July 19, 2019  |  

A comparative analysis of methylome profiles of Campylobacter jejuni sheep abortion isolate and gastroenteric strains using PacBio data.

Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of human gastrointestinal disease and small ruminant abortions in the United States. The recent emergence of a highly virulent, tetracycline-resistant C. jejuni subsp. jejuni sheep abortion clone (clone SA) in the United States, and that strain’s association with human disease, has resulted in a heightened awareness of the zoonotic potential of this organism. Pacific Biosciences’ Single Molecule, Real-Time sequencing technology was used to explore the variation in the genome-wide methylation patterns of the abortifacient clone SA (IA3902) and phenotypically distinct gastrointestinal-specific C. jejuni strains (NCTC 11168 and 81-176). Several notable differences were discovered that distinguished the methylome of IA3902 from that of 11168 and 81-176: identification of motifs novel to IA3902, genome-specific hypo- and hypermethylated regions, strain level variability in genes methylated, and differences in the types of methylation motifs present in each strain. These observations suggest a possible role of methylation in the contrasting disease presentations of these three C. jejuni strains. In addition, the methylation profiles between IA3902 and a luxS mutant were explored to determine if variations in methylation patterns could be identified that might explain the role of LuxS-dependent methyl recycling in IA3902 abortifacient potential.


July 7, 2019  |  

First draft genome sequence of a human Coxiella burnetii isolate, originating from the largest Q fever outbreak ever reported, the Netherlands, 2007 to 2010.

In 2009, Coxiella burnetii caused a large regional outbreak of Q fever in South Limburg, the Netherlands. Here, we announce the genome draft sequence of a human C. burnetii isolate, strain NL-Limburg, originating from this outbreak, including a brief summary of the genome’s general features. Copyright © 2015 Hammerl et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of low-passage virulent and high-passage avirulent variants of pathogenic Leptospira interrogans serovar Manilae strain UP-MMC-NIID, originally isolated from a patient with severe leptospirosis, determined using PacBio Single-Molecule Real-Time technology.

Here, we report the complete genome sequences of low-passage virulent and high-passage avirulent variants of pathogenic Leptospira interrogans serovar Manilae strain UP-MMC-NIID, a major causative agent of leptospirosis. While there were no major differences between the genome sequences, the levels of base modifications were higher in the avirulent variant. Copyright © 2015 Satou et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complex population structure and virulence differences among serotype 2 Streptococcus suis strains belonging to sequence type 28.

Streptococcus suis is a major swine pathogen and a zoonotic agent. Serotype 2 strains are the most frequently associated with disease. However, not all serotype 2 lineages are considered virulent. Indeed, sequence type (ST) 28 serotype 2 S. suis strains have been described as a homogeneous group of low virulence. However, ST28 strains are often isolated from diseased swine in some countries, and at least four human ST28 cases have been reported. Here, we used whole-genome sequencing and animal infection models to test the hypothesis that the ST28 lineage comprises strains of different genetic backgrounds and different virulence. We used 50 S. suis ST28 strains isolated in Canada, the United States and Japan from diseased pigs, and one ST28 strain from a human case isolated in Thailand. We report a complex population structure among the 51 ST28 strains. Diversity resulted from variable gene content, recombination events and numerous genome-wide polymorphisms not attributable to recombination. Phylogenetic analysis using core genome single-nucleotide polymorphisms revealed four discrete clades with strong geographic structure, and a fifth clade formed by US, Thai and Japanese strains. When tested in experimental animal models, strains from this latter clade were significantly more virulent than a Canadian ST28 reference strain, and a closely related Canadian strain. Our results highlight the limitations of MLST for both phylogenetic analysis and virulence prediction and raise concerns about the possible emergence of ST28 strains in human clinical cases.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Acinetobacter sp. strain NCu2D-2 isolated from a mouse.

Whole-genome sequencing of Acinetobacter sp. strain NCu2D-2, isolated from the trachea of a mouse, revealed the presence of a plasmid of 309,964 bp with little overall similarity to known plasmids and enriched in insertion sequences (ISs) closely related to IS elements known from the nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii. Copyright © 2017 Blaschke and Wilharm.


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 the spike (S) protein gene. In addition, two further interspecies recombination events involving the S gene were identified, suggesting that this region may represent a recombination “hot spot” in CoV genomes. Finally, using a combination of phylogenetic and distance-based approaches, we showed that the genetic diversity of bat CoVs is primarily structured by host species and subsequently by geographic distances.IMPORTANCE Understanding the driving forces of cross-species virus transmission is central to understanding the nature of disease emergence. Previous studies have demonstrated that bats are the ultimate reservoir hosts for a number of coronaviruses (CoVs), including ancestors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and human CoV 229E (HCoV-229E). However, the evolutionary pathways of bat CoVs remain elusive. We provide evidence for natural recombination between distantly related African bat coronaviruses associated with Triaenops afer and Hipposideros sp. bats that resulted in a NL63-like virus, an ancestor of the human pathogen HCoV-NL63. These results suggest that interspecies recombination may play an important role in CoV evolution and the emergence of novel CoVs with zoonotic potential. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Brucella spp. of amphibians comprise genomically diverse motile strains competent for replication in macrophages and survival in mammalian hosts.

Twenty-one small Gram-negative motile coccobacilli were isolated from 15 systemically diseased African bullfrogs (Pyxicephalus edulis), and were initially identified as Ochrobactrum anthropi by standard microbiological identification systems. Phylogenetic reconstructions using combined molecular analyses and comparative whole genome analysis of the most diverse of the bullfrog strains verified affiliation with the genus Brucella and placed the isolates in a cluster containing B. inopinata and the other non-classical Brucella species but also revealed significant genetic differences within the group. Four representative but molecularly and phenotypically diverse strains were used for in vitro and in vivo infection experiments. All readily multiplied in macrophage-like murine J774-cells, and their overall intramacrophagic growth rate was comparable to that of B. inopinata BO1 and slightly higher than that of B. microti CCM 4915. In the BALB/c murine model of infection these strains replicated in both spleen and liver, but were less efficient than B. suis 1330. Some strains survived in the mammalian host for up to 12 weeks. The heterogeneity of these novel strains hampers a single species description but their phenotypic and genetic features suggest that they represent an evolutionary link between a soil-associated ancestor and the mammalian host-adapted pathogenic Brucella species.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete annotated genome sequences of two Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains and one atypical enteropathogenic E. coli strain, isolated from naturally colonized cattle of German origin.

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains are important zoonotic enteric pathogens with the main reservoir in cattle. Here, we present the genomes of two STEC strains and one atypical enteropathogenic E. coli strain from cattle origin, obtained during a longitudinal study in German cattle herds. Copyright © 2017 Geue et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of five representative Staphylococcus aureus ST398 strains from five major sequence heterogeneity groups of a diverse isolate collection.

Staphylococcus aureus sequence type 398 (ST398) is a rapidly emerging livestock-associated strain causing zoonotic disease in humans. The course of pathogen evolution remains unclear, prompting whole-genome comparative studies in attempts to elucidate this issue. We present the full, annotated genomes of five newly isolated representative ST398 strains from five major sequence heterogeneity groups of our diverse isolate collection. Copyright © 2017 McClure and Zhang.


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