WorldWideScience

Sample records for anthracis dna primase

  1. Identification of DNA primase inhibitors via a combined fragment-based and virtual screening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilic, Stefan; Akabayov, Sabine R.; Arthanari, Haribabu; Wagner, Gerhard; Richardson, Charles C.; Akabayov, Barak

    2016-11-01

    The structural differences between bacterial and human primases render the former an excellent target for drug design. Here we describe a technique for selecting small molecule inhibitors of the activity of T7 DNA primase, an ideal model for bacterial primases due to their common structural and functional features. Using NMR screening, fragment molecules that bind T7 primase were identified and then exploited in virtual filtration to select larger molecules from the ZINC database. The molecules were docked to the primase active site using the available primase crystal structure and ranked based on their predicted binding energies to identify the best candidates for functional and structural investigations. Biochemical assays revealed that some of the molecules inhibit T7 primase-dependent DNA replication. The binding mechanism was delineated via NMR spectroscopy. Our approach, which combines fragment based and virtual screening, is rapid and cost effective and can be applied to other targets.

  2. Mechanism of sequence-specific template binding by the DNA primase of bacteriophage T7

    KAUST Repository

    Lee, Seung-Joo

    2010-03-28

    DNA primases catalyze the synthesis of the oligoribonucleotides required for the initiation of lagging strand DNA synthesis. Biochemical studies have elucidated the mechanism for the sequence-specific synthesis of primers. However, the physical interactions of the primase with the DNA template to explain the basis of specificity have not been demonstrated. Using a combination of surface plasmon resonance and biochemical assays, we show that T7 DNA primase has only a slightly higher affinity for DNA containing the primase recognition sequence (5\\'-TGGTC-3\\') than for DNA lacking the recognition site. However, this binding is drastically enhanced by the presence of the cognate Nucleoside triphosphates (NTPs), Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and Cytosine triphosphate (CTP) that are incorporated into the primer, pppACCA. Formation of the dimer, pppAC, the initial step of sequence-specific primer synthesis, is not sufficient for the stable binding. Preformed primers exhibit significantly less selective binding than that observed with ATP and CTP. Alterations in subdomains of the primase result in loss of selective DNA binding. We present a model in which conformational changes induced during primer synthesis facilitate contact between the zinc-binding domain and the polymerase domain. The Author(s) 2010. Published by Oxford University Press.

  3. A novel type of replicative enzyme harbouring ATPase, primase and DNA polymerase activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipps, Georg; Röther, Susanne; Hart, Christina; Krauss, Gerhard

    2003-01-01

    Although DNA replication is a process common in all domains of life, primase and replicative DNA polymerase appear to have evolved independently in the bacterial domain versus the archaeal/eukaryal branch of life. Here, we report on a new type of replication protein that constitutes the first member of the DNA polymerase family E. The protein ORF904, encoded by the plasmid pRN1 from the thermoacidophile archaeon Sulfolobus islandicus, is a highly compact multifunctional enzyme with ATPase, primase and DNA polymerase activity. Recombinant purified ORF904 hydrolyses ATP in a DNA-dependent manner. Deoxynucleotides are preferentially used for the synthesis of primers ∼8 nucleotides long. The DNA polymerase activity of ORF904 synthesizes replication products of up to several thousand nucleotides in length. The primase and DNA polymerase activity are located in the N-terminal half of the protein, which does not show homology to any known DNA polymerase or primase. ORF904 constitutes a new type of replication enzyme, which could have evolved indepen dently from the eubacterial and archaeal/eukaryal proteins of DNA replication. PMID:12743045

  4. Three-dimensional structure of N-terminal domain of DnaB helicase and helicase-primase interactions in Helicobacter pylori.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tara Kashav

    Full Text Available Replication initiation is a crucial step in genome duplication and homohexameric DnaB helicase plays a central role in the replication initiation process by unwinding the duplex DNA and interacting with several other proteins during the process of replication. N-terminal domain of DnaB is critical for helicase activity and for DnaG primase interactions. We present here the crystal structure of the N-terminal domain (NTD of H. pylori DnaB (HpDnaB helicase at 2.2 A resolution and compare the structural differences among helicases and correlate with the functional differences. The structural details of NTD suggest that the linker region between NTD and C-terminal helicase domain plays a vital role in accurate assembly of NTD dimers. The sequence analysis of the linker regions from several helicases reveals that they should form four helix bundles. We also report the characterization of H. pylori DnaG primase and study the helicase-primase interactions, where HpDnaG primase stimulates DNA unwinding activity of HpDnaB suggesting presence of helicase-primase cohort at the replication fork. The protein-protein interaction study of C-terminal domain of primase and different deletion constructs of helicase suggests that linker is essential for proper conformation of NTD to interact strongly with HpDnaG. The surface charge distribution on the primase binding surface of NTDs of various helicases suggests that DnaB-DnaG interaction and stability of the complex is most probably charge dependent. Structure of the linker and helicase-primase interactions indicate that HpDnaB differs greatly from E.coli DnaB despite both belong to gram negative bacteria.

  5. AraUTP-Affi-Gel 10: a novel affinity absorbent for the specific purification of DNA polymerase alpha-primase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izuta, S; Saneyoshi, M

    1988-10-01

    For the specific purification of eukaryotic DNA-dependent DNA polymerase alpha, we prepared two novel affinity resins bearing 5-(E)-(4-aminostyryl) araUTP as a ligand. One of them was araUTP-Sepharose 4B which was coupled directly with the ligand and the other was araUTP-Affi-Gel 10 which was coupled with the ligand through a spacer. No DNA polymerase alpha-primase activity from cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou) testes was bound on the araUTP-Sepharose 4B in all cases examined. On the other hand, the araUTP-Affi-Gel 10 retains this enzyme activity when poly(dA) or poly(dA)-oligo(dT)12-18 is present. The retained enzyme activity was sharply eluted around 100-mM KCl concentrations as a single peak, and this fraction showed a specific activity of about 170,000 units/mg as alpha-polymerase activity. The highly purified DNA polymerase alpha-primase isolated using the araUTP-Affi-Gel 10 contained only three polypeptides, which showed Mr values of 120,000, 62,000, and 58,000, respectively, as judged using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.

  6. Binding Affinities among DNA Helicase-Primase, DNA Polymerase, and Replication Intermediates in the Replisome of Bacteriophage T7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Huidong; Tang, Yong; Lee, Seung-Joo; Wei, Zeliang; Cao, Jia; Richardson, Charles C

    2016-01-15

    The formation of a replication loop on the lagging strand facilitates coordinated synthesis of the leading- and lagging-DNA strands and provides a mechanism for recycling of the lagging-strand DNA polymerase. As an Okazaki fragment is completed, the loop is released, and a new loop is formed as the synthesis of a new Okazaki fragment is initiated. Loop release requires the dissociation of the complex formed by the interactions among helicase, DNA polymerase, and DNA. The completion of the Okazaki fragment may result in either a nick or a single-stranded DNA region. In the replication system of bacteriophage T7, the dissociation of the polymerase from either DNA region is faster than that observed for the dissociation of the helicase from DNA polymerase, implying that the replication loop is released more likely through the dissociation of the lagging-strand DNA from polymerase, retaining the polymerase at replication fork. Both dissociation of DNA polymerase from DNA and that of helicase from a DNA polymerase · DNA complex are much faster at a nick DNA region than the release from a ssDNA region. These results suggest that the replication loop is released as a result of the nick formed when the lagging-strand DNA polymerase encounters the previously synthesized Okazaki fragment, releasing lagging-strand DNA and retaining DNA polymerase at the replication fork for the synthesis of next Okazaki fragment.

  7. Identification of conserved amino acids in the herpes simplex virus type 1 UL8 protein required for DNA synthesis and UL52 primase interaction in the virus replisome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muylaert, Isabella; Zhao, Zhiyuan; Andersson, Torbjörn; Elias, Per

    2012-09-28

    We have used oriS-dependent transient replication assays to search for species-specific interactions within the herpes simplex virus replisome. Hybrid replisomes derived from herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) failed to support DNA replication in cells. Moreover, the replisomes showed a preference for their cognate origin of replication. The results demonstrate that the herpesvirus replisome behaves as a molecular machine relying on functionally important interactions. We then searched for functional interactions in the replisome context by subjecting HSV-1 UL8 protein to extensive mutagenesis. 52 mutants were made by replacing single or clustered charged amino acids with alanines. Four mutants showed severe replication defects. Mutant A23 exhibited a lethal phenotype, and mutants A49, A52 and A53 had temperature-sensitive phenotypes. Mutants A49 and A53 did not interact with UL52 primase as determined by co-immunoprecipitation experiments. Using GFP-tagged UL8, we demonstrate that all mutants were unable to support formation of ICP8-containing nuclear replication foci. Extended mutagenesis suggested that a highly conserved motif corresponding to mutant A49 serves an important role for establishing a physical contact between UL8 and UL52. The replication-defective mutations affected conserved amino acids, and similar phenotypes were observed when the corresponding mutations were introduced into EHV-1 UL8.

  8. Detection of Bacillus anthracis DNA in complex soil and air samples using next-generation sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A Be

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is the potentially lethal etiologic agent of anthrax disease, and is a significant concern in the realm of biodefense. One of the cornerstones of an effective biodefense strategy is the ability to detect infectious agents with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity in the context of a complex sample background. The nature of the B. anthracis genome, however, renders specific detection difficult, due to close homology with B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. We therefore elected to determine the efficacy of next-generation sequencing analysis and microarrays for detection of B. anthracis in an environmental background. We applied next-generation sequencing to titrated genome copy numbers of B. anthracis in the presence of background nucleic acid extracted from aerosol and soil samples. We found next-generation sequencing to be capable of detecting as few as 10 genomic equivalents of B. anthracis DNA per nanogram of background nucleic acid. Detection was accomplished by mapping reads to either a defined subset of reference genomes or to the full GenBank database. Moreover, sequence data obtained from B. anthracis could be reliably distinguished from sequence data mapping to either B. cereus or B. thuringiensis. We also demonstrated the efficacy of a microbial census microarray in detecting B. anthracis in the same samples, representing a cost-effective and high-throughput approach, complementary to next-generation sequencing. Our results, in combination with the capacity of sequencing for providing insights into the genomic characteristics of complex and novel organisms, suggest that these platforms should be considered important components of a biosurveillance strategy.

  9. Identification and characterization of Bacillus anthracis by multiplex PCR on DNA chip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shi-Hua; Wen, Ji-Kai; Zhou, Ya-Feng; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Yang, Rui-Fu; Zhang, Ji-Bin; Chen, Jia; Zhang, Xian-En

    2004-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis can be identified by detecting virulence factor genes located on two plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2. Combining multiplex PCR with arrayed anchored primer PCR and biotin-avidin alkaline phosphatase indicator system, we developed a qualitative DNA chip method for characterization of B. anthracis, and simultaneous confirmation of the species identity independent of plasmid contents. The assay amplifies pag gene (in pXO1), cap gene (in pXO2) and Ba813 gene (a B. anthracis specific chromosomal marker), and the results were indicated by an easy-to-read profile based on the color reaction of alkaline phosphatase. About 1 pg of specific DNA fragments on the chip wells could be detected after PCR. With the proposed method, the avirulent (pXO1+/2-, pXO1-/2+ and pXO1-/2-) strains of B. anthracis and distinguished 'anthrax-like' strains from other B. cereus group bacteria were unambiguously identified, while the genera other than Bacillus gave no positive signal.

  10. The Ba813 chromosomal DNA sequence effectively traces the whole Bacillus anthracis community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramisse, V; Patra, G; Vaissaire, J; Mock, M

    1999-08-01

    Plasmid genes that are responsible for virulence of Bacillus anthracis are important targets for the DNA-based detection of anthrax. We evaluated the distribution of the Ba813 chromosomal DNA sequence (Ba813) within closely related Bacillus species. Ba813 was systematically identified from 47 strains or isolates of B. anthracis tested, thus indicating its reliability as a tracer for that species. From the 60 strains of closely related Bacillus spp. examined, three bona fide B. cereus and one bona fide B. thuringiensis were found to harbour Ba813. This marker was also detected in Bacillus sp. isolates that were present at high levels in soil samples collected in a place where an anthrax outbreak had occurred. The significance and the possible function of the Ba813 locus is discussed.

  11. The role of DNA restriction-modification systems in the biology of Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramakrishnan eSitaraman

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Restriction-modification (R-M systems are widespread among prokaryotes and, depending on their type, may be viewed as selfish genetic elements that persist as toxin-antitoxin modules or as cellular defense systems against phage infection. Studies in the last decade have made it amply clear that these two options do not exhaust the list of possible biological roles for R-M systems. Their presence in a cell may also have a bearing on other processes such as horizontal gene transfer and gene regulation. From genome sequencing and experimental data, we know that Bacillus anthracis encodes at least three methylation-dependent (typeIV restriction endonucleases, and an orphan DNA methyltransferase. In this article, we first present an outline of our current knowledge of R-M systems in Bacillus anthracis. Based on available DNA sequence data, and on our current understanding of the functions of similar genes in other systems, we conclude with hypotheses on the possible roles of the three restriction endonucleases and the orphan DNA methyltransferase.

  12. DnaJ sequences of Bacillus cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infection are highly similar to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiwei; van Hung, Pham; Hayashi, Masahiro; Yoshida, Shigeru; Ohkusu, Kiyofumi; Ezaki, Takayuki

    2011-07-01

    Bacillus cereus is becoming an important nomosomial pathogen because of frequent isolation from blood cultures and from severe systemic infections. To differentiate highly pathogenic outbreak strain of B. cereus from other sources of the Bacillus cereus, we attempted to analyze their dnaJ sequences. Assays indicated that dnaJ sequence similarity of all of 52 blood culture isolates of B. cereus ranged from 92.8% to 100%. The distance between B. anthracis and B. cereus except six outbreak isolates ranged from 3.8% to 6.4%. The dnaJ sequences of six outbreak strains of B. cereus (GTC 02891, GTC 02896, GTC 02916, GTC 02917, GTC 03221, and GTC 03222) were closely related to those of B. anthracis (99.2%-99.5% sequence similarity). Ba813 sequences were only found in the six outbreak strains of B. cereus. The other pathogenic factors of B. anthracis were not found in these six outbreak strains, with the exception of GTC 02891 (cap-positive). The six outbreak strains formed clear β-hemolytic colonies on a sheep blood agar plate. Our findings suggest that outbreak strains of B. cereus isolated from blood cultures are likely to have the risk of causing serious infection, and dnaJ and Ba813 are important markers to identify such strains. Phylogenetic analysis of dnaJ and MLST revealed that the six outbreak strains of B. cereus are closely related to B. anthracis.

  13. Electrically active magnetic nanoparticles as novel concentrator and electrochemical redox transducer in Bacillus anthracis DNA detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Sudeshna; Alocilja, Evangelyn C

    2010-12-15

    Magnetic polymer nanostructures are a new class of multifunctional nanomaterials that are recently being explored in biosensor devices. In this paper, for the first time we report the novel application of electrically active magnetic (EAM) nanoparticles as concentrator of DNA targets as well as electrochemical transducers for detection of the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen A (pag A) gene. The EAM nanoparticles are synthesized by chemical polymerization and have dimensions of 80-100 nm. The biosensor detection encompasses two sets of DNA probes that are specific to the target gene: the detector probe labeled with the EAM nanoparticles and the biotinylated capture probe. The DNA targets are double hybridized to the detector and the capture probes and concentrated from nonspecific DNA fragments by applying a magnetic field. Subsequently, the DNA sandwiched targets (EAM-detector probe-DNA target-capture probe-biotin) are captured on streptavidin modified screen printed carbon electrodes through the biotinylated capture probes. Detection is achieved electrochemically by measuring the oxidation-reduction signal of the EAM nanoparticles. Preliminary results indicate that the biosensor is able to detect the redox signal of the EAM nanoparticles at DNA concentrations as low as 0.01 ng/μl.

  14. Primase-polymerases are a functionally diverse superfamily of replication and repair enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilliam, Thomas A; Keen, Benjamin A; Brissett, Nigel C; Doherty, Aidan J

    2015-08-18

    Until relatively recently, DNA primases were viewed simply as a class of proteins that synthesize short RNA primers requisite for the initiation of DNA replication. However, recent studies have shown that this perception of the limited activities associated with these diverse enzymes can no longer be justified. Numerous examples can now be cited demonstrating how the term 'DNA primase' only describes a very narrow subset of these nucleotidyltransferases, with the vast majority fulfilling multifunctional roles from DNA replication to damage tolerance and repair. This article focuses on the archaeo-eukaryotic primase (AEP) superfamily, drawing on recently characterized examples from all domains of life to highlight the functionally diverse pathways in which these enzymes are employed. The broad origins, functionalities and enzymatic capabilities of AEPs emphasizes their previous functional misannotation and supports the necessity for a reclassification of these enzymes under a category called primase-polymerases within the wider functional grouping of polymerases. Importantly, the repositioning of AEPs in this way better recognizes their broader roles in DNA metabolism and encourages the discovery of additional functions for these enzymes, aside from those highlighted here.

  15. DNA sequence conservation between the Bacillus anthracis pXO2 plasmid and genomic sequence from closely related bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabin Robert

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Complete sequencing and annotation of the 96.2 kb Bacillus anthracis plasmid, pXO2, predicted 85 open reading frames (ORFs. Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates that ranged in genomic similarity to B. anthracis, as determined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP analysis, were examined by PCR for the presence of sequences similar to 47 pXO2 ORFs. Results The two most distantly related isolates examined, B. thuringiensis 33679 and B. thuringiensis AWO6, produced the greatest number of ORF sequences similar to pXO2; 10 detected in 33679 and 16 in AWO6. No more than two of the pXO2 ORFs were detected in any one of the remaining isolates. Dot-blot DNA hybridizations between pXO2 ORF fragments and total genomic DNA from AWO6 were consistent with the PCR assay results for this isolate and also revealed nine additional ORFs shared between these two bacteria. Sequences similar to the B. anthracis cap genes or their regulator, acpA, were not detected among any of the examined isolates. Conclusions The presence of pXO2 sequences in the other Bacillus isolates did not correlate with genomic relatedness established by AFLP analysis. The presence of pXO2 ORF sequences in other Bacillus species suggests the possibility that certain pXO2 plasmid gene functions may also be present in other closely related bacteria.

  16. Assessment of delivery parameters with the multi-electrode array for development of a DNA vaccine against Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donate, Amy; Heller, Richard

    2013-12-01

    Gene electrotransfer (GET) enhances delivery of DNA vaccines by increasing both gene expression and immune responses. Our lab has developed the multi-electrode array (MEA) for DNA delivery to skin. The MEA was used at constant pulse duration (150 ms) and frequency (6.67 Hz). In this study, delivery parameters including applied voltage (5-45 V), amount of plasmid (100-300 μg), and number of treatments (2-3) were evaluated for delivery of a DNA vaccine. Mice were intradermally injected with plasmid expressing Bacillus anthracis protective antigen with or without GET and αPA serum titers measured. Within this experiment no significant differences were noted in antibody levels from varying dose or treatment number. However, significant differences were measured from applied voltages of 25 and 35 V. These voltages generated antibody levels between 20,000 and 25,000. Serum from animals vaccinated with these conditions also resulted in toxin neutralization in 40-60% of animals. Visual damage was noted at MEA conditions of 40 V. No damage was noted either visually or histologically from conditions of 35 V or below. These results reflect the importance of establishing appropriate electrical parameters and the potential for the MEA in non-invasive DNA vaccination against B. anthracis.

  17. Production and characterisation of Epstein-Barr virus helicase-primase complex and its accessory protein BBLF2/3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thierry, Eric; Brennich, Martha; Round, Adam; Buisson, Marlyse; Burmeister, Wim P; Hutin, Stephanie

    2015-10-01

    The helicase-primase complex is part of the lytic DNA replication machinery of herpesviruses, but up to now, almost nothing is known about its structure. For Epstein-Barr virus it consists in the helicase BBLF4, the primase BSLF1 and the accessory protein BBLF2/3. The accessory protein shows only weak sequence homology within the herpesvirus family but may be related to an inactive B-family polymerase. BSLF1 belongs to the archaeo-eukaryotic primase family, whereas the helicase BBLF4 has been related either to Dda helicases of caudovirales or to Pif1 helicases. We produced the helicase-primase complex in insect cells using a baculovirus coding for all three proteins simultaneously. The soluble monomeric helicase-primase complex containing the three proteins with 1:1:1 stoichiometry showed ATPase activity, which is strongly stimulated in the presence of ssDNA oligomers. Furthermore, we expressed BBLF2/3 as soluble monomeric protein and performed small-angle X-ray scattering experiments which yielded an envelope whose shape is compatible with B-family polymerases.

  18. Comparison of Packed Beds and Qiagen Columns for Recovering Trace Amounts of B. anthracis DNA from Liquid Suspensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sorensen, K; Arroyo, E; Erler, A; Christian, A T; Camp, D; Wheeler, E K

    2006-06-23

    The goal of this work was to optimize and evaluate LLNL's in-bed amplification technology to improve the level of detection for suspensions containing trace amounts of anthracis DNA. The binding/cleaning performance of the packed bed is compared to the conventional commercial approach; Qiagen column cleanup and elution, followed by detection through an ex-situ amplification process. Five liquid suspensions were spiked with B.anthracis DNA in concentration series. These suspensions were: (1) water, (2) water with EDTA, (3) dirty water from carpet extraction, (4) dirty carpet extraction with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) plus 0.1% Tween 20 plus 0.1% gelatin, and (5) a subway aerosol collected in water. Each suspension matrix was spiked with DNA and injected (in replicate) into either Qiagen Microcolumns (using the kit processing instructions) or LLNL's packed bed (using the LLNL in-bed purification and amplification protocol). The process output was assayed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR). Table ES-1 shows the level of DNA (pg per 100 uL of input suspension) that resulted in successful amplification for all reactions (X=Y), and the level for which at least one of the reactions was successful (X>0). For each suspension and DNA concentration, there were Y QPCR assays of which X showed successful amplification. LLNL's packed bed technology outperformed Qiagen Microcolumns for all five suspensions, typically by one order of magnitude in both the limit of assured detection (all reactions positive), and the lower limit of detection (some reactions positive).

  19. Comparative evaluation of eleven commercial DNA extraction kits for real-time PCR detection of Bacillus anthracis spores in spiked dairy samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertens, Katja; Freund, Lisa; Schmoock, Gernot; Hänsel, Christoph; Melzer, Falk; Elschner, Mandy C

    2014-01-17

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis are highly resistant and can survive conditions used for food preservation. Sample size and complexity represent the major hurdles for pathogen detection in food-related settings. Eleven commercial DNA extraction kits were evaluated for detection of B. anthracis spores by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) in dairy products. DNA was extracted from serial dilutions of B. anthracis spores in milk powder, cream cheese, whole milk and buttermilk. Three kits (QIAamp DNA mini kit, Invisorb Food kit I and II) were determined to produce the lowest limit of detections (LODs) with equally good performance. These kits employed lysozyme and proteinase K treatments or proteinase K in combination with cethyltrimethylamonium bromide-mediated (CTAB) precipitation of cell debris for cell disruption and DNA release. The LODs for these three kits were determined as 10(2) spores/ml of distilled water, 10(3)s pores/20 mg of powdered milk and 10(4) spores/100 mg of cream cheese, respectively. Performance testing of the QIAamp DNA mini kit demonstrated a good reproducibility and appropriate detection limits from 10(3)/ml for butter milk, 10(4)/ml for whole milk and 10(4)/100 mg for low fat cream cheese. However, DNA extraction efficiency was strongly inhibited by cream cheese with higher fat contents with an increased LOD of 10(6)/100 mg spores. This study demonstrated that qPCR detection depends directly on the appropriate DNA extraction method for an individual food matrix and bacterial agent.

  20. The mechanism of DNA ejection in the Bacillus anthracis spore-binding phage 8a revealed by cryo-electron tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Xiaofeng [Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); Walter, Michael H. [Department of Biology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614 (United States); Paredes, Angel [Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); Morais, Marc C., E-mail: mcmorais@utmb.edu [Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555 (United States); Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555 (United States); Liu, Jun, E-mail: Jun.Liu.1@uth.tmc.edu [Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030 (United States)

    2011-12-20

    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.

  1. Use of long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR to differentiate Bacillus anthracis strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumlik, M J; Szymajda, U; Zakowska, D; Liang, X; Redkar, R J; Patra, G; Del Vecchio, V G

    2001-07-01

    The genome of Bacillus anthracis is extremely monomorphic, and thus individual strains have often proven to be recalcitrant to differentiation at the molecular level. Long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR (LR REP-PCR) was used to differentiate various B. anthracis strains. A single PCR primer derived from a repetitive DNA element was able to amplify variable segments of a bacterial genome as large as 10 kb. We were able to characterize five genetically distinct groups by examining 105 B. anthracis strains of diverse geographical origins. All B. anthracis strains produced fingerprints comprising seven to eight bands, referred to as "skeleton" bands, while one to three "diagnostic" bands differentiated between B. anthracis strains. LR REP-PCR fingerprints of B. anthracis strains showed very little in common with those of other closely related species such as B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. mycoides, suggesting relative heterogeneity among the non-B. anthracis strains. Fingerprints from transitional non-B. anthracis strains, which possessed the B. anthracis chromosomal marker Ba813, scarcely resembled those observed for any of the five distinct B. anthracis groups that we have identified. The LR REP-PCR method described in this report provides a simple means of differentiating B. anthracis strains.

  2. Characterization of virus strains resistant to the herpes virus helicase-primase inhibitor ASP2151 (Amenamevir).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chono, Koji; Katsumata, Kiyomitsu; Kontani, Toru; Shiraki, Kimiyasu; Suzuki, Hiroshi

    2012-08-15

    ASP2151 is an antiherpes agent targeting the helicase-primase complex of herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1, HSV-2, and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). We characterized the ASP2151-resistant HSV-1 and HSV-2 variants or mutants based on findings from sequencing analysis, growth, pathogenicity, and susceptibility testing, identifying several single base-pair substitutions resulting in amino acid changes in the helicase and primase subunit of ASP2151-resistant mutants. Amino acid alterations in the helicase subunit were clustered near helicase motif IV in the UL5 helicase gene of both HSV-1 and HSV-2, while the primase subunit substitution associated with reduced susceptibility, R367H, was found in ASP2151-resistant HSV-1 mutants. However, while susceptibility in the ASP2151-resistant HSV mutants to existing antiherpes agents was equivalent to that in wild-type HSV strains, ASP2151-resistant HSV mutants showed attenuated in vitro growth capability and in vivo pathogenicity compared with the parent strains. Taken together, our present findings demonstrated that important amino acid substitutions associated with reduced susceptibilities of HSV-1 and HSV-2 to ASP2151 exist in both the helicase and primase subunits of the helicase-primase complex, and that mutations in this complex against ASP2151 might confer defects in viral replication and pathogenicity.

  3. SELEX法筛选炭疽芽孢杆菌芽孢适配子的研究%In vitro selection of DNA aptamers to Bacillus anthracis spores by SELEX

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    甄蓓; 宋亚军; 郭兆彪; 王津; 张敏丽; 俞守义; 杨瑞馥

    2001-01-01

    Objective:To obtain oligonucleotide aptamers which can specifically bind to Bacillus anthracis spores by in vitro selection protocol-SELEX (system evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment).Methods:An in vitro synthesized 78 mer random DNA library (≤1014-15types of different DNAs ) was subjected to 15 rounds of selection using SELEX method against spores of B.anthracis vaccine strain A.16R. Binding of the aptamers to spores was visualized by biotin-streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase system.Results:PCR amplification band pattern of the first round selection was different from that of the ninth round. The binding assay demonstrated that D absorbance at 450 nm of the fifteenth round pool increased 9 times as compared with that of the first round , and the D absorbance increased with the increment of aptamers′ quantity binding to spores. Conclusions: A set of aptamers with considerable binding affinity to B.anthracis spores were successfully selected from the initial random DNA pool.%目的:利用SELEX(system evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment)体外筛选技术,寻找能与炭疽芽孢杆菌芽孢特异结合的寡核苷酸适配子(aptamer).方法:体外合成长度为78个核苷酸的随机DNA库,通过SELEX技术,以炭疽芽孢杆菌疫苗株A.16R的芽孢为靶标进行15轮的筛选,利用生物素-亲和素显色系统判断寡核苷酸与芽孢的结合活性.结果:随着筛选轮数的增加,PCR扩增电泳条带逐渐单纯,寡核苷酸与芽孢结合后显色,D值提高了9倍以上,D值随适配子结合量的增加而递增.结论:已初步筛选到与炭疽芽孢具有亲和力的适配子.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Hirohito; Fujikura, Daisuke; Ohnuma, Miyuki; Ohnishi, Naomi; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Mimuro, Hitomi; Ezaki, Takayuki; Mweene, Aaron S; Higashi, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Human Neutrophils Kill Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis spores cause natural infections and are used as biological weapons. Inhalation infection with B. anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is almost always lethal, yet cutaneous infections usually remain localized and resolve spontaneously. Neutrophils are typically recruited to cutaneous but seldom to other forms of anthrax infections, raising the possibility that neutrophils kill B. anthracis. In this study we infected human neutrophils with either spores or vegetative bacteria of a wild-type strain, or strains, expressing only one of the two major virulence factors. The human neutrophils engulfed B. anthracis spores, which germinated intracellularly and were then efficiently killed. Interestingly, neutrophil killing was independent of reactive oxygen species production. We fractionated a human neutrophil granule extract by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified alpha-defensins as the component responsible for B. anthracis killing. These data suggest that the timely recruitment of neutrophils can control cutaneous infections and possibly other forms of B. anthracis infections, and that alpha-defensins play an important role in the potent anti-B. anthracis activity of neutrophils.

  8. Human neutrophils kill Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Mayer-Scholl

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis spores cause natural infections and are used as biological weapons. Inhalation infection with B. anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is almost always lethal, yet cutaneous infections usually remain localized and resolve spontaneously. Neutrophils are typically recruited to cutaneous but seldom to other forms of anthrax infections, raising the possibility that neutrophils kill B. anthracis. In this study we infected human neutrophils with either spores or vegetative bacteria of a wild-type strain, or strains, expressing only one of the two major virulence factors. The human neutrophils engulfed B. anthracis spores, which germinated intracellularly and were then efficiently killed. Interestingly, neutrophil killing was independent of reactive oxygen species production. We fractionated a human neutrophil granule extract by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified alpha-defensins as the component responsible for B. anthracis killing. These data suggest that the timely recruitment of neutrophils can control cutaneous infections and possibly other forms of B. anthracis infections, and that alpha-defensins play an important role in the potent anti-B. anthracis activity of neutrophils.

  9. Human neutrophils kill Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer-Scholl, Anne; Hurwitz, Robert; Brinkmann, Volker; Schmid, Monika; Jungblut, Peter; Weinrauch, Yvette; Zychlinsky, Arturo

    2005-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis spores cause natural infections and are used as biological weapons. Inhalation infection with B. anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is almost always lethal, yet cutaneous infections usually remain localized and resolve spontaneously. Neutrophils are typically recruited to cutaneous but seldom to other forms of anthrax infections, raising the possibility that neutrophils kill B. anthracis. In this study we infected human neutrophils with either spores or vegetative bacteria of a wild-type strain, or strains, expressing only one of the two major virulence factors. The human neutrophils engulfed B. anthracis spores, which germinated intracellularly and were then efficiently killed. Interestingly, neutrophil killing was independent of reactive oxygen species production. We fractionated a human neutrophil granule extract by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified alpha-defensins as the component responsible for B. anthracis killing. These data suggest that the timely recruitment of neutrophils can control cutaneous infections and possibly other forms of B. anthracis infections, and that alpha-defensins play an important role in the potent anti-B. anthracis activity of neutrophils.

  10. Indirect Detection Of Bacillus Anthracis (Anthrax) Using Amplified Gamma Phage-Based Assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    Figure 3.3 Pasteur Institute TEM of Bacillus surface 31 Bacillus anthracis is taxonomically aligned with B. cereus , B. thuringiensis and B...None of the DNA from bacteria (B. anthracis, B. cereus , Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, and Neisseria gonorrhea), yeast, blood , or...49-54. 59. Ryzhov, V., Y. Hathout, and C. Fenselau, Rapid Characterization of Spores of Bacillus Cereus Group Bacteria by Matrix-assisted Laser

  11. Use of Long-Range Repetitive Element Polymorphism-PCR To Differentiate Bacillus anthracis Strains

    OpenAIRE

    Brumlik, Michael J.; Szymajda, Urszula; Zakowska, Dorota; Liang, Xudong; Redkar, Rajendra J.; Patra, Guy; Del Vecchio, Vito G.

    2001-01-01

    The genome of Bacillus anthracis is extremely monomorphic, and thus individual strains have often proven to be recalcitrant to differentiation at the molecular level. Long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR (LR REP-PCR) was used to differentiate various B. anthracis strains. A single PCR primer derived from a repetitive DNA element was able to amplify variable segments of a bacterial genome as large as 10 kb. We were able to characterize five genetically distinct groups by examining 10...

