Comparative genomic analysis of Clostridium difficile ribotype 027 strains including the newly sequenced strain NCKUH-21 isolated from a patient in Taiwan

Haruo Suzuki, Masaru Tomita, Pei Jane Tsai, Wen Chien Ko, Yuan Pin Hung, I. Hsiu Huang, Jenn Wei Chen

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Abstract

Background: Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive anaerobe and the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea worldwide. The emergence of ribotype 027 (RT027) strains is associated with increased incidence of infection and mortality. To further understand the relationship between C. difficile NCKUH-21, a RT027 strain isolated from a patient in Taiwan, and other RT027 strains, we performed whole-genome shotgun sequencing on NCKUH-21 and comparative genomic analyses. Results: The genome size, G+C content, and gene number for the NCKUH-21 strain were determined to be similar to those for other C. difficile strains. The core genome phylogeny indicated that the five RT027 strains R20291, CD196, NCKUH-21, BI1, and 2007855 formed a clade. A pathogenicity locus, tcdR-tcdB-tcdE-orf-tcdA-tcdC, was conserved in the genome. A genomic region highly similar to the Clostridium phage $$\upvarphi$$ φ CD38-2 was present in the NCKUH-21 strain but absent in the other RT027 strains and designated as the prophage $$\upvarphi$$ φ NCKUH-21. The prophage $$\upvarphi$$ φ NCKUH-21 genes were significantly higher in G+C content than the other genes in the NCKUH-21 genome, indicating that the prophage does not match the base composition of the host genome. Conclusions: This is the first whole-genome analysis of a RT027 C. difficile strain isolated from Taiwan. Due to the high identity with $$\upvarphi$$ φ CD38-2, the prophage identified in the NCKUH-21 genome has the potential to regulate toxin production. These results provide important information for understanding the pathogenicity of RT027 C. difficile in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
JournalGut Pathogens
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 29 Nov 2017

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Keywords

  • Clostridium difficile
  • Genome
  • Horizontal transfer
  • Phylogeny
  • Prophage
  • Ribotype 027 strain NCKUH-21

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