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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Over-production of the MtrCDE efflux pump in Neisseria gonorrhoeae produces unexpected changes in cellular transcription patterns.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 11-05-2014
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The global consequence of drug efflux gene over-expression in bacteria has not been specifically analyzed because high-level expressing strains typically have mutations in genes encoding regulatory proteins that control other genes. Results from a transcriptional profiling study with a strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae that is capable of high-level transcription of the mtrCDE efflux pump operon independently of control by cognate regulatory proteins revealed that its over-expression has ramifications for systems other than drug efflux.
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Using crude whole-genome assemblies of Neisseria gonorrhoeae as a platform for strain analysis: clonal spread of gonorrhea infection in Saskatchewan, Canada.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 07-23-2014
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Using crude whole-genome assemblies, we analyzed 25 isolates of Neisseria gonorrhoeae by using a high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) approach for nine housekeeping genes, characterizing penA alleles, and antimicrobial susceptibility phenotypes coupled with population structure analysis. Two clonal complexes, characterized by their spatial and geographical persistence, were identified. In addition, the clonal spread of penicillin-resistant/intermediate phenotypes and a novel introduction of the azithromycin resistance phenotype in Saskatchewan, Canada, were ascertained using this method.
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Characteristics of acute nongonococcal urethritis in men differ by sexual preference.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2014
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Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) is a common clinical syndrome, but no etiological agent is identified in a significant proportion of cases. Whether the spectrum of pathogens differs between heterosexual men (MSW) and men who have sex with men (MSM) is largely unstudied but of considerable clinical relevance. A retrospective review was done using the electronic medical record database of Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia. Cases were first presentations of symptomatic acute NGU with ? 5 polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL)/high-powered field (HPF) on urethral Gram stain between January 2006 and December 2011. First-stream urine was tested for Chlamydia trachomatis and Mycoplasma genitalium by PCR. Demographic, laboratory, and behavioral characteristics of cases were examined by univariate and multivariable analyses. Of 1,295 first presentations of acute NGU, 401 (32%; 95% confidence interval [CI] of 29 to 34%) had C. trachomatis and 134 (11%; 95% CI of 9 to 13%) had M. genitalium detected. MSM with acute NGU were less likely to have C. trachomatis (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.4; 95% CI of 0.3 to 0.6) or M. genitalium (AOR = 0.5; 95% CI of 0.3 to 0.8) and more likely to have idiopathic NGU (AOR = 2.4; 95% CI of 1.8 to 3.3), to report 100% condom use for anal/vaginal sex (AOR = 3.6; 95% CI of 2.7 to 5.0), or to have engaged in sexual activities other than anal/vaginal sex (AOR = 8.0; 95% CI of 3.6 to 17.8). Even when C. trachomatis or M. genitalium was detected, MSM were more likely than MSW to report consistent condom use (OR = 4.7; 95% CI of 2.6 to 8.3). MSM with acute NGU are less likely to have the established bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and more likely to report protected anal sex or sexual activity other than anal sex prior to symptom onset than MSW. These data suggest that the etiologic spectrum of pathogens differs between MSM and MSW in acute NGU and that relatively low-risk practices are capable of inducing acute NGU.
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Development of oxacillin resistance in a patient with recurrent Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 05-21-2014
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Whole-genome sequencing was used to compare longitudinal isolates of Staphylococcus aureus that developed resistance to oxacillin (MIC up to 16 ?g/ml). The mecA gene was absent. A novel 5-bp TATCC frameshift insertion in a gene encoding an ABC transporter similar to that of the teichoic acid translocation ATP-binding protein TagH and a 3-bp GCT nonframeshift insertion in the pdhA pyruvate dehydrogenase gene were detected in the oxacillin-resistant isolates.
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Phase-variable expression of lptA modulates the resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to cationic antimicrobial peptides.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 05-12-2014
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Phosphoethanolamine (PEA) decoration of lipid A produced by Neisseria gonorrhoeae has been linked to bacterial resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides/proteins (CAMPs) and in vivo fitness during experimental infection. We now report that the lptA gene, which encodes the PEA transferase responsible for this decoration, is in an operon and that high-frequency mutation in a polynucleotide repeat within lptA can influence gonococcal resistance to CAMPs.
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Dissecting vancomycin-intermediate resistance in staphylococcus aureus using genome-wide association.
Genome Biol Evol
PUBLISHED: 05-03-2014
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Vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (VISA) is currently defined as having minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 4-8 µg/ml. VISA evolves through changes in multiple genetic loci with at least 16 candidate genes identified in clinical and in vitro-selected VISA strains. We report a whole-genome comparative analysis of 49 vancomycin-sensitive S. aureus and 26 VISA strains. Resistance to vancomycin was determined by broth microdilution, Etest, and population analysis profile-area under the curve (PAP-AUC). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 55,977 single-nucleotide polymorphisms identified in one or more strains found one highly significant association (P = 8.78 E-08) between a nonsynonymous mutation at codon 481 (H481) of the rpoB gene and increased vancomycin MIC. Additionally, we used a database of public S. aureus genome sequences to identify rare mutations in candidate genes associated with VISA. On the basis of these data, we proposed a preliminary model called ECM+RMCG for the VISA phenotype as a benchmark for future efforts. The model predicted VISA based on the presence of a rare mutation in a set of candidate genes (walKR, vraSR, graSR, and agrA) and/or three previously experimentally verified mutations (including the rpoB H481 locus) with an accuracy of 81% and a sensitivity of 73%. Further, the level of resistance measured by both Etest and PAP-AUC regressed positively with the number of mutations present in a strain. This study demonstrated 1) the power of GWAS for identifying common genetic variants associated with antibiotic resistance in bacteria and 2) that rare mutations in candidate gene, identified using large genomic data sets, can also be associated with resistance phenotypes.
