Ramani Baddam, Narender Kumar, Sabiha Shaik, Aditya Kumar Lankapalli, and Niyaz Ahmed.
Typhoid fever poses significant burden on healthcare systems in Southeast Asia and other endemic countries. Several epidemiological and genomic studies have attributed pseudogenisation to be the major driving force for the evolution of Salmonella Typhi although its real potential remains elusive. In the present study, we analyzed genomes of S. Typhi from different parts of Southeast Asia and Oceania, comprising of isolates from outbreak, sporadic and carrier cases. The genomes showed high genetic relatedness with limited opportunity for gene acquisition as evident from pan-genome structure. Given that pseudogenisation is an active process in S. Typhi, we further investigated core and pan-genome profiles of functional and pseudogenes separately. We observed a decline in core functional gene content and a significant increase in accessory pseudogene content. Upon functional classification, genes encoding metabolic functions formed a major constituent of pseudogenes as well as core functional gene clusters with SNPs. Further, an in-depth analysis of accessory pseudogene content revealed the existence of heterogeneous complements of functional and pseudogenes among the strains. In addition, these polymorphic genes were also enriched in metabolism related functions. Thus, the study highlights the existence of heterogeneous strains in a population with varying metabolic potential and that S. Typhi possibly resorts to metabolic fine tuning for its adaptation.
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