Chronology of emergence of the genus Leptospira and over-representation of gene families enriched by vitamin B2, B12 biosynthesis, cell adhesion and external encapsulating structure in L. interrogans isolates from asymptomatic dogs.

Affiliation

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Diagnosis and Monitoring of Animal Pathogens Research Unit, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The spirochete species Leptospira interrogans is the most common cause of leptospirosis, producing acute to chronic infections in most mammalian species. This pathogenic bacterium has an ability to evolve in many ways to occupy various environments and hosts. In this study, we performed chronology analysis to look for insight into the emergence of Leptospira species, focusing on L. interrogans, and investigated gene gain and loss related to their adaptation in strains isolated from asymptomatic dogs. Chronology analysis revealed that the emergence of L. interrogans was around 53.7 million years ago (MYA), corresponding to the Paleogene period that coincided with an optimal climatic temperature and the evolution of suitable mammalian hosts. Gene families encoding for vitamin B2, B12 biosynthesis, cell adhesion and external encapsulating structure were found to be enriched in L. interrogans isolated from the urine of asymptomatic dogs. The activity of these gene families may have favored adaptations resulting in chronic infections.

Keywords

Adaptation,Dogs,Evolution,Gene family,Leptospira interrogans,Whole genome sequences,