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Sample records for agent bacillus anthracis

  1. Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    2003-01-01

    The events of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent anthrax outbreaks have shown that the West needs to be prepared for an increasing number of terrorist attacks, which may include the use of biological warfare. Bacillus anthracis has long been considered a potential biological warfare agent, and this review will discuss the history of its use as such. It will also cover the biology of this organism and the clinical features of the three disease forms that it can produce: cutaneous, gastrointe...

  2. Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    BOSERET, GÉRALDINE; Linden, Annick; Mainil, Jacques

    2002-01-01

    The literature describes several methods for detection of Bacillus anthracis based on application of specific bacteriophages. The following methods of pahoinpitely are used to identify the causative agent of anthrax: the reaction of bacteriophage titer growth (RBTG), the reaction of phage adsorption (RPA), fagoterapii method (FTM) and fluorescentserological method (FSM). The essence of RBTG consists in the following: if there is the researchform of bacteria presents in the test material, then...

  3. Genome Differences That Distinguish Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis

    OpenAIRE

    Radnedge, Lyndsay; Agron, Peter G.; Hill, Karen K.; Jackson, Paul J.; Ticknor, Lawrence O; Keim, Paul; Andersen, Gary L.

    2003-01-01

    The three species of the group 1 bacilli, Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis, are genetically very closely related. All inhabit soil habitats but exhibit different phenotypes. B. anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is phylogenetically monomorphic, while B. cereus and B. thuringiensis are genetically more diverse. An amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis described here demonstrates genetic diversity among a collection of non-anthrax-causing Bacillus speci...

  4. Bacillus anthracis IsdG, a Heme-Degrading Monooxygenase

    OpenAIRE

    Skaar, Eric P.; Gaspar, Andrew H.; Schneewind, Olaf

    2006-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, utilizes hemin and hemoglobin for growth in culture, suggesting that these host molecules serve as sources for the nutrient iron during bacterial infection. Bioinformatic analyses of the B. anthracis genome revealed genes with similarity to the iron-regulated surface determinant (isd) system responsible for heme uptake in Staphylococcus aureus. We show that the protein product of one of these genes, isdG, binds hemin in a manner resembling t...

  5. Detection of Bacillus anthracis DNA by LightCycler PCR

    OpenAIRE

    Bell, Constance A.; Uhl, James R.; Hadfield, Ted L.; David, John C.; Meyer, Richard F.; Smith, Thomas F.; Cockerill III, Franklin R.

    2002-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that is also well recognized as a potential agent of bioterrorism. Routine culture and biochemical testing methods are useful for the identification of Bacillus anthracis, but a definitive identification may take 24 to 48 h or longer and may require that specimens be referred to another laboratory. Virulent isolates of B. anthracis contain two plasmids (pX01 and pX02) with unique targets that allow the rapid and specific identification of B. anthracis by PCR. We ...

  6. Identifying experimental surrogates for Bacillus anthracis spores: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greenberg David L

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a proven biological weapon. In order to study this threat, a number of experimental surrogates have been used over the past 70 years. However, not all surrogates are appropriate for B. anthracis, especially when investigating transport, fate and survival. Although B. atrophaeus has been widely used as a B. anthracis surrogate, the two species do not always behave identically in transport and survival models. Therefore, we devised a scheme to identify a more appropriate surrogate for B. anthracis. Our selection criteria included risk of use (pathogenicity, phylogenetic relationship, morphology and comparative survivability when challenged with biocides. Although our knowledge of certain parameters remains incomplete, especially with regards to comparisons of spore longevity under natural conditions, we found that B. thuringiensis provided the best overall fit as a non-pathogenic surrogate for B. anthracis. Thus, we suggest focusing on this surrogate in future experiments of spore fate and transport modelling.

  7. Biochip for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Therapeutic Agents against Anthrax Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silin, Vitalii; Kasianowicz, John J; Michelman-Ribeiro, Ariel; Panchal, Rekha G; Bavari, Sina; Robertson, Joseph W F

    2016-01-01

    Tethered lipid bilayer membranes (tBLMs) have been used in many applications, including biosensing and membrane protein structure studies. This report describes a biosensor for anthrax toxins that was fabricated through the self-assembly of a tBLM with B. anthracis protective antigen ion channels that are both the recognition element and electrochemical transducer. We characterize the sensor and its properties with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance. The sensor shows a sensitivity similar to ELISA and can also be used to rapidly screen for molecules that bind to the toxins and potentially inhibit their lethal effects. PMID:27348008

  8. Quantitative immunofluorescence studies of the serology of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    OpenAIRE

    Phillips, A. P.; Martin, K L

    1983-01-01

    A fluorescein-conjugated antibody against formalin-inactivated spores of Bacillus anthracis Vollum reacted only weakly with a variety of Bacillus species in microfluorometric immunofluorescence assays. A conjugated antibody against spores of B. anthracis Sterne showed little affinity for spores of several B. anthracis isolates including B. anthracis Vollum, indicating that more than one anthrax spore serotype exists.

  9. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Joseph P.; Meyer, Kathryn M.; Kelly, Thomas J.; Choi, Young W.; Rogers, James V.; Riggs, Karen B.; Willenberg, Zachary J.

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially. PMID:26372011

  10. Novel giant siphovirus from Bacillus anthracis features unusual genome characteristics.

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    Holly H Ganz

    Full Text Available Here we present vB_BanS-Tsamsa, a novel temperate phage isolated from Bacillus anthracis, the agent responsible for anthrax infections in wildlife, livestock and humans. Tsamsa phage is a giant siphovirus (order Caudovirales, featuring a long, flexible and non-contractile tail of 440 nm (not including baseplate structure and an isometric head of 82 nm in diameter. We induced Tsamsa phage in samples from two different carcass sites in Etosha National Park, Namibia. The Tsamsa phage genome is the largest sequenced Bacillus siphovirus, containing 168,876 bp and 272 ORFs. The genome features an integrase/recombinase enzyme, indicative of a temperate lifestyle. Among bacterial strains tested, the phage infected only certain members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group (B. anthracis, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis and exhibited moderate specificity for B. anthracis. Tsamsa lysed seven out of 25 B. cereus strains, two out of five B. thuringiensis strains and six out of seven B. anthracis strains tested. It did not lyse B. anthracis PAK-1, an atypical strain that is also resistant to both gamma phage and cherry phage. The Tsamsa endolysin features a broader lytic spectrum than the phage host range, indicating possible use of the enzyme in Bacillus biocontrol.

  11. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis by Gamma irradiation

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    N. Natalia

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The use of Bacillus anthracis as a biological weapon heighlightened awareness of the need for validated methods for the inactivation of B. anthracis spores. Ionizing radiation is capable of causing a variety of chemical changes and biological effects on bacteria which can be due both to direct interactions with critical cell components and to indirect actions on bacteria by molecular entities formed as a result of radiolysis of other molecules in the bacterial cell. This study determined the gamma irradiation dose for inactivating B. anthracis spores and its biological effects on the bacterial characteristics. Gamma irradiation was conducted at the IRKA irradiator at the National Nuclear Energy Agency, Jakarta and cobalt-60 was used as the source of ionizing radiation (capacity of ca. 134,044 Kci. Freeze dried culture of B. anthracis in glass ampoules was irradiated using variable doses of 30, 20 and 10 KGy. Viability, biochemical and protease enzyme characteristics of B. anthracis were evaluated before and after irradiation. The ability of B. anthracis to degrade gelatin, haemoglobin and bovine immunoglobulin G was also tested. The results showed that ionizing radiation was able to inactivate or kill 11,05 x 108 cfu B. anthracis by 95.37%, 99.58% and 99.99 at respective doses of 10, 20 and 30 KGy. Bacterial spores appear to be less susceptible to irradiation than the vegetative cells, because of their specific structure. The survive spores irradiated at 30kGy shows some biochemical characteristic changes. The survivors failed to degrade methyl -D-glucopyranoside and arbutine. The ability of B. anthracis protease to degrade gelatin, haemoglobin and bovine immunoglobulin G was not affected by irradiation. These findings showed that a gamma irradiation at 30 KGy effectively inactivates B. anthracis spores without changing the protease activities.

  12. Inactivation of Spores of Bacillus anthracis Sterne, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis by Chlorination

    OpenAIRE

    Rice, E W; Adcock, N. J.; Sivaganesan, M; Rose, L. J.

    2005-01-01

    Three species of Bacillus were evaluated as potential surrogates for Bacillus anthracis for determining the sporicidal activity of chlorination as commonly used in drinking water treatment. Spores of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis were found to be an appropriate surrogate for spores of B. anthracis for use in chlorine inactivation studies.

  13. What sets Bacillus anthracis apart from other Bacillus species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolstø, Anne-Brit; Tourasse, Nicolas J; Økstad, Ole Andreas

    2009-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the cause of anthrax, and two large plasmids are essential for toxicity: pXO1, which contains the toxin genes, and pXO2, which encodes a capsule. B. anthracis forms a highly monomorphic lineage within the B. cereus group, but strains of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. cereus exist that are genetically closely related to the B. anthracis cluster. During the past five years B. cereus strains that contain the pXO1 virulence plasmid were discovered, and strains with both pXO1 and pXO2 have been isolated from great apes in Africa. Therefore, the presence of pXO1 and pXO2 no longer principally separates B. anthracis from other Bacilli. The B. anthracis lineage carries a specific mutation in the global regulator PlcR, which controls the transcription of secreted virulence factors in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. Coevolution of the B. anthracis chromosome with its plasmids may be the basis for the successful development and uniqueness of the B. anthracis lineage. PMID:19514852

  14. Killed but Metabolically Active Bacillus anthracis Vaccines Induce Broad and Protective Immunity against Anthrax▿

    OpenAIRE

    Skoble, Justin; Beaber, John W.; Gao, Yi; Lovchik, Julie A.; Sower, Laurie E.; Liu, Weiqun; Luckett, William; Johnny W. Peterson; Calendar, Richard; Daniel A Portnoy; Lyons, C. Rick; Dubensky, Thomas W

    2009-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax. We have developed a novel whole-bacterial-cell anthrax vaccine utilizing B. anthracis that is killed but metabolically active (KBMA). Vaccine strains that are asporogenic and nucleotide excision repair deficient were engineered by deleting the spoIIE and uvrAB genes, rendering B. anthracis extremely sensitive to photochemical inactivation with S-59 psoralen and UV light. We also introduced point mutations into the lef and cya genes, which ...

  15. Identifying experimental surrogates for Bacillus anthracis spores: a review

    OpenAIRE

    Greenberg David L; Busch Joseph D; Keim Paul; Wagner David M

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a proven biological weapon. In order to study this threat, a number of experimental surrogates have been used over the past 70 years. However, not all surrogates are appropriate for B. anthracis, especially when investigating transport, fate and survival. Although B. atrophaeus has been widely used as a B. anthracis surrogate, the two species do not always behave identically in transport and survival models. Therefore, we devised...

  16. Bacillus anthracis secretes proteins that mediate heme acquisition from hemoglobin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony W Maresso

    Full Text Available Acquisition of iron is necessary for the replication of nearly all bacterial pathogens; however, iron of vertebrate hosts is mostly sequestered by heme and bound to hemoglobin within red blood cells. In Bacillus anthracis, the spore-forming agent of anthrax, the mechanisms of iron scavenging from hemoglobin are unknown. We report here that B. anthracis secretes IsdX1 and IsdX2, two NEAT domain proteins, to remove heme from hemoglobin, thereby retrieving iron for bacterial growth. Unlike other Gram-positive bacteria, which rely on cell wall anchored Isd proteins for heme scavenging, B. anthracis seems to have also evolved NEAT domain proteins in the extracellular milieu and in the bacterial envelope to provide for the passage of heme.

  17. Bacillus anthracis infections – new possibilities of treatment

    OpenAIRE

    Dorota Żakowska; Michał Bartoszcze; Marcin Niemcewicz; Agata Bielawska-Drózd; Józef Knap; Piotr Cieślik; Krzysztof Chomiczewski; Janusz Kocik

    2015-01-01

    [b]Introduction and objective[/b]. [i]Bacillus anthracis[/i] is one of biological agents which may be used in bioterrorism attacks. The aim of this study a review of the new treatment possibilities of anthrax, with particular emphasis on the treatment of pulmonary anthrax. [b]Abbreviated description of the state of knowledge[/b]. Pulmonary anthrax, as the most dangerous clinical form of the disease, is also extremely difficult to treat. Recently, considerable progress in finding new dru...

  18. Cytokine Response to Infection with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    OpenAIRE

    Pickering, Alison K.; Osorio, Manuel; Lee, Gloria M.; Grippe, Vanessa K.; Bray, Mechelle; Merkel, Tod J.

    2004-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium. The inhalational form of anthrax is the most severe and is associated with rapid progression of the disease and the outcome is frequently fatal. Transfer from the respiratory epithelium to regional lymph nodes appears to be an essential early step in the establishment of infection. This transfer is believed to occur by means of carriage within alveolar macrophages following phagocytosis. Therefo...

  19. Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis—One Species on the Basis of Genetic Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Helgason, Erlendur; Økstad, Ole Andreas; Dominique A. Caugant; Johansen, Henning A.; Fouet, Agnes; Mock, Michéle; Hegna, Ida; Kolstø, Anne-Brit

    2000-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis are members of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, demonstrating widely different phenotypes and pathological effects. B. anthracis causes the acute fatal disease anthrax and is a potential biological weapon due to its high toxicity. B. thuringiensis produces intracellular protein crystals toxic to a wide number of insect larvae and is the most commonly used biological pesticide worldwide. B. cereus is a probably ubiquitous so...

  20. Development of a Rapid and Sensitive Immunoassay for Detection and Subsequent Recovery of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples

    OpenAIRE

    Hang, Jun; Sundaram, Appavu K.; Zhu, Peixuan; Shelton, Daniel R.; Karns, Jeffrey S.; Martin, Phyllis A. W.; Li, Shuhong; Amstutz, Platte; Tang, Cha-Mei

    2008-01-01

    Bacillusanthracis is considered a major threat as an agent of bioterrorism. B. anthracis spores are readily dispersed as aerosols, are very persistent, and are resistant to normal disinfection treatments. Immunoassays have been developed to rapidly detect B. anthracis spores at high concentrations. However, detection of B. anthracis spores at lower concentrations is problematic due to the fact that closely related Bacillus species (e.g., B. thuringiensis) can cross react with anti-B. anthraci...

  1. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

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    Jason Edmonds

    Full Text Available The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening.

  2. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H D Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  3. Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis Isolates Closely Related to Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Cliff S.; Xie, Gary; Challacombe, Jean F.; Altherr, Michael R.; Bhotika, Smriti S.; Bruce, David; Campbell, Connie S.; Campbell, Mary L.; Chen, Jin; Chertkov, Olga; Cleland, Cathy; Dimitrijevic, Mira; Doggett, Norman A.; Fawcett, John J.; Glavina, Tijana

    2006-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis are closely related gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria of the B. cereus sensu lato group. While independently derived strains of B. anthracis reveal conspicuous sequence homogeneity, environmental isolates of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis exhibit extensive genetic diversity. Here we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of the genomes of two members of the B. cereus group, B. thuringiensis 97-27 subsp. konkukian sero...

  4. Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria and other B. cereus group members in a microbial community within the international space station: a challenge for rapid and easy molecular detection of virulent B. anthracis.

    OpenAIRE

    Tongeren, van, F.W.; Roest, H.I.J.; Degener, J. E.; Harmsen, H. J. M.

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores ...

  5. Activation of the latent PlcR regulon in Bacillus anthracis

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    Sastalla, Inka; Maltese, Lauren M.; Pomerantseva, Olga M.; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Keane-Myers, Andrea; Stephen H Leppla

    2010-01-01

    Many genes in Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis are under the control of the transcriptional regulator PlcR and its regulatory peptide, PapR. In Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, PlcR is inactivated by truncation, and consequently genes having PlcR binding sites are expressed at very low levels when compared with B. cereus. We found that activation of the PlcR regulon in B. anthracis by expression of a PlcR–PapR fusion protein does not alter sporulation in strains c...

  6. Synthetic and Crystallographic Studies of a New Inhibitor Series Targeting Bacillus anthracis Dihydrofolate Reductase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beierlein, J.; Frey, K; Bolstad, D; Pelphrey, P; Joska, T; Smith, A; Priestley, N; Wright, D; Anderson, A

    2008-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, poses a significant biodefense danger. Serious limitations in approved therapeutics and the generation of resistance have produced a compelling need for new therapeutic agents against this organism. Bacillus anthracis is known to be insensitive to the clinically used antifolate, trimethoprim, because of a lack of potency against the dihydrofolate reductase enzyme. Herein, we describe a novel lead series of B. anthracis dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors characterized by an extended trimethoprim-like scaffold. The best lead compound adds only 22 Da to the molecular weight and is 82-fold more potent than trimethoprim. An X-ray crystal structure of this lead compound bound to B. anthracis dihydrofolate reductase in the presence of NADPH was determined to 2.25 A resolution. The structure reveals several features that can be exploited for further development of this lead series.

  7. Genetic Characterization of Bacillus anthracis 17 JB strain

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    Sakineh Seyed-Mohamadi

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Bacillus anthracis is one of the most homogenous bacteria ever described. Bacillus anthracis 17JB is a laboratory strain. It is broadly used as a challenge strain in guinea pigs for potency test of anthrax vaccine.Material and Methods: This work describes genetic characterization of B. anthracis 17 JB strain using the SNPs and MLVA genotyping.Results and Conclusion: In SNPs typing, the originally French 17JB strain represented the A. Br. 008/009 subgroup. In Levy's genotyping method, 843, 451 and 864 bp long fragments were identified at AA03, AJ03 and AA07 loci, respectively. In the vaccine manufacturer perspective these findings are much valuable on their own account, but similar research is required to extend molecular knowledge of B. anthracis epidemiology in Persia.Keywords: Bacillus anthracis 17JB, Genetic characterization, SNPs typing

  8. Natural Dissemination of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Northern Canada

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    Dragon, D C; Bader, D. E.; Mitchell, J.; Woollen, N.

    2005-01-01

    Soil samples were collected from around fresh and year-old bison carcasses and areas not associated with known carcasses in Wood Buffalo National Park during an active anthrax outbreak in the summer of 2001. Sample selection with a grid provided the most complete coverage of a site. Soil samples were screened for viable Bacillus anthracis spores via selective culture, phenotypic analysis, and PCR. Bacillus anthracis spores were isolated from 28.4% of the samples. The highest concentrations of...

  9. Genetic analysis of petrobactin transport in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Carlson, Paul E.; Dixon, Shandee D.; Janes, Brian K.; Carr, Katherine A.; Nusca, Tyler D.; Anderson, Erica C.; Keene, Sarra E.; Sherman, David H.; Hanna, Philip C.

    2010-01-01

    Iron acquisition mechanisms play an important role in the pathogenesis of many infectious microbes. In Bacillus anthracis, the siderophore petrobactin is required for both growth in iron depleted conditions and for full virulence of the bacterium. Here we demonstrate the roles of two putative petrobactin binding proteins FatB and FpuA (encoded by GBAA5330 and GBAA4766, respectively) in Bacillus anthracis iron acquisition and pathogenesis. Markerless deletion mutants were created using allelic...

  10. Differentiation between spores of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus by a quantitative immunofluorescence technique.

    OpenAIRE

    Phillips, A. P.; Martin, K L; Broster, M G

    1983-01-01

    A quantitative immunofluorescence assay based on fiber optic microscopy was used to measure the reaction of formalized spores of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus isolates with fluorescein conjugates prepared by hyperimmunization with B. anthracis Vollum spores. The spores of 11 of the 20 B. cereus strains reacted with the anti-anthrax conjugate to such an extent that they were indistinguishable from the spores of the several B. anthracis isolates tested. However, absorption of the conju...

  11. Rapid Focused Sequencing: A Multiplexed Assay for Simultaneous Detection and Strain Typing of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis

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    Turingan, Rosemary S.; Thomann, Hans-Ulrich; Zolotova, Anna; Tan, Eugene; Selden, Richard F.

    2013-01-01

    Background The intentional release of Bacillus anthracis in the United States in 2001 has heightened concern about the use of pathogenic microorganisms in bioterrorism attacks. Many of the deadliest bacteria, including the Class A Select Agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis, are highly infectious via the pulmonary route when released in aerosolized form. Hence, rapid, sensitive, and reliable methods for detection of these biothreats and characterization of th...

  12. Fluorescent Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis Isolates

    OpenAIRE

    Hill, Karen K.; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Okinaka, Richard T.; Asay, Michelle; Blair, Heather; Bliss, Katherine A.; Laker, Mariam; Pardington, Paige E.; Richardson, Amber P.; Tonks, Melinda; Beecher, Douglas J.; Kemp, John D.; Kolstø, Anne-Brit; Wong, Amy C. Lee; Keim, Paul

    2004-01-01

    DNA from over 300 Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus anthracis isolates was analyzed by fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). B. thuringiensis and B. cereus isolates were from diverse sources and locations, including soil, clinical isolates and food products causing diarrheal and emetic outbreaks, and type strains from the American Type Culture Collection, and over 200 B. thuringiensis isolates representing 36 serovars or subspecies were from the U.S. D...

  13. Siderophore-mediated iron acquisition in Bacillus anthracis and related strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotta, Kinya; Kim, Chu-Young; Fox, David T; Koppisch, Andrew T

    2010-07-01

    Recent observations have shed light on some of the endogenous iron-acquisition mechanisms of members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. In particular, pathogens in the B. cereus group use siderophores with both unique chemical structures and biological roles. This review will focus on recent discoveries in siderophore biosynthesis and biology in this group, which contains numerous human pathogens, most notably the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. PMID:20466767

  14. Immunological analysis of cell-associated antigens of Bacillus anthracis.

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    Ezzell, J W; Abshire, T. G.

    1988-01-01

    Sera from Hartley guinea pigs vaccinated with a veterinary live spore anthrax vaccine were compared with sera from guinea pigs vaccinated with the human anthrax vaccine, which consists of aluminum hydroxide-adsorbed culture proteins of Bacillus anthracis V770-NP-1R. Sera from animals vaccinated with the spore vaccine recognized two major B. anthracis vegetative cell-associated proteins that were either not recognized or poorly recognized by sera from animals that received the human vaccine. T...

  15. Functional Comparison of the Two Bacillus anthracis Glutamate Racemases▿

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    Dodd, Dylan; Reese, Joseph G.; Louer, Craig R.; Ballard, Jimmy D.; Spies, M. Ashley; Blanke, Steven R.

    2007-01-01

    Glutamate racemase activity in Bacillus anthracis is of significant interest with respect to chemotherapeutic drug design, because l-glutamate stereoisomerization to d-glutamate is predicted to be closely associated with peptidoglycan and capsule biosynthesis, which are important for growth and virulence, respectively. In contrast to most bacteria, which harbor a single glutamate racemase gene, the genomic sequence of B. anthracis predicts two genes encoding glutamate racemases, racE1 and rac...

  16. Molecular Epidemiology of Bacillus anthracis: Determining the Correct Origin▿

    OpenAIRE

    Pilo, Paola; Perreten, Vincent; Frey, Joachim

    2008-01-01

    We analyzed and compared strains of Bacillus anthracis isolated from husbandry and industrial anthrax cases in Switzerland between 1952 and 1981 with published data using multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis. Strains isolated from autochthonous cases of anthrax in cattle belong to genotype B2, together with strains from continental Europe, while human B. anthracis strains clustered with genotype A4. These strains could be traced back to outbreaks of human anthrax that occurre...

  17. Production and purification of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen

    OpenAIRE

    2005-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA) plays crucial roles in the pathogenicity and virulence of Bacillus anthracis. Animals or human immunised with the protein acquire a complete protection against the disease. In addition to vaccine, PA can also be developed into a sensitive diagnostic test for anthrax. The purpose of this study was to produce PA using a culture medium easily obtained, and to develop a simple and effective technique for purification of the protein. To produce PA, B. anthracis Sterne 34F2 ...

  18. Roles of Macrophages and Neutrophils in the Early Host Response to Bacillus anthracis Spores in a Mouse Model of Infection

    OpenAIRE

    Cote, Christopher K.; Van Rooijen, Nico; Welkos, Susan L.

    2006-01-01

    The development of new approaches to combat anthrax requires that the pathogenesis and host response to Bacillus anthracis spores be better understood. We investigated the roles that macrophages and neutrophils play in the progression of infection by B. anthracis in a mouse model. Mice were treated with a macrophage depletion agent (liposome-encapsulated clodronate) or with a neutrophil depletion agent (cyclophosphamide or the rat anti-mouse granulocyte monoclonal antibody RB6-8C5), and the a...

  19. GcoGSA-BA: A Global Core Genome SNP Analysis for Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Yamashita, Akifmi; Sekizuka, Tsuyoshi; Kuroda, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    As an issue of biosecurity, it is important to identify the origin of a suspected sample to distinguish whether it originated from the release of a bioterrorism agent or from environmental contamination with a virulent agent. Here we have developed an analytical pipeline that can infer the phylogenetic position of Bacillus cereus group species, including B. anthracis, from next-generation sequencing reads without extensive genomics skills. GcoGSA-BA can also detect the existence of anthrax pl...

  20. Bacillus anthracis and antibacterial agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryskier, A

    2002-08-01

    Anthrax is one of the oldest threats to humankind, and remains endemic in animals in many parts of the world. Human cases are infrequent, and some result from biological warfare. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the antibacterial activity of available antibiotics. For potential use in the most severe cases of anthrax, antibacterials need to exhibit potent in vitro activity, intracellular bioactivity, and suitable locations in lymph nodes. In animal models, it has been shown that doxycycline and fluoroquinolones are the most active compounds. There is a lack of data for animal models for macrolides and ketolides, some of them exhibiting good in vitro activity. However, systemic anthrax (inhalation or gastrointestinal) is mainly due to anthrax toxin, and therapy directed against intoxication is needed as basic treatment. PMID:12197869

  1. Rapid detection methods for Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples: a review.

    OpenAIRE

    Irenge, Léonid; Gala, Jean-Luc

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, which causes anthrax, an often lethal disease of animals and humans. Although the disease has been well studied since the nineteenth century, it has witnessed a renewed interest during the past decade, due to its use as a bioterrorist agent in the fall of 2001 in the USA. A number of techniques aimed at rapidly detecting B. anthracis, in environmental samples as well as in point-of-care settings for humans suspected of exposure t...

  2. Rapid detection methods for Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irenge, Léonid M; Gala, Jean-Luc

    2012-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, which causes anthrax, an often lethal disease of animals and humans. Although the disease has been well studied since the nineteenth century, it has witnessed a renewed interest during the past decade, due to its use as a bioterrorist agent in the fall of 2001 in the USA. A number of techniques aimed at rapidly detecting B. anthracis, in environmental samples as well as in point-of-care settings for humans suspected of exposure to the pathogen, are now available. These technologies range from culture-based methods to portable DNA amplification devices. Despite recent developments, specific identification of B. anthracis still remains difficult because of its phenotypic and genotypic similarities with other Bacillus species. Accordingly, many efforts are being made to improve the specificity of B. anthracis identification. This mini-review discusses the current challenges around B. anthracis identification, not only in reach-back laboratories but also in the field (in operational conditions). PMID:22262227

  3. Implications of Limits of Detection of Various Methods for Bacillus anthracis in Computing Risks to Human Health▿ †

    OpenAIRE

    Herzog, Amanda B.; McLennan, S. Devin; Pandey, Alok K.; Gerba, Charles P.; Haas, Charles N.; Joan B. Rose; Hashsham, Syed A.

    2009-01-01

    Used for decades for biological warfare, Bacillus anthracis (category A agent) has proven to be highly stable and lethal. Quantitative risk assessment modeling requires descriptive statistics of the limit of detection to assist in defining the exposure. Furthermore, the sensitivities of various detection methods in environmental matrices are vital information for first responders. A literature review of peer-reviewed journal articles related to methods for detection of B. anthracis was undert...

  4. The Bacillus anthracis Exosporium: What's the Big "Hairy" Deal?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozue, Joel A; Welkos, Susan; Cote, Christopher K

    2015-10-01

    In some Bacillus species, including Bacillus subtilis, the coat is the outermost layer of the spore. In others, such as the Bacillus cereus family, there is an additional layer that envelops the coat, called the exosporium. In the case of Bacillus anthracis, a series of fine hair-like projections, also referred to as a "hairy" nap, extends from the exosporium basal layer. The exact role of the exosporium in B. anthracis, or for any of the Bacillus species possessing this structure, remains unclear. However, it has been assumed that the exosporium would play some role in infection for B. anthracis, because it is the outermost structure of the spore and would make initial contact with host and immune cells during infection. Therefore, the exosporium has been a topic of great interest, and over the past decade much progress has been made to understand its composition, biosynthesis, and potential roles. Several key aspects of this spore structure, however, are still debated and remain undetermined. Although insights have been gained on the interaction of exosporium with the host during infection, the exact role and significance of this complex structure remain to be determined. Furthermore, because the exosporium is a highly antigenic structure, future strategies for the next-generation anthrax vaccine should pursue its inclusion as a component to provide protection against the spore itself during the initial stages of anthrax. PMID:26542035

  5. Secretion Genes as Determinants of Bacillus anthracis Chain Length

    OpenAIRE

    Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Oh, So-Young; Kern, Valerie J.; Missiakas, Dominique M.; Schneewind, Olaf

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis grows in chains of rod-shaped cells, a trait that contributes to its escape from phagocytic clearance in host tissues. Using a genetic approach to search for determinants of B. anthracis chain length, we identified mutants with insertional lesions in secA2. All isolated secA2 mutants exhibited an exaggerated chain length, whereas the dimensions of individual cells were not changed. Complementation studies revealed that slaP (S-layer assembly protein), a gene immediately dow...

  6. Quantitative Determination of Lethal Toxin Proteins in Culture Supernatant of Human Live Anthrax Vaccine Bacillus anthracis A16R

    OpenAIRE

    Zai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ju; Liu,Jie; Li, Liangliang; Yin, Ying; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) is the etiological agent of anthrax affecting both humans and animals. Anthrax toxin (AT) plays a major role in pathogenesis. It includes lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), which are formed by the combination of protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF), respectively. The currently used human anthrax vaccine in China utilizes live-attenuated B. anthracis spores (A16R; pXO1+, pXO2−) that produce anthrax toxin but cannot produce t...

  7. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences

    OpenAIRE

    Ågren, Joakim; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A; Hansen, Trine; Ruuls, Robin; Thierry, Simon; Vigre, Håkan; Janse, Ingmar; Sundström, Anders; Segerman, Bo; Koene, Miriam; Löfström, Charlotta; van Rotterdam, Bart; Derzelle, Sylviane

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely on unique markers present on virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, relatively few assays incorporate chromosomal DNA markers due to the close relatedness of B. anthracis to the B. cereus group strains. ...

  8. Structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The crystal structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from B. anthracis was solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement and refined at a resolution of 2.24 Å. Protein structures from the causative agent of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) are being determined as part of a structural genomics programme. Amongst initial candidates for crystallographic analysis are enzymes involved in nucleotide biosynthesis, since these are recognized as potential targets in antibacterial therapy. Purine nucleoside phosphorylase is a key enzyme in the purine-salvage pathway. The crystal structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from B. anthracis has been solved by molecular replacement at 2.24 Å resolution and refined to an R factor of 18.4%. This is the first report of a DeoD structure from a Gram-positive bacterium

  9. Structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase from Bacillus anthracis (BA4489)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase from B. anthracis determined by X-ray crystallography at a resolution of 1.6 Å is described. Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming bacterium and the causative agent of the disease anthrax. The Oxford Protein Production Facility has been targeting proteins from B. anthracis in order to develop high-throughput technologies within the Structural Proteomics in Europe project. As part of this work, the structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase (BA4489) has been determined by X-ray crystallography to 1.6 Å resolution. The structure, solved in complex with magnesium-ion-bound ADP and phosphate, gives a detailed picture of the proposed catalytic mechanism of the enzyme. Chemical differences from other cyclo-ligase structures close to the active site that could be exploited to design specific inhibitors are also highlighted

  10. New Developments in Vaccines, Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxins, and Antibiotic Therapeutics for Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Beierlein, J.M.; Anderson, A. C.

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent responsible for anthrax infections, poses a significant biodefense threat. There is a high mortality rate associated with untreated anthrax infections; specifically, inhalation anthrax is a particularly virulent form of infection with mortality rates close to 100%, even with aggressive treatment. Currently, a vaccine is not available to the general public and few antibiotics have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of inhalation anthrax. With the...

  11. The Early Humoral Immune Response to Bacillus anthracis Toxins in Patients Infected with Cutaneous Anthrax

    OpenAIRE

    Doganay, Mehmet; Brenneman, Karen E.; Akmal, Arya; Goldman, Stanley; Galloway, Darrell R.; Mateczun, Alfred J; Cross, Alan S.; Baillie, Leslie W.

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, elaborates a tripartite toxin composed of two enzymatically active subunits, lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF) which, when associated with a cell-binding component, protective antigen (PA), form lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), respectively. In this preliminary study we characterised the toxin-specific antibody responses observed in 17 individuals infected with cutaneous anthrax. The majority of the toxin-specific antibody resp...

  12. PCR Assay To Detect Bacillus anthracis Spores in Heat-Treated Specimens

    OpenAIRE

    Fasanella, A.; Losito, S.; Adone, R.; Ciuchini, F.; Trotta, T.; Altamura, S. A.; D. Chiocco; Ippolito, G

    2003-01-01

    Recent interest in anthrax is due to its potential use in bioterrorism and as a biowarfare agent against civilian populations. The development of rapid and sensitive techniques to detect anthrax spores in suspicious specimens is the most important aim for public health. With a view to preventing exposure of laboratory workers to viable Bacillus anthracis spores, this study evaluated the suitability of PCR assays for detecting anthrax spores previously inactivated at 121°C for 45 min. The resu...

  13. Bacillus anthracis Factors for Phagosomal Escape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Zornetta

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The mechanism of phagosome escape by intracellular pathogens is an important step in the infectious cycle. During the establishment of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis undergoes a transient intracellular phase in which spores are engulfed by local phagocytes. Spores germinate inside phagosomes and grow to vegetative bacilli, which emerge from their resident intracellular compartments, replicate and eventually exit from the plasma membrane. During germination, B. anthracis secretes multiple factors that can help its resistance to the phagocytes. Here the possible role of B. anthracis toxins, phospholipases, antioxidant enzymes and capsules in the phagosomal escape and survival, is analyzed and compared with that of factors of other microbial pathogens involved in the same type of process.

  14. Functional characterization of WalRK: A two-component signal transduction system from Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alisha Dhiman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Two-component signal transduction systems (TCS, consisting of a sensor histidine protein kinase and its cognate response regulator, are an important mode of environmental sensing in bacteria. Additionally, they have been found to regulate virulence determinants in several pathogens. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a bioterrorism agent, harbours 41 pairs of TCS. However, their role in its pathogenicity has remained largely unexplored. Here, we show that WalRK of B. anthracis forms a functional TCS which exhibits some species-specific functions. Biochemical studies showed that domain variants of WalK, the histidine kinase, exhibit classical properties of autophosphorylation and phosphotransfer to its cognate response regulator WalR. Interestingly, these domain variants also show phosphatase activity towards phosphorylated WalR, thereby making WalK a bifunctional histidine kinase/phosphatase. An in silico regulon determination approach, using a consensus binding sequence from Bacillus subtilis, provided a list of 30 genes that could form a putative WalR regulon in B. anthracis. Further, electrophoretic mobility shift assay was used to show direct binding of purified WalR to the upstream regions of three putative regulon candidates, an S-layer protein EA1, a cell division ABC transporter FtsE and a sporulation histidine kinase KinB3. Our work lends insight into the species-specific functions and mode of action of B. anthracis WalRK.

  15. A Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA Marker Specific for the Bacillus cereus Group Is Diagnostic for Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Daffonchio, Daniele; Borin, Sara; Frova, Giuseppe; Gallo, Romina; Mori, Elena; Fani, Renato; Sorlini, Claudia

    1999-01-01

    Aiming to develop a DNA marker specific for Bacillus anthracis and able to discriminate this species from Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus mycoides, we applied the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting technique to a collection of 101 strains of the genus Bacillus, including 61 strains of the B. cereus group. An 838-bp RAPD marker (SG-850) specific for B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, B. anthracis, and B. mycoides was identified. This fragment included a pu...

  16. The search and identification of the new immunodiagnostic targets of bacillus anthracis spore

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis have been used as bio warfare agent to bio terrorize purposes. As efficiency of anti-epidemic measures included urgent prevention and treatment is determined by terms within which the bio agent is identified. Direct and rapid spore detection by antibodies based detection system is very attractive alternative to current PCR-based assays or routine phenotyping which are the most accurate but are also complex, time-consumption and expensive. The main difficulty with respect to such kind of anthrax spores detection is a cross-reaction with spores of closely related bacteria. For development of species-specific antibodies to anthrax spores recombinant scFvs or hybridoma technique were used. In both case surface spore antigens contained species-specific epitopes are need. Among exosporium proteins only ExsF(BxpB), ExsK and SoaA are specific to B.cereus group. On the surface of B. anthracis spores, a unique tetrasaccharides containing an novel monosaccharide - anthrose, was discovered. It was shown that anthrose can be serving as species-specific target for B. anthracis spores detection. We have revealed that EA1 isolated from spore of Russians strain STI-1 contain carbohydrate which formed species-specific epitopes and determine immunogenicity of this antigen. Antibodies to this antigen specifically recognized the surface target of B. anthracis spores and do not reacted with others Bacillus spore. Based on these antibodies we developed the test-systems in different formats for rapid direct detection and identification of B. anthracis spores. The results of trial these test-systems with using more than 50 different Bacillus strains were indicated that carbohydrate of EA1 isolated from spore is effective immunodiagnostic target for anthrax spores bio detection.(author)

  17. Molecular analysis of adenylyl cyclase: Bacillus anthracis edema factor exotoxin

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammed, Hesham Hamada Taha

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax disease and exerts its deleterious effects by the release of three exotoxins, i.e. lethal factor, protective antigen and edema factor EF), a highly active calmodulin-dependent adenylyl cyclase (AC). However, conventional antibiotic treatment is ineffective against either toxemia or antibiotic- resistant strains. Thus, more effective drugs for anthrax treatment are needed. We successfully purified the recombinant full-length EF and EF3(F586A) from E. coli with...

  18. Defensive strategies of Bacillus anthracis that promote a fatal disease

    OpenAIRE

    Mogridge, Jeremy

    2007-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive bacterium that causes anthrax. Bacterial spores that enter the host germinate into metabolically active bacilli that disseminate throughout the body and replicate to high numbers. Two virulence factors are essential for this unrestrained growth. The first is a weakly immunogenic poly γ-D-glutamic acid capsule that surrounds the bacilli and confers resistance to phagocytosis. The second virulence factor, anthrax toxin, disrupts multiple host functions to d...

  19. Historical Distribution and Molecular Diversity of Bacillus anthracis, Kazakhstan

    OpenAIRE

    Aikembayev, Alim M.; Lukhnova, Larissa; Temiraliyeva, Gulnara; Meka-Mechenko, Tatyana; Pazylov, Yerlan; Zakaryan, Sarkis; Denissov, Georgiy; Easterday, W. Ryan; Matthew N. Van Ert; Keim, Paul; Francesconi, Stephen C.; Jason K Blackburn; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2010-01-01

    To map the distribution of anthrax outbreaks and strain subtypes in Kazakhstan during 1937–2005, we combined geographic information system technology and genetic analysis by using archived cultures and data. Biochemical and genetic tests confirmed the identity of 93 archived cultures in the Kazakhstan National Culture Collection as Bacillus anthracis. Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis genotyping identified 12 genotypes. Cluster analysis comparing these genotypes with previousl...

  20. Glycerol Monolaurate Inhibits Virulence Factor Production in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Vetter, Sara M; Schlievert, Patrick M.

    2005-01-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, has been brought to the public's attention because of the 2001 bioterrorism attacks. However, anthrax is a disease that poses agricultural threats in the United States as well as human populations in Europe, China, Africa, and Australia. Glycerol monolaurate (GML) is a compound that has been shown to inhibit exotoxin production by Staphylococcus aureus and other gram-positive bacteria. Here, we study the effects of GML on growth and toxin production in B...

  1. Automated thermochemolysis reactor for detection of Bacillus anthracis endospores by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •An automated sample preparation system for Bacillus anthracis endospores was developed. •A thermochemolysis method was applied to produce and derivatize biomarkers for Bacillus anthracis detection. •The autoreactor controlled the precise delivery of reagents, and TCM reaction times and temperatures. •Solid phase microextraction was used to extract biomarkers, and GC–MS was used for final identification. •This autoreactor was successfully applied to the identification of Bacillus anthracis endospores. -- Abstract: An automated sample preparation system was developed and tested for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis endospores by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) for eventual use in the field. This reactor is capable of automatically processing suspected bio-threat agents to release and derivatize unique chemical biomarkers by thermochemolysis (TCM). The system automatically controls the movement of sample vials from one position to another, crimping of septum caps onto the vials, precise delivery of reagents, and TCM reaction times and temperatures. The specific operations of introduction of sample vials, solid phase microextraction (SPME) sampling, injection into the GC–MS system, and ejection of used vials from the system were performed manually in this study, although they can be integrated into the automated system. Manual SPME sampling is performed by following visual and audible signal prompts for inserting the fiber into and retracting it from the sampling port. A rotating carousel design allows for simultaneous sample collection, reaction, biomarker extraction and analysis of sequential samples. Dipicolinic acid methyl ester (DPAME), 3-methyl-2-butenoic acid methyl ester (a fragment of anthrose) and two methylated sugars were used to compare the performance of the autoreactor with manual TCM. Statistical algorithms were used to construct reliable bacterial endospore signatures, and 24

  2. Curing of plasmid pXO1 from Bacillus anthracis using plasmid incompatibility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiankai Liu

    Full Text Available The large plasmid pXO1 encoding the anthrax toxin is important for the virulence of Bacillus anthracis. It is essential to cure pXO1 from B. anthracis to evaluate its role in the pathogenesis of anthrax infection. Because conventional methods for curing plasmids (e.g., curing agents or growth at elevated temperatures can induce mutations in the host chromosomal DNA, we developed a specific and reliable method to eliminate pXO1 from B. anthracis using plasmid incompatibility. Three putative replication origins of pXO1 were inserted into a temperature-sensitive plasmid to generate three incompatible plasmids. One of the three plasmids successfully eliminated the large plasmid pXO1 from B. anthracis vaccine strain A16R and wild type strain A16. These findings provided additional information about the replication/partitioning of pXO1 and demonstrated that introducing a small incompatible plasmid can generate plasmid-cured strains of B. anthracis without inducing spontaneous mutations in the host chromosome.

  3. Bacillus anthracis interacts with plasmin(ogen to evade C3b-dependent innate immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myung-Chul Chung

    Full Text Available The causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, is capable of circumventing the humoral and innate immune defense of the host and modulating the blood chemistry in circulation to initiate a productive infection. It has been shown that the pathogen employs a number of strategies against immune cells using secreted pathogenic factors such as toxins. However, interference of B. anthracis with the innate immune system through specific interaction of the spore surface with host proteins such as the complement system has heretofore attracted little attention. In order to assess the mechanisms by which B. anthracis evades the defense system, we employed a proteomic analysis to identify human serum proteins interacting with B. anthracis spores, and found that plasminogen (PLG is a major surface-bound protein. PLG efficiently bound to spores in a lysine- and exosporium-dependent manner. We identified α-enolase and elongation factor tu as PLG receptors. PLG-bound spores were capable of exhibiting anti-opsonic properties by cleaving C3b molecules in vitro and in rabbit bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, resulting in a decrease in macrophage phagocytosis. Our findings represent a step forward in understanding the mechanisms involved in the evasion of innate immunity by B. anthracis through recruitment of PLG resulting in the enhancement of anti-complement and anti-opsonization properties of the pathogen.

  4. Phages preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: past, present and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillis, Annika; Mahillon, Jacques

    2014-07-01

    Many bacteriophages (phages) have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages infecting Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. These phages belong to the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae and Tectiviridae families. For the sake of clarity, several phage categories have been made according to significant characteristics such as lifestyles and lysogenic states. The main categories comprise the transducing phages, phages with a chromosomal or plasmidial prophage state, γ-like phages and jumbo-phages. The current genomic characterization of some of these phages is also addressed throughout this work and some promising applications are discussed here. PMID:25010767

  5. Phages Preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: Past, Present and Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Gillis

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Many bacteriophages (phages have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages infecting Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. These phages belong to the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae and Tectiviridae families. For the sake of clarity, several phage categories have been made according to significant characteristics such as lifestyles and lysogenic states. The main categories comprise the transducing phages, phages with a chromosomal or plasmidial prophage state, γ-like phages and jumbo-phages. The current genomic characterization of some of these phages is also addressed throughout this work and some promising applications are discussed here.

  6. Testing nucleoside analogues as inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis spore germination in vitro and in macrophage cell culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, Zadkiel; Lee, Kyungae; Abel-Santos, Ernesto

    2010-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, has a dormant stage in its life cycle known as the endospore. When conditions become favorable, spores germinate and transform into vegetative bacteria. In inhalational anthrax, the most fatal manifestation of the disease, spores enter the organism through the respiratory tract and germinate in phagosomes of alveolar macrophages. Germinated cells can then produce toxins and establish infection. Thus, germination is a crucial step for the initiation of pathogenesis. B. anthracis spore germination is activated by a wide variety of amino acids and purine nucleosides. Inosine and l-alanine are the two most potent nutrient germinants in vitro. Recent studies have shown that germination can be hindered by isomers or structural analogues of germinants. 6-Thioguanosine (6-TG), a guanosine analogue, is able to inhibit germination and prevent B. anthracis toxin-mediated necrosis in murine macrophages. In this study, we screened 46 different nucleoside analogues as activators or inhibitors of B. anthracis spore germination in vitro. These compounds were also tested for their ability to protect the macrophage cell line J774a.1 from B. anthracis cytotoxicity. Structure-activity relationship analysis of activators and inhibitors clarified the binding mechanisms of nucleosides to B. anthracis spores. In contrast, no structure-activity relationships were apparent for compounds that protected macrophages from B. anthracis-mediated killing. However, multiple inhibitors additively protected macrophages from B. anthracis. PMID:20921305

  7. Historical distribution and molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis, Kazakhstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikembayev, Alim M; Lukhnova, Larissa; Temiraliyeva, Gulnara; Meka-Mechenko, Tatyana; Pazylov, Yerlan; Zakaryan, Sarkis; Denissov, Georgiy; Easterday, W Ryan; Van Ert, Matthew N; Keim, Paul; Francesconi, Stephen C; Blackburn, Jason K; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2010-05-01

    To map the distribution of anthrax outbreaks and strain subtypes in Kazakhstan during 1937-2005, we combined geographic information system technology and genetic analysis by using archived cultures and data. Biochemical and genetic tests confirmed the identity of 93 archived cultures in the Kazakhstan National Culture Collection as Bacillus anthracis. Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis genotyping identified 12 genotypes. Cluster analysis comparing these genotypes with previously published genotypes indicated that most (n = 78) isolates belonged to the previously described A1.a genetic cluster, 6 isolates belonged to the A3.b cluster, and 2 belonged to the A4 cluster. Two genotypes in the collection appeared to represent novel genetic sublineages; 1 of these isolates was from Krygystan. Our data provide a description of the historical, geographic, and genetic diversity of B. anthracis in this Central Asian region. PMID:20409368

  8. DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor based on gold nanoparticle amplification for Bacillus anthracis detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Rong-Zhang; Song, Hong-Bin; Zuo, Guo-Min; Yang, Rui-Fu; Wei, Hong-Ping; Wang, Dian-Bing; Cui, Zong-Qiang; Zhang, ZhiPing; Cheng, Zhen-Xing; Zhang, Xian-En

    2011-04-15

    The rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, has gained much attention since the anthrax spore bioterrorism attacks in the United States in 2001. In this work, a DNA probe functionalized quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) biosensor was developed to detect B. anthracis based on the recognition of its specific DNA sequences, i.e., the 168 bp fragment of the Ba813 gene in chromosomes and the 340 bp fragment of the pag gene in plasmid pXO1. A thiol DNA probe was immobilized onto the QCM gold surface through self-assembly via Au-S bond formation to hybridize with the target ss-DNA sequence obtained by asymmetric PCR. Hybridization between the target DNA and the DNA probe resulted in an increase in mass and a decrease in the resonance frequency of the QCM biosensor. Moreover, to amplify the signal, a thiol-DNA fragment complementary to the other end of the target DNA was functionalized with gold nanoparticles. The results indicate that the DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor could specifically recognize the target DNA fragment of B. anthracis from that of its closest species, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, and that the limit of detection (LOD) reached 3.5 × 10(2)CFU/ml of B. anthracis vegetative cells just after asymmetric PCR amplification, but without culture enrichment. The DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor demonstrated stable, pollution-free, real-time sensing, and could find application in the rapid detection of B. anthracis. PMID:21315574

  9. Bacillus thuringiensis as a surrogate for Bacillus anthracis in aerosol research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tufts, Jenia A M; Calfee, M Worth; Lee, Sang Don; Ryan, Shawn P

    2014-05-01

    Characterization of candidate surrogate spores prior to experimental use is critical to confirm that the surrogate characteristics are as closely similar as possible to those of the pathogenic agent of interest. This review compares the physical properties inherent to spores of Bacillus anthracis (Ba) and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that impact their movement in air and interaction with surfaces, including size, shape, density, surface morphology, structure and hydrophobicity. Also evaluated is the impact of irradiation on the physical properties of both Bacillus species. Many physical features of Bt and Ba have been found to be similar and, while Bt is considered typically non-pathogenic, it is in the B. cereus group, as is Ba. When cultured and sporulated under similar conditions, both microorganisms share a similar cylindrical pellet shape, an aerodynamic diameter of approximately 1 μm (in the respirable size range), have an exosporium with a hairy nap, and have higher relative hydrophobicities than other Bacillus species. While spore size, morphology, and other physical properties can vary among strains of the same species, the variations can be due to growth/sporulation conditions and may, therefore, be controlled. Growth and sporulation conditions are likely among the most important factors that influence the representativeness of one species, or preparation, to another. All Bt spores may, therefore, not be representative of all Ba spores. Irradiated spores do not appear to be a good surrogate to predict the behavior of non-irradiated spores due to structural damage caused by the irradiation. While the use of Bt as a surrogate for Ba in aerosol testing appears to be well supported, this review does not attempt to narrow selection between Bt strains. Comparative studies should be performed to test the hypothesis that viable Ba and Bt spores will behave similarly when suspended in the air (as an aerosol) and to compare the known microscale characteristics

  10. Bacillus anthracis infections – new possibilities of treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorota Żakowska

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available [b]Introduction and objective[/b]. [i]Bacillus anthracis[/i] is one of biological agents which may be used in bioterrorism attacks. The aim of this study a review of the new treatment possibilities of anthrax, with particular emphasis on the treatment of pulmonary anthrax. [b]Abbreviated description of the state of knowledge[/b]. Pulmonary anthrax, as the most dangerous clinical form of the disease, is also extremely difficult to treat. Recently, considerable progress in finding new drugs and suitable therapy for anthrax has been achieved, for example, new antibiotics worth to mentioning, levofloxacin, daptomycin, gatifloxacin and dalbavancin. However, alternative therapeutic options should also be considered, among them the antimicrobial peptides, characterized by lack of inducible mechanisms of pathogen resistance. Very promising research considers bacteriophages lytic enzymes against selected bacteria species, including antibiotic-resistant strains. [b]Results[/b]. Interesting results were obtained using monoclonal antibodies: raxibacumab, cAb29 or cocktails of antibodies. The application of CpG oligodeoxynucleotides to boost the immune response elicited by Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed and CMG2 protein complexes, also produced satisfying therapy results. Furthermore, the IFN-α and IFN-β, PA-dominant negative mutant, human inter-alpha inhibitor proteins and LF inhibitors in combination with ciprofloxacin, also showed very promising results. [b]Conclusions[/b]. Recently, progress has been achieved in inhalation anthrax treatment. The most promising new possibilities include: new antibiotics, peptides and bacteriophages enzymes, monoclonal antibodies, antigen PA mutants, and inter alpha inhibitors applications. In the case of the possibility of bioterrorist attacks, the examination of inhalation anthrax treatment should be intensively continued.

  11. Activation of the latent PlcR regulon in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sastalla, Inka; Maltese, Lauren M; Pomerantseva, Olga M; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Keane-Myers, Andrea; Leppla, Stephen H

    2010-10-01

    Many genes in Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis are under the control of the transcriptional regulator PlcR and its regulatory peptide, PapR. In Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, PlcR is inactivated by truncation, and consequently genes having PlcR binding sites are expressed at very low levels when compared with B. cereus. We found that activation of the PlcR regulon in B. anthracis by expression of a PlcR-PapR fusion protein does not alter sporulation in strains containing the virulence plasmid pXO1 and thereby the global regulator AtxA. Using comparative 2D gel electrophoresis, we showed that activation of the PlcR regulon in B. anthracis leads to upregulation of many proteins found in the secretome of B. cereus, including phospholipases and proteases, such as the putative protease BA1995. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated expression of BA1995 to be dependent on PlcR-PapR, even though the putative PlcR recognition site of the BA1995 gene does not exactly match the PlcR consensus sequence, explaining why this protein had escaped recognition as belonging to the PlcR regulon. Additionally, while transcription of major PlcR-dependent haemolysins, sphingomyelinase and anthrolysin O is enhanced in response to PlcR activation in B. anthracis, only anthrolysin O contributes significantly to lysis of human erythrocytes. In contrast, the toxicity of bacterial culture supernatants from a PlcR-positive strain towards murine macrophages occurred independently of anthrolysin O expression in vitro and in vivo. PMID:20688829

  12. Molecular characterization of the circulating Bacillus anthracis in Jordan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aqel, Amin Abdelfattah; Hailat, Ekhlas; Serrecchia, Luigina; Aqel, Suad; Campese, Emanuele; Vicari, Nadia; Fasanella, Antonio

    2015-12-01

    To understand the biomolecular charcteristics of Bacillus anthracis in Jordan, 20 blood smear slides from dead animals with suspected anthrax were analyzed using conventional and molecular approaches. All slides were positive for B. anthracis by conventional staining but no growth of the organism on selective media was detected. However, of the 20 samples, 16 were B. anthracis DNA-positive using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Seven samples provided enough quantity and quality of DNA, and their multilocus variable tandem repeat analysis (MLVA)-15 loci analysis revealed two different genotypes. All genotypes were belonging to A.B..r. 008/009 which is very common in Asia and Europe. Single nucleotide repeat (SNR) analysis revealed that there were no sub genotypes. Molecular diagnosis of animal anthrax in Jordan is not used routinely; henceforth, official diagnosis of anthrax is based on the observation of the slides by optical microscope and this can often cause reading errors. Therefore, the prevalence of the disease in Jordan might be slightly lower than that reported by the official bodies. PMID:26156620

  13. Genotype Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Strains Circulating in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rume, Farzana Islam; Affuso, Alessia; Serrecchia, Luigina; Rondinone, Valeria; Manzulli, Viviana; Campese, Emanuele; Di Taranto, Pietro; Biswas, Paritosh Kumar; Ahsan, Chowdhury Rafiqul; Yasmin, Mahmuda; Fasanella, Antonio; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    2016-01-01

    In Bangladesh, anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is considered an endemic disease affecting ruminants with sporadic zoonotic occurrences in humans. Due to the lack of knowledge about risks from an incorrect removal of infected carcasses, the disease is not properly monitored, and because of the socio-economic conditions, the situation is under-reported and under-diagnosed. For sensitive species, anthrax represents a fatal outcome with sudden death and sometimes bleeding from natural orifices. The most common source of infection for ruminants is ingestion of spores during grazing in contaminated pastures or through grass and water contaminated with anthrax spores. Domestic cattle, sheep and goats can also become infected through contaminated bone meal (used as feed) originating from anthrax-infected carcasses. The present investigation was conducted to isolate B. anthracis organisms from 169 samples (73 soil, 1 tissue, 4 bone and 91 bone meal samples) collected from 12 different districts of Bangladesh. The sampling was carried out from 2012 to 2015. Twelve samples resulted positive for B. anthracis. Biomolecular analyses were conducted starting from the Canonical Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (CanSNP) to analyze the phylogenetic origin of strains. The analysis of genotype, obtained through the Multiple Locus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) with the analysis of 15 Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR), demonstrated four different genotypes: two of them were previously identified in the district of Sirajganj. The sub-genotyping, conducted with Single Nucleotide Repeats analysis, revealed the presence of eight subgenotypes. The data of the present study concluded that there was no observed correlation between imported cattle feed and anthrax occurrence in Bangladesh and that the remarkable genetic variations of B. anthracis were found in the soil of numerous outbreaks in this country. PMID:27082248

  14. Bacillus anthracis Virulent Plasmid pX02 Genes Found in Large Plasmids of Two Other Bacillus Species

    OpenAIRE

    Luna, Vicki A.; King, Debra S.; Peak, K. Kealy; Reeves, Frank; Heberlein-Larson, Lea; Veguilla, William; Heller, L.; Duncan, Kathleen E; Cannons, Andrew C.; Amuso, Philip; Cattani, Jacqueline

    2006-01-01

    In order to cause the disease anthrax, Bacillus anthracis requires two plasmids, pX01 and pX02, which carry toxin and capsule genes, respectively, that are used as genetic targets in the laboratory detection of the bacterium. Clinical, forensic, and environmental samples that test positive by PCR protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for B. anthracis are considered to be potentially B. anthracis until confirmed by culture and a secondary battery of tests. We ...

  15. The Use of Germinants to Potentiate the Sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis Spores to Peracetic Acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celebi, Ozgur; Buyuk, Fatih; Pottage, Tom; Crook, Ant; Hawkey, Suzanna; Cooper, Callum; Bennett, Allan; Sahin, Mitat; Baillie, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM) and inosine (5 mM) to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA) required to inactivate B. anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p = 0.0085) the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p = 0.0009). To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 10(4) spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed 1 h later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B. anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p < 0.0001) in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B. anthracis spores contaminated sites. PMID:26858699

  16. The Use of Germinants to Potentiate the Sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis Spores to Peracetic Acid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celebi, Ozgur; Buyuk, Fatih; Pottage, Tom; Crook, Ant; Hawkey, Suzanna; Cooper, Callum; Bennett, Allan; Sahin, Mitat; Baillie, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM) and inosine (5 mM) to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA) required to inactivate B. anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p = 0.0085) the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p = 0.0009). To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 104 spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed 1 h later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B. anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p < 0.0001) in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B. anthracis spores contaminated sites. PMID:26858699

  17. Detection of Bacillus anthracis in the air, soil and animal tissue

    OpenAIRE

    Kušar D.; Pate M.; Hubad B.; Avberšek J.; Logar K.; Lapanje A.; Zrimec A.; Ocepek M.

    2012-01-01

    The objective of the present work was to establish effective and rapid diagnostic methods for the detection of Bacillus anthracis, a highly virulent zoonotic pathogen, in the air, soil and animal (or human) tissue samples. Liquid culture of B. anthracis was aerosolized and four air sampling procedures were employed. Detection of B. anthracis in the air samples was successful with RCS High Flow sampler (culturebased detection) and when sampling through the a...

  18. Bacillus anthracis HssRS signaling to HrtAB regulates heme resistance during infection

    OpenAIRE

    Stauff, Devin L; Skaar, Eric P.

    2009-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis proliferates to high levels within vertebrate tissues during the pathogenesis of anthrax. This growth is facilitated by the acquisition of nutrient iron from host heme. However, heme acquisition can lead to the accumulation of toxic amounts of heme within B. anthracis. Here, we show that B. anthracis resists heme toxicity by sensing heme through the HssRS two-component system, which regulates expression of the heme-detoxifying transporter HrtAB. In addition, we demonstrate ...

  19. Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Strain Stendal, Isolated from an Anthrax Outbreak in Cattle in Germany

    OpenAIRE

    Antwerpen, Markus; Elschner, Mandy; Gaede, Wolfgang; Schliephake, Annette; Grass, Gregor; Tomaso, Herbert

    2016-01-01

    In July 2012, an anthrax outbreak occurred among cattle in northern Germany resulting in ten losses. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis strain Stendal, isolated from one of the diseased cows.

  20. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ågren, Joakim; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A; Hansen, Trine; Ruuls, Robin; Thierry, Simon; Vigre, Håkan; Janse, Ingmar; Sundström, Anders; Segerman, Bo; Koene, Miriam; Löfström, Charlotta; Van Rotterdam, Bart; Derzelle, Sylviane

    2013-11-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely on unique markers present on virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, relatively few assays incorporate chromosomal DNA markers due to the close relatedness of B. anthracis to the B. cereus group strains. For the detection of chromosomal DNA, different genes have been used, such as BA813, rpoB, gyrA, plcR, S-layer, and prophage-lambda. Following a review of the literature, an in silico analysis of all signature sequences reported for identification of B. anthracis was conducted. Published primer and probe sequences were compared for specificity against 134 available Bacillus spp. genomes. Although many of the chromosomal targets evaluated are claimed to be specific to B. anthracis, cross-reactions with closely related B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains were often observed. Of the 35 investigated PCR assays, only 4 were 100% specific for the B. anthracis chromosome. An interlaboratory ring trial among five European laboratories was then performed to evaluate six assays, including the WHO recommended procedures, using a collection of 90 Bacillus strains. Three assays performed adequately, yielding no false positive or negative results. All three assays target chromosomal markers located within the lambdaBa03 prophage region (PL3, BA5345, and BA5357). Detection limit was further assessed for one of these highly specific assays. PMID:24005110

  1. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis transpeptidase enzyme CapD.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, R.; Richter, S.; Zhang, R.; Anderson, V. J.; Missiakas, D.; Joachimiak, A.; Biosciences Division; Univ. of Chicago

    2009-09-04

    Bacillus anthracis elaborates a poly-{gamma}-d-glutamic acid capsule that protects bacilli from phagocytic killing during infection. The enzyme CapD generates amide bonds with peptidoglycan cross-bridges to anchor capsular material within the cell wall envelope of B. anthracis. The capsular biosynthetic pathway is essential for virulence during anthrax infections and can be targeted for anti-infective inhibition with small molecules. Here, we present the crystal structures of the {gamma}-glutamyltranspeptidase CapD with and without {alpha}-l-Glu-l-Glu dipeptide, a non-hydrolyzable analog of poly-{gamma}-d-glutamic acid, in the active site. Purified CapD displays transpeptidation activity in vitro, and its structure reveals an active site broadly accessible for poly-{gamma}-glutamate binding and processing. Using structural and biochemical information, we derive a mechanistic model for CapD catalysis whereby Pro{sup 427}, Gly{sup 428}, and Gly{sup 429} activate the catalytic residue of the enzyme, Thr{sup 352}, and stabilize an oxyanion hole via main chain amide hydrogen bonds.

  2. Bacillus anthracis genome organization in light of whole transcriptome sequencing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, Jeffrey; Zhu, Wenhan; Passalacqua, Karla D.; Bergman, Nicholas; Borodovsky, Mark

    2010-03-22

    Emerging knowledge of whole prokaryotic transcriptomes could validate a number of theoretical concepts introduced in the early days of genomics. What are the rules connecting gene expression levels with sequence determinants such as quantitative scores of promoters and terminators? Are translation efficiency measures, e.g. codon adaptation index and RBS score related to gene expression? We used the whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing of a bacterial pathogen Bacillus anthracis to assess correlation of gene expression level with promoter, terminator and RBS scores, codon adaptation index, as well as with a new measure of gene translational efficiency, average translation speed. We compared computational predictions of operon topologies with the transcript borders inferred from RNA-Seq reads. Transcriptome mapping may also improve existing gene annotation. Upon assessment of accuracy of current annotation of protein-coding genes in the B. anthracis genome we have shown that the transcriptome data indicate existence of more than a hundred genes missing in the annotation though predicted by an ab initio gene finder. Interestingly, we observed that many pseudogenes possess not only a sequence with detectable coding potential but also promoters that maintain transcriptional activity.

  3. Impact of Gastrointestinal Bacillus anthracis Infection on Hepatic B Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natacha Colliou

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Ingestion of Bacillus anthracis results in rapid gastrointestinal (GI infection, known as GI anthrax. We previously showed that during GI anthrax, there is swift deterioration of intestinal barrier function leading to translocation of gut-associated bacteria into systemic circulation. Additionally, we described dysfunction in colonic B cells. In concordance with our previous studies, here, we report early migration of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis along with other gut-resident bacteria into the infected murine liver. Additionally, despite a global decrease in the B cell population, we observed an increase in both B-1a and marginal zone (MZ-like B cells. Both of these cell types are capable of producing immunoglobulins against common pathogens and commensals, which act as a general antibody barrier before an antigen-specific antibody response. Accumulation of these cells in the liver was associated with an increase in chemokine expression. These data suggest that the presence of Sterne and other commensals in the liver trigger migration of MZ-like B cells from the spleen to the liver to neutralize systemic spread. Further research is required to evaluate the possible cause of their failure to clear the infection within the liver, including the potential role of dysfunctional mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK signaling.

