Multilocus sequence analysis for typing Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira kirschneri.
ABSTRACT: Fifty-three strains belonging to the pathogenic species Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira kirschneri were analyzed by multilocus sequence analysis. The species formed two distinct branches. In the L. interrogans branch, the phylogenetic tree clustered the strains into three subgroups. Genogroups and serogroups were superimposed but not strictly.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Leptospirosis, commonly known as rat-urine disease, is a global but endemic zoonotic disease in the tropics. Despite the historical report of leptospirosis in Malaysia, the information on human-infecting species is limited. Determining the circulating species is important to understand its epidemiology, thereby to strategize appropriate control measures through public health interventions, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine development. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS:We investigated the human-infecting Leptospira species in blood and serum samples collected from clinically suspected leptospirosis patients admitted to three tertiary care hospitals in Malaysia. From a total of 165 patients, 92 (56%) were confirmed cases of leptospirosis through Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) (n = 43; 47%), Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) (n = 63; 68%) or both MAT and PCR (n = 14; 15%). The infecting Leptospira spp., determined by partial 16S rDNA (rrs) gene sequencing revealed two pathogenic species namely Leptospira interrogans (n = 44, 70%) and Leptospira kirschneri (n = 17, 27%) and one intermediate species Leptospira wolffii (n = 2, 3%). Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) identified an isolate of L. interrogans as a novel sequence type (ST 265), suggesting that this human-infecting strain has a unique genetic profile different from similar species isolated from rodents so far. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira kirschneri were identified as the dominant Leptospira species causing human leptospirosis in Central Malaysia. The existence of novel clinically important ST 265 (infecting human), that is different from rodent L. interrogans strains cautions reservoir(s) of these Leptospira lineages are yet to be identified.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonosis which is responsible for the typical form of Weil's disease. The epidemiological surveillance of the Leptospira species agent is important for host prevalence control. Although the genotyping methods have progressed, the identification of some serovars remains ambiguous. We investigated the multispacer sequence typing (MST) method for genotyping strains belonging to the species Leptospira interrogans, which is the main agent of leptospirosis worldwide. A total of 33 DNA samples isolated from the reference strains of L. interrogans serogroups Icterohaemorrhagiae, Australis, Canicola, and Grippotyphosa, which are the most prevalent serogroups in France, were analyzed by both the variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) and MST methods. An MST database has been constructed from the DNA of these reference strains to define the MST profiles. The MST profiles corroborated with the VNTR results. Moreover, the MST analysis allowed the identification at the serovar level or potentially to the isolate level for strains belonging to L. interrogans serovar Icterohaemorrhagiae, which then results in a higher resolution than VNTR (Hunter-Gaston index of 0.94 versus 0.68). Regarding L. interrogans serogroups Australis, Canicola, and Grippotyphosa, the MST and VNTR methods similarly identified the genotype. The MST method enabled the acquisition of simple and robust results that were based on the nucleotide sequences. The MST identified clinical isolates in correlation with the reference serovar profiles, thus permitting an epidemiological surveillance of circulating L. interrogans strains, especially for the Icterohaemorrhagiae serogroup, which includes the most prevalent strains of public health interest.
