Whole genome sequence analysis indicates recent diversification of mammal-associated Campylobacter fetus and implicates a genetic factor associated with H2S production

Linda van der Graaf-van Bloois, Birgitta Duim, William G. Miller, Ken J. Forbes, Jaap A. Wagenaar, Aldert Zomer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Campylobacter fetus (C. fetus) can cause disease in both humans and animals. C. fetus has been divided into three subspecies: C. fetus subsp. fetus (Cff), C. fetus subsp. venerealis (Cfv) and C. fetus subsp. testudinum (Cft). Subspecies identification of mammal-associated C. fetus strains is crucial in the control of Bovine Genital Campylobacteriosis (BGC), a syndrome associated with Cfv. The prescribed methods for subspecies identification of the Cff and Cfv isolates are: tolerance to 1 % glycine and H2S production. Results: In this study, we observed the deletion of a putative cysteine transporter in the Cfv strains, which are not able to produce H2S from L-cysteine. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the core genome single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within Cff and Cfv strains divided these strains into five different clades and showed that the Cfv clade and a Cff clade evolved from a single Cff ancestor. Conclusions: Multiple C. fetus clades were observed, which were not consistent with the biochemical differentiation of the strains. This suggests the need for a closer evaluation of the current C. fetus subspecies differentiation, considering that the phenotypic differentiation is still applied in BGC control programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number713
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Bovine Genital Campylobacteriosis
  • Campylobacter fetus
  • Core genome SNP analysis
  • Cysteine transporter
  • HS production
  • Subspecies differentiation

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