The serum resistome of a globally disseminated multidrug resistant uropathogenic Escherichia coli clone.
ABSTRACT: Escherichia coli ST131 is a globally disseminated, multidrug resistant clone responsible for a high proportion of urinary tract and bloodstream infections. The rapid emergence and successful spread of E. coli ST131 is strongly associated with antibiotic resistance; however, this phenotype alone is unlikely to explain its dominance amongst multidrug resistant uropathogens circulating worldwide in hospitals and the community. Thus, a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underpin the fitness of E. coli ST131 is required. In this study, we employed hyper-saturated transposon mutagenesis in combination with multiplexed transposon directed insertion-site sequencing to define the essential genes required for in vitro growth and the serum resistome (i.e. genes required for resistance to human serum) of E. coli EC958, a representative of the predominant E. coli ST131 clonal lineage. We identified 315 essential genes in E. coli EC958, 231 (73%) of which were also essential in E. coli K-12. The serum resistome comprised 56 genes, the majority of which encode membrane proteins or factors involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis. Targeted mutagenesis confirmed a role in serum resistance for 46 (82%) of these genes. The murein lipoprotein Lpp, along with two lipid A-core biosynthesis enzymes WaaP and WaaG, were most strongly associated with serum resistance. While LPS was the main resistance mechanism defined for E. coli EC958 in serum, the enterobacterial common antigen and colanic acid also impacted on this phenotype. Our analysis also identified a novel function for two genes, hyxA and hyxR, as minor regulators of O-antigen chain length. This study offers novel insight into the genetic make-up of E. coli ST131, and provides a framework for future research on E. coli and other Gram-negative pathogens to define their essential gene repertoire and to dissect the molecular mechanisms that enable them to survive in the bloodstream and cause disease.
Project description:Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (E. coli ST131) is a recently emerged and globally disseminated multidrug resistant clone associated with urinary tract and bloodstream infections. Plasmids represent a major vehicle for the carriage of antibiotic resistance genes in E. coli ST131. In this study, we determined the complete sequence and performed a comprehensive annotation of pEC958, an IncF plasmid from the E. coli ST131 reference strain EC958. Plasmid pEC958 is 135.6 kb in size, harbours two replicons (RepFIA and RepFII) and contains 12 antibiotic resistance genes (including the blaCTX-M-15 gene). We also carried out hyper-saturated transposon mutagenesis and multiplexed transposon directed insertion-site sequencing (TraDIS) to investigate the biology of pEC958. TraDIS data showed that while only the RepFII replicon was required for pEC958 replication, the RepFIA replicon contains genes essential for its partitioning. Thus, our data provides direct evidence that the RepFIA and RepFII replicons in pEC958 cooperate to ensure their stable inheritance. The gene encoding the antitoxin component (ccdA) of the post-segregational killing system CcdAB was also protected from mutagenesis, demonstrating this system is active. Sequence comparison with a global collection of ST131 strains suggest that IncF represents the most common type of plasmid in this clone, and underscores the need to understand its evolution and contribution to the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in E. coli ST131.
Project description:Escherichia coli strains causing urinary tract infection (UTI) are increasingly recognized as belonging to specific clones. E. coli clone O25b:H4-ST131 has recently emerged globally as a leading multi-drug resistant pathogen causing urinary tract and bloodstream infections in hospitals and the community. While most molecular studies to date examine the mechanisms conferring multi-drug resistance in E. coli ST131, relatively little is known about their virulence potential. Here we examined E. coli ST131 clinical isolates from two geographically diverse collections, one representing the major pathogenic lineages causing UTI across the United Kingdom and a second representing UTI isolates from patients presenting at two large hospitals in Australia. We determined a draft genome sequence for one representative isolate, E. coli EC958, which produced CTX-M-15 extended-spectrum ?-lactamase, CMY-23 type AmpC cephalosporinase and was resistant to ciprofloxacin. Comparative genome analysis indicated that EC958 encodes virulence genes commonly associated with uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). The genome sequence of EC958 revealed a transposon insertion in the fimB gene encoding the activator of type 1 fimbriae, an important UPEC bladder colonization factor. We identified the same fimB transposon insertion in 59% of the ST131 UK isolates, as well as 71% of ST131 isolates from Australia, suggesting this mutation is common among E. coli ST131 strains. Insertional inactivation of fimB resulted in a phenotype resembling a slower off-to-on switching for type 1 fimbriae. Type 1 fimbriae expression could still be induced in fimB-null isolates; this correlated strongly with adherence to and invasion of human bladder cells and bladder colonisation in a mouse UTI model. We conclude that E. coli ST131 is a geographically widespread, antibiotic resistant clone that has the capacity to produce numerous virulence factors associated with UTI.
