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Apparent nosocomial adaptation of Enterococcus faecalis predates the modern hospital era.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

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Authors

Top, Janetta 
Arredondo-Alonso, Sergio 
Tonkin-Hill, Gerry 

Abstract

Enterococcus faecalis is a commensal and nosocomial pathogen, which is also ubiquitous in animals and insects, representing a classical generalist microorganism. Here, we study E. faecalis isolates ranging from the pre-antibiotic era in 1936 up to 2018, covering a large set of host species including wild birds, mammals, healthy humans, and hospitalised patients. We sequence the bacterial genomes using short- and long-read techniques, and identify multiple extant hospital-associated lineages, with last common ancestors dating back as far as the 19th century. We find a population cohesively connected through homologous recombination, a metabolic flexibility despite a small genome size, and a stable large core genome. Our findings indicate that the apparent hospital adaptations found in hospital-associated E. faecalis lineages likely predate the "modern hospital" era, suggesting selection in another niche, and underlining the generalist nature of this nosocomial pathogen.

Description

Keywords

Animals, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Birds, Cross Infection, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Enterococcus faecalis, Genes, MDR, Genome, Bacterial, Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections, Hospitals, Host Specificity, Humans, Phylogeny, Virulence Factors, Whole Genome Sequencing

Journal Title

Nat Commun

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2041-1723
2041-1723

Volume Title

12

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC