Comparative analysis of the full genome of the Helicobacter pylori isolate, Sahul64, identifies genes of high divergence

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Isolates of Helicobacter pylori can be classified phylogeographically. High genetic diversity and rapid microevolution are a hallmark of H. pylori genomes, a phenomenon that is proposed to play a functional role in persistence and colonization of diverse human populations. To provide further genomic evidence in the lineage of H. pylori and to further characterize diverse strains of this pathogen in different human populations, we report the finished genome sequence of Sahul64, an H. pylori strain isolated from an indigenous Australian. Our analysis identified genes that were highly divergent compared to the 38 publically available genomes, which include genes involved in the biosynthesis and modification of lipopolysaccharide, putative prophage genes, restriction modification components, and hypothetical genes. Furthermore, the virulence-associated vacA locus is a pseudogene and the cag pathogenicity island (cagPAI) is not present. However, the genome does contain a gene cluster associated with pathogenicity, including dupA. Our analysis found that with the addition of Sahul64 to the 38 genomes, the core genome content of H. pylori is reduced by approximately 14% (∼170 genes) and the pan-genome has expanded from 2,070 to 2,238 genes. We have identified three putative horizontally acquired regions, including one that is likely to have been acquired from the closely related Helicobacter cetorum prior to speciation. Our results suggest that Sahul64, with the absence of cagPAI, highly divergent cell envelope proteins, and a predicted nontransportable VacA protein, could be more highly adapted to ancient indigenous Australian people but with lower virulence potential compared to other sequenced and cagPAI-positive H. pylori strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1083
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number5
Early online date27 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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