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Anaerobe. 2018 Feb;49:78-84. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2017.12.005. Epub 2017 Dec 12.

A helicase-containing module defines a family of pCD630-like plasmids in Clostridium difficile.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300RC, Leiden, The Netherlands; Netherlands Centre for One Health, The Netherlands. Electronic address: w.k.smits@lumc.nl.
2
Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
3
Department of Parasitology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom; Research Centre for Drugs and Diagnostics, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
4
Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300RC, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive and sporulating enteropathogen that is a major cause of healthcare-associated infections. Even though a large number of genomes of this species have been sequenced, only a few plasmids have been described in the literature. Here, we use a combination of in silico analyses and laboratory experiments to show that plasmids are common in C. difficile. We focus on a group of plasmids that share similarity with the plasmid pCD630, from the reference strain 630. The family of pCD630-like plasmids is defined by the presence of a conserved putative helicase that is likely part of the plasmid replicon. This replicon is compatible with at least some other C. difficile replicons, as strains can carry pCD630-like plasmids in addition to other plasmids. We find two distinct sub-groups of pCD630-like plasmids that differ in size and accessory modules. This study is the first to describe a family of plasmids in C. difficile.

KEYWORDS:

Helicase; Plasmid; Replication; Replicon

PMID:
29246842
DOI:
10.1016/j.anaerobe.2017.12.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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