Evaluation of an Optimal Epidemiological Typing Scheme for Legionella pneumophila with Whole-Genome Sequence Data Using Validation Guidelines.
ABSTRACT: Sequence-based typing (SBT), analogous to multilocus sequence typing (MLST), is the current "gold standard" typing method for investigation of legionellosis outbreaks caused by Legionella pneumophila However, as common sequence types (STs) cause many infections, some investigations remain unresolved. In this study, various whole-genome sequencing (WGS)-based methods were evaluated according to published guidelines, including (i) a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based method, (ii) extended MLST using different numbers of genes, (iii) determination of gene presence or absence, and (iv) a kmer-based method. L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates (n = 106) from the standard "typing panel," previously used by the European Society for Clinical Microbiology Study Group on Legionella Infections (ESGLI), were tested together with another 229 isolates. Over 98% of isolates were considered typeable using the SNP- and kmer-based methods. Percentages of isolates with complete extended MLST profiles ranged from 99.1% (50 genes) to 86.8% (1,455 genes), while only 41.5% produced a full profile with the gene presence/absence scheme. Replicates demonstrated that all methods offer 100% reproducibility. Indices of discrimination range from 0.972 (ribosomal MLST) to 0.999 (SNP based), and all values were higher than that achieved with SBT (0.940). Epidemiological concordance is generally inversely related to discriminatory power. We propose that an extended MLST scheme with ?50 genes provides optimal epidemiological concordance while substantially improving the discrimination offered by SBT and can be used as part of a hierarchical typing scheme that should maintain backwards compatibility and increase discrimination where necessary. This analysis will be useful for the ESGLI to design a scheme that has the potential to become the new gold standard typing method for L. pneumophila.
Project description:Inadequate discriminatory power to distinguish between L. pneumophila isolates, especially those belonging to disease-related prevalent sequence types (STs) such as ST1, ST36 and ST47, is an issue of SBT scheme. In this study, we developed a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme based on two non-virulence loci (trpA, cca) and three virulence loci (icmK, lspE, lssD), to genotype 110 L. pneumophila isolates from various natural and artificial water sources in Guangdong province of China, and compared with the SBT. The isolates were assigned to 33 STs of the SBT and 91 new sequence types (nSTs) of the MLST. The indices of discrimination (IODs) of SBT and MLST were 0.920 and 0.985, respectively. Maximum likelihood trees of the concatenated SBT and MLST sequences both showed distinct phylogenetic relationships between the isolates from the two environments. More intragenic recombinations were detected in nSTs than in STs, and they were both more abundant in natural water isolates. We found out the MLST had a high discriminatory ability for the disease-associated ST1 isolates: 22 ST1 isolates were assigned to 19 nSTs. Furthermore, we assayed the discrimination of the MLST for 29 reference strains (19 clinical and 10 environmental). The clinical strains were assigned to eight STs and ten nSTs. The MLST could also subtype the prevalent clinical ST36 or ST47 strains: eight ST36 strains were subtyped into three nSTs and two ST47 strains were subtyped into two nSTs. We found different distribution patterns of nSTs between the environmental and clinical ST36 isolates, and between the outbreak clinical ST36 isolates and the sporadic clinical ST36 isolates. These results together revealed the MLST scheme could be used as part of a typing scheme that increased discrimination when necessary.
Project description:We investigated the prevalence of Legionella species isolated from puddles on asphalt roads. In addition, we carried out sequence-based typing (SBT) analysis on the genetic relationship between L. pneumophila serogroup 1 (SG 1) isolates from puddles and from stock strains previously obtained from sputum specimens and public baths. Sixty-nine water samples were collected from puddles on roads at 6 fixed locations. Legionella species were detected in 33 samples (47.8%) regardless of season. Among the 325 isolates from puddles, strains of L. pneumophila SG 1, a major causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, were the most frequently isolated (n = 62, 19.1%). Sixty-two isolates of L. pneumophila SG 1 from puddles were classified into 36 sequence types (STs) by SBT. ST120 and ST48 were identified as major STs. Environmental ST120 strains from puddles were found for the first time in this study. Among the 14 STs of the clinical isolates (n = 19), 4 STs (n = 6, 31.6%), including ST120, were also detected in isolates from puddles on roads, and the sources of infection in these cases remained unclear. The lag-1 gene, a tentative marker for clinical isolates, was prevalent in puddle isolates (61.3%). Our findings suggest that puddles on asphalt roads serve as potential reservoirs for L. pneumophila in the environment.
