

Novel type of pilus associated with a Shiga-toxigenic E. coli hybrid pathovar conveys aggregative adherence and bacterial virulence.

A large German outbreak in 2011 was caused by a locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE)-negative enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) strain of the serotype O104:H4. This strain harbors markers that are characteristic of both EHEC and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), including aggregative adhesion fimbriae (AAF) genes. Such rare EHEC/EAEC hybrids are highly pathogenic due to their possession of a combination of genes promoting severe toxicity and aggregative adhesion. We previously identified novel EHEC/EAEC hybrids and observed that one strain exhibited aggregative adherence but had no AAF genes. In this study, a genome sequence analysis showed that this strain belongs to the…

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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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January 1, 2018

Condition-dependent co-regulation of genomic clusters of virulence factors in the grapevine trunk pathogen Neofusicoccum parvum.

The ascomycete Neofusicoccum parvum, one of the causal agents of Botryosphaeria dieback, is a destructive wood-infecting fungus and a serious threat to grape production worldwide. The capability to colonize woody tissue, combined with the secretion of phytotoxic compounds, is thought to underlie its pathogenicity and virulence. Here, we describe the repertoire of virulence factors and their transcriptional dynamics as the fungus feeds on different substrates and colonizes the woody stem. We assembled and annotated a highly contiguous genome using single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing. Transcriptome profiling by RNA sequencing determined the genome-wide patterns of expression of virulence factors both in vitro…

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January 1, 2018

Complete genome sequence of Enterobacter cloacae R11 reveals multiple genes potentially associated with high-level polymyxin E resistance.

Enterobacter cloacae strain R11 is a multidrug-resistant bacterium isolated from sewage water near a swine feedlot in China. Strain R11 can survive in medium containing up to 192 µg/mL polymyxin E, indicating a tolerance for this antibiotic that is significantly higher than that reported for other gram-negative bacteria. In this study, conjugation experiments showed that partial polymyxin E resistance could be transferred from strain R11 to Escherichia coli strain 25922, revealing that some genes related to polymyxin E resistance are plasmid-based. The complete genome sequence of this strain was determined, yielding a total of 4?993?008 bp (G+C content, 53.15%) and…

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December 1, 2017

Genomic insights into the pathogenicity and environmental adaptability of Enterococcus hirae R17 isolated from pork offered for retail sale.

Genetic information about Enterococcus hirae is limited, a feature that has compromised our understanding of these clinically challenging bacteria. In this study, comparative analysis was performed of E. hirae R17, a daptomycin-resistant strain isolated from pork purchased from a retail market in Beijing, China, and three other enterococcal genomes (Enterococcus faecium DO, Enterococcus faecalis V583, and E. hirae ATCC™ 9790). Some 1,412 genes were identified that represented the core genome together with an additional 139 genes that were specific to E. hirae R17. The functions of these R17 strain-specific coding sequences relate to the COGs categories of carbohydrate transport and metabolism and transcription, a finding…

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November 1, 2017

Spontaneous loss of virulence in natural populations of Listeria monocytogenes.

The pathogenesis of Listeria monocytogenes depends on the ability of this bacterium to escape from the phagosome of the host cells via the action of the pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O (LLO). Expression of the LLO-encoding gene (hly) requires the transcriptional activator PrfA, and both hly and prfA genes are essential for L. monocytogenes virulence. Here, we used the hemolytic activity of LLO as a phenotypic marker to screen for spontaneous virulence-attenuating mutations in L. monocytogenes Sixty nonhemolytic isolates were identified among a collection of 57,820 confirmed L. monocytogenes strains isolated from a variety of sources (0.1%). In most cases (56/60;…

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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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October 1, 2017

The complete genome sequence of Exiguobacterium arabatum W-01 reveals potential probiotic functions.

Shrimp is extensively cultured worldwide. Shrimp farming is suffering from a variety of diseases. Probiotics are considered to be one of the effective methods to prevent and cure shrimp diseases. Exiguobacterium arabatum W-01, a gram-positive and orange-pigmented bacterium, was isolated from the intestine of a healthy Penaeus vannamei specimen. Whole-genome sequencing revealed a genome of 2,914,854 bp, with 48.02% GC content. In total, 3,083 open reading frames (ORFs) were identified, with an average length of 843.98 bp and a mean GC content of 48.11%, accounting for 89.27% of the genome. Among these ORFs, 2,884 (93.5%) genes were classified into Clusters of Orthologous…

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October 1, 2017

Recombination of virulence genes in divergent Acidovorax avenae strains that infect a common host.

