July 7, 2019  |  

Ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium sequence type 313 from Kenyan patients is associated with the blaCTX-M-15 gene on a novel IncHI2 plasmid.

Multidrug-resistant bacteria pose a major challenge to the clinical management of infections in resource-poor settings. Although nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) bacteria cause predominantly enteric self-limiting illness in developed countries, NTS is responsible for a huge burden of life-threatening bloodstream infections in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, we characterized nine S. Typhimurium isolates from an outbreak involving patients who initially failed to respond to ceftriaxone treatment at a referral hospital in Kenya. These Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium isolates were resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, cefuroxime, ceftriaxone, aztreonam, cefepime, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, and cefpodoxime. Resistance to ß-lactams, including to ceftriaxone, was associated with carriage of a combination of blaCTX-M-15, blaOXA-1, and blaTEM-1 genes. The genes encoding resistance to heavy-metal ions were borne on the novel IncHI2 plasmid pKST313, which also carried a pair of class 1 integrons. All nine isolates formed a single clade within S. Typhimurium ST313, the major clone of an ongoing invasive NTS epidemic in the region. This emerging ceftriaxone-resistant clone may pose a major challenge in the management of invasive NTS in sub-Saharan Africa. Copyright © 2015, Kariuki et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain CI5.

Escherichia coli represents the primary etiological agent responsible for urinary tract infections, one of the most common infections in humans. We report here the complete genome sequence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain CI5, a clinical pyelonephritis isolate used for studying pathogenesis. Copyright © 2015 Mehershahi et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Whole-genome mapping as a novel high-resolution typing tool for Legionella pneumophila.

Legionella is the causative agent for Legionnaires’ disease (LD) and is responsible for several large outbreaks in the world. More than 90% of LD cases are caused by Legionella pneumophila, and studies on the origin and transmission routes of this pathogen rely on adequate molecular characterization of isolates. Current typing of L. pneumophila mainly depends on sequence-based typing (SBT). However, studies have shown that in some outbreak situations, SBT does not have sufficient discriminatory power to distinguish between related and nonrelated L. pneumophila isolates. In this study, we used a novel high-resolution typing technique, called whole-genome mapping (WGM), to differentiate between epidemiologically related and nonrelated L. pneumophila isolates. Assessment of the method by various validation experiments showed highly reproducible results, and WGM was able to confirm two well-documented Dutch L. pneumophila outbreaks. Comparison of whole-genome maps of the two outbreaks together with WGMs of epidemiologically nonrelated L. pneumophila isolates showed major differences between the maps, and WGM yielded a higher discriminatory power than SBT. In conclusion, WGM can be a valuable alternative to perform outbreak investigations of L. pneumophila in real time since the turnaround time from culture to comparison of the L. pneumophila maps is less than 24 h. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Surveillance of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae: tracking molecular epidemiology and outcomes through a regional network.

Carbapenem resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is on the rise in the United States. A regional network was established to study microbiological and genetic determinants of clinical outcomes in hospitalized patients with carbapenem-resistant (CR) Klebsiella pneumoniae in a prospective, multicenter, observational study. To this end, predefined clinical characteristics and outcomes were recorded and K. pneumoniae isolates were analyzed for strain typing and resistance mechanism determination. In a 14-month period, 251 patients were included. While most of the patients were admitted from long-term care settings, 28% of them were admitted from home. Hospitalizations were prolonged and complicated. Nonsusceptibility to colistin and tigecycline occurred in isolates from 7 and 45% of the patients, respectively. Most of the CR K. pneumoniae isolates belonged to repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) types A and B (both sequence type 258) and carried either blaKPC-2 (48%) or blaKPC-3 (51%). One isolate tested positive for blaNDM-1, a sentinel discovery in this region. Important differences between strain types were noted; rep-PCR type B strains were associated with blaKPC-3 (odds ratio [OR], 294; 95% confidence interval [CI], 58 to 2,552; P < 0.001), gentamicin nonsusceptibility (OR, 24; 95% CI, 8.39 to 79.38; P < 0.001), amikacin susceptibility (OR, 11.0; 95% CI, 3.21 to 42.42; P < 0.001), tigecycline nonsusceptibility (OR, 5.34; 95% CI, 1.30 to 36.41; P = 0.018), a shorter length of stay (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.00; P = 0.043), and admission from a skilled-nursing facility (OR, 3.09; 95% CI, 1.26 to 8.08; P = 0.013). Our analysis shows that (i) CR K. pneumoniae is seen primarily in the elderly long-term care population and that (ii) regional monitoring of CR K. pneumoniae reveals insights into molecular characteristics. This work highlights the crucial role of ongoing surveillance of carbapenem resistance determinants. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequencing of an extended series of NDM-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from Neonatal infections in a Nepali hospital characterizes the extent of community- versus hospital-associated transmission in an endemic setting.

NDM-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae strains represent major clinical and infection control challenges, particularly in resource-limited settings with high rates of antimicrobial resistance. Determining whether transmission occurs at a gene, plasmid, or bacterial strain level and within hospital and/or the community has implications for monitoring and controlling spread. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is the highest-resolution typing method available for transmission epidemiology. We sequenced carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates from 26 individuals involved in several infection case clusters in a Nepali neonatal unit and 68 other clinical Gram-negative isolates from a similar time frame, using Illumina and PacBio technologies. Within-outbreak chromosomal and closed-plasmid structures were generated and used as data set-specific references. Three temporally separated case clusters were caused by a single NDM K. pneumoniae strain with a conserved set of four plasmids, one being a 304,526-bp plasmid carrying blaNDM-1. The plasmids contained a large number of antimicrobial/heavy metal resistance and plasmid maintenance genes, which may have explained their persistence. No obvious environmental/human reservoir was found. There was no evidence of transmission of outbreak plasmids to other Gram-negative clinical isolates, although blaNDM variants were present in other isolates in different genetic contexts. WGS can effectively define complex antimicrobial resistance epidemiology. Wider sampling frames are required to contextualize outbreaks. Infection control may be effective in terminating outbreaks caused by particular strains, even in areas with widespread resistance, although this study could not demonstrate evidence supporting specific interventions. Larger, detailed studies are needed to characterize resistance genes, vectors, and host strains involved in disease, to enable effective intervention. Copyright © 2014 Stoesser et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Mutation in the C-di-AMP cyclase dacA affects fitness and resistance of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Faster growing and more virulent strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are increasingly displacing highly resistant MRSA. Elevated fitness in these MRSA is often accompanied by decreased and heterogeneous levels of methicillin resistance; however, the mechanisms for this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. Whole genome sequencing was used to investigate the genetic basis of this apparent correlation, in an isogenic MRSA strain pair that differed in methicillin resistance levels and fitness, with respect to growth rate. Sequencing revealed only one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the diadenylate cyclase gene dacA in the faster growing but less resistant strain. Diadenylate cyclases were recently discovered to synthesize the new second messenger cyclic diadenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP). Introduction of this mutation into the highly resistant but slower growing strain reduced resistance and increased its growth rate, suggesting a direct connection between the dacA mutation and the phenotypic differences of these strains. Quantification of cellular c-di-AMP revealed that the dacA mutation decreased c-di-AMP levels resulting in reduced autolysis, increased salt tolerance and a reduction in the basal expression of the cell wall stress stimulon. These results indicate that c-di-AMP affects cell envelope-related signalling in S. aureus. The influence of c-di-AMP on growth rate and methicillin resistance in MRSA indicate that altering c-di-AMP levels could be a mechanism by which MRSA strains can increase their fitness levels by reducing their methicillin resistance levels.


July 7, 2019  |  

Antibiotic discovery throughout the Small World Initiative: A molecular strategy to identify biosynthetic gene clusters involved in antagonistic activity.

The emergence of bacterial pathogens resistant to all known antibiotics is a global health crisis. Adding to this problem is that major pharmaceutical companies have shifted away from antibiotic discovery due to low profitability. As a result, the pipeline of new antibiotics is essentially dry and many bacteria now resist the effects of most commonly used drugs. To address this global health concern, citizen science through the Small World Initiative (SWI) was formed in 2012. As part of SWI, students isolate bacteria from their local environments, characterize the strains, and assay for antibiotic production. During the 2015 fall semester at Bowling Green State University, students isolated 77 soil-derived bacteria and genetically characterized strains using the 16S rRNA gene, identified strains exhibiting antagonistic activity, and performed an expanded SWI workflow using transposon mutagenesis to identify a biosynthetic gene cluster involved in toxigenic compound production. We identified one mutant with loss of antagonistic activity and through subsequent whole-genome sequencing and linker-mediated PCR identified a 24.9 kb biosynthetic gene locus likely involved in inhibitory activity in that mutant. Further assessment against human pathogens demonstrated the inhibition of Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the presence of this compound, thus supporting our molecular strategy as an effective research pipeline for SWI antibiotic discovery and genetic characterization.© 2017 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae type 2 reference strain FH using single-molecule real-time sequencing technology.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae type 2 strain FH was previously sequenced with Illumina (FH-Illumina) and 454 (FH-454) technologies according to Xiao et al. (2015) and Krishnakumar et al. (2010). Comparative analyses revealed differences in genomic content between these sequences, including a 6-kb region absent from the FH-454 submission. Here, we present a complete genome sequence of FH sequenced with the Pacific Biosciences RSII platform. Copyright © 2017 Desai et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic analysis of ST88 community-acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Ghana.

