How GBS got its hump: genomic analysis of Group B Streptococcus from camels identifies host restriction as well as mobile genetic elements shared across hosts and pathogens

Crestani, C., Seligsohn, D., Forde, T. L. and Zadoks, R. N. (2022) How GBS got its hump: genomic analysis of Group B Streptococcus from camels identifies host restriction as well as mobile genetic elements shared across hosts and pathogens. Pathogens, 11(9), 1025. (doi: 10.3390/pathogens11091025) (PMID:36145457) (PMCID:PMC9504112)

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Group B Streptococcus (GBS) literature largely focuses on humans and neonatal disease, but GBS also affects numerous animals, with significant impacts on health and productivity. Spill-over events occur between humans and animals and may be followed by amplification and evolutionary adaptation in the new niche, including changes in the core or accessory genome content. Here, we describe GBS from one-humped camels (Camelus dromedarius), a relatively poorly studied GBS host of increasing importance for food security in arid regions. Genomic analysis shows that virtually all GBS from camels in East Africa belong to a monophyletic clade, sublineage (SL)609. Capsular types IV and VI, including a new variant of type IV, were over-represented compared to other host species. Two genomic islands with signatures of mobile elements contained most camel-associated genes, including genes for metal and carbohydrate utilisation. Lactose fermentation genes were associated with milk isolates, albeit at lower prevalence in camel than bovine GBS. The presence of a phage with high identity to Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus suis suggests lateral gene transfer between GBS and bacterial species that have not been described in camels. The evolution of camel GBS appears to combine host restriction with the sharing of accessory genome content across pathogen and host species.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was funded by the University of Glasgow College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Doctoral Training Programme 2017–2021 (to CC). TLF was supported by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Discovery Fellowship (BB/R012075/1). DS was supported by the Swedish Research Council, grant number VR2015-03583.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Zadoks, Professor Ruth and Forde, Dr Taya and Crestani, Miss Chiara
Creator Roles:
Crestani, C.Conceptualization, Methodology, Data curation, Formal analysis, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing, Visualization
Forde, T.Writing – review and editing
Zadoks, R.Conceptualization, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Crestani, C., Seligsohn, D., Forde, T. L., and Zadoks, R. N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Pathogens
ISSN (Online):2076-0817
Published Online:08 September 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Pathogens 11(9):1025
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
300423Novel molecular approaches for understanding the epidemiology of endemic anthraxTaya FordeBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/R012075/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine