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© Carmen Buchrieser, Marie-Christine Prevost
Legionella pneumophila et son flagelle, bactérie responsable de pneumopathie aigue grave. Bactérie de l'environnement , l'émergence récente de cette maladie s'explique par son affinité pour les systèmes modernes d'alimentation en eau comme les tours de refroidissement. Image colorisée.
Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Genome research - 23 Sep 2016

David S, Rusniok C, Mentasti M, Gomez-Valero L, Harris SR, Lechat P, Lees J, Ginevra C, Glaser P, Ma L, Bouchier C, Underwood A, Jarraud S, Harrison TG, Parkhill J, Buchrieser C

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 27662900

Genome Res. 2016 Sep;

Legionella pneumophila is an environmental bacterium and the leading cause of Legionnaires’ disease. Just five sequence types (ST), from >2000 currently described, cause nearly half of disease cases in North West Europe. Here we report the sequence and analyses of 364 L. pneumophila genomes including 337 from the five disease-associated STs and 27 representative of the species diversity. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the five STs have independent origins within a highly diverse species. The number of de novo mutations is extremely low with maximum pairwise single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) ranging from 19 (ST47) to 127 (ST1), which suggests emergences within the last century. Isolates sampled geographically far apart differ by only a few SNPs, demonstrating rapid dissemination. These five STs have been recombining recently leading to a shared pool of allelic variants potentially contributing to their increased disease propensity. The oldest clone, ST1, has spread globally, and between 1940 and 2000, four new clones have emerged in Europe, which show long-distance, rapid dispersal. That a large proportion of clinical cases is caused by recently emerged and internationally dispersed clones, linked by convergent evolution, is surprising for an environmental bacterium traditionally considered to be an opportunistic pathogen. To simultaneously explain recent emergence, rapid spread and increased disease association, we hypothesize that these STs have adapted to new man-made environmental niches, which may be linked by human infection and transmission.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27662900