September 22, 2019  |  

Topical antibiotic use coselects for the carriage of mobile genetic elements conferring resistance to unrelated antimicrobials in Staphylococcus aureus.

Topical antibiotics, such as mupirocin and fusidic acid, are commonly used in the prevention and treatment of skin infections, particularly those caused by staphylococci. However, the widespread use of these agents is associated with increased resistance to these agents, potentially limiting their efficacy. Of particular concern is the observation that resistance to topical antibiotics is often associated with multidrug resistance, suggesting that topical antibiotics may play a role in the emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains. New Zealand (NZ) has some of the highest globally recorded rates of topical antibiotic usage and resistance. Using a combination of Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time (SMRT) whole-genome sequencing, Illumina short-read sequencing, and Bayesian phylogenomic modeling on 118 new multilocus sequence type 1 (ST1) communityStaphylococcus aureusisolates from New Zealand and 61 publically available international ST1 genome sequences, we demonstrate a strong correlation between the clinical introduction of topical antibiotics and the emergence of MDR ST1S. aureusWe also providein vitroexperimental evidence showing that exposure to topical antibiotics can lead to the rapid selection of MDRS. aureusisolates carrying plasmids that confer resistance to multiple unrelated antibiotics, from within a mixed population of competitor strains. These findings have important implications regarding the impact of the indiscriminate use of topical antibiotics. Copyright © 2018 Carter et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics reveals new single-nucleotide polymorphisms that can assist in identification of adherent-invasive Escherichia coli.

Adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) have been involved in Crohn’s disease (CD). Currently, AIEC are identified by time-consuming techniques based on in vitro infection of cell lines to determine their ability to adhere to and invade intestinal epithelial cells as well as to survive and replicate within macrophages. Our aim was to find signature sequences that can be used to identify the AIEC pathotype. Comparative genomics was performed between three E. coli strain pairs, each pair comprised one AIEC and one non-AIEC with identical pulsotype, sequence type and virulence gene carriage. Genetic differences were further analysed in 22 AIEC and 28 non-AIEC isolated from CD patients and controls. The strain pairs showed similar genome structures, and no gene was specific to AIEC. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms displayed different nucleotide distributions between AIEC and non-AIEC, and four correlated with increased adhesion and/or invasion indices. Here, we present a classification algorithm based on the identification of three allelic variants that can predict the AIEC phenotype with 84% accuracy. Our study corroborates the absence of an AIEC-specific genetic marker distributed across all AIEC strains. Nonetheless, point mutations putatively involved in the AIEC phenotype can be used for the molecular identification of the AIEC pathotype.


September 22, 2019  |  

Early transmissible ampicillin resistance in zoonotic Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium in the late 1950s: a retrospective, whole-genome sequencing study.

Ampicillin, the first semi-synthetic penicillin active against Enterobacteriaceae, was released onto the market in 1961. The first outbreaks of disease caused by ampicillin-resistant strains of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium were identified in the UK in 1962 and 1964. We aimed to date the emergence of this resistance in historical isolates of S enterica serotype Typhimurium.In this retrospective, whole-genome sequencing study, we analysed 288 S enterica serotype Typhimurium isolates collected between 1911 and 1969 from 31 countries on four continents and from various sources including human beings, animals, feed, and food. All isolates were tested for antimicrobial drug susceptibility with the disc diffusion method, and isolates shown to be resistant to ampicillin underwent resistance-transfer experiments. To provide insights into population structure and mechanisms of ampicillin resistance, we did whole-genome sequencing on a subset of 225 isolates, selected to maximise source, spatiotemporal, and genetic diversity.11 (4%) of 288 isolates were resistant to ampicillin because of acquisition of various ß lactamase genes, including blaTEM-1, carried by various plasmids, including the virulence plasmid of S enterica serotype Typhimurium. These 11 isolates were from three phylogenomic groups. One isolate producing TEM-1 ß lactamase was isolated in France in 1959 and two isolates producing TEM-1 ß lactamase were isolated in Tunisia in 1960, before ampicillin went on sale. The vectors for ampicillin resistance were different from those reported in the strains responsible for the outbreaks in the UK in the 1960s.The association between antibiotic use and selection of resistance determinants is not as direct as often presumed. Our results suggest that the non-clinical use of narrow-spectrum penicillins (eg, benzylpenicillin) might have favoured the diffusion of plasmids carrying the blaTEM-1gene in S enterica serotype Typhimurium in the late 1950s.Institut Pasteur, Santé publique France, the French Government’s Investissement d’Avenir programme, the Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome analysis of clinical multilocus sequence Type 11 Klebsiella pneumoniae from China.

