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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 20;107(16):7527-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914322107. Epub 2010 Apr 5.

Evolutionary dynamics of Clostridium difficile over short and long time scales.

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  • 1Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SA, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Clostridium difficile has rapidly emerged as the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrheal disease, with the transcontinental spread of various PCR ribotypes, including 001, 017, 027 and 078. However, the genetic basis for the emergence of C. difficile as a human pathogen is unclear. Whole genome sequencing was used to analyze genetic variation and virulence of a diverse collection of thirty C. difficile isolates, to determine both macro and microevolution of the species. Horizontal gene transfer and large-scale recombination of core genes has shaped the C. difficile genome over both short and long time scales. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates C. difficile is a genetically diverse species, which has evolved within the last 1.1-85 million years. By contrast, the disease-causing isolates have arisen from multiple lineages, suggesting that virulence evolved independently in the highly epidemic lineages.

PMID:
20368420
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2867753
Free PMC Article

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