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Comparative genome analysis of 12 Shigella sonnei strains: virulence, resistance, and their interactions

By Zuobin Zhu, Mengmeng Wang, Feng Gu, Ying Li, Heng Zhang, Ying Chen, Jiajia Shi, Ping Ma, Bing Gu

Posted 08 Feb 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/544387 (published DOI: 10.1007/s10123-020-00145-x)

Shigellosis is a highly infectious disease that are mainly transmitted via faecal-oral contact of the bacteria Shigella. Four species have been identified in Shigella genus, among which S. flexneri is used to be the most prevalent species globally and commonly isolated from developing countries. However, it is being replaced by S. sonnei that is currently the main causative agent for dysentery pandemic in many emerging industrialized countries such as Asia and the Middle East with unclear reasons. For a better understanding of S. sonnei virulence and antibiotic resistance, we sequenced 12 clinical S. sonnei strains with varied antibiotic-resistance profiles collected from four cities in Jiangsu Province, China. Phylogenomic analysis clustered antibiotic sensitive and resistant S. sonnei into two distinct groups while pan-genome analysis reveals the presence and absence of featured genes in each group. Screening of 31 classes of virulence factors found out that type 2 secretion system is doubled in resistant strains. Further principle component analysis based on the interactions between virulence and resistance indicated that abundant virulence factors are associated with higher resistant phenotypes. The result present here is based on statistical analysis of a small sample size and serves basically as a guidance for further experimental and theoretical studies.

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