The increasing prevalence of KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae strains in clinical settings has been largely attributed to dissemination of organisms of specific multilocus sequence types, such as ST258 and ST11. Compared with the ST258 clone, which is prevalent in North America and Europe, ST11 is common in China but information regarding its genetic features remains scarce. In this study, we performed detailed genetic characterization of ST11 K. pneumoniae strains by analyzing whole-genome sequences of 58 clinical strains collected from diverse geographic locations in China. The ST11 genomes were found to be highly heterogeneous and clustered into at least three major lineages based on the patterns of single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Exhibiting five different capsular types, these ST11 strains were found to harbor multiple resistance and virulence determinants such as the blaKPC-2 gene, which encodes carbapenemase, and the yersiniabactin-associated virulence genes irp, ybt and fyu. Moreover, genes encoding the virulence factor aerobactin and the regulator of the mucoid phenotype (rmpA) were detectable in six genomes, whereas genes encoding salmochelin were found in three genomes. In conclusion, our data indicated that carriage of a wide range of resistance and virulence genes constitutes the underlying basis of the high level of prevalence of ST11 in clinical settings. Such findings provide insight into the development of novel strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of K. pneumoniae infections.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics and identification of an enterotoxin-bearing pathogenicity island, SEPI-1/SECI-1, in Staphylococcus epidermidis pathogenic strains.

Staphylococcus epidermidis is a leading cause of nosocomial infections, majorly resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics, and may transfer several mobile genetic elements among the members of its own species, as well as to Staphylococcus aureus; however, a genetic exchange from S. aureus to S. epidermidis remains controversial. We recently identified two pathogenic clinical strains of S. epidermidis that produce a staphylococcal enterotoxin C3-like (SEC) similar to that by S. aureus pathogenicity islands. This study aimed to determine the genetic environment of the SEC-coding sequence and to identify the mobile genetic elements. Whole-genome sequencing and annotation of the S. epidermidis strains were performed using Illumina technology and a bioinformatics pipeline for assembly, which provided evidence that the SEC-coding sequences were located in a composite pathogenicity island that was previously described in the S. epidermidis strain FRI909, called SePI-1/SeCI-1, with 83.8-89.7% nucleotide similarity. Various other plasmids were identified, particularly p_3_95 and p_4_95, which carry antibiotic resistance genes (hsrA and dfrG, respectively), and share homologies with SAP085A and pUSA04-2-SUR11, two plasmids described in S. aureus. Eventually, one complete prophage was identified, FSE90, sharing 30 out of 52 coding sequences with the Acinetobacter phage vB_AbaM_IME200. Thus, the SePI-1/SeCI-1 pathogenicity island was identified in two pathogenic strains of S. epidermidis that produced a SEC enterotoxin causing septic shock. These findings suggest the existence of in vivo genetic exchange from S. aureus to S. epidermidis.


September 22, 2019  |  

High genetic plasticity in multidrug-resistant sequence type 3-IncHI2 plasmids revealed by sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis.

We report a novel fusion plasmid, pP2-3T, cointegrating sequence type 3 (ST3)-IncHI2 with an IncFII plasmid backbone mediating multidrug resistance (MDR) and virulence. Phylogenetic analysis and comparative genomics revealed that pP2-3T and other MDR ST3-IncHI2 plasmids clustered together, representing a unique IncHI2 lineage that exhibited high conservation in backbones of plasmids but possessed highly genetic plasticity in various regions by acquiring numerous antibiotic resistance genes and fusing with other plasmids. Surveillance studies should be performed to monitor multiresistance IncHI2 plasmids among Enterobacteriaceae. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence and analysis of the industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain N85 used in Chinese rice wine production.

