Gene Clusters of Hafnia Alvei Strain FB1 Important in Survival and Pathogenesis: A Draft Genome Perspective

Gut Pathog. 2014 Jul 15;6:29. doi: 10.1186/1757-4749-6-29. eCollection 2014.


Background: Hafnia alvei is an opportunistic pathogen involved in various types of nosocomical infections. The species has been found to inhabit food and mammalian guts. However, its status as an enteropathogen, and whether the food-inhabiting strains could be a source of gastrointestinal infection remains obscure. In this report we present a draft genome of H. alvei strain FB1 isolated from fish paste meatball, a food popular among Malaysian and Chinese populations. The data was generated on the Illumina MiSeq platform.

Results: A comparative study was carried out on FB1 against two other previously sequenced H. alvei genomes. Several gene clusters putatively involved in survival and pathogenesis of H. alvei FB1 in food and gut environment were characterised in this study. These include the widespread colonisation island (WCI), the tad locus that is known to play an essential role in biofilm formation, a eut operon that might contribute to advantage in nutrient acquisition in gut environment, and genes responsible for siderophore production This features enable the bacteria to successful colonise in the host gut environment.

Conclusion: With the whole genome data of H. alvei FB1 presented in this study, we hope to provide an insight into future studies on this candidate of enteropathogen by looking into the possible mechanisms employed to survive stresses and gain advantage in competitions, which eventually leads to successful colonisation and pathogenesis. This is to serve as the basis for more effective clinical diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: Ethanolamine utilisation; Gut pathogen; Hafnia alvei; Next generation sequencing; Siderophore; Widespread Colonisation Island; eut; tad.