Establishment of the European meningococcal strain collection genome library (EMSC-GL) for the 2011 to 2012 epidemiological year.
Bratcher HB., Brehony C., Heuberger S., Pieridou-Bagatzouni D., Křížová P., Hoffmann S., Toropainen M., Taha M-K., Claus H., Tzanakaki G., Erdôsi T., Galajeva J., van der Ende A., Skoczyńska A., Pana M., Vaculíková A., Paragi M., Maiden MC., Caugant DA.
Invasive meningococcal disease surveillance in Europe combines isolate characterisation and epidemiological data to support public health intervention. A representative European Meningococcal Strain Collection (EMSC) of IMD isolates was obtained, and whole genome sequenced to characterise 799 EMSC isolates from the epidemiological year July 2011-June 2012. To establish a genome library (GL), the isolate information was deposited in the pubMLST.org/neisseria database. Genomes were curated and annotated at 2,429 meningococcal loci, including those defining clonal complex, capsule, antigens, and antimicrobial resistance. Most genomes contained genes encoding B (n = 525; 65.7%) or C (n = 163; 20.4%) capsules; isolates were genetically highly diverse, with >20 genomic lineages, five of which comprising 60.7% (n = 485) of isolates. There were >350 antigenic fine-types: 307 were present once, the most frequent (P1.7-2,4:F5-1) comprised 8% (n = 64) of isolates. Each genome was characterised for Bexsero Antigen Sequence Typing (BAST): 25.5% (n = 204) of isolates contained alleles encoding the fHbp and/or the PorA VR1 vaccine component, but most genomes (n = 513; 64.2%) did not contain the NadA component. EMSC-GL will support an integrated surveillance of disease-associated genotypes in Europe, enabling the monitoring of hyperinvasive lineages, outbreak identification, and supporting vaccine programme implementation.