  12. Novel and unique diagnostic biomarkers for Bacillus anthracis infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sela-Abramovich, Sagit; Chitlaru, Theodor; Gat, Orit; Grosfeld, Haim; Cohen, Ofer; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2009-10-01

    A search for bacterium-specific biomarkers in peripheral blood following infection with Bacillus anthracis was carried out with rabbits, using a battery of specific antibodies generated by DNA vaccination against 10 preselected highly immunogenic bacterial antigens which were identified previously by a genomic/proteomic/serologic screen of the B. anthracis secretome. Detection of infection biomarkers in the circulation of infected rabbits could be achieved only after removal of highly abundant serum proteins by chromatography using a random-ligand affinity column. Besides the toxin component protective antigen, the following three secreted proteins were detected in the circulation of infected animals: the chaperone and protease HtrA (BA3660), an NlpC/P60 endopeptidase (BA1952), and a protein of unknown function harboring two SH3 (Src homology 3) domains (BA0796). The three proteins could be detected in plasma samples from infected animals exhibiting 10(3) to 10(5) CFU/ml blood and also in standard blood cultures at 3 to 6 h post-bacterial inoculation at a bacteremic level as low as 10(3) CFU/ml. Furthermore, the three biomarkers appear to be present only in the secretome of B. anthracis, not in those of the related pathogens B. thuringiensis and B. cereus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of direct detection of B. anthracis-specific proteins, other than the toxin components, in the circulation of infected animals.

  13. The Bacillus anthracis chromosome contains four conserved, excision-proficient, putative prophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sozhamannan Shanmuga

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is considered to be a recently emerged clone within the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. The B. anthracis genome sequence contains four putative lambdoid prophages. We undertook this study in order to understand whether the four prophages are unique to B. anthracis and whether they produce active phages. Results More than 300 geographically and temporally divergent isolates of B. anthracis and its near neighbors were screened by PCR for the presence of specific DNA sequences from each prophage region. Every isolate of B. anthracis screened by PCR was found to produce all four phage-specific amplicons whereas none of the non-B. anthracis isolates, produced more than one phage-specific amplicon. Excision of prophages could be detected by a PCR based assay for attP sites on extra-chromosomal phage circles and for attB sites on phage-excised chromosomes. SYBR-green real-time PCR assays indicated that prophage excision occurs at very low frequencies (2 × 10-5 - 8 × 10-8/cell. Induction with mitomycin C increased the frequency of excision of one of the prophages by approximately 250 fold. All four prophages appear to be defective since, mitomycin C induced culture did not release any viable phage particle or lyse the cells or reveal any phage particle under electron microscopic examination. Conclusion The retention of all four putative prophage regions across all tested strains of B. anthracis is further evidence of the very recent emergence of this lineage and the prophage regions may be useful for differentiating the B. anthracis chromosome from that of its neighbors. All four prophages can excise at low frequencies, but are apparently defective in phage production.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    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......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......-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...

  17. Properties of DnaB helicase in [lambda] DNA replication

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephens, K.M.

    1991-01-01

    A tailed nicked-circle DNA substrate was used to measure the rapid replication fork (RF) movement catalyzed by E. Coli DnaB helicase and DNA polymerase III holoenzyme (pol III HE) (DnaB-RFs) (30 DnaB hexamers/substrate). The DnaB RFs can efficiently utilize the DNA substrate (60% in 5 min at 30C), and the forks move at a rapid rate (550-780 bp/sec at 30C). The DnaB-RFs have an average maximal processivity of 40,000 nt, and addition of either SSB or primase increase the processivity (150,000 nt + SSB, 70,000-140,000 nt + primase). However, SSB and primase do not affect the rate of fork movement or the amount of substrate utilized in the assay. The [lambda] SS proteins are effective at transferring DnaB onto the DNA substrate (8 DnaB hexamers/substrate). The [lambda] SS proteins do not change the rate of RF movement or the amount of substrate utilized. However, the amount of synthesis measured in the assay is [approximately]2-fold higher in the presence of the [lambda] SS proteins. Therefore, the [lambda] SS proteins increase the processivity of DnaB at the RF (100,000 nt). The [lambda] SS proteins do not appear to play a role in elongation because the processivity of the RF in the presence of SSB and primase is equivalent to the processivity of the [lambda] SS-RFs. [lambda] P protein blocks DnaB helicase activity if added to the RF assay prior to initiation or during elongation. DnaB helicase is more resistant to P inhibition, if the helicase is allowed to bind to the substrate prior to addition of [lambda] P or if primase and rNTPs are included in the assay. These results suggest that the conformation of the RF complex (DNA or nucleoprotein structure) blocks the attack of P on DnaB helicase. The heat shock proteins may play an auxiliary role in mediating the effects of [lambda] P if the concentration of P protein in the cells are high.

  18. Mechanism of Concerted RNA-DNA Primer Synthesis by the Human Primosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranovskiy, Andrey G; Babayeva, Nigar D; Zhang, Yinbo; Gu, Jianyou; Suwa, Yoshiaki; Pavlov, Youri I; Tahirov, Tahir H

    2016-05-06

    The human primosome, a 340-kilodalton complex of primase and DNA polymerase α (Polα), synthesizes chimeric RNA-DNA primers to be extended by replicative DNA polymerases δ and ϵ. The intricate mechanism of concerted primer synthesis by two catalytic centers was an enigma for over three decades. Here we report the crystal structures of two key complexes, the human primosome and the C-terminal domain of the primase large subunit (p58C) with bound DNA/RNA duplex. These structures, along with analysis of primase/polymerase activities, provide a plausible mechanism for all transactions of the primosome including initiation, elongation, accurate counting of RNA primer length, primer transfer to Polα, and concerted autoregulation of alternate activation/inhibition of the catalytic centers. Our findings reveal a central role of p58C in the coordinated actions of two catalytic domains in the primosome and ultimately could impact the design of anticancer drugs.

  19. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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.

  1. Development of internal controls for PCR detection of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brightwell, G; Pearce, M; Leslie, D

    1998-12-01

    This work describes the development and evaluation of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of Bacillus anthracis strains harbouring plasmid pX02. The multiplex also incorporated an internal control (IC) to avoid false negative reactions. Internal controls consisted of plasmids containing modified PCR target sequences, corresponding to the capC and BA813 genes of B. anthracis, which were then co-amplified with the original target sequences using the same set of amplimers. The initial IC construct comprised of an internally deleted form of the genomic target sequence cloned into pUC19. A series of nested DNA fragments corresponding to the 23S rRNA sequences of Bacillus cereus were then subcloned into the point of deletion, producing a number of IC constructs with similar sequences but increasing product size on PCR amplification. Neither the presence of IC DNA template or IC PCR product size affected the specificity or non-specific cross-reactivity of the original PCR assay. The concentration of IC was critical, too much IC DNA template would out compete the genomic DNA template, thus giving a false negative result. However, when the concentration of IC was optimal assay sensitivity was not compromised.

  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. Synthesis of lipoteichoic acids in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garufi, Gabriella; Hendrickx, Antoni P; Beeri, Karen; Kern, Justin W; Sharma, Anshika; Richter, Stefan G; Schneewind, Olaf; Missiakas, Dominique

    2012-08-01

    Lipoteichoic acid (LTA), a glycerol phosphate polymer, is a component of the envelope of Gram-positive bacteria that has hitherto not been identified in Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. LTA synthesis in Staphylococcus aureus and other microbes is catalyzed by the product of the ltaS gene, a membrane protein that polymerizes polyglycerol phosphate from phosphatidyl glycerol. Here we identified four ltaS homologues, designated ltaS1 to -4, in the genome of Bacillus anthracis. Polyglycerol phosphate-specific monoclonal antibodies were used to detect LTA in the envelope of B. anthracis strain Sterne (pXO1(+) pXO2(-)) vegetative forms. B. anthracis mutants lacking ltaS1, ltaS2, ltaS3, or ltaS4 did not display defects in growth or LTA synthesis. In contrast, B. anthracis strains lacking both ltaS1 and ltaS2 were unable to synthesize LTA and exhibited reduced viability, altered envelope morphology, aberrant separation of vegetative forms, and decreased sporulation efficiency. Expression of ltaS1 or ltaS2 alone in B. anthracis as well as in other microbes was sufficient for polyglycerol phosphate synthesis. Thus, similar to S. aureus, B. anthracis employs LtaS enzymes to synthesize LTA, an envelope component that promotes bacterial growth and cell division.

  4. Bacillus anthracis factors for phagosomal escape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonello, Fiorella; Zornetta, Irene

    2012-07-01

    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.

  5. A New Generation Microarray for the Simultaneous Detection and Identification of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis in Food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noriko Goji

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of microarrays as a multiple analytic system has generated increased interest and provided a powerful analytical tool for the simultaneous detection of pathogens in a single experiment. A wide array of applications for this technology has been reported. A low density oligonucleotide microarray was generated from the genetic sequences of Y. pestis and B. anthracis and used to fabricate a microarray chip. The new generation chip, consisting of 2,240 spots in 4 quadrants with the capability of stripping/rehybridization, was designated as “Y-PESTIS/B-ANTHRACIS 4x2K Array.” The chip was tested for specificity using DNA from a panel of bacteria that may be potentially present in food. In all, 37 unique Y. pestis-specific and 83 B. anthracis-specific probes were identified. The microarray assay distinguished Y. pestis and B. anthracis from the other bacterial species tested and correctly identified the Y. pestis-specific oligonucleotide probes using DNA extracted from experimentally inoculated milk samples. Using a whole genome amplification method, the assay was able to detect as low as 1 ng genomic DNA as the start sample. The results suggest that oligonucleotide microarray can specifically detect and identify Y. pestis and B. anthracis and may be a potentially useful diagnostic tool for detecting and confirming the organisms in food during a bioterrorism event.

  6. Specific identification of Bacillus anthracis strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Thaiya; Deshpande, Samir; Hewel, Johannes; Liu, Hongbin; Wick, Charles H.; Yates, John R., III

    2007-01-01

    Accurate identification of human pathogens is the initial vital step in treating the civilian terrorism victims and military personnel afflicted in biological threat situations. We have applied a powerful multi-dimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) along with newly generated software termed Profiler to identify the sequences of specific proteins observed for few strains of Bacillus anthracis, a human pathogen. Software termed Profiler was created to initially screen the MudPIT data of B. anthracis strains and establish the observed proteins specific for its strains. A database was also generated using Profiler containing marker proteins of B. anthracis and its strains, which in turn could be used for detecting the organism and its corresponding strains in samples. Analysis of the unknowns by our methodology, combining MudPIT and Profiler, led to the accurate identification of the anthracis strains present in samples. Thus, a new approach for the identification of B. anthracis strains in unknown samples, based on the molecular mass and sequences of marker proteins, has been ascertained.

  7. Bacillus anthracis diversity in Kruger National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, K L; DeVos, V; Bryden, H; Price, L B; Hugh-Jones, M E; Keim, P

    2000-10-01

    The Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa, has a recorded history of periodic anthrax epidemics causing widespread disease among wild animals. Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, a disease primarily affecting ungulate herbivores. Worldwide there is little diversity among B. anthracis isolates, but examination of variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) loci has identified six major clones, with the most dissimilar types split into the A and B branches. Both the A and B types are found in southern Africa, giving this region the greatest genetic diversity of B. anthracis worldwide. Consequently, southern Africa has been hypothesized to be the geographic origin of B. anthracis. In this study, we identify the genotypic types of 98 KNP B. anthracis isolates using multiple-locus VNTR analysis. Two major types are evident, the A branch and the B branch. The spatial and temporal distribution of the different genotypes indicates that anthrax epidemic foci are independent, though correlated through environmental cues. Kruger B isolates were found on significantly higher-calcium and higher-pH soils than were Kruger type A. This relationship between genotype and soil chemistry may be due to adaptive differences among divergent anthrax strains. While this association may be simply fortuitous, adaptation of A types to diverse environmental conditions is consistent with their greater geographic dispersal and genetic dissimilarity.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Bacillus anthracis Bioterrorism Incident, Kameido, Tokyo, 1993

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keim, Paul; Kaufmann, Arnold F.; Keys, Christine; Smith, Kimothy L.; Taniguchi, Kiyosu; Inouye, Sakae; Kurata, Takeshi

    2004-01-01

    In July 1993, a liquid suspension of Bacillus anthracis was aerosolized from the roof of an eight-story building in Kameido, Tokyo, Japan, by the religious group Aum Shinrikyo. During 1999 to 2001, microbiologic tests were conducted on a liquid environmental sample originally collected during the 1993 incident. Nonencapsulated isolates of B. anthracis were cultured from the liquid. Multiple-locus, variable-number tandem repeat analysis found all isolates to be identical to a strain used in Japan to vaccinate animals against anthrax, which was consistent with the Aum Shinrikyo members’ testimony about the strain source. In 1999, a retrospective case-detection survey was conducted to identify potential human anthrax cases associated with the incident, but none were found. The use of an attenuated B. anthracis strain, low spore concentrations, ineffective dispersal, a clogged spray device, and inactivation of the spores by sunlight are all likely contributing factors to the lack of human cases. PMID:15112666

  11. Developing an integrated proteo-genomic approach for the characterisation of biomarkers for the identification of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Raju V; Ahmod, Nadia Z; Parker, Robert; Fang, Min; Shah, Haroun; Gharbia, Saheer

    2012-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. Due to the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group of species it is a challenge to identify B. anthracis consistently. Alternative strategies such as proteomics coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) provide a powerful approach for biomarker discovery. However, validating and evaluating these markers, particularly for genetically homogeneous species such as B. anthracis are challenging. The objective of this study is to develop a robust biomarker discovery and validation pipeline, using proteomic methodology combined with in silico and molecular approaches, to determine a biomarker list, using B. anthracis as a model. In this exploratory study we profiled the proteome of B. anthracis and genetically related species using GeLC-Liquid Chromatography MS/MS (GeLC-LC MS/MS), identifying peptides that could be used to detect B. anthracis. Peptides were filtered to remove low quality identifications. Using comparative bioinformatic approaches, matching and searching against genomic sequence data a shortlist of peptide biomarkers was determined and validated using DNA sequencing, against a panel of closely related strains, to determine marker specificity. Further validation was performed using MS quantitation methods to assess sensitivity and specificity. A biomarker discovery pipeline was successfully developed in this study, comprising four distinct stages: proteome profiling, comparative bioinformatic validation, DNA sequencing and MS validation. Using the pipeline, 5379 peptides specific for Bacillus species and 36 peptides specific for B. anthracis were identified and validated. The 36 peptides, representing 30 proteins were derived from over 15 different clusters of orthologous group categories, including proteins involved in transcription, energy production/conservation as well as multifunctional proteins. We demonstrated that the peptide biomarkers

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tongeren, Sandra P; Roest, Hendrik I J; Degener, John E; Harmsen, Hermie 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 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.

  14. Susceptibility of herpes simplex virus isolated from genital herpes lesions to ASP2151, a novel helicase-primase inhibitor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsumata, Kiyomitsu; Weinberg, Adriana; Chono, Koji; Takakura, Shoji; Kontani, Toru; Suzuki, Hiroshi

    2012-07-01

    ASP2151 (amenamevir) is a helicase-primase inhibitor against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), HSV-2, and varicella-zoster virus. To evaluate the anti-HSV activity of ASP2151, susceptibility testing was performed on viruses isolated from patients participating in a placebo- and valacyclovir-controlled proof-of-concept phase II study for recurrent genital herpes. A total of 156 HSV strains were isolated prior to the dosing of patients, and no preexisting variants with less susceptibility to ASP2151 or acyclovir (ACV) were detected. ASP2151 inhibited HSV-1 and HSV-2 replication with mean 50% effective concentrations (EC(50)s) of 0.043 and 0.069 μM, whereas ACV exhibited mean EC(50)s of 2.1 and 3.2 μM, respectively. Notably, the susceptibilities of HSV isolates to ASP2151 and ACV were not altered after dosing with the antiviral agents. Taken together, these results demonstrate that ASP2151 inhibits the replication of HSV clinical isolates more potently than ACV, and HSV resistant to this novel helicase-primase inhibitor as well as ACV may not easily emerge in short-term treatment for recurrent genital herpes patients.

  15. Eukaryotic DNA Replicases

    KAUST Repository

    Zaher, Manal S.

    2014-11-21

    The current model of the eukaryotic DNA replication fork includes three replicative DNA polymerases, polymerase α/primase complex (Pol α), polymerase δ (Pol δ), and polymerase ε (Pol ε). The primase synthesizes 8–12 nucleotide RNA primers that are extended by the DNA polymerization activity of Pol α into 30–35 nucleotide RNA-DNA primers. Replication factor C (RFC) opens the polymerase clamp-like processivity factor, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and loads it onto the primer-template. Pol δ utilizes PCNA to mediate highly processive DNA synthesis, while Pol ε has intrinsic high processivity that is modestly stimulated by PCNA. Pol ε replicates the leading strand and Pol δ replicates the lagging strand in a division of labor that is not strict. The three polymerases are comprised of multiple subunits and share unifying features in their large catalytic and B subunits. The remaining subunits are evolutionarily not related and perform diverse functions. The catalytic subunits are members of family B, which are distinguished by their larger sizes due to inserts in their N- and C-terminal regions. The sizes of these inserts vary among the three polymerases, and their functions remain largely unknown. Strikingly, the quaternary structures of Pol α, Pol δ, and Pol ε are arranged similarly. The catalytic subunits adopt a globular structure that is linked via its conserved C-terminal region to the B subunit. The remaining subunits are linked to the catalytic and B subunits in a highly flexible manner.

  16. Genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Europe: genotyping methods in forensic and epidemiologic investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Thierry, Simon

    2013-09-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, a zoonosis relatively common throughout the world, can be used as an agent of bioterrorism. In naturally occurring outbreaks and in criminal release of this pathogen, a fast and accurate diagnosis is crucial to an effective response. Microbiological forensics and epidemiologic investigations increasingly rely on molecular markers, such as polymorphisms in DNA sequence, to obtain reliable information regarding the identification or source of a suspicious strain. Over the past decade, significant research efforts have been undertaken to develop genotyping methods with increased power to differentiate B. anthracis strains. A growing number of DNA signatures have been identified and used to survey B. anthracis diversity in nature, leading to rapid advances in our understanding of the global population of this pathogen. This article provides an overview of the different phylogenetic subgroups distributed across the world, with a particular focus on Europe. Updated information on the anthrax situation in Europe is reported. A brief description of some of the work in progress in the work package 5.1 of the AniBioThreat project is also presented, including (1) the development of a robust typing tool based on a suspension array technology and multiplexed single nucleotide polymorphisms scoring and (2) the typing of a collection of DNA from European isolates exchanged between the partners of the project. The know-how acquired will contribute to improving the EU's ability to react rapidly when the identity and real origin of a strain need to be established.

  17. 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.

  18. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutton, Mark; Kane, Staci R; Wollard, Jessica R

    2015-09-01

    Fumigation techniques such as chlorine dioxide, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and paraformaldehyde previously used to decontaminate items, rooms, and buildings following contamination with Bacillus anthracis spores are often incompatible with materials (e.g., porous surfaces, organics, and metals), causing damage or residue. Alternative fumigation with methyl bromide is subject to U.S. and international restrictions due to its ozone-depleting properties. Methyl iodide, however, does not pose a risk to the ozone layer and has previously been demonstrated as a fumigant for fungi, insects, and nematodes. Until now, methyl iodide has not been evaluated against Bacillus anthracis. Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to methyl iodide fumigation at room temperature and at 550C. Efficacy was measured on a log-scale with a 6-log reduction in CFUs being considered successful compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biocide standard. Such efficacies were obtained after just one hour at 55 °C and after 12 hours at room temperature. No detrimental effects were observed on glassware, PTFE O-rings, or stainless steel. This is the first reported efficacy of methyl iodide in the reduction of Bacillus anthracis spore contamination at ambient and elevated temperatures.

  19. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis persistence in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Jenkins

    Full Text Available Pulmonary exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores initiates inhalational anthrax, a life-threatening infection. It is known that dormant spores can be recovered from the lungs of infected animals months after the initial spore exposure. Consequently, a 60-day course antibiotic treatment is recommended for exposed individuals. However, there has been little information regarding details or mechanisms of spore persistence in vivo. In this study, we investigated spore persistence in a mouse model. The results indicated that weeks after intranasal inoculation with B. anthracis spores, substantial amounts of spores could be recovered from the mouse lung. Moreover, spores of B. anthracis were significantly better at persisting in the lung than spores of a non-pathogenic Bacillus subtilis strain. The majority of B. anthracis spores in the lung were tightly associated with the lung tissue, as they could not be readily removed by lavage. Immunofluorescence staining of lung sections showed that spores associated with the alveolar and airway epithelium. Confocal analysis indicated that some of the spores were inside epithelial cells. This was further confirmed by differential immunofluorescence staining of lung cells harvested from the infected lungs, suggesting that association with lung epithelial cells may provide an advantage to spore persistence in the lung. There was no or very mild inflammation in the infected lungs. Furthermore, spores were present in the lung tissue as single spores rather than in clusters. We also showed that the anthrax toxins did not play a role in persistence. Together, the results suggest that B. anthracis spores have special properties that promote their persistence in the lung, and that there may be multiple mechanisms contributing to spore persistence.

  20. [Application of the multiplex PCR and PCR-RFLP method in the identification of the Bacillus anthracis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymajda, Urszula; Bartoszcze, Michał

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to apply the multiplex PCR and PCR-RFLP method for the identification of the B. anthracis strains and to distinguish those bacteria from other members of the Bacillus cereus group. The multiplex PCR method enables to detect the virulence factors, i.e. the toxin and the capsule in B. anthracis strains. To do that, the authors have used 5 primer pairs specific for the fragments of lef, cya, pag genes which are present in the pXO1 plasmid and encode the toxin, the cap gene, which is present in the pXO2 plasmid and encodes the capsule, and the Ba813 chromosomal sequence. Among the four B. anthracis strains examined, three contained two plasmids and the Ba813 chromosomal sequence, while the fourth one contained the pXO1 plasmid only, together and the Ba813 chromosomal sequence. Other bacterial species, belonging to the B. cereus group, were also examined: 6 strains of B. cereus, 4 strains of B. thuringiensis and one strain of B. mycoides. The presence of Ba813 chromosomal sequence has been detected in two B. cereus strains. Neither plasmids nor Ba813 chromosomal sequence have been discovered in other B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. mycoides strains. The results of the survey indicate that the Ba813 chromosomal sequence does not occur solely in B. anthracis strains. The PCR-RFLP method with the use of SG-749f and SG-749r primers enabled to demonstrate the presence of DNA sequence (SG-749) in B. anthracis, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. mycoides strains. Restriction analysis with enzyme AluI of the SG-749 sequence, has shown the presence of two DNA fragments at the size of about 90 and 660 bp in all B. anthracis strains. The restriction profile obtained was characteristic for B. anthracis strains and it did not occur in other investigated bacterial species belonging to the B. cereus group. It was not observed even in such B. cereus strains in which the presence of Ba813 sequence was discovered and it enabled to differentiate between B

  1. Antirestriction protein Ard (Type C) encoded by IncW plasmid pSa has a high similarity to the "protein transport" domain of TraC1 primase of promiscuous plasmid RP4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belogurov, A A; Delver, E P; Agafonova, O V; Belogurova, N G; Lee, L Y; Kado, C I

    2000-03-03

    The IncW plasmid pSa contains the gene ard encoding an antirestriction function that is specific for type I restriction and modification systems. The nucleotide sequence of ard was determined and an appropriate polypeptide of about 33 kDa was identified in Escherichia coli T7 expression system. Analysis of deduced amino acid sequence of Ard encoded by pSa revealed that this protein has no significant similarities with the known Ard proteins (ArdA and ArdB types) except the "antirestriction" motif (14 amino acid residues in length) conserved for all known Ard proteins. This finding suggests that pSa Ard may be classified as a new type of Ard proteins which we designated ArdC. The remarkable feature of ArdC is that it has a high degree of similarity (about 38 % identity) to the N-terminal region of RP4 TraC1 primase which includes about 300 amino acid residues and seems to be essential for binding to the single-stranded DNA and TraC1 protein transport to the recipient cells during the conjugal transfer of plasmid DNA. ArdC also binds to single-stranded DNA. In addition, this protein is able in vitro to protect the single-stranded but not double-stranded plasmid DNA against the activity of type II restriction endonuclease HhaI that cleaves both single and double-stranded DNA. We suggest that like TraC1, ArdC would be transported as a result of their interaction with the single-stranded DNA of transferred plasmid strand during conjugative passage through the cell envelope to the recipient bacterium. Such properties of ArdC protein might be useful to protect immediately the incoming single-stranded DNA from the host endonucleases.

  2. 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.

  3. Morphogenesis of the Bacillus anthracis Spore

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    Fritsch, and T. Maniatis . 1989. Molecular cloning : a laboratory manual, 2nd ed. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. 72. Santo...Sciences, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois 606163; Department of Molecular , Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of...collection E. coli DH5 Cloning host Laboratory collection BL21(DE3) Overproduction host Novagen GM1684 dam; for transformation of B. anthracis T. Koehler

  4. Dendritic Cells Endocytose Bacillus Anthracis Spores: Implications for Anthrax Pathogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    Dendritic Cells Endocytose Bacillus anthracis Spores: Implications for Anthrax Pathogenesis1 Katherine C. Brittingham,* Gordon Ruthel,* Rekha G...germination and dissemination of spores. Found in high frequency throughout the respiratory track, dendritic cells (DCs) routinely take up foreign...COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dendritic cells endocytose Bacillus anthracis spores: implications for anthrax pathogenesis, The Journal of

  5. Interactions between Bacillus anthracis and plants may promote anthrax transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly H Ganz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Environmental reservoirs are essential in the maintenance and transmission of anthrax but are poorly characterized. The anthrax agent, Bacillus anthracis was long considered an obligate pathogen that is dormant and passively transmitted in the environment. However, a growing number of laboratory studies indicate that, like some of its close relatives, B. anthracis has some activity outside of its vertebrate hosts. Here we show in the field that B. anthracis has significant interactions with a grass that could promote anthrax spore transmission to grazing hosts. Using a local, virulent strain of B. anthracis, we performed a field experiment in an enclosure within a grassland savanna. We found that B. anthracis increased the rate of establishment of a native grass (Enneapogon desvauxii by 50% and that grass seeds exposed to blood reached heights that were 45% taller than controls. Further we detected significant effects of E. desvauxii, B. anthracis, and their interaction on soil bacterial taxa richness and community composition. We did not find any evidence for multiplication or increased longevity of B. anthracis in bulk soil associated with grass compared to controls. Instead interactions between B. anthracis and plants may result in increased host grazing and subsequently increased transmission to hosts.

  6. 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.

  7. Fieldable genotyping of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis based on 25-loci Multi Locus VNTR Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carattoli Alessandra

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anthrax and plague are diseases caused by Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis respectively. These bacteria are etiological agents for worldwide zoonotic diseases and are considered among the most feared potential bioterror agents. Strain differentiation is difficult for these microorganisms because of their high intraspecies genome homogeneity. Moreover, fast strain identification and comparison with known genotypes may be crucial for naturally occurring outbreaks versus bioterrorist events discrimination. Results Thirty-nine B. anthracis and ten Y. pestis strains, representative of the species genetic diversity, were genotyped by Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer using previously described Multiple Locus VNTR Analysis assays (MLVA. Results were compared to previous data obtained by standard genotyping system (capillary electrophoresis on automatic sequencer and, when necessary, direct amplicon sequencing. A reference comparison table containing actual fragment sizes, sequencer sizes and Agilent sizes was produced. Conclusion In this report an automated DNA electrophoresis apparatus which provides a cheaper alternative compared to capillary electrophoresis approaches was applied for genotyping of B. anthracis and Y. pestis. This equipment, uses pre-cast gels and provides easy transportation, low maintenance and overall general logistic requirements and costs, is easy to set up and provides rapid analysis. This platform is a candidate for on-site MLVA genotyping of biothreat agents as well as other bacterial pathogens. It is an alternative to the more expensive and demanding capillary electrophoresis methods, and to the less expensive but more time-consuming classical gel electrophoresis approach.

  8. Genetic Characterization of Bacillus anthracis 17 JB strain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  9. Identification, Functional Characterization and Regulon Prediction of a Novel Two Component System Comprising BAS0540-BAS0541 of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalani, Monisha; Kandari, Divya; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Two component systems (TCSs) can be envisaged as complex molecular devices that help the bacteria to sense its environment and respond aptly. 41 TCSs are predicted in Bacillus anthracis, a potential bioterrorism agent, of which only four have been studied so far. Thus, the intricate signaling network contributed by TCSs remains largely unmapped in B. anthracis and needs comprehensive exploration. In this study, we functionally characterized one such system composed of BAS0540 (Response regulator) and BAS0541 (Histidine kinase). BAS0540-BAS0541, the closest homolog of CiaRH of Streptococcus in B. anthracis, forms a functional TCS with BAS0541 displaying autophosphorylation and subsequent phosphotransfer to BAS0540. BAS0540 was also found to accept phosphate from physiologically relevant small molecule phosphodonors like acetyl phosphate and carbamoyl phosphate. Results of qRT-PCR and immunoblotting demonstrated that BAS0540 exhibits a constitutive expression throughout the growth of B. anthracis. Regulon prediction for BAS0540 in B. anthracis was done in silico using the consensus DNA binding sequence of CiaR of Streptococcus. The predicted regulon of BAS0540 comprised of 23 genes, which could be classified into 8 functionally diverse categories. None of the proven virulence factors were a part of the predicted regulon, an observation contrasting with the regulon of CiaRH in Streptococci. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay was used to show direct binding of purified BAS0540 to the upstream regions of 5 putative regulon candidates- BAS0540 gene itself; a gene predicted to encode cell division protein FtsA; a self–immunity gene; a RND family transporter gene and a gene encoding stress (heat) responsive protein. A significant enhancement in the DNA binding ability of BAS0540 was observed upon phosphorylation. Overexpression of response regulator BAS0540 in B. anthracis led to a prodigious increase of ~6 folds in the cell length, thereby conferring it a filamentous

  10. A new approach to in silico SNP detection and some new SNPs in the Bacillus anthracis genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francoeur Joe

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is one of the most monomorphic pathogens known. Identification of polymorphisms in its genome is essential for taxonomic classification, for determination of recent evolutionary changes, and for evaluation of pathogenic potency. Findings In this work three strains of the Bacillus anthracis genome are compared and previously unpublished single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs are revealed. Moreover, it is shown that, despite the highly monomorphic nature of Bacillus anthracis, the SNPs are (1 abundant in the genome and (2 distributed relatively uniformly across the sequence. Conclusions The findings support the proposition that SNPs, together with indels and variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs, can be used effectively not only for the differentiation of perfect strain data, but also for the comparison of moderately incomplete, noisy and, in some cases, unknown Bacillus anthracis strains. In the case when the data is of still lower quality, a new DNA sequence fingerprinting approach based on recently introduced markers, based on combinatorial-analytic concepts and called cyclic difference sets, can be used.

  11. DnaG interacts with a linker region that joins the N- and C-domains of DnaB and induces the formation of 3-fold symmetric rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirlway, Jenny; Turner, Ian J.; Gibson, Christopher T.; Gardiner, Laurence; Brady, Kevin; Allen, Stephanie; Roberts, Clive J.; Soultanas, Panos

    2004-01-01

    Loading of the replicative ring helicase onto the origin of replication (oriC) is the final outcome of a well coordinated series of events that collectively constitute a primosomal cascade. Once the ring helicase is loaded, it recruits the primase and signals the switch to the polymerization mode. The transient nature of the helicase–primase (DnaB–DnaG) interaction in the Escherichia coli system has hindered our efforts to elucidate its structure and function. Taking advantage of the stable DnaB–DnaG complex in Bacillus stearothermophilus, we have reviewed conflicting mutagenic data from other bacterial systems and shown that DnaG interacts with the flexible linker that connects the N- and C-terminal domains of DnaB. Furthermore, atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging experiments show that binding of the primase to the helicase induces predominantly a 3-fold symmetric morphology to the hexameric ring. Overall, three DnaG molecules appear to interact with the hexameric ring helicase but a small number of complexes with two and even one DnaG molecule bound to DnaB were also detected. The structural/functional significance of these data is discussed and a speculative structural model for this complex is suggested. PMID:15173380

  12. Real-Time PCR Identification of Unique Bacillus anthracis Sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cieślik, P; Knap, J; Kolodziej, M; Mirski, T; Joniec, J; Graniak, G; Zakowska, D; Winnicka, I; Bielawska-Drózd, A

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming, Gram-positive microorganism. It is a causative agent of anthrax, a highly infectious disease. It belongs to the "Bacillus cereus group", which contains other closely related species, including Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus mycoides, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, and Bacillus pseudomycoides. B. anthracis naturally occurs in soil environments. The BA5345 genetic marker was used for highly specific detection of B. anthracis with TaqMan probes. The detection limit of a real-time PCR assay was estimated at the level of 16.9 copies (CI95% - 37.4 to 37.86, SD = 0.2; SE = 0.118). Oligonucleotides designed for the targeted sequences (within the tested locus) revealed 100 % homology to B. anthracis strain reference sequences deposited in the database (NCBI) and high specificity to all tested B. anthracis strains. Additional in silico analysis of plasmid markers pag and cap genes with B. anthracis strains included in the database was carried out. Our study clearly indicates that the BA5345 marker can be used with success as a chromosomal marker in routine identification of B. anthracis; moreover, detection of plasmid markers indicates virulence of the examined strains.

