July 19, 2019  |  

Diversity of the TLR4 immunity receptor in Czech native cattle breeds revealed using the Pacific Biosciences sequencing platform.

The allelic variants of immunity genes in historical breeds likely reflect local infection pressure and therefore represent a reservoir for breeding. Screening to determine the diversity of the Toll-like receptor gene TLR4 was conducted in two conserved cattle breeds: Czech Red and Czech Red Pied. High-throughput sequencing of pooled PCR amplicons using the PacBio platform revealed polymorphisms, which were subsequently confirmed via genotyping techniques. Eight SNPs found in coding and adjacent regions were grouped into 18 haplotypes, representing a significant portion of the known diversity in the global breed panel and presumably exceeding diversity in production populations. Notably, the ancient Czech Red breed appeared to possess greater haplotype diversity than the Czech Red Pied breed, a Simmental variant, although the haplotype frequencies might have been distorted by significant crossbreeding and bottlenecks in the history of Czech Red cattle. The differences in haplotype frequencies validated the phenotypic distinctness of the local breeds. Due to the availability of Czech Red Pied production herds, the effect of intensive breeding on TLR diversity can be evaluated in this model. The advantages of the Pacific Biosciences technology for the resequencing of long PCR fragments with subsequent direct phasing were independently validated.


July 19, 2019  |  

A high-throughput approach for identification of nontuberculous mycobacteria in drinking water reveals relationship between water age and Mycobacterium avium.

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) frequently detected in drinking water (DW) include species associated with human infections, as well as species rarely linked to disease. Methods for improved the recovery of NTM DNA and high-throughput identification of NTM are needed for risk assessment of NTM infection through DW exposure. In this study, different methods of recovering bacterial DNA from DW were compared, revealing that a phenol-chloroform DNA extraction method yielded two to four times as much total DNA and eight times as much NTM DNA as two commercial DNA extraction kits. This method, combined with high-throughput, single-molecule real-time sequencing of NTMrpoBgenes, allowed the identification of NTM to the species, subspecies, and (in some cases) strain levels. This approach was applied to DW samples collected from 15 households serviced by a chloraminated distribution system, with homes located in areas representing short (<24 h) and long (>24 h) distribution system residence times. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that greater water age (i.e., combined distribution system residence time and home plumbing stagnation time) was associated with a greater relative abundance ofMycobacterium aviumsubsp.avium, one of the most prevalent NTM causing infections in humans. DW from homes closer to the treatment plant (with a shorter water age) contained more diverse NTM species, includingMycobacterium abscessusandMycobacterium chelonaeOverall, our approach allows NTM identification to the species and subspecies levels and can be used in future studies to assess the risk of waterborne infection by providing insight into the similarity between environmental and infection-associated NTM.IMPORTANCEAn extraction method for improved recovery of DNA from nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), combined with single-molecule real-time sequencing (PacBio) of NTMrpoBgenes, was used for high-throughput characterization of NTM species and in some cases strains in drinking water (DW). The extraction procedure recovered, on average, eight times as much NTM DNA and three times as much total DNA from DW as two widely used commercial DNA extraction kits. The combined DNA extraction and sequencing approach allowed high-throughput screening of DW samples to identify NTM, revealing that the relative abundance ofMycobacterium aviumsubsp.aviumincreased with water age. Furthermore, the two-step barcoding approach developed as part of the PacBio sequencing method makes this procedure highly adaptable, allowing it to be used for other target genes and species. Copyright © 2018 Haig et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Insights on the emergence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from the analysis of Mycobacterium kansasii.

By phylogenetic analysis, Mycobacterium kansasii is closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Yet, although both organisms cause pulmonary disease, M. tuberculosis is a global health menace, whereas M. kansasii is an opportunistic pathogen. To illuminate the differences between these organisms, we have sequenced the genome of M. kansasii ATCC 12478 and its plasmid (pMK12478) and conducted side-by-side in vitro and in vivo investigations of these two organisms. The M. kansasii genome is 6,432,277 bp, more than 2 Mb longer than that of M. tuberculosis H37Rv, and the plasmid contains 144,951 bp. Pairwise comparisons reveal conserved and discordant genes and genomic regions. A notable example of genomic conservation is the virulence locus ESX-1, which is intact and functional in the low-virulence M. kansasii, potentially mediating phagosomal disruption. Differences between these organisms include a decreased predicted metabolic capacity, an increased proportion of toxin-antitoxin genes, and the acquisition of M. tuberculosis-specific genes in the pathogen since their common ancestor. Consistent with their distinct epidemiologic profiles, following infection of C57BL/6 mice, M. kansasii counts increased by less than 10-fold over 6 weeks, whereas M. tuberculosis counts increased by over 10,000-fold in just 3 weeks. Together, these data suggest that M. kansasii can serve as an image of the environmental ancestor of M. tuberculosis before its emergence as a professional pathogen, and can be used as a model organism to study the switch from an environmental opportunistic pathogen to a professional host-restricted pathogen. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Whole-genome sequencing for comparative genomics and de novo genome assembly.

