Genomic Variation among Contemporary Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolates from Chronically Infected Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Jade C. S. Chung, Jennifer Becq, Louise Fraser, Ole Schulz-Trieglaff, Nicholas J. Bond, Juliet Foweraker, Kenneth D. Bruce, Geoffrey P. Smith, Martin Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


The airways of individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) often become chronically infected with unique strains of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Several lines of evidence suggest that the infecting P. aeruginosa lineage diversifies in the CF lung niche, yet so far this contemporary diversity has not been investigated at a genomic level. In this work, we sequenced the genomes of pairs of randomly selected contemporary isolates sampled from the expectorated sputum of three chronically infected adult CF patients. Each patient was infected by a distinct strain of P. aeruginosa. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions/deletions (indels) were identified in the DNA common to the paired isolates from different patients. The paired isolates from one patient differed due to just 1 SNP and 8 indels. The paired isolates from a second patient differed due to 54 SNPs and 38 indels. The pair of isolates from the third patient both contained a mutS mutation, which conferred a hypermutator phenotype; these isolates cumulatively differed due to 344 SNPs and 93 indels. In two of the pairs of isolates, a different accessory genome composition, specifically integrated prophage, was identified in one but not the other isolate of each pair. We conclude that contemporary isolates from a single sputum sample can differ at the SNP, indel, and accessory genome levels and that the cross-sectional genomic variation among coeval pairs of P. aeruginosa CF isolates can be comparable to the variation previously reported to differentiate between paired longitudinally sampled isolates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4857-4866
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number18
Early online date29 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


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