Complete Genome Sequences of the Historical Legionella pneumophila Strains OLDA and Pontiac.
ABSTRACT: Here, we report the complete genome sequences of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strains OLDA and Pontiac, which predate the 1976 Philadelphia Legionnaires' disease outbreak. Strain OLDA was isolated in 1947 from an apparent sporadic case, and strain Pontiac caused an explosive outbreak at a Michigan health department in 1968.
Project description:Public health agencies are increasingly relying on genomics during Legionnaires' disease investigations. However, the causative bacterium (Legionella pneumophila) has an unusual population structure, with extreme temporal and spatial genome sequence conservation. Furthermore, Legionnaires' disease outbreaks can be caused by multiple L. pneumophila genotypes in a single source. These factors can confound cluster identification using standard phylogenomic methods. Here, we show that a statistical learning approach based on L. pneumophila core genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) comparisons eliminates ambiguity for defining outbreak clusters and accurately predicts exposure sources for clinical cases. We illustrate the performance of our method by genome comparisons of 234 L. pneumophila isolates obtained from patients and cooling towers in Melbourne, Australia, between 1994 and 2014. This collection included one of the largest reported Legionnaires' disease outbreaks, which involved 125 cases at an aquarium. Using only sequence data from L. pneumophila cooling tower isolates and including all core genome variation, we built a multivariate model using discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC) to find cooling tower-specific genomic signatures and then used it to predict the origin of clinical isolates. Model assignments were 93% congruent with epidemiological data, including the aquarium Legionnaires' disease outbreak and three other unrelated outbreak investigations. We applied the same approach to a recently described investigation of Legionnaires' disease within a UK hospital and observed a model predictive ability of 86%. We have developed a promising means to breach L. pneumophila genetic diversity extremes and provide objective source attribution data for outbreak investigations.IMPORTANCE Microbial outbreak investigations are moving to a paradigm where whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic trees are used to support epidemiological investigations. It is critical that outbreak source predictions are accurate, particularly for pathogens, like Legionella pneumophila, which can spread widely and rapidly via cooling system aerosols, causing Legionnaires' disease. Here, by studying hundreds of Legionella pneumophila genomes collected over 21 years around a major Australian city, we uncovered limitations with the phylogenetic approach that could lead to a misidentification of outbreak sources. We implement instead a statistical learning technique that eliminates the ambiguity of inferring disease transmission from phylogenies. Our approach takes geolocation information and core genome variation from environmental L. pneumophila isolates to build statistical models that predict with high confidence the environmental source of clinical L. pneumophila during disease outbreaks. We show the versatility of the technique by applying it to unrelated Legionnaires' disease outbreaks in Australia and the UK.
Project description:Copper ions are an effective antimicrobial agent used to control Legionnaires' disease and Pontiac fever arising from institutional drinking water systems. Here, we present data on an alternative bactericidal agent, copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs), and its efficacy on Legionella pneumophila. In broth cultures, the CuO-NPs caused growth inhibition, which appeared to be concentration and exposure time dependent. The transcriptomic response of L. pneumophila to CuO-NP exposure was investigated by using a whole-genome microarray. The expression of genes involved in metabolism, transcription, translation, DNA replication and repair, and unknown/hypothetical proteins was significantly affected by exposure to CuO-NPs. In addition, expression of 21 virulence genes was also affected by exposure to CuO-NP and further evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). Some virulence gene responses occurred immediately and transiently after addition of CuO-NPs to the cells and faded rapidly (icmV, icmW, lepA), while expression of other genes increased within 6 h (ceg29, legLC8, legP, lem19, lem24, lpg1689, and rtxA), 12 h (cegC1, dotA, enhC, htpX, icmE, pvcA, and sidF), and 24 h (legP, lem19, and ceg19), but for most of the genes tested, expression was reduced after 24 h of exposure. Genes like ceg29 and rtxA appeared to be the most responsive to CuO-NP exposures and along with other genes identified in this study may prove useful to monitor and manage the impact of drinking water disinfection on L. pneumophila.
Project description:We report here the complete genome sequences of three Legionella pneumophila isolates that are associated with a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in New York in 2012. Two clinical isolates (D7630 and D7632) and one environmental isolate (D7631) were recovered from this outbreak. A single isolate-specific virulence gene was found in D7632. These isolates were included in a large study evaluating the genomic resolution of various bioinformatics approaches for L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates.
