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1.  Genome Sequences of Multidrug-Resistant, Colistin-Susceptible and -Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Clinical Isolates from Pakistan 
Genome Announcements  2016;4(6):e01419-16.
The emergence and spread of colistin resistance among multidrug-resistant (MDR) Klebsiella pneumoniae represent a critical threat to global health. Here, we report the complete genome sequences of 10 MDR, colistin-susceptible and -resistant K. pneumoniae clinical isolates obtained in Pakistan between 2010 and 2013.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.01419-16
PMCID: PMC5159589  PMID: 27979956
2.  Listeria monocytogenes in Stone Fruits Linked to a Multistate Outbreak: Enumeration of Cells and Whole-Genome Sequencing 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2016;82(24):7030-7040.
ABSTRACT
In 2014, the identification of stone fruits contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes led to the subsequent identification of a multistate outbreak. Simultaneous detection and enumeration of L. monocytogenes were performed on 105 fruits, each weighing 127 to 145 g, collected from 7 contaminated lots. The results showed that 53.3% of the fruits yielded L. monocytogenes (lower limit of detection, 5 CFU/fruit), and the levels ranged from 5 to 2,850 CFU/fruit, with a geometric mean of 11.3 CFU/fruit (0.1 CFU/g of fruit). Two serotypes, IVb-v1 and 1/2b, were identified by a combination of PCR- and antiserum-based serotyping among isolates from fruits and their packing environment; certain fruits contained a mixture of both serotypes. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analysis clustered isolates from two case-patients with the serotype IVb-v1 isolates and distinguished outbreak-associated isolates from pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)-matched, but epidemiologically unrelated, clinical isolates. The outbreak-associated isolates differed by up to 42 SNPs. All but one serotype 1/2b isolate formed another WGS cluster and differed by up to 17 SNPs. Fully closed genomes of isolates from the stone fruits were used as references to maximize the resolution and to increase our confidence in prophage analysis. Putative prophages were conserved among isolates of each WGS cluster. All serotype IVb-v1 isolates belonged to singleton sequence type 382 (ST382); all but one serotype 1/2b isolate belonged to clonal complex 5.
IMPORTANCE WGS proved to be an excellent tool to assist in the epidemiologic investigation of listeriosis outbreaks. The comparison at the genome level contributed to our understanding of the genetic diversity and variations among isolates involved in an outbreak or isolates associated with food and environmental samples from one facility. Fully closed genomes increased our confidence in the identification and comparison of accessory genomes. The diversity among the outbreak-associated isolates and the inclusion of PFGE-matched, but epidemiologically unrelated, isolates demonstrate the high resolution of WGS. The prevalence and enumeration data could contribute to our further understanding of the risk associated with Listeria monocytogenes contamination, especially among high-risk populations.
doi:10.1128/AEM.01486-16
PMCID: PMC5118914  PMID: 27694232
3.  Whole-Genome Sequencing Analysis of Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Isolates in Chile Provides Insights into Possible Transmission between Gulls, Poultry, and Humans 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2016;82(20):6223-6232.
ABSTRACT
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype Enteritidis is a major cause of human salmonellosis worldwide; however, little is known about the genetic relationships between S. Enteritidis clinical strains and S. Enteritidis strains from other sources in Chile. We compared the whole genomes of 30 S. Enteritidis strains isolated from gulls, domestic chicken eggs, and humans in Chile, to investigate their phylogenetic relationships and to establish their relatedness to international strains. Core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis showed that only 246/4,065 shared loci differed among these Chilean strains, separating them into two clusters (I and II), with cluster II being further divided into five subclusters. One subcluster (subcluster 2) contained strains from all surveyed sources that differed at 1 to 18 loci (of 4,065 loci) with 1 to 18 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), suggesting interspecies transmission of S. Enteritidis in Chile. Moreover, clusters were formed by strains that were distant geographically, which could imply that gulls might be spreading the pathogen throughout the country. Our cgMLST analysis, using other S. Enteritidis genomes available in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database, showed that S. Enteritidis strains from Chile and the United States belonged to different lineages, which suggests that S. Enteritidis regional markers might exist and could be used for trace-back investigations.
