Genomic variation and evolution of vibrio parahaemolyticus ST36 over the course of a transcontinental epidemic expansion

Jaime Martinez-Urtaza, Ronny Van Aerle, Michel Abanto Marin, Julie Haendiges, Robert A. Myers, Joaquin Trinanes, Craig Baker-Austin, Narjol Gonzalez-Escalona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the leading cause of seafood-related infections with illnesses undergoing a geographic expansion. In this process of expansion, the most fundamental change has been the transition from infections caused by local strains to the surge of pandemic clonal types. Pandemic clone sequence type 3 (ST3) was the only example of transcontinental spreading until 2012, when ST36 was detected outside the region where it is endemic in the U.S. Pacific Northwest causing infections along the U.S. northeast coast and Spain. Here, we used genome-wide analyses to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the V. parahaemolyticus ST36 clone over the course of its geographic expansion during the previous 25 years. The origin of this lineage was estimated to be in ~1985. By 1995, a new variant emerged in the region and quickly replaced the old clone, which has not been detected since 2000. The new Pacific Northwest (PNW) lineage was responsible for the first cases associated with this clone outside the Pacific Northwest region. After several introductions into the northeast coast, the new PNW clone differentiated into a highly dynamic group that continues to cause illness on the northeast coast of the United States. Surprisingly, the strains detected in Europe in 2012 diverged from this ancestral group around 2000 and have conserved genetic features present only in the old PNW lineage. Recombination was identified as the major driver of diversification, with some preliminary observations suggesting a trend toward a more specialized lifestyle, which may represent a critical element in the expansion of epidemics under scenarios of coastal warming.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01425-17
JournalmBio
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Seafood
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus
  • WGS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology

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    Martinez-Urtaza, J., Van Aerle, R., Abanto Marin, M., Haendiges, J., Myers, R. A., Trinanes, J., Baker-Austin, C., & Gonzalez-Escalona, N. (2017). Genomic variation and evolution of vibrio parahaemolyticus ST36 over the course of a transcontinental epidemic expansion. mBio, 8(6), [e01425-17]. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01425-17