Comparative genomic analyses reveal diverse virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in clinical Elizabethkingia meningoseptica strains
Three human clinical isolates of bacteria (designated strains Em1, Em2 and Em3) had high average nucleotide identity (ANI) to Elizabethkingia meningoseptica. Their genome sizes (3.89, 4.04 and 4.04 Mb) were comparable to those of other Elizabethkingia species and strains, and exhibited open pan-genome characteristics, with two strains being nearly identical and the third divergent. These strains were susceptible only to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and ciprofloxacin amongst 16 antibiotics in minimum inhibitory tests. The resistome exhibited a high diversity of resistance genes, including 5 different lactamase- and 18 efflux protein-encoding genes. Forty-four genes encoding virulence factors were conserved among the strains. Sialic acid transporters and curli synthesis genes were well conserved in E. meningoseptica but absent in E. anophelis and E. miricola. E. meningoseptica carried several genes contributing to biofilm formation. 58 glycoside hydrolases (GH) and 25 putative polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) were found. The strains carried numerous genes encoding two-component system proteins (56), transcription factor proteins (187~191), and DNA-binding proteins (6~7). Several prophages and CRISPR/Cas elements were uniquely present in the genomes.
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