Quantitative analysis of commensal Escherichia coli populations reveals host-specific enterotypes at the intra-species level.
ABSTRACT: The primary habitat of the Escherichia coli species is the gut of warm-blooded vertebrates. The E. coli species is structured into four main phylogenetic groups A, B1, B2, and D. We estimated the relative proportions of these phylogroups in the feces of 137 wild and domesticated animals with various diets living in the Ile de France (Paris) region by real-time PCR. We distinguished three main clusters characterized by a particular abundance of two or more phylogroups within the E. coli animal commensal populations, which we called "enterocolitypes" by analogy with the enterotypes defined in the human gut microbiota at the genus level. These enterocolitypes were characterized by a dominant (>50%) B2, B1, or A phylogroup and were associated with different host species, diets, and habitats: wild and herbivorous species (wild rabbits and deer), domesticated herbivorous species (domesticated rabbits, horses, sheep, and cows), and omnivorous species (boar, pigs, and chickens), respectively. By analyzing retrospectively the data obtained using the same approach from 98 healthy humans living in Ile de France (Smati et al. 2013, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79, 5005-5012), we identified a specific human enterocolitype characterized by the dominant and/or exclusive (>90%) presence of phylogroup B2. We then compared B2 strains isolated from animals and humans, and revealed that human and animal strains differ regarding O-type and B2 subgroup. Moreover, two genes, sfa/foc and clbQ, were associated with the exclusive character of strains, observed only in humans. In conclusion, a complex network of interactions exists at several levels (genus and intra-species) within the intestinal microbiota.
Project description:Escherichia coli strains are classified into four main phylogenetic groups (A, B1, B2, and D) and strains of these phylogroups differ in a number of characteristics. This study tested whether human fecal E. coli isolates belonging to different phylogroups differ in prevalence of bacteriocinogenic isolates and prevalence of individual bacteriocinogenic determinants. A set of 1283 fecal E. coli isolates from patients with different diseases was tested for the presence of DNA regions allowing classification into E. coli phylogroups and for the ability to produce bacteriocins (23 colicins and 7 microcins). Of the isolates tested, the most common was phylogroup B2 (38.3%) followed by phylogroups A (28.3%), D (26.3%) and B1 (7.2%). Altogether, 695 bacteriocin producers were identified representing 54.2% of all tested isolates. The highest prevalence of bacteriocin producers was found in group B2 (60.3%) and the lowest in group B1 (44.6%). Determinants encoding colicins E1, Ia, and microcin mV were most common in phylogroup A, determinants encoding microcins mM and mH47 were most common in phylogroup B2, and determinant encoding mB17 was most common in phylogroup D. The highest prevalence of bacteriocinogeny was found in phylogroup B2, suggesting that bacteriocinogeny and especially the synthesis of microcins was associated with virulent and resident E. coli strains.
Project description:Escherichia coli is divided into four main phylogenetic groups, which each exhibit ecological specialization. To understand the population structure of E. coli in its primary habitat, we directly assessed the relative proportions of these phylogroups from the stools of 100 healthy human subjects using a new real-time PCR method, which allows a large number of samples to be studied. The detection threshold for our technique was 0.1% of the E. coli population, i.e., 10(5) CFU/g of feces; in other methods based on individual colony analysis, the threshold is 10%. One, two, three, or four phylogenetic groups were simultaneously found in 21%, 48%, 21%, and 8% of the subjects, respectively. Phylogroups present at a threshold of less than 10% of the population were found in 40% of the subjects, revealing high within-individual diversity. Phylogroups A and B2 were detected in 74% and 70% of the subjects, respectively; phylogroups B1 and D were detected in 36% and 32%, respectively. When phylogroup B2 was dominant, it tended not to cooccur with other phylogroups. In contrast, other phylogroups were present when phylogroup A was dominant. These data indicate a complex pattern of interactions between the members of a single species within the human gut and identify a reservoir of clones that are present at a low frequency. The presence of these minor clones could explain the fluctuation in the composition of the E. coli microbiota within single individuals that may be seen over time. They could also constitute reservoirs of virulent and/or resistant strains.
Project description:The genus Escherichia is composed of Escherichia albertii, E. fergusonii, five cryptic Escherichia clades and E. coli sensu stricto. Furthermore, the E. coli species can be divided into seven main phylogroups termed A, B1, B2, C, D, E and F. As specific lifestyles and/or hosts can be attributed to these species/phylogroups, their identification is meaningful for epidemiological studies. Classical phenotypic tests fail to identify non-sensu stricto E. coli as well as phylogroups. Clermont and colleagues have developed PCR assays that allow the identification of most of these species/phylogroups, the triplex/quadruplex PCR for E. coli phylogroup determination being the most popular. With the growing availability of whole genome sequences, we have developed the ClermonTyping method and its associated web-interface, the ClermonTyper, that allows a given strain sequence to be assigned to E. albertii, E. fergusonii, Escherichia clades I-V, E. coli sensu stricto as well as to the seven main E. coli phylogroups. The ClermonTyping is based on the concept of in vitro PCR assays and maintains the principles of ease of use and speed that prevailed during the development of the in vitro assays. This in silico approach shows 99.4?% concordance with the in vitro PCR assays and 98.8?% with the Mash genome-clustering tool. The very few discrepancies result from various errors occurring mainly from horizontal gene transfers or SNPs in the primers. We propose the ClermonTyper as a freely available resource to the scientific community at: http://clermontyping.iame-research.center/.
Project description:Escherichia coli is the most common bacterial cause of infections in poultry farms. It is known for its genetic heterogenicity that complicates the protection of poultry health through immunoprophylaxis. In farms with continuous problems with colibacillosis, autogenous E. coli vaccine was implemented to the vaccination program instead of commercial vaccines. In this study, we investigated the effect of the autogenous vaccine on E. coli phylogroup diversity on 2 broiler breeder farms with 4 and 5 flocks, respectively. The first flocks on both farms were vaccinated with commercial vaccines, while application of autogenous vaccine was introduced in the second flock on both farms. In total, 113 strains were selected based on the target organs and age of chickens. Targeted organs were the peritoneum, liver, oviduct, and bone marrow, and analyzed strains were isolated from chickens older than 21 wk of age when problems with colibacillosis start emerging. The strains were phylotyped by PCR and allocated to phylogroups A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F or clades I-V. The results showed that autogenous vaccine could significantly affect the phylogroup shift of the strains. On farm A, application of the autogenous vaccine induced significantly lower prevalence (P = 0.01) of the phylogroups represented in the vaccine among the strains later isolated from the vaccinated flock, while on farm B, the results showed a decrease in the phylogenetic diversity with a dominant prevalence of group B2 despite the vaccine application. The results indicate that implementation of the autogenous vaccine can repress the majority of the strains, but also be unable to eliminate the presence of certain phylogroups, and thus lead to strain shift. Further detailed analyses of multilocus sequence typing and virulence genes will elucidate the pathogenic potential and selection of certain strains, with emphasis on B2 phylogroup.
Project description:In this study, more than one hundred thousand Escherichia coli and Shigella genomes were examined and classified. This is, to our knowledge, the largest E. coli genome dataset analyzed to date. A Mash-based analysis of a cleaned set of 10,667 E. coli genomes from GenBank revealed 14 distinct phylogroups. A representative genome or medoid identified for each phylogroup was used as a proxy to classify 95,525 unassembled genomes from the Sequence Read Archive (SRA). We find that most of the sequenced E. coli genomes belong to four phylogroups (A, C, B1 and E2(O157)). Authenticity of the 14 phylogroups is supported by several different lines of evidence: phylogroup-specific core genes, a phylogenetic tree constructed with 2613 single copy core genes, and differences in the rates of gene gain/loss/duplication. The methodology used in this work is able to reproduce known phylogroups, as well as to identify previously uncharacterized phylogroups in E. coli species.
Project description:A total of 222 urinary Escherichia coli isolates from 20 tertiary hospitals in 15 different provinces and 4 municipalities in mainland China were characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility, phylogrouping, and the presence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes. A subset of 138 suspected extended-spectrum cephalosporinase (ESC) producers were examined for genes encoding cephalosporin resistance. Forty-three isolates harboring bla(CTX-M-14) or bla(CTX-M-15) were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and plasmids containing these genes were typed using PCR-based replicon typing (PBRT). Thirteen phylogroup B2 bla(CTX-M-14)- and bla(CTX-M-15)-positive isolates were analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). A frequent occurrence of resistance (>46%) was observed toward cephalosporins, gentamicin, and fluoroquinolones. Among the 222 isolates, 4 qnrS1, 4 qepA, and 16 aac(6')-Ib-cr genes were confirmed. Four major phylogroups (A, B1, B2, and D) and nontypeable isolates (NTs) were found among the isolates, with phylogroup D (54%) being the most common phylogroup. A total of 110 (80%) of the 138 screened isolates harbored bla(CTX-M) genes, with bla(CTX-M-14) (71%) and bla(CTX-M-15) (24%) being the most prevalent of these genes. Nine of the 13 CTX-M-15- or CTX-M-14-containing B2 isolates belonged to ST131. PFGE typing showed a high level of diversity, and plasmid analysis indicated a very large pool of different resistance plasmids mediating the spread of bla(CTX-M) genes in mainland China. An equally very high frequency of resistance and equally high levels of diversity in phylogroups, PFGE types, and plasmids were observed among community- and hospital-acquired E. coli isolates, indicating the presence of a large reservoir in the community and a long-term spread of cephalosporin resistance in China.