The emergence and evolution of community-acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains in Africa is poorly understood. However, one particular MRSA lineage called ST88, appears to be rapidly establishing itself as an “African” CA-MRSA clone. In this study, we employed whole genome sequencing to provide more information on the genetic background of ST88 CA-MRSA isolates from Ghana and to describe in detail ST88 CA-MRSA isolates in comparison with other MRSA lineages worldwide.We first established a complete ST88 reference genome (AUS0325) using PacBio SMRT sequencing. We then used comparative genomics to assess relatedness among 17 ST88 CA-MRSA isolates recovered from patients attending Buruli ulcer treatment centres in Ghana, three non-African ST88s and 15 other MRSA lineages.We show that Ghanaian ST88 forms a discrete MRSA lineage (harbouring SCCmec-IV [2B]). Gene content analysis identified five distinct genomic regions enriched among ST88 isolates compared with the other S. aureus lineages. The Ghanaian ST88 isolates had only 658 core genome SNPs and there was no correlation between phylogeny and geography, suggesting the recent spread of this clone. The lineage was also resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics including ß-lactams, tetracycline and chloramphenicol.This study reveals that S. aureus ST88-IV is a recently emerging and rapidly spreading CA-MRSA clone in Ghana. The study highlights the capacity of small snapshot genomic studies to provide actionable public health information in resource limited settings. To our knowledge this is the first genomic assessment of the ST88 CA-MRSA clone.


July 7, 2019  |  

The recent emergence in hospitals of multidrug-resistant community-associated sequence type 1 and spa type t127 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus investigated by whole-genome sequencing: Implications for screening.

Community-associated spa type t127/t922 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevalence increased from 1%-7% in Ireland between 2010-2015. This study tracked the spread of 89 such isolates from June 2013-June 2016. These included 78 healthcare-associated and 11 community associated-MRSA isolates from a prolonged hospital outbreak (H1) (n = 46), 16 other hospitals (n = 28), four other healthcare facilities (n = 4) and community-associated sources (n = 11). Isolates underwent antimicrobial susceptibility testing, DNA microarray profiling and whole-genome sequencing. Minimum spanning trees were generated following core-genome multilocus sequence typing and pairwise single nucleotide variation (SNV) analysis was performed. All isolates were sequence type 1 MRSA staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IV (ST1-MRSA-IV) and 76/89 were multidrug-resistant. Fifty isolates, including 40/46 from H1, were high-level mupirocin-resistant, carrying a conjugative 39 kb iles2-encoding plasmid. Two closely related ST1-MRSA-IV strains (I and II) and multiple sporadic strains were identified. Strain I isolates (57/89), including 43/46 H1 and all high-level mupirocin-resistant isolates, exhibited =80 SNVs. Two strain I isolates from separate H1 healthcare workers differed from other H1/strain I isolates by 7-47 and 12-53 SNVs, respectively, indicating healthcare worker involvement in this outbreak. Strain II isolates (19/89), including the remaining H1 isolates, exhibited =127 SNVs. For each strain, the pairwise SNVs exhibited by healthcare-associated and community-associated isolates indicated recent transmission of ST1-MRSA-IV within and between multiple hospitals, healthcare facilities and communities in Ireland. Given the interchange between healthcare-associated and community-associated isolates in hospitals, the risk factors that inform screening for MRSA require revision.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complex routes of nosocomial vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium transmission revealed by genome sequencing.

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) is a leading cause of nosocomial infection. Here, we describe the utility of whole-genome sequencing in defining nosocomial VREfm transmission.A retrospective study at a single hospital in the United Kingdom identified 342 patients with E. faecium bloodstream infection over 7 years. Of these, 293 patients had a stored isolate and formed the basis for the study. The first stored isolate from each case was sequenced (200 VREfm [197 vanA, 2 vanB, and 1 isolate containing both vanA and vanB], 93 vancomycin-susceptible E. faecium) and epidemiological data were collected. Genomes were also available for E. faecium associated with bloodstream infections in 15 patients in neighboring hospitals, and 456 patients across the United Kingdom and Ireland.The majority of infections in the 293 patients were hospital-acquired (n = 249) or healthcare-associated (n = 42). Phylogenetic analysis showed that 291 of 293 isolates resided in a hospital-associated clade that contained numerous discrete clusters of closely related isolates, indicative of multiple introductions into the hospital followed by clonal expansion associated with transmission. Fine-scale analysis of 6 exemplar phylogenetic clusters containing isolates from 93 patients (32%) identified complex transmission routes that spanned numerous wards and years, extending beyond the detection of conventional infection control. These contained both vancomycin-resistant and -susceptible isolates. We also identified closely related isolates from patients at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and regional and national hospitals, suggesting interhospital transmission.These findings provide important insights for infection control practice and signpost areas for interventions. We conclude that sequencing represents a powerful tool for the enhanced surveillance and control of nosocomial E. faecium transmission and infection.