  4. Genetic analysis of petrobactin transport in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Paul E; Dixon, Shandee D; Janes, Brian K; Carr, Katherine A; Nusca, Tyler D; Anderson, Erica C; Keene, Sarra E; Sherman, David H; Hanna, Philip C

    2010-02-01

    Iron acquisition mechanisms play an important role in the pathogenesis of many infectious microbes. In Bacillus anthracis, the siderophore petrobactin is required for both growth in iron-depleted conditions and for full virulence of the bacterium. Here we demonstrate the roles of two putative petrobactin binding proteins FatB and FpuA (encoded by GBAA5330 and GBAA4766 respectively) in B. anthracis iron acquisition and pathogenesis. Markerless deletion mutants were created using allelic exchange. The Delta fatB strain was capable of wild-type levels of growth in iron-depleted conditions, indicating that FatB does not play an essential role in petrobactin uptake. In contrast, Delta fpuA bacteria exhibited a significant decrease in growth under low-iron conditions when compared with wild-type bacteria. This mutant could not be rescued by the addition of exogenous purified petrobactin. Further examination of this strain demonstrated increased levels of petrobactin accumulation in the culture supernatants, suggesting no defect in siderophore synthesis or export but, instead, an inability of Delta fpuA to import this siderophore. Delta fpuA spores were also significantly attenuated in a murine model of inhalational anthrax. These results provide the first genetic evidence demonstrating the role of FpuA in petrobactin uptake. PMID:20487286

  5. Decontamination Efficacy and Skin Toxicity of Two Decontaminants against Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Chad W Stratilo; Crichton, Melissa K. F.; Sawyer, Thomas W.

    2015-01-01

    Decontamination of bacterial endospores such as Bacillus anthracis has traditionally required the use of harsh or caustic chemicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a chlorine dioxide decontaminant in killing Bacillus anthracis spores in solution and on a human skin simulant (porcine cadaver skin), compared to that of commonly used sodium hypochlorite or soapy water decontamination procedures. In addition, the relative toxicities of these decontaminants were compared in ...

  6. Modulation of the Bacillus anthracis Secretome by the Immune Inhibitor A1 Protease

    OpenAIRE

    Pflughoeft, Kathryn J.; Swick, Michelle C.; Engler, David A.; Yeo, Hye-Jeong; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2014-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis secretome includes protective antigen, lethal factor, and edema factor, which are the components of anthrax toxin, and other proteins with known or potential roles in anthrax disease. Immune inhibitor A1 (InhA1) is a secreted metalloprotease that is unique to pathogenic members of the Bacillus genus and has been associated with cleavage of host proteins during infection. Here, we report the effect of InhA1 on the B. anthracis secretome. Differential in-gel electrophores...

  7. A novel multiplex PCR discriminates Bacillus anthracis and its genetically related strains from other Bacillus cereus group species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirohito Ogawa

    Full Text Available Anthrax is an important zoonotic disease worldwide that is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming pathogenic bacterium. A rapid and sensitive method to detect B. anthracis is important for anthrax risk management and control in animal cases to address public health issues. However, it has recently become difficult to identify B. anthracis by using previously reported molecular-based methods because of the emergence of B. cereus, which causes severe extra-intestinal infection, as well as the human pathogenic B. thuringiensis, both of which are genetically related to B. anthracis. The close genetic relation of chromosomal backgrounds has led to complexity of molecular-based diagnosis. In this study, we established a B. anthracis multiplex PCR that can screen for the presence of B. anthracis virulent plasmids and differentiate B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group species. Six sets of primers targeting a chromosome of B. anthracis and B. anthracis-like strains, two virulent plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, a bacterial gene, 16S rRNA gene, and a mammalian gene, actin-beta gene, were designed. The multiplex PCR detected approximately 3.0 CFU of B. anthracis DNA per PCR reaction and was sensitive to B. anthracis. The internal control primers also detected all bacterial and mammalian DNAs examined, indicating the practical applicability of this assay as it enables monitoring of appropriate amplification. The assay was also applied for detection of clinical strains genetically related to B. anthracis, which were B. cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infections in Japan, and field strains isolated in Zambia, and the assay differentiated B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group strains. Taken together, the results indicate that the newly developed multiplex PCR is a sensitive and practical method for detecting B. anthracis.

  8. Testing Nucleoside Analogues as Inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis Spore Germination In Vitro and in Macrophage Cell Culture ▿

    OpenAIRE

    Alvarez, Zadkiel; Lee, Kyungae; Abel-Santos, Ernesto

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, has a dormant stage in its life cycle known as the endospore. When conditions become favorable, spores germinate and transform into vegetative bacteria. In inhalational anthrax, the most fatal manifestation of the disease, spores enter the organism through the respiratory tract and germinate in phagosomes of alveolar macrophages. Germinated cells can then produce toxins and establish infection. Thus, germination is a crucial step for the i...

  9. Potential role of autophagy in the bactericidal activity of human PMNs for Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, Girish; Gade, Padmaja; Tsai, Pei; Lu, Wuyuan; Kalvakolanu, Dhananjaya V; Rosen, Gerald M; Cross, Alan S

    2015-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is acquired by mammalian hosts from the environment, as quiescent endospores. These endospores must germinate inside host cells, forming vegetative bacilli, before they can express the virulence factors that enable them to evade host defenses and disseminate throughout the body. While the role of macrophages and dendritic cells in this initial interaction has been established, the role of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) has not been adequately defined. We discovered that while B. anthracis 34F2 Sterne endospores germinate poorly within non-activated human PMNs, these phagocytes exhibit rapid microbicidal activity toward the outgrown vegetative bacilli, independent of superoxide and nitric oxide. These findings suggest that a non-free radical pathway kills B. anthracis bacilli. We also find in PMNs an autophagic mechanism of bacterial killing based on the rapid induction of LC-3 conversion, beclin-1 expression, sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) degradation and inhibition of bactericidal activity by the inhibitor, 3-methyladenine. These findings extend to PMNs an autophagic bactericidal mechanism previously described for other phagocytes. PMID:26424808

  10. Bacillus anthracis TIR Domain-Containing Protein Localises to Cellular Microtubule Structures and Induces Autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlsson, Emil; Thwaite, Joanne E; Jenner, Dominic C; Spear, Abigail M; Flick-Smith, Helen; Atkins, Helen S; Byrne, Bernadette; Ding, Jeak Ling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognise invading pathogens and mediate downstream immune signalling via Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domains. TIR domain proteins (Tdps) have been identified in multiple pathogenic bacteria and have recently been implicated as negative regulators of host innate immune activation. A Tdp has been identified in Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Here we present the first study of this protein, designated BaTdp. Recombinantly expressed and purified BaTdp TIR domain interacted with several human TIR domains, including that of the key TLR adaptor MyD88, although BaTdp expression in cultured HEK293 cells had no effect on TLR4- or TLR2- mediated immune activation. During expression in mammalian cells, BaTdp localised to microtubular networks and caused an increase in lipidated cytosolic microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3), indicative of autophagosome formation. In vivo intra-nasal infection experiments in mice showed that a BaTdp knockout strain colonised host tissue faster with higher bacterial load within 4 days post-infection compared to the wild type B. anthracis. Taken together, these findings indicate that BaTdp does not play an immune suppressive role, but rather, its absence increases virulence. BaTdp present in wild type B. anthracis plausibly interact with the infected host cell, which undergoes autophagy in self-defence. PMID:27391310

  11. Global metabolomic analysis of a mammalian host infected with Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Chinh T Q; Shetty, Vivekananda; Maresso, Anthony W

    2015-12-01

    Whereas DNA provides the information to design life and proteins provide the materials to construct it, the metabolome can be viewed as the physiology that powers it. As such, metabolomics, the field charged with the study of the dynamic small-molecule fluctuations that occur in response to changing biology, is now being used to study the basis of disease. Here, we describe a comprehensive metabolomic analysis of a systemic bacterial infection using Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax disease, as the model pathogen. An organ and blood analysis identified approximately 400 metabolites, including several key classes of lipids involved in inflammation, as being suppressed by B. anthracis. Metabolite changes were detected as early as 1 day postinfection, well before the onset of disease or the spread of bacteria to organs, which testifies to the sensitivity of this methodology. Functional studies using pharmacologic inhibition of host phospholipases support the idea of a role of these key enzymes and lipid mediators in host survival during anthrax disease. Finally, the results are integrated to provide a comprehensive picture of how B. anthracis alters host physiology. Collectively, the results of this study provide a blueprint for using metabolomics as a platform to identify and study novel host-pathogen interactions that shape the outcome of an infection. PMID:26438791

  12. Over-expression, purification, and confirmation of Bacillus anthracis transcriptional regulator NprR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Amy J; Woo, Jerry K; Khan, Attiya; Szypulinski, Michael Z; Johnson, Michael E; Lee, Hyunwoo; Lee, Hyun

    2016-09-01

    Quorum sensing (QS) has been recognized as an important biological phenomenon in which bacterial cells communicate and coordinate their gene expression and cellular processes with respect to population density. Bacillus anthracis is the etiological agent of fatal pulmonary anthrax infections, and the NprR/NprX QS system may be involved in its pathogenesis. NprR, renamed as aqsR for anthrax quorum sensing Regulator, is a transcriptional regulator that may control the expression of genes required for proliferation and survival. Currently, there is no protocol reported to over-express and purify B. anthracis AqsR. In this study, we describe cloning, purification, and confirmation of functional full-length B. anthracis AqsR protein. The AqsR gene was cloned into the pQE-30 vector with an HRV 3C protease recognition site between AqsR and the N-terminal His6-tag in order to yield near native AqsR after the His-tag cleavage, leaving only two additional amino acid residues at the N-terminus. PMID:26344899

  13. Decontamination Options for Drinking Water Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raber, E; Burklund, A

    2010-02-16

    Five parameters were evaluated with surrogates of Bacillus anthracis spores to determine effective decontamination options for use in a contaminated drinking water supply. The parameters were: (1) type of Bacillus spore surrogate (B. thuringiensis or B. atrophaeus); (2) spore concentration in suspension (10{sup 2} to 10{sup 6} spores/ml); (3) chemical characteristics of decontaminant [sodium dicholor-s-triazinetrione dihydrate (Dichlor), hydrogen peroxide, potassium peroxymonosulfate (Oxone), sodium hypochlorite, and VirkonS{reg_sign}]; (4) decontaminant concentration (0.01% to 5%); and (5) decontaminant exposure time (10 min to 24 hr). Results from 162 suspension tests with appropriate controls are reported. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 5%, and Dichlor and sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 2%, were effective at spore inactivation regardless of spore type tested, spore exposure time, or spore concentration evaluated. This is the first reported study of Dichlor as an effective decontaminant for B. anthracis spore surrogates. Dichlor's desirable characteristics of high oxidation potential, high level of free chlorine, and more neutral pH than that of other oxidizers evaluated appear to make it an excellent alternative. All three oxidizers were effective against B. atrophaeus spores in meeting EPA's biocide standard of greater than a 6 log kill after a 10-minute exposure time and at lower concentrations than typically reported for biocide use. Solutions of 5% VirkonS{reg_sign} and Oxone were less effective decontaminants than other options evaluated in this study and did not meet the EPA's efficacy standard for biocides. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult.

  14. Achieving consistent multiple daily low-dose Bacillus anthracis spore inhalation exposures in the rabbit model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy E Barnewall

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Repeated low-level exposures to Bacillus anthracis could occur before or after the remediation of an environmental release. This is especially true for persistent agents such as Bacillus anthracis spores, the causative agent of anthrax. Studies were conducted to examine aerosol methods needed for consistent daily low aerosol concentrations to deliver a low-dose (less than 106 colony forming units (CFU of B. anthracis spores and included a pilot feasibility characterization study, acute exposure study, and a multiple fifteen day exposure study. This manuscript focuses on the state-of-the-science aerosol methodologies used to generate and aerosolize consistent daily low aerosol concentrations and resultant low inhalation doses. The pilot feasibility characterization study determined that the aerosol system was consistent and capable of producing very low aerosol concentrations. In the acute, single day exposure experiment, targeted inhaled doses of 1 x 102, 1 x 103, 1 x 104, and 1 x 105 CFU were used. In the multiple daily exposure experiment, rabbits were exposed multiple days to targeted inhaled doses of 1 x 102, 1 x 103, and 1 x 104 CFU. In all studies, targeted inhaled doses remained fairly consistent from rabbit to rabbit and day to day. The aerosol system produced aerosolized spores within the optimal mass median aerodynamic diameter particle size range to reach deep lung alveoli. Consistency of the inhaled dose was aided by monitoring and recording respiratory parameters during the exposure with real-time plethysmography. Overall, the presented results show that the animal aerosol system was stable and highly reproducible between different studies and multiple exposure days.

  15. The Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of B. cereus and B. Thuringiensis isolates closely related to Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, C S; Xie, G; Challacombe, J F; Altherr, M R; Bhotika, S S; Bruce, D; Campbell, C S; Campbell, M L; Chen, J; Chertkov, O; Cleland, C; Dimitrijevic-Bussod, M; Doggett, N A; Fawcett, J J; Glavina, T; Goodwin, L A; Hill, K K; Hitchcock, P; Jackson, P J; Keim, P; Kewalramani, A R; Longmire, J; Lucas, S; Malfatti, S; McMurry, K; Meincke, L J; Misra, M; Moseman, B L; Mundt, M; Munk, A C; Okinaka, R T; Parson-Quintana, B; Reilly, L P; Richardson, P; Robinson, D L; Rubin, E; Saunders, E; Tapia, R; Tesmer, J G; Thayer, N; Thompson, L S; Tice, H; Ticknor, L O; Wills, P L; Gilna, P; Brettin, T S

    2005-10-12

    The sequencing and analysis of two close relatives of Bacillus anthracis are reported. AFLP analysis of over 300 isolates of B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis identified two isolates as being very closely related to B. anthracis. One, a B. cereus, BcE33L, was isolated from a zebra carcass in Nambia; the second, a B. thuringiensis, 97-27, was isolated from a necrotic human wound. The B. cereus appears to be the closest anthracis relative sequenced to date. A core genome of over 3,900 genes was compiled for the Bacillus cereus group, including B anthracis. Comparative analysis of these two genomes with other members of the B. cereus group provides insight into the evolutionary relationships among these organisms. Evidence is presented that differential regulation modulates virulence, rather than simple acquisition of virulence factors. These genome sequences provide insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to the host range and virulence of this group of organisms.

  16. Flow-cytometric Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. V. Kamboj

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Flow-cytometric technique has been established as a powerful tool for detection andidentification of microbiological agents. Unambiguous and rapid detection of Bacillus anthracisspores has been reported using immunoglobulin G-fluorescein isothiocyanate conjugate againstlive spores. In addition to the high sensitivity, the present technique could differentiate betweenspores of closely related species, eg, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus subtilis using fluorescenceintensity. The technique can be used for detection of live as well as inactivated spores makingit more congenial for screening of suspected samples of bioterrorism.

  17. Identification of anthrax-specific signature sequence from Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rastogi, Vipin K.; Cheng, Tu-chen

    2001-08-01

    The primary objective was to identify and clone novel chromosomal DNA fragments for use as B. anthracis-specific markers. Towards this goal, 300 random primers (RAPD technology, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA) were screened to identify polymorphic loci on the anthrax chromosome. Five such DNA fragments uniquely amplifying from anthrax chromosome were identified and isolated. These fragments were cloned in pCR vector and sequenced. Database (genebank) analysis of one of the cloned probe, VRTC899, revealed the presence of specific chromosomal DNA probe, Ba813 from anthrax. This prove also contains flanking DNA with no homology to known sequences. Availability of signature DNA probes for detection of antrax-causing agent in environmental samples is critical for field application of DNA-based sensor technologies. In conclusion, we have demonstrated application of RAPD technology for identification of anthrax-specific signature sequences. This strategy can be extended to identify signature sequences from other BW agents.

  18. Identification of Bacillus anthracis specific chromosomal sequences by suppressive subtractive hybridization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Redkar Rajendra

    2004-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus are closely related members of the B. cereus-group of bacilli. Suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH was used to identify specific chromosomal sequences unique to B. anthracis. Results Two SSH libraries were generated. Genomic DNA from plasmid-cured B. anthracis was used as the tester DNA in both libraries, while genomic DNA from either B. cereus or B. thuringiensis served as the driver DNA. Progressive screening of the libraries by colony filter and Southern blot analyses identified 29 different clones that were specific for the B. anthracis chromosome relative not only to the respective driver DNAs, but also to seven other different strains of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis included in the process. The nucleotide sequences of the clones were compared with those found in genomic databases, revealing that over half of the clones were located into 2 regions on the B. anthracis chromosome. Conclusions Genes encoding potential cell wall synthesis proteins dominated one region, while bacteriophage-related sequences dominated the other region. The latter supports the hypothesis that acquisition of these bacteriophage sequences occurred during or after speciation of B. anthracis relative to B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This study provides insight into the chromosomal differences between B. anthracis and its closest phylogenetic relatives.

  19. Ultrasensitive electrochemical immunoassay for surface array protein, a Bacillus anthracis biomarker using Au-Pd nanocrystals loaded on boron-nitride nanosheets as catalytic labels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Mukesh Kumar; Narayanan, J; Pardasani, Deepak; Srivastava, Divesh N; Upadhyay, Sanjay; Goel, Ajay Kumar

    2016-06-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a well known bioterrorism agent. The determination of surface array protein (Sap), a unique biomarker for B. anthracis can offer an opportunity for specific detection of B. anthracis in culture broth. In this study, we designed a new catalytic bionanolabel and fabricated a novel electrochemical immunosensor for ultrasensitive detection of B. anthracis Sap antigen. Bimetallic gold-palladium nanoparticles were in-situ grown on poly (diallyldimethylammonium chloride) functionalized boron nitride nanosheets (Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs) and conjugated with the mouse anti-B. anthracis Sap antibodies (Ab2); named Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs/Ab2. The resulting Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs/Ab2 bionanolabel demonstrated high catalytic activity towards reduction of 4-nitrophenol. The sensitivity of the electrochemical immunosensor along with redox cycling of 4-aminophenol to 4-quinoneimine was improved to a great extent. Under optimal conditions, the proposed immunosensor exhibited a wide working range from 5 pg/mL to 100 ng/mL with a minimum detection limit of 1 pg/mL B. anthracis Sap antigen. The practical applicability of the immunosensor was demonstrated by specific detection of Sap secreted by the B. anthracis in culture broth just after 1h of growth. These labels open a new direction for the ultrasensitive detection of different biological warfare agents and their markers in different matrices. PMID:26874112

  20. Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria and other B. cereus group members in a microbial community within the International Space Station: a challenge for rapid and easy molecular detection of virulent B. anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra P van Tongeren

    Full Text Available For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods.

  1. Macrophage-Enhanced Germination of Bacillus anthracis Endospores Requires gerS

    OpenAIRE

    Ireland, John A. W.; Hanna, Philip C.

    2002-01-01

    Germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne and plasmidless Δ-Sterne endospores was dramatically enhanced in RAW264.7 macrophage-like cells, while germination of nonpathogenic Bacillus endospores was not. Elimination of gerS, a germinant receptor locus, caused a complete loss of cell-enhanced germination, implicating gerS in the breaking of endospore dormancy in vivo.

  2. Decontamination Efficacy and Skin Toxicity of Two Decontaminants against Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chad W Stratilo

    Full Text Available Decontamination of bacterial endospores such as Bacillus anthracis has traditionally required the use of harsh or caustic chemicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a chlorine dioxide decontaminant in killing Bacillus anthracis spores in solution and on a human skin simulant (porcine cadaver skin, compared to that of commonly used sodium hypochlorite or soapy water decontamination procedures. In addition, the relative toxicities of these decontaminants were compared in human skin keratinocyte primary cultures. The chlorine dioxide decontaminant was similarly effective to sodium hypochlorite in reducing spore numbers of Bacillus anthracis Ames in liquid suspension after a 10 minute exposure. After five minutes, the chlorine dioxide product was significantly more efficacious. Decontamination of isolated swine skin contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Sterne with the chlorine dioxide product resulted in no viable spores sampled. The toxicity of the chlorine dioxide decontaminant was up to two orders of magnitude less than that of sodium hypochlorite in human skin keratinocyte cultures. In summary, the chlorine dioxide based decontaminant efficiently killed Bacillus anthracis spores in liquid suspension, as well as on isolated swine skin, and was less toxic than sodium hypochlorite in cultures of human skin keratinocytes.

  3. Microbial forensics: fiber optic microarray subtyping of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepard, Jason R. E.

    2009-05-01

    The past decade has seen increased development and subsequent adoption of rapid molecular techniques involving DNA analysis for detection of pathogenic microorganisms, also termed microbial forensics. The continued accumulation of microbial sequence information in genomic databases now better positions the field of high-throughput DNA analysis to proceed in a more manageable fashion. The potential to build off of these databases exists as technology continues to develop, which will enable more rapid, cost effective analyses. This wealth of genetic information, along with new technologies, has the potential to better address some of the current problems and solve the key issues involved in DNA analysis of pathogenic microorganisms. To this end, a high density fiber optic microarray has been employed, housing numerous DNA sequences simultaneously for detection of various pathogenic microorganisms, including Bacillus anthracis, among others. Each organism is analyzed with multiple sequences and can be sub-typed against other closely related organisms. For public health labs, real-time PCR methods have been developed as an initial preliminary screen, but culture and growth are still considered the gold standard. Technologies employing higher throughput than these standard methods are better suited to capitalize on the limitless potential garnered from the sequence information. Microarray analyses are one such format positioned to exploit this potential, and our array platform is reusable, allowing repetitive tests on a single array, providing an increase in throughput and decrease in cost, along with a certainty of detection, down to the individual strain level.

  4. Structure of nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, S.; Smith, C.; Yang, Z.; Pruett, P.; Nagy, L.; McCombs, D; DeLucas, L.; Brouillette, W.; Brouillette, C. (UAB)

    2008-11-25

    Nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NaMNAT; EC 2.7.7.18) is the penultimate enzyme in the biosynthesis of NAD{sup +} and catalyzes the adenylation of nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NaMN) by ATP to form nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide (NaAD). This enzyme is regarded as a suitable candidate for antibacterial drug development; as such, Bacillus anthracis NaMNAT (BA NaMNAT) was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli for the purpose of inhibitor discovery and crystallography. The crystal structure of BA NaMNAT was determined by molecular replacement, revealing two dimers per asymmetric unit, and was refined to an R factor and R{sub free} of 0.228 and 0.263, respectively, at 2.3 {angstrom} resolution. The structure is very similar to that of B. subtilis NaMNAT (BS NaMNAT), which is also a dimer, and another independently solved structure of BA NaMNAT recently released from the PDB along with two ligated forms. Comparison of these and other less related bacterial NaMNAT structures support the presence of considerable conformational heterogeneity and flexibility in three loops surrounding the substrate-binding area.

  5. Structure of nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Shanyun; Smith, Craig D.; Yang, Zhengrong; Pruett, Pamela S.; Nagy, Lisa; McCombs, Deborah; DeLucas, Lawrence J.; Brouillette, Wayne J.; Brouillette, Christie G.

    2008-01-01

    Nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NaMNAT; EC 2.7.7.18) is the penultimate enzyme in the biosynthesis of NAD+ and catalyzes the adenylation of nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NaMN) by ATP to form nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide (NaAD). This enzyme is regarded as a suitable candidate for antibacterial drug development; as such, Bacillus anthracis NaMNAT (BA NaMNAT) was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli for the purpose of inhibitor discovery and crystallography. The crystal structure of BA NaMNAT was determined by molecular replacement, revealing two dimers per asymmetric unit, and was refined to an R factor and R free of 0.228 and 0.263, respectively, at 2.3 Å resolution. The structure is very similar to that of B. subtilis NaMNAT (BS NaMNAT), which is also a dimer, and another independently solved structure of BA NaMNAT recently released from the PDB along with two ligated forms. Comparison of these and other less related bacterial NaMNAT structures support the presence of considerable conformational heterogeneity and flexibility in three loops surrounding the substrate-binding area. PMID:18931430

  6. Scalable purification of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen from Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwinn, William; Zhang, Mei; Mon, Sandii; Sampey, Darryl; Zukauskas, David; Kassebaum, Corby; Zmuda, Jonathan F; Tsai, Amos; Laird, Michael W

    2006-01-01

    The anthrax toxin consists of three proteins, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor, and edema factor that are produced by the Gram-positive bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. Current vaccines against anthrax use PA as their primary component. In this study, we developed a scalable process to produce and purify multi-gram quantities of highly pure, recombinant PA (rPA) from Escherichia coli. The rPA protein was produced in a 50-L fermentor and purified to >99% purity using anion-exchange, hydrophobic interaction, and hydroxyapatite chromatography. The final yield of purified rPA from medium cell density fermentations resulted in approximately 2.7 g of rPA per kg of cell paste (approximately 270 mg/L) of highly pure, biologically active rPA protein. The results presented here exhibit the ability to generate multi-gram quantities of rPA from E. coli that may be used for the development of new anthrax vaccines and anthrax therapeutics. PMID:15935696

  7. Glyconanobiotics: Novel carbohydrated nanoparticle antibiotics for MRSA and Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abeylath, Sampath C; Turos, Edward; Dickey, Sonja; Lim, Daniel V

    2008-03-01

    This report describes the synthesis and evaluation of glycosylated polyacrylate nanoparticles that have covalently-bound antibiotics within their framework. The requisite glycosylated drug monomers were prepared from one of three known antibiotics, an N-sec-butylthio beta-lactam, ciprofloxacin, and a penicillin, by acylation with 3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5,6 bis((chlorosuccinyl)oxy)-d-glucofuranose (7) or 6-O-acetyl-3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5-(chlorosuccinyl)oxy-alpha-d-glucofuranose (10). These acrylated monomers were subjected to emulsion polymerization in a 7:3 (w:w) mixture of butyl acrylate-styrene in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate as surfactant (3 weight %) and potassium persulfate as a radical initiator (1 weight %). The resulting nanoparticle emulsions were characterized by dynamic light scattering and found to have similar diameters ( approximately 40 nm) and size distributions to those of our previously studied systems. Microbiological testing showed that the N-sec-butylthio beta-lactam and ciprofloxacin nanoparticles both have powerful in vitro activities against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis, while the penicillin-bound nanoparticles have no antimicrobial activity. This indicates the need for matching a suitable antibiotic with the nanoparticle carrier. Overall, the study shows that even relatively large, polar acrylate monomers (MW>1000 amu) can be efficiently incorporated into the nanoparticle matrix by emulsion polymerization, providing opportunities for further advances in nanomedicine. PMID:18063370

  8. In Vivo Demonstration and Quantification of Intracellular Bacillus anthracis in Lung Epithelial Cells▿

    OpenAIRE

    Russell, Brooke H.; Liu, Qing; Sarah A Jenkins; Tuvim, Michael J.; Dickey, Burton F.; Xu, Yi

    2008-01-01

    Inhalational anthrax is initiated by the entry of Bacillus anthracis spores into the lung. A critical early event in the establishment of an infection is the dissemination of spores from the lung. Using in vitro cell culture assays, we previously demonstrated that B. anthracis spores are capable of entering into epithelial cells of the lung and crossing a barrier of lung epithelial cells without apparent disruption of the barrier integrity, suggesting a novel portal for spores to disseminate ...

  9. A recombinant Bacillus anthracis strain producing the Clostridium perfringens Ib component induces protection against iota toxins.

    OpenAIRE

    Sirard, J C; Weber, M.; Duflot, E; Popoff, M R; Mock, M

    1997-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis toxinogenic Sterne strain is currently used as a live veterinary vaccine against anthrax. The capacity of a toxin-deficient derivative strain to produce a heterologous antigen by using the strong inducible promoter of the B. anthracis pag gene was investigated. The expression of the foreign gene ibp, encoding the Ib component of iota toxin from Clostridium perfringens, was analyzed. A pag-ibp fusion was introduced by allelic exchange into a toxin-deficient Sterne strain...

  10. Inflammatory Cytokine Response to Bacillus anthracis Peptidoglycan Requires Phagocytosis and Lysosomal Trafficking▿

    OpenAIRE

    Iyer, Janaki K.; Khurana, Taruna; Langer, Marybeth; West, Christopher M.; Ballard, Jimmy D.; Metcalf, Jordan P.; Merkel, Tod J.; Coggeshall, K. Mark

    2010-01-01

    During advanced stages of inhalation anthrax, Bacillus anthracis accumulates at high levels in the bloodstream of the infected host. This bacteremia leads to sepsis during late-stage anthrax; however, the mechanisms through which B. anthracis-derived factors contribute to the pathology of infected hosts are poorly defined. Peptidoglycan, a major component of the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria, can provoke symptoms of sepsis in animal models. We have previously shown that peptidoglycan of...

  11. Aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Infection in New Zealand White Rabbits: Natural History and Intravenous Levofloxacin Treatment

    OpenAIRE

    Yee, Steven B.; Hatkin, Joshua M; Dyer, David N; Orr, Steven A.; Pitt, M. Louise M.

    2010-01-01

    The natural history for inhalational Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain) exposure in New Zealand white rabbits was investigated to better identify potential, early biomarkers of anthrax. Twelve SPF Bordetella-free rabbits were exposed to 150 LD50 aerosolized B. anthracis spores, and clinical signs, body temperature, complete blood count, bacteremia, and presence of protective antigen in the blood (that is, antigenemia) were examined. The development of antigenemia and bacteremia coincided and pr...

  12. Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Burkholderia pseudomallei by Use of Laser Light Scattering Technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugrysheva, Julia V; Lascols, Christine; Sue, David; Weigel, Linda M

    2016-06-01

    Rapid methods to determine antimicrobial susceptibility would assist in the timely distribution of effective treatment or postexposure prophylaxis in the aftermath of the release of bacterial biothreat agents such as Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, or Burkholderia pseudomallei Conventional susceptibility tests require 16 to 48 h of incubation, depending on the bacterial species. We evaluated a method that is based on laser light scattering technology that measures cell density in real time. We determined that it has the ability to rapidly differentiate between growth (resistant) and no growth (susceptible) of several bacterial threat agents in the presence of clinically relevant antimicrobials. Results were available in 10 h of incubation. Use of laser scattering technology decreased the time required to determine antimicrobial susceptibility by 50% to 75% for B. anthracis, Y. pestis, and B. pseudomallei compared to conventional methods. PMID:26984973

  13. Mechanisms of DNA Binding and Regulation of Bacillus anthracis DNA Primase

    OpenAIRE

    Biswas, Subhasis B; Wydra, Eric; Biswas, Esther E.

    2009-01-01

    DNA primases are pivotal enzymes in chromosomal DNA replication in all organisms. In this article, we report unique mechanistic characteristics of recombinant DNA primase from Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis). The mechanism of action of B. anthracis DNA primase (DnaGBA) may be described in several distinct steps as follows. Its mechanism of action is initiated when it binds to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) in the form of a trimer. Although DnaGBA binds to different DNA sequences with moderate ...

  14. Possible use of bacteriophages active against Bacillus anthracis and other B. cereus group members in the face of a bioterrorism threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jończyk-Matysiak, Ewa; Kłak, Marlena; Weber-Dąbrowska, Beata; Borysowski, Jan; Górski, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is an infectious fatal disease with epidemic potential. Nowadays, bioterrorism using Bacillus anthracis is a real possibility, and thus society needs an effective weapon to neutralize this threat. The pathogen may be easily transmitted to human populations. It is easy to store, transport, and disseminate and may survive for many decades. Recent data strongly support the effectiveness of bacteriophage in treating bacterial diseases. Moreover, it is clear that bacteriophages should be considered a potential incapacitative agent against bioterrorism using bacteria belonging to B. cereus group, especially B. anthracis. Therefore, we have reviewed the possibility of using bacteriophages active against Bacillus anthracis and other species of the B. cereus group in the face of a bioterrorism threat. PMID:25247187

  15. Sequencing of 16S rRNA Gene: A Rapid Tool for Identification of Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Sacchi, Claudio T.; Whitney, Anne M.; Mayer, Leonard W.; Morey, Roger; Steigerwalt, Arnold; Boras, Ariana; Weyant, Robin S.; Popovic, Tanja

    2002-01-01

    In a bioterrorism event, a tool is needed to rapidly differentiate Bacillus anthracis from other closely related spore-forming Bacillus species. During the recent outbreak of bioterrorism-associated anthrax, we sequenced the 16S rRNA generom these species to evaluate the potential of 16S rRNA gene sequencing as a diagnostic tool. We found eight distinct 16S types among all 107 16S rRNA gene seqs fuences that differed from each other at 1 to 8 positions (0.06% to 0.5%). All 86 B. anthracis had...

  16. Genomic analysis of three African strains of Bacillus anthracis demonstrates that they are part of the clonal expansion of an exclusively pathogenic bacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouli, L; MBengue, M; Robert, C; Ndiaye, M; La Scola, B; Raoult, D

    2014-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is classified as a 'Category A' biological weapon. Six complete genomes of B. anthracis (A0248, Ames, Ames Ancestor, CDC684, H0491, and Sterne) are currently available. In this report, we add three African strain genomes: Sen2Col2, Sen3 and Gmb1. To study the pan-genome of B. anthracis, we used bioinformatics tools, such as Cluster of Orthologous Groups, and performed phylogenetic analysis. We found that the three African strains contained the pX01 and pX02 plasmids, the nonsense mutation in the plcR gene and the four known prophages. These strains are most similar to the CDC684 strain and belong to the A cluster. We estimated that the B. anthracis pan-genome has 2893 core genes (99% of the genome size) and 85 accessory genes. We validated the hypothesis that B. anthracis has a closed pan-genome and found that the three African strains carry the two plasmids associated with bacterial virulence. The pan-genome nature of B. anthracis confirms its lack of exchange (similar to Clostridium tetani) and supports its exclusively pathogenic role, despite its survival in the environment. Moreover, thanks to the study of the core content single nucleotide polymorphisms, we can see that our three African strains diverged very recently from the other B. anthracis strains. PMID:25566394

  17. Genomic analysis of three African strains of Bacillus anthracis demonstrates that they are part of the clonal expansion of an exclusively pathogenic bacterium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Rouli

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is classified as a ‘Category A’ biological weapon. Six complete genomes of B. anthracis (A0248, Ames, Ames Ancestor, CDC684, H0491, and Sterne are currently available. In this report, we add three African strain genomes: Sen2Col2, Sen3 and Gmb1. To study the pan‐genome of B. anthracis, we used bioinformatics tools, such as Cluster of Orthologous Groups, and performed phylogenetic analysis. We found that the three African strains contained the pX01 and pX02 plasmids, the nonsense mutation in the plcR gene and the four known prophages. These strains are most similar to the CDC684 strain and belong to the A cluster. We estimated that the B. anthracis pan‐genome has 2893 core genes (99% of the genome size and 85 accessory genes. We validated the hypothesis that B. anthracis has a closed pan‐genome and found that the three African strains carry the two plasmids associated with bacterial virulence. The pan‐genome nature of B. anthracis confirms its lack of exchange (similar to Clostridium tetani and supports its exclusively pathogenic role, despite its survival in the environment. Moreover, thanks to the study of the core content single nucleotide polymorphisms, we can see that our three African strains diverged very recently from the other B. anthracis strains.

  18. Technical Note: Simple, scalable, and sensitive protocol for retrieving Bacillus anthracis (and other live bacteria) from heroin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grass, Gregor; Ahrens, Bjoern; Schleenbecker, Uwe; Dobrzykowski, Linda; Wagner, Matthias; Krüger, Christian; Wölfel, Roman

    2016-02-01

    We describe a culture-based method suitable for isolating Bacillus anthracis and other live bacteria from heroin. This protocol was developed as a consequence of the bioforensic need to retrieve bacteria from batches of the drug associated with cases of injectional anthrax among heroin-consumers in Europe. This uncommon manifestation of infection with the notorious pathogen B. anthracis has resulted in 26 deaths between the years 2000 to 2013. Thus far, no life disease agent has been isolated from heroin during forensic investigations surrounding these incidences. Because of the conjectured very small number of disease-causing endospores in the contaminated drug it is likely that too few target sequences are available for molecular genetic analysis. Therefore, a direct culture-based approach was chosen here. Endospores of attenuated B. anthracis artificially spiked into heroin were successfully retrieved at 84-98% recovery rates using a wash solution consisting of 0.5% Tween 20 in water. Using this approach, 82 samples of un-cut heroin originating from the German Federal Criminal Police Office's heroin analysis program seized during the period between 2000 and 2014 were tested and found to be surprisingly poor in retrievable bacteria. Notably, while no B. anthracis was isolated from the drug batches, other bacteria were successfully cultured. The resulting methodical protocol is therefore suitable for analyzing un-cut heroin which can be anticipated to comprise the original microbiota from the drug's original source without interference from contaminations introduced by cutting. PMID:26734987

  19. Bacillus anthracis Spore Surface Protein BclA Mediates Complement Factor H Binding to Spores and Promotes Spore Persistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanyu; Jenkins, Sarah A; Gu, Chunfang; Shree, Ankita; Martinez-Moczygemba, Margarita; Herold, Jennifer; Botto, Marina; Wetsel, Rick A; Xu, Yi

    2016-06-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are known to persist in the host lungs for prolonged periods of time, however the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrated that BclA, a major surface protein of B. anthracis spores, mediated direct binding of complement factor H (CFH) to spores. The surface bound CFH retained its regulatory cofactor activity resulting in C3 degradation and inhibition of downstream complement activation. By comparing results from wild type C57BL/6 mice and complement deficient mice, we further showed that BclA significantly contributed to spore persistence in the mouse lungs and dampened antibody responses to spores in a complement C3-dependent manner. In addition, prior exposure to BclA deletion spores (ΔbclA) provided significant protection against lethal challenges by B. anthracis, whereas the isogenic parent spores did not, indicating that BclA may also impair protective immunity. These results describe for the first time an immune inhibition mechanism of B. anthracis mediated by BclA and CFH that promotes spore persistence in vivo. The findings also suggested an important role of complement in persistent infections and thus have broad implications. PMID:27304426

  20. Bacillus anthracis Spore Surface Protein BclA Mediates Complement Factor H Binding to Spores and Promotes Spore Persistence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanyu Wang

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are known to persist in the host lungs for prolonged periods of time, however the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrated that BclA, a major surface protein of B. anthracis spores, mediated direct binding of complement factor H (CFH to spores. The surface bound CFH retained its regulatory cofactor activity resulting in C3 degradation and inhibition of downstream complement activation. By comparing results from wild type C57BL/6 mice and complement deficient mice, we further showed that BclA significantly contributed to spore persistence in the mouse lungs and dampened antibody responses to spores in a complement C3-dependent manner. In addition, prior exposure to BclA deletion spores (ΔbclA provided significant protection against lethal challenges by B. anthracis, whereas the isogenic parent spores did not, indicating that BclA may also impair protective immunity. These results describe for the first time an immune inhibition mechanism of B. anthracis mediated by BclA and CFH that promotes spore persistence in vivo. The findings also suggested an important role of complement in persistent infections and thus have broad implications.

  1. Ground Anthrax Bacillus Refined Isolation (GABRI) method for analyzing environmental samples with low levels of Bacillus anthracis contamination

    OpenAIRE

    Fasanella, Antonio; Di Taranto, Pietro; Garofolo, Giuliano; Colao, Valeriana; Marino, Leonardo; Buonavoglia, Domenico; Pedarra, Carmine; Adone, Rosanna; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Background In this work are reported the results of a qualitative analytical method capable of detecting Bacillus anthracis spores when they are present in very low concentration in the soil. The Ground Anthrax Bacillus Refined Isolation (GABRI) method, assessed in our laboratory, was compared with the classic method. The comparison involved artificially anthrax-contaminated soil samples (500 spores/7.5 grams soil) and naturally contaminated soil samples collected in Bangladesh during a field...

  2. Colonic immune suppression, barrier dysfunction, and dysbiosis by gastrointestinal bacillus anthracis Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaíma L Lightfoot

    Full Text Available Gastrointestinal (GI anthrax results from the ingestion of Bacillus anthracis. Herein, we investigated the pathogenesis of GI anthrax in animals orally infected with toxigenic non-encapsulated B. anthracis Sterne strain (pXO1+ pXO2- spores that resulted in rapid animal death. B. anthracis Sterne induced significant breakdown of intestinal barrier function and led to gut dysbiosis, resulting in systemic dissemination of not only B. anthracis, but also of commensals. Disease progression significantly correlated with the deterioration of innate and T cell functions. Our studies provide critical immunologic and physiologic insights into the pathogenesis of GI anthrax infection, whereupon cleavage of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs in immune cells may play a central role in promoting dysfunctional immune responses against this deadly pathogen.

  3. Structures of two superoxide dismutases from Bacillus anthracis reveal a novel active centre

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The crystal structures of two manganese superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis were solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement. The BA4499 and BA5696 genes of Bacillus anthracis encode proteins homologous to manganese superoxide dismutase, suggesting that this organism has an expanded repertoire of antioxidant proteins. Differences in metal specificity and quaternary structure between the dismutases of prokaryotes and higher eukaryotes may be exploited in the development of therapeutic antibacterial compounds. Here, the crystal structure of two Mn superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis solved to high resolution are reported. Comparison of their structures reveals that a highly conserved residue near the active centre is substituted in one of the proteins and that this is a characteristic feature of superoxide dismutases from the B. cereus/B. anthracis/B. thuringiensis group of organisms

  4. Glycosylation of BclA Glycoprotein from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis Exosporium Is Domain-specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maes, Emmanuel; Krzewinski, Frederic; Garenaux, Estelle; Lequette, Yannick; Coddeville, Bernadette; Trivelli, Xavier; Ronse, Annette; Faille, Christine; Guerardel, Yann

    2016-04-29

    The spores of the Bacillus cereus group (B. cereus, Bacillus anthracis, and Bacillus thuringiensis) are surrounded by a paracrystalline flexible yet resistant layer called exosporium that plays a major role in spore adhesion and virulence. The major constituent of its hairlike surface, the trimerized glycoprotein BclA, is attached to the basal layer through an N-terminal domain. It is then followed by a repetitive collagen-like neck bearing a globular head (C-terminal domain) that promotes glycoprotein trimerization. The collagen-like region of B. anthracis is known to be densely substituted by unusual O-glycans that may be used for developing species-specific diagnostics of B. anthracis spores and thus targeted therapeutic interventions. In the present study, we have explored the species and domain specificity of BclA glycosylation within the B. cereus group. First, we have established that the collagen-like regions of both B. anthracis and B. cereus are similarly substituted by short O-glycans that bear the species-specific deoxyhexose residues anthrose and the newly observed cereose, respectively. Second we have discovered that the C-terminal globular domains of BclA from both species are substituted by polysaccharide-like O-linked glycans whose structures are also species-specific. The presence of large carbohydrate polymers covering the surface of Bacillus spores may have a profound impact on the way that spores regulate their interactions with biotic and abiotic surfaces and represents potential new diagnostic targets. PMID:26921321

  5. Rapid focused sequencing: a multiplexed assay for simultaneous detection and strain typing of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosemary S Turingan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The intentional release of Bacillus anthracis in the United States in 2001 has heightened concern about the use of pathogenic microorganisms in bioterrorism attacks. Many of the deadliest bacteria, including the Class A Select Agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis, are highly infectious via the pulmonary route when released in aerosolized form. Hence, rapid, sensitive, and reliable methods for detection of these biothreats and characterization of their potential impact on the exposed population are of critical importance to initiate and support rapid military, public health, and clinical responses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have developed microfluidic multiplexed PCR and sequencing assays based on the simultaneous interrogation of three pathogens per assay and ten loci per pathogen. Microfluidic separation of amplified fluorescently labeled fragments generated characteristic electrophoretic signatures for identification of each agent. The three sets of primers allowed significant strain typing and discrimination from non-pathogenic closely-related species and environmental background strains based on amplicon sizes alone. Furthermore, sequencing of the 10 amplicons per pathogen, termed "Rapid Focused Sequencing," allowed an even greater degree of strain discrimination and, in some cases, can be used to determine virulence. Both amplification and sequencing assays were performed in microfluidic biochips developed for fast thermal cycling and requiring 7 µL per reaction. The 30-plex sequencing assay resulted in genotypic resolution of 84 representative strains belonging to each of the three biothreat species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The microfluidic multiplexed assays allowed identification and strain differentiation of the biothreat agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis and clear discrimination from closely-related species and several environmental

  6. BAC Library Construction and Physical Mapping of Bacillus anthracis A16R

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhang Da; Zhu Houchu; Huang Liuyu

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is an endospore-forming bacterium that causes severe inhalational anthrax, and bacillus anthracis A16R is an attenuated strain derived from Bacillus anthracis A16. The development of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) system has allowed the construction of large insert-size DNA libraries, and the bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) have become the preferred large insert cloning system for genomic analysis because such libraries are characteristically stable, high in ifdelity and easy to handle. To facilitate genome studies of this bacterium, a bacterial artiifcial chromosome library (BAC) has been established from genome DNA of Bacillus anthracis A16R. This library consisted of 9 600 clones randomly selected from more than 15 000 recombinant clones carrying inserts in the plindigoBAC-5 vectors. The mean insert size was 56 kbp, representing an approximate 12-fold genome coverage, while end sequences were obtained from 700 randomly selected clones. Sequences were compared with Bacillus anthracis Ames and Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 Genome Project databases using the NCBI BLASTN search project. And most BLASTN results showed high identities and that the sequences’ sites could be used as STSs. To construct this physical map, Excel was used for the array of STSs and some gaps of the map were iflled up by PCR walking. Artemis-V4 was used in the construction of a genome-wide physical map with 93%genome coverage. The A16R BAC library proved to be a vital tool for the generation of a map that would not only allow the subsequent sequencing of defined areas of genome, but also provide immediate access to clones that were stable and convenient for functional genomic researches.

  7. BAC Library Construction and Physical Mapping of Bacillus anthracis A16R

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Da Zhang

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is an endospore-forming bacterium that causes severe inhalational anthrax, and bacillus anthracis A16R is an attenuated strain derived from Bacillus anthracis A16. The development of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC system has allowed the construction of large insert-size DNA libraries, and the bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs have become the preferred large insert cloning system for genomic analysis because such libraries are characteristically stable, high in fidelity and easy to handle. To facilitate genome studies of this bacterium, a bacterial artificial chromosome library (BAC has been established from genome DNA of Bacillus anthracis A16R. This library consisted of 9 600 clones randomly selected from more than 15 000 recombinant clones carrying inserts in the plindigoBAC-5 vectors. The mean insert size was 56 kbp, representing an approximate 12-fold genome coverage, while end sequences were obtained from 700 randomly selected clones. Sequences were compared with Bacillus anthracis Ames and Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 Genome Project databases using the NCBI BLASTN search project. And most BLASTN results showed high identities and that the sequences’ sites could be used as STSs. To construct this physical map, Excel was used for the array of STSs and some gaps of the map were filled up by PCR walking. Artemis-V4 was used in the construction of a genome-wide physical map with 93% genome coverage. The A16R BAC library proved to be a vital tool for the generation of a map that would not only allow the subsequent sequencing of defined areas of genome, but also provide immediate access to clones that were stable and convenient for functional genomic researches.

  8. Study of Immunization against Anthrax with the Purified Recombinant Protective Antigen of Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Singh,Yogendra; Ivins, Bruce E.; Leppla, Stephen H.

    1998-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA) of anthrax toxin is the major component of human anthrax vaccine. Currently available human vaccines in the United States and Europe consist of alum-precipitated supernatant material from cultures of toxigenic, nonencapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Immunization with these vaccines requires several boosters and occasionally causes local pain and edema. We previously described the biological activity of a nontoxic mutant of PA expressed in Bacillus subtilis. In ...

  9. Comparison of Growth and Toxin Production in Two Vaccine Strains of Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Anna D; Spero, Leonard

    1981-01-01

    Two vaccine strains of Bacillus anthracis were monitored in a 10-liter fermentor to compare growth patterns and toxin production. Under identical conditions, the Sterne strain produced all three components of anthrax toxin, whereas strain V770 produced only the protective antigen.

  10. Feeding Anthrax: The Crystal Structure of Bacillus anthracis InhA Protease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schacherl, Magdalena; Baumann, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria secrete proteases to evade host defense and to acquire nutrients. In this issue of Structure, Arolas et al. (2016) describe the structural basis of activation and latency of InhA, a major secreted protease of Bacillus anthracis. PMID:26745525

  11. Thermal inactivation of Bacillus anthracis surrogate spores in a bench-scale enclosed landfill gas flare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tufts, Jenia A McBrian; Rosati, Jacky A

    2012-02-01

    A bench-scale landfill flare system was designed and built to test the potential for landfilled biological spores that migrate from the waste into the landfill gas to pass through the flare and exit into the environment as viable. The residence times and temperatures of the flare were characterized and compared to full-scale systems. Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus atrophaeus, nonpathogenic spores that may serve as surrogates for Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent for anthrax, were investigated to determine whether these organisms would be inactivated or remain viable after passing through a simulated landfill flare. High concentration spore solutions were aerosolized, dried, and sent through a bench-scale system to simulate the fate of biological weapon (BW)-grade spores in a landfill gas flare. Sampling was conducted downstream of the flare using a bioaerosol collection device containing sterile white mineral oil. The samples were cultured, incubated for seven days, and assessed for viability. Results showed that the bench-scale system exhibited good similarity to the real-world conditions of an enclosed standard combustor flare stack with a single orifice, forced-draft diffusion burner. All spores of G. stearothermophilus and B. atrophaeus were inactivated in the flare, indicating that spores that become re-entrained in landfill gas may not escape the landfill as viable, apparently becoming completely inactivated as they exit through a landfill flare. PMID:22442931

  12. Noncapsulated Toxinogenic Bacillus anthracis Presents a Specific Growth and Dissemination Pattern in Naive and Protective Antigen-Immune Mice▿

    OpenAIRE

    Glomski, Ian J.; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Mock, Michèle; Goossens, Pierre L

    2007-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming bacterium that causes anthrax. B. anthracis has three major virulence factors, namely, lethal toxin, edema toxin, and a poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule. The toxins modulate host immune responses, and the capsule inhibits phagocytosis. With the goal of increasing safety, decreasing security concerns, and taking advantage of mammalian genetic tools and reagents, mouse models of B. anthracis infection have been developed using attenuated bacteria that produce...

  13. Inflammatory cytokine response to Bacillus anthracis peptidoglycan requires phagocytosis and lysosomal trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyer, Janaki K; Khurana, Taruna; Langer, Marybeth; West, Christopher M; Ballard, Jimmy D; Metcalf, Jordan P; Merkel, Tod J; Coggeshall, K Mark

    2010-06-01

    During advanced stages of inhalation anthrax, Bacillus anthracis accumulates at high levels in the bloodstream of the infected host. This bacteremia leads to sepsis during late-stage anthrax; however, the mechanisms through which B. anthracis-derived factors contribute to the pathology of infected hosts are poorly defined. Peptidoglycan, a major component of the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria, can provoke symptoms of sepsis in animal models. We have previously shown that peptidoglycan of B. anthracis can induce the production of proinflammatory cytokines by cells in human blood. Here, we show that biologically active peptidoglycan is shed from an active culture of encapsulated B. anthracis strain Ames in blood. Peptidoglycan is able to bind to surfaces of responding cells, and internalization of peptidoglycan is required for the production of inflammatory cytokines. We also show that the peptidoglycan traffics to lysosomes, and lysosomal function is required for cytokine production. We conclude that peptidoglycan of B. anthracis is initially bound by an unknown extracellular receptor, is phagocytosed, and traffics to lysosomes, where it is degraded to a product recognized by an intracellular receptor. Binding of the peptidoglycan product to the intracellular receptor causes a proinflammatory response. These findings provide new insight into the mechanism by which B. anthracis triggers sepsis during a critical stage of anthrax disease. PMID:20308305

  14. Circulating lethal toxin decreases the ability of neutrophils to respond to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiner, Zachary P; Ernst, Stephen M; Boyer, Anne E; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Barr, John R; Glomski, Ian J

    2014-04-01

    Polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNs) play a protective role during Bacillus anthracis infection. However, B. anthracis is able to subvert the PMN response effectively as evidenced by the high mortality rates of anthrax. One major virulence factor produced by B. anthracis, lethal toxin (LT), is necessary for dissemination in the BSL2 model of mouse infection. While human and mouse PMNs kill vegetative B. anthracis, short in vitro half-lives of PMNs have made it difficult to determine how or if LT alters their bactericidal function. Additionally, the role of LT intoxication on PMN's ability to migrate to inflammatory signals remains controversial. LF concentrations in both serum and major organs were determined from mice infected with B. anthracis Sterne strain at defined stages of infection to guide subsequent administration of purified toxin. Bactericidal activity of PMNs assessed using ex vivo cell culture assays showed significant defects in killing B. anthracis. In vivo PMN recruitment to inflammatory stimuli was significantly impaired at 24 h as assessed by real-time analysis of light-producing PMNs within the mouse. The observations described above suggest that LT serves dual functions; it both attenuates accumulation of PMNs at sites of inflammation and impairs PMNs bactericidal activity against vegetative B. anthracis. PMID:24152301

  15. Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Isolated from an Anthrax Burial Site in Pollino National Park, Basilicata Region (Southern Italy)

    OpenAIRE

    Fasanella, Antonio; Braun, Peter; Grass, Gregor; Hanczaruk, Matthias; Aceti, Angela; Serrecchia, Luigina; Leonzio, Giuseppe; Tolve, Francesco; Georgi, Enrico; Antwerpen, Markus

    2015-01-01

    A Bacillus anthracis strain was isolated from a burial-site in Pollino National Park where a bovine died of anthrax and was buried in 2004. We report the first genome sequence of B. anthracis isolated in the Basilicata region (southern Italy), which is the highest risk area of anthrax infection in Italy.

  16. Novel Sample Preparation Method for Safe and Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Powders and Nasal Swabs

    OpenAIRE

    Luna, Vicki A.; King, Debra; Davis, Carisa; Rycerz, Tony; Ewert, Matthew; Cannons, Andrew; Amuso, Philip; Cattani, Jacqueline

    2003-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis spores have been used as a biological weapon in the United States. We wanted to develop a safe, rapid method of sample preparation that provided safe DNA for the detection of spores in environmental and clinical specimens. Our method reproducibly detects B. anthracis in samples containing

  17. Confirmation of Bacillus anthracis from flesh-eating flies collected during a West Texas anthrax season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Jason K; Curtis, Andrew; Hadfield, Ted L; O'Shea, Bob; Mitchell, Mark A; Hugh-Jones, Martin E

    2010-07-01

    This case study confirms the interaction between necrophilic flies and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, during an anthrax outbreak in West Texas (summer 2005). Bacillus anthracis was identified by culture and PCR from one of eight pooled fly collections from deer carcasses on a deer ranch with a well-documented history of anthrax. These results provide the first known isolation of B. anthracis from flesh-eating flies associated with a wildlife anthrax outbreak in North America and are discussed in the context of wildlife ecology and anthrax epizootics. PMID:20688697

  18. Herstellung monoklonaler Antikörper gegen thermostabile Antigene von Bacillus anthracis zur Anwendung in der Anthraxdiagnostik

    OpenAIRE

    Hilss, Karen

    2012-01-01

    Bei dem Ascoli Präzipitin Test (ASCOLI, 1911) handelt es sich um eine schnelle und kostengünstige Diagnostikmethode, bei der polyklonales Serum gegen thermostabile Antigene von B. anthracis eingesetzt wird. Allerdings ist dieser Test ungeeignet für Umweltproben, da Kreuzreaktionen mit anderen Bacillus Spezies auftreten. Durch die Verwendung monoklonaler Antikörper gegen spezifische thermostabile Antigene von B. anthracis könnte jedoch die Kreuzreaktivität mit anderen Bacillus Spezies eliminie...

  19. Quantitative Determination of Lethal Toxin Proteins in Culture Supernatant of Human Live Anthrax Vaccine Bacillus anthracis A16R.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ju; Liu, Jie; Li, Liangliang; Yin, Ying; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2016-03-01

    Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) is the etiological agent of anthrax affecting both humans and animals. Anthrax toxin (AT) plays a major role in pathogenesis. It includes lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), which are formed by the combination of protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF), respectively. The currently used human anthrax vaccine in China utilizes live-attenuated B. anthracis spores (A16R; pXO1+, pXO2-) that produce anthrax toxin but cannot produce the capsule. Anthrax toxins, especially LT, have key effects on both the immunogenicity and toxicity of human anthrax vaccines. Thus, determining quantities and biological activities of LT proteins expressed by the A16R strain is meaningful. Here, we explored LT expression patterns of the A16R strain in culture conditions using another vaccine strain Sterne as a control. We developed a sandwich ELISA and cytotoxicity-based method for quantitative detection of PA and LF. Expression and degradation of LT proteins were observed in culture supernatants over time. Additionally, LT proteins expressed by the A16R and Sterne strains were found to be monomeric and showed cytotoxic activity, which may be the main reason for side effects of live anthrax vaccines. Our work facilitates the characterization of anthrax vaccines components and establishment of a quality control standard for vaccine production which may ultimately help to ensure the efficacy and safety of the human anthrax vaccine A16R. PMID:26927174

  20. Application of in vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT to Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean M Rollins

    Full Text Available In vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT is an immuno-screening technique that identifies bacterial antigens expressed during infection and not during standard in vitro culturing conditions. We applied IVIAT to Bacillus anthracis and identified PagA, seven members of a N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase autolysin family, three P60 family lipoproteins, two transporters, spore cortex lytic protein SleB, a penicillin binding protein, a putative prophage holin, respiratory nitrate reductase NarG, and three proteins of unknown function. Using quantitative real-time PCR comparing RNA isolated from in vitro cultured B. anthracis to RNA isolated from BALB/c mice infected with virulent Ames strain B. anthracis, we confirmed induced expression in vivo for a subset of B. anthracis genes identified by IVIAT, including L-alanine amidases BA3767, BA4073, and amiA (pXO2-42; the bacteriophage holin gene BA4074; and pagA (pXO1-110. The exogenous addition of two purified putative autolysins identified by IVIAT, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidases BA0485 and BA2446, to vegetative B. anthracis cell suspensions induced a species-specific change in bacterial morphology and reduction in viable bacterial cells. Many of the proteins identified in our screen are predicted to affect peptidoglycan re-modeling, and our results support significant cell wall structural remodeling activity during B. anthracis infection. Identification of L-alanine amidases with B. anthracis specificity may suggest new potential therapeutic targets.

  1. Rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis by γ phage amplification and lateral flow immunochromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Christopher R; Jensen, Kirk R; Mondesire, Roy R; Voorhees, Kent J

    2015-11-01

    New, rapid point-of-need diagnostic methods for Bacillus anthracis detection can enhance civil and military responses to accidental or deliberate dispersal of anthrax as a biological weapon. Current laboratory-based methods for clinical identification of B. anthracis require 12 to 120h, and are confirmed by plaque assay using the well-characterized γ typing phage, which requires an additional minimum of 24h for bacterial culture. To reduce testing time, the natural specificity of γ phage amplification was investigated in combination with lateral flow immunochromatography (LFI) for rapid, point-of-need B. anthracis detection. Phage-based LFI detection of B. anthracis Sterne was validated over a range of bacterial and phage concentrations with optimal detection achieved in as little as 2h from the onset of amplification with a threshold sensitivity of 2.5×10(4)cfu/mL. The novel use of γ phage amplification detected with a simple, inexpensive LFI assay provides a rapid, sensitive, highly accurate, and field-deployable method for diagnostic ID of B. anthracis in a fraction of the time required by conventional techniques, and without the need for extensive laboratory culture. PMID:26310605

  2. Laboratory Studies on Surface Sampling of Bacillus anthracis Contamination: Summary, Gaps, and Recommendations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hu, Rebecca

    2011-11-28

    This report summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing, and analyzing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe, and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the (1) estimates of Bacillus anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates, and (2) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed and recommendations are given for future studies.

  3. New aspects of the infection mechanisms of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakowska, Dorota; Bartoszcze, Michał; Niemcewicz, Marcin; Bielawska-Drózd, Agata; Kocik, Janusz

    2012-01-01

    Articles concerning new aspects of B. anthracis mechanisms of infection were reviewed. It was found, that the hair follicle plays an important role in the spore germination process. The hair follicle represent an important portal of entry in the course of the cutaneous form of disease infections. After mouse exposition to aerosol of spores prepared from B. anthracis strains, an increase in the level of TNF-α cytokines was observed. The TNF-α cytokines were produced after intrusion into the host by the microorganism. This process may play a significant role in the induced migration of infected cells APCs (Antigen Presenting Cells) via chemotactic signals to the lymph nodes. It was explained that IgG, which binds to the spore surface, activates the adaptive immune system response. As a result, the release C3b opsonin from the spore surface, and mediating of C3 protein fragments of B. anthracis spores phagocytosis by human macrophages, was observed. The genes coding germination spores protein in mutant strains of B. anthracis MIGD was a crucial discovery. According to this, it could be assumed that the activity of B. anthracis spores germination process is dependent upon the sleB, cwlJ1 and cwlJ2 genes, which code the GSLEs lithic enzymes. It was also discovered that the specific antibody for PA20, which binds to the PA20 antigenic determinant, are able to block further PA83 proteolytic fission on the surface of cells. This process neutralized PA functions and weakened the activity of free PA20, which is produced during the PA83 enzyme fission process. Interaction between PA63 monomer and LF may be helpful in the PA63 oligomerization and grouping process, and the creation of LF/PA63 complexes may be a part of an alternative process of assembling the anthrax toxin on the surface of cells. It was found that actin-dependent endocytosis plays an important role in the PA heptamerisation process and leads to blocking the toxin activity. Chaperones, a protein derived from

  4. Passive protection by polyclonal antibodies against Bacillus anthracis infection in guinea pigs.

    OpenAIRE

    Little, S F; Ivins, B E; Fellows, P F; Friedlander, A M

    1997-01-01

    The protective effects of polyclonal antisera produced by injecting guinea pigs with protective antigen (PA), the chemical anthrax vaccine AVA, or Sterne spore vaccine, as well as those of toxin-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) produced against PA, lethal factor, and edema factor, were examined in animals infected with Bacillus anthracis spores. Only the anti-PA polyclonal serum significantly protected the guinea pigs from death, with 67% of infected animals surviving. Although none ...

  5. Development of an Inhalational Bacillus anthracis Exposure Therapeutic Model in Cynomolgus Macaques

    OpenAIRE

    Henning, Lisa N.; Comer, Jason E.; Stark, Gregory V.; Ray, Bryan D.; Tordoff, Kevin P.; Knostman, Katherine A. B.; Meister, Gabriel T.

    2012-01-01

    Appropriate animal models are required to test medical countermeasures to bioterrorist threats. To that end, we characterized a nonhuman primate (NHP) inhalational anthrax therapeutic model for use in testing anthrax therapeutic medical countermeasures according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Animal Rule. A clinical profile was recorded for each NHP exposed to a lethal dose of Bacillus anthracis Ames spores. Specific diagnostic parameters were detected relatively early in disease pr...

  6. Analysis of the sporicidal activity of chlorine dioxide disinfectant against Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain)

    OpenAIRE

    Chatuev, B.A.; Peterson, J W

    2010-01-01

    Routine surface decontamination is an essential hospital and laboratory procedure, but the list of effective, noncorrosive disinfectants that kill spores is limited. We investigated the sporicidal potential of an aqueous chlorine dioxide solution and encountered some unanticipated problems. Quantitative bacteriological culture methods were used to determine the log10 reduction of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) spores following 3 min exposure to various concentrations of aqueous chlorine d...

  7. Application of In Vivo Induced Antigen Technology (IVIAT) to Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Peppercorn, Amanda; Young, John S; Drysdale, Melissa; Baresch, Andrea; Bikowski, Margaret V.; Ashford, David A.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Handfield, Martin; Hillman, Jeffrey D.; Lyons, C. Rick; Koehler, Theresa M.; Sonenshein, Abraham L.; Rollins, Sean McKenzie; Calderwood, Stephen Beaven; Ryan, Edward Thomas

    2008-01-01

    In vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT) is an immuno-screening technique that identifies bacterial antigens expressed during infection and not during standard in vitro culturing conditions. We applied IVIAT to Bacillus anthracis and identified PagA, seven members of a N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase autolysin family, three P60 family lipoproteins, two transporters, spore cortex lytic protein SleB, a penicillin binding protein, a putative prophage holin, respiratory nitrate reductase Nar...

  8. Forensic Application of Microbiological Culture Analysis To Identify Mail Intentionally Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores†

    OpenAIRE

    Beecher, Douglas J.

