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Genome-wide identification of host-segregating SNPs for source attribution of clinical Campylobacter coli isolates

Abstract : Campylobacter is among the most common causes of gastroenteritis worldwide. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the most common species causing human-disease. DNA-sequence-based methods for strain characterization have focussed largely on C. jejuni, responsible for 80-90% of infections, meaning that C. coli epidemiology has lagged behind. Here we have analyzed the genome of 450 C. coli isolates to determine genetic markers that can discriminate isolates sampled from 3 major reservoir hosts (chickens, cattle and pigs). These markers were then applied to identify the source of infection of 147 C. coli from French clinical cases. Using STRUCTURE software, 259 potential host-segregating markers were revealed by probabilistic characterization of SNP frequency variation in strain collections from three different hosts. These SNPs were found in 41 genes or intergenic regions, mostly coding for proteins involved in motility and membrane functions. Source attribution of clinical isolates based on the differential presence of these markers confirmed chicken as the most common source of C. coli infection in France.IMPORTANCE Genome-wide and source attribution studies based on Campylobacter species have shown their importance for the understanding of foodborne infections. Although the use of MLST based on 7 genes from C. jejuni is a powerful method to structure populations, when applied to C. coli results have not clearly demonstrated their robustness. Therefore, we aim here to provide more accurate data based on the identification of single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Results from this study reveal an important number of host-segregating SNPs, found in proteins implied in motility, membrane functions or DNA repair systems. These findings offer new interesting opportunities for further study on C. coli adaptation to its environment. Additionally, the results demonstrate that poultry is potentially the main reservoir of C. coli in France.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 6, 2020 - 3:55:39 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 9:16:02 AM

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Philippe Lehours, Quentin Jehanne, Ben Pascoe, Lucie Benejat, Astrid Ducournau, et al.. Genome-wide identification of host-segregating SNPs for source attribution of clinical Campylobacter coli isolates. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, 2020, pp.AEM.01787-20. ⟨10.1128/AEM.01787-20⟩. ⟨inserm-02993002⟩



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