  13. An attenuated strain of Bacillus anthracis (CDC 684 has a large chromosomal inversion and altered growth kinetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivins Bruce E

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An isolate originally labeled Bacillus megaterium CDC 684 was found to contain both pXO1 and pXO2, was non-hemolytic, sensitive to gamma-phage, and produced both the protective antigen and the poly-D-glutamic acid capsule. These phenotypes prompted Ezzell et al., (J. Clin. Microbiol. 28:223 to reclassify this isolate to Bacillus anthracis in 1990. Results We demonstrate that despite these B. anthracis features, the isolate is severely attenuated in a guinea pig model. This prompted whole genome sequencing and closure. The comparative analysis of CDC 684 to other sequenced B. anthracis isolates and further analysis reveals: a CDC 684 is a close relative of a virulent strain, Vollum A0488; b CDC 684 defines a new B. anthracis lineage (at least 51 SNPs that includes 15 other isolates; c the genome of CDC 684 contains a large chromosomal inversion that spans 3.3 Mbp; d this inversion has caused a displacement of the usual spatial orientation of the origin of replication (ori to the termination of replication (ter from 180° in wild-type B. anthracis to 120° in CDC 684 and e this isolate also has altered growth kinetics in liquid media. Conclusions We propose two alternative hypotheses explaining the attenuated phenotype of this isolate. Hypothesis 1 suggests that the skewed ori/ter relationship in CDC 684 has altered its DNA replication and/or transcriptome processes resulting in altered growth kinetics and virulence capacity. Hypothesis 2 suggests that one or more of the single nucleotide polymorphisms in CDC 684 has altered the expression of a regulatory element or other genes necessary for virulence.

  14. Replicating animal mitochondrial DNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily A. McKinney

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The field of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA replication has been experiencing incredible progress in recent years, and yet little is certain about the mechanism(s used by animal cells to replicate this plasmid-like genome. The long-standing strand-displacement model of mammalian mtDNA replication (for which single-stranded DNA intermediates are a hallmark has been intensively challenged by a new set of data, which suggests that replication proceeds via coupled leading-and lagging-strand synthesis (resembling bacterial genome replication and/or via long stretches of RNA intermediates laid on the mtDNA lagging-strand (the so called RITOLS. The set of proteins required for mtDNA replication is small and includes the catalytic and accessory subunits of DNA polymerase y, the mtDNA helicase Twinkle, the mitochondrial single-stranded DNA-binding protein, and the mitochondrial RNA polymerase (which most likely functions as the mtDNA primase. Mutations in the genes coding for the first three proteins are associated with human diseases and premature aging, justifying the research interest in the genetic, biochemical and structural properties of the mtDNA replication machinery. Here we summarize these properties and discuss the current models of mtDNA replication in animal cells.

  15. Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-30

    2010 31-May-2014 Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: (Life Science Division/Biochemistry) Inactivation of Bacillus ...S) AND ADDRESS (ES) U.S. Army Research Office P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 Bacillus Anthracis, Spores, Biofilm, Inhibition...Biochemistry) Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes Report Title The Specific Aims of the project were to investigate: 1) the

  16. Cortex Peptidoglycan Lytic Activity in Germinating Bacillus anthracis Spores▿

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    Bacterial endospore dormancy and resistance properties depend on the relative dehydration of the spore core, which is maintained by the spore membrane and its surrounding cortex peptidoglycan wall. During spore germination, the cortex peptidoglycan is rapidly hydrolyzed by lytic enzymes packaged into the dormant spore. The peptidoglycan structures in both dormant and germinating Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores were analyzed. The B. anthracis dormant spore peptidoglycan was similar to that fo...

  17. Phosphate starvation enhances the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Somya; Somani, Vikas Kumar; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-09-01

    Identifying the factors responsible for survival and virulence of Bacillus anthracis within the host is prerequisite for the development of therapeutics against anthrax. Host provides several stresses as well as many advantages to the invading pathogen. Inorganic phosphate (Pi) starvation within the host has been considered as one of the major contributing factors in the establishment of infection by pathogenic microorganisms. Here, we report for the first time that Pi fluctuation encountered by B. anthracis at different stages of its life cycle within the host, contributes significantly in its pathogenesis. In this study, Pi starvation was found to hasten the onset of infection cycle by promoting spore germination. After germination, it was found to impede cell growth. In addition, phosphate starved bacilli showed more antibiotic tolerance. Interestingly, phosphate starvation enhanced the pathogenicity of B. anthracis by augmenting its invasiveness in macrophages in vitro. B. anthracis grown under phosphate starvation were also found to be more efficient in establishing lethal infections in mouse model as well. Phosphate starvation increased B. anthracis virulence by promoting the secretion of primary virulence factors like protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF). Thus, this study affirms that besides other host mediated factors, phosphate limitation may also contribute B. anthracis for successfully establishing itself within the host. This study is a step forward in delineating its pathophysiology that might help in understanding the pathogenesis of anthrax.

  18. Drug interactions with Bacillus anthracis topoisomerase IV: biochemical basis for quinolone action and resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldred, Katie J; McPherson, Sylvia A; Wang, Pengfei; Kerns, Robert J; Graves, David E; Turnbough, Charles L; Osheroff, Neil

    2012-01-10

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is considered a serious threat as a bioweapon. The drugs most commonly used to treat anthrax are quinolones, which act by increasing the levels of DNA cleavage mediated by topoisomerase IV and gyrase. Quinolone resistance most often is associated with specific serine mutations in these enzymes. Therefore, to determine the basis for quinolone action and resistance, we characterized wild-type B. anthracis topoisomerase IV, the GrlA(S81F) and GrlA(S81Y) quinolone-resistant mutants, and the effects of quinolones and a related quinazolinedione on these enzymes. Ser81 is believed to anchor a water-Mg(2+) bridge that coordinates quinolones to the enzyme through the C3/C4 keto acid. Consistent with this hypothesized bridge, ciprofloxacin required increased Mg(2+) concentrations to support DNA cleavage by GrlA(S81F) topoisomerase IV. The three enzymes displayed similar catalytic activities in the absence of drugs. However, the resistance mutations decreased the affinity of topoisomerase IV for ciprofloxacin and other quinolones, diminished quinolone-induced inhibition of DNA religation, and reduced the stability of the enzyme-quinolone-DNA ternary complex. Wild-type DNA cleavage levels were generated by mutant enzymes at high quinolone concentrations, suggesting that increased drug potency could overcome resistance. 8-Methyl-quinazoline-2,4-dione, which lacks the quinolone keto acid (and presumably does not require the water-Mg(2+) bridge to mediate protein interactions), was more potent than quinolones against wild-type topoisomerase IV and was equally efficacious. Moreover, it maintained high potency and efficacy against the mutant enzymes, effectively inhibited DNA religation, and formed stable ternary complexes. Our findings provide an underlying biochemical basis for the ability of quinazolinediones to overcome clinically relevant quinolone resistance mutations in bacterial type II topoisomerases.

  19. Multiplex PCR for species-level identification of Bacillus anthracis and detection of pXO1, pXO2, and related plasmids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riojas, Marco A; Kiss, Katalin; McKee, Marian L; Hazbón, Manzour Hernando

    2015-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 have critical implications for biosafety and select agent status. The proper identification and characterization of B. anthracis and its plasmid profile is important to the biodefense research community. Multiplex PCR was used to simultaneously detect a B. anthracis-specific chromosomal mutation, 4 targets distributed across pXO1, 3 targets distributed across pXO2, and highly conserved regions of the 16S gene, allowing an internal positive control for each sample. The multiplex PCR can produce as many as 9 easily separable and distinguishable amplicons, ranging in size from 188 to 555 bp. The PCR results were used to characterize DNA samples extracted from B. anthracis, other Bacillus species, and other bacterial species from many different genera. With the exception of 2 novel putative plasmids discovered, testing against inclusion and extensive exclusion panels showed 100% correlation to previously published and expected results. Upon testing 29 previously unpublished B. anthracis strains, 10 (34.5%) were pXO1(+)/pXO2(+), 9 (31.0%) were pXO1(+)/pXO2(-), 7 (24.1%) were pXO1(-)/pXO2(+), and 3 (10.3%) were pXO1(-)/pXO2(-). The present work presents a novel 9-target multiplex PCR assay capable of species-level identification of B. anthracis via a unique chromosomal marker and the detection of pXO1 and pXO2 via multiply redundant targets on each.

  20. Effect of ASP2151, a herpesvirus helicase-primase inhibitor, in a guinea pig model of genital herpes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsumata, Kiyomitsu; Chono, Koji; Sudo, Kenji; Shimizu, Yasuaki; Kontani, Toru; Suzuki, Hiroshi

    2011-08-25

    ASP2151 is a herpesvirus helicase-primase inhibitor with antiviral activity against varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2). Here, we examined the potency and efficacy of ASP2151 against HSV in vitro and in vivo. We found that ASP2151 was more potent in inhibiting the replication of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in Vero cells in the plaque reduction assay and had greater anti-HSV activity in a guinea pig model of genital herpes than did acyclovir and valacyclovir (VACV), respectively. Oral ASP2151 given from the day of infection reduced peak and overall disease scores in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in complete prevention of symptoms at the dose of 30 mg/kg. The 50% effective dose (ED(50)) values for ASP2151 and VACV were 0.37 and 68 mg/kg, respectively, indicating that ASP2151 was 184-fold more potent than VACV. When ASP2151 was administered after the onset of symptoms, the disease course of genital herpes was suppressed more effectively than by VACV, with a significant reduction in disease score observed one day after starting ASP2151 at 30 mg/kg, whereas the therapeutic effect of VACV was only evident three days after treatment at the highest dose tested (300 mg/kg). This indicated that ASP2151 possesses a faster onset of action and wider therapeutic time window than VACV. Further, virus shedding from the genital mucosa was significantly reduced with ASP2151 at 10 and 30 mg/kg but not with VACV, even at 300 mg/kg. Taken together, our present findings demonstrated the superior potency and efficacy of ASP2151 against HSV.

  1. Effect of ASP2151, a Herpesvirus Helicase-Primase Inhibitor, in a Guinea Pig Model of Genital Herpes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toru Kontani

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available ASP2151 is a herpesvirus helicase-primase inhibitor with antiviral activity against varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1 and 2 (HSV-2. Here, we examined the potency and efficacy of ASP2151 against HSV in vitro and in vivo. We found that ASP2151 was more potent in inhibiting the replication of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in Vero cells in the plaque reduction assay and had greater anti-HSV activity in a guinea pig model of genital herpes than did acyclovir and valacyclovir (VACV, respectively. Oral ASP2151 given from the day of infection reduced peak and overall disease scores in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in complete prevention of symptoms at the dose of 30 mg/kg. The 50% effective dose (ED50 values for ASP2151 and VACV were 0.37 and 68 mg/kg, respectively, indicating that ASP2151 was 184-fold more potent than VACV. When ASP2151 was administered after the onset of symptoms, the disease course of genital herpes was suppressed more effectively than by VACV, with a significant reduction in disease score observed one day after starting ASP2151 at 30 mg/kg, whereas the therapeutic effect of VACV was only evident three days after treatment at the highest dose tested (300 mg/kg. This indicated that ASP2151 possesses a faster onset of action and wider therapeutic time window than VACV. Further, virus shedding from the genital mucosa was significantly reduced with ASP2151 at 10 and 30 mg/kg but not with VACV, even at 300 mg/kg. Taken together, our present findings demonstrated the superior potency and efficacy of ASP2151 against HSV.

  2. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ASP2151, a helicase-primase inhibitor, in a murine model of herpes simplex virus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsumata, Kiyomitsu; Chono, Koji; Kato, Kota; Ohtsu, Yoshiaki; Takakura, Shoji; Kontani, Toru; Suzuki, Hiroshi

    2013-03-01

    ASP2151 (amenamevir) is a helicase-primase inhibitor against herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), HSV-2, and varicella zoster virus. Here, to determine and analyze the correlation between the pharmacodynamic (PD) and pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters of ASP2151, we examined the PD profile of ASP2151 using in vitro plaque reduction assay and a murine model of HSV-1 infection. ASP2151 inhibited the in vitro replication of HSV-1 with a mean 50% effective concentration (EC(50)) of 14 ng/ml. In the cutaneously HSV-1-infected mouse model, ASP2151 dose dependently suppressed intradermal HSV-1 growth, with the effect reaching a plateau at a dose of 30 mg/kg of body weight/day. The dose fractionation study showed that intradermal HSV-1 titers were below the detection limit in mice treated with ASP2151 at 100 mg/kg/day divided into two daily doses and at 30 or 100 mg/kg/day divided into three daily doses. The intradermal HSV-1 titer correlated with the maximum concentration of drug in serum (C(max)), the area under the concentration-time curve over 24 h (AUC(24h)), and the time during which the concentration of ASP2151 in plasma was above 100 ng/ml (T(>100)). The continuous infusion of ASP2151 effectively decreased intradermal HSV-1 titers below the limit of detection in mice in which the ASP2151 concentration in plasma reached 79 to 145 ng/ml. Our findings suggest that the antiviral efficacy of ASP2151 is most closely associated with the PK parameter T(>100) in HSV-1-infected mice. Based on these results, we propose that a plasma ASP2151 concentration exceeding 100 ng/ml for 21 to 24 h per day provides the maximum efficacy in HSV-1-infected mice.

  3. Different effects of ppGpp on Escherichia coli DNA replication in vivo and in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maciąg-Dorszyńska, Monika; Szalewska-Pałasz, Agnieszka; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2013-01-01

    Inhibition of Escherichia coli DNA replication by guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) is demonstrated in vitro. This finding is compatible with impairment of the DnaG primase activity by this nucleotide. However, in agreement to previous reports, we were not able to detect a rapid inhibition of DNA synthesis in E. coli cells under the stringent control conditions, when intracellular ppGpp levels increase dramatically. We suggest that the process of ppGpp-mediated inhibition of DnaG activity may be masked in E. coli cells, which could provide a rationale for explanation of differences between ppGpp effects on DNA replication in E. coli and Bacillus subtilis.

  4. Simple detection of Bacillus anthracis spores by precipitation method with goat antibody anti anthrosa

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Background: Bacillus anthracis has a potential for biological weapon or bioterorism. Attack of Bacillus anthracis is very fatal, and the distribution is very easy and cheap through the spores. The aim of this was study to detect the spores of Bacillus anthracis. Methods: Bacillus anthracis isolates were grown on serum agar and then sheep blood medium, to stimulate capsule formation. Spores which formed painted using the method of Schaefer and Fultton. The methods of precipitation and immun...

  5. Nano-Mechanical Properties of Heat Inactivated Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    NANO-MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HEAT INACTIVATED BACILLUS ANTHRACIS AND BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS ...GAP/ENP/08-M07 NANO-MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HEAT INACTIVATED BACILLUS ANTHRACIS AND BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS SPORES THESIS...AFIT/GAP/ENP/08-M07 NANO-MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HEAT INACTIVATED BACILLUS ANTHRACIS AND BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS SPORES Jessica

  6. Wide Area Recovery and Resiliency Program (WARRP) Interim Clearance Strategy for Environments Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-01

    Interim Clearance Strategy for Environments Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis July 2012...WARRP) Interim Clearance Strategy for Environments Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT...contains color images. 14. ABSTRACT If a Bacillus anthracis incident occurs in the United States or within its territories, the public health and

  7. Efficacy of ASP2151, a helicase-primase inhibitor, against thymidine kinase-deficient herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himaki, Takehiro; Masui, Yumi; Chono, Koji; Daikoku, Tohru; Takemoto, Masaya; Haixia, Bo; Okuda, Tomoko; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Shiraki, Kimiyasu

    2012-02-01

    ASP2151 was developed as a novel inhibitor of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella-zoster virus helicase-primase. The anti-HSV activity of ASP2151 toward a clinical HSV isolate with acyclovir (ACV)-resistant/thymidine kinase (TK)-deficiency was characterized in vitro and in vivo using a plaque reduction assay and the ear pinna infection in mice. The IC(50) ranged from 0.018 to 0.024 μg/ml, indicating the susceptibility of TK-deficient HSV-2 was similar to that of wild-type HSV-2 strains. Anti-HSV activity of ASP2151 in vivo was evaluated in mice infected with wild-type HSV-2 and TK-deficient HSV-2. ASP2151 significantly reduced the copy numbers of wild-type HSV-2 and TK-deficient HSV-2 at the inoculation ear pinna, while valacyclovir significantly reduced the copy number of wild type HSV-2 but not that of TK-deficient HSV-2 in the inoculated ear pinna. Thus, ASP 2151 showed therapeutic efficacy in mice infected with both wild-type and TK-deficient HSV-2. In conclusion, ASP2151 is a promising novel herpes helicase-primase inhibitor that indicates the feasibility of ASP2151 for clinical application for the treatment of HSV infections, including ACV-resistant/TK-deficient HSV infection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganz, Holly H; Law, Christina; Schmuki, Martina; Eichenseher, Fritz; Calendar, Richard; Loessner, Martin J; Getz, Wayne M; Korlach, Jonas; Beyer, Wolfgang; Klumpp, Jochen

    2014-01-01

    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.

  10. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin reduces human alveolar epithelial barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, Marybeth; Duggan, Elizabeth Stewart; Booth, John Leland; Patel, Vineet Indrajit; Zander, Ryan A; Silasi-Mansat, Robert; Ramani, Vijay; Veres, Tibor Zoltan; Prenzler, Frauke; Sewald, Katherina; Williams, Daniel M; Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Awasthi, Shanjana; Lupu, Florea; Burian, Dennis; Ballard, Jimmy Dale; Braun, Armin; Metcalf, Jordan Patrick

    2012-12-01

    The lung is the site of entry for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Bacillus anthracis produces virulence toxins required for disease. Alveolar macrophages were considered the primary target of the Bacillus anthracis virulence factor lethal toxin because lethal toxin inhibits mouse macrophages through cleavage of MEK signaling pathway components, but we have reported that human alveolar macrophages are not a target of lethal toxin. Our current results suggest that, unlike human alveolar macrophages, the cells lining the respiratory units of the lung, alveolar epithelial cells, are a target of lethal toxin in humans. Alveolar epithelial cells expressed lethal toxin receptor protein, bound the protective antigen component of lethal toxin, and were subject to lethal-toxin-induced cleavage of multiple MEKs. These findings suggest that human alveolar epithelial cells are a target of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin. Further, no reduction in alveolar epithelial cell viability was observed, but lethal toxin caused actin rearrangement and impaired desmosome formation, consistent with impaired barrier function as well as reduced surfactant production. Therefore, by compromising epithelial barrier function, lethal toxin may play a role in the pathogenesis of inhalation anthrax by facilitating the dissemination of Bacillus anthracis from the lung in early disease and promoting edema in late stages of the illness.

  11. 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.

  12. Rapid detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis in food using pyrosequencing technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoako, Kingsley K; Janzen, Timothy W; Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Thomas, Matthew C; Goji, Noriko

    2013-08-01

    The development of advanced methodologies for the detection of Bacillus anthracis has been evolving rapidly since the release of the anthrax spores in the mail in 2001. Recent advances in detection and identification techniques could prove to be an essential component in the defense against biological attacks. Sequence based such as pyrosequencing, which has the capability to determine short DNA stretches in real-time using biotinylated PCR amplicons, has potential biodefense applications. Using markers from the virulence plasmids (pXO1 and pXO2) and chromosomal regions, we have demonstrated the power of this technology in the rapid, specific and sensitive detection of B. anthracis spores in food matrices including milk, juice, bottled water, and processed meat. The combined use of immunomagnetic separation and pyrosequencing showed positive detection when liquid foods (bottled water, milk, juice), and processed meat were experimentally inoculated with 6CFU/mL and 6CFU/g, respectively, without an enrichment step. Pyrosequencing is completed in about 60min (following PCR amplification) and yields accurate and reliable results with an added layer of confidence. The entire assay (from sample preparation to sequencing information) can be completed in about 7.5h. A typical run on food samples yielded 67-80bp reads with 94-100% identity to the expected sequence. This sequence based approach is a novel application for the detection of anthrax spores in food with potential application in foodborne bioterrorism response and biodefense involving the use of anthrax spores.

  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. Genetic variation and linkage disequilibrium in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwick, Michael E; Thomason, Maureen Kiley; Chen, Peter E; Johnson, Henry R; Sozhamannan, Shanmuga; Mateczun, Alfred; Read, Timothy D

    2011-01-01

    We performed whole-genome amplification followed by hybridization of custom-designed resequencing arrays to resequence 303 kb of genomic sequence from a worldwide panel of 39 Bacillus anthracis strains. We used an efficient algorithm contained within a custom software program, UniqueMER, to identify and mask repetitive sequences on the resequencing array to reduce false-positive identification of genetic variation, which can arise from cross-hybridization. We discovered a total of 240 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and showed that B. anthracis strains have an average of 2.25 differences per 10,000 bases in the region we resequenced. Common SNVs in this region are found to be in complete linkage disequilibrium. These patterns of variation suggest there has been little if any historical recombination among B. anthracis strains since the origin of the pathogen. This pattern of common genetic variation suggests a framework for recognizing new or genetically engineered strains.

  15. Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like Attenuated Toxigenic Nonencapsulated B. anthracis Sterne in Rabbits and Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-01

    Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like...G9241 for mice requires the presence of both plasmids. The Bacillus cereus group, of which Bacillus anthracis, Bacil- lus thuringiensis , and B... Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like Attenuated Toxigenic Nonencapsulated B

  16. A selective chromogenic agar that distinguishes Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juergensmeyer, Margaret A; Gingras, Bruce A; Restaino, Lawrence; Frampton, Elon W

    2006-08-01

    A selective and differential plating medium, R & F anthracis chromogenic agar (ACA), has been developed for isolating and identifying presumptive colonies of Bacillus anthracis. ACA contains the chromogenic substrate 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indoxyl-choline phosphate that upon hydrolysis yields teal (blue green) colonies indicating the presence of phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC) activity. Among seven Bacillus species tested on ACA, only members of the Bacillus cereus group (B. anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis) produced teal colonies (PC-PLC positive) having cream rings. Examination of colony morphology in 18 pure culture strains of B. anthracis (15 ATCC strains plus AMES-1-RIID, ANR-1, and AMED-RIID), with one exception, required 48 h at 35 to 37 degrees C for significant color production, whereas only 24 h was required for B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This differential rate of PC-PLC synthesis in B. anthracis (due to the truncated plcR gene and PlcR regulator in B. anthracis) allowed for the rapid differentiation on ACA of presumptive colonies of B. anthracis from B. cereus and B. thuringiensis in both pure and mixed cultures. Effective recovery of B. anthracis from a variety of matrices having both high (soil and sewage) and low microbial backgrounds (cloth, paper, and blood) spiked with B. anthracis ANR-1 spores suggests the probable utility of ACA plating for B. anthracis recovery in a diversity of applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaimes-Díaz, Hueman; Larios-Serrato, Violeta; Lloret-Sánchez, Teresa; Olguín-Ruiz, Gabriela; Sánchez-Vallejo, Carlos; Carreño-Durán, Luis; Maldonado-Rodríguez, Rogelio; Méndez-Tenorio, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:27600214

  18. Cytotoxicity of p-tyrosol and its derivatives may correlate with the inhibition of DNA replication initiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Eun-Young; Jiang, Yahong; Zhang, Yanjun; Son, Eun Mi; You, Song; Kang, Shin-Won; Park, Jang-Su; Jung, Jee H; Lee, Burm-Jong; Kim, Dong-Kyoo

    2008-02-01

    p-Tyrosol is a phenolic compound present in different dietary sources that can exert mild antioxidant properties based on in vitro and in vivo studies. In our study, two p-tyrosol derivatives (p-tyrosyl gallate and p-tyrosyl acetate) were synthesized and compared together with p-tyrosol and gallic acid for their cytotoxic activities on human cancer cells. p-Tyrosyl gallate had the most potent cytotoxicity and the major cytotoxic mechanism of its action was studied. We found that in HeLa cells, p-tyrosyl gallate can effectively induce cell cycle arrest during S phase and inhibited in vitro simian virus (SV40 DNA) replication. In addition, p-tyrosyl gallate can inhibit three important functional replication proteins (topoisomerase I, RPA and pol alpha-primase), especially pol alpha-primase. These results suggest that p-tyrosyl gallate-induced cell cycle arrest during S phase correlates with the inhibition of DNA replication. Pol alpha-primase may be the main target molecule. Taken together, we suggest that p-tyrosyl gallate is a strong anticancer drug candidate that warrants further investigation.

  19. The function of PlcR in Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaolin, Jia; Dongshu, Wang; Zhiqi, Gao; Erling, Feng; Jiping, Zheng; Hengliang, Wang; Guiying, Guo; Xiankai, Liu

    2015-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis, B. thuringiensis and B. cereus are members of the B. cereus group. They share high genetic similarity. Whereas plcR (Phospholipase C regulator) usually encodes a functional pleiotropic activator protein in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis isolates, a characteristic nonsense mutation is found in all B. anthracis strains investigated, making the gene dysfunctional. To study the function of PlcR in B. anthracis, we used the B. cereus CMCC63301 genome as a template and constructed a recombinant expression plasmid pBE2A-plcR, and introduced it into the B. anthracis vaccine strain A16R, and then analyzed the activity of the hemolysin and sphingomyelinase. The results showed that transformation of B. anthracis with plasmid pBE2A-plcR carrying the native B. cereus plcR gene active the expression of sphingomyelinase gene, but did not activate expression of hemolysin genes of B. anthracis A16R.

  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. Achieving Consistent Multiple Daily Low-Dose Bacillus anthracis Spore Inhalation Exposures in the Rabbit Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-13

    daily low-dose Bacillus anthracis spore inhalation exposures in the rabbit model Roy E. Barnewall 1, Jason E. Comer 1, Brian D. Miller 1, BradfordW...multiple exposure days. Keywords: Bacillus anthracis , inhalation exposures, low-dose, subchronic exposures, spores, anthrax, aerosol system INTRODUCTION... Bacillus Anthracis Spore Inhalation Exposures In The Rabbit Model 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d

  2. Global gene expression by Bacillus anthracis during growth in mammalian blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Paul E; Bourgis, Alexandra E T; Hagan, Ada K; Hanna, Philip C

    2015-11-01

    During the late stages of systemic anthrax, Bacillus anthracis grows rapidly in the host bloodstream. To identify potential genes necessary for this observed rapid growth, we defined the transcriptional profile of B. anthracis during in vitro growth in bovine blood. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis indicated that B. anthracis undergoes significant changes in its transcriptome profile during growth in blood, including the differential regulation of genes associated both with metabolism and known virulence factors. Collectively, these data provide a framework for future studies identifying specific B. anthracis factors required for growth in the mammalian bloodstream.

  3. DECONTAMINATION ASSESSMENT OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS, AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACTS USING A HYDROGEN PERIOXIDE GAS GENERATOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aims: To evaluate the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface materials using hydrogen peroxide gas. Methods and Results: B. anthracis, B. subtilis, and G. Stearothermophilus spores were dried on seven...

  4. Photothermal spectroscopy of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus with microcantilevers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wig, Andrew G [ORNL; Arakawa, Edward T [ORNL; Passian, Ali [ORNL; Ferrell, Thomas L [ORNL; Thundat, Thomas George [ORNL

    2006-03-01

    Microcalorimetric optical and infrared spectroscopy is a method of determining the spectral absorption of small quantities of materials over a wide range of incident wavelengths. In this paper, the first spectroscopic results for microcantilevers coated with Bacillus anthracis (BA) are presented. These results, for B. anthracis from 2.5 to 14.5 {micro}m, are compared with results from microcantilevers coated with Bacillus cereus (BC) and standard spectroscopic absorption data. The results demonstrate strong correlation between the deflection measurements and the reference spectroscopic absorption peaks. An advantage of this microcantilever-based method over traditional spectroscopy is that much smaller amounts of material (nanogram quantities) can be detected in comparison with the milligram amounts needed for standard methods. Another advantage is that the complete system can be relatively small without sacrificing spectral resolution.

  5. Nanoscale structural and mechanical analysis of Bacillus anthracis spores inactivated with rapid dry heating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Yun; Li, Alex; Felker, Daniel L; Burggraf, Larry W

    2014-03-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating.

  6. Nanomechanical Characterization of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Atomic Force Microscopy

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    The study of structures and properties of bacterial spores is important to understanding spore formation and biological responses to environmental stresses. While significant progress has been made over the years in elucidating the multilayer architecture of spores, the mechanical properties of the spore interior are not known. Here, we present a thermal atomic force microscopy (AFM) study of the nanomechanical properties of internal structures of Bacillus anthracis spores. We developed a nan...

  7. Microarray-based Resequencing of Multiple Bacillus anthracis Isolates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-12-17

    al.: Iden- tification of anthrax toxin genes in a Bacillus cereus associ- ated with an illness resembling inhalation anthrax. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA...Norwegian Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis soil isolates. Appl Environ Microbiol 2001, 67:4863-4873. 26. Radnedge L, Agron PG, Hill KK, Jackson PJ...Ticknor LO, Keim P, Andersen GL: Genome differences that distinguish Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis . Appl

  8. 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.

  9. Cloning and Expressing Recombinant Protective Antigen Domains of B. anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-01

    Army Research Laboratory: 2010; p 19. 18. Sambrook, J.; Fritsch, E. F.; Maniatis , T. Molecular Cloning : A Laboratory Manual. 2nd ed.; Cold Spring...on a rotating platform until not viscous (adapted from Molecular Cloning : A Laboratory Manual) (18). Each solution was centrifuged at 45,000 x g for... Cloning and Expressing Recombinant Protective Antigen Domains of B. anthracis by Deborah A. Sarkes, Joshua M. Kogot, Irene Val-Addo

  10. Setting risk-informed environmental standards for Bacillus anthracis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Tao; Gurian, Patrick L; Ward, Nicholas F Dudley

    2010-10-01

    In many cases, human health risk from biological agents is associated with aerosol exposures. Because air concentrations decline rapidly after a release, it may be necessary to use concentrations found in other environmental media to infer future or past aerosol exposures. This article presents an approach for linking environmental concentrations of Bacillus. anthracis (B. anthracis) spores on walls, floors, ventilation system filters, and in human nasal passages with human health risk from exposure to B. anthracis spores. This approach is then used to calculate example values of risk-informed concentration standards for both retrospective risk mitigation (e.g., prophylactic antibiotics) and prospective risk mitigation (e.g., environmental clean up and reoccupancy). A large number of assumptions are required to calculate these values, and the resulting values have large uncertainties associated with them. The values calculated here suggest that documenting compliance with risks in the range of 10(-4) to 10(-6) would be challenging for small diameter (respirable) spore particles. For less stringent risk targets and for releases of larger diameter particles (which are less respirable and hence less hazardous), environmental sampling would be more promising.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacillus anthracis 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 concentration...

  16. Genome Sequence of the Soviet/Russian Bacillus anthracis Vaccine Strain 55-VNIIVViM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotorashvili, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis strain 55-VNIIVViM is a live-attenuated nonencapsulated Soviet/Russian veterinary anthrax vaccine strain. We report here the genome of 55-VNIIVViM and confirm its phylogenetic placement in the global population structure of B. anthracis. PMID:28007853

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Nitric Oxide as a Regulator of B. anthracis Pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serguei G Popov

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (NO is a key physiological regulator in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. It can cause a variety of biological effects by reacting with its targets or/and indirectly inducing oxidative stress. NO can also be produced by bacteria including the pathogenic B. anthracis; however its role in the infectious process only begins to emerge. NO incapacitates macrophages by S-nitrosylating the intracellular proteins and protects B. anthracis from oxidative stress. It is also implicated in the formation of toxic peroxynitrite. In this study we further assessed the effects of B. anthracis NO produced by the NO synthase (bNOS on bacterial metabolism and host cells in experiments with the bNOS knockout Sterne strain. The mutation abrogated accumulation of nitrite and nitrate as tracer products of NO in the culture medium and markedly attenuated growth in both aerobic and microaerobic conditions. The regulatory role of NO was also suggested by the abnormally high rate of nitrate denitrification by the mutant in the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic regulation mediated by NO was reflected in reduced fermentation of glucose by the mutant correlating with the reduced toxicity of bacteria toward host cells in culture. The toxic effect of NO required permeabilization of the target cells as well as the activity of fermentation-derived metabolite in the conditions of reduced pH. The host cells demonstrated increased phosphorylation of major survivor protein kinase AKT correlating with reduced toxicity of the mutant in comparison with Sterne. Our global proteomic analysis of lymph from the lymph nodes of infected mice harboring bacteria revealed numerous changes in the pattern and levels of proteins associated with the activity of bNOS influencing key cell physiological processes relevant to energy metabolism, growth, signal transduction, stress response, septic shock and homeostasis. This is the first in vivo observation of the bacterial NO effect on the

  20. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Bacillus anthracis strains from Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Sulyok, Kinga Mária; Makrai, László; Rónai, Zsuzsanna; Fodor, László; Jánosi, Szilárd; Gyuranecz, Miklós

    2016-06-01

    The susceptibility of 29 Bacillus anthracis strains, collected in Hungary between 1933 and 2014, was tested to 10 antibiotics with commercially available minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) test strips. All strains were susceptible to amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, doxycycline, gentamicin, penicillin, rifampicin, and vancomycin. Intermediate susceptibility to erythromycin and cefotaxime was detected in 17.2% (5/29) and 58.6% (17/29) of the strains, respectively. Correlations were not observed between the isolation date, location, host species, genotype, and antibiotic susceptibility profile of strains.

