CRISPR-MVLST subtyping of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovars Typhimurium and Heidelberg and application in identifying outbreak isolates.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovars Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) and Heidelberg (S. Heidelberg) are major causes of foodborne salmonellosis, accounting for a fifth of all annual salmonellosis cases in the United States. Rapid, efficient and accurate methods for identification are required for routine surveillance and to track specific strains during outbreaks. We used Pulsed-field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and a recently developed molecular subtyping approach termed CRISPR-MVLST that exploits the hypervariable nature of virulence genes and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) to subtype clinical S. Typhimurium and S. Heidelberg isolates. RESULTS: We analyzed a broad set of 175 S. Heidelberg and S. Typhimurium isolates collected over a five-year period. We identified 21 Heidelberg Sequence Types (HSTs) and 37 Typhimurium STs (TSTs) that were represented by 27 and 45 PFGE pulsotypes, respectively, and determined the discriminatory power of each method. CONCLUSIONS: For S. Heidelberg, our data shows that combined typing by both CRISPR-MVLST and PFGE provided a discriminatory power of 0.9213. Importantly, CRISPR-MVLST was able to separate common PFGE patterns such as JF6X01.0022 into distinct STs, thus providing significantly greater discriminatory power. Conversely, we show that subtyping by either CRISPR-MVLST or PFGE independently provides a sufficient discriminatory power (0.9345 and 0.9456, respectively) for S. Typhimurium. Additionally, using isolates from two S. Typhimurium outbreaks, we demonstrate that CRISPR-MVLST provides excellent epidemiologic concordance.
Project description:Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Newport (S. Newport) is the third most prevalent cause of food-borne salmonellosis. Rapid, efficient, and accurate methods for identification are required to track specific strains of S. Newport during outbreaks. By exploiting the hypervariable nature of virulence genes and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs), we previously developed a sequence-based subtyping approach, designated CRISPR-multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (CRISPR-MVLST). To demonstrate the applicability of this approach, we analyzed a broad set of S. Newport isolates collected over a 5-year period by using CRISPR-MVLST and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Among 84 isolates, we defined 38 S. Newport sequence types (NSTs), all of which were novel compared to our previous analyses, and 62 different PFGE patterns. Our data suggest that both subtyping approaches have high discriminatory abilities (>0.95) with a potential for clustering cases with common exposures. Importantly, we found that isolates from closely related NSTs were often similar by PFGE profile as well, further corroborating the applicability of CRISPR-MVLST. In the first full application of CRISPR-MVLST, we analyzed isolates from a recent S. Newport outbreak. In this blinded study, we confirmed the utility of CRISPR-MVLST and were able to distinguish the 10 outbreak isolates, as defined by PFGE and epidemiological data, from a collection of 20 S. Newport isolates. Together, our data show that CRISPR-MVLST could be a complementary approach to PFGE subtyping for S. Newport.
Project description:A retrospective investigation was performed to evaluate whole-genome sequencing as a benchmark for comparing molecular subtyping methods for Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis and survey the population structure of commonly encountered S. enterica serotype Enteritidis outbreak isolates in the United States. A total of 52 S. enterica serotype Enteritidis isolates representing 16 major outbreaks and three sporadic cases collected between 2001 and 2012 were sequenced and subjected to subtyping by four different methods: (i) whole-genome single-nucleotide-polymorphism typing (WGST), (ii) multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA), (iii) clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats combined with multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (CRISPR-MVLST), and (iv) pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). WGST resolved all outbreak clusters and provided useful robust phylogenetic inference results with high epidemiological correlation. While both MLVA and CRISPR-MVLST yielded higher discriminatory power than PFGE, MLVA outperformed the other methods in delineating outbreak clusters whereas CRISPR-MVLST showed the potential to trace major lineages and ecological origins of S. enterica serotype Enteritidis. Our results suggested that whole-genome sequencing makes a viable platform for the evaluation and benchmarking of molecular subtyping methods.
Project description:Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium is a leading cause of food-borne salmonellosis in the United States. The number of antibiotic-resistant isolates identified in humans is steadily increasing, suggesting that the spread of antibiotic-resistant strains is a major threat to public health. S Typhimurium is commonly identified in a wide range of animal hosts, food sources, and environments, but little is known about the factors mediating the spread of antibiotic resistance in this ecologically complex serovar. Previously, we developed a subtyping method, CRISPR-multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (MVLST), which discriminates among strains of several common S. enterica serovars. Here, CRISPR-MVLST identified 22 sequence types within a collection of 76 S Typhimurium isolates from a variety of animal sources throughout central Pennsylvania. Six of the sequence types were identified in more than one isolate, and we observed statistically significant differences in resistance among these sequence types to 7 antibiotics commonly used in veterinary and human medicine, such as ceftiofur and ampicillin (P < 0.05). Importantly, five of these sequence types were subsequently identified in human clinical isolates, and a subset of these isolates had identical antibiotic resistance patterns, suggesting that these subpopulations are being transmitted through the food system. Therefore, CRISPR-MVLST is a promising subtyping method for monitoring the farm-to-fork spread of antibiotic resistance in S Typhimurium.