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Functional genomic characterization of virulence factors from necrotizing fasciitis-causing strains of Aeromonas hydrophila.
Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2014
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The genomes of 10 Aeromonas isolates identified and designated Aeromonas hydrophila WI, Riv3, and NF1 to NF4; A. dhakensis SSU; A. jandaei Riv2; and A. caviae NM22 and NM33 were sequenced and annotated. Isolates NF1 to NF4 were from a patient with necrotizing fasciitis (NF). Two environmental isolates (Riv2 and -3) were from the river water from which the NF patient acquired the infection. While isolates NF2 to NF4 were clonal, NF1 was genetically distinct. Outside the conserved core genomes of these 10 isolates, several unique genomic features were identified. The most virulent strains possessed one of the following four virulence factors or a combination of them: cytotoxic enterotoxin, exotoxin A, and type 3 and 6 secretion system effectors AexU and Hcp. In a septicemic-mouse model, SSU, NF1, and Riv2 were the most virulent, while NF2 was moderately virulent. These data correlated with high motility and biofilm formation by the former three isolates. Conversely, in a mouse model of intramuscular infection, NF2 was much more virulent than NF1. Isolates NF2, SSU, and Riv2 disseminated in high numbers from the muscular tissue to the visceral organs of mice, while NF1 reached the liver and spleen in relatively lower numbers on the basis of colony counting and tracking of bioluminescent strains in real time by in vivo imaging. Histopathologically, degeneration of myofibers with significant infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells due to the highly virulent strains was noted. Functional genomic analysis provided data that allowed us to correlate the highly infectious nature of Aeromonas pathotypes belonging to several different species with virulence signatures and their potential ability to cause NF.
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Predicting the virulence of MRSA from its genome sequence.
Genome Res.
PUBLISHED: 04-09-2014
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Microbial virulence is a complex and often multifactorial phenotype, intricately linked to a pathogen's evolutionary trajectory. Toxicity, the ability to destroy host cell membranes, and adhesion, the ability to adhere to human tissues, are the major virulence factors of many bacterial pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus. Here, we assayed the toxicity and adhesiveness of 90 MRSA (methicillin resistant S. aureus) isolates and found that while there was remarkably little variation in adhesion, toxicity varied by over an order of magnitude between isolates, suggesting different evolutionary selection pressures acting on these two traits. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and identified a large number of loci, as well as a putative network of epistatically interacting loci, that significantly associated with toxicity. Despite this apparent complexity in toxicity regulation, a predictive model based on a set of significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion and deletions events (indels) showed a high degree of accuracy in predicting an isolate's toxicity solely from the genetic signature at these sites. Our results thus highlight the potential of using sequence data to determine clinically relevant parameters and have further implications for understanding the microbial virulence of this opportunistic pathogen.
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Determinants of viremia copy-years in people with HIV/AIDS after initiation of antiretroviral therapy.
J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr.
PUBLISHED: 01-28-2014
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Recent studies suggest higher cumulative HIV viremia exposure measured as viremia copy-years (VCY) is associated with increased all-cause mortality. The objectives of this study are (1) report the association between VCY and all-cause mortality and (2) assess associations between common patient characteristics and VCY.
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The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the world's largest fish, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), and its comparison with those of related shark species.
Gene
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2014
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The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest extant species of fish, belonging to the order Orectolobiformes. It is listed as a "vulnerable" species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Red List of Threatened Species, which makes it an important species for conservation efforts. We report here the first complete sequence of the mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the whale shark obtained by next-generation sequencing methods. The assembled mitogenome is a 16,875 bp circle, comprising of 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and a control region. We also performed comparative analysis of the whale shark mitogenome to the available mitogenome sequences of 17 other shark species, four from the order Orectolobiformes, five from Lamniformes and eight from Carcharhiniformes. The nucleotide composition, number and arrangement of the genes in whale shark mitogenome are the same as found in the mitogenomes of the other members of the order Orectolobiformes and its closest orders Lamniformes and Carcharhiniformes, although the whale shark mitogenome had a slightly longer control region. The availability of mitogenome sequence of whale shark will aid studies of molecular systematics, biogeography, genetic differentiation, and conservation genetics in this species.
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Direct amplification, sequencing and profiling of Chlamydia trachomatis strains in single and mixed infection clinical samples.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Sequencing bacterial genomes from DNA isolated directly from clinical samples offers the promise of rapid and precise acquisition of informative genetic information. In the case of Chlamydia trachomatis, direct sequencing is particularly desirable because it obviates the requirement for culture in mammalian cells, saving time, cost and the possibility of missing low abundance strains. In this proof of concept study, we developed methodology that would allow genome-scale direct sequencing, using a multiplexed microdroplet PCR enrichment technology to amplify a 100 kb region of the C. trachomatis genome with 500 1.1-1.3 kb overlapping amplicons (5-fold amplicon redundancy). We integrated comparative genomic data into a pipeline to preferentially select conserved sites for amplicon design. The 100 kb target region could be amplified from clinical samples, including remnants from diagnostics tests, originating from the cervix, urethra and urine, For rapid analysis of these data, we developed a framework for whole-genome based genotyping called binstrain. We used binstrain to estimate the proportion of SNPs originating from 14 C. trachomatis reference serotype genomes in each sample. Direct DNA sequencing methods such as the one described here may have an important role in understanding the biology of C. trachomatis mixed infections and the natural genetic variation of the species within clinically relevant ecological niches.
