Neonatal Meningitis Escherichia coli (NMEC)

Human newborns are uniquely susceptible to serious infections due to Escherichia coli. Around 80% of the cases of E. coli neonatal meningitis are associated with strains possessing the K1 capsular polysaccharide, also associated with septicemia and urinary tract infections in children. We are sequencing the prototype NMEC strain RS218, originally isolated in 1974 from a human neonate with meningitis (Silver, et al., 1980; Achtman, et al., 1983). The strain was obtained from Dr. Richard P. Silver, University of Rochester. RS218 has the serotype O18ac:H7:K1, and carries a large plasmid related to the F plasmid of E. coli K-12. Two prophages have also been reported: the filamentous prophage CUS-1 (Gonzalez, et al., 2002) and the lambdoid prophage CUS-3 (Deszo, et al,. 2005).

Whole-genome shotgun libraries were constructed in the M13Janus vector (insert size 1-2 kbp) and pBlueScript (insert size 5-7 kbp). Clones were sequenced using dye terminator chemistry, collecting 71,453 reads on ABI377 and 3700 instruments. A BAC library was also constructed (in Epicentre's pCC1BAC vector), and 225 end-sequence reads were collected and mapped to the assembly to confirm the ordering and arrangement of the contigs. An additional 1248 directed reads from BAC templates were collected to resolve rRNA operons and gaps.

The current assembly (May 17, 2006; minor sequence correction in CUS-3 prophage) is closed, and consists of three contigs: the chromosome (5,089,232 bp), the large plasmid pRS218 (114,233 bp), and the RF form of bacteriophage CUS-1 (9,587 bp). Note that some regions still have single-read coverage, and while we believe the assembly is accurate, individual sequence errors may remain.

An initial chracterization of islands in the RS218 genome has been published (Xie, et al., 2006).

References and Publications
  • Silver RP, Aaronson W, Sutton A, Schneerson R (1980) Comparative analysis of plasmids and some metabolic chracteristics of Escherichia coli K1 from diseased and healthy individuals. Infect Immun 29(1):200-206. [PubMed]
  • Achtman M, Mercer A, Kusecek B, Pohl A, Heuzenroeder M, Aaronson W, Sutton A, Silver RP (1983) Six widespread bacterial clones among Escherichia coli K1 isolates. Infect Immun 39(1):315-335. [PubMed]
  • Gonzalez MD, Lichtensteiger CA, Caughlan R, Vimr ER (2002) Conserved filamentous prophage in Escherichia coli O18:K1:H7 and Yersinia pestis biovar orientalis. J Bacteriol 184(21):6050-6055. [PubMed]
  • Deszo EL, Steenbergen SM, Freedberg DI, Vimr ER (2005) Escherichia coli K1 polysialic acid O-acetyltransferase gene, neuO, and the mechanism of capsule form variation involving a mobile contingency locus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102(15):5564-5569. [PubMed]
  • Xie Y, Kolisnychenko V, Paul-Satyaseela M, Elliott S, Parthasarathy G, Yao Y, Plunkett G 3rd, Blattner FR, Kim KS (2006) Identification and characterization of Escherichia coli RS218-derived islands in the pathogenesis of E. coli meningitis. J Infect Dis 194(3):358-364. [PubMed]

This project is part of our Bacterial Pathogens Genome Initiative, funded by NIAID

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