    2006-01-01

    The discovery of a letter intentionally filled with dried Bacillus anthracis spores in the office of a United States senator prompted the collection and quarantine of all mail in congressional buildings. This mail was subsequently searched for additional intentionally contaminated letters. A microbiological sampling strategy was used to locate heavy contamination within the 642 separate plastic bags containing the mail. Swab sampling identified 20 bags for manual and visual examination. Air s...

  9. Soluble Expression and Characterization of Biologically Active Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen in Escherichia coli

    OpenAIRE

    Nagendra Suryanarayana; Vanlalhmuaka,; Bharti Mankere; Monika Verma; Kulanthaivel Thavachelvam; Urmil Tuteja

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis secretory protein protective antigen (PA) is primary candidate for subunit vaccine against anthrax. Attempts to obtain large quantity of PA from Escherichia coli expression system often result in the formation of insoluble inclusion bodies. Therefore, it is always better to produce recombinant proteins in a soluble form. In the present study, we have obtained biologically active recombinant PA in small scale E. coli shake culture system using three different expression cons...

  10. EXPRESSION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS PROTECTIVE ANTIGEN IN VACCINE STRAIN BRUCELLA ABORTUS RB51

    OpenAIRE

    Poff, Sherry Ann

    1997-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen that can cause cutaneous, gastrointestinal or respiratory disease in many vertebrates, including humans. Commercially available anthrax vaccines for immunization of humans are of limited duration and do not protect against the respiratory form of the disease. Brucella abortus is a facultative intracellular bacterium that causes chronic infection in animals and humans. As with other intracellular pathogens, cell mediated im...

  11. Effective Antimicrobial Regimens for Use in Humans for Therapy of Bacillus anthracis Infections and Postexposure Prophylaxis†

    OpenAIRE

    Deziel, Mark R.; Heine, Henry; Louie, Arnold; Kao, Mark; Byrne, William R.; Basset, Jennifer; Miller, Lynda; Bush, Karen; Kelly, Michael; Drusano, G L

    2005-01-01

    Expanded options for treatments directed against pathogens that can be used for bioterrorism are urgently needed. Treatment regimens directed against such pathogens can be identified only by using data derived from in vitro and animal studies. It is crucial that these studies reliably predict the efficacy of proposed treatments in humans. The objective of this study was to identify a levofloxacin treatment regimen that will serve as an effective therapy for Bacillus anthracis infections and p...

  12. Recombinant Expression and Purification of a Tumor-Targeted Toxin in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J.; Liu, Shihui; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2012-01-01

    Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple pr...

  13. The role of anthrolysin O in gut epithelial barrier disruption during Bacillus anthracis infection

    OpenAIRE

    Bishop, Brian L.; Lodolce, James P.; Kolodziej, Lauren; Boone, David L.; Tang, Wei Jen

    2010-01-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax, caused by the bacterial infection of Bacillus anthracis, posts a significant bioterrorism threat by its relatively high mortality rate in humans. Different from inhalational anthrax by the route of infection, accumulating evidence indicates the bypass of vegetative bacteria across GI epithelium is required to initiate GI anthrax. Previously, we reported that purified anthrolysin O (ALO), instead of tripartite anthrax edema and lethal toxins, is capable of disrup...

  14. Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Direct in-situ Analysis of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The rapid and accurate identification of biological agents is a critical step in the case of bio-terror and biological warfare attacks. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has been widely used for the identification of microorganisms. In this study, we describe a method for the rapid and accurate discrimination of Bacillus anthracis spores using MALDI-TOF MS. Our direct in-situ analysis of MALDI-TOF MS does not involve subsequent high-resolution mass analyses and sample preparation steps. This method allowed the detection of species-specific biomarkers from each Bacillus spores. Especially, B. anthracis spores had specific biomarker peaks at 2503, 3089, 3376, 6684, 6698, 6753, and 6840 m/z. Cluster and PCA analyses of the mass spectra of Bacillus spores revealed distinctively separated clusters and within-groups similarity. Therefore, we believe that this method is effective in the real-time identification of biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis as well as other microorganisms in the field

  15. Optimization Studies on Cellulase Production from Bacillus Anthracis and Ochrobactrum Anthropic (YZ1 Isolated from Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Badrud Duza

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out to demonstrate the optimization of growth conditions of bacteria with high cellulase activity. Cellulose degrading bacteria were isolated from soil samples collected from different areas of Guntur district, A.P. The bacteria were isolated using serial dilution and pour plate methods. The isolated bacteria were identified by morphological, biochemical and molecular procedures. The isolated bacterial species were screened for cellulase production in sub-merged fermentation process. The two tested bacterial species showed maximum yield for cellulase production. These two bacteria were identified as Bacillus anthracis and Ochrobactrum anthropi (YZ1. Supplementation of glucose, peptone, tyrosine and EDTA to the fermentation medium is favoured enzyme secretion. The optimum pH and temperature for the activity of crude enzyme was 8 and 45°C, respectively for Ochrobactrum anthropi (YZ1 while for Bacillus anthracis, it was 8 and 4°C, respectively.14% of inoculum level and 96 h of incubation period showed the maximum yield by both the species bacteria for cellulase production. The results of present study indicated that favorable fermentation conditions and the selection of a suitable growth medium played a key role in the production of cellulase from newly isolated Bacillus anthracis and Ochrobactrum anthropi (YZ1.

  16. Panning of a phage display library against a synthetic capsule for peptide ligands that bind to the native capsule of Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Beer

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax with the ability to not only produce a tripartite toxin, but also an enveloping capsule comprised primarily of γ-D-glutamic acid residues. The purpose of this study was to isolate peptide ligands capable of binding to the native capsule of B. anthracis from a commercial phage display peptide library using a synthetic form of the capsule consisting of 12 γ-D-glutamic acid residues. Following four rounds of selection, 80 clones were selected randomly and analysed by DNA sequencing. Four clones, each containing a unique consensus sequence, were identified by sequence alignment analysis. Phage particles were prepared and their derived 12-mer peptides were also chemically synthesized and conjugated to BSA. Both the phage particles and free peptide-BSA conjugates were evaluated by ELISA for binding to encapsulated cells of B. anthracis as well as a B. anthracis capsule extract. All the phage particles tested except one were able to bind to both the encapsulated cells and the capsule extract. However, the peptide-BSA conjugates could only bind to the encapsulated cells. One of the peptide-BSA conjugates, with the sequence DSSRIPMQWHPQ (termed G1, was fluorescently labelled and its binding to the encapsulated cells was further confirmed by confocal microscopy. The results demonstrated that the synthetic capsule was effective in isolating phage-displayed peptides with binding affinity for the native capsule of B. anthracis.

  17. Modulation of the Bacillus anthracis secretome by the immune inhibitor A1 protease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pflughoeft, Kathryn J; Swick, Michelle C; Engler, David A; Yeo, Hye-Jeong; Koehler, Theresa M

    2014-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis secretome includes protective antigen, lethal factor, and edema factor, which are the components of anthrax toxin, and other proteins with known or potential roles in anthrax disease. Immune inhibitor A1 (InhA1) is a secreted metalloprotease that is unique to pathogenic members of the Bacillus genus and has been associated with cleavage of host proteins during infection. Here, we report the effect of InhA1 on the B. anthracis secretome. Differential in-gel electrophoresis of proteins present in culture supernatants from a parent strain and an isogenic inhA1-null mutant revealed multiple differences. Of the 1,340 protein spots observed, approximately one-third were less abundant and one-third were more abundant in the inhA1 secretome than in the parent strain secretome. Proteases were strongly represented among those proteins exhibiting a 9-fold or greater change. InhA1 purified from a B. anthracis culture supernatant directly cleaved each of the anthrax toxin proteins as well as an additional secreted protease, Npr599. The conserved zinc binding motif HEXXH of InhA1 (HEYGH) was critical for its proteolytic activity. Our data reveal that InhA1 directly and indirectly modulates the form and/or abundance of over half of all the secreted proteins of B. anthracis. The proteolytic activity of InhA1 on established secreted virulence factors, additional proteases, and other secreted proteins suggests that this major protease plays an important role in virulence not only by cleaving mammalian substrates but also by modulating the B. anthracis secretome itself. PMID:24214942

  18. Whole genome protein microarrays for serum profiling of immunodominant antigens of Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Elizabeth Kempsell

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A commercial Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax whole genome protein microarray has been used to identify immunogenic Anthrax proteins using sera from groups of donors with (a confirmed B. anthracis naturally acquired cutaneous infection, (b confirmed B. anthracis intravenous drug use-acquired infection (c occupational exposure in a wool-sorters factory (d humans and rabbits vaccinated with the UK Anthrax protein vaccine and compared to naïve unexposed controls. Anti-IAP responses were observed for both IgG and IgA in the challenged groups; however the anti-IAP IgG response was more evident in the vaccinated group and the anti-IAP IgA response more evident in the B. anthracis-infected groups. Infected individuals appeared somewhat suppressed for their general IgG response, compared with other challenged groups.Immunogenic protein antigens were identified in all groups, some of which were shared between groups whilst others were specific for individual groups. The toxin proteins were immunodominant in all vaccinated, infected or other challenged groups. However a number of other chromosomally-located and plasmid encoded open reading frames were also recognised by infected or exposed groups in comparison to controls. Some of these antigens e.g. BA4182 are not recognised by vaccinated individuals, suggesting that there are proteins more specifically expressed by live Anthrax spores in vivo and are not currently found in the UK licensed Anthrax Vaccine (AVP. These may perhaps be preferentially expressed during infection and represent expression of alternative pathways in the B. anthracis ‘infectome’. These may make highly attractive candidates for diagnostic and vaccine biomarker development as they may be more specifically associated with the infectious phase of the pathogen. A number of B. anthracis small hypothetical protein targets have been synthesised, tested in mouse immunogenicity studies and validated in parallel using human sera from the

  19. Phages Preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: Past, Present and Future

    OpenAIRE

    Annika Gillis; Jacques Mahillon

    2014-01-01

    Many bacteriophages (phages) have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages inf...

  20. The Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of B. cereus and B.thuringiensis Isolates Closely Related to Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Cliff S.; Xie, Gary; Challacombe, Jean F.; Altherr, MichaelR.; Smriti, B.; Bruce, David; Campbell, Connie S.; Campbell, Mary L.; Chen, Jin; Chertkov, Olga; Cleland, Cathy; Dimitrijevic-Bussod, M.; Doggett, Norman A.; Fawcett, John J.; Glavina, Tijana; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Hill, Karen K.; Hitchcock, Penny; Jackson, Paul J.; Keim, Paul; Kewalramani, Avinash Ramesh; Longmire, Jon; Lucas, Susan; Malfatti,Stephanie; McMurry, Kim; Meincke, Linda J.; Misra, Monica; Moseman,Bernice L.; Mundt, Mark; Munk, A. Christine; Okinaka, Richard T.; Parson-Quintana, B.; Reilly, Lee P.; Richardson, Paul; Robinson, DonnaL.; Rubin, Eddy; Saunders, Elizabeth; Tapia, Roxanne; Tesmer, Judith G.; Thayer, Nina; Thompson, Linda S.; Tice, Hope; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Wills, Patti L.; Gilna, Payl; Brettin, Thomas S.

    2005-08-18

    The sequencing and analysis of two close relatives of Bacillus anthracis are reported. AFLP analysis of over 300 isolates of B.cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis identified two isolates as being very closely related to B. anthracis. One, a B. cereus, BcE33L, was isolated from a zebra carcass in Nambia; the second, a B. thuringiensis, 97-27, was isolated from a necrotic human wound. The B. cereus appears to be the closest anthracis relative sequenced to date. A core genome of over 3,900 genes was compiled for the Bacillus cereus group, including Banthracis. Comparative analysis of these two genomes with other members of the B. cereus group provides insight into the evolutionary relationships among these organisms. Evidence is presented that differential regulation modulates virulence, rather than simple acquisition of virulence factors. These genome sequences provide insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to the host range and virulence of this group of organisms.

  1. Rapid Detection of Viable Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples by Using Engineered Reporter Phages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Natasha J; Molineux, Ian J; Page, Martin A; Schofield, David A

    2016-04-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, was utilized as a bioterrorism agent in 2001 when spores were distributed via the U.S. postal system. In responding to this event, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used traditional bacterial culture viability assays to ascertain the extent of contamination of the postal facilities within 24 to 48 h of environmental sample acquisition. Here, we describe a low-complexity, second-generation reporter phage assay for the rapid detection of viableB. anthracisspores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineeredB. anthracisreporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression ofluxABin an earlier version of the reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-1) was optimized. These alterations prolonged signal kinetics, increased light output, and improved assay sensitivity. Using Wβ::luxAB-2, detection ofB. anthracisspores was 1 CFU in 8 h from pure cultures and as low as 10 CFU/g in sterile soil but increased to 10(5)CFU/g in unprocessed soil due to an unstable signal and the presence of competing bacteria. Inclusion of semiselective medium, mediated by a phage-expressed antibiotic resistance gene, maintained signal stability and enabled the detection of 10(4)CFU/g in 6 h. The assay does not require spore extraction and relies on the phage infecting germinating cells directly in the soil sample. This reporter phage displays promise for the rapid detection of low levels of spores on clean surfaces and also in grossly contaminated environmental samples from complex matrices such as soils. PMID:26873316

  2. A single-dose PLGA encapsulated protective antigen domain 4 nanoformulation protects mice against Bacillus anthracis spore challenge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manish Manish

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is a major bioterror agent. Vaccination is the most effective prophylactic measure available against anthrax. Currently available anthrax vaccines have issues of the multiple booster dose requirement, adjuvant-associated side effects and stability. Use of biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles to deliver the antigens to immune cells could solve the issues associated with anthrax vaccines. We hypothesized that the delivery of a stable immunogenic domain 4 of protective antigen (PAD4 of Bacillus anthracis encapsulated in a poly (lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA--an FDA approved biocompatible and biodegradable material, may alleviate the problems of booster dose, adjuvant toxicity and stability associated with anthrax vaccines. We made a PLGA based protective antigen domain 4 nanoparticle (PAD4-NP formulation using water/oil/water solvent evaporation method. Nanoparticles were characterized for antigen content, morphology, size, polydispersity and zeta potential. The immune correlates and protective efficacy of the nanoparticle formulation was evaluated in Swiss Webster outbred mice. Mice were immunized with single dose of PAD4-NP or recombinant PAD4. The PAD4-NP elicited a robust IgG response with mixed IgG1 and IgG2a subtypes, whereas the control PAD4 immunized mice elicited low IgG response with predominant IgG1 subtype. The PAD4-NP generated mixed Th1/Th2 response, whereas PAD4 elicited predominantly Th2 response. When we compared the efficacy of this single-dose vaccine nanoformulation PAD4-NP with that of the recombinant PAD4 in providing protective immunity against a lethal challenge with Bacillus anthracis spores, the median survival of PAD4-NP immunized mice was 6 days as compared to 1 day for PAD4 immunized mice (p<0.001. Thus, we demonstrate, for the first time, the possibility of the development of a single-dose and adjuvant-free protective antigen based anthrax vaccine in the form

  3. Comparative efficacy of Bacillus anthracis live spore vaccine and protective antigen vaccine against anthrax in the guinea pig.

    OpenAIRE

    Little, S F; Knudson, G B

    1986-01-01

    Several strains of Bacillus anthracis have been reported previously to cause fatal infection in immunized guinea pigs. In this study, guinea pigs were immunized with either a protective antigen vaccine or a live Sterne strain spore vaccine, then challenged with virulent B. anthracis strains isolated from various host species from the United States and foreign sources. Confirmation of previously reported studies (which used only protective antigen vaccines) was made with the identification of ...

  4. Bacillus anthracis Phospholipases C Facilitate Macrophage-Associated Growth and Contribute to Virulence in a Murine Model of Inhalation Anthrax

    OpenAIRE

    Heffernan, Brian J.; Thomason, Brendan; Herring-Palmer, Amy; Shaughnessy, Lee; McDonald, Rod; Fisher, Nathan; Huffnagle, Gary B.; Hanna, Philip

    2006-01-01

    Several models of anthrax pathogenesis suggest that early in the infectious process Bacillus anthracis endospores germinate and outgrow into vegetative bacilli within phagocytes before being released into the blood. Here, we define the respective contributions of three phospholipases C (PLCs) to the pathogenesis of B. anthracis. Genetic deletions of the PLCs were made in the Sterne 7702 background, resulting in the respective loss of their activities. The PLCs were redundant both in tissue cu...

  5. Anthrolysin O and fermentation products mediate the toxicity of Bacillus anthracis to lung epithelial cells under microaerobic conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Popova, Taissia G.; Millis, Bryan; Chung, Myung-Chul; Bailey, Charles; Popov, Serguei G

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis generates virulence factors such as lethal and edema toxins, capsule, and hemolytic proteins under conditions of reduced oxygenation. Here, we report on the acute cytotoxicity of culture supernatants (Sups) of six nonencapsulated B. anthracis strains grown till the stationary phase under static microaerobic conditions. Human small airway epithelial, umbilical vein endothelial, Caco-2, and Hep-G2 cells were found to be susceptible. Sups displayed a reduction of pH to 5.3–5.5...

  6. Differential Effects of Linezolid and Ciprofloxacin on Toxin Production by Bacillus anthracis in an In Vitro Pharmacodynamic System

    OpenAIRE

    Louie, Arnold; VanScoy, Brian D.; Heine, Henry S.; Liu, Weiguo; Abshire, Terry; Holman, Kari; Kulawy, Robert; Brown, David L.; Drusano, George L.

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax. Ciprofloxacin is a gold standard for the treatment of anthrax. Previously, using the non-toxin-producing ΔSterne strain of B. anthracis, we demonstrated that linezolid was equivalent to ciprofloxacin for reducing the total (vegetative and spore) bacterial population. With ciprofloxacin therapy, the total population consisted of spores. With linezolid therapy, the population consisted primarily of vegetative bacteria. Linezolid is a protein synthesis inhibito...

  7. A Bacillus anthracis strain deleted for six proteases serves as an effective host for production of recombinant proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Pomerantsev, Andrei P.; Pomerantseva, Olga M.; Moayeri, Mahtab; Fattah, Rasem; Tallant, Cynthia; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis produces a number of extracellular proteases that impact the integrity and yield of other proteins in the B. anthracis secretome. In this study we show that anthrolysin O (ALO) and the three anthrax toxin proteins, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF), produced from the B. anthracis Ames 35 strain (pXO1+, pXO2−), are completely degraded at the onset of stationary phase due to the action of proteases. An improved Cre-loxP gene knockout system wa...

  8. Protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax with a Bacillus anthracis capsule conjugate vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabot, Donald J; Ribot, Wilson J; Joyce, Joseph; Cook, James; Hepler, Robert; Nahas, Debbie; Chua, Jennifer; Friedlander, Arthur M

    2016-07-25

    The efficacy of currently licensed anthrax vaccines is largely attributable to a single Bacillus anthracis immunogen, protective antigen. To broaden protection against possible strains resistant to protective antigen-based vaccines, we previously developed a vaccine in which the anthrax polyglutamic acid capsule was covalently conjugated to the outer membrane protein complex of Neisseria meningitidis serotype B and demonstrated that two doses of 2.5μg of this vaccine conferred partial protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax . Here, we demonstrate complete protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax with a higher 50μg dose of the same capsule conjugate vaccine. These results indicate that B. anthracis capsule is a highly effective vaccine component that should be considered for incorporation in future generation anthrax vaccines. PMID:27329184

  9. Variable Lymphocyte Receptor Recognition of the Immunodominant Glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirchdoerfer, Robert N.; Herrin, Brantley R.; Han, Byung Woo; Turnbough, Jr., Charles L.; Cooper, Max D.; Wilson, Ian A. (SNU); (Scripps); (Emory); (UAB); (Emory Vaccine)

    2012-07-25

    Variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) are the adaptive immune receptors of jawless fish, which evolved adaptive immunity independent of other vertebrates. In lieu of the immunoglobulin fold-based T and B cell receptors, lymphocyte-like cells of jawless fish express VLRs (VLRA, VLRB, or VLRC) composed of leucine-rich repeats and are similar to toll-like receptors (TLRs) in structure, but antibodies (VLRB) and T cell receptors (VLRA and VLRC) in function. Here, we present the structural and biochemical characterization of VLR4, a VLRB, in complex with BclA, the immunodominant glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis spores. Using a combination of crystallography, mutagenesis, and binding studies, we delineate the mode of antigen recognition and binding between VLR4 and BclA, examine commonalities in VLRB recognition of antigens, and demonstrate the potential of VLR4 as a diagnostic tool for the identification of B. anthracis spores.

  10. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores during Laboratory-Scale Composting of Feedlot Cattle Manure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shanwei; Harvey, Amanda; Barbieri, Ruth; Reuter, Tim; Stanford, Kim; Amoako, Kingsley K.; Selinger, Leonard B.; McAllister, Tim A.

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax outbreaks in livestock have social, economic and health implications, altering farmer’s livelihoods, impacting trade and posing a zoonotic risk. Our study investigated the survival of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. anthracis spores sporulated at 15, 20, or 37°C, over 33 days of composting. Spores (∼7.5 log10 CFU g-1) were mixed with manure and composted in laboratory scale composters. After 15 days, the compost was mixed and returned to the composter for a second cycle. Temperatures peaked at 71°C on day 2 and remained ≥55°C for an average of 7 days in the first cycle, but did not exceed 55°C in the second. For B. thuringiensis, spores generated at 15 and 21°C exhibited reduced (P < 0.05) viability of 2.7 and 2.6 log10 CFU g-1 respectively, as compared to a 0.6 log10 CFU g-1 reduction for those generated at 37°C. For B. anthracis, sporulation temperature did not impact spore survival as there was a 2.5, 2.2, and 2.8 log10 CFU g-1 reduction after composting for spores generated at 15, 21, and 37°C, respectively. For both species, spore viability declined more rapidly (P < 0.05) in the first as compared to the second composting cycle. Our findings suggest that the duration of thermophilic exposure (≥55°C) is the main factor influencing survival of B. anthracis spores in compost. As sporulation temperature did not influence survival of B. anthracis, composting may lower the viability of spores associated with carcasses infected with B. anthracis over a range of sporulation temperatures. PMID:27303388

  11. The Bacillus anthracis cholesterol-dependent cytolysin, Anthrolysin O, kills human neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rest Richard F

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is an animal and human pathogen whose virulence is characterized by lethal and edema toxin, as well as a poly-glutamic acid capsule. In addition to these well characterized toxins, B. anthracis secretes several proteases and phospholipases, and a newly described toxin of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC family, Anthrolysin O (ALO. Results In the present studies we show that recombinant ALO (rALO or native ALO, secreted by viable B. anthracis, is lethal to human primary polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs, monocytes, monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs, lymphocytes, THP-1 monocytic human cell line and ME-180, Detroit 562, and A549 epithelial cells by trypan blue exclusion or lactate dehydrogenase (LDH release viability assays. ALO cytotoxicity is dose and time dependent and susceptibility to ALO-mediated lysis differs between cell types. In addition, the viability of monocytes and hMDMs was assayed in the presence of vegetative Sterne strains 7702 (ALO+, UT231 (ALO-, and a complemented strain expressing ALO, UT231 (pUTE544, and was dependent upon the expression of ALO. Cytotoxicity of rALO is seen as low as 0.070 nM in the absence of serum. All direct cytotoxic activity is inhibited by the addition of cholesterol or serum concentration as low as 10%. Conclusion The lethality of rALO and native ALO on human monocytes, neutrophils, macrophages and lymphocytes supports the idea that ALO may represent a previously unidentified virulence factor of B. anthracis. The study of other factors produced by B. anthracis, along with the major anthrax toxins, will lead to a better understanding of this bacterium's pathogenesis, as well as provide information for the development of antitoxin vaccines for treating and preventing anthrax.

  12. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores during Laboratory-Scale Composting of Feedlot Cattle Manure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shanwei; Harvey, Amanda; Barbieri, Ruth; Reuter, Tim; Stanford, Kim; Amoako, Kingsley K; Selinger, Leonard B; McAllister, Tim A

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax outbreaks in livestock have social, economic and health implications, altering farmer's livelihoods, impacting trade and posing a zoonotic risk. Our study investigated the survival of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. anthracis spores sporulated at 15, 20, or 37°C, over 33 days of composting. Spores (∼7.5 log10 CFU g(-1)) were mixed with manure and composted in laboratory scale composters. After 15 days, the compost was mixed and returned to the composter for a second cycle. Temperatures peaked at 71°C on day 2 and remained ≥55°C for an average of 7 days in the first cycle, but did not exceed 55°C in the second. For B. thuringiensis, spores generated at 15 and 21°C exhibited reduced (P < 0.05) viability of 2.7 and 2.6 log10 CFU g(-1) respectively, as compared to a 0.6 log10 CFU g(-1) reduction for those generated at 37°C. For B. anthracis, sporulation temperature did not impact spore survival as there was a 2.5, 2.2, and 2.8 log10 CFU g(-1) reduction after composting for spores generated at 15, 21, and 37°C, respectively. For both species, spore viability declined more rapidly (P < 0.05) in the first as compared to the second composting cycle. Our findings suggest that the duration of thermophilic exposure (≥55°C) is the main factor influencing survival of B. anthracis spores in compost. As sporulation temperature did not influence survival of B. anthracis, composting may lower the viability of spores associated with carcasses infected with B. anthracis over a range of sporulation temperatures. PMID:27303388

  13. Modeling the potential distribution of Bacillus anthracis under multiple climate change scenarios for Kazakhstan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Andrew Joyner

    Full Text Available Anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a zoonotic disease that persists throughout much of the world in livestock, wildlife, and secondarily infects humans. This is true across much of Central Asia, and particularly the Steppe region, including Kazakhstan. This study employed the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP to model the current and future geographic distribution of Bacillus anthracis in Kazakhstan based on the A2 and B2 IPCC SRES climate change scenarios using a 5-variable data set at 55 km(2 and 8 km(2 and a 6-variable BioClim data set at 8 km(2. Future models suggest large areas predicted under current conditions may be reduced by 2050 with the A2 model predicting approximately 14-16% loss across the three spatial resolutions. There was greater variability in the B2 models across scenarios predicting approximately 15% loss at 55 km(2, approximately 34% loss at 8 km(2, and approximately 30% loss with the BioClim variables. Only very small areas of habitat expansion into new areas were predicted by either A2 or B2 in any models. Greater areas of habitat loss are predicted in the southern regions of Kazakhstan by A2 and B2 models, while moderate habitat loss is also predicted in the northern regions by either B2 model at 8 km(2. Anthrax disease control relies mainly on livestock vaccination and proper carcass disposal, both of which require adequate surveillance. In many situations, including that of Kazakhstan, vaccine resources are limited, and understanding the geographic distribution of the organism, in tandem with current data on livestock population dynamics, can aid in properly allocating doses. While speculative, contemplating future changes in livestock distributions and B. anthracis spore promoting environments can be useful for establishing future surveillance priorities. This study may also have broader applications to global public health surveillance relating to other diseases in addition to B

  14. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► Non-infectious and protease-deficient Bacillus anthracis protein expression system. ► Successful expression and purification of a tumor-targeted fusion protein drug. ► Very low endotoxin contamination of purified protein. ► Efficient protein secretion simplifies purification. ► Functional anti-tumor fusion protein purified. -- Abstract: Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGFα). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGFα). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein.

  15. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J.; Liu, Shihui [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 (United States); Leppla, Stephen H., E-mail: sleppla@niaid.nih.gov [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 (United States)

    2013-01-04

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Non-infectious and protease-deficient Bacillus anthracis protein expression system. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Successful expression and purification of a tumor-targeted fusion protein drug. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Very low endotoxin contamination of purified protein. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Efficient protein secretion simplifies purification. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functional anti-tumor fusion protein purified. -- Abstract: Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGF{alpha}). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGF{alpha}). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein.

  16. Bacillus anthracis in China and its relationship to worldwide lineages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schupp James M

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The global pattern of distribution of 1033 B. anthracis isolates has previously been defined by a set of 12 conserved canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNP. These studies reinforced the presence of three major lineages and 12 sub-lineages and sub-groups of this anthrax-causing pathogen. Isolates that form the A lineage (unlike the B and C lineages have become widely dispersed throughout the world and form the basis for the geographical disposition of "modern" anthrax. An archival collection of 191 different B. anthracis isolates from China provides a glimpse into the possible role of Chinese trade and commerce in the spread of certain sub-lineages of this pathogen. Canonical single nucleotide polymorphism (canSNP and multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA typing has been used to examine this archival collection of isolates. Results The canSNP study indicates that there are 5 different sub-lineages/sub-groups in China out of 12 previously described world-wide canSNP genotypes. Three of these canSNP genotypes were only found in the western-most province of China, Xinjiang. These genotypes were A.Br.008/009, a sub-group that is spread across most of Europe and Asia; A.Br.Aust 94, a sub-lineage that is present in Europe and India, and A.Br.Vollum, a lineage that is also present in Europe. The remaining two canSNP genotypes are spread across the whole of China and belong to sub-group A.Br.001/002 and the A.Br.Ames sub-lineage, two closely related genotypes. MLVA typing adds resolution to the isolates in each canSNP genotype and diversity indices for the A.Br.008/009 and A.Br.001/002 sub-groups suggest that these represent older and established clades in China. Conclusion B. anthracis isolates were recovered from three canSNP sub-groups (A.Br.008/009, A.Br.Aust94, and A.Br.Vollum in the western most portion of the large Chinese province of Xinjiang. The city of Kashi in this province appears to have served as a crossroads

  17. Protection Afforded by Fluoroquinolones in Animal Models of Respiratory Infections with Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Johnny W; Moen, Scott T; Healy, Daniel; Pawlik, Jennifer E; Taormina, Joanna; Hardcastle, Jason; Thomas, John M; Lawrence, William S; Ponce, Cindy; Chatuev, Bagram M; Gnade, Bryan T; Foltz, Sheri M; Agar, Stacy L; Sha, Jian; Klimpel, Gary R; Kirtley, Michelle L; Eaves-Pyles, Tonyia; Chopra, Ashok K

    2010-01-01

    Successful treatment of inhalation anthrax, pneumonic plague and tularemia can be achieved with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin, and initiation of treatment is most effective when administered as soon as possible following exposure. Bacillus anthracis Ames, Yersinia pestis CO92, and Francisella tularensis SCHU S4 have equivalent susceptibility in vitro to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin (minimal inhibitory concentration is 0.03 μg/ml); however, limited information is available regarding in vivo susceptibility of these infectious agents to the fluoroquinolone antibiotics in small animal models. Mice, guinea pig, and rabbit models have been developed to evaluate the protective efficacy of antibiotic therapy against these life-threatening infections. Our results indicated that doses of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin required to protect mice against inhalation anthrax were approximately 18-fold higher than the doses of levofloxacin required to protect against pneumonic plague and tularemia. Further, the critical period following aerosol exposure of mice to either B. anthracis spores or Y. pestis was 24 h, while mice challenged with F. tularensis could be effectively protected when treatment was delayed for as long as 72 h postchallenge. In addition, it was apparent that prolonged antibiotic treatment was important in the effective treatment of inhalation anthrax in mice, but short-term treatment of mice with pneumonic plague or tularemia infections were usually successful. These results provide effective antibiotic dosages in mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits and lay the foundation for the development and evaluation of combinational treatment modalities. PMID:21127743

  18. Development and field testing of a mobile chlorine dioxide generation system for the decontamination of buildings contaminated with Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, Joseph P., E-mail: wood.joe@epa.gov [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Homeland Security Research Center, MC-E343-06, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States); Blair Martin, G., E-mail: martin.blair@epa.gov [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, MC-E340-C, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States)

    2009-05-30

    The numerous buildings that became contaminated with Bacillus anthracis (the bacterium causing the disease anthrax) in 2001, and more recent B. anthracis - related events, point to the need to have effective decontamination technologies for buildings contaminated with biological threat agents. The U.S. Government developed a portable chlorine dioxide (ClO{sub 2}) generation system to decontaminate buildings contaminated with B. anthracis spores, and this so-called mobile decontamination trailer (MDT) prototype was tested through a series of three field trials. The first test of the MDT was conducted at Fort McClellan in Anniston, AL. during October 2004. Four test attempts occurred over two weekends; however, a number of system problems resulted in termination of the activity prior to any ClO{sub 2} introduction into the test building. After making several design enhancements and equipment changes, the MDT was subjected to a second test. During this test, extensive leak checks were made using argon and nitrogen in lieu of chlorine gas; each subsystem was checked for functionality, and the MDT was operated for 24 h. This second test demonstrated the MDT flow and control systems functioned satisfactorily, and thus it was decided to proceed to a third, more challenging field trial. In the last field test, ClO{sub 2} was generated and routed directly to the scrubber in a 12-h continuous run. Measurement of ClO{sub 2} levels at the generator outlet showed that the desired production rate was not achieved. Additionally, only one of the two scrubbers performed adequately with regard to maintaining ClO{sub 2} emissions below the limit. Numerous lessons were learned in the field trials of this ClO{sub 2} decontamination technology.

  19. Development and field testing of a mobile chlorine dioxide generation system for the decontamination of buildings contaminated with Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The numerous buildings that became contaminated with Bacillus anthracis (the bacterium causing the disease anthrax) in 2001, and more recent B. anthracis - related events, point to the need to have effective decontamination technologies for buildings contaminated with biological threat agents. The U.S. Government developed a portable chlorine dioxide (ClO2) generation system to decontaminate buildings contaminated with B. anthracis spores, and this so-called mobile decontamination trailer (MDT) prototype was tested through a series of three field trials. The first test of the MDT was conducted at Fort McClellan in Anniston, AL. during October 2004. Four test attempts occurred over two weekends; however, a number of system problems resulted in termination of the activity prior to any ClO2 introduction into the test building. After making several design enhancements and equipment changes, the MDT was subjected to a second test. During this test, extensive leak checks were made using argon and nitrogen in lieu of chlorine gas; each subsystem was checked for functionality, and the MDT was operated for 24 h. This second test demonstrated the MDT flow and control systems functioned satisfactorily, and thus it was decided to proceed to a third, more challenging field trial. In the last field test, ClO2 was generated and routed directly to the scrubber in a 12-h continuous run. Measurement of ClO2 levels at the generator outlet showed that the desired production rate was not achieved. Additionally, only one of the two scrubbers performed adequately with regard to maintaining ClO2 emissions below the limit. Numerous lessons were learned in the field trials of this ClO2 decontamination technology.

  20. gyrB as a phylogenetic discriminator for members of the Bacillus anthracis-cereus-thuringiensis group

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Duc, Myron T.; Satomi, Masataka; Agata, Norio; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2004-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of the human disease anthrax, Bacillus cereus, a food-borne pathogen capable of causing human illness, and Bacillus thuringiensis, a well-characterized insecticidal toxin producer, all cluster together within a very tight clade (B. cereus group) phylogenetically and are indistinguishable from one another via 16S rDNA sequence analysis. As new pathogens are continually emerging, it is imperative to devise a system capable of rapidly and accurately differentiating closely related, yet phenotypically distinct species. Although the gyrB gene has proven useful in discriminating closely related species, its sequence analysis has not yet been validated by DNA:DNA hybridization, the taxonomically accepted "gold standard". We phylogenetically characterized the gyrB sequences of various species and serotypes encompassed in the "B. cereus group," including lab strains and environmental isolates. Results were compared to those obtained from analyses of phenotypic characteristics, 16S rDNA sequence, DNA:DNA hybridization, and virulence factors. The gyrB gene proved more highly differential than 16S, while, at the same time, as analytical as costly and laborious DNA:DNA hybridization techniques in differentiating species within the B. cereus group.

  1. Transcriptional Stimulation of Anthrax Toxin Receptors by Anthrax Edema Toxin and Bacillus anthracis Sterne Spore

    OpenAIRE

    Xu, Qingfu; Hesek, Eric D.; Zeng, Mingtao

    2007-01-01

    We used quantitative real-time RT-PCR to not only investigate the mRNA levels of anthrax toxin receptor 1 (ANTXR1) and 2 (ANTXR2) in the murine J774A.1 macrophage cells and different tissues of mice, but also evaluate the effect of anthrax edema toxin and Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores on the expression of mRNA of these receptors. The mRNA transcripts of both receptors was detected in J774A.1 cells and mouse tissues such as the lung, heart, kidney, spleen, stomach, jejunum, brain, skeleton ...

  2. Protein profiles of field isolates ofBacillus anthracis from different endemic areas of Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Bhakti Poerwadikarta

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Sonicated cell-free extract proteins of 14 field isolates ofBacillus anthracis from six different endemic areas of Indonesia were analyzed by the use of sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE methods . The protein profiles of each field isolate tested demonstrated slightly different at the protein bands with molecular weights of 18, 37, 52, 65 and 70 kDa, and varied between the field isolates and vaccine strains. The variation could provide clues to the source of anthrax transmission whether it was originated from similar strain or not.

  3. An Essential DnaB Helicase of Bacillus anthracis: Identification, Characterization, and Mechanism of Action▿

    OpenAIRE

    Biswas, Esther E.; Barnes, Marjorie H.; Moir, Donald T.; Biswas, Subhasis B

    2008-01-01

    We have described a novel essential replicative DNA helicase from Bacillus anthracis, the identification of its gene, and the elucidation of its enzymatic characteristics. Anthrax DnaB helicase (DnaBBA) is a 453-amino-acid, 50-kDa polypeptide with ATPase and DNA helicase activities. DnaBBA displayed distinct enzymatic and kinetic properties. DnaBBA has low single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-dependent ATPase activity but possesses a strong 5′→3′ DNA helicase activity. The stimulation of ATPase activi...

  4. Physical Sequestration of Bacillus anthracis in the Pulmonary Capillaries in Terminal Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jouvion, Gregory; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Khun, Huot; Moya-Nilges, Marie; Roux, Pascal; Latroche, Claire; Tournier, Jean-Nicolas; Huerre, Michel; Chrétien, Fabrice; Goossens, Pierre L

    2016-07-15

    The lung is the terminal target of Bacillus anthracis before death, whatever the route of infection (cutaneous, inhalational, or digestive). During a cutaneous infection in absence of toxins, we observed encapsulated bacteria colonizing the alveolar capillary network, bacteria and hemorrhages in alveolar and bronchiolar spaces, and hypoxic foci in the lung (endothelial cells) and brain (neurons and neuropil). Circulating encapsulated bacteria were as chains of approximately 13 µm in length. Bacteria of such size were immediately trapped within the lung capillary network, but bacteria of shorter length were not. Controlling lung-targeted pathology would be beneficial for anthrax treatment. PMID:26977051

  5. Efficacy of Daptomycin against Bacillus anthracis in a Murine Model of Anthrax Spore Inhalation▿

    OpenAIRE

    Heine, Henry S.; Bassett, Jennifer; Miller, Lynda; Purcell, Bret K.; Byrne, W. Russell

    2010-01-01

    Daptomycin demonstrated in vitro (MIC90, 4 μg/ml) and in vivo activities against Bacillus anthracis. Twice-daily treatment with a dose of 50 mg/kg of body weight was begun 24 h after challenge and continued for 14 or 21 days; results were compared to those for controls treated with phosphate-buffered saline or ciprofloxacin. Day 43 survival rates were 6/10 mice for the 14-day and 9/10 mice for the 21-day treatment groups, compared to survival with ciprofloxacin: 8/10 and 9/10 mice, respective...

  6. Importance of srtA and srtB for Growth of Bacillus anthracis in Macrophages

    OpenAIRE

    Zink, Steven D.; Burns, Drusilla L.

    2005-01-01

    We examined the effect of mutation of two sortase genes of Bacillus anthracis, srtA and srtB, on the ability of the bacterium to grow in J774A.1 cells, a mouse macrophage-like cell line. While disruption of either srtA or srtB had no effect on the ability of the bacteria to grow in rich culture media, mutations in each of these genes dramatically attenuated growth of the bacterium in J774A.1 cells. Complementation of the mutation restored the ability of bacteria to grow in the cells. Since th...

  7. Identification of Novel Raft Marker Protein, FlotP in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somani, Vikas K; Aggarwal, Somya; Singh, Damini; Prasad, Tulika; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Lipid rafts are dynamic, nanoscale assemblies of specific proteins and lipids, distributed heterogeneously on eukaryotic membrane. Flotillin-1, a conserved eukaryotic raft marker protein (RMP) harbor SPFH (Stomatin, Prohibitin, Flotillin, and HflK/C) and oligomerization domains to regulate various cellular processes through its interactions with other signaling or transport proteins. Rafts were thought to be absent in prokaryotes hitherto, but recent report of its presence and significance in physiology of Bacillus subtilis prompted us to investigate the same in pathogenic bacteria (PB) also. In prokaryotes, proteins of SPFH2a subfamily show highest identity to SPFH domain of Flotillin-1. Moreover, bacterial genome organization revealed that Flotillin homolog harboring SPFH2a domain exists in an operon with an upstream gene containing NFeD domain. Here, presence of RMP in PB was initially investigated in silico by analyzing the presence of SPFH2a, oligomerization domains in the concerned gene and NfeD domain in the adjacent upstream gene. After investigating 300 PB, four were found to harbor RMP. Among them, domains of Bas0525 (FlotP) of Bacillus anthracis (BA) showed highest identity with characteristic domains of RMP. Considering the global threat of BA as the bioterror agent, it was selected as a model for further in vitro characterization of rafts in PB. In silico and in vitro analysis showed significant similarity of FlotP with numerous attributes of Flotillin-1. Its punctate distribution on membrane with exclusive localization in detergent resistant membrane fraction; strongly favors presence of raft with RMP FlotP in BA. Furthermore, significant effect of Zaragozic acid (ZA), a raft associated lipid biosynthesis inhibitor, on several patho-physiological attributes of BA such as growth, morphology, membrane rigidity etc., were also observed. Specifically, a considerable decrease in membrane rigidity, strongly recommended presence of an unknown raft associated

  8. Identification of novel raft marker protein, FlotP in Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vikas Kumar Somani

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Lipid rafts are dynamic, nanoscale assemblies of specific proteins and lipids, distributed heterogeneously on eukaryotic membrane. Flotillin-1, a conserved eukaryotic raft marker protein (RMP harbor SPFH (Stomatin, Prohibitin, Flotillin, and HflK/C and oligomerization domains to regulate various cellular processes through its interactions with other signaling or transport proteins. Rafts were thought to be absent in prokaryotes hitherto, but recent report of its presence and significance in physiology of Bacillus subtilis prompted us to investigate the same in pathogenic bacteria (PB also. In prokaryotes, proteins of SPFH2a subfamily show highest identity to SPFH domain of Flotillin-1. Moreover, bacterial genome organization revealed that Flotillin homologue harbouring SPFH2a domain exists in an operon with an upstream gene containing NFeD domain. Here, presence of RMP in PB was initially investigated in silico by analyzing the presence of SPFH2a, oligomerization domains in the concerned gene and NfeD domain in the adjacent upstream gene. After investigating 300 PB, 4 were found to harbor RMP. Among them, domains of Bas0525 (FlotP of Bacillus anthracis (BA showed highest identity with characteristic domains of RMP. Considering the global threat of BA as the bioterror agent, it was selected as a model for further in vitro characterization of rafts in PB. In silico and in vitro analysis showed significant similarity of FlotP with numerous attributes of Flotillin-1. Its punctate distribution on membrane with exclusive localization in detergent resistant membrane fraction; strongly favors presence of raft with RMP FlotP in BA. Furthermore, significant effect of Zaragozic acid (ZA, a raft associated lipid biosynthesis inhibitor, on several patho-physiological attributes of BA such as growth, morphology, membrane rigidity etc., were also observed. Specifically, a considerable decrease in membrane rigidity, strongly recommended presence of an unknown

  9. Laboratory studies on surface sampling of Bacillus anthracis contamination: summary, gaps and recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piepel, G F; Amidan, B G; Hu, R

    2012-12-01

    This article summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing and analysing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the (i) estimates of B. anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates and (ii) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed. Additional work is needed to quantify (i) the false-negative rates of surface-sampling methods with lower concentrations on various surfaces and (ii) the effects on performance characteristics of: aerosol vs liquid deposition of spores, using surrogates instead of B. anthracis, real-world vs laboratory conditions and storage and transportation conditions. Recommendations are given for future evaluations of data from existing studies and possible new studies. PMID:22747878

  10. Crystallization and initial crystallographic analysis of phosphoglucosamine mutase from Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The enzyme phosphoglucosamine mutase from B. anthracis participates in the peptidoglycan-biosynthetic pathway. The expression, purification and crystallization of this enzyme are described; diffraction data have been collected to 2.7 Å resolution. The enzyme phosphoglucosamine mutase catalyzes the conversion of glucosamine 6-phosphate to glucosamine 1-phosphate, an early step in the formation of the nucleotide sugar UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, which is involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. These enzymes are part of the large α-d-phosphohexomutase enzyme superfamily, but no proteins from the phosphoglucosamine mutase subgroup have been structurally characterized to date. Here, the crystallization of phosphoglucosamine mutase from Bacillus anthracis in space group P3221 by hanging-drop vapor diffusion is reported. The crystals diffracted to 2.7 Å resolution under cryocooling conditions. Structure determination by molecular replacement was successful and refinement is under way. The crystal structure of B. anthracis phosphoglucosamine mutase should shed light on the substrate-specificity of these enzymes and will also serve as a template for inhibitor design

  11. Ecological niche modeling of Bacillus anthracis on three continents: evidence for genetic-ecological divergence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jocelyn C Mullins

    Full Text Available We modeled the ecological niche of a globally successful Bacillus anthracis sublineage in the United States, Italy and Kazakhstan to better understand the geographic distribution of anthrax and potential associations between regional populations and ecology. Country-specific ecological-niche models were developed and reciprocally transferred to the other countries to determine if pathogen presence could be accurately predicted on novel landscapes. Native models accurately predicted endemic areas within each country, but transferred models failed to predict known occurrences in the outside countries. While the effects of variable selection and limitations of the genetic data should be considered, results suggest differing ecological associations for the B. anthracis populations within each country and may reflect niche specialization within the sublineage. Our findings provide guidance for developing accurate ecological niche models for this pathogen; models should be developed regionally, on the native landscape, and with consideration to population genetics. Further genomic analysis will improve our understanding of the genetic-ecological dynamics of B. anthracis across these countries and may lead to more refined predictive models for surveillance and proactive vaccination programs. Further studies should evaluate the impact of variable selection of native and transferred models.

  12. Structural study and thermodynamic characterization of inhibitor binding to lumazine synthase from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morgunova, Ekaterina [Karolinska Institutet NOVUM, Center of Structural Biochemistry, Hälsovägen 7-9, 141 57 Huddinge (Sweden); Illarionov, Boris; Saller, Sabine [Institut für Lebensmittelchemie, Universität Hamburg, Grindelallee 117, 20146 Hamburg (Germany); Popov, Aleksander [European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble CEDEX 09 (France); Sambaiah, Thota [Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University (United States); Bacher, Adelbert [Chemistry Department, Technical University of Munich, 85747 Garching (Germany); Cushman, Mark [Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University (United States); Fischer, Markus [Institut für Lebensmittelchemie, Universität Hamburg, Grindelallee 117, 20146 Hamburg (Germany); Ladenstein, Rudolf, E-mail: rudolf.ladenstein@ki.se [Karolinska Institutet NOVUM, Center of Structural Biochemistry, Hälsovägen 7-9, 141 57 Huddinge (Sweden)

    2010-09-01

    Crystallographic studies of lumazine synthase, the penultimate enzyme of the riboflavin-biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis, provide a structural framework for the design of antibiotic inhibitors, together with calorimetric and kinetic investigations of inhibitor binding. The crystal structure of lumazine synthase from Bacillus anthracis was solved by molecular replacement and refined to R{sub cryst} = 23.7% (R{sub free} = 28.4%) at a resolution of 3.5 Å. The structure reveals the icosahedral symmetry of the enzyme and specific features of the active site that are unique in comparison with previously determined orthologues. The application of isothermal titration calorimetry in combination with enzyme kinetics showed that three designed pyrimidine derivatives bind to lumazine synthase with micromolar dissociation constants and competitively inhibit the catalytic reaction. Structure-based modelling suggested the binding modes of the inhibitors in the active site and allowed an estimation of the possible contacts formed upon binding. The results provide a structural framework for the design of antibiotics active against B. anthracis.

  13. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J; Liu, Shihui; Leppla, Stephen H

    2013-01-01

    Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGFα). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGFα). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein. PMID:23200832

  14. The role of anthrolysin O in gut epithelial barrier disruption during Bacillus anthracis infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Brian L; Lodolce, James P; Kolodziej, Lauren E; Boone, David L; Tang, Wei Jen

    2010-04-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax, caused by the bacterial infection of Bacillus anthracis, posts a significant bioterrorism threat by its relatively high mortality rate in humans. Different from inhalational anthrax by the route of infection, accumulating evidence indicates the bypass of vegetative bacteria across GI epithelium is required to initiate GI anthrax. Previously, we reported that purified anthrolysin O (ALO), instead of tripartite anthrax edema and lethal toxins, is capable of disrupting gut epithelial tight junctions and barrier function in cultured cells. Here, we show that ALO can disrupt intestinal tissue barrier function in an ex vivo mouse model. To explore the effects of ALO in a cell culture model of B. anthracis infection, we showed that anthrax bacteria can effectively reduce the monolayer integrity of human Caco-2 brush-border expressor (C2BBE) cells based on the reduced transepithelial resistance and the increased leakage of fluorescent dye. This disruption is likely caused by tight junction dysfunction observed by the reorganization of the tight junction protein occludin. Consequently, we observe significant passage of vegetative anthrax bacteria across C2BBE cells. This barrier disruption and bacterial crossover requires ALO since ALO-deficient B. anthracis strains fail to induce monolayer dysfunction and allow the passage of anthrax bacteria. Together these findings point to a pivotal role for ALO within the establishment of GI anthrax infection and the initial bypass of the epithelial barrier. PMID:20188700

  15. Discerning Viable from Nonviable Yersinia pestis pgm- and Bacillus anthracis Sterne using Propidium Monoazide in the Presence of White Powders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hess, Becky M.; Kaiser, Brooke LD; Sydor, Michael A.; Wunschel, David S.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-12-23

    ABSTRACT Aims To develop and optimize an assay to determine viability status of Bacillus anthracis Sterne and Yersinia pestis pgm- strains in the presence of white powders by coupling propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment with real-time PCR (qPCR) analysis. Methods and Results PMA selectively enters nonviable cells and binds DNA, thereby increasing qPCR assay cycle threshold (CT) values compared to untreated samples. Dye concentration, cell number and fitness, incubation time, inactivation methods, and assay buffer were optimized for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm-. Differences in CT values in nonviable cells compared to untreated samples were consistently > 9 for both B. anthracis Sterne vegetative cells and Y. pestis pgm- in the presence and absence of three different white powders. Our method eliminates the need for a DNA extraction step prior to detection by qPCR. Conclusions The developed assay enables simultaneous identification and viability assessment for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm- under laboratory conditions, even in the presence of white powders. Eliminating the DNA extraction step that is typically used reduces total assay time and labor requirements for sample analysis. Significance and Impact of the Study The method developed for simultaneous detection and viability assessment for B. anthracis and Y. pestis can be employed in forming decisions about the severity of a biothreat event or the safety of food. Keywords Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Propidium Monoazide, qPCR, White Powders, Rapid Viability Detection

  16. Measurements of the Ultraviolet Fluorescence Cross Sections and Spectra of Bacillus Anthracis Simulants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephens, J.R.

    1998-09-01

    Measurements of the ultraviolet autofluorescence spectra and absolute cross sections of the Bacillus anthracis (Ba) simulants Bacillus globigii (Bg), Bacillus megaterium (Bm), Bacillus subtilis (Bs), and Bacillus cereus (Bc) were measured. Fluorescence spectra and cross sections of pine pollen (Pina echinata) were measured for comparison. Both dried vegetative cells and spores separated from the sporulated vegetative material were studied. The spectra were obtained by suspending a small number (<10) of particles in air in our Single Particle Spectroscopy Apparatus (SPSA), illuminating the particles with light from a spectrally filtered arc lamp, and measuring the fluorescence spectra of the particles. The illumination was 280 nm (20 nm FWHM) and the fluorescence spectra was measured between 300 and 450 nm. The fluorescence cross section of vegetative Bg peaks at 320 nm with a maximum cross section of 5 X 10{sup -14} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle while the Bg spore fluorescence peaks at 310 nm with peak fluorescence of 8 X 10{sup -15} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle. Pine pollen particles showed a higher fluorescence peaking at 355 nm with a cross section of 1.7 X 10{sup -13} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle. Integrated cross sections ranged from 3.0 X 10{sup -13} for the Bg spores through 2.25 X 10{sup -12} (cm{sup 2}/sr-particle) for the vegetative cells.

  17. Identification of the pXO1 plasmid in attenuated Bacillus anthracis vaccine strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Xudong; Zhang, Huijuan; Zhang, Enmin; Wei, Jianchun; Li, Wei; Wang, Bingxiang; Dong, Shulin; Zhu, Jin

    2016-07-01

    Anthrax toxins and capsule are the major virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis. They are encoded by genes located on the plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, respectively. The vaccine strain Pasteur II was produced from high temperature subcultures of B. anthracis, which resulted in virulence attenuation through the loss of the plasmid pXO1. However, it is unclear whether the high temperature culture completely abolishes the plasmid DNA or affects the replication of the plasmid pXO1. In this study, we tested 3 B. anthracis vaccine strains, including Pasteur II from France, Qiankefusiji II from Russia, and Rentian II from Japan, which were all generated from subcultures at high temperatures. Surprisingly, we detected the presence of pXO1 plasmid DNA using overlap PCR in all these vaccine strains. DNA sequencing analysis of overlap PCR products further confirmed the presence of pXO1. Moreover, the expression of the protective antigen (PA) encoded on pXO1 was determined by using SDS-PAGE and western blotting. In addition, we mimicked Pasteur's method and exposed the A16R vaccine strain, which lacks the pXO2 plasmid, to high temperature, and identified the pXO1 plasmid in the subcultures at high temperatures. This indicated that the high temperature treatment at 42.5°C was unable to eliminate pXO1 plasmid DNA from B. anthracis. Our results suggest that the attenuation of the Pasteur II vaccine strain is likely due to the impact of high temperature stress on plasmid replication, which in turn limits the copy number of pXO1. Our data provide new insights into the mechanisms of the remaining immunogenicity and toxicity of the vaccine strains. PMID:27029580

  18. Allelic variation on murine chromosome 11 modifies host inflammatory responses and resistance to Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill K Terra

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a potentially fatal disease resulting from infection with Bacillus anthracis. The outcome of infection is influenced by pathogen-encoded virulence factors such as lethal toxin (LT, as well as by genetic variation within the host. To identify host genes controlling susceptibility to anthrax, a library of congenic mice consisting of strains with homozygous chromosomal segments from the LT-responsive CAST/Ei strain introgressed on a LT-resistant C57BL/6 (B6 background was screened for response to LT. Three congenic strains containing CAST/Ei regions of chromosome 11 were identified that displayed a rapid inflammatory response to LT similar to, but more severe than that driven by a LT-responsive allele of the inflammasome constituent NRLP1B. Importantly, increased response to LT in congenic mice correlated with greater resistance to infection by the Sterne strain of B. anthracis. The genomic region controlling the inflammatory response to LT was mapped to 66.36-74.67 Mb on chromosome 11, a region that encodes the LT-responsive CAST/Ei allele of Nlrp1b. However, known downstream effects of NLRP1B activation, including macrophage pyroptosis, cytokine release, and leukocyte infiltration could not fully explain the response to LT or the resistance to B. anthracis Sterne in congenic mice. Further, the exacerbated response in congenic mice is inherited in a recessive manner while the Nlrp1b-mediated response to LT is dominant. Finally, congenic mice displayed increased responsiveness in a model of sepsis compared with B6 mice. In total, these data suggest that allelic variation of one or more chromosome 11 genes in addition to Nlrp1b controls the severity of host response to multiple inflammatory stimuli and contributes to resistance to B. anthracis Sterne. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis revealed 25 genes within this region as high priority candidates for contributing to the host response to LT.

  19. Aerosolized Bacillus anthracis infection in New Zealand white rabbits: natural history and intravenous levofloxacin treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yee, Steven B; Hatkin, Joshua M; Dyer, David N; Orr, Steven A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2010-12-01

    The natural history for inhalational Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain) exposure in New Zealand white rabbits was investigated to better identify potential, early biomarkers of anthrax. Twelve SPF Bordetella-free rabbits were exposed to 150 LD(50) aerosolized B. anthracis spores, and clinical signs, body temperature, complete blood count, bacteremia, and presence of protective antigen in the blood (that is, antigenemia) were examined. The development of antigenemia and bacteremia coincided and preceded both pyrexia and inversion of the heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, an indicator of infection. Antigenemia was determined within 1 h by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, compared with the 24-h traditional culture needed for bacteremia determination. Rabbits appeared clinically normal until shortly before succumbing to anthrax approximately 47 h after challenge or approximately 22 h after antigenemia, which suggests a relatively narrow therapeutic window of opportunity. To evaluate the therapeutic rabbit model, B. anthracis-exposed rabbits were treated (after determination of antigenemia and later confirmed to be bacteremic) intravenously with the fluoroquinolone antibiotic levofloxacin for 5 d at a total daily dose of 25 or 12.5 mg/kg, resulting in nearly 90% and 70% survival, respectively, to the study end (28 d after challenge). The peak level for 12.5 mg/kg was equivalent to that observed for a 500-mg daily levofloxacin dose in humans. These results suggest that intravenous levofloxacin is an effective therapeutic against inhalational anthrax. Taken together, our findings indicate that antigenemia is a viable and early biomarker for B. anthracis infection that can be used as a treatment trigger to allow for timely intervention against this highly pathogenic disease. PMID:21262133

  20. Genotyping of Bacillus anthracis strains based on automated capillary 25-loci Multiple Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeats Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciervo Alessandra

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genome of Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is highly monomorphic which makes differentiation between strains difficult. A Multiple Locus Variable-number tandem repeats (VNTR Analysis (MLVA assay based on 20 markers was previously described. It has considerable discrimination power, reproducibility, and low cost, especially since the markers proposed can be typed by agarose-gel electrophoresis. However in an emergency situation, faster genotyping and access to representative databases is necessary. Results Genotyping of B. anthracis reference strains and isolates from France and Italy was done using a 25 loci MLVA assay combining 21 previously described loci and 4 new ones. DNA was amplified in 4 multiplex PCR reactions and the length of the resulting 25 amplicons was estimated by automated capillary electrophoresis. The results were reproducible and the data were consistent with other gel based methods once differences in mobility patterns were taken into account. Some alleles previously unresolved by agarose gel electrophoresis could be resolved by capillary electrophoresis, thus further increasing the assay resolution. One particular locus, Bams30, is the result of a recombination between a 27 bp tandem repeat and a 9 bp tandem repeat. The analysis of the array illustrates the evolution process of tandem repeats. Conclusion In a crisis situation of suspected bioterrorism, standardization, speed and accuracy, together with the availability of reference typing data are important issues, as illustrated by the 2001 anthrax letters event. In this report we describe an upgrade of the previously published MLVA method for genotyping of B. anthracis and apply the method to the typing of French and Italian B. anthracis strain collections. The increased number of markers studied compared to reports using only 8 loci greatly improves the discrimination power of the technique. An Italian strain belonging to the

  1. Laboratory studies on surface sampling of Bacillus anthracis contamination: summary, gaps, and recommendations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hu, Rebecca

    2012-12-01

    This article summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing, and analyzing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe, and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the 1) estimates of Bacillus anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates, and 2) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed. Recommendations are given for future evaluations of data from existing studies and possible new studies.

  2. Reagent-free and portable detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a microfluidic incubator and smartphone microscope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchison, Janine R.; Erikson, Rebecca L.; Sheen, Allison M.; Ozanich, Richard M.; Kelly, Ryan T.

    2015-08-06

    Rapid, cost-effective bacterial detection systems are needed to respond to potential biothreat events. Here we report the use of smartphone-based microscopy in combination with a simple microfluidic incubation device to detect 5000 Bacillus anthracis spores in 3 hours. This field-deployable approach is compatible with real-time PCR for secondary confirmation.

  3. Effect of pH on the Electrophoretic Mobility of Spores of Bacillus anthracis and Its Surrogates in Aqueous Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Electrophoretic mobility (EPM) of endospores of Bacillus anthracis and surrogates were measured in aqueous solution across a broad pH range and several ionic strengths. EPM values trended around phylogenetic clustering based on the 16S rRNA gene. Measurements reported here prov...

  4. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ågren, Joakim; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A.; Hansen, Trine;

    2013-01-01

    -layer, and prophage-lambda. Following a review of the literature, an in silico analysis of all signature sequences reported for identification of B. anthracis was conducted. Published primer and probe sequences were compared for specificity against 134 available Bacillus spp. genomes. Although many of the chromosomal...

  5. CD4+ T cells targeting dominant and cryptic epitopes from Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eAscough

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is an endemic infection in many countries, particularly in the developing world. The causative agent, Bacillus anthracis, mediates disease through the secretion of binary exotoxins. Until recently, research into adaptive immunity targeting this bacterial pathogen has largely focused on the humoral response to these toxins. There is, however, growing recognition that cellular immune responses involving IFNγ producing CD4+ T cells also contribute significantly to a protective memory response. An established concept in adaptive immunity to infection is that during infection of host cells, new microbial epitopes may be revealed, leading to immune recognition of so called ‘cryptic’ or ‘subdominant’ epitopes. We analysed the response to both cryptic and immunodominant T cell epitopes derived from the toxin component lethal factor and presented by a range of HLA-DR alleles. Using IFNγ-ELISPOT assays we characterised epitopes that elicited a response following immunisation with synthetic peptide and the whole protein and tested their capacities to bind purified HLA-DR molecules in vitro. We found that DR1 transgenics demonstrated T cell responses to a greater number of domain III cryptic epitopes than other HLA-DR transgenics, and that this pattern was repeated with the immunodominant epitopes, a greater proportion of these epitopes induced a T cell response when presented within the context of the whole protein. Immunodominant epitopes LF457-476 and LF467-487 were found to induce a T cell response to the peptide, as well as to the whole native LF protein in DR1 and DR15, but not in DR4 trangenics. The analysis of Domain I revealed the presence of several unique cryptic epitopes all of which showed a strong to moderate relative binding affinity to HLA-DR4 molecules. However, none of the cryptic epitopes from either domain III or I displayed notably high binding affinities across all HLA-DR alleles assayed. These responses were

  6. A strain-variable bacteriocin in Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus with repeated Cys-Xaa-Xaa motifs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haft Daniel H

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Bacteriocins are peptide antibiotics from ribosomally translated precursors, produced by bacteria often through extensive post-translational modification. Minimal sequence conservation, short gene lengths, and low complexity sequence can hinder bacteriocin identification, even during gene calling, so they are often discovered by proximity to accessory genes encoding maturation, immunity, and export functions. This work reports a new subfamily of putative thiazole-containing heterocyclic bacteriocins. It appears universal in all strains of Bacillus anthracis and B. cereus, but has gone unrecognized because it is always encoded far from its maturation protein operon. Patterns of insertions and deletions among twenty-four variants suggest a repeating functional unit of Cys-Xaa-Xaa. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Andrei Osterman and Lakshminarayan Iyer.

  7. Bacillus anthracis secretome time course under host-simulated conditions and identification of immunogenic proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Whittington Jessica

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The secretion time course of Bacillus anthracis strain RA3R (pXO1+/pXO2- during early, mid, and late log phase were investigated under conditions that simulate those encountered in the host. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by different software algorithms to characterize their predicted mode of secretion and cellular localization. In addition, immunogenic proteins were identified using sera from humans with cutaneous anthrax. Results A total of 275 extracellular proteins were identified by a combination of LC MS/MS and MALDI-TOF MS. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by SignalP, SecretomeP, PSORT, LipoP, TMHMM, and PROSITE to characterize their predicted mode of secretion, cellular localization, and protein domains. Fifty-three proteins were predicted by SignalP to harbor the cleavable N-terminal signal peptides and were therefore secreted via the classical Sec pathway. Twenty-three proteins were predicted by SecretomeP for secretion by the alternative Sec pathway characterized by the lack of typical export signal. In contrast to SignalP and SecretomeP predictions, PSORT predicted 171 extracellular proteins, 7 cell wall-associated proteins, and 6 cytoplasmic proteins. Moreover, 51 proteins were predicted by LipoP to contain putative Sec signal peptides (38 have SpI sites, lipoprotein signal peptides (13 have SpII sites, and N-terminal membrane helices (9 have transmembrane helices. The TMHMM algorithm predicted 25 membrane-associated proteins with one to ten transmembrane helices. Immunogenic proteins were also identified using sera from patients who have recovered from anthrax. The charge variants (83 and 63 kDa of protective antigen (PA were the most immunodominant secreted antigens, followed by charge variants of enolase and transketolase. Conclusion This is the first description of the time course of protein secretion for the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. Time course studies of protein secretion and

  8. Mechanical transmission of Bacillus anthracis by stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) and mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti and Aedes taeniorhynchus).

