Nanopore sequencing for fast determination of plasmids, phages, virulence markers, and antimicrobial resistance genes in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli
7th March 2019 - BioRxiv
Whole genome sequencing can provide essential public health information. However, it is now known that widely used short-read methods have the potential to miss some randomly-distributed segments of genomes. This can prevent phages, plasmids, and virulence factors from being detected or properly identified. Here, we compared assemblies of three complete STEC O26:H11 genomes from two different sequence types (ST21 and 29), each acquired using the MiSeq-Nextera XT, MinION nanopore-based sequencing, and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) sequencing. Each closed genome consisted of a single chromosome, approximately 5.7 Mb for CFSAN027343, 5.6 Mb for CFSAN027346, and 5.4 MB for CFSAN027350. However, short-read WGS using MiSeq-Nextera failed to identify some virulence genes in plasmids and on the chromosome, both of which were detected using the long-read platforms. Results from long-read MinION and PacBio allowed us to identify differences in plasmid content: a single 88 kb plasmid in CFSAN027343; a 157 kb plasmid in CFSAN027350; and two plasmids in CFSAN027346 (one 95 Kb, one 72 Kb). These data enabled rapid characterization of the virulome, detection of antimicrobial genes, and composition/location of Stx phages. Taken together, positive correlations between the two long-read methods for determining plasmids, virulome, antimicrobial resistance genes, and phage composition support MinION sequencing as one accurate and economical option for closing STEC genomes and identifying specific virulence markers.