Population genomics of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli uncovers high connectivity between urban and rural communities in Ecuador

Andrew P. Rothstein, Kelsey J. Jesser, Dorian J. Feistel, Konstantinos T. Konstantinidis, Gabriel Trueba, Karen Levy

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Resumen

Human movement may be an important driver of transmission dynamics for enteric pathogens but has largely been underappreciated except for international ‘travelers’ diarrhea or cholera. Phylodynamic methods, which combine genomic and epidemiological data, are used to examine rates and dynamics of disease matching underlying evolutionary history and biogeographic distributions, but these methods often are not applied to enteric bacterial pathogens. We used phylodynamics to explore the phylogeographic and evolutionary patterns of diarrheagenic E. coli in northern Ecuador to investigate the role of human travel in the geographic distribution of strains across the country. Using whole genome sequences of diarrheagenic E. coli isolates, we built a core genome phylogeny, reconstructed discrete ancestral states across urban and rural sites, and estimated migration rates between E. coli populations. We found minimal structuring based on site locations, urban vs. rural locality, pathotype, or clinical status. Ancestral states of phylogenomic nodes and tips were inferred to have 51% urban ancestry and 49% rural ancestry. Lack of structuring by location or pathotype E. coli isolates imply highly connected communities and extensive sharing of genomic characteristics across isolates. Using an approximate structured coalescent model, we estimated rates of migration among circulating isolates were 6.7 times larger for urban towards rural populations compared to rural towards urban populations. This suggests increased inferred migration rates of diarrheagenic E. coli from urban populations towards rural populations. Our results indicate that investments in water and sanitation prevention in urban areas could limit the spread of enteric bacterial pathogens among rural populations.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo105476
PublicaciónInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Volumen113
DOI
EstadoPublicada - sep. 2023

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