Chinese rice wine is a popular traditional alcoholic beverage in China, while its brewing processes have rarely been explored. We herein report the first gapless, near-finished genome sequence of the yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae N85 for Chinese rice wine production. Several assembly methods were used to integrate Pacific Bioscience (PacBio) and Illumina sequencing data to achieve high-quality genome sequencing of the strain. The genome encodes more than 6,000 predicted proteins, and 238 long non-coding RNAs, which are validated by RNA-sequencing data. Moreover, our annotation predicts 171 novel genes that are not present in the reference S288c genome. We also identified 65,902 single nucleotide polymorphisms and small indels, many of which are located within genic regions. Dozens of larger copy-number variations and translocations were detected, mainly enriched in the subtelomeres, suggesting these regions may be related to genomic evolution. This study will serve as a milestone in studying of Chinese rice wine and related beverages in China and in other countries. It will help to develop more scientific and modern fermentation processes of Chinese rice wine, and explore metabolism pathways of desired and harmful components in Chinese rice wine to improve its taste and nutritional value.© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.


September 22, 2019  |  

Pseudomonas orientalis F9: A potent antagonist against phytopathogens with phytotoxic effect in the apple flower.

In light of public concerns over the use of pesticides and antibiotics in plant protection and the subsequent selection for spread of resistant bacteria in the environment, it is inevitable to broaden our knowledge about viable alternatives, such as natural antagonists and their mode of action. The genus Pseudomonas is known for its metabolic versatility and genetic plasticity, encompassing pathogens as well as antagonists. We characterized strain Pseudomonas orientalis F9, an isolate from apple flowers in a Swiss orchard, and determined its antagonistic activity against several phytopathogenic bacteria, in particular Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight. P. orientalis F9 displayed antagonistic activity against a broad suite of phytopathogenic bacteria in the in vitro tests. The promising results from this analysis led to an ex vivo assay with E. amylovora CFBP1430Rif and P. orientalis F9 infected detached apple flowers. F9 diminished the fire blight pathogen in the flowers but also revealed phytotoxic traits. The experimental results were discussed in light of the complete genome sequence of F9, which revealed the strain to carry phenazine genes. Phenazines are known to contribute to antagonistic activity of bacterial strains against soil pathogens. When tested in the cress assay with Pythium ultimum as pathogen, F9 showed results comparable to the known antagonist P. protegens CHA0.


September 22, 2019  |  

Pantoea ananatis genetic diversity analysis reveals limited genomic diversity as well as accessory genes correlated with onion pathogenicity.

Pantoea ananatis is a member of the family Enterobacteriaceae and an enigmatic plant pathogen with a broad host range. Although P. ananatis strains can be aggressive on onion causing foliar necrosis and onion center rot, previous genomic analysis has shown that P. ananatis lacks the primary virulence secretion systems associated with other plant pathogens. We assessed a collection of fifty P. ananatis strains collected from Georgia over three decades to determine genetic factors that correlated with onion pathogenic potential. Previous genetic analysis studies have compared strains isolated from different hosts with varying diseases potential and isolation sources. Strains varied greatly in their pathogenic potential and aggressiveness on different cultivated Allium species like onion, leek, shallot, and chive. Using multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) and repetitive extragenic palindrome repeat (rep)-PCR techniques, we did not observe any correlation between onion pathogenic potential and genetic diversity among strains. Whole genome sequencing and pan-genomic analysis of a sub-set of 10 strains aided in the identification of a novel series of genetic regions, likely plasmid borne, and correlating with onion pathogenicity observed on single contigs of the genetic assemblies. We named these loci Onion Virulence Regions (OVR) A-D. The OVR loci contain genes involved in redox regulation as well as pectate lyase and rhamnogalacturonase genes. Previous studies have not identified distinct genetic loci or plasmids correlating with onion foliar pathogenicity or pathogenicity on a single host pathosystem. The lack of focus on a single host system for this phytopathgenic disease necessitates the pan-genomic analysis performed in this study.


September 22, 2019  |  

Vegetative compatibility groups partition variation in the virulence of Verticillium dahliae on strawberry.

