The Salmonella In Silico Typing Resource (SISTR): An Open Web-Accessible Tool for Rapidly Typing and Subtyping Draft Salmonella Genome Assemblies

PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0147101. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147101. eCollection 2016.

Abstract

For nearly 100 years serotyping has been the gold standard for the identification of Salmonella serovars. Despite the increasing adoption of DNA-based subtyping approaches, serotype information remains a cornerstone in food safety and public health activities aimed at reducing the burden of salmonellosis. At the same time, recent advances in whole-genome sequencing (WGS) promise to revolutionize our ability to perform advanced pathogen characterization in support of improved source attribution and outbreak analysis. We present the Salmonella In Silico Typing Resource (SISTR), a bioinformatics platform for rapidly performing simultaneous in silico analyses for several leading subtyping methods on draft Salmonella genome assemblies. In addition to performing serovar prediction by genoserotyping, this resource integrates sequence-based typing analyses for: Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST), ribosomal MLST (rMLST), and core genome MLST (cgMLST). We show how phylogenetic context from cgMLST analysis can supplement the genoserotyping analysis and increase the accuracy of in silico serovar prediction to over 94.6% on a dataset comprised of 4,188 finished genomes and WGS draft assemblies. In addition to allowing analysis of user-uploaded whole-genome assemblies, the SISTR platform incorporates a database comprising over 4,000 publicly available genomes, allowing users to place their isolates in a broader phylogenetic and epidemiological context. The resource incorporates several metadata driven visualizations to examine the phylogenetic, geospatial and temporal distribution of genome-sequenced isolates. As sequencing of Salmonella isolates at public health laboratories around the world becomes increasingly common, rapid in silico analysis of minimally processed draft genome assemblies provides a powerful approach for molecular epidemiology in support of public health investigations. Moreover, this type of integrated analysis using multiple sequence-based methods of sub-typing allows for continuity with historical serotyping data as we transition towards the increasing adoption of genomic analyses in epidemiology. The SISTR platform is freely available on the web at https://lfz.corefacility.ca/sistr-app/.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Internet*
  • Phylogeny
  • Salmonella / classification
  • Salmonella / genetics*

Grant support

This work was funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada (ENT, CEY and JHEN) and the Government of Canada's Genomics Research and Development Initiative (ENT, CEY and JHEN). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.