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Genetic evidence for the involvement of the S-layer protein gene sap and the sporulation genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in phage AP50c infection of Bacillus anthracis.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 12-20-2013
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In order to better characterize the Bacillus anthracis typing phage AP50c, we designed a genetic screen to identify its bacterial receptor. Mariner transposon insertions or targeted deletions of the structural gene for the S-layer protein Sap and the sporulation genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in B. anthracis Sterne resulted in phage resistance with concomitant defects in phage adsorption and infectivity. Electron microscopy of bacteria incubated with AP50c revealed phage particles associated with the surface of bacilli of the Sterne strain but not with the surfaces of ?sap, ?spo0A, ?spo0B, or ?spo0F mutants. The amount of Sap in the S-layer of each of the spo0 mutant strains was substantially reduced compared to the parent strain, and incubation of AP50c with purified recombinant Sap led to substantial reduction in phage activity. Phylogenetic analysis based on whole genome sequences of B. cereus sensu lato strains revealed several closely-related B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains that carry sap genes with very high similarities to that of B. anthracis. Complementation of the ?sap mutant in trans with the wild-type B. anthracis sap or the sap gene from either of two different B. cereus strains that are sensitive to AP50c infection restored phage sensitivity, and electron microscopy confirmed attachment of phage particles to the surface of each of the complemented strains. Based on these data, we postulate that Sap is involved in AP50c infectivity, most likely acting as the phage receptor, and that the spo0 genes may regulate synthesis of Sap and/or formation of the S-layer.
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IsdB-dependent hemoglobin binding is required for acquisition of heme by Staphylococcus aureus.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 12-13-2013
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Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive pathogen responsible for tremendous morbidity and mortality. As with most bacteria, S. aureus requires iron to cause disease and it can acquire iron from host hemoglobin. The current model for staphylococcal hemoglobin-iron acquisition proposes that S. aureus binds hemoglobin through the surface-exposed hemoglobin receptor IsdB. IsdB removes heme from bound hemoglobin and transfers this co-factor to other proteins of the Isd system, which import and degrade heme to release iron in the cytoplasm. Here we demonstrate that the individual components of the Isd system are required for growth on low nanomolar concentrations of hemoglobin as a sole source of iron. An in-depth study of hemoglobin binding by IsdB revealed key residues that are required for hemoglobin binding. Further, we show that these residues are necessary for heme extraction from hemoglobin and growth on hemoglobin as a sole iron source. These processes are found to contribute to the pathogenicity of S. aureus in a murine model of infection. Together these results build upon the model for Isd-mediated hemoglobin binding and heme-iron acquisition during the pathogenesis of S. aureus infection.
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The Etiology of Infectious Proctitis in Men Who Have Sex With Men Differs According to HIV Status.
Sex Transm Dis
PUBLISHED: 11-27-2013
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We compared the spectrum of pathogens responsible for infectious proctitis between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who have sex with men. Only 32% of men with herpes simplex virus (HSV)-associated proctitis had visible external anal ulceration.The etiology of infectious proctitis among HIV-positive and HIV-negative men is as follows: chlamydia (23.4% vs. 21.7%, P = 0.7), gonorrhea (13.4% vs. 10.8%, P = 0.5), HSV-1 (14.2% vs. 6.5%, P = 0.04), HSV-2 (22% vs. 12.3%, P = 0.03), lymphogranuloma venereum (7.8% vs. 0.7%, P = 0.004), and multiple infections (17.7% vs. 8.6%, P = 0.017). Thirty-two percent with HSV proctitis had external anal ulceration.
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Genome Sequencing of Four Strains of Rickettsia prowazekii, the Causative Agent of Epidemic Typhus, Including One Flying Squirrel Isolate.
Genome Announc
PUBLISHED: 07-02-2013
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Rickettsia prowazekii is a notable intracellular pathogen, the agent of epidemic typhus, and a potential biothreat agent. We present here whole-genome sequence data for four strains of R. prowazekii, including one from a flying squirrel.
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Characterization of Aeromonas hydrophila wound pathotypes by comparative genomic and functional analyses of virulence genes.
MBio
PUBLISHED: 04-25-2013
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Aeromonas hydrophila has increasingly been implicated as a virulent and antibiotic-resistant etiologic agent in various human diseases. In a previously published case report, we described a subject with a polymicrobial wound infection that included a persistent and aggressive strain of A. hydrophila (E1), as well as a more antibiotic-resistant strain of A. hydrophila (E2). To better understand the differences between pathogenic and environmental strains of A. hydrophila, we conducted comparative genomic and functional analyses of virulence-associated genes of these two wound isolates (E1 and E2), the environmental type strain A. hydrophila ATCC 7966(T), and four other isolates belonging to A. aquariorum, A. veronii, A. salmonicida, and A. caviae. Full-genome sequencing of strains E1 and E2 revealed extensive differences between the two and strain ATCC 7966(T). The more persistent wound infection strain, E1, harbored coding sequences for a cytotoxic enterotoxin (Act), a type 3 secretion system (T3SS), flagella, hemolysins, and a homolog of exotoxin A found in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Corresponding phenotypic analyses with A. hydrophila ATCC 7966(T) and SSU as reference strains demonstrated the functionality of these virulence genes, with strain E1 displaying enhanced swimming and swarming motility, lateral flagella on electron microscopy, the presence of T3SS effector AexU, and enhanced lethality in a mouse model of Aeromonas infection. By combining sequence-based analysis and functional assays, we characterized an A. hydrophila pathotype, exemplified by strain E1, that exhibited increased virulence in a mouse model of infection, likely because of encapsulation, enhanced motility, toxin secretion, and cellular toxicity.
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Comparative analysis of Chlamydia psittaci genomes reveals the recent emergence of a pathogenic lineage with a broad host range.
