Methodology: The pangolin P. fungorum (pangolin Pf) genome has a genomic size of approximately 7.7 Mbps with N50 of 69,666 bps. Our study showed that pangolin Pf is a Paraburkholderia fungorum supported by evidence from the core genome SNP-based phylogenetic analysis and the ANI analysis. Functional analysis has shown that the presence of a considerably large number of genes related to stress response, virulence, disease, and defence. Interestingly, we identified different types of secretion systems in the genome of pangolin Pf, which are highly specialized and responsible for a bacterium's response to its environment and in physiological processes such as survival, adhesion, and adaptation. The pangolin Pf also shared some common virulence genes with the known pathogenic member of the Burkholderiales. These genes play important roles in adhesion, motility, and invasion.
Conclusion: This study may provide better insights into the functions, secretion systems and virulence of this pangolin-associated bacterial strain. The addition of this genome sequence is also important for future comparative analysis and functional work of P. fungorum.
RESULTS: The genome size of LM115 and LM41 was 2,959,041 and 2,963,111 bp, respectively. These two strains shared approximately 90% homologous genes. Comparative genomics and phylogenomic analyses revealed that LM115 and LM41 were more closely related to the reference strains F2365 and EGD-e, respectively. Our virulence profiling indicated a total of 31 virulence genes shared by both analysed strains. These shared genes included those that encode for internalins and L. monocytogenes pathogenicity island 1 (LIPI-1). Both the Malaysian L. monocytogenes strains also harboured several genes associated with stress tolerance to counter the adverse conditions. Seven antibiotic and efflux pump related genes which may confer resistance against lincomycin, erythromycin, fosfomycin, quinolone, tetracycline, and penicillin, and macrolides were identified in the genomes of both strains.
CONCLUSIONS: Whole genome sequencing and comparative genomics analyses revealed two virulent L. monocytogenes strains isolated from ready-to-eat foods in Malaysia. The identification of strains with pathogenic, persistent, and antibiotic resistant potentials from minimally processed food warrant close attention from both healthcare and food industry.