  1. Characterization of the sortase repertoire in Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willy Aucher

    Full Text Available LPXTG proteins, present in most if not all Gram-positive bacteria, are known to be anchored by sortases to the bacterial peptidoglycan. More than one sortase gene is often encoded in a bacterial species, and each sortase is supposed to specifically anchor given LPXTG proteins, depending of the sequence of the C-terminal cell wall sorting signal (cwss, bearing an LPXTG motif or another recognition sequence. B. anthracis possesses three sortase genes. B. anthracis sortase deleted mutant strains are not affected in their virulence. To determine the sortase repertoires, we developed a genetic screen using the property of the gamma phage to lyse bacteria only when its receptor, GamR, an LPXTG protein, is exposed at the surface. We identified 10 proteins that contain a cell wall sorting signal and are covalently anchored to the peptidoglycan. Some chimeric proteins yielded phage lysis in all sortase mutant strains, suggesting that cwss proteins remained surface accessible in absence of their anchoring sortase, probably as a consequence of membrane localization of yet uncleaved precursor proteins. For definite assignment of the sortase repertoires, we consequently relied on a complementary test, using a biochemical approach, namely immunoblot experiments. The sortase anchoring nine of these proteins has thus been determined. The absence of virulence defect of the sortase mutants could be a consequence of the membrane localization of the cwss proteins.

  2. [Bacillus anthracis: a molecular look at a famous pathogen].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavan, María E; Pettinari, María J; Cairó, Fabián; Pavan, Esteban E; Cataldi, Angel A

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive rod belonging to the Bacillus cereus group, has an extremely monomorphic genome, and presents high structural and physiological similarity with B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In this work, the new molecular methods for the identification and typing of B. anthracis developed in the last years, based on variable number tandem repeats or on genetic differences detected through sequencing, are described. The molecular aspects of traditional virulence factors: capsule, protective antigen, lethal factor and edema factor are described in depth, together with virulence factors recently proposed, such as the siderophores petrobactin and bacillibactin, the S-layer adhesin and the MntA lipoprotein. It is detailed the molecular organization of megaplasmids pXO1 and pXO2, including the pathogenicity island of pXO1. The genetic skeleton of these plasmids has been observed in related species, and this could be attributed to lateral gene transfer. Finally, the two anthrax toxin protective antigen receptors, ANTXR1/TEM8 and ANTXR2/CMG2, essential for the interaction of the pathogen with the host, are presented. The molecular studies performed in recent years have greatly increased knowledge in different aspects of this microorganism and its relationship with the host, but at the same time they have raised new questions about this noted pathogen.

  3. 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.

  4. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerstrom, Troy G; Horton, Lori B; Swick, Michelle C; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Osipiuk, Jerzy; Koehler, Theresa M

    2015-02-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthetic operon. AtxA activity is elevated during growth in media containing glucose and CO(2)/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO(2)/bicarbonate signal, AtxA activity and homomultimerization. AtxA activity is also affected by phosphorylation at specific histidines. We show that AtxA crystallizes as a dimer. Distinct folds associated with predicted DNA-binding domains (HTH1 and HTH2) and phosphoenolpyruvate: carbohydrate phosphotransferase system-regulated domains (PRD1 and PRD2) are apparent. We tested AtxA variants containing single and double phosphomimetic (His→Asp) and phosphoablative (His→Ala) amino acid changes for activity in B. anthracis cultures and for protein-protein interactions in cell lysates. Reduced activity of AtxA H199A, lack of multimerization and activity of AtxAH379D variants, and predicted structural changes associated with phosphorylation support a model for control of AtxA function. We propose that (i) in the AtxA dimer, phosphorylation of H199 in PRD1 affects HTH2 positioning, influencing DNA-binding; and (ii) phosphorylation of H379 in PRD2 disrupts dimer formation. The AtxA structure is the first reported high-resolution full-length structure of a PRD-containing regulator, and can serve as a model for proteins of this family, especially those that link virulence to bacterial metabolism.

  5. Evaluation of PCR Systems for Field Screening of Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozanich, Richard M.; Colburn, Heather A.; Victry, Kristin D.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Arce, Jennifer S.; Heredia-Langner, Alejandro; Jarman, Kristin; Kreuzer, Helen W.; Bruckner-Lea, Cynthia J.

    2017-02-01

    There is little published data on the performance of hand-portable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instruments that could be used by first responders to determine if a suspicious powder contains a potential biothreat agent. We evaluated five commercially available hand-portable PCR instruments for detection of Bacillus anthracis (Ba). We designed a cost-effective, statistically-based test plan that allows instruments to be evaluated at performance levels ranging from 0.85-0.95 lower confidence bound (LCB) on the probability of detection (POD) at confidence levels of 80-95%. We assessed specificity using purified genomic DNA from 13 Ba strains and 18 Bacillus near neighbors, interference with 22 common hoax powders encountered in the field, and PCR inhibition when Ba spores were spiked into these powders. Our results indicated that three of the five instruments achieved >0.95 LCB on the POD with 95% confidence at test concentrations of 2,000 genome equivalents/mL (comparable to 2,000 spores/mL), displaying more than sufficient sensitivity for screening suspicious powders. These instruments exhibited no false positive results or PCR inhibition with common hoax powders, and reliably detected Ba spores spiked into common hoax powders, though some issues with instrument controls were observed. Our testing approach enables efficient instrument performance testing to a statistically rigorous and cost-effective test plan to generate performance data that will allow users to make informed decisions regarding the purchase and use of biodetection equipment in the field.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. UV resistance of Bacillus anthracis spores revisited: validation of Bacillus subtilis spores as UV surrogates for spores of B. anthracis Sterne.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Wayne L; Galeano, Belinda

    2003-02-01

    Recent bioterrorism concerns have prompted renewed efforts towards understanding the biology of bacterial spore resistance to radiation with a special emphasis on the spores of Bacillus anthracis. A review of the literature revealed that B. anthracis Sterne spores may be three to four times more resistant to 254-nm-wavelength UV than are spores of commonly used indicator strains of Bacillus subtilis. To test this notion, B. anthracis Sterne spores were purified and their UV inactivation kinetics were determined in parallel with those of the spores of two indicator strains of B. subtilis, strains WN624 and ATCC 6633. When prepared and assayed under identical conditions, the spores of all three strains exhibited essentially identical UV inactivation kinetics. The data indicate that standard UV treatments that are effective against B. subtilis spores are likely also sufficient to inactivate B. anthracis spores and that the spores of standard B. subtilis strains could reliably be used as a biodosimetry model for the UV inactivation of B. anthracis spores.

  8. Selective detection of 1000 B. anthracis spores within 15 minutes using a peptide functionalized SERS assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Shende, Chetan; Smith, Wayne; Huang, Hermes; Inscore, Frank; Sengupta, Atanu; Sperry, Jay; Sickler, Todd; Prugh, Amber; Guicheteau, Jason

    2014-12-21

    A surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) assay has been designed to detect Bacillus anthracis spores. The assay consists of silver nanoparticles embedded in a porous glass structure that have been functionalized with ATYPLPIR, a peptide developed to discriminately bind B. anthracis versus other species of Bacillus. Once bound, acetic acid was used to release the biomarker dipicolinic acid from the spores, which was detected by SERS through the addition of silver colloids. This SERS assay was used to selectively bind B. anthracis with a 100-fold selectivity versus B. cereus, and to detect B. anthracis Ames at concentrations of 1000 spores per mL within 15 minutes. The SERS assay measurements provide a basis for the development of systems that can detect spores collected from the air or from water supplies.

  9. 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.

  10. FORMALDEHYDE GAS INACTIVATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACE MATERIALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Research evaluated the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface material using formaldehyde gas. Spores were dried on seven types of indoor surfaces and exposed to 1100 ppm formaldehyde gas for 10 hr. Fo...

  11. WalRK two component system of Bacillus anthracis responds to temperature and antibiotic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhiman, Alisha; Gopalani, Monisha; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-04-17

    WalRK Two Component System (TCS) of Bacillus anthracis forms a functional TCS. This report elaborates upon the WalRK genomic architecture, promoter structure, promoter activity and expression under various stress conditions in B. anthracis. 5' RACE located the WalRK functional promoter within 317 bp region upstream of WalR. Reporter gene assays demonstrated maximal promoter activity during early growth phases indicating utility in exponential stages of growth. qRT-PCR showed upregulation of WalRK transcripts during temperature and antibiotic stress. However, WalR overexpression did not affect the tested antibiotic MIC values in B. anthracis. Collectively, these results confirm that WalRK responds to cell envelope stress in B. anthracis.

  12. Genetic Comparison of B. Anthracis and its Close Relatives Using AFLP and PCR Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jackson, P.J.; Hill, K.K.; Laker, M.T.; Ticknor, L.O.; Keim, P.S.

    1999-02-01

    cannot be rapidly generated by other means. AFLP sample analysis quickly generates a very large amount of molecular information about microbial genomes. However, this information cannot be analyzed rapidly using manual methods. The authors are developing a large archive of electronic AFLP signatures that is being used to identify isolates collected from medical, veterinary, forensic and environmental samples. They are also developing the computational packages necessary to rapidly and unambiguously analyze the AFLP profiles and conduct a phylogenetic comparison of these data relative to information already in the database. They will use this archive and the associated algorithms to determine the species identity of previously uncharacterized isolates and place them phylogenetically relative to other microbes based on their AFLP signatures. This study provides significant new information about microbes with environmental, veterinary and medical significance. This information can be used in further studies to understand the relationships among these species and the factors that distinguish them from one another. It should also allow identification of unique factors that contribute to important microbial traits including pathogenicity and virulence. They are also using AFLP data to identify, isolate and sequence DNA fragments that are unique to particular microbial species and strains. The fragment patterns and sequence information provide insights into the complexity and organization of bacterial genomes relative to one another. They also provide the information necessary for development of species-specific PCR primers that can be used to interrogate complex samples for the presence of B. anthracis, other microbial pathogens or their remnants.

  13. Impedance Measurements Could Accelerate Phage-Based Identification of Bacillus anthracis and Other Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    Impedance Measurements Could Accelerate Phage-Based Identification of Bacillus anthracis And Other Bacteria Thomas Brown, Salwa Shan, Teresa...This is particularly true in the field of biodefense where phage have a long history of being used to identify Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis...based diagnostic assays for this pathogen. After exposing small quantities of Bacillus cultures to ɣ phage, we tracked the cultures for up to 90

  14. Crossing of the epithelial barriers by Bacillus anthracis: the Known and the Unknown

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium, is initiated by the entry of spores into the host body. There are three types of human infection: cutaneous, inhalational, and gastrointestinal. For each form, B. anthracis spores need to cross the cutaneous, respiratory or digestive epithelial barriers, respectively, as a first obligate step to establish infection. Anthrax is a toxi-infection: an association of toxemia and rapidly spreading infection progressing ...

  15. Requirements for the Development of Bacillus Anthracis Spore Reference Materials Used to Test Detection Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    in some strains of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis [55, 56]. The Ba813 marker has been used for a real time PCR assay using Taqman-type...pXO1, the large Bacillus anthracis plasmid harboring the anthrax toxin genes, J. Bacteriol. 181, 6509-6515 (1999). [36] L.B. Price, M. Hugh-Jones, P. J...useful results. The spores of Bacillus anthracis (BA) are particular- ly dangerous because they persist in the environment, and relatively small numbers

  16. Characterization of Anthrolysin O, the Bacillus anthracis Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysin

    OpenAIRE

    Shannon, Jeffrey G; Ross, Cana L.; Koehler, Theresa M.; Rest, Richard F

    2003-01-01

    We characterized the expression of a putative toxin of Bacillus anthracis, a member of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC) family, which includes listeriolysin O, perfringolysin O, and streptolysin O. We named this cytotoxin anthrolysin O (ALO). Although B. anthracis expresses minimal hemolytic activity in clinical settings, we show that Sterne strain 7702 expresses hemolytic activity when grown in brain heart infusion broth or in other rich bacteriologic media, but it secretes barely d...

  17. Transcriptional Profiling of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Exposed to Bacillus anthracis in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-11

    Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, are attributed to poly- γ-D-glutamate acid (PGA) capsule, lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET) [10-12]. These toxins...M, Hellman M, Muhie S, et al. (2013) Transcriptional Profiling of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Exposed to Bacillus anthracis in vitro...author and source are credited. Transcriptional Profiling of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Exposed to Bacillus anthracis in vitro Rasha

  18. Identification and validation of specific markers of Bacillus anthracis spores by proteomics and genomics approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L; Becher, François

    2014-03-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  19. The secret life of the anthrax agent Bacillus anthracis: bacteriophage-mediated ecological adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuch, Raymond; Fischetti, Vincent A

    2009-08-12

    Ecological and genetic factors that govern the occurrence and persistence of anthrax reservoirs in the environment are obscure. A central tenet, based on limited and often conflicting studies, has long held that growing or vegetative forms of Bacillus anthracis survive poorly outside the mammalian host and must sporulate to survive in the environment. Here, we present evidence of a more dynamic lifecycle, whereby interactions with bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, elicit phenotypic alterations in B. anthracis and the emergence of infected derivatives, or lysogens, with dramatically altered survival capabilities. Using both laboratory and environmental B. anthracis strains, we show that lysogeny can block or promote sporulation depending on the phage, induce exopolysaccharide expression and biofilm formation, and enable the long-term colonization of both an artificial soil environment and the intestinal tract of the invertebrate redworm, Eisenia fetida. All of the B. anthracis lysogens existed in a pseudolysogenic-like state in both the soil and worm gut, shedding phages that could in turn infect non-lysogenic B. anthracis recipients and confer survival phenotypes in those environments. Finally, the mechanism behind several phenotypic changes was found to require phage-encoded bacterial sigma factors and the expression of at least one host-encoded protein predicted to be involved in the colonization of invertebrate intestines. The results here demonstrate that during its environmental phase, bacteriophages provide B. anthracis with alternatives to sporulation that involve the activation of soil-survival and endosymbiotic capabilities.

  20. The secret life of the anthrax agent Bacillus anthracis: bacteriophage-mediated ecological adaptations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Schuch

    Full Text Available Ecological and genetic factors that govern the occurrence and persistence of anthrax reservoirs in the environment are obscure. A central tenet, based on limited and often conflicting studies, has long held that growing or vegetative forms of Bacillus anthracis survive poorly outside the mammalian host and must sporulate to survive in the environment. Here, we present evidence of a more dynamic lifecycle, whereby interactions with bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, elicit phenotypic alterations in B. anthracis and the emergence of infected derivatives, or lysogens, with dramatically altered survival capabilities. Using both laboratory and environmental B. anthracis strains, we show that lysogeny can block or promote sporulation depending on the phage, induce exopolysaccharide expression and biofilm formation, and enable the long-term colonization of both an artificial soil environment and the intestinal tract of the invertebrate redworm, Eisenia fetida. All of the B. anthracis lysogens existed in a pseudolysogenic-like state in both the soil and worm gut, shedding phages that could in turn infect non-lysogenic B. anthracis recipients and confer survival phenotypes in those environments. Finally, the mechanism behind several phenotypic changes was found to require phage-encoded bacterial sigma factors and the expression of at least one host-encoded protein predicted to be involved in the colonization of invertebrate intestines. The results here demonstrate that during its environmental phase, bacteriophages provide B. anthracis with alternatives to sporulation that involve the activation of soil-survival and endosymbiotic capabilities.

  1. Effects of Endogenous d-Alanine Synthesis and Autoinhibition of Bacillus anthracis Germination on In Vitro and In Vivo Infections▿

    OpenAIRE

    McKevitt, Matthew T.; Bryant, Katie M.; Shakir, Salika M.; Larabee, Jason L.; Blanke, Steven R.; Lovchik, Julie; Lyons, C. Rick; Ballard, Jimmy D.

    2007-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis transitions from a dormant spore to a vegetative bacillus through a series of structural and biochemical changes collectively referred to as germination. The timing of germination is important during early steps in infection and may determine if B. anthracis survives or succumbs to responsive macrophages. In the current study experiments determined the contribution of endogenous d-alanine production to the efficiency and timing of B. anthracis spore germination under in vit...

  2. 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.

  3. Distribution and molecular evolution of bacillus anthracis genotypes in Namibia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Beyer

    Full Text Available The recent development of genetic markers for Bacillus anthracis has made it possible to monitor the spread and distribution of this pathogen during and between anthrax outbreaks. In Namibia, anthrax outbreaks occur annually in the Etosha National Park (ENP and on private game and livestock farms. We genotyped 384 B. anthracis isolates collected between 1983-2010 to identify the possible epidemiological correlations of anthrax outbreaks within and outside the ENP and to analyze genetic relationships between isolates from domestic and wild animals. The isolates came from 20 animal species and from the environment and were genotyped using a 31-marker multi-locus-VNTR-analysis (MLVA and, in part, by twelve single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers and four single nucleotide repeat (SNR markers. A total of 37 genotypes (GT were identified by MLVA, belonging to four SNP-groups. All GTs belonged to the A-branch in the cluster- and SNP-analyses. Thirteen GTs were found only outside the ENP, 18 only within the ENP and 6 both inside and outside. Genetic distances between isolates increased with increasing time between isolations. However, genetic distance between isolates at the beginning and end of the study period was relatively small, indicating that while the majority of GTs were only found sporadically, three genetically close GTs, accounting for more than four fifths of all the ENP isolates, appeared dominant throughout the study period. Genetic distances among isolates were significantly greater for isolates from different host species, but this effect was small, suggesting that while species-specific ecological factors may affect exposure processes, transmission cycles in different host species are still highly interrelated. The MLVA data were further used to establish a model of the probable evolution of GTs within the endemic region of the ENP. SNR-analysis was helpful in correlating an isolate with its source but did not elucidate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brézillon, Christophe; Haustant, Michel; Dupke, Susann; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Lander, Angelika; Franz, Tatjana; Monot, Marc; Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Jouvion, Gregory; Leendertz, Fabian H; Grunow, Roland; Mock, Michèle E; Klee, Silke R; Goossens, Pierre L

    2015-04-01

    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 emerged.

  5. Impact of Spores on the Comparative Efficacies of Five Antibiotics for Treatment of Bacillus anthracis in an In Vitro Hollow Fiber Pharmacodynamic Model

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, is an agent of bioterrorism. The most effective antimicrobial therapy for B. anthracis infections is unknown. An in vitro pharmacodynamic model of B. anthracis was used to compare the efficacies of simulated clinically prescribed regimens of moxifloxacin, linezolid, and meropenem with the “gold standards,” doxycycline and ciprofloxacin. Treatment outcomes for isogenic spore-forming and non-spore-forming strains of B. anthracis were compar...

  6. Protection of inactive intranasal ántrax vaccine to Bacillus anthracis infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adin Priadi

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Ánthrax is an endemic zoonotic disease distributed in many parts of Indonesia. Although vaccination program has been implemented in many areas, cases are still frequently reported. Farmers are reluctant to vaccinate their livestock since spore vaccine used in the field often cause side effects and death of the animals. To overcome this problem, an inactive vaccine composes of Bacillus anthracis toxins, cell wall and capsule subunits was developed. B. anthracis Sterne strain (34F2 was selected to produce toxins and cell walls. Local Bacillus anthracis isolated from Citaringgul was used to produce capsule as the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR revealed that this isolate poses cap gene encoding for capsule. Two vaccines compose of 15 μg toxoid, 30 μg of capsule, 15 μg of cell wall and 30 μg toxoid, 60 μg of capsule, 15 μg of cell walls were designated as vaccine I and vaccine II respectively. For each experiment, 10 mice were nasally immunized by placing 5 μl of vaccine into each nare 3 times at 2-week intervals. A group of 10 mice were unvaccinated and used as control. Blood was collected fortnightly to monitor antibody responses. All mice were challenged with 2 x 105 B. anthracis Sterne spores injected subcutaneously two weeks after the last vaccination. Two weeks after vaccination of antibodies to B. anthracis toxin, capsule and cell wall were detected in dot-blot assay. Mice that were immunised intranasally with chitosan adjuvanted vaccine developed high IgG responses in sera as detected by ELISA, and the response was dose dependent. Vaccine II gave better response than vaccine I. Vaccine I and II protected mice from challenge at a rate of 60 and 80% respectively. This results showed that intranasal B. anthracis vaccine composes of toxin, capsule and cell wall with chitosan as an adjuvant gave a good protection against B. anthracis Sterne spores challenge in mice.

  7. 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.

  8. Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis in Complex Food Matrices Using Phage-Mediated Bioluminescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Natasha J; Vandamm, Joshua P; Molineux, Ian J; Schofield, David A

    2015-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is considered a high-priority agent that may be used in a food-related terrorist attack because it can be contracted by ingestion and it also forms spores with heat and chemical resistance. Thus, novel surveillance methodologies to detect B. anthracis on adulterated foods are important for bioterrorism preparedness. We describe the development of a phage-based bioluminescence assay for the detection of B. anthracis on deliberately contaminated foods. We previously engineered the B. anthracis phage Wβ with genes encoding bacterial luciferase (luxA and luxB) to create a "light-tagged" reporter (Wβ::luxAB) that is able to rapidly detect B. anthracis by transducing a bioluminescent signal response. Here, we investigate the ability of Wβ::luxAB to detect B. anthracis Sterne, an attenuated select agent strain, in inoculated food (ground beef) and milk (2%, baby formula, and half and half) matrices after incubation with spores for 72 h at 4°C as per AOAC testing guidelines. The majority of B. anthracis bacilli remained in spore form, and thus were potentially infectious, within each of the liquid matrices for 14 days. Detection limits were 80 CFU/ml after 7 h of enrichment; sensitivity of detection increased to 8 CFU/ml when enrichment was extended to 16 h. The limit of detection in ground beef was 3.2 × 10(3) CFU/g after 7 h of enrichment, improving to 3.2 × 10(2) CFU/g after 16 h. Because the time to result is rapid and minimal processing is required, and because gastrointestinal anthrax can be fatal, the reporter technology displays promise for the protection of our food supply following a deliberate release of this priority pathogen.

  9. 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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Tongeren, Sandra P.; Roest, Hendrik I. J.; Degener, John E.; Harmsen, Hermie 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 f

  10. 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.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tongeren, van S.P.; 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 f

  11. Inhibiting Inosine Hydrolase and Alanine Racemase to Enhance the Germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne Spores: Potential Spore Decontamination Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-19

    2015): << Inhibiting inosine hydrolase and alanine racemase to enhance the germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores: potential spore...inosine hydrolase and alanine racemase to enhance the germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores potential spore decontamination strategies 5a...EASIER, SAFER, and CHEAPER Inducing spore germination should make resulting bacteria much more susceptible to decontamination methods and will be

  12. Dendritic Cell Targeting of Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Expressed by Lactobacillus acidophilus Protects Mice from Lethal Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-28

    Dendritic cell targeting of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen expressed by Lactobacillus acidophilus protects mice from lethal challenge M...lethal chal- lenge. A vaccine strategy was established by using Lactobacillus acidophilus to deliver Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) via...include species of Lactobacillus , Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Pedio- coccus, and Streptococcus. It is widely accepted that Lactobacillus species play a

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agren, J.; Hamidjaja, R.A.; Hansen, T.; Ruuls, R.C.; Thierry, S.; Vigre, H.; Janse, I.; Sundström, A.; Segerman, B.; Koene, M.G.J.; Löfström, Ch.; Rotterdam, van B.; Derzelle, S.

    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 o

  14. Development and validation of a real-time quantitative PCR assay for rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irenge, Léonid M; Durant, Jean-François; Tomaso, Herbert; Pilo, Paola; Olsen, Jaran S; Ramisse, Vincent; Mahillon, Jacques; Gala, Jean-Luc

    2010-11-01

    A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples. These samples often harbor Bacillus cereus bacteria closely related to B. anthracis, which may hinder its specific identification by resulting in false positive signals. The assay consists of two duplex real-time PCR: the first PCR allows amplification of a sequence specific of the B. cereus group (B. anthracis, B. cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, Bacillus pseudomycoides, and Bacillus mycoides) within the phosphoenolpyruvate/sugar phosphotransferase system I gene and a B. anthracis specific single nucleotide polymorphism within the adenylosuccinate synthetase gene. The second real-time PCR assay targets the lethal factor gene from virulence plasmid pXO1 and the capsule synthesis gene from virulence plasmid pXO2. Specificity of the assay is enhanced by the use of minor groove binding probes and/or locked nucleic acids probes. The assay was validated on 304 bacterial strains including 37 B. anthracis, 67 B. cereus group, 54 strains of non-cereus group Bacillus, and 146 Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria strains. The assay was performed on various environmental samples spiked with B. anthracis or B. cereus spores. The assay allowed an accurate identification of B. anthracis in environmental samples. This study provides a rapid and reliable method for improving rapid identification of B. anthracis in field operational conditions.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stratilo, Chad W; 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 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Growth characteristics of Bacillus anthracis compared to other Bacillus spp. on the selective nutrient media Anthrax Blood Agar and Cereus Ident Agar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomaso, Herbert; Bartling, Carsten; Al Dahouk, Sascha; Hagen, Ralf M; Scholz, Holger C; Beyer, Wolfgang; Neubauer, Heinrich

    2006-01-01

    Anthrax Blood Agar (ABA) and Cereus Ident Agar (CEI) were evaluated as selective growth media for the isolation of Bacillus anthracis using 92 B. anthracis and 132 other Bacillus strains from 30 species. The positive predictive values for the identification of B. anthracis on ABA, CEI, and the combination of both were 72%, 71%, and 90%, respectively. Thus, less than 10% of all species were misidentified using both nutrient media. Species which might be misidentified as B. anthracis were B. cereus, B. mycoides, and B. thuringiensis. Particularly, 30% of B. weihenstephanensis strains were misidentified as B. anthracis.

  1. Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores Using Peptide Functionalized SERS-Active Substrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atanu Sengupta

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The need for portable technologies that can rapidly identify biological warfare agents (BWAs in the field remains an international priority as expressed at the 2011 Biological Weapons Convention. In recent years, the ability of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS to rapidly detect various BWAs at very low concentrations has been demonstrated. However, in the specific case of Bacillus anthracis, differentiation at the species level is required since other bacilli are common in the environment, representing potential false-positive responses. To overcome this limitation, we describe the use of a peptide attached to the SERS-active metal that selectively binds Bacillus anthracis-Sterne as the target analyte. Using this approach, 109  B. anthracis-Sterne spores/mL produced an intense dipicolinic acid spectrum upon the addition of acetic acid, while the same concentration and treatment of B. cereus and B. subtilis did not.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meier, Christoph [Oxford Protein Production Facility, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Division of Structural Biology, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Carter, Lester G. [Oxford Protein Production Facility, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Winter, Graeme [CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, Cheshire WA4 4AD (United Kingdom); Owens, Ray J. [Oxford Protein Production Facility, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Stuart, David I.; Esnouf, Robert M., E-mail: robert@strubi.ox.ac.uk [Oxford Protein Production Facility, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Division of Structural Biology, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom)

    2007-03-01

    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.

  3. Monitoring biothreat agents (Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis) with a portable real-time PCR instrument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mölsä, Markos; Hemmilä, Heidi; Katz, Anna; Niemimaa, Jukka; Forbes, Kristian M; Huitu, Otso; Stuart, Peter; Henttonen, Heikki; Nikkari, Simo

    2015-08-01

    In the event of suspected releases or natural outbreaks of contagious pathogens, rapid identification of the infectious agent is essential for appropriate medical intervention and disease containment. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of a novel portable real-time PCR thermocycler, PikoReal™, to the standard real-time PCR thermocycler, Applied Biosystems® 7300 (ABI 7300), for the detection of three high-risk biothreat bacterial pathogens: Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. In addition, a novel confirmatory real-time PCR assay for the detection of F. tularensis is presented and validated. The results show that sensitivity of the assays, based on a dilution series, for the three infectious agents ranged from 1 to 100 fg of target DNA with both instruments. No cross-reactivity was revealed in specificity testing. Duration of the assays with the PikoReal and ABI 7300 systems were 50 and 100 min, respectively. In field testing for F. tularensis, results were obtained with the PikoReal system in 95 min, as the pre-PCR preparation, including DNA extraction, required an additional 45 min. We conclude that the PikoReal system enables highly sensitive and rapid on-site detection of biothreat agents under field conditions, and may be a more efficient alternative to conventional diagnostic methods.

  4. Transient lipopolysaccharide-induced resistance to aerosolized Bacillus anthracis in New Zealand white rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yee, Steven B; Dyer, David N; Twenhafel, Nancy A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2013-06-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that prior infection by various bacterial pathogens induces nonspecific resistance to subsequent infection by other gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial pathogens. In the present study, we evaluated whether underlying inflammation enhanced host resistance to inhalational Bacillus anthracis infection in New Zealand White rabbits (SPF; Bordetella- and Pasteurella-free). Accordingly, rabbits were pretreated with either the inflammagen bacterial LPS (60,000 EU/kg), a component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, or saline (vehicle). Administration of LPS resulted in brief pyrexia and a significant increase in the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα, thus confirming LPS-induced inflammation. At 24 h after LPS treatment, rabbits were exposed to aerosolized B. anthracis spores (Ames strain; approximately 300 LD50). Blood samples collected at various times after challenge were cultured. Compared with their saline-pretreated counterparts, LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis challenged rabbits exhibited delays in 2 biomarkers of B. anthracis infection-anthrax-induced pyrexia (25 h versus 66 h after challenge, respectively) and bacteremia (26 h versus 63 h, respectively)-and survived longer (41 h versus 90 h, respectively). Similar to control animals, all LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis-challenged rabbits exhibited pathology consistent with inhalational anthrax. Taken together, these results suggest that prior or underlying stimulation of the innate immune system induces transient host resistance to subsequent B. anthracis infection in SPF New Zealand white rabbits. In particular, our results emphasize the importance of using animals that are free of underlying infections to prevent confounding data in studies for inhalational anthrax characterization and medical countermeasure evaluation.

  5. Alveolar macrophages infected with Ames or Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis elicit differential molecular expression patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicia D Langel

    Full Text Available Alveolar macrophages (AMs phagocytose Bacillus anthracis following inhalation and induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines to mediate the activation of innate immunity. Ames, the virulent strain of B. anthracis, contains two plasmids that encode the antiphagocytic poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule and the lethal toxin. The attenuated Sterne strain of B. anthracis, which lacks the plasmid encoding capsule, is widely adapted as a vaccine strain. Although differences in the outcome of infection with the two strains may have originated from the presence or absence of an anti-phagocytic capsule, the disease pathogenesis following infection will be manifested via the host responses, which is not well understood. To gain understanding of the host responses at cellular level, a microarray analysis was performed using primary rhesus macaque AMs infected with either Ames or Sterne spores. Notably, 528 human orthologs were identified to be differentially expressed in AMs infected with either strain of the B. anthracis. Meta-analyses revealed genes differentially expressed in response to B. anthracis infection were also induced upon infections with multiple pathogens such as Francisella Novicida or Staphylococcus aureus. This suggests the existence of a common molecular signature in response to pathogen infections. Importantly, the microarray and protein expression data for certain cytokines, chemokines and host factors provide further insights on how cellular processes such as innate immune sensing pathways, anti-apoptosis versus apoptosis may be differentially modulated in response to the virulent or vaccine strain of B. anthracis. The reported differences may account for the marked difference in pathogenicity between these two strains.

