Population structure of the Yersinia pseudotuberculosis complex according to multilocus sequence typing

Authors

  • Riikka Laukkanen-Ninios,

    1. Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 66, FI-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland.
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  • Xavier Didelot,

    1. Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3TG, UK.
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  • Keith A. Jolley,

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.
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  • Giovanna Morelli,

    1. Max-Planck-Institut für Infektionsbiologie, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
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    • Present addresses: Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Genetik, Berlin, Germany.

  • Vartul Sangal,

    1. Max-Planck-Institut für Infektionsbiologie, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
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    • Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.

  • Paula Kristo,

    1. Sequencing Core Facility, Haartman Institute, P.O. Box 21, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
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  • Carina Brehony,

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.
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  • Priscilla F. M. Imori,

    1. Department of Clinical, Toxicological, and Bromatological Analysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil.
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  • Hiroshi Fukushima,

    1. Shimane Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environmental Science, 582-1 Nishihamasada, Matsue, Shimane 699-0122, Japan.
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  • Anja Siitonen,

    1. Bacteriology Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), P.O. Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland.
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  • Galina Tseneva,

    1. Institute Pasteur, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
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  • Ekaterina Voskressenskaya,

    1. Institute Pasteur, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
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  • Juliana P. Falcao,

    1. Department of Clinical, Toxicological, and Bromatological Analysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil.
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  • Hannu Korkeala,

    1. Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 66, FI-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland.
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  • Martin C. J. Maiden,

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.
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  • Camila Mazzoni,

    1. Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork, Ireland.
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    • Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany.

  • Elisabeth Carniel,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut Pasteur, Yersinia research Unit, Yersinia National Reference Laboratory, Paris France.
      E-mail elisabeth.carniel@pasteur.fr; Tel. (+33) 1 4568 8326; Fax (+33) 1 4568 8954.
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  • Mikael Skurnik,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Haartman Institute, P.O. Box 21, FI-00014, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
    2. Helsinki University Central Hospital Laboratory Diagnostics, Helsinki, Finland.
      E-mail mikael.skurnik@helsinki.fi; Tel. (+358) 9 1912 6464; Fax (+358) 9 1912 6382;
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  • Mark Achtman

    Corresponding author
    1. Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork, Ireland.
      E-mail m.achtman@ucc.ie; Tel. (+353) 21 4901979; Fax (+353) 21 4901932;
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E-mail m.achtman@ucc.ie; Tel. (+353) 21 4901979; Fax (+353) 21 4901932;

E-mail mikael.skurnik@helsinki.fi; Tel. (+358) 9 1912 6464; Fax (+358) 9 1912 6382;

E-mail elisabeth.carniel@pasteur.fr; Tel. (+33) 1 4568 8326; Fax (+33) 1 4568 8954.

Summary

Multilocus sequence analysis of 417 strains of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis revealed that it is a complex of four populations, three of which have been previously assigned species status [Y. pseudotuberculosis sensu stricto (s.s.), Yersinia pestis and Yersinia similis] and a fourth population, which we refer to as the Korean group, which may be in the process of speciation. We detected clear signs of recombination within Y. pseudotuberculosis s.s. as well as imports from Y. similis and the Korean group. The sources of genetic diversification within Y. pseudotuberculosis s.s. were approximately equally divided between recombination and mutation, whereas recombination has not yet been demonstrated in Y. pestis, which is also much more genetically monomorphic than is Y. pseudotuberculosis s.s. Most Y. pseudotuberculosis s.s. belong to a diffuse group of sequence types lacking clear population structure, although this species contains a melibiose-negative clade that is present globally in domesticated animals. Yersinia  similis corresponds to the previously identified Y. pseudotuberculosis genetic type G4, which is probably not pathogenic because it lacks the virulence factors that are typical for Y. pseudotuberculosis s.s. In contrast, Y. pseudotuberculosis s.s., the Korean group and Y. pestis can all cause disease in humans.

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