Overlapping Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis household transmission and mobile genetic element exchange

Ouli Xie, Cameron Zachreson, Gerry Tonkin-Hill, David J. Price, Jake A. Lacey, Jacqueline M. Morris, Malcolm I. McDonald, Asha C. Bowen, Philip M. Giffard, Bart J. Currie, Jonathan R. Carapetis, Deborah C. Holt, Stephen D. Bentley, Mark R. Davies, Steven Y. C. Tong

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Abstract

Streptococcus dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis (SDSE) and Streptococcus pyogenes share skin and throat niches with extensive genomic homology and horizontal gene transfer (HGT) possibly underlying shared disease phenotypes. It is unknown if cross-species transmission interaction occurs. Here, we conduct a genomic analysis of a longitudinal household survey in remote Australian First Nations communities for patterns of cross-species transmission interaction and HGT. Collected from 4547 person-consultations, we analyse 294 SDSE and 315 S. pyogenes genomes. We find SDSE and S. pyogenes transmission intersects extensively among households and show that patterns of co-occurrence and transmission links are consistent with independent transmission without inter-species interference. We identify at least one of three near-identical cross-species mobile genetic elements (MGEs) carrying antimicrobial resistance or streptodornase virulence genes in 55 (19%) SDSE and 23 (7%) S. pyogenes isolates. These findings demonstrate co-circulation of both pathogens and HGT in communities with a high burden of streptococcal disease, supporting a need to integrate SDSE and S. pyogenes surveillance and control efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3477
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalNature Communications
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024

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