Publication details

Whole genome sequence of the Treponema pallidum subsp. endemicum strain Iraq B: A subpopulation of bejel treponemes contains full-length tprF and tprG genes similar to those present in T. p. subsp. pertenue strains

Authors

MIKALOVÁ Lenka JANEČKOVÁ Klára NOVÁKOVÁ Markéta STROUHAL Michal ČEJKOVÁ Darina HARPER K. N. ŠMAJS David

Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Plos One
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Citation
Web https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230926&type=printable
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0230926
Keywords ANTIGENIC VARIATION; SYPHILIS; DIVERSITY; REGIONS; NICHOLS; YAWS; CELL
Description Treponema pallidum subsp. endemicum (TEN) is the causative agent of endemic syphilis (bejel). Until now, only a single TEN strain, Bosnia A, has been completely sequenced. The only other laboratory TEN strain available, Iraq B, was isolated in Iraq in 1951 by researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this study, the complete genome of the Iraq B strain was amplified as overlapping PCR products and sequenced using the pooled segment genome sequencing method and Illumina sequencing. Total average genome sequencing coverage reached 3469x, with a total genome size of 1,137,653 bp. Compared to the genome sequence of Bosnia A, a set of 37 single nucleotide differences, 4 indels, 2 differences in the number of tandem repetitions, and 18 differences in the length of homopolymeric regions were found in the Iraq B genome. Moreover, the tprF and tprG genes that were previously found deleted in the genome of the TEN Bosnia A strain (spanning 2.3 kb in length) were present in a subpopulation of TEN Iraq B and Bosnia A microbes, and their sequence was highly similar to those found in T. p. subsp. pertenue strains, which cause the disease yaws. The genome sequence of TEN Iraq B revealed close genetic relatedness between both available bejel-causing laboratory strains (i.e., Iraq B and Bosnia A) and also genetic variability within the bejel treponemes comparable to that found within yaws- or syphilis-causing strains. In addition, genetic relatedness to TPE strains was demonstrated by the sequence of the tprF and tprG genes found in sub-populations of both TEN Iraq B and Bosnia A. The loss of the tprF and tprG genes in most TEN microbes suggest that TEN genomes have been evolving via the loss of genomic regions, a phenomenon previously found among the treponemes causing both syphilis and rabbit syphilis.
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