Long-Read Sequencing and Hybrid Assembly for Genomic Analysis of Clinical Brucella melitensis Isolates

Hillary A. Craddock, Yair Motro, Bar Zilberman, Boris Khalfin, Svetlana Bardenstein, Jacob Moran-Gilad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Brucella melitensis is a key etiological agent of brucellosis and has been increasingly subject to characterization using sequencing methodologies. This study aimed to investigate and compare short-read, long-read, and hybrid assemblies of B. melitensis. Eighteen B. melitensis isolates from Southern Israel were sequenced using Illumina and the Oxford Nanopore (ONP) MinION, and hybrid assemblies were generated with ONP long reads scaffolded on Illumina short reads. Short reads were assembled with INNUca with SPADes, long reads and hybrid with dragonflye. Abricate with the virulence factor database (VFDB) and in silico PCR (for the genes BetB, BPE275, BSPB, manA, mviN, omp19, perA, PrpA, VceC, and ureI) were used for identifying virulence genes, and a total of 61 virulence genes were identified in short-read, long-read, and hybrid assemblies of all 18 isolates. The phylogenetic analysis using long-read assemblies revealed several inconsistencies in cluster assignment as compared to using hybrid and short-read assemblies. Overall, hybrid assembly provided the most comprehensive data, and stand-alone short-read sequencing provided comparable data to stand-alone long-read sequencing regarding virulence genes. For genomic epidemiology studies, stand-alone ONP sequencing may require further refinement in order to be useful in endemic settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number619
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Brucellosis
  • Clinical genomics
  • Whole-genome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Microbiology


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