September 22, 2019  |  

Case report of an extensively drug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infection with genomic characterization of the strain and review of similar cases in the United States

Reports of extensively drug-resistant and pan-drug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (XDR-KP and PDR-KP) cases are increasing worldwide. Here, we report a case of XDR-KP with an in-depth molecular characterization of resistance genes using whole-genome sequencing, and we review all cases of XDR-KP and PDR-KP reported in the United States to date.

September 22, 2019  |  

Somatic hypermutation of T cell receptor a chain contributes to selection in nurse shark thymus.

Since the discovery of the T cell receptor (TcR), immunologists have assigned somatic hypermutation (SHM) as a mechanism employed solely by B cells to diversify their antigen receptors. Remarkably, we found SHM acting in the thymus on a chain locus of shark TcR. SHM in developing shark T cells likely is catalyzed by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and results in both point and tandem mutations that accumulate non-conservative amino acid replacements within complementarity-determining regions (CDRs). Mutation frequency at TcRa was as high as that seen at B cell receptor loci (BcR) in sharks and mammals, and the mechanism of SHM shares unique characteristics first detected at shark BcR loci. Additionally, fluorescence in situ hybridization showed the strongest AID expression in thymic corticomedullary junction and medulla. We suggest that TcRa utilizes SHM to broaden diversification of the primary aß T cell repertoire in sharks, the first reported use in vertebrates.© 2018, Ott et al.

September 22, 2019  |  

Genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium hominis in a Bangladeshi community as revealed by whole genome sequencing.

We studied the genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium hominis infections in slum-dwelling infants from Dhaka over a 2-year period. Cryptosporidium hominis infections were common during the monsoon, and were genetically diverse as measured by gp60 genotyping and whole-genome resequencing. Recombination in the parasite was evidenced by the decay of linkage disequilibrium in the genome over <300 bp. Regions of the genome with high levels of polymorphism were also identified. Yet to be determined is if genomic diversity is responsible in part for the high rate of reinfection, seasonality, and varied clinical presentations of cryptosporidiosis in this population.

September 22, 2019  |  

Mycobacterial biomaterials and resources for researchers.

There are many resources available to mycobacterial researchers, including culture collections around the world that distribute biomaterials to the general scientific community, genomic and clinical databases, and powerful bioinformatics tools. However, many of these resources may be unknown to the research community. This review article aims to summarize and publicize many of these resources, thus strengthening the quality and reproducibility of mycobacterial research by providing the scientific community access to authenticated and quality-controlled biomaterials and a wealth of information, analytical tools and research opportunities.

September 22, 2019  |  

Diversity among blaKPC-containing plasmids in Escherichia coli and other bacterial species isolated from the same patients.

Carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae are a significant public health concern, and genes encoding the Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) have contributed to the global spread of carbapenem resistance. In the current study, we used whole-genome sequencing to investigate the diversity of blaKPC-containing plasmids and antimicrobial resistance mechanisms among 26 blaKPC-containing Escherichia coli, and 13 blaKPC-containing Enterobacter asburiae, Enterobacter hormaechei, K. pneumoniae, Klebsiella variicola, Klebsiella michiganensis, and Serratia marcescens strains, which were isolated from the same patients as the blaKPC-containing E. coli. A blaKPC-containing IncN and/or IncFIIK plasmid was identified in 77% (30/39) of the E. coli and other bacterial species analyzed. Complete genome sequencing and comparative analysis of a blaKPC-containing IncN plasmid from one of the E. coli strains demonstrated that this plasmid is present in the K. pneumoniae and S. marcescens strains from this patient, and is conserved among 13 of the E. coli and other bacterial species analyzed. Interestingly, while both IncFIIK and IncN plasmids were prevalent among the strains analyzed, the IncN plasmids were more often identified in multiple bacterial species from the same patients, demonstrating a contribution of this IncN plasmid to the inter-genera dissemination of the blaKPC genes between the E. coli and other bacterial species analyzed.

September 22, 2019  |  

PBHoover and CigarRoller: a method for confident haploid variant calling on Pacific Biosciences data and its application to heterogeneous population analysis

