Use of partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing for identification of Legionella pneumophila and non-pneumophila Legionella spp.
ABSTRACT: We examined 49 Legionella species, 26 L. pneumophila and 23 non-pneumophila Legionella spp., using partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. This approach accurately identified all the L. pneumophila isolates, characterized all non-pneumophila Legionella isolates as such within this genus, and classified most (20/23; 87%) of the non-pneumophila Legionella isolates to the species level.
Project description:Fluorescent resonance energy transfer probes targeting the 16S rRNA gene were constructed for a sensitive and specific real-time PCR for identification and differentiation of Legionella pneumophila from other Legionella spp. For identification of non-L. pneumophila spp. by direct amplicon sequencing, two conventional PCR assays targeting the mip gene were established.
Project description:A real-time PCR assay for the mip gene of Legionella pneumophila was tested with 27 isolates of L. pneumophila, 20 isolates of 14 other Legionella species, and 103 non-Legionella bacteria. Eight culture-positive and 40 culture-negative clinical specimens were tested. This assay was 100% sensitive and 100% specific for L. pneumophila.
Project description:We developed a single-tube multiplex real-time PCR assay capable of simultaneously detecting and discriminating Legionella spp., Legionella pneumophila, and Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 in primary specimens. Evaluation of 21 clinical specimens and 115 clinical isolates demonstrated this assay to be a rapid, high-throughput diagnostic test with 100% specificity that may aid during legionellosis outbreaks and epidemiologic investigations.
Project description:We have developed a procedure to test the efficiency and reliability of sequencing of Legionella pneumophila genes directly from respiratory samples and have compared the results with those derived from cultured isolates. We tried to obtain the nucleotide sequences of six protein-coding loci included in the sequence-based typing scheme for Legionella pneumophila and three intergenic regions from 132 samples corresponding to 106 patients positive for urine antigen. A seminested PCR approach was used to amplify and sequence these nine loci directly from respiratory samples. Nucleotide sequences were directly obtained for 23 Legionella isolates and also for 66 respiratory secretions from a total of 69 patients. The efficiency of sequencing from respiratory secretions was higher than that of sequencing after the isolation of the Legionella isolates. Moreover, the perfect match between the sequences obtained by both approaches when respiratory samples and cultured isolates from the same patient were available corroborates the suitability of the direct sequencing approach for the identification of Legionella species and molecular epidemiology studies with Legionella species.
Project description:A real-time PCR for the ABI Prism 7000 system targeting the 23S-5S spacer of Legionella spp. was developed. Simultaneous detection and differentiation of Legionella spp. and Legionella pneumophila within 90 min and without post-PCR melting-curve analysis was achieved using two TaqMan probes. In sputum samples from 23 controls and 17 patients with legionellosis, defined by positive culture, urinary antigen testing, or seroconversion, 94% sensitivity and 100% specificity were observed.
Project description:The Legionella Reference Center in Japan collected 427 Legionella clinical isolates between 2008 and 2016, including 7 representative isolates from corresponding outbreaks. The collection included 419 Legionella pneumophila isolates, of which 372 belonged to serogroup 1 (SG1) (87%) and the others belonged to SG2 to SG15 except for SG7 and SG11, and 8 isolates of other Legionella species (Legionella bozemanae, Legionella dumoffii, Legionella feeleii, Legionella longbeachae, Legionella londiniensis, and Legionella rubrilucens). L. pneumophila isolates were genotyped by sequence-based typing (SBT) and represented 187 sequence types (STs), of which 126 occurred in a single isolate (index of discrimination of 0.984). These STs were analyzed using minimum spanning tree analysis, resulting in the formation of 18 groups. The pattern of overall ST distribution among L. pneumophila isolates was diverse. In particular, some STs were frequently isolated and were suggested to be related to the infection sources. The major STs were ST23 (35 isolates), ST120 (20 isolates), and ST138 (16 isolates). ST23 was the most prevalent and most causative ST for outbreaks in Japan and Europe. ST138 has been observed only in Japan, where it has caused small-scale outbreaks; 81% of those strains (13 isolates) were suspected or confirmed to infect humans through bath water sources. On the other hand, 11 ST23 strains (31%) and 5 ST120 strains (25%) were suspected or confirmed to infect humans through bath water. These findings suggest that some ST strains frequently cause legionellosis in Japan and are found under different environmental conditions.IMPORTANCELegionella pneumophila serogroup 1 (SG1) is the most frequent cause of legionellosis. Our previous genetic analysis indicated that SG1 environmental isolates represented 8 major clonal complexes, consisting of 3 B groups, 2 C groups, and 3 S groups, which included major environmental isolates derived from bath water, cooling towers, and soil and puddles, respectively. Here, we surveyed clinical isolates collected from patients with legionellosis in Japan between 2008 and 2016. Most strains belonging to the B group were isolated from patients for whom bath water was the suspected or confirmed source of infection. Among the isolates derived from patients whose suspected infection source was soil or dust, most belonged to the S1 group and none belonged to the B or C groups. Additionally, the U group was discovered as a new group, which mainly included clinical isolates with unknown infection sources.
Project description:Between 2000 and 2017, a total of 236 Legionella species isolates from Arizona were submitted to the CDC for reference testing. Most of these isolates were recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage specimens. Although the incidence of legionellosis in Arizona is less than the overall U.S. incidence, Arizona submits the largest number of isolates to the CDC for testing compared to those from other states. In addition to a higher proportion of culture confirmation of legionellosis cases in Arizona than in other states, all Legionella pneumophila isolates are forwarded to the CDC for confirmatory testing. Compared to that from other states, a higher proportion of isolates from Arizona were identified as belonging to L. pneumophila serogroups 6 (28.2%) and 8 (8.9%). Genome sequencing was conducted on 113 L. pneumophila clinical isolates not known to be associated with outbreaks in order to understand the genomic diversity of strains causing legionellosis in Arizona. Whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) revealed 17 clusters of isolates sharing at least 99% identical allele content. Only two of these clusters contained isolates from more than one individual with exposure at the same facility. Additionally, wgMLST analysis revealed a group of 31 isolates predominantly belonging to serogroup 6 and containing isolates from three separate clusters. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and pangenome analysis were used to further resolve genome sequences belonging to a subset of isolates. This study demonstrates that culture of clinical specimens for Legionella spp. reveals a highly diverse population of strains causing legionellosis in Arizona which could be underappreciated using other diagnostic approaches.IMPORTANCE Culture of clinical specimens from patients with Legionnaires' disease is rarely performed, restricting our understanding of the diversity and ecology of Legionella Culture of Legionella from patient specimens in Arizona revealed a greater proportion of non-serogroup 1 Legionella pneumophila isolates than in other U.S. isolates examined. Disease caused by such isolates may go undetected using other diagnostic methods. Moreover, genome sequence analysis revealed that these isolates were genetically diverse, and understanding these populations may help in future environmental source attribution studies.
Project description:Legionella pneumophila is an important opportunistic pathogen for which environmental reservoirs are crucial for the infection of humans. In the environment, free-living amoebae represent key hosts providing nutrients and shelter for highly efficient intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila, which eventually leads to lysis of the protist. However, the significance of other bacterial players for L. pneumophila ecology is poorly understood. In this study, we used a ubiquitous amoeba and bacterial endosymbiont to investigate the impact of this common association on L. pneumophila infection. We demonstrate that L. pneumophila proliferation was severely suppressed in Acanthamoeba castellanii harboring the chlamydial symbiont Protochlamydia amoebophila The amoebae survived the infection and were able to resume growth. Different environmental amoeba isolates containing the symbiont were equally well protected as different L. pneumophila isolates were diminished, suggesting ecological relevance of this symbiont-mediated defense. Furthermore, protection was not mediated by impaired L. pneumophila uptake. Instead, we observed reduced virulence of L. pneumophila released from symbiont-containing amoebae. Pronounced gene expression changes in the presence of the symbiont indicate that interference with the transition to the transmissive phase impedes the L. pneumophila infection. Finally, our data show that the defensive response of amoebae harboring P. amoebophila leaves the amoebae with superior fitness reminiscent of immunological memory. Given that mutualistic associations between bacteria and amoebae are widely distributed, P. amoebophila and potentially other amoeba endosymbionts could be key in shaping environmental survival, abundance, and virulence of this important pathogen, thereby affecting the frequency of human infection.IMPORTANCE Bacterial pathogens are generally investigated in the context of disease. To prevent outbreaks, it is essential to understand their lifestyle and interactions with other microbes in their natural environment. Legionella pneumophila is an important human respiratory pathogen that survives and multiplies in biofilms or intracellularly within protists, such as amoebae. Importantly, transmission to humans occurs from these environmental sources. Legionella infection generally leads to rapid host cell lysis. It was therefore surprising to observe that amoebae, including fresh environmental isolates, were well protected during Legionella infection when the bacterial symbiont Protochlamydia amoebophila was also present. Legionella was not prevented from invading amoebae but was impeded in its ability to develop fully virulent progeny and were ultimately cleared in the presence of the symbiont. This study highlights how ecology and virulence of an important human pathogen is affected by a defensive amoeba symbiont, with possibly major consequences for public health.
Project description:Legionella spp. are ubiquitous bacteria principally found in water networks and ∼20 species are implicated in Legionnaire's disease. Among them, Legionella pneumophila is an intracellular pathogen of environmental protozoa, responsible for ∼90% of cases in the world. Legionella pneumophila regulates in part its virulence by a quorum sensing system named "Legionella quorum sensing," composed of a signal synthase LqsA, two histidine kinase membrane receptors LqsS and LqsT and a cytoplasmic receptor LqsR. To date, this communication system was only found in L. pneumophila. Here, we investigated 58 Legionella genomes to determine the presence of a lqs cluster or homologous receptors using TBlastN. This analysis revealed three categories of species: 19 harbored a complete lqs cluster, 20 did not possess lqsA but maintained the receptor lqsR and/or lqsS, and 19 did not have any of the lqs genes. No correlation was observed between pathogenicity and the presence of a quorum sensing system. We determined by RT-qPCR that the lqsA gene was expressed at least in four strains among different species available in our laboratory. Furthermore, we showed that the lqs genomic region was conserved even in species possessing only the receptors of the quorum sensing system, indicating an ancestral acquisition and various loss dynamics during evolution. This system could therefore function in interspecific communication as well.
Project description:Legionella pneumophila outbreak investigations require the development of reliable typing methods to better understand the genetic relationships of the isolates involved. Here, we report the draft genome sequences of four clinical Legionella pneumophila isolates obtained between 2000 and 2012 in Ontario, Canada.