[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galleria mellonella larvae are an alternative in vivo model for investigating bacterial pathogenicity. Here, we examined the pathogenicity of 71 isolates from five leading uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) lineages using G. mellonella larvae. Larvae were challenged with a range of inoculum doses to determine the 50% lethal dose (LD50) and for analysis of survival outcome using Kaplan-Meier plots. Virulence was correlated with carriage of a panel of 29 virulence factors (VF). Larvae inoculated with ST69 and ST127 isolates (104 colony-forming units/larvae) showed significantly higher mortality rates than those infected with ST73, ST95 and ST131 isolates, killing 50% of the larvae within 24 hours. Interestingly, ST131 isolates were the least virulent. We observed that ST127 isolates are significantly associated with a higher VF-score than isolates of all other STs tested (P≤0.0001), including ST69 (P<0.02), but one ST127 isolate (strain EC18) was avirulent. Comparative genomic analyses with virulent ST127 strains revealed an IS1 mediated deletion in the O-antigen cluster in strain EC18, which is likely to explain the lack of virulence in the larvae infection model. Virulence in the larvae was not correlated with serotype or phylogenetic group. This study illustrates that G. mellonella are an excellent tool for investigation of the virulence of UPEC strains. The findings also support our suggestion that the incidence of ST127 strains should be monitored, as these isolates have not yet been widely reported, but they clearly have a pathogenic potential greater than that of more widely recognised clones, including ST73, ST95 or ST131.
PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e101547. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101547 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical laboratories are increasingly using molecular tests for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) screening. However, primers have to be targeted to a variable chromosomal region, the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). We initially screened 726 MRSA isolates from a single UK hospital trust by recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA), a novel, isothermal alternative to PCR. Undetected isolates were further characterised using multilocus sequence, spa typing and whole genome sequencing. 96% of our tested phenotypically MRSA isolates contained one of the six orfX-SCCmec junctions our RPA test and commercially available molecular tests target. However 30 isolates could not be detected. Sequencing of 24 of these isolates demonstrated recombinations within the SCCmec element with novel insertions that interfered with the RPA, preventing identification as MRSA. This result suggests that clinical laboratories cannot rely solely upon molecular assays to reliably detect all methicillin-resistance. The presence of significant recombinations in the SCCmec element, where the majority of assays target their primers, suggests that there will continue to be isolates that escape identification. We caution that dependence on amplification-based molecular assays will continue to result in failure to diagnose a small proportion (∼4%) of MRSA isolates, unless the true level of SCCmec natural diversity is determined by whole genome sequencing of a large collection of MRSA isolates.
PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e101419. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101419 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
Uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) is recognized as the most frequent cause of urinary tract infection (UTI), being responsible for up to 85% of community acquired UTI and 25% of nosocomial UTI. According to previous studies a number of lineages of UPEC such as ST73, ST127 and ST131 are consistently detected and can represent a real threat to health. Galleria mellonella larvae have recently been introduced as an alternative in vivo model to mammalian systems and here we are using it to investigate the pathogenicity of different lineages of UPEC.
UPEC lineages equipped with a variety of virulence factors and the goal of this study is to understand the pathogenicity and the behaviour of different sequence types (STs) of UPEC ST131, ST73 and ST127 using Galleria mellonella larvae as in vivo model.
Larvae were challenged with range of inoculum doses of different UPEC sequence types to determine 50% lethal dose (LD50) and the infected larvae survival outcome was compared by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.
Larvae inoculated with ST127 isolates (104 colony-forming unit) shows significant high mortality rate than ST73 (P≤ 0.0024) and ST131 (P≤ 0.0004) which kill 50% of the larvae after 24 hours. Surveillance of 29 virulence genes shows that ST127 isolates significantly association with high VF-score (P≤ 0.0001). Although LD50 of ST73 and ST131 isolates shows no significant difference, ST131 isolates appears to be significantly associated with low FV-score (P< 0.0001) compared to ST73.
