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Extensive Comparative Genomic Analysis of Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium Reveals a Direct Association between the Absence of CRISPR–Cas Systems, the Presence of Anti-Endonuclease (ardA) and the Acquisition of Vancomycin Resistance in E. faecium

Abstract : Here, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of all available genomes of E. faecalis (n = 1591) and E. faecium (n = 1981) and investigated the association between the presence or absence of CRISPR-Cas systems, endonuclease/anti-endonuclease systems and the acquisition of antimicrobial resistance, especially vancomycin resistance genes. Most of the analysed Enterococci were isolated from humans and less than 14% of them were from foods and animals. We analysed and detected CRISPR–Cas systems in 75.36% of E. faecalis genomes and only 4.89% of E. faecium genomes with a significant difference (p-value < 10−5). We found a negative correlation between the number of CRISPR–Cas systems and genome size (r = −0.397, p-value < 10−5) and a positive correlation between the genome %GC content and the number of CRISPR–Cas systems (r = 0.215, p-value < 10−5). Our findings showed that the presence of the anti-endonuclease ardA gene may explain the decrease in the number of CRISPR–Cas systems in E. faecium, known to deactivate the endonucleases’ protective activities and enable the E. faecium genome to be versatile in acquiring mobile genetic elements, including carriers of antimicrobial resistance genes, especially vanB. Most importantly, we observed that there was a direct association between the absence of CRISPR–Cas, the presence of the anti-CRISPR ardA gene and the acquisition of vancomycin resistance genes.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 10:56:21 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 10:50:36 PM

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Kodjovi Mlaga, Vincent Garcia, Philippe Colson, Raymond Ruimy, Jean-Marc Rolain, et al.. Extensive Comparative Genomic Analysis of Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium Reveals a Direct Association between the Absence of CRISPR–Cas Systems, the Presence of Anti-Endonuclease (ardA) and the Acquisition of Vancomycin Resistance in E. faecium. Microorganisms, MDPI, 2021, 9 (6), pp.1118. ⟨10.3390/microorganisms9061118⟩. ⟨hal-03334105⟩

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