Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Whole-genome sequencing of a quarter-century melioidosis outbreak in temperate Australia uncovers a region of low-prevalence endemicity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Stephanie N. J. Chapple, Derek S. Sarovich, Matthew T. G. Holden, Sharon J. Peacock, Nicky Buller, Clayton Golledge, Bart J Currie, Mark Mayo, Erin P. Price

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Melioidosis, caused by the highly recombinogenic bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, is a disease with high mortality. Tracing the origin of melioidosis outbreaks and understanding how the bacterium spreads and persists in the environment are essential to protecting public and veterinary health and reducing mortality associated with outbreaks. We used whole-genome sequencing to compare isolates from a historical quarter-century outbreak that occurred between 1966 and 1991 in the Avon Valley, Western Australia, a region far outside the known range of B. pseudomallei endemicity. All Avon Valley outbreak isolates shared the same multilocus sequence type (ST-284), which has not been identified outside this region. We found substantial genetic diversity among isolates based on a comparison of genome-wide variants, with no clear correlation between genotypes and temporal, geographical or source data. We observed little evidence of recombination in the outbreak strains, indicating that genetic diversity among these isolates has primarily accrued by mutation. Phylogenomic analysis demonstrated that the isolates confidently grouped within the Australian B. pseudomallei clade, thereby ruling out introduction from a melioidosis-endemic region outside Australia. Collectively, our results point to B. pseudomallei ST-284 being present in the Avon Valley for longer than previously recognized, with its persistence and genomic diversity suggesting long-term, low-prevalence endemicity in this temperate region. Our findings provide a concerning demonstration of the potential for environmental persistence of B. pseudomallei far outside the conventional endemic regions. An expected increase in extreme weather events may reactivate latent B. pseudomallei populations in this region.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobial Genomics
Volume2
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2016

    Research areas

  • Australia , Evolution, Melioidosis, Endemicity, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Temperate

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Pseudomonas aeruginosa intensive care unit outbreak: winnowing of transmissions with molecular and genomic typing

    Parcell, B. J., Oravcova, K., Pinheiro, M., Holden, M. T. G., Phillips, G., Turton, J. F. & Gillespie, S. H. 8 Dec 2017 In : Journal of Hospital Infection. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Haem-iron plays a key role in the regulation of the Ess/type VII secretion system of Staphylococcus aureus RN6390

    Casabona, M. G., Kneuper, H., Alferes de Lima, D., Harkins, C. P., Zoltner, M., Hjerde, E., Holden, M. T. G. & Palmer, T. 24 Nov 2017 In : Microbiology. Latest Article

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Functional analysis of the EsaB component of the Staphylococcus aureus Type VII secretion system

    Casabona, M. G., Buchanan, G., Zoltner, M., Harkins, C. P., Holden, M. T. G. & Palmer, T. 22 Nov 2017 In : Microbiology. Latest Article, 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. The genetic diversity of Staphylococcus aureus colonisation in atopic eczema disease flare

    Harkins, C. P., Pettigrew, K. A., Oravcova, K., Gardner, J., Hearn, R., Rice, D., Mather, A. E., Parkhill, J., Brown, S. J., Proby, C. M. & Holden, M. T. Oct 2017 In : Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 137, 10, p. S258-S258 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract

  5. The micro-evolution and epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus colonization during atopic eczema disease flare

    Harkins, C. P., Pettigrew, K. A., Oravcová, K., Gardner, J., Hearn, R. M. R., Rice, D., Mather, A. E., Parkhill, J., Brown, S. J., Proby, C. M. & Holden, M. T. G. 23 Sep 2017 In : Journal of Investigative Dermatology. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Whole-genome sequencing to investigate a non-clonal melioidosis cluster on a remote Australian island

    Sarovich, D. S., Chapple, S. N. J., Price, E. P., Mayo, M., Holden, M. T. G., Peacock, S. J. & Currie, B. J. 31 Aug 2017 In : Microbial Genomics. 3, 8, 7 p., e000117

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Population genetic structuring of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clone EMRSA-15 within UK reflects patient referral patterns

    Donker, T., Reuter, S., Scriberras, J., Reynolds, R., Brown, N. M., Török, M. E., James, R., Network, E. O. E. M. R., Aanensen, D. M., Bentley, S. D., Holden, M. T. G., Parkhill, J., Spratt, B. G., Peacock, S. J., Feil, E. J. & Grundmann, H. 9 Jul 2017 In : Microbial Genomics. 3, 7, 12 p., e000113

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Microreact: visualizing and sharing data for genomic epidemiology and phylogeography

    Argimón, S., Abudahab, K., Goater, R. J. E., Fedosejev, A., Bhai, J., Glasner, C., Feil, E. J., Holden, M. T. G., Yeats, C. A., Grundmann, H., Spratt, B. G. & Aanensen, D. M. 30 Nov 2016 In : Microbial Genomics. 2, 11, 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Pan-genomic perspective on the evolution of the Staphylococcus aureus USA300 epidemic

    Jamrozy, D. M., Harris, S. R., Mohamed, N., Peacock, S. J., Tan, C. Y., Parkhill, J., Anderson, A. S. & Holden, M. T. G. 31 May 2016 In : Microbial Genomics. 2, 5, p. 1-14 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 244697829