  6. Identification of a Bacillus anthracis specific indel in the yeaC gene and development of a rapid pyrosequencing assay for distinguishing B. anthracis from the B. cereus group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmod, Nadia Z; Gupta, Radhey S; Shah, Haroun N

    2011-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a potential source of bioterrorism. The existing assays for its identification lack specificity due to the close genetic relationship it exhibits to other members of the B. cereus group. Our comparative analyses of protein sequences from Bacillus species have identified a 24 amino acid deletion in a conserved region of the YeaC protein that is uniquely present in B. anthracis. PCR primers based on conserved regions flanking this indel in the Bacillus cereus group of species (viz. Bacillus cereus, B. anthracis, B. thuringiensis, B. mycoides, B. weihenstephnensis and B. pseudomycoides) specifically amplified a 282 bp fragment from all six reference B. anthracis strains, whereas a 354 bp fragment was amplified from 15 other B. cereus group of species/strains. These fragments, due to large size difference, are readily distinguished by means of agarose gel electrophoresis. In contrast to the B. cereus group, no PCR amplification was observed with any of the non-B. cereus group of species/strains. This indel was also used for developing a rapid pyrosequencing assay for the identification of B. anthracis. Its performance was evaluated by examining the presence or absence of this indel in a panel of 81 B. cereus-like isolates from various sources that included 39 B. anthracis strains. Based upon the sequence data from the pyrograms, the yeaC indel was found to be a distinctive characteristic of various B. anthracis strains tested and not found in any other species/strains from these samples. Therefore, this B. anthracis specific indel provides a robust and highly-specific chromosomal marker for the identification of this high-risk pathogen from other members of the B. cereus group independent of a strain's virulence. The pyrosequencing platform also allows for the rapid and simultaneous screening of multiple samples for the presence of this B. anthracis-specific marker.

  7. Effects of endogenous D-alanine synthesis and autoinhibition of Bacillus anthracis germination on in vitro and in vivo infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKevitt, Matthew T; Bryant, Katie M; Shakir, Salika M; Larabee, Jason L; Blanke, Steven R; Lovchik, Julie; Lyons, C Rick; Ballard, Jimmy D

    2007-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis transitions from a dormant spore to a vegetative bacillus through a series of structural and biochemical changes collectively referred to as germination. The timing of germination is important during early steps in infection and may determine if B. anthracis survives or succumbs to responsive macrophages. In the current study experiments determined the contribution of endogenous D-alanine production to the efficiency and timing of B. anthracis spore germination under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Racemase-mediated production of endogenous D-alanine by B. anthracis altered the kinetics for initiation of germination over a range of spore densities and exhibited a threshold effect wherein small changes in spore number resulted in major changes in germination efficiency. This threshold effect correlated with D-alanine production, was prevented by an alanine racemase inhibitor, and required L-alanine. Interestingly, endogenous production of inhibitory levels of D-alanine was detected under experimental conditions that did not support germination and in a germination-deficient mutant of B. anthracis. Racemase-dependent production of D-alanine enhanced survival of B. anthracis during interaction with murine macrophages, suggesting a role for inhibition of germination during interaction with these cells. Finally, in vivo experiments revealed an approximately twofold decrease in the 50% lethal dose of B. anthracis spores administered in the presence of D-alanine, indicating that rates of germination may be directly influenced by the levels of this amino acid during early stages of disease.

  8. Human mitochondrial DNA deletions associated with mutations in the gene encoding Twinkle, a phage T7 gene 4-like protein localized in mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spelbrink, J N; Li, F Y; Tiranti, V; Nikali, K; Yuan, Q P; Tariq, M; Wanrooij, S; Garrido, N; Comi, G; Morandi, L; Santoro, L; Toscano, A; Fabrizi, G M; Somer, H; Croxen, R; Beeson, D; Poulton, J; Suomalainen, A; Jacobs, H T; Zeviani, M; Larsson, C

    2001-07-01

    The gene products involved in mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) maintenance and organization remain largely unknown. We report here a novel mitochondrial protein, Twinkle, with structural similarity to phage T7 gene 4 primase/helicase and other hexameric ring helicases. Twinkle colocalizes with mtDNA in mitochondrial nucleoids. Screening of the gene encoding Twinkle in individuals with autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia (adPEO), associated with multiple mtDNA deletions, identified 11 different coding-region mutations co-segregating with the disorder in 12 adPEO pedigrees of various ethnic origins. The mutations cluster in a region of the protein proposed to be involved in subunit interactions. The function of Twinkle is inferred to be critical for lifetime maintenance of human mtDNA integrity.

  9. The LMO2 oncogene regulates DNA replication in hematopoietic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sincennes, Marie-Claude; Humbert, Magali; Grondin, Benoît; Lisi, Véronique; Veiga, Diogo F T; Haman, André; Cazaux, Christophe; Mashtalir, Nazar; Affar, El Bachir; Verreault, Alain; Hoang, Trang

    2016-02-02

    Oncogenic transcription factors are commonly activated in acute leukemias and subvert normal gene expression networks to reprogram hematopoietic progenitors into preleukemic stem cells, as exemplified by LIM-only 2 (LMO2) in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Whether or not these oncoproteins interfere with other DNA-dependent processes is largely unexplored. Here, we show that LMO2 is recruited to DNA replication origins by interaction with three essential replication enzymes: DNA polymerase delta (POLD1), DNA primase (PRIM1), and minichromosome 6 (MCM6). Furthermore, tethering LMO2 to synthetic DNA sequences is sufficient to transform these sequences into origins of replication. We next addressed the importance of LMO2 in erythroid and thymocyte development, two lineages in which cell cycle and differentiation are tightly coordinated. Lowering LMO2 levels in erythroid progenitors delays G1-S progression and arrests erythropoietin-dependent cell growth while favoring terminal differentiation. Conversely, ectopic expression in thymocytes induces DNA replication and drives these cells into cell cycle, causing differentiation blockade. Our results define a novel role for LMO2 in directly promoting DNA synthesis and G1-S progression.

  10. Enzymes involved in organellar DNA replication in photosynthetic eukaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi eMoriyama

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Plastids and mitochondria possess their own genomes. Although the replication mechanisms of these organellar genomes remain unclear in photosynthetic eukaryotes, several organelle-localized enzymes related to genome replication, including DNA polymerase, DNA primase, DNA helicase, DNA topoisomerase, single-stranded DNA maintenance protein, DNA ligase, primer removal enzyme, and several DNA recombination-related enzymes, have been identified. In the reference Eudicot plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the replication-related enzymes of plastids and mitochondria are similar because many of them are dual targeted to both organelles, whereas in the red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae, plastids and mitochondria contain different replication machinery components. The enzymes involved in organellar genome replication in green plants and red algae were derived from different origins, including proteobacterial, cyanobacterial, and eukaryotic lineages. In the present review, we summarize the available data for enzymes related to organellar genome replication in green plants and red algae. In addition, based on the type and distribution of replication enzymes in photosynthetic eukaryotes, we discuss the transitional history of replication enzymes in the organelles of plants.

  11. 76 FR 53480 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Conjugate Vaccines Against B. anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-26

    ... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Conjugate Vaccines... factor'' (EF). Although production of an efficient anthrax vaccine is an ultimate goal, the benefits of... therapy of B. anthracis (anthrax) infection by immunization with conjugate vaccines against anthrax...

  12. Crossing of the epithelial barriers by Bacillus anthracis: the Known and the Unknown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goossens, Pierre L; Tournier, Jean-Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium, is initiated by the entry of spores into the host body. There are three types of human infection: cutaneous, inhalational, and gastrointestinal. For each form, B. anthracis spores need to cross the cutaneous, respiratory or digestive epithelial barriers, respectively, as a first obligate step to establish infection. Anthrax is a toxi-infection: an association of toxemia and rapidly spreading infection progressing to septicemia. The pathogenicity of Bacillus anthracis mainly depends on two toxins and a capsule. The capsule protects bacilli from the immune system, thus promoting systemic dissemination. The toxins alter host cell signaling, thereby paralyzing the immune response of the host and perturbing the endocrine and endothelial systems. In this review, we will mainly focus on the events and mechanisms leading to crossing of the respiratory epithelial barrier, as the majority of studies have addressed inhalational infection. We will discuss the critical gaps of knowledge that need to be addressed to gain a comprehensive view of the initial steps of inhalational anthrax. We will then discuss the few data available on B. anthracis crossing the cutaneous and digestive epithelia.

  13. Crossing of the epithelial barriers by Bacillus anthracis: the Known and the Unknown

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre L Goossens

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium, is initiated by the entry of spores into the host body. There are three types of human infection: cutaneous, inhalational, and gastrointestinal. For each form, B. anthracis spores need to cross the cutaneous, respiratory or digestive epithelial barriers, respectively, as a first obligate step to establish infection. Anthrax is a toxi-infection: an association of toxemia and rapidly spreading infection progressing to septicemia. The pathogenicity of Bacillus anthracis mainly depends on two toxins and a capsule. The capsule protects bacilli from the immune system, thus promoting systemic dissemination. The toxins alter host cell signalling, thereby paralysing the immune response of the host and perturbing the endocrine and endothelial systems.In this review, we will mainly focus on the events and mechanisms leading to crossing of the respiratory epithelial barrier, as the majority of studies have addressed inhalational infection. We will discuss the critical gaps of knowledge that need to be addressed to gain a comprehensive view of the initial steps of inhalational anthrax. We will then discuss the few data available on B. anthracis crossing the cutaneous and digestive epithelia.

  14. A Simple Luminescent Adenylate-Cyclase Functional Assay for Evaluation of Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma’ayan Israeli

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Edema Factor (EF, the toxic sub-unit of the Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin (ET is a calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase whose detrimental activity in the infected host results in severe edema. EF is therefore a major virulence factor of B. anthracis. We describe a simple, rapid and reliable functional adenylate-cyclase assay based on inhibition of a luciferase-mediated luminescence reaction. The assay exploits the efficient adenylate cyclase-mediated depletion of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP, and the strict dependence on ATP of the light-emitting luciferase-catalyzed luciferin-conversion to oxyluciferin, which can be easily visualized. The assay exhibits a robust EF-dose response decrease in luminescence, which may be specifically reverted by anti-EF antibodies. The application of the assay is exemplified in: (a determining the presence of EF in B. anthracis cultures, or its absence in cultures of EF-defective strains; (b evaluating the anti-EF humoral response in experimental animals infected/vaccinated with B. anthracis; and (c rapid discrimination between EF producing and non-producing bacterial colonies. Furthermore, the assay may be amenable with high-throughput screening for EF inhibitory molecules.

  15. The Effect of Growth Medium on B. anthracis Sterne Spore Carbohydrate Content

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colburn, Heather A.; Wunschel, David S.; Antolick, Kathryn C.; Melville, Angela M.; Valentine, Nancy B.

    2011-06-01

    The expressed characteristics of biothreat agents may be impacted by variations in the culture environment, including growth medium formulation. The carbohydrate composition of B. anthracis spores has been well studied, particularly for the exosporium, which is the outermost spore structure. The carbohydrate composition of the exosporium has been demonstrated to be distinct from the vegetative form containing unique monosaccharides.

  16. clpC operon regulates cell architecture and sporulation in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Lalit K; Dhasmana, Neha; Sajid, Andaleeb; Kumar, Prasun; Bhaduri, Asani; Bharadwaj, Mitasha; Gandotra, Sheetal; Kalia, Vipin C; Das, Taposh K; Goel, Ajay K; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Misra, Richa; Gerth, Ulf; Leppla, Stephen H; Singh, Yogendra

    2015-03-01

    The clpC operon is known to regulate several processes such as genetic competence, protein degradation and stress survival in bacteria. Here, we describe the role of clpC operon in Bacillus anthracis. We generated knockout strains of the clpC operon genes to investigate the impact of CtsR, McsA, McsB and ClpC deletion on essential processes of B. anthracis. We observed that growth, cell division, sporulation and germination were severely affected in mcsB and clpC deleted strains, while none of deletions affected toxin secretion. Growth defect in these strains was pronounced at elevated temperature. The growth pattern gets restored on complementation of mcsB and clpC in respective mutants. Electron microscopic examination revealed that mcsB and clpC deletion also causes defect in septum formation leading to cell elongation. These vegetative cell deformities were accompanied by inability of mutant strains to generate morphologically intact spores. Higher levels of polyhydroxybutyrate granules accumulation were also observed in these deletion strains, indicating a defect in sporulation process. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, the vital role played by McsB and ClpC in physiology of B. anthracis and open up further interest on this operon, which might be of importance to success of B. anthracis as pathogen.

  17. 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.

  18. Bacillus anthracis diagnostic detection and rapid antibiotic susceptibility determination using 'bioluminescent' reporter phage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, David A; Sharp, Natasha J; Vandamm, Joshua; Molineux, Ian J; Spreng, Krista A; Rajanna, Chythanya; Westwater, Caroline; Stewart, George C

    2013-11-01

    Genetically modified phages have the potential to detect pathogenic bacteria from clinical, environmental, or food-related sources. Herein we assess an engineered 'bioluminescent' reporter phage (Wß::luxAB) as a clinical diagnostic tool for Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax. Wß::luxAB is able to rapidly (within minutes) detect a panel of B. anthracis strains by transducing a bioluminescent phenotype. The reporter phage displays species specificity by its inability, or significantly reduced ability, to detect members of the closely related Bacillus cereus group and other common bacterial pathogens. Using spiked clinical specimens, Wß::luxAB detects B. anthracis within 5 h at clinically relevant concentrations, and provides antibiotic susceptibility information that mirrors the CLSI method, except that data are obtained at least 5-fold faster. Although anthrax is a treatable disease, a positive patient prognosis is dependent on timely diagnosis and appropriate therapy. Wß::luxAB rapidly detects B. anthracis and determines antibiotic efficacy, properties that will help patient outcome.

  19. Identification of Bacillus anthracis PurE inhibitors with antimicrobial activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Anna; Wolf, Nina M; Zhu, Tian; Johnson, Michael E; Deng, Jiangping; Cook, James L; Fung, Leslie W-M

    2015-04-01

    N(5)-carboxy-amino-imidazole ribonucleotide (N(5)-CAIR) mutase (PurE), a bacterial enzyme in the de novo purine biosynthetic pathway, has been suggested to be a target for antimicrobial agent development. We have optimized a thermal shift method for high-throughput screening of compounds binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. We used a low ionic strength buffer condition to accentuate the thermal shift stabilization induced by compound binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. The compounds identified were then subjected to computational docking to the active site to further select compounds likely to be inhibitors. A UV-based enzymatic activity assay was then used to select inhibitory compounds. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were subsequently obtained for the inhibitory compounds against Bacillus anthracis (ΔANR strain), Escherichia coli (BW25113 strain, wild-type and ΔTolC), Francisella tularensis, Staphylococcus aureus (both methicillin susceptible and methicillin-resistant strains) and Yersinia pestis. Several compounds exhibited excellent (0.05-0.15μg/mL) MIC values against Bacillus anthracis. A common core structure was identified for the compounds exhibiting low MIC values. The difference in concentrations for inhibition and MIC suggest that another enzyme(s) is also targeted by the compounds that we identified.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cote, Christopher K; Welkos, Susan L

    2015-08-17

    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.

  1. Removal of Bacillus anthracis sterne spore from commercial unpasteurized liquid egg white using crossflow microfiltration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current pasteurization technology used by the egg industry is ineffective for destruction of spores such as those of Bacillus anthracis (BA). The validity of a cross-flow microfiltration (MF) process for separation of the attenuated strain of BA (Sterne) spores from commercial unpasteurized liquid ...

  2. The two CcdA proteins of Bacillus anthracis differentially affect virulence gene expression and sporulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Hesong; Wilson, Adam C

    2013-12-01

    The cytochrome c maturation system influences the expression of virulence factors in Bacillus anthracis. B. anthracis carries two copies of the ccdA gene, encoding predicted thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases that contribute to cytochrome c maturation, while the closely related organism Bacillus subtilis carries only one copy of ccdA. To investigate the roles of the two ccdA gene copies in B. anthracis, strains were constructed without each ccdA gene, and one strain was constructed without both copies simultaneously. Loss of both ccdA genes results in a reduction of cytochrome c production, an increase in virulence factor expression, and a reduction in sporulation efficiency. Complementation and expression analyses indicate that ccdA2 encodes the primary CcdA in B. anthracis, active in all three pathways. While CcdA1 retains activity in cytochrome c maturation and virulence control, it has completely lost its activity in the sporulation pathway. In support of this finding, expression of ccdA1 is strongly reduced when cells are grown under sporulation-inducing conditions. When the activities of CcdA1 and CcdA2 were analyzed in B. subtilis, neither protein retained activity in cytochrome c maturation, but CcdA2 could still function in sporulation. These observations reveal the complexities of thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase function in pathways relevant to virulence and physiology.

  3. The use of germinants to potentiate the sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis spores to peracetic acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozgur eCelebi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 one hour 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Microarray Analysis of Transposon Insertion Mutants in Bacillus Anthracis: Global Identification of Genes Required for Sporulation and Germination

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    Gilois, M. Rose, and D. Lereclus. 2001. Oligopep- tide permease is required for expression of the Bacillus thuringiensis plcR regulon and for...non- toxin gene expression in Bacillus anthracis. Infect. Immun. 65:3091–3099. 10. Ikeda, R. A., C. M. Ligman, and S. Warshamana. 1992. T7 promoter con...nontoxi- genic Bacillus anthracis spore vaccines based on strains expressing mutant vari- ants of lethal toxin components. Vaccine 23:5688–5697. 17. Read

  8. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria isolated from wild great apes from Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-01

    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 CO(2) and bicarbonate but also under normal growth conditions. Subcultivation resulted in beta-hemolytic activity and gamma phage susceptibility in some subclones, suggesting differences in gene regulation compared to classic B. anthracis. The isolates from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon showed slight differences in their biochemical characteristics and MICs of different antibiotics but were identical in all molecular features and sequences analyzed. PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed the presence of both the toxin and the capsule plasmid, with sizes corresponding to the B. anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Protective antigen was expressed and secreted into the culture supernatant. The isolates possessed variants of the Ba813 marker and the SG-749 fragment differing from that of classic B. anthracis strains. Multilocus sequence typing revealed a close relationship of our atypical isolates with both classic B. anthracis strains and two uncommonly virulent Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates. We propose that the newly discovered atypical B. anthracis strains share a common ancestor with classic B. anthracis or that they emerged recently by transfer of the B. anthracis plasmids to a strain of the B. cereus group.

  9. A new approach to in silico SNP detection and some new SNPs in the Bacillus anthracis genome

    OpenAIRE

    Francoeur Joe; Brodzik Andrzej K

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is one of the most monomorphic pathogens known. Identification of polymorphisms in its genome is essential for taxonomic classification, for determination of recent evolutionary changes, and for evaluation of pathogenic potency. Findings In this work three strains of the Bacillus anthracis genome are compared and previously unpublished single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are revealed. Moreover, it is shown that, despite the highly monomorphic nature o...

  10. Identification and Classification of bcl Genes and Proteins of Bacillus cereus Group Organisms and Their Application in Bacillus anthracis Detection and Fingerprinting▿ †

    OpenAIRE

    Leski, Tomasz A.; Caswell, Clayton C.; Pawlowski, Marcin; Klinke, David J.; Bujnicki, Janusz M.; Hart, Sean J.; Lukomski, Slawomir

    2009-01-01

    The Bacillus cereus group includes three closely related species, B. anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis, which form a highly homogeneous subdivision of the genus Bacillus. One of these species, B. anthracis, has been identified as one of the most probable bacterial biowarfare agents. Here, we evaluate the sequence and length polymorphisms of the Bacillus collagen-like protein bcl genes as a basis for B. anthracis detection and fingerprinting. Five genes, designated bclA to bclE, are p...

  11. Thermodynamic analysis of DNA binding by a Bacillus single stranded DNA binding protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biswas-Fiss Esther E

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Single-stranded DNA binding proteins (SSB are essential for DNA replication, repair, and recombination in all organisms. SSB works in concert with a variety of DNA metabolizing enzymes such as DNA polymerase. Results We have cloned and purified SSB from Bacillus anthracis (SSBBA. In the absence of DNA, at concentrations ≤100 μg/ml, SSBBA did not form a stable tetramer and appeared to resemble bacteriophage T4 gene 32 protein. Fluorescence anisotropy studies demonstrated that SSBBA bound ssDNA with high affinity comparable to other prokaryotic SSBs. Thermodynamic analysis indicated both hydrophobic and ionic contributions to ssDNA binding. FRET analysis of oligo(dT70 binding suggested that SSBBA forms a tetrameric assembly upon ssDNA binding. This report provides evidence of a bacterial SSB that utilizes a novel mechanism for DNA binding through the formation of a transient tetrameric structure. Conclusions Unlike other prokaryotic SSB proteins, SSBBA from Bacillus anthracis appeared to be monomeric at concentrations ≤100 μg/ml as determined by SE-HPLC. SSBBA retained its ability to bind ssDNA with very high affinity, comparable to SSB proteins which are tetrameric. In the presence of a long ssDNA template, SSBBA appears to form a transient tetrameric structure. Its unique structure appears to be due to the cumulative effect of multiple key amino acid changes in its sequence during evolution, leading to perturbation of stable dimer and tetramer formation. The structural features of SSBBA could promote facile assembly and disassembly of the protein-DNA complex required in processes such as DNA replication.

  12. Occurrence and Genetic Diversity of Bacillus anthracis Strains Isolated in an Active Wool-Cleaning Factory▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wattiau, Pierre; Klee, Silke R.; Fretin, David; Van Hessche, Mieke; Ménart, Marie; Franz, Tatjana; Chasseur, Camille; Butaye, Patrick; Imberechts, Hein

    2008-01-01

    Culturable microorganisms from various samples taken at an active factory performing wool and goat hair cleaning were isolated and analyzed. Bacillus anthracis was found in air filter dust, wastewater, and goat hairs, where it accounted for approximately 1% of the total counts of viable bacteria. Consistent with the countries of origin of the processed material (South Caucasian and Middle Eastern), all B. anthracis isolates belonged to the same phylogenetic cluster, as determined by variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) typing at eight loci. Within this cluster, five closely related VNTR subtypes could be identified, of which two were previously unreported. Additional diversity was observed when more sensitive genetic markers were assayed, demonstrating the multifocal nature of goat hair contamination. Goat hair originating from areas where anthrax is endemic remains a material with high biological risk for modern woolworkers. PMID:18487406

  13. Effects of Long-Term Storage on Plasmid Stability in Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marston, Chung K.; Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Wilson, Kathy E.; Bragg, Sandra L.; Plikaytis, Brian; Brachman, Philip; Johnson, Scott; Kaufmann, Arnold F.; Popovic, Tanja

    2005-01-01

    The plasmid profiles of 619 cultures of Bacillus anthracis which had been isolated and stored between 1954 and 1989 were analyzed using the Laboratory Response Network real-time PCR assay targeting a chromosomal marker and both virulence plasmids (pXO1 and pXO2). The cultures were stored at ambient temperature on tryptic soy agar slants overlaid with mineral oil. When data were stratified by decade, there was a decreasing linear trend in the proportion of strains containing both plasmids with increased storage time (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the proportion of strains containing only pXO1 or strains containing only pXO2 (P = 0.25), but there was a statistical interdependence between the two plasmids (P = 0.004). Loss of viability of B. anthracis cultures stored on agar slants is also discussed. PMID:16332750

  14. 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.

  15. A genetic approach for the identification of exosporium assembly determinants of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spreng, Krista A.; Thompson, Brian M.; Stewart, George C.

    2013-01-01

    The exosporium is the outermost layer of spores of the zoonotic pathogen Bacillus anthracis. The composition of the exosporium and its functions are only partly understood. Because this outer spore layer is refractive to traditional biochemical analysis, a genetic approach is needed in order to define the proteins which comprise this important spore layer and its assembly pathway. We have created a novel genetic screening system for the identification and isolation of mutants with defects in exosporium assembly during B. anthracis spore maturation. The system is based on the targeting sequence of the BclA exosporium nap layer glycoprotein and a fluorescent reporter. By utilizing this screening system and gene inactivation with Tn916, several novel putative exosporium-associated determinants were identified. A sampling of the mutants obtained was further characterized, confirming their exosporium defect and validating the utility of this screen to identify novel spore determinants in the genome of this pathogen. PMID:23411372

  16. Transcriptional profiling of Bacillus anthracis Sterne (34F2 during iron starvation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E Carlson

    Full Text Available Lack of available iron is one of many environmental challenges that a bacterium encounters during infection and adaptation to iron starvation is important for the pathogen to efficiently replicate within the host. Here we define the transcriptional response of B. anthracis Sterne (34F(2 to iron depleted conditions. Genome-wide transcript analysis showed that B. anthracis undergoes considerable changes in gene expression during growth in iron-depleted media, including the regulation of known and candidate virulence factors. Two genes encoding putative internalin proteins were chosen for further study. Deletion of either gene (GBAA0552 or GBAA1340 resulted in attenuation in a murine model of infection. This attenuation was amplified in a double mutant strain. These data define the transcriptional changes induced during growth in low iron conditions and illustrate the potential of this dataset in the identification of putative virulence determinants for future study.

  17. 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.

  18. Specific activation of dendritic cells enhances clearance of Bacillus anthracis following infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Iain J T; Mann, Elizabeth R; Stokes, Margaret G; English, Nicholas R; Knight, Stella C; Williamson, Diane

    2014-01-01

    Dendritic cells are potent activators of the immune system and have a key role in linking innate and adaptive immune responses. In the current study we have used ex vivo pulsed bone marrow dendritic cells (BMDC) in a novel adoptive transfer strategy to protect against challenge with Bacillus anthracis, in a murine model. Pre-pulsing murine BMDC with either recombinant Protective Antigen (PA) or CpG significantly upregulated expression of the activation markers CD40, CD80, CD86 and MHC-II. Passive transfusion of mice with pulsed BMDC, concurrently with active immunisation with rPA in alum, significantly enhanced (pBMDC, demonstrated 100% survival following lethal B. anthracis challenge and had significantly enhanced (p<0.05) bacterial clearance within 2 days, compared with mice vaccinated with rPA and alum alone.

  19. Differentiation of Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus by gas chromatographic whole-cell fatty acid analysis.

    OpenAIRE

    Lawrence, D.; Heitefuss, S; Seifert, H S

    1991-01-01

    Three strains of Bacillus anthracis and seven strains of Bacillus cereus were grown on complex medium and on synthetic medium. Gas chromatographic analysis of whole-cell fatty acids of strains grown on complex medium gave nearly identical fatty acid patterns. Fatty acid patterns of strains grown on synthetic medium showed a high content of branched-chain fatty acids. Significant differences between the fatty acid patterns of the two species were found. Odd iso/anteiso fatty acid ratios were a...

  20. Regulation of the Spore Cortex Lytic Enzyme SleB in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of the disease anthrax and poses a threat due to its potential to be used as a biological weapon. The spore form of this bacterium is an extremely resistant structure, making spore decontamination exceptionally challenging. During spore germination, nutrient germinants interact with Ger receptors, triggering a cascade of events. A crucial event in this process is degradation of the cortex peptidoglycan by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs),...

  1. Role of YpeB in Cortex Hydrolysis during Germination of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The infectious agent of the disease anthrax is the spore of Bacillus anthracis. Bacterial spores are extremely resistant to environmental stresses, which greatly hinders spore decontamination efforts. The spore cortex, a thick layer of modified peptidoglycan, contributes to spore dormancy and resistance by maintaining the low water content of the spore core. The cortex is degraded by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs) during spore germination, rendering the cells vulnerable to common ...

  2. Anthrax, Toxins and Vaccines: A 125-Year Journey Targeting Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    after their inception. Since these early begin- nings, additional medical history linked to B. anthracis coincides in many ways with vac- cines that...by vaccination. Hopefully, the reader will be challenged to think of how existing anthrax vaccines, especially those meant for humans, can be...improved with available knowledge/technology. The many current anthrax vaccines are linked to Louis Pasteur’s seminal experiments at Pouilly Ie-Fort in

  3. A Bacillus anthracis Genome Sequence from the Sverdlovsk 1979 Autopsy Specimens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahl, Jason W.; Pearson, Talima; Okinaka, Richard; Schupp, James M.; Gillece, John D.; Heaton, Hannah; Birdsell, Dawn; Hepp, Crystal; Fofanov, Viacheslav; Noseda, Ramón; Fasanella, Antonio; Hoffmaster, Alex; Wagner, David M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that occurs naturally in wild and domestic animals but has been used by both state-sponsored programs and terrorists as a biological weapon. A Soviet industrial production facility in Sverdlovsk, USSR, proved deficient in 1979 when a plume of spores was accidentally released and resulted in one of the largest known human anthrax outbreaks. In order to understand this outbreak and others, we generated a Bacillus anthracis population genetic database based upon whole-genome analysis to identify all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across a reference genome. Phylogenetic analysis has defined three major clades (A, B, and C), B and C being relatively rare compared to A. The A clade has numerous subclades, including a major polytomy named the trans-Eurasian (TEA) group. The TEA radiation is a dominant evolutionary feature of B. anthracis, with many contemporary populations having resulted from a large spatial dispersal of spores from a single source. Two autopsy specimens from the Sverdlovsk outbreak were deep sequenced to produce draft B. anthracis genomes. This allowed the phylogenetic placement of the Sverdlovsk strain into a clade with two Asian live vaccine strains, including the Russian Tsiankovskii strain. The genome was examined for evidence of drug resistance manipulation or other genetic engineering, but none was found. The Soviet Sverdlovsk strain genome is consistent with a wild-type strain from Russia that had no evidence of genetic manipulation during its industrial production. This work provides insights into the world’s largest biological weapons program and provides an extensive B. anthracis phylogenetic reference. PMID:27677796

  4. A Bacillus anthracis Genome Sequence from the Sverdlovsk 1979 Autopsy Specimens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason W. Sahl

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that occurs naturally in wild and domestic animals but has been used by both state-sponsored programs and terrorists as a biological weapon. A Soviet industrial production facility in Sverdlovsk, USSR, proved deficient in 1979 when a plume of spores was accidentally released and resulted in one of the largest known human anthrax outbreaks. In order to understand this outbreak and others, we generated a Bacillus anthracis population genetic database based upon whole-genome analysis to identify all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs across a reference genome. Phylogenetic analysis has defined three major clades (A, B, and C, B and C being relatively rare compared to A. The A clade has numerous subclades, including a major polytomy named the trans-Eurasian (TEA group. The TEA radiation is a dominant evolutionary feature of B. anthracis, with many contemporary populations having resulted from a large spatial dispersal of spores from a single source. Two autopsy specimens from the Sverdlovsk outbreak were deep sequenced to produce draft B. anthracis genomes. This allowed the phylogenetic placement of the Sverdlovsk strain into a clade with two Asian live vaccine strains, including the Russian Tsiankovskii strain. The genome was examined for evidence of drug resistance manipulation or other genetic engineering, but none was found. The Soviet Sverdlovsk strain genome is consistent with a wild-type strain from Russia that had no evidence of genetic manipulation during its industrial production. This work provides insights into the world’s largest biological weapons program and provides an extensive B. anthracis phylogenetic reference.

  5. Bacillus anthracis Capsular Conjugates Elicit Chimpanzee Polyclonal Antibodies That Protect Mice from Pulmonary Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhaochun; Schneerson, Rachel; Lovchik, Julie A; Dai, Zhongdong; Kubler-Kielb, Joanna; Agulto, Liane; Leppla, Stephen H; Purcell, Robert H

    2015-08-01

    The immunogenicity of Bacillus anthracis capsule (poly-γ-D-glutamic acid [PGA]) conjugated to recombinant B. anthracis protective antigen (rPA) or to tetanus toxoid (TT) was evaluated in two anthrax-naive juvenile chimpanzees. In a previous study of these conjugates, highly protective monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against PGA were generated. This study examines the polyclonal antibody response of the same animals. Preimmune antibodies to PGA with titers of >10(3) were detected in the chimpanzees. The maximal titer of anti-PGA was induced within 1 to 2 weeks following the 1st immunization, with no booster effects following the 2nd and 3rd immunizations. Thus, the anti-PGA response in the chimpanzees resembled a secondary immune response. Screening of sera from nine unimmunized chimpanzees and six humans revealed antibodies to PGA in all samples, with an average titer of 10(3). An anti-PA response was also observed following immunization with PGA-rPA conjugate, similar to that seen following immunization with rPA alone. However, in contrast to anti-PGA, preimmune anti-PA antibody titers and those following the 1st immunization were ≤300, with the antibodies peaking above 10(4) following the 2nd immunization. The polyclonal anti-PGA shared the MAb 11D epitope and, similar to the MAbs, exerted opsonophagocytic killing of B. anthracis. Most important, the PGA-TT-induced antibodies protected mice from a lethal challenge with virulent B. anthracis spores. Our data support the use of PGA conjugates, especially PGA-rPA targeting both toxin and capsule, as expanded-spectrum anthrax vaccines.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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 viable B. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineered B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression of luxAB in 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 of B. anthracis spores was 1 CFU in 8 h from pure cultures and as low as 10 CFU/g in sterile soil but increased to 105 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 104 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terra, Jill K; France, Bryan; Cote, Christopher K; Jenkins, Amy; Bozue, Joel A; Welkos, Susan L; Bhargava, Ragini; Ho, Chi-Lee; Mehrabian, Margarete; Pan, Calvin; Lusis, Aldons J; Davis, Richard C; LeVine, Steven M; Bradley, Kenneth A

    2011-12-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular modeling toward selective inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacoppo, Juliana O S; Mancini, Daiana T; Guimarães, Ana P; Gonçalves, Arlan S; da Cunha, Elaine F F; França, Tanos C C; Ramalho, Teodorico C

    2015-02-16

    In the present work, we applied docking and molecular dynamics techniques to study 11 compounds inside the enzymes dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) and Homo sapiens sapiens (HssDHFR). Six of these compounds were selected for a study with the mutant BaF96IDHFR. Our results corroborated with experimental data and allowed the proposition of a new molecule with potential activity and better selectivity for BaDHFR.

