Genetic Features of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Strains Circulating in the West of France Deciphered by Whole-Genome Sequencing - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Microbiology Spectrum Year : 2022

Genetic Features of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Strains Circulating in the West of France Deciphered by Whole-Genome Sequencing

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Abstract

Paratuberculosis is a chronic infection of the intestine, mainly the ileum, caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in cattle and other ruminants. This enzootic disease is present worldwide and has a negative impact on the dairy cattle industry. For this subspecies, the current genotyping tools do not provide the needed resolution to investigate the genetic diversity of closely related strains. These limitations can be overcome by the application of whole-genome sequencing (WGS), particularly for clonal populations such as M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. The purpose of the present study was to undertake a WGS analysis with a panel of 200 animal field M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis strains selected based on a previous large-scale longitudinal study of Prim'Holstein and Normande dairy breeds naturally infected with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis in the West of France. The pangenome analysis revealed that M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis has a closed pangenome. The phylogeny, based on alignment of 2,786 nonhomoplasic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), showed that the strain population is structured into three clades independently of the cattle breed or geographic distribution. The increased resolution of phylogeny obtained by WGS confirmed the homoplasic nature of the markers variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) and short sequence repeat (SSR) used for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis genotyping. These phylogenetic data also revealed independent introductions of the different genotypes in two main waves since at least 2003. WGS applied to this sampling demonstrated the presence of mixed infections in herds and at the individual animal level. Collectively, the phylogeny results inferred with French isolates compared to M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolates from around the world suggest introductions of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis genotypes through the animal trade. Relationships between genetic traits and epidemiological data can now be investigated to better understand transmission dynamics of the disease. IMPORTANCE Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis causes Johne's disease in ruminants, which is present worldwide and has significant negative impacts on the dairy cattle industry and animal welfare. Prevention and control of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection are hampered by knowledge gaps in strain virulence, genotype distribution, and transmission dynamics. This work has revealed new insights into M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis strains currently circulating in western France and how they are related to strains circulating globally. We applied whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to obtain comprehensive information on genome evolution and discrimination of closely related strains. This approach revealed the history of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in France, refined the pangenomic characteristics of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, and demonstrated the existence of mixed infection in animals. Finally, this study identified predominant genotypes, which allow a better understanding of disease transmission dynamics. This information will facilitate tracking of this pathogen on farms and across agricultural regions, thus informing transmission pathways and disease control points.
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Dates and versions

hal-03889587 , version 1 (08-12-2022)
hal-03889587 , version 2 (15-12-2022)
hal-03889587 , version 3 (11-01-2023)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Cyril Conde, Julien Thézé, Thierry Cochard, Marie-Noëlle Rossignol, Christine Fourichon, et al.. Genetic Features of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Strains Circulating in the West of France Deciphered by Whole-Genome Sequencing. Microbiology Spectrum, 2022, 10 (6), pp.e0339222. ⟨10.1128/spectrum.03392-22⟩. ⟨hal-03889587v3⟩
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