Mycobacterium leprae genomes from naturally infected nonhuman primates

Tanvi P. Honap, Luz Andrea Pfister, Genevieve Housman, Sarah Mills, Ross P. Tarara, Koichi Suzuki, Frank P. Cuozzo, Michelle L. Sauther, Michael S. Rosenberg, Anne Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Leprosy is caused by the bacterial pathogens Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Apart from humans, animals such as nine-banded armadillos in the Americas and red squirrels in the British Isles are naturally infected with M. leprae. Natural leprosy has also been reported in certain nonhuman primates, but it is not known whether these occurrences are due to incidental infections by human M. leprae strains or by M. leprae strains specific to nonhuman primates. In this study, complete M. leprae genomes from three naturally infected nonhuman primates (a chimpanzee from Sierra Leone, a sooty mangabey from West Africa, and a cynomolgus macaque from The Philippines) were sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the cynomolgus macaque M. leprae strain is most closely related to a human M. leprae strain from New Caledonia, whereas the chimpanzee and sooty mangabey M. leprae strains belong to a human M. leprae lineage commonly found in West Africa. Additionally, samples from ring-tailed lemurs from the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, and chimpanzees from Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, were screened using quantitative PCR assays, to assess the prevalence of M. leprae in wild nonhuman primates. However, these samples did not show evidence of M. leprae infection. Overall, this study adds genomic data for nonhuman primate M. leprae strains to the existing M. leprae literature and finds that this pathogen can be transmitted from humans to nonhuman primates as well as between nonhuman primate species. While the prevalence of natural leprosy in nonhuman primates is likely low, nevertheless, future studies should continue to explore the prevalence of leprosy-causing pathogens in the wild.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0006190
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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Mycobacterium leprae
Primates
Genome
Leprosy
Pan troglodytes
Cercocebus atys
Western Africa
Macaca
Lemur
New Caledonia
Sierra Leone
Armadillos
Madagascar
Sciuridae
Mycobacterium Infections
Philippines
Uganda
Mycobacterium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Honap, T. P., Pfister, L. A., Housman, G., Mills, S., Tarara, R. P., Suzuki, K., ... Stone, A. (2018). Mycobacterium leprae genomes from naturally infected nonhuman primates. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 12(1), [e0006190]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006190

Mycobacterium leprae genomes from naturally infected nonhuman primates. / Honap, Tanvi P.; Pfister, Luz Andrea; Housman, Genevieve; Mills, Sarah; Tarara, Ross P.; Suzuki, Koichi; Cuozzo, Frank P.; Sauther, Michelle L.; Rosenberg, Michael S.; Stone, Anne.

In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol. 12, No. 1, e0006190, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Honap, TP, Pfister, LA, Housman, G, Mills, S, Tarara, RP, Suzuki, K, Cuozzo, FP, Sauther, ML, Rosenberg, MS & Stone, A 2018, 'Mycobacterium leprae genomes from naturally infected nonhuman primates', PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, vol. 12, no. 1, e0006190. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006190
Honap TP, Pfister LA, Housman G, Mills S, Tarara RP, Suzuki K et al. Mycobacterium leprae genomes from naturally infected nonhuman primates. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2018 Jan 1;12(1). e0006190. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006190
Honap, Tanvi P. ; Pfister, Luz Andrea ; Housman, Genevieve ; Mills, Sarah ; Tarara, Ross P. ; Suzuki, Koichi ; Cuozzo, Frank P. ; Sauther, Michelle L. ; Rosenberg, Michael S. ; Stone, Anne. / Mycobacterium leprae genomes from naturally infected nonhuman primates. In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2018 ; Vol. 12, No. 1.
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abstract = "Leprosy is caused by the bacterial pathogens Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Apart from humans, animals such as nine-banded armadillos in the Americas and red squirrels in the British Isles are naturally infected with M. leprae. Natural leprosy has also been reported in certain nonhuman primates, but it is not known whether these occurrences are due to incidental infections by human M. leprae strains or by M. leprae strains specific to nonhuman primates. In this study, complete M. leprae genomes from three naturally infected nonhuman primates (a chimpanzee from Sierra Leone, a sooty mangabey from West Africa, and a cynomolgus macaque from The Philippines) were sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the cynomolgus macaque M. leprae strain is most closely related to a human M. leprae strain from New Caledonia, whereas the chimpanzee and sooty mangabey M. leprae strains belong to a human M. leprae lineage commonly found in West Africa. Additionally, samples from ring-tailed lemurs from the Bez{\`a} Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, and chimpanzees from Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, were screened using quantitative PCR assays, to assess the prevalence of M. leprae in wild nonhuman primates. However, these samples did not show evidence of M. leprae infection. Overall, this study adds genomic data for nonhuman primate M. leprae strains to the existing M. leprae literature and finds that this pathogen can be transmitted from humans to nonhuman primates as well as between nonhuman primate species. While the prevalence of natural leprosy in nonhuman primates is likely low, nevertheless, future studies should continue to explore the prevalence of leprosy-causing pathogens in the wild.",
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