Comparative Variation within the Genome of Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168 in Human and Murine Hosts.

Thomas, D.K., Lone, A.G., Selinger, L.B., Taboada, E.N., Uwiera, R.R.E., Abbott, D.W., and Inglis, G.D. (2014). "Comparative Variation within the Genome of Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168 in Human and Murine Hosts.", PLoS ONE, 9(2:e88229). doi : 10.1371/journal.pone.0088229  Access to full text


Campylobacteriosis incited by C. jejuni is a significant enteric disease of human beings. A person working with two reference strains of C. jejuni National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) 11168 developed symptoms of severe enteritis including bloody diarrhea. The worker was determined to be infected by C. jejuni. In excess of 50 isolates were recovered from the worker’s stool. All of the recovered isolates and the two reference strains were indistinguishable from each other based on comparative genomic fingerprint subtyping. Whole genome sequence analysis indicated that the worker was infected with a C. jejuni NCTC 11168 obtained from the American Type Culture Collection; this strain (NCTC 11168-GSv) is the genome sequence reference. After passage through the human host, major genetic changes including indel mutations within twelve contingency loci conferring phase variations were detected in the genome of C. jejuni. Specific and robust single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) changes in the human host were also observed in two loci (Cj0144c, Cj1564). In mice inoculated with an isolate of C. jejuni NCTC 11168-GSv from the infected person, the isolate underwent further genetic variation. At nine loci, mutations specific to inoculated mice including five SNP changes were observed. The two predominant SNPs observed in the human host reverted in mice. Genetic variations occurring in the genome of C. jejuni in mice corresponded to increased densities of C. jejuni cells associated with cecal mucosa. In conclusion, C. jejuni NCTC 11168-GSv was found to be highly virulent in a human being inciting severe enteritis. Host-specific mutations in the person with enteritis occurred/were selected for in the genome of C. jejuni, and many were not maintained in mice. Information obtained in the current study provides new information on host-specific genetic adaptation by C. jejuni.

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