September 22, 2019  |  

Genotypes and phenotypes of Enterococci isolated from broiler chickens

The objective of this study was to compare the resistance phenotypes to genotypes of enterococci from broiler and to evaluate the persistence and distribution of resistant genotypes in broiler fed bambermycin (BAM), penicillin (PEN), salinomycin (SAL), bacitracin (BAC) or a salinomycin/bacitracin combination (SALBAC) for 35 days. A total of 95 enterococci from cloacal (n=40), cecal (n=38) and litter collected on day 36 (n=17) samples were isolated weekly from day 7 to 36. All isolates were identified by API-20 Strep and their antimicrobial susceptibilities were evaluated using the Sensititre system with the commercially available NARMS’s plates of Gram positive bacteria. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was used to assess their intra- and inter-genetic variability, with a focus on virulence and antibiotic resistance characteristics. All isolates were further characterized for hemolysin production (HEM), bile salt hydrolysis (BSH) and gelatinase (GEL) activities. Of the 95 isolates, E. faecium (n = 58) and E. faecalis (n = 24) were the most common Enterococcus species identified. Significant differences in the level of resistance for the E. faecium isolates to ciprofloxacin, macrolide, penicillin and tetracycline were observed among treatments. The bcrR, mefA and aac(6) genes were higher in BAM treatment than the other groups whereas bcrR, ermA, ermB, aphA(3) and tetL were more prevalent in PEN and BAC treatments. Overall, E. faecium isolates showed higher prevalence of antimicrobial resistance, but E. faecalis from litter also exhibited a significant level of resistance. A range of 4 to 15 different virulence genes was detected in E. faecalis. All isolates from litter but one (94.1%) showed BSH activities while 52.9% of them produced GEL. HEM activity was observed only in isolates collected on Day 7 (n= 9) and Day 14 (n= 1). This study confirmed that genetically diverse antimicrobial resistant enterococci harboring virulence factors can be promoted by the use of certain antimicrobials in feed and such enterococci could persist in broiler chickens and their litter, potentially contaminating the soil upon land application. This study underscores the need for ongoing monitoring the AMR enterococci.

September 22, 2019  |  

Relationship between Alzheimer’s disease-associated SNPs within the CLU gene, local DNA methylation and episodic verbal memory in healthy and schizophrenia subjects.

Genetic variation may impact on local DNA methylation patterns. Therefore, information about allele-specific DNA methylation (ASM) within disease-related loci has been proposed to be useful for the interpretation of GWAS results. To explore mechanisms that may underlie associations between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and schizophrenia risk CLU gene and verbal memory, one of the most affected cognitive domains in both conditions, we studied DNA methylation in a region between AD-associated SNPs rs9331888 and rs9331896 in 72 healthy individuals and 73 schizophrenia patients. Using single-molecule real-time bisulfite sequencing we assessed the haplotype-dependent ASM in this region. We then investigated whether its methylation could influence episodic verbal memory measured with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test in these two cohorts. The region showed a complex methylation pattern, which was similar in healthy and schizophrenia individuals and unrelated to haplotypes. The pattern predicted memory scores in controls. The results suggest that epigenetic modifications within the CLU locus may play a role in memory variation, independent of ASM. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

September 22, 2019  |  

A novel probiotic, Lactobacillus johnsonii 456, resists acid and can persist in the human gut beyond the initial ingestion period.

Probiotics are considered to have multiple beneficial effects on the human gastrointestinal tract, including immunomodulation, pathogen inhibition, and improved host nutrient metabolism. However, extensive characterization of these properties is needed to define suitable clinical applications for probiotic candidates. Lactobacillus johnsonii 456 (LBJ 456) was previously demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory and anti-genotoxic effects in a mouse model. Here, we characterize its resistance to gastric and bile acids as well as its ability to inhibit gut pathogens and adhere to host mucosa. While bile resistance and in vitro host attachment properties of LBJ 456 were comparable to other tested probiotics, LBJ 456 maintained higher viability at lower pH conditions compared to other tested strains. LBJ 456 also altered pathogen adhesion to LS 174T monolayers and demonstrated contact-dependent and independent inhibition of pathogen growth. Genome analyses further revealed possible genetic elements involved in host attachment and pathogen inhibition. Importantly, we show that ingestion of Lactobacillus johnsonii 456 over a one week yogurt course leads to persistent viable bacteria detectable even beyond the period of initial ingestion, unlike many other previously described probiotic species of lactic acid bacteria.

September 21, 2019  |  

Functional analysis of the first complete genome sequence of a multidrug resistant sequence type 2 Staphylococcus epidermidis.

Staphylococcus epidermidis is a significant opportunistic pathogen of humans. The ST2 lineage is frequently multidrug resistant and accounts for most of the clinical disease worldwide. However, there are no publically available, closed ST2 genomes and pathogenesis studies have not focused on these strains. We report the complete genome and methylome of BPH0662, a multidrug resistant, hospital adapted, ST2 S. epidermidis, and describe the correlation between resistome and phenotype, as well as demonstrate its relationship to publically available, international ST2 isolates. Furthermore, we delineate the methylome determined by the two type I restriction modification systems present in BPH0662 through heterologous expression in Escherichia coli, allowing the assignment of each system to its corresponding target recognition motif. As the first complete ST2 S. epidermidis genome, BPH0662 provides a valuable reference for future genomic studies of this clinically relevant lineage. Defining the methylome and the construction of these E. coli hosts provides the foundation for the development of molecular tools to bypass restriction modification systems in this lineage that has hitherto proven intractable.

September 21, 2019  |  

Long-read genome sequencing identifies causal structural variation in a Mendelian disease.

PurposeCurrent clinical genomics assays primarily utilize short-read sequencing (SRS), but SRS has limited ability to evaluate repetitive regions and structural variants. Long-read sequencing (LRS) has complementary strengths, and we aimed to determine whether LRS could offer a means to identify overlooked genetic variation in patients undiagnosed by SRS.MethodsWe performed low-coverage genome LRS to identify structural variants in a patient who presented with multiple neoplasia and cardiac myxomata, in whom the results of targeted clinical testing and genome SRS were negative.ResultsThis LRS approach yielded 6,971 deletions and 6,821 insertions?>?50?bp. Filtering for variants that are absent in an unrelated control and overlap a disease gene coding exon identified three deletions and three insertions. One of these, a heterozygous 2,184?bp deletion, overlaps the first coding exon of PRKAR1A, which is implicated in autosomal dominant Carney complex. RNA sequencing demonstrated decreased PRKAR1A expression. The deletion was classified as pathogenic based on guidelines for interpretation of sequence variants.ConclusionThis first successful application of genome LRS to identify a pathogenic variant in a patient suggests that LRS has significant potential for the identification of disease-causing structural variation. Larger studies will ultimately be required to evaluate the potential clinical utility of LRS.

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