1887

Abstract

The island codes for the enzymes necessary for synthesis of the genotoxin colibactin, which contributes to the virulence of strains and is suspected of promoting colorectal cancer. From a collection of 785 human and bovine isolates, we identified 109 strains carrying a highly conserved island, mostly from phylogroup B2, but also from phylogroups A, B1 and D. Different scenarios of acquisition were deduced from whole genome sequence and phylogenetic analysis. In the main scenario, was introduced and stabilized into certain sequence types (STs) of the B2 phylogroup, such as ST73 and ST95, at the tRNA locus located in the vicinity of the yersiniabactin-encoding High Pathogenicity Island (HPI). In a few B2 strains, inserted at the or tRNA loci close to the HPI and occasionally was located next to the remnant of an integrative and conjugative element. In a last scenario specific to B1/A strains, was acquired, independently of the HPI, at a non-tRNA locus. All the -positive strains except 18 produced colibactin. Sixteen strains contained mutations in or or a fusion of and and were no longer genotoxic but most of them still produced low amounts of potentially active metabolites associated with the island. One strain was fully metabolically inactive without alteration, but colibactin production was restored by overexpressing the ClbR regulator. In conclusion, the island is not restricted to human pathogenic B2 strains and is more widely distributed in the population, while preserving its functionality.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • INSERM
    • Principle Award Recipient: CamilleChagneau
  • Ministère de l'Agriculture
    • Principle Award Recipient: AlexandrePerrat
  • Region Occitanie (Award ALDOCT-000610)
    • Principle Award Recipient: AlexandrePerrat
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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2021-05-07
2022-01-24
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