Project description:Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica is the leading cause of bacterial food-borne disease in the United States. Molecular subtyping methods are powerful tools for tracking the farm-to-fork spread of food-borne pathogens during outbreaks. In order to develop a novel multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme for subtyping the major serovars of S. enterica subsp. enterica, the virulence genes sseL and fimH and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) loci were sequenced from 171 clinical isolates from nine Salmonella serovars, Salmonella serovars Typhimurium, Enteritidis, Newport, Heidelberg, Javiana, I 4,,12:i:-, Montevideo, Muenchen, and Saintpaul. The MLST scheme using only virulence genes was congruent with serotyping and identified epidemic clones but could not differentiate outbreaks. The addition of CRISPR sequences dramatically improved discriminatory power by differentiating individual outbreak strains/clones. Of particular note, the present MLST scheme provided better discrimination of Salmonella serovar Enteritidis strains than pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). This method showed high epidemiologic concordance for all serovars screened except for Salmonella serovar Muenchen. In conclusion, the novel MLST scheme described in the present study accurately differentiated outbreak strains/clones of the major serovars of Salmonella, and therefore, it shows promise for subtyping this important food-borne pathogen during investigations of outbreaks.
Project description:A multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (MVLST) scheme was developed for subtyping Listeria monocytogenes, and the results obtained using this scheme were compared to those of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and the published results of other typing methods, including ribotyping (RT) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). A set of 28 strains (eight different serotypes and three known genetic lineages) of L. monocytogenes was selected from a strain collection (n > 1,000 strains) to represent the genetic diversity of this species. Internal fragments (ca. 418 to 469 bp) of three virulence genes (prfA, inlB, and inlC) and three virulence-associated genes (dal, lisR, and clpP) were sequenced and analyzed. Multiple DNA sequence alignment identified 10 (prfA), 19 (inlB), 13 (dal), 10 (lisR), 17 (inlC), and 16 (clpP) allelic types and a total of 28 unique sequence types. Comparison of MVLST with automated EcoRI-RT and PFGE with ApaI enzymatic digestion showed that MVLST was able to differentiate strains that were indistinguishable by RT (13 ribotypes; discrimination index = 0.921) or PFGE (22 profiles; discrimination index = 0.970). Comparison of MVLST with housekeeping-gene-based MLST analysis showed that MVLST provided higher discriminatory power for serotype 1/2a and 4b strains than MLST. Cluster analysis based on the intragenic sequences of the selected virulence genes indicated a strain phylogeny closely related to serotypes and genetic lineages. In conclusion, MVLST may improve the discriminatory power of MLST and provide a convenient tool for studying the local epidemiology of L. monocytogenes.
Project description:Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is the method of choice for bacterial subtyping and it is rapidly replacing the more traditional methods such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Here we used the high-resolution core genome single nucleotide variant (cgSNV) typing method to characterize clinical and food from Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg isolates in the context of source attribution. Additionally, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) analysis was included to further support this method. Our results revealed that cgSNV was highly discriminatory and separated the outbreak isolates into distinct clusters (0-4 SNVs). CRISPR analysis was also able to distinguish outbreak strains from epidemiologically unrelated isolates. Specifically, our data clearly demonstrated the strength of these two methods to determine the probable source(s) of a 2012 epidemiologically characterized outbreak of S. Heidelberg. Using molecular cut-off of 0-10 SNVs, the cgSNV analysis of 246 clinical and food isolates of S. Heidelberg collected in Québec, in the same year of the outbreak event, revealed that retail and abattoir chicken isolates likely represent an important source of human infection to S. Heidelberg. Interestingly, the isolates genetically related by cgSNV also harbored the same CRISPR as outbreak isolates and clusters. This indicates that CRISPR profiles can be useful as a complementary approach to determine source attribution in foodborne outbreaks. Use of the genomic analysis also allowed to identify a large number of cases that were missed by PFGE, indicating that most outbreaks are probably underestimated. Although epidemiological information must still support WGS-based results, cgSNV method is a highly discriminatory method for the resolution of outbreak events and the attribution of these events to their respective sources. CRISPR typing can serve as a complimentary tool to this analysis during source tracking.