Project description:Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the cause of ~75% of all urinary tract infections (UTIs) and is increasingly associated with multidrug resistance. This includes UPEC strains from the recently emerged and globally disseminated sequence type 131 (ST131), which is now the dominant fluoroquinolone-resistant UPEC clone worldwide. Most ST131 strains are motile and produce H4-type flagella. Here, we applied a combination of saturated Tn5 mutagenesis and transposon directed insertion site sequencing (TraDIS) as a high throughput genetic screen and identified 30 genes associated with enhanced motility of the reference ST131 strain EC958. This included 12 genes that repress motility of E. coli K-12, four of which (lrhA, ihfA, ydiV, lrp) were confirmed in EC958. Other genes represented novel factors that impact motility, and we focused our investigation on characterisation of the mprA, hemK and yjeA genes. Mutation of each of these genes in EC958 led to increased transcription of flagellar genes (flhD and fliC), increased expression of the FliC flagellin, enhanced flagella synthesis and a hyper-motile phenotype. Complementation restored all of these properties to wild-type level. We also identified Tn5 insertions in several intergenic regions (IGRs) on the EC958 chromosome that were associated with enhanced motility; this included flhDC and EC958_1546. In both of these cases, the Tn5 insertions were associated with increased transcription of the downstream gene(s), which resulted in enhanced motility. The EC958_1546 gene encodes a phage protein with similarity to esterase/deacetylase enzymes involved in the hydrolysis of sialic acid derivatives found in human mucus. We showed that over-expression of EC958_1546 led to enhanced motility of EC958 as well as the UPEC strains CFT073 and UTI89, demonstrating its activity affects the motility of different UPEC strains. Overall, this study has identified and characterised a number of novel factors associated with enhanced UPEC motility.
Project description:Escherichia coli ST131 is now recognised as a leading contributor to urinary tract and bloodstream infections in both community and clinical settings. Here we present the complete, annotated genome of E. coli EC958, which was isolated from the urine of a patient presenting with a urinary tract infection in the Northwest region of England and represents the most well characterised ST131 strain. Sequencing was carried out using the Pacific Biosciences platform, which provided sufficient depth and read-length to produce a complete genome without the need for other technologies. The discovery of spurious contigs within the assembly that correspond to site-specific inversions in the tail fibre regions of prophages demonstrates the potential for this technology to reveal dynamic evolutionary mechanisms. E. coli EC958 belongs to the major subgroup of ST131 strains that produce the CTX-M-15 extended spectrum ?-lactamase, are fluoroquinolone resistant and encode the fimH30 type 1 fimbrial adhesin. This subgroup includes the Indian strain NA114 and the North American strain JJ1886. A comparison of the genomes of EC958, JJ1886 and NA114 revealed that differences in the arrangement of genomic islands, prophages and other repetitive elements in the NA114 genome are not biologically relevant and are due to misassembly. The availability of a high quality uropathogenic E. coli ST131 genome provides a reference for understanding this multidrug resistant pathogen and will facilitate novel functional, comparative and clinical studies of the E. coli ST131 clonal lineage.
Project description:Toll-like receptor (TLR)-inducible zinc toxicity is a recently described macrophage antimicrobial response used against bacterial pathogens. Here we investigated deployment of this pathway against uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), the major cause of urinary tract infections. Primary human macrophages subjected EC958, a representative strain of the globally disseminated multidrug-resistant UPEC ST131 clone, to zinc stress. We therefore used transposon-directed insertion site sequencing to identify the complete set of UPEC genes conferring protection against zinc toxicity. Surprisingly, zinc-susceptible EC958 mutants were not compromised for intramacrophage survival, whereas corresponding mutants in the nonpathogenic E. coli K-12 strain MG1655 displayed significantly reduced intracellular bacterial loads within human macrophages. To investigate whether the intramacrophage zinc stress response of EC958 reflected the response of only a subpopulation of bacteria, we generated and validated reporter systems as highly specific sensors of zinc stress. Using these tools we show that, in contrast to MG1655, the majority of intramacrophage EC958 evades the zinc toxicity response, enabling survival within these cells. In addition, EC958 has a higher tolerance to zinc than MG1655, with this likely being important for survival of the minor subset of UPEC cells exposed to innate immune-mediated zinc stress. Indeed, analysis of zinc stress reporter strains and zinc-sensitive mutants in an intraperitoneal challenge model in mice revealed that EC958 employs both evasion and resistance against zinc toxicity, enabling its dissemination to the liver and spleen. We thus demonstrate that a pathogen of global significance uses multiple mechanisms to effectively subvert innate immune-mediated zinc poisoning for systemic spread.
