While serotyping and phage typing have been used widely to characterize Salmonella isolates, sensitive subtyping methods that allow for evolutionary analyses are essential for examining Salmonella transmission, ecology, and evolution. A set of 25 Salmonella enterica isolates, representing five clinically relevant serotypes (serotypes Agona, Heidelberg, Schwarzengrund, Typhimurium, and Typhimurium var. Copenhagen) was initially used to develop a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme for Salmonella targeting seven housekeeping and virulence genes (panB, fimA, aceK, mdh, icdA, manB, and spaN). A total of eight MLST types were found among the 25 isolates sequenced. A good correlation between MLST types and Salmonella serotypes was observed; only one serotype Typhimurium var. Copenhagen isolate displayed an MLST type otherwise typical for serotype Typhimurium isolates. Since manB, fimA, and mdh allowed for the highest subtype discrimination among the initial 25 isolates, we chose these three genes to perform DNA sequencing of an additional 41 Salmonella isolates representing a larger diversity of serotypes. This "three-gene sequence typing scheme" allowed discrimination of 25 sequence types (STs) among a total of 66 isolates; STs correlated well with serotypes and allowed within-serotype differentiation for 9 of the 12 serotypes characterized. Phylogenetic analyses showed that serotypes Kentucky and Newport could each be separated into two distinct, statistically well supported evolutionary lineages. Our results show that a three-gene sequence typing scheme allows for accurate serotype prediction and for limited subtype discrimination among clinically relevant serotypes of Salmonella. Three-gene sequence typing also supports the notion that Salmonella serotypes represent both monophyletic and polyphyletic lineages.
In this study, we demonstrate a bacteriophage (phage)-based magnetic separation scheme for the rapid detection of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in drinking water. T7 phage is a lytic phage with a broad host range specificity for E. coli. Our scheme was as follows: (1) T7 bacteriophage-conjugated magnetic beads were used to capture and separate E. coli BL21 from drinking water; (2) subsequent phage-mediated lysis was used to release endemic β-galactosidase (β-gal) from the bound bacterial cells; (3) the release of β-gal was detected using chlorophenol red-β-d-galactopyranoside (CRPG), a colorimetric substrate which changes from yellow to red in the presence of β-gal. Using this strategy, we were able to detect E. coli at a concentration of 1 × 10(4) CFU·mL(-1) within 2.5 h. The specificity of the proposed magnetic probes toward E. coli was demonstrated against a background of competing bacteria. By incorporating a pre-enrichment step in Luria-Bertani (LB) broth supplemented with isopropyl β-d-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG), we were able to detect 10 CFU·mL(-1) in drinking water after 6 h of pre-enrichment. The colorimetric change can be determined either by visual observation or with a reader, allowing for a simple, rapid quantification of E. coli in resource-limited settings.
Salmonella is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness in countries around the world. Treatment of Salmonella infections, in both animals and humans has become more difficult with the emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella strains. Foodborne infections and outbreaks with MDR Salmonella are also increasingly reported. To better monitor and control the spread of MDR Salmonella, it is important to understand the mechanisms responsible for drug resistance and how drug resistance is transmitted to and between Salmonella strains. This review summarizes current knowledge on antimicrobial drugs used to treat Salmonella infections and provides an overview of MDR Salmonella in the United States and a discussion of the genetics of Salmonella drug resistance, including the mechanisms responsible for the transmission of drug-resistance genes in Salmonella, using data from the United States and other countries.
A collection of 179 human and 156 bovine clinical Salmonella isolates obtained from across New York state over the course of 1 year was characterized using serotyping and a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme based on the sequencing of three genes (fimA, manB, and mdh). The 335 isolates were differentiated into 52 serotypes and 72 sequence types (STs). Analyses of bovine isolates collected on different farms over time indicated that specific subtypes can persist over time on a given farm; in particular, a number of farms showed evidence for the persistence of a specific Salmonella enterica serotype Newport sequence type. Serotypes and STs were not randomly distributed among human and bovine isolates, and selected serotypes and STs were associated exclusively with either human or bovine sources. A number of common STs were geographically widespread. For example, ST6, which includes isolates representing serotype Typhimurium as well as the emerging serotype 4,5,12:i:-, was found among human and bovine isolates in a number of counties in New York state. Phylogenetic analyses supported the possibility that serotype 4,5,12:i:-is closely related to Salmonella serotype Typhimurium. Salmonella serotype Newport was found to represent two distinct evolutionary lineages that differ in their frequencies among human and bovine isolates. A number of Salmonella isolates carried two copies of manB (33 isolates) or showed small deletion events in fimA (nine isolates); these duplication and deletion events may provide mechanisms for the rapid diversification of Salmonella surface molecules. We conclude that the combined use of an economical three-gene MLST scheme and serotyping can provide considerable new insights into the evolution and transmission of Salmonella.
