Newly Emerged Serotype 1c of Shigella flexneri: Multiple Origins and Changing Drug Resistance Landscape.
ABSTRACT: Bacillary dysentery caused by Shigella flexneri is a major cause of under-five mortality in developing countries, where a novel S. flexneri serotype 1c has become very common since the 1980s. However, the origin and diversification of serotype 1c remain poorly understood. To understand the evolution of serotype 1c and their antimicrobial resistance, we sequenced and analyzed the whole-genome of 85 clinical isolates from the United Kingdom, Egypt, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Japan belonging to serotype 1c and related serotypes of 1a, 1b and Y/Yv. We identified up to three distinct O-antigen modifying genes in S. flexneri 1c strains, which were acquired from three different bacteriophages. Our analysis shows that S. flexneri 1c strains have originated from serotype 1a and serotype 1b strains after the acquisition of bacteriophage-encoding gtrIc operon. The maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analysis using core genes suggests two distinct S. flexneri 1c lineages, one specific to Bangladesh, which originated from ancestral serotype 1a strains and the other from the United Kingdom, Egypt, and Vietnam originated from ancestral serotype 1b strains. We also identified 63 isolates containing multiple drug-resistant genes in them conferring resistance against streptomycin, sulfonamide, quinolone, trimethoprim, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and beta-lactamase. Furthermore, antibiotic susceptibility assays showed 83 (97.6%) isolates as either complete or intermediate resistance to the WHO-recommended first- and second-line drugs. This changing drug resistance pattern demonstrates the urgent need for drug resistance surveillance and renewed treatment guidelines.
Project description:Shigella spp. are the primary causative agents of bacillary dysentery. Since its emergence in the late 1980s, the S. flexneri serotype 1c remains poorly understood, particularly with regard to its origin and genetic evolution. This article provides a molecular insight into this novel serotype and the gtrIC gene cluster that determines its unique immune recognition.A PCR of the gtrIC cluster showed that serotype 1c isolates from different geographical origins were genetically conserved. An analysis of sequences flanking the gtrIC cluster revealed remnants of a prophage genome, in particular integrase and tRNA(Pro) genes. Meanwhile, Southern blot analyses on serotype 1c, 1a and 1b strains indicated that all the tested serotype 1c strains may have had a common origin that has since remained distinct from the closely related 1a and 1b serotypes. The identification of prophage genes upstream of the gtrIC cluster is consistent with the notion of bacteriophage-mediated integration of the gtrIC cluster into a pre-existing serotype.This is the first study to show that serotype 1c isolates from different geographical origins share an identical pattern of genetic arrangement, suggesting that serotype 1c strains may have originated from a single parental strain. Analysis of the sequence around the gtrIC cluster revealed a new site for the integration of the serotype converting phages of S. flexneri. Understanding the origin of new pathogenic serotypes and the molecular basis of serotype conversion in S. flexneri would provide information for developing cross-reactive Shigella vaccines.
Project description:BACKGROUND: All Shigella flexneri serotypes except serotype 6 share a common O-antigen tetrasaccharide backbone and nearly all variations between serotypes are due to glucosyl and/or O-acetyl modifications of the common O unit mediated by glycosyltransferases encoded by serotype-converting bacteriophages. Several S. flexneri serotype-converting phages including SfV, SfX, Sf6 and SfII have been isolated and characterized. However, S. flexneri serotype-converting phage SfI which encodes a type I modification of serotype 1 (1a, 1b, 1c and 1d) had not yet been characterized. RESULTS: The SfI phage was induced and purified from a S. flexneri serotype 1a clinical strain 019. Electron microscopy showed that the SfI phage has a hexagonal head and a long contractile tail, characteristic of the members of Myoviridae family. SfI can convert serotype Y to serotype 1a and serotype X to serotype 1d, but cannot convert 10 other S. flexneri serotypes (1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, Xv) tested, suggesting that SfI has a narrow host range. Similar to other S. flexneri serotype-converting phages, SfI integrates into the tRNA-thrW gene adjacent to proA of the host chromosome when lysogenized. The complete sequence of the SfI genome was 38,389 bp, encoding 66 open reading frames and two tRNA genes. Phage SfI shares significant homology with S. flexneri phage SfV, Escherichia coli prophage e14 and lambda, and is classified into the lambdoid phage family. SfI was found to use a cos mechanism for DNA packaging similar to that of phage SfV. CONCLUSIONS: SfI contains features of lambdoid phages and is closely related to S. flexneri phage SfV, E. coli prophage e14 and lambda. The characterization of SfI enhances our understanding of serotype conversion of S. flexneri.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Shigella flexneri is the major pathogen causing bacillary dysentery. Fifteen serotypes have been recognized up to now. The genesis of new S. flexneri serotypes is commonly mediated by serotype-converting bacteriophages. Untypeable or novel serotypes from natural infections had been reported worldwide but have not been generated in laboratory. RESULTS: A new S. flexneri serotype-serotype 1 d was generated when a S. flexneri serotype Y strain (native LPS) was sequentially infected with 2 serotype-converting bacteriophages, SfX first and then SfI. The new serotype 1 d strain agglutinated with both serotype X-specific anti-7;8 grouping serum and serotype 1a-specific anti- I typing serum, and differed from subserotypes 1a, 1b and 1c. Twenty four S. flexneri clinical isolates of serotype X were all converted to serotype 1 d by infection with phage SfI. PCR and sequencing revealed that SfI and SfX were integrated in tandem into the proA-yaiC region of the host chromosome. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest a new S. flexneri serotype could be created in nature. Such a conversion may be constrained by susceptibility of a strain to infection by a given serotype-converting bacteriophage. This finding has significant implications in the emergence of new S. flexneri serotypes in nature.
