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      Genome-Wide Comparison Of Toxigenic And Non-Toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae Isolates Identifies Differences In The Pan Genomes Between Respiratory And Cutaneous Strains

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      bioRxiv

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          Abstract

          Objectives: Corynebacterium diphtheriae is the main etiological agent of diphtheria, a global disease causing life-threatening infections, particularly in infants and children. Vaccination with diphtheria toxoid protects against infection with potent toxin producing strains. However a growing number of apparently non-toxigenic but potentially invasive C. diphtheriae strains are identified in countries with low prevalence of diphtheria, raising key questions about genomic structures and population dynamics of the species. Methods: This study examined genomic diversity among 47 C. diphtheriae isolates collected in Australia over a 10-year period using whole genome sequencing. Phylogeny was determined using SNP-based mapping and genome wide analysis. Results: C. diphtheriae sequence type (ST) 32, a non-toxigenic ST with evidence of enhanced virulence that is also circulating in Europe, appears to be endemic in Australia. Isolates from temporospatially related patients displayed the same ST and similarity in their core genomes. The genome-wide analysis highlighted a role of pilins, adhesion factors and iron utilization in infections caused by toxigenic as well as non-toxigenic strains. Conclusions: The genomic diversity of toxigenic and non-toxigenic strains of C. diphtheriae in Australia suggests multiple local and overseas sources of infection and colonisation. Our findings suggest that regular genomic surveillance of co-circulating toxigenic and non-toxigenic C. diphtheriae can deliver highly nuanced data in order to inform targeted public health actions and policy for predicting the future impact of this highly successful pathogen.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          bioRxiv
          May 30 2017
          Article
          10.1101/143800
          © 2017
          Product

          Microbiology & Virology

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