  12. 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

    2016-04-01

    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. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineered B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression of luxABin 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 of B. anthracis spores 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Dan [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Rands, Anthony D.; Losee, Scott C. [Torion Technologies, American Fork, UT 84003 (United States); Holt, Brian C. [Department of Statistics, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Williams, John R. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Lammert, Stephen A. [Torion Technologies, American Fork, UT 84003 (United States); Robison, Richard A. [Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Tolley, H. Dennis [Department of Statistics, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Lee, Milton L., E-mail: milton_lee@byu.edu [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States)

    2013-05-02

    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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyner, Timothy Andrew; Lukhnova, Larissa; Pazilov, Yerlan; Temiralyeva, Gulnara; Hugh-Jones, Martin E; Aikimbayev, Alim; Blackburn, Jason K

    2010-03-09

    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. anthracis.

  16. Cloning, purification and crystallization of Bacillus anthracis class C acid phosphatase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felts, Richard L. [Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Reilly, Thomas J. [Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Calcutt, Michael J. [Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Tanner, John J., E-mail: tannerjj@missouri.edu [Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States)

    2006-07-01

    Crystallization of a surface-localized acid phosphatase from Bacillus anthracis is reported. Flash annealing increased the high-resolution limit of usable data from 1.8 to 1.6 Å. Cloning, expression, purification and crystallization studies of a recombinant class C acid phosphatase from the Category A pathogen Bacillus anthracis are reported. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of HEPES and Jeffamine ED-2001 at pH 7.0. The crystals belong to space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 53.4, b = 90.1, c = 104.2 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain two protein molecules with a solvent content of 38%. Two native data sets were collected from the same crystal before and after flash-annealing. The first data set had a mosaicity of 1.6° and a high-resolution limit of 1.8 Å. After flash-annealing, the apparent mosaicity decreased to 0.9° and the high-resolution limit of usable data increased to 1.6 Å. This crystal form is currently being used to determine the structure of B. anthracis class C acid phosphatase with experimental phasing techniques.

  17. Storage Effects on Sample Integrity of Environmental Surface Sampling Specimens with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, K Allison; O'Connell, Heather A; Rose, Laura J; Noble-Wang, Judith A; Arduino, Matthew J

    The effect of packaging, shipping temperatures and storage times on recovery of Bacillus anthracis. Sterne spores from swabs was investigated. Macrofoam swabs were pre-moistened, inoculated with Bacillus anthracis spores, and packaged in primary containment or secondary containment before storage at -15°C, 5°C, 21°C, or 35°C for 0-7 days. Swabs were processed according to validated Centers for Disease Control/Laboratory Response Network culture protocols, and the percent recovery relative to a reference sample (T0) was determined for each variable. No differences were observed in recovery between swabs held at -15° and 5°C, (p ≥ 0.23). These two temperatures provided significantly better recovery than swabs held at 21°C or 35°C (all 7 days pooled, p ≤ 0.04). The percent recovery at 5°C was not significantly different if processed on days 1, 2 or 4, but was significantly lower on day 7 (day 2 vs. 7, 5°C, 10(2), p=0.03). Secondary containment provided significantly better percent recovery than primary containment, regardless of storage time (5°C data, p ≤ 0.008). The integrity of environmental swab samples containing Bacillus anthracis spores shipped in secondary containment was maintained when stored at -15°C or 5°C and processed within 4 days to yield the optimum percent recovery of spores.

  18. 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

    2013-01-04

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Optimization of a sample processing protocol for recovery of Bacillus anthracis spores from soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestri, Erin E.; Feldhake, David; Griffin, Dale; Lisle, John T.; Nichols, Tonya L.; Shah, Sanjiv; Pemberton, A; Schaefer III, Frank W

    2016-01-01

    Following a release of Bacillus anthracis spores into the environment, there is a potential for lasting environmental contamination in soils. There is a need for detection protocols for B. anthracis in environmental matrices. However, identification of B. anthracis within a soil is a difficult task. Processing soil samples helps to remove debris, chemical components, and biological impurities that can interfere with microbiological detection. This study aimed to optimize a previously used indirect processing protocol, which included a series of washing and centrifugation steps. Optimization of the protocol included: identifying an ideal extraction diluent, variation in the number of wash steps, variation in the initial centrifugation speed, sonication and shaking mechanisms. The optimized protocol was demonstrated at two laboratories in order to evaluate the recovery of spores from loamy and sandy soils. The new protocol demonstrated an improved limit of detection for loamy and sandy soils over the non-optimized protocol with an approximate matrix limit of detection at 14 spores/g of soil. There were no significant differences overall between the two laboratories for either soil type, suggesting that the processing protocol will be robust enough to use at multiple laboratories while achieving comparable recoveries.

  1. Ca-asp bound X-ray structure and inhibition of Bacillus anthracis dihydroorotase (DHOase).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Amy J; Lei, Hao; Santarsiero, Bernard D; Lee, Hyun; Johnson, Michael E

    2016-10-01

    Dihydroorotase (DHOase) is the third enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine synthesis pathway and is responsible for the reversible cyclization of carbamyl-aspartate (Ca-asp) to dihydroorotate (DHO). DHOase is further divided into two classes based on several structural characteristics, one of which is the length of the flexible catalytic loop that interacts with the substrate, Ca-asp, regulating the enzyme activity. Here, we present the crystal structure of Class I Bacillus anthracis DHOase with Ca-asp in the active site, which shows the peptide backbone of glycine in the shorter loop forming the necessary hydrogen bonds with the substrate, in place of the two threonines found in Class II DHOases. Despite the differences in the catalytic loop, the structure confirms that the key interactions between the substrate and active site residues are similar between Class I and Class II DHOase enzymes, which we further validated by mutagenesis studies. B. anthracis DHOase is also a potential antibacterial drug target. In order to identify prospective inhibitors, we performed high-throughput screening against several libraries using a colorimetric enzymatic assay and an orthogonal fluorescence thermal binding assay. Surface plasmon resonance was used for determining binding affinity (KD) and competition analysis with Ca-asp. Our results highlight that the primary difference between Class I and Class II DHOase is the catalytic loop. We also identify several compounds that can potentially be further optimized as potential B. anthracis inhibitors.

  2. The human-bacterial pathogen protein interaction networks of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Dyer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis are bacterial pathogens that can cause anthrax, lethal acute pneumonic disease, and bubonic plague, respectively, and are listed as NIAID Category A priority pathogens for possible use as biological weapons. However, the interactions between human proteins and proteins in these bacteria remain poorly characterized leading to an incomplete understanding of their pathogenesis and mechanisms of immune evasion. METHODOLOGY: In this study, we used a high-throughput yeast two-hybrid assay to identify physical interactions between human proteins and proteins from each of these three pathogens. From more than 250,000 screens performed, we identified 3,073 human-B. anthracis, 1,383 human-F. tularensis, and 4,059 human-Y. pestis protein-protein interactions including interactions involving 304 B. anthracis, 52 F. tularensis, and 330 Y. pestis proteins that are uncharacterized. Computational analysis revealed that pathogen proteins preferentially interact with human proteins that are hubs and bottlenecks in the human PPI network. In addition, we computed modules of human-pathogen PPIs that are conserved amongst the three networks. Functionally, such conserved modules reveal commonalities between how the different pathogens interact with crucial host pathways involved in inflammation and immunity. SIGNIFICANCE: These data constitute the first extensive protein interaction networks constructed for bacterial pathogens and their human hosts. This study provides novel insights into host-pathogen interactions.

  3. Specific activation of dendritic cells enhances clearance of Bacillus anthracis following infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iain J T Thompson

    Full Text Available Dendritic cells are potent activators of the immune system and have a key role in linking innate and adaptive immune responses. In the current study we have used ex vivo pulsed bone marrow dendritic cells (BMDC in a novel adoptive transfer strategy to protect against challenge with Bacillus anthracis, in a murine model. Pre-pulsing murine BMDC with either recombinant Protective Antigen (PA or CpG significantly upregulated expression of the activation markers CD40, CD80, CD86 and MHC-II. Passive transfusion of mice with pulsed BMDC, concurrently with active immunisation with rPA in alum, significantly enhanced (p<0.001 PA-specific splenocyte responses seven days post-immunisation. Parallel studies using ex vivo DCs expanded from human peripheral blood and activated under the same conditions as the murine DC, demonstrated that human DCs had a PA dose-related significant increase in the markers CD40, CD80 and CCR7 and that the increases in CD40 and CD80 were maintained when the other activating components, CpG and HK B. anthracis were added to the rPA in culture. Mice vaccinated on a single occasion intra-muscularly with rPA and alum and concurrently transfused intra-dermally with pulsed BMDC, demonstrated 100% survival following lethal B. anthracis challenge and had significantly enhanced (p<0.05 bacterial clearance within 2 days, compared with mice vaccinated with rPA and alum alone.

  4. Mechanisms of assembly of the enzyme-ssDNA complexes required for recombination-dependent DNA synthesis and repair in bacteriophage T4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrical, S.; Hempstead, K.; Morrical, M. [Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT (United States)

    1994-12-31

    During late stages of bacteriophage T4 infection in E. coli, the initiation of phage DNA replication is dependent on the homologous recombination activity of the T4 uvsX protein. In vitro, uvsX protein initiates DNA synthesis on a duplex template by inserting the 3{prime} end of a homologous ssDNA molecule into the duplex. The resulting D-loop structure serves as a primer-template junction for the assembly of the T4 replication fork. Two key steps in this initiation process are (A) the assembly of uvsX-ssDNA complexes necessary for recombination activity and for the priming of lead-strand DNA synthesis, and (B) the assembly of the T4 primosome (gp41 helicase/gp61 primase complex) onto the single-stranded template for lagging-strand synthesis. Our laboratory is focusing on the mechanisms of these two different but related enzyme-ssDNA assembly processes. In this extended abstract, we describe recent efforts in our laboratory to elucidate the mechanism by which the gp41 helicase enzyme is assembled onto gp32-covered ssDNA, a process requiring the activity of a special helicase assembly factor, the T4 gp59 protein.

  5. Measurements of DNA Damage and Repair in Bacillus anthracis Sterne Spores by UV Radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-18

    increase of water, protein motility begins and enzymatic activity is initiated. The outgrowth period of germination is the only step that contains...process [23]. 17 Figure 5. The spore germination process. Germination occurs in 2 main stages. The initiation/activation step involves the...with a red fluorescent protein was transformed into Ba Sterne cells prior. Following irradiation, germination media was added and the spores were

  6. Rad51 recombinase prevents Mre11 nuclease-dependent degradation and excessive PrimPol-mediated elongation of nascent DNA after UV irradiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallerga, María Belén; Mansilla, Sabrina F; Federico, María Belén; Bertolin, Agustina P; Gottifredi, Vanesa

    2015-12-01

    After UV irradiation, DNA polymerases specialized in translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) aid DNA replication. However, it is unclear whether other mechanisms also facilitate the elongation of UV-damaged DNA. We wondered if Rad51 recombinase (Rad51), a factor that escorts replication forks, aids replication across UV lesions. We found that depletion of Rad51 impairs S-phase progression and increases cell death after UV irradiation. Interestingly, Rad51 and the TLS polymerase polη modulate the elongation of nascent DNA in different ways, suggesting that DNA elongation after UV irradiation does not exclusively rely on TLS events. In particular, Rad51 protects the DNA synthesized immediately before UV irradiation from degradation and avoids excessive elongation of nascent DNA after UV irradiation. In Rad51-depleted samples, the degradation of DNA was limited to the first minutes after UV irradiation and required the exonuclease activity of the double strand break repair nuclease (Mre11). The persistent dysregulation of nascent DNA elongation after Rad51 knockdown required Mre11, but not its exonuclease activity, and PrimPol, a DNA polymerase with primase activity. By showing a crucial contribution of Rad51 to the synthesis of nascent DNA, our results reveal an unanticipated complexity in the regulation of DNA elongation across UV-damaged templates.

  7. Molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis in the Netherlands: investigating the relationship to the wordwide population using whole-genome SNP discovery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derzelle, S.; Girault, G.; Roest, H.I.J.; Koene, M.G.J.

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been widely described as a clonal species. Here we report the use of both canonical SNP analysis and whole-genome sequencing to characterize the phylogenetic lineages of B. anthracis from the Netherlands. Eleven strains isolated over a 25-years

  8. Draft Genome Sequence of the Nonpathogenic, Thermotolerant, and Exopolysaccharide-Producing Bacillus anthracis Strain PFAB2 from Panifala Hot Water Spring in West Bengal, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Aparna; Halder, Urmi; Chaudhry, Vasvi; Varshney, Rajeev K.; Mantri, Shrikant

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of fatal anthrax in both animals and humans. It is prevalently pathogenic. Here, we present a Bacillus anthracis PFAB2 strain from a relatively unexplored Panifala hot water spring in West Bengal, India. It is nonpathogenic, exopolysaccharide producing, and thermotolerant in nature. PMID:28007848

  9. 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.

  10. Rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunological detection system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dian-Bing; Tian, Bo; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Deng, Jiao-Yu; Cui, Zong-Qiang; Yang, Rui-Fu; Wang, Xu-Ying; Wei, Hong-Ping; Zhang, Xian-En

    2013-04-15

    There is an urgent need for convenient, sensitive, and specific methods to detect the spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, because of the bioterrorism threat posed by this bacterium. In this study, we firstly develop a super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunological detection system for B. anthracis spores. This system involves the use of a portable magnetic assay reader, super-paramagnetic iron oxide particles, lateral-flow strips and two different monoclonal antibodies directed against B. anthracis spores. This detection system specifically recognises as few as 400 pure B. anthracis spores in 30 min. This system has a linear range of 4×10³-10⁶ CFU ml⁻¹ and reproducible detection limits of 200 spores mg⁻¹ milk powder and 130 spores mg⁻¹ soil for simulated samples. In addition, this approach shows no obvious cross-reaction with other related Bacillus spores, even at high concentrations, and has no significant dependence on the duration of the storage of the immunological strips. Therefore, this super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunological detection system is a promising tool for the rapid and sensitive detection of Bacillus anthracis spores under field conditions.

  11. LytR-CpsA-Psr enzymes as determinants of Bacillus anthracis secondary cell wall polysaccharide assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liszewski Zilla, Megan; Chan, Yvonne G Y; Lunderberg, Justin Mark; Schneewind, Olaf; Missiakas, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, replicates as chains of vegetative cells by regulating the separation of septal peptidoglycan. Surface (S)-layer proteins and associated proteins (BSLs) function as chain length determinants and bind to the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP). In this study, we identified the B. anthracis lcpD mutant, which displays increased chain length and S-layer assembly defects due to diminished SCWP attachment to peptidoglycan. In contrast, the B. anthracis lcpB3 variant displayed reduced cell size and chain length, which could be attributed to increased deposition of BSLs. In other bacteria, LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) proteins attach wall teichoic acid (WTA) and polysaccharide capsule to peptidoglycan. B. anthracis does not synthesize these polymers, yet its genome encodes six LCP homologues, which, when expressed in S. aureus, promote WTA attachment. We propose a model whereby B. anthracis LCPs promote attachment of SCWP precursors to discrete locations in the peptidoglycan, enabling BSL assembly and regulated separation of septal peptidoglycan.

  12. N-acetylglucosamine deacetylases modulate the anchoring of the gamma-glutamyl capsule to the cell wall of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candela, Thomas; Balomenou, Stavroula; Aucher, Willy; Bouriotis, Vassilis; Simore, Jean-Pierre; Fouet, Agnes; Boneca, Ivo G

    2014-06-01

    Bacillus anthracis has a complex cell wall structure composed of a peptidoglycan (PG) layer to which major structures are anchored such as a neutral polysaccharide, an S-layer, and a poly-γ-D-glutamate (PDGA) capsule. Many of these structures have central roles in the biology of B. anthracis, particularly, in virulence. However, little attention has been devoted to structurally study the PG and how it is modified in the presence of these secondary cell wall components. We present here the fine structure of the PG of the encapsulated RPG1 strain harboring both pXO1 and pXO2 virulence plasmids. We show that B. anthracis has a high degree of cross-linking and its GlcNAc residues are highly modified by N-deacetylation. The PG composition is not dependent on the presence of either LPXTG proteins or the capsule. Using NMR analysis of the PG-PDGA complex, we provide evidence for the anchoring of the PDGA to the glucosamine residues. We show that anchoring of the PDGA capsule is impaired in two PG N-deacetylase mutants, Ba1961 and Ba3679. Thus, these multiple N-deactylase activities would constitute excellent drug targets in B. anthracis by simultaneously affecting its resistance to lysozyme and to phagocytosis impairing B. anthracis survival in the host.

  13. Bacillus cereus Biovar Anthracis Causing Anthrax in Sub-Saharan Africa—Chromosomal Monophyly and Broad Geographic Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabon, Philip; Zimmermann, Fee; Lankester, Felix; Peller, Tianna; Feistner, Anna; Todd, Angelique; Herbinger, Ilka; de Nys, Hélène M.; Muyembe-Tamfun, Jean-Jacques; Karhemere, Stomy; Wittig, Roman M.; Couacy-Hymann, Emmanuel; Grunow, Roland; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Corbett, Cindi R.; Klee, Silke R.; Leendertz, Fabian H.

    2016-01-01

    Through full genome analyses of four atypical Bacillus cereus isolates, designated B. cereus biovar anthracis, we describe a distinct clade within the B. cereus group that presents with anthrax-like disease, carrying virulence plasmids similar to those of classic Bacillus anthracis. We have isolated members of this clade from different mammals (wild chimpanzees, gorillas, an elephant and goats) in West and Central Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo). The isolates shared several phenotypic features of both B. anthracis and B. cereus, but differed amongst each other in motility and their resistance or sensitivity to penicillin. They all possessed the same mutation in the regulator gene plcR, different from the one found in B. anthracis, and in addition, carry genes which enable them to produce a second capsule composed of hyaluronic acid. Our findings show the existence of a discrete clade of the B. cereus group capable of causing anthrax-like disease, found in areas of high biodiversity, which are possibly also the origin of the worldwide distributed B. anthracis. Establishing the impact of these pathogenic bacteria on threatened wildlife species will require systematic investigation. Furthermore, the consumption of wildlife found dead by the local population and presence in a domestic animal reveal potential sources of exposure to humans. PMID:27607836

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  15. Essential and non-essential DNA replication genes in the model halophilic Archaeon, Halobacterium sp. NRC-1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DasSarma Shiladitya

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Information transfer systems in Archaea, including many components of the DNA replication machinery, are similar to those found in eukaryotes. Functional assignments of archaeal DNA replication genes have been primarily based upon sequence homology and biochemical studies of replisome components, but few genetic studies have been conducted thus far. We have developed a tractable genetic system for knockout analysis of genes in the model halophilic archaeon, Halobacterium sp. NRC-1, and used it to determine which DNA replication genes are essential. Results Using a directed in-frame gene knockout method in Halobacterium sp. NRC-1, we examined nineteen genes predicted to be involved in DNA replication. Preliminary bioinformatic analysis of the large haloarchaeal Orc/Cdc6 family, related to eukaryotic Orc1 and Cdc6, showed five distinct clades of Orc/Cdc6 proteins conserved in all sequenced haloarchaea. Of ten orc/cdc6 genes in Halobacterium sp. NRC-1, only two were found to be essential, orc10, on the large chromosome, and orc2, on the minichromosome, pNRC200. Of the three replicative-type DNA polymerase genes, two were essential: the chromosomally encoded B family, polB1, and the chromosomally encoded euryarchaeal-specific D family, polD1/D2 (formerly called polA1/polA2 in the Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 genome sequence. The pNRC200-encoded B family polymerase, polB2, was non-essential. Accessory genes for DNA replication initiation and elongation factors, including the putative replicative helicase, mcm, the eukaryotic-type DNA primase, pri1/pri2, the DNA polymerase sliding clamp, pcn, and the flap endonuclease, rad2, were all essential. Targeted genes were classified as non-essential if knockouts were obtained and essential based on statistical analysis and/or by demonstrating the inability to isolate chromosomal knockouts except in the presence of a complementing plasmid copy of the gene. Conclusion The results showed that ten

  16. Genetic diversity among Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis strains using repetitive element polymorphism-PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumlik, Michael J; Bielawska-Drózd, Agata; Zakowska, Dorota; Liang, Xudong; Spalletta, Ronald A; Patra, Guy; Delvecchio, Vito G

    2004-01-01

    Repetitive element polymorphism-PCR (REP-PCR) is one of the tools that has been used to elucidate genetic diversity of related microorganisms. Using the MB1 primer, REP-PCR fingerprints from 110 Bacillus strains within the "B. cereus group" have identified eighteen distinct categories, while other more distantly related bacterial species fell within six additional categories. All Bacillus anthracis strains tested were found to be monomorphic by fluorophore-enhanced REP-PCR (FERP) fingerprinting using the MB1 primer. In contrast, other non- B. anthracis isolates displayed a high degree of polymorphism. Dendrogramic analysis revealed that the non- B. anthracis strains possessing the Ba813 chromosomal marker were divided into two clusters. One of the clusters shared identity with the B. cereus strains examined.

  17. Surface protein IsdC and Sortase B are required for heme-iron scavenging of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maresso, Anthony W; Chapa, Travis J; Schneewind, Olaf

    2006-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the spore-forming agent of anthrax, requires iron for growth and is capable of scavenging heme-iron during infection. We show here that the B. anthracis iron-regulated surface determinants (isd) locus encompasses isdC, specifying a heme-iron binding surface protein. Anchoring of IsdC to the cell wall envelopes of vegetative bacilli requires srtB, which encodes sortase B. Purified sortase B cleaves IsdC between the threonine and the glycine of its NPKTG motif sorting signal. B. anthracis variants lacking either isdC or srtB display defects in heme-iron scavenging, suggesting that IsdC binding to heme-iron in the cell wall envelope contributes to bacterial uptake of heme.

  18. XML A Simplified Van Erth Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP Typing Method of Bacillus Anthracis Applicable by Traditional Thermocycler Machines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Najafi Olya, Z. (BSc

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available SNP typing is now a well-established genotyping system in Bacillus anthracis studies. In the original standard method of Van Erth, SNPs at 13 loci of the B. anthracis genome were analyzed. In order to simplify and make appropriate this expensive method to low-budget laboratory settings, 13 primer pairs targeting the 13 corresponding SNPs were designed. Besides, a universal PCR protocol was developed to enable simultaneous amplification of all loci by conventional PCR machines. The efficiency of this approach was approved by applying on nine isolates of B. anthracis. We recommend using this modified procedure as an efficient alternative to Van Erth method until developing newer and affordable techniques.

  19. Gamma-phage lysin PlyG sequence-based synthetic peptides coupled with Qdot-nanocrystals are useful for developing detection methods for Bacillus anthracis by using its surrogates, B. anthracis-Sterne and B. cereus-4342

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atreya Chintamani

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous reports of site-directed deletion analysis on gamma (γ-phage lysin protein (PlyG have demonstrated that removal of a short amino acid sequence in the C-terminal region encompassing a 10-amino acid motif (190LKMTADFILQ199 abrogates its binding activity specific to the cell wall of Bacillus anthracis. Whether short synthetic peptides representing the10-amino acid PlyG putative binding motif flanked by surrounding N- and C-terminal residues also selectively bind to the bacterial cell wall has not been evaluated. If such peptides do demonstrate selective binding to the cell wall, they could serve as bio-probes towards developing detection technologies for B. anthracis. Furthermore, by using B. anthracis (Sterne, 34F2, an animal vaccine and B. cereus-4342, a γ-phage susceptible rare strain as surrogates of B. anthracis, development of proof-of-concepts for B. anthracis are feasible. Results Using four different methods, we evaluated six synthetic peptides representing the putative binding motif including flanking sequences (PlyG-P1 through P6 for the bacterial cell wall binding capacity. Our analysis identified PlyG-P1, PlyG-P3 and PlyG-P5 to have binding capability to both B. anthracis (Sterne, 34F2 and B. cereus-4342. The peptides however did not bind to B. cereus-11778, B. thuringiensis, and B. cereus-10876 suggesting their specificity for B. anthracis-Sterne and B. cereus-4342. PlyG-P3 in combination with fluorescent light microscopy detected even a single bacterium in plasma spiked with the bacteria. Conclusion Overall, these studies illustrate that the short 10-amino acid sequence 'LKMTADFILQ' in fact is a stand-alone bacterial cell wall-binding motif of PlyG. In principle, synthetic peptides PlyG-P1, PlyG-P3 and PlyG-P5, especially PlyG-P3 coupled with Qdot-nanocrystals are useful as high-sensitivity bio-probes in developing detection technologies for B. anthracis.

  20. 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.

  1. Cloning of the Protective Antigen Gene of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-09-01

    of the complicated precedents of duplicate toxin genes in chro- muumm mosomall and plasmid DNA of B. thuringiensis (Schnepf and Whitely, 1981; Klier...OiL V4. 34. S-W7. SW 1v 99 CwI 0193 by MT 0 009-7483/06O-002.00/0 mU"- - 1*;)-0Cloning of the Protective Antigen Gene OCT 19 MI L Sof Bacillus ...Sumnler uncertain, it is probably caused by other Bacillus antigens, 4 t which may include LF and EF. PA produced from recom- A The - "w t of a

  2. [Valuation for usefulness of selected chromosomal markers for Bacillus anthracis identification. II. Valuation for markers SSH and rpoB].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasada, Aleksandra Anna; Jagielski, Marek

    2006-01-01

    The article presents results of valuation for B. anthracis-specificity and usefulness for its identification obtained for different chromosomal markers. In the second part of the study markers SSH241, SSH196, SSH163, SSH133 as well as a fragment of the house-keeping gene rpoB were analyzed. For the investigation MSSCP and multiplex-PCR assays were used. There were also tested different techniques of electrophoresis. The results gave an information about specificity of tested markers and their usefulness for B. anthracis identification.

  3. Biochemical and structural characterization of alanine racemase from Bacillus anthracis (Ames

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hill Ryan E

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and a potential bioterrorism threat. Here we report the biochemical and structural characterization of B. anthracis (Ames alanine racemase (AlrBax, an essential enzyme in prokaryotes and a target for antimicrobial drug development. We also compare the native AlrBax structure to a recently reported structure of the same enzyme obtained through reductive lysine methylation. Results B. anthracis has two open reading frames encoding for putative alanine racemases. We show that only one, dal1, is able to complement a D-alanine auxotrophic strain of E. coli. Purified Dal1, which we term AlrBax, is shown to be a dimer in solution by dynamic light scattering and has a Vmax for racemization (L- to D-alanine of 101 U/mg. The crystal structure of unmodified AlrBax is reported here to 1.95 Å resolution. Despite the overall similarity of the fold to other alanine racemases, AlrBax makes use of a chloride ion to position key active site residues for catalysis, a feature not yet observed for this enzyme in other species. Crystal contacts are more extensive in the methylated structure compared to the unmethylated structure. Conclusion The chloride ion in AlrBax is functioning effectively as a carbamylated lysine making it an integral and unique part of this structure. Despite differences in space group and crystal form, the two AlrBax structures are very similar, supporting the case that reductive methylation is a valid rescue strategy for proteins recalcitrant to crystallization, and does not, in this case, result in artifacts in the tertiary structure.

  4. Novel strategies for enhanced removal of persistent Bacillus anthracis surrogates and Clostridium difficile spores from skin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle M Nerandzic

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Removing spores of Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis from skin is challenging because they are resistant to commonly used antimicrobials and soap and water washing provides only modest efficacy. We hypothesized that hygiene interventions incorporating a sporicidal electrochemically generated hypochlorous acid solution (Vashe(® would reduce the burden of spores on skin. METHODS: Hands of volunteers were inoculated with non-toxigenic C. difficile spores or B. anthracis spore surrogates to assess the effectiveness of Vashe solution for reducing spores on skin. Reduction in spores was compared for Vashe hygiene interventions versus soap and water (control. To determine the effectiveness of Vashe solution for removal of C. difficile spores from the skin of patients with C. difficile infection (CDI, reductions in levels of spores on skin were compared for soap and water versus Vashe bed baths. RESULTS: Spore removal from hands was enhanced with Vashe soak (>2.5 log10 reduction versus soap and water wash or soak (~2.0 log10 reduction; P3.5 log10 spores from hands (P<0.01 compared to washing or soaking alone. Bed baths using soap and water (N =26 patients did not reduce the percentage of positive skin cultures for CDI patients (64% before versus 57% after bathing; P =0.5, whereas bathing with Vashe solution (N =21 patients significantly reduced skin contamination (54% before versus 8% after bathing; P =0.0001. Vashe was well-tolerated with no evidence of adverse effects on skin. CONCLUSIONS: Vashe was safe and effective for reducing the burden of B. anthracis surrogates and C. difficile spores on hands. Bed baths with Vashe were effective for reducing C. difficile on skin. These findings suggest a novel strategy to reduce the burden of spores on skin.

  5. Sensing and inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne by polymer-bromine complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, Paola A; Bromberg, Lev; Hatton, T Alan; Wilusz, Eugene

    2016-08-01

    We report on the performance of brominated poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP-Br), brominated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-Br), and brominated poly(allylamine-co-4-aminopyridine) (PAAm-APy-Br) for their ability to decontaminate Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in solution while also allowing for the sensing of the spores. The polymers were brominated by bromine using carbon tetrachloride or potassium tribromide as solvents, with bromine loadings ranging from 1.6 to 4.2 mEq/g of polymer. B. anthracis Sterne spores were exposed to increasing concentrations of brominated polymers for 5 min, while the kinetics of the sporicidal activity was assessed. All brominated polymers demonstrated spore log-kills of 8 within 5 min of exposure at 12 mg/mL aqueous polymer concentration. Sensing of spores was accomplished by measuring the release of dipicolinic acid (DPA) from the spore using time-resolved fluorescence. Parent, non-brominated polymers did not cause any release of DPA and the spores remained viable. In contrast, spores exposed to the brominated polymers were inactivated and the release of DPA was observed within minutes of exposure. Also, this release of DPA continued for a long time after spore inactivation as in a controlled release process. The DPA release was more pronounced for spores exposed to brominated PVP and brominated PEG-8000 compared to brominated PAAm-APy and brominated PEG-400. Using time-resolved fluorescence, we detected as low as 2500 B. anthracis spores, with PEG-8000 being more sensitive to low spore numbers. Our results suggest that the brominated polymers may be used effectively as decontamination agents against bacterial spores while also providing the sensing capability.

  6. 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.

  7. Metal binding spectrum and model structure of the Bacillus anthracis virulence determinant MntA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigonsky, Elena; Fish, Inbar; Livnat-Levanon, Nurit; Ovcharenko, Elena; Ben-Tal, Nir; Lewinson, Oded

    2015-10-01

    The potentially lethal human pathogen Bacillus anthracis expresses a putative metal import system, MntBCA, which belongs to the large family of ABC transporters. MntBCA is essential for virulence of Bacillus anthracis: deletion of MntA, the system's substrate binding protein, yields a completely non-virulent strain. Here we determined the metal binding spectrum of MntA. In contrast to what can be inferred from growth complementation studies we find no evidence that MntA binds Fe(2+) or Fe(3+). Rather, MntA binds a variety of other metal ions, including Mn(2+), Zn(2+), Cd(2+), Co(2+), and Ni(2+) with affinities ranging from 10(-6) to 10(-8) M. Binding of Zn(2+) and Co(2+) have a pronounced thermo-stabilizing effect on MntA, with Mn(2+) having a milder effect. The thermodynamic stability of MntA, competition experiments, and metal binding and release experiments all suggest that Mn(2+) is the metal that is likely transported by MntBCA and is therefore the limiting factor for virulence of Bacillus anthracis. A homology-model of MntA shows a single, highly conserved metal binding site, with four residues that participate in metal coordination: two histidines, a glutamate, and an aspartate. The metals bind to this site in a mutually exclusive manner, yet surprisingly, mutational analysis shows that for proper coordination each metal requires a different subset of these four residues. ConSurf evolutionary analysis and structural comparison of MntA and its homologues suggest that substrate binding proteins (SBPs) of metal ions use a pair of highly conserved prolines to interact with their cognate ABC transporters. This proline pair is found exclusively in ABC import systems of metal ions.