Project description:Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis is a major cause of food-borne salmonellosis in the United States. Two major food vehicles for S. Enteritidis are contaminated eggs and chicken meat. Improved subtyping methods are needed to accurately track specific strains of S. Enteritidis related to human salmonellosis throughout the chicken and egg food system. A sequence typing scheme based on virulence genes (fimH and sseL) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs)-CRISPR-including multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (designated CRISPR-MVLST)-was used to characterize 35 human clinical isolates, 46 chicken isolates, 24 egg isolates, and 63 hen house environment isolates of S. Enteritidis. A total of 27 sequence types (STs) were identified among the 167 isolates. CRISPR-MVLST identified three persistent and predominate STs circulating among U.S. human clinical isolates and chicken, egg, and hen house environmental isolates in Pennsylvania, and an ST that was found only in eggs and humans. It also identified a potential environment-specific sequence type. Moreover, cluster analysis based on fimH and sseL identified a number of clusters, of which several were found in more than one outbreak, as well as 11 singletons. Further research is needed to determine if CRISPR-MVLST might help identify the ecological origins of S. Enteritidis strains that contaminate chickens and eggs.
Project description:Nontyphoidal salmonellae are among the leading causes of food-borne disease in the United States. Because of the importance of Salmonella enterica in food-borne disease, numerous typing methodologies have been developed. Among the several molecular typing methods, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) is currently considered the "gold standard" technique in typing Salmonella. The aim of this study was to compare the discriminatory power of PFGE to multilocus sequence typing (MLST) in typing Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium clinical isolates. A total of 85 Salmonella Typhimurium clinical isolates from cattle were used in this study. PFGE using XbaI was performed on the 85 isolates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention method, and data were analyzed using the BioNumerics software package. Fifty PFGE profiles were observed among the isolates, and these grouped into three major clusters. For the MLST analysis, the manB, pduF, glnA, and spaM genes were amplified by PCR from the same 85 isolates. DNA sequencing of these four genes, manB, pduF, glnA, and spaM, showed no genetic diversity among the isolates tested, with a 100% identity in nucleotide sequence. Moreover, the DNA sequences of the aforementioned genes showed 100% identity to the sequence reported in GenBank for the S. enterica serovar Typhimurium LT2 strain. Therefore, MLST, using these genes, lacks the discriminatory power of PFGE for typing Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium.
Project description:A recently developed multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (MVLST) method showed improved discriminatory power for subtyping genetically diverse Listeria monocytogenes isolates and identified epidemic clone II isolates associated with two recent U.S. multistate listeriosis outbreaks. To evaluate the ability of MVLST to distinguish other epidemic clones and outbreak strains of L. monocytogenes, 58 outbreak-related isolates from 14 outbreaks and 49 unrelated isolates were analyzed. Results showed that MVLST provided very high discriminatory power (0.99), epidemiological concordance (1.0), stability, and typeability. MVLST accurately identified three previously known epidemic clones (epidemic clones I, II, and III) and redefined another epidemic clone (epidemic clone IV) in serotype 4b of L. monocytogenes. A set of 28 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) differentiated all epidemiologically unrelated isolates. A subset of 16 SNPs differentiated all epidemic clones and outbreak strains. Phylogenetic analysis showed congruence between MVLST clusters, serotypes, and previously defined genetic lineages of L. monocytogenes. SNPs in virulence genes appear to be excellent molecular markers for the epidemiological investigation of epidemics and outbreaks caused by L. monocytogenes.
Project description:Salmonella enterica is one of the most important bacterial enteric pathogens worldwide. However, little is known about its distribution and diversity in the environment. The present study explored the diversity of 104 strains of Salmonella enterica isolated over 2 years from 12 coastal waterways in central California. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing were used to probe species diversity. Seventy-four PFGE patterns and 38 sequence types (STs) were found, including 18 newly described STs. Nineteen of 25 PFGE patterns were indistinguishable from those of clinical isolates in PulseNet. The most common ST was consistent with S. enterica serovar Typhimurium, and other frequently detected STs were associated with the serovars Heidelberg and Enteritidis; all of these serovars are important etiologies of salmonellosis. An investigation into S. enterica biogeography was conducted at the level of ST and subspecies. At the ST and subspecies level, we found a taxon-time relationship but no taxon-area or taxon-environmental distance relationships. STs collected during wet versus dry conditions tended to be more similar; however, STs collected from waterways adjacent to watersheds with similar land covers did not tend to be similar. The results suggest that the lack of dispersal limitation may be an important factor affecting the diversity of S. enterica in the region.