October 23, 2019  |  

Adeno-associated virus genome population sequencing achieves full vector genome resolution and reveals human-vector chimeras

Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-based gene therapy has entered a phase of clinical translation and commercialization. Despite this progress, vector integrity following production is often overlooked. Compromised vectors may negatively impact therapeutic efficacy and safety. Using single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing, we can comprehensively profile packaged genomes as a single intact molecule and directly assess vector integrity without extensive preparation. We have exploited this methodology to profile all heterogeneic populations of self-complementary AAV genomes via bioinformatics pipelines and have coined this approach AAV-genome population sequencing (AAV-GPseq). The approach can reveal the relative distribution of truncated genomes versus full-length genomes in vector preparations. Preparations that seemingly show high genome homogeneity by gel electrophoresis are revealed to consist of less than 50% full-length species. With AAV-GPseq, we can also detect many reverse-packaged genomes that encompass sequences originating from plasmid backbone, as well as sequences from packaging and helper plasmids. Finally, we detect host-cell genomic sequences that are chimeric with inverted terminal repeat (ITR)-containing vector sequences. We show that vector populations can contain between 1.3% and 2.3% of this type of undesirable genome. These discoveries redefine quality control standards for viral vector preparations and highlight the degree of foreign products in rAAV-based therapeutic vectors.


September 22, 2019  |  

Molecular characterization of IMP-1-producing Enterobacter cloacae complex isolates in Tokyo.

Although KPC enzymes are most common among carbapenemases produced by Enterobacter cloacae complex globally, the epidemiology varies from one country to another. While previous studies have suggested that IMP enzymes are most common in Japan, detailed analysis has been scarce thus far. Here, we carried out a molecular epidemiological study and plasmid analysis of IMP-1-producing E. cloacae complex isolates collected from three hospitals in central Tokyo using whole-genome sequencing. Seventy-one isolates were classified into several sequence types (STs), and 49 isolates were identified as Enterobacter hormaechei ST78. Isolates of ST78 were divided into three clades by core-genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based phylogenetic analysis. Whereas isolates of clade 3 were isolated from only one hospital, isolates of clade 1 and 2 were identified from multiple hospitals. Ten of 12 clade 1 isolates and 1 of 4 clade 2 isolates carried blaIMP-1 on IncHI2 plasmids, with high similarity of genetic structures. In addition, these plasmids shared backbone structures with IncHI2 plasmids carrying blaIMP reported from other countries of the Asia-Pacific region. All isolates of clade 3 except one carried blaIMP-1 in In1426 on IncW plasmids. An isolate of clade 3, which lacked IncW plasmids, carried blaIMP-1 in In1426 on an IncFIB plasmid. These observations suggest that IMP-producing E. cloacae complex isolates with a diversity of host genomic backgrounds have spread in central Tokyo, and they indicate the possible contribution of IncHI2 plasmids toward this phenomenon. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic evidence for asymmetric introgression by sexual selection in the common wall lizard.

Strongly selected characters can be transferred from one lineage to another with limited genetic exchange, resulting in asymmetric introgression and a mosaic genome in the receiving population. However, systems are rarely sufficiently well studied to link the pattern of introgression to its underlying process. Male common wall lizards in western Italy exhibit exaggeration of a suite of sexually selected characters that make them outcompete males from a distantly related lineage that lack these characters. This results in asymmetric hybridization and adaptive introgression of the suite of characters following secondary contact. We developed genomewide markers to infer the demographic history of gene flow between different genetic lineages, identify the spread of the sexually selected syndrome, and test the prediction that introgression should be asymmetric and heterogeneous across the genome. Our results show that secondary contact was accompanied by gene flow in both directions across most of the genome, but with approximately 3% of the genome showing highly asymmetric introgression in the predicted direction. Demographic simulations reveal that this asymmetric gene flow is more recent than the initial secondary contact, and the data suggest that the exaggerated male sexual characters originated within the Italian lineage and subsequently spread throughout this lineage before eventually reaching the contact zone. These results demonstrate that sexual selection can cause a suite of characters to spread throughout both closely and distantly related lineages with limited gene flow across the genome at large.© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of blaIMP-6-positive Metakosakonia sp. MRY16-398 isolate from the ascites of a diverticulitis patient.

A novel species of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) was isolated from a patient diagnosed with sigmoid colon diverticulitis. At first, laboratory testing suggested it was Klebsiella oxytoca or Pantoea sp.; however, a complete genome sequence of the isolate, MRY16-398, revealed that it could be novel species, most similar to [Kluyvera] intestini, of which taxonomic nomenclature is still under discussion. Orthologous conserved gene analysis among 42 related bacterial strains indicated that MRY16-398 was classified as the newly proposed genus Metakosakonia. Further, MRY16-398 was found to harbor the blaIMP-6 gene-positive class 1 integron (In722) in plasmid pMRY16-398_2 (IncN replicon, 47.4 kb in size). This finding implies that rare and opportunistic bacteria could be potential infectious agents. In conclusion, our results highlight the need for continuous monitoring for CPE even in nonpathogenic bacteria in the nosocomial environment.


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