IMPORTANCE This study highlights the importance of gulls in the spread of Salmonella Enteritidis in Chile. We revealed a close genetic relationship between some human and gull S. Enteritidis strains (with as few as 2 of 4,065 genes being different), and we also found that gull strains were present in clusters formed by strains isolated from other sources or distant locations. Together with previously published evidence, this suggests that gulls might be spreading this pathogen between different regions in Chile and that some of those strains have been transmitted to humans. Moreover, we discovered that Chilean S. Enteritidis strains clustered separately from most of S. Enteritidis strains isolated throughout the world (in the GenBank database) and thus it might be possible to distinguish the geographical origins of strains based on specific genomic features. This could be useful for trace-back investigations of foodborne illnesses throughout the world.
doi:10.1128/AEM.01760-16
PMCID: PMC5068155  PMID: 27520817
4.  Core Genome Multilocus Sequence Typing for Identification of Globally Distributed Clonal Groups and Differentiation of Outbreak Strains of Listeria monocytogenes 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2016;82(20):6258-6272.
ABSTRACT
Many listeriosis outbreaks are caused by a few globally distributed clonal groups, designated clonal complexes or epidemic clones, of Listeria monocytogenes, several of which have been defined by classic multilocus sequence typing (MLST) schemes targeting 6 to 8 housekeeping or virulence genes. We have developed and evaluated core genome MLST (cgMLST) schemes and applied them to isolates from multiple clonal groups, including those associated with 39 listeriosis outbreaks. The cgMLST clusters were congruent with MLST-defined clonal groups, which had various degrees of diversity at the whole-genome level. Notably, cgMLST could distinguish among outbreak strains and epidemiologically unrelated strains of the same clonal group, which could not be achieved using classic MLST schemes. The precise selection of cgMLST gene targets may not be critical for the general identification of clonal groups and outbreak strains. cgMLST analyses further identified outbreak strains, including those associated with recent outbreaks linked to contaminated French-style cheese, Hispanic-style cheese, stone fruit, caramel apple, ice cream, and packaged leafy green salad, as belonging to major clonal groups. We further developed lineage-specific cgMLST schemes, which can include accessory genes when core genomes do not possess sufficient diversity, and this provided additional resolution over species-specific cgMLST. Analyses of isolates from different common-source listeriosis outbreaks revealed various degrees of diversity, indicating that the numbers of allelic differences should always be combined with cgMLST clustering and epidemiological evidence to define a listeriosis outbreak.
IMPORTANCE Classic multilocus sequence typing (MLST) schemes targeting internal fragments of 6 to 8 genes that define clonal complexes or epidemic clones have been widely employed to study L. monocytogenes biodiversity and its relation to pathogenicity potential and epidemiology. We demonstrated that core genome MLST schemes can be used for the simultaneous identification of clonal groups and the differentiation of individual outbreak strains and epidemiologically unrelated strains of the same clonal group. We further developed lineage-specific cgMLST schemes that targeted more genomic regions than the species-specific cgMLST schemes. Our data revealed the genome-level diversity of clonal groups defined by classic MLST schemes. Our identification of U.S. and international outbreaks caused by major clonal groups can contribute to further understanding of the global epidemiology of L. monocytogenes.
doi:10.1128/AEM.01532-16
PMCID: PMC5068157  PMID: 27520821
5.  Draft Genome Sequences of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovars Typhimurium and Nottingham Isolated from Food Products 
Genome Announcements  2016;4(4):e00699-16.
A quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) designed to detect Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis, targeting the sdf gene, generated positive results for S. enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium (CFSAN033950) and S. enterica subsp. enterica serovar Nottingham (CFSAN006803) isolated from food samples. Both strains show pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns distinct from those of S. Enteritidis. Here, we report the genome sequences of these two strains.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.00699-16
PMCID: PMC4956457  PMID: 27445384
6.  Recent and emerging innovations in Salmonella detection: a food and environmental perspective 
Microbial Biotechnology  2016;9(3):279-292.