Project description:Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by the environmental bacterium Legionella pneumophila. Outbreaks commonly affect people with known risk factors, but the genetic and pathogenic complexity of L. pneumophila within an outbreak is not well understood. Here, we investigate the etiology of the major Legionnaires' disease outbreak that occurred in Edinburgh, UK, in 2012, by examining the evolutionary history, genome content, and virulence of L. pneumophila clinical isolates.Our high resolution genomic approach reveals that the outbreak was caused by multiple genetic subtypes of L. pneumophila, the majority of which had diversified from a single progenitor through mutation, recombination, and horizontal gene transfer within an environmental reservoir prior to release. In addition, we discover that some patients were infected with multiple L. pneumophila subtypes, a finding which can affect the certainty of source attribution. Importantly, variation in the complement of type IV secretion systems encoded by different genetic subtypes correlates with virulence in a Galleria mellonella model of infection, revealing variation in pathogenic potential among the outbreak source population of L. pneumophila.Taken together, our study indicates previously cryptic levels of pathogen heterogeneity within a Legionnaires' disease outbreak, a discovery that impacts on source attribution for future outbreak investigations. Furthermore, our data suggest that in addition to host immune status, pathogen diversity may be an important influence on the clinical outcome of individual outbreak infections.
Project description:Over 20 years ago, two groups independently domesticated Legionella pneumophila from a clinical isolate of bacteria collected during the first recognized outbreak of Legionnaires' disease (at the 1976 American Legion's convention in Philadelphia). These two laboratory strains, JR32 and Lp01, along with their derivatives, have been disseminated to a number of laboratories around the world and form the cornerstone of much of the research conducted on this important pathogen to date. Nevertheless, no exhaustive examination of the genetic distance between these strains and their clinical progenitor has been performed thus far. Such information is of paramount importance for making sense of several phenotypic differences observed between these strains. As environmental replication of L. pneumophila is thought to exclusively occur within natural protozoan hosts, retrospective analysis of the domestication and axenic culture of the Philadelphia-1 progenitor strain by two independent groups also provides an excellent opportunity to uncover evidence of adaptation to the laboratory environment. To reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships between the common laboratory strains of L. pneumophila Philadelphia-1 and their clinical ancestor, we performed whole-genome Illumina resequencing of the two founders of each laboratory lineage: JR32 and Lp01. As expected from earlier, targeted studies, Lp01 and JR32 contain large deletions in the lvh and tra regions, respectively. By sequencing additional strains derived from Lp01 (Lp02 and Lp03), we retraced the phylogeny of these strains relative to their reported ancestor, thereby reconstructing the evolutionary dynamics of each laboratory lineage from genomic data.
Project description:Legionella pneumophila is an opportunistic waterborne pathogen of public health concern. It is the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease (LD) and Pontiac fever and is ubiquitous in manufactured water systems, where protozoan hosts and complex microbial communities provide protection from disinfection procedures. This review collates the literature describing interactions between L. pneumophila and protozoan hosts in hospital and municipal potable water distribution systems. The effectiveness of currently available water disinfection protocols to control L. pneumophila and its protozoan hosts is explored. The studies identified in this systematic literature review demonstrated the failure of common disinfection procedures to achieve long term elimination of L. pneumophila and protozoan hosts from potable water. It has been demonstrated that protozoan hosts facilitate the intracellular replication and packaging of viable L. pneumophila in infectious vesicles; whereas, cyst-forming protozoans provide protection from prolonged environmental stress. Disinfection procedures and protozoan hosts also facilitate biogenesis of viable but non-culturable (VBNC) L. pneumophila which have been shown to be highly resistant to many water disinfection protocols. In conclusion, a better understanding of L. pneumophila-protozoan interactions and the structure of complex microbial biofilms is required for the improved management of L. pneumophila and the prevention of LD.
Project description:An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at a long-term care facility in Ontario, Canada from September to October 2005 resulted in the death of 23 residents and the illness of 112 other people. In response, molecular methods were developed to detect Legionella pneumophila in clinical lung samples and to subtype isolates from clinical and environmental samples. The targeted genetic loci included Legionella-specific virulence determinants (mip, icmO, sidA and lidA) and core bacterial determinants (ftsZ, trpS and dnaX). An established amplified fragment length polymorphism typing method provided the first indication of genetic relatedness between strains recovered from clinical samples and strains cultured from environmental samples taken from the outbreak site. These associations were verified using the European Working Group for Legionella Infections sequence-based typing protocol targeting the flaA, pilE, asd, mip, mompS and proA loci. These molecular typing methods confirmed the outbreak source as a contaminated air conditioning cooling tower.
Project description:Members of the Gram-negative genus Legionella are typically found in freshwater environments, with the exception of L. longbeachae, which is present in composts and potting mixes. When contaminated aerosols are inhaled, legionellosis may result, typically as either the more serious pneumonia Legionnaires' disease or the less severe flu-like illness Pontiac fever. It is presumed that all species of the genus Legionella are capable of causing disease in humans. As a followup to a prior clinical study of legionellosis in rural Thailand, indigenous soil samples were collected proximal to cases' homes and workplaces and tested for the presence of legionellae by culture. We obtained 115 isolates from 22/39 soil samples and used sequence-based methods to identify 12 known species of Legionella represented by 87 isolates.