5 years ago

Whole genome sequence of the <i>Treponema pallidum</i> subsp. <i>pallidum</i> strain Amoy: An Asian isolate highly similar to SS14

Zhi-Liang Ji, Li-Li Liu, Qiang Zhao, Tian-Ci Yang, Xiao-Zhen Zhu, Hui-Lin Zhang, Man-Li Tong, Li-Rong Lin, Jian-Jun Niu, Kun Gao

by Man-Li Tong, Qiang Zhao, Li-Li Liu, Xiao-Zhen Zhu, Kun Gao, Hui-Lin Zhang, Li-Rong Lin, Jian-Jun Niu, Zhi-Liang Ji, Tian-Ci Yang

Treponema pallidum ssp. pallidum (T. pallidum), the causative agent of the sexually transmitted disease syphilis, is an uncultivatable human pathogen. The geographical differences in T. pallidum genomes leading to differences in pathogenicity are not yet understood. Presently, twelve T. pallidum genomes are available to the public, all of which are American in origin and often co-infect patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In this study, we examined the T. pallidum subsp. pallidum strain Amoy, a syphilis pathogen found in Xiamen, China. We sequenced its genome using Illumina next-generation sequencing technology and obtained a nearly (98.83%) complete genome of approximately 1.12 Mbps. The new genome shows good synteny with its five T. pallidum sibling strains (Nichols, SS14, Mexico A, DAL-1, and Chicago), among which SS14 is the strain closest to the Amoy strain. Compared with strain SS14, the Amoy strain possesses four uncharacterized strain-specific genes and is likely missing six genes, including a gene encoding the TPR domain protein, which may partially account for the comparatively low virulence and toxicity of the Amoy strain in animal infection. Notably, we did not detect the 23S rRNA A2058G/A2059G mutation in the Amoy strain, which likely explains the sensitivity of Amoy strain to macrolides. The results of this study will lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of syphilis and the geographical distribution of T. pallidum genotypes.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182768

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