The Widespread Multidrug-Resistant Serotype O12 Pseudomonas aeruginosa Clone Emerged through Concomitant Horizontal Transfer of Serotype Antigen and Antibiotic Resistance Gene Clusters

Sandra Wingaard Thrane, Véronique L. Taylor, Luca Freschi, Irena Kukavica-Ibrulj, Brian Boyle, Jérôme Laroche, Jean-Paul Pirnay, Roger C. Lévesque, Joseph S. Lam, Lars Jelsbak

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Abstract

The O-specific antigen (OSA) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide is highly varied by sugar identity, side chains, and bond between O-repeats. These differences classified P. aeruginosa into 20 distinct serotypes. In the past few decades, O12 has emerged as the predominant serotype in clinical settings and outbreaks. These serotype O12 isolates exhibit high levels of resistance to various classes of antibiotics. Here, we explore how the P. aeruginosa OSA biosynthesis gene clusters evolve in the population by investigating the association between the phylogenetic relationships among 83 P. aeruginosa strains and their serotypes. While most serotypes were closely linked to the core genome phylogeny, we observed horizontal exchange of OSA biosynthesis genes among phylogenetically distinct P. aeruginosa strains. Specifically, we identified a "serotype island" ranging from 62 kb to 185 kb containing the P. aeruginosa O12 OSA gene cluster, an antibiotic resistance determinant (gyrAC248T), and other genes that have been transferred between P. aeruginosa strains with distinct core genome architectures. We showed that these genes were likely acquired from an O12 serotype strain that is closely related to P. aeruginosa PA7. Acquisition and recombination of the "serotype island" resulted in displacement of the native OSA gene cluster and expression of the O12 serotype in the recipients. Serotype switching by recombination has apparently occurred multiple times involving bacteria of various genomic backgrounds. In conclusion, serotype switching in combination with acquisition of an antibiotic resistance determinant most likely contributed to the dissemination of the O12 serotype in clinical settings. Infection rates in hospital settings by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa clones have increased during the past decades, and serotype O12 is predominant among these epidemic strains. It is not known why the MDR phenotype is associated with serotype O12 and how this clone type has emerged. This study shows that evolution of MDR O12 strains involved a switch from an ancestral O4 serotype to O12. Serotype switching was the result of horizontal transfer and genetic recombination of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis genes originating from an MDR taxonomic outlier P. aeruginosa strain. Moreover, the recombination event also resulted in acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes. These results impact on our understanding of MDR outbreak strain and serotype evolution and can potentially assist in better monitoring and prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01396-15
JournalmBio (Online)
Volume6
Issue number5
Number of pages10
ISSN2150-7511
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Cite this

Thrane, Sandra Wingaard ; Taylor, Véronique L. ; Freschi, Luca ; Kukavica-Ibrulj, Irena ; Boyle, Brian ; Laroche, Jérôme ; Pirnay, Jean-Paul ; Lévesque, Roger C. ; Lam, Joseph S. ; Jelsbak, Lars. / The Widespread Multidrug-Resistant Serotype O12 Pseudomonas aeruginosa Clone Emerged through Concomitant Horizontal Transfer of Serotype Antigen and Antibiotic Resistance Gene Clusters. In: mBio (Online). 2015 ; Vol. 6, No. 5.
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title = "The Widespread Multidrug-Resistant Serotype O12 Pseudomonas aeruginosa Clone Emerged through Concomitant Horizontal Transfer of Serotype Antigen and Antibiotic Resistance Gene Clusters",
abstract = "The O-specific antigen (OSA) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide is highly varied by sugar identity, side chains, and bond between O-repeats. These differences classified P. aeruginosa into 20 distinct serotypes. In the past few decades, O12 has emerged as the predominant serotype in clinical settings and outbreaks. These serotype O12 isolates exhibit high levels of resistance to various classes of antibiotics. Here, we explore how the P. aeruginosa OSA biosynthesis gene clusters evolve in the population by investigating the association between the phylogenetic relationships among 83 P. aeruginosa strains and their serotypes. While most serotypes were closely linked to the core genome phylogeny, we observed horizontal exchange of OSA biosynthesis genes among phylogenetically distinct P. aeruginosa strains. Specifically, we identified a {"}serotype island{"} ranging from 62 kb to 185 kb containing the P. aeruginosa O12 OSA gene cluster, an antibiotic resistance determinant (gyrAC248T), and other genes that have been transferred between P. aeruginosa strains with distinct core genome architectures. We showed that these genes were likely acquired from an O12 serotype strain that is closely related to P. aeruginosa PA7. Acquisition and recombination of the {"}serotype island{"} resulted in displacement of the native OSA gene cluster and expression of the O12 serotype in the recipients. Serotype switching by recombination has apparently occurred multiple times involving bacteria of various genomic backgrounds. In conclusion, serotype switching in combination with acquisition of an antibiotic resistance determinant most likely contributed to the dissemination of the O12 serotype in clinical settings. Infection rates in hospital settings by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa clones have increased during the past decades, and serotype O12 is predominant among these epidemic strains. It is not known why the MDR phenotype is associated with serotype O12 and how this clone type has emerged. This study shows that evolution of MDR O12 strains involved a switch from an ancestral O4 serotype to O12. Serotype switching was the result of horizontal transfer and genetic recombination of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis genes originating from an MDR taxonomic outlier P. aeruginosa strain. Moreover, the recombination event also resulted in acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes. These results impact on our understanding of MDR outbreak strain and serotype evolution and can potentially assist in better monitoring and prevention.",
author = "Thrane, {Sandra Wingaard} and Taylor, {V{\'e}ronique L.} and Luca Freschi and Irena Kukavica-Ibrulj and Brian Boyle and J{\'e}r{\^o}me Laroche and Jean-Paul Pirnay and L{\'e}vesque, {Roger C.} and Lam, {Joseph S.} and Lars Jelsbak",
note = "This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1128/mbio.01396-15",
language = "English",
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The Widespread Multidrug-Resistant Serotype O12 Pseudomonas aeruginosa Clone Emerged through Concomitant Horizontal Transfer of Serotype Antigen and Antibiotic Resistance Gene Clusters. / Thrane, Sandra Wingaard; Taylor, Véronique L.; Freschi, Luca; Kukavica-Ibrulj, Irena; Boyle, Brian; Laroche, Jérôme; Pirnay, Jean-Paul; Lévesque, Roger C.; Lam, Joseph S.; Jelsbak, Lars.

