Genomic Analysis of Companion Rabbit Staphylococcus aureus.
ABSTRACT: In addition to being an important human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus is able to cause a variety of infections in numerous other host species. While the S. aureus strains causing infection in several of these hosts have been well characterised, this is not the case for companion rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), where little data are available on S. aureus strains from this host. To address this deficiency we have performed antimicrobial susceptibility testing and genome sequencing on a collection of S. aureus isolates from companion rabbits. The findings show a diverse S. aureus population is able to cause infection in this host, and while antimicrobial resistance was uncommon, the isolates possess a range of known and putative virulence factors consistent with a diverse clinical presentation in companion rabbits including severe abscesses. We additionally show that companion rabbit isolates carry polymorphisms within dltB as described as underlying host-adaption of S. aureus to farmed rabbits. The availability of S. aureus genome sequences from companion rabbits provides an important aid to understanding the pathogenesis of disease in this host and in the clinical management and surveillance of these infections.
Project description:Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131), an emergent multidrug-resistant extraintestinal pathogen, has spread epidemically among humans and was recently isolated from companion animals. To assess for human-companion animal commonality among ST131 isolates, 214 fluoroquinolone-resistant extraintestinal E. coli isolates (205 from humans, 9 from companion animals) from diagnostic laboratories in Australia, provisionally identified as ST131 by PCR, selectively underwent PCR-based O typing and bla(CTX-M-15) detection. A subset then underwent multilocus sequence typing (MLST), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis, extended virulence genotyping, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and fluoroquinolone resistance genotyping. All isolates were O25b positive, except for two O16 isolates and one O157 isolate, which (along with six O25b-positive isolates) were confirmed by MLST to be ST131. Only 12% of isolates (25 human, 1 canine) exhibited bla(CTX-M-15). PFGE analysis of 20 randomly selected human and all 9 companion animal isolates showed multiple instances of ?94% profile similarity across host species; 12 isolates (6 human, 6 companion animal) represented pulsotype 968, the most prevalent ST131 pulsotype in North America (representing 23% of a large ST131 reference collection). Virulence gene and antimicrobial resistance profiles differed minimally, without host species specificity. The analyzed ST131 isolates also exhibited a conserved, host species-independent pattern of chromosomal fluoroquinolone resistance mutations. However, eight (89%) companion animal isolates, versus two (10%) human isolates, possessed the plasmid-borne qnrB gene (P < 0.001). This extensive across-species strain commonality, plus the similarities between Australian and non-Australian ST131 isolates, suggest that ST131 isolates are exchanged between humans and companion animals both within Australia and intercontinentally.
Project description:Campylobacter cuniculorum is a thermotolerant species isolated from farmed rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Although C. cuniculorum is highly prevalent in rabbits farmed for human consumption, the pathogenicity of this organism in humans is still unknown. This study describes the whole-genome sequence of the C. cuniculorum type strain LMG 24588 (=CCUG 56289T).
Project description:Methicillin-resistant coagulase-positive staphylococci (CoPS) have become increasingly recognised as opportunistic pathogens that limit therapeutic options in companion animals. The frequency of methicillin resistance amongst clinical isolates on an Australia-wide level is unknown. This study determined antimicrobial susceptibility patterns for CoPS isolated from clinical infections in companion animals (dogs, cats and horses) as part of the first nation-wide survey on antimicrobial resistance in animal pathogens in Australia for a one-year period (January 2013 to January 2014). Clinical Staphylococcus spp. isolates (n = 888) obtained from 22 veterinary diagnostic laboratories were identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing for 16 antimicrobials, representing 12 antimicrobial classes. Potential risk factors associated with methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolates from dogs were analysed based on demographic factors and clinical history, including gender, age, previous antimicrobial treatment, chronic and/or recurrent diseases and site of infections. The most commonly identified CoPS were S. pseudintermedius (70.8%; dogs n = 616, cats n = 13) and S. aureus (13.2%, horses n = 53, dogs n = 47 and cats n = 17). Overall, the frequency of methicillin resistance among S. pseudintermedius (MRSP) and S. aureus (MRSA) was 11.8% and 12.8%, respectively. MRSP isolates were strongly associated with resistance to fluoroquinolones (OR 287; 95%CI 91.2-1144.8) and clindamycin (OR 105.2, 95%CI 48.5-231.9). MRSA isolates from dogs and cats were also more likely to be resistant to fluoroquinolones (OR 5.4, 95%CI 0.6-252.1), whereas MRSA from horses were more likely to be resistant to rifampicin. In multivariate analysis, MRSP-positive status was significantly associated with particular infection sites, including surgical (OR 8.8; 95%CI 3.74-20.7), and skin and soft tissue (OR 3.9; 95%CI 1.97-7.51). S. pseudintermedius isolated from dogs with surgical site infections were three times more likely to be methicillin-resistant if cases had received prior antimicrobial treatment. Whilst the survey results indicate the proportion of CoPS obtained from Australian companion animals that are methicillin-resistant is currently moderate, the identified risk factors suggest that it could rapidly increase without adequate biosecurity and infection control procedures in veterinary practice.