Serotype-specific evolutionary patterns of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella enterica

Jingqiu Liao, Renato Hohl Orsi, Laura M. Carroll, Jasna Kovac, Hongyu Ou, Hailong Zhang, Martin Wiedmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: The emergence of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) strains of the important human and animal pathogen Salmonella enterica poses a growing threat to public health. Here, we studied the genome-wide evolution of 90 S. enterica AMR isolates, representing one host adapted serotype (S. Dublin) and two broad host range serotypes (S. Newport and S. Typhimurium). Results: AMR S. Typhimurium had a large effective population size, a large and diverse genome, AMR profiles with high diversity, and frequent positive selection and homologous recombination. AMR S. Newport showed a relatively low level of diversity and a relatively clonal population structure. AMR S. Dublin showed evidence for a recent population bottleneck, and the genomes were characterized by a larger number of genes and gene ontology terms specifically absent from this serotype and a significantly higher number of pseudogenes as compared to other two serotypes. Approximately 50% of accessory genes, including specific AMR and putative prophage genes, were significantly over- or under-represented in a given serotype. Approximately 65% of the core genes showed phylogenetic clustering by serotype, including the AMR gene aac (6′)-Iaa. While cell surface proteins were shown to be the main target of positive selection, some proteins with possible functions in AMR and virulence also showed evidence for positive selection. Homologous recombination mainly acted on prophage-associated proteins. Conclusions: Our data indicates a strong association between genome content of S. enterica and serotype. Evolutionary patterns observed in S. Typhimurium are consistent with multiple emergence events of AMR strains and/or ecological success of this serotype in different hosts or habitats. Evolutionary patterns of S. Newport suggested that antimicrobial resistance emerged in one single lineage, Lineage IIC. A recent population bottleneck and genome decay observed in AMR S. Dublin are congruent with its narrow host range. Finally, our results suggest the potentially important role of positive selection in the evolution of antimicrobial resistance, host adaptation and serotype diversification in S. enterica.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number132
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 21 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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