In: mBio (Online), Vol. 6, No. 5, e01396-15, 2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Widespread Multidrug-Resistant Serotype O12 Pseudomonas aeruginosa Clone Emerged through Concomitant Horizontal Transfer of Serotype Antigen and Antibiotic Resistance Gene Clusters

AU - Thrane, Sandra Wingaard

AU - Taylor, Véronique L.

AU - Freschi, Luca

AU - Kukavica-Ibrulj, Irena

AU - Boyle, Brian

AU - Laroche, Jérôme

AU - Pirnay, Jean-Paul

AU - Lévesque, Roger C.

AU - Lam, Joseph S.

AU - Jelsbak, Lars

N1 - This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - The O-specific antigen (OSA) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide is highly varied by sugar identity, side chains, and bond between O-repeats. These differences classified P. aeruginosa into 20 distinct serotypes. In the past few decades, O12 has emerged as the predominant serotype in clinical settings and outbreaks. These serotype O12 isolates exhibit high levels of resistance to various classes of antibiotics. Here, we explore how the P. aeruginosa OSA biosynthesis gene clusters evolve in the population by investigating the association between the phylogenetic relationships among 83 P. aeruginosa strains and their serotypes. While most serotypes were closely linked to the core genome phylogeny, we observed horizontal exchange of OSA biosynthesis genes among phylogenetically distinct P. aeruginosa strains. Specifically, we identified a "serotype island" ranging from 62 kb to 185 kb containing the P. aeruginosa O12 OSA gene cluster, an antibiotic resistance determinant (gyrAC248T), and other genes that have been transferred between P. aeruginosa strains with distinct core genome architectures. We showed that these genes were likely acquired from an O12 serotype strain that is closely related to P. aeruginosa PA7. Acquisition and recombination of the "serotype island" resulted in displacement of the native OSA gene cluster and expression of the O12 serotype in the recipients. Serotype switching by recombination has apparently occurred multiple times involving bacteria of various genomic backgrounds. In conclusion, serotype switching in combination with acquisition of an antibiotic resistance determinant most likely contributed to the dissemination of the O12 serotype in clinical settings. Infection rates in hospital settings by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa clones have increased during the past decades, and serotype O12 is predominant among these epidemic strains. It is not known why the MDR phenotype is associated with serotype O12 and how this clone type has emerged. This study shows that evolution of MDR O12 strains involved a switch from an ancestral O4 serotype to O12. Serotype switching was the result of horizontal transfer and genetic recombination of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis genes originating from an MDR taxonomic outlier P. aeruginosa strain. Moreover, the recombination event also resulted in acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes. These results impact on our understanding of MDR outbreak strain and serotype evolution and can potentially assist in better monitoring and prevention.

AB - The O-specific antigen (OSA) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide is highly varied by sugar identity, side chains, and bond between O-repeats. These differences classified P. aeruginosa into 20 distinct serotypes. In the past few decades, O12 has emerged as the predominant serotype in clinical settings and outbreaks. These serotype O12 isolates exhibit high levels of resistance to various classes of antibiotics. Here, we explore how the P. aeruginosa OSA biosynthesis gene clusters evolve in the population by investigating the association between the phylogenetic relationships among 83 P. aeruginosa strains and their serotypes. While most serotypes were closely linked to the core genome phylogeny, we observed horizontal exchange of OSA biosynthesis genes among phylogenetically distinct P. aeruginosa strains. Specifically, we identified a "serotype island" ranging from 62 kb to 185 kb containing the P. aeruginosa O12 OSA gene cluster, an antibiotic resistance determinant (gyrAC248T), and other genes that have been transferred between P. aeruginosa strains with distinct core genome architectures. We showed that these genes were likely acquired from an O12 serotype strain that is closely related to P. aeruginosa PA7. Acquisition and recombination of the "serotype island" resulted in displacement of the native OSA gene cluster and expression of the O12 serotype in the recipients. Serotype switching by recombination has apparently occurred multiple times involving bacteria of various genomic backgrounds. In conclusion, serotype switching in combination with acquisition of an antibiotic resistance determinant most likely contributed to the dissemination of the O12 serotype in clinical settings. Infection rates in hospital settings by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa clones have increased during the past decades, and serotype O12 is predominant among these epidemic strains. It is not known why the MDR phenotype is associated with serotype O12 and how this clone type has emerged. This study shows that evolution of MDR O12 strains involved a switch from an ancestral O4 serotype to O12. Serotype switching was the result of horizontal transfer and genetic recombination of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis genes originating from an MDR taxonomic outlier P. aeruginosa strain. Moreover, the recombination event also resulted in acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes. These results impact on our understanding of MDR outbreak strain and serotype evolution and can potentially assist in better monitoring and prevention.

U2 - 10.1128/mbio.01396-15

DO - 10.1128/mbio.01396-15

M3 - Journal article

VL - 6

JO - mBio (Online)

JF - mBio (Online)

SN - 2150-7511

IS - 5

M1 - e01396-15

ER -