Project description:Shigella flexneri is a leading cause of bacterial dysentery in developing countries. Among the 15 known serotypes, four (1b, 3a, 3b and 4b) contain a group 6 epitope due to an acetyl group connected to the O-2 position of rhamnose III on the tetrasaccharide structure of the lipopolysaccharide. O-acetyltransferase encoded by a bacteriophage, Sf6, mediates the acetylation reaction. We found that the oac gene in serotype 1b strains was very different from that in serotypes 3a, 3b and 4b strains and is herein after referred to as oac 1b which shares with oac 88%-89% identity at the DNA level and 85% identity at the protein level. Considering that S. flexneri strains of serotypes 1-5 share a recent common ancestry, the divergent oac 1b is more likely to have been obtained from outside S. flexneri than to have undergone rapid divergence from the oac gene in the other serotypes (3a, 3b and 4b) within S. flexneri. The cloned oac 1b gene was found to perform the same acetylation function as oac. Analysis of the genomic regions flanking oac 1b showed that it was present in a prophage on the chromosome and the organizational structure is different from that of phage Sf6. Additionally, phage conversion assay showed that serotype 1b cannot be generated by infecting serotype 1a strains with Sf6. We conclude that oac 1b was carried by a non-Sf6 phage and is uniquely present in serotype 1b.
Project description:Shigella flexneri serotype 2 variant (II:3,4,7,8) was isolated in 2008 and first reported in China in 2013. In the present study, epidemiological surveillance from 2003 to 2013 in China suggested that this serotype first appeared in Guangxi in 2003; it then emerged in Shanghai and Xinjiang in 2004 and in Henan in 2008. Of the 1813 S. flexneri isolates, 58 S. flexneri serotype 2 variant strains were identified. Serotype 2 variant has emerged as a prominent serotype in recent years, with 2a (32.6%), X variant (25.2%), 1a (9.4%), X (6.3%), 2b (5.4%), and 1b (3.6%). According to phenotypic and genotypic analysis, the serotype 2 variant originated from 2a to 2b. A higher antibiotic resistance rate was observed between 2009 and 2013 than that between 2003 and 2008. Among 22 cephalosporin-resistant isolates, bla TEM-1, bla OXA-1, bla CTX-3, bla CTX-14, and bla CTX-79 were detected. Among 22 fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates, a Ser80Ile mutation in parC was present in all of the isolates. Moreover, 21 isolates had three gyrA point mutations (Ser83Leu, His211Tyr, Asp87Asn, or Gly) and one isolate had two gyrA point mutations (Ser83Leu and His211Tyr). The prevalence of His211Tyr in the fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates is concerning, and the mutation was first reported in China. Besides, 22 isolates harbored the aac(6')-Ib-cr gene, and two isolates harbored qnrS1. In view of the increased epidemic frequency and multidrug-resistant strain emergence, continuous surveillance will be needed to understand the actual disease burden and provide guidance for shigellosis.
