Background: Foodborne illness can occur due to various pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and can cause severe gastroenteritis symptoms. In this study, we completed the genome sequence of a foodborne pathogen V. parahaemolyticus FORC_014, which was isolated from suspected contaminated toothfish from South Korea. Additionally, we extended our knowledge of genomic characteristics of the FORC_014 strain through comparative analysis using the complete sequences of other V. parahaemolyticus strains whose complete genomes have previously been reported.
Results: The complete genome sequence of V. parahaemolyticus FORC_014 was generated using the PacBio RS platform with single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing. The FORC_014 strain consists of two circular chromosomes (3,241,330 bp for chromosome 1 and 1,997,247 bp for chromosome 2), one plasmid (51,383 bp), and one putative phage sequence (96,896 bp). The genome contains a total of 4274 putative protein coding sequences, 126 tRNA genes and 34 rRNA genes. Furthermore, we found 33 type III secretion system 1 (T3SS1) related proteins and 15 type III secretion system 2 (T3SS2) related proteins on chromosome 1. This is the first reported result of Type III secretion system 2 located on chromosome 1 of V. parahaemolyticus without thermostable direct hemolysin (tdh) and thermostable direct hemolysin-related hemolysin (trh).
Conclusions: Through investigation of the complete genome sequence of V. parahaemolyticus FORC_014, which differs from previously reported strains, we revealed two type III secretion systems (T3SS1, T3SS2) located on chromosome 1 which do not include tdh and trh genes. We also identified several virulence factors carried by our strain, including iron uptake system, hemolysin and secretion system. This result suggests that the FORC_014 strain may be one pathogen responsible for foodborne illness outbreak. Our results provide significant genomic clues which will assist in future understanding of virulence at the genomic level and help distinguish between clinical and non-clinical isolates.
Keywords: Comparative genomics; Type III secretion system-2; Vibrio parahaemolyticus; Whole genome sequencing.