July 7, 2019  |  

Evolutionary dynamics and genomic features of the Elizabethkingia anophelis 2015 to 2016 Wisconsin outbreak strain.

An atypically large outbreak of Elizabethkingia anophelis infections occurred in Wisconsin. Here we show that it was caused by a single strain with thirteen characteristic genomic regions. Strikingly, the outbreak isolates show an accelerated evolutionary rate and an atypical mutational spectrum. Six phylogenetic sub-clusters with distinctive temporal and geographic dynamics are revealed, and their last common ancestor existed approximately one year before the first recognized human infection. Unlike other E. anophelis, the outbreak strain had a disrupted DNA repair mutY gene caused by insertion of an integrative and conjugative element. This genomic change probably contributed to the high evolutionary rate of the outbreak strain and may have increased its adaptability, as many mutations in protein-coding genes occurred during the outbreak. This unique discovery of an outbreak caused by a naturally occurring mutator bacterial pathogen provides a dramatic example of the potential impact of pathogen evolutionary dynamics on infectious disease epidemiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Population genomic analysis of 1,777 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, Houston, Texas: unexpected abundance of clonal group 307.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is a major human pathogen responsible for high morbidity and mortality rates. The emergence and spread of strains resistant to multiple antimicrobial agents and documented large nosocomial outbreaks are especially concerning. To develop new therapeutic strategies for K. pneumoniae, it is imperative to understand the population genomic structure of strains causing human infections. To address this knowledge gap, we sequenced the genomes of 1,777 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing K. pneumoniae strains cultured from patients in the 2,000-bed Houston Methodist Hospital system between September 2011 and May 2015, representing a comprehensive, population-based strain sample. Strains of largely uncharacterized clonal group 307 (CG307) caused more infections than those of well-studied epidemic CG258. Strains varied markedly in gene content and had an extensive array of small and very large plasmids, often containing antimicrobial resistance genes. Some patients with multiple strains cultured over time were infected with genetically distinct clones. We identified 15 strains expressing the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1) enzyme that confers broad resistance to nearly all beta-lactam antibiotics. Transcriptome sequencing analysis of 10 phylogenetically diverse strains showed that the global transcriptome of each strain was unique and highly variable. Experimental mouse infection provided new information about immunological parameters of host-pathogen interaction. We exploited the large data set to develop whole-genome sequence-based classifiers that accurately predict clinical antimicrobial resistance for 12 of the 16 antibiotics tested. We conclude that analysis of large, comprehensive, population-based strain samples can assist understanding of the molecular diversity of these organisms and contribute to enhanced translational research. IMPORTANCEKlebsiella pneumoniae causes human infections that are increasingly difficult to treat because many strains are resistant to multiple antibiotics. Clonal group 258 (CG258) organisms have caused outbreaks in health care settings worldwide. Using a comprehensive population-based sample of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing K. pneumoniae strains, we show that a relatively uncommon clonal type, CG307, caused the plurality of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae infections in our patients. We discovered that CG307 strains have been abundant in Houston for many years. As assessed by experimental mouse infection, CG307 strains were as virulent as pandemic CG258 strains. Our results may portend the emergence of an especially successful clonal group of antibiotic-resistant K. pneumoniae. Copyright © 2017 Long et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Acquisition of virulence factors in livestock-associated MRSA: Lysogenic conversion of CC398 strains by virulence gene-containing phages.

Staphylococcus aureus MRSA strains belonging to the clonal complex 398 (CC398) are highly prevalent in livestock and companion animals but may also cause serious infections in humans. CC398 strains in livestock usually do not possess well-known virulence factors that can be frequently found in other MRSA sequence types (ST). Since many staphylococcal virulence genes are residing on the genomes of temperate phages, the question arises why livestock-associated (LA-) CC398 strains are only rarely infected by those phages. We isolated and characterized four temperate phages (P240, P282, P630 and P1105) containing genes of the immune evasion cluster (IEC) and/or for the Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL). Sequence analysis of the phage genomes showed that they are closely related to known phages and that the DNA region encoding lysis proteins, virulence factors and the integrase exhibits numerous DNA repeats which may facilitate genomic rearrangements. All phages lysed and lysogenized LA-CC398 strains. Integration of IEC phage P282 was detected at ten sites of the hosts’ chromosome. The prophages were stably inherited in LA-CC398 and enterotoxin A, staphylokinase and PVL toxin were produced. The data demonstrate that lysogenic conversion of LA-CC398 strains by virulence-associated phages may occur and that new pathotypes may emerge by this mechanism.


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