Verticillium dahliae infection of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) is a major cause of disease-induced wilting in soil-grown strawberries across the world. To understand what components of the pathogen are affecting disease expression, the presence of the known effector VdAve1 was screened in a sample of Verticillium dahliae isolates. Isolates from strawberry were found to contain VdAve1 and were divided into two major clades, based upon their vegetative compatibility groups (VCG); no UK strawberry isolates contained VdAve1. VC clade was strongly related to their virulence levels. VdAve1-containing isolates pathogenic on strawberry were found in both clades, in contrast to some recently published findings. On strawberry, VdAve1-containing isolates had significantly higher virulence during early infection, which diminished in significance as the infection progressed. Transformation of a virulent non-VdAve1 containing isolate, with VdAve1 was found neither to increase nor decrease virulence when inoculated on a susceptible strawberry cultivar. There are therefore virulence factors that are epistatic to VdAve1 and potentially multiple independent routes to high virulence on strawberry in V. dahliae lineages. Genome sequencing a subset of isolates across the two VCGs revealed that isolates were differentiated at the whole genome level and contained multiple changes in putative effector content, indicating that different clonal VCGs may have evolved different strategies for infecting strawberry, leading to different virulence levels in pathogenicity tests. It is therefore important to consider both clonal lineage and effector complement as the adaptive potential of each lineage will differ, even if they contain the same race determining effector.


September 22, 2019  |  

A validation approach of an end-to-end whole genome sequencing workflow for source tracking of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS), using high throughput sequencing technology, reveals the complete sequence of the bacterial genome in a few days. WGS is increasingly being used for source tracking, pathogen surveillance and outbreak investigation due to its high discriminatory power. In the food industry, WGS used for source tracking is beneficial to support contamination investigations. Despite its increased use, no standards or guidelines are available today for the use of WGS in outbreak and/or trace-back investigations. Here we present a validation of our complete (end-to-end) WGS workflow for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica including: subculture of isolates, DNA extraction, sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. This end-to-end WGS workflow was evaluated according to the following performance criteria: stability, repeatability, reproducibility, discriminatory power, and epidemiological concordance. The current study showed that few single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) were observed for L. monocytogenes and S. enterica when comparing genome sequences from five independent colonies from the first subculture and five independent colonies after the tenth subculture. Consequently, the stability of the WGS workflow for L. monocytogenes and S. enterica was demonstrated despite the few genomic variations that can occur during subculturing steps. Repeatability and reproducibility were also demonstrated. The WGS workflow was shown to have a high discriminatory power and has the ability to show genetic relatedness. Additionally, the WGS workflow was able to reproduce published outbreak investigation results, illustrating its capability of showing epidemiological concordance. The current study proposes a validation approach comprising all steps of a WGS workflow and demonstrates that the workflow can be applied to L. monocytogenes or S. enterica.


September 22, 2019  |  

The global distribution and spread of the mobilized colistin resistance gene mcr-1.

Colistin represents one of the few available drugs for treating infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. As such, the recent plasmid-mediated spread of the colistin resistance gene mcr-1 poses a significant public health threat, requiring global monitoring and surveillance. Here, we characterize the global distribution of mcr-1 using a data set of 457 mcr-1-positive sequenced isolates. We find mcr-1 in various plasmid types but identify an immediate background common to all mcr-1 sequences. Our analyses establish that all mcr-1 elements in circulation descend from the same initial mobilization of mcr-1 by an ISApl1 transposon in the mid 2000s (2002-2008; 95% highest posterior density), followed by a marked demographic expansion, which led to its current global distribution. Our results provide the first systematic phylogenetic analysis of the origin and spread of mcr-1, and emphasize the importance of understanding the movement of antibiotic resistance genes across multiple levels of genomic organization.


September 22, 2019  |  

Ploidy variation in Kluyveromyces marxianus separates dairy and non-dairy isolates.

Kluyveromyces marxianus is traditionally associated with fermented dairy products, but can also be isolated from diverse non-dairy environments. Because of thermotolerance, rapid growth and other traits, many different strains are being developed for food and industrial applications but there is, as yet, little understanding of the genetic diversity or population genetics of this species. K. marxianus shows a high level of phenotypic variation but the only phenotype that has been clearly linked to a genetic polymorphism is lactose utilisation, which is controlled by variation in the LAC12 gene. The genomes of several strains have been sequenced in recent years and, in this study, we sequenced a further nine strains from different origins. Analysis of the Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in 14 strains was carried out to examine genome structure and genetic diversity. SNP diversity in K. marxianus is relatively high, with up to 3% DNA sequence divergence between alleles. It was found that the isolates include haploid, diploid, and triploid strains, as shown by both SNP analysis and flow cytometry. Diploids and triploids contain long genomic tracts showing loss of heterozygosity (LOH). All six isolates from dairy environments were diploid or triploid, whereas 6 out 7 isolates from non-dairy environment were haploid. This also correlated with the presence of functional LAC12 alleles only in dairy haplotypes. The diploids were hybrids between a non-dairy and a dairy haplotype, whereas triploids included three copies of a dairy haplotype.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genetic basis of chromosomally-encoded mcr-1 gene.

