Microbial adaptation to venom is common in snakes and spiders

Esmaeilishirazifard, Elham, Usher, L., Trim, C., Denise, H., Sangal, Vartul, Tyson, G.H., Barlow, A., Redway, K.F., Taylor, J.D., Kremyda-Vlachou, Myrto, Davies, S., Loftus, T. D., Lock, M.M.G., Wright, K., Dalby, A., Snyder, L.A.S., Wuster, W., Trim, S. and Moschos, Sterghios (2022) Microbial adaptation to venom is common in snakes and spiders. Microbiology Spectrum. ISSN 2165-0497 (In Press)

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Animal venoms are considered sterile sources of antimicrobial compounds with strong membrane disrupting activity against multi-drug resistant bacteria. However, bite wound infections are common in developing nations. Investigating the oral and venom microbiome of five snake and two spider species, we evidence viable microorganisms potentially unique to venom for black-necked spitting cobras (Naja nigricollis). Among these are two venom-resistant novel sequence types of Enterococcus faecalis; the genome sequence data of these isolates feature an additional 45 genes, nearly half of which improve membrane integrity. Our findings challenge the dogma of venom sterility and indicate an increased primary infection risk in the clinical management of venomous animal bite wounds.One Sentence Summary Independent bacterial colonization of cobra venom drives acquisition of genes antagonistic to venom antimicrobial peptides.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was funded by the University of Westminster, University of Northumbria, and Venomtech Ltd.
Subjects: B200 Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy
B800 Medical Technology
C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 14:02
Last Modified: 22 May 2022 03:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48939

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