Comparative genome analysis identifies few traits unique to the Escherichia coli ST131 H30Rx clade and extensive mosaicism at the capsule locus

Abdulaziz Alqasim, Fleming Scheutz, Zhiyong Zong, Alan McNally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: E.coli ST131 is a globally disseminated clone of multi-drug resistant E. coli responsible for that vast majority of global extra-intestinal E. coli infections. Recent global genomic epidemiological studies have highlighted the highly clonal nature of this group of bacteria, however there appears to be inconsistency in some phenotypes associated with the clone, in particular capsule types as determined by K-antigen testing both biochemically and by PCR.

RESULTS: We performed improved quality assemblies on ten ST131 genomes previously sequenced by our group and compared them to a new reference genome sequence JJ1886 to identify the capsule loci across the drug-resistant clone H30Rx. Our data shows considerable genetic diversity within the capsule locus of H30Rx clone strains which is mirrored by classical K antigen testing. The varying capsule locus types appear to be randomly distributed across the H30Rx phylogeny suggesting multiple recombination events at this locus, but that this capsule heterogeneity has little to no effect on virulence associated phenotypes in vitro.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data provides a framework for determining the capsular genetics of E. coli ST131 and further beyond to ExPEC strains, and highlights how capsular mosaicism may be an important strategy in becoming a successful globally disseminated human pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Article number830
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Bacterial Capsules
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Mosaicism
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Virulence
  • E. coli ST131
  • Comparative genomics
  • Capsule
  • Recombination

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