1887

Abstract

Cases of invasive group B streptococcal infection in the adult UK population have steadily increased over recent years, with the most common serotypes being V, III and Ia, but less is known of the genetic background of these strains. We have carried out in-depth analysis of the whole-genome sequences of 193 clinically important group B (GBS) isolates (184 were from invasive infection, 8 were from non-invasive infection and 1 had no information on isolation site) isolated from adults and submitted to the National Reference Laboratory at the UK Health Security Agency between January 2014 and December 2015. We have determined that capsular serotypes III (26.9%), Ia (26.4%) and V (15.0%) were most commonly identified, with slight differences in gender and age distribution. Most isolates (=182) grouped to five clonal complexes (CCs), CC1, CC8/CC10, CC17, CC19 and CC23, with common associations between specific serotypes and virulence genes. Additionally, we have identified large recombination events mediating potential capsular switching events between sequence type (ST)1 serotype V and serotypes Ib (=2 isolates), II (=2 isolates) and VI (=2 isolates); between ST19 serotype III and serotype V (=5 isolates); and between CC17 serotype III and serotype IV (=1 isolate). The high genetic diversity of disease-causing isolates and multiple recombination events reported in this study highlight the need for routine surveillance of the circulating disease-causing GBS strains. This information is crucial to better understand the global spread of GBS serotypes and genotypes, and will form the baseline information for any future GBS vaccine research in the UK and worldwide.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • The Fiona Elizabeth Agnew Trust
    • Principle Award Recipient: OwenB Spiller
  • Rosetrees Trust (Award M683)
    • Principle Award Recipient: ElitaJauneikaite
  • UK Health Security Agency
    • Principle Award Recipient: NotApplicable
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. This article was made open access via a Publish and Read agreement between the Microbiology Society and the corresponding author’s institution.
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2022-03-15
2022-05-18
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