Within-host microevolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Italian cystic fibrosis patients

Rasmus Lykke Marvig, Daniela Dolce, Lea Mette Madsen Sommer, Bent Petersen, Oana Ciofu, Silvia Campana, Søren Molin, Giovanni Taccetti, Helle Krogh Johansen

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Chronic infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, and a more complete understanding of P. aeruginosa within-host genomic evolution, transmission, and population genomics may provide a basis for improving intervention strategies. Here, we report the first genomic analysis of P. aeruginosa isolates sampled from Italian CF patients. By genome sequencing of 26 isolates sampled over 19 years from four patients, we elucidated the within-host evolution of clonal lineages in each individual patient. Many of the identified mutations were located in pathoadaptive genes previously associated with host adaptation, and we correlated mutations with changes in CF-relevant phenotypes such as antibiotic resistance. In addition, the genomic analysis revealed that three patients shared the same clone. Furthermore, we compared the genomes of the Italian CF isolates to a panel of genome sequenced strains of P. aeruginosa from other countries. Isolates from two of the Italian lineages belonged to clonal complexes of P. aeruginosa that have previously been identified in Danish CF patients, and our genomic comparison showed that clonal isolates from the same country may be more distantly related than clonal isolates from different countries. This is the first whole-genome analysis of P. aeruginosa isolated from Italian CF patients, and together with both phenotypic and clinical information this dataset facilitates a more detailed understanding of P. aeruginosa within-host genomic evolution, transmission, and population genomics. We conclude that the evolution of the Italian lineages resembles what has been found in other countries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalB M C Microbiology
Issue number218
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

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. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


  • Bacterial pathogens
  • Genetic adaptation
  • Evolution
  • Cystic fibrosis


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