    OpenAIRE

    Turell, M J; Knudson, G B

    1987-01-01

    We evaluated the potential of stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans, and two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes taeniorhynchus, to transmit Bacillus anthracis Vollum 1B mechanically. After probing on Hartley guinea pigs with a bacteremia of ca. 10(8.6) CFU of B. anthracis per ml of blood, individual or pools of two to four stable flies or mosquitoes were allowed to continue feeding on either uninfected guinea pigs or A/J mice. All three insect species transmitted lethal anthrax infect...

  9. cis-Acting Elements That Control Expression of the Master Virulence Regulatory Gene atxA in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Dale, Jennifer L.; Raynor, Malik J.; Dwivedi, Prabhat; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2012-01-01

    Transcription of the Bacillus anthracis structural genes for the anthrax toxin proteins and biosynthetic operon for capsule is positively regulated by AtxA, a transcription regulator with unique properties. Consistent with the role of atxA in virulence factor expression, a B. anthracis atxA-null mutant is avirulent in a murine model for anthrax. In culture, multiple signals impact atxA transcript levels, and the timing and steady-state level of atxA expression are critical for optimal toxin a...

  10. Molecular cloning and expression of the Bacillus anthracis edema factor toxin gene: a calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase.

    OpenAIRE

    Tippetts, M T; Robertson, D L

    1988-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis exotoxin is composed of a lethal factor, a protective antigen, and an edema factor (EF). EF is a calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase which elevates cyclic AMP levels within cells. The entire EF gene (cya) has been cloned in Escherichia coli, but EF gene expression by its own B. anthracis promoter could not be detected in E. coli. However, when the EF gene was placed downstream from the lac or the T7 promoter, enzymatically active EF was produced. The EF gene, like th...

  11. Baulamycins A and B, broad-spectrum antibiotics identified as inhibitors of siderophore biosynthesis in Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Ashootosh; Schofield, Michael M; Chlipala, George E; Schultz, Pamela J; Yim, Isaiah; Newmister, Sean A; Nusca, Tyler D; Scaglione, Jamie B; Hanna, Philip C; Tamayo-Castillo, Giselle; Sherman, David H

    2014-01-29

    Siderophores are high-affinity iron chelators produced by microorganisms and frequently contribute to the virulence of human pathogens. Targeted inhibition of the biosynthesis of siderophores staphyloferrin B of Staphylococcus aureus and petrobactin of Bacillus anthracis hold considerable potential as a single or combined treatment for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and anthrax infection, respectively. The biosynthetic pathways for both siderophores involve a nonribosomal peptide synthetase independent siderophore (NIS) synthetase, including SbnE in staphyloferrin B and AsbA in petrobactin. In this study, we developed a biochemical assay specific for NIS synthetases to screen for inhibitors of SbnE and AsbA against a library of marine microbial-derived natural product extracts (NPEs). Analysis of the NPE derived from Streptomyces tempisquensis led to the isolation of the novel antibiotics baulamycins A (BmcA, 6) and B (BmcB, 7). BmcA and BmcB displayed in vitro activity with IC50 values of 4.8 μM and 19 μM against SbnE and 180 μM and 200 μM against AsbA, respectively. Kinetic analysis showed that the compounds function as reversible competitive enzyme inhibitors. Liquid culture studies with S. aureus , B. anthracis , E. coli , and several other bacterial pathogens demonstrated the capacity of these natural products to penetrate bacterial barriers and inhibit growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative species. These studies provide proof-of-concept that natural product inhibitors targeting siderophore virulence factors can provide access to novel broad-spectrum antibiotics, which may serve as important leads for the development of potent anti-infective agents. PMID:24401083

  12. A Study on molecular characterization of Razi Bacillus anthracis Sterne 34F2 substrain in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadayon, K.

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax, a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, has affected humans since ancient times. For genomic characterization of Razi B. anthracis Sterne 34F2 substrain, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP genotyping method developed by Van Erth, variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR-8 analysis proposed by Keim, and multiple-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA-3 introduced by Levy were employed. In the SNPs typing system, where the nucleotide content of the genome at 13 evolutionary canonical loci was collectively analyzed, the originally South African 34F2 substrain was categorized in the A.Br.001/002 subgroup. In the VNTR-8 analysis, fragments with lengths of 314, 229, 162, 580, 532, 158, and 137 bp were identified at the following loci: vrrA, vrrB1, vrrB2, vrrC1, vrrC2, CG3, and pxO1, respectively. In addition, application of Levy's MLVA-3 genotyping method revealed that the genome of this strain carried 941, 451, and 864 bp fragments at AA03, AJ03, and AA07 loci, respectively. The present findings are undoubtedly helpful in meeting the requirements set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE and World Health Organization (WHO for anthrax vaccine manufacturers including Razi Institute. However, further similar studies are required to promote the current epidemiological knowledge of anthrax in Iran.

  13. Identification of the immunogenic spore and vegetative proteins of Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiankai Liu

    Full Text Available Immunoproteomics was used to screen the immunogenic spore and vegetative proteins of Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R. The spore and vegetative proteins were separated by 2D gel electrophoresis and transferred to polyvinylidene difluoride membranes, and then western blotting was performed with rabbit immune serum against B.anthracis live spores. Immunogenic spots were cut and digested by trypsin. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry was performed to identify the proteins. As a result, 11 and 45 immunogenic proteins were identified in the spores and vegetative cells, respectively; 26 of which have not been reported previously. To verify their immunogenicity, 12 of the identified proteins were selected to be expressed, and the immune sera from the mice vaccinated by the 12 expressed proteins, except BA0887, had a specific western blot band with the A16R whole cellular lytic proteins. Some of these immunogenic proteins might be used as novel vaccine candidates themselves or for enhancing the protective efficacy of a protective-antigen-based vaccine.

  14. Cellular Functions and X-ray Structure of Anthrolysin O, a Cholesterol-dependent Cytolysin Secreted by Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourdeau, Raymond W.; Malito, Enrico; Chenal, Alexandre; Bishop, Brian L.; Musch, Mark W.; Villereal, Mitch L.; Chang, Eugene B.; Mosser, Elise M.; Rest, Richard F.; Tang, Wei-Jen; (CNRS-UMR); (Drexel-MED); (UC)

    2009-06-02

    Anthrolysin O (ALO) is a pore-forming, cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC) secreted by Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent for anthrax. Growing evidence suggests the involvement of ALO in anthrax pathogenesis. Here, we show that the apical application of ALO decreases the barrier function of human polarized epithelial cells as well as increases intracellular calcium and the internalization of the tight junction protein occludin. Using pharmacological agents, we also found that barrier function disruption requires increased intracellular calcium and protein degradation. We also report a crystal structure of the soluble state of ALO. Based on our analytical ultracentrifugation and light scattering studies, ALO exists as a monomer. Our ALO structure provides the molecular basis as to how ALO is locked in a monomeric state, in contrast to other CDCs that undergo antiparallel dimerization or higher order oligomerization in solution. ALO has four domains and is globally similar to perfringolysin O (PFO) and intermedilysin (ILY), yet the highly conserved undecapeptide region in domain 4 (D4) adopts a completely different conformation in all three CDCs. Consistent with the differences within D4 and at the D2-D4 interface, we found that ALO D4 plays a key role in affecting the barrier function of C2BBE cells, whereas PFO domain 4 cannot substitute for this role. Novel structural elements and unique cellular functions of ALO revealed by our studies provide new insight into the molecular basis for the diverse nature of the CDC family.

  15. Production and purification of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen from Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laird, Michael W; Zukauskas, David; Johnson, Kelly; Sampey, Gavin C; Olsen, Henrik; Garcia, Andy; Karwoski, Jeffrey D; Cooksey, Bridget A; Choi, Gil H; Askins, Janine; Tsai, Amos; Pierre, Jennifer; Gwinn, William

    2004-11-01

    Anthrax is caused by the gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. The anthrax toxin consists of three proteins, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor, and edema factor. Current vaccines against anthrax use PA as their primary component since it confers protective immunity. In this work, we expressed soluble, recombinant PA in relatively high amounts in the periplasm of E. coli from shake flasks and bioreactors. The PA protein was purified using Q-Sepharose-HP and hydroxyapatite chromatography, and routinely found to be 96-98% pure. Yields of purified PA varied depending on the method of production; however, medium cell density fermentations resulted in approximately 370 mg/L of highly pure biologically active PA protein. These results exhibit the ability to generate gram quantities of PA from E. coli. PMID:15477093

  16. Efficacy of Daptomycin against Bacillus anthracis in a murine model of anthrax spore inhalation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heine, Henry S; Bassett, Jennifer; Miller, Lynda; Purcell, Bret K; Byrne, W Russell

    2010-10-01

    Daptomycin demonstrated in vitro (MIC(90), 4 μg/ml) and in vivo activities against Bacillus anthracis. Twice-daily treatment with a dose of 50 mg/kg of body weight was begun 24 h after challenge and continued for 14 or 21 days; results were compared to those for controls treated with phosphate-buffered saline or ciprofloxacin. Day 43 survival rates were 6/10 mice for the 14-day and 9/10 mice for the 21-day treatment groups, compared to survival with ciprofloxacin: 8/10 and 9/10 mice, respectively. Culture results from tissues removed at the termination of the experiment were negative. PMID:20643899

  17. Structures of an alanine racemase from Bacillus anthracis (BA0252) in the presence and absence of (R)-1-aminoethylphosphonic acid (l-Ala-P)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Structures of BA0252, an alanine racemase from B. anthracis, in the presence and absence of the inhibitor (R)-1-aminoethylphosphonic acid (l-Ala-P) and determined by X-ray crystallography to resolutions of 2.1 and 1.47 Å, respectively, are described. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been targeted by the Oxford Protein Production Facility to validate high-throughput protocols within the Structural Proteomics in Europe project. As part of this work, the structures of an alanine racemase (BA0252) in the presence and absence of the inhibitor (R)-1-aminoethylphosphonic acid (l-Ala-P) have determined by X-ray crystallo@@graphy to resolutions of 2.1 and 1.47 Å, respectively. Difficulties in crystallizing this protein were overcome by the use of reductive methylation. Alanine racemase has attracted much interest as a possible target for anti-anthrax drugs: not only is d-alanine a vital component of the bacterial cell wall, but recent studies also indicate that alanine racemase, which is accessible in the exosporium, plays a key role in inhibition of germination in B. anthracis. These structures confirm the binding mode of l-Ala-P but suggest an unexpected mechanism of inhibition of alanine racemase by this compound and could provide a basis for the design of improved alanine racemase inhibitors with potential as anti-anthrax therapies

  18. Secondary cell wall polysaccharides in Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus strains

    OpenAIRE

    Leoff, Christine

    2009-01-01

    This thesis presents a systematic comparison of cell wall carbohydrates, in particular the non classical secondary cell wall polysaccharides from closely related strains within the Bacillus cereus group. The results suggest that the cell wall glycosyl composition of the various Bacillus cereus group strains display differences that correlate with their phylogenetic relatedness. Comparative structural analysis of polysaccharide components that were released from the cell walls of the various s...

  19. Black-backed jackal exposure to rabies virus, canine distemper virus, and Bacillus anthracis in Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellan, Steve E; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Miyen, Jacobeth; Ebersohn, Karen; Küsters, Martina; Prager, K C; Van Vuuren, Moritz; Sabeta, Claude; Getz, Wayne M

    2012-04-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) and rabies virus (RABV) occur worldwide in wild carnivore and domestic dog populations and pose threats to wildlife conservation and public health. In Etosha National Park (ENP), Namibia, anthrax is endemic and generates carcasses frequently fed on by an unusually dense population of black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas). Using serology, phylogenetic analyses (on samples obtained from February 2009-July 2010), and historical mortality records (1975-2011), we assessed jackal exposure to Bacillus anthracis (BA; the causal bacterial agent of anthrax), CDV, and RABV. Prevalence of antibodies against BA (95%, n = 86) and CDV (71%, n = 80) was relatively high, while that of antibodies against RABV was low (9%, n = 81). Exposure to BA increased significantly with age, and all animals >6 mo old were antibody-positive. As with BA, prevalence of antibodies against CDV increased significantly with age, with similar age-specific trends during both years of the study. No significant effect of age was found on the prevalence of antibodies against RABV. Three of the seven animals with antibodies against RABV were monitored for more than 1 yr after sampling and showed no signs of active infection. Mortality records revealed that rabid animals are destroyed nearly every year inside the ENP tourist camps. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that jackal RABV in ENP is part of the same transmission cycle as other dog-jackal RABV cycles in Namibia. PMID:22493112

  20. Anthrax Vaccine Antigen-Adjuvant Formulations Completely Protect New Zealand White Rabbits against Challenge with Bacillus anthracis Ames Strain Spores

    OpenAIRE

    Peachman, Kristina K.; Li, Qin; Matyas, Gary R.; Shivachandra, Sathish B.; Lovchik, Julie; Lyons, Rick C.; Alving, Carl R; Rao, Venigalla B.; Rao, Mangala

    2012-01-01

    In an effort to develop an improved anthrax vaccine that shows high potency, five different anthrax protective antigen (PA)-adjuvant vaccine formulations that were previously found to be efficacious in a nonhuman primate model were evaluated for their efficacy in a rabbit pulmonary challenge model using Bacillus anthracis Ames strain spores. The vaccine formulations include PA adsorbed to Alhydrogel, PA encapsulated in liposomes containing monophosphoryl lipid A, stable liposomal PA oil-in-wa...

  1. Detection of Anthrax Toxin in the Serum of Animals Infected with Bacillus anthracis by Using Engineered Immunoassays

    OpenAIRE

    Mabry, Robert; Brasky, Kathleen; Geiger, Robert; Carrion, Ricardo; Hubbard, Gene B; Leppla, Stephen; Patterson, Jean L.; Georgiou, George; Iverson, B L

    2006-01-01

    Several strategies that target anthrax toxin are being developed as therapies for infection by Bacillus anthracis. Although the action of the tripartite anthrax toxin has been extensively studied in vitro, relatively little is known about the presence of toxins during an infection in vivo. We developed a series of sensitive sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for detection of both the protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF) components of the anthrax exotoxin in serum. ...

  2. Baulamycins A and B, Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics Identified as Inhibitors of Siderophore Biosynthesis in Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Tripathi, Ashootosh; Schofield, Michael M.; Chlipala, George E.; Schultz, Pamela J.; Yim, Isaiah; Newmister, Sean A.; Nusca, Tyler D.; Scaglione, Jamie B.; Hanna, Philip C.; Tamayo-Castillo, Giselle; Sherman, David H.

    2014-01-01

    Siderophores are high-affinity iron chelators produced by microorganisms and frequently contribute to the virulence of human pathogens. Targeted inhibition of the biosynthesis of siderophores staphyloferrin B of Staphylococcus aureus and petrobactin of Bacillus anthracis hold considerable potential as a single or combined treatment for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and anthrax infection, respectively. The biosynthetic pathways for both siderophores involve a nonribosomal peptide synt...

  3. Bacillus anthracis spore interactions with mammalian cells: Relationship between germination state and the outcome of in vitro

    OpenAIRE

    Stojkovic Bojana; Prouty Angela M; Tamilselvam Batcha; Gut Ian M; Czeschin Stephanie; van der Donk Wilfred A; Blanke Steven R

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background During inhalational anthrax, internalization of Bacillus anthracis spores by host cells within the lung is believed to be a key step for initiating the transition from the localized to disseminated stages of infection. Despite compelling in vivo evidence that spores remain dormant within the bronchioalveolar spaces of the lungs, and germinate only after uptake into host cells, most in vitro studies of infection have been conducted under conditions that promote rapid germin...

  4. Immunoassay for Capsular Antigen of Bacillus anthracis Enables Rapid Diagnosis in a Rabbit Model of Inhalational Anthrax

    OpenAIRE

    Marcellene A Gates-Hollingsworth; Perry, Mark R.; Chen, Hongjing; Needham, James; Houghton, Raymond L.; Raychaudhuri, Syamal; Mark A Hubbard; Thomas R Kozel

    2015-01-01

    Inhalational anthrax is a serious biothreat. Effective antibiotic treatment of inhalational anthrax requires early diagnosis; the further the disease has progressed, the less the likelihood for cure. Current means for diagnosis such as blood culture require several days to a result and require advanced laboratory infrastructure. An alternative approach to diagnosis is detection of a Bacillus anthracis antigen that is shed into blood and can be detected by rapid immunoassay. The goal of the st...

  5. Rapid identification of genetic modifications in Bacillus anthracis using whole genome draft sequences generated by 454 pyrosequencing.

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    Peter E Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The anthrax letter attacks of 2001 highlighted the need for rapid identification of biothreat agents not only for epidemiological surveillance of the intentional outbreak but also for implementing appropriate countermeasures, such as antibiotic treatment, in a timely manner to prevent further casualties. It is clear from the 2001 cases that survival may be markedly improved by administration of antimicrobial therapy during the early symptomatic phase of the illness; i.e., within 3 days of appearance of symptoms. Microbiological detection methods are feasible only for organisms that can be cultured in vitro and cannot detect all genetic modifications with the exception of antibiotic resistance. Currently available immuno or nucleic acid-based rapid detection assays utilize known, organism-specific proteins or genomic DNA signatures respectively. Hence, these assays lack the ability to detect novel natural variations or intentional genetic modifications that circumvent the targets of the detection assays or in the case of a biological attack using an antibiotic resistant or virulence enhanced Bacillus anthracis, to advise on therapeutic treatments. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We show here that the Roche 454-based pyrosequencing can generate whole genome draft sequences of deep and broad enough coverage of a bacterial genome in less than 24 hours. Furthermore, using the unfinished draft sequences, we demonstrate that unbiased identification of known as well as heretofore-unreported genetic modifications that include indels and single nucleotide polymorphisms conferring antibiotic and phage resistances is feasible within the next 12 hours. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Second generation sequencing technologies have paved the way for sequence-based rapid identification of both known and previously undocumented genetic modifications in cultured, conventional and newly emerging biothreat agents. Our findings have significant implications in

  6. Fate of Bacillus anthracis during production of laboratory-scale cream cheese and homemade-style yoghurt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertens, Katja; Schneider, Oda; Schmoock, Gernot; Melzer, Falk; Elschner, Mandy C

    2015-04-01

    The viability of Bacillus anthracis during production and storage of cream cheese and yoghurt was evaluated. Experimental cheeses were manufactured from whole milk inoculated with a suspension of B. anthracis vegetative cells and spores at a final concentration of 10(4) cfu/ml. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and lab ferment were used to induce milk ripening and milk coagulation. The pH-value of the contaminated milk dropped below 4.5 within the first 6 h and the amount of LAB increased by approximately 2-logs. During cheese production and storage at 5-9 °C for 24 days no growth of B. anthracis was observed. The amount of vegetative cells and spores fluctuated by 1-log. Inoculation of whole milk with heat-treated spores at 10(4) cfu/ml resulted in a slight increase of vegetative cell counts during the first 6 h. This indicated that germination occurred, but replication of vegetative cells was still inhibited in the produced cheese. Incubation of cheeses at room temperature or heating after milk coagulation strongly reduced the amount of LAB but had no effect on the growth behaviour of B. anthracis. The vegetative cell and spore content remained steady at 10(4) cfu/100 mg. During yoghurt production the pH-value decreased within 5 h below 5 and growth of B. anthracis was inhibited throughout storage. A pH-value of 5 or less is likely a critical factor to control the growth of B. anthracis. However, spores remained viable in experimental cream cheeses and yoghurts and are a potential risk of infection. PMID:25475304

  7. A Bacillus anthracis strain deleted for six proteases serves as an effective host for production of recombinant proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Pomerantseva, Olga M; Moayeri, Mahtab; Fattah, Rasem; Tallant, Cynthia; Leppla, Stephen H

    2011-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis produces a number of extracellular proteases that impact the integrity and yield of other proteins in the B. anthracis secretome. In this study we show that anthrolysin O (ALO) and the three anthrax toxin proteins, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF), produced from the B. anthracis Ames 35 strain (pXO1⁺, pXO2⁻), are completely degraded at the onset of stationary phase due to the action of proteases. An improved Cre-loxP gene knockout system was used to sequentially delete the genes encoding six proteases (InhA1, InhA2, camelysin, TasA, NprB, and MmpZ). The role of each protease in degradation of the B. anthracis toxin components and ALO was demonstrated. Levels of the anthrax toxin components and ALO in the supernatant of the sporulation defective, pXO1⁺ A35HMS mutant strain deleted for the six proteases were significantly increased and remained stable over 24 h. A pXO1-free variant of this six-protease mutant strain, designated BH460, provides an improved host strain for the preparation of recombinant proteins. As an example, BH460 was used to produce recombinant EF, which previously has been difficult to obtain from B. anthracis. The EF protein produced from BH460 had the highest in vivo potency of any EF previously purified from B. anthracis or Escherichia coli hosts. BH460 is recommended as an effective host strain for recombinant protein production, typically yielding greater than 10mg pure protein per liter of culture. PMID:21827967

  8. A Spontaneous Translational Fusion of Bacillus cereus PlcR and PapR Activates Transcription of PlcR-Dependent Genes in Bacillus anthracis via Binding with a Specific Palindromic Sequence

    OpenAIRE

    Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Pomerantseva, Olga M.; Stephen H Leppla

    2004-01-01

    Transformation of Bacillus anthracis with plasmid pUTE29-plcR-papR carrying the native Bacillus cereus plcR-papR gene cluster did not activate expression of B. anthracis hemolysin genes, even though these are expected to be responsive to activation by the global regulator PlcR. To further characterize the action of PlcR, we examined approximately 3,000 B. anthracis transformants containing pUTE29-plcR-papR and found a single hemolytic colony. The hemolytic strain contained a plasmid having a ...

  9. Bacillus anthracis Diversity and Geographic Potential across Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad: Further Support of a Novel West African Lineage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason K Blackburn

    Full Text Available Zoonoses, diseases affecting both humans and animals, can exert tremendous pressures on human and veterinary health systems, particularly in resource limited countries. Anthrax is one such zoonosis of concern and is a disease requiring greater public health attention in Nigeria. Here we describe the genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Nigeria and compare it to Chad, Cameroon and a broader global dataset based on the multiple locus variable number tandem repeat (MLVA-25 genetic typing system. Nigerian B. anthracis isolates had identical MLVA genotypes and could only be resolved by measuring highly mutable single nucleotide repeats (SNRs. The Nigerian MLVA genotype was identical or highly genetically similar to those in the neighboring countries, confirming the strains belong to this unique West African lineage. Interestingly, sequence data from a Nigerian isolate shares the anthrose deficient genotypes previously described for strains in this region, which may be associated with vaccine evasion. Strains in this study were isolated over six decades, indicating a high level of temporal strain stability regionally. Ecological niche models were used to predict the geographic distribution of the pathogen for all three countries. We describe a west-east habitat corridor through northern Nigeria extending into Chad and Cameroon. Ecological niche models and genetic results show B. anthracis to be ecologically established in Nigeria. These findings expand our understanding of the global B. anthracis population structure and can guide regional anthrax surveillance and control planning.

  10. Noncapsulated toxinogenic Bacillus anthracis presents a specific growth and dissemination pattern in naive and protective antigen-immune mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glomski, Ian J; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Mock, Michèle; Goossens, Pierre L

    2007-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming bacterium that causes anthrax. B. anthracis has three major virulence factors, namely, lethal toxin, edema toxin, and a poly-gamma-D-glutamic acid capsule. The toxins modulate host immune responses, and the capsule inhibits phagocytosis. With the goal of increasing safety, decreasing security concerns, and taking advantage of mammalian genetic tools and reagents, mouse models of B. anthracis infection have been developed using attenuated bacteria that produce toxins but no capsule. While these models have been useful in studying both toxinogenic infections and antitoxin vaccine efficacy, we questioned whether eliminating the capsule changed bacterial growth and dissemination characteristics. Thus, the progression of infection by toxinogenic noncapsulated B. anthracis was analyzed and compared to that by previously reported nontoxinogenic capsulated bacteria, using in vivo bioluminescence imaging. The influence of immunization with the toxin component protective antigen (PA) on the development of infection was also examined. The toxinogenic noncapsulated bacteria were initially confined to the cutaneous site of infection. Bacteria then progressed to the draining lymph nodes and, finally, late in the infection, to the lungs, kidneys, and frequently the gastrointestinal tract. There was minimal colonization of the spleen. PA immunization reduced bacterial growth from the outset and limited infection to the site of inoculation. These in vivo observations show that dissemination by toxinogenic noncapsulated strains differs markedly from that by nontoxinogenic capsulated strains. Additionally, PA immunization counters bacterial growth and dissemination in vivo from the onset of infection. PMID:17635863

  11. Soluble Expression and Characterization of Biologically Active Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen in Escherichia coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagendra Suryanarayana

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis secretory protein protective antigen (PA is primary candidate for subunit vaccine against anthrax. Attempts to obtain large quantity of PA from Escherichia coli expression system often result in the formation of insoluble inclusion bodies. Therefore, it is always better to produce recombinant proteins in a soluble form. In the present study, we have obtained biologically active recombinant PA in small scale E. coli shake culture system using three different expression constructs. The PA gene was cloned in expression vectors bearing trc, T5, and T7 promoters and transformed into their respective E. coli hosts. The growth conditions were optimized to obtain maximum expression of PA in soluble form. The expression construct PA-pET32c in DE3-pLysS E. coli host resulted in a maximum production of soluble PA (15 mg L−1 compared to other combinations. Purified PA was subjected to trypsin digestion and binding assay with lethal factor to confirm the protein’s functionality. Biological activity was confirmed by cytotoxicity assay on J774.1 cells. Balb/c mice were immunized with PA and the immunogenicity was tested by ELISA and toxin neutralization assay. This study highlights the expression of soluble and biologically active recombinant PA in larger quantity using simpler E. coli production platform.

  12. Intranasal immunization with protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis induces a long-term immunological memory response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Sun-Je; Kang, Seok-Seong; Park, Sung-Moo; Yang, Jae Seung; Song, Man Ki; Yun, Cheol-Heui; Han, Seung Hyun

    2015-10-01

    Although intranasal vaccination has been shown to be effective for the protection against inhalational anthrax, establishment of long-term immunity has yet to be achieved. Here, we investigated whether intranasal immunization with recombinant protective antigen (rPA) of Bacillus anthracis induces immunological memory responses in the mucosal and systemic compartments. Intranasal immunization with rPA plus cholera toxin (CT) sustained PA-specific antibody responses for 6 months in lung, nasal washes, and vaginal washes as well as serum. A significant induction of PA-specific memory B cells was observed in spleen, cervical lymph nodes (CLNs) and lung after booster immunization. Furthermore, intranasal immunization with rPA plus CT remarkably generated effector memory CD4(+) T cells in the lung. PA-specific CD4(+) T cells preferentially increased the expression of Th1- and Th17-type cytokines in lung, but not in spleen or CLNs. Collectively, the intranasal immunization with rPA plus CT promoted immunologic memory responses in the mucosal and systemic compartments, providing long-term immunity. PMID:26278659

  13. Soluble Expression and Characterization of Biologically Active Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryanarayana, Nagendra; Vanlalhmuaka; Mankere, Bharti; Verma, Monika; Thavachelvam, Kulanthaivel; Tuteja, Urmil

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis secretory protein protective antigen (PA) is primary candidate for subunit vaccine against anthrax. Attempts to obtain large quantity of PA from Escherichia coli expression system often result in the formation of insoluble inclusion bodies. Therefore, it is always better to produce recombinant proteins in a soluble form. In the present study, we have obtained biologically active recombinant PA in small scale E. coli shake culture system using three different expression constructs. The PA gene was cloned in expression vectors bearing trc, T5, and T7 promoters and transformed into their respective E. coli hosts. The growth conditions were optimized to obtain maximum expression of PA in soluble form. The expression construct PA-pET32c in DE3-pLysS E. coli host resulted in a maximum production of soluble PA (15 mg L(-1)) compared to other combinations. Purified PA was subjected to trypsin digestion and binding assay with lethal factor to confirm the protein's functionality. Biological activity was confirmed by cytotoxicity assay on J774.1 cells. Balb/c mice were immunized with PA and the immunogenicity was tested by ELISA and toxin neutralization assay. This study highlights the expression of soluble and biologically active recombinant PA in larger quantity using simpler E. coli production platform. PMID:26966576

  14. Bacillus anthracis Co-Opts Nitric Oxide and Host Serum Albumin for Pathogenicity in Hypoxic Conditions

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    Stephen eSt John

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is a dangerous pathogen of humans and many animal species. Its virulence has been mainly attributed to the production of Lethal and Edema toxins as well as the antiphagocytic capsule. Recent data indicate that the nitric oxide (NO synthase (baNOS plays an important pathogenic role at the early stage of disease by protecting bacteria from the host reactive species and S-nytrosylating the mitochondrial proteins in macrophages. In this study we for the first time present evidence that bacteria-derived NO participates in the generation of highly reactive oxidizing species which could be abolished by the NOS inhibitor L-NAME, free thiols, and superoxide dismutase but not catalase. The formation of toxicants is likely a result of the simultaneous formation of NO and superoxide leading to a labile peroxynitrite and its stable decomposition product, nitrogen dioxide. The toxicity of bacteria could be potentiated in the presence of bovine serum albumin. This effect is consistent with the property of serum albumin to serves as a trap of a volatile NO accelerating its reactions. Our data suggest that during infection in the hypoxic environment of pre-mortal host the accumulated NO is expected to have a broad toxic impact on host cell functions.

  15. Contractile actin cables induced by Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin depend on the histone acetylation machinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolando, Monica; Stefani, Caroline; Doye, Anne; Acosta, Maria I; Visvikis, Orane; Yevick, Hannah G; Buchrieser, Carmen; Mettouchi, Amel; Bassereau, Patricia; Lemichez, Emmanuel

    2015-10-01

    It remains a challenge to decode the molecular basis of the long-term actin cytoskeleton rearrangements that are governed by the reprogramming of gene expression. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT) inhibits mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, thereby modulating gene expression, with major consequences for actin cytoskeleton organization and the loss of endothelial barrier function. Using a laser ablation approach, we characterized the contractile and tensile mechanical properties of LT-induced stress fibers. These actin cables resist pulling forces that are transmitted at cell-matrix interfaces and at cell-cell discontinuous adherens junctions. We report that treating the cells with trichostatin A (TSA), a broad range inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs), or with MS-275, which targets HDAC1, 2 and 3, induces stress fibers. LT decreased the cellular levels of HDAC1, 2 and 3 and reduced the global HDAC activity in the nucleus. Both the LT and TSA treatments induced Rnd3 expression, which is required for the LT-mediated induction of actin stress fibers. Furthermore, we reveal that treating the LT-intoxicated cells with garcinol, an inhibitor of histone acetyl-transferases (HATs), disrupts the stress fibers and limits the monolayer barrier dysfunctions. These data demonstrate the importance of modulating the flux of protein acetylation in order to control actin cytoskeleton organization and the endothelial cell monolayer barrier. PMID:26403219

  16. In Silico Genomic Fingerprints of the Bacillus anthracis Group Obtained by Virtual Hybridization

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    Hueman Jaimes-Díaz

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study we evaluate the capacity of Virtual Hybridization to identify between highly related bacterial strains. Eight genomic fingerprints were obtained by virtual hybridization for the Bacillus anthracis genome set, and a set of 15,264 13-nucleotide short probes designed to produce genomic fingerprints unique for each organism. The data obtained from each genomic fingerprint were used to obtain hybridization patterns simulating a DNA microarray. Two virtual hybridization methods were used: the Direct and the Extended method to identify the number of potential hybridization sites and thus determine the minimum sensitivity value to discriminate between genomes with 99.9% similarity. Genomic fingerprints were compared using both methods and phylogenomic trees were constructed to verify that the minimum detection value is 0.000017. Results obtained from the genomic fingerprints suggest that the distribution in the trees is correct, as compared to other taxonomic methods. Specific virtual hybridization sites for each of the genomes studied were also identified.

  17. Rugged single domain antibody detection elements for Bacillus anthracis spores and vegetative cells.

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    Scott A Walper

    Full Text Available Significant efforts to develop both laboratory and field-based detection assays for an array of potential biological threats started well before the anthrax attacks of 2001 and have continued with renewed urgency following. While numerous assays and methods have been explored that are suitable for laboratory utilization, detection in the field is often complicated by requirements for functionality in austere environments, where limited cold-chain facilities exist. In an effort to overcome these assay limitations for Bacillus anthracis, one of the most recognizable threats, a series of single domain antibodies (sdAbs were isolated from a phage display library prepared from immunized llamas. Characterization of target specificity, affinity, and thermal stability was conducted for six sdAb families isolated from rounds of selection against the bacterial spore. The protein target for all six sdAb families was determined to be the S-layer protein EA1, which is present in both vegetative cells and bacterial spores. All of the sdAbs examined exhibited a high degree of specificity for the target bacterium and its spore, with affinities in the nanomolar range, and the ability to refold into functional antigen-binding molecules following several rounds of thermal denaturation and refolding. This research demonstrates the capabilities of these sdAbs and their potential for integration into current and developing assays and biosensors.

  18. A poly-γ-(D)-glutamic acid depolymerase that degrades the protective capsule of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negus, David; Taylor, Peter W

    2014-03-01

    A mixed culture of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pusillimonas noertemanii, obtained by soil enrichment, elaborated an enzyme (EnvD) which rapidly hydrolysed poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (PDGA), the constituent of the anti-phagocytic capsule conferring virulence on Bacillus anthracis. The EnvD gene is carried on the P. noertemanii genome but co-culture is required for the elaboration of PDGA depolymerase activity. EnvD showed strong sequence homology to dienelactone hydrolases from other Gram-negative bacteria, possessed no general protease activity but cleaved γ-links in both d- and l-glutamic acid-containing polymers. The stability at 37°C was markedly superior to that of CapD, a γ-glutamyltranspeptidase with PDGA depolymerase activity. Recombinant EnvD was recovered from inclusion bodies in soluble form from an Escherichia coli expression vector and the enzyme stripped the PDGA capsule from the surface of B. anthracis Pasteur within 5 min. We conclude from this in vitro study that rEnvD shows promise as a potential therapeutic for the treatment of anthrax. PMID:24428662

  19. Expression and Purification of the Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Receptor-binding Domain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    葛猛; 徐俊杰; 李冰; 董大勇; 宋小红; 郭强; 赵剑; 陈薇

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study is to express the receptor-binding domain of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in E. coli. Signal sequence of the outer membrane protein A (OmpA) of E. coli was attached to the 5' end of the gene encoding protective antigen receptor-binding domain (the 4th domain of PA, PALM). The plasmid carrying the fusion gene was then transformed into E. coli and induced to express recombinant PAlM by IFFG. The recombinant protein was purified by chromatography and then identified by N-terrainal sequencing and Western blot. The recombinant protein, about 10% of the total bacterial protein in volume, was secreted to the periplasmic space of the cell. After a purification procedure including ionexchange chromatography and gel filtration, about 10 mg of homogenous recombinant PAD4 was obtained from 1 L culture. Data from N-terminal sequencing suggested that the amino acid sequence of recombinant PAD4 was identical with its natural counterpart. And the result of Western blot showed the recombinant protein could bind with anti-PA serum from rabbit. High level secreted expression of PAD4 was obtained in E. coli. The results reported here are parts of a continuing research to evaluate PAD4 as a potential drug for anthrax therapy or a candidate of new vaccine.

  20. A plant-produced protective antigen vaccine confers protection in rabbits against a lethal aerosolized challenge with Bacillus anthracis Ames spores

    OpenAIRE

    Chichester, Jessica A.; Manceva, Slobodanka D; Rhee, Amy; Coffin, Megan V.; Musiychuk, Konstantin; Mett, Vadim; Shamloul, Moneim; Norikane, Joey; Streatfield, Stephen J.; Yusibov, Vidadi

    2013-01-01

    The potential use of Bacillus anthracis as a bioterrorism weapon threatens the security of populations globally, requiring the immediate availability of safe, efficient and easily delivered anthrax vaccine for mass vaccination. Extensive research efforts have been directed toward the development of recombinant subunit vaccines based on protective antigen (PA), the principal virulence factor of B. anthracis. Among the emerging technologies for the production of these vaccine antigens is our la...

  1. A Novel FtsZ-Like Protein Is Involved in Replication of the Anthrax Toxin-Encoding pXO1 Plasmid in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Tinsley, Eowyn; Khan, Saleem A.

    2006-01-01

    Plasmid pXO1 encodes the tripartite anthrax toxin, which is the major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis. In spite of the important role of pXO1 in anthrax pathogenesis, very little is known about its replication and maintenance in B. anthracis. We cloned a 5-kb region of the pXO1 plasmid into an Escherichia coli vector and showed that this plasmid can replicate when introduced into B. anthracis. Mutational analysis showed that open reading frame 45 (repX) of pXO1 was required for the rep...

  2. Expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray studies of a prolyl-4-hydroxylase protein from Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prolyl-4-hydroxylase from B. anthracis has been cloned, expressed and crystallized. A complete MAD data set has been collected to 1.4 Å resolution. Collagen prolyl-4-hydroxylase (C-P4H) catalyzes the hydroxylation of specific proline residues in procollagen, which is an essential step in collagen biosynthesis. A new form of P4H from Bacillus anthracis (anthrax-P4H) that shares many characteristics with the type I C-P4H from human has recently been characterized. The structure of anthrax-P4H could provide important insight into the chemistry of C-P4Hs and into the function of this unique homodimeric P4H. X-ray diffraction data of selenomethionine-labeled anthrax-P4H recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli have been collected to 1.4 Å resolution

  3. Bacillus anthracis spore interactions with mammalian cells: Relationship between germination state and the outcome of in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stojkovic Bojana

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During inhalational anthrax, internalization of Bacillus anthracis spores by host cells within the lung is believed to be a key step for initiating the transition from the localized to disseminated stages of infection. Despite compelling in vivo evidence that spores remain dormant within the bronchioalveolar spaces of the lungs, and germinate only after uptake into host cells, most in vitro studies of infection have been conducted under conditions that promote rapid germination of spores within the culture medium. Results Using an in vitro model of infection, we evaluated the influence of the germination state of B. anthracis spores, as controlled by defined culture conditions, on the outcome of infection. Spores prepared from B. anthracis Sterne 7702 germinated in a variety of common cell culture media supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS while, in the absence of FBS, germination was strictly dependent on medium composition. RAW264.7 macrophage-like cells internalized spores to the same extent in either germinating or non-germinating media. However, significantly more viable, intracellular B. anthracis were recovered from cells infected under non-germinating conditions compared to germinating conditions. At the same time, RAW264.7 cells demonstrated a significant loss in viability when infected under non-germinating conditions. Conclusions These results suggest that the outcome of host cell infection is sensitive to the germination state of spores at the time of uptake. Moreover, this study demonstrates the efficacy of studying B. anthracis spore infection of host cells within a defined, non-germinating, in vitro environment.

  4. Cloning, expression, and characterization of recombinant nitric oxide synthase-like protein from Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is amongst a family of evolutionarily conserved enzymes, involved in a multi-turnover process that results in NO as a product. The significant role of NO in various pathological and physiological processes has created an interest in this enzyme from several perspectives. This study describes for the first time, cloning and expression of a NOS-like protein, baNOS, from Bacillus anthracis, a pathogenic bacterium responsible for causing anthrax. baNOS was expressed in Escherichia coli as a soluble and catalytically active enzyme. Homology models generated for baNOS indicated that the key structural features that are involved in the substrate and active site interaction have been highly conserved. Further, the behavior of baNOS in terms of heme-substrate interactions and heme-transitions was studied in detail. The optical perturbation spectra of the heme domain demonstrated that the ligands perturb the heme site in a ligand specific manner. baNOS forms a five-coordinate, high-spin complex with L-arginine analogs and a six-coordinate low-spin complex with inhibitor imidazole. Studies indicated that the binding of L-arginine, N ω-hydroxy-L-arginine, and imidazole produces various spectroscopic species that closely correspond to the equivalent complexes of mammalian NOS. The values of spectral binding constants further corroborated these results. The overall conservation of the key structural features and the correlation of heme-substrate interactions in baNOS and mammalian NOS, thus, point towards an interesting phenomenon of convergent evolution. Importantly, the NO generated by NOS of mammalian macrophages plays a potent role in antimicrobicidal activity. Because of the existence of high structural and behavioral similarity between mammalian NOS and baNOS, we propose that NO produced by B. anthracis may also have a pivotal pathophysiological role in anthrax infection. Therefore, this first report of characterization of a NOS-like protein

  5. Bacterial spores as possible contaminants of biomedical materials and devices. [Bacillus anthracis, clostridium botulinum, C. perfringens, C. tetani

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grecz, N.; Kang, T.

    1973-01-01

    Destruction of spores on biomedical devices in drugs, and biologicals is essential for prevention of infection of patients with pathogenic sporeformers. Of particular concern are Clostridium tetani, C. perfringens, C. botulinum, Bacillus anthracis and other sporeforming pathogens. Spores are ubiquitous in nature and contamination of biomedical devices varies depending on manufacturing process, handling, raw materials and other variables. In the last 20 years the number of cases per year of specific notifiable diseases in the United States was as follows: tetanus, 120 to 500 cases, botulism, 7 to 47 cases, and anthrax, 2 to 10 cases. Gas gangrene is caused by a mixed flora consisting predominantly of sporeformers. C botulinum, which usually acts as saprophytic agent of food poisoning, may also initiate pathogenic processes; there are nine cases on record in the United States of botulism wound infections almost half of which ended in death. The spores of these organisms are distinguished by high radiation resistance and their erradication often requires severe radiation treatments. Representative bacterial spores in various suspending media show D/sub 10/ values (dose necessary to destroy 90 percent of a given population) ranging from approximately 0.1 to 0.4 Mrad. Some viruses show D/sub 10/ values up to greater than 1 Mrad. The D/sub 10/-values of spores vary depending on physical, chemical and biological factors. This variability is important in evaluation and selection of biological indicator organisms. Radiation sterilization of biomedical devices and biomedical materials must provide safety from infectious microorganisms including radiation resistant spores and viruses.

  6. Comparative analysis of two-component signal transduction systems of Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus anthracis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Been, M.W.H.J. de; Francke, C.; Moezelaar, R.; Abee, T.; Siezen, R.J.

    2006-01-01

    Members of the Bacillus cereus group are ubiquitously present in the environment and can adapt to a wide range of environmental fluctuations. In bacteria, these adaptive responses are generally mediated by two-component signal transduction systems (TCSs), which consist of a histidine kinase (HK) and

  7. The genome of a Bacillus isolate causing anthrax in chimpanzees combines chromosomal properties of B. cereus with B. anthracis virulence plasmids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke R Klee

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a fatal disease caused by strains of Bacillus anthracis. Members of this monophyletic species are non motile and are all characterized by the presence of four prophages and a nonsense mutation in the plcR regulator gene. Here we report the complete genome sequence of a Bacillus strain isolated from a chimpanzee that had died with clinical symptoms of anthrax. Unlike classic B. anthracis, this strain was motile and lacked the four prohages and the nonsense mutation. Four replicons were identified, a chromosome and three plasmids. Comparative genome analysis revealed that the chromosome resembles those of non-B. anthracis members of the Bacillus cereus group, whereas two plasmids were identical to the anthrax virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. The function of the newly discovered third plasmid with a length of 14 kbp is unknown. A detailed comparison of genomic loci encoding key features confirmed a higher similarity to B. thuringiensis serovar konkukian strain 97-27 and B. cereus E33L than to B. anthracis strains. For the first time we describe the sequence of an anthrax causing bacterium possessing both anthrax plasmids that apparently does not belong to the monophyletic group of all so far known B. anthracis strains and that differs in important diagnostic features. The data suggest that this bacterium has evolved from a B. cereus strain independently from the classic B. anthracis strains and established a B. anthracis lifestyle. Therefore we suggest to designate this isolate as "B. cereus variety (var. anthracis".

  8. Genomics of Bacillus Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Økstad, Ole Andreas; Kolstø, Anne-Brit

    Members of the genus Bacillus are rod-shaped spore-forming bacteria belonging to the Firmicutes, the low G+C gram-positive bacteria. The Bacillus genus was first described and classified by Ferdinand Cohn in Cohn (1872), and Bacillus subtilis was defined as the type species (Soule, 1932). Several Bacilli may be linked to opportunistic infections. However, pathogenicity among Bacillus spp. is mainly a feature of bacteria belonging to the Bacillus cereus group, including B. cereus, Bacillus anthracis, and Bacillus thuringiensis. Here we review the genomics of B. cereus group bacteria in relation to their roles as etiological agents of two food poisoning syndromes (emetic and diarrhoeal).

  9. Enhanced Immune Response to DNA Vaccine Encoding Bacillus anthracis PA-D4 Protects Mice against Anthrax Spore Challenge

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Na Young; Chang, Dong Suk; Kim, Yeonsu; Kim, Chang Hwan; Hur, Gyeung Haeng; Yang, Jai Myung; Shin, Sungho

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax has long been considered the most probable bioweapon-induced disease. The protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of anthrax. In the current study, we evaluated the efficiency of a genetic vaccination with the fourth domain (D4) of PA, which is responsible for initial binding of the anthrax toxin to the cellular receptor. The eukaryotic expression vector was designed with the immunoglobulin M (IgM) signal sequence encoding for PA-D4, whic...

  10. Revisiting the Concept of Targeting Only Bacillus anthracis Toxins as a Treatment for Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glinert, Itai; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Weiss, Shay; Schlomovitz, Josef; Ben-Shmuel, Amir; Mechaly, Adva; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David; Levy, Haim

    2016-08-01

    Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are effective in preventing the development of fatal anthrax disease both in humans and in relevant animal models. The Bacillus anthracis toxins lethal toxin (lethal factor [LF] plus PA) and edema toxin (edema factor [EF] plus PA) are essential for the establishment of the infection, as inactivation of these toxins results in attenuation of the pathogen. Since the toxins reach high toxemia levels at the bacteremic stages of the disease, the CDC's recommendations include combining antibiotic treatment with antitoxin (anti-PA) immunotherapy. We demonstrate here that while treatment with a highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody was highly efficient as postexposure prophylaxis treatment, it failed to protect rabbits with any detectable bacteremia (≥10 CFU/ml). In addition, we show that while PA vaccination was effective against a subcutaneous spore challenge, it failed to protect rabbits against systemic challenges (intravenous injection of vegetative bacteria) with the wild-type Vollum strain or a toxin-deficient mutant. To test the possibility that additional proteins, which are secreted by the bacteria under pathogenicity-stimulating conditions in vitro, may contribute to the vaccine's potency, we immunized rabbits with a secreted protein fraction from a toxin-null mutant. The antiserum raised against the secreted fraction reacts with the bacteria in an immunofluorescence assay. Immunization with the secreted protein fraction did not protect the rabbits against a systemic challenge with the fully pathogenic bacteria. Full protection was obtained only by a combined vaccination with PA and the secreted protein fraction. Therefore, these results indicate that an effective antiserum treatment in advanced stages of anthrax must include toxin-neutralizing antibodies in combination with antibodies against bacterial cell targets. PMID:27270276

  11. Activated protein C ameliorates Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin-induced lethal pathogenesis in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kau Jyh-Hwa

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis. Sprague Dawley rats manifest pronounced lung edema and shock after LT treatments, resulting in high mortality. The heart failure that is induced by LT has been suggested to be a principal mechanism of lung edema and mortality in rodents. Since LT-induced death occurs more rapidly in rats than in mice, suggesting that other mechanisms in addition to the heart dysfunction may be contributed to the fast progression of LT-induced pathogenesis in rats. Coagulopathy may contribute to circulatory failure and lung injury. However, the effect of LT on coagulation-induced lung dysfunction is unclear. Methods To investigate the involvement of coagulopathy in LT-mediated pathogenesis, the mortality, lung histology and coagulant levels of LT-treated rats were examined. The effects of activated protein C (aPC on LT-mediated pathogenesis were also evaluated. Results Fibrin depositions were detected in the lungs of LT-treated rats, indicating that coagulation was activated. Increased levels of plasma D-dimer and thrombomodulin, and the ameliorative effect of aPC further suggested that the activation of coagulation-fibrinolysis pathways plays a role in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. Reduced mortality was associated with decreased plasma levels of D-dimer and thrombomodulin following aPC treatments in rats with LT-mediated pathogenesis. Conclusions These findings suggest that the activation of coagulation in lung tissue contributes to mortality in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. In addition, anticoagulant aPC may help to develop a feasible therapeutic strategy.

  12. Bacillus anthracis Prolyl 4-Hydroxylase Modifies Collagen-like Substrates in Asymmetric Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnicker, Nicholas J; Dey, Mishtu

    2016-06-17

    Proline hydroxylation is the most prevalent post-translational modification in collagen. The resulting product trans-4-hydroxyproline (Hyp) is of critical importance for the stability and thus function of collagen, with defects leading to several diseases. Prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4Hs) are mononuclear non-heme iron α-ketoglutarate (αKG)-dependent dioxygenases that catalyze Hyp formation. Although animal and plant P4Hs target peptidyl proline, prokaryotes have been known to use free l-proline as a precursor to form Hyp. The P4H from Bacillus anthracis (BaP4H) has been postulated to act on peptidyl proline in collagen peptides, making it unusual within the bacterial clade, but its true physiological substrate remains enigmatic. Here we use mass spectrometry, fluorescence binding, x-ray crystallography, and docking experiments to confirm that BaP4H recognizes and acts on peptidyl substrates but not free l-proline, using elements characteristic of an Fe(II)/αKG-dependent dioxygenases. We further show that BaP4H can hydroxylate unique peptidyl proline sites in collagen-derived peptides with asymmetric hydroxylation patterns. The cofactor-bound crystal structures of BaP4H reveal active site conformational changes that define open and closed forms and mimic "ready" and "product-released" states of the enzyme in the catalytic cycle. These results help to clarify the role of BaP4H as well as provide broader insights into human collagen P4H and proteins with poly-l-proline type II helices. PMID:27129244

  13. Composite sampling of a Bacillus anthracis surrogate with cellulose sponge surface samplers from a nonporous surface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenia A M Tufts

    Full Text Available A series of experiments was conducted to explore the utility of composite-based collection of surface samples for the detection of a Bacillus anthracis surrogate using cellulose sponge samplers on a nonporous stainless steel surface. Two composite-based collection approaches were evaluated over a surface area of 3716 cm2 (four separate 929 cm2 areas, larger than the 645 cm2 prescribed by the standard Centers for Disease Control (CDC and Prevention cellulose sponge sampling protocol for use on nonporous surfaces. The CDC method was also compared to a modified protocol where only one surface of the sponge sampler was used for each of the four areas composited. Differences in collection efficiency compared to positive controls and the potential for contaminant transfer for each protocol were assessed. The impact of the loss of wetting buffer from the sponge sampler onto additional surface areas sampled was evaluated. Statistical tests of the results using ANOVA indicate that the collection of composite samples using the modified sampling protocol is comparable to the collection of composite samples using the standard CDC protocol (p  =  0.261. Most of the surface-bound spores are collected on the first sampling pass, suggesting that multiple passes with the sponge sampler over the same surface may be unnecessary. The effect of moisture loss from the sponge sampler on collection efficiency was not significant (p  =  0.720 for both methods. Contaminant transfer occurs with both sampling protocols, but the magnitude of transfer is significantly greater when using the standard protocol than when the modified protocol is used (p<0.001. The results of this study suggest that composite surface sampling, by either method presented here, could successfully be used to increase the surface area sampled per sponge sampler, resulting in reduced sampling times in the field and decreased laboratory processing cost and turn-around times.

  14. Examination of serological memory in rabbits injected with Bacillus anthracis protective antigen adsorbed to Alhydrogel

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    Stephen F. Little

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Serological memory after inoculation of protective antigen (PA combined with Alhydrogel adjuvant (PA/Alhydrogel was examined in New Zealand white rabbits, an animal model for anthrax. A threshold dose of 0.1 μg of PA/Alhydrogel was identified which resulted in an ELISA titer 2 weeks after a primary immunization of only 0.168 μg anti-PA IgG per ml and a toxin-neutralizing antibody titer (TNA ED50 of 1.8 (n = 40. A significant increase in anti-PA IgG and TNA ED50 titers were measured (p < 0.0001 2 weeks after a booster immunization with 0.1 μg of PA/Alhydrogel at 14 days (n = 10; 40.9 μg anti-PA IgG per ml; 522 TNA ED50 and 28 days (n = 10; 63.8 μg anti-PA IgG per ml; 501 TNA ED50. At this threshold dose of PA/Alhydrogel, protection against an aerosol exposure to Bacillus anthracis Ames spores improved as the booster immunization was administered from 4 days (40% survival, to 8 days (50% survival, and to 12 days (80% survival before challenge. The partial protection of rabbits, even in the absence of protective antibody titers (0.9 μg anti-PA IgG per ml and 26 TNA ED50 when the booster immunization was administered 4 days before challenge, suggested a protective potential for serologic memory.

  15. Development of an inhalational Bacillus anthracis exposure therapeutic model in cynomolgus macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Lisa N; Comer, Jason E; Stark, Gregory V; Ray, Bryan D; Tordoff, Kevin P; Knostman, Katherine A B; Meister, Gabriel T

    2012-11-01

    Appropriate animal models are required to test medical countermeasures to bioterrorist threats. To that end, we characterized a nonhuman primate (NHP) inhalational anthrax therapeutic model for use in testing anthrax therapeutic medical countermeasures according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Animal Rule. A clinical profile was recorded for each NHP exposed to a lethal dose of Bacillus anthracis Ames spores. Specific diagnostic parameters were detected relatively early in disease progression, i.e., by blood culture (∼37 h postchallenge) and the presence of circulating protective antigen (PA) detected by electrochemiluminescence (ECL) ∼38 h postchallenge, whereas nonspecific clinical signs of disease, i.e., changes in body temperature, hematologic parameters (ca. 52 to 66 h), and clinical observations, were delayed. To determine whether the presentation of antigenemia (PA in the blood) was an appropriate trigger for therapeutic intervention, a monoclonal antibody specific for PA was administered to 12 additional animals after the circulating levels of PA were detected by ECL. Seventy-five percent of the monoclonal antibody-treated animals survived compared to 17% of the untreated controls, suggesting that intervention at the onset of antigenemia is an appropriate treatment trigger for this model. Moreover, the onset of antigenemia correlated with bacteremia, and NHPs were treated in a therapeutic manner. Interestingly, brain lesions were observed by histopathology in the treated nonsurviving animals, whereas this observation was absent from 90% of the nonsurviving untreated animals. Our results support the use of the cynomolgus macaque as an appropriate therapeutic animal model for assessing the efficacy of medical countermeasures developed against anthrax when administered after a confirmation of infection. PMID:22956657

  16. Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Kinetics in Inhalation Spore-Challenged Untreated or Levofloxacin/ Raxibacumab-Treated New Zealand White Rabbits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecil Chen

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Inhaled Bacillus anthracis spores germinate and the subsequent vegetative growth results in bacteremia and toxin production. Anthrax toxin is tripartite: the lethal factor and edema factor are enzymatic moieties, while the protective antigen (PA binds to cell receptors and the enzymatic moieties. Antibiotics can control B. anthracis bacteremia, whereas raxibacumab binds PA and blocks lethal toxin effects. This study assessed plasma PA kinetics in rabbits following an inhaled B. anthracis spore challenge. Additionally, at 84 h post-challenge, 42% of challenged rabbits that had survived were treated with either levofloxacin/placebo or levofloxacin/raxibacumab. The profiles were modeled using a modified Gompertz/second exponential growth phase model in untreated rabbits, with added monoexponential PA elimination in treated rabbits. Shorter survival times were related to a higher plateau and a faster increase in PA levels. PA elimination half-lives were 10 and 19 h for the levofloxacin/placebo and levofloxacin/raxibacumab groups, respectively, with the difference attributable to persistent circulating PA-raxibacumab complex. PA kinetics were similar between untreated and treated rabbits, with one exception: treated rabbits had a plateau phase nearly twice as long as that for untreated rabbits. Treated rabbits that succumbed to disease had higher plateau PA levels and shorter plateau duration than surviving treated rabbits.

  17. Anthrolysin O and fermentation products mediate the toxicity of Bacillus anthracis to lung epithelial cells under microaerobic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, Taissia G; Millis, Bryan; Chung, Myung-Chul; Bailey, Charles; Popov, Serguei G

    2011-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis generates virulence factors such as lethal and edema toxins, capsule, and hemolytic proteins under conditions of reduced oxygenation. Here, we report on the acute cytotoxicity of culture supernatants (Sups) of six nonencapsulated B. anthracis strains grown till the stationary phase under static microaerobic conditions. Human small airway epithelial, umbilical vein endothelial, Caco-2, and Hep-G2 cells were found to be susceptible. Sups displayed a reduction of pH to 5.3-5.5, indicating the onset of acid anaerobic fermentation; however, low pH itself was not a major factor of toxicity. The pore-forming hemolysin, anthrolysin O (ALO), contributed to the toxicity in a concentration-dependent manner. Its effect was found to be synergistic with a metabolic product of B. anthracis, succinic acid. Cells exposed to Sups demonstrated cytoplasmic membrane blebbing, increased permeability, loss of ATP, mitochondrial membrane potential collapse, and arrest of cell respiration. The toxicity was reduced by inhibition of ALO by cholesterol, decomposition of reactive oxygen species, and inhibition of mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase. Cell death appears to be caused by an acute primary membrane permeabilization by ALO, followed by a burst of reactive radicals from the mitochondria fuelled by the succinate, which is generated by bacteria in the hypoxic environment. This mechanism of metabolic toxicity is relevant to the late-stage conditions of hypoxia and acidosis found in anthrax patients and might operate at anatomical locations of the host deprived from oxygen supply. PMID:20946354

  18. Immunoassay for Capsular Antigen of Bacillus anthracis Enables Rapid Diagnosis in a Rabbit Model of Inhalational Anthrax.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcellene A Gates-Hollingsworth

    Full Text Available Inhalational anthrax is a serious biothreat. Effective antibiotic treatment of inhalational anthrax requires early diagnosis; the further the disease has progressed, the less the likelihood for cure. Current means for diagnosis such as blood culture require several days to a result and require advanced laboratory infrastructure. An alternative approach to diagnosis is detection of a Bacillus anthracis antigen that is shed into blood and can be detected by rapid immunoassay. The goal of the study was to evaluate detection of poly-γ-D-glutamic acid (PGA, the capsular antigen of B. anthracis, as a biomarker surrogate for blood culture in a rabbit model of inhalational anthrax. The mean time to a positive blood culture was 26 ± 5.7 h (mean ± standard deviation, whereas the mean time to a positive ELISA was 22 ± 4.2 h; P = 0.005 in comparison with blood culture. A lateral flow immunoassay was constructed for detection of PGA in plasma at concentrations of less than 1 ng PGA/ml. Use of the lateral flow immunoassay for detection of PGA in the rabbit model found that antigen was detected somewhat earlier than the earliest time point at which the blood culture became positive. The low cost, ease of use, and rapid time to result of the lateral flow immunoassay format make an immunoassay for PGA a viable surrogate for blood culture for detection of infection in individuals who have a likelihood of exposure to B. anthracis.

  19. Immunoassay for Capsular Antigen of Bacillus anthracis Enables Rapid Diagnosis in a Rabbit Model of Inhalational Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates-Hollingsworth, Marcellene A; Perry, Mark R; Chen, Hongjing; Needham, James; Houghton, Raymond L; Raychaudhuri, Syamal; Hubbard, Mark A; Kozel, Thomas R

    2015-01-01

    Inhalational anthrax is a serious biothreat. Effective antibiotic treatment of inhalational anthrax requires early diagnosis; the further the disease has progressed, the less the likelihood for cure. Current means for diagnosis such as blood culture require several days to a result and require advanced laboratory infrastructure. An alternative approach to diagnosis is detection of a Bacillus anthracis antigen that is shed into blood and can be detected by rapid immunoassay. The goal of the study was to evaluate detection of poly-γ-D-glutamic acid (PGA), the capsular antigen of B. anthracis, as a biomarker surrogate for blood culture in a rabbit model of inhalational anthrax. The mean time to a positive blood culture was 26 ± 5.7 h (mean ± standard deviation), whereas the mean time to a positive ELISA was 22 ± 4.2 h; P = 0.005 in comparison with blood culture. A lateral flow immunoassay was constructed for detection of PGA in plasma at concentrations of less than 1 ng PGA/ml. Use of the lateral flow immunoassay for detection of PGA in the rabbit model found that antigen was detected somewhat earlier than the earliest time point at which the blood culture became positive. The low cost, ease of use, and rapid time to result of the lateral flow immunoassay format make an immunoassay for PGA a viable surrogate for blood culture for detection of infection in individuals who have a likelihood of exposure to B. anthracis. PMID:25942409

  20. Evaluation of the FilmArray® system for detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seiner, Derrick R.; Colburn, Heather A.; Baird, Cheryl L.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Straub, Tim M.; Victry, Kristin D.; Hutchison, Janine R.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.

    2013-04-29

    To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the Idaho Technologies FilmArray® Biothreat Panel for the detection of Bacillus anthracis (Ba), Francisella tularensis (Ft), and Yersinia pestis (Yp) DNA, and demonstrate the detection of Ba spores. Methods and Results: DNA samples from Ba, Ft and Yp strains and near-neighbors, and live Ba spores were analyzed using the Biothreat Panel, a multiplexed PCR-based assay for 17 pathogens and toxins. Sensitivity studies with DNA suggest a limit of detection of 250 genome equivalents (GEs) per sample. Furthermore, the correct call of Ft, Yp or Bacillus species was made in 63 of 72 samples tested at 25 GE or less. With samples containing 25 Ba Sterne spores, at least one of the two possible Ba markers were identified in all samples tested. We observed no cross-reactivity with near-neighbor DNAs.

  1. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray characterization of arylamine N-acetyltransferase C (BanatC) from Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bacillus anthracis arylamine N-acetyltransferase C (BanatC) is an enzyme that metabolizes the drug sulfamethoxazole. Crystals of the purified enzyme that diffract at 1.95 Å are reported. The arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) enzymes are xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes that have been found in a large range of eukaryotes and prokaryotes. These enzymes catalyse the acetylation of arylamine drugs and/or pollutants. Recently, a Bacillus anthracis NAT isoform (BanatC) has been cloned and shown to acetylate the sulfonamide antimicrobial sulfamethoxazole (SMX). Subsequently, it was shown that BanatC contributes to the resistance of this bacterium to SMX. Here, the crystallization and the X-ray characterization of BanatC (Y38F mutant) are reported. The crystals belong to the tetragonal space group P41212 or P43212, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 53.70, c = 172.40 Å, and diffract to 1.95 Å resolution on a synchrotron source

  2. Loss of σI affects heat-shock response and virulence gene expression in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jenny Gi Yae; Wilson, Adam C

    2016-02-01

    The pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis depends on several virulence factors, including the anthrax toxin. Loss of the alternative sigma factor σI results in a coordinate decrease in expression of all three toxin subunits. Our observations suggest that loss of σI alters the activity of the master virulence regulator AtxA, but atxA transcription is unaffected by loss of σI. σI-containing RNA polymerase does not appear to directly transcribe either atxA or the toxin gene pagA. As in Bacillus subtilis, loss of σI in B. anthracis results in increased sensitivity to heat shock and transcription of sigI, encoding σI, is induced by elevated temperature. Encoded immediately downstream of and part of a bicistronic message with sigI is an anti-sigma factor, RsgI, which controls σI activity. Loss of RsgI has no direct effect on virulence gene expression. sigI appears to be expressed from both the σI and σA promoters, and transcription from the σA promoter is likely more significant to virulence regulation. We propose a model in which σI can be induced in response to heat shock, whilst, independently, σI is produced under non-heat-shock, toxin-inducing conditions to indirectly regulate virulence gene expression. PMID:26744224

  3. Structural Basis for Latency and Function of Immune Inhibitor A Metallopeptidase, a Modulator of the Bacillus anthracis Secretome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arolas, Joan L; Goulas, Theodoros; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Leppla, Stephen H; Gomis-Rüth, F Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Immune inhibitor A(InhA)-type metallopeptidases are potential virulence factors secreted by members of the Bacillus cereus group. Two paralogs from anthrax-causing Bacillus anthracis (BaInhA1 and BaInhA2) were shown to degrade host tissue proteins with broad substrate specificity. Analysis of their activation mechanism and the crystal structure of a zymogenic BaInhA2 variant revealed a ∼750-residue four-domain structure featuring a pro-peptide, a catalytic domain, a domain reminiscent of viral envelope glycoproteins, and a MAM domain grafted into the latter. This domain, previously found only in eukaryotes, is required for proper protein expression in B. anthracis and evinces certain flexibility. Latency is uniquely modulated by the N-terminal segment of the pro-peptide, which binds the catalytic zinc through its α-amino group and occupies the primed side of the active-site cleft. The present results further our understanding of the modus operandi of an anthrax secretome regulator. PMID:26745529

  4. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin disrupts TCR signaling in CD1d-restricted NKT cells leading to functional anergy.

