September 22, 2019  |  

Discovery of a divergent HPIV4 from respiratory secretions using second and third generation metagenomic sequencing.

Molecular detection of viruses has been aided by high-throughput sequencing, permitting the genomic characterization of emerging strains. In this study, we comprehensively screened 500 respiratory secretions from children with upper and/or lower respiratory tract infections for viral pathogens. The viruses detected are described, including a divergent human parainfluenza virus type 4 from GS FLX pyrosequencing of 92 specimens. Complete full-genome characterization of the virus followed, using Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing. Subsequent “primer walking” combined with Sanger sequencing validated the RS platform’s utility in viral sequencing from complex clinical samples. Comparative genomics reveals the divergent strain clusters with the only completely sequenced HPIV4a subtype. However, it also exhibits various structural features present in one of the HPIV4b reference strains, opening questions regarding their lifecycle and evolutionary relationships among these viruses. Clinical data from patients infected with the strain, as well as viral prevalence estimates using real-time PCR, is also described.


September 22, 2019  |  

Screening and genomic characterization of filamentous hemagglutinin-deficient Bordetella pertussis.

Despite high vaccine coverage, pertussis cases in the United States have increased over the last decade. Growing evidence suggests that disease resurgence results, in part, from genetic divergence of circulating strain populations away from vaccine references. The United States employs acellular vaccines exclusively, and current Bordetella pertussis isolates are predominantly deficient in at least one immunogen, pertactin (Prn). First detected in the United States retrospectively in a 1994 isolate, the rapid spread of Prn deficiency is likely vaccine driven, raising concerns about whether other acellular vaccine immunogens experience similar pressures, as further antigenic changes could potentially threaten vaccine efficacy. We developed an electrochemiluminescent antibody capture assay to monitor the production of the acellular vaccine immunogen filamentous hemagglutinin (Fha). Screening 722 U.S. surveillance isolates collected from 2010 to 2016 identified two that were both Prn and Fha deficient. Three additional Fha-deficient laboratory strains were also identified from a historic collection of 65 isolates dating back to 1935. Whole-genome sequencing of deficient isolates revealed putative, underlying genetic changes. Only four isolates harbored mutations to known genes involved in Fha production, highlighting the complexity of its regulation. The chromosomes of two Fha-deficient isolates included unexpected structural variation that did not appear to influence Fha production. Furthermore, insertion sequence disruption of fhaB was also detected in a previously identified pertussis toxin-deficient isolate that still produced normal levels of Fha. These results demonstrate the genetic potential for additional vaccine immunogen deficiency and underscore the importance of continued surveillance of circulating B. pertussis evolution in response to vaccine pressure. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of Czech vaccine strains of Bordetella pertussis.

Bordetella pertussis is a strictly human pathogen causing the respiratory infectious disease called whooping cough or pertussis. B. pertussis adaptation to acellular pertussis vaccine pressure has been repeatedly highlighted, but recent data indicate that adaptation of circulating strains started already in the era of the whole cell pertussis vaccine (wP) use. We sequenced the genomes of five B. pertussis wP vaccine strains isolated in the former Czechoslovakia in the pre-wP (1954-1957) and early wP (1958-1965) eras, when only limited population travel into and out of the country was possible. Four isolates exhibit a similar genome organization and form a distinct phylogenetic cluster with a geographic signature. The fifth strain is rather distinct, both in genome organization and SNP-based phylogeny. Surprisingly, despite isolation of this strain before 1966, its closest sequenced relative appears to be a recent isolate from the US. On the genome content level, the five vaccine strains contained both new and already described regions of difference. One of the new regions contains duplicated genes potentially associated with transport across the membrane. The prevalence of this region in recent isolates indicates that its spread might be associated with selective advantage leading to increased strain fitness.


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