Whole Genome Sequencing Allows Better Understanding of the Evolutionary History of Leptospira interrogans Serovar Hardjo.
ABSTRACT: The genome of a laboratory-adapted strain of Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo was sequenced and analyzed. Comparison of the sequenced genome with that recently published for a field isolate of the same serovar revealed relatively high sequence conservation at the nucleotide level, despite the different biological background of both samples. Conversely, comparison of both serovar Hardjo genomes with those of L. borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo showed extensive differences between the corresponding chromosomes, except for the region occupied by their rfb loci. Additionally, comparison of the serovar Hardjo genomes with those of different L. interrogans serovars allowed us to detect several genomic features that may confer an adaptive advantage to L. interrogans serovar Hardjo, including a possible integrated plasmid and an additional copy of a cluster encoding a membrane transport system known to be involved in drug resistance. A phylogenomic strategy was used to better understand the evolutionary position of the Hardjo serovar among L. interrogans serovars and other Leptospira species. The proposed phylogeny supports the hypothesis that the presence of similar rfb loci in two different species may be the result of a lateral gene transfer event.
Project description:Leptospirosis is caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira spp. This zoonotic disease is distributed globally and affects domestic animals, including cattle. Leptospira interrogans serogroup Sejroe serovar Hardjo and Leptospira borgpetersenii serogroup Sejroe serovar Hardjo remain important species associated with this reproductive disease in livestock production. Previous studies on Brazilian livestock have reported that L. interrogans serovar Hardjo is the most prevalent leptospiral agent in this country and is related to clinical signs of leptospirosis, which lead to economic losses in production. Here, we described the isolation of three clinical strains (Norma, Lagoa and Bolivia) obtained from leptospirosis outbreaks that occurred in Minas Gerais state in 1994 and 2008.Serological and molecular typing using housekeeping (secY and 16SrRNA) and rfb locus (ORF22 and ORF36) genes were applied for the identification and comparative analysis of Leptospira spp. Our results identified the three isolates as L. interrogans serogroup Sejroe serovar Hardjo and confirmed the occurrence of this bacterial strain in Brazilian livestock. Genetic analysis using ORF22 and ORF36 grouped the Leptospira into serogroup Sejroe and subtype Hardjoprajitno. Genetic approaches were also applied to compare distinct serovars of L. interrogans strains by verifying the copy numbers of the IS1500 and IS1533 insertion sequences (ISs). The IS1500 copy number varied among the analyzed L. interrogans strains.This study provides evidence that L. interrogans serogroup Sejroe serovar Hardjo subtype Hardjoprajitno causes bovine leptospirosis in Brazilian production. The molecular results suggested that rfb locus (ORF22 and ORF36) could improve epidemiological studies by allowing the identification of Leptospira spp. at the serogroup level. Additionally, the IS1500 and IS1533 IS copy number analysis suggested distinct genomic features among closely related leptospiral strains.
Project description:Primers for PCR were selected from a sequenced fragment of clone pL590, which contains a repetitive element present in the genome of Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo type hardjoprajitno (M. L. Pacciarini, M. L. Savio, S. Tagliabue, and C. Rossi, J. Clin. Microbiol. 30:1243-1249, 1992). A specific DNA fragment was amplified from the genomic DNAs of serovar hardjo type hardjoprajitno and nine serovars also belonging to L. interrogans as a consequence of the spread of the same or a closely related repetitive element within this species (Pacciarini et al., J. Clin. Microbiol. 30:1243-1249, 1992). In addition, specific amplification was obtained from two Leptospira borgpetersenii serovars (tarassovi and hardjo type hardjobovis). Negative PCR results were observed with all of the other Leptospira serovars tested, including nonpathogenic ones (serovars patoc and andamana), another spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi), bacteria commonly found in biological samples, and swine and bovine cell lines. Direct PCR on biological samples such as kidney samples demonstrated that preliminary isolation and culture of Leptospira cells are not required for efficient detection. Furthermore, digestion of the amplified DNA with the enzymes HinfI and DdeI yielded specific polymorphic patterns, allowing discrimination among the majority of the serovars. These methods were applied to 25 field isolates of serovar pomona, leading to the conclusion that they were suitable for the simple and rapid detection of L. interrogans and for serovar identification.
Project description:Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo colonizes cattle kidneys and may occasionally infect humans and other mammals. Strains belonging to two clonal subtypes (types A and B) with marked differences in their pathogenicity in the hamster experimental model have been described for this serovar. Such differences have been attributed to point mutations in individual genes, although those genes have not yet been characterized. In order to better understand genetic variability among L. borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo isolates, we sequenced and compared the genomes of two laboratory-adapted strains and three abattoir-derived field isolates of L. borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo. Relatively low genetic variability was observed within isolates of the same subtype, with most of the mutations of moderate or high impact found in the laboratory-adapted isolates. In contrast, several differences regarding gene content and genetic variants were observed between the two subtypes. Putative type-specific genes appear to encode proteins associated with functions that are critical for infection. Some of these genes seem to be involved in transcriptional regulation, possibly leading to a distinct regulatory pattern in each type. These results show that changes in regulatory mechanisms, previously suggested to be critical during Leptospira speciation, may occur in L. borgpetersenii. In addition, the bioinformatics methodology used in this study for variant calling can be useful to other groups working with nonmodel prokaryotic organisms such as Leptospira species.