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a global human health problem causing infections in both hospitals and the community. Companion animals, such as cats, dogs, and horses, are also frequently colonized by MRSA and can become infected. We sequenced the genomes of 46 multilocus sequence type (ST) 22 MRSA isolates from cats and dogs in the United Kingdom and compared these to an extensive population framework of human isolates from the same lineage. Phylogenomic analyses showed that all companion animal isolates were interspersed throughout the epidemic MRSA-15 (EMRSA-15) pandemic clade and clustered with human isolates from the United Kingdom, with human isolates basal to those from companion animals, suggesting a human source for isolates infecting companion animals. A number of isolates from the same veterinary hospital clustered together, suggesting that as in human hospitals, EMRSA-15 isolates are readily transmitted in the veterinary hospital setting. Genome-wide association analysis did not identify any host-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or virulence factors. However, isolates from companion animals were significantly less likely to harbor a plasmid encoding erythromycin resistance. When this plasmid was present in animal-associated isolates, it was more likely to contain mutations mediating resistance to clindamycin. This finding is consistent with the low levels of erythromycin and high levels of clindamycin used in veterinary medicine in the United Kingdom. This study furthers the "one health" view of infectious diseases that the pathogen pool of human and animal populations are intrinsically linked and provides evidence that antibiotic usage in animal medicine is shaping the population of a major human pathogen. IMPORTANCE:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is major problem in human medicine. Companion animals, such as cats, dogs, and horses, can also become colonized and infected by MRSA. Here, we demonstrate that a shared population of an important and globally disseminated lineage of MRSA can infect both humans and companion animals without undergoing host adaptation. This suggests that companion animals might act as a reservoir for human infections. We also show that the isolates from companion animals have differences in the presence of certain antibiotic resistance genes. This study furthers the "one health" view of infectious diseases by demonstrating that the pool of MRSA isolates in the human and animal populations are shared and highlights how different antibiotic usage patterns between human and veterinary medicine can shape the population of bacterial pathogens.
Project description:Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) and European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) are two lagoviruses from the family Caliciviridae that cause fatal diseases in two leporid genera, Oryctolagus and Lepus, respectively. In the last few years, several examples of host jumps of lagoviruses among leporids were recorded. In addition, a new pathogenic genotype of RHDV emerged, and many nonpathogenic strains of lagoviruses have been described. The molecular mechanisms behind host shifts and the emergence of virulence are unknown. Since RHDV uses glycans of the histo-blood group antigen type as attachment factors to initiate infection, we studied if glycan specificities of the new pathogenic RHDV genotype, nonpathogenic lagoviruses, and EBHSV potentially play a role in determining the host range and virulence of lagoviruses. We observed binding to A, B, or H antigens of the histo-blood group family for all strains known to primarily infect European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), which have recently been classified as GI strains. However, we could not explain the emergence of virulence, since similar glycan specificities were found in several pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains. In contrast, EBHSV, recently classified as GII.1, bound to terminal ?-linked N-acetylglucosamine residues of O-glycans. Expression of these attachment factors in the upper respiratory and digestive tracts in three lagomorph species (Oryctolagus cuniculus, Lepus europaeus, and Sylvilagus floridanus) showed species-specific patterns regarding susceptibility to infection by these viruses, indicating that species-specific glycan expression is likely a major contributor to lagovirus host specificity and range.IMPORTANCE Lagoviruses constitute a genus of the family Caliciviridae comprising highly pathogenic viruses, RHDV and EBHSV, that infect rabbits and hares, respectively. Recently, nonpathogenic strains were discovered and new pathogenic strains have emerged. In addition, host jumps between lagomorphs have been observed. The mechanisms responsible for the emergence of pathogenicity and host species range are unknown. Previous studies showed that RHDV strains attach to glycans expressed in the upper respiratory and digestive tracts of rabbits, the likely portals of virus entry. Here, we studied the glycan-binding properties of novel pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains looking for a link between glycan binding and virulence or between glycan specificity and host range. We found that glycan binding did not correlate with virulence. However, expression of glycan motifs in the upper respiratory and digestive tracts of lagomorphs revealed species-specific patterns associated with the host ranges of the virus strains, suggesting that glycan diversity contributes to lagovirus host ranges.
