Comparative genomics identifies potential virulence factors in Clostridium tertium and C. paraputrificum

Marina Muñoz, Daniel Restrepo-Montoya, Nitin Kumar, Gregorio Iraola, Giovanny Herrera, Dora I. Ríos-Chaparro, Diana Díaz-Arévalo, Manuel A. Patarroyo, Trevor D. Lawley, Juan David Ramírez

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Some well-known Clostridiales species such as Clostridium difficile and C. perfringens are agents of high impact diseases worldwide. Nevertheless, other foreseen Clostridiales species have recently emerged such as Clostridium tertium and C. paraputrificum. Three fecal isolates were identified as Clostridium tertium (Gcol.A2 and Gcol.A43) and C. paraputrificum (Gcol.A11) during public health screening for C. difficile infections in Colombia. C. paraputrificum genomes were highly diverse and contained large numbers of accessory genes. Genetic diversity and accessory gene percentage were lower among the C. tertium genomes than in the C. paraputrificum genomes. C. difficile tcdA and tcdB toxins encoding homologous sequences and other potential virulence factors were also identified. EndoA interferase, a toxic component of the type II toxin-antitoxin system, was found among the C. tertium genomes. toxA was the only toxin encoding gene detected in Gcol.A43, the Colombian isolate with an experimentally-determined high cytotoxic effect. Gcol.A2 and Gcol.A43 had higher sporulation efficiencies than Gcol.A11 (84.5%, 83.8% and 57.0%, respectively), as supported by the greater number of proteins associated with sporulation pathways in the C. tertium genomes compared with the C. paraputrificum genomes (33.3 and 28.4 on average, respectively). This work allowed complete genome description of two clostridiales species revealing high levels of intra-taxa diversity, accessory genomes containing virulence-factors encoding genes (especially in C. paraputrificum), with proteins involved in sporulation processes more highly represented in C. tertium. These finding suggest the need to advance in the study of those species with potential importance at public health level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-676
Number of pages20
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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