Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Genome Characterization of a Novel Binary Toxin-Positive Strain of Clostridium difficile and Comparison with the Epidemic 027 and 078 Strains

Version 1 : Received: 29 May 2017 / Approved: 30 May 2017 / Online: 30 May 2017 (06:15:11 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


A novel binary toxin-positive non-027, non-078 Clostridium difficile strain designated LC693 whose sequence type was ST201 was isolated from the fecal sample of a patient with severe diarrhea in China. To understand the pathogenesis basis of C. difficile ST201, this recently recovered isolate LC693 was then chosen for whole genome sequencing. The project finally generated an estimated genome size of approximately 4.07 Mbp. The genome sequence was then analyzed together with the other two ST201 strains VL-0104 and VL-0391 and compared to the epidemic 027/ST1 and 078/ST11 strains. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the ST201 strains belonged to clade 3. Genome size of the three ST201 strains ranged from 4.07 Mb~4.16 Mb, with an average GC content between 28.5%~28.9%. The ST201 genomes contained more than 40 antibiotic resistance genes and 15 of them were predicted to be associated with vancomycin-resistance, suggesting that they may have a strong antibiotic resistance. The ST201 strains contained a typical clade 3 specific PaLoc with a Tn6218 element inserted, and those genes harbored on their PaLoc that participated in the toxin expression and regulation were highly homologues to the epidemic 027 and 078 strains, with the exception of tcdC. A truncated TcdC was found in the ST201 strains, which is suggestive to have a contribution to the toxin production of the ST201 strains. In addition, the ST201 strains contained intact binary toxin coding and regulation genes, which is also proposed to contribute to the virulence. Genome comparison of the ST201 strains with the epidemic 027 and 078 strain identified 641 genes specific for the C. difficile ST201, and a number of them were predicted as fitness and virulence associated genes. The identification of those genes also contributes to the pathogenesis of the ST201 strain. To our knowledge, this is the first study that the genome sequence of C. difficile ST201 was discussed in detail, and the present study would have a contribution to understanding the pathogenesis basis of C. difficile ST201.


Clostridium difficile; ST201; binary toxin-positive; whole genome sequencing; comparative genomic analysis


Biology and Life Sciences, Immunology and Microbiology

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