Genome sequencing of 196 Treponema pallidum strains from six continents reveals additional variability in vaccine candidate genes and dominance of Nichols clade strains in Madagascar
Nicole AP Lieberman,
Michelle J Lin,
Austin M Haynes,
Ivano Dal Conte,
Kelika A Konda,
Silver K Vargas,
Jeffrey D Klausner,
Edward W Hook,
Amanda M Casto,
Posted 17 Aug 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.08.17.456619
Posted 17 Aug 2021
In spite of its immutable susceptibility to penicillin, Treponema pallidum ( T. pallidum ) subsp. pallidum continues to cause millions of cases of syphilis each year worldwide, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality and underscoring the urgency of developing an effective vaccine to curtail the spread of the infection. Several technical challenges, including absence of an in vitro culture system until very recently, have hampered efforts to catalog the diversity of strains collected worldwide. Here, we provide near-complete genomes from 196 T. pallidum strains - including 191 T. pallidum subsp. pallidum - sequenced directly from patient samples collected from 8 countries and 6 continents. Maximum likelihood phylogeny revealed that samples from most sites were predominantly SS14 clade. However, 99% (84/85) of the samples from Madagascar formed two of the five distinct Nichols subclades. Although recombination was uncommon in the evolution of modern circulating strains, we found multiple putative recombination events between T. pallidum subsp. pallidum and subsp. endemicum , shaping the genomes of several subclades. Temporal analysis dated the most recent common ancestor of Nichols and SS14 clades to 1717 (95% HPD: 1543-1869), in agreement with other recent studies. Rates of SNP accumulation varied significantly among subclades, particularly among different Nichols subclades, and was associated in the Nichols A subclade with a C394F substitution in TP0380, a ERCC3-like DNA repair helicase. Our data highlight the role played by variation in genes encoding putative surface-exposed outer membrane proteins in defining separate lineages, and provide a critical resource for the design of broadly protective syphilis vaccines targeting surface antigens.
- Downloaded 203 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 146,875
- In genomics: 7,564
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 68,637
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 40,060
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!