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Genomic analysis of serogroup Y Neisseria meningitidis isolates reveals extensive similarities between carriage and disease-associated organisms

Oldfield, Neil J.; Harrison, Odile B.; Bayliss, Christopher D.; Maiden, Martin C.J.; Ala'Aldeen, Dlawer A.A.; Turner, David P.J.

Genomic analysis of serogroup Y Neisseria meningitidis isolates reveals extensive similarities between carriage and disease-associated organisms Thumbnail


Odile B. Harrison

Christopher D. Bayliss

Martin C.J. Maiden

Dlawer A.A. Ala'Aldeen

David P.J. Turner


Background. Neisseria meningitidis is a frequent colonizer of the human nasopharynx with asymptomatic carriage providing the reservoir for invasive, disease-causing strains. Serogroup Y (MenY) strains are a major cause of meningococcal disease. High resolution genetic analyses of carriage and disease isolates can establish epidemiological relationships and identify potential virulence factors.
Methods. Whole genome sequence data were obtained from UK MenY carriage isolates from 1997-2010 (n=99). Sequences were compared to those from MenY invasive isolates from 2010 and 2011 (n=73) using a gene-by-gene approach.
Results. Comparisons across 1,605 core genes resolved 91% of isolates into one of eight clusters containing closely related disease and carriage isolates. Six clusters contained carried meningococci isolated in 1997-2001 suggesting temporal stability. One cluster of isolates, predominately sharing the designation Y: P1.5-1,10-1: F4-1: ST-1655 (cc23), was resolved into a sub-cluster with 86% carriage isolates and a second with 90% invasive isolates. These subclusters were defined by specific allelic differences in five core genes encoding glycerate kinase (glxK), valine-pyruvate transaminase (avtA), superoxide dismutase (sodB) and two hypothetical proteins.
Conclusions. High resolution genetic analyses detected long-term temporal stability and temporally-overlapping carriage and disease populations for MenY clones but also evidence of a disease-associated clone.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 18, 2015
Online Publication Date Jan 7, 2016
Publication Date Jun 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jan 21, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 21, 2016
Journal Journal of Infectious Diseases
Print ISSN 0022-1899
Electronic ISSN 1537-6613
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 213
Issue 11
Pages 1777-1785
Keywords Neisseria Meningitidis, Whole Genome Sequencing, Carriage, Serogroup Y, Epidemiology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Infectious Diseases following peer review. The version of record Neil J. Oldfield,
Odile B. Harrison,
Christopher D. Bayliss,
Martin C. J. Maiden,
Dlawer A. A. Ala'Aldeen,
and David P. J. Turner Genomic Analysis of Serogroup Y Neisseria meningitidis Isolates Reveals Extensive Similarities Between Carriage-Associated and Disease-Associated Organisms J Infect Dis. first published online January 7, 2016 doi:10.1093/infdis/jiw008 is available online at:


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