Project description:Leptospirosis is caused by pathogenic bacteria of the genus Leptospira spp. This neglected re-emergent disease has global distribution and relevance in veterinary production. Here, we report the whole-genome sequence and annotation of Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo subtype Hardjoprajitno strain Norma, isolated from cattle in a livestock leptospirosis outbreak in Brazil.
Project description:Leptospirosis is an emerging infectious disease of global significance, and is endemic in tropical countries, including Malaysia. Over the last decade, a dramatic increase of human cases was reported; however, information on the primary vector, the rat, and the Leptospira serovars circulating among the rat population is limited. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to isolate Leptospira and characterise the serovars circulating in the urban rat populations from selected main cities in Peninsular Malaysia.Rat trappings were carried out between October 2011 to February 2014 in five urban cities which were chosen as study sites to represent different geographical locations in Peninsular Malaysia. Microscopic agglutination test (MAT) and PCR were carried out to identify the Leptospiral serogroup and determine the pathogenic status of the isolates, respectively while pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR were used to characterize the isolates.Three rat species were identified from the three hundred and fifty seven rats captured with Rattus rattus, being the dominant rat species (285, 80 %) followed by Rattus norgevicus (53, 15 %) and Rattus exulans (19, 5 %). Only 39 samples (11.0 %) were positive by culture and further confirmed as pathogenic Leptospira by PCR. Significant associations were shown between host infection with locality, season, host-age and species. Based on MAT, two serogroups were identified in the population namely; L. borgpetersenii serogroup Javanica (n?=?16) and L. interrogans serogroup Bataviae (n?=?23). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) distinguished the two serovars in the urban rat populations: L. borgpetersenii serovar Javanica (41 %), and L. interrogans serovar Bataviae (59 %). RAPD-PCR yielded 14 distinct patterns and was found to be more discriminative than PFGE.This study confirms two Leptospira serovars circulating among the urban rats population in Peninsular Malaysia namely; L. borgpetersenii serovar Javanica and L. interrogans serovars Bataviae. Despite the low number of isolates obtained from the rat population, this study suggests that rodent control programs and disease surveillance may help to reduce the possible risk of disease transmission.
Project description:A thermolabile hemolysin from Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo, strain Sponselee, was shown to specifically degrade sphingomyelin. Nucleotide sequence determination revealed that sphingomyelinase activity was encoded by an open reading frame of 1,668 nucleotides. Although a putative signal sequence could be identified, no evidence for protein export in either L. interrogans or Escherichia coli was obtained. The apparent molecular mass of the expression product in E. coli minicells was 41.2 kilodaltons, whereas open reading frame 1 encoded a protein of 63,268 daltons. The observed difference may be explained by processing at the carboxy-terminal part of the hemolysin in E. coli. A high degree of similarity on the DNA and protein levels with Staphylococcus aureus beta-hemolysin and sphingomyelinase C from three Bacillus cereus strains was observed. The presence of various sphingomyelinase genes within the L. interrogans species is demonstrated.
Project description:Rats are considered the principal maintenance hosts of Leptospira. The objectives of this study were isolation and identification of Leptospira serovars circulating among urban rat populations in Kuala Lumpur. Three hundred urban rats (73% Rattus rattus and 27% R. norvegicus) from three different sites were trapped. Twenty cultures were positive for Leptospira using dark-field microscopy. R. rattus was the dominant carrier (70%). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed that all isolates were pathogenic Leptospira species. Two Leptospira serogroups, Javanica and Bataviae, were identified using microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) identified two serovars in the urban rat populations: L. borgpetersenii serovar Javanica (85%) and L. interrogans serovar Bataviae (15%). We conclude that these two serovars are the major serovars circulating among the urban rat populations in Kuala Lumpur. Despite the low infection rate reported, the high pathogenicity of these serovars raises concern of public health risks caused by rodent transmission of leptospirosis.