Salmonella is the leading cause of known food-borne bacterial infections in the United States, with an incidence rate of approximately 15 cases per 100,000 people. The rise of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella subtypes, including the appearance of subtypes resistant to ceftriaxone, represents a particular concern. Ceftriaxone is used to treat invasive cases of Salmonella in children and is closely related to ceftiofur, an antibiotic commonly used to treat diseases of cattle. In order to develop a better understanding of the evolution and transmission of ceftiofur resistance in Salmonella, we characterized ceftiofur-resistant and -sensitive Salmonella isolates from seven New York dairy farms. A total of 39 isolates from these seven farms were analyzed for evolutionary relatedness (by DNA sequencing of the Salmonella genes fimA, manB, and mdh), antibiotic resistance profiles, and the presence of bla CMY-2 , a beta-lactamase gene associated with resistance to cephalosporins. Our data indicate that (i) resistance to ceftriaxone and ceftiofur was highly correlated with the presence of bla CMY-2 ; (ii) ceftiofur-resistant Salmonella strains were geographically widespread, as shown by their isolation from farms located throughout New York State; (iii) ceftiofur-resistant Salmonella strains isolated from farms represent multiple distinct subtypes and evolutionary lineages, as determined by serotyping, DNA sequence typing, and antimicrobial-resistance profiles; and (iv) ceftiofur-resistant Salmonella strains evolved by multiple independent acquisitions of an identical bla CMY-2 allele and by clonal spread of ceftiofurresistant subtypes.
Microbes that may be present in milk can include pathogens, spoilage organisms, organisms that may be conditionally beneficial (e.g., lactic acid bacteria), and those that have not been linked to either beneficial or detrimental effects on product quality or human health. Although milk can contain a full range of organisms classified as microbes (i.e., bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoans), with few exceptions (e.g., phages that affect fermentations, fungal spoilage organisms, and, to a lesser extent, the protozoan pathogens Cryptosporidium and Giardia) dairy microbiology to date has focused predominantly on bacteria. Between 1917 and 2017, our understanding of the microbes present in milk and the tools available for studying those microbes have changed dramatically. Improved microbiological tools have enabled enhanced detection of known microbes in milk and dairy products and have facilitated better identification of pathogens and spoilage organisms that were not known or well recognized in the early 20th century. Starting before 1917, gradual introduction and refinement of pasteurization methods throughout the United States and many other parts of the world have improved the safety and quality of milk and dairy products. In parallel to pasteurization, others strategies for reducing microbial contamination throughout the dairy chain (e.g., improved dairy herd health, raw milk tests, clean-in-place technologies) also played an important role in improving microbial milk quality and safety. Despite tremendous advances in reducing microbial food safety hazards and spoilage issues, the dairy industry still faces important challenges, including but not limited to the need for improved science-based strategies for safety of raw milk cheeses, control of postprocessing contamination, and control of sporeforming pathogens and spoilage organisms.
Genetic engineering of bacteriophages allows for the development of rapid, highly specific, and easily manufactured probes for the detection of bacterial pathogens. A challenge for novel probes is the ease of their adoption in real world laboratories. We have engineered the bacteriophage T7, which targets Escherichia coli, to carry the alkaline phosphatase gene, phoA. This inclusion results in phoA overexpression following phage infection of E. coli. Alkaline phosphatase is commonly used in a wide range of diagnostics, and thus a signal produced by our phage-based probe could be detected using common laboratory equipment. Our work demonstrates the successful: (i) modification of T7 phage to carry phoA; (ii) overexpression of alkaline phosphatase in E. coli; and (iii) detection of this T7-induced alkaline phosphatase activity using commercially available colorimetric and chemilumiscent methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate the application of our phage-based probe to rapidly detect low levels of bacteria and discern the antibiotic resistance of E. coli isolates. Using our bioengineered phage-based probe we were able to detect 10(3) CFU per mL of E. coli in 6 hours using a chemiluminescent substrate and 10(4) CFU per mL within 7.5 hours using a colorimetric substrate. We also show the application of this phage-based probe for antibiotic resistance testing. We were able to determine whether an E. coli isolate was resistant to ampicillin within 4.5 hours using chemiluminescent substrate and within 6 hours using a colorimetric substrate. This phage-based scheme could be readily adopted in labs without significant capital investments and can be translated to other phage-bacteria pairs for further detection.
Bacteriophage (phage) amplification is an attractive method for the detection of bacteria due to a narrow phage-host specificity, short amplification times, and the phages' ability to differentiate between viable and non-viable bacterial cells. The next step in phage-based bacteria detection is leveraging bioengineered phages to create low-cost, rapid, and easy-to-use detection platforms such as lateral flow assays. Our work establishes the proof-of-concept for the use of bioengineered T7 phage strains to increase the sensitivity of phage amplification-based lateral flow assays. We have demonstrated a greater than 10-fold increase in sensitivity using a phage-based protein reporter, maltose-binding protein, over the detection of replicated T7 phage viron itself, and a greater then 100-fold increase in sensitivity using a phage-based enzymatic reporter, alkaline phosphatase. This increase in sensitivity enabled us to detect 10(3)CFU/mL of Escherichia coli in broth after 7h, and by adding a filter concentration step, the ability to detect a regulatory relevant E. coli concentration of 100CFU/100mL in inoculated river water after 9h, where the current standard requires days for results. The combination of the paper fluidic format with phage-based detection provides a platform for the development of novel diagnostics that are sensitive, rapid, and easy to use.
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