Genetic variation of a bacterial pathogen within individuals with cystic fibrosis provides a record of selective pressures
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CitationLieberman, Tami D., Kelly B. Flett, Idan Yelin, Thomas R. Martin, Alexander J. McAdam, Gregory P. Priebe, and Roy Kishony. 2014. “Genetic variation of a bacterial pathogen within individuals with cystic fibrosis provides a record of selective pressures.” Nature genetics 46 (1): 82-87. doi:10.1038/ng.2848. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2848.
AbstractAdvances in sequencing have enabled the identification of mutations acquired by bacterial pathogens during infection1-10. However, it remains unclear whether adaptive mutations fix in the population or lead to pathogen diversification within the patient11,12. Here, we study the genotypic diversity of Burkholderia dolosa within people with cystic fibrosis by re-sequencing individual colonies and whole populations from single sputum samples. Extensive intra-sample diversity reveals that mutations rarely fix within a patient's pathogen population—instead, diversifying lineages coexist for many years. When strong selection is acting on a gene, multiple adaptive mutations arise but neither sweeps to fixation, generating lasting allele diversity that provides a recorded signature of past selection. Genes involved in outer-membrane components, iron scavenging and antibiotic resistance all showed this signature of within-patient selection. These results offer a general and rapid approach for identifying selective pressures acting on a pathogen in individual patients based on single clinical samples.
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