Project description:Leptospira interrogans sensu stricto is responsible for the most frequent and severe cases of human leptospirosis. The epidemiology and clinical features of leptospirosis are usually associated with the serovars and serogroups of Leptospira. Because of the difficulties associated with serological identification of Leptospira strains, we evaluated a novel PCR-based method for typing L. interrogans serovars. Based upon the genome sequence of L. interrogans serovar Lai type strain 5660, 44 loci were analyzed by PCR for their variability in size due to the presence of variable-number tandem repeats (VNTR). Seven VNTR loci were found to be powerful markers for serovar identification, epidemiology, and phylogenetic studies of L. interrogans. This rapid and easy method should greatly contribute to a better knowledge of the epidemiology of Leptospira.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Leptospirosis has gained much attention in Sri Lanka since its large outbreak in 2008. However, most of the cases were clinically diagnosed and information on Leptospira genotypes and serotypes currently prevailing in the country is lacking. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We retrospectively analyzed 24 Leptospira strains from human patients as well as isolated and characterized three Leptospira strains from black rats using the microscopic agglutination test with antisera for 19 serovars and multilocus sequence typing. The isolates were identified as Leptospira borgpetersenii sequence types (STs) 143 and 144; L. interrogans STs 30, 34, 43, 44, 74, 75, 80, 308, 313, 314, 316, and 317; and L. kirschneri ST318. Six of the 15 STs were identified for the first time in this study. Five serogroups such as Autumnalis, Grippotyphosa, Hebdomadis, Javanica, and Pyrogenes were detected among the isolates. Contrary to previous studies, various genotypes including novel STs were isolated during an outbreak in Southern Province. L. borgpetersenii serogroup Javanica ST143 was isolated both from a human and black rat. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:This study revealed that genetically diverse Leptospira strains currently circulate in Sri Lanka: some genotypes have been circulating and others have emerged recently, which may explain the recent surge of leptospirosis patients with varying clinical manifestations and frequent outbreaks of leptospirosis. Black rats were identified as the source of infection for humans, but reservoir animals for other genotypes remain unknown.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The available Leptospira multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme supported by a MLST website is limited to L. interrogans and L. kirschneri. Our aim was to broaden the utility of this scheme to incorporate a total of seven pathogenic species.<h4>Methodology and findings</h4>We modified the existing scheme by replacing one of the seven MLST loci (fadD was changed to caiB), as the former gene did not appear to be present in some pathogenic species. Comparison of the original and modified schemes using data for L. interrogans and L. kirschneri demonstrated that the discriminatory power of the two schemes was not significantly different. The modified scheme was used to further characterize 325 isolates (L. alexanderi [n = 5], L. borgpetersenii [n = 34], L. interrogans [n = 222], L. kirschneri [n = 29], L. noguchii [n = 9], L. santarosai [n = 10], and L. weilii [n = 16]). Phylogenetic analysis using concatenated sequences of the 7 loci demonstrated that each species corresponded to a discrete clade, and that no strains were misclassified at the species level. Comparison between genotype and serovar was possible for 254 isolates. Of the 31 sequence types (STs) represented by at least two isolates, 18 STs included isolates assigned to two or three different serovars. Conversely, 14 serovars were identified that contained between 2 to 10 different STs. New observations were made on the global phylogeography of Leptospira spp., and the utility of MLST in making associations between human disease and specific maintenance hosts was demonstrated.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The new MLST scheme, supported by an updated MLST website, allows the characterization and species assignment of isolates of the seven major pathogenic species associated with leptospirosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is a world-widely distributed zoonosis. Humans become infected via exposure to pathogenic Leptospira spp. from contaminated water or soil. The availability of genomic sequences of Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai and serovar Copenhageni opened up opportunities to identify genetic diversity among different pathogenic strains of L. interrogans representing various kinds of serotypes (serogroups and serovars). RESULTS: Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analysis was used to compare the gene content of L. interrogans serovar Lai strain Lai with that of other 10 L. interrogans strains prevailed in China and one identified from Brazil using a microarray spotted with 3,528 protein coding sequences (CDSs) of strain Lai. The cutoff ratio of sample/reference (S/R) hybridization for detecting the absence of genes from one tested strain was set by comparing the ratio of S/R hybridization and the in silico sequence similarities of strain Lai and serovar Copenhageni strain Fiocruz L1-130. Among the 11 strains tested, 275 CDSs were found absent from at least one strain. The common backbone of the L. interrogans genome was estimated to contain about 2,917 CDSs. The genes encoding fundamental cellular functions such as translation, energy production and conversion were conserved. While strain-specific genes include those that encode proteins related to either cell surface structures or carbohydrate transport and metabolism. We also found two genomic islands (GIs) in strain Lai containing genes divergently absent in other strains. Because genes encoding proteins with potential pathogenic functions are located within GIs, these elements might contribute to the variations in disease manifestation. Differences in genes involved in O-antigen biosynthesis were also identified for strains belonging to different serogroups, which offers an opportunity for future development of genomic typing tools for serological classification. CONCLUSION: CGH analyses for pathogenic leptospiral strains prevailed in China against the L. interrogans serovar Lai strain Lai CDS-spotted microarrays revealed 2,917 common backbone CDSs and strain specific genes encoding proteins mainly related to cell surface structures and carbohydrated transport/metabolism. Of the 275 CDSs considered absent from at least one of the L. interrogans strains tested, most of them were clustered in the rfb gene cluster and two putative genomic islands (GI A and B) in strain Lai. The strain-specific genes detected via this work will provide a knowledge base for further investigating the pathogenesis of L interrogans and/or for the development of effective vaccines and/or diagnostic tools.
Project description:A new repetitive DNA element was identified in an isolate of Leptospira interrogans serovar copenhageni from a patient in Salvador, Brazil. A Sau3A genomic library from this strain was constructed and screened for repetitive DNA elements. An insert of 438 bp (Rep1) from one library clone hybridized to multiple chromosomal DNA fragments resolved electrophoretically after digestion with BamHI, HindIII, and MfeI. A single oligonucleotide primer, designated iRepl, was designed to generate multiple PCR amplicons of various electrophoretic mobilities in a PCR typing method. The method distinguished strains belonging to the eight pathogenic and three saprophytic species of the genus Leptospira. Clinical isolates obtained during urban epidemics between 1996 and 1998 in Salvador, Brazil, were analyzed by this PCR method. Although the iRep1 primer was unable to discriminate strains among L. interrogans serovar copenhageni isolates, it was able to differentiate strains belonging to different species and serogroups of Leptospira identified in Salvador. This PCR-based method may provide a faster and less expensive alternative to serologic tests used in reference laboratories.
Project description:Leptospirosis is one of the most important but neglected, infectious tropical diseases worldwide. Leptospira interrogans is now recognized as a leading cause of the disease. Little is known of the genetic diversity and phylogenetic characteristics of L. interrogans within China. To better understand the transmission and genetic diversity of L. interrogans populations, we characterized 271 isolates and seven vaccine strains from China during 1954-2014 using multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). 110 different L. interrogans MLVA profiles (MTs) were identified, of which five were predominant, reflecting a high level of genetic diversity in L. interrogans population in China. Different from that of circulating isolates, seven vaccine strains have different MT, of which some are phylogenetically away from the circulating isolates. The results showed that Icterohaemorrhagiae, Hebdomadis, and Canicola ranked as the top three serogroups among L. interrogans strains tested. The cluster analysis demonstrate the clonal links between rodent and human isolates, suggesting the rodent species played a key role in the transmission of leptospirosis to humans, and contributed to the circulation of the pathogen in humans. Taken together, these findings should provide insight into a better knowledge of the epidemiology and molecular evolution of L. interrogans in China. Furthermore, the results should facilitate the selection of candidate vaccine strains in the future.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis has been implicated as a severe and fatal form of disease in Mayotte, a French-administrated territory located in the Comoros archipelago (southwestern Indian Ocean). To date, Leptospira isolates have never been isolated in this endemic region. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Leptospires were isolated from blood samples from 22 patients with febrile illness during a 17-month period after a PCR-based screening test was positive. Strains were typed using hyper-immune antisera raised against the major Leptospira serogroups: 20 of 22 clinical isolates were assigned to serogroup Mini; the other two strains belonged to serogroups Grippotyphosa and Pyrogenes, respectively. These isolates were further characterized using partial sequencing of 16S rRNA and ligB gene, Multi Locus VNTR Analysis (MLVA), and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Of the 22 isolates, 14 were L. borgpetersenii strains, 7 L. kirschneri strains, and 1, belonging to serogoup Pyrogenes, was L. interrogans. Results of the genotyping methods were consistent. MLVA defined five genotypes, whereas PFGE allowed the recognition of additional subgroups within the genotypes. PFGE fingerprint patterns of clinical strains did not match any of the patterns in the reference strains belonging to the same serogroup, suggesting that the strains were novel serovars. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary PCR screening of blood specimen allowed a high isolation frequency of leptospires among patients with febrile illness. Typing of leptospiral isolates showed that causative agents of leptospirosis in Mayotte have unique molecular features.
Project description:Comparative genomic hybridization was used to compare genetic diversity of five strains of Leptospira (Leptospira interrogans serovars Bratislava, Canicola, and Hebdomadis and Leptospira kirschneri serovars Cynopteri and Grippotyphosa). The array was designed based on two available sequenced Leptospira reference genomes, those of L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni and L. interrogans serovar Lai. A comparison of genetic contents showed that L. interrogans serovar Bratislava was closest to the reference genomes while L. kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa had the least similarity to the reference genomes. Cluster analysis indicated that L. interrogans serovars Bratislava and Hebdomadis clustered together first, followed by L. interrogans serovar Canicola, before the two L. kirschneri strains. Confirmed/potential virulence factors identified in previous research were also detected in the tested strains.