Summary
Salmonella is a diverse genus of Gram‐negative bacilli and a major foodborne pathogen responsible for more than a million illnesses annually in the United States alone. Rapid, reliable detection and identification of this pathogen in food and environmental sources is key to safeguarding the food supply. Traditional microbiological culture techniques have been the ‘gold standard’ for State and Federal regulators. Unfortunately, the time to result is too long to effectively monitor foodstuffs, especially those with very short shelf lives. Advances in traditional microbiology and molecular biology over the past 25 years have greatly improved the speed at which this pathogen is detected. Nonetheless, food and environmental samples possess a distinctive set of challenges for these newer, more rapid methodologies. Furthermore, more detailed identification and subtyping strategies still rely heavily on the availability of a pure isolate. However, major shifts in DNA sequencing technologies are meeting this challenge by advancing the detection, identification and subtyping of Salmonella towards a culture‐independent diagnostic framework. This review will focus on current approaches and state‐of‐the‐art next‐generation advances in the detection, identification and subtyping of Salmonella from food and environmental sources.
doi:10.1111/1751-7915.12359
PMCID: PMC4835567  PMID: 27041363
7.  Complete Genome Sequence of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovar Agona 460004 2-1, Associated with a Multistate Outbreak in the United States 
Genome Announcements  2015;3(4):e00690-15.
Within the last several years, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Agona has been among the 20 most frequently isolated serovars in clinical cases of salmonellosis. In this report, the complete genome sequence of S. Agona strain 460004 2-1 isolated from unsweetened puffed-rice cereal during a multistate outbreak in 2008 was sequenced using single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.00690-15
PMCID: PMC4490842  PMID: 26139714
8.  Draft Genome Sequence of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovar Give, Isolated from an Imported Chili Powder Product 
Genome Announcements  2015;3(4):e00726-15.
We report the genome sequence of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Give (CFSAN012622), isolated from imported chili powder in 2014. This genome contains genes previously reported to be specific only to S. enterica serovar Enteritidis. This strain shows a unique pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern clustering with serovar Enteritidis (JEG X01.0005).
doi:10.1128/genomeA.00726-15
PMCID: PMC4490851  PMID: 26139723
9.  Ecological prevalence, genetic diversity, and epidemiological aspects of Salmonella isolated from tomato agricultural regions of the Virginia Eastern Shore 
Virginia is the third largest producer of fresh-market tomatoes in the United States. Tomatoes grown along the eastern shore of Virginia are implicated almost yearly in Salmonella illnesses. Traceback implicates contamination occurring in the pre-harvest environment. To get a better understanding of the ecological niches of Salmonella in the tomato agricultural environment, a 2-year study was undertaken at a regional agricultural research farm in Virginia. Environmental samples, including tomato (fruit, blossoms, and leaves), irrigation water, surface water and sediment, were collected over the growing season. These samples were analyzed for the presence of Salmonella using modified FDA-BAM methods. Molecular assays were used to screen the samples. Over 1500 samples were tested. Seventy-five samples tested positive for Salmonella yielding over 230 isolates. The most commonly isolated serovars were S. Newport and S. Javiana with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis yielding 39 different patterns. Genetic diversity was further underscored among many other serotypes, which showed multiple PFGE subtypes. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of several S. Newport isolates collected in 2010 compared to clinical isolates associated with tomato consumption showed very few single nucleotide differences between environmental isolates and clinical isolates suggesting a source link to Salmonella contaminated tomatoes. Nearly all isolates collected during two growing seasons of surveillance were obtained from surface water and sediment sources pointing to these sites as long-term reservoirs for persistent and endemic contamination of this environment.
doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00415
PMCID: PMC4423467  PMID: 25999938
Salmonella Newport; tomatoes; environmental reservoirs; epidemiological impact; prevalence and diversity
10.  Comparative Genomic Analysis and Virulence Differences in Closely Related Salmonella enterica Serotype Heidelberg Isolates from Humans, Retail Meats, and Animals 
Genome Biology and Evolution  2014;6(5):1046-1068.