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    Sunil K Joshi

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Exogenous CD1d-binding glycolipid (alpha-Galactosylceramide, alpha-GC stimulates TCR signaling and activation of type-1 natural killer-like T (NKT cells. Activated NKT cells play a central role in the regulation of adaptive and protective immune responses against pathogens and tumors. In the present study, we tested the effect of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT on NKT cells both in vivo and in vitro. LT is a binary toxin known to suppress host immune responses during anthrax disease and intoxicates cells by protective antigen (PA-mediated intracellular delivery of lethal factor (LF, a potent metalloprotease. We observed that NKT cells expressed anthrax toxin receptors (CMG-2 and TEM-8 and bound more PA than other immune cell types. A sub-lethal dose of LT administered in vivo in C57BL/6 mice decreased expression of the activation receptor NKG2D by NKT cells but not by NK cells. The in vivo administration of LT led to decreased TCR-induced cytokine secretion but did not affect TCR expression. Further analysis revealed LT-dependent inhibition of TCR-stimulated MAP kinase signaling in NKT cells attributable to LT cleavage of the MAP kinase kinase MEK-2. We propose that Bacillus anthracis-derived LT causes a novel form of functional anergy in NKT cells and therefore has potential for contributing to immune evasion by the pathogen.

  5. Rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis by cell wall and capsule components direct fluorescent antibody assay

    OpenAIRE

    Lily Natalia; Rahmat Setya AdjI

    2008-01-01

    During the outbreak of anthrax, early diagnosis is critical for effective treatment. Numerous attempts have been made to design antigen based detection tests and to rapidly identify truly anthrax specific antigens for B. anthracis. In Indonesia, standard identification of B. anthracis relies on a combination of time consuming steps including bacterial culture and Ascoli precipitin test, which can take several days to provide a diagnosis. In this study, two component (cell wall and capsule) di...

  6. Human monoclonal antibodies against anthrax lethal factor and protective antigen act independently to protect against Bacillus anthracis infection and enhance endogenous immunity to anthrax

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albrecht, Mark T.; Li, Han; Williamson, E. Diane; LeButt, Chris S.; Flick-Smith, Helen C.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Westra, Hans; Galloway, Darrell; Mateczun, Alfred; Goldman, Stanley; Groen, Herman; Baillie, Les W. J.

    2007-01-01

    The unpredictable nature of bioterrorism and the absence of real-time detection systems have highlighted the need for an efficient postexposure therapy for Bacillus anthracis infection. One approach is passive immunization through the administration of antibodies that mitigate the biological action

  7. Production of Diarrheal Enterotoxins and Other Potential Virulence Factors by Veterinary Isolates of Bacillus Species Associated with Nongastrointestinal Infections

    OpenAIRE

    Rowan, Neil J.; Caldow, George; Gemmell, Curtis G.; Hunter, Iain S.

    2003-01-01

    With the exceptions of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus species are generally perceived to be inconsequential. However, the relevance of other Bacillus species as food poisoning organisms and etiological agents in nongastrointestinal infections is being increasingly recognized. Eleven Bacillus species isolated from veterinary samples associated with severe nongastrointestinal infections were assessed for the presence and expression of diarrheagenic enterotoxins and other poten...

  8. Capsules, toxins and AtxA as virulence factors of emerging Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis.

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    Christophe Brézillon

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain and Côte d'Ivoire (CI strain. These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have

  9. Naturally acquired antibodies to Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in vultures of southern Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. C.B. Turnbull

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available TURNBULLP, P.C.B. DIEKMANNM,M., KILIAN, J.W., VERSFELDW, W.,DE VOS, V., ARNTZENL, L.,WOLTER, K., BARTELS, P. & KOTZE, A. 2008.N aturally acquired antibodies to Bacillusa nthracisp rotective antigeni n vultureso f southern Africa. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, T5:95-102 Sera from 19 wild caught vultures in northern Namibia and 15 (12 wild caught and three captive bred but with minimal histories in North West Province, South Africa, were examined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbenats say( ELISAf or antibodiesto the Bacillus anthracis toxin protective antigen (PA. As assessed from the baseline established with a control group of ten captive reared vultures with well-documented histories, elevated titres were found in 12 of the 19 (63% wild caught Namibian birds as compared with none of the 15 South African ones. There was a highly significant difference between the Namibian group as a hole and the other groups (P < 0.001 and no significant difference between the South African and control groups (P > 0.05. Numbers in the Namibian group were too small to determine any significances in species-, sex- or age-related differences within the raw data showing elevated titres in four out of six Cape Vultures, Gyps coprotheress, six out of ten Whitebacked Vultures, Gyps africanus, and one out of three Lappet-faced Vultures, Aegypiust racheliotus, or in five of six males versus three of seven females, and ten of 15 adults versus one of four juveniles. The results are in line with the available data on the incidence of anthrax in northern Namibia and South Africa and the likely contact of the vultures tested with anthrax carcasses. lt is not known whether elevated titre indicates infection per se in vultures or absorption of incompletely digested epitopes of the toxin or both. The results are discussed in relation to distances travelled by vultures as determined by new tracking techniques, how serology can reveal anthrax activity in an area and

  10. Characterization of AmiBA2446, a Novel Bacteriolytic Enzyme Active against Bacillus Species

    OpenAIRE

    Mehta, Krunal K.; Paskaleva, Elena E.; Azizi-Ghannad, Saba; Ley, Daniel J; Page, Martin A.; Dordick, Jonathan S.; Kane, Ravi S.

    2013-01-01

    There continues to be a need for developing efficient and environmentally friendly treatments for Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. One emerging approach for inactivation of vegetative B. anthracis is the use of bacteriophage endolysins or lytic enzymes encoded by bacterial genomes (autolysins) with highly evolved specificity toward bacterium-specific peptidoglycan cell walls. In this work, we performed in silico analysis of the genome of Bacillus anthracis strain Ames, usin...

  11. [Species-specific sera against surface antigens of Bacillus anthracis strains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkova, I A; Barkov, A M; Alekseev, V V; Lipnitskiĭ, A V

    2010-11-01

    The species-related specificity of sera against 94-KD proteins isolated from culture filtrates of B. anthracis strains with different levels of virulence plasmids was studied to determine whether they might be used to identify the pathogen of anthrax. Sera against fractions 1 of culture filtrates of B. anthracis strains CTI (pXO1+ pXO2-), 81/1TR (pXO1- pXO2-), Davies (pXO1- pXO) separated by gel chromatography on Sephacryl S-300 were examined. In the gel immunodiffusion test with growing cultures, the sera exhibited non-identical antigens and differed in the presence of antibodies to antigens of related bacilli. The sera against fractions 1 of culture filtrates of toxin-producing and plasmidless strains displayed antigens produced only by B. anthracis strains into nutrient agar. Electroimmunotransblotting revealed that they contained antibodies mainly to 94-kD proteins and failed to react with B. cereus proteins with a molecular weight of 94 kD and with B. thuringiensis proteins with a molecular weight of 97 kD, which were extracted from autonomous cells. In the immunofluorescence test, immunoglobulins of sera against fractions 1 of culture filtrates of three strains stained autonomous cells and spores of 23 B. anthracis strains with different levels of virulence plasmids. In working dilutions, they did not react with antigens of 18 strains of related bacilli, which presents a possibility of using them for species identification of B. anthracis. PMID:21319392

  12. Observations on the Inactivation Efficacy of a MALDI-TOF MS Chemical Extraction Method on Bacillus anthracis Vegetative Cells and Spores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon A Weller

    Full Text Available A chemical (ethanol; formic acid; acetonitrile protein extraction method for the preparation of bacterial samples for matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS identification was evaluated for its ability to inactivate bacterial species. Initial viability tests (with and without double filtration of the extract through 0.2 μM filters, indicated that the method could inactivate Escherichia coli MRE 162 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 35657, with or without filtration, but that filtration was required to exclude viable, avirulent, Bacillus anthracis UM23CL2 from extracts. Multiple, high stringency, viability experiments were then carried out on entire filtered extracts prepared from virulent B. anthracis Vollum vegetative cells and spores ranging in concentration from 10(6-10(8 cfu per extract. B. anthracis was recovered in 3/18 vegetative cell extracts and 10/18 spore extracts. From vegetative cell extracts B. anthracis was only recovered from extracts that had undergone prolonged Luria (L-broth (7 day and L-agar plate (a further 7 days incubations. We hypothesise that the recovery of B. anthracis in vegetative cell extracts is due to the escape of individual sub-lethally injured cells. We discuss our results in view of working practises in clinical laboratories and in the context of recent inadvertent releases of viable B. anthracis.

  13. Observations on the Inactivation Efficacy of a MALDI-TOF MS Chemical Extraction Method on Bacillus anthracis Vegetative Cells and Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weller, Simon A; Stokes, Margaret G M; Lukaszewski, Roman A

    2015-01-01

    A chemical (ethanol; formic acid; acetonitrile) protein extraction method for the preparation of bacterial samples for matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) identification was evaluated for its ability to inactivate bacterial species. Initial viability tests (with and without double filtration of the extract through 0.2 μM filters), indicated that the method could inactivate Escherichia coli MRE 162 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 35657, with or without filtration, but that filtration was required to exclude viable, avirulent, Bacillus anthracis UM23CL2 from extracts. Multiple, high stringency, viability experiments were then carried out on entire filtered extracts prepared from virulent B. anthracis Vollum vegetative cells and spores ranging in concentration from 10(6)-10(8) cfu per extract. B. anthracis was recovered in 3/18 vegetative cell extracts and 10/18 spore extracts. From vegetative cell extracts B. anthracis was only recovered from extracts that had undergone prolonged Luria (L)-broth (7 day) and L-agar plate (a further 7 days) incubations. We hypothesise that the recovery of B. anthracis in vegetative cell extracts is due to the escape of individual sub-lethally injured cells. We discuss our results in view of working practises in clinical laboratories and in the context of recent inadvertent releases of viable B. anthracis. PMID:26633884

  14. Untersuchung der Virulenz Bacillus anthracis-ähnlicher Isolate aus West- und Zentralafrika

    OpenAIRE

    Dupke, Susann

    2011-01-01

    In 2001 and 2004 several great apes died of an Anthrax-like disease in Cameroon and the Côte d´Ivoire on the African continent. PCR analysis and histological studies of carcasses led to the assumption that the animals died due to infection with a new strain of B. anthracis. Further molecular genetic methods and sequencing of one of the isolates from Côte d´Ivoire revealed a close relationship of the new strains to B. cereus rather than B. anthracis, even though both characteristic virulence p...

  15. Differential detection of a surrogate biological threat agent (Bacillus globigii) with a portable surface plasmon resonance biosensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adducci, Benjamin A; Gruszewski, Hope A; Khatibi, Piyum A; Schmale, David G

    2016-04-15

    New methods and technology are needed to quickly and accurately detect potential biological warfare agents, such as Bacillus anthracis, causal agent of anthrax in humans and animals. Here, we report the detection of a simulant of B. anthracis (B. globigii) alone and in a mixture with a different species of Bacillus to test non-specific interference using a portable surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor (SPIRIT 4.0, Seattle Sensor Systems). Both direct capture and antibody amplification were used to determine the limit of detection for spores of B. globigii, and to detect spores of B. globigii in a mixed sample containing another Bacillus spp. Spores of B. globigii were detected by anti-B. globigii (anti-Bg) coated sensors by direct capture at a concentration of 10(7)spores/mL, and with a secondary antibody amplification at a concentration of 10(5)spores/mL. Spores of B. globigii were differentially detected in a 1:1 mixture with B. pumilus spores from equal concentrations (10(7)spores/mL) with a secondary antibody amplification. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the differential detection of B. globigii with SPR in a mixed sample containing at least one additional Bacillus spp., highlighting the potential for SPR to detect any target bacterium in a mixed sample of closely related species. With the availability of portable instrumentation to accurately detect biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis, emergency responders can implement protocols in a timely fashion, limiting the amount of exposed individuals. PMID:26606307

  16. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination

    OpenAIRE

    Cote, Christopher K.; Susan L. Welkos

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions.

  17. Evaluation of New Dihydrophthalazine-Appended 2,4-Diaminopyrimidines against Bacillus anthracis: Improved Syntheses Using a New Pincer Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagendra Prasad Muddala

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The synthesis and evaluation of ten new dihydrophthalazine-appended 2,4-diaminopyrimidines as potential drugs to treat Bacillus anthracis is reported. An improved synthesis utilizing a new pincer catalyst, dichlorobis[1-(dicyclohexylphosphanyl-piperidine]palladium(II, allows the final Heck coupling to be performed at 90 °C using triethylamine as the base. These milder conditions have been used to achieve improved yields for new and previously reported substrates with functional groups that degrade or react at the normal 140 °C reaction temperature. An analytical protocol for separating the S and R enantiomers of two of the most active compounds is also disclosed. Finally, the X-ray structure for the most active enantiomer of the lead compound, (S-RAB1, is given.

  18. A multiplex bead-based suspension array assay for interrogation of phylogenetically informative single nucleotide polymorphisms for Bacillus anthracis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thierry, Simon; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A.; Girault, Guillaume;

    2013-01-01

    reaction for signal amplification and labeling of ligation products carrying SNP targets. These innovations significantly reduce cross-reactivity observed when initial MOLigo probes were used and enhance hybridization efficiency onto the microsphere array, respectively. When evaluated on 73 representative...... need. By using the versatile Luminex® xTAG technology, we developed an efficient multiplexed SNP genotyping assay to score 13 phylogenetically informative SNPs within the genome of Bacillus anthracis. The Multiplex Oligonucleotide Ligation-PCR procedure (MOL-PCR) described by Deshpande et al., 2010 has...... been modified and adapted for simultaneous interrogation of 13 biallelic canonical SNPs in a 13-plex assay. Changes made to the originally published method include the design of allele-specific dual-priming-oligonucleotides (DPOs) as competing detection probes (MOLigo probes) and use of asymmetric PCR...

  19. BslA, the S-layer adhesin of B. anthracis, is a virulence factor for anthrax pathogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Kern, Justin; Schneewind, Olaf

    2009-01-01

    Microbial pathogens use adhesive surface proteins to bind to and interact with host tissues, events that are universal for the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. A surface adhesin of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, required to mediate these steps has not been discovered. Previous work identified BslA, an S-layer protein, to be necessary and sufficient for adhesion of the anthrax vaccine strain, Bacillus anthracis Sterne, to host cells. Here we asked whether encapsulated ...

  20. Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis from closely related microorganisms by analysis of 16S and 23S rRNA with oligonucleotide microchips

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bavykin, Sergei G.; Mirzabekov, Andrei D.

    2007-10-30

    The present invention is directed to a novel method of discriminating a highly infectious bacterium Bacillus anthracis from a group of closely related microorganisms. Sequence variations in the 16S and 23S rRNA of the B. cereus subgroup including B. anthracis are utilized to construct an array that can detect these sequence variations through selective hybridizations. The identification and analysis of these sequence variations enables positive discrimination of isolates of the B. cereus group that includes B. anthracis. Discrimination of single base differences in rRNA was achieved with a microchip during analysis of B. cereus group isolates from both single and in mixed probes, as well as identification of polymorphic sites. Successful use of a microchip to determine the appropriate subgroup classification using eight reference microorganisms from the B. cereus group as a study set, was demonstrated.

  1. Bridging the gap between detection and confirmation of B. anthracis in blood cultures

    OpenAIRE

    Hawkey, Suzanna

    2015-01-01

    The spore forming bacterium, Bacillus anthracis is the aetiological agent of anthrax. The 2001 US anthrax letter attacks and the 2009‐2010 outbreak of injectional anthrax in the UK highlighted the importance of early detection and confirmation of this agent, both for patient outcome and forensic investigations. A reliable and consistent method was used in this study to safely simulate blood cultures with B. anthracis and used to determine the time to positive detection. This was performed...

  2. Structural Analysis of a Putative Aminoglycoside N-Acetyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klimecka, Maria M.; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Font, Jose; Skarina, Tatiana; Shumilin, Igor; Onopryienko, Olena; Porebski, Przemyslaw J.; Cymborowski, Marcin; Zimmerman, Matthew D.; Hasseman, Jeremy; Glomski, Ian J.; Lebioda, Lukasz; Savchenko, Alexei; Edwards, Aled; Minor, Wladek (SC); (Toronto); (UV)

    2012-02-15

    For the last decade, worldwide efforts for the treatment of anthrax infection have focused on developing effective vaccines. Patients that are already infected are still treated traditionally using different types of standard antimicrobial agents. The most popular are antibiotics such as tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones. While aminoglycosides appear to be less effective antimicrobial agents than other antibiotics, synthetic aminoglycosides have been shown to act as potent inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor and may have potential application as antitoxins. Here, we present a structural analysis of the BA2930 protein, a putative aminoglycoside acetyltransferase, which may be a component of the bacterium's aminoglycoside resistance mechanism. The determined structures revealed details of a fold characteristic only for one other protein structure in the Protein Data Bank, namely, YokD from Bacillus subtilis. Both BA2930 and YokD are members of the Antibiotic-NAT superfamily (PF02522). Sequential and structural analyses showed that residues conserved throughout the Antibiotic-NAT superfamily are responsible for the binding of the cofactor acetyl coenzyme A. The interaction of BA2930 with cofactors was characterized by both crystallographic and binding studies.

  3. Immunization with a Recombinant, Pseudomonas fluorescens-Expressed, Mutant Form of Bacillus anthracis-Derived Protective Antigen Protects Rabbits from Anthrax Infection

    OpenAIRE

    Reed, Matthew D.; Wilder, Julie A.; Mega, William M.; Hutt, Julie A.; Kuehl, Philip J.; Valderas, Michelle W.; Chew, Lawrence L.; Liang, Bertrand C.; Squires, Charles H.

    2015-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA), one of the components of the anthrax toxin, is the major component of human anthrax vaccine (Biothrax). Human anthrax vaccines approved in the United States and Europe consist of an alum-adsorbed or precipitated (respectively) supernatant material derived from cultures of toxigenic, non-encapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Approved vaccination schedules in humans with either of these vaccines requires several booster shots and occasionally causes adverse inject...

  4. A Novel Immunogenic Spore Coat-Associated Protein in Bacillus Anthracis: Characterization via Proteomics Approaches and a Vector-Based Vaccine System

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Yu-Tsueng; Lin, Shwu-Bin; Huang, Cheng-Po; Huang, Chun-Ming

    2007-01-01

    New generation anthrax vaccines have been actively explored with the aim of enhancing efficacies and decreasing undesirable side effects that could be caused by licensed vaccines. Targeting novel antigens and/or eliminating the requirements for multiple needle injections and adjuvants are major objectives in the development of new anthrax vaccines. Using proteomics approaches, we identified a spore coat-associated protein (SCAP) in Bacillus anthracis. An E. coli vector-based vaccine system wa...

  5. Cloning and Expression of Fusion Genes of Domain A-1 Protective Antigen of Bacillus Anthracis and Shigella Enterotoxin B Subunit (Stxb In E. Coil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AH ahmadi

    2015-02-01

    Conclusion: The findings of the current study revealed that this antigen can be raised as an anti-cancer and recombinant vaccine candidate against types of Shigella, Escherichia coli and Bacillus anthracis which can be due to such factors as identification of antigen(PA by antibody PA20, its apoptosis induction properties, property of immunogenicity, adjuvant and delivery of STxB protein and high expression levels of Gb3 in human cancer cells.

  6. Immunological Correlates for Protection against Intranasal Challenge of Bacillus anthracis Spores Conferred by a Protective Antigen-Based Vaccine in Rabbits

    OpenAIRE

    Weiss, Shay; Kobiler, David; Levy, Haim; Marcus, Hadar; Pass, Avi; Rothschild, Nili; Altboum, Zeev

    2006-01-01

    Correlates between immunological parameters and protection against Bacillus anthracis infection in animals vaccinated with protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines could provide surrogate markers to evaluate the putative protective efficiency of immunization in humans. In previous studies we demonstrated that neutralizing antibody levels serve as correlates for protection in guinea pigs (S. Reuveny et al., Infect. Immun. 69:2888-2893, 2001; H. Marcus et al., Infect. Immun. 72:3471-3477, 2004). ...

  7. Bacillus anthracis spores germinate extracellularly at air–liquid interface in an in vitro lung model under serum‐free conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Powell, J D; Hutchison, J.R.; Hess, B.M.; Straub, T.M.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Aims To better understand the parameters that govern spore dissemination after lung exposure using in vitro cell systems. Methods and Results We evaluated the kinetics of uptake, germination and proliferation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in association with human primary lung epithelial cells, Calu‐3 and A549 cell lines. We also analysed the influence of various cell culture medium formulations related to spore germination. Conclusions We found negligible spore uptake by epith...

  8. Anthrax toxin targeting of myeloid cells through the CMG2 receptor is essential for establishment of Bacillus anthracis infections in mice

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Shihui; Miller-Randolph, Sharmina; Crown, Devorah; Moayeri, Mahtab; Sastalla, Inka; Okugawa, Shu; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis kills through a combination of bacterial infection and toxemia. Anthrax toxin working via the CMG2 receptor mediates lethality late in infection, but its roles early in infection remain unclear. We generated myeloid-lineage specific CMG2-deficient mice to examine the roles of macrophages, neutrophils, and other myeloid cells in anthrax pathogenesis. Macrophages and neutrophils isolated from these mice were resistant to anthrax toxin. However, the myeloid-specific CMG2-defic...

  9. Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Bacillus anthracis: From Fingerprint Analysis of the Bacterium to Quantification of its Toxins in Clinical Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolfitt, Adrian R.; Boyer, Anne E.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Kozel, Thomas R.; de, Barun K.; Gallegos, Maribel; Moura, Hercules; Pirkle, James L.; Barr, John R.

    A range of mass spectrometry-based techniques have been used to identify, characterize and differentiate Bacillus anthracis, both in culture for forensic applications and for diagnosis during infection. This range of techniques could usefully be considered to exist as a continuum, based on the degrees of specificity involved. We show two examples here, a whole-organism fingerprinting method and a high-specificity assay for one unique protein, anthrax lethal factor.

  10. Bacillus anthracis Capsule Activates Caspase-1 and Induces Interleukin-1β Release from Differentiated THP-1 and Human Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells▿ †

    OpenAIRE

    Cho, Min-Hee; Ahn, Hae-Jeong; Ha, Hyun-Joon; Park, Jungchan; Chun, Jeong-Hoon; Kim, Bong-Su; Oh, Hee-Bok; Rhie, Gi-eun

    2009-01-01

    The poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (PGA) capsule is one of the major virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis, which causes a highly lethal infection. The antiphagocytic PGA capsule disguises the bacilli from immune surveillance and allows unimpeded growth of bacilli in the host. Recently, efforts have been made to include PGA as a component of anthrax vaccine; however, the innate immune response of PGA itself has been poorly investigated. In this study, we characterized the innate immune response eli...

  11. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis-Like Bacteria Isolated from Wild Great Apes from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon

    OpenAIRE

    Klee, Silke R.; Özel, Muhsin; Appel, Bernd; Boesch, Christophe; Ellerbrok, Heinz; Jacob, Daniela; Holland, Gudrun; Leendertz, Fabian H; Pauli, Georg; Grunow, Roland; Nattermann, Herbert

    2006-01-01

    We present the microbiological and molecular characterization of bacteria isolated from four chimpanzees and one gorilla thought to have died of an anthrax-like disease in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. These isolates differed significantly from classic Bacillus anthracis by the following criteria: motility, resistance to the gamma phage, and, for isolates from Cameroon, resistance to penicillin G. A capsule was expressed not only after induction by CO2 and bicarbonate but also under normal grow...

  12. A Field Investigation of Bacillus anthracis Contamination of U.S. Department of Agriculture and Other Washington, D.C., Buildings during the Anthrax Attack of October 2001

    OpenAIRE

    Higgins, James A.; Cooper, Mary; Schroeder-Tucker, Linda; Black, Scott; Miller, David; Karns, Jeffrey S.; Manthey, Erlynn; Breeze, Roger; Perdue, Michael L

    2003-01-01

    In response to a bioterrorism attack in the Washington, D.C., area in October 2001, a mobile laboratory (ML) was set up in the city to conduct rapid molecular tests on environmental samples for the presence of Bacillus anthracis spores and to route samples for further culture analysis. The ML contained class I laminar-flow hoods, a portable autoclave, two portable real-time PCR devices (Ruggedized Advanced Pathogen Identification Device [RAPID]), and miscellaneous supplies and equipment to pr...

  13. Immunoelectrophoretic analysis, toxicity, and kinetics of in vitro production of the protective antigen and lethal factor components of Bacillus anthracis toxin.

    OpenAIRE

    Ezzell, J W; Ivins, B E; Leppla, S H

    1984-01-01

    The kinetics of Bacillus anthracis toxin production in culture and its lethal activity in rats, mice, and guinea pigs were investigated. Lethal toxin activity was produced in vitro throughout exponential growth at essentially identical rates in both encapsulated virulent and nonencapsulated avirulent strains. The two toxin proteins which produce lethality when in combination, lethal factor (LF) and protective antigen (PA), could be quantitated directly from culture fluids by rocket immunoelec...

  14. Proteomics Reveals that Proteins Expressed During the Early Stage of Bacillus anthracis Infection Are Potential Targets for the Development of Vaccines and Drugs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chun-Ming Huang; Craig A. Elmets; De-chu C. Tang; Fuming Li; Nabiha Yusuf

    2004-01-01

    In this review, we advance a new concept in developing vaccines and/or drugs to target specific proteins expressed during the early stage of Bacillus anthracis (an thrax) infection and address existing challenges to this concept. Three proteins (immune inhibitor A, GPR-like spore protease, and alanine racemase) initially identified by proteomics in our laboratory were found to have differential expres sions during anthrax spore germination and early outgrowth. Other studies of different bacillus strains indicate that these three proteins are involved in either germination or cytotoxicity of spores, suggesting that they may serve as potential targets for the design of anti-anthrax vaccines and drugs.

  15. The central nervous system as target of Bacillus anthracis toxin independent virulence in rabbits and guinea pigs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Levy

    Full Text Available Infection of the central nervous system is considered a complication of Anthrax and was reported in humans and non-human primates. Previously we have reported that Bacillus anthracis possesses a toxin-independent virulent trait that, like the toxins, is regulated by the major virulence regulator, AtxA, in the presence of pXO2. This toxin-independent lethal trait is exhibited in rabbits and Guinea pigs following significant bacteremia and organ dissemination. Various findings, including meningitis seen in humans and primates, suggested that the CNS is a possible target for this AtxA-mediated activity. In order to penetrate into the brain tissue, the bacteria have to overcome the barriers isolating the CNS from the blood stream. Taking a systematic genetic approach, we compared intracranial (IC inoculation and IV/SC inoculation for the outcome of the infection in rabbits/GP, respectively. The outstanding difference between the two models is exhibited by the encapsulated strain VollumΔpXO1, which is lethal when injected IC, but asymptomatic when inoculated IV/SC. The findings demonstrate that there is an apparent bottleneck in the ability of mutants to penetrate into the brain. Any mutant carrying either pXO1 or pXO2 will kill the host upon IC injection, but only those carrying AtxA either on pXO1 or in the chromosome in the background of pXO2 can penetrate into the brain following peripheral inoculation. The findings were corroborated by histological examination by H&E staining and immunofluorescence of rabbits' brains following IV and IC inoculations. These findings may have major implications on future research both on B. anthracis pathogenicity and on vaccine development.

  16. Two-component system cross-regulation integrates Bacillus anthracis response to heme and cell envelope stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura A Mike

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Two-component signaling systems (TCSs are one of the mechanisms that bacteria employ to sense and adapt to changes in the environment. A prototypical TCS functions as a phosphorelay from a membrane-bound sensor histidine kinase (HK to a cytoplasmic response regulator (RR that controls target gene expression. Despite significant homology in the signaling domains of HKs and RRs, TCSs are thought to typically function as linear systems with little to no cross-talk between non-cognate HK-RR pairs. Here we have identified several cell envelope acting compounds that stimulate a previously uncharacterized Bacillus anthracis TCS. Furthermore, this TCS cross-signals with the heme sensing TCS HssRS; therefore, we have named it HssRS interfacing TCS (HitRS. HssRS reciprocates cross-talk to HitRS, suggesting a link between heme toxicity and cell envelope stress. The signaling between HssRS and HitRS occurs in the parental B. anthracis strain; therefore, we classify HssRS-HitRS interactions as cross-regulation. Cross-talk between HssRS and HitRS occurs at both HK-RR and post-RR signaling junctions. Finally, HitRS also regulates a previously unstudied ABC transporter implicating this transporter in the response to cell envelope stress. This chemical biology approach to probing TCS signaling provides a new model for understanding how bacterial signaling networks are integrated to enable adaptation to complex environments such as those encountered during colonization of the vertebrate host.

  17. cis-Acting elements that control expression of the master virulence regulatory gene atxA in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Jennifer L; Raynor, Malik J; Dwivedi, Prabhat; Koehler, Theresa M

    2012-08-01

    Transcription of the Bacillus anthracis structural genes for the anthrax toxin proteins and biosynthetic operon for capsule is positively regulated by AtxA, a transcription regulator with unique properties. Consistent with the role of atxA in virulence factor expression, a B. anthracis atxA-null mutant is avirulent in a murine model for anthrax. In culture, multiple signals impact atxA transcript levels, and the timing and steady-state level of atxA expression are critical for optimal toxin and capsule synthesis. Despite the apparent complex control of atxA transcription, only one trans-acting protein, the transition state regulator AbrB, has been demonstrated to interact directly with the atxA promoter. Here we employ 5' and 3' deletion analysis and site-directed mutagenesis of the atxA control region to demonstrate that atxA transcription from the major start site P1 is dependent upon a consensus sequence for the housekeeping sigma factor SigA and an A+T-rich upstream element for RNA polymerase. We also show that an additional trans-acting protein(s) binds specifically to atxA promoter sequences located between -13 and +36 relative to P1 and negatively impacts transcription. Deletion of this region increases promoter activity up to 15-fold. Site-directed mutagenesis of a 9-bp palindromic sequence within the region prevents binding of the trans-acting protein(s), increasing promoter activity 7-fold and resulting in a corresponding increase in AtxA and anthrax toxin production. Notably, an atxA promoter mutant that produced elevated levels of AtxA and toxin proteins during culture was unaffected for virulence in a murine model for anthrax. PMID:22636778

  18. Improved Proteomic Analysis Following Trichloroacetic Acid Extraction of Bacillus anthracis Spore Proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaiser, Brooke LD; Wunschel, David S.; Sydor, Michael A.; Warner, Marvin G.; Wahl, Karen L.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-08-07

    Proteomic analysis of bacterial samples provides valuable information about cellular responses and functions under different environmental pressures. Proteomic analysis is dependent upon efficient extraction of proteins from bacterial samples without introducing bias toward extraction of particular protein classes. While no single method can recover 100% of the bacterial proteins, selected protocols can improve overall protein isolation, peptide recovery, or enrich for certain classes of proteins. The method presented here is technically simple and does not require specialized equipment such as a mechanical disrupter. Our data reveal that for particularly challenging samples, such as B. anthracis Sterne spores, trichloroacetic acid extraction improved the number of proteins identified within a sample compared to bead beating (714 vs 660, respectively). Further, TCA extraction enriched for 103 known spore specific proteins whereas bead beating resulted in 49 unique proteins. Analysis of C. botulinum samples grown to 5 days, composed of vegetative biomass and spores, showed a similar trend with improved protein yields and identification using our method compared to bead beating. Interestingly, easily lysed samples, such as B. anthracis vegetative cells, were equally as effectively processed via TCA and bead beating, but TCA extraction remains the easiest and most cost effective option. As with all assays, supplemental methods such as implementation of an alternative preparation method may provide additional insight to the protein biology of the bacteria being studied.

  19. Cereulide synthetase gene cluster from emetic Bacillus cereus: Structure and location on a mega virulence plasmid related to Bacillus anthracis toxin plasmid pXO1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wagner Martin

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cereulide, a depsipeptide structurally related to valinomycin, is responsible for the emetic type of gastrointestinal disease caused by Bacillus cereus. Recently, it has been shown that this toxin is produced by a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS, but its exact genetic organization and biochemical synthesis is unknown. Results The complete sequence of the cereulide synthetase (ces gene cluster, which encodes the enzymatic machinery required for the biosynthesis of cereulide, was dissected. The 24 kb ces gene cluster comprises 7 CDSs and includes, besides the typical NRPS genes like a phosphopantetheinyl transferase and two CDSs encoding enzyme modules for the activation and incorporation of monomers in the growing peptide chain, a CDS encoding a putative hydrolase in the upstream region and an ABC transporter in the downstream part. The enzyme modules responsible for incorporation of the hydroxyl acids showed an unusual structure while the modules responsible for the activation of the amino acids Ala and Val showed the typical domain organization of NRPS. The ces gene locus is flanked by genetic regions with high homology to virulence plasmids of B. cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus anthracis. PFGE and Southern hybridization showed that the ces genes are restricted to emetic B. cereus and indeed located on a 208 kb megaplasmid, which has high similarities to pXO1-like plasmids. Conclusion The ces gene cluster that is located on a pXO1-like virulence plasmid represents, beside the insecticidal and the anthrax toxins, a third type of B. cereus group toxins encoded on megaplasmids. The ces genes are restricted to emetic toxin producers, but pXO1-like plasmids are also present in emetic-like strains. These data might indicate the presence of an ancient plasmid in B. cereus which has acquired different virulence genes over time. Due to the unusual structure of the hydroxyl acid incorporating enzyme modules of Ces

  20. Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Strain Stendal, Isolated from an Anthrax Outbreak in Cattle in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwerpen, Markus; Elschner, Mandy; Gaede, Wolfgang; Schliephake, Annette; Grass, Gregor; Tomaso, Herbert

    2016-01-01

    In July 2012, an anthrax outbreak occurred among cattle in northern Germany resulting in ten losses. Here, we report the draft genome sequence ofBacillus anthracisstrain Stendal, isolated from one of the diseased cows. PMID:27056225

  1. Next-Generation Bacillus anthracis Live Attenuated Spore Vaccine Based on the htrA(-) (High Temperature Requirement A) Sterne Strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitlaru, Theodor; Israeli, Ma'ayan; Bar-Haim, Erez; Elia, Uri; Rotem, Shahar; Ehrlich, Sharon; Cohen, Ofer; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a lethal disease caused by the gram-positive spore-producing bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Live attenuated vaccines, such as the nonencapsulated Sterne strain, do not meet the safety standards mandated for human use in the Western world and are approved for veterinary purposes only. Here we demonstrate that disrupting the htrA gene, encoding the chaperone/protease HtrA (High Temperature Requirement A), in the virulent Bacillus anthracis Vollum strain results in significant virulence attenuation in guinea pigs, rabbits and mice, underlying the universality of the attenuated phenotype associated with htrA knockout. Accordingly, htrA disruption was implemented for the development of a Sterne-derived safe live vaccine compatible with human use. The novel B. anthracis SterneΔhtrA strain secretes functional anthrax toxins but is 10-10(4)-fold less virulent than the Sterne vaccine strain depending on animal model (mice, guinea pigs, or rabbits). In spite of this attenuation, double or even single immunization with SterneΔhtrA spores elicits immune responses which target toxaemia and bacteremia resulting in protection from subcutaneous or respiratory lethal challenge with a virulent strain in guinea pigs and rabbits. The efficacy of the immune-protective response in guinea pigs was maintained for at least 50 weeks after a single immunization. PMID:26732659

  2. Neutralizing antibody and functional mapping of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen-The first step toward a rationally designed anthrax vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McComb, Ryan C; Martchenko, Mikhail

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category A pathogen for its potential use as a bioweapon. Current prevention treatments include Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA). AVA is an undefined formulation of Bacillus anthracis culture supernatant adsorbed to aluminum hydroxide. It has an onerous vaccination schedule, is slow and cumbersome to produce and is slightly reactogenic. Next-generation vaccines are focused on producing recombinant forms of anthrax toxin in a well-defined formulation but these vaccines have been shown to lose potency as they are stored. In addition, studies have shown that a proportion of the antibody response against these vaccines is focused on non-functional, non-neutralizing regions of the anthrax toxin while some essential functional regions are shielded from eliciting an antibody response. Rational vaccinology is a developing field that focuses on designing vaccine antigens based on structural information provided by neutralizing antibody epitope mapping, crystal structure analysis, and functional mapping through amino acid mutations. This information provides an opportunity to design antigens that target only functionally important and conserved regions of a pathogen in order to make a more optimal vaccine product. This review provides an overview of the literature related to functional and neutralizing antibody epitope mapping of the Protective Antigen (PA) component of anthrax toxin. PMID:26611201

  3. Inhibitory effects of nisin-coated multi-walled carbon nanotube sheet on biofilm formation from Bacillus anthracis spores

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiuli Dong; Eric McCoy; Mei Zhang; Liju Yang

    2014-01-01

    Multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) sheet was fabricated from a drawable MWCNT forest and then deposited on poly(methyl methacrylate) film.The film was further coated with a natural antimicrobial peptide nisin.We studied the effects of nisin coating on the attachment of Bacillus anthracis spores,the germination of attached spores,and the subsequent biofilm formation from attached spores.It was found that the strong adsorptivity and the super hydrophobicity of MWCNTs provided an ideal platform for nisin coating.Nisin coating on MWCNT sheets decreased surface hydrophobicity,reduced spore attachment,and reduced the germination of attached spores by 3.5 fold,and further inhibited the subsequent biofilm formation by 94.6% compared to that on uncoated MWCNT sheet.Nisin also changed the morphology of vegetative cells in the formed biofilm.The results of this study demonstrated that the anti-adhesion and antimicrobial effect of nisin in combination with the physical properties of carbon nanotubes had the potential in producing effective anti-biofilm formation surfaces.

  4. Different Roles of N-Terminal and C-Terminal Domains in Calmodulin for Activation of Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Lübker

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis adenylyl cyclase toxin edema factor (EF is one component of the anthrax toxin and is essential for establishing anthrax disease. EF activation by the eukaryotic Ca2+-sensor calmodulin (CaM leads to massive cAMP production resulting in edema. cAMP also inhibits the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH-oxidase, thus reducing production of reactive oxygen species (ROS used for host defense in activated neutrophils and thereby facilitating bacterial growth. Methionine (Met residues in CaM, important for interactions between CaM and its binding partners, can be oxidized by ROS. We investigated the impact of site-specific oxidation of Met in CaM on EF activation using thirteen CaM-mutants (CaM-mut with Met to leucine (Leu substitutions. EF activation shows high resistance to oxidative modifications in CaM. An intact structure in the C-terminal region of oxidized CaM is sufficient for major EF activation despite altered secondary structure in the N-terminal region associated with Met oxidation. The secondary structures of CaM-mut were determined and described in previous studies from our group. Thus, excess cAMP production and the associated impairment of host defence may be afforded even under oxidative conditions in activated neutrophils.

  5. Microevolution of Anthrax from a Young Ancestor (M.A.Y.A. Suggests a Soil-Borne Life Cycle of Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Braun

    Full Text Available During an anthrax outbreak at the Pollino National Park (Basilicata, Italy in 2004, diseased cattle were buried and from these anthrax-foci Bacillus anthracis endospores still diffuse to the surface resulting in local accumulations. Recent data suggest that B. anthracis multiplies in soil outside the animal-host body. This notion is supported by the frequent isolation of B. anthracis from soil lacking one or both virulence plasmids. Such strains represent an evolutionary dead end, as they are likely no longer able to successfully infect new hosts. This loss of virulence plasmids is explained most simply by postulating a soil-borne life cycle of the pathogen. To test this hypothesis we investigated possible microevolution at two natural anthrax foci from the 2004 outbreak. If valid, then genotypes of strains isolated from near the surface at these foci should be on a different evolutionary trajectory from those below residing in deeper-laying horizons close to the carcass. Thus, the genetic diversity of B. anthracis isolates was compared conducting Progressive Hierarchical Resolving Assays using Nucleic Acids (PHRANA and next generation Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS. PHRANA was not discriminatory enough to resolve the fine genetic relationships between the isolates. Conversely, WGS of nine isolates from near-surface and nine from near-carcass revealed five isolate specific SNPs, four of which were found only in different near-surface isolates. In support of our hypothesis, one surface-isolate lacked plasmid pXO1 and also harbored one of the unique SNPs. Taken together, our results suggest a limited soil-borne life cycle of B. anthracis.

  6. Antimicrobial effects of gold/copper sulphide (Gold/Copper monosulfide) core/shell nanoparticles on Bacillus anthracis spores and cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addae, Ebenezer

    Bacillus anthracis is a gram positive, rod shaped and spore forming bacteria. It causes anthrax, a deadly human and animal disease that can kill its victims in three days. The spores of B. anthracis can survive extreme environmental conditions for decades and germinate when exposed to proper conditions. Due to its potential as a bio-weapon, effective disinfectants that pose less harm to the environment and animals are urgently needed. Metal nanoparticles have the potential of killing microbial cells and spores. We present here the effect of Gold/Copper Sulphide core/shell (Au/CuS) nanoparticles on B. anthracis cells and spores. The results indicated that the continuous presence of 0.83 microM during the spore growth in nutrient medium completely inhibited spore outgrowth. Au/CuS nanoparticles at concentration of 4.15 μM completely inactivated B. anthracis cells (x 107) after 30 min of pre-treatment in any of the three buffers including water, PBS, and nutrient broth. However, the same and even higher concentrations of nanoparticles produce no significant spore (x 105) killing after 24 h of pre-treatment. SEM imaging, EDS analysis, and DNA extrusion experiments revealed that nanoparticles damaged the cell membrane causing DNA and cytosolic content efflux and eventually cell death. The study demonstrated the strong antimicrobial activity of Au/CuS nanoparticles to B. anthracis cells and revealed that Au/CuS NPs showed more effective inactivation effect against the cells than they did against the spores.

  7. Human Monoclonal Antibody AVP-21D9 to Protective Antigen Reduces Dissemination of the Bacillus anthracis Ames Strain from the Lungs in a Rabbit Model▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Johnny W.; Comer, Jason E.; Baze, Wallace B.; Noffsinger, David M.; Wenglikowski, Autumn; Walberg, Kristin G.; Hardcastle, Jason; Pawlik, Jennifer; Bush, Kathryn; Taormina, Joanna; Moen, Scott; Thomas, John; Chatuev, Bagram M.; Sower, Laurie; Chopra, Ashok K.; Stanberry, Lawrence R.; Sawada, Ritsuko; Scholz, Wolfgang W.; Sircar, Jagadish

    2007-01-01

    Dutch-belted and New Zealand White rabbits were passively immunized with AVP-21D9, a human monoclonal antibody to protective antigen (PA), at the time of Bacillus anthracis spore challenge using either nasal instillation or aerosol challenge techniques. AVP-21D9 (10 mg/kg) completely protected both rabbit strains against lethal infection with Bacillus anthracis Ames spores, regardless of the inoculation method. Further, all but one of the passively immunized animals (23/24) were completely resistant to rechallenge with spores by either respiratory challenge method at 5 weeks after primary challenge. Analysis of the sera at 5 weeks after primary challenge showed that residual human anti-PA levels decreased by 85 to 95%, but low titers of rabbit-specific anti-PA titers were also measured. Both sources of anti-PA could have contributed to protection from rechallenge. In a subsequent study, bacteriological and histopathology analyses revealed that B. anthracis disseminated to the bloodstream in some naïve animals as early as 24 h postchallenge and increased in frequency with time. AVP-21D9 significantly reduced the dissemination of the bacteria to the bloodstream and to various organs following infection. Examination of tissue sections from infected control animals, stained with hematoxylin-eosin and the Gram stain, showed edema and/or hemorrhage in the lungs and the presence of bacteria in mediastinal lymph nodes, with necrosis and inflammation. Tissue sections from infected rabbits dosed with AVP-21D9 appeared comparable to corresponding tissues from uninfected animals despite lethal challenge with B. anthracis Ames spores. Concomitant treatment with AVP-21D9 at the time of challenge conferred complete protection in the rabbit inhalation anthrax model. Early treatment increased the efficacy progressively and in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, AVP-21D9 could offer an adjunct or alternative clinical treatment regimen against inhalation anthrax. PMID:17452469

  8. Human monoclonal antibody AVP-21D9 to protective antigen reduces dissemination of the Bacillus anthracis Ames strain from the lungs in a rabbit model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Johnny W; Comer, Jason E; Baze, Wallace B; Noffsinger, David M; Wenglikowski, Autumn; Walberg, Kristin G; Hardcastle, Jason; Pawlik, Jennifer; Bush, Kathryn; Taormina, Joanna; Moen, Scott; Thomas, John; Chatuev, Bagram M; Sower, Laurie; Chopra, Ashok K; Stanberry, Lawrence R; Sawada, Ritsuko; Scholz, Wolfgang W; Sircar, Jagadish

    2007-07-01

    Dutch-belted and New Zealand White rabbits were passively immunized with AVP-21D9, a human monoclonal antibody to protective antigen (PA), at the time of Bacillus anthracis spore challenge using either nasal instillation or aerosol challenge techniques. AVP-21D9 (10 mg/kg) completely protected both rabbit strains against lethal infection with Bacillus anthracis Ames spores, regardless of the inoculation method. Further, all but one of the passively immunized animals (23/24) were completely resistant to rechallenge with spores by either respiratory challenge method at 5 weeks after primary challenge. Analysis of the sera at 5 weeks after primary challenge showed that residual human anti-PA levels decreased by 85 to 95%, but low titers of rabbit-specific anti-PA titers were also measured. Both sources of anti-PA could have contributed to protection from rechallenge. In a subsequent study, bacteriological and histopathology analyses revealed that B. anthracis disseminated to the bloodstream in some naïve animals as early as 24 h postchallenge and increased in frequency with time. AVP-21D9 significantly reduced the dissemination of the bacteria to the bloodstream and to various organs following infection. Examination of tissue sections from infected control animals, stained with hematoxylin-eosin and the Gram stain, showed edema and/or hemorrhage in the lungs and the presence of bacteria in mediastinal lymph nodes, with necrosis and inflammation. Tissue sections from infected rabbits dosed with AVP-21D9 appeared comparable to corresponding tissues from uninfected animals despite lethal challenge with B. anthracis Ames spores. Concomitant treatment with AVP-21D9 at the time of challenge conferred complete protection in the rabbit inhalation anthrax model. Early treatment increased the efficacy progressively and in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, AVP-21D9 could offer an adjunct or alternative clinical treatment regimen against inhalation anthrax. PMID:17452469

  9. Decontamination efficacy of three commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS sporicidal disinfectants on medium-sized panels contaminated with surrogate spores of Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason M Edmonds

    Full Text Available In the event of a wide area release and contamination of a biological agent in an outdoor environment and to building exteriors, decontamination is likely to consume the Nation's remediation capacity, requiring years to cleanup, and leading to incalculable economic losses. This is in part due to scant body of efficacy data on surface areas larger than those studied in a typical laboratory (5×10-cm, resulting in low confidence for operational considerations in sampling and quantitative measurements of prospective technologies recruited in effective cleanup and restoration response. In addition to well-documented fumigation-based cleanup efforts, agencies responsible for mitigation of contaminated sites are exploring alternative methods for decontamination including combinations of disposal of contaminated items, source reduction by vacuuming, mechanical scrubbing, and low-technology alternatives such as pH-adjusted bleach pressure wash. If proven effective, a pressure wash-based removal of Bacillus anthracis spores from building surfaces with readily available equipment will significantly increase the readiness of Federal agencies to meet the daunting challenge of restoration and cleanup effort following a wide-area biological release. In this inter-agency study, the efficacy of commercial-of-the-shelf sporicidal disinfectants applied using backpack sprayers was evaluated in decontamination of spores on the surfaces of medium-sized (∼1.2 m2 panels of steel, pressure-treated (PT lumber, and brick veneer. Of the three disinfectants, pH-amended bleach, Peridox, and CASCAD evaluated; CASCAD was found to be the most effective in decontamination of spores from all three panel surface types.

  10. The poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule surrogate of the Bacillus anthracis capsule induces nitric oxide production via the platelet activating factor receptor signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hae-Ri; Jeon, Jun Ho; Park, Ok-Kyu; Chun, Jeong-Hoon; Park, Jungchan; Rhie, Gi-Eun

    2015-12-01

    The poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (PGA) capsule, a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, confers protection of the bacillus from phagocytosis and allows its unimpeded growth in the host. PGA capsules released from B. anthracis are associated with lethal toxin in the blood of experimentally infected animals and enhance the cytotoxic effect of lethal toxin on macrophages. In addition, PGA capsule itself activates macrophages and dendritic cells to produce proinflammatory cytokine such as IL-1β, indicating multiple roles of PGA capsule in anthrax pathogenesis. Here we report that PGA capsule of Bacillus licheniformis, a surrogate of B. anthracis capsule, induces production of nitric oxide (NO) in RAW264.7 cells and bone marrow-derived macrophages. NO production was induced by PGA in a dose-dependent manner and was markedly reduced by inhibitors of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), suggesting iNOS-dependent production of NO. Induction of NO production by PGA was not observed in macrophages from TLR2-deficient mice and was also substantially inhibited in RAW264.7 cells by pretreatment of TLR2 blocking antibody. Subsequently, the downstream signaling events such as ERK, JNK and p38 of MAPK pathways as well as NF-κB activation were required for PGA-induced NO production. In addition, the induced NO production was significantly suppressed by treatment with antagonists of platelet activating factor receptor (PAFR) or PAFR siRNA, and mediated through PAFR/Jak2/STAT-1 signaling pathway. These findings suggest that PGA capsule induces NO production in macrophages by triggering both TLR2 and PAFR signaling pathways which lead to activation of NF-kB and STAT-1, respectively. PMID:26350415

  11. Enhanced Immune Response to DNA Vaccine Encoding Bacillus anthracis PA-D4 Protects Mice against Anthrax Spore Challenge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Young Kim

    Full Text Available Anthrax has long been considered the most probable bioweapon-induced disease. The protective antigen (PA of Bacillus anthracis plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of anthrax. In the current study, we evaluated the efficiency of a genetic vaccination with the fourth domain (D4 of PA, which is responsible for initial binding of the anthrax toxin to the cellular receptor. The eukaryotic expression vector was designed with the immunoglobulin M (IgM signal sequence encoding for PA-D4, which contains codon-optimized genes. The expression and secretion of recombinant protein was confirmed in vitro in 293T cells transfected with plasmid and detected by western blotting, confocal microscopy, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA. The results revealed that PA-D4 protein can be efficiently expressed and secreted at high levels into the culture medium. When plasmid DNA was given intramuscularly to mice, a significant PA-D4-specific antibody response was induced. Importantly, high titers of antibodies were maintained for nearly 1 year. Furthermore, incorporation of the SV40 enhancer in the plasmid DNA resulted in approximately a 15-fold increase in serum antibody levels in comparison with the plasmid without enhancer. The antibodies produced were predominantly the immunoglobulin G2 (IgG2 type, indicating the predominance of the Th1 response. In addition, splenocytes collected from immunized mice produced PA-D4-specific interferon gamma (IFN-γ. The biodistribution study showed that plasmid DNA was detected in most organs and it rapidly cleared from the injection site. Finally, DNA vaccination with electroporation induced a significant increase in immunogenicity and successfully protected the mice against anthrax spore challenge. Our approach to enhancing the immune response contributes to the development of DNA vaccines against anthrax and other biothreats.

  12. Enhanced Immune Response to DNA Vaccine Encoding Bacillus anthracis PA-D4 Protects Mice against Anthrax Spore Challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Na Young; Chang, Dong Suk; Kim, Yeonsu; Kim, Chang Hwan; Hur, Gyeung Haeng; Yang, Jai Myung; Shin, Sungho

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax has long been considered the most probable bioweapon-induced disease. The protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of anthrax. In the current study, we evaluated the efficiency of a genetic vaccination with the fourth domain (D4) of PA, which is responsible for initial binding of the anthrax toxin to the cellular receptor. The eukaryotic expression vector was designed with the immunoglobulin M (IgM) signal sequence encoding for PA-D4, which contains codon-optimized genes. The expression and secretion of recombinant protein was confirmed in vitro in 293T cells transfected with plasmid and detected by western blotting, confocal microscopy, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results revealed that PA-D4 protein can be efficiently expressed and secreted at high levels into the culture medium. When plasmid DNA was given intramuscularly to mice, a significant PA-D4-specific antibody response was induced. Importantly, high titers of antibodies were maintained for nearly 1 year. Furthermore, incorporation of the SV40 enhancer in the plasmid DNA resulted in approximately a 15-fold increase in serum antibody levels in comparison with the plasmid without enhancer. The antibodies produced were predominantly the immunoglobulin G2 (IgG2) type, indicating the predominance of the Th1 response. In addition, splenocytes collected from immunized mice produced PA-D4-specific interferon gamma (IFN-γ). The biodistribution study showed that plasmid DNA was detected in most organs and it rapidly cleared from the injection site. Finally, DNA vaccination with electroporation induced a significant increase in immunogenicity and successfully protected the mice against anthrax spore challenge. Our approach to enhancing the immune response contributes to the development of DNA vaccines against anthrax and other biothreats. PMID:26430894

  13. Characterization of the N-Acetyl-[alpha]-d-glucosaminyl l-Malate Synthase and Deacetylase Functions for Bacillithiol Biosynthesis in Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parsonage, Derek; Newton, Gerald L.; Holder, Robert C.; Wallace, Bret D.; Paige, Carleitta; Hamilton, Chris J.; Dos Santos, Patricia C.; Redinbo, Matthew R.; Reid, Sean D.; Claiborne, Al (Wake Forest); (UNC); (East Anglia); (UCSD)

    2012-02-21

    Bacillithiol (Cys-GlcN-malate, BSH) has recently been identified as a novel low-molecular weight thiol in Bacillus anthracis, Staphylococcus aureus, and several other Gram-positive bacteria lacking glutathione and mycothiol. We have now characterized the first two enzymes for the BSH biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis, which combine to produce {alpha}-D-glucosaminyl L-malate (GlcN-malate) from UDP-GlcNAc and L-malate. The structure of the GlcNAc-malate intermediate has been determined, as have the kinetic parameters for the BaBshA glycosyltransferase ({yields}GlcNAc-malate) and the BaBshB deacetylase ({yields}GlcN-malate). BSH is one of only two natural products reported to contain a malyl glycoside, and the crystal structure of the BaBshA-UDP-malate ternary complex, determined in this work at 3.3 {angstrom} resolution, identifies several active-site interactions important for the specific recognition of L-malate, but not other {alpha}-hydroxy acids, as the acceptor substrate. In sharp contrast to the structures reported for the GlcNAc-1-D-myo-inositol-3-phosphate synthase (MshA) apo and ternary complex forms, there is no major conformational change observed in the structures of the corresponding BaBshA forms. A mutant strain of B. anthracis deficient in the BshA glycosyltransferase fails to produce BSH, as predicted. This B. anthracis bshA locus (BA1558) has been identified in a transposon-site hybridization study as required for growth, sporulation, or germination [Day, W. A., Jr., Rasmussen, S. L., Carpenter, B. M., Peterson, S. N., and Friedlander, A. M. (2007) J. Bacteriol. 189, 3296-3301], suggesting that the biosynthesis of BSH could represent a target for the development of novel antimicrobials with broad-spectrum activity against Gram-positive pathogens like B. anthracis. The metabolites that function in thiol redox buffering and homeostasis in Bacillus are not well understood, and we present a composite picture based on this and other recent work.

  14. Experimental Design for a Macrofoam-Swab Study Relating the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to Low Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates on Four Surface Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2014-12-05

    This report describes the experimental design for a laboratory study to quantify the recovery efficiencies and false negative rates of a validated, macrofoam-swab sampling method for low concentrations of Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus (BG) spores on four surface materials (stainless steel, glass, vinyl tile, plastic light cover panel). Two analytical methods (culture and polymerase chain reaction) will be used. Only one previous study has investigated how the false negative rate depends on test factors. The surrogates BAS and BG have not been tested together in the same study previously. Hence, this study will provide for completing gaps in the available information on the performance of macrofoam-swab sampling at low concentrations.

  15. Experimental Design for a Macrofoam Swab Study Relating the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to Low Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates on Four Surface Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2014-04-16

    This report describes the experimental design for a laboratory study to quantify the recovery efficiencies and false negative rates of a validated, macrofoam swab sampling method for low concentrations of Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus (BG) spores on four surface materials (stainless steel, glass, vinyl tile, plastic light cover panel). Two analytical methods (plating/counting and polymerase chain reaction) will be used. Only one previous study has investigated false negative as a function of affecting test factors. The surrogates BAS and BG have not been tested together in the same study previously. Hence, this study will provide for completing gaps in the available information on the performance of macrofoam swab sampling at low concentrations.

  16. Comparative analysis of the immunologic response induced by the Sterne 34F2 live spore Bacillus anthracis vaccine in a ruminant model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndumnego, Okechukwu C; Köhler, Susanne M; Crafford, Jannie; van Heerden, Henriette; Beyer, Wolfgang

    2016-10-01

    The Sterne 34F2 live spore vaccine (SLSV) developed in 1937 is the most widely used veterinary vaccine against anthrax. However, literature on the immunogenicity of this vaccine in a target ruminant host is scarce. In this study, we evaluated the humoral response to the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (rPA), a recombinant bacillus collagen-like protein of anthracis (rBclA), formaldehyde inactivated spores (FIS) prepared from strain 34F2 and a vegetative antigen formulation prepared from a capsule and toxin deficient strain (CDC 1014) in Boer goats. The toxin neutralizing ability of induced antibodies was evaluated using an in vitro toxin neutralization assay. The protection afforded by the vaccine was also assessed in vaccinates. Anti-rPA, anti-FIS and lethal toxin neutralizing titres were superior after booster vaccinations, compared to single vaccinations. Qualitative analysis of humoral responses to rPA, rBclA and FIS antigens revealed a preponderance of anti-FIS IgG titres following either single or double vaccinations with the SLSV. Antibodies against FIS and rPA both increased by 350 and 300-fold following revaccinations respectively. There was no response to rBclA following vaccinations with the SLSV. Toxin neutralizing titres increased by 80-fold after single vaccination and 700-fold following a double vaccination. Lethal challenge studies in naïve goats indicated a minimum infective dose of 36 B. anthracis spores. Single and double vaccination with the SLSV protected 4/5 and 3/3 of goats challenged with>800 spores respectively. An early booster vaccination following the first immunization is suggested in order to achieve a robust immunity. Results from this study indicate that this crucial second vaccination can be administered as early as 3 months after the initial vaccination. PMID:27496738

  17. False Negative Rates of a Macrofoam-Swab Sampling Method with Low Surface Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates via Real-Time PCR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Amidan, Brett G. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Sydor, Michael A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Kaiser, Brooke L.D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2016-06-01

    Surface sampling for Bacillus anthracis spores has traditionally relied on detection via bacterial cultivation methods. Although effective, this approach does not provide the level of organism specificity that can be gained through molecular techniques. False negative rates (FNR) and limits of detection (LOD) were determined for two B. anthracis surrogates with modified rapid viability-polymerase chain reaction (mRV-PCR) following macrofoam-swab sampling. This study was conducted in parallel with a previously reported study that analyzed spores using a plate-culture method. B. anthracis Sterne (BAS) or B. atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores were deposited onto four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic) at nine target concentrations (2 to 500 spores/coupon; 0.078 to 19.375 colony-forming units [CFU] per cm2). Mean FNR values for mRV-PCR analysis ranged from 0 to 0.917 for BAS and 0 to 0.875 for BG and increased as spore concentration decreased (over the concentrations investigated) for each surface material. FNRs based on mRV-PCR data were not statistically different for BAS and BG, but were significantly lower for glass than for vinyl tile. FNRs also tended to be lower for the mRV-PCR method compared to the culture method. The mRV-PCR LOD95 was lowest for glass (0.429 CFU/cm2 with BAS and 0.341 CFU/cm2 with BG) and highest for vinyl tile (0.919 CFU/cm2 with BAS and 0.917 CFU/cm2 with BG). These mRV-PCR LOD95 values were lower than the culture values (BAS: 0.678 to 1.023 CFU/cm2 and BG: 0.820 to 1.489 CFU/cm2). The FNR and LOD95 values reported in this work provide guidance for environmental sampling of Bacillus spores at low concentrations.

  18. False Negative Rates of a Macrofoam-Swab Sampling Method with Low Surface Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates via Real-Time PCR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchison, Janine R.; Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Sydor, Michael A.; Kaiser, Brooke LD

    2016-06-28

    Surface sampling for Bacillus anthracis spores has traditionally relied on detection via bacterial cultivation methods. Although effective, this approach does not provide the level of organism specificity that can be gained through molecular techniques. False negative rates (FNR) and limits of detection (LOD) were determined for two B. anthracis surrogates with modified rapid viability-polymerase chain reaction (mRV-PCR) following macrofoam-swab sampling. This study was conducted in parallel with a previously reported study that analyzed spores using a plate-culture method. B. anthracis Sterne (BAS) or B. atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores were deposited onto four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic) at nine target concentrations (2 to 500 spores/coupon; 0.078 to 19.375 colony-forming units [CFU] per cm2). Mean FNR values for mRV-PCR analysis ranged from 0 to 0.917 for BAS and 0 to 0.875 for BG and increased as spore concentration decreased (over the concentrations investigated) for each surface material. FNRs based on mRV-PCR data were not statistically different for BAS and BG, but were significantly lower for glass than for vinyl tile. FNRs also tended to be lower for the mRV-PCR method compared to the culture method. The mRV-PCR LOD95 was lowest for glass (0.429 CFU/cm2 with BAS and 0.341 CFU/cm2 with BG) and highest for vinyl tile (0.919 CFU/cm2 with BAS and 0.917 CFU/cm2 with BG). These mRV-PCR LOD95 values were lower than the culture values (BAS: 0.678 to 1.023 CFU/cm2 and BG: 0.820 to 1.489 CFU/cm2). The FNR and LOD95 values reported in this work provide guidance for environmental sampling of Bacillus spores at low concentrations.

  19. Conjugative plasmid pAW63 brings new insights into the genesis of the Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmid pXO2 and of the Bacillus thuringiensis plasmid pBT9727

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahillon Jacques

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus cereus, Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis belong to the genetically close-knit Bacillus cereus sensu lato group, a family of rod-shaped Gram-positive bacteria. pAW63 is the first conjugative plasmid from the B. cereus group to be completely sequenced. Results The 71,777 bp nucleotide sequence of pAW63 reveals a modular structure, including a 42 kb tra region encoding homologs of the Type IV secretion systems components VirB11, VirB4 and VirD4, as well as homologs of Gram-positive conjugation genes from Enterococcus, Lactococcus, Listeria, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species. It also firmly establishes the existence of a common backbone between pAW63, pXO2 from Bacillus anthracis and pBT9727 from the pathogenic Bacillus thuringiensis serovar konkukian strain 97-27. The alignment of these three plasmids highlights the presence of well conserved segments, in contrast to distinct regions of high sequence plasticity. The study of their specific differences has provided a three-point reference framework that can be exploited to formulate solid hypotheses concerning the functionalities and the molecular evolution of these three closely related plasmids. This has provided insight into the chronology of their divergence, and led to the discovery of two Type II introns on pAW63, matching copies of the mobile element IS231L in different loci of pXO2 and pBT9727, and the identification on pXO2 of a 37 kb pathogenicity island (PAI containing the anthrax capsule genes. Conclusion The complete sequence determination of pAW63 has led to a functional map of the plasmid yielding insights into its conjugative apparatus, which includes T4SS-like components, as well as its resemblance to other large plasmids of Gram-positive bacteria. Of particular interest is the extensive homology shared between pAW63 and pXO2, the second virulence plasmid of B. anthracis, as well as pBT9727 from the pathogenic strain B. thuringiensis

  20. Redefining the Australian Anthrax Belt: Modeling the Ecological Niche and Predicting the Geographic Distribution of Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alassane S Barro

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The ecology and distribution of B. anthracis in Australia is not well understood, despite the continued occurrence of anthrax outbreaks in the eastern states of the country. Efforts to estimate the spatial extent of the risk of disease have been limited to a qualitative definition of an anthrax belt extending from southeast Queensland through the centre of New South Wales and into northern Victoria. This definition of the anthrax belt does not consider the role of environmental conditions in the distribution of B. anthracis. Here, we used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction model system (GARP, historical anthrax outbreaks and environmental data to model the ecological niche of B. anthracis and predict its potential geographic distribution in Australia. Our models reveal the niche of B. anthracis in Australia is characterized by a narrow range of ecological conditions concentrated in two disjunct corridors. The most dominant corridor, used to redefine a new anthrax belt, parallels the Eastern Highlands and runs from north Victoria to central east Queensland through the centre of New South Wales. This study has redefined the anthrax belt in eastern Australia and provides insights about the ecological factors that limit the distribution of B. anthracis at the continental scale for Australia. The geographic distributions identified can help inform anthrax surveillance strategies by public and veterinary health agencies.

