Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30265232
Link to DOI – 10.1099/mgen.0.000211
Microb Genom 2018 09; 4(9):
Plasmid prediction may be of great interest when studying bacteria of medical importance such as Enterobacteriaceae as well as Staphylococcus aureus or Enterococcus. Indeed, many resistance and virulence genes are located on such replicons with major impact in terms of pathogenicity and spreading capacities. Beyond strain outbreak, plasmid outbreaks have been reported in particular for some extended-spectrum beta-lactamase- or carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Several tools are now available to explore the ‘plasmidome’ from whole-genome sequences with various approaches, but none of them are able to combine high sensitivity and specificity. With this in mind, we developed PlaScope, a targeted approach to recover plasmidic sequences in genome assemblies at the species or genus level. Based on Centrifuge, a metagenomic classifier, and a custom database containing complete sequences of chromosomes and plasmids from various curated databases, PlaScope classifies contigs from an assembly according to their predicted location. Compared to other plasmid classifiers, PlasFlow and cBar, it achieves better recall (0.87), specificity (0.99), precision (0.96) and accuracy (0.98) on a dataset of 70 genomes of Escherichia coli containing plasmids. In a second part, we identified 20 of the 21 chromosomal integrations of the extended-spectrum beta-lactamase coding gene in a clinical dataset of E. coli strains. In addition, we predicted virulence gene and operon locations in agreement with the literature. We also built a database for Klebsiella and correctly assigned the location for the majority of resistance genes from a collection of 12 Klebsiella pneumoniae strains. Similar approaches could also be developed for other well-characterized bacteria.