Project description:Epidemiological studies point to the gut as a key reservoir of multidrug resistant Escherichia coli multilocus sequence type 131 (ST131), a globally dominant pathogenic clone causing urinary tract and bloodstream infections. Here we report a detailed investigation of its intestinal lifestyle.Clinical ST131 isolates and type 1 fimbriae null mutants were assessed for colonization of human intestinal epithelia and in mouse intestinal colonization models. Mouse gut tissue underwent histologic analysis for pathology and ST131 localization. Key findings were corroborated in mucus-producing human cell lines and intestinal biopsy specimens.ST131 strains adhered to and invaded human intestinal epithelial cells more than probiotic and commensal strains. The reference ST131 strain EC958 established persistent intestinal colonization in mice, and expression of type 1 fimbriae mediated higher colonization levels. Bacterial loads were highest in the distal parts of the mouse intestine and did not cause any obvious pathology. Further analysis revealed that EC958 could bind to both mucus and underlying human intestinal epithelia.ST131 strains can efficiently colonize the mammalian gut and persist long term. Type 1 fimbriae enhance ST131 intestinal colonization, suggesting that mannosides, currently developed as therapeutics for bladder infections and Crohn's disease, could also be used to limit intestinal ST131 reservoirs.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131) is a clone of uropathogenic E. coli that has emerged rapidly and disseminated globally in both clinical and community settings. Members of the ST131 lineage from across the globe have been comprehensively characterized in terms of antibiotic resistance, virulence potential, and pathogenicity, but to date nothing is known about the methylome of these important human pathogens. Here we used single-molecule real-time (SMRT) PacBio sequencing to determine the methylome of E. coli EC958, the most-well-characterized completely sequenced ST131 strain. Our analysis of 52,081 methylated adenines in the genome of EC958 discovered three (m6)A methylation motifs that have not been described previously. Subsequent SMRT sequencing of isogenic knockout mutants identified the two type I methyltransferases (MTases) and one type IIG MTase responsible for (m6)A methylation of novel recognition sites. Although both type I sites were rare, the type IIG sites accounted for more than 12% of all methylated adenines in EC958. Analysis of the distribution of MTase genes across 95 ST131 genomes revealed their prevalence is highly conserved within the ST131 lineage, with most variation due to the presence or absence of mobile genetic elements on which individual MTase genes are located. IMPORTANCE:DNA modification plays a crucial role in bacterial regulation. Despite several examples demonstrating the role of methyltransferase (MTase) enzymes in bacterial virulence, investigation of this phenomenon on a whole-genome scale has remained elusive until now. Here we used single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing to determine the first complete methylome of a strain from the multidrug-resistant E. coli sequence type 131 (ST131) lineage. By interrogating the methylome computationally and with further SMRT sequencing of isogenic mutants representing previously uncharacterized MTase genes, we defined the target sequences of three novel ST131-specific MTases and determined the genomic distribution of all MTase target sequences. Using a large collection of 95 previously sequenced ST131 genomes, we identified mobile genetic elements as a major factor driving diversity in DNA methylation patterns. Overall, our analysis highlights the potential for DNA methylation to dramatically influence gene regulation at the transcriptional level within a well-defined E. coli clone.
Project description:Klebsiella pneumoniae causes severe lung and bloodstream infections that are difficult to treat due to multidrug resistance. We hypothesized that antimicrobial resistance can be reversed by targeting chromosomal non-essential genes that are not responsible for acquired resistance but essential for resistant bacteria under therapeutic concentrations of antimicrobials. Conditional essentiality of individual genes to antimicrobial resistance was evaluated in an epidemic multidrug-resistant clone of K. pneumoniae (ST258). We constructed a high-density transposon mutant library of >430,000 unique Tn5 insertions and measured mutant depletion upon exposure to three clinically relevant antimicrobials (colistin, imipenem or ciprofloxacin) by Transposon Directed Insertion-site Sequencing (TraDIS). Using this high-throughput approach, we defined three sets of chromosomal non-essential genes essential for growth during exposure to colistin (n?=?35), imipenem (n?=?1) or ciprofloxacin (n?=?1) in addition to known resistance determinants, collectively termed the "secondary resistome". As proof of principle, we demonstrated that inactivation of a non-essential gene not previously found linked to colistin resistance (dedA) restored colistin susceptibility by reducing the minimum inhibitory concentration from 8 to 0.5??g/ml, 4-fold below the susceptibility breakpoint (S???2??g/ml). This finding suggests that the secondary resistome is a potential target for developing antimicrobial "helper" drugs that restore the efficacy of existing antimicrobials.