  1. Redefining the Australian Anthrax Belt: Modeling the Ecological Niche and Predicting the Geographic Distribution of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barro, Alassane S; Fegan, Mark; Moloney, Barbara; Porter, Kelly; Muller, Janine; Warner, Simone; Blackburn, Jason K

    2016-06-01

    The ecology and distribution of B. anthracis in Australia is not well understood, despite the continued occurrence of anthrax outbreaks in the eastern states of the country. Efforts to estimate the spatial extent of the risk of disease have been limited to a qualitative definition of an anthrax belt extending from southeast Queensland through the centre of New South Wales and into northern Victoria. This definition of the anthrax belt does not consider the role of environmental conditions in the distribution of B. anthracis. Here, we used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction model system (GARP), historical anthrax outbreaks and environmental data to model the ecological niche of B. anthracis and predict its potential geographic distribution in Australia. Our models reveal the niche of B. anthracis in Australia is characterized by a narrow range of ecological conditions concentrated in two disjunct corridors. The most dominant corridor, used to redefine a new anthrax belt, parallels the Eastern Highlands and runs from north Victoria to central east Queensland through the centre of New South Wales. This study has redefined the anthrax belt in eastern Australia and provides insights about the ecological factors that limit the distribution of B. anthracis at the continental scale for Australia. The geographic distributions identified can help inform anthrax surveillance strategies by public and veterinary health agencies. PMID:27280981

  2. Redefining the Australian Anthrax Belt: Modeling the Ecological Niche and Predicting the Geographic Distribution of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barro, Alassane S.; Fegan, Mark; Moloney, Barbara; Porter, Kelly; Muller, Janine; Warner, Simone; Blackburn, Jason K.

    2016-01-01

    The ecology and distribution of B. anthracis in Australia is not well understood, despite the continued occurrence of anthrax outbreaks in the eastern states of the country. Efforts to estimate the spatial extent of the risk of disease have been limited to a qualitative definition of an anthrax belt extending from southeast Queensland through the centre of New South Wales and into northern Victoria. This definition of the anthrax belt does not consider the role of environmental conditions in the distribution of B. anthracis. Here, we used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction model system (GARP), historical anthrax outbreaks and environmental data to model the ecological niche of B. anthracis and predict its potential geographic distribution in Australia. Our models reveal the niche of B. anthracis in Australia is characterized by a narrow range of ecological conditions concentrated in two disjunct corridors. The most dominant corridor, used to redefine a new anthrax belt, parallels the Eastern Highlands and runs from north Victoria to central east Queensland through the centre of New South Wales. This study has redefined the anthrax belt in eastern Australia and provides insights about the ecological factors that limit the distribution of B. anthracis at the continental scale for Australia. The geographic distributions identified can help inform anthrax surveillance strategies by public and veterinary health agencies. PMID:27280981

  3. Pyridine Nucleotide Complexes with Bacillus anthracis Coenzyme A-Disulfide Reductase: A Structural Analysis of Dual NAD(P)H Specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallen,J.; Paige, C.; Mallett, T.; Karplus, P.; Claiborne, A.

    2008-01-01

    We have recently reported that CoASH is the major low-molecular weight thiol in Bacillus anthracis, and we have now characterized the kinetic and redox properties of the B. anthracis coenzyme A-disulfide reductase (CoADR, BACoADR) and determined the crystal structure at 2.30 Angstroms resolution. While the Staphylococcus aureus and Borrelia burgdorferi CoADRs exhibit strong preferences for NADPH and NADH, respectively, B. anthracis CoADR can use either pyridine nucleotide equally well. Sequence elements within the respective NAD(P)H-binding motifs correctly reflect the preferences for S. aureus and Bo. burgdorferi CoADRs, but leave questions as to how BACoADR can interact with both pyridine nucleotides. The structures of the NADH and NADPH complexes at ca. 2.3 Angstroms resolution reveal that a loop consisting of residues Glu180-Thr187 becomes ordered and changes conformation on NAD(P)H binding. NADH and NADPH interact with nearly identical conformations of this loop; the latter interaction, however, involves a novel binding mode in which the 2'-phosphate of NADPH points out toward solvent. In addition, the NAD(P)H-reduced BACoADR structures provide the first view of the reduced form (Cys42-SH/CoASH) of the Cys42-SSCoA redox center. The Cys42-SH side chain adopts a new conformation in which the conserved Tyr367'-OH and Tyr425'-OH interact with the nascent thiol(ate) on the flavin si-face. Kinetic data with Y367F, Y425F, and Y367, 425F BACoADR mutants indicate that Tyr425' is the primary proton donor in catalysis, with Tyr367' functioning as a cryptic alternate donor in the absence of Tyr425'.

  4. Bacillus anthracis capsule activates caspase-1 and induces interleukin-1beta release from differentiated THP-1 and human monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Min-Hee; Ahn, Hae-Jeong; Ha, Hyun-Joon; Park, Jungchan; Chun, Jeong-Hoon; Kim, Bong-Su; Oh, Hee-Bok; Rhie, Gi-Eun

    2010-01-01

    The poly-gamma-d-glutamic acid (PGA) capsule is one of the major virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis, which causes a highly lethal infection. The antiphagocytic PGA capsule disguises the bacilli from immune surveillance and allows unimpeded growth of bacilli in the host. Recently, efforts have been made to include PGA as a component of anthrax vaccine; however, the innate immune response of PGA itself has been poorly investigated. In this study, we characterized the innate immune response elicited by PGA in the human monocytic cell line THP-1, which was differentiated into macrophages with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (hMoDCs). PGA capsules were isolated from the culture supernatant of either the pXO1-cured strain of B. anthracis H9401 or B. licheniformis ATCC 9945a. PGA treatment of differentiated THP-1 cells and hMoDCs led to the specific extracellular release of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) in a dose-dependent manner. Evaluation of IL-1beta processing by Western blotting revealed that cleaved IL-1beta increased in THP-1 cells and hMoDCs after PGA treatment. Enhanced processing of IL-1beta directly correlated with increased activation of its upstream regulator, caspase-1, also known as IL-1beta-converting enzyme (ICE). The extracellular release of IL-1beta in response to PGA was ICE dependent, since the administration of an ICE inhibitor prior to PGA treatment blocked induction of IL-1beta. These results demonstrate that B. anthracis PGA elicits IL-1beta production through activation of ICE in PMA-differentiated THP-1 cells and hMoDCs, suggesting the potential for PGA as a therapeutic target for anthrax. PMID:19737897

  5. Immunization with a Recombinant, Pseudomonas fluorescens-Expressed, Mutant Form of Bacillus anthracis-Derived Protective Antigen Protects Rabbits from Anthrax Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Reed

    Full Text Available Protective antigen (PA, one of the components of the anthrax toxin, is the major component of human anthrax vaccine (Biothrax. Human anthrax vaccines approved in the United States and Europe consist of an alum-adsorbed or precipitated (respectively supernatant material derived from cultures of toxigenic, non-encapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Approved vaccination schedules in humans with either of these vaccines requires several booster shots and occasionally causes adverse injection site reactions. Mutant derivatives of the protective antigen that will not form the anthrax toxins have been described. We have cloned and expressed both mutant (PA SNKE167-ΔFF-315-E308D and native PA molecules recombinantly and purified them. In this study, both the mutant and native PA molecules, formulated with alum (Alhydrogel, elicited high titers of anthrax toxin neutralizing anti-PA antibodies in New Zealand White rabbits. Both mutant and native PA vaccine preparations protected rabbits from lethal, aerosolized, B. anthracis spore challenge subsequent to two immunizations at doses of less than 1 μg.

  6. Recombinant expression of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin components of Indian isolate in Escherichia coli and determination of its acute toxicity level in mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagendra, Suryanarayana; Vanlalhmuaka; Verma, Sarika; Tuteja, Urmil; Thavachelvam, Kulanthaivel

    2015-12-15

    Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LeTx) is the principle factor responsible for toxaemia and anthrax related death. Lethal toxin consist of two proteins viz protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor which combines in a typical fashion similar to other toxins belonging to A-B toxin super family. The amount of LeTx required to kill a particular organism generally differs among strains owing to their geographical distributions and genetic variation. In the present study, we have cloned PA and LF genes from B. anthracis clinical isolate of Indian origin and expressed them in soluble form employing Escherichia coli expression system. Both the proteins were purified to near homogeneity level using Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC). Further we have used equal ratio of both the proteins to form LeTx and determined its acute toxicity level in Balb/c mice by graphical method of Miller and Tainter. The LD50 value of LeTx by intravenous (i.v) route was found to be 0.97 ± 0.634 mg kg(-1) Balb/c mice. This study highlights the expression of recombinant LeTx from E. coli and assessing its acute toxicity level in experimental mouse model. PMID:26472254

  7. Sporulation and germination gene expression analysis of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in skim milk under heat and different intervention techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    To investigate how B. anthracis Stene spores survive in milk under heat (80 degree C, 10 minutes), pasteurization (72 degree C, 15 seconds) and pasteurization plus microfiltration, the expression levels of genes that related to sporulation and germination were tested using real-time PCR assays. Tw...

  8. Does Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin Directly Depress Myocardial Function? A Review of Clinical Cases and Preclinical Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suffredini, Dante A; Sampath-Kumar, Hanish; Li, Yan; Ohanjanian, Lernik; Remy, Kenneth E; Cui, Xizhong; Eichacker, Peter Q

    2015-12-01

    The US outbreak of B.anthracis infection in 2001 and subsequent cases in the US and Europe demonstrate that anthrax is a continuing risk for the developed world. While several bacterial components contribute to the pathogenesis of B. anthracis, production of lethal toxin (LT) is strongly associated with the development of hypotension and lethality. However, the mechanisms underlying the cardiovascular instability LT produces are unclear. Some evidence suggests that LT causes shock by impairing the peripheral vasculature, effects consistent with the substantial extravasation of fluid in patients dying with B. anthracis. Other data suggests that LT directly depresses myocardial function. However a clinical correlate for this latter possibility is less evident since functional studies and post-mortem examination in patients demonstrate absent or minimal cardiac changes. The purposes of this review were to first present clinical studies of cardiac functional and histologic pathology with B. anthracis infection and to then examine in vivo, in vitro, and ex vivo preclinical studies of LT's myocardial effects. Together, these data suggest that it is unclear whether that LT directly depresses cardiac function. This question is important for the clinical management and development of new therapies for anthrax and efforts should continue to be made to answer it. PMID:26703730

  9. Does Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin Directly Depress Myocardial Function? A Review of Clinical Cases and Preclinical Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dante A. Suffredini

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The US outbreak of B.anthracis infection in 2001 and subsequent cases in the US and Europe demonstrate that anthrax is a continuing risk for the developed world. While several bacterial components contribute to the pathogenesis of B. anthracis, production of lethal toxin (LT is strongly associated with the development of hypotension and lethality. However, the mechanisms underlying the cardiovascular instability LT produces are unclear. Some evidence suggests that LT causes shock by impairing the peripheral vasculature, effects consistent with the substantial extravasation of fluid in patients dying with B. anthracis. Other data suggests that LT directly depresses myocardial function. However a clinical correlate for this latter possibility is less evident since functional studies and post-mortem examination in patients demonstrate absent or minimal cardiac changes. The purposes of this review were to first present clinical studies of cardiac functional and histologic pathology with B. anthracis infection and to then examine in vivo, in vitro, and ex vivo preclinical studies of LT’s myocardial effects. Together, these data suggest that it is unclear whether that LT directly depresses cardiac function. This question is important for the clinical management and development of new therapies for anthrax and efforts should continue to be made to answer it.

  10. The mechanism of DNA ejection in the Bacillus anthracis spore-binding phage 8a revealed by cryo-electron tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The structure of the Bacillus anthracis spore-binding phage 8a was determined by cryo-electron tomography. The phage capsid forms a T = 16 icosahedron attached to a contractile tail via a head–tail connector protein. The tail consists of a six-start helical sheath surrounding a central tail tube, and a structurally novel baseplate at the distal end of the tail that recognizes and attaches to host cells. The parameters of the icosahedral capsid lattice and the helical tail sheath suggest protein folds for the capsid and tail-sheath proteins, respectively, and indicate evolutionary relationships to other dsDNA viruses. Analysis of 2518 intact phage particles show four distinct conformations that likely correspond to four sequential states of the DNA ejection process during infection. Comparison of the four observed conformations suggests a mechanism for DNA ejection, including the molecular basis underlying coordination of tail sheath contraction and genome release from the capsid.

  11. Production of Functionally Active and Immunogenic Non-Glycosylated Protective Antigen from Bacillus anthracis in Nicotiana benthamiana by Co-Expression with Peptide-N-Glycosidase F (PNGase F) of Flavobacterium meningosepticum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamedov, Tarlan; Chichester, Jessica A; Jones, R Mark; Ghosh, Ananya; Coffin, Megan V; Herschbach, Kristina; Prokhnevsky, Alexey I; Streatfield, Stephen J; Yusibov, Vidadi

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis has long been considered a potential biological warfare agent, and therefore, there is a need for a safe, low-cost and highly efficient anthrax vaccine with demonstrated long-term stability for mass vaccination in case of an emergency. Many efforts have been made towards developing an anthrax vaccine based on recombinant protective antigen (rPA) of B. anthracis, a key component of the anthrax toxin, produced using different expression systems. Plants represent a promising recombinant protein production platform due to their relatively low cost, rapid scalability and favorable safety profile. Previous studies have shown that full-length rPA produced in Nicotiana benthamiana (pp-PA83) is immunogenic and can provide full protection against lethal spore challenge; however, further improvement in the potency and stability of the vaccine candidate is necessary. PA of B. anthracis is not a glycoprotein in its native host; however, this protein contains potential N-linked glycosylation sites, which can be aberrantly glycosylated during expression in eukaryotic systems including plants. This glycosylation could affect the availability of certain key epitopes either due to masking or misfolding of the protein. Therefore, a non-glycosylated form of pp-PA83 was engineered and produced in N. benthamiana using an in vivo deglycosylation approach based on co-expression of peptide-N-glycosidase F (PNGase F) from Flavobacterium meningosepticum. For comparison, versions of pp-PA83 containing point mutations in six potential N-glycosylation sites were also engineered and expressed in N. benthamiana. The in vivo deglycosylated pp-PA83 (pp-dPA83) was shown to have in vitro activity, in contrast to glycosylated pp-PA83, and to induce significantly higher levels of toxin-neutralizing antibody responses in mice compared with glycosylated pp-PA83, in vitro deglycosylated pp-PA83 or the mutated versions of pp-PA83. These results suggest that pp-dPA83 may offer advantages

  12. Discrimination of bacillus anthracis and closely related microorganisms by analysis of 16S and 23S rRNA with oligonucleotide microarray.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bavykin, S. G.; Mikhailovich, V. M.; Zakharyev, V. M.; Lysov, Y. P.; Kelly, J. J.; Alferov, O. S.; Jackman, J.; Stahl, D. A.; Mirzabekov, A. D.; Gavin, I. M.; Kukhtin, A. V.; Chandler, D. (Biochip Technology Center); (Engelhardt Inst. of Molecular Biology); (Northwestern Univ.); (Georgetown Univ.)

    2008-01-30

    Analysis of 16S rRNA sequences is a commonly used method for the identification and discrimination of microorganisms. However, the high similarity of 16S and 23S rRNA sequences of Bacillus cereus group organisms (up to 99-100%) and repeatedly failed attempts to develop molecular typing systems that would use DNA sequences to discriminate between species within this group have resulted in several suggestions to consider B. cereus and B. thuringiensis, or these two species together with B. anthracis, as one species. Recently, we divided the B. cereus group into seven subgroups, Anthracis, Cereus A and B, Thuringiensis A and B, and Mycoides A and B, based on 16S rRNA, 23S rRNA and gyrB gene sequences and identified subgroup-specific makers in each of these three genes. Here we for the first time demonstrated discrimination of these seven subgroups, including subgroup Anthracis, with a 3D gel element microarray of oligonucleotide probes targeting 16S and 23S rRNA markers. This is the first microarray enabled identification of B. anthracis and discrimination of these seven subgroups in pure cell cultures and in environmental samples using rRNA sequences. The microarray bearing perfect match/mismatch (p/mm) probe pairs was specific enough to discriminate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and was able to identify targeted organisms in 5 min. We also demonstrated the ability of the microarray to determine subgroup affiliations for B. cereus group isolates without rRNA sequencing. Correlation of these seven subgroups with groupings based on multilocus sequence typing (MLST), fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis (AFLP) and multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MME) analysis of a wide spectrum of different genes, and the demonstration of subgroup-specific differences in toxin profiles, psychrotolerance, and the ability to harbor some plasmids, suggest that these seven subgroups are not based solely on neutral genomic polymorphisms, but instead reflect

  13. False Negative Rates of a Macrofoam-Swab Sampling Method with Low Surface Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates via Real-Time PCR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Amidan, Brett G. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Sydor, Michael A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Deatherage Kaiser, Brooke L [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-05-01

    Surface sampling for Bacillus anthracis spores has traditionally relied on detection via bacterial cultivation methods. Although effective, this approach does not provide the level of organism specificity that can be gained through molecular techniques. False negative rates (FNR) and limits of detection (LOD) were determined for two B. anthracis surrogates with modified rapid viability-polymerase chain reaction (mRV-PCR) following macrofoam-swab sampling. This study was conducted in parallel with a previously reported study that analyzed spores using a plate-culture method. B. anthracis Sterne (BAS) or B. atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores were deposited onto four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic) at nine target concentrations (2 to 500 spores/coupon; 0.078 to 19.375 colony-forming units [CFU] per cm²). Mean FNR values for mRV-PCR analysis ranged from 0 to 0.917 for BAS and 0 to 0.875 for BG and increased as spore concentration decreased (over the concentrations investigated) for each surface material. FNRs based on mRV-PCR data were not statistically different for BAS and BG, but were significantly lower for glass than for vinyl tile. FNRs also tended to be lower for the mRV-PCR method compared to the culture method. The mRV-PCR LOD₉₅ was lowest for glass (0.429 CFU/cm² with BAS and 0.341 CFU/cm² with BG) and highest for vinyl tile (0.919 CFU/cm² with BAS and 0.917 CFU/cm² with BG). These mRV-PCR LOD₉₅ values were lower than the culture values (BAS: 0.678 to 1.023 CFU/cm² and BG: 0.820 to 1.489 CFU/cm²). The FNR and LOD₉₅ values reported in this work provide guidance for environmental sampling of Bacillus spores at low concentrations.

  14. Generierung und genotypische Untersuchung eines Ciprofloxacin-resistenten Bacillus cereus Stammes und Entwicklung von real-time-PCR-Schnelltests zum Nachweis von Resistenzen gegen Ciprofloxacin in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Hübner, Anika

    2014-01-01

    Die gebräuchliche Therapie gegen Milzbrand besteht aus der Gabe von Antibiotika. Als Therapie der Wahl gilt hierbei das Fluorochinolon Ciprofloxacin. Resistenzen gegen dieses Antibiotikum wurden bei B. anthracis in vivo noch nicht, in vitro jedoch im Rahmen mehrerer Studien beschrieben. Es existieren herkömmliche Resistenztests, wie der Gradientendiffusions- oder der Mikrodilutionstest, welche bei einer Milzbranderkrankung genutzt werden können. Diese nehmen jedoch aufgrund der kulturellen An...

  15. 炭疽杆菌表面四糖抗原全合成的研究进展%Research progress in the synthesis of antigen Bacillus anthracis tetrasaccharide

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄蕾; 许克寒; 吴俊琪; 姚阔; 俞世冲; 吴秋业

    2015-01-01

    炭疽是由炭疽杆菌引起的人畜共患的传染病。炭疽杆菌属于需氧芽孢杆菌属,为G+菌,其病原体是芽孢。炭疽芽孢最外层含有特定结构的四糖抗原,可用于制备糖缀合物疫苗,诱导免疫反应。综述近10年来文献报道对炭疽四糖化学合成的研究进展,并结合国内外最新研究成果介绍各条制备路线,比较各种方法的主要优缺点。%Objective Anthrax is an anthropozoonosis caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis .Bacillus anthracis is an aerobic ,spore-forming ,rod-shaped bacterium ,which infects human through ingestion or inhalation of the spores .The exos-porium of spores of Bacillus anthracis contains tetrasaccharide antigen with specific chemical structure ,which can be used in preparation of glycoconjugates vaccines ,inducing an immune response .This paper reviewed articles in the last decade that re-ported research advances in chemical synthesis of anthrax tetrasaccharide ,presented the methods for synthesis ,and compared the advantages and limitations among different methods .

  16. Bacillus anthracis ω-amino acid:pyruvate transaminase employs a different mechanism for dual substrate recognition than other amine transaminases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen-Munsberg, Fabian; Matzel, Philipp; Sowa, Miriam A; Berglund, Per; Bornscheuer, Uwe T; Höhne, Matthias

    2016-05-01

    Understanding the metabolic potential of organisms or a bacterial community based on their (meta) genome requires the reliable prediction of an enzyme's function from its amino acid sequence. Besides a remarkable development in prediction algorithms, the substrate scope of sequences with low identity to well-characterized enzymes remains often very elusive. From a recently conducted structure function analysis study of PLP-dependent enzymes, we identified a putative transaminase from Bacillus anthracis (Ban-TA) with the crystal structure 3N5M (deposited in the protein data bank in 2011, but not yet published). The active site residues of Ban-TA differ from those in related (class III) transaminases, which thereby have prevented function predictions. By investigating 50 substrate combinations its amine and ω-amino acid:pyruvate transaminase activity was revealed. Even though Ban-TA showed a relatively narrow amine substrate scope within the tested substrates, it accepts 2-propylamine, which is a prerequisite for industrial asymmetric amine synthesis. Structural information implied that the so-called dual substrate recognition of chemically different substrates (i.e. amines and amino acids) differs from that in formerly known enzymes. It lacks the normally conserved 'flipping' arginine, which enables dual substrate recognition by its side chain flexibility in other ω-amino acid:pyruvate transaminases. Molecular dynamics studies suggested that another arginine (R162) binds ω-amino acids in Ban-TA, but no side chain movements are required for amine and amino acid binding. These results, supported by mutagenesis studies, provide functional insights for the B. anthracis enzyme, enable function predictions of related proteins, and broadened the knowledge regarding ω-amino acid and amine converting transaminases. PMID:26795966

  17. Recovery Efficiency, False Negative Rate, and Limit of Detection Performance of a Validated Macrofoam-Swab Sampling Method with Low Surface Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Deatherage Kaiser, Brooke L [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Amidan, Brett G. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Sydor, Michael A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Barrett, Christopher A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-03-31

    The performance of a macrofoam-swab sampling method was evaluated using Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores applied at nine low target amounts (2-500 spores) to positive-control plates and test coupons (2 in. × 2 in.) of four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic). Test results from cultured samples were used to evaluate the effects of surrogate, surface concentration, and surface material on recovery efficiency (RE), false negative rate (FNR), and limit of detection. For RE, surrogate and surface material had statistically significant effects, but concentration did not. Mean REs were the lowest for vinyl tile (50.8% with BAS, 40.2% with BG) and the highest for glass (92.8% with BAS, 71.4% with BG). FNR values ranged from 0 to 0.833 for BAS and 0 to 0.806 for BG, with values increasing as concentration decreased in the range tested (0.078 to 19.375 CFU/cm2, where CFU denotes ‘colony forming units’). Surface material also had a statistically significant effect. A FNR-concentration curve was fit for each combination of surrogate and surface material. For both surrogates, the FNR curves tended to be the lowest for glass and highest for vinyl title. The FNR curves for BG tended to be higher than for BAS at lower concentrations, especially for glass. Results using a modified Rapid Viability-Polymerase Chain Reaction (mRV-PCR) analysis method were also obtained. The mRV-PCR results and comparisons to the culture results will be discussed in a subsequent report.

  18. Expression and refolding of the protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis: A model for high-throughput screening of antigenic recombinant protein refolding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavan, María Elisa; Pavan, Esteban Enrique; Cairó, Fabián Martín; Pettinari, María Julia

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) is a well known and relevant immunogenic protein that is the basis for both anthrax vaccines and diagnostic methods. Properly folded antigenic PA is necessary for these applications. In this study a high level of PA was obtained in recombinant Escherichia coli. The protein was initially accumulated in inclusion bodies, which facilitated its efficient purification by simple washing steps; however, it could not be recognized by specific antibodies. Refolding conditions were subsequently analyzed in a high-throughput manner that enabled nearly a hundred different conditions to be tested simultaneously. The recovery of the ability of PA to be recognized by antibodies was screened by dot blot using a coefficient that provided a measure of properly refolded protein levels with a high degree of discrimination. The best refolding conditions resulted in a tenfold increase in the intensity of the dot blot compared to the control. The only refolding additive that consistently yielded good results was L-arginine. The statistical analysis identified both cooperative and negative interactions between the different refolding additives. The high-throughput approach described in this study that enabled overproduction, purification and refolding of PA in a simple and straightforward manner, can be potentially useful for the rapid screening of adequate refolding conditions for other overexpressed antigenic proteins. PMID:26777581

  19. Cloning, expression and purification of binding domains of lethal factor and protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis in Escherichia coli and evaluation of their related murine antibody.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaee, Mehdi; Honari, Hossein; Kooshk, Mohammad Reza Ashrafi

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is common disease between human and animals caused by Bacillus anthracis. The cell binding domain of protective antigen (PAD4) and the binding domain of lethal factor (LFD1) have high immunogenicity potential and always were considered as a vaccine candidate against anthrax. The aims of this study are cloning and expressing of PAD4 and LFD1 in Escherichia coli, purification of the recombinant proteins and determination of their immunogenicity through evaluating of the relative produced polyclonal antibodies in mice. PAD4 and LFD1 genes were cloned in pET28a(+) vector and expressed in E. coli Bl21(DE3)PlysS. Expression and purification of the two recombinant proteins were confirmed by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting techniques. The PAD4 and LFD1 were purified using Ni(+)-NTA affinity chromatography (95-98 %), yielding 37.5 and 45 mg/l of culture, respectively. The antigens were injected three times into mice and production of relative antibodies was evaluated by ELISA test. The results showed that both PAD4 and LFD1 are immunogenic, but LFD1 has higher potential to stimulate Murine immune system. With regard to the high level of LFD1 and PAD4 expression and also significant increment in produced polyclonal antibodies, these recombinant proteins can be considered as a recombinant vaccine candidate against anthrax. PMID:24430302

  20. Background frequency of Bacillus species at the Canberra Airport: A 12 month study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gahan, Michelle E; Thomas, Rory; Rossi, Rebecca; Nelson, Michelle; Roffey, Paul; Richardson, Michelle M; McNevin, Dennis

    2015-12-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, is a naturally occurring disease in Australia. Whilst mainly limited to livestock in grazing regions of Victoria and New South Wales, movement of people, stock and vehicles means B. anthracis could be present outside this region. Of particular interest is the "background" prevalence of B. anthracis at transport hubs including airports. The aim of this study was to determine the background frequency of B. anthracis and the commonly used hoax agent Bacillus thuringiensis at the Canberra Airport over a 12 month period. Samples were collected daily for seven days each month from August 2011-July 2012 and analyzed using species specific real-time polymerase chain reaction. Fourteen samples (of a total of 575) were positive for the B. anthracis PL3 genomic marker, 24 for the cya (pXO1) plasmid marker and five for the capB (pXO2) plasmid marker. Whilst five samples were positive for both PL3 and cya, no samples were positive for all three markers hence there is no evidence to suggest the presence of pathogenic B. anthracis strains. B. anthracis targets were detected primarily in February 2012 and B. thuringiensis peaked in October and November 2011 and again in April and May 2012. This study provides a rapid method to screen for, and differentiate, Bacillus species. Armed with this information investigators will be able to discriminate a "threat" from "background" frequencies should the need arise. PMID:26298416

  1. Optimization of the Cell Wall Microenvironment Allows Increased Production of Recombinant Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen from B. subtilis

    OpenAIRE

    Thwaite, Joanne E.; Baillie, Les W. J.; Carter, Noel M; Stephenson, Keith; Rees, Mark; Harwood, Colin R.; Emmerson, Peter T.

    2002-01-01

    The stability of heterologous proteins secreted by gram-positive bacteria is greatly influenced by the microenvironment on the trans side of the cytoplasmic membrane, and secreted heterologous proteins are susceptible to rapid degradation by host cell proteases. In Bacillus subtilis, degradation occurs either as the proteins emerge from the presecretory translocase and prior to folding into their native conformation or after the native conformation has been reached. The former process general...

  2. Mapping the epitopes of a neutralizing antibody fragment directed against the lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis and cross-reacting with the homologous edema factor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Thullier

    Full Text Available The lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis, composed of the protective antigen (PA and the lethal factor (LF, plays an essential role in anthrax pathogenesis. PA also interacts with the edema factor (EF, 20% identity with LF to form the edema toxin (ET, which has a lesser role in anthrax pathogenesis. The first recombinant antibody fragment directed against LF was scFv 2LF; it neutralizes LT by blocking the interaction between PA and LF. Here, we report that scFv 2LF cross-reacts with EF and cross-neutralizes ET, and we present an in silico method taking advantage of this cross-reactivity to map the epitope of scFv 2LF on both LF and EF. This method identified five epitope candidates on LF, constituted of a total of 32 residues, which were tested experimentally by mutating the residues to alanine. This combined approach precisely identified the epitope of scFv 2LF on LF as five residues (H229, R230, Q234, L235 and Y236, of which three were missed by the consensus epitope candidate identified by pre-existing in silico methods. The homolog of this epitope on EF (H253, R254, E258, L259 and Y260 was experimentally confirmed to constitute the epitope of scFv 2LF on EF. Other inhibitors, including synthetic molecules, could be used to target these epitopes for therapeutic purposes. The in silico method presented here may be of more general interest.

  3. False-negative rate, limit of detection and recovery efficiency performance of a validated macrofoam-swab sampling method for low surface concentrations of Bacillus anthracis Sterne and Bacillus atrophaeus spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, G. F. [Applied Statistics and Computational Sciences, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Deatherage Kaiser, B. L. [Chemical and Biological Signature Science Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Amidan, B. G. [Applied Statistics and Computational Sciences, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Sydor, M. A. [Chemical and Biological Signature Science Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Barrett, C. A. [Analytical Chemistry of Nuclear Materials, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Hutchison, J. R. [Chemical and Biological Signature Science Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA

    2016-05-06

    The performance of a macrofoam-swab sampling method was evaluated using Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores applied at nine low target amounts (2-500 spores) to positive-control plates and test coupons (2 in × 2 in) of four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic). Test results from cultured samples were used to evaluate the effects of surrogate, surface concentration, and surface material on recovery efficiency (RE), false negative rate (FNR), and limit of detection. For RE, surrogate and surface material had statistically significant effects, but concentration did not. Mean REs were the lowest for vinyl tile (50.8% with BAS and 40.2% with BG) and the highest for glass (92.8% with BAS and 71.4% with BG). FNR values ranged from 0 to 0.833 for BAS and 0 to 0.806 for BG; values increased as concentration decreased in the range tested (0.078 to 19.375 CFU/cm2). Surface material also had a statistically significant effect. A FNR-concentration curve was fit for each combination of surrogate and surface material. For both surrogates, the FNR curves tended to be the lowest for glass and highest for vinyl title. The FNR curves for BG tended to be higher than for BAS at lower concentrations, especially for glass. Results using a modified Rapid Viability-Polymerase Chain Reaction (mRV-PCR) analysis method were also obtained. The mRV-PCR results and comparisons to the culture results will be discussed in a subsequent article.

  4. - Bacillus anthracis, utilización de un Sistema de Información Geográfico (SIG, para el análisis espacio temporal de 54 brotes de carbunclo rural en el partido de Azul, Bs. As., Argentina (Bacillus anthracis, use of a Geographical infoormation Service (GIS, for the temporary space analysis of 54 outbreaks of rural anthax in the county of Azul, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vazquez P.

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Resumen. El objeto de este trabajo es utilizar un Sistema de Información Geográfico (SIG para el análisis epidemiológico del Carbunclo Rural aplicado a un ecosistema ganadero, integrado por 618.000 bovinos, distribuidos en 1.350 establecimientos del partido de Azul, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Esto permitió estudiar hechos epidemiológicos de una enfermedad de antigua data como es el Carbunclo Rural. Su agente causal el Bacillus anthracis, posee la característica de formar esporos que permite mantenerse durante decenas de años en el ambiente com capacidad de transmitir la enfermedad a otrois animales susceptibles. Se describe la metodología para su diagnóstico y los distintos elementos que integran el Sistema de Información Geográfico. Los 54 brotes identificados entre los años 1989 / 2005 fueron georreferenciados para posteriormente relacionarlos con las vías de avenamiento de aguas del partido de Azul, lãs características de sus suelos y la ubicación de las poblaciones de las poblaciones rurales que comparten la zona de isorriesgo. Se plantea un sistema de alerta epidemiológico temprano para establecimientos ganaderos que comparten vías de avenamiento de agua en común con el brote de Carbunclo diagnosticado. El 93 % de los brotes ocurrieron en establecimientos que comparten vías de avenamiento, mientras que el 7 % restante en establecimientos ganaderos ubicados fuera del área de influencia de estas vías Summary. The objjective of this study was the use of a Geographical Information Service (GIS for the epidemiologiacal analysis of rural Anthrax applied to a catle ecosystem, which includes 618.000 cattle, distributed on 1.350 farms in the county of Azul, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. This allowed studying long past epidemiological occurrences of a disease such as rural carbuncle Its causing egent is Bacillus anthracis, which has the property of forming spores That permit being maintained dozens of years in

  5. Bacillus anthracis-derived edema toxin (ET counter-regulates movement of neutrophils and macromolecules through the endothelial paracellular pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen Chinh

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A common finding amongst patients with inhalational anthrax is a paucity of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs in infected tissues in the face of abundant circulating PMNs. A major virulence determinant of anthrax is edema toxin (ET, which is formed by the combination of two proteins produced by the organism, edema factor (EF, which is an adenyl cyclase, and protective antigen (PA. Since cAMP, a product of adenyl cyclase, is known to enhance endothelial barrier integrity, we asked whether ET might decrease extravasation of PMNs into tissues through closure of the paracellular pathway through which PMNs traverse. Results Pretreatment of human microvascular endothelial cell(ECs of the lung (HMVEC-L with ET decreased interleukin (IL-8-driven transendothelial migration (TEM of PMNs with a maximal reduction of nearly 60%. This effect required the presence of both EF and PA. Conversely, ET did not diminish PMN chemotaxis in an EC-free system. Pretreatment of subconfluent HMVEC-Ls decreased transendothelial 14 C-albumin flux by ~ 50% compared to medium controls. Coadministration of ET with either tumor necrosis factor-α or bacterial lipopolysaccharide, each at 100 ng/mL, attenuated the increase of transendothelial 14 C-albumin flux caused by either agent alone. The inhibitory effect of ET on TEM paralleled increases in protein kinase A (PKA activity, but could not be blocked by inhibition of PKA with either H-89 or KT-5720. Finally, we were unable to replicate the ET effect with either forskolin or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, two agents known to increase cAMP. Conclusions We conclude that ET decreases IL-8-driven TEM of PMNs across HMVEC-L monolayers independent of cAMP/PKA activity.

  6. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification technology in the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis%环介导等温扩增技术在快速检测炭疽芽胞杆菌中的应用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    段圣亮; 陆晔; 田桢干; 王桂江

    2012-01-01

    The present paper aims to establish a rapid detection method for Bacillus anthracis. The primes were designed according to Bacillus anthracis strain-specific gene fragment, and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) was used to establish the detection method . The results showed that LAMP can effectively identify the specific target bacteria with sensitivity of 102 -103 CFU/ml. It is suggested that LAMP is simple and fast in detection of bioterrorism bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis in acidic , alkaline and viscous media. High-salt environment influences LAMP results , so it is necessary to effectively remove salt out of nucleic acid before application of LAMP .%本文旨在建立适合国境口岸现场应用的生物恐怖防控快速检测方法,从而保障口岸安全.针对生物恐怖炭疽芽胞杆菌,选择目标菌种特异性基因片段,设计引物,运用环介导等温扩增(LAMP)技术建立一套简便、高效的检测方法,并模拟生物恐怖炭疽芽胞杆菌可能存在的基质条件,评价LAMP技术在快速筛查中的适用性.结果显示,LAMP技术排查生物恐怖炭疽芽胞杆菌简便、快速、特异,检测灵敏度为102~103 CFU/ml;且能有效检出在偏酸、偏碱及黏稠基质中的炭疽芽胞杆菌.而高盐环境对该反应影响较大,有必要采用能有效去除盐分的核酸抽提方法.

  7. Draft Genome Sequence of Biocontrol Agent Bacillus cereus UW85.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano, Gabriel L; Holt, Jonathan; Ravel, Jacques; Rasko, David A; Thomas, Michael G; Handelsman, Jo

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus UW85 was isolated from a root of a field-grown alfalfa plant from Arlington, WI, and identified for its ability to suppress damping off, a disease caused by Phytophthora megasperma f. sp. medicaginis on alfalfa. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of B. cereus UW85, obtained by a combination of Sanger and Illumina sequencing. PMID:27587823

  8. Measurement of 100 B. anthracis Ames spores within 15 minutes by SERS at the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Ctr.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Shende, Chetan; Smith, Wayne; Huang, Hermes; Sperry, Jay; Sickler, Todd; Prugh, Amber; Guicheteau, Jason

    2014-05-01

    Since the distribution of Bacillus anthracis-Ames spores through the US Postal System, there has been a persistent fear that biological warfare agents will be used by terrorists against our military abroad and our civilians at home. While there has been substantial effort since the anthrax attack of 2001 to develop analyzers to detect this and other biological warfare agents, the analyzers remain either too slow, lack sensitivity, produce high false-positive rates, or cannot be fielded. In an effort to overcome these limitations we have been developing a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy system. Here we describe the use of silver nanoparticles functionalized with a short peptide to selectively capture Bacillus anthracis spores and produce SER scattering. Specifically, measurements of 100 B. anthracis-Ames spores/mL in ~25 minutes performed at the US Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are presented. The measurements provide a basis for the development of systems that can detect spores collected from the air or water supplies with the potential of saving lives during a biological warfare attack.

  9. Bacillus cereus strain MCN as a debriding agent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, H. P.; Haynes, B. W.; Stone, L. L.

    1978-01-01

    Biologically active means are effective for rapidly removing scar tissue caused by burns or corrosive agents. Specially selected strain of bacteria applied to injury site releases enzymes which are active against eschar. These bacteria tend to locate between eschar and unburned tissue, thus providing optimal cell surface area arrangement for enzyme dispersal. Procedure may prove especially useful in treatment of disaster casualties under relatively primitive conditions.

  10. Cucumber Rhizosphere Microbial Community Response to Biocontrol Agent Bacillus subtilis B068150

    OpenAIRE

    Lihua Li; Jincai Ma; A. Mark Ibekwe; Qi Wang; Ching-Hong Yang

    2015-01-01

    Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis B068150 has been used as a biocontrol agent against the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum cucumerinum. Cucumber was grown in three soils with strain B068150 inoculated in a greenhouse for 90 days, and the colonization ability of strain B068150 in cucumber rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils was determined. Changes in total bacteria and fungi community composition and structures using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing were determ...

  11. The Phylogeny of Bacillus cereus sensu lato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okinaka, Richard T; Keim, Paul

    2016-02-01

    The three main species of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis, were recognized and established by the early 1900s because they each exhibited distinct phenotypic traits. B. thuringiensis isolates and their parasporal crystal proteins have long been established as a natural pesticide and insect pathogen. B. anthracis, the etiological agent for anthrax, was used by Robert Koch in the 19th century as a model to develop the germ theory of disease, and B. cereus, a common soil organism, is also an occasional opportunistic pathogen of humans. In addition to these three historical species designations, are three less-recognized and -understood species: B. mycoides, B. weihenstephanensis, and B. pseudomycoides. All of these "species" combined comprise the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. Despite these apparently clear phenotypic definitions, early molecular approaches to separate the first three by various DNA hybridization and 16S/23S ribosomal sequence analyses led to some "confusion" because there were limited differences to differentiate between these species. These and other results have led to frequent suggestions that a taxonomic change was warranted to reclassify this group to a single species. But the pathogenic properties of B. anthracis and the biopesticide applications of B. thuringiensis appear to "have outweighed pure taxonomic considerations" and the separate species categories are still being maintained. B. cereus sensu lato represents a classic example of a now common bacterial species taxonomic quandary. PMID:26999390

  12. Evaluation of the ability of N-terminal fragment of lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis for delivery of Mycobacterium T cell antigen ESAT-6 into cytosol of antigen presenting cells to elicit effective cytotoxic T lymphocyte response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We report the ability of N-terminal fragment of lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis to deliver genetically fused ESAT-6 (early secretory antigen target), a potent T cell antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, into cytosol to elicit Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response. In vitro Th1 cytokines data and CTL assay proved that efficient delivery of LFn.ESAT-6 occurs in cytosol, in the presence of protective antigen (PA), and leads to generation of effective CTL response. Since CTL response is essential for protection against intracellular pathogens and, it is well known that only single T cell epitope or single antigenic protein is not sufficient to elicit protective CTL response due to variation or polymorphism in MHC-I alleles among the individuals, we suggest that as a fusion protein LFn can be used to deliver multiepitopes of T cells or multiproteins which can generate effective CTLs against intracellular pathogens like M. tuberculosis. It can be used to enhance the protective efficacy of BCG vaccine

  13. Bacteriophage PBC1 and its endolysin as an antimicrobial agent against Bacillus cereus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Minsuk; Ryu, Sangryeol

    2015-04-01

    Bacillus cereus is an opportunistic human pathogen responsible for food poisoning and other, nongastrointestinal infections. Due to the emergence of multidrug-resistant B. cereus strains, the demand for alternative therapeutic options is increasing. To address these problems, we isolated and characterized a Siphoviridae virulent phage, PBC1, and its lytic enzymes. PBC1 showed a very narrow host range, infecting only 1 of 22 B. cereus strains. Phylogenetic analysis based on the major capsid protein revealed that PBC1 is more closely related to the Bacillus clarkii phage BCJA1c and phages of lactic acid bacteria than to the phages infecting B. cereus. Whole-genome comparison showed that the late-gene region, including the terminase gene, structural genes, and holin gene of PBC1, is similar to that from B. cereus temperate phage 250, whereas their endolysins are different. Compared to the extreme host specificity of PBC1, its endolysin, LysPBC1, showed a much broader lytic spectrum, albeit limited to the genus Bacillus. The catalytic domain of LysPBC1 when expressed alone also showed Bacillus-specific lytic activity, which was lower against the B. cereus group but higher against the Bacillus subtilis group than the full-length protein. Taken together, these results suggest that the virulent phage PBC1 is a useful component of a phage cocktail to control B. cereus, even with its exceptionally narrow host range, as it can kill a strain of B. cereus that is not killed by other phages, and that LysPBC1 is an alternative biocontrol agent against B. cereus. PMID:25595773

  14. 中国炭疽芽胞杆菌荚膜质粒基因单核苷酸多态性研究%Study on the single nucleotide polymorphism in capsule plasmid gene of Bacillus anthracis in the China isolates

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张慧娟; 张恩民; 张建华; 魏建春

    2012-01-01

    Objective To study the characteristic of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)in capsule plasmid gene of Bacillus anthracis isolated from China.Methods 95 Bacillus anthracis isolates from different sources were selected.23 SNP sites were amplified by PCR method,sequenced and analyzed by clustering analysis.Results 95 Bacillus anthracis isolates were divided into 5 groups by cluster analysis.The identified isolates had the same sequence features in 17 sites and different nucleotide sequence in the other 6 sites of the 23 SNP sites.17.89% (17/95) of the isolates had homologous locus sequences compared with the reference strain Pnstuer.38.95% (37/95) of the isolates had the homologous locus sequences compared with the reference strain Ames Ancestor.The remaining strains were different from those completed sequenced strains.3 strains missed length of about 80 bp sequence in the PS-34 loci amplified gene fragment in which the tested SNP loci were included.9 strains were amplified negative at all SNP loci and Bacillus anthracis capsule plasmid genes were missing which was confirmed by capsule plasmid gene-speeific primers.Conclusion Results through analysis showed that single nucleotide genetic stability and specificity for capsule plasmid gene of Bacillus anthracis did exist in the Chinese isolates.The 6 discriminating SNP sites could be used as indicators in genotyping the Bacillus anthracis.%目的 研究中国炭疽芽胞杆菌(炭疽杆菌)荚膜质粒基因单核苷酸多态性(SNP)特征.方法 选择中国不同分离年代、地点和来源的95株炭疽杆菌,采用PCR方法扩增荚膜质粒基因上的23个SNP位点,然后进行测序并进行聚类分析.结果 通过聚类分析,95株炭疽杆菌可分为5个群,23个SNP位点中17个位点相同,6个位点存在多态性,其中17.89%(17/95)的菌株与参考菌株Pastuer同源,38.95%(37/95)的菌株与参考菌株Ames Ancestor同源,其余菌株则不同于目前已知的全基因组测序菌株;3

  15. Comparative genome analysis of Bacillus cereus group genomes with Bacillus subtilis

    OpenAIRE

    Anderson, Iain; Sorokin, Alexei; Kapatral, Vinayak; Reznik, Gary; Bhattacharya, Anamitra; Mikhailova, Natalia; Burd, Henry; Joukov, Victor; Kaznadzey, Denis; Walunas, Theresa; D'Souza, Mark; Larsen, Niels; Pusch, Gordon; Liolios, Konstantinos; Grechkin, Yuri

    2005-01-01

    Genome features of the Bacillus cereus group genomes (representative strains of Bacillus cereus, Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis sub spp israelensis) were analyzed and compared with the Bacillus subtilis genome. A core set of 1,381 protein families among the four Bacillus genomes, with an additional set of 933 families common to the B. cereus group, was identified. Differences in signal transduction pathways, membrane transporters, cell surface structures, cell wall, and S-...

  16. Detection of biological warfare agents using ultra violet-laser induced fluorescence LIDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Deepti; Kumar, Deepak; Maini, Anil K.; Sharma, Ramesh C.

    This review has been written to highlight the threat of biological warfare agents, their types and detection. Bacterial biological agent Bacillus anthracis (bacteria causing the disease anthrax) which is most likely to be employed in biological warfare is being discussed in detail. Standoff detection of biological warfare agents in aerosol form using Ultra violet-Laser Induced Fluorescence (UV-LIF) spectroscopy method has been studied. Range-resolved detection and identification of biological aerosols by both nano-second and non-linear femto-second LIDAR is also discussed. Calculated received fluorescence signal for a cloud of typical biological agent Bacillus globigii (Simulants of B. anthracis) at a location of ˜5.0 km at different concentrations in presence of solar background radiation has been described. Overview of current research efforts in internationally available working UV-LIF LIDAR systems are also mentioned briefly.

  17. The aminoglycoside antibiotic kanamycin damages DNA bases in Escherichia coli: caffeine potentiates the DNA-damaging effects of kanamycin while suppressing cell killing by ciprofloxacin in Escherichia coli and Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Tina Manzhu; Yuan, Jessica; Nguyen, Angelyn; Becket, Elinne; Yang, Hanjing; Miller, Jeffrey H

    2012-06-01

    The distribution of mutants in the Keio collection of Escherichia coli gene knockout mutants that display increased sensitivity to the aminoglycosides kanamycin and neomycin indicates that damaged bases resulting from antibiotic action can lead to cell death. Strains lacking one of a number of glycosylases (e.g., AlkA, YzaB, Ogt, KsgA) or other specific repair proteins (AlkB, PhrB, SmbC) are more sensitive to these antibiotics. Mutants lacking AlkB display the strongest sensitivity among the glycosylase- or direct lesion removal-deficient strains. This perhaps suggests the involvement of ethenoadenine adducts, resulting from reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation, since AlkB removes this lesion. Other sensitivities displayed by mutants lacking UvrA, polymerase V (Pol V), or components of double-strand break repair indicate that kanamycin results in damaged base pairs that need to be removed or replicated past in order to avoid double-strand breaks that saturate the cellular repair capacity. Caffeine enhances the sensitivities of these repair-deficient strains to kanamycin and neomycin. The gene knockout mutants that display increased sensitivity to caffeine (dnaQ, holC, holD, and priA knockout mutants) indicate that caffeine blocks DNA replication, ultimately leading to double-strand breaks that require recombinational repair by functions encoded by recA, recB, and recC, among others. Additionally, caffeine partially protects cells of both Escherichia coli and Bacillus anthracis from killing by the widely used fluoroquinolone antibiotic ciprofloxacin. PMID:22391551

  18. Identification of the UDP-N-Acetylglucosamine 4-Epimerase Involved in Exosporium Protein Glycosylation in Bacillus anthracis▿

    OpenAIRE

    Dong, Shengli; Chesnokova, Olga N.; Turnbough, Charles L.; Pritchard, David G.

    2009-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are enclosed by a loosely fitting exosporium composed of a basal layer and an external hair-like nap. The filaments of the nap are formed by trimers of the collagen-like glycoprotein BclA. The side chains of BclA include multiple copies of two linear rhamnose-containing oligosaccharides, a trisaccharide and a pentasaccharide. The pentasaccharide terminates with the unusual deoxyamino sugar anthrose. Both oligosaccharide side chains...

  19. Cucumber Rhizosphere Microbial Community Response to Biocontrol Agent Bacillus subtilis B068150

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lihua Li

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis B068150 has been used as a biocontrol agent against the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum cucumerinum. Cucumber was grown in three soils with strain B068150 inoculated in a greenhouse for 90 days, and the colonization ability of strain B068150 in cucumber rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils was determined. Changes in total bacteria and fungi community composition and structures using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE and sequencing were determined. Colony counts showed that B068150 colonization in the rhizosphere was significantly higher (p < 0.001 than in non-rhizosphere soils. Based on our data, the introduction of B. bacillus B068150 did not change the diversity of microbial communities significantly in the rhizosphere of three soils. Our data showed that population density of B068150 in clay soil had a significant negative correlation on bacterial diversity in cucumber rhizosphere in comparison to loam and sandy soils, suggesting that the impact of B068150 might be soil specific.

  20. Efficacy of Bacillus subtilis V26 as a biological control agent against Rhizoctonia solani on potato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Khedher, Saoussen; Kilani-Feki, Olfa; Dammak, Mouna; Jabnoun-Khiareddine, Hayfa; Daami-Remadi, Mejda; Tounsi, Slim

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of the strain Bacillus subtilis V26, a local isolate from the Tunisian soil, to control potato black scurf caused by Rhizoctonia solani. The in vitro antifungal activity of V26 significantly inhibited R. solani growth compared to the untreated control. Microscopic observations revealed that V26 caused considerable morphological deformations of the fungal hyphae such as vacuolation, protoplast leakage and mycelia crack. The most effective control was achieved when strain V26 was applied 24h prior to inoculation (protective activity) in potato slices. The antagonistic bacterium V26 induced significant suppression of root canker and black scurf tuber colonization compared to untreated controls with a decrease in incidence disease of 63% and 81%, respectively, and promoted plant growth under greenhouse conditions on potato plants. Therefore, B. subtilis V26 has a great potential to be commercialized as a biocontrol agent against R. solani on potato crops. PMID:26563555

  1. IgG subclass and heavy chain domains contribute to binding and protection by mAbs to the poly γ-D-glutamic acid capsular antigen of Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Hovenden

    Full Text Available Bacterial capsules are common targets for antibody-mediated immunity. The capsule of Bacillus anthracis is unusual among capsules because it is composed of a polymer of poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (γdPGA. We previously generated murine IgG3 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs to γdPGA that were protective in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax. IgG3 antibodies are characteristic of the murine response to polysaccharide antigens. The goal of the present study was to produce subclass switch variants of the γdPGA mAbs (IgG3 → IgG1 → IgG2b → IgG2a and assess the contribution of subclass to antibody affinity and protection. Subclass switch antibodies had identical variable regions but differed in their heavy chains. The results showed that a switch from the protective IgG3 to IgG1, IgG2b or IgG2a was accompanied by i a loss of protective activity ii a change in mAb binding to the capsular matrix, and iii a loss of affinity. These results identify a role for the heavy chain constant region in mAb binding. Hybrid mAbs were constructed in which the CH1, CH2 or CH3 heavy chain constant domains from a non-protective, low binding IgG2b mAb were swapped into the protective IgG3 mAb. The IgG3 mAb that contained the CH1 domain from IgG2b showed no loss of affinity or protection. In contrast, swapping the CH2 or CH3 domains from IgG2b into IgG3 produced a reduction in affinity and a loss of protection. These studies identify a role for the constant region of IgG heavy chains in affinity and protection against an encapsulated bacterial pathogen.

  2. Experimental Design for a Sponge-Wipe Study to Relate the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to the Concentration of a Bacillus anthracis Surrogate for Six Surface Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Krauter, Paula; Einfeld, Wayne

    2010-12-16

    Two concerns were raised by the Government Accountability Office following the 2001 building contaminations via letters containing Bacillus anthracis (BA). These included the: 1) lack of validated sampling methods, and 2) need to use statistical sampling to quantify the confidence of no contamination when all samples have negative results. Critical to addressing these concerns is quantifying the probability of correct detection (PCD) (or equivalently the false negative rate FNR = 1 − PCD). The PCD/FNR may depend on the 1) method of contaminant deposition, 2) surface concentration of the contaminant, 3) surface material being sampled, 4) sample collection method, 5) sample storage/transportation conditions, 6) sample processing method, and 7) sample analytical method. A review of the literature found 17 laboratory studies that focused on swab, wipe, or vacuum samples collected from a variety of surface materials contaminated by BA or a surrogate, and used culture methods to determine the surface contaminant concentration. These studies quantified performance of the sampling and analysis methods in terms of recovery efficiency (RE) and not PCD/FNR (which left a major gap in available information). Quantifying the PCD/FNR under a variety of conditions is a key aspect of validating sample and analysis methods, and also for calculating the confidence in characterization or clearance decisions based on a statistical sampling plan. A laboratory study was planned to partially fill the gap in PCD/FNR results. This report documents the experimental design developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) for a sponge-wipe method. The study will investigate the effects on key response variables from six surface materials contaminated with eight surface concentrations of a BA surrogate (Bacillus atrophaeus). The key response variables include measures of the contamination on test coupons of surface materials tested, contamination

  3. Experimental Design for a Sponge-Wipe Study to Relate the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to the Concentration of a Bacillus anthracis Surrogate for Six Surface Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Amidan, Brett G. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Krauter, Paula [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Einfeld, Wayne [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2010-12-16

    Two concerns were raised by the Government Accountability Office following the 2001 building contaminations via letters containing Bacillus anthracis (BA). These included the: 1) lack of validated sampling methods, and 2) need to use statistical sampling to quantify the confidence of no contamination when all samples have negative results. Critical to addressing these concerns is quantifying the probability of correct detection (PCD) (or equivalently the false negative rate FNR = 1 - PCD). The PCD/FNR may depend on the 1) method of contaminant deposition, 2) surface concentration of the contaminant, 3) surface material being sampled, 4) sample collection method, 5) sample storage/transportation conditions, 6) sample processing method, and 7) sample analytical method. A review of the literature found 17 laboratory studies that focused on swab, wipe, or vacuum samples collected from a variety of surface materials contaminated by BA or a surrogate, and used culture methods to determine the surface contaminant concentration. These studies quantified performance of the sampling and analysis methods in terms of recovery efficiency (RE) and not PCD/FNR (which left a major gap in available information). Quantifying the PCD/FNR under a variety of conditions is a key aspect of validating sample and analysis methods, and also for calculating the confidence in characterization or clearance decisions based on a statistical sampling plan. A laboratory study was planned to partially fill the gap in PCD/FNR results. This report documents the experimental design developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) for a sponge-wipe method. The study will investigate the effects on key response variables from six surface materials contaminated with eight surface concentrations of a BA surrogate (Bacillus atrophaeus). The key response variables include measures of the contamination on test coupons of surface materials tested, contamination

  4. Experimental Design for a Sponge-Wipe Study to Relate the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to the Concentration of a Bacillus anthracis Surrogate for Six Surface Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Krauter, Paula; Einfeld, Wayne

    2011-05-01

    Two concerns were raised by the Government Accountability Office following the 2001 building contaminations via letters containing Bacillus anthracis (BA). These included the: 1) lack of validated sampling methods, and 2) need to use statistical sampling to quantify the confidence of no contamination when all samples have negative results. Critical to addressing these concerns is quantifying the false negative rate (FNR). The FNR may depend on the 1) method of contaminant deposition, 2) surface concentration of the contaminant, 3) surface material being sampled, 4) sample collection method, 5) sample storage/transportation conditions, 6) sample processing method, and 7) sample analytical method. A review of the literature found 17 laboratory studies that focused on swab, wipe, or vacuum samples collected from a variety of surface materials contaminated by BA or a surrogate, and used culture methods to determine the surface contaminant concentration. These studies quantified performance of the sampling and analysis methods in terms of recovery efficiency (RE) and not FNR (which left a major gap in available information). Quantifying the FNR under a variety of conditions is a key aspect of validating sample and analysis methods, and also for calculating the confidence in characterization or clearance decisions based on a statistical sampling plan. A laboratory study was planned to partially fill the gap in FNR results. This report documents the experimental design developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) for a sponge-wipe method. The testing was performed by SNL and is now completed. The study investigated the effects on key response variables from six surface materials contaminated with eight surface concentrations of a BA surrogate (Bacillus atrophaeus). The key response variables include measures of the contamination on test coupons of surface materials tested, contamination recovered from coupons by sponge

  5. Sensitivity of the bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis as an insect disease agent to gamma-rays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The effect of gamma radiation on the viability of the entomopathogenic spore-forming bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, was tested. The different gamma doses varied much in their effect on such bacterium. All irradiated Bacillus suspensions with doses below 85 krad showed different degrees of inhibitory activity. However, bacterial suspensions irradiated at a dose of 90 krad. proved to promote spore germination. Changes in the physiological, and morphological characters of the irradiated Bacillus at these levels were detected. The new observed characters were induced at a particular dose level of 90 krad. These new characters are assumed to be due to genetic changes induced at this particular gamma dose

  6. Studies of plant colonisation by closely related Bacillus amyloliquefaciens biocontrol agents using strain specific quantitative PCR assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Anna H; Bejai, Sarosh; Niazi, Adnan; Manzoor, Shahid; Bongcam-Rudloff, Erik; Meijer, Johan

    2014-12-01

    Certain strains of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens can colonize plants and improve growth and stress management. In order to study these effects, bacterial growth dynamics on plants and in the rhizosphere are of interest calling for specific analytical tools. For that purpose, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assays were developed in order to differentiate among three closely related B. amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum strains (UCMB5033, UCMB5036, UCMB5113) and to determine their levels with high accuracy. Oligonucleotide primers were designed for strain unique gene sequences and used for SYBR green based qPCR analysis. Standard curves covered a wide linear range (10(6)) of DNA amounts with the lowest detection level at 50 fg. Post-reaction melting curve analysis showed only a single product. Accurate threshold cycles were obtained, even in the presence of high excess of related Bacillus strains and total bacterial DNA from soil. Analysis of Bacillus colonisation after seed treatment of two oilseed rape cultivars (Oase and Ritz) grown on agar support showed a time dependent effect but that the bacteria mostly were found on root tissues and little on green tissues. The colonisation on plants grown in soil varied among the Bacillus strains where Oase seemed to house more bacteria than Ritz. Applied as a mixture, all three Bacillus strains co-existed on the roots of plants grown in soil. The qPCR assay in combination with other techniques will be a powerful tool to study plant interactions of these B. amyloliquefaciens biocontrol agents to further understand the requirements for successful interactions and improvement of plant properties. PMID:25294724

  7. Survival of the biocontrol agents Brevibacillus brevis ZJY-1 and Bacillus subtilis ZJY-116 on the spikes of barley in the field*

    OpenAIRE

    Xin ZHANG; Zhang, Bing-xin; Zhang, Zhen; Shen, Wei-feng; Yang, Ching-Hong; Yu, Jing-Quan; ZHAO, YU-HUA

    2005-01-01

    Fusarium head blight (FHB) caused by Fusarium graminearum is a devastating disease that results in extensive yield losses to wheat and barley. A green fluorescent protein (GFP) expressing plasmid pRP22-GFP was constructed for monitoring the colonization of two biocontrol agents, Brevibacillus brevis ZJY-1 and Bacillus subtilis ZJY-116, on the spikes of barley and their effect on suppression of FHB. Survival and colonization of the Brevibacillus brevis ZJY-1 and Bacillus subtilis ZJY-116 strai...

  8. Decontamination of biological warfare agents by a microwave plasma torch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A portable arc-seeded microwave plasma torch running stably with airflow is described and applied for the decontamination of biological warfare agents. Emission spectroscopy of the plasma torch indicated that this torch produced an abundance of reactive atomic oxygen that could effectively oxidize biological agents. Bacillus cereus was chosen as a simulant of Bacillus anthracis spores for biological agent in the decontamination experiments. Decontamination was performed with the airflow rate of 0.393 l/s, corresponding to a maximum concentration of atomic oxygen produced by the torch. The experimental results showed that all spores were killed in less than 8 s at 3 cm distance, 12 s at 4 cm distance, and 16 s at 5 cm distance away from the nozzle of the torch

  9. Siderophore-mediated iron acquisition systems in Bacillus cereus: identification of receptors for anthrax virulence-associated petrobactin†a

    OpenAIRE

    Zawadzka, Anna M.; Abergel, Rebecca J.; Nichiporuk, Rita; Andersen, Ulla N.; Raymond, Kenneth N.

    2009-01-01

    During growth under iron limitation, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis, two human pathogens from the Bacillus cereus group of Gram-positive bacteria, secrete two siderophores, bacillibactin (BB) and petrobactin (PB), for iron acquisition via membrane-associated substrate-binding proteins (SBPs) and other ABC transporter components. Since PB is associated with virulence traits in B. anthracis, the PB-mediated iron uptake system presents a potential target for antimicrobial therapies; its ...

  10. Bacteriophage PBC1 and Its Endolysin as an Antimicrobial Agent against Bacillus cereus

    OpenAIRE

    Kong, Minsuk; Ryu, Sangryeol

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is an opportunistic human pathogen responsible for food poisoning and other, nongastrointestinal infections. Due to the emergence of multidrug-resistant B. cereus strains, the demand for alternative therapeutic options is increasing. To address these problems, we isolated and characterized a Siphoviridae virulent phage, PBC1, and its lytic enzymes. PBC1 showed a very narrow host range, infecting only 1 of 22 B. cereus strains. Phylogenetic analysis based on the major capsid pr...

  11. DNA fingerprinting of Bacillus cereus from diverse sources by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Swarnakaran Hemalatha; Narasimhan Banu

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is an opportunistic pathogen causing food poisoning manifested by diarrhoeal or emetic syndrome. It is closely related to animal and human pathogens Bacillus anthracis and the insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis. In the present study, antibiotic resistance, heavy metal tolerance & molecular typing of Bacillus cereus from diverse sources such as soil, sewage water, air, fresh water, sea water and milk were studied. Bacillus cereus resistant to Penicillin (10 units/ml) an...

