Genomic diversity and molecular epidemiology of Pasteurella multocida

Emily Smith, Elizabeth Miller, Jeannette Munoz Aguayo, Cristian Flores Figueroa, Jill Nezworski, Marissa Studniski, Ben Wileman, Timothy Johnson

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32 Scopus citations


Pasteurella multocida is a bacterial pathogen with the ability to infect a multitude of hosts including humans, companion animals, livestock, and wildlife. This study used bioinformatic approaches to explore the genomic diversity of 656 P. multocida isolates and epidemiological associations between host factors and specific genotypes. Isolates included in this study originated from a variety of hosts, including poultry, cattle, swine, rabbits, rodents, and humans, from five different continents. Multi-locus sequence typing identified 69 different sequence types. In-silico methodology for determining capsular serogroup was developed, validated, and applied to all genome sequences, whereby capsular serogroups A, B, D, and F were found. Whole genome phylogeny was constructed from 237,670 core single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and demonstrated an overall lack of host or capsular serogroup specificity, with the exception of isolates from bovine sources. Specific SNVs within the srlB gene were identified in P. multocida subsp. septica genomes, representing specific mutations that may be useful for differentiating one of the three known subspecies. Significant associations were identified between capsular serogroup and virulence factors, including capsular serogroup A and OmpH1, OmpH3, PlpE, and PfhB1; capsular serogroup B and HgbA and PtfA; and capsular serogroup F and PtfA and PlpP. Various mobile genetic elements were identified including those similar to ICEPmu1, ICEhin1056, and IncQ1 plasmids, all of which harbored multiple antimicrobial resistance-encoding genes. Additional analyses were performed on a subset of 99 isolates obtained from turkeys during fowl cholera outbreaks from a single company which revealed that multiple strains of P. multocida were circulating during the outbreak, instead of a single, highly virulent clone. This study further demonstrates the extensive genomic diversity of P. multocida, provides epidemiological context to the various genotyping schemes that have traditionally been used for differentiating isolates, and introduces additional tools for P. multocida molecular typing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0249138
JournalPloS one
Issue number4 April
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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