Next-generation sequencing technologies for whole-genome sequencing of mycobacteria are rapidly becoming an attractive alternative to more traditional sequencing methods. In particular this technology is proving useful for genome-wide identification of mutations in mycobacteria (comparative genomics) as well as for de novo assembly of whole genomes. Next-generation sequencing however generates a vast quantity of data that can only be transformed into a usable and comprehensible form using bioinformatics. Here we describe the methodology one would use to prepare libraries for whole-genome sequencing, and the basic bioinformatics to identify mutations in a genome following Illumina HiSeq or MiSeq sequencing, as well as de novo genome assembly following sequencing using Pacific Biosciences (PacBio).


July 7, 2019  |  

The complete genome sequence of the emerging pathogen Mycobacterium haemophilum explains its unique culture requirements.

Mycobacterium haemophilum is an emerging pathogen associated with a variety of clinical syndromes, most commonly skin infections in immunocompromised individuals. M. haemophilum exhibits a unique requirement for iron supplementation to support its growth in culture, but the basis for this property and how it may shape pathogenesis is unclear. Using a combination of Illumina, PacBio, and Sanger sequencing, the complete genome sequence of M. haemophilum was determined. Guided by this sequence, experiments were performed to define the basis for the unique growth requirements of M. haemophilum. We found that M. haemophilum, unlike many other mycobacteria, is unable to synthesize iron-binding siderophores known as mycobactins or to utilize ferri-mycobactins to support growth. These differences correlate with the absence of genes associated with mycobactin synthesis, secretion, and uptake. In agreement with the ability of heme to promote growth, we identified genes encoding heme uptake machinery. Consistent with its propensity to infect the skin, we show at the whole-genome level the genetic closeness of M. haemophilum with Mycobacterium leprae, an organism which cannot be cultivated in vitro, and we identify genes uniquely shared by these organisms. Finally, we identify means to express foreign genes in M. haemophilum. These data explain the unique culture requirements for this important pathogen, provide a foundation upon which the genome sequence can be exploited to improve diagnostics and therapeutics, and suggest use of M. haemophilum as a tool to elucidate functions of genes shared with M. leprae.Mycobacterium haemophilum is an emerging pathogen with an unknown natural reservoir that exhibits unique requirements for iron supplementation to grow in vitro. Understanding the basis for this iron requirement is important because it is fundamental to isolation of the organism from clinical samples and environmental sources. Defining the molecular basis for M. haemophilium’s growth requirements will also shed new light on mycobacterial strategies to acquire iron and can be exploited to define how differences in such strategies influence pathogenesis. Here, through a combination of sequencing and experimental approaches, we explain the basis for the iron requirement. We further demonstrate the genetic closeness of M. haemophilum and Mycobacterium leprae, the causative agent of leprosy which cannot be cultured in vitro, and we demonstrate methods to genetically manipulate M. haemophilum. These findings pave the way for the use of M. haemophilum as a model to elucidate functions of genes shared with M. leprae. Copyright © 2015 Tufariello et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

FASTQSim: platform-independent data characterization and in silico read generation for NGS datasets.

