Spatiotemporal persistence of multiple, diverse clades and toxins of Corynebacterium diphtheriae

Will, Robert C., Ramamurthy, Thandavarayan, Sharma, Naresh Chand, Veeraraghavan, Balaji, Sangal, Lucky, Haldar, Pradeep, Pragasam, Agila Kumari, Vasudevan, Karthick, Kumar, Dhirendra, Das, Bhabatosh, Heinz, Eva, Melnikov, Vyacheslav, Baker, Stephen, Sangal, Vartul, Dougan, Gordon and Mutreja, Ankur (2021) Spatiotemporal persistence of multiple, diverse clades and toxins of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Nature Communications, 12 (1). p. 1500. ISSN 2041-1723

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Diphtheria is a respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Although the development of a toxin-based vaccine in the 1930s has allowed a high level of control over the disease, cases have increased in recent years. Here, we describe the genomic variation of 502 C. diphtheriae isolates across 16 countries and territories over 122 years. We generate a core gene phylogeny and determine the presence of antimicrobial resistance genes and variation within the tox gene of 291 tox+ isolates. Numerous, highly diverse clusters of C. diphtheriae are observed across the phylogeny, each containing isolates from multiple countries, regions and time of isolation. The number of antimicrobial resistance genes, as well as the breadth of antibiotic resistance, is substantially greater in the last decade than ever before. We identified and analysed 18 tox gene variants, with mutations estimated to be of medium to high structural impact.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors thank Prof. P.A. Hoskisson, and Z.A. Dyson for their expert knowledge and advice. This work primarily received funding from the Medical Research Council under the University of Cambridge Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Programme. Additionally, the Horizon 2020-MSCA-IF-2018; 843405-DIFTERIA. This research was supported by the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre and AMR Research Capital Funding Scheme [NIHR200640]. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
Subjects: C500 Microbiology
C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2021 10:53
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 15:18

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