Project description:Shigella represents one of the major diarrhea-inducing pathogens threatening public health, but its prevalence and antimicrobial resistance profile in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region, China, remains unclear. We conducted comprehensive investigation of Shigella serotype distribution and antimicrobial resistance pattern in Xinjiang, identifying 458 Shigella isolates between 2008 to 2014. Shigella flexneri was identified as predominant species, and several S. flexneri serotypes were isolated, including atypical serotypes 1c, 2c, and 4s. Dominant S. flexneri serotypes were 2a, 1b, 2b, and Xv, different from those generally dominant in China. A hybrid serotype pattern was observed, which included the major Chinese serotypes (2a, Xv) and those predominant in Pakistan (1b, 2b). Shigella sonnei was shown to have a lower frequency compared with that generally observed in China, but an increasing trend of infections associated with this pathogen was observed. Furthermore, a high frequency of drug resistance and different Shigella antimicrobial resistance patterns were demonstrated as well, including very severe resistance phenotypes, such as multidrug resistance and resistance to frontline antibiotics. Seventy-five cephalosporin-resistant Shigella isolates were frequently identified with the resistance determinants that can undergo horizontal transfer, such as blaOXA, blaTEM, blaCTX-M, and integrons, facilitating the development of cephalosporin resistance among Shigella subtypes. Additionally, genetic analyses demonstrated that all 86 quinolone-resistant S. flexneri isolates possess 3-4 mutation sites in quinolone resistance-determining regions, primarily contributing to their resistance to quinolone. However, S. sonnei isolates were not shown to be quinolone resistant. Co-resistance to cephalosporins and quinolones was detected in 17 S. flexneri isolates, and these isolates were additionally multidrug resistant and carried ?-lactamase genes and quinolone-resistance determinants. As is demonstrated in this study, dominant serotypes of Shigella were distributed in unique trend with dangerous drug resistance patterns. Novel strategies are urgently required to prevent the development of drug resistance among diarrhea-inducing pathogens.
Project description:To investigate the prevalence and mechanisms of fluoroquinolone resistance in Shigella species isolated in Bangladesh and to compare with similar strains isolated in China.A total of 3789 Shigella isolates collected from Clinical Microbiology Laboratory of icddr,b, during 2004-2010 were analyzed for antibiotic susceptibility. Analysis of plasmids, plasmid-mediated quinolone-resistance genes, PFGE, and sequencing of genes of the quinolone-resistance-determining regions (QRDR) were conducted in representative strains isolated in Bangladesh and compared with strains isolated in Zhengding, China. In addition, the role of efflux-pump was studied by using the efflux-pump inhibitor carbonyl cyanide-m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP).Resistance to ciprofloxacin in Shigella species increased from 0% in 2004 to 44% in 2010 and S. flexneri was the predominant species. Of Shigella spp, ciprofloxacin resistant (CipR) strains were mostly found among S. flexneri (8.3%), followed by S. sonnei (1.5%). Within S. flexneri (n?=?2181), 14.5% were resistance to ciprofloxacin of which serotype 2a was predominant (96%). MIC of ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin were 6-32 mg/L, 8-32 mg/L, and 8-24 mg/L, respectively in S. flexneri 2a isolates. Sequencing of QRDR genes of resistant isolates showed double mutations in gyrA gene (Ser83Leu, Asp87Asn/Gly) and single mutation in parC gene (Ser80Ile). A difference in amino acid substitution at position 87 was found between strains isolated in Bangladesh (Asp87Asn) and China (Asp87Gly) except for one. A novel mutation at position 211 (His?Tyr) in gyrA gene was detected only in the Bangladeshi strains. Susceptibility to ciprofloxacin was increased by the presence of CCCP indicating the involvement of energy dependent active efflux pumps. A single PFGE type was found in isolates from Bangladesh and China suggesting their genetic relatedness.Emergence of fluoroquinolone resistance in Shigella undermines a major challenge in current treatment strategies which needs to be followed up by using empirical therapeutic strategies.