MBio
PUBLISHED: 03-28-2013
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Chlamydia psittaci is an obligate intracellular bacterium. Interest in Chlamydia stems from its high degree of virulence as an intestinal and pulmonary pathogen across a broad range of animals, including humans. C. psittaci human pulmonary infections, referred to as psittacosis, can be life-threatening, which is why the organism was developed as a bioweapon in the 20th century and is listed as a CDC biothreat agent. One remarkable recent result from comparative genomics is the finding of frequent homologous recombination across the genome of the sexually transmitted and trachoma pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis. We sought to determine if similar evolutionary dynamics occurred in C. psittaci. We analyzed 20 C. psittaci genomes from diverse strains representing the nine known serotypes of the organism as well as infections in a range of birds and mammals, including humans. Genome annotation revealed a core genome in all strains of 911 genes. Our analyses showed that C. psittaci has a history of frequently switching hosts and undergoing recombination more often than C. trachomatis. Evolutionary history reconstructions showed genome-wide homologous recombination and evidence of whole-plasmid exchange. Tracking the origins of recombinant segments revealed that some strains have imported DNA from as-yet-unsampled or -unsequenced C. psittaci lineages or other Chlamydiaceae species. Three ancestral populations of C. psittaci were predicted, explaining the current population structure. Molecular clock analysis found that certain strains are part of a clonal epidemic expansion likely introduced into North America by South American bird traders, suggesting that psittacosis is a recently emerged disease originating in New World parrots.
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Genetic variation and linkage disequilibrium in Bacillus anthracis.
Sci Rep
PUBLISHED: 08-11-2011
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We performed whole-genome amplification followed by hybridization of custom-designed resequencing arrays to resequence 303 kb of genomic sequence from a worldwide panel of 39 Bacillus anthracis strains. We used an efficient algorithm contained within a custom software program, UniqueMER, to identify and mask repetitive sequences on the resequencing array to reduce false-positive identification of genetic variation, which can arise from cross-hybridization. We discovered a total of 240 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and showed that B. anthracis strains have an average of 2.25 differences per 10,000 bases in the region we resequenced. Common SNVs in this region are found to be in complete linkage disequilibrium. These patterns of variation suggest there has been little if any historical recombination among B. anthracis strains since the origin of the pathogen. This pattern of common genetic variation suggests a framework for recognizing new or genetically engineered strains.
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The evolution of infectious agents in relation to sex in animals and humans: brief discussions of some individual organisms.
Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 08-10-2011
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The following series of concise summaries addresses the evolution of infectious agents in relation to sex in animals and humans from the perspective of three specific questions: (1) what have we learned about the likely origin and phylogeny, up to the establishment of the infectious agent in the genital econiche, including the relative frequency of its sexual transmission; (2) what further research is needed to provide additional knowledge on some of these evolutionary aspects; and (3) what evolutionary considerations might aid in providing novel approaches to the more practical clinical and public health issues facing us currently and in the future?
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Unity in variety--the pan-genome of the Chlamydiae.
Mol. Biol. Evol.
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2011
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Chlamydiae are evolutionarily well-separated bacteria that live exclusively within eukaryotic host cells. They include important human pathogens such as Chlamydia trachomatis as well as symbionts of protozoa. As these bacteria are experimentally challenging and genetically intractable, our knowledge about them is still limited. In this study, we obtained the genome sequences of Simkania negevensis Z, Waddlia chondrophila 2032/99, and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae UV-7. This enabled us to perform the first comprehensive comparative and phylogenomic analysis of representative members of four major families of the Chlamydiae, including the Chlamydiaceae. We identified a surprisingly large core gene set present in all genomes and a high number of diverse accessory genes in those Chlamydiae that do not primarily infect humans or animals, including a chemosensory system in P. acanthamoebae and a type IV secretion system. In S. negevensis, the type IV secretion system is encoded on a large conjugative plasmid (pSn, 132 kb). Phylogenetic analyses suggested that a plasmid similar to the S. negevensis plasmid was originally acquired by the last common ancestor of all four families and that it was subsequently reduced, integrated into the chromosome, or lost during diversification, ultimately giving rise to the extant virulence-associated plasmid of pathogenic chlamydiae. Other virulence factors, including a type III secretion system, are conserved among the Chlamydiae to variable degrees and together with differences in the composition of the cell wall reflect adaptation to different host cells including convergent evolution among the four chlamydial families. Phylogenomic analysis focusing on chlamydial proteins with homology to plant proteins provided evidence for the acquisition of 53 chlamydial genes by a plant progenitor, lending further support for the hypothesis of an early interaction between a chlamydial ancestor and the primary photosynthetic eukaryote.
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Genome sequences of the zoonotic pathogens Chlamydia psittaci 6BC and Cal10.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2011
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Chlamydia psittaci is a highly prevalent avian pathogen and the cause of a potentially lethal zoonosis, causing life-threatening pneumonia in humans. We report the genome sequences of C. psittaci 6BC, the prototype strain of the species, and C. psittaci Cal10, a widely used laboratory strain.
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Genome sequence of the obligate intracellular animal pathogen Chlamydia pecorum E58.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 05-13-2011
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Chlamydia pecorum is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen that causes diverse disease in a wide variety of economically important mammals. We report the finished complete genome sequence of C. pecorum E58, the type strain for the species.
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PheMaDB: a solution for storage, retrieval, and analysis of high throughput phenotype data.
BMC Bioinformatics
PUBLISHED: 04-20-2011
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OmniLog™ phenotype microarrays (PMs) have the capability to measure and compare the growth responses of biological samples upon exposure to hundreds of growth conditions such as different metabolites and antibiotics over a time course of hours to days. In order to manage the large amount of data produced from the OmniLog™ instrument, PheMaDB (Phenotype Microarray DataBase), a web-based relational database, was designed. PheMaDB enables efficient storage, retrieval and rapid analysis of the OmniLog™ PM data.