  8. Imaging B. anthracis heme catabolism in mice using the IFP1.4 gene reporter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Banghe; Robinson, Holly; Wilganowski, Nathaniel; Nobles, Christopher L.; Sevick-Muraca, Eva; Maresso, Anthony

    2012-03-01

    B. anthracis is a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium which likes all pathogenic bacteria, survive by sequestering heme from its host. To image B. anthracis heme catabolism in vivo, we stably transfect new red excitable fluorescent protein, IFP1.4, that requires the heme catabolism product biliverdin (BV). IFP1.4 reporter has favorable excitation and emission characteristics, which has an absorption peak at 685 nm and an emission peak at 708 nm. Therefore, IFP1.4 reporter can be imaged deeply into the tissue with less contamination from tissue autofluorescence. However, the excitation light "leakage" through optical filters can limit detection and sensitivity of IFP1.4 reporter due to the small Stoke's shift of IFP1.4 fluorescence. To minimize the excitation light leakage, an intensified CCD (ICCD) based infrared fluorescence imaging device was optimized using two band pass filters separated by a focus lens to increase the optical density at the excitation wavelength. In this study, a mouse model (DBA/J2) was first injected with B. anthracis bacteria expressing IFP1.4, 150 μl s.c., on the ventral side of the left thigh. Then mouse was given 250 μl of a 1mM BV solution via I.V. injection. Imaging was conducted as a function of time after infection under light euthanasia, excised tissues were imaged and IFP1.4 fluorescence correlated with standard culture measurements of colony forming units (CFU). The work demonstrates the use of IFP1.4 as a reporter of bacterial utilization of host heme and may provide an important tool for understanding the pathogenesis of bacterial infection and developing new anti-bacterial therapeutics.

  9. Purification, crystallization and preliminary structural analysis of nucleoside diphosphate kinase from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Misra, Gauri [Molecular and Structural Biology Division, Central Drug Research Institute, PO Box 173, Chattar Manzil, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226 001 (India); Aggarwal, Anita [Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Mall Road, Delhi 110 007 (India); Mittal, Sonia [Molecular and Structural Biology Division, Central Drug Research Institute, PO Box 173, Chattar Manzil, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226 001 (India); Singh, Yogendra [Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Mall Road, Delhi 110 007 (India); Ramachandran, Ravishankar, E-mail: r-ravishankar@cdri.res.in [Molecular and Structural Biology Division, Central Drug Research Institute, PO Box 173, Chattar Manzil, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226 001 (India)

    2007-12-01

    Nucleoside diphosphate kinase from B. anthracis has been crystallized. Preliminary crystallographic analysis shows that there is one monomer in the asymmetric unit of the crystal. Bacillus anthracis nucleoside diphosphate kinase (BaNdk) is an enzyme whose primary function is to maintain deoxynucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) pools by converting deoxynucleotide diphosphates to triphosphates using ATP as the major phosphate donor. Although the structures of Ndks from a variety of organisms have been elucidated, the enzyme from sporulating bacteria has not been structurally characterized to date. Crystals of the B. anthracis enzyme were grown using the vapour-diffusion method from a hanging drop consisting of 2 µl 10 mg ml{sup −1} protein in 50 mM Tris–HCl pH 8.0, 50 mM NaCl, 5 mM EDTA equilibrated against 500 µl reservoir solution consisting of 2.25 M ammonium formate and 0.1 M HEPES buffer pH 7.25. Diffraction data extending to 2.0 Å were collected at room temperature from a single crystal with unit-cell parameters a = b = 107.53, c = 52.3 Å. The crystals are hexagonal in shape and belong to space group P6{sub 3}22. The crystals contain a monomer in the asymmetric unit, which corresponds to a Matthews coefficient (V{sub M}) of 2.1 Å{sup 3} Da{sup −1} and a solvent content of about 36.9%.

  10. Disinfection methods for spores of Bacillus atrophaeus, B. anthracis, Clostridium tetani, C. botulinum and C. difficile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oie, Shigeharu; Obayashi, Akiko; Yamasaki, Hirofumi; Furukawa, Hiroyuki; Kenri, Tsuyoshi; Takahashi, Motohide; Kawamoto, Keiko; Makino, Sou-ichi

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate disinfection methods for environments contaminated with bioterrorism-associated microorganism (Bacillus anthracis), we performed the following experiments. First, the sporicidal effects of sodium hypochlorite on spores of five bacterial species were evaluated. Bacillus atrophaeus was the most resistant to hypochlorite, followed in order by B. anthracis, Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani, and Clostridium difficile. Subsequently, using B. atrophaeus spores that were the most resistant to hypochlorite, the sporicidal effects of hypochlorite at lower pH by adding vinegar were evaluated. Hypochlorite containing vinegar had far more marked sporicidal effects than hypochlorite alone. Cleaning with 0.5% (5000 ppm) hypochlorite containing vinegar inactivated B. atrophaeus spores attached to vinyl chloride and plywood plates within 15 s, while that not containing vinegar did not inactivate spores attached to cement or plywood plates even after 1 h. Therefore, the surfaces of cement or plywood plates were covered with gauze soaked in 0.5% hypochlorite containing vinegar, and the sporicidal effects were evaluated. B. atrophaeus spores attached to plywood plates were not inactivated even after 6 h, but those attached to cement plates were inactivated within 5 min. On the other hand, covering the surfaces of plywood plates with gauze soaked in 0.3% peracetic acid and gauze soaked in 2% glutaral inactivated B. atrophaeus spores within 5 min and 6 h, respectively. These results suggest that hypochlorite containing vinegar is effective for disinfecting vinyl chloride, tile, and cement plates contaminated with B. anthracis, and peracetic acid is effective for disinfecting plywood plates contaminated with such microorganism.

  11. CXCL10 Acts as a Bifunctional Antimicrobial Molecule against Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie R. Margulieux

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is killed by the interferon-inducible, ELR(− CXC chemokine CXCL10. Previous studies showed that disruption of the gene encoding FtsX, a conserved membrane component of the ATP-binding cassette transporter-like complex FtsE/X, resulted in resistance to CXCL10. FtsX exhibits some sequence similarity to the mammalian CXCL10 receptor, CXCR3, suggesting that the CXCL10 N-terminal region that interacts with CXCR3 may also interact with FtsX. A C-terminal truncated CXCL10 was tested to determine if the FtsX-dependent antimicrobial activity is associated with the CXCR3-interacting N terminus. The truncated CXCL10 exhibited antimicrobial activity against the B. anthracis parent strain but not the ΔftsX mutant, which supports a key role for the CXCL10 N terminus. Mutations in FtsE, the conserved ATP-binding protein of the FtsE/X complex, resulted in resistance to both CXCL10 and truncated CXCL10, indicating that both FtsX and FtsE are important. Higher concentrations of CXCL10 overcame the resistance of the ΔftsX mutant to CXCL10, suggesting an FtsX-independent killing mechanism, likely involving its C-terminal α-helix, which resembles a cationic antimicrobial peptide. Membrane depolarization studies revealed that CXCL10 disrupted membranes of the B. anthracis parent strain and the ΔftsX mutant, but only the parent strain underwent depolarization with truncated CXCL10. These findings suggest that CXCL10 is a bifunctional molecule that kills B. anthracis by two mechanisms. FtsE/X-dependent killing is mediated through an N-terminal portion of CXCL10 and is not reliant upon the C-terminal α-helix. The FtsE/X-independent mechanism involves membrane depolarization by CXCL10, likely because of its α-helix. These findings present a new paradigm for understanding mechanisms by which CXCL10 and related chemokines kill bacteria.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Bacillus anthracis SlaQ Promotes S-Layer Protein Assembly

    OpenAIRE

    Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Oh, So-Young; Schneewind, Daphne I.; Missiakas, Dominique; Schneewind, Olaf

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis vegetative forms assemble an S-layer comprised of two S-layer proteins, Sap and EA1. A hallmark of S-layer proteins are their C-terminal crystallization domains, which assemble into a crystalline lattice once these polypeptides are deposited on the bacterial surface via association between their N-terminal S-layer homology domains and the secondary cell wall polysaccharide. Here we show that slaQ, encoding a small cytoplasmic protein conserved among pathogenic bacilli elabo...

  15. Evaluation of the Cepheid GeneXpert System for Detecting Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-10-25

    anthracis Ames spores limit of detection for pXO2 using four-plex car- tridges. Cycle threshold ( LIZ CT) values are re- presented by bars and endpoint...fluorescence ( LIZ EP) values are depicted using lines. Automated biological agent diagnostics M.P. Ulrich et al. 1014 ª 2006 The Society for Applied...and Nolte, F.S. (2002) Clinical evaluation of an automated nucleic acid isolation system. Clin Chem 48, 1613–1615. Germer, J.J., Lins, M.M., Jensen , M.E

  16. 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.

  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. Mechanism of chromosomal DNA replication initiation and replication fork stabilization in eukaryotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, LiHong; Liu, Yang; Kong, DaoChun

    2014-05-01

    Chromosomal DNA replication is one of the central biological events occurring inside cells. Due to its large size, the replication of genomic DNA in eukaryotes initiates at hundreds to tens of thousands of sites called DNA origins so that the replication could be completed in a limited time. Further, eukaryotic DNA replication is sophisticatedly regulated, and this regulation guarantees that each origin fires once per S phase and each segment of DNA gets duplication also once per cell cycle. The first step of replication initiation is the assembly of pre-replication complex (pre-RC). Since 1973, four proteins, Cdc6/Cdc18, MCM, ORC and Cdt1, have been extensively studied and proved to be pre-RC components. Recently, a novel pre-RC component called Sap1/Girdin was identified. Sap1/Girdin is required for loading Cdc18/Cdc6 to origins for pre-RC assembly in the fission yeast and human cells, respectively. At the transition of G1 to S phase, pre-RC is activated by the two kinases, cyclindependent kinase (CDK) and Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK), and subsequently, RPA, primase-polα, PCNA, topoisomerase, Cdc45, polδ, and polɛ are recruited to DNA origins for creating two bi-directional replication forks and initiating DNA replication. As replication forks move along chromatin DNA, they frequently stall due to the presence of a great number of replication barriers on chromatin DNA, such as secondary DNA structures, protein/DNA complexes, DNA lesions, gene transcription. Stalled forks must require checkpoint regulation for their stabilization. Otherwise, stalled forks will collapse, which results in incomplete DNA replication and genomic instability. This short review gives a concise introduction regarding the current understanding of replication initiation and replication fork stabilization.

  19. Localization and structural analysis of a conserved pyruvylated epitope in Bacillus anthracis secondary cell wall polysaccharides and characterization of the galactose-deficient wall polysaccharide from avirulent B. anthracis CDC 684.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsberg, L Scott; Abshire, Teresa G; Friedlander, Arthur; Quinn, Conrad P; Kannenberg, Elmar L; Carlson, Russell W

    2012-08-01

    Bacillus anthracis CDC 684 is a naturally occurring, avirulent variant and close relative of the highly pathogenic B. anthracis Vollum. Bacillus anthracis CDC 684 contains both virulence plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, yet is non-pathogenic in animal models, prompting closer scrutiny of the molecular basis of attenuation. We structurally characterized the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) of B. anthracis CDC 684 (Ba684) using chemical and NMR spectroscopy analysis. The SCWP consists of a HexNAc trisaccharide backbone having identical structure as that of B. anthracis Pasteur, Sterne and Ames, →4)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1 → 4)-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 6)-α-d-GlcpNAc-(1→. Remarkably, although the backbone is fully polymerized, the SCWP is the devoid of all galactosyl side residues, a feature which normally comprises 50% of the glycosyl residues on the highly galactosylated SCWPs from pathogenic strains. This observation highlights the role of defective wall assembly in virulence and indicates that polymerization occurs independently of galactose side residue attachment. Of particular interest, the polymerized Ba684 backbone retains the substoichiometric pyruvate acetal, O-acetate and amino group modifications found on SCWPs from normal B. anthracis strains, and immunofluorescence analysis confirms that SCWP expression coincides with the ability to bind the surface layer homology (SLH) domain containing S-layer protein extractable antigen-1. Pyruvate was previously demonstrated as part of a conserved epitope, mediating SLH-domain protein attachment to the underlying peptidoglycan layer. We find that a single repeating unit, located at the distal (non-reducing) end of the Ba684 SCWP, is structurally modified and that this modification is present in identical manner in the SCWPs of normal B. anthracis strains. These polysaccharides terminate in the sequence: (S)-4,6-O-(1-carboxyethylidene)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1 → 4)-[3-O-acetyl]-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 6)-α-d-GlcpNH(2)-(1→.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Jason K; Odugbo, Moses Ode; Van Ert, Matthew; O'Shea, Bob; Mullins, Jocelyn; Perreten, Vincent; Perrenten, Vincent; Maho, Angaya; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2015-01-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  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. Literatuuronderzoek naar gegevens betreffende de betekenis van een aantal verwekkers van zoonosen in verband met de vleesconsumptie XIII Bacillus anthracis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos JM; Engel HWB; Groothuis DG; Knapen F van; Noorle Jansen LM van; Weiss JW

    1989-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, de verwekker van anthrax (miltvuur), komt mondiaal voor. Zowel mens als dier zijn in meer of mindere mate gevoelig voor infectie met deze bacterie. Bij dieren komen ziektebeelden voor varierend van peracute sterfte tot een meer chronisch beeld met locale laesis en aangetaste

  4. Genome Sequence of Historical Bacillus anthracis Strain Tyrol 4675 Isolated from a Bovine Anthrax Case in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwerpen, Markus; Wölfel, Roman

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT In 1988, an outbreak of anthrax occurred among cattle in the Austrian state of Tyrol. Since then, Austria has been declared anthrax-free. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of one of these last outbreak strains, Bacillus anthracis Tyrol 4675, isolated from a diseased cow. PMID:28280006

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores by super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunoassays based on "Road Closure".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dian-Bing; Tian, Bo; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Wang, Xu-Ying; Fleming, Joy; Bi, Li-Jun; Yang, Rui-Fu; Zhang, Xian-En

    2015-05-15

    Detection of Bacillus anthracis in the field, whether as a natural infection or as a biothreat remains challenging. Here we have developed a new lateral-flow immunochromatographic assay (LFIA) for B. anthracis spore detection based on the fact that conjugates of B. anthracis spores and super-paramagnetic particles labeled with antibodies will block the pores of chromatographic strips and form retention lines on the strips, instead of the conventionally reported test lines and control lines in classic LFIA. As a result, this new LFIA can simultaneously realize optical, magnetic and naked-eye detection by analyzing signals from the retention lines. As few as 500-700 pure B. anthracis spores can be recognized with CV values less than 8.31% within 5 min of chromatography and a total time of 20 min. For powdery sample tests, this LFIA can endure interference from 25% (w/v) milk, 10% (w/v) baking soda and 10% (w/v) starch without any sample pre-treatment, and has a corresponding detection limit of 6×10(4) spores/g milk powder, 2×10(5) spores/g starch and 5×10(5) spores/g baking soda. Compared with existing methods, this new approach is very competitive in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost and ease of operation. This proof-of-concept study can also be extended for detection of many other large-sized analytes.

  8. Thermal inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne in irradiated ground beef heated in a water bath or cooked on commercial grills

    Science.gov (United States)

    The thermal stability of heat-shocked and non heat-shocked spores of the virulence-attenuated Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis was evaluated at select temperatures in irradiated, raw ground beef (25% fat) heated in a water bath or cooked using two different commercial grills. For the former, 3-g ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-21

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and can be contracted by humans and herbivorous mammals by inhalation, ingestion, or cutaneous exposure to bacterial spores. Due to its stability and disease potential, B. anthracis is a recognized biothreat agent and robust detection and viability methods are needed to identify spores from unknown samples. Here we report the use of smartphone-based microscopy (SPM) in combination with a simple microfluidic incubation device (MID) to detect 50 to 5000 B. anthracis Sterne spores in 3 to 5 hours. This technique relies on optical monitoring of the conversion of the ∼1 μm spores to the filamentous vegetative cells that range from tens to hundreds of micrometers in length. This distinguishing filament formation is unique to B. anthracis as compared to other members of the Bacillus cereus group. A unique feature of this approach is that the sample integrity is maintained, and the vegetative biomass can be removed from the chip for secondary molecular analysis such as PCR. Compared with existing chip-based and rapid viability PCR methods, this new approach reduces assay time by almost half, and is highly sensitive, specific, and cost effective.

  10. 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.

  11. Pilot-scale crossflow-microfiltration and pasturization to remove spores of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) from milk

    Science.gov (United States)

    HTST pasteurization of milk is generally ineffective against spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis (BA) but is lethal to its vegetative cells. Crossflow microfiltration (MF), using ceramic membranes with a pore diameter of 1.4 um, has been shown to physically remove somatic cells, vegeta...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Cloning, purification and crystallization of Bacillus anthracis class C acid phosphatase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felts, Richard L.; Reilly, Thomas J.; Calcutt, Michael J.; Tanner, John J.

    2006-01-01

    Cloning, expression, purification and crystallization studies of a recombinant class C acid phosphatase from the Category A pathogen Bacillus anthracis are reported. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of HEPES and Jeffamine ED-2001 at pH 7.0. The crystals belong to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 53.4, b = 90.1, c = 104.2 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain two protein molecules with a solvent content of 38%. Two native data sets were collected from the same crystal before and after flash-annealing. The first data set had a mosaicity of 1.6° and a high-resolution limit of 1.8 Å. After flash-annealing, the apparent mosaicity decreased to 0.9° and the high-resolution limit of usable data increased to 1.6 Å. This crystal form is currently being used to determine the structure of B. anthracis class C acid phosphatase with experimental phasing techniques. PMID:16820700

  15. 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.

  16. Two Putative Polysaccharide Deacetylases Are Required for Osmotic Stability and Cell Shape Maintenance in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaouteli, Sofia; Giastas, Petros; Andreou, Athina; Tzanodaskalaki, Mary; Aldridge, Christine; Tzartos, Socrates J; Vollmer, Waldemar; Eliopoulos, Elias; Bouriotis, Vassilis

    2015-05-22

    Membrane-anchored lipoproteins have a broad range of functions and play key roles in several cellular processes in Gram-positive bacteria. BA0330 and BA0331 are the only lipoproteins among the 11 known or putative polysaccharide deacetylases of Bacillus anthracis. We found that both lipoproteins exhibit unique characteristics. BA0330 and BA0331 interact with peptidoglycan, and BA0330 is important for the adaptation of the bacterium to grow in the presence of a high concentration of salt, whereas BA0331 contributes to the maintenance of a uniform cell shape. They appear not to alter the peptidoglycan structure and do not contribute to lysozyme resistance. The high resolution x-ray structure of BA0330 revealed a C-terminal domain with the typical fold of a carbohydrate esterase 4 and an N-terminal domain unique for this family, composed of a two-layered (4 + 3) β-sandwich with structural similarity to fibronectin type 3 domains. Our data suggest that BA0330 and BA0331 have a structural role in stabilizing the cell wall of B. anthracis.

  17. 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.

  18. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores in water using biosensors based on magnetostrictive microcantilever coated with phage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Liling; Li, Suiqiong; Zhang, Kewei; Cheng, Z.-Y.; Barbaree, J. M.

    2007-04-01

    Microcantilevers (MCs) as state-of-art sensor platforms have been widely investigated. We recently introduced a new type of MC, magnetostrictive microcantilever (MSMC), as high performance sensor platform. The MSMC is a remote/wireless sensor platform and exhibits a high quality merit factor in liquid. In this paper, a MSMC-based biosensor is developed for detecting B. anthracis spores in liquid, a potential biothreaten agent. The results demonstrated the advantages of MSMCs as a sensor platform. MSMCs with different sizes were fabricated and utilized in the experiments. The MSMCs were coated with the filamentous phage as a bio-recognition element to capture the B. anthracis spores. The phage-coated MSMCs as biosensors were exposed to cultures containing target spores with concentrations ranging from 5 * 10 4 spores/mL to 5 * 10 8 spores/mL. The resonance frequency of the MSMC sensors in cultures was monitored in a real-time manner. The results showed that for MSMCs of 2.8 mm * 1.0 mm * 35 μm and with 1.4 mm * 0.8 mm * 35 μm have a detection limit of 10 5 and 10 4 spores/mL, respectively.

  19. Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores Using Immunomagnetic Separation and Amperometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waller, David F.; Hew, Brian E.; Holdaway, Charlie; Jen, Michael; Peckham, Gabriel D.

    2016-01-01

    Portable detection and quantitation methods for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores in pure culture or in environmental samples are lacking. Here, an amperometric immunoassay has been developed utilizing immunomagnetic separation to capture the spores and remove potential interferents from test samples followed by amperometric measurement on a field-portable instrument. Antibody-conjugated magnetic beads and antibody-conjugated glucose oxidase were used in a sandwich format for the capture and detection of target spores. Glucose oxidase activity of spore pellets was measured indirectly via amperometry by applying a bias voltage after incubation with glucose, horseradish peroxidase, and the electron mediator 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid). Target capture was mediated by polyclonal antisera, whereas monoclonal antibodies were used for signal generation. This strategy maximized sensitivity (500 target spores, 5000 cfu/mL), while also providing a good specificity for Bacillus anthracis spores. Minimal signal deviation occurs in the presence of environmental interferents including soil and modified pH conditions, demonstrating the strengths of immunomagnetic separation. The simultaneous incubation of capture and detection antibodies and rapid substrate development (5 min) result in short sample-to-signal times (less than an hour). With attributes comparable or exceeding that of ELISA and LFDs, amperometry is a low-cost, low-weight, and practical method for detecting anthrax spores in the field. PMID:27999382

  20. Forensic application of microbiological culture analysis to identify mail intentionally contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beecher, Douglas J

    2006-08-01

    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 sampling within the 20 bags indicated that one bag was orders of magnitude more contaminated than all the others. This bag contained a letter addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy that had been loaded with dried B. anthracis spores. Microbiological sampling of compartmentalized batches of mail proved to be efficient and relatively safe. Efficiency was increased by inoculating culture media in the hot zone rather than transferring swab samples to a laboratory for inoculation. All mail sampling was complete within 4 days with minimal contamination of the sampling environment or personnel. However, physically handling the intentionally contaminated letter proved to be exceptionally hazardous, as did sorting of cross-contaminated mail, which resulted in generation of hazardous aerosol and extensive contamination of protective clothing. Nearly 8 x 10(6) CFU was removed from the most highly cross-contaminated piece of mail found. Tracking data indicated that this and other heavily contaminated envelopes had been processed through the same mail sorting equipment as, and within 1 s of, two intentionally contaminated letters.

  1. 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.

  2. Improved proteomic analysis following trichloroacetic acid extraction of Bacillus anthracis spore proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    Proteomic analysis of bacterial samples provides valuable information about cellular responses and functions under different environmental pressures. Analysis of cellular proteins is dependent upon efficient extraction from bacterial samples, which can be challenging with increasing complexity and refractory characteristics. While no single method can recover 100% of the bacterial proteins, selected protocols can improve overall protein isolation, peptide recovery, or enrichment for certain classes of proteins. The method presented here is technically simple, does not require specialized equipment such as a mechanical disrupter, and is effective for protein extraction of the particularly challenging sample type of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores. The ability of Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) extraction to isolate proteins from spores and enrich for spore-specific proteins was compared to the traditional mechanical disruption method of bead beating. TCA extraction improved the total average number of proteins identified within a sample as compared to bead beating (547 vs 495, respectively). Further, TCA extraction enriched for 270 spore proteins, including those typically identified by first isolating the spore coat and exosporium layers. Bead beating enriched for 156 spore proteins more typically identified from whole spore proteome analyses. The total average number of proteins identified was equal using TCA or bead beating for easily lysed samples, such as B. anthracis vegetative cells. As with all assays, supplemental methods such as implementation of an alternative preparation method may simplify sample preparation and provide additional insight to the protein biology of the organism being studied.

  3. Impact of spore biology on the rate of kill and suppression of resistance in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drusano, G L; Okusanya, O O; Okusanya, A O; van Scoy, B; Brown, D L; Fregeau, C; Kulawy, R; Kinzig, M; Sörgel, F; Heine, H S; Louie, A

    2009-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis is complex because of its spore form. The spore is invulnerable to antibiotic action. It also has an impact on the emergence of resistance. We employed the hollow-fiber infection model to study the impacts of different doses and schedules of moxifloxacin on the total-organism population, the spore population, and the subpopulations of vegetative- and spore-phase organisms that were resistant to moxifloxacin. We then generated a mathematical model of the impact of moxifloxacin, administered by continuous infusion or once daily, on vegetative- and spore-phase organisms. The ratio of the rate constant for vegetative-phase cells going to spore phase (K(vs)) to the rate constant for spore-phase cells going to vegetative phase (K(sv)) determines the rate of organism clearance. The continuous-infusion drug profile is more easily sensed as a threat; the K(vs)/K(sv) ratio increases at lower drug exposures (possibly related to quorum sensing). This movement to spore phase protects the organism but makes the emergence of resistance less likely. Suppression of resistance requires a higher level of drug exposure with once-daily administration than with a continuous infusion, a difference that is related to vegetative-to-spore (and back) transitioning. Spore biology has a major impact on drug therapy and resistance suppression. These findings explain why all drugs of different classes have approximately the same rate of organism clearance for Bacillus anthracis.

  4. Overexpression of the pleiotropic regulator CodY decreases sporulation, attachment and pellicle formation in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalani, Monisha; Dhiman, Alisha; Rahi, Amit; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-15

    CodY, a global transcriptional regulator, primarily functions as a nutrient and energy sensor. It is activated by metabolic effectors like BCAA and GTP. In low G + C Gram positive bacteria, it facilitates coupling of changes in the cellular metabolite pool with those required in the transcriptome of the cell. This pleiotropic regulator controls the expression of a vast number of genes as the cell transits from exponential to the stationary phase. Earlier studies have shown that CodY is required for the virulence of Bacillus anthracis. We sought to investigate the effect of its overexpression on the physiology of B. anthracis. In our study, we found that cellular CodY levels were unchanged during this phase-transition. Expression of endogenous CodY remained the same in different nutrient limiting conditions. Immunoblotting studies revealed CodY presence in the whole spore lysate of B. anthracis indicating it to be a component of the spore proteome. We could also detect CodY in the secretome of B. anthracis. Further, CodY was overexpressed in B. anthracis Sterne strain and this led to a 100-fold decrease in the sporulation titer and a 2.5-fold decrease in the in vitro attachment ability of the bacteria. We also observed a decrease in the pellicle formation by CodY overexpressed strain when compared to wildtype bacilli. The CodY overexpressed strain showed chaining phenotype during growth in liquid media and pellicle.

  5. Crystal structure of B acillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity: AtxA multimerization, phosphorylation and activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hammerstrom, Troy G. [Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston TX USA; Horton, Lori B. [Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston TX USA; Swick, Michelle C. [Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston TX USA; Joachimiak, Andrzej [Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne IL USA; Structural Biology Center, Biosciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne IL USA; Osipiuk, Jerzy [Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne IL USA; Structural Biology Center, Biosciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne IL USA; Koehler, Theresa M. [Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston TX USA

    2014-12-30

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthetic operon. AtxA activity is elevated during growth in media containing glucose and CO2/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO2/bicarbonate signal, AtxA activity and homomultimerization. AtxA activity is also affected by phosphorylation at specific histidines. We show that AtxA crystallizes as a dimer. Distinct folds associated with predicted DNA-binding domains (HTH1 and HTH2) and phosphoenolpyruvate: carbohydrate phosphotransferase system-regulated domains (PRD1 and PRD2) are apparent. We tested AtxA variants containing single and double phosphomimetic (HisAsp) and phosphoablative (HisAla) amino acid changes for activity in B.anthracis cultures and for protein-protein interactions in cell lysates. Reduced activity of AtxA H199A, lack of multimerization and activity of AtxAH379D variants, and predicted structural changes associated with phosphorylation support a model for control of AtxA function. We propose that (i) in the AtxA dimer, phosphorylation of H199 in PRD1 affects HTH2 positioning, influencing DNA-binding; and (ii) phosphorylation of H379 in PRD2 disrupts dimer formation. The AtxA structure is the first reported high-resolution full-length structure of a PRD-containing regulator, and can serve as a model for proteins of this family, especially those that link virulence to bacterial metabolism.

  6. 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".

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 growth conditions. Subcultivation resulted in beta-hemolytic activity and gamma phage susceptibility in some subclones, suggesting differences in gene regulation compared to classic B. anthracis. The isolates from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon showed slight differences in their biochemical characteristics and MICs of different antibiotics but were identical in all molecular features and sequences analyzed. PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed the presence of both the toxin and the capsule plasmid, with sizes corresponding to the B. anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Protective antigen was expressed and secreted into the culture supernatant. The isolates possessed variants of the Ba813 marker and the SG-749 fragment differing from that of classic B. anthracis strains. Multilocus sequence typing revealed a close relationship of our atypical isolates with both classic B. anthracis strains and two uncommonly virulent Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates. We propose that the newly discovered atypical B. anthracis strains share a common ancestor with classic B. anthracis or that they emerged recently by transfer of the B. anthracis plasmids to a strain of the B. cereus group. PMID:16855222

  8. An extended conformation of calmodulin induces interactions between the structural domains of adenylyl cyclase from Bacillus anthracis to promote catalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drum, C L; Yan, S Z; Sarac, R; Mabuchi, Y; Beckingham, K; Bohm, A; Grabarek, Z; Tang, W J

    2000-11-17

    The edema factor exotoxin produced by Bacillus anthracis is an adenylyl cyclase that is activated by calmodulin (CaM) at resting state calcium concentrations in infected cells. A C-terminal 60-kDa fragment corresponding to the catalytic domain of edema factor (EF3) was cloned, overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and purified. The N-terminal 43-kDa domain (EF3-N) of EF3, the sole domain of edema factor homologous to adenylyl cyclases from Bordetella pertussis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is highly resistant to protease digestion. The C-terminal 160-amino acid domain (EF3-C) of EF3 is sensitive to proteolysis in the absence of CaM. The addition of CaM protects EF3-C from being digested by proteases. EF3-N and EF3-C were expressed separately, and both fragments were required to reconstitute full CaM-sensitive enzyme activity. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments using a double-labeled CaM molecule were performed and indicated that CaM adopts an extended conformation upon binding to EF3. This contrasts sharply with the compact conformation adopted by CaM upon binding myosin light chain kinase and CaM-dependent protein kinase type II. Mutations in each of the four calcium binding sites of CaM were examined for their effect on EF3 activation. Sites 3 and 4 were found critical for the activation, and neither the N- nor the C-terminal domain of CaM alone was capable of activating EF3. A genetic screen probing loss-of-function mutations of EF3 and site-directed mutations based on the homology of the edema factor family revealed a conserved pair of aspartate residues and an arginine that are important for catalysis. Similar residues are essential for di-metal-mediated catalysis in mammalian adenylyl cyclases and a family of DNA polymerases and nucleotidyltransferases. This suggests that edema factor may utilize a similar catalytic mechanism.

  9. 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

  10. Transcriptomic and phenotypic analysis of paralogous spx gene function in Bacillus anthracis Sterne.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barendt, Skye; Lee, Hyunwoo; Birch, Cierra; Nakano, Michiko M; Jones, Marcus; Zuber, Peter

    2013-08-01

    Spx of Bacillus subtilis is a redox-sensitive protein, which, under disulfide stress, interacts with RNA polymerase to activate genes required for maintaining thiol homeostasis. Spx orthologs are highly conserved among low %GC Gram-positive bacteria, and often exist in multiple paralogous forms. In this study, we used B. anthracis Sterne, which harbors two paralogous spx genes, spxA1 and spxA2, to examine the phenotypes of spx null mutations and to identify the genes regulated by each Spx paralog. Cells devoid of spxA1 were sensitive to diamide and hydrogen peroxide, while the spxA1 spoxA2 double mutant was hypersensitive to the thiol-specific oxidant, diamide. Bacillus anthracis Sterne strains expressing spxA1DD or spxA2DD alleles encoding protease-resistant products were used in microarray and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analyses in order to uncover genes under SpxA1, SpxA2, or SpxA1/SpxA2 control. Comparison of transcriptomes identified many genes that were upregulated when either SpxA1DD or SpxA2DD was produced, but several genes were uncovered whose transcript levels increased in only one of the two SpxADD-expression strains, suggesting that each Spx paralog governs a unique regulon. Among genes that were upregulated were those encoding orthologs of proteins that are specifically involved in maintaining intracellular thiol homeostasis or alleviating oxidative stress. Some of these genes have important roles in B. anthracis pathogenesis, and a large number of upregulated hypothetical genes have no homology outside of the B. cereus/thuringiensis group. Microarray and RT-qPCR analyses also unveiled a regulatory link that exists between the two spx paralogous genes. The data indicate that spxA1 and spxA2 are transcriptional regulators involved in relieving disulfide stress but also control a set of genes whose products function in other cellular processes.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Use of high-resolution melting and melting temperature-shift assays for specific detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis based on single nucleotide discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Mendy, Christiane; Laroche, Séverine; Madani, Nora

    2011-11-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are important diagnostic markers for the detection and differentiation of Bacillus anthracis. High-Resolution Melting (HRM) and Melting Temperature (Tm)-shift methods are two approaches that enable SNP detection without the need for expensive labeled probes. We evaluated the potential diagnostic capability of those methods to discriminate B. anthracis from the other members of the B. cereus group. Two assays targeting B. anthracis-specific SNPs in the plcR and gyrA genes were designed for each method and used to genotype a panel of 155 Bacilli strains. All B. anthracis isolates (n=65) were correctly and unambiguously identified. Assays also proved to be appropriate for the direct genotyping of biological samples. They could reliably detect B. anthracis in contaminated organs containing as little as 10(3)CFU/ml, corresponding to a few genome equivalents per reaction. The HRM and Tm-shift applications described here represent valuable tools for specific identification of B. anthracis at reduced cost.

