Antibiotic resistance is a major public health threat, further complicated by unexplained treatment failures caused by bacteria that appear antibiotic susceptible. We describe an Enterobacter cloacae isolate harbouring a minor subpopulation that is highly resistant to the last-line antibiotic colistin. This subpopulation was distinct from persisters, became predominant in colistin, returned to baseline after colistin removal and was dependent on the histidine kinase PhoQ. During murine infection, but in the absence of colistin, innate immune defences led to an increased frequency of the resistant subpopulation, leading to inefficacy of subsequent colistin therapy. An isolate with a lower-frequency colistin-resistant subpopulation similarly caused treatment failure but was misclassified as susceptible by current diagnostics once cultured outside the host. These data demonstrate the ability of low-frequency bacterial subpopulations to contribute to clinically relevant antibiotic resistance, elucidating an enigmatic cause of antibiotic treatment failure and highlighting the critical need for more sensitive diagnostics.
Genome sequence of the multiantibiotic-resistant Enterococcus faecium strain C68 and insights on the pLRM23 colonization plasmid.
Enterococcus faecium infections are a rising concern in hospital settings. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci colonize the gastrointestinal tract and replace nonresistant strains, complicating the treatment of debilitated patients. Here, we present a polished genome of the multiantibiotic-resistant strain C68, which was obtained as a clinical isolate and is a useful experimental strain. Copyright © 2016 García-Solache and Rice.
We report the complete genome sequence of a vancomycin-resistant isolate of Enterococcus faecium derived from human feces. The genome comprises one chromosome of 2.9 Mb and three plasmids. The strain harbors a plasmid-borne vanA-type vancomycin resistance locus and is a member of multilocus sequencing type (MLST) cluster ST-17. Copyright © 2016 McKenney et al.
The zoonotic pathogen Borrelia hermsii bears its multiple paralogous genes for variable antigens on several linear plasmids. Application of combined long-read and short-read next-generation sequencing provided complete sequences for antigen-encoding plasmids as well as other linear and circular plasmids and the linear chromosome of the genome. Copyright © 2016 Barbour.
High-quality genome assembly and annotation for Plasmodium coatneyi, generated using single-molecule real-time PacBio technology.
Plasmodium coatneyi is a protozoan parasite species that causes simian malaria and is an excellent model for studying disease caused by the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum Here we report the complete (nontelomeric) genome sequence of P. coatneyi Hackeri generated by the application of only Pacific Biosciences RS II (PacBio RS II) single-molecule real-time (SMRT) high-resolution sequence technology and assembly using the Hierarchical Genome Assembly Process (HGAP). This is the first Plasmodium genome sequence reported to use only PacBio technology. This approach has proven to be superior to short-read only approaches for this species. Copyright © 2016 Chien et al.
Lysosomal serine carboxypeptidase Cathepsin A (CTSA) is a multifunctional enzyme with distinct protective and catalytic function. CTSA present in the lysosomal multienzyme complex to facilitate the correct lysosomal routing, stability and activation of with beta-galactosidase and alpha-neuraminidase. Beside CTSA has role in inactivation of bioactive peptides including bradykinin, substances P, oxytocin, angiotensin I and endothelin-I by cleavage of 1 or 2 amino acid(s) from C-terminal ends. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the regulatory role of CTSA on bioactive peptides in knock-in mice model of CTSA(S190A) . We investigated the level of bradykinin, substances P, oxytocin, angiotensin I and endothelin-I in the kidney, liver, lung, brain and serum from CTSA(S190A) mouse model at 3- and 6-months of age. Our results suggest CTSA selectively contributes to processing of bioactive peptides in different tissues from CTSA(S190A) mice compared to age matched WT mice.
Genome sequences of Ralstonia insidiosa type strain ATCC 49129 and strain FC1138, a strong biofilm producer isolated from a fresh-cut produce-processing plant.
Ralstonia insidiosa is an opportunistic pathogen and a strong biofilm producer. Here, we present the complete genome sequences of R. insidiosa FC1138 and ATCC 49129. Both strains have two circular chromosomes of approximately 3.9 and 1.9 Mb and a 50-kb plasmid. ATCC 49129 also possesses a megaplasmid of approximately 318 kb. Copyright © 2016 Xu et al.
