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Pseudomonas aeruginosa population structure revisited under environmental focus: impact of water quality and phage pressure

Authors

  • Katherina Selezska,

    1. HZI, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig
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  • Marlon Kazmierczak,

    1. Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Inhoffenstr. 7B, 38124 Braunschweig
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  • Mathias Müsken,

    1. TWINCORE – Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, Department of Pathophysiology of Bacterial Biofilms, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, D-30625 Hannover, Germany
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  • Julia Garbe,

    1. Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Sölvegatan 19, 223 62 Lund, Sweden
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  • Max Schobert,

    1. Institute of Microbiology, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Spielmannstr. 7, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
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  • Susanne Häussler,

    1. HZI, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig
    2. TWINCORE – Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, Department of Pathophysiology of Bacterial Biofilms, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, D-30625 Hannover, Germany
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  • Lutz Wiehlmann,

    1. Klinische Forschergruppe, OE 6710, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Carl-Neuberg Strasse 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany
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  • Christine Rohde,

    1. Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Inhoffenstr. 7B, 38124 Braunschweig
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  • Johannes Sikorski

    Corresponding author
    1. Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Inhoffenstr. 7B, 38124 Braunschweig
      E-mail johannes.sikorski@dsmz.de; Tel. (+49) 531 2616 111; Fax (+49) 531 2616 418.
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E-mail johannes.sikorski@dsmz.de; Tel. (+49) 531 2616 111; Fax (+49) 531 2616 418.

Summary

Pseudomonas aeruginosa attracts research attention as a common opportunistic nosocomial pathogen causing severe health problems in humans. Nevertheless, its primary habitat is the natural environment. Here, we relate the genetic diversity of 381 environmental isolates from rivers in northern Germany to ecological factors such as river system, season of sampling and different levels of water quality. From representatives of 99 environmental clones, also in comparison with 91 clinical isolates, we determined motility phenotypes, virulence factors, biofilm formation, serotype and the resistance to seven environmental P. aeruginosa phages. The integration of genetic, ecological and phenotypic data showed (i) the presence of several extended clonal complexes (ecc) which are non-uniformly distributed across different water qualities, and (ii) a correlation of the hosts' serotype composition with susceptibility towards distinct groups of environmental phages. For at least one ecc (eccB), we assumed the ecophysiological differences on environmental water adaptation and phage resistance to be so distinct as to reinforce an environmentally driven cladogenic split from the remainder of P. aeruginosa. In summary, we conclude that the majority of the microevolutionary population dynamics of P. aeruginosa were shaped by the natural environment and not by the clinical habitat.

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