The results of this study illustrated that the larvae could be used to investigate the virulence of different UPEC strains. Comparison of genomic sequences of different STs of UPEC may lead to deeper understanding of the virulence factors, and thus, the Galleria mellonella is a useful in vivo model to investigate UPEC virulence.
The European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Berlin Germany; 04/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NucliSENS EasyQ KPC assay (bioMérieux SA, Marcy l'Etoile, France) was compared with a routinely used phenotypic method
for detection of Enterobacteriaceae producing Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-type carbapenemases, using 806 stool samples and rectal swabs. Compared with the phenotypic method, the
EasyQ KPC assay had a sensitivity and specificity of 93.3% and 99.0%, respectively, in this setting, with diverse KPC producers
not limited to ST258 Klebsiella pneumoniae.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the predominant cause of urinary tract infection in both hospital and community settings. The recent emergence of multidrug-resistant clones like the O25b:H4-ST131 lineage represents a significant threat to health, and numerous studies have explored the virulence potential of these organisms. Members of the ST131 clone have been described as having variable carriage of key virulence factors, and it has been suggested that additional unidentified factors contribute to virulence. Here we demonstrated that ST131 isolates have high metabolic potential and biochemical profiles that distinguish them from isolates of many other sequence types (STs). A collection of 300 UPEC isolates recovered in 2007 and 2009 in the Northwest region of England were subjected to metabolic profiling using the Vitek2 Advanced Expert System (AES). Of the 47 tests carried out, 30 gave a positive result with at least one of the 300 isolates examined. ST131 isolates demonstrated significant association with eight tests, including those for peptidase, decarboxylase, and alkalinization activity. Metabolic activity also correlated with antibiotic susceptibility profiles, with resistant organisms displaying the highest metabolic potential. This is the first comprehensive study of metabolic potential in the ST131 lineage, and we suggest that high metabolic potential may have contributed to the fitness of members of the ST131 clone, which are able to exploit the available nutrients in both the intestinal and urinary tract environments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) has been used to characterize diverse pathogens, including uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). There has been significant interest in the contribution of the O25b:H4-ST131 lineage to UPEC disease, as these isolates are often highly virulent and exhibit multidrug resistance. To reveal the wider impact of sequence type (ST) 131, we have examined its contribution to the overall population structure of UPEC isolates that were not selected on the basis of virulence or antibiotic resistance.
Three hundred UPEC isolates were recovered from community and hospital urine samples examined by clinical microbiology laboratories in the Northwest region of England in June 2007 and June 2009. They were characterized by susceptibility profiling, MLST and virulence gene PCR. PFGE was used to examine isolates from key clones.
The most common lineage was ST73 (16.6%) followed by ST131 (13.3%), ST69 (9%), ST95 (6.3%), ST10 (4.3%) and ST127 (3.6%). ST131 isolates were significantly more likely to exhibit high levels of antibiotic resistance (35% being CTX-M-15 PCR positive) and those of ST127 were the most widely susceptible but carried the highest number of virulence genes. Only when the CTX-M-15-O25b-positive strains were examined was a high level of virulence observed for ST131 isolates. PFGE indicated ongoing local evolution in ST131.
ST131 isolates are well established in the wider UPEC population. This clone is still evolving and we further support suggestions that it represents a real threat to health. We suggest that ST127 is a recently emerged, community-associated, virulent clone that warrants further study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several recent studies have highlighted the emergence of a globally disseminated clone of uropathogenic and invasive Escherichia coli isolates of serotype O25:H4 and sequence type 131. The ability to characterize rapidly E. coli isolates of this lineage would facilitate enhanced surveillance for this pathogen. We have used the semi-automated DiversiLab repetitive PCR-based system to analyse a collection of 35 clinical isolates of uropathogenic E. coli from across the UK, with particular focus on the O25:H4-ST131 lineage. All isolates had been characterized using multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and 14 had previously been typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The DiversiLab system allowed discrimination of O25:H4-ST131 isolates from those of other E. coli lineages. It was slightly more discriminatory than MLST, but was less discriminatory than PFGE. With an analysis time of <4 h between receipt of a cultured organism and provision of a typing result, the system offers information on a real-time basis, a major advantage over current practice. We suggest that introduction of the DiversiLab system would be useful for rapid exclusion of E. coli isolates during outbreak investigations, and that the approach could be employed for surveillance for pathogenic or antibiotic-resistant clones of this organism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite its clinical importance, little is known of the epidemiology and population structure of Candida glabrata. C. glabrata possesses a mating type system similar to that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, however mating, meiosis and recombination have not been demonstrated. We performed multilocus sequence typing on a collection of 165 isolates to test for evidence of genetic recombination. A total of 3345 bp from six loci (FKS, LEU2, NMT1, TRP1, UGP1, and URA3) were sequenced for each isolate. The polymorphisms at these loci defined 34 sequence types. Significant evidence for a clonal population was revealed by the index of association and the number of phylogenetically compatible pairs of loci. However, 14 examples of phylogenetic incompatibility were also found. Thus we conclude that although C. glabrata has a predominantly clonal population structure, the multiple phylogenetic incompatibilities found strongly suggest that recombination occurred during the evolution of C. glabrata, and may infrequently still occur.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A number of genetic fingerprinting methods have evolved to analyze the population structure and to perform epidemiological and etiological studies of infectious fungi. These methods include multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, restriction fragment-length polymorphism using complex probes, random amplification of polymorphic DNA, and multilocus sequence typing, which are described in this chapter.
Methods in molecular medicine 02/2005; 118:15-25. DOI:10.1385/1-59259-943-5:015
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Population studies have indicated that natural resistance to flucytosine (5FC) in Candida albicans is limited to one of the five major clades, clade I. In addition, while 73% of clade I isolates are less susceptible to 5FC (MIC >/= 0.5 microg/ml), only 2% of non-clade I isolates are less susceptible. In order to determine the genetic basis for this clade-specific resistance, we sequenced two genes involved in the metabolism of 5FC that had previously been linked to resistance (cytosine deaminase and uracil phosphoribosyltransferase), in 48 isolates representative of all clades. Our results demonstrate that a single nucleotide change from cytosine to thymine at position 301 in the uracil phosphoribosyltransferase gene (FUR1) of C. albicans is responsible for 5FC resistance. The mutant allele was found only in group I isolates. The 5FC MICs for strains without copies of the mutant allele were almost exclusively </=0.25 microg/ml, those for strains with one copy of the mutant allele were >/=0.5 microg/ml, and those for strains with two copies of the mutant allele were >/=16 microg/ml. Thus, the two alleles were codominant. The presence of this allele is responsible for clade I-specific resistance to 5FC within the C. albicans population and thus by inference is likely to be the major underlying 5FC resistance mechanism in C. albicans. This represents the first description of the genetic mutation responsible for 5FC resistance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The haploid pathogenic yeast Candida glabrata is the second most common Candida species isolated from cases of bloodstream infection. The clinical relevance of C. glabrata is enhanced by its reduced susceptibility to fluconazole. Despite this, little is known of the epidemiology or population structure of this species. We developed a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme for C. glabrata and used it to fingerprint a geographically diverse collection of 107 clinical isolates and 2 reference strains. Appropriate loci were identified by amplifying and sequencing fragments of the coding regions of 11 C. glabrata genes in 10 unrelated isolates. The 6 most variable loci (FKS, LEU2, NMT1, TRP1, UGP1, and URA3) were sequenced in the collection of 109 isolates. From the 3,345 bp sequenced in each isolate, 81 nucleotide sites were found to be variable. These defined 30 STs among the 109 strains. The technique was validated by comparison with random amplified polymorphic DNA and the complex DNA fingerprinting probes Cg6 and Cg12. MLST identified 5 major clades among the isolates studied. Three of the clades exhibited significant geographical bias. Our data demonstrate for the first time, with such a large geographically diverse strain collection, that distinct genetic clades of C. glabrata prevail in different geographical regions.