Project description:The O antigen of serotype 1c differs from the unmodified O antigen of serotype Y by the addition of a disaccharide (two glucosyl groups) to the tetrasaccharide repeating unit. It was shown here that addition of the first glucosyl group is mediated by the previously characterized gtrI cluster, which is found within a cryptic prophage at the proA locus in the bacterial chromosome. Transposon mutagenesis was performed to disrupt the gene responsible for addition of the second glucosyl group, causing reversion to serotype 1a. Colony immunoblotting was used to identify the desired revertants, and subsequent sequencing, cloning, and functional expression successfully identified the gene encoding serotype 1c-specific O-antigen modification. This gene (designated gtrIC) was present as part of a three-gene cluster, similar to other S. flexneri glucosyltransferase genes. Relative to the other S. flexneri gtr clusters, the gtrIC cluster is more distantly related and appears to have arrived in S. flexneri from outside the species. Analysis of surrounding sequence suggests that the gtrIC cluster arrived via a novel bacteriophage that was subsequently rendered nonfunctional by a series of insertion events.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Shigella flexneri is one of the causative agents of shigellosis, a major cause of childhood mortality in developing countries. Multilocus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) is a prominent subtyping method to resolve closely related bacterial isolates for investigation of disease outbreaks and provide information for establishing phylogenetic patterns among isolates. The present study aimed to develop an MLVA method for S. flexneri and the VNTR loci identified were tested on 242 S. flexneri isolates to evaluate their variability in various serotypes. The isolates were also analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to compare the discriminatory power and to evaluate the usefulness of MLVA as a tool for phylogenetic analysis of S. flexneri. RESULTS: Thirty-six VNTR loci were identified by exploring the repeat sequence loci in genomic sequences of Shigella species and by testing the loci on nine isolates of different subserotypes. The VNTR loci in different serotype groups differed greatly in their variability. The discriminatory power of an MLVA assay based on four most variable VNTR loci was higher, though not significantly, than PFGE for the total isolates, a panel of 2a isolates, which were relatively diverse, and a panel of 4a/Y isolates, which were closely-related. Phylogenetic groupings based on PFGE patterns and MLVA profiles were considerably concordant. The genetic relationships among the isolates were correlated with serotypes. The phylogenetic trees constructed using PFGE patterns and MLVA profiles presented two distinct clusters for the isolates of serotype 3 and one distinct cluster for each of the serotype groups, 1a/1b/NT, 2a/2b/X/NT, 4a/Y, and 6. Isolates that had different serotypes but had closer genetic relatedness than those with the same serotype were observed between serotype Y and subserotype 4a, serotype X and subserotype 2b, subserotype 1a and 1b, and subserotype 3a and 3b. CONCLUSIONS: The 36 VNTR loci identified exhibited considerably different degrees of variability among S. flexneri serotype groups. VNTR locus could be highly variable in a serotype but invariable in others. MLVA assay based on four highly variable loci could display a comparable resolving power to PFGE in discriminating isolates. MLVA is also a prominent molecular tool for phylogenetic analysis of S. flexneri; the resulting data are beneficial to establish clear clonal patterns among different serotype groups and to discern clonal groups among isolates within the same serotype. As highly variable VNTR loci could be serotype-specific, a common MLVA protocol that consists of only a small set of loci, for example four to eight loci, and that provides high resolving power to all S. flexneri serotypes may not be obtainable.
Project description:Mycobacterium leprae, the causative agent of leprosy, is an unculturable bacterium with a considerably reduced genome (3.27 Mb) compared to homologues mycobacteria from the same ancestry. In 2001, the genome of M. leprae was first described and subsequently four genotypes (1-4) and 16 subtypes (A-P) were identified providing means to study global transmission patterns for leprosy. In order to understand the role of asymptomatic carriers we investigated M. leprae carriage as well as infection in leprosy patients (n = 60) and healthy household contacts (HHC; n = 250) from Bangladesh using molecular detection of the bacterial element RLEP in nasal swabs (NS) and slit skin smears (SSS). In parallel, to study M. leprae genotype distribution in Bangladesh we explored strain diversity by whole genome sequencing (WGS) and Sanger sequencing. In the studied cohort in Bangladesh, M. leprae DNA was detected in 33.3% of NS and 22.2% of SSS of patients with bacillary index of 0 whilst in HHC 18.0% of NS and 12.3% of SSS were positive. The majority of the M. leprae strains detected in this study belonged to genotype 1D (55%), followed by 1A (31%). Importantly, WGS allowed the identification of a new M. leprae genotype, designated 1B-Bangladesh (14%), which clustered separately between the 1A and 1B strains. Moreover, we established that the genotype previously designated 1C, is not an independent subtype but clusters within the 1D genotype. Intraindividual differences were present between the M. leprae strains obtained including mutations in hypermutated genes, suggesting mixed colonization/infection or in-host evolution. In summary, we observed that M. leprae is present in asymptomatic contacts of leprosy patients fueling the concept that these individuals contribute to the current intensity of transmission. Our data therefore emphasize the importance of sensitive and specific tools allowing post-exposure prophylaxis targeted at M. leprae-infected or -colonized individuals.