July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic recombination leading to decreased virulence of group B Streptococcus in a mouse model of adult invasive disease.

Authors: Teatero, Sarah and Lemire, Paul and Dewar, Ken and Wasserscheid, Jessica and Calzas, Cynthia and Mallo, Gustavo V and Li, Aimin and Athey, Taryn B T and Segura, Mariela and Fittipaldi, Nahuel

Adult invasive disease caused by Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is increasing worldwide. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) now permits rapid identification of recombination events, a phenomenon that occurs frequently in GBS. Using WGS, we described that strain NGBS375, a capsular serotype V GBS isolate of sequence type (ST)297, has an ST1 genomic background but has acquired approximately 300 kbp of genetic material likely from an ST17 strain. Here, we examined the virulence of this strain in an in vivo model of GBS adult invasive infection. The mosaic ST297 strain showed intermediate virulence, causing significantly less systemic infection and reduced mortality than a more virulent, serotype V ST1 isolate. Bacteremia induced by the ST297 strain was similar to that induced by a serotype III ST17 strain, which was the least virulent under the conditions tested. Yet, under normalized bacteremia levels, the in vivo intrinsic capacity to induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines was similar between the ST297 strain and the virulent ST1 strain. Thus, the diminished virulence of the mosaic strain may be due to reduced capacity to disseminate or multiply in blood during a systemic infection which could be mediated by regulatory factors contained in the recombined region.

Journal: Pathogens
DOI: 10.3390/pathogens5030054
Year: 2016

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