Project description:Multiple sequencing of genomes belonging to a bacterial species allows one to analyze and compare statistics and dynamics of the gene complements of species, their pan-genomes. Here, we analyzed multiple genomes of Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., and Salmonella enterica. We demonstrate that the distribution of the number of genomes harboring a gene is well approximated by a sum of two power functions, describing frequent genes (present in many strains) and rare genes (present in few strains). The virtual absence of Shigella-specific genes not present in E. coli genomes confirms previous observations that Shigella is not an independent genus. While the pan-genome size is increasing with each new strain, the number of genes present in a fixed fraction of strains stabilizes quickly. For instance, slightly fewer than 4,000 genes are present in at least half of any group of E. coli genomes. Comparison of S. enterica and E. coli pan-genomes revealed the existence of a common periphery, that is, genes present in some but not all strains of both species. Analysis of phylogenetic trees demonstrates that rare genes from the periphery likely evolve under horizontal transfer, whereas frequent periphery genes may have been inherited from the periphery genome of the common ancestor.
Project description:Escherichia coli, Escherichia albertii, and Escherichia fergusonii are closely related bacteria that can cause illness in humans, such as bacteremia, urinary tract infections and diarrhea. Current identification strategies for these three species vary in complexity and typically rely on the use of multiple phenotypic and genetic tests. To facilitate their rapid identification, we developed a multiplex PCR assay targeting conserved, species-specific genes. We used the Daydreamer™ (Pattern Genomics, USA) software platform to concurrently analyze whole genome sequence assemblies (WGS) from 150 Enterobacteriaceae genomes (107 E. coli, 5 Shigella spp., 21 E. albertii, 12 E. fergusonii and 5 other species) and design primers for the following species-specific regions: a 212bp region of the cyclic di-GMP regulator gene (cdgR, AW869_22935 from genome K-12 MG1655, CP014225) for E. coli/Shigella; a 393bp region of the DNA-binding transcriptional activator of cysteine biosynthesis gene (EAKF1_ch4033 from genome KF1, CP007025) for E. albertii; and a 575bp region of the palmitoleoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP)-dependent acyltransferase (EFER_0790 from genome ATCC 35469, CU928158) for E. fergusonii. We incorporated the species-specific primers into a conventional multiplex PCR assay and assessed its performance with a collection of 97 Enterobacteriaceae strains. The assay was 100% sensitive and specific for detecting the expected species and offers a quick and accurate strategy for identifying E. coli, E. albertii, and E. fergusonii in either a single reaction or by in silico PCR with sequence assemblies.
Project description:Shigella spp. and Escherichia coli are closely related; both belong to the family Enterobacteriaceae. Phenotypically, Shigella spp. and E. coli share many common characteristics, yet they have separate entities in epidemiology and clinical disease, which poses a diagnostic challenge. We collated information for the best possible approach to differentiate clinically relevant E. coli from Shigella spp. We found that a molecular approach is required for confirmation. High discriminatory potential is seen with whole genome sequencing analysed for k-mers and single nucleotide polymorphism. Among these, identification using single nucleotide polymorphism is easy to perform and analyse, and it thus appears more promising. Among the nonmolecular methods, matrix-assisted desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry may be applicable when data analysis is assisted with advanced analytic tools.
Project description:Plasmids, bacteriophages, and pathogenicity islands are genomic additions that contribute to the evolution of bacterial pathogens. For example, Shigella spp., the causative agents of bacillary dysentery, differ from the closely related commensal Escherichia coli in the presence of a plasmid in Shigella that encodes virulence functions. However, pathogenic bacteria also may lack properties that are characteristic of nonpathogens. Lysine decarboxylase (LDC) activity is present in approximately 90% of E. coli strains but is uniformly absent in Shigella strains. When the gene for LDC, cadA, was introduced into Shigella flexneri 2a, virulence became attenuated, and enterotoxin activity was inhibited greatly. The enterotoxin inhibitor was identified as cadaverine, a product of the reaction catalyzed by LDC. Comparison of the S. flexneri 2a and laboratory E. coli K-12 genomes in the region of cadA revealed a large deletion in Shigella. Representative strains of Shigella spp. and enteroinvasive E. coli displayed similar deletions of cadA. Our results suggest that, as Shigella spp. evolved from E. coli to become pathogens, they not only acquired virulence genes on a plasmid but also shed genes via deletions. The formation of these "black holes," deletions of genes that are detrimental to a pathogenic lifestyle, provides an evolutionary pathway that enables a pathogen to enhance virulence. Furthermore, the demonstration that cadaverine can inhibit enterotoxin activity may lead to more general models about toxin activity or entry into cells and suggests an avenue for antitoxin therapy. Thus, understanding the role of black holes in pathogen evolution may yield clues to new treatments of infectious diseases.
