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    Comparative genomics and pangenomics of vancomycin-resistant and susceptible Enterococcus faecium from Irish hospitals

    Leigh, Robert J. and McKenna, Chloe and McWade, Robert and Lynch, Breda and Walsh, Fiona (2022) Comparative genomics and pangenomics of vancomycin-resistant and susceptible Enterococcus faecium from Irish hospitals. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 71 (10). ISSN 0022-2615

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    Introduction. Enterococcus faecium has emerged as an important nosocomial pathogen, which is increasingly difficult to treat due to the genetic acquisition of vancomycin resistance. Ireland has a recalcitrant vancomycin-resistant bloodstream infection rate compared to other developed countries. Hypothesis/Gap statement. Vancomycin resistance rates persist amongst E. faecium isolates from Irish hospitals. The evolutionary genomics governing these trends have not been fully elucidated. Methodology. A set of 28 vancomycin-resistant isolates was sequenced to construct a dataset alongside 61 other publicly available Irish genomes. This dataset was extensively analysed using in silico methodologies (comparative genomics, pangenomics, phylogenetics, genotypics and comparative functional analyses) to uncover distinct evolutionary, coevolutionary and clinically relevant population trends. Results. These results suggest that a stable (in terms of genome size, GC% and number of genes), yet genetically diverse population (in terms of gene content) of E. faecium persists in Ireland with acquired resistance arising via plasmid acquisition (vanA) or, to a lesser extent, chromosomal recombination (vanB). Population analysis revealed five clusters with one cluster partitioned into four clades which transcend isolation dates. Pangenomic and recombination analyses revealed an open (whole genome and chromosomal specific) pangenome illustrating a rampant evolutionary pattern. Comparative resistomics and virulomics uncovered distinct chromosomal and mobilomal propensity for multidrug resistance, widespread chromosomal point-mutation-mediated resistance and chromosomally harboured arsenals of virulence factors. Interestingly, a potential difference in biofilm formation strategies was highlighted by coevolutionary analysis, suggesting differential biofilm genotypes between vanA and vanB isolates. Conclusions. These results highlight the evolutionary history of Irish E. faecium isolates and may provide insight into underlying infection dynamics in a clinical setting. Due to the apparent ease of vancomycin resistance acquisition over time, susceptible E. faecium should be concurrently reduced in Irish hospitals to mitigate potential resistant infections

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Leigh, R.J., McKenna, C., McWade, R., Lynch, B. & Walsh, F. 2022, "Comparative genomics and pangenomics of vancomycin-resistant and susceptible Enterococcus faecium from Irish hospitals", Journal of medical microbiology, vol. 71, no. 10.
    Keywords: CC17; Enterococcus; evolution; Ireland; vancomycin resistance
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Biology
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Human Health Institute
    Item ID: 17329
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr Robert Leigh
    Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2023 14:28
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Medical Microbiology
    Publisher: Microbiology Society
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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