Comparative Genomic Analyses of Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae Provide Insight into Virulence and Commensalism Dynamics

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 19;8(6):e65670. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065670. Print 2013.

Abstract

Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae (SPPN) is a recently described species of the viridans group streptococci (VGS). Although the pathogenic potential of S. pseudopneumoniae remains uncertain, it is most commonly isolated from patients with underlying medical conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. S. pseudopneumoniae can be distinguished from the closely related species, S. pneumoniae and S. mitis, by phenotypic characteristics, including optochin resistance in the presence of 5% CO2, bile insolubility, and the lack of the pneumococcal capsule. Previously, we reported the draft genome sequence of S. pseudopneumoniae IS7493, a clinical isolate obtained from an immunocompromised patient with documented pneumonia. Here, we use comparative genomics approaches to identify similarities and key differences between S. pseudopneumoniae IS7493, S. pneumoniae and S. mitis. The genome structure of S. pseudopneumoniae IS7493 is most closely related to that of S. pneumoniae R6, but several recombination events are evident. Analysis of gene content reveals numerous unique features that distinguish S. pseudopneumoniae from other streptococci. The presence of loci for competence, iron transport, pneumolysin production and antimicrobial resistance reinforce the phylogenetic position of S. pseudopneumoniae as an intermediate species between S. pneumoniae and S. mitis. Additionally, the presence of several virulence factors and antibiotic resistance mechanisms suggest the potential of this commensal species to become pathogenic or to contribute to increasing antibiotic resistance levels seen among the VGS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Female
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phylogeny
  • Pneumonia / microbiology*
  • Quinine / analogs & derivatives
  • Quinine / pharmacology
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus / classification*
  • Streptococcus / genetics
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus / physiology
  • Streptococcus mitis / genetics
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / genetics
  • Symbiosis
  • Virulence Factors / genetics*

Substances

  • Virulence Factors
  • ethylhydrocupreine
  • Quinine

Grant support

This study was funded by the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.