April 21, 2020  |  

Rapid transcriptional responses to serum exposure are associated with sensitivity and resistance to antibody-mediated complement killing in invasive Salmonella Typhimurium ST313

Background: Salmonella Typhimurium ST313 exhibits signatures of adaptation to invasive human infection, including higher resistance to humoral immune responses than gastrointestinal isolates. Full resistance to antibody-mediated complement killing (serum resistance) among nontyphoidal Salmonellae is uncommon, but selection of highly resistant strains could compromise vaccine-induced antibody immunity. Here, we address the hypothesis that serum resistance is due to a distinct genotype or transcriptome response in S. Typhimurium ST313.


April 21, 2020  |  

An African Salmonella Typhimurium ST313 sublineage with extensive drug-resistance and signatures of host adaptation.

Bloodstream infections by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium constitute a major health burden in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). These invasive non-typhoidal (iNTS) infections are dominated by isolates of the antibiotic resistance-associated sequence type (ST) 313. Here, we report emergence of ST313 sublineage II.1 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sublineage II.1 exhibits extensive drug resistance, involving a combination of multidrug resistance, extended spectrum ß-lactamase production and azithromycin resistance. ST313 lineage II.1 isolates harbour an IncHI2 plasmid we name pSTm-ST313-II.1, with one isolate also exhibiting decreased ciprofloxacin susceptibility. Whole genome sequencing reveals that ST313 II.1 isolates have accumulated genetic signatures potentially associated with altered pathogenicity and host adaptation, related to changes observed in biofilm formation and metabolic capacity. Sublineage II.1 emerged at the beginning of the 21st century and is involved in on-going outbreaks. Our data provide evidence of further evolution within the ST313 clade associated with iNTS in SSA.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative whole genome analysis of three consecutive Salmonella diarizonae isolates.

Infections of very young children or immunocompromised people with Salmonella of higher subspecies are a well-known phenomenon often associated with contact to cold-blooded animals. We describe the molecular characterization of three S. enterica subsp. diarizonae strains, isolated consecutively over a period of several months from a hospital patient suffering from diarrhea and sepsis with fatal outcome. With the initial isolate the first complete genome sequence of a member of subsp. diarizonae is provided and based on this reference we revealed the genomic differences between the three isolates by use of next-generation sequencing and confirmed by phenotypical tests. Genome comparisons revealed mutations within gpt, hfq and purK in the first isolate as a sign of clonal variation rather than host-directed evolution. Furthermore, our work demonstrates that S. enterica subsp. diarizonae possess, besides a conserved set of known Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands, a variable portfolio of additional genomic islands of unknown function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Public health surveillance in the UK revolutionises our understanding of the invasive Salmonella Typhimurium epidemic in Africa.

The ST313 sequence type of Salmonella Typhimurium causes invasive non-typhoidal salmonellosis and was thought to be confined to sub-Saharan Africa. Two distinct phylogenetic lineages of African ST313 have been identified.We analysed the whole genome sequences of S. Typhimurium isolates from UK patients that were generated following the introduction of routine whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of Salmonella enterica by Public Health England in 2014.We found that 2.7% (84/3147) of S. Typhimurium from patients in England and Wales were ST313 and were associated with gastrointestinal infection. Phylogenetic analysis revealed novel diversity of ST313 that distinguished UK-linked gastrointestinal isolates from African-associated extra-intestinal isolates. The majority of genome degradation of African ST313 lineage 2 was conserved in the UK-ST313, but the African lineages carried a characteristic prophage and antibiotic resistance gene repertoire. These findings suggest that a strong selection pressure exists for certain horizontally acquired genetic elements in the African setting. One UK-isolated lineage 2 strain that probably originated in Kenya carried a chromosomally located bla CTX-M-15, demonstrating the continual evolution of this sequence type in Africa in response to widespread antibiotic usage.The discovery of ST313 isolates responsible for gastroenteritis in the UK reveals new diversity in this important sequence type. This study highlights the power of routine WGS by public health agencies to make epidemiologically significant deductions that would be missed by conventional microbiological methods. We speculate that the niche specialisation of sub-Saharan African ST313 lineages is driven in part by the acquisition of accessory genome elements.


July 7, 2019  |  

A phylogenetic and phenotypic analysis of Salmonella enterica serovar Weltevreden, an emerging agent of diarrheal disease in tropical regions.

Salmonella enterica serovar Weltevreden (S. Weltevreden) is an emerging cause of diarrheal and invasive disease in humans residing in tropical regions. Despite the regional and international emergence of this Salmonella serovar, relatively little is known about its genetic diversity, genomics or virulence potential in model systems. Here we used whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics analyses to define the phylogenetic structure of a diverse global selection of S. Weltevreden. Phylogenetic analysis of more than 100 isolates demonstrated that the population of S. Weltevreden can be segregated into two main phylogenetic clusters, one associated predominantly with continental Southeast Asia and the other more internationally dispersed. Subcluster analysis suggested the local evolution of S. Weltevreden within specific geographical regions. Four of the isolates were sequenced using long read sequencing to produce high quality reference genomes. Phenotypic analysis in Hep-2 cells and in a murine infection model indicated that S. Weltevreden were significantly attenuated in these models compared to the classical S. Typhimurium reference strain SL1344. Our work outlines novel insights into this important emerging pathogen and provides a baseline understanding for future research studies.


July 7, 2019  |  

Emergence of host-adapted Salmonella Enteritidis through rapid evolution in an immunocompromised host.