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Heidelberg (S. Heidelberg) is one of the top serovars causing human salmonellosis. Recently, an antibiotic-resistant strain of this serovar was implicated in a large 2011 multistate outbreak resulting from consumption of contaminated ground turkey that involved 136 confirmed cases, with one death. In this study, we assessed the evolutionary diversity of 44 S. Heidelberg isolates using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) generated by the 454 GS FLX (Roche) platform. The isolates, including 30 with nearly indistinguishable (one band difference) Xbal pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns (JF6X01.0032, JF6X01.0058), were collected from various sources between 1982 and 2011 and included nine isolates associated with the 2011 outbreak. Additionally, we determined the complete sequence for the chromosome and three plasmids from a clinical isolate associated with the 2011 outbreak using the Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) system. Using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analyses, we were able to distinguish highly clonal isolates, including strains isolated at different times in the same year. The isolates from the recent 2011 outbreak clustered together with a mean SNP variation of only 17 SNPs. The S. Heidelberg isolates carried a variety of phages, such as prophage P22, P4, lambda-like prophage Gifsy-2, and the P2-like phage which carries the sopE1 gene, virulence genes including 62 pathogenicity, and 13 fimbrial markers and resistance plasmids of the incompatibility (Inc)I1, IncA/C, and IncHI2 groups. Twenty-one strains contained an IncX plasmid carrying a type IV secretion system. On the basis of the recent and historical isolates used in this study, our results demonstrated that, in addition to providing detailed genetic information for the isolates, WGS can identify SNP targets that can be utilized for differentiating highly clonal S. Heidelberg isolates.
doi:10.1093/gbe/evu079
PMCID: PMC4040988  PMID: 24732280
outbreak; antimicrobial resistance; plasmid; SNP analysis; trace-back
11.  Draft Genome Sequences of 33 Salmonella enterica Clinical and Wildlife Isolates from Chile 
Genome Announcements  2015;3(2):e00054-15.
Salmonella enterica causes health problem worldwide. The relationships among strains that are from the same serotype but different hosts, countries, and continents remain elusive. Few genome sequences are available from S. enterica isolates from South America. Therefore, we sequenced the genomes of 33 strains from diverse sources isolated in Chile and determined that they were of different serotypes. These genomes will improve phylogenetic analysis of Salmonella strains from Chile and the rest of South America.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.00054-15
PMCID: PMC4395066  PMID: 25792040
12.  Complete Sequences of Six IncA/C Plasmids of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serotype Newport 
Genome Announcements  2015;3(1):e00027-15.
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype Newport has been a long-standing public health concern in the United States. We present the complete sequences of six IncA/C plasmids from animal-derived MDR S. Newport ranging from 80.1 to 158.5 kb. They shared a genetic backbone with S. Newport IncA/C plasmids pSN254 and pAM04528.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.00027-15
PMCID: PMC4342422  PMID: 25720681
13.  Characterization of Vibrio parahaemolyticus clinical strains from Maryland (2012–2013) and comparisons to a locally and globally diverse V. parahaemolyticus strains by whole-genome sequence analysis 
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the US associated with the consumption of raw shellfish. Previous population studies of V. parahaemolyticus have used Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) or Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) provides a much higher level of resolution, but has been used to characterize only a few United States (US) clinical isolates. Here we report the WGS characterization of 34 genomes of V. parahaemolyticus strains that were isolated from clinical cases in the state of Maryland (MD) during 2 years (2012–2013). These 2 years saw an increase of V. parahaemolyticus cases compared to previous years. Among these MD isolates, 28% were negative for tdh and trh, 8% were tdh positive only, 11% were trh positive only, and 53% contained both genes. We compared this set of V. parahaemolyticus genomes to those of a collection of 17 archival strains from the US (10 previously sequenced strains and 7 from NCBI, collected between 1988 and 2004) and 15 international strains, isolated from geographically-diverse environmental and clinical sources (collected between 1980 and 2010). A WGS phylogenetic analysis of these strains revealed the regional outbreak strains from MD are highly diverse and yet genetically distinct from the international strains. Some MD strains caused outbreaks 2 years in a row, indicating a local source of contamination (e.g., ST631). Advances in WGS will enable this type of analysis to become routine, providing an excellent tool for improved surveillance. Databases built with phylogenetic data will help pinpoint sources of contamination in future outbreaks and contribute to faster outbreak control.
doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00125
PMCID: PMC4333860  PMID: 25745421
NGS; WGS; Vibrio parahaemolyticus; clinical; phylogenetic analysis; phylogeny; SNPs
14.  Transoceanic Spreading of Pathogenic Strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus with Distinctive Genetic Signatures in the recA Gene 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117485.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is an important human pathogen whose transmission is associated with the consumption of contaminated seafood. Consistent multilocus sequence typing for V. parahaemolyticus has shown difficulties in the amplification of the recA gene by PCR associated with a lack of amplification or a larger PCR product than expected. In one strain (090–96, Peru, 1996), the produced PCR product was determined to be composed of two recA fragments derived from different Vibrio species. To better understand this phenomenon, we sequenced the whole genome of this strain. The hybrid recA gene was found to be the result of a fragmentation of the original lineage-specific recA gene resulting from a DNA insertion of approximately 30 kb in length. This insert had a G+C content of 38.8%, lower than that of the average G+C content of V. parahaemolyticus (45.2%), and contained 19 ORFs, including a complete recA gene. This new acquired recA gene deviated 24% in sequence from the original recA and was distantly related to recA genes from bacteria of the Vibrionaceae family. The reconstruction of the original recA gene (recA3) identified the precursor as belonging to ST189, a sequence type reported previously only in Asian countries. The identification of this singular genetic feature in strains from Asia reveals new evidence for genetic connectivity between V. parahaemolyticus populations at both sides of the Pacific Ocean that, in addition to the previously described pandemic clone, supports the existence of a recurrent transoceanic spreading of pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus with the corresponding potential risk of pandemic expansion.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117485
PMCID: PMC4334540  PMID: 25679989
15.  In Situ Evaluation of Paenibacillus alvei in Reducing Carriage of Salmonella enterica Serovar Newport on Whole Tomato Plants 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2014;80(13):3842-3849.
Recently, tomatoes have been implicated as a primary vehicle in food-borne outbreaks of Salmonella enterica serovar Newport and other Salmonella serovars. Long-term intervention measures to reduce Salmonella prevalence on tomatoes remain elusive for growing and postharvest environments. A naturally occurring bacterium identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing as Paenibacillus alvei was isolated epiphytically from plants native to the Virginia Eastern Shore tomato-growing region. After initial antimicrobial activity screening against Salmonella and 10 other bacterial pathogens associated with the human food supply, strain TS-15 was further used to challenge an attenuated strain of S. Newport on inoculated fruits, leaves, and blossoms of tomato plants in an insect-screened high tunnel with a split-plot design. Survival of Salmonella after inoculation was measured for groups with and those without the antagonist at days 0, 1, 2, and 3 and either day 5 for blossoms or day 6 for fruits and leaves. Strain TS-15 exhibited broad-range antimicrobial activity against both major food-borne pathogens and major bacterial phytopathogens of tomato. After P. alvei strain TS-15 was applied onto the fruits, leaves, and blossoms of tomato plants, the concentration of S. Newport declined significantly (P ≤ 0.05) compared with controls. Astonishingly, >90% of the plants had no detectable levels of Salmonella by day 5 for blossoms. The naturally occurring antagonist strain TS-15 is highly effective in reducing the carriage of Salmonella Newport on whole tomato plants. The application of P. alvei strain TS-15 is a promising approach for reducing the risk of Salmonella contamination during tomato production.
doi:10.1128/AEM.00835-14
PMCID: PMC4054204  PMID: 24747888
16.  Draft Genome Sequence of Bivalent Clostridium botulinum Strain IBCA10-7060, Encoding Botulinum Neurotoxin B and a New FA Mosaic Type 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(6):e01275-14.
Here we report the genome sequence of a Clostridium botulinum strain IBCA10-7060 producing botulinum neurotoxin serotype B and a new toxin serotype. Multilocus sequence typing analysis revealed that this strain belongs to a new sequence type, and whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism analysis showed that this strain clustered with strains in lineage 2 from group I.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.01275-14
PMCID: PMC4263833  PMID: 25502671
17.  Genetic Diversity and Evolution of Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Strains with Different Phage Types 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(5):1490-1500.