Compared with plasmid-borne mcr-1, the occurrence of chromosomally-encoded mcr-1 is rare although it has been reported in several cases. This study aimed to investigate the genetic features of chromosomally-encoded mcr-1 among Escherichia coli strains as well as the potential genetic basis governing mobilisation of mcr-1 in bacterial chromosomes. The genome sequences of 16 E. coli strains containing a chromosomal mcr-1 gene were obtained and analysed. Phylogenetic and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analysis demonstrated that mcr-1 was associated with four major types of genetic arrangements, namely ISApl1-mcr1-orf, Tn6330, complex Tn6330 and ?Tn6330 in chromosomes of genetically unrelated E. coli strains. The mcr-1-carrying mobile elements were shown to insert into the AT-rich region, which was also the case for ISApl1. Analysis of complete E. coli genome sequences showed that there were multiple copies of ISApl1 present in E. coli chromosomes that also carried mcr-1, whilst all mcr-1-negative chromosomes were absent of any copy of ISApl1, suggesting the strong association of ISApl1 and mcr-1. Insertion of ISApl1 into E. coli chromosomes may be a prerequisite for the insertion of mcr-1-carrying mobile elements. Insertion of mcr-1 into E. coli chromosomes would enable it to become intrinsically resistant, which is expected to become more prevalent. Policy on the prudent use of colistin both in veterinary and clinical settings should be imposed globally to further prevent dissemination of mcr-1 in E. coli and other bacterial pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Extensive gene amplification as a mechanism for piperacillin-tazobactam resistance in Escherichia coli.

Although the TEM-1 ß-lactamase (BlaTEM-1) hydrolyzes penicillins and narrow-spectrum cephalosporins, organisms expressing this enzyme are typically susceptible to ß-lactam/ß-lactamase inhibitor combinations such as piperacillin-tazobactam (TZP). However, our previous work led to the discovery of 28 clinical isolates of Escherichia coli resistant to TZP that contained only blaTEM-1 One of these isolates, E. coli 907355, was investigated further in this study. E. coli 907355 exhibited significantly higher ß-lactamase activity and BlaTEM-1 protein levels when grown in the presence of subinhibitory concentrations of TZP. A corresponding TZP-dependent increase in blaTEM-1 copy number was also observed, with as many as 113 copies of the gene detected per cell. These results suggest that TZP treatment promotes an increase in blaTEM-1 gene dosage, allowing BlaTEM-1 to reach high enough levels to overcome inactivation by the available tazobactam in the culture. To better understand the nature of the blaTEM-1 copy number proliferation, whole-genome sequence (WGS) analysis was performed on E. coli 907355 in the absence and presence of TZP. The WGS data revealed that the blaTEM-1 gene is located in a 10-kb genomic resistance module (GRM) that contains multiple resistance genes and mobile genetic elements. The GRM was found to be tandemly repeated at least 5 times within a p1ESCUM/p1ECUMN-like plasmid when bacteria were grown in the presence of TZP.IMPORTANCE Understanding how bacteria acquire resistance to antibiotics is essential for treating infected patients effectively, as well as preventing the spread of resistant organisms. In this study, a clinical isolate of E. coli was identified that dedicated more than 15% of its genome toward tandem amplification of a ~10-kb resistance module, allowing it to escape antibiotic-mediated killing. Our research is significant in that it provides one possible explanation for clinical isolates that exhibit discordant behavior when tested for antibiotic resistance by different phenotypic methods. Our research also shows that GRM amplification is difficult to detect by short-read WGS technologies. Analysis of raw long-read sequence data was required to confirm GRM amplification as a mechanism of antibiotic resistance. Copyright © 2018 Schechter et al.


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