Genomic epidemiology and evolutionary history of the treponematoses

The surprising re-emergence of syphilis across the globe has prompted new genomic approaches to understand the epidemiology of the disease and its historical origins. By applying ancient DNA techniques to the study of a notoriously challenging and fragile bacterium, and through interdisciplinary collaborative efforts, we have been able to obtain whole genome data from clinical samples across numerous countries. Such data has provided new insights into the diversity of strains in current infections, as well as the rising incidence of antibiotic resistance.

Collaborations

Repsol Chemie Deutschland GmbH, Frankfurt

Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

University of Washington, Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Department of Global Health, Seattle (WA), USA.

Unidad Mixta Infección y Salud Pública FISABIO/Universidad de Valencia. CIBER in Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain.

Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany.

Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany.

Center for Bioinformatics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UTHealth McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX USA.

Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Department of Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Publications

Grillová L, Oppelt J, Mikalová L, Nováková M, Giacani L, Niesnerová A, Noda A.A., Mechaly A.E, Pospíšilová P, Čejková D, Grange P.A, Dupin N, Strnadel R, Chen M, Denham I, Arora N, Picardeau M, Weston C, Forsyth R.A, Šmajs D (2019). Directly sequenced genomes of contemporary strains of syphilis reveal recombination-driven diversity in genes encoding predicted surface-exposed antigens. Frontiers in Microbiology, doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01691

Grillova L, Bawa T, Mikalová L, Gayet-Ageron A., Nieselt K, Strouhal M, Sednaoui P, Ferry T, Cavassini M, Lautenschlager S, Dutly F, Pla-Díaz M, Krützen M, González-Candelas F, Bagheri HC, Smajs D*, Arora N*, and Bosshard PB* (2018). Molecular characterization of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum in Switzerland and France with a new multilocus sequence typing scheme. PLoS ONE 13(7): e0200773.

Strouhal M, Oppelt J, Mikalová L, Arora N, Nieselt K, González-Candelas F, and Smajs D (2018). Reanalysis of Chinese Treponema pallidum samples: all Chinese samples cluster with SS14-like group of syphilis-causing treponemes. BMC Research Notes 11: 16.

Arora N, Schuenemann VJ, Jäger G, Peltzer A, Seitz A, Herbig A, Strouhal M, Grillová L, Sánchez-Busó L, Kühnert D, Bos KI, Rivero Davis L, Mikalová L, Bruisten S, Komericki P, French P, Grant PR, Pando MA, Gallo Vaulet L, Rodríguez Fermepin M, Martinez A, Centurion Lara A, Giacani L, Norris SJ, Šmajs D, Bosshard PB, González-Candelas F, Nieselt K, Krause J and Bagheri HC (2016). Origin of modern syphilis and emergence of a pandemic Treponema pallidum cluster. Nature Microbiology doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.245