Phage typing has been used for the epidemiological surveillance of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis for over 2 decades. However, knowledge of the genetic and evolutionary relationships between phage types is very limited, making differences difficult to interpret. Here, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified from whole-genome comparisons were used to determine the relationships between some S. Enteritidis phage types (PTs) commonly associated with food-borne outbreaks in the United States. Emphasis was placed on the predominant phage types PT8, PT13a, and PT13 in North America. With >89,400 bp surveyed across 98 S. Enteritidis isolates representing 14 distinct phage types, 55 informative SNPs were discovered within 23 chromosomally anchored loci. To maximize the discriminatory and evolutionary partitioning of these highly homogeneous strains, sequences comprising informative SNPs were concatenated into a single combined data matrix and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. The resultant phylogeny allocated most S. Enteritidis isolates into two distinct clades (clades I and II) and four subclades. Synapomorphic (shared and derived) sets of SNPs capable of distinguishing individual clades/subclades were identified. However, individual phage types appeared to be evolutionarily disjunct when mapped to this phylogeny, suggesting that phage typing may not be valid for making phylogenetic inferences. Furthermore, the set of SNPs identified here represents useful genetic markers for strain differentiation of more clonal S. Enteritidis strains and provides core genotypic markers for future development of a SNP typing scheme with S. Enteritidis.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00051-14
PMCID: PMC3993623  PMID: 24574287
18.  First Fully Closed Genome Sequence of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovar Cubana Associated with a Food-Borne Outbreak 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(5):e01112-14.
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Cubana (Salmonella serovar Cubana) is associated with human and animal disease. Here, we used third-generation, single-molecule, real-time DNA sequencing to determine the first complete genome sequence of Salmonella serovar Cubana CFSAN002050, which was isolated from fresh alfalfa sprouts during a multistate outbreak in 2012.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.01112-14
PMCID: PMC4214993  PMID: 25359917
19.  Enhanced Subtyping Scheme for Salmonella Enteritidis 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2007;13(12):1932-1935.
To improve pulsed-field gel electrophoresis–based strain discrimination of 76 Salmonella Enteritidis strains, we evaluated 6 macro-restriction endonucleases, separately and in various combinations. One 3-enzyme subset, SfiI/PacI/NotI, was highly discriminatory. Five different indices, including the Simpson diversity index, supported this 3-enzyme combination for improved differentiation of S. Enteritidis.
doi:10.3201/eid1312.070185
PMCID: PMC2876743  PMID: 18258051
Salmonella Enteritidis; subtyping; differentiation; pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; molecular epidemiology; clone; restriction endonuclease; genetic diversity; dispatch
20.  Differentiation of Salmonella strains from the SARA, SARB and SARC reference collections by using three genes PCR-RFLP and the 2100 Agilent Bioanalyzer 
Rapid molecular typing methods are important tools in surveillance and outbreak investigations of human Salmonella infections. Here we described the development of a three-genes PCR-RFLP typing method for the differentiation of Salmonella species, subspecies and serovars using the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer. The fliC, gnd, and mutS genes were PCR-amplified in 160 Salmonella strains representing the two Salmonella species, six subspecies, and 41 different serovars of S. enterica subspecies enterica. PCR products were individually cut with two different restriction enzymes and the resulting 930 restriction patterns were collected using the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer followed by cluster analysis. Both species of Salmonella were differentiated by conventional PCR. All of S. bongori tested were gnd PCR negative due to a mismatch at the 3′-end in one the PCR primers. Salmonella subspecies were differentiated into third-teen homogeneous groups representing each of the six subspecies by cluster analysis of restriction patterns generated from the mutS gene cut with AciI. S. enterica subspecies enterica serovars were further differentiated by the combination of the three target genes and five out the six sets of restriction patterns with a discriminatory power of 0.9725 by cluster analysis. The combined RFLP results of five sets of restriction patterns allowed us to assign each of the 160 strains to one of 128 restriction types. During inoculation studies we were able to identify S. Saintpaul and Typhimurium from 24 h pre-enrichment samples using the described method. The use of fliC, gnd, and mutS PCR-RFLP with the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer can provide an accessible and automated alternative method for differentiation of Salmonella pathogens.
doi:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00417
PMCID: PMC4127528  PMID: 25157247
Salmonella enterica; Bioanalyzer; PCR-RFLP; restriction type; reference collection
21.  Draft Genome Sequences of Clinical Vibrio parahaemolyticus Strains Isolated in Maryland (2010–2013) 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(4):e00776-14.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the leading cause of food-borne illnesses associated with the consumption of raw shellfish worldwide. Here, we report 45 draft genomes of V. parahaemolyticus. Thirty-five of them are strains that were isolated from clinical cases in the state of Maryland from 2010 to 2013. The remaining 10 strains were historical isolates, isolated mostly from the West Coast of the United States during the period of 1988 to 2004. The availability of these genomes will allow for future phylogenetic analyses with other V. parahaemolyticus strains.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.00776-14
PMCID: PMC4125775  PMID: 25103764
22.  Rapid Whole-Genome Sequencing for Surveillance of Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(8):1306-1314.
For Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis, 85% of isolates can be classified into 5 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) types. However, PFGE has limited discriminatory power for outbreak detection. Although whole-genome sequencing has been found to improve discrimination of outbreak clusters, whether this procedure can be used in real-time in a public health laboratory is not known. Therefore, we conducted a retrospective and prospective analysis. The retrospective study investigated isolates from 1 confirmed outbreak. Additional cases could be attributed to the outbreak strain on the basis of whole-genome data. The prospective study included 58 isolates obtained in 2012, including isolates from 1 epidemiologically defined outbreak. Whole-genome sequencing identified additional isolates that could be attributed to the outbreak, but which differed from the outbreak-associated PFGE type. Additional putative outbreak clusters were detected in the retrospective and prospective analyses. This study demonstrates the practicality of implementing this approach for outbreak surveillance in a state public health laboratory.
doi:10.3201/eid2008.131399
PMCID: PMC4111163  PMID: 25062035
Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis; bacteria; high-throughput nucleotide sequencing; whole-genome sequencing; pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; infectious disease outbreaks; public health laboratory surveillance
23.  Complete Genome Sequences of Salmonella enterica Serovar Heidelberg Strains Associated with a Multistate Food-Borne Illness Investigation 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(3):e01154-13.
Next-generation sequencing is being evaluated for use with food-borne illness investigations, especially when the outbreak strains produce patterns that cannot be discriminated from non-outbreak strains using conventional procedures. Here we report complete genome assemblies of two Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg strains with a common pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern isolated during an outbreak investigation.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.01154-13
PMCID: PMC4047461  PMID: 24903882
24.  The evolutionary history and diagnostic utility of the CRISPR-Cas system within Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica 
PeerJ  2014;2:e340.
Evolutionary studies of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and their associated (cas) genes can provide insights into host-pathogen co-evolutionary dynamics and the frequency at which different genomic events (e.g., horizontal vs. vertical transmission) occur. Within this study, we used whole genome sequence (WGS) data to determine the evolutionary history and genetic diversity of CRISPR loci and cas genes among a diverse set of 427 Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica isolates representing 64 different serovars. We also evaluated the performance of CRISPR loci for typing when compared to whole genome and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) approaches. We found that there was high diversity in array length within both CRISPR1 (median = 22; min = 3; max = 79) and CRISPR2 (median = 27; min = 2; max = 221). There was also much diversity within serovars (e.g., arrays differed by as many as 50 repeat-spacer units among Salmonella ser. Senftenberg isolates). Interestingly, we found that there are two general cas gene profiles that do not track phylogenetic relationships, which suggests that non-vertical transmission events have occurred frequently throughout the evolutionary history of the sampled isolates. There is also considerable variation among the ranges of pairwise distances estimated within each cas gene, which may be indicative of the strength of natural selection acting on those genes. We developed a novel clustering approach based on CRISPR spacer content, but found that typing based on CRISPRs was less accurate than the MLST-based alternative; typing based on WGS data was the most accurate. Notwithstanding cost and accessibility, we anticipate that draft genome sequencing, due to its greater discriminatory power, will eventually become routine for traceback investigations.
doi:10.7717/peerj.340
PMCID: PMC3994646  PMID: 24765574
Salmonella; Horizontal gene transfer; Evolution; CRISPR; Outbreak; Phylogeny; Whole genome sequencing; Typing

Results 1-25 (50)