April 21, 2020  |  

Genome sequence analysis of 91 Salmonella Enteritidis isolates from mice caught on poultry farms in the mid 1990s.

A total of 91 draft genome sequences were used to analyze isolates of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis obtained from feral mice caught on poultry farms in Pennsylvania. One objective was to find mutations disrupting open reading frames (ORFs) and another was to determine if ORF-disruptive mutations were present in isolates obtained from other sources. A total of 83 mice were obtained between 1995-1998. Isolates separated into two genomic clades and 12 subgroups due to 742 mutations. Nineteen ORF-disruptive mutations were found, and in addition, bigA had exceptional heterogeneity requiring additional evaluation. The TRAMS algorithm detected only 6 ORF disruptions. The sefD mutation was the most frequently encountered mutation and it was prevalent in human, poultry, environmental and mouse isolates. These results confirm previous assessments of the mouse as a rich source of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis that varies in genotype and phenotype. Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.

September 22, 2019  |  

Convergent loss of ABC transporter genes from Clostridioides difficile genomes is associated with impaired tyrosine uptake and p-cresol production.

We report the frequent, convergent loss of two genes encoding the substrate-binding protein and the ATP-binding protein of an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter from the genomes of unrelated Clostridioides difficile strains. This specific genomic deletion was strongly associated with the reduced uptake of tyrosine and phenylalanine and production of derived Stickland fermentation products, including p-cresol, suggesting that the affected ABC transporter had been responsible for the import of aromatic amino acids. In contrast, the transporter gene loss did not measurably affect bacterial growth or production of enterotoxins. Phylogenomic analysis of publically available genome sequences indicated that this transporter gene deletion had occurred multiple times in diverse clonal lineages of C. difficile, with a particularly high prevalence in ribotype 027 isolates, where 48 of 195 genomes (25%) were affected. The transporter gene deletion likely was facilitated by the repetitive structure of its genomic location. While at least some of the observed transporter gene deletions are likely to have occurred during the natural life cycle of C. difficile, we also provide evidence for the emergence of this mutation during long-term laboratory cultivation of reference strain R20291.

September 22, 2019  |  

Construction of stable fluorescent laboratory control strains for several food safety relevant Enterobacteriaceae.

Using naturally-occurring bacterial strains as positive controls in testing protocols is typically feared due to the risk of cross-contaminating samples. We have developed a collection of strains which express Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) at high-level, permitting rapid screening of the following species on selective or non-selective plates: Escherichia coli O157:H7, Shigella sonnei, S. flexneri, Salmonella enterica subsp. Enterica serovar Gaminera, S. Mbandaka, S. Tennesse, S. Minnesota, S. Senftenberg and S. Typhimurium. These new strains fluoresce when irradiated with UV light and maintain this phenotype in absence of antibiotic selection. Recombinants were phenotypically equivalent to the parent strain, except for S. Tennessee Sal66 that appeared Lac- on Xylose Lysine Deoxycholate (XLD) agar plates and Lac+ on Mac Conkey and Hektoen Enteric agar plates. Analysis of closed whole genome sequences revealed that Sal66 had lost one lactose operon; slower rates of lactose metabolism may affect lactose fermentation on XLD agar. These fluorescent enteric control strains were challenging to develop and should provide an easy and effective means of identifying cross-contamination. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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