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Bacillus anthracis comparative genome analysis in support of the Amerithrax investigation.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2011
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Before the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, the developing field of microbial forensics relied on microbial genotyping schemes based on a small portion of a genome sequence. Amerithrax, the investigation into the anthrax letter attacks, applied high-resolution whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomics to identify key genetic features of the letters Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. During systematic microbiological analysis of the spore material from the letters, we identified a number of morphological variants based on phenotypic characteristics and the ability to sporulate. The genomes of these morphological variants were sequenced and compared with that of the B. anthracis Ames ancestor, the progenitor of all B. anthracis Ames strains. Through comparative genomics, we identified four distinct loci with verifiable genetic mutations. Three of the four mutations could be directly linked to sporulation pathways in B. anthracis and more specifically to the regulation of the phosphorylation state of Spo0F, a key regulatory protein in the initiation of the sporulation cascade, thus linking phenotype to genotype. None of these variant genotypes were identified in single-colony environmental B. anthracis Ames isolates associated with the investigation. These genotypes were identified only in B. anthracis morphotypes isolated from the letters, indicating that the variants were not prevalent in the environment, not even the environments associated with the investigation. This study demonstrates the forensic value of systematic microbiological analysis combined with whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomics.
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Genomic signatures of strain selection and enhancement in Bacillus atrophaeus var. globigii, a historical biowarfare simulant.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-15-2011
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Despite the decades-long use of Bacillus atrophaeus var. globigii (BG) as a simulant for biological warfare (BW) agents, knowledge of its genome composition is limited. Furthermore, the ability to differentiate signatures of deliberate adaptation and selection from natural variation is lacking for most bacterial agents. We characterized a lineage of BGwith a long history of use as a simulant for BW operations, focusing on classical bacteriological markers, metabolic profiling and whole-genome shotgun sequencing (WGS).
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Combined proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of the response of Bacillus anthracis to oxidative stress.
Proteomics
PUBLISHED: 02-14-2011
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The endospore-forming Gram-positive pathogen Bacillus anthracis is responsible for the usually fatal disease, inhalational anthrax. The success of this pathogen is dependent on its ability to subvert elements of the innate immune system of its animal hosts. B. anthracis spores, which are the main infective agent, are engulfed and germinate in patrolling alveolar macrophages. In order for the infection to progress, the resulting vegetative cells must resist the antimicrobial oxidative burst mounted by the host NADPH oxidase complex. The response of B. anthracis to this and other macrophage-related stresses is therefore of major importance to the success of this pathogen, and consequently we have analysed the superoxide and peroxide stress stimulons of B. anthracis strain UM23C1-2 by means of a combined transcriptomics and proteomics approach. The results show distinct patterns of expression in response to paraquat (endogenous superoxide) and hydrogen peroxide stress. While the main response to paraquat is the induction of iron uptake pathways, the response to peroxide predominantly involves the induction of protection and repair mechanisms. Comparisons between the responses of B. anthracis and related soil bacterium, B. subtilis, reveal differences that are likely to be relevant to their respective habitats.
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Investigating the arenyl-diene double [3 + 2] photocycloaddition reaction.
J. Org. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2011
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The double [3 + 2] photocycloaddition reaction involving arenyl-dienes has been used to assemble seven separate [5.5.5.5] fenestrane structures that include ether and aza variants. The primary photolysis step was a meta photocycloaddition reaction, while a secondary photocycloaddition step formed the fenestrane structure. Investigations involving the insertion of an additional methylene group into the basic arenyl-diene skeleton failed to afford the desired [5.5.5.6] fenestrane structure. The presence of an oxime moiety in the aromatic photosubstrate allowed the primary photolysis step to take place; however, an attempted secondary photocycloaddition reaction involving the oxime did not provide the intended polyheterocyclic fenestrane. An alternative strategy to form various "criss-cross" double meta photocycloadducts was investigated and led to the discovery of a Paterno-Büchi cycloaddition reaction between acetone and an angular meta photocycloadduct. Other novel thermally and photochemically mediated skeletal rearrangement reactions were also recorded.
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Interplay of recombination and selection in the genomes of Chlamydia trachomatis.
Biol. Direct
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2011
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Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterial parasite, which causes several severe and debilitating diseases in humans. This study uses comparative genomic analyses of 12 complete published C. trachomatis genomes to assess the contribution of recombination and selection in this pathogen and to understand the major evolutionary forces acting on the genome of this bacterium.
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Hypervirulent Chlamydia trachomatis clinical strain is a recombinant between lymphogranuloma venereum (L(2)) and D lineages.
MBio
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2011
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Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes a diversity of severe and debilitating diseases worldwide. Sporadic and ongoing outbreaks of lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) strains among men who have sex with men (MSM) support the need for research on virulence factors associated with these organisms. Previous analyses have been limited to single genes or genomes of laboratory-adapted reference strain L(2)/434 and outbreak strain L(2)b/UCH-1/proctitis. We characterized an unusual LGV strain, termed L(2)c, isolated from an MSM with severe hemorrhagic proctitis. L(2)c developed nonfusing, grape-like inclusions and a cytotoxic phenotype in culture, unlike the LGV strains described to date. Deep genome sequencing revealed that L(2)c was a recombinant of L(2) and D strains with conserved clustered regions of genetic exchange, including a 78-kb region and a partial, yet functional, toxin gene that was lost with prolonged culture. Indels (insertions/deletions) were discovered in an ftsK gene promoter and in the tarp and hctB genes, which encode key proteins involved in replication, inclusion formation, and histone H1-like protein activity, respectively. Analyses suggest that these indels affect gene and/or protein function, supporting the in vitro and disease phenotypes. While recombination has been known to occur for C. trachomatis based on gene sequence analyses, we provide the first whole-genome evidence for recombination between a virulent, invasive LGV strain and a noninvasive common urogenital strain. Given the lack of a genetic system for producing stable C. trachomatis mutants, identifying naturally occurring recombinants can clarify gene function and provide opportunities for discovering avenues for genomic manipulation.