Project description:Escherichia coli ST131 is the most frequently isolated fluoroquinolone-resistant (FQR) E. coli clone worldwide and a major cause of urinary tract and bloodstream infections. Although originally identified through its association with the CTX-M-15 extended-spectrum β-lactamase resistance gene, global genomic epidemiology studies have failed to resolve the geographical and temporal origin of the ST131 ancestor. Here, we developed a framework for the reanalysis of publically available genomes from different countries and used this data set to reconstruct the evolutionary steps that led to the emergence of FQR ST131. Using Bayesian estimation, we show that point mutations in chromosomal genes that confer FQR coincide with the first clinical use of fluoroquinolone in 1986 and illustrate the impact of this pivotal event on the rapid population expansion of ST131 worldwide from an apparent origin in North America. Furthermore, we identify virulence factor acquisition events that predate the development of FQR, suggesting that the gain of virulence-associated genes followed by the tandem development of antibiotic resistance primed the successful global dissemination of ST131.Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131) is a recently emerged and globally disseminated multidrug-resistant clone frequently associated with human urinary tract and bloodstream infections. In this study, we have used two large publically available genomic data sets to define a number of critical steps in the evolution of this important pathogen. We show that resistance to fluoroquinolones, a class of broad-spectrum antibiotic used extensively in human medicine and veterinary practice, developed in ST131 soon after the introduction of these antibiotics in the United States, most likely in North America. We also mapped the acquisition of several fitness and virulence determinants by ST131 and demonstrate these events occurred prior to the development of fluoroquinolone resistance. Thus, ST131 has emerged by stealth, first acquiring genes associated with an increased capacity to cause human infection, and then gaining a resistance armory that has driven its massive population expansion across the globe.
Project description:Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131) is a major cause of urinary and bloodstream infections. Its association with extended-spectrum ?-lactamases (ESBLs) significantly complicates treatment. Its best-described component is the rapidly expanding H30Rx clade, containing allele 30 of the type 1 fimbrial adhesin gene fimH This lineage appears to have emerged in the United States and spread around the world in part due to the acquisition of the ESBL-encoding bla CTX-M-15 gene and resistance to fluoroquinolones. However, non-H30 ST131 sublineages with other acquired CTX-M-type resistance genes are also emerging. Based on whole-genome analyses, we describe here the presence of an (fimH) H27 E. coli ST131 sublineage that has recently caused an outbreak of community-acquired bacteremia and recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) in Denmark. This sublineage has acquired both a virulence plasmid (pAA) that defines the enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) diarrheagenic pathotype and multiple genes associated with extraintestinal E. coli (ExPEC); combined, these traits have made this particular ST131 sublineage successful at colonizing its human host and causing recurrent UTI. Moreover, using a historic World Health Organization (WHO) E. coli collection and publicly available genome sequences, we identified a global H27 EAEC ST131 sublineage that dates back as far as 1998. Most H27 EAEC ST131 isolates harbor pAA or pAA-like plasmids, and our analysis strongly implies a single ancestral acquisition among these isolates. These findings illustrate both the profound plasticity of this important pathogenic E. coli ST131 H27 sublineage and genetic acquisitions of EAEC-specific virulence traits that likely confer an enhanced ability to cause intestinal colonization.IMPORTANCE E. coli ST131 is an important extraintestinal pathogenic lineage. A signature characteristic of ST131 is its ability to asymptomatically colonize the gastrointestinal tract and then opportunistically cause extraintestinal infections, such as cystitis, pyelonephritis, and urosepsis. In this study, we identified an ST131 H27 sublineage that has acquired the enteroaggregative diarrheagenic phenotype, spread across multiple continents, and caused multiple outbreaks of community-acquired ESBL-associated bloodstream infections in Denmark. The strain's ability to both cause diarrhea and innocuously colonize the human gastrointestinal tract may facilitate its dissemination and establishment in the community.