Project description:Transmission of pathogenic Leptospira between mammalian hosts usually involves dissemination via soil or water contaminated by the urine of carrier animals. The ability of Leptospira to adapt to the diverse conditions found inside and outside the host is reflected in its relatively large genome size and high percentage of signal transduction genes. An exception is Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo, which is transmitted by direct contact and appears to have lost genes necessary for survival outside the mammalian host. Invasion of host tissues by Leptospira interrogans involves a transition from a low osmolar environment outside the host to a higher physiologic osmolar environment within the host. Expression of the lipoprotein LigA and LigB adhesins is strongly induced by an upshift in osmolarity to the level found in mammalian host tissues. These data suggest that Leptospira utilizes changes in osmolarity to regulate virulence characteristics. To better understand how L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni adapts to osmolar conditions that correspond with invasion of a mammalian host, we quantified alterations in transcript levels using whole-genome microarrays. Overnight exposure in leptospiral culture medium supplemented with sodium chloride to physiologic osmolarity significantly altered the transcript levels of 6% of L. interrogans genes. Repressed genes were significantly more likely to be absent or pseudogenes in L. borgpetersenii, suggesting that osmolarity is relevant in studying the adaptation of L. interrogans to host conditions. Genes induced by physiologic osmolarity encoded a higher than expected number of proteins involved in signal transduction. Further, genes predicted to encode lipoproteins and those coregulated by temperature were overrepresented among both salt-induced and salt-repressed genes. In contrast, leptospiral homologues of hyperosmotic or general stress genes were not induced at physiologic osmolarity. These findings suggest that physiologic osmolarity is an important signal for regulation of gene expression by pathogenic leptospires during transition from ambient conditions to the host tissue environment.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a neglected zoonosis with worldwide distribution. The causative agents are spirochete bacteria of the Leptospira genus, displaying huge diversity of serovars, the identity of which is critical for effective diagnosis and vaccination purposes. Among many other mammalian species, Leptospira infects cattle, eliciting acute signs in calves, and chronic disease in adult animals often leading to abortions. In South America, and including in Uruguay, beef and dairy export are leading sources of national income. Despite the importance of bovine health, food safety, and bovine-related dissemination of leptospirosis to humans, extremely limited information is available as to the identity of Leptospira species and serovars infecting cattle in Uruguay and the South American subcontinent. Here we report a multicentric 3-year study resulting in the isolation and detailed characterization of 40 strains of Leptospira spp. obtained from infected cattle. Combined serologic and molecular typing identified these isolates as L. interrogans serogroup Pomona serovar Kennewicki (20 strains), L. interrogans serogroup Canicola serovar Canicola (1 strain), L. borgpetersenii serogroup Sejroe serovar Hardjo (10 strains) and L. noguchii (9 strains). The latter showed remarkable phenotypic and genetic variability, belonging to 6 distinct serogroups, including 3 that did not react with a large panel of reference serogrouping antisera. Approximately 20% of cattle sampled in the field were found to be shedding pathogenic Leptospira in their urine, uncovering a threat for public health that is being largely neglected. The two L. interrogans serovars that we isolated from cattle displayed identical genetic signatures to those of human isolates that had previously been obtained from leptospirosis patients. This report of local Leptospira strains shall improve diagnostic tools and the understanding of leptospirosis epidemiology in South America. These strains could also be used as new components within bacterin vaccines to protect against the pathogenic Leptospira strains that are actually circulating, a direct measure to reduce the risk of human leptospirosis.
Project description:Smallholder large ruminant production in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) is characterised by low reproductive efficiency. To determine if common abortifacient bovid infectious diseases are involved, a serological investigation was conducted. Sera was collected from stored and fresh cattle (n = 390) and buffalo (n = 130) samples from 2016-18 from, and then examined for associations in a retrospective risk factor study of 71 herds. The sera were assayed for antibodies to Neospora caninum, bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV), Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo and Brucella abortus using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. These pathogens were detected in buffalo samples at 78.5% (95% CI 71.4-85.6), 0%, 2.3% (95% CI 0-4.9) and 0%, respectively, and in cattle at 4.4% (95% CI 2.4-6.4), 7.7% (95% CI 3.1-12.3), 12.8% (95% CI 9.5-16.1) and 0.26% (95% CI 0-0.8), respectively. Exposure of buffalo to N. caninum was positively associated with buffalo age, with a predicted seropositivity at birth of 52.8%, increasing to 97.2% by 12 years of age (p = 0.037). Exposure of cattle to L. interrogans serovar Hardjo was more prevalent in females compared to males, was associated with higher titres of BVDV, and was more prevalent in the wet season compared to the dry season. Exposure of cattle to BVDV was more prevalent in males compared to females, the wet and dry seasons were comparable, and was associated with rising antibody titres against N. caninum and L. interrogans serovar Hardjo. The risk factor survey identified that the probability of herds being N. caninum positive increased with farmer age, if farmers believed there were rodents on farm, and if farmers weren't aware that canids or rodents could contaminate bovid feed on their farm. The probability of a herd being positive to L. interrogans serovar Hardjo increased on farms where multiple cows shared the same bull, where farmers had lower husbandry knowledge, and on farms that used water troughs. The probability of a herd being BVDV seropositive increased with increasing herd size and increasing titres to N. caninum. The benchmarking of bovid exposure to emerging abortifacient pathogens and identification of their risk factors potentially informs disease prevention strategies, supporting efforts to establish a biosecure beef supply for enhanced smallholder livestock productivity, public health and food security in Laos and surrounding countries.