Abundance and co-occurrence of extracellular capsules increase environmental breadth: Implications for the emergence of pathogens - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles PLoS Pathogens Year : 2017

Abundance and co-occurrence of extracellular capsules increase environmental breadth: Implications for the emergence of pathogens

(1) , (1) , (2) , (1) , (1)
1
2

Abstract

Extracellular capsules constitute the outermost layer of many bacteria, are major virulence factors, and affect antimicrobial therapies. They have been used as epidemiological markers and recently became vaccination targets. Despite the efforts to biochemically serotype capsules in a few model pathogens, little is known of their taxonomic and environmental distribution. We developed, validated, and made available a computational tool, CapsuleFinder, to identify capsules in genomes. The analysis of over 2500 prokaryotic genomes, accessible in a database, revealed that ca. 50% of them - including ArchaeaÐencode a capsule. The Wzx/Wzy-dependent capsular group was by far the most abundant. Surprisingly, a fifth of the genomes encode more than one capsule system, often from different groups, and their non-random co-occurrence suggests the existence of negative and positive epistatic interactions. To understand the role of multiple capsules, we queried more than 6700 metagenomes for the presence of species encoding capsules and showed that their distribution varied between environmental categories and, within the human microbiome, between body locations. Species encoding capsules, and especially those encoding multiple capsules, had larger environmental breadths than the other species. Accordingly, capsules were more frequent in environmental bacteria than in pathogens and, within the latter, they were more frequent among facultative pathogens. Nevertheless, capsules were frequent in clinical samples, and were usually associated with fast-growing bacteria with high infectious doses. Our results suggest that capsules increase the environmental range of bacteria and make them more resilient to environmental perturbations. Capsules might allow opportunistic pathogens to profit from empty ecological niches or environmental perturbations, such as those resulting from antibiotic therapy, to colonize the host. Capsule-associated virulence might thus be a by-product of environmental adaptation. Understanding the role of capsules in natural environments might enlighten their function in pathogenesis.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
15-CapsuleI.Distribution.PPath.pdf (9.55 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Publication funded by an institution
Loading...

Dates and versions

pasteur-01578349 , version 1 (29-08-2017)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

Identifiers

Cite

Olaya Rendueles, Marc Garcia-Garcerà, Bertrand Néron, Marie Touchon, Eduardo P C Rocha. Abundance and co-occurrence of extracellular capsules increase environmental breadth: Implications for the emergence of pathogens. PLoS Pathogens, 2017, 44, pp.289 - 289. ⟨10.1371/journal.ppat.1006525.s020⟩. ⟨pasteur-01578349⟩

Collections

PASTEUR CNRS FRM
87 View
267 Download

Altmetric

Share

Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More