Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Isolates from Wild Birds in the United States Represent Distinct Lineages Defined by Bird Type

Yezhi Fu, Nkuchia M. M'ikanatha, Jeffrey M. Lorch, David S. Blehert, Brenda Berlowski-Zier, Chris A. Whitehouse, Shaoting Li, Xiangyu Deng, Jared C. Smith, Nikki W. Shariat, Erin M. Nawrocki, Edward G. Dudley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is typically considered a host generalist; however, certain isolates are associated with specific hosts and show genetic features of host adaptation. Here, we sequenced 131 S. Typhimurium isolates from wild birds collected in 30 U.S. states during 1978-2019. We found that isolates from broad taxonomic host groups including passerine birds, water birds (Aequornithes), and larids (gulls and terns) represented three distinct lineages and certain S. Typhimurium CRISPR types presented in individual lineages. We also showed that lineages formed by wild bird isolates differed from most isolates originating from domestic animal sources, and that genomes from these lineages substantially improved source attribution of Typhimurium genomes to wild birds by a machine learning classifier. Furthermore, virulence gene signatures that differentiated S. Typhimurium from passerines, water birds, and larids were detected. Passerine isolates tended to lack S. Typhimurium-specific virulence plasmids. Isolates from the passerine, water bird, and larid lineages had close genetic relatedness with human clinical isolates, including those from a 2021 U.S. outbreak linked to passerine birds. These observations indicate that S. Typhimurium from wild birds in the United States are likely host-adapted, and the representative genomic data set examined in this study can improve source prediction and facilitate outbreak investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01979-21
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume88
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology

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