  12. Preparation of Microencapsulated Bacillus subtilis SL-13 Seed Coating Agents and Their Effects on the Growth of Cotton Seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Liang; He, Yanhui; Shan, Chunhui; Wu, Zhansheng

    2016-01-01

    Inoculation of the bacterial cells of microbial seed coating agents (SCAs) into the environment may result in limited survival and colonization. Therefore, the application efficacy of an encapsulated microbial seed coating agent (ESCA) was investigated on potted cotton plants; the agent was prepared with polyvinyl alcohol, sodium dodecyl sulfate, bentonite, and microencapsulated Bacillus subtilis SL-13. Scanning electron micrography revealed that the microcapsules were attached to ESCA membranes. The ESCA film was uniform, bubble-free, and easy to peel. The bacterial contents of seeds coated with each ESCA treatment reached 10(6) cfu/seed. Results indicated that the germination rate of cotton seeds treated with ESCA4 (1.0% (w/v) sodium alginate, 4.0% polyvinyl alcohol, 1.0% sodium dodecyl sulfate, 0.6% acacia, 0.5% bentonite, and 10% (v/v) microcapsules) increased by 28.74%. Other growth factors of the cotton seedlings, such as plant height, root length, whole plant fresh weight, and whole plant dry weight, increased by 52.70%, 25.13%, 46.47%, and 33.21%, respectively. Further analysis demonstrated that the peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activities of cotton seedlings improved, whereas their malondialdehyde contents decreased. Therefore, the ESCA can efficiently improve seed germination, root length, and growth. The proposed ESCA exhibits great potential as an alternative to traditional SCA in future agricultural applications. PMID:26885507

  13. Preparation of Microencapsulated Bacillus subtilis SL-13 Seed Coating Agents and Their Effects on the Growth of Cotton Seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Tu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Inoculation of the bacterial cells of microbial seed coating agents (SCAs into the environment may result in limited survival and colonization. Therefore, the application efficacy of an encapsulated microbial seed coating agent (ESCA was investigated on potted cotton plants; the agent was prepared with polyvinyl alcohol, sodium dodecyl sulfate, bentonite, and microencapsulated Bacillus subtilis SL-13. Scanning electron micrography revealed that the microcapsules were attached to ESCA membranes. The ESCA film was uniform, bubble-free, and easy to peel. The bacterial contents of seeds coated with each ESCA treatment reached 106 cfu/seed. Results indicated that the germination rate of cotton seeds treated with ESCA4 (1.0% (w/v sodium alginate, 4.0% polyvinyl alcohol, 1.0% sodium dodecyl sulfate, 0.6% acacia, 0.5% bentonite, and 10% (v/v microcapsules increased by 28.74%. Other growth factors of the cotton seedlings, such as plant height, root length, whole plant fresh weight, and whole plant dry weight, increased by 52.70%, 25.13%, 46.47%, and 33.21%, respectively. Further analysis demonstrated that the peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activities of cotton seedlings improved, whereas their malondialdehyde contents decreased. Therefore, the ESCA can efficiently improve seed germination, root length, and growth. The proposed ESCA exhibits great potential as an alternative to traditional SCA in future agricultural applications.

  14. СРАВНИТЕЛЬНЫЙ МУЛЬТИЛОКУСНЫЙ VNTRИ SNP-АНАЛИЗ ВАКЦИННЫХ ШТАММОВ BACILLUS ANTHRACIS

    OpenAIRE

    Афанасьев, Максим; Кравец, Е.; Дугаржапова, З.; Такайшвили, В.; Половинкина, В.; Балахонов, С.

    2014-01-01

    Проведен сравнительный анализ VNTRи SNP-генотипов четырех штаммов Bacillus anthracis, три из которых вакцинные, один вирулентный. В процессе анализа установлено, что данные штаммы формировали четыре SNP-паттерна, полностью соотносящихся с VNTR-профилями. Обнаружено, что все исследуемые штаммы, кроме вакцинного B. anthracis СТИ-1, по SNP-профилю не могли быть отнесены к трем распространенным в мире глобальным генетическим линиям возбудителя сибирской язвы....

  15. Phosphatidylcholine-Specific Phospholipase C and Sphingomyelinase Activities in Bacteria of the Bacillus cereus Group

    OpenAIRE

    Pomerantsev, A. P.; Kalnin, K. V.; Osorio, M.; Leppla, S H

    2003-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is nonhemolytic, even though it is closely related to the highly hemolytic Bacillus cereus. Hemolysis by B. cereus results largely from the action of phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC) and sphingomyelinase (SPH), encoded by the plc and sph genes, respectively. In B. cereus, these genes are organized in an operon regulated by the global regulator PlcR. B. anthracis contains a highly similar cereolysin operon, but it is transcriptionally silent because the ...

  16. Genome Sequence of the Endophytic Bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis Strain KB1, a Potential Biocontrol Agent against Phytopathogens

    OpenAIRE

    Jeong, Haeyoung; Jo, Sung Hee; Hong, Chi Eun; Park, Jeong Mee

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is the most widely known microbial pesticide used in agricultural applications. Herein, we report a draft genome sequence of the endophytic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis strain KB1, which exhibits antagonism against phytopathogens.

  17. Genome Sequence of the Endophytic Bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis Strain KB1, a Potential Biocontrol Agent against Phytopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Haeyoung; Jo, Sung Hee; Hong, Chi Eun; Park, Jeong Mee

    2016-01-01

    ITALIC! Bacillus thuringiensisis the most widely known microbial pesticide used in agricultural applications. Herein, we report a draft genome sequence of the endophytic bacterium ITALIC! Bacillus thuringiensisstrain KB1, which exhibits antagonism against phytopathogens. PMID:27103716

  18. Non-cytotoxic antifungal agents: isolation and structures of gageopeptides A-D from a Bacillus strain 109GGC020.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tareq, Fakir Shahidullah; Lee, Min Ah; Lee, Hyi-Seung; Lee, Yeon-Ju; Lee, Jong Seok; Hasan, Choudhury M; Islam, Md Tofazzal; Shin, Hee Jae

    2014-06-18

    Antifungal resistance and toxicity problems of conventional fungicides highlighted the requirement of search for new safe antifungal agents. To comply with the requirement, we discovered four new non-cytotoxic lipopeptides, gageopeptides A-D, 1-4, from a marine-derived bacterium Bacillus subtilis. The structures and stereochemistry of gageopeptides were determined by NMR data analysis and chemical means. Gageopeptides exhibited significant antifungal activities against pathogenic fungi Rhizoctonia solani, Botrytis cinerea, and Colletotrichum acutatum with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 0.02-0.06 μM. In addition, these lipopeptides showed significant motility inhibition and lytic activities against zoospores of the late blight pathogen Phytophthora capsici. These compounds also showed potent antimicrobial activity against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria with MIC values of 0.04-0.08 μM. However, gageopeptides A-D did not exhibit any cytotoxicity (GI50 > 25 μM) against cancer cell lines in sulforhodamine B (SRB), 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), and WST-1 ((4-[3-4-iodophenyl]-2-(4-nitrophenyl)-2H-5-tetrazolio)-1,3-benzene disulfonate)) assays, demonstrating that these compounds could be promising candidates for the development of non-cytotoxic antifungal agents. PMID:24857413

  19. Antimicrobial factor from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens inhibits Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benitez, Lisianne Brittes; Velho, Renata Voltolini; de Souza da Motta, Amanda; Segalin, Jéferson; Brandelli, Adriano

    2012-03-01

    Bacillus amyloliquefaciens LBM 5006 produces an antimicrobial factor active against Paenibacillus larvae, a major honeybee pathogen. The antagonistic effect and the mode of action of the antimicrobial factor were investigated. The antibacterial activity was produced starting at mid-logarithmic growth phase, reaching its maximum during the stationary phase. Exposure of cell suspensions of P. larvae to this antimicrobial resulted in loss of cell viability and reduction in optical density associated with cell lysis. Scanning electron microscopy showed damaged cell envelope and loss of protoplasmic material. The antimicrobial factor was stable for up to 80°C, but it was sensitive to proteinase K and trypsin. Mass spectrometry analysis indicates that the antimicrobial activity is associated with iturin-like peptides. The antimicrobial factor from B. amyloliquefaciens LBM 5006 showed a bactericidal effect against P. larvae cells and spores. This is the first report on iturin activity against P. larvae. This antimicrobial presents potential for use in the control of American foulbrood disease. PMID:21858429

  20. Genotyping of Bacillus cereus strains by microarray-based resequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E Zwick

    Full Text Available The ability to distinguish microbial pathogens from closely related but nonpathogenic strains is key to understanding the population biology of these organisms. In this regard, Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes inhalational anthrax, is of interest because it is closely related and often difficult to distinguish from other members of the B. cereus group that can cause diverse diseases. We employed custom-designed resequencing arrays (RAs based on the genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis to generate 422 kb of genomic sequence from a panel of 41 Bacillus cereus sensu lato strains. Here we show that RAs represent a "one reaction" genotyping technology with the ability to discriminate between highly similar B. anthracis isolates and more divergent strains of the B. cereus s.l. Clade 1. Our data show that RAs can be an efficient genotyping technology for pre-screening the genetic diversity of large strain collections to selected the best candidates for whole genome sequencing.

  1. Fast, sensitive point of care electrochemical molecular system for point mutation and select agent detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLeod, J A; Nemeth, A C; Dicke, W C; Wang, D; Manalili Wheeler, S; Hannis, J C; Collier, G B; Drader, J J

    2016-07-01

    Point of care molecular diagnostics benefits from a portable battery-operated device capable of performing a fast turnaround using reliable inexpensive cartridges. We describe a prototype device for performing a molecular diagnostics test for clinical and biodefense samples in 16 minutes using a prototype capable of an 8 minute PCR reaction, followed by hybridization and detection on an electrochemical microarray based on the i-STAT® system. We used human buccal swabs for hemochromatosis testing including in-device DNA extraction. Additional clinical and biodefense samples included influenza A and bacterial select agents Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis. PMID:27280174

  2. The Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 Strain Shows Protective Effects against the B. anthracis LT Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolphe Pontier-Bres

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii has been prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of several infectious diarrheal diseases. Gastrointestinal anthrax causes fatal systemic disease. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects conferred by Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain on polarized T84 columnar epithelial cells intoxicated by the lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis. Exposure of polarized T84 cells to LT affected cell monolayer integrity, modified the morphology of tight junctions and induced the formation of actin stress fibers. Overnight treatment of cells with S. boulardii before incubation with LT maintained the integrity of the monolayers, prevented morphological modification of tight junctions, restricted the effects of LT on actin remodeling and delayed LT-induced MEK-2 cleavage. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that in the presence of S. boulardii, the medium is depleted of both LF and PA sub-units of LT and the appearance of a cleaved form of PA. Our study highlights the potential of the S. boulardii CNCM I-745 strain as a prophylactic agent against the gastrointestinal form of anthrax.

  3. Enhancement of Biocontrol Activities and Cyclic Lipopeptides Production by Chemical Mutagenesis of Bacillus subtilis XF-1, a Biocontrol Agent of Plasmodiophora brassicae and Fusarium solani

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Xing-Yu; Yang, Jing-Jing; Mao, Zi-Chao; Ho, Hon-Hing; Wu, Yi-Xing; He, Yue-qiu

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus subtilis XF-1 has been used as a biocontrol agent of clubroot disease of crucifers infected by Plasmodiophora brassicae, an obligate pathogen. In order to maximize the growth inhibition of the pathogen, random mutagenesis using N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine was applied to strain XF-1. The efficacy of 226 selected mutants was assessed against the growth of an indicator fungal pathogen: Fusarium solani using agar plate assay and the disruptive effects on the resting spores of P....

  4. DegQ regulates the production of fengycins and biofilm formation of the biocontrol agent Bacillus subtilis NCD-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Peipei; Guo, Qinggang; Ma, Yinan; Li, Shezeng; Lu, Xiuyun; Zhang, Xiaoyun; Ma, Ping

    2015-09-01

    Bacillus subtilis NCD-2 is an excellent biocontrol agent for tomato gray mold and cotton soil-borne diseases. The fengycin lipopeptides serve as a major role in its biocontrol ability. A previous study revealed that insertion of degQ with the mini-Tn10 transposon decreased the antifungal activity of strain NCD-2 against the growth of Botrytis cinerea. To clarify the regulation of degQ on the production of fengycin, we deleted degQ by in-frame mutagenesis. Compared with the wild-type strain NCD-2, the degQ-null mutant had decreased extracellular protease and cellulase activities as well as antifungal ability against the growth of B. cinerea in vitro. The lipopeptides from the degQ-null mutant also had significantly decreased antifungal activity against B. cinerea in vitro and in vivo. This result was confirmed by the decreased fengycin production in the degQ-null mutant that was detected by fast protein liquid chromatography analysis. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR further demonstrated that degQ positively regulated the expression of the fengycin synthetase gene. In addition, the degQ-null mutant also had a flatter colony phenotype and significantly decreased biofilm formation ability relative to the wild-type strain. All of those characteristics from degQ-null mutant could be restored to the strain NCD-2 wild-type level by complementation of intact degQ in the mutant. Therefore, DegQ may be an important regulator of fengycin production and biofilm formation in B. subtilis NCD-2. PMID:26302846

  5. Complete genome sequence of Bacillus thuringiensis strain HD521

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Qiao; Xu, Li Z.; Zou, Ting; Ai, Peng; Huang, Gang H.; Li, Ping; Zheng, Ai P.

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is the most widely used biological pesticide in the world. It belongs to the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group, which contains six species. Among these six species, B. thuringiensis, B. anthracis, and B. cereus have a low genetic diversity. B. thuringiensis strain HD521 shows maroon colony which is different from most of the B. thuringiensis strains. Strain HD521 also displays an ability to inhibit plant sheath blight disease pathogen (Rhizoctonia solani AG1 IB) growth a...

  6. Autonomous Detection of Aerosolized Biological Agents by Multiplexed Immunoassay with PCR Confirmation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hindson, B J; McBride, M T; Makarewicz, A J; Henderer, B D; Setlur, U S; Smith, S M; Gutierrez, D M; Metz, T R; Nasarabadi, S L; Venkateswaran, K S; Farrow, S W; Colston, Jr., B W; Dzenitis, J M

    2004-05-27

    The autonomous pathogen detection system (APDS) is an automated, podium-sized instrument that continuously monitors the air for biological threat agents (bacteria, viruses, and toxins). The system has been developed to warn of a biological attack in critical or high-traffic facilities and at special events. The APDS performs continuous aerosol collection, sample preparation, and detection using multiplexed immunoassay followed by confirmatory PCR using real-time TaqMan assays. We have integrated completely reusable flow-through devices that perform DNA extraction and PCR amplification. The fully integrated system was challenged with aerosolized Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Bacillus globigii and botulinum toxoid. By coupling highly selective antibody and DNA based assays, the probability of an APDS reporting a false positive is extremely low.

  7. Anthrose Biosynthetic Operon of Bacillus anthracis▿

    OpenAIRE

    Dong, Shengli; McPherson, Sylvia A.; Tan, Li; Chesnokova, Olga N.; Turnbough, Charles L.; Pritchard, David G.

    2008-01-01

    The exosporium of Bacillus anthracis spores consists of a basal layer and an external hair-like nap. The nap is composed primarily of the glycoprotein BclA, which contains a collagen-like region with multiple copies of a pentasaccharide side chain. This oligosaccharide possesses an unusual terminal sugar called anthrose, followed by three rhamnose residues and a protein-bound N-acetylgalactosamine. Based on the structure of anthrose, we proposed an enzymatic pathway for its biosynthesis. Exam...

  8. Survival of the biocontrol agents Brevibacillus brevis ZJY-1 and Bacillus subtilis ZJY-116 on the spikes of barley in the field

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Xin; ZHANG Bing-xin; ZHANG Zhen; SHEN Wei-feng; YANG Ching-hong; YU Jing-quan; ZHAO Yu-hua

    2005-01-01

    Fusarium head blight (FHB) caused by Fusarium graminearum is a devastating disease that results in extensive yield losses to wheat and barley. A green fluorescent protein (GFP) expressing plasmid pRP22-GFP was constructed for monitoring the colonization of two biocontrol agents, Brevibacillus brevis ZJY-1 and Bacillus subtilis ZJY-116, on the spikes of barley and their effect on suppression of FHB. Survival and colonization of the Brevibacillus brevis ZJY- 1 and Bacillus subtilis ZJY- 116 strains on spikes of barley were observed by tracking the bacterial transformants with GFP expression. Our field study revealed that plasmid pRP22-GFP was stably maintained in the bacterial strains without selective pressure. The retrieved GFP-tagged strains showed that the bacterial population fluctuation accorded with that of the rain events. Furthermore, both biocontrol strains gave significant protection against FHB on spikes of barley in fields. The greater suppression of barley FHB disease was resulted from the treatment of barley spikes with biocontrol agents before inoculation with F. graminearum.

  9. Metabolic network analysis-based identification of antimicrobial drug targets in category A bioterrorism agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong-Yeol Ahn

    Full Text Available The 2001 anthrax mail attacks in the United States demonstrated the potential threat of bioterrorism, hence driving the need to develop sophisticated treatment and diagnostic protocols to counter biological warfare. Here, by performing flux balance analyses on the fully-annotated metabolic networks of multiple, whole genome-sequenced bacterial strains, we have identified a large number of metabolic enzymes as potential drug targets for each of the three Category A-designated bioterrorism agents including Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis. Nine metabolic enzymes- belonging to the coenzyme A, folate, phosphatidyl-ethanolamine and nucleic acid pathways common to all strains across the three distinct genera were identified as targets. Antimicrobial agents against some of these enzymes are available. Thus, a combination of cross species-specific antibiotics and common antimicrobials against shared targets may represent a useful combinatorial therapeutic approach against all Category A bioterrorism agents.

  10. Gene expression profiling of human alveolar macrophages infected by B. anthracis spores demonstrates TNF-α and NF-κb are key components of the innate immune response to the pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hurst Robert E

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of anthrax, has recently been used as an agent of bioterrorism. The innate immune system initially appears to contain the pathogen at the site of entry. Because the human alveolar macrophage (HAM plays a key role in lung innate immune responses, studying the HAM response to B. anthracis is important in understanding the pathogenesis of the pulmonary form of this disease. Methods In this paper, the transcriptional profile of B. anthracis spore-treated HAM was compared with that of mock-infected cells, and differentially expressed genes were identified by Affymetrix microarray analysis. A portion of the results were verified by Luminex protein analysis. Results The majority of genes modulated by spores were upregulated, and a lesser number were downregulated. The differentially expressed genes were subjected to Ingenuity Pathway analysis, the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID analysis, the Promoter Analysis and Interaction Network Toolset (PAINT and Oncomine analysis. Among the upregulated genes, we identified a group of chemokine ligand, apoptosis, and, interestingly, keratin filament genes. Central hubs regulating the activated genes were TNF-α, NF-κB and their ligands/receptors. In addition to TNF-α, a broad range of cytokines was induced, and this was confirmed at the level of translation by Luminex multiplex protein analysis. PAINT analysis revealed that many of the genes affected by spores contain the binding site for c-Rel, a member of the NF-κB family of transcription factors. Other transcription regulatory elements contained in many of the upregulated genes were c-Myb, CP2, Barbie Box, E2F and CRE-BP1. However, many of the genes are poorly annotated, indicating that they represent novel functions. Four of the genes most highly regulated by spores have only previously been associated with head and neck and lung carcinomas. Conclusion The

  11. 炭疽芽胞杆菌BslA(260-652)蛋白的表达纯化与黏附功能鉴定%Recombinant expression, purification and adhesion function identify of Bacillus anthracis BslA(260-652) protein

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马坤; 王艳春; 陶好霞; 董杰; 曹诚; 张部昌; 刘纯杰

    2012-01-01

    [目的]克隆表达炭疽芽胞杆菌BlsA的功能区片段并对其生物学功能进行鉴定.[方法]以炭疽芽胞杆菌A16R基因组DNA为模板PCR扩增bslA(260-652)基因片段,克隆至pET-28a(+)载体.将成功构建的重组质粒转化人大肠杆菌Rosetta (DE3)中,诱导表达后收集菌体经超声破碎后,对可溶表达部分用镍柱进行亲和层析纯化.以纯化后的蛋白为抗原,免疫BALB/c小鼠制备该蛋白的多抗,用ELISA和Western blot检测抗血清;使用间接免疫荧光实验和细菌黏附实验研究目标蛋白及其抗体的生物学功能.[结果]BslA (260 -652)获得了可溶性表达,纯化后纯度约为87.4%.以纯化蛋白为抗原,免疫BALB/c小鼠制备的抗血清ELISA效价可达1:20000.将BslA(260-652)蛋白与Hela细胞共孵育后,能够直接和Hela的细胞膜结合.细菌黏附实验表明BslA(260-652)蛋白及其相应的多抗血清都能够显著地抑制炭疽芽胞杆菌A16R对Hela细胞的黏附.[结论]大肠杆菌表达得到的炭疽芽胞杆菌BslA(260-652)蛋白具有与天然蛋白相似的生物活性,为深入研究BslA蛋白在炭疽芽胞杆菌致病过程中的作用奠定实验基础.%[Objective] To obtain the recombinant BslA(260-652) protein of Bacillus anthracis and prepare its antibody for the adhesion activity studies. [Methods]The fragment coding BslA(260_652) was cloned into pET28a( + ) plasmid and induced to express recombinant protein in E. Coli Rosetta ( DE3 ) by Isopropyl p-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside ( IPTG ). The expressed recombinant soluble protein was purified by a column packed with Ni Resin. Purified protein was used as the antigen to immunize BABL/c mice for three times to raise polyclonal antibody. The adhesion activity of BlsA(260-652) was detected by immunofluorescence experiments and bacterial adherence assays. [ Results ] The purity of the purified soluble BslA(260_652) was about 87. 4%. ELISA assay liter of antiserum from vaccinated mice reached 1

  12. The identification of a tetracycline resistance gene tet(M), on a Tn916-like transposon, in the Bacillus cereus group

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersø, Yvonne; Jensen, Lars Bogø; Givskov, Michael Christian;

    2002-01-01

    In order to investigate whether resistance genes present in bacteria in manure could transfer to indigenous soil bacteria, resistant isolates belonging to the Bacillus cereus group (Bacillus cereus, Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis) were isolated from farm soil (72 isolates) and manure.......1%) isolates did not contain any of the tested genes. All tet(M) positive isolates carried transposon Tn916 and could transfer this mobile DNA element to other Gram-positive bacteria....

  13. Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum GR53, a potent biocontrol agent resists Rhizoctonia disease on Chinese cabbage through hormonal and antioxidants regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Sang-Mo; Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam; Lee, In-Jung

    2015-10-01

    The fungus Rhizoctonia solani is one of the causal agents of numerous diseases that affect crop growth and yield. The aim of this present investigation was to identify a biocontrol agent that acts against R. solani and to determine the agent's protective effect through phytohormones and antioxidant regulation in experimentally infected Chinese cabbage plants. Four rhizospheric soil bacterial isolates GR53, GR169, GR786, and GR320 were tested for their antagonistic activity against R. solani. Among these isolates, GR53 significantly suppressed fungal growth. GR53 was identified as Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum by phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rDNA sequence. The biocontrol activity of B. amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum GR53 was tested in Chinese cabbage plants under controlled conditions. Results showed that R. solani inhibited plant growth (length, width, fresh and dry weight of leaves) by reducing chlorophyll and total phenolic content, as well as by increasing the levels of salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, abscisic acid, and DPPH scavenging activity. By regulating the levels of these compounds, the co-inoculation of B. amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum GR53 heightened induced systemic resistance in infected Chinese cabbage, effectively mitigating R. solani-induced damaging effects and improving plant growth. The results obtained from this study suggest that B. amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum GR53 is an effective biocontrol agent to prevent the damage caused by R. solani in Chinese cabbage plants. PMID:26160009

  14. Glyconanobiotics: Novel carbohydrated nanoparticle antibiotics for MRSA and Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Abeylath, Sampath C.; Turos, Edward; Dickey, Sonja; Limb, Daniel V.

    2007-01-01

    This report describes the synthesis and evaluation of glycosylated polyacrylate nanoparticles that have covalently-bound antibiotics within their framework. The requisite glycosylated drug monomers were prepared from one of three known antibiotics, an N-sec-butylthio β-lactam, ciprofloxacin, and a penicillin, by acylation with 3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5,6 bis((chlorosuccinyl)oxy)-D-glucofuranose (7) or 6-O-acetyl-3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5-(chlorosuccinyl)oxy-α-D-glucofurano...

  15. A cell factory of Bacillus subtilis engineered for the simple bioconversion of myo-inositol to scyllo-inositol, a potential therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takenaka Shinji

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A stereoisomer of inositol, scyllo-inositol, is known as a promising therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's disease, since it prevents the accumulation of beta-amyloid deposits, a hallmark of the disease. However, this compound is relatively rare in nature, whereas another stereoisomer of inositol, myo-inositol, is abundantly available. Results Bacillus subtilis possesses a unique inositol metabolism involving both stereoisomers. We manipulated the inositol metabolism in B. subtilis to permit the possible bioconversion from myo-inositol to scyllo-inositol. Within 48 h of cultivation, the engineered strain was able to convert almost half of 10 g/L myo-inositol to scyllo-inositol that accumulated in the culture medium. Conclusions The engineered B. subtilis serves as a prototype of cell factory enabling a novel and inexpensive supply of scyllo-inositol.

  16. Comparison of traditional and molecular analytical methods for detecting biological agents in raw and drinking water following ultrafiltration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francy, D.S.; Bushon, R.N.; Brady, A.M.G.; Bertke, E.E.; Kephart, C.M.; Likirdopulos, C.A.; Mailot, B.E.; Schaefer, F. W., III; Lindquist, H.D. Alan

    2009-01-01

    Aims: To compare the performance of traditional methods to quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for detecting five biological agents in large-volume drinking-water samples concentrated by ultrafiltration (UF). Methods and Results: Drinking-water samples (100 l) were seeded with Bacillus anthracis, Cryptospordium parvum, Francisella tularensis, Salmonella Typhi, and Vibrio cholerae and concentrated by UF. Recoveries by traditional methods were variable between samples and between some replicates; recoveries were not determined by qPCR. Francisella tularensis and V. cholerae were detected in all 14 samples after UF, B. anthracis was detected in 13, and C. parvum was detected in 9 out of 14 samples. Numbers found by qPCR after UF were significantly or nearly related to those found by traditional methods for all organisms except for C. parvum. A qPCR assay for S. Typhi was not available. Conclusions: qPCR can be used to rapidly detect biological agents after UF as well as traditional methods, but additional work is needed to improve qPCR assays for several biological agents, determine recoveries by qPCR, and expand the study to other areas. Significance and Impact of the Study: To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the use of traditional and qPCR methods to detect biological agents in large-volume drinking-water samples. ?? 2009 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  17. Antimicrobial properties of CuO nanorods and multi-armed nanoparticles against B. anthracis vegetative cells and endospores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pratibha Pandey

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Two different kinds of CuO nanoparticles (NPs namely CuO nanorods (PS2 and multi-armed nanoparticles (P5 were synthesized by wet and electrochemical routes, respectively. Their structure, morphology, size and compositions were characterized by SEM, EDX and XRD. The NPs demonstrated strong bactericidal potential against Bacillus anthracis cells and endospores. PS2 killed 92.17% of 4.5 × 104 CFU/mL B. anthracis cells within 1 h at a dose of 1 mg/mL. Whereas P5 showed a higher efficacy by killing 99.92% of 7 × 105 CFU/mL B. anthracis cells within 30 min at a dose of 0.5 mg/mL and 99.6% of 1.25 × 104 CFU/mL B. anthracis cells within 5 min at a dose of 2 mg/mL. More than 99% of spores were killed within 8 h with 2 mg/mL PS2 in LB media.

  18. Assessment of a new selective chromogenic Bacillus cereus group plating medium and use of enterobacterial autoinducer of growth for cultural identification of Bacillus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reissbrodt, R; Rassbach, A; Burghardt, B; Rienäcker, I; Mietke, H; Schleif, J; Tschäpe, H; Lyte, M; Williams, P H

    2004-08-01

    A new chromogenic Bacillus cereus group plating medium permits differentiation of pathogenic Bacillus species by colony morphology and color. Probiotic B. cereus mutants were distinguished from wild-type strains by their susceptibilities to penicillin G or cefazolin. The enterobacterial autoinducer increased the sensitivity and the speed of enrichment of B. cereus and B. anthracis spores in serum-supplemented minimal salts medium (based on the standard American Petroleum Institute medium) and buffered peptone water. PMID:15297532

  19. Effect of Two Biological Formulations Based on Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens on Control of Didymella applanata, the Causal Agent of Red Raspberry Cane Spur Blight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margarita Shternshis

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In vitro and in vivo studies were conducted to estimate the efficacy of the two microbial formulations based on Bacillus subtilis Cohn. and Pseudomonas fluorescens Mig. on the fungus Didymella applanata (Niessl. Sacc., the causal agent of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. spur blight. In vitro, both bacteria reduced the growth of D. applanata. In inoculation experiments with raspberry canes in two cultivars with different susceptibility to D. applanata, these antagonistic bacteria suppressed fungal development by reducing the lesions area and the number of D. applanata fruiting bodies. Field trials of two biological formulations under natural conditions showed a significant suppression of the disease. B. subtilis and P. fluorescens included in the formulations revealed antagonistic activity towards D. applanata that depended on the red raspberry cultivar and weather conditions. In all cases, B. subtilis showed better results than P. fluorescens in biocontrol of the raspberry spur blight. This study demonstrated for the first time the ability of the biocontrol agents B. subtilis and P. fluorescens to suppress red raspberry cane spur blight, a serious worldwide disease.

  20. Amylase enzyme from Bacillus subtilis S8-18: a potential desizing agent from the marine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalpana, Balu Jancy; Sindhulakshmi, Muthukrishnan; Pandian, Shunmugiah Karutha

    2014-01-01

    The present study is aimed at developing an economical medium for the production of α-amylase from Bacillus subtilis S8-18, a marine sediment isolate from Palk Bay, with various agricultural by-products that are cheap and rich in starch. These products include wheat bran, wheat husk, rice bran, rice husk, and potato peel and are used to replace soluble starch present in the Luria Bertani (LB) broth (synthetic medium). The rice husk was found to be the best to influence enzyme production significantly (61,186 IU mL⁻¹) when compared with the yield of 30,026 IU mL⁻¹ obtained by commercial starch. Hence, LB broth containing rice husk was considered an economical medium. In addition, the effect of various nutritional and physiological factors on enzyme production was also investigated. Furthermore, the desizing efficiency of α-amylases produced by synthetic and economical media was evaluated through various assays like reducing sugar estimation, weight loss assay, drop absorbency assay, scanning electron microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared analyses. In addition, a commercial α-amylase from B. subtilis was also used in desizing analyses for comparative purposes. It revealed that the α-amylase from the economical medium was as effective in desizing the cotton fabrics as that of the commercial enzyme and much superior to the enzyme produced through the synthetic medium. PMID:23659677

  1. Anthrax vaccine design: strategies to achieve comprehensive protection against spore, bacillus, and toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Roehrl, Michael H.; Wang, Jun-Xia

    2005-01-01

    The successful use of Bacillus anthracis as a lethal biological weapon has prompted renewed research interest in the development of more effective vaccines against anthrax. The disease consists of three critical components: spore, bacillus, and toxin, elimination of any of which confers at least partial protection against anthrax. Current remedies rely on postexposure antibiotics to eliminate bacilli and pre- and postexposure vaccination to target primarily toxins. Vaccines effective against ...

  2. Whole-Genome Sequences of 94 Environmental Isolates of Bacillus cereus Sensu Lato

    OpenAIRE

    Van der Auwera, Géraldine A.; Feldgarden, Michael; Kolter, Roberto; Mahillon, Jacques

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus cereus sensu lato is a species complex that includes the anthrax pathogen Bacillus anthracis and other bacterial species of medical, industrial, and ecological importance. Their phenotypes of interest are typically linked to large plasmids that are closely related to the anthrax plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Here, we present the draft genome sequences of 94 isolates of B. cereus sensu lato, which were chosen for their plasmid content and environmental origins.

  3. Whole-Genome Sequences of 94 Environmental Isolates of Bacillus cereus Sensu Lato

    OpenAIRE

    Van der Auwera, Géraldine A.; Feldgarden, Michael; Kolter, Roberto; Mahillon, Jacques

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus cereus sensu lato is a species complex that includes the anthrax pathogen Bacillus anthracis and other bacterial species of medical, industrial, and ecological importance. Their phenotypes of interest are typically linked to large plasmids that are closely related to the anthrax plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Here, we present the draft genome sequences of 94 isolates of B. cereus sensu lato, which were chosen for their plasmid content and environmental origins.

  4. The potential of TaqMan Array Cards for detection of multiple biological agents by real-time PCR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip A Rachwal

    Full Text Available The TaqMan Array Card architecture, normally used for gene expression studies, was evaluated for its potential to detect multiple bacterial agents by real-time PCR. Ten PCR assays targeting five biological agents (Bacillus anthracis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis were incorporated onto Array Cards. A comparison of PCR performance of each PCR in Array Card and singleplex format was conducted using DNA extracted from pure bacterial cultures. When 100 fg of agent DNA was added to Array Card channels the following levels of agent detection (where at least one agent PCR replicate returned a positive result were observed: Y. pestis 100%, B. mallei & F. tularensis 93%; B. anthracis 71%; B. pseudomallei 43%. For B. mallei & pseudomallei detection the BPM2 PCR, which detects both species, outperformed PCR assays specific to each organism indicating identification of the respective species would not be reproducible at the 100 fg level. Near 100% levels of detection were observed when 100 fg of DNA was added to each PCR in singleplex format with singleplex PCRs also returning sporadic positives at the 10 fg per PCR level. Before evaluating the use of Array Cards for the testing of environmental and clinical sample types, with potential levels of background DNA and PCR inhibitors, users would therefore have to accept a 10-fold reduction in sensitivity of PCR assays on the Array Card format, in order to benefit for the capacity to test multiple samples for multiple agents. A two PCR per agent strategy would allow the testing of 7 samples for the presence of 11 biological agents or 3 samples for 23 biological agents per card (with negative control channels.

  5. Biosynthetic Analysis of the Petrobactin Siderophore Pathway from Bacillus anthracis▿

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Jung Yeop; Janes, Brian K.; Passalacqua, Karla D; Pfleger, Brian F.; Bergman, Nicholas H; Liu, Haichuan; Håkansson, Kristina; Somu, Ravindranadh V.; Aldrich, Courtney C.; Cendrowski, Stephen; Hanna, Philip C.; Sherman, David H.

    2006-01-01

    The asbABCDEF gene cluster from Bacillus anthracis is responsible for biosynthesis of petrobactin, a catecholate siderophore that functions in both iron acquisition and virulence in a murine model of anthrax. We initiated studies to determine the biosynthetic details of petrobactin assembly based on mutational analysis of the asb operon, identification of accumulated intermediates, and addition of exogenous siderophores to asb mutant strains. As a starting point, in-frame deletions of each of...

  6. Biocontrol traits and antagonistic potential of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain NJZJSB3 against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, a causal agent of canola stem rot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yuncheng; Yuan, Jun; Raza, Waseem; Shen, Qirong; Huang, Qiwei

    2014-10-01

    Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain NJZJSB3 has shown antagonism of several phytopathogens in vitro, especially Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Both the broth culture and cell suspension of strain NJZJSB3 could completely protect the detached leaves of canola (Brassica napus) from S. sclerotiorum infection. In pot experiments, the application of strain NJZJSB3 cell suspension (10(8) CFU/ml) decreased the disease incidence by 83.3%, a result similar to commercially available fungicide (Dimetachlone). In order to investigate the potential biocontrol mechanisms of strain NJZJSB3, the nonvolatile antifungal compounds it produces were identified as iturin homologs using HPLC-ESI-MS. Antifungal volatile organic compounds were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The detected volatiles toluene, phenol, and benzothiazole showed antifungal effects against S. sclerotiorum in chemical control experiments. Strain NJZJSB3 also produced biofilm, siderophores and cell-wall-degrading enzymes (protease and β-1,3-glucanase). These results suggest that strain NJZJSB3 can be a tremendous potential agent for the biological control of sclerotinia stem rot. PMID:24861342

  7. Enhancement of Biocontrol Activities and Cyclic Lipopeptides Production by Chemical Mutagenesis of Bacillus subtilis XF-1, a Biocontrol Agent of Plasmodiophora brassicae and Fusarium solani.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xing-Yu; Yang, Jing-Jing; Mao, Zi-Chao; Ho, Hon-Hing; Wu, Yi-Xing; He, Yue-Qiu

    2014-12-01

    Bacillus subtilis XF-1 has been used as a biocontrol agent of clubroot disease of crucifers infected by Plasmodiophora brassicae, an obligate pathogen. In order to maximize the growth inhibition of the pathogen, random mutagenesis using N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine was applied to strain XF-1. The efficacy of 226 selected mutants was assessed against the growth of an indicator fungal pathogen: Fusarium solani using agar plate assay and the disruptive effects on the resting spores of P. brassicae. Four mutants exhibited inhibition activity significantly higher than the wild type. The cell extracts of these mutants and the XF-1 were subjected to matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectra analysis, and three families of cyclic lipopeptides (CLPs) fengycin, surfactin and iturin were identified from the parental strain and the screened mutants. However, the relative contents and compound diversity changed after mutagenesis, and there was slight variation in the surfactin and fengycin. Notably, only 5 iturin components were discovered from the wild strain XF-1, but 13 were obtained from the mutant strains, and the relative CLPs contents of all mutant strains increased substantially. The results suggested that CLPs might be one of main biocontrol mechanisms of the clubroot disease by XF-1. The 4 mutants are far more effective than the parental strain, and they would be promising biocontrol candidates not only against P. brassicae but probably other plant diseases caused by fungi. PMID:25320450

  8. The effect of the combination of two biological control agents, Mirabilis jalapa and Bacillus thuringiensis, to Spodoptera litura's immune response and their mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maulina, Dina; Anggraeni, Tjandra

    2014-03-01

    Biological control provides a safer alternative to reduce the population of agricultural pest. Mirabilis jalapa is one of many promising biopesticides which contains chemical substances that have a feeding deterrent property against insects. This biopesticide may not kill insect directly but will weaken their overall physiological condition. In this study, we investigated the immune response of common pestSpodoptera litura after exposure of M. jalapa extract. We also used Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) delta endotoxin (LC50) on 3 hours after exposure of M. jalapa extract to see the synergism properties of both biopesticide agents. Microscopic observation revealed that at least 5 types of haemocyte were found in S. litura. In control group, plasmatocyte were found at 59.98%, prohaemocyte 20.73%, granullar cell 12.74%, oenocytoid 3.33% and spherule cell 3.20%. These proportion was differ significantly in the treatment group. Exposure to 0.1% and 0.2%(w/v) of M. jalapa extract increased the total number of haemocytes as much as 38.08% and 64.15% respectively. In contrast, exposure to 0.4% and 0.8%(w/v) reduced the number of haemocytes to 37.02% and 51.04% respectively. In term of phagocytic activity, the proportion of phagocytosing cells were 47.62% in control group, and in 0.1% and 0.2% (w/v) M. jalapa treatment group the proportion decreased to 28% and 26.88% respectively. In the concentration of 0.4% and 0.8%, phagocytic activity did not occur. Addition of biological agents Bt (LC50 concentration) to see mortality 3 hours after M. jalapa application did not show significant differences. S. litura mortality rate were found only 50%; this suggests that the combination of M. jalapa and Bt biopesticides in 3-hour intervals within 24 hours showed no increase in mortality.

  9. Spectrally-resolved fluorescence cross sections of aerosolized biological live agents and simulants using five excitation wavelengths in a BSL-3 laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yong-Le; Hill, Steven C; Santarpia, Joshua L; Brinkley, Kelly; Sickler, Todd; Coleman, Mark; Williamson, Chatt; Gurton, Kris; Felton, Melvin; Pinnick, Ronald G; Baker, Neal; Eshbaugh, Jonathan; Hahn, Jerry; Smith, Emily; Alvarez, Ben; Prugh, Amber; Gardner, Warren

    2014-04-01

    A system for measuring spectrally-resolved fluorescence cross sections of single bioaerosol particles has been developed and employed in a biological safety level 3 (BSL-3) facility at Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC). It is used to aerosolize the slurry or solution of live agents and surrogates into dried micron-size particles, and to measure the fluorescence spectra and sizes of the particles one at a time. Spectrally-resolved fluorescence cross sections were measured for (1) bacterial spores: Bacillus anthracis Ames (BaA), B. atrophaeus var. globigii (BG) (formerly known as Bacillus globigii), B. thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), B. thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk), B. anthracis Sterne (BaS); (2) vegetative bacteria: Escherichia coli (E. coli), Pantoea agglomerans (Eh) (formerly known as Erwinia herbicola), Yersinia rohdei (Yr), Yersinia pestis CO92 (Yp); and (3) virus preparations: Venezuelan equine encephalitis TC83 (VEE) and the bacteriophage MS2. The excitation wavelengths were 266 nm, 273 nm, 280 nm, 365 nm and 405 nm. PMID:24718194

  10. Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sphaericus biopesticides production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    el-Bendary, Magda A

    2006-01-01

    The long residual action and toxicity of the chemical insecticides have brought about serious environmental problems such as the emergence and spread of insecticide resistance in many species of vectors, mammalian toxicity, and accumulation of pesticide residues in the food chain. All these problems have highlighted the need for alternative biological control agents. Entomo-pathogenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and Bacillus sphaericus (Bs) are two safe biological control agents. They have attracted considerable interest as possible replacements for the chemical insecticides. Although microbial insecticides based on Bt and Bs are available for use, their high cost makes large-scale application impracticable in developing countries. This review focuses on the economic production of these two microorganisms by submerged fermentation and solid state fermentation using agro-industrial by-products and other wastes. PMID:16598830

  11. Potencial de la cepa CPA-8 de Bacillus subtilis como agente de biocontrol de enfermedades de postcosecha de fruta

    OpenAIRE

    Yánez Mandizábal, Viviana del Rocío

    2012-01-01

    La limitació en l’ús de fungicides per al control de malalties en postcollita de fruita és una problemàtica d’elevada magnitud en el sector fructícola actual. Degut a això l’ús d’estratègies alternatives com el control biològic microbià són fonamentals per a la producció de fruita de qualitat. Malgrat tot, el desenvolupament de programes de biocontrol eficaços requereix d’un coneixement profund de la capacitat de control i els mecanismes d’acció utilitzats per l’agent microbià ...

  12. A systematic screen of FDA-approved drugs for inhibitors of biological threat agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter B Madrid

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The rapid development of effective medical countermeasures against potential biological threat agents is vital. Repurposing existing drugs that may have unanticipated activities as potential countermeasures is one way to meet this important goal, since currently approved drugs already have well-established safety and pharmacokinetic profiles in patients, as well as manufacturing and distribution networks. Therefore, approved drugs could rapidly be made available for a new indication in an emergency. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A large systematic effort to determine whether existing drugs can be used against high containment bacterial and viral pathogens is described. We assembled and screened 1012 FDA-approved drugs for off-label broad-spectrum efficacy against Bacillus anthracis; Francisella tularensis; Coxiella burnetii; and Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fever viruses using in vitro cell culture assays. We found a variety of hits against two or more of these biological threat pathogens, which were validated in secondary assays. As expected, antibiotic compounds were highly active against bacterial agents, but we did not identify any non-antibiotic compounds with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Lomefloxacin and erythromycin were found to be the most potent compounds in vivo protecting mice against Bacillus anthracis challenge. While multiple virus-specific inhibitors were identified, the most noteworthy antiviral compound identified was chloroquine, which disrupted entry and replication of two or more viruses in vitro and protected mice against Ebola virus challenge in vivo. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The feasibility of repurposing existing drugs to face novel threats is demonstrated and this represents the first effort to apply this approach to high containment bacteria and viruses.

  13. Comparative genome analysis of Bacillus cereus group genomes withBacillus subtilis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Iain; Sorokin, Alexei; Kapatral, Vinayak; Reznik, Gary; Bhattacharya, Anamitra; Mikhailova, Natalia; Burd, Henry; Joukov, Victor; Kaznadzey, Denis; Walunas, Theresa; D' Souza, Mark; Larsen, Niels; Pusch,Gordon; Liolios, Konstantinos; Grechkin, Yuri; Lapidus, Alla; Goltsman,Eugene; Chu, Lien; Fonstein, Michael; Ehrlich, S. Dusko; Overbeek, Ross; Kyrpides, Nikos; Ivanova, Natalia

    2005-09-14

    Genome features of the Bacillus cereus group genomes (representative strains of Bacillus cereus, Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis sub spp israelensis) were analyzed and compared with the Bacillus subtilis genome. A core set of 1,381 protein families among the four Bacillus genomes, with an additional set of 933 families common to the B. cereus group, was identified. Differences in signal transduction pathways, membrane transporters, cell surface structures, cell wall, and S-layer proteins suggesting differences in their phenotype were identified. The B. cereus group has signal transduction systems including a tyrosine kinase related to two-component system histidine kinases from B. subtilis. A model for regulation of the stress responsive sigma factor sigmaB in the B. cereus group different from the well studied regulation in B. subtilis has been proposed. Despite a high degree of chromosomal synteny among these genomes, significant differences in cell wall and spore coat proteins that contribute to the survival and adaptation in specific hosts has been identified.

  14. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Valdez, Yolanda E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Shou, Yulin [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Yoshida, Thomas M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Marrone, Babetta L [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dunbar, John [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  15. Effect of carbon and nitrogen sources on growth and biological efficacy of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis against Rhizoctonia solani, the causal agent of bean damping-off.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peighamy-Ashnaei, S; Sharifi-Tehrani, A; Ahmadzadeh, M; Behboudi, K

    2007-01-01

    One of the most important environmental factors that regulate the growth and antagonistic efficacy of biocontrol agents is the medium. The aim of this paper was to find the nitrogen and carbon sources that provide maximum biomass production of strains P-5 and P-6 (Pseudomonas fluorescens), B-3 and B-16 (Bacillus subtilis) and minimum cost of media, whilst maintaining biocontrol efficacy. All of the strains were grown in seven liquid media (pH=6.9) including: sucrose + yeast extract, molasses of sugar beet + yeast extract in 2:1 and 1:1 w/w ratios, molasses of sugar beet + urea, nutrient broth, molasses and malt extract, at an initial inoculation of 1 x 10(5) CFU ml(-1). Cells from over night cultures used to inoculate soil at 1 x 10(9) CFU cm(-3) soil. At the same time, fungal inoculum (infected millet seed with Rhizoctonia solani) was added to soil at the rate of 2 g kg(-1) soil. Results indicated that growth of P-6, B-3 and B-16 in molasses + yeast extract (1:1 w/w) medium was significantly higher than in the other media. Molasses + yeast extract (1:1 and 2:1 w/w) media supported rapid growth and high cell yields in P-5. In greenhouse condition, results indicated that the influence of the media on the biocontrol efficacy of P-5, P-6, B-3 and B-16 was the same and Pseudomonas fluorescens P-5 in molasses and malt extract media reduced the severity of disease up to 72.8 percent. On the other hand, there were observed significant differences on bean growth after one month in greenhouse. P-5 in molasses + yeast extract (1:1 w/w) medium had the most effects on bean growth promotion. In this study molasses media showed good yield efficacy in all of the strains. The high sucrose concentration in molasses justifies the high biomass in all of the strains. Also, the low cost of molasses allows its concentration to be increased in media. On the other hand, yeast extract was the best organic nitrogen source for antagonist bacteria but it is expensive for an industrial process

  16. Bacillus coagulans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and, as a result, is often misclassified as lactic acid bacteria such as lactobacillus. In fact, some commercial products ... sporogenes or "spore-forming lactic acid bacterium." Unlike lactic acid bacteria such as lactobacillus or bifidobacteria, Bacillus coagulans forms ...

  17. Crystal structure of the Bacillus-conserved MazG protein, a nucleotide pyrophosphohydrolase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Meong Il; Hong, Minsun

    2016-03-25

    BA1544 from Bacillus anthracis was previously annotated as a transcription factor for the gene cluster ba1554 - ba1558, but has not been experimentally characterized. B. anthracis is an obligate pathogen causing fatal inhalational anthrax, and BA1544 is absolutely conserved in Bacillus species, including Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus mycoides, with 100% sequence identity. To address the function of BA1544, we performed structural and biochemical studies, which revealed that BA1544 is a MazG protein. Thus, herein, the protein is defined as Bacillus-conserved MazG (BcMazG). Like other MazG structures, BcMazG assembles into a tetrameric architecture. Each monomer adopts a four-α-helix bundle that accommodates a metal ion using four acidic residues, and presents one putative substrate-binding site. Enzymatic characterization demonstrated that BcMazG is a nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) pyrophosphohydrolase and prefers adenosine triphosphate as a substrate among canonical NTPs. Moreover, structural comparison of BcMazG with its homologues revealed a potential regulation mechanism whereby the enzymatic activity of BcMazG is regulated by its C-terminal region. PMID:26920050

  18. Biofilm formation in Bacillus thuringiensis : Investigation of the roles of a putative cell surface adhesin and a chemotaxis-related protein responsive to cyclic-di-GMP

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    The Bacillus cereus group of bacteria is a subgroup in the Bacillus genus and consists of six different species. Research has evolved mainly around B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis, an opportunistic pathogen capable of food poisoning and infections in mammals, an insecticidal pathogen which can also be an opportunistic pathogen in mammals, and an opportunistic pathogen capable of causing cutaneous and or/systemic anthrax in mammals, respectively. These species are closely related ...

  19. Influence of multi-year Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis on the abundance of B. cereus group populations in Swedish riparian wetland soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Niels Bohse; Schneider, Salome; Tajrin, Tania;

    Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) is a soil-born bacterium affiliated to the B. cereus group (Bcg, a group including the pathogens B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis) and used in biocontrol products against nematoceran larvae. However, knowledge is limited on how long...

  20. Identification of ypqP as a New Bacillus subtilis Biofilm Determinant That Mediates the Protection of Staphylococcus aureus against Antimicrobial Agents in Mixed-Species Communities

    OpenAIRE

    Sanchez-Vizuete, Maria Pilar; Le Coq, Dominique; Bridier, Arnaud; Herry, Jean-Marie; Aymerich, Stephane; Briandet, Romain

    2014-01-01

    In most habitats, microbial life is organized in biofilms, three-dimensional edifices sustained by extracellular polymeric substances that enable bacteria to resist harsh and changing environments. Under multispecies conditions, bacteria can benefit from the polymers produced by other species ("public goods"), thus improving their survival under toxic conditions. A recent study showed that a Bacillus subtilis hospital isolate (NDmed) was able to protect Staphylococcus aureus from biocide acti...

  1. Development of a killed but metabolically active anthracis vaccine candidate strain%一种KBMA炭疽疫苗候选株的研制

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    沈非; 刘纯杰; 袁盛凌; 展德文; 王艳春; 任敏; 陶好霞; 王芃; 王令春; 陈冬生

    2011-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonosis caused by Bacillus anthracis, which seriously affects human health. In recent years, a special phenomenon is found that the metabolic active of a bacterium remains after it is killed. To development of a KBMA (killed but metabolically active) Bacillus anthracis vaccine candidate strain, a plasmid pMAD and a recombinase system Cre-loxP were used to knockout the uvrAB gene of B. anthracis AP422 which lacks both of two plasmids pXOl and pXO2. The results of PCR and RT-PCR shows that uvrAB genes were deleted from B. anthracis AP422 chromosome successfully. The constructed B. anthracis AP422ΔuvrAB was inactivated by photochemical treatment (PCT) including an exposure in a long-wave-length ultraviolet (UVA)light and a treatment of 8-Methoxypsoralen (8-MOP), then the metabolic activity were detected by the method of MTS. The results showed that the killed B. anthracis AP422ΔuvrAB maintained a highly metabolic activity for at least 4 hours, showing a state of KBMA. The KBMA strain of B. anthracis AP422ΔuvrAB provides the prospective vaccine candidate strain for anthrax.%炭疽病是由炭疽芽胞杆菌Bacillus anthracis 引起的一种人畜共患传染病,严重影响着人类的健康.近年来在细菌疫苗的研究中发现一种特殊的现象:细菌被杀死后,体内的代谢活性却仍然维持(Killed but metabolically active,KBMA).此发现为炭疽新型疫苗候选株的研制提供了新思路.先通过同源重组的方法,利用pMAD质粒和Cre-loxP重组酶系统完成对缺失两个毒性大质粒的炭疽芽胞杆菌减毒株AP422的uvrAB基因的敲除,得到AP422△uvrAB菌株,然后通过光化学处理(包括长波紫外光的照射和8-甲氧基补骨脂素处理),使炭疽芽胞杆菌AP422△uvrAB失去繁殖能力.利用四氮唑化合物MTS检测其代谢活性,表明光化学处理杀死后的炭疽芽胞杆菌AP422△uvrAB在至少4 h内维持一个很高的代谢活性水平,即具备

  2. Cloning, Expression, and Characterization of Thermotolerant Manganese Superoxide Dismutase from Bacillus sp. MHS47

    OpenAIRE

    Supatra Areekit; Paisarn Khawsak; Arda Pakpitchareon; Kajeenart Potivejkul; Gaysorn Chansiri; Kosum Chansiri; Pornpimon Kanjanavas

    2011-01-01

    A superoxide dismutase gene from thermotolerant Bacillus sp. MHS47 (MnSOD47) was cloned, sequenced, and expressed. The gene has an open reading frame of 612 bp, corresponding to 203 deduced amino acids, with high homology to the amino acid sequences of B. thuringiensis (accession no. EEN01322), B. anthracis (accession no. NP_846724), B. cereus (accession no. ZP_04187911), B. weihenstephanensis (accession no. YP_001646918), and B. pseudomycoides. The conserved manganese-binding sites (H28, H83...

  3. Contributions of Histamine, Prostanoids, and Neurokinins to Edema Elicited by Edema Toxin from Bacillus anthracis▿

    OpenAIRE

    Tessier, Jeffrey; Green, Candace; Padgett, Diana; Zhao, Wei; Schwartz, Lawrence; Hughes, Molly; Hewlett, Erik

    2007-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis edema toxin (ET), composed of protective antigen and an adenylate cyclase edema factor (EF), elicits edema in host tissues, but the target cells and events leading from EF-mediated cyclic-AMP production to edema are unknown. We evaluated the direct effect of ET on several cell types in vitro and tested the possibility that mediators of vascular leakage, such as histamine, contribute to edema in rabbits given intradermal ET. ET increased the transendothelial electrical resis...

  4. Molecular Characterization of Bacillus Strains Involved in Outbreaks of Anthrax in France in 1997

    OpenAIRE

    Patra, Guy; VAISSAIRE, Josée; Weber-Levy, Martine; Le Doujet, Claudine; Mock, Michèle

    1998-01-01

    Outbreaks of anthrax zoonose occurred in two regions of France in 1997. Ninety-four animals died, and there were three nonfatal cases in humans. The diagnosis of anthrax was rapidly confirmed by bacteriological and molecular biological methods. The strains of Bacillus anthracis in animal and soil samples were identified by a multiplex PCR assay. They all belonged to the variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) group (VNTR)3. A penicillin-resistant strain was detected. Nonvirulent bacilli related ...

  5. Reaerosolization of Bacillus spp. in Outdoor Environments: A Review of the Experimental Literature

    OpenAIRE

    Layshock, Julie A.; Pearson, Brooke; Crockett, Kathryn; Brown, Michael J.; Van Cuyk, Sheila; Daniel, W. Brent; Omberg, Kristin M.

    2012-01-01

    Reaerosolization or resuspension—that is, the reintroduction of previously airborne particles into the atmosphere—is a complex phenomenon. Microbial reaerosolization is particularly poorly understood because few studies have been done in this area, and many of the studies that have been performed are not in the peer-reviewed literature. The reaerosolization of Bacillus anthracis in outdoor environments is of particular concern because of its stability and potential for use as a biological wea...

  6. Binary Bacterial Toxins: Biochemistry, Biology, and Applications of Common Clostridium and Bacillus Proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Barth, Holger; Aktories, Klaus; Popoff, Michel R.; Stiles, Bradley G.

    2004-01-01

    Certain pathogenic species of Bacillus and Clostridium have developed unique methods for intoxicating cells that employ the classic enzymatic “A-B” paradigm for protein toxins. The binary toxins produced by B. anthracis, B. cereus, C. botulinum, C. difficile, C. perfringens, and C. spiroforme consist of components not physically associated in solution that are linked to various diseases in humans, animals, or insects. The “B” components are synthesized as precursors that are subsequently acti...

  7. Detection of Anthrax Simulants with Microcalorimetric Spectroscopy: Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arakawa, Edward T.; Lavrik, Nickolay V.; Datskos, Panos G.

    2003-04-01

    Recent advances in the development of ultrasensitive micromechanical thermal detectors have led to the advent of novel subfemtojoule microcalorimetric spectroscopy (CalSpec). On the basis of principles of photothermal IR spectroscopy combined with efficient thermomechanical transduction, CalSpec provides acquisition of vibrational spectra of microscopic samples and absorbates. We use CalSpec as a method of identifying nanogram quantities of biological micro-organisms. Our studies focus on Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus spores as simulants for Bacillus anthracis spores. Using CalSpec, we measured IR spectra of B. subtilis and B. cereus spores present on surfaces in nanogram quantities (approximately 100 -1000 spores). The spectra acquired in the wavelength range of 690 -4000 cm-1 (2.5 -14.5 μm) contain information-rich vibrational signatures that reflect the different ratios of biochemical makeup of the micro-organisms. The distinctive features in the spectra obtained for the two types of micro-organism can be used to distinguish between the spores of the Bacillus family. As compared with conventional IR and Fourier-transform IR microscopic spectroscopy techniques, the advantages of the present technique include significantly improved sensitivity (at least a full order of magnitude), absence of expensive IR detectors, and excellent potential for miniaturization.

  8. Microbial agent detection using near-IR electrophoretic and spectral signatures (MADNESS) for rapid identification in detect-to-warn applications.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomez, Anthony Lee; Bambha, Ray P.; VanderNoot, Victoria A.; Fruetel, Julia A.; Renzi, Ronald F.; Krafcik, Karen Lee

    2009-10-01

    Rapid identification of aerosolized biological agents following an alarm by particle triggering systems is needed to enable response actions that save lives and protect assets. Rapid identifiers must achieve species level specificity, as this is required to distinguish disease-causing organisms (e.g., Bacillus anthracis) from benign neighbors (e.g., Bacillus subtilis). We have developed a rapid (1-5 minute), novel identification methodology that sorts intact organisms from each other and particulates using capillary electrophoresis (CE), and detects using near-infrared (NIR) absorbance and scattering. We have successfully demonstrated CE resolution of Bacillus spores and vegetative bacteria at the species level. To achieve sufficient sensitivity for detection needs ({approx}10{sup 4} cfu/mL for bacteria), we have developed fiber-coupled cavity-enhanced absorbance techniques. Using this method, we have demonstrated {approx}two orders of magnitude greater sensitivity than published results for absorbing dyes, and single particle (spore) detection through primarily scattering effects. Results of the integrated CE-NIR system for spore detection are presented.

  9. Considerations in detecting CDC select agents under field conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinelli, Charles; Soelberg, Scott; Swanson, Nathaneal; Furlong, Clement; Baker, Paul

    2008-04-01

    Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) has become a widely accepted technique for real-time detection of interactions between receptor molecules and ligands. Antibody may serve as receptor and can be attached to the gold surface of the SPR device, while candidate analyte fluids contact the detecting antibody. Minute, but detectable, changes in refractive indices (RI) indicate that analyte has bound to the antibody. A decade ago, an inexpensive, robust, miniature and fully integrated SPR chip, called SPREETA, was developed. University of Washington (UW) researchers subsequently developed a portable, temperature-regulated instrument, called SPIRIT, to simultaneously use eight of these three-channel SPREETA chips. A SPIRIT prototype instrument was tested in the field, coupled to a remote reporting system on a surrogate unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Two target protein analytes were released sequentially as aerosols with low analyte concentration during each of three flights and were successfully detected and verified. Laboratory experimentation with a more advanced SPIRIT instrument demonstrated detection of very low levels of several select biological agents that might be employed by bioterrorists. Agent detection under field-like conditions is more challenging, especially as analyte concentrations are reduced and complex matricies are introduced. Two different sample preconditioning protocols have been developed for select agents in complex matrices. Use of these preconditioning techniques has allowed laboratory detection in spiked heavy mud of Francisella tularensis at 10 3 CFU/ml, Bacillus anthracis spores at 10 3 CFU/ml, Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) at 1 ng/ml, and Vaccinia virus (a smallpox simulant) at 10 5 PFU/ml. Ongoing experiments are aimed at simultaneous detection of multiple agents in spiked heavy mud, using a multiplex preconditioning protocol.

  10. Production of Protocatechuic Acid in Bacillus Thuringiensis ATCC33679

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca L. Garner

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Protocatechuic acid, or 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, is produced by both soil and marine bacteria in the free form and as the iron binding component of the siderophore petrobactin. The soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki ATCC 33679, contains the asb operon, but does not produce petrobactin. Iron restriction resulted in diminished B. thuringiensis kurstaki ATCC 33679 growth and the production of catechol(s. The gene product responsible for protocatechuic acid (asbF and its receptor (fatB were expressed during stationary phase growth. Gene expression varied with growth temperature, with optimum levels occurring well below the Bacillus anthracis virulence temperature of 37 °C. Regulation of protocatechuic acid suggests a possible role for this compound during soil growth cycles.

  11. Comparison of quantitative PCR and culture-based methods for evaluating dispersal of Bacillus thuringiensis endospores at a bioterrorism hoax crime scene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crighton, Taryn; Hoile, Rebecca; Coleman, Nicholas V

    2012-06-10

    Since the anthrax mail attacks of 2001, law enforcement agencies have processed thousands of suspicious mail incidents globally, many of which are hoax bioterrorism threats. Bio-insecticide preparations containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) spores have been involved in several such threats in Australia, leading to the requirement for rapid and sensitive detection techniques for this organism, a close relative of Bacillus anthracis. Here we describe the development of a quantitative PCR (qPCR) method for the detection of Bt crystal toxin gene cry1, and evaluation of the method's effectiveness during a hoax bioterrorism event in 2009. When combined with moist wipe sampling, the cry1 qPCR was a rapid, reliable, and sensitive diagnostic tool for detecting and quantifying Bt contamination, and mapping endospore dispersal within a mail sorting facility. Results from the cry1 qPCR were validated by viable counts of the same samples on Bacillus-selective agar (PEMBA), which revealed a similar pattern of contamination. Extensive and persistent contamination of the facility was detected, both within the affected mailroom, and extending into office areas up to 30m distant from the source event, emphasising the need for improved containment procedures for suspicious mail items, both during and post-event. The cry1 qPCR enables detection of both viable and non-viable Bt spores and cells, which is important for historical crime scenes or scenes subjected to decontamination. This work provides a new rapid method to add to the forensics toolbox for crime scenes suspected to be contaminated with biological agents. PMID:22227150

  12. Bacillus cereus Biofilms—Same, Only Different

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majed, Racha; Faille, Christine; Kallassy, Mireille; Gohar, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus displays a high diversity of lifestyles and ecological niches and include beneficial as well as pathogenic strains. These strains are widespread in the environment, are found on inert as well as on living surfaces and contaminate persistently the production lines of the food industry. Biofilms are suspected to play a key role in this ubiquitous distribution and in this persistency. Indeed, B. cereus produces a variety of biofilms which differ in their architecture and mechanism of formation, possibly reflecting an adaptation to various environments. Depending on the strain, B. cereus has the ability to grow as immersed or floating biofilms, and to secrete within the biofilm a vast array of metabolites, surfactants, bacteriocins, enzymes, and toxins, all compounds susceptible to act on the biofilm itself and/or on its environment. Within the biofilm, B. cereus exists in different physiological states and is able to generate highly resistant and adhesive spores, which themselves will increase the resistance of the bacterium to antimicrobials or to cleaning procedures. Current researches show that, despite similarities with the regulation processes and effector molecules involved in the initiation and maturation of the extensively studied Bacillus subtilis biofilm, important differences exists between the two species. The present review summarizes the up to date knowledge on biofilms produced by B. cereus and by two closely related pathogens, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus anthracis. Economic issues caused by B. cereus biofilms and management strategies implemented to control these biofilms are included in this review, which also discuss the ecological and functional roles of biofilms in the lifecycle of these bacterial species and explore future developments in this important research area. PMID:27458448

  13. Detection of aerosolized biological agents by immunoassay followed by autonomous PCR confirmation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dzenitis, J M; Hindson, B J; McBride, M T; Makarewicz, A J; Henderer, B D; Sathyam, U S; Smith, S M; Gutierrez, D M; Metz, T R; Venkateswaran, K S; Colston, B W; Farrow, S W

    2003-12-15

    An Autonomous Pathogen Detection System (APDS) unit is an automated, podium-sized system that monitors the air for all three biological threat agents (bacteria, viruses, and toxins). The system has been developed under the auspices of the U. S. Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to protect people in critical or high-traffic facilities and at special events. The system performs continuous aerosol collection, sample preparation, and multiplexed biological tests using advanced immunoassays as the primary screen. Over ten agents are assayed at once, and results are reported hourly. R&D work this year focused on incorporating polymerase chain-reaction (PCR) techniques for detecting DNA as confirmation of immunoassay positives. The primary objective of the Dugway testing was to demonstrate the APDS with immunoassay identification and PCR confirmation of bacteria. A secondary objective was to demonstrate immunoassay identification of a protein toxoid (denatured toxin) aerosol release. A total of 12 agent trials were conducted over 14 days of testing, for a total of four work weeks at Dugway. Both testing objectives were achieved with multiple releases and clear identifications. The APDS was shown to be effective for identifying aerosolized Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Bacillus globigii, and botulinum toxoid. The two areas for improvement were operational as opposed to hardware-related. The first was slowing the PCR thermal cycling to achieve stronger signals, which was demonstrated during the later phases of testing. The second area is to improve the parameters for autonomous PCR triggering; this is one of the focuses of the upcoming year's work.

