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Common genomic features of Campylobacter jejuni subsp. doylei strains distinguish them from C. jejuni subsp. jejuni

Parker, C.T., Miller, W.G., Horn, S.T., Lastovica, A.J.
BMC microbiology 2007 v.7
Campylobacter jejuni subsp. jejuni, Campylobacter jejuni subsp. doylei, microbial genetics, genome, molecular genetics, genetic techniques and protocols, microarray technology, nucleotide sequences, strains, human diseases, gastroenteritis
Campylobacter jejuni has been divided into two subspecies: C. jejuni subsp. jejuni (Cjj) and C. jejuni subsp. doylei (Cjd). Nearly all of the C. jejuni strains isolated are Cjj; nevertheless, although Cjd strains are isolated infrequently, they differ from Cjj in two key aspects: they are obtained primarily from human clinical samples and are associated often with bacteremia, in addition to gastroenteritis. In this study, we utilized multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and a DNA microarray-based comparative genomic indexing (CGI) approach to examine the genomic diversity and gene content of Cjd strains. A geographically diverse collection of eight Cjd strains was examined by MLST and determined to be phylogenetically distinct from Cjj strains. Microarray-based CGI approach also supported this. We were able to demonstrate that Cjd strains exhibited divergence from Cjj strains NCTC 11168 and RM1221 in many of the intraspecies hypervariable regions. Moreover, multiple metabolic, transport and virulence functions (e.g. cytolethal distending toxin) were shown to be absent in the Cjd strains examined. Our data demonstrate that Cjd are phylogenetically distinct from Cjj strains. Using the CGI approach, we identified subsets of absent genes from amongst the C. jejuni genes that provide clues as to the potential evolutionary origin and unusual pathogenicity of Cjd.