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See detailMetaphenotypes associated with recurrent genomic lineages of Campylobacter jejuni responsible for human infections in Luxembourg
Nennig, Morgane UL; Clément, Arnaud; Longueval, Emmanuelle et al

in Frontiers in Microbiology (2022)

Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of foodborne illnesses worldwide. Although considered fragile, this microaerophilic bacterium is able to survive in various challenging environments, which ... [more ▼]

Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of foodborne illnesses worldwide. Although considered fragile, this microaerophilic bacterium is able to survive in various challenging environments, which subsequently constitutes multiple sources of transmission for human infection. To test the assumption of acquiring specific features for adaption and survivals we established a workflow of phenotypic tests related to the survival and the persistence of recurrent and sporadic strains. A representative collection of 83 strains isolated over 13 years from human, mammal, poultry, and environmental sources in Luxembourg, representing different spreading patterns (endemic, epidemic, and sporadic), was screened for survival to oxidative stresses, for acclimating to aerobic conditions (AC), and for persistence on abiotic surfaces. Using the cgMLST Oxford typing scheme for WGS data, the collection was classified into genomic lineages corresponding to host-generalist strains (lineages A and D, CC ST-21), host-specific strains (lineages B, CC ST-257 and lineage C, CC ST-464) and sporadic strains. We established that when a strain survives concentrations beyond 0.25 mM superoxide stress, it is six times more likely to survive hyperoxide stress and that a highly adherent strain is 14 times more likely to develop a biofilm. Surprisingly, more than half of the strains could acclimate to AC but this capacity does not explain the difference between recurrent genomic lineages and sporadic strains and the survival to oxidative stresses, while recurrent strains have a significantly higher adhesion/biofilm formation capacity than sporadic ones. From this work, the genomic lineages with more stable genomes could be characterized by a specific combination of phenotypes, called metaphenotypes. From the functional genomic analyses, the presence of a potentially functional T6SS in the strains of lineage D might explain the propensity of these strains to be strong biofilm producers. Our findings support the hypothesis that phenotypical abilities contribute to the spatio-temporal adaptation and survival of stable genomic lineages. It suggests a selection of better-adapted and persistent strains in challenging stress environments, which could explain the prevalence of these lineages in human infections. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigating Major Recurring Campylobacter jejuni Lineages in Luxembourg Using Four Core or Whole Genome Sequencing Typing Schemes
Nennig, Morgane UL; LLARENA, Ann-Katrin; HEROLD, Malte et al

in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology (2021), 10

Campylobacter jejuni is the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis, which has motivated the monitoring of genetic profiles circulating in Luxembourg since 13 years. From our integrated surveillance ... [more ▼]

Campylobacter jejuni is the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis, which has motivated the monitoring of genetic profiles circulating in Luxembourg since 13 years. From our integrated surveillance using a genotyping strategy based on an extended MLST scheme including gyrA and porA markers, an unexpected endemic pattern was discovered in the temporal distribution of genotypes. We aimed to test the hypothesis of stable lineages occurrence by implementing whole genome sequencing (WGS) associated with comprehensive and internationally validated schemes. This pilot study assessed four WGS-based typing schemes to classify a panel of 108 strains previously identified as recurrent or sporadic profiles using this in-house typing system. The strain collection included four common lineages in human infection (N = 67) initially identified from recurrent combination of ST-gyrA-porA alleles also detected in non-human samples: veterinary (N = 19), food (N = 20), and environmental (N = 2) sources. An additional set of 19 strains belonging to sporadic profiles completed the tested panel. All the strains were processed by WGS by using Illumina technologies and by applying stringent criteria for filtering sequencing data; we ensure robustness in our genomic comparison. Four typing schemes were applied to classify the strains: (i) the cgMLST SeqSphere+ scheme of 637 loci, (ii) the cgMLST Oxford scheme of 1,343 loci, (iii) the cgMLST INNUENDO scheme of 678 loci, and (iv) the wgMLST INNUENDO scheme of 2,795 loci. A high concordance between the typing schemes was determined by comparing the calculated adjusted Wallace coefficients. After quality control and analyses with these four typing schemes, 60 strains were confirmed as members of the four recurrent lineages regardless of the method used (N = 32, 12, 7, and 9, respectively). Our results indicate that, regardless of the typing scheme used, epidemic or endemic signals were detected as reflected by lineage B (ST2254-gyrA9-porA1) in 2014 or lineage A (ST19-gyrA8-porA7), respectively. These findings support the clonal expansion of stable genomes in Campylobacter population exhibiting a multi-host profile and accounting for the majority of clinical strains isolated over a decade. Such recurring genotypes suggest persistence in reservoirs, sources or environment, emphasising the need to investigate their survival strategy in greater depth. [less ▲]

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