Project description:The aim of this study was to detect the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus sp. (MRS) in populations of companion animals that either have previously been exposed or have not been exposed to antibiotic therapy or veterinary facilities, and if owners' healthcare profession had an influence on colonization with MRS. In addition, the antimicrobial resistance pheno- and genotype were investigated and risks for colonization with MRS were assessed. During this study, 347 nasal swabs (dogs n = 152; cats n = 107; rabbits n = 88) were investigated for the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In addition, 131 nasal swabs (dogs n = 79; cats n = 47; rabbits = 3; guinea pigs = 2) were examined for the presence of MRSA but also other MRS. In total, 23 MRS isolates belonged to nine staphylococcal species: Staphylococcus epidermidis (n = 11), Staphylococcus warneri (n = 3), Staphylococcus hominis (n = 2), Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (n = 2), and singletons Staphylococcus cohnii, Staphylococcus sciuri, Staphylococcus fleurettii, Staphylococcus lentus, and Staphylococcus haemolyticus. Twenty isolates displayed a multidrug-resistant phenotype. Various resistance and biocide resistance genes were detected among the examined staphylococci. Risk assessment for MRS colonization was conducted using a number of factors, including animal species, breed, age, gender, recent veterinary health care hospitalization, and antibiotic prescription, resulting in recent veterinary health care hospitalization being a significant risk factor. The detection of multidrug-resistant MRS in healthy animals is of importance due to their zoonotic potential.
Project description:Rabbit endogenous lentivirus type K (RELIK) was discovered in the genome of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). In our study, we present three complete genome sequences of RELIK viruses generated using a target amplification approach performed on the RNA of commercial rabbits from Italy.
Project description:Rabbit hemorrhagic disease is caused by a calicivirus, rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), which is responsible for high mortality in domestic and wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). RHDV strains were sequenced from wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus) collected in the Azorean island of Pico, Portugal. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the Pico RHDV strains diverge from all of the others described so far, but cluster with the genogroups 1-5 (G1-G5). The genetic distance between the Pico RHDV sequences and each G1, G2 and G3-G5 genogroup (~0.08) is compatible with an RHDV introduction at least 17 years ago. Our results show that in Pico, RHDV is the outcome of an independent evolution from the original RHDV strain that appeared in its European rabbit population. These are the first sequences of RHDV obtained in the subspecies O. c. algirus, outside of its original region, the Iberian Peninsula. Furthermore, we discuss the risk of rabbit translocations from the Azores to the Iberian Peninsula, where the rabbit wild populations are suffering high mortalities.
Project description:Thelazia callipaeda is a zoonotic nematode that affects the eyes of domestic and wild animals, including dogs, cats and red foxes. This parasitic eye worm is transmitted by Phortica variegata, which is a zoophilic fruit fly spread in Europe. Two wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) found dead in north-eastern Portugal were submitted to necropsy.Both animals presented gross lesions compatible with haemorrhagic viral disease. Eye examination revealed the presence of six worms (three in each animal, on both eyes). Out of the six nematodes, five females and one male were morphologically and molecularly identified as T. callipaeda.This is the first report of T. callipaeda in wild rabbits from Portugal, which reveals a new host for this parasite in southern Europe and emphasizes the importance of including thelaziosis in the differential diagnosis of ocular alterations in both animals and humans from areas where the eye worm is endemic.
Project description:Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) is a highly lethal Lagovirus, family Caliciviridae, that threatens European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Although a related virus severely affects hares, cross-species infection was only recently described for new variant RHDV in Cape hares (Lepus capensis mediterraneus). We sequenced two strains from dead Iberian hares (Lepus granatensis) collected in the 1990s in Portugal. Clinical signs were compatible with a Lagovirus infection. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete capsid gene positioned them in the RHDV genogroup that circulated on the Iberian Peninsula at that time. This is the earliest evidence of RHDV affecting a species other than European rabbits.