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High-redundancy draft sequencing of 15 clinical and environmental Burkholderia strains.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 09-24-2010
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The Gram-negative Burkholderia genus includes several species of intracellular bacterial pathogens that pose substantial risk to humans. In this study, we have generated draft genome sequences of 15 strains of B. oklahomensis, B. pseudomallei, B. thailandensis, and B. ubonensis to an average sequence read coverage of 25- to 40-fold.
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Smoking-related health risks among persons with HIV in the Strategies for Management of Antiretroviral Therapy clinical trial.
Am J Public Health
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2010
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We sought to determine smoking-related hazard ratios (HRs) and population-attributable risk percentage (PAR%) for serious clinical events and death among HIV-positive persons, whose smoking prevalence is higher than in the general population.
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Bacterial population genomics and infectious disease diagnostics.
Trends Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 07-07-2010
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New sequencing technologies have made the production of bacterial genome sequences increasingly easy, and it can be confidently forecasted that vast genomic databases will be generated in the next few years. Here, we detail how collections of bacterial genomes from a particular species (population genomics libraries) have already been used to improve the design of several diagnostic assays for bacterial pathogens. Genome sequencing itself is also becoming more commonly used for epidemiological, forensic and clinical investigations. There is an opportunity for the further development of bioinformatic tools to bring even further value to bacterial diagnostic genomics.
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Arbovirus detection in insect vectors by rapid, high-throughput pyrosequencing.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2010
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Despite the global threat caused by arthropod-borne viruses, there is not an efficient method for screening vector populations to detect novel viral sequences. Current viral detection and surveillance methods based on culture can be costly and time consuming and are predicated on prior knowledge of the etiologic agent, as they rely on specific oligonucleotide primers or antibodies. Therefore, these techniques may be unsuitable for situations when the causative agent of an outbreak is unknown.
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Rapid identification of genetic modifications in Bacillus anthracis using whole genome draft sequences generated by 454 pyrosequencing.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 05-17-2010
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The anthrax letter attacks of 2001 highlighted the need for rapid identification of biothreat agents not only for epidemiological surveillance of the intentional outbreak but also for implementing appropriate countermeasures, such as antibiotic treatment, in a timely manner to prevent further casualties. It is clear from the 2001 cases that survival may be markedly improved by administration of antimicrobial therapy during the early symptomatic phase of the illness; i.e., within 3 days of appearance of symptoms. Microbiological detection methods are feasible only for organisms that can be cultured in vitro and cannot detect all genetic modifications with the exception of antibiotic resistance. Currently available immuno or nucleic acid-based rapid detection assays utilize known, organism-specific proteins or genomic DNA signatures respectively. Hence, these assays lack the ability to detect novel natural variations or intentional genetic modifications that circumvent the targets of the detection assays or in the case of a biological attack using an antibiotic resistant or virulence enhanced Bacillus anthracis, to advise on therapeutic treatments.
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Rapid multi-locus sequence typing using microfluidic biochips.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 04-19-2010
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Multiple locus sequence typing (MLST) has become a central genotyping strategy for analysis of bacterial populations. The scheme involves de novo sequencing of 6-8 housekeeping loci to assign unique sequence types. In this work we adapted MLST to a rapid microfluidics platform in order to enhance speed and reduce laboratory labor time.
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Finishing genomes with limited resources: lessons from an ensemble of microbial genomes.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 04-16-2010
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While new sequencing technologies have ushered in an era where microbial genomes can be easily sequenced, the goal of routinely producing high-quality draft and finished genomes in a cost-effective fashion has still remained elusive. Due to shorter read lengths and limitations in library construction protocols, shotgun sequencing and assembly based on these technologies often results in fragmented assemblies. Correspondingly, while draft assemblies can be obtained in days, finishing can take many months and hence the time and effort can only be justified for high-priority genomes and in large sequencing centers. In this work, we revisit this issue in light of our own experience in producing finished and nearly-finished genomes for a range of microbial species in a small-lab setting. These genomes were finished with surprisingly little investments in terms of time, computational effort and lab work, suggesting that the increased access to sequencing might also eventually lead to a greater proportion of finished genomes from small labs and genomics cores.
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Genomic characterization of the Yersinia genus.
Genome Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-04-2010
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New DNA sequencing technologies have enabled detailed comparative genomic analyses of entire genera of bacterial pathogens. Prior to this study, three species of the enterobacterial genus Yersinia that cause invasive human diseases (Yersinia pestis, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and Yersinia enterocolitica) had been sequenced. However, there were no genomic data on the Yersinia species with more limited virulence potential, frequently found in soil and water environments.
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Predicting phenotype and emerging strains among Chlamydia trachomatis infections.
Emerging Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 10-01-2009
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Chlamydia trachomatis is a global cause of blinding trachoma and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We used comparative genomics of the family Chlamydiaceae to select conserved housekeeping genes for C. trachomatis multilocus sequencing, characterizing 19 reference and 68 clinical isolates from 6 continental/subcontinental regions. There were 44 sequence types (ST). Identical STs for STI isolates were recovered from different regions, whereas STs for trachoma isolates were restricted by continent. Twenty-nine of 52 alleles had nonuniform distributions of frequencies across regions (p<0.001). Phylogenetic analysis showed 3 disease clusters: invasive lymphogranuloma venereum strains, globally prevalent noninvasive STI strains (ompA genotypes D/Da, E, and F), and nonprevalent STI strains with a trachoma subcluster. Recombinant strains were observed among STI clusters. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were predictive of disease specificity. Multilocus and SNP typing can now be used to detect diverse and emerging C. trachomatis strains for epidemiologic and evolutionary studies of trachoma and STI populations worldwide.