Neuraminidase A-exposed galactose promotes Streptococcus pneumoniae biofilm formation during colonization.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen that colonizes the nasopharynx. Herein we show that carbon availability is distinct between the nasopharynx and bloodstream of adult humans: glucose is absent from the nasopharynx, whereas galactose is abundant. We demonstrate that pneumococcal neuraminidase A (NanA), which cleaves terminal sialic acid residues from host glycoproteins, exposed galactose on the surface of septal epithelial cells, thereby increasing its availability during colonization. We observed that S. pneumoniae mutants deficient in NanA and ß-galactosidase A (BgaA) failed to form biofilms in vivo despite normal biofilm-forming abilities in vitro Subsequently, we observed that glucose, sucrose, and fructose were inhibitory for biofilm formation, whereas galactose, lactose, and low concentrations of sialic acid were permissive. Together these findings suggested that the genes involved in biofilm formation were under some form of carbon catabolite repression (CCR), a regulatory network in which genes involved in the uptake and metabolism of less-preferred sugars are silenced during growth with preferred sugars. Supporting this notion, we observed that a mutant deficient in pyruvate oxidase, which converts pyruvate to acetyl-phosphate under non-CCR-inducing growth conditions, was unable to form biofilms. Subsequent comparative transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses of planktonic and biofilm-grown pneumococci showed that metabolic pathways involving the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-phosphate and subsequently leading to fatty acid biosynthesis were consistently upregulated during diverse biofilm growth conditions. We conclude that carbon availability in the nasopharynx impacts pneumococcal biofilm formation in vivo Additionally, biofilm formation involves metabolic pathways not previously appreciated to play an important role. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Methicillin resistance creates a major obstacle for treatment of Staphylococcus aureus infections. The resistance gene, mecA, is carried on a large (20 kb to?>?60 kb) genomic island, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), that excises from and inserts site-specifically into the staphylococcal chromosome. However, although SCCmec has been designated a mobile genetic element, a mechanism for its transfer has not been defined. Here we demonstrate the capture and conjugative transfer of excised SCCmec. SCCmec was captured on pGO400, a mupirocin-resistant derivative of the pGO1/pSK41 staphylococcal conjugative plasmid lineage, and pGO400::SCCmec (pRM27) was transferred by filter-mating into both homologous and heterologous S. aureus recipients representing a range of clonal complexes as well as S. epidermidis. The DNA sequence of pRM27 showed that SCCmec had been transferred in its entirety and that its capture had occurred by recombination between IS257/431 elements present on all SCCmec types and pGO1/pSK41 conjugative plasmids. The captured SCCmec excised from the plasmid and inserted site-specifically into the chromosomal att site of both an isogenic S. aureus and a S. epidermidis recipient. These studies describe a means by which methicillin resistance can be environmentally disseminated and a novel mechanism, IS-mediated recombination, for the capture and conjugative transfer of genomic islands. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Highlights of the 11th International Bordetella Symposium: from basic biology to vaccine development.
Pertussis is a severe respiratory disease caused by infection with the bacterial pathogen Bordetella pertussis The disease affects individuals of all ages but is particularly severe and sometimes fatal in unvaccinated young infants. Other Bordetella species cause diseases in humans, animals, and birds. Scientific, clinical, public health, vaccine company, and regulatory agency experts on these pathogens and diseases gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 5 to 8 April 2016 for the 11th International Bordetella Symposium to discuss recent advances in our understanding of the biology of these organisms, the diseases they cause, and the development of new vaccines and other strategies to prevent these diseases. Highlights of the meeting included pertussis epidemiology in developing nations, genomic analysis of Bordetella biology and evolution, regulation of virulence factor expression, new model systems to study Bordetella biology and disease, effects of different vaccines on immune responses, maternal immunization as a strategy to prevent newborn disease, and novel vaccine development for pertussis. In addition, the group approved the formation of an International Bordetella Society to promote research and information exchange on bordetellae and to organize future meetings. A new Bordetella.org website will also be developed to facilitate these goals. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Assembly, annotation, and comparative genomics in PATRIC, the All Bacterial Bioinformatics Resource Center.
In the “big data” era, research biologists are faced with analyzing new types that usually require some level of computational expertise. A number of programs and pipelines exist, but acquiring the expertise to run them, and then understanding the output can be a challenge.The Pathosystems Resource Integration Center (PATRIC, www.patricbrc.org ) has created an end-to-end analysis platform that allows researchers to take their raw reads, assemble a genome, annotate it, and then use a suite of user-friendly tools to compare it to any public data that is available in the repository. With close to 113,000 bacterial and more than 1000 archaeal genomes, PATRIC creates a unique research experience with “virtual integration” of private and public data. PATRIC contains many diverse tools and functionalities to explore both genome-scale and gene expression data, but the main focus of this chapter is on assembly, annotation, and the downstream comparative analysis functionality that is freely available in the resource.
Protein coding genes can be studied using long-read next generation sequencing. However, high rates of indel sequencing errors are problematic, corrupting the reading frame. Even the consensus of multiple independent sequence reads retains indel errors. To solve this problem, we introduce Reference-Informed Frame-Resolving multiple-Alignment Free template inference algorithm (RIFRAF), a sequence consensus algorithm that takes a set of error-prone reads and a reference sequence and infers an accurate in-frame consensus. RIFRAF uses a novel structure, analogous to a two-layer hidden Markov model: the consensus is optimized to maximize alignment scores with both the set of noisy reads and with a reference. The template-to-reads component of the model encodes the preponderance of indels, and is sensitive to the per-base quality scores, giving greater weight to more accurate bases. The reference-to-template component of the model penalizes frame-destroying indels. A local search algorithm proceeds in stages to find the best consensus sequence for both objectives.Using Pacific Biosciences SMRT sequences from an HIV-1 env clone, NL4-3, we compare our approach to other consensus and frame correction methods. RIFRAF consistently finds a consensus sequence that is more accurate and in-frame, especially with small numbers of reads. It was able to perfectly reconstruct over 80% of consensus sequences from as few as three reads, whereas the best alternative required twice as many. RIFRAF is able to achieve these results and keep the consensus in-frame even with a distantly related reference sequence. Moreover, unlike other frame correction methods, RIFRAF can detect and keep true indels while removing erroneous ones.RIFRAF is implemented in Julia, and source code is publicly available at https://github.com/MurrellGroup/Rifraf.jl.Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Since the initial report in 1911, the domestic ferret has become an invaluable biomedical research model. While widely recognized for its utility in influenza virus research, ferrets are used for a variety of infectious and noninfectious disease models due to the anatomical, metabolic, and physiological features they share with humans and their susceptibility to many human pathogens. However, there are limitations to the model that must be overcome for maximal utility for the scientific community. Here, we describe important recent advances that will accelerate biomedical research with this animal model. Copyright © 2018 Albrecht et al.