Helicobacter pylori genomic microevolution during naturally occurring transmission between adults
Windsor, Helen M.
Gajewski, John P.
Hake, Caylie M.
Drautz, Daniela I.
Schuster, Stephan C.
Marshall, Barry J.
Date of Issue2013
Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
The human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori is usually acquired during childhood and, in the absence of treatment, chronic infection persists through most of the host's life. However, the frequency and importance of H. pylori transmission between adults is underestimated. Here we sequenced the complete genomes of H. pylori strains that were transmitted between spouses and analysed the genomic changes. Similar to H. pylori from chronic infection, a significantly high proportion of the determined 31 SNPs and 10 recombinant DNA fragments affected genes of the hop family of outer membrane proteins, some of which are known to be adhesins. In addition, changes in a fucosyltransferase gene modified the LPS component of the bacterial cell surface, suggesting strong diversifying selection. In contrast, virulence factor genes were not affected by the genomic changes. We propose a model of the genomic changes that are associated with the transmission and adaptation of H. pylori to a new human host.
© 2013 The Authors. This paper was published in PLoS ONE and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of The Authors. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0082187]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.