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Quantitative characterization of quantum dot-labeled lambda phage for Escherichia coli detection.
Biotechnol. Bioeng.
PUBLISHED: 07-28-2009
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We characterize CdSe/ZnS quantum dot (QD) binding to genetically modified bacteriophage as a model for bacterial detection. Interactions among QDs, lambda (lambda) phage, and Escherichia coli are examined by several cross-validated methods. Flow and image-based cytometry clarify fluorescent labeling of bacteria, with image-based cytometry additionally reporting the number of decorated phage bound to cells. Transmission electron microscopy, image-based cytometry, and electrospray differential mobility analysis allow quantization of QDs attached to each phage (4-17 QDs) and show that lambda phage used in this study exhibits enhanced QD binding to the capsid by nearly a factor of four compared to bacteriophage T7. Additionally, the characterization methodology presented can be applied to the quantitative characterization of other fluorescent nanocrystal-biological conjugates.
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DIYA: a bacterial annotation pipeline for any genomics lab.
Bioinformatics
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2009
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DIYA (Do-It-Yourself Annotator) is a modular and configurable open source pipeline software, written in Perl, used for the rapid annotation of bacterial genome sequences. The software is currently used to take DNA contigs as input, either in the form of complete genomes or the result of shotgun sequencing, and produce an annotated sequence in Genbank file format as output.
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Identification of Bacillus anthracis spore component antigens conserved across diverse Bacillus cereus sensu lato strains.
Mol. Cell Proteomics
PUBLISHED: 02-09-2009
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We sought to identify proteins in the Bacillus anthracis spore, conserved in other strains of the closely related Bacillus cereus group, that elicit an immune response in mammals. Two high throughput approaches were used. First, an in silico screening identified 200 conserved putative B. anthracis spore components. A total of 192 of those candidate genes were expressed and purified in vitro, 75 of which reacted with the rabbit immune sera generated against B. anthracis spores. The second approach was to screen for cross-reacting antigens in the spore proteome of 10 diverse B. cereus group strains. Two-dimensional electrophoresis resolved more than 200 protein spots in each spore preparation. About 72% of the protein spots were found in all the strains. 18 of these conserved proteins reacted against anti-B. anthracis spore rabbit immune sera, two of which (alanine racemase, Dal-1 and the methionine transporter, MetN) overlapped the set of proteins identified using the in silico screen. A conserved repeat domain protein (Crd) was the most immunoreactive protein found broadly across B. cereus sensu lato strains. We have established an approach for finding conserved targets across a species using population genomics and proteomics. The results of these screens suggest the possibility of a multiepitope antigen for broad host range diagnostics or therapeutics against Bacillus spore infection.
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The complete genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis Ames "Ancestor".
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2009
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The pathogenic bacterium Bacillus anthracis has become the subject of intense study as a result of its use in a bioterrorism attack in the United States in September and October 2001. Previous studies suggested that B. anthracis Ames Ancestor, the original Ames fully virulent plasmid-containing isolate, was the ideal reference. This study describes the complete genome sequence of that original isolate, derived from a sample kept in cold storage since 1981.
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A multiplexed microfluidic PCR assay for sensitive and specific point-of-care detection of Chlamydia trachomatis.
PLoS ONE
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Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is the most common cause of bacterial sexually transmitted diseases (STD) worldwide. While commercial nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) are available for Ct, none are rapid or inexpensive enough to be used at the point-of-care (POC). Towards the first Ct POC NAAT, we developed a microfluidic assay that simultaneously interrogates nine Ct loci in 20 minutes.
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Strand-specific RNA-seq reveals ordered patterns of sense and antisense transcription in Bacillus anthracis.
PLoS ONE
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Although genome-wide transcriptional analysis has been used for many years to study bacterial gene expression, many aspects of the bacterial transcriptome remain undefined. One example is antisense transcription, which has been observed in a number of bacteria, though the function of antisense transcripts, and their distribution across the bacterial genome, is still unclear.
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Population genomics of Chlamydia trachomatis: insights on drift, selection, recombination, and population structure.
Mol. Biol. Evol.
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The large number of sexually transmitted diseases and ocular trachoma cases that are caused globally each year by Chlamydia trachomatis has made this organism a World Health Organization priority for vaccine development. However, there is no gene transfer system for Chlamydia to help identify potential vaccine targets. To accelerate discoveries toward this goal, here we analyzed the broadest diversity of C. trachomatis genomes to date, including 25 geographically dispersed clinical and seven reference strains representing 14 of the 19 known serotypes. Strikingly, all 32 genomes were found to have evidence of DNA acquisition by homologous recombination in their history. Four distinct clades were identified, which correspond to all C. trachomatis disease phenotypes: lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV; Clade 1); noninvasive urogenital infections (Clade 2); ocular trachoma (Clade 3); and protocolitis (Clade 4; also includes some noninvasive urogenital infections). Although the ancestral relationship between clades varied, most strains acted as donor and recipient of recombination with no evidence for barriers to genetic exchange. The niche-specific LGV and trachoma clades have undergone less recombination, although the opportunity for mixing with strains from other clades that infect the rectal and ocular mucosa, respectively, is evident. Furthermore, there are numerous occasions for gene conversion events through sequential infections at the same anatomic sites. The size of recombinant segments is relatively small (~357 bp) compared with in vitro experiments of various C. trachomatis strains but is consistent with in vitro estimates for other bacterial species including Escherichia coli and Helicobacter pylori. Selection has also played a crucial role during the diversification of the organism. Clade 2 had the lowest nonsynonymous to synonymous ratio (dN/dS) but the highest effect of recombination, which is consistent with the widespread occurrence of synonymous substitutions in recombined genomic segments. The trachoma Clade 3 had the highest dN/dS estimates, which may be caused by an increased effect of genetic drift from niche specialization and a reduced effective population size. The degree of drift, selection, and recombination in C. trachomatis suggests that the challenge will remain to identify genomic regions that are stable and cross protective for the development of an efficacious vaccine.
