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Comparative genomic characterization of the highly persistent and potentially virulent Cronobacter sakazakii ST83, CC65 strain H322 and other ST83 strains


Chase, H R; Gopinath, G R; Eshwar, A K; Stoller, A; Fricker-Feer, C; Gangiredla, J; Patel, I R; Cinar, H N; Jeong, H; Lee, C; Negrete, F; Finkelstein, S; Stephan, Roger; Tall, B D; Lehner, Angelika (2017). Comparative genomic characterization of the highly persistent and potentially virulent Cronobacter sakazakii ST83, CC65 strain H322 and other ST83 strains. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8:1136.

Abstract

Cronobacter (C.) sakazakii is an opportunistic pathogen and has been associated with serious infections with high mortality rates predominantly in pre-term, low-birth weight and/or immune compromised neonates and infants. Infections have been epidemiologically linked to consumption of intrinsically and extrinsically contaminated lots of reconstituted powdered infant formula (PIF), thus contamination of such products is a challenging task for the PIF producing industry. We present the draft genome of C. sakazakii H322, a highly persistent sequence type (ST) 83, clonal complex (CC) 65, serotype O:7 strain obtained from a batch of non-released contaminated PIF product. The presence of this strain in the production environment was traced back more than 4 years. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of this strain together with four more ST83 strains (PIF production environment-associated) confirmed a high degree of sequence homology among four of the five strains. Phylogenetic analysis using microarray (MA) and WGS data showed that the ST83 strains were highly phylogenetically related and MA showed that between 5 and 38 genes differed from one another in these strains. All strains possessed the pESA3-like virulence plasmid and one strain possessed a pESA2-like plasmid. In addition, a pCS1-like plasmid was also found. In order to assess the potential in vivo pathogenicity of the ST83 strains, each strain was subjected to infection studies using the recently developed zebrafish embryo model. Our results showed a high (90-100%) zebrafish mortality rate for all of these strains, suggesting a high risk for infections and illness in neonates potentially exposed to PIF contaminated with ST83 C. sakazakii strains. In summary, virulent ST83, CC65, serotype CsakO:7 strains, though rarely found intrinsically in PIF, can persist within a PIF manufacturing facility for years and potentially pose significant quality assurance challenges to the PIF manufacturing industry.

Abstract

Cronobacter (C.) sakazakii is an opportunistic pathogen and has been associated with serious infections with high mortality rates predominantly in pre-term, low-birth weight and/or immune compromised neonates and infants. Infections have been epidemiologically linked to consumption of intrinsically and extrinsically contaminated lots of reconstituted powdered infant formula (PIF), thus contamination of such products is a challenging task for the PIF producing industry. We present the draft genome of C. sakazakii H322, a highly persistent sequence type (ST) 83, clonal complex (CC) 65, serotype O:7 strain obtained from a batch of non-released contaminated PIF product. The presence of this strain in the production environment was traced back more than 4 years. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of this strain together with four more ST83 strains (PIF production environment-associated) confirmed a high degree of sequence homology among four of the five strains. Phylogenetic analysis using microarray (MA) and WGS data showed that the ST83 strains were highly phylogenetically related and MA showed that between 5 and 38 genes differed from one another in these strains. All strains possessed the pESA3-like virulence plasmid and one strain possessed a pESA2-like plasmid. In addition, a pCS1-like plasmid was also found. In order to assess the potential in vivo pathogenicity of the ST83 strains, each strain was subjected to infection studies using the recently developed zebrafish embryo model. Our results showed a high (90-100%) zebrafish mortality rate for all of these strains, suggesting a high risk for infections and illness in neonates potentially exposed to PIF contaminated with ST83 C. sakazakii strains. In summary, virulent ST83, CC65, serotype CsakO:7 strains, though rarely found intrinsically in PIF, can persist within a PIF manufacturing facility for years and potentially pose significant quality assurance challenges to the PIF manufacturing industry.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Food Safety and Hygiene
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cronobacter; environmental microarray; persister; whole genome sequencing
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:12 Feb 2018 19:27
Last Modified:01 Mar 2018 01:58
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-302X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01136
PubMed ID:28694793

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