Novel ribotype/sequence type associations and diverse CRISPR-Cas systems in environmental Clostridioides difficile strains from Northern Iraq

Srwa J. Rashid, JYN Nale, Andrew Millard, Martha R.J. Clokie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The environment is a natural reservoir of Clostridioides difficile, and here, we aimed to isolate the pathogen from seven locations in northern Iraq. Four of the sites yielded thirty-one isolates (ten from soils, twenty-one from sediments), which together represent ribotypes (RTs) 001 (five), 010 (five), 011 (tw o), 035 (tw o), 091 (eight), and 604 (nine). Twenty-five of the isolates (~81%) are non-toxigenic, while six (~19%) encode the toxin A and B genes. The genomes of eleven selected isolates represent six sequence types (STs): ST-3 (two), ST-15 (one), ST-107 (five), ST-137 (one), ST-177 (one), and ST-181 (one). Five novel RT/ST associations: R T011/ST-137, R T035/ST- 107, RT091/ST-107, RT604/ST -177, and RT604/ST -181 were identified, and the first three are linked to RTs previously uncharacterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Nine of the genomes belong to Clade 1, and two are closely related to the cryptic C-I clade. Diverse multiple prophages and CRISPR-Cas systems (class 1 subtype I-B1 and class 2 type V CRISPR-Cas systems) with spacers identical to other C. difficile phages and plasmids were detected in the genomes. Our data show the broader diversity that exists within environmental C. difficile strains from a much less studied location and their potential role in the evolution and emergence of new strains.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfnad091
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume370
Early online date18 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 18 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • CRISPR-Cas system
  • Clostridioides difficile
  • multilocus sequence typing
  • phylogenetic analysis
  • prophage
  • whole-genome sequencing

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