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A mutation in the PP2C phosphatase gene in a Staphylococcus aureus USA300 clinical isolate with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin and daptomycin.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin (MIC of 4 to 8 ?g/ml) are referred to as vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA). In this study, we characterized two isogenic USA300 S. aureus isolates collected sequentially from a single patient with endocarditis where the S. aureus isolate changed from being susceptible to vancomycin (VSSA) (1 ?g/ml) to VISA (8 ?g/ml). In addition, the VISA isolate lost beta-lactamase activity and showed increased resistance to daptomycin and linezolid. The two strains did not differ in growth rate, but the VISA isolate had a thickened cell wall and was less autolytic. Transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis comparing the two isolates grown to late exponential phase showed significant differences in transcription of cell surface protein genes (spa, SBI [second immunoglobulin-binding protein of S. aureus], and fibrinogen-binding proteins), regulatory genes (agrBCA, RNAIII, sarT, and saeRS), and others. Using whole-genome shotgun resequencing, we identified 6 insertion/deletion mutations between the VSSA and VISA isolates. A protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) family phosphatase had a 6-bp (nonframeshift) insertion mutation in a highly conserved metal binding domain. Complementation of the clinical VISA isolate with a wild-type copy of the PP2C gene reduced the vancomycin and daptomycin MICs and increased autolytic activity, suggesting that this gene contributed to the reduced vancomycin susceptibility phenotype acquired in vivo. Creation of de novo mutants from the VSSA strain resulted in different mutations, demonstrating that reduced susceptibility to vancomycin in USA300 strains can occur via multiple routes, highlighting the complex nature of the VISA phenotype.
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Genomic characterization of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato species: backdrop to the evolution of Bacillus anthracis.
Genome Res.
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The key genes required for Bacillus anthracis to cause anthrax have been acquired recently by horizontal gene transfer. To understand the genetic background for the evolution of B. anthracis virulence, we obtained high-redundancy genome sequences of 45 strains of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato (s.l.) species that were chosen for their genetic diversity within the species based on the existing multilocus sequence typing scheme. From the resulting data, we called more than 324,000 new genes representing more than 12,333 new gene families for this group. The core genome size for the B. cereus s.l. group was ?1750 genes, with another 2150 genes found in almost every genome constituting the extended core. There was a paucity of genes specific and conserved in any clade. We found no evidence of recent large-scale gene loss in B. anthracis or for unusual accumulation of nonsynonymous DNA substitutions in the chromosome; however, several B. cereus genomes isolated from soil and not previously associated with human disease were degraded to various degrees. Although B. anthracis has undergone an ecological shift within the species, its chromosome does not appear to be exceptional on a macroscopic scale compared with close relatives.
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Global mRNA decay analysis at single nucleotide resolution reveals segmental and positional degradation patterns in a Gram-positive bacterium.
Genome Biol.
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Recent years have shown a marked increase in the use of next-generation sequencing technologies for quantification of gene expression (RNA sequencing, RNA-Seq). The expression level of a gene is a function of both its rate of transcription and RNA decay, and the influence of mRNA decay rates on gene expression in genome-wide studies of Gram-positive bacteria is under-investigated.
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Genome-wide recombination in Chlamydia trachomatis.
Nat. Genet.
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A new study reports comparative genomic analysis of 52 geographically diverse strains of Chlamydia trachomatis. The authors reconstruct a genome-wide phylogeny of the species and report extensive genome-wide recombination across multiple lineages of this intracellular bacterial pathogen.
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Direct comparisons of Illumina vs. Roche 454 sequencing technologies on the same microbial community DNA sample.
PLoS ONE
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Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is commonly used in metagenomic studies of complex microbial communities but whether or not different NGS platforms recover the same diversity from a sample and their assembled sequences are of comparable quality remain unclear. We compared the two most frequently used platforms, the Roche 454 FLX Titanium and the Illumina Genome Analyzer (GA) II, on the same DNA sample obtained from a complex freshwater planktonic community. Despite the substantial differences in read length and sequencing protocols, the platforms provided a comparable view of the community sampled. For instance, derived assemblies overlapped in ~90% of their total sequences and in situ abundances of genes and genotypes (estimated based on sequence coverage) correlated highly between the two platforms (R(2)>0.9). Evaluation of base-call error, frameshift frequency, and contig length suggested that Illumina offered equivalent, if not better, assemblies than Roche 454. The results from metagenomic samples were further validated against DNA samples of eighteen isolate genomes, which showed a range of genome sizes and G+C% content. We also provide quantitative estimates of the errors in gene and contig sequences assembled from datasets characterized by different levels of complexity and G+C% content. For instance, we noted that homopolymer-associated, single-base errors affected ~1% of the protein sequences recovered in Illumina contigs of 10× coverage and 50% G+C; this frequency increased to ~3% when non-homopolymer errors were also considered. Collectively, our results should serve as a useful practical guide for choosing proper sampling strategies and data possessing protocols for future metagenomic studies.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.