  14. Multispectral analysis of biological agents to implement a quick tool for stand-off biological detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carestia, M.; Pizzoferrato, R.; Lungaroni, M.; Gabriele, J.; Ludovici, G. M.; Cenciarelli, O.; Gelfusa, M.; Murari, A.; Malizia, A.; Gaudio, P.

    2015-10-01

    With the aim of identifying an approach to exploit the differences in the fluorescence signatures of biological agents BAs, we have investigated the response of some BAs simulants to a set of different excitation wavelengths in the UV spectral range (i.e. 266, 273, 280, 300, 340, 355 nm). Our preliminary results on bacterial spores and vegetative forms, dispersed in water, showed that the differences in the fluorescence spectra can be enhanced, and more easily revealed, by using different excitation wavelengths. Specifically, the photo luminescence (PL) spectra coming from different species of Bacillus, in the form of spores (used as simulants of Bacillus anthracis), show significant differences under excitation at all the wavelengths, with slightly larger differences at 300, 340, 355 nm. On the other hand, the vegetative forms of two Bacillus species, did not show any appreciable difference, i.e. the PL spectra are virtually identical, for the excitation wavelengths of 266, 273, 280 nm. Conversely, small yet appreciable difference appear at 300, 340, 355 nm. Finally, large difference appear between the spore and the vegetative form of each species at all the wavelengths, with slightly larger variations at 300, 340, 355 nm. Together, these preliminary results support the hypothesis that a multi-wavelength approach could be used to improve the sensitivity and specificity of UV-LIF based BAs detection systems. The second step of this work concerns the application of a Support Vector Regression (SVR) method, as evaluated in our previous work to define a methodology for the setup of a multispectral database for the stand-off detection of BAs.

  15. Identification of ypqP as a New Bacillus subtilis biofilm determinant that mediates the protection of Staphylococcus aureus against antimicrobial agents in mixed-species communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Vizuete, Pilar; Le Coq, Dominique; Bridier, Arnaud; Herry, Jean-Marie; Aymerich, Stéphane; Briandet, Romain

    2015-01-01

    In most habitats, microbial life is organized in biofilms, three-dimensional edifices sustained by extracellular polymeric substances that enable bacteria to resist harsh and changing environments. Under multispecies conditions, bacteria can benefit from the polymers produced by other species ("public goods"), thus improving their survival under toxic conditions. A recent study showed that a Bacillus subtilis hospital isolate (NDmed) was able to protect Staphylococcus aureus from biocide action in multispecies biofilms. In this work, we identified ypqP, a gene whose product is required in NDmed for thick-biofilm formation on submerged surfaces and for resistance to two biocides widely used in hospitals. NDmed and S. aureus formed mixed biofilms, and both their spatial arrangement and pathogen protection were mediated by YpqP. Functional ypqP is present in other natural B. subtilis biofilm-forming isolates. However, the gene is disrupted by the SPβ prophage in the weak submerged-biofilm-forming strains NCIB3610 and 168, which are both less resistant than NDmed to the biocides tested. Furthermore, in a 168 laboratory strain cured of the SPβ prophage, the reestablishment of a functional ypqP gene led to increased thickness and resistance to biocides of the associated biofilms. We therefore propose that YpqP is a new and important determinant of B. subtilis surface biofilm architecture, protection against exposure to toxic compounds, and social behavior in bacterial communities. PMID:25326298

  16. Epidemiology of bacillus cereus implied in food contaminations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bacillus Cereus is an opportunistic pathogen. It is a causative agent in both gastrointestinal and in non gastrointestinal infections. In this study, 41 strains of Bacillus Cereus were isolated on Polymixin-Mannitol-Egg-Yolk Phenol red Agar (PMYPA) from foods (milk products, pasta, meat). These isolates were characterised and identified by biochemical and molecular tests. Pcr was performed for detection and characterisation of toxins genes in bacillus cereus. (author). 108 refs

  17. Screening, cloning and biochemical characterisation of novel esterases from bacillus sp. associated with the marine sponge aplysina aerophoba

    OpenAIRE

    Karpushova, Anna Alexandrovna; Franz BRÜMMER; Lange, Stefan; Schmid, Rolf D.

    2005-01-01

    Two novel esterases (EstB1 and EstB2) were isolated from a genomic library of Bacillus sp. associated with the marine sponge Aplysina aerophoba. EstB1 shows low identity (26-44 %)with the published hydrolases of the genus Bacillus, whereas EstB2 shows high identity (73-74 %) with the carboxylesterases from B. cereus and B. anthracis. Both esterases were efficiently expressed in Escherichia coli under the control of T7 promoter using the vector pET-22b(+). Recombinant EstB1 was purified in a s...

  18. CUTANEOUS ANTHRAX: A CASE REPORT

    OpenAIRE

    Gargi; Indrani; Pratip Kumar; Samidul Hoque

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of Anthrax. The aim was to detect the presence of Bacillus anthracis in a case of suspected Cu taneous Anthrax in a 30 year old male who had history of handling a sick cow and noticed a painless ulcer on his palm 4 days later . Microbiological investigations revealed the presence of Bacillus anthracis . A diagnosis of Cutaneous Anthrax was made and th e concerned authority was immediately notified

  19. Complete Genome of Bacillus thuringiensis Myophage BigBertha

    OpenAIRE

    Ting, Jose H.; Smyth, Trinity B.; Chamakura, Karthik R.; Kuty Everett, Gabriel F.

    2013-01-01

    BigBertha is a myophage of Bacillus thuringiensis, a widely used biocontrol agent that is active against many insect pests of plants. Here, we present the complete annotated genome of BigBertha. The genome shares 85.9% sequence identity with Bacillus cereus phage B4.

  20. Identification and Pathogenic Potential of Clinical Bacillus and Paenibacillus Isolates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Celandroni

    Full Text Available The soil-related Bacillus and Paenibacillus species have increasingly been implicated in various human diseases. Nevertheless, their identification still poses problems in the clinical microbiology laboratory and, with the exception of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus, little is known on their pathogenicity for humans. In this study, we evaluated the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS in the identification of clinical isolates of these genera and conducted genotypic and phenotypic analyses to highlight specific virulence properties. Seventy-five clinical isolates were subjected to biochemical and MALDI-TOF MS identification. 16S rDNA sequencing and supplemental tests were used to solve any discrepancies or failures in the identification results. MALDI-TOF MS significantly outperformed classical biochemical testing for correct species identification and no misidentification was obtained. One third of the collected strains belonged to the B. cereus species, but also Bacillus pumilus and Bacillus subtilis were isolated at high rate. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that all the B. cereus, B. licheniformis, B. simplex, B. mycoides, Paenibacillus glucanolyticus and Paenibacillus lautus isolates are resistant to penicillin. The evaluation of toxin/enzyme secretion, toxin-encoding genes, motility, and biofilm formation revealed that B. cereus displays the highest virulence potential. However, although generally considered nonpathogenic, most of the other species were shown to swim, swarm, produce biofilms, and secrete proteases that can have a role in bacterial virulence. In conclusion, MALDI-TOF MS appears useful for fast and accurate identification of Bacillus and Paenibacillus strains whose virulence properties make them of increasing clinical relevance.

  1. Identification and Pathogenic Potential of Clinical Bacillus and Paenibacillus Isolates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celandroni, Francesco; Salvetti, Sara; Gueye, Sokhna Aissatou; Mazzantini, Diletta; Lupetti, Antonella; Senesi, Sonia; Ghelardi, Emilia

    2016-01-01

    The soil-related Bacillus and Paenibacillus species have increasingly been implicated in various human diseases. Nevertheless, their identification still poses problems in the clinical microbiology laboratory and, with the exception of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus, little is known on their pathogenicity for humans. In this study, we evaluated the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption—ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) in the identification of clinical isolates of these genera and conducted genotypic and phenotypic analyses to highlight specific virulence properties. Seventy-five clinical isolates were subjected to biochemical and MALDI-TOF MS identification. 16S rDNA sequencing and supplemental tests were used to solve any discrepancies or failures in the identification results. MALDI-TOF MS significantly outperformed classical biochemical testing for correct species identification and no misidentification was obtained. One third of the collected strains belonged to the B. cereus species, but also Bacillus pumilus and Bacillus subtilis were isolated at high rate. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that all the B. cereus, B. licheniformis, B. simplex, B. mycoides, Paenibacillus glucanolyticus and Paenibacillus lautus isolates are resistant to penicillin. The evaluation of toxin/enzyme secretion, toxin-encoding genes, motility, and biofilm formation revealed that B. cereus displays the highest virulence potential. However, although generally considered nonpathogenic, most of the other species were shown to swim, swarm, produce biofilms, and secrete proteases that can have a role in bacterial virulence. In conclusion, MALDI-TOF MS appears useful for fast and accurate identification of Bacillus and Paenibacillus strains whose virulence properties make them of increasing clinical relevance. PMID:27031639

  2. Application of gaseous disinfectants ozone and chlorine dioxide for inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores

    OpenAIRE

    Aydogan, Ahmet

    2006-01-01

    A terrorist attack involving chemical and/or biological warfare agents is a growing possibility. Since anthrax is considered as an immediate public-health threat that can be created by a warfare agent, it is imperative to investigate the potential remediation technologies effective against this threat. In this study, the effectiveness of two gaseous disinfectants, ozone and chlorine dioxide, to inactivate B.subtilis spores - as surrogate to B.anthracis that can cause the infectious anthrax di...

  3. Recombinant expression and functional analysis of proteases from Streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus anthracis, and Yersinia pestis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pieper Rembert

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Uncharacterized proteases naturally expressed by bacterial pathogens represents important topic in infectious disease research, because these enzymes may have critical roles in pathogenicity and cell physiology. It has been observed that cloning, expression and purification of proteases often fail due to their catalytic functions which, in turn, cause toxicity in the E. coli heterologous host. Results In order to address this problem systematically, a modified pipeline of our high-throughput protein expression and purification platform was developed. This included the use of a specific E. coli strain, BL21(DE3 pLysS to tightly control the expression of recombinant proteins and various expression vectors encoding fusion proteins to enhance recombinant protein solubility. Proteases fused to large fusion protein domains, maltosebinding protein (MBP, SP-MBP which contains signal peptide at the N-terminus of MBP, disulfide oxidoreductase (DsbA and Glutathione S-transferase (GST improved expression and solubility of proteases. Overall, 86.1% of selected protease genes including hypothetical proteins were expressed and purified using a combination of five different expression vectors. To detect novel proteolytic activities, zymography and fluorescence-based assays were performed and the protease activities of more than 46% of purified proteases and 40% of hypothetical proteins that were predicted to be proteases were confirmed. Conclusions Multiple expression vectors, employing distinct fusion tags in a high throughput pipeline increased overall success rates in expression, solubility and purification of proteases. The combinatorial functional analysis of the purified proteases using fluorescence assays and zymography confirmed their function.

  4. Sortase-conjugation generates a capsule vaccine that protects guinea pigs against Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Garufi, Gabriella; Wang, Ya-Ting; Oh, So-Young; Maier, Hannah; Missiakas, Dominique M.; Schneewind, Olaf

    2012-01-01

    Capsules protect bacteria against phagocytic clearance. Capsular polysaccharides or polyglutamates have evolved also to resist antigen presentation by immune cells, thereby interfering with the production of opsonophagocytic antibodies. Linking capsular material to a carrier protein stimulates its presentation to the immune system. For many conjugate vaccines this is achieved by a process of random chemical cross-linking. Here we describe a new technology, designated sortase-conjugation, whic...

  5. Preparation and Evaluation of Human-Murine Chimeric Antibody against Protective Antigen of Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Hao

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research is to develop a human/murine chimeric Fab antibody which neutralizes the anthrax toxin, protective antigen (PA. The chimeric Fab was constructed using variable regions of murine anti-PA monoclonal antibody in combination with constant regions of human IgG. The chimeric PA6-Fab was expressed in E. coli. BL21 and evaluated by ELISA and co-immunoprecipitation- mass spectra. The potency of PA6-Fab to neutralize LeTx was examined in J774A.1 cell viability in vitro and in Fisher 344 rats in vivo. The PA6-Fab did not have domain similarity corresponding to the current anti PA mAbs, but specifically bound to anthrax PA at an affinity of 1.76 nM, and was able to neutralize LeTx in vitro and protected 56.9% cells at 20 μg/mL against anthrax LeTx. One hundred μg PA6-Fab could neutralize 300 μg LeTx in vivo. The PA6-Fab has potential as a therapeutic mAb for treatment of anthrax.

  6. Anthrax among heroin users in Europe possibly caused by same Bacillus anthracis strain since 2000

    OpenAIRE

    Grunow, R; Klee, SR; Beyer, W; George, M.; D. Grunow; Barduhn, A; Klar, S; D. Jacob; Elschner, M.; Sandven, Per; Kjerulf, A; Jensen, JS; Cai, W; Zimmermann, R; Schaade, L.

    2013-01-01

    Injection anthrax was described first in 2000 in a heroin-injecting drug user in Norway. New anthrax cases among heroin consumers were detected in the United Kingdom (52 cases) and Germany (3 cases) in 2009-10. In June 2012, a fatal case occurred in Regensburg, Bavaria. As of December 2012, 13 cases had been reported in this new outbreak from Germany, Denmark, France and the United Kingdom. We analysed isolates from 2009-10 and 2012 as well as from the first injection anthrax case in Norway i...

  7. Tabanids: neglected subjects of research, but important vectors of disease agents!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldacchino, Frédéric; Desquesnes, Marc; Mihok, Steve; Foil, Lane D; Duvallet, Gérard; Jittapalapong, Sathaporn

    2014-12-01

    Tabanids are nuisance pests for people and livestock because of their painful and irritating bite, persistent biting behavior, and blood ingestion. About 4400 tabanid species have been described; they are seasonally present in all kinds of landscapes, latitudes, and altitudes. High populations have a significant economic impact on outdoor activities, tourism, and livestock production. Tabanids are also vectors of animal disease agents, including viruses, bacteria and parasites. However, tabanids have received little attention in comparison with other hematophagous Diptera. Here, we highlight the many direct and indirect impacts of tabanids and provide a brief summary of tabanid morphology, biology, and life cycle. Impacts include pathogen transmission, parasite transportation (Dermatobia hominis), biological transmission (Loa loa), and mechanical transmission of viruses, such as equine infectious anemia virus, protozoa, such as Trypanosoma evansi and Besnotia besnoiti, and bacteria, such as Bacillus anthracis and Anaplasma marginale. We discuss parameters of mechanical transmission and its mathematical modeling. Control methods for tabanid populations are also summarized; these include trapping, the use of insecticides, repellents, and livestock protection. Lastly recommendations are provided for the direction of future research. PMID:24727644

  8. Phylogeny in aid of the present and novel microbial lineages: diversity in Bacillus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shalini Porwal

    Full Text Available Bacillus represents microbes of high economic, medical and biodefense importance. Bacillus strain identification based on 16S rRNA sequence analyses is invariably limited to species level. Secondly, certain discrepancies exist in the segregation of Bacillus subtilis strains. In the RDP/NCBI databases, out of a total of 2611 individual 16S rDNA sequences belonging to the 175 different species of the genus Bacillus, only 1586 have been identified up to species level. 16S rRNA sequences of Bacillus anthracis (153 strains, B. cereus (211 strains, B. thuringiensis (108 strains, B. subtilis (271 strains, B. licheniformis (131 strains, B. pumilus (83 strains, B. megaterium (47 strains, B. sphaericus (42 strains, B. clausii (39 strains and B. halodurans (36 strains were considered for generating species-specific framework and probes as tools for their rapid identification. Phylogenetic segregation of 1121, 16S rDNA sequences of 10 different Bacillus species in to 89 clusters enabled us to develop a phylogenetic frame work of 34 representative sequences. Using this phylogenetic framework, 305 out of 1025, 16S rDNA sequences presently classified as Bacillus sp. could be identified up to species level. This identification was supported by 20 to 30 nucleotides long signature sequences and in silico restriction enzyme analysis specific to the 10 Bacillus species. This integrated approach resulted in identifying around 30% of Bacillus sp. up to species level and revealed that B. subtilis strains can be segregated into two phylogenetically distinct groups, such that one of them may be renamed.

  9. Mapping of Proteomic Composition on the Surfaces of Bacillus spores by Atomic Force Microscopy-based Immunolabeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plomp, M; Malkin, A J

    2008-06-02

    Atomic force microscopy provides a unique capability to image high-resolution architecture and structural dynamics of pathogens (e.g. viruses, bacteria and bacterial spores) at near molecular resolution in native conditions. Further development of atomic force microscopy in order to enable the correlation of pathogen protein surface structures with specific gene products is essential to understand the mechanisms of the pathogen life cycle. We have applied an AFM-based immunolabeling technique for the proteomic mapping of macromolecular structures through the visualization of the binding of antibodies, conjugated with nanogold particles, to specific epitopes on Bacillus spore surfaces. This information is generated while simultaneously acquiring the surface morphology of the pathogen. The immunospecificity of this labeling method was established through the utilization of specific polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies that target spore coat and exosporium epitopes of Bacillus atrophaeus and Bacillus anthracis spores.

  10. A pangenomic study of Bacillus thuringiensis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yongjun Fang; Songnian Hu; Jie Zhang; Ibrahim A1-Mssallem; Jun Yu; Zhaolong Li; Jiucheng Liu; Changlong Shu; Xumin Wang; Xiaowei Zhang; Xiaoguang Yu; Duojun Zhao; Guiming Liu

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (B.thuringiensis) is a soil-dwelling Gram-positive bacterium and its plasmid-encoded toxins (Cry) are commonly used as biological alternatives to pesticides.In a pangenomic study,we sequenced seven B.thuringiensis isolates in both high coverage and base quality using the next-generation sequencing platform.The B.thuringiensis pangenome was extrapolated to have 4196 core genes and an asymptotic value of 558 unique genes when a new genome is added.Compared to the pangenomes of its closely related species of the same genus,B.thuringiensis pangenome shows an open characteristic,similar to B.cereus but not to B.anthracis; the latter has a closed pangenome.We also found extensive divergence among the seven B.thuringiensis genome assemblies,which harbor ample repeats and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).The identities among orthologous genes are greater than 84.5% and the hotspots for the genome variations were discovered in genomic regions of 2.3-2.8 Mb and 5.0-5.6 Mb.We concluded that high-coverage sequence assemblies from multiple strains,before all the gaps are closed,are very useful for pangenomic studies.

  11. Taxonomy Icon Data: Bacillus subtilis [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Bacillus subtilis Bacillus subtilis Bacillus_subtilis_L.png Bacillus_subtilis_NL.png Bacillus..._subtilis_S.png Bacillus_subtilis_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Bacillus...+subtilis&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Bacillus+subtilis&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.j...p/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Bacillus+subtilis&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Bacillus

  12. Characterization and comparative genomic analysis of bacteriophages infecting members of the Bacillus cereus group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ju-Hoon; Shin, Hakdong; Ryu, Sangryeol

    2014-05-01

    The Bacillus cereus group phages infecting B. cereus, B. anthracis, and B. thuringiensis (Bt) have been studied at the molecular level and, recently, at the genomic level to control the pathogens B. cereus and B. anthracis and to prevent phage contamination of the natural insect pesticide Bt. A comparative phylogenetic analysis has revealed three different major phage groups with different morphologies (Myoviridae for group I, Siphoviridae for group II, and Tectiviridae for group III), genome size (group I > group II > group III), and lifestyle (virulent for group I and temperate for group II and III). A subsequent phage genome comparison using a dot plot analysis showed that phages in each group are highly homologous, substantiating the grouping of B. cereus phages. Endolysin is a host lysis protein that contains two conserved domains: a cell-wall-binding domain (CBD) and an enzymatic activity domain (EAD). In B. cereus sensu lato phage group I, four different endolysin groups have been detected, according to combinations of two types of CBD and four types of EAD. Group I phages have two copies of tail lysins and one copy of endolysin, but the functions of the tail lysins are still unknown. In the B. cereus sensu lato phage group II, the B. anthracis phages have been studied and applied for typing and rapid detection of pathogenic host strains. In the B. cereus sensu lato phage group III, the B. thuringiensis phages Bam35 and GIL01 have been studied to understand phage entry and lytic switch regulation mechanisms. In this review, we suggest that further study of the B. cereus group phages would be useful for various phage applications, such as biocontrol, typing, and rapid detection of the pathogens B. cereus and B. anthracis and for the prevention of phage contamination of the natural insect pesticide Bt. PMID:24264384

  13. Fatal Sepsis by Bacillus Circulans in an Immunocompromised Patient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Jahani Sherafat

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available An immunosuppressed man was admitted to hospital with diarrhea and a history of urinary tract infection. He was subjected to treatment with antibiotics. The patient died of putative severe sepsis. The etiological agent was a carbapenemase producing isolate of Bacillus circulans with resistance to all prescribed antimicrobial agents.

  14. Culturability of Bacillus spores on aerosol collection filters exposed to airborne combustion products of Al, Mg, and B·Ti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, Atin; Yermakov, Michael; Indugula, Reshmi; Reponen, Tiina; Driks, Adam; Grinshpun, Sergey A

    2016-05-01

    Destruction of bioweapon facilities due to explosion or fire could aerosolize highly pathogenic microorganisms. The post-event air quality assessment is conducted through air sampling. A bioaerosol sample (often collected on a filter for further culture-based analysis) also contains combustion products, which may influence the microbial culturability and, thus, impact the outcome. We have examined the interaction between spores deposited on collection filters using two simulants of Bacillus anthracis [B. thuringiensis (Bt) and B. atrophaeus (referred to as BG)] and incoming combustion products of Al as well as Mg and B·Ti (common ingredient of metalized explosives). Spores extracted from Teflon, polycarbonate, mixed cellulose ester (MCE), and gelatin filters (most common filter media for bioaerosol sampling), which were exposed to combustion products during a short-term sampling, were analyzed by cultivation. Surprisingly, we observed that aluminum combustion products enhanced the culturability of Bt (but not BG) spores on Teflon filters increasing the culturable count by more than an order of magnitude. Testing polycarbonate and MCE filter materials also revealed a moderate increase of culturability although gelatin did not. No effect was observed with either of the two species interacting on either filter media with products originated by combustion of Mg and B·Ti. Sample contamination, spore agglomeration, effect of a filter material on the spore survival, changes in the spore wall ultrastructure and germination, as well as other factors were explored to interpret the findings. The study raises a question about the reliability of certain filter materials for collecting airborne bio-threat agents in combustion environments. PMID:26914458

  15. Anthrax Toxin-Expressing Bacillus cereus Isolated from an Anthrax-Like Eschar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marston, Chung K; Ibrahim, Hisham; Lee, Philip; Churchwell, George; Gumke, Megan; Stanek, Danielle; Gee, Jay E; Boyer, Anne E; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Barr, John R; Li, Han; Boulay, Darbi; Cronin, Li; Quinn, Conrad P; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus isolates have been described harboring Bacillus anthracis toxin genes, most notably B. cereus G9241, and capable of causing severe and fatal pneumonias. This report describes the characterization of a B. cereus isolate, BcFL2013, associated with a naturally occurring cutaneous lesion resembling an anthrax eschar. Similar to G9241, BcFL2013 is positive for the B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes, has a multi-locus sequence type of 78, and a pagA sequence type of 9. Whole genome sequencing confirms the similarity to G9241. In addition to the chromosome having an average nucleotide identity of 99.98% when compared to G9241, BcFL2013 harbors three plasmids with varying homology to the G9241 plasmids (pBCXO1, pBC210 and pBFH_1). This is also the first report to include serologic testing of patient specimens associated with this type of B. cereus infection which resulted in the detection of anthrax lethal factor toxemia, a quantifiable serum antibody response to protective antigen (PA), and lethal toxin neutralization activity. PMID:27257909

  16. Decontamination Strategy for Large Area and/or Equipment Contaminated with Chemical and Biological Agents using a High Energy Arc Lamp (HEAL)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoske, Richard [ORNL; Kennedy, Patrick [ORNL; Duty, Chad E [ORNL; Smith, Rob R [ORNL; Huxford, Theodore J [ORNL; Bonavita, Angelo M [ORNL; Engleman, Greg [ORNL; Vass, Arpad Alexander [ORNL; Griest, Wayne H [ORNL; Ilgner, Ralph H [ORNL; Brown, Gilbert M [ORNL

    2009-04-01

    A strategy for the decontamination of large areas and or equipment contaminated with Biological Warfare Agents (BWAs) and Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) was demonstrated using a High Energy Arc Lamp (HEAL) photolysis system. This strategy offers an alternative that is potentially quicker, less hazardous, generates far less waste, and is easier to deploy than those currently fielded by the Department of Defense (DoD). For example, for large frame aircraft the United States Air Force still relies on the combination of weathering (stand alone in environment), air washing (fly aircraft) and finally washing the aircraft with Hot Soapy Water (HSW) in an attempt to remove any remaining contamination. This method is laborious, time consuming (upwards of 12+ hours not including decontamination site preparation), and requires large amounts of water (e.g., 1,600+ gallons for a single large frame aircraft), and generates large amounts of hazardous waste requiring disposal. The efficacy of the HEAL system was demonstrated using diisopropyl methyl phosphonate (DIMP) a G series CWA simulant, and Bacillus globigii (BG) a simulant of Bacillus anthracis. Experiments were designed to simulate the energy flux of a field deployable lamp system that could stand-off 17 meters from a 12m2 target area and uniformly expose a surface at 1360 W/m2. The HEAL system in the absence of a catalyst reduced the amount of B. globigii by five orders of magnitude at a starting concentration of 1.63 x 107 spores. In the case of CWA simulants, the HEAL system in the presence of the catalyst TiO2 effectively degraded DIMP sprayed onto a 100mm diameter Petri dish in 5 minutes.

  17. Application of gaseous ozone for inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydogan, Ahmet; Gurol, Mirat D

    2006-02-01

    The effectiveness of gaseous ozone (O3) as a disinfectant was tested on Bacillus subtilis spores, which share the same physiological characteristics as Bacillus anthracis spores that cause the anthrax disease. Spores dried on surfaces of different carrier material were exposed to O3 gas in the range of 500-5000 ppm and at relative humidity (RH) of 70-95%. Gaseous O3 was found to be very effective against the B. subtilis spores, and at O3 concentrations as low as 3 mg/L (1500 ppm), approximately 3-log inactivation was obtained within 4 hr of exposure. The inactivation curves consisted of a short lag phase followed by an exponential decrease in the number of surviving spores. Prehydration of the bacterial spores has eliminated the initial lag phase. The inactivation rate increased with increasing O3 concentration but not >3 mg/L. The inactivation rate also increased with increase in RH. Different survival curves were obtained for various surfaces used to carry spores. Inactivation rates of spores on glass, a vinyl floor tile, and office paper were nearly the same. Whereas cut pile carpet and hardwood flooring surfaces resulted in much lower inactivation rates, another type of carpet (loop pile) showed significant enhancement in the inactivation of the spores. PMID:16568801

  18. BacillusRegNet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Misirli, Goksel; Hallinan, Jennifer; Röttger, Richard;

    2014-01-01

    interactions. There is a need to develop new platform technologies that can be applied to the investigation of whole-genome datasets in an efficient and cost-effective manner. One such approach is the transfer of existing knowledge from well-studied organisms to closely-related organisms. In this paper, we...... associated BacillusRegNet website (http://bacillus.ncl.ac.uk)....

  19. Unlocking the Sporicidal Potential of Ethanol: Induced Sporicidal Activity of Ethanol against Clostridium difficile and Bacillus Spores under Altered Physical and Chemical Conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle M Nerandzic

    Full Text Available Due to their efficacy and convenience, alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been widely adopted as the primary method of hand hygiene in healthcare settings. However, alcohols lack activity against bacterial spores produced by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis. We hypothesized that sporicidal activity could be induced in alcohols through alteration of physical or chemical conditions that have been shown to degrade or allow penetration of spore coats.Acidification, alkalinization, and heating of ethanol induced rapid sporicidal activity against C. difficile, and to a lesser extent Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis. The sporicidal activity of acidified ethanol was enhanced by increasing ionic strength and mild elevations in temperature. On skin, sporicidal ethanol formulations were as effective as soap and water hand washing in reducing levels of C. difficile spores.These findings demonstrate that novel ethanol-based sporicidal hand hygiene formulations can be developed through alteration of physical and chemical conditions.

  20. Evaluation of the Sporicidal Activity of Ethanol Extract of Arctium lappa Root against Bacillus cereus

    OpenAIRE

    Vajihe Karbasizade; Arezoo Dabiri

    2014-01-01

    Background: Bacillus cereus is one of the most common causes of food spoilage, keratitis, endophthalmitis, and panophthalmitis. These bacteria produce spores which are resistant to chemical and physical agents. Nowadays, the sporicidal properties of plants have been considered as alternatives to chemical sporicidal agents. Materials and Methods: In this empirical-experimental study the effect of ethanol extract of edible burdock (Arctium lappa) root has been studied on Bacillus cereus spo...

  1. Isolation and characterization of antagonistic Bacillus strains capable to degrade ethylenethiourea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vágvölgyi, Csaba; Sajben-Nagy, Enikő; Bóka, Bettina; Vörös, Mónika; Berki, Adrienn; Palágyi, Andrea; Krisch, Judit; Skrbić, Biljana; Durišić-Mladenović, N; Manczinger, László

    2013-03-01

    In this study, more than 150 bacteria showing antagonistic properties against bacterial and fungal pathogens of the tomato plant were isolated and characterized. The most efficient agents against these phytopathogenic microorganisms belong to the genus Bacillus: the best biocontrol isolates were representatives of Bacillus subtilis, B. mojavensis and B. amyloliquefaciens species. They intensively produced fengycin or/and surfactin depsipeptide antibiotics and also proved to be excellent protease secretors. It was proved, that the selected strains were able to use ethylenethiourea (ETU) as sole nitrogen source. These antagonistic and ETU-degrading Bacillus strains can be applied as biocontrol and also as bioremediation agents. PMID:23143288

  2. High-Resolution Spore Coat Architecture and Assembly of Bacillus Spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malkin, A J; Elhadj, S; Plomp, M

    2011-03-14

    Elucidating the molecular architecture of bacterial and cellular surfaces and its structural dynamics is essential to understanding mechanisms of pathogenesis, immune response, physicochemical interactions, environmental resistance, and provide the means for identifying spore formulation and processing attributes. I will discuss the application of in vitro atomic force microscopy (AFM) for studies of high-resolution coat architecture and assembly of several Bacillus spore species. We have demonstrated that bacterial spore coat structures are phylogenetically and growth medium determined. We have proposed that strikingly different species-dependent coat structures of bacterial spore species are a consequence of sporulation media-dependent nucleation and crystallization mechanisms that regulate the assembly of the outer spore coat. Spore coat layers were found to exhibit screw dislocations and two-dimensional nuclei typically observed on inorganic and macromolecular crystals. This presents the first case of non-mineral crystal growth patterns being revealed for a biological organism, which provides an unexpected example of nature exploiting fundamental materials science mechanisms for the morphogenetic control of biological ultrastructures. We have discovered and validated, distinctive formulation-specific high-resolution structural spore coat and dimensional signatures of B. anthracis spores (Sterne strain) grown in different formulation condition. We further demonstrated that measurement of the dimensional characteristics of B. anthracis spores provides formulation classification and sample matching with high sensitivity and specificity. I will present data on the development of an AFM-based immunolabeling technique for the proteomic mapping of macromolecular structures on the B. anthracis surfaces. These studies demonstrate that AFM can probe microbial surface architecture, environmental dynamics and the life cycle of bacterial and cellular systems at near

  3. Preliminary assessment of the interaction of introduced biological agents with biofilms in water distribution systems.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinclair, Michael B.; Caldwell, Sara; Jones, Howland D. T.; Altman, Susan Jeanne; Souza, Caroline Ann; McGrath, Lucas K.

    2005-12-01

    Basic research is needed to better understand the potential risk of dangerous biological agents that are unintentionally or intentionally introduced into a water distribution system. We report on our capabilities to conduct such studies and our preliminary investigations. In 2004, the Biofilms Laboratory was initiated for the purpose of conducting applied research related to biofilms with a focus on application, application testing and system-scale research. Capabilities within the laboratory are the ability to grow biofilms formed from known bacteria or biofilms from drinking water. Biofilms can be grown quickly in drip-flow reactors or under conditions more analogous to drinking-water distribution systems in annular reactors. Biofilms can be assessed through standard microbiological techniques (i .e, aerobic plate counts) or with various visualization techniques including epifluorescent and confocal laser scanning microscopy and confocal fluorescence hyperspectral imaging with multivariate analysis. We have demonstrated the ability to grow reproducible Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilms in the annular reactor with plate counts on the order of 10{sup 5} and 10{sup 6} CFU/cm{sup 2}. Stationary phase growth is typically reached 5 to 10 days after inoculation. We have also conducted a series of pathogen-introduction experiments, where we have observed that both polystyrene microspheres and Bacillus cereus (as a surrogate for B. anthracis) stay incorporated in the biofilms for the duration of our experiments, which lasted as long as 36 days. These results indicated that biofilms may act as a safe harbor for bio-pathogens in drinking water systems, making it difficult to decontaminate the systems.

  4. Adenoviral Expression of a Bispecific VHH-Based Neutralizing Agent That Targets Protective Antigen Provides Prophylactic Protection from Anthrax in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Tremblay, Jacqueline M; Debatis, Michelle; Dmitriev, Igor P; Kashentseva, Elena A; Yeh, Anthony J; Cheung, Gordon Y C; Curiel, David T; Leppla, Stephen; Shoemaker, Charles B

    2016-03-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, secretes three polypeptides, which form the bipartite lethal and edema toxins (LT and ET, respectively). The common component in these toxins, protective antigen (PA), is responsible for binding to cellular receptors and translocating the lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF) enzymatic moieties to the cytosol. Antibodies against PA protect against anthrax. We previously isolated toxin-neutralizing variable domains of camelid heavy-chain-only antibodies (VHHs) and demonstrated their in vivo efficacy. In this work, gene therapy with an adenoviral (Ad) vector (Ad/VNA2-PA) (VNA, VHH-based neutralizing agents) promoting the expression of a bispecific VHH-based neutralizing agent (VNA2-PA), consisting of two linked VHHs targeting different PA-neutralizing epitopes, was tested in two inbred mouse strains, BALB/cJ and C57BL/6J, and found to protect mice against anthrax toxin challenge and anthrax spore infection. Two weeks after a single treatment with Ad/VNA2-PA, serum VNA2-PA levels remained above 1 μg/ml, with some as high as 10 mg/ml. The levels were 10- to 100-fold higher and persisted longer in C57BL/6J than in BALB/cJ mice. Mice were challenged with a lethal dose of LT or spores at various times after Ad/VNA2-PA administration. The majority of BALB/cJ mice having serum VNA2-PA levels of >0.1 μg/ml survived LT challenge, and 9 of 10 C57BL/6J mice with serum levels of >1 μg/ml survived spore challenge. Our findings demonstrate the potential for genetic delivery of VNAs as an effective method for providing prophylactic protection from anthrax. We also extend prior findings of mouse strain-based differences in transgene expression and persistence by adenoviral vectors. PMID:26740390

  5. Comparison of Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis are closely related, spore forming soil bacteria. B. thuringiensis produces insecticidal crystal proteins during sporulation and these toxins are the most important biopesticides in the world today. Genomes of the B. thuringiensis and B. cereus strains were analysed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis after treatment of the DNA with the restriction enzyme NotI. The NotI fingerprint patterns varied both within the B. thuringiensis and the B. cereus strains. The size of the fragments varied between 15 and 1350 kb. When physical maps of the B. thuringiensis and B. cereus strains were compared, B. thuringiensis appeared to be as closely related to B. cereus as the B. cereus strains were to each other. Nine out of 12 B. thuringiensis strains and 18 out of 25 B. cereus strains produced enterotoxins. The close relationship between B. thuringiensis and B. cereus should be taken into consideration when B. thuringiensis is used as a biopesticide. (author). 10 refs, 4 figs, 1 tab

  6. Bacillus velezensis is not a later heterotypic synonym of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens; Bacillus methylotrophicus, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp plantarum and ‘Bacillus oryzicola’ are later heterotypic synonyms of Bacillus

    Science.gov (United States)

    The rhizosphere isolated bacteria belonging to the Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum and Bacillus methylotrophicus clades are an important group of strains that are used as plant growth promoters and antagonists of plant pathogens. These properties have made these strains the focus of comm...

  7. Biodiversity in Bacillus cereus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pielaat A; Fricker M; Nauta MJ; Leusden FM van; MGB

    2006-01-01

    Experiments have been performed by different partners to identify variability in properties of Bacillus cereus strains that contribute to the extent of their virulence as part of an EU project. To this end, 100 B. cereus strains were selected and screened for biological properties, such as toxin pro

  8. Evaluation of surface sampling method performance for Bacillus Spores on clean and dirty outdoor surfaces.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, Mollye C.; Einfeld, Wayne; Boucher, Raymond M.; Brown, Gary Stephen; Tezak, Matthew Stephen

    2011-06-01

    Recovery of Bacillus atrophaeous spores from grime-treated and clean surfaces was measured in a controlled chamber study to assess sampling method performance. Outdoor surfaces investigated by wipe and vacuum sampling methods included stainless steel, glass, marble and concrete. Bacillus atrophaeous spores were used as a surrogate for Bacillus anthracis spores in this study designed to assess whether grime-coated surfaces significantly affected surface sampling method performance when compared to clean surfaces. A series of chamber tests were carried out in which known amounts of spores were allowed to gravitationally settle onto both clean and dirty surfaces. Reference coupons were co-located with test coupons in all chamber experiments to provide a quantitative measure of initial surface concentrations of spores on all surfaces, thereby allowing sampling recovery calculations. Results from these tests, carried out under both low and high humidity conditions, show that spore recovery from grime-coated surfaces is the same as or better than spore recovery from clean surfaces. Statistically significant differences between method performance for grime-coated and clean surfaces were observed in only about half of the chamber tests conducted.

  9. Fate of pathogenic Bacillus cereus spores after ingestion by protist grazers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Santos, Susana; Hendriksen, Niels Bohse; Jakobsen, Hans

    evolution of Bacillus cereus group bacteria (e.g. B. cereus, B. anthracis, B. thuringiensis) as a pathogen. It has been hypothesized that the spore stage protects against digestion by predating protists. Indeed, B. thuringiensis spores have been shown to be readily ingested by ciliated protists but failed...... to be digested (Manasherob et al 1998 AEM 64:1750-). Here we report how diverse protist grazers grow on both vegetative cells and spores of B. cereus and how the bacteria survive ingestion and digestion, and even proliferate inside the digestive vacuoles of ciliated protists. The survival ability of...... B. cereus was initially investigated in microcosms inoculated with pure cultures of the protists Acanthamoeba castellanii, Tetrahymena pyriformis and Cercomonas sp. as grazers. Individual protist cultures were fed with fluorescently labelled (CellTracker™RedCMTPX) B. cereus spores or vegetative...

  10. The Physiologic Responses of Dutch Belted Rabbits Infected with Inhalational Anthrax

    OpenAIRE

    Lawrence, William S.; Hardcastle, Jason M; Brining, Douglas L; Weaver, Lori E; Ponce, Cindy; Whorton, Elbert B.; Johnny W. Peterson

    2009-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a category A priority pathogen that causes extensive damage in humans. For this reason, B. anthracis has been the focus of numerous studies using various animal models. In this study, we explored physiologic parameters in Dutch belted rabbits with inhalation anthrax to characterize the disease progression in this model. To this end, we infected Dutch belted rabbits with 100 LD50 B. anthracis Ames spores by nasal instillation and continuou...

  11. Presentation of peptides from Bacillus anthracis protective antigen on Tobacco Mosaic Virus as an epitope targeted anthrax vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McComb, Ryan C; Ho, Chi-Lee; Bradley, Kenneth A; Grill, Laurence K; Martchenko, Mikhail

    2015-11-27

    The current anthrax vaccine requires improvements for rapidly invoking longer-lasting neutralizing antibody responses with fewer doses from a well-defined formulation. Designing antigens that target neutralizing antibody epitopes of anthrax protective antigen, a component of anthrax toxin, may offer a solution for achieving a vaccine that can induce strong and long lasting antibody responses with fewer boosters. Here we report implementation of a strategy for developing epitope focused virus nanoparticle vaccines against anthrax by using immunogenic virus particles to present peptides derived from anthrax toxin previously identified in (1) neutralizing antibody epitope mapping studies, (2) toxin crystal structure analyses to identify functional regions, and (3) toxin mutational analyses. We successfully expressed two of three peptide epitopes from anthrax toxin that, in previous reports, bound antibodies that were partially neutralizing against toxin activity, discovered cross-reactivity between vaccine constructs and toxin specific antibodies raised in goats against native toxin and showed that antibodies induced by our vaccine constructs also cross-react with native toxin. While protection against intoxication in cellular and animal studies were not as effective as in previous studies, partial toxin neutralization was observed in animals, demonstrating the feasibility of using plant-virus nanoparticles as a platform for epitope defined anthrax vaccines. PMID:26514421

  12. Neutralizing Activity of Vaccine-Induced Antibodies to Two Bacillus anthracis Toxin Components, Lethal Factor and Edema Factor▿

    OpenAIRE

    Taft, Sarah C.; Weiss, Alison A.

    2007-01-01

    Anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA; BioThrax), the current FDA-licensed human anthrax vaccine, contains various amounts of the three anthrax toxin components, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF). While antibody to PA is sufficient to mediate protection against anthrax in animal models, it is not known if antibodies to LF or EF contribute to protection in humans. Toxin-neutralizing activity was evaluated in sera from AVA-vaccinated volunteers, all of whom had antibody...

  13. An efficient fusion protein system for expression ofBacillus anthracis protective antigen as immunogenic and diagnostic antigen

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vahid Bagheri; Hossein Motamedi; Masoud Reza Seifiabad Shapouri

    2010-01-01

    Objective:To produce high quantities of recombinant protective antigen (rPA) for human vaccine and diagnosis.Methods: ThePAgene was amplified byPCR with pXO1 plasmid as template. ThePCR product was cloned into pMAL-c2X vector using theBamHI andSalI restriction enzymes. The recombinant plasmid was transformed intoEscherichia coliDH5α strain and then screened for transformation. The expression of protective antigen was analyzed bySDS-PAGE and Western blotting after isopropyl β-D-thiogalactopyranoside(IPTG) induction.Results:The full-length PA gene (2.2kb) was cloned into pMAL vector system. The recombinant vector was confirmed by restriction enzyme andPCRanalysis. The expression of cytoplasmic maltose-binding protein-protective (MBP-P) antigen fusion protein was detected bySDS-PAGE and Western blotting, and obtained a125 kDa protein band, which was similar to expected size of fusion protein.Conclusions: This expression system can be used in the high production of rPA. After purification and immunization studies, the purified rPA may be used in the development of the human recombinant anthrax vaccine and also in diagnosis of anthrax disease.

  14. Whole Genome Sequencing and Phylogenetic Analysis of a Historical Collection of Bacillus anthracis Strains from Danish Cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Girault, Guillaume; Kokotovic, Branko;

    2015-01-01

    lineage in Europe is demonstrated for the first time, filling an historical gap within the phylogeography of the lineage. Comparative genome analyses of these strains with 41 isolates from other parts of the world revealed that the two Danish A.Br.008/011 strains were related to the heroin...

  15. Development of a Cell-Based Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Reporter for Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor Protease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kimura, R H; Steenblock, E R; Camarero, J A

    2007-03-22

    We report the construction of a cell-based fluorescent reporter for anthrax lethal factor (LF) protease activity using the principle of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). This was accomplished by engineering an Escherichia coli cell line to express a genetically encoded FRET reporter and LF protease. Both proteins were encoded in two different expression plasmids under the control of different tightly controlled inducible promoters. The FRET-based reporter was designed to contain a LF recognition sequence flanked by the FRET pair formed by CyPet and YPet fluorescent proteins. The length of the linker between both fluorescent proteins was optimized using a flexible peptide linker containing several Gly-Gly-Ser repeats. Our results indicate that this FRET-based LF reporter was readily expressed in E. coli cells showing high levels of FRET in vivo in the absence of LF. The FRET signal, however, decreased 5 times after inducing LF expression in the same cell. These results suggest that this cell-based LF FRET reporter may be used to screen genetically encoded libraries in vivo against LF.

  16. Genome analysis shows Bacillus axarquiensis is not a later heterotypic synonym of Bacillus mojavensis; reclassification of Bacillus malacitensis and Brevibacterium halotolerans as heterotypic synonyms of Bacillus axarquiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlap, Christopher A; Bowman, Michael J; Schisler, David A; Rooney, Alejandro P

    2016-06-01

    Bacillus axarquiensis and Bacillus malacitensis were previously reported to be later heterotypic synonyms of Bacillus mojavensis, based primarily on DNA-DNA relatedness values. We have sequenced draft genomes of Bacillus axarquiensis NRRL B-41617T and Bacillus malacitensis NRRL B-41618T. Comparative genomics and DNA-DNA relatedness calculations showed that while Bacillus axarquiensis and Bacillus malacitensis are synonymous with each other, they are not synonymous with Bacillus mojavensis. In addition, a draft genome was completed for Brevibacterium halotolerans, a strain long suspected of being a Bacillus subtilis group member based on 16S rRNA similarities (99.8 % with Bacillus mojavensis). Comparative genomics and DNA-DNA relatedness calculations showed that Brevibacterium halotolerans is synonymous with Bacillus axarquiensis and Bacillus malacitensis. The pairwise in silico DNA-DNA hybridization values calculated in comparisons between the three conspecific strains were all greater than 92 %, which is well above the standard species threshold of 70 %. While the pairwise in silico DNA-DNA hybridization values calculated in comparisons of the three conspecific strains with Bacillus mojavensis were all less than 65 %. The combined results of our genotype and phenotype studies showed that Bacillus axarquiensis, Bacillus malacitensis and Brevibacterium halotolerans are conspecific and distinct from Bacillus mojavensis. Because the valid publication of the name Bacillus axarquiensis predates the publication of the name Bacillus malacitensis, we propose that Bacillus malacitensis be reclassified as a synonym of Bacillus axarquiensis. In addition, we propose to reclassify Brevibacterium halotolerans as a synonym of Bacillus axarquiensis. An amended description of Bacillus axarquiensis is provided. PMID:27030978

  17. 76 FR 14289 - Bacillus thuringiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-16

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 174 Bacillus thuringiensis eCry3.1Ab Protein in Corn; Temporary Exemption From the... permissible level for residues of Bacillus thuringiensis eCry3.1Ab protein in corn. The temporary tolerance... Register of January 21, 2011 (76 FR 3885) (FRL-8855- 4), EPA issued a notice pursuant to section...

  18. 75 FR 34040 - Bacillus thuringiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-16

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 174 Bacillus thuringiensis eCry3.1Ab Protein in Corn; Temporary Exemption from the... Bacillus thuringiensis eCry3.1Ab protein in corn under the FFDCA. The temporary tolerance exemption expires...) 305-5805. II. Background and Statutory Findings In the Federal Register of September 30, 2009 (74...

  19. Comparative transcriptional profiling of Bacillus cereus sensu lato strains during growth in CO2-bicarbonate and aerobic atmospheres.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla D Passalacqua

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bacillus species are spore-forming bacteria that are ubiquitous in the environment and display a range of virulent and avirulent phenotypes. This range is particularly evident in the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group; where closely related strains cause anthrax, food-borne illnesses, and pneumonia, but can also be non-pathogenic. Although much of this phenotypic range can be attributed to the presence or absence of a few key virulence factors, there are other virulence-associated loci that are conserved throughout the B. cereus group, and we hypothesized that these genes may be regulated differently in pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we report transcriptional profiles of three closely related but phenotypically unique members of the Bacillus cereus group--a pneumonia-causing B. cereus strain (G9241, an attenuated strain of B. anthracis (Sterne 34F(2, and an avirulent B. cereus strain (10987--during exponential growth in two distinct atmospheric environments: 14% CO(2/bicarbonate and ambient air. We show that the disease-causing Bacillus strains undergo more distinctive transcriptional changes between the two environments, and that the expression of plasmid-encoded virulence genes was increased exclusively in the CO(2 environment. We observed a core of conserved metabolic genes that were differentially expressed in all three strains in both conditions. Additionally, the expression profiles of putative virulence genes in G9241 suggest that this strain, unlike Bacillus anthracis, may regulate gene expression with both PlcR and AtxA transcriptional regulators, each acting in a different environment. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We have shown that homologous and even identical genes within the genomes of three closely related members of the B. cereus sensu lato group are in some instances regulated very differently, and that these differences can have important implications for virulence. This study

  20. Identification of Bacillus Strains for Biological Control of Catfish Pathogens

    OpenAIRE

    Ran, Chao; Carrias, Abel; Williams, Malachi A.; Capps, Nancy; Dan, Bui C. T.; Newton, Joseph C.; Joseph W Kloepper; Ooi, Ei L.; Browdy, Craig L.; Terhune, Jeffery S.; Liles, Mark R.

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus strains isolated from soil or channel catfish intestine were screened for their antagonism against Edwardsiella ictaluri and Aeromonas hydrophila, the causative agents of enteric septicemia of catfish (ESC) and motile aeromonad septicaemia (MAS), respectively. Twenty one strains were selected and their antagonistic activity against other aquatic pathogens was also tested. Each of the top 21 strains expressed antagonistic activity against multiple aquatic bacterial pathogens including...

  1. Biocontrol: Bacillus penetrans and Related Parasites of Nematodes

    OpenAIRE

    Sayre, R. M.

    1980-01-01

    Bacillus penetrans Mankau, 1975, previously described as Duboscqia penetrans Thorne 1940, is a candidate agent for biocontrol of nematodes. This review considers the life stages of this bacterium: vegetative growth phase, colony fragmentation, sporogenesis, soil phase, spore attachment, and penetration into larvae of root-knot nematodes. The morphology of the microthallus colonies and the unusual external features of the spore are discussed. Taxonomic affinities with the actinomycetes, partic...

  2. Worldwide Abundance and Distribution of Bacillus thuringiensis Isolates

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, Phyllis A. W.; Travers, Russell S.

    1989-01-01

    We found the insect control agent Bacillus thuringiensis to be a ubiquitous soil microorganism. Using acetate selection to screen soil samples, we isolated B. thuringiensis in 785 of 1,115 soil samples. These samples were obtained in the United States and 29 other countries. A total of 48% of the B. thuringiensis isolates (8,916 isolates) fit the biochemical description of known varieties, while 52% represented undescribed B. thuringiensis types. Over 60% (1,052 isolates) of the isolates test...

  3. Evaluation of sampling methods for Bacillus spore-contaminated HVAC filters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calfee, M. Worth; Rose, Laura J.; Tufts, Jenia; Morse, Stephen; Clayton, Matt; Touati, Abderrahmane; Griffin-Gatchalian, Nicole; Slone, Christina; McSweeney, Neal

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to compare an extraction-based sampling method to two vacuum-based sampling methods (vacuum sock and 37 mm cassette filter) with regards to their ability to recover Bacillus atrophaeus spores (surrogate for Bacillus anthracis) from pleated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters that are typically found in commercial and residential buildings. Electrostatic and mechanical HVAC filters were tested, both without and after loading with dust to 50% of their total holding capacity. The results were analyzed by one-way ANOVA across material types, presence or absence of dust, and sampling device. The extraction method gave higher relative recoveries than the two vacuum methods evaluated (p ≤ 0.001). On average, recoveries obtained by the vacuum methods were about 30% of those achieved by the extraction method. Relative recoveries between the two vacuum methods were not significantly different (p > 0.05). Although extraction methods yielded higher recoveries than vacuum methods, either HVAC filter sampling approach may provide a rapid and inexpensive mechanism for understanding the extent of contamination following a wide-area biological release incident. PMID:24184312

  4. [Bacillus thuringiensis: a biotechnology model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchis, V; Lereclus, D

    1999-01-01

    This paper is on the different biotechnological approaches that have been used to improve Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) for the control of agricultural insect pests and have contributed to the successful use of this biological control agent; it describes how a better knowledge of the high diversity of Bt strains and toxins genes together with the development of efficient host-vector systems has made it possible to overcome a number of the problems associated with Bt based insect control measures. First we present an overview of the biology of Bt and of the mode of action of its insecticidal toxins. We then describe some of the progress that has been made in furthering our knowledge of the genetics of Bt and of its insecticidal toxin genes and in the understanding of their regulation. The paper then deals with the use of recombinant DNA technology to develop new Bt strains for more effective pest control or to introduce the genes encoding partial-endotoxins directly into plants to produce insect-resistant trangenic plants. Several examples describing how biotechnology has been used to increase the production of insecticidal proteins in Bt or their persistence in the field by protecting them against UV degradation are presented and discussed. Finally, based on our knowledge of the mechanism of transposition of the Bt transposon Tn4430, we describe the construction of a new generation of recombinant strains of Bt, from which antibiotic resistance genes and other non-Bt DNA sequences were selectively eliminated, using a new generation of site-specific recombination vectors. In the future, continuing improvement of first generation products and research into new sources of resistance is essential to ensure the long-term control of insect pests. Chimeric toxins could also be produced so as to increase toxin activity or direct resistance towards a particular type of insect. The search for new insecticidal toxins, in Bt or other microorganisms, may also provide new weapons

  5. Genotypic Diversity among Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis Strains

    OpenAIRE

    Carlson, Cathrine Rein; Caugant, Dominique A; Kolstø, Anne-Brit

    1994-01-01

    Twenty-four strains of Bacillus cereus were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and compared with 12 Bacillus thuringiensis strains. In addition, the 36 strains were examined for variation in 15 chromosomal genes encoding enzymes (by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis [MEE]). The genome of each strain had a distinct NotI restriction enzyme digestion profile by PFGE, and the 36 strains could be assigned to 27 multilocus genotypes by MEE. However, neither PFGE nor MEE analysis co...

  6. Biological control of Colletotrichum panacicola on Panax ginseng by Bacillus subtilis HK-CSM-1

    OpenAIRE

    Ryu, Hojin; Park, Hoon; Suh, Dong-Sang; Jung, Gun Ho; Park, Kyungseok; Lee, Byung Dae

    2014-01-01

    Background Biological control of plant pathogens using benign or beneficial microorganisms as antagonistic agents is currently considered to be an important component of integrated pest management in agricultural crops. In this study, we evaluated the potential of Bacillus subtilis strain HK-CSM-1 as a biological control agent against Colletotrichum panacicola. Methods The potential of B. subtilis HK-CSM-1 as a biological control agent for ginseng anthracnose was assessed. C. panacicola was i...

  7. Anthrax: A disease of biowarfare and public health importance

    OpenAIRE

    Goel, Ajay Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Bioterrorism has received a lot of attention in the first decade of this century. Biological agents are considered attractive weapons for bioterrorism as these are easy to obtain, comparatively inexpensive to produce and exhibit widespread fear and panic than the actual potential of physical damage. Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis), the etiologic agent of anthrax is a Gram positive, spore forming, non-motile bacterium. This is supposed to be one of the most potent BW agents because its spore...

  8. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a natural bacteria found all over the Earth, has a fairly novel way of getting rid of unwanted insects. Bt forms a protein substance (shown on the right) that is not harmful to humans, birds, fish or other vertebrates. When eaten by insect larvae the protein causes a fatal loss of appetite. For over 25 years agricultural chemical companies have relied heavily upon safe Bt pesticides. New space based research promises to give the insecticide a new dimension in effectiveness and applicability. Researchers from the Consortium for Materials Development in Space along with industrial affiliates such as Abott Labs and Pern State University flew Bt on a Space Shuttle mission in the fall of 1996. Researchers expect that the Shuttle's microgravity environment will reveal new information about the protein that will make it more effective against a wider variety of pests.

  9. Essential Bacillus subtilis genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kobayashi, K.; Ehrlich, S.D.; Albertini, A.;

    2003-01-01

    To estimate the minimal gene set required to sustain bacterial life in nutritious conditions, we carried out a systematic inactivation of Bacillus subtilis genes. Among approximate to4,100 genes of the organism, only 192 were shown to be indispensable by this or previous work. Another 79 genes were...... predicted to be essential. The vast majority of essential genes were categorized in relatively few domains of cell metabolism, with about half involved in information processing, one-fifth involved in the synthesis of cell envelope and the determination of cell shape and division, and one-tenth related to...... cell energetics. Only 4% of essential genes encode unknown functions. Most essential genes are present throughout a wide range of Bacteria, and almost 70% can also be found in Archaea and Eucarya. However, essential genes related to cell envelope, shape, division, and respiration tend to be lost from...

  10. Developments in the use of Bacillus species for industrial production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schallmey, Marcus; Singh, Ajay; Ward, Owen P

    2004-01-01

    Bacillus species continue to be dominant bacterial workhorses in microbial fermentations. Bacillus subtilis (natto) is the key microbial participant in the ongoing production of the soya-based traditional natto fermentation, and some Bacillus species are on the Food and Drug Administration's GRAS (generally regarded as safe) list. The capacity of selected Bacillus strains to produce and secrete large quantities (20-25 g/L) of extracellular enzymes has placed them among the most important industrial enzyme producers. The ability of different species to ferment in the acid, neutral, and alkaline pH ranges, combined with the presence of thermophiles in the genus, has lead to the development of a variety of new commercial enzyme products with the desired temperature, pH activity, and stability properties to address a variety of specific applications. Classical mutation and (or) selection techniques, together with advanced cloning and protein engineering strategies, have been exploited to develop these products. Efforts to produce and secrete high yields of foreign recombinant proteins in Bacillus hosts initially appeared to be hampered by the degradation of the products by the host proteases. Recent studies have revealed that the slow folding of heterologous proteins at the membrane-cell wall interface of Gram-positive bacteria renders them vulnerable to attack by wall-associated proteases. In addition, the presence of thiol-disulphide oxidoreductases in B. subtilis may be beneficial in the secretion of disulphide-bond-containing proteins. Such developments from our understanding of the complex protein translocation machinery of Gram-positive bacteria should allow the resolution of current secretion challenges and make Bacillus species preeminent hosts for heterologous protein production. Bacillus strains have also been developed and engineered as industrial producers of nucleotides, the vitamin riboflavin, the flavor agent ribose, and the supplement poly

  11. 9 CFR 121.4 - Overlap select agents and toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ....4 Section 121.4 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT... agents and toxins listed in this section have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, to animal health, or to animal products. (b) Overlap select agents and toxins: Bacillus...

  12. Genetic diversity of clinical isolates of Bacillus cereus using multilocus sequence typing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pruckler James M

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus cereus is most commonly associated with foodborne illness (diarrheal and emetic but is also an opportunistic pathogen that can cause severe and fatal infections. Several multilocus sequence typing (MLST schemes have recently been developed to genotype B. cereus and analysis has suggested a clonal or weakly clonal population structure for B. cereus and its close relatives B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis. In this study we used MLST to determine if B. cereus isolates associated with illnesses of varying severity (e.g., severe, systemic vs. gastrointestinal (GI illness were clonal or formed clonal complexes. Results A retrospective analysis of 55 clinical B. cereus isolates submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1954 and 2004 was conducted. Clinical isolates from severe infections (n = 27, gastrointestinal (GI illness (n = 18, and associated isolates from food (n = 10 were selected for analysis using MLST. The 55 isolates were diverse and comprised 38 sequence types (ST in two distinct clades. Of the 27 isolates associated with serious illness, 13 clustered in clade 1 while 14 were in clade 2. Isolates associated with GI illness were also found throughout clades 1 and 2, while no isolates in this study belonged to clade 3. All the isolates from this study belonging to the clade 1/cereus III lineage were associated with severe disease while isolates belonging to clade1/cereus II contained isolates primarily associated with severe disease and emetic illness. Only three STs were observed more than once for epidemiologically distinct isolates. Conclusion STs of clinical B. cereus isolates were phylogenetically diverse and distributed among two of three previously described clades. Greater numbers of strains will need to be analyzed to confirm if specific lineages or clonal complexes are more likely to contain clinical isolates or be associated with specific illness, similar to B. anthracis and

  13. Antagonizing Aspergillus parasiticus and Promoting Peanut Growth of Bacillus Isolated from Peanut Geocarposphere Soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIAO Wei; YAN Pei-sheng; WU Han-qi; LIN Feng

    2014-01-01

    A set of 38 Bacillus strains isolated from peanut geocarposphere soil were screened as potential biological control agent anti-Aspergillus parasiticus. Tip-culture method with rapid and quantitative characteristics was used to determine anti-A. parasiticus activity and the process of isolation could be accelerated with this method. 12 out of 38 Bacillus strains showed high anti-alfatoxin production activity. These 12 Bacillus strains were selected to identify the characteristics of promoting peanuts germination rate. Pot experiment in greenhouse was carried out by using these strains which can promote peanuts germination. Phytohormones in the fermentation broth were also detected as another important reference factor to select the isolates as biological control agent with PGPR features. These Bacillus strains isolated from peanut geocarposphere soil not only had high ability anti-Aspergillus parasiticus, but also promoted peanut growth. Therefore, these Bacillus strains were well adapted to peanut production in the ifeld as biological control agent with plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) features.

  14. N-terminal amino acid sequence of Bacillus licheniformis alpha-amylase: comparison with Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and Bacillus subtilis Enzymes.

    OpenAIRE

    Kuhn, H; Fietzek, P P; Lampen, J. O.

    1982-01-01

    The thermostable, liquefying alpha-amylase from Bacillus licheniformis was immunologically cross-reactive with the thermolabile, liquefying alpha-amylase from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. Their N-terminal amino acid sequences showed extensive homology with each other, but not with the saccharifying alpha-amylases of Bacillus subtilis.

  15. Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of Bacillus subtilis PB6 (Bacillus subtilis) as a feed additive for laying hens and minor poultry species for laying

    OpenAIRE

    EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP)

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus subtilis PB6 is the trade name for a feed additive based on viable spores of a strain of Bacillus subtilis. This species is considered by EFSA to be suitable for the qualified presumption of safety approach to safety assessment. This approach requires the identity of the active agent to be established and the absence of toxigenic potential and resistance to antibiotics of human or veterinary clinical significance to be demonstrated. No evidence of toxigenic potential or of resistance...

  16. Novel routes for improving biocontrol activity of Bacillus based bioinoculants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liming eWu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Biocontrol formulations prepared from plant-growth-promoting bacteria are increasingly applied in sustainable agriculture. Especially inoculants prepared from endospore-forming Bacillus strains have been proven as efficient and environmental-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides due to their long shelf life, which is comparable with that of agrochemicals. However, these formulations of the first generation are sometimes hampered in their action and do not fulfill in each case the expectations of the appliers. In this review we use the well-known plant-associated Bacillus amyloliquefaciens type strain FZB42 as example for the successful application of different techniques offered today by comparative, evolutionary and functional genomics, site-directed mutagenesis and strain construction including marker removal, for paving the way for preparing a novel generation of biocontrol agents.

  17. Effect of relevant environmental factors for food preservation and molecular identification (High Resolution Melting) of Bacillus cereus group

    OpenAIRE

    Antolinos López, Vera

    2011-01-01

    [SPA]Los microorganismos pertenecientes al grupo Bacillus cereus poseen importancia económica y para la salud pública. De entre todos ellos, Bacillus cereus sensu stricto es el agente causal de enfermedades gastrointestinales y Bacillus weihenstephanensis es una especie psicrótrofa capaz de crecer a temperaturas entre 4 y 7ºC. Además, ambos son responsables de pérdidas económicas relevantes derivadas del deterioro de alimentos. Debido a su habilidad para formar endosporos altamente resistente...

  18. Compounds produced by two robust Bacillus amyloliquefaciens biocontrol strains involved in antimicrobial activity and plant-growth promotion

    OpenAIRE

    Magno-Pérez, Maria Concepción; Hierrezuelo, Jesús; de Vicente, Antonio; Pérez-García, Alejandro; Romero, Diego

    2015-01-01

    Several members of the Bacillus genus are potential candidates to be used as biological control agents to combat pests or plant diseases. The bacterial attributes associated to Bacillus behaviour are mainly: the production of antimicrobial compounds, the plant-growth promotion capability and the induction of systemic resistance in plant host. In previous works, we have demonstrated this multifaceted biocontrol activity of B. amyloliquefaciens CECT8237 (UMAF6639) and CECT8238 (UMAF6614) strain...

  19. Health effects of selected microbiological control agents. A 3-year follow-up study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baelum, Jesper; Larsen, Preben; Doekes, Gert;

    2012-01-01

    Introduction and objectives: Microbiological control agents (MBCA) are widely used in greenhouses, replacing chemical pesticides. The presented study aims to describe health effects of exposure to three types commonly used: Bacillus thuringiensis, Verticillium lecanii, and Trichoderma harzenianum...

  20. Gram Stain

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea . Gram-positive bacilli— Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) can cause skin infections or pneumonia (also a bioterrorism agent ); Listeria monocytogenes can cause foodborne ... an AFB (acid-fast bacillus) smear and culture may be ordered on a ...