Hyperinvasive neonatal group B streptococcus has arisen from a bovine ancestor.
Bisharat N., Crook DW., Leigh J., Harding RM., Ward PN., Coffey TJ., Maiden MC., Peto T., Jones N.
The genetic relatedness and evolutionary relationships between group B streptococcus (GBS) isolates from humans and those from bovines were investigated by phylogenetic analysis of multilocus sequence typing data. The collection of isolates consisted of 111 GBS isolates from cows with mastitis and a diverse global collection of GBS isolates from patients with invasive disease (n = 83) and carriers (n = 69). Cluster analysis showed that the majority of the bovine isolates (93%) grouped into one phylogenetic cluster. The human isolates showed greater diversity and clustered separately from the bovine population. However, the homogeneous human sequence type 17 (ST-17) complex, known to be significantly associated with invasive neonatal disease, was the only human lineage found to be clustered within the bovine population and was distinct from all the other human lineages. Split decomposition analysis revealed that the human isolate ST-17 complex, the major hyperinvasive neonatal clone, has recently arisen from a bovine lineage.