Comparative Pathogenomics of : Polyvalent Vaccine Target Identification through Virulome Analysis.

TitleComparative Pathogenomics of : Polyvalent Vaccine Target Identification through Virulome Analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsClark, JR, Maresso, AM
JournalInfect Immun
Date Published2021 Jul 15
KeywordsAnimals, Bacterial Vaccines, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Infections, Escherichia coli Proteins, Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli, Genes, Bacterial, Genome, Bacterial, Genomics, Humans, Vaccines, Combined, Virulence, Virulence Factors

Comparative genomics of bacterial pathogens has been useful for revealing potential virulence factors. Escherichia coli is a significant cause of human morbidity and mortality worldwide but can also exist as a commensal in the human gastrointestinal tract. With many sequenced genomes, it has served as a model organism for comparative genomic studies to understand the link between genetic content and potential for virulence. To date, however, no comprehensive analysis of its complete "virulome" has been performed for the purpose of identifying universal or pathotype-specific targets for vaccine development. Here, we describe the construction of a pathotype database of 107 well-characterized completely sequenced pathogenic and nonpathogenic E. coli strains, which we annotated for major virulence factors (VFs). The data are cross referenced for patterns against pathotype, phylogroup, and sequence type, and the results were verified against all 1,348 complete E. coli chromosomes in the NCBI RefSeq database. Our results demonstrate that phylogroup drives many of the "pathotype-associated" VFs, and ExPEC-associated VFs are found predominantly within the B2/D/F/G phylogenetic clade, suggesting that these phylogroups are better adapted to infect human hosts. Finally, we used this information to propose polyvalent vaccine targets with specificity toward extraintestinal strains, targeting key invasive strategies, including immune evasion (group 2 capsule), iron acquisition (FyuA, IutA, and Sit), adherence (SinH, Afa, Pap, Sfa, and Iha), and toxins (Usp, Sat, Vat, Cdt, Cnf1, and HlyA). While many of these targets have been proposed before, this work is the first to examine their pathotype and phylogroup distribution and how they may be targeted together to prevent disease.

Alternate JournalInfect Immun
PubMed ID33941580
PubMed Central IDPMC8281228
Grant ListU19 AI144297 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States