The Virulence of S. marcescens Strains Isolated From Contaminated Blood Products Is Divergent in the C. elegans Infection Model

Frontiers in Genetics, Vol. 12 (2021)

Mots clés
Auteurs
  • Alexander Diamandas
  • Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
  • Mikhail R. Razon
  • Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
  • Sandra Ramirez-Arcos
  • Centre for Innovation, Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Sandra Ramirez-Arcos
  • Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Ann Karen C. Brassinga
  • Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Résumé

Bacterial contamination of platelet concentrates (PCs) can occur during blood donation or PC processing, necessitating routine screening to identify contaminated products in efforts to prevent adverse transfusion reactions in recipient patients. Serratia marcescens is a common bacterial contaminant, and its resilient nature coupled with genetic promiscuity imbue this environmental bacterium with resistance to disinfectants and antibiotics enhancing bacterial virulence. In this study, we aim to understand adaptive survival mechanisms through genetic characterization of two S. marcescens strains, CBS11 and CBS12, isolated from PCs by Canadian Blood Services. Genomic analyses of the two strains indicated that CBS11 has one chromosome and one plasmid (pAM01), whereas CBS12 has no plasmids. Phylogenetic analyses show that CBS11 and CBS12 are non-clonal strains, with CBS11 clustering closely with clinical strain CAV1492 and less so with environmental strain PWN146, and CBS12 clustering with a clinical strain AR_0027. Interestingly, pAM01 was most closely related to PWN146p1, a plasmid found in S. marcescens PWN146 strain associated with pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Lastly, the genomic diversity of CBS11 and CBS12 was not reflected in the antibiotic resistance profiles as they were remarkably similar to one another, but was reflected in the virulence phenotypes assessed in the Caenorhabditis elegans nematode infection model, with CBS11 being more virulent then CBS12. Taken together, we suggest that S. marcescens environmental isolates that feature evolutionary diverse genomics are better equipped to adapt and thrive in varied environments, such as that of PCs, and therefore is as much of a concern as multi-drug resistance for human infection potential.

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