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Laurel, MD, United States

Yan Q.,University College Dublin | Jarvis K.G.,CFSAN | Chase H.R.,CFSAN | Hebert K.,Food Directorate | And 12 more authors.
Food Microbiology | Year: 2015

Cronobacter are opportunistic pathogens, which cause infections in all age groups. To aid the characterization of Cronobacter in foods and environments a harmonized LPS identification scheme for molecular serotyping is needed. To this end, we studied 409 Cronobacter isolates representing the seven Cronobacter species using two previously reported molecular serotyping schemes, described here as Mullane-Jarvis (M-J) and Sun schemes. PCR analysis revealed many overlapping results that were obtained when independently applying the two serotyping schemes. There were complete agreements between the two PCR schemes for Cronobacter sakazakii (Csak) O:1, Csak O:3, and Csak O:7 serotypes. However, only thirty-five of 41 Csak O:4 strains, identified using the M-J scheme, were PCR-positive with the Sun scheme primers. Also the Sun scheme Csak O:5 primers failed to identify this serotype in any of the C. sakazakii strains tested, but did recognize seven Cronobacter turicensis strains, which were identified as Ctur O:3 using the M-J scheme. Similarly, the Sun scheme Csak O:6 primers recognized 30 Cronobacter malonaticus O:2 strains identified with the M-J scheme, but failed to identify this serotype in any C. sakazakii strain investigated. In this report, these findings are summarized and a harmonized molecular-serotyping scheme is proposed which is predicated on the correct identification of Cronobacter species, prior to serotype determination. In summary, fourteen serotypes were identified using the combined protocol, which consists of Csak O:1-O:4, and Csak O:7; Cmal O:1-O:2; Cdub O:1-O:2, Cmuy O:1-O:2, Cuni O:1, as well as Ctur O:1 and Ctur O:3. © 2015.


Carter L.,CFSAN | Lindsey L.A.,CFSAN | Lindsey L.A.,Tuskegee University | Grim C.J.,CFSAN | And 12 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2013

In a comparison to the widely used Cronobacter rpoB PCR assay, a highly specific multiplexed PCR assay based on cgcA, a diguanylate cyclase gene, that identified all of the targeted six species among 305 Cronobacter isolates was designed. This assay will be a valuable tool for identifying suspected Cronobacter isolates from food-borne investigations. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.


Recently, a taxonomical re-evaluation of the genus Enterobacter, based on multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, has led to the proposal that the species Enterobacter pulveris, Enterobacter helveticus and Enterobacter turicensis should be reclassified as novel species of the genus Cronobacter. In the present work, new genome-scale analyses, including average nucleotide identity, genome-scale phylogeny and k-mer analysis, coupled with previously reported DNA-DNA hybridization values and biochemical characterization strongly indicate that these three species of the genus Enterobacter are not members of the genus Cronobacter, nor do they belong to the re-evaluated genus Enterobacter. Furthermore, data from this polyphasic study indicated that all three species constitute two new genera. We propose reclassifying Enterobacter pulveris and Enterobacter helveticus in the genus Franconibacter gen. nov. as Franconibacter pulveris comb. nov. (type strain 601/05(T) = LMG 24057(T) = DSM 19144(T)) and Franconibacter helveticus comb. nov. (type strain 513/05(T) = LMG 23732(T) = DSM 18396(T)), respectively, and Enterobacter turicensis in the genus Siccibacter gen. nov. as Siccibacter turicensis comb. nov. (type strain 508/05(T) = LMG 23730(T) = DSM 18397(T)).


Grim C.J.,CFSAN | Grim C.J.,Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education | Kothary M.H.,CFSAN | Gopinath G.,CFSAN | And 6 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2012

Cronobacter spp. are emerging pathogens that cause severe infantile meningitis, septicemia, or necrotizing enterocolitis. Contaminated powdered infant formula has been implicated as the source of Cronobacter spp. in most cases, but questions still remain regarding the natural habitat and virulence potential for each strain. The iron acquisition systems in 231 Cronobacter strains isolated from different sources were identified and characterized. All Cronobacter spp. have both the Feo and Efe systems for acquisition of ferrous iron, and all plasmid-harboring strains (98%) have the aerobactin-like siderophore, cronobactin, for transport of ferric iron. All Cronobacter spp. have the genes encoding an enterobactin-like siderophore, although it was not functional under the conditions tested. Furthermore, all Cronobacter spp. have genes encoding five receptors for heterologous siderophores. A ferric dicitrate transport system (fec system) is encoded specifically by a subset of Cronobacter sakazakii and C. malonaticus strains, of which a high percentage were isolated from clinical samples. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that the fec system is most closely related to orthologous genes present in human-pathogenic bacterial strains. Moreover, all strains of C. dublinensis and C. muytjensii encode two receptors, FcuA and Fct, for heterologous siderophores produced by plant pathogens. Identification of putative Fur boxes and expression of the genes under iron-depleted conditions revealed which genes and operons are components of the Fur regulon. Taken together, these results support the proposition that C. sakazakii and C. malonaticus may be more associated with the human host and C. dublinensis and C. muytjensii with plants. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Grim C.J.,CFSAN | Grim C.J.,Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education | Kotewicz M.L.,CFSAN | Power K.A.,University College Dublin | And 14 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2013

Background: Members of the genus Cronobacter are causes of rare but severe illness in neonates and preterm infants following the ingestion of contaminated infant formula. Seven species have been described and two of the species genomes were subsequently published. In this study, we performed comparative genomics on eight strains of Cronobacter, including six that we sequenced (representing six of the seven species) and two previously published, closed genomes.Results: We identified and characterized the features associated with the core and pan genome of the genus Cronobacter in an attempt to understand the evolution of these bacteria and the genetic content of each species. We identified 84 genomic regions that are present in two or more Cronobacter genomes, along with 45 unique genomic regions. Many potentially horizontally transferred genes, such as lysogenic prophages, were also identified. Most notable among these were several type six secretion system gene clusters, transposons that carried tellurium, copper and/or silver resistance genes, and a novel integrative conjugative element.Conclusions: Cronobacter have diverged into two clusters, one consisting of C. dublinensis and C. muytjensii (Cdub-Cmuy) and the other comprised of C. sakazakii, C. malonaticus, C. universalis, and C. turicensis, (Csak-Cmal-Cuni-Ctur) from the most recent common ancestral species. While several genetic determinants for plant-association and human virulence could be found in the core genome of Cronobacter, the four Cdub-Cmuy clade genomes contained several accessory genomic regions important for survival in a plant-associated environmental niche, while the Csak-Cmal-Cuni-Ctur clade genomes harbored numerous virulence-related genetic traits. © 2013 Grim et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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