Comparative Genomics Shows That Mycobacterium ulcerans Migration and Expansion Preceded the Rise of Buruli Ulcer in Southeastern Australia
Andrew H Buultjens, Koen Vandelannoote, Conor J Meehan, Miriam Eddyani, Bouke C de Jong, Janet AM Fyfe, Maria Globan, Nicholas J Tobias, Jessica L Porter, Takehiro Tomita, Ee Laine Tay, Torsten Seemann, Benjamin P Howden, Paul DR Johnson, Timothy P Stinear
APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY | AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY | Published : 2018
Since 2000, cases of the neglected tropical disease Buruli ulcer, caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans, have increased 100-fold around Melbourne (population 4.4 million), the capital of Victoria, in temperate southeastern Australia. The reasons for this increase are unclear. Here, we used whole-genome sequence comparisons of 178 M. ulcerans isolates obtained primarily from human clinical specimens, spanning 70 years, to model the population dynamics of this pathogen from this region. Using phylogeographic and advanced Bayesian phylogenetic approaches, we found that there has been a migration of the pathogen from the east end of the state, beginning in the 1980s, 300 km west to the..View full abstract
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Awarded by NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship
Awarded by NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship
This project was supported in part by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship to T.P.S. (grant GNT1105525); and an NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship to B.P.H. (GNT1105905). A.H.B. was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award Ph.D. scholarship.