Project description:This study analyzes the occurrence and distribution of phylogenetic groups of 391 strains of Escherichia coli isolated from poultry, cattle, and water buffalo. The frequency of the phylogroups was A = 19%, B1 = 57%, B2 = 2.3%, C = 4.6%, D = 2.8%, E = 11%, and F = 3.3%. Phylogroups A (P < 0.001) and F (P = 0.018) were associated with E. coli strains isolated from poultry, phylogroups B1 (P < 0.001) and E (P = 0.002) were associated with E. coli isolated from cattle, and phylogroups B2 (P = 0.003) and D (P = 0.017) were associated with E. coli isolated from water buffalo. This report demonstrated that some phylogroups are associated with the host analyzed and the results provide knowledge of the phylogenetic composition of E. coli from domestic animals.
Project description:The <i>pks</i> island codes for the enzymes necessary for synthesis of the genotoxin colibactin, which contributes to the virulence of <i>Escherichia coli</i> strains and is suspected of promoting colorectal cancer. From a collection of 785 human and bovine <i>E. coli</i> isolates, we identified 109 strains carrying a highly conserved <i>pks</i> island, mostly from phylogroup B2, but also from phylogroups A, B1 and D. Different scenarios of <i>pks</i> acquisition were deduced from whole genome sequence and phylogenetic analysis. In the main scenario, <i>pks</i> was introduced and stabilized into certain sequence types (STs) of the B2 phylogroup, such as ST73 and ST95, at the <i>asnW</i> tRNA locus located in the vicinity of the yersiniabactin-encoding High Pathogenicity Island (HPI). In a few B2 strains, <i>pks</i> inserted at the <i>asnU</i> or <i>asnV</i> tRNA loci close to the HPI and occasionally was located next to the remnant of an integrative and conjugative element. In a last scenario specific to B1/A strains, <i>pks</i> was acquired, independently of the HPI, at a non-tRNA locus. All the <i>pks</i>-positive strains except 18 produced colibactin. Sixteen strains contained mutations in <i>clbB</i> or <i>clbD,</i> or a fusion of <i>clbJ</i> and <i>clbK</i> and were no longer genotoxic but most of them still produced low amounts of potentially active metabolites associated with the <i>pks</i> island. One strain was fully metabolically inactive without <i>pks</i> alteration, but colibactin production was restored by overexpressing the ClbR regulator. In conclusion, the <i>pks</i> island is not restricted to human pathogenic B2 strains and is more widely distributed in the <i>E. coli</i> population, while preserving its functionality.
Project description:Escherichia coli that are present in the rivers are mostly brought by human and animal feces. Contamination occurs mostly through wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) outflows and field amendment with sewage sludge or manure. However, the survival of these isolates in river-associated wetlands remains unknown. Here, we assessed E. coli population structure in low-anthropized wetlands located along three floodplains to identify the major source of contamination of wetlands, whose functioning is different from the rivers. We retrieved 179 E. coli in water samples collected monthly from 19 sites located in eastern France over 1 year. Phylogroups B1 and B2 were dominant in the E. coli population, while phylogroup A was dominant in isolates resistant to third-generation cephalosporins, which harbored the extended-spectrum ?-lactamase (ESBL) encoding genes blaCTX–M–15 and blaCTX–M–27 in half of the cases. The high proportion of isolates from human source can be attributed to WWTP outflows and the spread of sewage sludge. We analyzed the distribution of the isolates belonging to the most human-associated phylogroups (B2 and D) on a phylogenetic tree of the whole species and compared it with that of isolates retrieved from patients and from WWTP outflows. The distribution of the three E. coli populations was similar, suggesting the absence of a specific population in the environment. Our results suggest that a high proportion of E. coli isolates that reach and survive in low-anthropized environments such as wetlands are from human source. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study assessing E. coli contamination and resistance genes in natural freshwater wetlands.
Project description:<i>Escherichia coli</i> may innocuously colonize the intestine of healthy subjects or may instigate infections in the gut or in other districts. This study investigated intestinal <i>E. coli</i> isolated from 20 healthy adults. Fifty-one strains were genotyped by molecular fingerprinting and analyzed for genetic and phenotypic traits, encompassing the profile of antibiotic resistance, biofilm production, the presence of surface structures (such as curli and cellulose), and their performance as recipients in conjugation experiments. A phylogroup classification and analysis of 34 virulence determinants, together with genes associated to the <i>pks</i> island (polyketide-peptide genotoxin colibactin) and conjugative elements, was performed. Most of the strains belonged to the phylogroups B1 and B2. The different phylogroups were separated in a principal coordinate space, considering both genetic and functional features, but not considering pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Within the B2 and F strains, 12 shared the pattern of virulence genes with potential uropathogens. Forty-nine strains were sensitive to all the tested antibiotics. Strains similar to the potential pathogens innocuously inhabited the gut of healthy subjects. However, they may potentially act as etiologic agents of extra-intestinal infections and are susceptible to a wide range of antibiotics. Nevertheless, there is still the possibility to control infections with antibiotic therapy.