Host adaptation is a key factor contributing to the emergence of new bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens. Many pathogens are considered promiscuous because they cause disease across a range of host species, while others are host-adapted, infecting particular hosts(1). Host adaptation can potentially progress to host restriction where the pathogen is strictly limited to a single host species and is frequently associated with more severe symptoms. Host-adapted and host-restricted bacterial clades evolve from within a broader host-promiscuous species and sometimes target different niches within their specialist hosts, such as adapting from a mucosal to a systemic lifestyle. Genome degradation, marked by gene inactivation and deletion, is a key feature of host adaptation, although the triggers initiating genome degradation are not well understood. Here, we show that a chronic systemic non-typhoidal Salmonella infection in an immunocompromised human patient resulted in genome degradation targeting genes that are expendable for a systemic lifestyle. We present a genome-based investigation of a recurrent blood-borne Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) infection covering 15 years in an interleukin (IL)-12 ß-1 receptor-deficient individual that developed into an asymptomatic chronic infection. The infecting S. Enteritidis harbored a mutation in the mismatch repair gene mutS that accelerated the genomic mutation rate. Phylogenetic analysis and phenotyping of multiple patient isolates provides evidence for a remarkable level of within-host evolution that parallels genome changes present in successful host-restricted bacterial pathogens but never before observed on this timescale. Our analysis identifies common pathways of host adaptation and demonstrates the role that immunocompromised individuals can play in this process.


July 7, 2019  |  

Microevolution of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium during epidemic, United Kingdom, 2005-2010.

Microevolution associated with emergence and expansion of new epidemic clones of bacterial pathogens holds the key to epidemiologic success. To determine microevolution associated with monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium during an epidemic, we performed comparative whole-genome sequencing and phylogenomic analysis of isolates from the United Kingdom and Italy during 2005-2012. These isolates formed a single clade distinct from recent monophasic epidemic clones previously described from North America and Spain. The UK monophasic epidemic clones showed a novel genomic island encoding resistance to heavy metals and a composite transposon encoding antimicrobial drug resistance genes not present in other Salmonella Typhimurium isolates, which may have contributed to epidemiologic success. A remarkable amount of genotypic variation accumulated during clonal expansion that occurred during the epidemic, including multiple independent acquisitions of a novel prophage carrying the sopE gene and multiple deletion events affecting the phase II flagellin locus. This high level of microevolution may affect antigenicity, pathogenicity, and transmission.


July 7, 2019  |  

Distinct Salmonella enteritidis lineages associated with enterocolitis in high-income settings and invasive disease in low-income settings.

An epidemiological paradox surrounds Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. In high-income settings, it has been responsible for an epidemic of poultry-associated, self-limiting enterocolitis, whereas in sub-Saharan Africa it is a major cause of invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella disease, associated with high case fatality. By whole-genome sequence analysis of 675 isolates of S. Enteritidis from 45 countries, we show the existence of a global epidemic clade and two new clades of S. Enteritidis that are geographically restricted to distinct regions of Africa. The African isolates display genomic degradation, a novel prophage repertoire, and an expanded multidrug resistance plasmid. S. Enteritidis is a further example of a Salmonella serotype that displays niche plasticity, with distinct clades that enable it to become a prominent cause of gastroenteritis in association with the industrial production of eggs and of multidrug-resistant, bloodstream-invasive infection in Africa.


July 7, 2019  |  

New variant of multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium associated with invasive disease in immunocompromised patients in Vietnam.

Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS), particularly Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, is among the leading etiologic agents of bacterial enterocolitis globally and a well-characterized cause of invasive disease (iNTS) in sub-Saharan Africa. In contrast, S Typhimurium is poorly defined in Southeast Asia, a known hot spot for zoonotic disease with a recently described burden of iNTS disease. Here, we aimed to add insight into the epidemiology and potential impact of zoonotic transfer and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in S Typhimurium associated with iNTS and enterocolitis in Vietnam. We performed whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic reconstruction on 85 human (enterocolitis, carriage, and iNTS) and 113 animal S Typhimurium isolates isolated in Vietnam. We found limited evidence for the zoonotic transmission of S Typhimurium. However, we describe a chain of events where a pandemic monophasic variant of S Typhimurium (serovar I:4,[5],12:i:- sequence type 34 [ST34]) has been introduced into Vietnam, reacquired a phase 2 flagellum, and acquired an IncHI2 multidrug-resistant plasmid. Notably, these novel biphasic ST34 S Typhimurium variants were significantly associated with iNTS in Vietnamese HIV-infected patients. Our study represents the first characterization of novel iNTS organisms isolated outside sub-Saharan Africa and outlines a new pathway for the emergence of alternative Salmonella variants into susceptible human populations.IMPORTANCESalmonella Typhimurium is a major diarrheal pathogen and associated with invasive nontyphoid Salmonella (iNTS) disease in vulnerable populations. We present the first characterization of iNTS organisms in Southeast Asia and describe a different evolutionary trajectory from that of organisms causing iNTS in sub-Saharan Africa. In Vietnam, the globally distributed monophasic variant of Salmonella Typhimurium, the serovar I:4,[5],12:i:- ST34 clone, has reacquired a phase 2 flagellum and gained a multidrug-resistant plasmid to become associated with iNTS disease in HIV-infected patients. We document distinct communities of S Typhimurium and I:4,[5],12:i:- in animals and humans in Vietnam, despite the greater mixing of these host populations here. These data highlight the importance of whole-genome sequencing surveillance in a One Health context in understanding the evolution and spread of resistant bacterial infections. Copyright © 2018 Mather et al.


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