September 22, 2019  |  

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

Authors: Argemi, Xavier and Nanoukon, Chimène and Affolabi, Dissou and Keller, Daniel and Hansmann, Yves and Riegel, Philippe and Baba-Moussa, Lamine and Prévost, Gilles

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.

Journal: Toxins
DOI: 10.3390/toxins10030093
Year: 2018

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