High-throughput next generation sequencing technologies have enabled rapid characterization of clinical and environmental samples. Consequently, the largest bottleneck to actionable data has become sample processing and bioinformatics analysis, creating a need for accurate and rapid algorithms to process genetic data. Perfectly characterized in silico datasets are a useful tool for evaluating the performance of such algorithms.Background contaminating organisms are observed in sequenced mixtures of organisms. In silico samples provide exact truth. To create the best value for evaluating algorithms, in silico data should mimic actual sequencer data as closely as possible.FASTQSim is a tool that provides the dual functionality of NGS dataset characterization and metagenomic data generation. FASTQSim is sequencing platform-independent, and computes distributions of read length, quality scores, indel rates, single point mutation rates, indel size, and similar statistics for any sequencing platform. To create training or testing datasets, FASTQSim has the ability to convert target sequences into in silico reads with specific error profiles obtained in the characterization step.FASTQSim enables users to assess the quality of NGS datasets. The tool provides information about read length, read quality, repetitive and non-repetitive indel profiles, and single base pair substitutions. FASTQSim allows the user to simulate individual read datasets that can be used as standardized test scenarios for planning sequencing projects or for benchmarking metagenomic software. In this regard, in silico datasets generated with the FASTQsim tool hold several advantages over natural datasets: they are sequencing platform independent, extremely well characterized, and less expensive to generate. Such datasets are valuable in a number of applications, including the training of assemblers for multiple platforms, benchmarking bioinformatics algorithm performance, and creating challenge datasets for detecting genetic engineering toolmarks, etc.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic reconnaissance of clinical isolates of emerging human pathogen Mycobacterium abscessus reveals high evolutionary potential.

Mycobacterium abscessus (Ma) is an emerging human pathogen that causes both soft tissue infections and systemic disease. We present the first comparative whole-genome study of Ma strains isolated from patients of wide geographical origin. We found a high proportion of accessory strain-specific genes indicating an open, non-conservative pan-genome structure, and clear evidence of rapid phage-mediated evolution. Although we found fewer virulence factors in Ma compared to M. tuberculosis, our data indicated that Ma evolves rapidly and therefore should be monitored closely for the acquisition of more pathogenic traits. This comparative study provides a better understanding of Ma and forms the basis for future functional work on this important pathogen.


July 7, 2019  |  

The Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis specific mptD gene is required for maintenance of the metabolic homeostasis necessary for full virulence in mouse infections.

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) causes Johne’s disease, a chronic granulomatous enteritis in ruminants. Furthermore, infections of humans with MAP have been reported and a possible association with Crohn’s disease and diabetes type I is currently discussed. MAP owns large sequence polymorphisms (LSPs) that were exclusively found in this mycobacteria species. The relevance of these LSPs in the pathobiology of MAP is still unclear. The mptD gene (MAP3733c) of MAP belongs to a small group of functionally uncharacterized genes, which are not present in any other sequenced mycobacteria species. mptD is part of a predicted operon (mptABCDEF), encoding a putative ATP binding cassette-transporter, located on the MAP-specific LSP14. In the present study, we generated an mptD knockout strain (MAP?mptD) by specialized transduction. In order to investigate the potential role of mptD in the host, we performed infection experiments with macrophages. By this, we observed a significantly reduced cell number of MAP?mptD early after infection, indicating that the mutant was hampered with respect to adaptation to the early macrophage environment. This important role of mptD was supported in mouse infection experiments where MAP?mptD was significantly attenuated after peritoneal challenge. Metabolic profiling was performed to determine the cause for the reduced virulence and identified profound metabolic disorders especially in the lipid metabolism of MAP?mptD. Overall our data revealed the mptD gene to be an important factor for the metabolic adaptation of MAP required for persistence in the host.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis strain H87 isolated from an indoor water sample.

Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis is an environmentally acquired bacterium known to cause pulmonary and soft tissue infections, lymphadenitis, and disseminated disease in humans. We report here the complete genome sequence of strain H87, isolated from an indoor water sample, as a single circular chromosome of 5,626,623 bp with a G+C content of 68.8%. Copyright © 2017 Zhao et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Whole genome characterization of a naturally occurring vancomycin-dependent Enterococcus faecium from a patient with bacteremia.

Vancomycin-dependent enterococci are a relatively uncommon phenotype recovered in the clinical laboratory. Recognition and recovery of these isolates are important, to provide accurate identification and susceptibility information to treating physicians. Herein, we describe the recovery of a vancomycin-dependent and revertant E. faecium isolates harboring vanB operon from a patient with bacteremia. Using whole genome sequencing, we found a unique single nucleotide polymorphism (S186N) in the D-Ala-D-Ala ligase (ddl) conferring vancomycin-dependency. Additionally, we found that a majority of in vitro revertants mutated outside ddl, with some strains harboring mutations in vanS, while others likely containing novel mechanisms of reversion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Tracing the Enterococci from Paleozoic origins to the hospital.

