Development of a Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) approach for the characterization of Legionella environmental isolates in water systems

Girolamini, Luna (2023) Development of a Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) approach for the characterization of Legionella environmental isolates in water systems, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze della terra, della vita e dell'ambiente, 35 Ciclo.
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Legionella is a Gram-negative bacterium that represent a public health issue, with heavy social and economic impact. Therefore, it is mandatory to provide a proper environmental surveillance and risk assessment plan to perform Legionella control in water distribution systems in hospital and community buildings. The thesis joins several methodologies in a unique workflow applied for the identification of non-pneumophila Legionella species (n-pL), starting from standard methods as culture and gene sequencing (mip and rpoB), and passing through innovative approaches as MALDI-TOF MS technique and whole genome sequencing (WGS). The results obtained, were compared to identify the Legionella isolates, and lead to four presumptive novel Legionella species identification. One of these four new isolates was characterized and recognized at taxonomy level with the name of Legionella bononiensis (the 64th Legionella species). The workflow applied in this thesis, help to increase the knowledge of Legionella environmental species, improving the description of the environment itself and the events that promote the growth of Legionella in their ecological niche. The correct identification and characterization of the isolates permit to prevent their spread in man-made environment and contain the occurrence of cases, clusters, or outbreaks. Therefore, the experimental work undertaken, could support the preventive measures during environmental and clinical surveillance, improving the study of species often underestimated or still unknown.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Girolamini, Luna
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
genotyping, Legionella bononiensis sp. nov., Legionella identification, non-pneumophila Legionella species, MALDI-TOF MS, mip and rpoB gene sequencing, polyphasic taxonomy, water distribution system, whole genome sequencing (WGS).
Data di discussione
15 Giugno 2023

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