Project description:Escherichia coli is an important component of the biosphere and is an ideal model for studies of processes involved in bacterial genome evolution. Sixty-one publically available E. coli and Shigella spp. sequenced genomes are compared, using basic methods to produce phylogenetic and proteomics trees, and to identify the pan- and core genomes of this set of sequenced strains. A hierarchical clustering of variable genes allowed clear separation of the strains into clusters, including known pathotypes; clinically relevant serotypes can also be resolved in this way. In contrast, when in silico MLST was performed, many of the various strains appear jumbled and less well resolved. The predicted pan-genome comprises 15,741 gene families, and only 993 (6%) of the families are represented in every genome, comprising the core genome. The variable or 'accessory' genes thus make up more than 90% of the pan-genome and about 80% of a typical genome; some of these variable genes tend to be co-localized on genomic islands. The diversity within the species E. coli, and the overlap in gene content between this and related species, suggests a continuum rather than sharp species borders in this group of Enterobacteriaceae.
Project description:A quantitative real-time PCR targeting the tnaA gene was studied to detect Escherichia coli and distinguish E. coli from Shigella spp. These microorganisms revealed high similarity in the molecular organization of the tna operon.
Project description:Identification of Shigella spp., Escherichia coli, and enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) is challenging because of their close relatedness. Distinction is vital, as infections with Shigella spp. are under surveillance of health authorities, in contrast to EIEC infections. In this study, a culture-dependent identification algorithm and a molecular identification algorithm were evaluated. Discrepancies between the two algorithms and original identification were assessed using whole-genome sequencing (WGS). After discrepancy analysis with the molecular algorithm, 100% of the evaluated isolates were identified in concordance with the original identification. However, the resolution for certain serotypes was lower than that of previously described methods and lower than that of the culture-dependent algorithm. Although the resolution of the culture-dependent algorithm is high, 100% of noninvasive E. coli, Shigella sonnei, and Shigella dysenteriae, 93% of Shigella boydii and EIEC, and 85% of Shigella flexneri isolates were identified in concordance with the original identification. Discrepancy analysis using WGS was able to confirm one of the used algorithms in four discrepant results. However, it failed to clarify three other discrepant results, as it added yet another identification. Both proposed algorithms performed well for the identification of Shigella spp. and EIEC isolates and are applicable in low-resource settings, in contrast to previously described methods that require WGS for daily diagnostics. Evaluation of the algorithms showed that both algorithms are capable of identifying Shigella species and EIEC isolates. The molecular algorithm is more applicable in clinical diagnostics for fast and accurate screening, while the culture-dependent algorithm is more suitable for reference laboratories to identify Shigella spp. and EIEC up to the serotype level.
Project description:We have constructed coliBASE, a database for Escherichia coli, Shigella and Salmonella comparative genomics available online at http://colibase. bham.ac.uk. Unlike other E.coli databases, which focus on the laboratory model strain K12, coliBASE is intended to reflect the full diversity of E.coli and its relatives. The database contains comparative data including whole genome alignments and lists of putative orthologous genes, together with numerous analytical tools and links to existing online resources. The data are stored in a relational database, accessible by a number of user-friendly search methods and graphical browsers. The database schema is generic and can easily be applied to other bacterial genomes. Two such databases, CampyDB (for the analysis of Campylobacter spp.) and ClostriDB (for Clostridium spp.) are also available at http://campy.bham.ac.uk and http://clostri. bham.ac.uk, respectively. An example of the power of E.coli comparative analyses such as those available through coliBASE is presented.
Project description:Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) is a unique pathovar that has a pathogenic mechanism nearly indistinguishable from that of Shigella species. In contrast to isolates of the four Shigella species, which are widespread and can be frequent causes of human illness, EIEC causes far fewer reported illnesses each year. In this study, we analyzed the genome sequences of 20 EIEC isolates, including 14 first described in this study. Phylogenomic analysis of the EIEC genomes demonstrated that 17 of the isolates are present in three distinct lineages that contained only EIEC genomes, compared to reference genomes from each of the E. coli pathovars and Shigella species. Comparative genomic analysis identified genes that were unique to each of the three identified EIEC lineages. While many of the EIEC lineage-specific genes have unknown functions, those with predicted functions included a colicin and putative proteins involved in transcriptional regulation or carbohydrate metabolism. In silico detection of the Shigella virulence plasmid (pINV), which is essential for the invasion of host cells, demonstrated that a form of pINV was present in nearly all EIEC genomes, but the Mxi-Spa-Ipa region of the plasmid that encodes the invasion-associated proteins was absent from several of the EIEC isolates. The comparative genomic findings in this study support the hypothesis that multiple EIEC lineages have evolved independently from multiple distinct lineages of E. coli via the acquisition of the Shigella virulence plasmid and, in some cases, the Shigella pathogenicity islands.
Project description:Shigella species and Escherichia coli are closely related organisms. Early phenotyping experiments and several recent molecular studies put Shigella within the species E. coli. However, the whole-genome-based, alignment-free and parameter-free CVTree approach shows convincingly that four established Shigella species, Shigella boydii, Shigella sonnei, Shigella felxneri and Shigella dysenteriae, are distinct from E. coli strains, and form sister species to E. coli within the genus Escherichia. In view of the overall success and high resolution power of the CVTree approach, this result should be taken seriously. We hope that the present report may promote further in-depth study of the Shigella-E. coli relationship.