Bacterial etiolation and decline (BED), caused by Acidovorax avenae, is an emerging disease of creeping bentgrass on golf courses in the United States. We performed the first comprehensive analysis of A. avenae on a nationwide collection of turfgrass- and maize-pathogenic A. avenae. Surprisingly, our results reveal that the turfgrass-pathogenic A. avenae in North America are not only highly divergent but also belong to two distinct phylogroups. Both phylogroups specifically infect turfgrass but are more closely related to maize pathogens than to each other. This suggests that, although the disease is only recently reported, it has likely been infecting turfgrass for…

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October 1, 2017

IS26-mediated formation of a virulence and resistance plasmid in Salmonella Enteritidis.

To characterize a novel virulence-resistance plasmid pSE380T carried by a Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis clinical strain SE380.The plasmid pSE380T was conjugated to Escherichia coli strain J53 and sequenced by PacBio RSII, followed by subsequent annotation and genetic analysis.Sequence analysis of this plasmid revealed that the entire Salmonella Enteritidis-specific virulence plasmid, pSEN, had been incorporated into an IncHI2 MDR plasmid, which comprises the cephalosporin and fosfomycin resistance determinants blaCTX-M-14 and fosA3. Based on BLAST analysis and scrutiny of insertion footprints, the insertion event was found to involve a replicative transposition process mediated by IS26, an IS element frequently detected in various…

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September 25, 2017

Genetic plasticity of the Shigella virulence plasmid is mediated by intra- and inter-molecular events between insertion sequences.

Acquisition of a single copy, large virulence plasmid, pINV, led to the emergence of Shigella spp. from Escherichia coli. The plasmid encodes a Type III secretion system (T3SS) on a 30 kb pathogenicity island (PAI), and is maintained in a bacterial population through a series of toxin:antitoxin (TA) systems which mediate post-segregational killing (PSK). The T3SS imposes a significant cost on the bacterium, and strains which have lost the plasmid and/or genes encoding the T3SS grow faster than wild-type strains in the laboratory, and fail to bind the indicator dye Congo Red (CR). Our aim was to define the molecular…

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September 1, 2017

Characterization of a large antibiotic resistance plasmid found in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strain B171 and its relatedness to plasmids of diverse E. coli and Shigella.

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is a leading cause of severe infantile diarrhea in developing countries. Previous research has focused on the diversity of the EPEC virulence plasmid, whereas less is known regarding the genetic content and distribution of antibiotic resistance plasmids carried by EPEC. A previous study demonstrated that in addition to the virulence plasmid, reference EPEC strain B171 harbors a second, larger plasmid that confers antibiotic resistance. To further understand the genetic diversity and dissemination of antibiotic resistance plasmids among EPEC strains, we describe the complete sequence of an antibiotic resistance plasmid from EPEC strain B171. The resistance plasmid,…

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August 31, 2017

Whole-genome sequence of Streptococcus tigurinus strain osk_001, isolated from postmortem material.

Streptococcus tigurinus was recently described as a novel species, and some strains are highly virulent. We detected S. tigurinus in infected tissue sampled by necropsy. In order to characterize and confirm the virulence of this species, whole-genome sequencing of the pure cultured bacterium was performed. We found that the strain has specific and unique genetic elements contained in highly virulent strains of S. tigurinus. Copyright © 2017 Yoshizawa et al.

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August 22, 2017

Genome sequencing and comparative genomics of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O145:H25 and O145:H28 reveal distinct evolutionary paths and marked variations in traits associated with virulence & colonization.

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O145 are among the top non-O157 serogroups associated with severe human disease worldwide. Two serotypes, O145:H25 and O145:H28 have been isolated from human patients but little information is available regarding the virulence repertoire, origin and evolutionary relatedness of O145:H25. Hence, we sequenced the complete genome of two O145:H25 strains associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and compared the genomes with those of previously sequenced O145:H28 and other EHEC strains.The genomes of the two O145:H25 strains were 5.3 Mbp in size; slightly smaller than those of O145:H28 and other EHEC strains. Both strains contained three nearly identical…

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August 1, 2017

Targeted disruption of the polyketide synthase gene pks15 affects virulence against insects and phagocytic survival in the fungus Beauveria bassiana.

The reducing clade III polyketide synthase genes, including pks15, are highly conserved among entomopathogenic fungi. To examine the function of pks15, we used targeted disruption to investigate the impact of Beauveria bassiana pks15 on insect pathogenesis. Southern analysis verified that the ?pks15 mutant was disrupted by a single integration of the transformation cassette at the pks15 locus. The ?pks15 mutant had a slight reduction in radial growth, and it produced fewer spores. Our insect bioassays indicated the ?pks15 mutant to be significantly reduced in virulence against beet armyworms compared to wild type (WT), which could be partially accounted for by…

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