We examined the evolutionary history of leading multidrug resistant hospital pathogens, the enterococci, to their origin hundreds of millions of years ago. Our goal was to understand why, among the vast diversity of gut flora, enterococci are so well adapted to the modern hospital environment. Molecular clock estimation, together with analysis of their environmental distribution, phenotypic diversity, and concordance with host fossil records, place the origins of the enterococci around the time of animal terrestrialization, 425-500 mya. Speciation appears to parallel the diversification of hosts, including the rapid emergence of new enterococcal species following the End Permian Extinction. Major drivers of speciation include changing carbohydrate availability in the host gut. Life on land would have selected for the precise traits that now allow pathogenic enterococci to survive desiccation, starvation, and disinfection in the modern hospital, foreordaining their emergence as leading hospital pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

One year genome evolution of Lausannevirus in allopatric versus sympatric conditions.

Amoeba-resisting microorganisms raised a great interest during the last decade. Among them, some large DNA viruses present huge genomes up to 2.5?Mb long, exceeding the size of small bacterial genomes. The rate of genome evolution in terms of mutation, deletion, and gene acquisition in these genomes is yet unknown. Given the suspected high plasticity of viral genomes, the microevolution of the 346?kb genome of Lausannevirus, a member of Megavirales, was studied. Hence, Lausannevirus was co-cultured within the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii over one year. Despite a low number of mutations, the virus showed a genome reduction of 3.7% after 12?months. Lausannevirus genome evolution in sympatric conditions was investigated by its co-culture with Estrella lausannensis, an obligate intracellular bacterium, in the amoeba A. castellanii during one year. Cultures were split every 3?months. Genome sequencing revealed that in these conditions both, Lausannevirus and E. lausannensis, show stable genome, presenting no major rearrangement. In fact, after one year they acquired from 2 to 7 and from 4 to 10 mutations per culture for Lausannevirus and E. lausannensis, respectively. Interestingly, different mutations in the endonuclease encoding genes of Lausannevirus were observed in different subcultures, highlighting the importance of this gene product in the replication of Lausannevirus. Conversely, mutations in E. lausannensis were mainly located in a gene encoding for a phosphoenolpyruvate-protein phosphotransferase (PtsI), implicated in sugar metabolism. Moreover, in our conditions and with our analyses we detected no horizontal gene transfer during one year of co-culture.© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Mycobacterium chimaera strain CDC2015-22-71.

Mycobacterium chimaera is a nontuberculous mycobacterium species commonly found in the environment. Here, we report the first complete genome sequence of a strain from the investigation of invasive infections following open-heart surgeries that used contaminated LivaNova Sorin Stockert 3T heater-cooler devices. Copyright © 2017 Hasan et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Identification of novel conjugative plasmids with multiple copies of fosB that confer high-level fosfomycin resistance to vancomycin-resistant Enterococci.

To further characterize the fosB-carrying plasmids of 19 vancomycin-resistant enterococci, the complete sequences of the fosB- and vanA-containing plasmids of Enterococcus faecium (pEMA120) and E. avium (pEA19081) were obtained by single-molecule, real-time sequencing. We found that these two plasmids are essentially identical (99.99% nucleotide sequence identity), which proved the possibility of interspecies transmission. Comparative analysis of the plasmids revealed that the backbone of pEMA120 is 99% similar to a conjugative fosB-negative E. faecium plasmid, pZB18. There is a traE disrupted in the transfer region of pEMA120, in comparison to pZB18 with an intact traE. The difference of their transfer frequencies between pEMA120 and pZB18 suggests this interruption of traE might affect conjugative transfer. Two copies of the fosB gene linked to a tnpA gene, forming an ISL3-like transposon, were found at separate locations within pEMA120, which had not been reported previously. These two fosB-carrying transposons were confirmed to form circular intermediates by inverse PCR. The hybridization of plasmid DNA digested by BsaI, having restriction site within the fosB sequence, demonstrated that the presence of multiple copies of fosB per plasmid is common. The total copy number of the fosB gene as revealed by qRT-PCR did not correlate with fosfomycin MICs or growth rates at sub-MICs of fosfomycin in different transconjugants. From susceptibility tests, the fosB gene, regardless of the copy number, conferred high fosfomycin MICs that ranged from 16384 to 65536 µg/ml. This first complete nucleotide sequence of a plasmid carrying two copies of fosB in VRE suggests that the fosB gene can transfer to multiple loci of plasmids by the ISL3 family transposase TnpA, possibly in the form of circular intermediates, leading to the dissemination of high fosfomycin resistance in VRE.


Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.