Motivation: Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing has important and underutilized advantages that amplification-based platforms lack. Lack of systematic error (e.g. GC-bias), complete de novo assembly (including large repetitive regions) without scaffolding, can be mentioned. SMRT sequencing, however suffers from high random error rate and low sequencing depth (older chemistries). Here, we introduce PBHoover, software that uses a heuristic calling algorithm in order to make base calls with high certainty in low coverage regions. This software is also capable of mixed population detection with high sensitivity. PBHoovertextquoterights CigarRoller attachment improves sequencing depth in low-coverage regions through CIGAR-string correction. Results: We tested both modules on 348 M.tuberculosis clinical isolates sequenced on C1 or C2 chemistries. On average, CigarRoller improved percentage of usable read count from 68.9% to 99.98% in C1 runs and from 50% to 99% in C2 runs. Using the greater depth provided by CigarRoller, PBHoover was able to make base and variant calls 99.95% concordant with Sanger calls (QV33). PBHoover also detected antibiotic-resistant subpopulations that went undetected by Sanger. Using C1 chemistry, subpopulations as small as 9% of the total colony can be detected by PBHoover. This provides the most sensitive amplification-free molecular method for heterogeneity analysis and is in line with phenotypic methodstextquoteright sensitivity. This sensitivity significantly improves with the greater depth and lower error rate of the newer chemistries. Availability and Implementation: Executables are freely available under GNU GPL v3+ at and PBHoover is also available on bioconda:

September 22, 2019  |  

Closed genome and comparative phylogenetic analysis of the clinical multidrug resistant Shigella sonnei strain 866.

Shigella sonnei is responsible for the majority of shigellosis infections in the US with over 500,000 cases reported annually. Here, we present the complete genome of the clinical multidrug resistant (MDR) strain 866, which is highly susceptible to bacteriophage infections. The strain has a circular chromosome of 4.85?Mb and carries a 113?kb MDR plasmid. This IncB/O/K/Z-type plasmid, termed p866, confers resistance to five different classes of antibiotics including ß-lactamase, sulfonamide, tetracycline, aminoglycoside, and trimethoprim. Comparative analysis of the plasmid architecture and gene inventory revealed that p866 shares its plasmid backbone with previously described IncB/O/K/Z-type Shigella spp. and Escherichia coli plasmids, but is differentiated by the insertion of antibiotic resistance cassettes, which we found associated with mobile genetic elements such as Tn3, Tn7, and Tn10. A whole genome-derived phylogenetic reconstruction showed the evolutionary relationships of S. sonnei strain 866 and the four established Shigella species, highlighting the clonal nature of S. sonnei.

September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic insights into virulence mechanisms of Leishmania donovani: evidence from an atypical strain.

Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease with diverse clinical phenotypes, determined by parasite, host and vector interactions. Despite the advances in molecular biology and the availability of more Leishmania genome references in recent years, the association between parasite species and distinct clinical phenotypes remains poorly understood. We present a genomic comparison of an atypical variant of Leishmania donovani from a South Asian focus, where it mostly causes cutaneous form of leishmaniasis.Clinical isolates from six cutaneous leishmaniasis patients (CL-SL); 2 of whom were poor responders to antimony (CL-PR), and two visceral leishmaniasis patients (VL-SL) were sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq platform. Chromosome aneuploidy was observed in both groups but was more frequent in CL-SL. 248 genes differed by 2 fold or more in copy number among the two groups. Genes involved in amino acid use (LdBPK_271940) and energy metabolism (LdBPK_271950), predominated the VL-SL group with the same distribution pattern reflected in gene tandem arrays. Genes encoding amastins were present in higher copy numbers in VL-SL and CL-PR as well as being among predicted pseudogenes in CL-SL. Both chromosome and SNP profiles showed CL-SL and VL-SL to form two distinct groups. While expected heterozygosity was much higher in VL-SL, SNP allele frequency patterns did not suggest potential recent recombination breakpoints. The SNP/indel profile obtained using the more recently generated PacBio sequence did not vary markedly from that based on the standard LdBPK282A1 reference. Several genes previously associated with resistance to antimonials were observed in higher copy numbers in the analysis of CL-PR. H-locus amplification was seen in one cutaneous isolate which however did not belong to the CL-PR group.The data presented suggests that intra species variations at chromosome and gene level are more likely to influence differences in tropism as well as response to treatment, and contributes to greater understanding of parasite molecular mechanisms underpinning these differences. These findings should be substantiated with a larger sample number and expression/functional studies.

September 22, 2019  |  

The central exons of the human MUC2 and MUC6 mucins are highly repetitive and variable in sequence between individuals

The DNA sequence of the two human mucin genes MUC2 and MUC6 have not been completely resolved due to the repetitive nature of their central exon coding for Proline, Threonine and Serine rich sequences. The exact nucleotide sequence of these exons has remained unknown for a long time due to limitations in traditional sequencing techniques. These are still very poorly covered in new whole genome sequencing projects with the corresponding protein sequences partly missing. We used a BAC clone containing both these genes and third generation sequencing technology, SMRT sequencing, to obtain the full-length contiguous MUC2 and MUC6 tandem repeat sequences. The new sequences span the entire repeat regions with good coverage revealing their length, variation in repeat sequences and their internal organization. The sequences obtained were used to compare with available sequences from whole genome sequencing projects indicating variation in number of repeats and their internal organization between individuals. The lack of these sequences has limited the association of genetic alterations with disease. The full sequences of these mucins will now allow such studies, which could be of importance for inflammatory bowel diseases for MUC2 and gastric ulcer diseases for MUC6 where deficient mucus protection is assumed to play an important role.

