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      Bacterial genome sequencing in clinical microbiology: a pathogen-oriented review

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          Abstract

          In recent years, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) has been perceived as a technology with the potential to revolutionise clinical microbiology. Herein, we reviewed the literature on the use of WGS for the most commonly encountered pathogens in clinical microbiology laboratories: Escherichia coli and other Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci, streptococci and enterococci, mycobacteria and Chlamydia trachomatis. For each pathogen group, we focused on five different aspects: the genome characteristics, the most common genomic approaches and the clinical uses of WGS for (i) typing and outbreak analysis, (ii) virulence investigation and (iii) in silico antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Of all the clinical usages, the most frequent and straightforward usage was to type bacteria and to trace outbreaks back. A next step toward standardisation was made thanks to the development of several new genome-wide multi-locus sequence typing systems based on WGS data. Although virulence characterisation could help in various particular clinical settings, it was done mainly to describe outbreak strains. An increasing number of studies compared genotypic to phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility testing, with mostly promising results. However, routine implementation will preferentially be done in the workflow of particular pathogens, such as mycobacteria, rather than as a broadly applicable generic tool. Overall, concrete uses of WGS in routine clinical microbiology or infection control laboratories were done, but the next big challenges will be the standardisation and validation of the procedures and bioinformatics pipelines in order to reach clinical standards.

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          Most cited references 131

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          Coagulase-negative staphylococci.

          The definition of the heterogeneous group of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) is still based on diagnostic procedures that fulfill the clinical need to differentiate between Staphylococcus aureus and those staphylococci classified historically as being less or nonpathogenic. Due to patient- and procedure-related changes, CoNS now represent one of the major nosocomial pathogens, with S. epidermidis and S. haemolyticus being the most significant species. They account substantially for foreign body-related infections and infections in preterm newborns. While S. saprophyticus has been associated with acute urethritis, S. lugdunensis has a unique status, in some aspects resembling S. aureus in causing infectious endocarditis. In addition to CoNS found as food-associated saprophytes, many other CoNS species colonize the skin and mucous membranes of humans and animals and are less frequently involved in clinically manifested infections. This blurred gradation in terms of pathogenicity is reflected by species- and strain-specific virulence factors and the development of different host-defending strategies. Clearly, CoNS possess fewer virulence properties than S. aureus, with a respectively different disease spectrum. In this regard, host susceptibility is much more important. Therapeutically, CoNS are challenging due to the large proportion of methicillin-resistant strains and increasing numbers of isolates with less susceptibility to glycopeptides.
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            Tracking a hospital outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae with whole-genome sequencing.

            The Gram-negative bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae is a major cause of nosocomial infections, primarily among immunocompromised patients. The emergence of strains resistant to carbapenems has left few treatment options, making infection containment critical. In 2011, the U.S. National Institutes of Health Clinical Center experienced an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae that affected 18 patients, 11 of whom died. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on K. pneumoniae isolates to gain insight into why the outbreak progressed despite early implementation of infection control procedures. Integrated genomic and epidemiological analysis traced the outbreak to three independent transmissions from a single patient who was discharged 3 weeks before the next case became clinically apparent. Additional genomic comparisons provided evidence for unexpected transmission routes, with subsequent mining of epidemiological data pointing to possible explanations for these transmissions. Our analysis demonstrates that integration of genomic and epidemiological data can yield actionable insights and facilitate the control of nosocomial transmission.
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              Transforming clinical microbiology with bacterial genome sequencing.

              Whole-genome sequencing of bacteria has recently emerged as a cost-effective and convenient approach for addressing many microbiological questions. Here, we review the current status of clinical microbiology and how it has already begun to be transformed by using next-generation sequencing. We focus on three essential tasks: identifying the species of an isolate, testing its properties, such as resistance to antibiotics and virulence, and monitoring the emergence and spread of bacterial pathogens. We predict that the application of next-generation sequencing will soon be sufficiently fast, accurate and cheap to be used in routine clinical microbiology practice, where it could replace many complex current techniques with a single, more efficient workflow.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                0041 21 314 49 79 , gilbert.greub@chuv.ch
                Journal
                Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis
                Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis
                European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                0934-9723
                1435-4373
                21 June 2017
                21 June 2017
                2017
                : 36
                : 11
                : 2007-2020
                Affiliations
                ISNI 0000 0001 0423 4662, GRID grid.8515.9, Institute of Microbiology, Department of Laboratory, , University of Lausanne & University Hospital, ; Lausanne, Switzerland
                Article
                3024
                10.1007/s10096-017-3024-6
                5653721
                28639162
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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                © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

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