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Prophage Carriage and Genetic Diversity within Environmental Isolates of Clostridioides difficile

  • Clostridioides difficile is an important human pathogen causing antibiotic-associated diarrhoea worldwide. Besides using antibiotics for treatment, the interest in bacteriophages as an alternative therapeutic option has increased. Prophage abundance and genetic diversity are welldocumented in clinical strains, but the carriage of prophages in environmental strains of C. difficile has not yet been explored. Thus, the prevalence and genetic diversity of integrated prophages in the genomes of 166 environmental C. difficile isolates were identified. In addition, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas systems were determined in the genomes of prophage regions. Predicted prophages and CRISPR-Cas systems were identified by using the PHASTER web server and CRISPRCasFinder, respectively. Phylogenetic relationships among predicated prophages were also constructed based on phage-related genes, terminase large (TerL) subunits and LysM. Among 372 intact prophages, the predominant prophages were phiCDHM1, phiCDHM19, phiMMP01, phiCD506, phiCD27, phiCD211, phiMMP03, and phiC2, followed by phiMMP02, phiCDKM9, phiCD6356, phiCDKM15, and phiCD505. Two newly discovered siphoviruses, phiSM101- and phivB_CpeS-CP51-like Clostridium phages, were identified in two C. difficile genomes. Most prophages were found in sequence types (STs) ST11, ST3, ST8, ST109, and ST2, followed by ST6, ST17, ST4, ST5, ST44, and ST58. An obvious correlation was found between prophage types and STs/ribotypes. Most predicated prophages carry CRISPR arrays. Some prophages carry several gene products, such as accessory gene regulator (Agr), putative spore protease, and abortive infection (Abi) systems. This study shows that prophage carriage, along with genetic diversity and their CRISPR arrays, may play a role in the biology, lifestyle, and fitness of their host strains.

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    K. Blau & C. Gallert (2023) Prophage Carriage and Genetic Diversity within Environmental Isolates of Clostridioides difficile

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Author:Khald Blau, Claudia Gallert
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2023/12/19
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Emden/Leer
Release Date:2024/01/19
Tag:CRISPR-Cas systems; Clostridioides difficile; phage-related genes; prophages; sequence and ribotypes
Institutes:Fachbereich Technik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International