September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic insights into multidrug-resistance, mating and virulence in Candida auris and related emerging species.

Candida auris is an emergent multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen causing increasing reports of outbreaks. While distantly related to C. albicans and C. glabrata, C. auris is closely related to rarely observed and often multidrug-resistant species from the C. haemulonii clade. Here, we analyze near complete genome assemblies for the four C. auris clades and three related species, and map intra- and inter-species rearrangements across the seven chromosomes. Using RNA-Seq-guided gene predictions, we find that most mating and meiosis genes are conserved and that clades contain either the MTLa or MTLa mating loci. Comparing the genomes of these emerging species to those of other Candida species identifies genes linked to drug resistance and virulence, including expanded families of transporters and lipases, as well as mutations and copy number variants in ERG11. Gene expression analysis identifies transporters and metabolic regulators specific to C. auris and those conserved with related species which may contribute to differences in drug response in this emerging fungal clade.

September 22, 2019  |  

The phylogenomic diversity of herbivore- associated Fibrobacter spp. is correlated to lignocellulose-degrading potential.

Members of the genus Fibrobacter are cellulose-degrading bacteria and common constituents of the gastrointestinal microbiota of herbivores. Although considerable phylogenetic diversity is observed among members of this group, few functional differences explaining the distinct ecological distributions of specific phylotypes have been described. In this study, we sequenced and performed a comparative analysis of whole genomes from 38 novel Fibrobacter strains against the type strains for the two formally described Fibrobacter species F. succinogenes strain S85 and F. intestinalis strain NR9. Significant differences in the number of genes encoding carbohydrate-active enzyme families involved in plant cell wall polysaccharide degradation were observed among Fibrobacter phylotypes. F. succinogenes genomes were consistently enriched in genes encoding carbohydrate-active enzymes compared to those of F. intestinalis strains. Moreover, genomes of F. succinogenes phylotypes that are dominant in the rumen had significantly more genes annotated to major families involved in hemicellulose degradation (e.g., CE6, GH10, and GH43) than did the genomes of F. succinogenes phylotypes typically observed in the lower gut of large hindgut-fermenting herbivores such as horses. Genes encoding a putative urease were also identified in 12 of the Fibrobacter genomes, which were primarily isolated from hindgut-fermenting hosts. Screening for growth on urea as the sole source of nitrogen provided strong evidence that the urease was active in these strains. These results represent the strongest evidence reported to date for specific functional differences contributing to the ecology of Fibrobacter spp. in the herbivore gut.IMPORTANCE The herbivore gut microbiome is incredibly diverse, and a functional understanding of this diversity is needed to more reliably manipulate this community for specific gain, such as increased production in ruminant livestock. Microbial degraders of plant cell wall polysaccharides in the herbivore gut, particularly Fibrobacter spp., are of fundamental importance to their hosts for digestion of a diet consisting primarily of recalcitrant plant fibers. Considerable phylogenetic diversity exists among members of the genus Fibrobacter, but much of this diversity remains cryptic. Here, we used comparative genomics, applied to a diverse collection of recently isolated Fibrobacter strains, to identify a robust association between carbohydrate-active enzyme gene content and the Fibrobacter phylogeny. Our results provide the strongest evidence reported to date for functional differences among Fibrobacter phylotypes associated with either the rumen or the hindgut and emphasize the general significance of carbohydrate-active enzymes in the evolution of fiber-degrading bacteria. Copyright © 2018 Neumann and Suen.

September 21, 2019  |  

PacBio assembly of a Plasmodium knowlesi genome sequence with Hi-C correction and manual annotation of the SICAvar gene family.

Plasmodium knowlesi has risen in importance as a zoonotic parasite that has been causing regular episodes of malaria throughout South East Asia. The P. knowlesi genome sequence generated in 2008 highlighted and confirmed many similarities and differences in Plasmodium species, including a global view of several multigene families, such as the large SICAvar multigene family encoding the variant antigens known as the schizont-infected cell agglutination proteins. However, repetitive DNA sequences are the bane of any genome project, and this and other Plasmodium genome projects have not been immune to the gaps, rearrangements and other pitfalls created by these genomic features. Today, long-read PacBio and chromatin conformation technologies are overcoming such obstacles. Here, based on the use of these technologies, we present a highly refined de novo P. knowlesi genome sequence of the Pk1(A+) clone. This sequence and annotation, referred to as the ‘MaHPIC Pk genome sequence’, includes manual annotation of the SICAvar gene family with 136 full-length members categorized as type I or II. This sequence provides a framework that will permit a better understanding of the SICAvar repertoire, selective pressures acting on this gene family and mechanisms of antigenic variation in this species and other pathogens.

July 19, 2019  |  

The origin of the Haitian cholera outbreak strain.

Although cholera has been present in Latin America since 1991, it had not been epidemic in Haiti for at least 100 years. Recently, however, there has been a severe outbreak of cholera in Haiti.We used third-generation single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing to determine the genome sequences of 2 clinical Vibrio cholerae isolates from the current outbreak in Haiti, 1 strain that caused cholera in Latin America in 1991, and 2 strains isolated in South Asia in 2002 and 2008. Using primary sequence data, we compared the genomes of these 5 strains and a set of previously obtained partial genomic sequences of 23 diverse strains of V. cholerae to assess the likely origin of the cholera outbreak in Haiti.Both single-nucleotide variations and the presence and structure of hypervariable chromosomal elements indicate that there is a close relationship between the Haitian isolates and variant V. cholerae El Tor O1 strains isolated in Bangladesh in 2002 and 2008. In contrast, analysis of genomic variation of the Haitian isolates reveals a more distant relationship with circulating South American isolates.The Haitian epidemic is probably the result of the introduction, through human activity, of a V. cholerae strain from a distant geographic source. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.).

July 19, 2019  |  

New insights into dissemination and variation of the health care-associated pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii from genomic analysis.

Acinetobacter baumannii is a globally important nosocomial pathogen characterized by an increasing incidence of multidrug resistance. Routes of dissemination and gene flow among health care facilities are poorly resolved and are important for understanding the epidemiology of A. baumannii, minimizing disease transmission, and improving patient outcomes. We used whole-genome sequencing to assess diversity and genome dynamics in 49 isolates from one United States hospital system during one year from 2007 to 2008. Core single-nucleotide-variant-based phylogenetic analysis revealed multiple founder strains and multiple independent strains recovered from the same patient yet was insufficient to fully resolve strain relationships, where gene content and insertion sequence patterns added additional discriminatory power. Gene content comparisons illustrated extensive and redundant antibiotic resistance gene carriage and direct evidence of gene transfer, recombination, gene loss, and mutation. Evidence of barriers to gene flow among hospital components was not found, suggesting complex mixing of strains and a large reservoir of A. baumannii strains capable of colonizing patients.Genome sequencing was used to characterize multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strains from one United States hospital system during a 1-year period to better understand how A. baumannii strains that cause infection are related to one another. Extensive variation in gene content was found, even among strains that were very closely related phylogenetically and epidemiologically. Several mechanisms contributed to this diversity, including transfer of mobile genetic elements, mobilization of insertion sequences, insertion sequence-mediated deletions, and genome-wide homologous recombination. Variation in gene content, however, lacked clear spatial or temporal patterns, suggesting a diverse pool of circulating strains with considerable interaction between strains and hospital locations. Widespread genetic variation among strains from the same hospital and even the same patient, particularly involving antibiotic resistance genes, reinforces the need for molecular diagnostic testing and genomic analysis to determine resistance profiles, rather than a reliance primarily on strain typing and antimicrobial resistance phenotypes for epidemiological studies.

July 19, 2019  |  

Characterizing and measuring bias in sequence data.

DNA sequencing technologies deviate from the ideal uniform distribution of reads. These biases impair scientific and medical applications. Accordingly, we have developed computational methods for discovering, describing and measuring bias.We applied these methods to the Illumina, Ion Torrent, Pacific Biosciences and Complete Genomics sequencing platforms, using data from human and from a set of microbes with diverse base compositions. As in previous work, library construction conditions significantly influence sequencing bias. Pacific Biosciences coverage levels are the least biased, followed by Illumina, although all technologies exhibit error-rate biases in high- and low-GC regions and at long homopolymer runs. The GC-rich regions prone to low coverage include a number of human promoters, so we therefore catalog 1,000 that were exceptionally resistant to sequencing. Our results indicate that combining data from two technologies can reduce coverage bias if the biases in the component technologies are complementary and of similar magnitude. Analysis of Illumina data representing 120-fold coverage of a well-studied human sample reveals that 0.20% of the autosomal genome was covered at less than 10% of the genome-wide average. Excluding locations that were similar to known bias motifs or likely due to sample-reference variations left only 0.045% of the autosomal genome with unexplained poor coverage.The assays presented in this paper provide a comprehensive view of sequencing bias, which can be used to drive laboratory improvements and to monitor production processes. Development guided by these assays should result in improved genome assemblies and better coverage of biologically important loci.

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