Project description:The Legionella Reference Center in Japan collected 427 Legionella clinical isolates between 2008 and 2016, including 7 representative isolates from corresponding outbreaks. The collection included 419 Legionella pneumophila isolates, of which 372 belonged to serogroup 1 (SG1) (87%) and the others belonged to SG2 to SG15 except for SG7 and SG11, and 8 isolates of other Legionella species (Legionella bozemanae, Legionella dumoffii, Legionella feeleii, Legionella longbeachae, Legionella londiniensis, and Legionella rubrilucens). L. pneumophila isolates were genotyped by sequence-based typing (SBT) and represented 187 sequence types (STs), of which 126 occurred in a single isolate (index of discrimination of 0.984). These STs were analyzed using minimum spanning tree analysis, resulting in the formation of 18 groups. The pattern of overall ST distribution among L. pneumophila isolates was diverse. In particular, some STs were frequently isolated and were suggested to be related to the infection sources. The major STs were ST23 (35 isolates), ST120 (20 isolates), and ST138 (16 isolates). ST23 was the most prevalent and most causative ST for outbreaks in Japan and Europe. ST138 has been observed only in Japan, where it has caused small-scale outbreaks; 81% of those strains (13 isolates) were suspected or confirmed to infect humans through bath water sources. On the other hand, 11 ST23 strains (31%) and 5 ST120 strains (25%) were suspected or confirmed to infect humans through bath water. These findings suggest that some ST strains frequently cause legionellosis in Japan and are found under different environmental conditions.IMPORTANCELegionella pneumophila serogroup 1 (SG1) is the most frequent cause of legionellosis. Our previous genetic analysis indicated that SG1 environmental isolates represented 8 major clonal complexes, consisting of 3 B groups, 2 C groups, and 3 S groups, which included major environmental isolates derived from bath water, cooling towers, and soil and puddles, respectively. Here, we surveyed clinical isolates collected from patients with legionellosis in Japan between 2008 and 2016. Most strains belonging to the B group were isolated from patients for whom bath water was the suspected or confirmed source of infection. Among the isolates derived from patients whose suspected infection source was soil or dust, most belonged to the S1 group and none belonged to the B or C groups. Additionally, the U group was discovered as a new group, which mainly included clinical isolates with unknown infection sources.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Legionella pneumophila is an opportunistic pathogen of humans where the source of infection is usually from contaminated man-made water systems. When an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease caused by L. pneumophila occurs, it is necessary to discover the source of infection. A seven allele sequence-based typing scheme (SBT) has been very successful in providing the means to attribute outbreaks of L. pneumophila to a particular source or sources. Particular sequence types described by this scheme are known to exhibit specific phenotypes. For instance some types are seen often in clinical cases but are rarely isolated from the environment and vice versa. Of those causing human disease some types are thought to be more likely to cause more severe disease. It is possible that the genetic basis for these differences are vertically inherited and associated with particular genetic lineages within the population. In order to provide a framework within which to test this hypothesis and others relating to the population biology of L. pneumophila, a set of genomes covering the known diversity of the organism is required. RESULTS: Firstly, this study describes a means to group L. pneumophila strains into pragmatic clusters, using a methodology that takes into consideration the genetic forces operating on the population. These clusters can be used as a standardised nomenclature, so those wishing to describe a group of strains can do so. Secondly, the clusters generated from the first part of the study were used to select strains rationally for whole genome sequencing (WGS). The data generated was used to compare phylogenies derived from SBT and WGS. In general the SBT sequence type (ST) accurately reflects the whole genome-based genotype. Where there are exceptions and recombination has resulted in the ST no longer reflecting the genetic lineage described by the whole genome sequence, the clustering technique employed detects these sequence types as being admixed, indicating their mixed inheritance. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that SBT is usually a good proxy for the genetic lineage described by the whole genome, and therefore utility of SBT is still suitable until the technology and economics of high throughput sequencing reach the point where routine WGS of L. pneumophila isolates for outbreak investigation is feasible.
