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BACKGROUND The concept of a tree of life is prevalent in the evolutionary literature. It stems from attempting to obtain a grand unified natural system that reflects a recurrent process of species and lineage splittings for all forms of life. Traditionally, the discipline of systematics operates in a similar hierarchy of bifurcating (sometimes(More)
UNLABELLED Prior to the epidemic that emerged in Haiti in October of 2010, cholera had not been documented in this country. After its introduction, a strain of Vibrio cholerae O1 spread rapidly throughout Haiti, where it caused over 600,000 cases of disease and >7,500 deaths in the first two years of the epidemic. We applied whole-genome sequencing to a(More)
Vibrio cholerae represents both an environmental pathogen and a widely distributed microbial species comprised of closely related strains occurring in the tropical to temperate coastal ocean across the globe (Colwell RR, Science 274:2025-2031, 1996; Griffith DC, Kelly-Hope LA, Miller MA, Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 75:973-977, 2006; Reidl J, Klose KE, FEMS(More)
Comparative sequence analysis has been used to study specific questions about the structure and function of proteins for many years. Here we propose a knowledge-based framework in which the maximum likelihood rate of evolution is used to quantify the level of constraint on the identity of a site. We demonstrate that site-rate mapping on 3D structures using(More)
BACKGROUND Integrons are genetic elements capable of the acquisition, rearrangement and expression of genes contained in gene cassettes. Gene cassettes generally consist of a promoterless gene associated with a recombination site known as a 59-base element (59-be). Multiple insertion events can lead to the assembly of large integron-associated cassette(More)
BACKGROUND The direct isolation of integron gene cassettes from cultivated and environmental microbial sources allows an assessment of the impact of the integron/gene cassette system on the emergence of new phenotypes, such as drug resistance or virulence. A structural approach is being exploited to investigate the modularity and function of novel integron(More)
a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, affecting 3,500,000 people [1,2]. This severely damaged an already marginal public sanitation system, creating ideal conditions for outbreaks of major infectious diseases. In October 2010, nine months after the earthquake, an outbreak of cholera started, which quickly spread all across the cholera cases(More)
BACKGROUND Although integrons and their associated gene cassettes are present in ~10% of bacteria and can represent up to 3% of the genome in which they are found, very few have been properly identified and annotated in public databases. These genetic elements have been overlooked in comparison to other vectors that facilitate lateral gene transfer between(More)
Integrons are genetic platforms that accelerate lateral gene transfer (LGT) among bacteria. They were first detected on plasmids bearing single and multiple drug resistance determinants in human pathogens, and it is abundantly clear that integrons have played a major role in the evolution of this public health menace. Similar genetic elements can be found(More)