Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10137/2669
Title: Whole-genome sequencing of a quarter-century melioidosis outbreak in temperate Australia uncovers a region of low-prevalence endemicity.
Publication Date: 2016-07
Authors: Chapple, Stephanie N J
Sarovich, Derek S
Holden, Matthew T G
Peacock, Sharon J
Buller, Nicky
Golledge, Clayton
Mayo, Mark
Currie, Bart J
Price, Erin P
Affiliation: Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Global and Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia..
Global and Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research , Darwin, Northern Territory , Australia..
School of Medicine, Medical and Biological Sciences, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK..
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK..
Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia , Perth, Western Australia , Australia..
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital , Perth, Western Australia , Australia..
Global and Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research , Darwin, Northern Territory , Australia..
Global and Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia; Department of Infectious Diseases and Northern Territory Medical Program, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia..
Global and Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research , Darwin, Northern Territory , Australia..
Publication Date: Jul-2016
Abstract: Melioidosis, caused by the highly recombinogenic bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, is a disease with high mortality. Tracing the origin of melioidosis outbreaks and understanding how the bacterium spreads and persists in the environment are essential to protecting public and veterinary health and reducing mortality associated with outbreaks. We used whole-genome sequencing to compare isolates from a historical quarter-century outbreak that occurred between 1966 and 1991 in the Avon Valley, Western Australia, a region far outside the known range of B. pseudomallei endemicity. All Avon Valley outbreak isolates shared the same multilocus sequence type (ST-284), which has not been identified outside this region. We found substantial genetic diversity among isolates based on a comparison of genome-wide variants, with no clear correlation between genotypes and temporal, geographical or source data. We observed little evidence of recombination in the outbreak strains, indicating that genetic diversity among these isolates has primarily accrued by mutation. Phylogenomic analysis demonstrated that the isolates confidently grouped within the Australian B. pseudomallei clade, thereby ruling out introduction from a melioidosis-endemic region outside Australia. Collectively, our results point to B. pseudomallei ST-284 being present in the Avon Valley for longer than previously recognized, with its persistence and genomic diversity suggesting long-term, low-prevalence endemicity in this temperate region. Our findings provide a concerning demonstration of the potential for environmental persistence of B. pseudomallei far outside the conventional endemic regions. An expected increase in extreme weather events may reactivate latent B. pseudomallei populations in this region.
Journal title: Microbial genomics
Citation: Microbial genomics 2016-07; 2(7): e000067
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10137/2669
DOI: 10.1099/mgen.0.000067
PubMed: 28348862
ISSN: 2057-5858
Type: Journal Article
Subject: Australia
Burkholderia pseudomallei
endemicity
evolution
melioidosis
temperate
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