Background: Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive anaerobe and the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea worldwide. The emergence of ribotype 027 (RT027) strains is associated with increased incidence of infection and mortality. To further understand the relationship between C. difficile NCKUH-21, a RT027 strain isolated from a patient in Taiwan, and other RT027 strains, we performed whole-genome shotgun sequencing on NCKUH-21 and comparative genomic analyses. Results: The genome size, G+C content, and gene number for the NCKUH-21 strain were determined to be similar to those for other C. difficile strains. The core genome phylogeny indicated that the five RT027 strains R20291, CD196, NCKUH-21, BI1, and 2007855 formed a clade. A pathogenicity locus, tcdR-tcdB-tcdE-orf-tcdA-tcdC, was conserved in the genome. A genomic region highly similar to the Clostridium phage $$\upvarphi$$ φ CD38-2 was present in the NCKUH-21 strain but absent in the other RT027 strains and designated as the prophage $$\upvarphi$$ φ NCKUH-21. The prophage $$\upvarphi$$ φ NCKUH-21 genes were significantly higher in G+C content than the other genes in the NCKUH-21 genome, indicating that the prophage does not match the base composition of the host genome. Conclusions: This is the first whole-genome analysis of a RT027 C. difficile strain isolated from Taiwan. Due to the high identity with $$\upvarphi$$ φ CD38-2, the prophage identified in the NCKUH-21 genome has the potential to regulate toxin production. These results provide important information for understanding the pathogenicity of RT027 C. difficile in Taiwan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases