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Open AccessArticle

Genomic Analysis of Clostridium perfringens BEC/CPILE-Positive, Toxinotype D and E Strains Isolated from Healthy Children

1
Gut Microbes & Health, Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich NR4 7UQ, UK
2
Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London W2 1NY, UK
3
Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090543
Received: 29 August 2019 / Revised: 10 September 2019 / Accepted: 16 September 2019 / Published: 19 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omics Techniques for Toxins Research)
Clostridium perfringens toxinotype D, toxinotype E, and gastroenteritis-linked BEC/CPILE-positive strains have never been reported in healthy children. We isolated, whole-genome sequenced and bioinformatically characterised three C. perfringens isolates—type D (IQ1), type E (IQ2) and BEC/CPILE-positive (IQ3), recovered from the stools of three healthy two-year-olds, which were further compared to 128 C. perfringens genomes available from NCBI. The analysis uncovered a previously under-described putative toxin gene alv (alveolysin) encoded by isolates IQ2 and IQ3, which appeared to be a clade-specific trait associated with strains from domestic animals. A plasmid analysis indicated that the iota-toxin was encoded on a near-intact previously described plasmid pCPPB-1 in type E strain IQ2. The BEC genes becA and becB were carried on a near-identical pCPOS-1 plasmid previously associated with Japanese gastroenteritis outbreaks. Furthermore, a close phylogenetic relatedness was inferred between the French C. perfringens type E isolates cp515.17 and newly sequenced IQ2, suggesting geographical links. This study describes novel C. perfringens isolates from healthy individuals which encode important toxin genes, indicating the potential spread of these veterinary and clinically important strains and mobile genetic elements, and highlights areas for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: Clostridium perfringens; epsilon toxin; iota toxin; whole genome sequencing; infants; binary toxins; genome analysis Clostridium perfringens; epsilon toxin; iota toxin; whole genome sequencing; infants; binary toxins; genome analysis
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Kiu, R.; Sim, K.; Shaw, A.; Cornwell, E.; Pickard, D.; Kroll, J.S.; Hall, L.J. Genomic Analysis of Clostridium perfringens BEC/CPILE-Positive, Toxinotype D and E Strains Isolated from Healthy Children. Toxins 2019, 11, 543.

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