Project description:A total of 30 Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates representing 10 separate legionellosis laboratory investigations ("outbreaks") that occurred in New York State between 2004 and 2012 were selected for evaluation of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) approaches for molecular subtyping of this organism. Clinical and environmental isolates were available for each outbreak and were initially examined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Sequence-based typing alleles were extracted from WGS data yielding complete sequence types (ST) for isolates representing 8 out of the 10 outbreaks evaluated in this study. Isolates from separate outbreaks sharing the same ST also contained the fewest differences in core genome single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the greatest proportion of identical allele sequences in a whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) scheme. Both core SNP and wgMLST analyses distinguished isolates from separate outbreaks, including those from two outbreaks sharing indistinguishable PFGE profiles. Isolates from a hospital-associated outbreak spanning multiple years shared indistinguishable PFGE profiles but displayed differences in their genome sequences, suggesting the presence of multiple environmental sources. Finally, the rtx gene demonstrated differences in the repeat region sequence among ST1 isolates from different outbreaks, suggesting that variation in this gene may be useful for targeted molecular subtyping approaches for L. pneumophila This study demonstrates the utility of various genome sequence analysis approaches for L. pneumophila for environmental source attribution studies while furthering the understanding of Legionella ecology.We demonstrate that whole-genome sequencing helps to improve resolution of Legionella pneumophila isolated during laboratory investigations of legionellosis compared to traditional subtyping methods. These data can be important in confirming the environmental sources of legionellosis outbreaks. Moreover, we evaluated various methods to analyze genome sequence data to help resolve outbreak-related isolates.
Project description:Since the establishment of sequence-based typing as the gold standard for DNA-based typing of Legionella pneumophila, the Legionella laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has conducted routine sequence-based typing (SBT) analysis of all incoming L. pneumophila serogroup 1 (Lp1) isolates to identify potential links between cases and to better understand genetic diversity and clonal expansion among L. pneumophila bacteria. Retrospective genotyping of Lp1 isolates from sporadic cases and Legionnaires' disease (LD) outbreaks deposited into the CDC reference collection since 1982 has been completed. For this study, we compared the distribution of sequence types (STs) among Lp1 isolates implicated in 26 outbreaks in the United States, 571 clinical isolates from sporadic cases of LD in the United States, and 149 environmental isolates with no known association with LD. The Lp1 isolates under study had been deposited into our collection between 1982 and 2012. We identified 17 outbreak-associated STs, 153 sporadic STs, and 49 environmental STs. We observed that Lp1 STs from outbreaks and sporadic cases are more similar to each other than either group is to environmental STs. The most frequent ST for both sporadic and environmental isolates was ST1, accounting for 25% and 49% of the total number of isolates, respectively. The STs shared by both outbreak-associated and sporadic Lp1 included ST1, ST35, ST36, ST37, and ST222. The STs most commonly found in sporadic and outbreak-associated Lp1 populations may have an increased ability to cause disease and thus may require special attention when detected.
Project description:The aim of this study is to explore the dispersion, clonality, and virulence of Legionella pneumophila serogroups 2 to 14 in the Greek environment. Eighty L. pneumophila serogroup 2 to 14 strains isolated from water distribution systems of hotels, hospitals, athletic venues, and ferries in Greece were tested by monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) for serogroup discrimination and molecularly by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) for genetic diversity. Fifty-six of 80 strains were also typed by the sequence-based typing (SBT) method. ?ll strains were further analyzed for detection of two pathogenicity loci: Legionella vir homologue (lvh) and repeats in structural toxin (rtxA). Thirty-seven strains (46.2%) belonged to serogroup 6, 26 strains (32.5%) to serogroup 3, and 7 (8.8%) to other serogroups (4, 5, 8, and 10). Ten strains (12.5%) were nontypeable (NT) into the known serogroups. Thirty-nine different AFLP types were found among the 80 L. pneumophila serogroup 2 to 14 strains, and 24 different SBT types were found among the 56 strains tested. Among the 80 strains, the lvh locus was present in 75 (93.8%), the rtxA locus was found in 76 (95%), and both loci were found in 73 (91.3%) strains. This study showed that there is genetic variability of L. pneumophila serogroups 2 to 14 in the Greek environment as well as a high percentage of the pathogenicity loci. ?ntroducing an effective diagnostic test for L. pneumophila serogroups 2 to 14 in urine and promoting the examination of respiratory specimens from patients hospitalized for pneumonia in Greek hospitals are essential.In this study, the dispersion, clonality, and virulence of environmental isolates of Legionella pneumophila serogroups 2 to 14 (Lp2-14) in Greece were investigated. Genetic variability of Lp2-14 in the Greek environment was identified together with the presence of the pathogenicity loci in a high percentage of the isolates. Despite the high prevalence of Lp2-14 in the Greek environment, no clinical cases were reported, which may be due to underdiagnosis of the disease. Almost all the legionellosis cases are diagnosed in Greece by using the urine antigen test, which is specific for Lp1. There is an urgent need to improve the clinical diagnosis of legionellosis by introducing an effective diagnostic test for Lp2-14 in urine and by promoting the PCR examination of respiratory specimens from patients with compatible clinical symptoms.
Project description:Seven gene loci of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 were analyzed as potential epidemiological typing markers to aid in the investigation of legionella outbreaks. The genes chosen included four likely to be selectively neutral (acn, groES, groEL, and recA) and three likely to be under selective pressure (flaA, mompS, and proA). Oligonucleotide primers were designed to amplify 279- to 763-bp fragments from each gene. Initial sequence analysis of the seven loci from 10 well-characterized isolates of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 gave excellent reproducibility (R) and epidemiological concordance (E) values (R = 1.00; E = 1.00). The three loci showing greatest discrimination and nucleotide variation, flaA, mompS, and proA, were chosen for further study. Indices of discrimination (D) were calculated using a panel of 79 unrelated isolates. Single loci gave D values ranging from 0.767 to 0.857, and a combination of all three loci resulted in a D value of 0.924. When all three loci were combined with monoclonal antibody subgrouping, the D value was 0.971. Sequence-based typing of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 using only three loci is epidemiologically concordant and highly discriminatory and has the potential to become the new "gold standard" for the epidemiological typing of L. pneumophila.
Project description:Legionella pneumophila is an important human pathogen causing Legionnaires' disease. In this study, whole genome sequencing (WGS) was used to study the characteristics and population structure of L. pneumophila strains. We sequenced and compared 53 isolates of L. pneumophila covering different serogroups and sequence-based typing (SBT) types (STs). We found that 1,896 single-copy orthologous genes were shared by all isolates and were defined as the minimum core genome (MCG) of L. pneumophila. A total of 323,224 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified among the 53 strains. After excluding 314,059 SNPs which were likely to be results of recombination, the remaining 9,165 SNPs were referred to as MCG SNPs. Population Structure analysis based on MCG divided the 53 L. pneumophila into nine MCG groups. The within-group distances were much smaller than the between-group distances, indicating considerable divergence between MCG groups. MCG groups were also supplied by phylogenetic analysis and may be considered as robust taxonomic units within L. pneumophila. Among the nine MCG groups, eight showed high intracellular growth ability while one showed low intracellular growth ability. Furthermore, MCG typing also showed high resolution in subtyping ST1 strains. The results obtained in this study provided significant insights into the evolution, population structure and pathogenicity of L. pneumophila.
Project description:Legionella pneumophila is the primary respiratory pathogen and mostly transmitted to human through water cooling systems and cause mild to severe pneumonia with high mortality rate especially in elderly both in hospitals and community. However, current Legionella risk assessments may be compromised by uncertainties in Legionella detection methods. Here, we investigated the presence of L. pneumophila mip gene in water samples collected from different hospitals cooling towers, nursing homes and building/hotels water coolants from two geographical locations of Iran (Kerman and Bam cities) during summer season of 2015 by both nested and real-time PCR methods. Analysis of the 128 water samples for presence of the mip gene by nested-PCR revealed, 18 (23%) positive cases in Kerman and 7(14%) in Bam. However, when samples were tested by real-time PCR, we identified 4 more new cases of L. pneumophila in the hospitals as well as nursing homes water systems that were missed by nested-PCR. The highest rate of contamination was detected in water obtained from hospitals cooling towers in both the cities (p?0.05). Dendrogram analysis and clonal relationship by PCR-base sequence typing (SBT) of the L. pneumophila genomic DNAs in Kerman water samples showed close clonal similarities among the isolates, in contrast, isolates identified from Bam city demonstrated two fingerprint patterns. The clones from hospital water samples were more related to the L. pneumophila serogroup- 1.