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, caused by pathogenic Leptospira spp., is recognized as an important emerging zoonotic disease throughout the world. In this study, multiple approaches were used to characterize the recently discovered serovar Heyan strain L231. This strain can infect guinea pigs and belonged to the pathogenic species L. weilii. Genome sequencing analysis revealed the draft genome of 4.2 M bp with a G+C content of 40.67% for strain L231, and a total of 4,794 ORFs were identified. The strain L231 genome was found to have a larger LPS biosynthesis locus than that of strains L. interrogans serovar Lai and L. borgpetersenii serovar Hardjobovis. Phylogenomic reconstructions showed that the evolutionary position of L. weilii serovar Heyan was different from that of other serovars from serogroup Manhao. These findings may lead us to a better understanding of Leptospira pathogenesis and evolution.
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:Leptospirosis is one of the most common zoonotic diseases in the world, resulting in high morbidity and mortality in humans and affecting global livestock production. Most infections are caused by either Leptospira borgpetersenii or Leptospira interrogans, bacteria that vary in their distribution in nature and rely on different modes of transmission. We report the complete genomic sequences of two strains of L. borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo that have distinct phenotypes and virulence. These two strains have nearly identical genetic content, with subtle frameshift and point mutations being a common form of genetic variation. Starkly limited regions of synteny are shared between the large chromosomes of L. borgpetersenii and L. interrogans, probably the result of frequent recombination events between insertion sequences. The L. borgpetersenii genome is approximately 700 kb smaller and has a lower coding density than L. interrogans, indicating it is decaying through a process of insertion sequence-mediated genome reduction. Loss of gene function is not random but is centered on impairment of environmental sensing and metabolite transport and utilization. These features distinguish L. borgpetersenii from L. interrogans, a species with minimal genetic decay and that survives extended passage in aquatic environments encountering a mammalian host. We conclude that L. borgpetersenii is evolving toward dependence on a strict host-to-host transmission cycle.
Project description:A previous study by our group reported the isolation and characterisation of Leptospira borgpetersenii serogroup Ballum strain 4E. This strain is of particular interest because it is highly virulent in the hamster model. In this study, we performed whole-genome shotgun genome sequencing of the strain using the SOLiD sequencing platform. By assembling and analysing the new genome, we were able to identify novel features that have been previously overlooked in genome annotations of other strains belonging to the same species.
Project description:Leptospirosis, caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira, is a zoonotic disease affecting humans, companion animals, and all major livestock species. Typical propagation of the highly fastidious Leptospira borgepetesenii serovar Hardjo is limited to 29°C. However, newer culture media formulations now facilitate isolation and propagation at 37°C, a temperature that more closely emulates in vivo conditions and is hypothesized to regulate the expression of virulence factors during host infection. Since protein expression by leptospires is temperature dependent, and therefore the proteome of bacterin vaccines can differ whether grown at 37°C compared to 29°C, we compared the proteome of strains of Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo at each temperature; two well-established strains that causes acute (strain JB197) or chronic asymptomatic disease (strain HB203) in the hamster challenge model of leptospirosis and two more recently isolated strains designated TC129 and TC273 (both of which cause chronic asymptomatic disease in the hamster). We found proteomic expression differences within strains propagated at the routine temperature of 29°C, and compared to the newly achieved culture temperature of 37°C. Results highlight significant differential protein expression, including virulence factors, amongst identical serovars of L. borgpetersenii when propagated at 29oC, the collective variation of which can be diminished when propagated at 37oC. Collectively, there is increasingly more evidence available to suggest bacterin vaccine design would benefit from consideration of strains employed, and potential effects of growth temperature related to specific behavior of pathogens in vaccine composition.
Project description: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: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:Leptospirosis is a widespread systemic zoonosis, considered as reemerging in certain developing countries. Although the cross agglutinin absorption test is still considered the standard method for Leptospira identification, it presents several disadvantages. The aim of this study was to characterize Leptospira spp. isolated from various hosts by genotyping and broth microdilution susceptibility testing in an attempt to differentiate Leptospira species, serogroups and serovars. Forty-seven isolates were studied. They were previously serotyped, and species confirmation was performed by 16S rRNA sequencing. Single-enzyme amplified fragment length polymorphism (SE-AFLP) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis enabled the distinction of L. interrogans from L. santarosai, L. meyeri and L. borgpetersenii in two main clusters. Among L. interrogans, it was possible to differentiate into two new clusters the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae from the serogroups Canicola and Pomona. L. santarosai isolates presented higher genetic variation than the other species in both techniques. Interestingly, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) cluster analysis also provided Leptospira serogroup differentiation. Further studies are necessary regarding serovar Bananal isolates, as they presented the highest MIC values for most of the antimicrobials tested. All studied techniques successfully distinguished Leptospira species and serogroups. Despite being library-dependent methods, these approaches are less labor intensive and more economically viable, particularly SE-AFLP, and can be implemented in most reference laboratories worldwide to enable faster Leptospira typing.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Horses infected with Leptospira present several clinical disorders, one of them being recurrent uveitis. A common endpoint of equine recurrent uveitis is blindness. Serovar pomona has often been incriminated, although others have also been reported. An antigenic relationship between this bacterium and equine cornea has been described in previous studies. A leptospiral DNA fragment that encodes cross-reacting epitopes was previously cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. RESULTS:A region of that DNA fragment was subcloned and sequenced. Samples of leptospiral DNA from several sources were analysed by PCR with two primer pairs designed to amplify that region. Reference strains from serovars canicola, icterohaemorrhagiae, pomona, pyrogenes, wolffi, bataviae, sentot, hebdomadis and hardjo rendered products of the expected sizes with both pairs of primers. The specific DNA region was also amplified from isolates from Argentina belonging to serogroups Canicola and Pomona. Both L. biflexa serovar patoc and L. borgpetersenii serovar tarassovi rendered a negative result. CONCLUSIONS:The DNA sequence related to the antigen mimicry with equine cornea was not exclusively found in serovar pomona as it was also detected in several strains of Leptospira belonging to different serovars. The results obtained with L. biflexa serovar patoc strain Patoc I and L. borgpetersenii serovar tarassovi strain Perepelicin suggest that this sequence is not present in these strains, which belong to different genomospecies than those which gave positive results. This is an interesting finding since L. biflexa comprises nonpathogenic strains and serovar tarassovi has not been associated clinically with equine uveitis.