  14. Mapping vaccinia virus DNA replication origins at nucleotide level by deep sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senkevich, Tatiana G; Bruno, Daniel; Martens, Craig; Porcella, Stephen F; Wolf, Yuri I; Moss, Bernard

    2015-09-01

    Poxviruses reproduce in the host cytoplasm and encode most or all of the enzymes and factors needed for expression and synthesis of their double-stranded DNA genomes. Nevertheless, the mode of poxvirus DNA replication and the nature and location of the replication origins remain unknown. A current but unsubstantiated model posits only leading strand synthesis starting at a nick near one covalently closed end of the genome and continuing around the other end to generate a concatemer that is subsequently resolved into unit genomes. The existence of specific origins has been questioned because any plasmid can replicate in cells infected by vaccinia virus (VACV), the prototype poxvirus. We applied directional deep sequencing of short single-stranded DNA fragments enriched for RNA-primed nascent strands isolated from the cytoplasm of VACV-infected cells to pinpoint replication origins. The origins were identified as the switching points of the fragment directions, which correspond to the transition from continuous to discontinuous DNA synthesis. Origins containing a prominent initiation point mapped to a sequence within the hairpin loop at one end of the VACV genome and to the same sequence within the concatemeric junction of replication intermediates. These findings support a model for poxvirus genome replication that involves leading and lagging strand synthesis and is consistent with the requirements for primase and ligase activities as well as earlier electron microscopic and biochemical studies implicating a replication origin at the end of the VACV genome.

  15. Amperometric Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores: A Portable, Low-Cost Approach to the ELISA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel D. Peckham

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Antibody-based detection assays are generally robust, a desirable characteristic for in-the-field use. However, to quantify the colorimetric or fluorescent signal, these assays require expensive and fragile instruments which are ill-suited to in-the-field use. Lateral flow devices (LFDs circumvent these barriers to portability but suffer from poor sensitivity and subjective interpretation. Here, an antibody-based method for detecting Bacillus anthracis spores via amperometric signal generation is compared to ELISA and LFDs. This amperometric immunoassay uses antibody conjugated to magnetic beads and glucose oxidase (GOX along with the electron mediator 2, 6-dichlorophenolindophenol (DCPIP for production of a measurable current from a 0.4 V bias voltage. With similar sensitivity to ELISA, the assay can be completed in about 75 minutes while being completely powered and operated from a laptop computer. Immunoassay amperometry holds promise for bringing low-cost, quantitative detection of hazardous agents to the field.

  16. Phage-based magnetostrictive-acoustic microbiosensors for detecting bacillus anthracis spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, J.; Yang, H.; Lakshmanan, R. S.; Guntupalli, R.; Huang, S.; Hu, J.; Petrenko, V. A.; Chin, B. A.

    2006-05-01

    Magnetostrictive particles (MSPs) as biosensor platform have been developed recently. The principle of MSPs as sensor platform is the same as that of other acoustic wave devices, such as quartz crystal microbalance. In this paper, the fabrication, characterization and performance of phage-based MSP biosensors for detecting Bacillus anthracis spores are reported. A commercially available magnetostrictive alloy was utilized to fabricate the sensor platform. The phage was immobilized onto the MSPs using physical adsorption technology. The following performance of the phage-based MSP sensors will be presented: sensitivity, response time, longevity, specificity and binding efficacy. The performance of the sensors at static and dynamic conditions was characterized. The experimental results are confirmed by microscopy photographs. The excellent performance including high sensitivity and rapid response is demonstrated. More importantly, it is experimentally found that the phage-based MSP sensors have a much better longevity than antibody-based sensors.

  17. 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.

  18. Comparison of four commercial DNA extraction kits for the recovery of Bacillus spp. spore DNA from spiked powder samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mölsä, Markos; Kalin-Mänttäri, Laura; Tonteri, Elina; Hemmilä, Heidi; Nikkari, Simo

    2016-09-01

    Bacillus spp. include human pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a biothreat agent. Bacillus spp. form spores that are physically highly resistant and may remain active over sample handling. We tested four commercial DNA extraction kits (QIAamp DNA Mini Kit, RTP Pathogen Kit, ZR Fungal/Bacterial DNA MiniPrep, and genesig Easy DNA/RNA Extraction kit) for sample inactivation and DNA recovery from two powders (icing sugar and potato flour) spiked with Bacillus thuringiensis spores. The DNA was analysed using a B. thuringiensis-specific real-time PCR assay. The detection limit was 3×10(1)CFU of spiked B. thuringiensis spores with the QIAamp DNA Mini, RTP Pathogen, and genesig Easy DNA/RNA Extraction kits, and 3×10(3)CFU with the ZR Fungal/Bacterial DNA MiniPrep kit. The results showed that manual extraction kits are effective and safe for fast and easy DNA extraction from powder samples even in field conditions. Adding a DNA filtration step to the extraction protocol ensures the removal of Bacillus spp. spores from DNA samples without affecting sensitivity.

  19. Decontamination options for Bacillus anthracis-contaminated drinking water determined from spore surrogate studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raber, Ellen; Burklund, Alison

    2010-10-01

    Five parameters were evaluated with surrogates of Bacillus anthracis spores to determine effective decontamination alternatives for use in a contaminated drinking water supply. The parameters were as follows: (i) type of Bacillus spore surrogate (B. thuringiensis or B. atrophaeus), (ii) spore concentration in suspension (10(2) and 10(6) spores/ml), (iii) chemical characteristics of the decontaminant (sodium dichloro-S-triazinetrione dihydrate [Dichlor], hydrogen peroxide, potassium peroxymonosulfate [Oxone], sodium hypochlorite, and VirkonS), (iv) decontaminant concentration (0.01% to 5%), and (v) exposure time to decontaminant (10 min to 1 h). Results from 138 suspension tests with appropriate controls are reported. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 5% and Dichlor or sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 2% were highly 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 a 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 the EPA biocide standard of greater than a 6-log kill after a 10-min exposure time and at lower concentrations than typically reported for biocide use. Solutions of 5% VirkonS and Oxone were less effective as decontaminants than other options evaluated in this study and did not meet the EPA's efficacy standard for a biocide, although they were found to be as effective for concentrations of 10(2) spores/ml. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult.

  20. Role of YpeB in cortex hydrolysis during germination of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhards, Casey B; Popham, David L

    2014-10-01

    The infectious agent of the disease anthrax is the spore of Bacillus anthracis. Bacterial spores are extremely resistant to environmental stresses, which greatly hinders spore decontamination efforts. The spore cortex, a thick layer of modified peptidoglycan, contributes to spore dormancy and resistance by maintaining the low water content of the spore core. The cortex is degraded by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs) during spore germination, rendering the cells vulnerable to common disinfection techniques. This study investigates the relationship between SleB, a GSLE in B. anthracis, and YpeB, a protein necessary for SleB stability and function. The results indicate that ΔsleB and ΔypeB spores exhibit similar germination phenotypes and that the two proteins have a strict codependency for their incorporation into the dormant spore. In the absence of its partner protein, SleB or YpeB is proteolytically degraded soon after expression during sporulation, rather than escaping the developing spore. The three PepSY domains of YpeB were examined for their roles in the interaction with SleB. YpeB truncation mutants illustrate the necessity of a region beyond the first PepSY domain for SleB stability. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis of highly conserved residues within the PepSY domains resulted in germination defects corresponding to reduced levels of both SleB and YpeB in the mutant spores. These results identify residues involved in the stability of both proteins and reiterate their codependent relationship. It is hoped that the study of GSLEs and interacting proteins will lead to the use of GSLEs as targets for efficient activation of spore germination and facilitation of spore cleanup.

  1. [Phenotypic and genetic features of cultural-morphologic variants of Bacillus anthracis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsygankova, O I; Eremenko, E I; Tsygankova, E A; Buravtseva, N P; Riazanova, A G

    2008-01-01

    Comparative analysis of MVLA-genotypes of 6 Bacillus anthracis strains and 40 their variants differing on capsule- and toxin synthesis, hemolytic, proteolytic and lecitinase activity, nutritional requirements, susceptibility to anthrax bacteriophages, virulence, immunogenicity, and presence of genes for capsule and toxin synthesis was performed. Results of phylogenetic analysis of 5 chromosome locuses and plasmid locus pXO1aat which are variable for this sample of B. anthracis cultures showed that all strains divided on 2 main clusters - A and B. Cluster A consisted of 5 genotypes whereas cluster B - of 1 genotype. All highly virulent original strains and variants with characteristic phenotype Cap(CO2)(+)(O2)(-)Tox(+)ProtA(+)Hly(+) Lec(-)Trp(+) had identical genotype in 4 groups and in 5th group differences were present only in vrrA locus. All original strains and variants with the most atypical complex of phenotypic characteristics Cap (CO2)(+)(O2)(+)Tox(-)ProtA(-)Hly(-)Lec(-)Trp(-) also had the same genotype belonging to cluster B and diverged on characteristic of 5 chromosomal VNTR locuses and pXO1aat locus from typical strains. Absence of toxin production in vitro was not related to loss of genetic determinants of toxin components. Cultures with typical characteristics, one of which was ability to produce toxin in vitro, had larger sizes of amplicons of pXO1aat locus (135 and 132 nbp), whereas atoxigenic original strains and variants with complex of atypical characteristics and identical chromosome genotype had the smallest sizes (123 bnp). All original cultures were isolated in Russia, their genotypes are described for the first time.

  2. Recovery efficiency and limit of detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne from environmental surface samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estill, Cheryl Fairfield; Baron, Paul A; Beard, Jeremy K; Hein, Misty J; Larsen, Lloyd D; Rose, Laura; Schaefer, Frank W; Noble-Wang, Judith; Hodges, Lisa; Lindquist, H D Alan; Deye, Gregory J; Arduino, Matthew J

    2009-07-01

    After the 2001 anthrax incidents, surface sampling techniques for biological agents were found to be inadequately validated, especially at low surface loadings. We aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores within a chamber to achieve very low surface loading (ca. 3, 30, and 200 CFU per 100 cm(2)). Steel and carpet coupons seeded in the chamber were sampled with swab (103 cm(2)) or wipe or vacuum (929 cm(2)) surface sampling methods and analyzed at three laboratories. Agar settle plates (60 cm(2)) were the reference for determining recovery efficiency (RE). The minimum estimated surface concentrations to achieve a 95% response rate based on probit regression were 190, 15, and 44 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling steel surfaces and 40, 9.2, and 28 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling carpet surfaces with swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively; however, these results should be cautiously interpreted because of high observed variability. Mean REs at the highest surface loading were 5.0%, 18%, and 3.7% on steel and 12%, 23%, and 4.7% on carpet for the swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively. Precision (coefficient of variation) was poor at the lower surface concentrations but improved with increasing surface concentration. The best precision was obtained with wipe samples on carpet, achieving 38% at the highest surface concentration. The wipe sampling method detected B. anthracis at lower estimated surface concentrations and had higher RE and better precision than the other methods. These results may guide investigators to more meaningfully conduct environmental sampling, quantify contamination levels, and conduct risk assessment for humans.

  3. Role of YpeB in Cortex Hydrolysis during Germination of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhards, Casey B.

    2014-01-01

    The infectious agent of the disease anthrax is the spore of Bacillus anthracis. Bacterial spores are extremely resistant to environmental stresses, which greatly hinders spore decontamination efforts. The spore cortex, a thick layer of modified peptidoglycan, contributes to spore dormancy and resistance by maintaining the low water content of the spore core. The cortex is degraded by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs) during spore germination, rendering the cells vulnerable to common disinfection techniques. This study investigates the relationship between SleB, a GSLE in B. anthracis, and YpeB, a protein necessary for SleB stability and function. The results indicate that ΔsleB and ΔypeB spores exhibit similar germination phenotypes and that the two proteins have a strict codependency for their incorporation into the dormant spore. In the absence of its partner protein, SleB or YpeB is proteolytically degraded soon after expression during sporulation, rather than escaping the developing spore. The three PepSY domains of YpeB were examined for their roles in the interaction with SleB. YpeB truncation mutants illustrate the necessity of a region beyond the first PepSY domain for SleB stability. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis of highly conserved residues within the PepSY domains resulted in germination defects corresponding to reduced levels of both SleB and YpeB in the mutant spores. These results identify residues involved in the stability of both proteins and reiterate their codependent relationship. It is hoped that the study of GSLEs and interacting proteins will lead to the use of GSLEs as targets for efficient activation of spore germination and facilitation of spore cleanup. PMID:25022853

  4. Structural analysis of bacteriophage T4 DNA replication: a review in the Virology Journal series on bacteriophage T4 and its relatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyer Ryan A

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The bacteriophage T4 encodes 10 proteins, known collectively as the replisome, that are responsible for the replication of the phage genome. The replisomal proteins can be subdivided into three activities; the replicase, responsible for duplicating DNA, the primosomal proteins, responsible for unwinding and Okazaki fragment initiation, and the Okazaki repair proteins. The replicase includes the gp43 DNA polymerase, the gp45 processivity clamp, the gp44/62 clamp loader complex, and the gp32 single-stranded DNA binding protein. The primosomal proteins include the gp41 hexameric helicase, the gp61 primase, and the gp59 helicase loading protein. The RNaseH, a 5' to 3' exonuclease and T4 DNA ligase comprise the activities necessary for Okazaki repair. The T4 provides a model system for DNA replication. As a consequence, significant effort has been put forth to solve the crystallographic structures of these replisomal proteins. In this review, we discuss the structures that are available and provide comparison to related proteins when the T4 structures are unavailable. Three of the ten full-length T4 replisomal proteins have been determined; the gp59 helicase loading protein, the RNase H, and the gp45 processivity clamp. The core of T4 gp32 and two proteins from the T4 related phage RB69, the gp43 polymerase and the gp45 clamp are also solved. The T4 gp44/62 clamp loader has not been crystallized but a comparison to the E. coli gamma complex is provided. The structures of T4 gp41 helicase, gp61 primase, and T4 DNA ligase are unknown, structures from bacteriophage T7 proteins are discussed instead. To better understand the functionality of T4 DNA replication, in depth structural analysis will require complexes between proteins and DNA substrates. A DNA primer template bound by gp43 polymerase, a fork DNA substrate bound by RNase H, gp43 polymerase bound to gp32 protein, and RNase H bound to gp32 have been crystallographically determined. The

  5. Most Probable Number Rapid Viability PCR Method to Detect Viable Spores of Bacillus anthracis in Swab Samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Letant, S E; Kane, S R; Murphy, G A; Alfaro, T M; Hodges, L; Rose, L; Raber, E

    2008-05-30

    This note presents a comparison of Most-Probable-Number Rapid Viability (MPN-RV) PCR and traditional culture methods for the quantification of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in macrofoam swabs generated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a multi-center validation study aimed at testing environmental swab processing methods for recovery, detection, and quantification of viable B. anthracis spores from surfaces. Results show that spore numbers provided by the MPN RV-PCR method were in statistical agreement with the CDC conventional culture method for all three levels of spores tested (10{sup 4}, 10{sup 2}, and 10 spores) even in the presence of dirt. In addition to detecting low levels of spores in environmental conditions, the MPN RV-PCR method is specific, and compatible with automated high-throughput sample processing and analysis protocols.

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

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  7. Multiple Asparagine Deamidation of Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Causes Charge Isoforms Whose Complexity Correlates with Reduced Biological Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Report Documentation Page Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour...subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. 1 . REPORT DATE 1 ...FEB 2007 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Multiple asparagine deamidation of Bacillus anthracis protective

  8. Tertiary amides of Salinomycin: A new group of antibacterial agents against Bacillus anthracis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefańska, Joanna; Antoszczak, Michał; Stępień, Karolina; Bartoszcze, Michał; Mirski, Tomasz; Huczyński, Adam

    2015-01-01

    For the first time, a series of tertiary amides of polyether antibiotic-Salinomycin have been obtained and screened for their antibacterial activity against different strains of bacteria, including Bacillus anthracis and clinical methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE). Moreover, biofilm inhibition of MRSE and genotoxicity tests against Bacillus subtilis have been performed. Our studies show that Salinomycin and its some derivatives are active against tested bacteria and exhibited definitely bacteriostatic, not bactericidal activity.

  9. In vitro and in vivo analyses of the Bacillus anthracis spore cortex lytic protein SleL

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    The bacterial endospore is the most resilient biological structure known. Multiple protective integument layers shield the spore core and promote spore dehydration and dormancy. Dormancy is broken when a spore germinates and becomes a metabolically active vegetative cell. Germination requires the breakdown of a modified layer of peptidoglycan (PG) known as the spore cortex. This study reports in vitro and in vivo analyses of the Bacillus anthracis SleL protein. SleL is a spore cortex lytic en...

  10. Antimicrobial Effects of Gold/Copper Sulphide (Au/Cus) Core/Shell Nanoparticles on Bacillus Anthracis Spores and Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS) Preparation .................................................................. 21 3.3 Preparation of B. anthracis Cells...of Au NPs on various food borne pathogens and reported that drugs coated with NPs were highly 4 effective against C. albicans, A. niger and A...3.2 Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS) Preparation PBS was prepared using PBS powder packets obtained from G-biosciences (St. Louis MO). To prepare

  11. 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.

  12. Effect of delayed anthrax vaccine dose on Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG response and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Phillip R; Fisher, Diana; Quinn, Xiaofei; Schmader, Trevor; Barrera-Oro, Julio G

    2013-10-17

    We describe the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG antibody response and the B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity to a delayed dose of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA, BioThrax(®)) using validated assays. 373 individuals received 1, 2, or 3 priming doses, 18-24 months afterward, they received a delayed dose of AVA. Overall, 23.6% of subjects showed detectable anti-PA IgG before the boost, compared to 99.2% (P<0.0001) 28 days after the boost. Geometric mean anti-PA IgG concentration (GMC) was 1.66 μg/mL before and 887.82 μg/mL after the boost (P<0.0001). The proportion of individuals with four-fold increase in GMC following the boost ranged from 93.8% to 100%. Robust anti-PA IgG levels and B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity are induced when an AVA dose is delayed as long as two years. These data support continuing with the vaccination schedule when a dose is delayed as long as two years rather than restarting the series.

  13. 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

    2016-02-25

    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.

  14. The worldwide distribution of genetically and phylogenetically diverse Bacillus cereus isolates harbouring Bacillus anthracis-like plasmids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaminska, Paulina Sylwia; Yernazarova, Aliya; Drewnowska, Justyna Malgorzata; Zambrowski, Grzegorz; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-10-01

    Bacillus cereus is a close relative of B. anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax whose pathogenic determinants are located on pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids. Bacillus anthracis-like plasmids have been also noted among B. cereus, however, genetic features of B. cereus harbouring these elements remain largely undescribed, especially from the global perspective. Herein, we present the genetic polymorphism, population structure and phylogeny of B. cereus with pXO1-/pXO2-like plasmids originating from Argentina, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Poland. The plasmids were found in about 17% of the isolates, but their frequencies and expression of replicons differed within and between populations. In the multi-locus sequence typing, the bacteria exhibited high genetic polymorphism reflected by 116 sequencing types, including 84 singletons and 10 clonal complexes, which mainly consisted of isolates of the same origin. The phylogenetic analysis of pXO1-/pXO2-like positive B. cereus isolates revealed six independent clades; in certain clades individual populations predominated. Generally, B. cereus with pXO1-/pXO2-like plasmids did not indicate the genetic relationship with B. anthracis, and cannot be classified into an evolutionary independent anthrax line within the B. cereus group. Our report is of a crucial importance for discovering the genetic specificity and evolution of B. cereus bacilli.

  15. Ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan

    2004-01-01

    ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair......ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair...

  16. DNA replication defects delay cell division and disrupt cell polarity in early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Encalada, S E; Martin, P R; Phillips, J B; Lyczak, R; Hamill, D R; Swan, K A; Bowerman, B

    2000-12-15

    In early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, asymmetric cell divisions produce descendants with asynchronous cell cycle times. To investigate the relationship between cell cycle regulation and pattern formation, we have identified a collection of embryonic-lethal mutants in which cell divisions are delayed and cell fate patterns are abnormal. In div (for division delayed) mutant embryos, embryonic cell divisions are delayed but remain asynchronous. Some div mutants produce well-differentiated cell types, but they frequently lack the endodermal and mesodermal cell fates normally specified by a transcriptional activator called SKN-1. We show that mislocalization of PIE-1, a negative regulator of SKN-1, prevents the specification of endoderm and mesoderm in div-1 mutant embryos. In addition to defects in the normally asymmetric distribution of PIE-1, div mutants also exhibit other losses of asymmetry during early embryonic cleavages. The daughters of normally asymmetric divisions are nearly equal in size, and cytoplasmic P-granules are not properly localized to germline precursors in div mutant embryos. Thus the proper timing of cell division appears to be important for multiple aspects of asymmetric cell division. One div gene, div-1, encodes the B subunit of the DNA polymerase alpha-primase complex. Reducing the function of other DNA replication genes also results in a delayed division phenotype and embryonic lethality. Thus the other div genes we have identified are likely to encode additional components of the DNA replication machinery in C. elegans.

  17. New Therapeutic Strategies for Antibiotic-Resistant Select Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-12-31

    Soriano, A., Zhao, W., Gullo, V. P., and Chan, T.-M. (2004) Two new bacterial DNA primase inhibitors from the plant Polygonum cuspidatum, Bioorg...hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii, J. Biochem. 130, 727-730. 26. Sheaff, R. J., and Kuchta, R. D. (1993) Mechanism of calf thymus DNA primase...Misincorporation of nucleotides by calf thymus DNA primase and elongation of primers containing multiple noncognate nucleotides by DNA-polymerase-alpha, J

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

    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

  20. Possible Use of Bacteriophages Active against Bacillus anthracis and Other B. cereus Group Members in the Face of a Bioterrorism Threat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Jończyk-Matysiak

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walper, Scott A; Anderson, George P; Brozozog Lee, P Audrey; Glaven, Richard H; Liu, Jinny L; Bernstein, Rachel D; Zabetakis, Dan; Johnson, Linwood; Czarnecki, Jill M; Goldman, Ellen R

    2012-01-01

    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.

  3. Detection of agar, by analysis of sugar markers, associated with Bacillus anthracis spores, after culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wunschel, David S; Colburn, Heather A; Fox, Alvin; Fox, Karen F; Harley, William M; Wahl, Jon H; Wahl, Karen L

    2008-08-01

    Detection of small quantities of agar associated with spores of Bacillus anthracis could provide key information regarding its source or growth characteristics. Agar, widely used in growth of bacteria on solid surfaces, consists primarily of repeating polysaccharide units of 3,6-anhydro-l-galactose (AGal) and galactose (Gal) with sulfated and O-methylated galactoses present as minor constituents. Two variants of the alditol acetate procedure were evaluated for detection of potential agar markers associated with spores. The first method employed a reductive hydrolysis step, to stabilize labile anhydrogalactose, by converting to anhydrogalactitol. The second eliminated the reductive hydrolysis step simplifying the procedure. Anhydrogalactitol, derived from agar, was detected using both derivatization methods followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. However, challenges with artifactual background (reductive hydrolysis) or marker destruction (hydrolysis) respectively lead to the use of an alternative agar marker. A minor agar component, 6-O-methyl galactose (6-O-M gal), was readily detected in agar-grown but not broth-grown bacteria. Detection was optimized by the use of gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS-MS). With appropriate choice of sugar marker and analytical procedure, detection of sugar markers for agar has considerable potential in microbial forensics.

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Targeted Mutations of Bacillus anthracis Dihydrofolate Reductase Condense Complex Structure-Activity Relationships

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J Beierlein; N Karri; A Anderson

    2011-12-31

    Several antifolates, including trimethoprim (TMP) and a series of propargyl-linked analogues, bind dihydrofolate reductase from Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) with lower affinity than is typical in other bacterial species. To guide lead optimization for BaDHFR, we explored a new approach to determine structure-activity relationships whereby the enzyme is altered and the analogues remain constant, essentially reversing the standard experimental design. Active site mutants of the enzyme, Ba(F96I)DHFR and Ba(Y102F)DHFR, were created and evaluated with enzyme inhibition assays and crystal structures. The affinities of the antifolates increase up to 60-fold with the Y102F mutant, suggesting that interactions with Tyr 102 are critical for affinity. Crystal structures of the enzymes bound to TMP and propargyl-linked inhibitors reveal the basis of TMP resistance and illuminate the influence of Tyr 102 on the lipophilic linker between the pyrimidine and aryl rings. Two new inhibitors test and validate these conclusions and show the value of the technique for providing new directions during lead optimization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatuev, B.A.; Peterson, J.W.

    2009-01-01

    Summary 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 dioxide solutions at room temperature in sealed tubes, as well as spraying onto plastic and stainless steel surfaces in a biological safety cabinet. Serial 10-fold dilutions of the treated spores were then plated on 5% sheep blood agar plates, and the survivor colonies were enumerated. Disinfection of spore suspensions with aqueous chlorine dioxide solution in sealed microfuge tubes was highly effective, reducing the viable spore counts by 8 log10 in only 3 min. By contrast, the process of spraying or spreading the disinfectant onto surfaces resulted in only a 1 log10 kill because the chlorine dioxide gas was rapidly vaporised from the solutions. Full potency of the sprayed aqueous chlorine dioxide solution was restored by preparing the chlorine dioxide solution in 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite). The volatility of chlorine dioxide can cause treatment failures that constitute a serious hazard for unsuspecting users. Supplementation of the chlorine dioxide solution with 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite) restored full potency and increased stability for one week. PMID:20061062

  8. 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.

  9. Detection of Agar, by Analysis of Sugar Markers, Associated with Bacillus Anthracis Spores, After Culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wunschel, David S.; Colburn, Heather A.; Fox, Alvin; Fox, Karen F.; Harley, William M.; Wahl, Jon H.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2008-08-01

    Detection of small quantities of agar associated with spores of Bacillus anthracis could provide key information regarding its source or growth characteristics. Agar, widely used in growth of bacteria on solid surfaces, consists primarily of repeating polysaccharide units of 3,6-anhydro-L-galactose (AGal) and galactose (Gal) with sulfated and O-methylated galactoses present as minor constituents. Two variants of the alditol acetate procedure were evaluated for detection of potential agar markers associated with spores. The first method employed a reductive hydrolysis step, to stabilize labile anhydrogalactose, by converting to anhydrogalactitol. The second eliminated the reductive hydrolysis step simplifying the procedure. Anhydrogalactitol, derived from agar, was detected using both derivatization methods followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. However, challenges with artefactual background (reductive hydrolysis) or marker destruction (hydrolysis) lead to the search for alternative sugar markers. A minor agar component, 6-O-methyl galactose (6-O-M gal), was readily detected in agar-grown but not broth-grown bacteria. Detection was optimized by the use of gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS-MS). With appropriate choice of sugar marker and analytical procedure, detection of sugar markers for agar has considerable potential in microbial forensics.

  10. First detection of Bacillus anthracis in feces of free-ranging raptors from central Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saggese, Miguel D; Noseda, Ramón P; Uhart, Marcela M; Deem, Sharon L; Ferreyra, Hebe; Romano, Marcelo C; Ferreyra-Armas, María C; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Prevalence of anthrax spores in feces of raptors was determined from samples collected in November-December 2000 and April-May 2001 in an agricultural region of Santa Fé province, Argentina. Feces were tested from 48 birds of six raptor species. One of 14 chimango caracaras (Milvago chimango) and one of eight road-side hawks (Buteo magnirostris) tested positive. The prevalence of Bacillus anthracis spores in feces for the six species was 4% (n=48). The prevalence was 7% (n=14) for chimango caracaras, 13% for road-side hawks (n=8), and 0% for the remaining species (Burrowing owl [Speotyto cunicularia] [n=17], Swainson's hawk [Buteo swainsoni] [n=3], Aplomado falcon [Falco femoralis] [n=2], and American kestrel [Falco sparverius] [n=4]). Grouped by their feeding habits, prevalence for scavenger species was not significantly different than for predators (7% vs. 3%, P>0.999). This study provides evidence that in central Argentina scavenger and non-scavenger raptors may have a role in the epidemiology of anthrax. Long-term studies to determine the extent of this potential involvement in the epidemiology of anthrax in central Argentina are required.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples by using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dybwad, Marius; van der Laaken, Anton L; Blatny, Janet Martha; Paauw, Armand

    2013-09-01

    Rapid and reliable identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powders is important to mitigate the safety risks and economic burdens associated with such incidents. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a rapid and reliable laboratory-based matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis method for identifying B. anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples. A reference library containing 22 different Bacillus sp. strains or hoax materials was constructed and coupled with a novel classification algorithm and standardized processing protocol for various powder samples. The method's limit of B. anthracis detection was determined to be 2.5 × 10(6) spores, equivalent to a 55-μg sample size of the crudest B. anthracis-containing powder discovered during the 2001 Amerithrax incidents. The end-to-end analysis method was able to successfully discriminate among samples containing B. anthracis spores, closely related Bacillus sp. spores, and commonly encountered hoax materials. No false-positive or -negative classifications of B. anthracis spores were observed, even when the analysis method was challenged with a wide range of other bacterial agents. The robustness of the method was demonstrated by analyzing samples (i) at an external facility using a different MALDI-TOF MS instrument, (ii) using an untrained operator, and (iii) using mixtures of Bacillus sp. spores and hoax materials. Taken together, the observed performance of the analysis method developed demonstrates its potential applicability as a rapid, specific, sensitive, robust, and cost-effective laboratory-based analysis tool for resolving incidents involving suspicious powders in less than 30 min.

  15. 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.

  16. Hfqs in Bacillus anthracis: Role of protein sequence variation in the structure and function of proteins in the Hfq family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrentas, Catherine; Ghirlando, Rodolfo; Keefer, Andrea; Hu, Zonglin; Tomczak, Aurelie; Gittis, Apostolos G; Murthi, Athulaprabha; Garboczi, David N; Gottesman, Susan; Leppla, Stephen H

    2015-11-01

    Hfq proteins in Gram-negative bacteria play important roles in bacterial physiology and virulence, mediated by binding of the Hfq hexamer to small RNAs and/or mRNAs to post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. However, the physiological role of Hfqs in Gram-positive bacteria is less clear. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, uniquely expresses three distinct Hfq proteins, two from the chromosome (Hfq1, Hfq2) and one from its pXO1 virulence plasmid (Hfq3). The protein sequences of Hfq1 and 3 are evolutionarily distinct from those of Hfq2 and of Hfqs found in other Bacilli. Here, the quaternary structure of each B. anthracis Hfq protein, as produced heterologously in Escherichia coli, was characterized. While Hfq2 adopts the expected hexamer structure, Hfq1 does not form similarly stable hexamers in vitro. The impact on the monomer-hexamer equilibrium of varying Hfq C-terminal tail length and other sequence differences among the Hfqs was examined, and a sequence region of the Hfq proteins that was involved in hexamer formation was identified. It was found that, in addition to the distinct higher-order structures of the Hfq homologs, they give rise to different phenotypes. Hfq1 has a disruptive effect on the function of E. coli Hfq in vivo, while Hfq3 expression at high levels is toxic to E. coli but also partially complements Hfq function in E. coli. These results set the stage for future studies of the roles of these proteins in B. anthracis physiology and for the identification of sequence determinants of phenotypic complementation.

  17. 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

  18. HtrC is involved in proteolysis of YpeB during germination of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhards, Casey B; Chen, Yan; Toutkoushian, Hannah; Popham, David L

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial endospores can remain dormant for decades yet can respond to nutrients, germinate, and resume growth within minutes. An essential step in the germination process is degradation of the spore cortex peptidoglycan wall, and the SleB protein in Bacillus species plays a key role in this process. Stable incorporation of SleB into the spore requires the YpeB protein, and some evidence suggests that the two proteins interact within the dormant spore. Early during germination, YpeB is proteolytically processed to a stable fragment. In this work, the primary sites of YpeB cleavage were identified in Bacillus anthracis, and it was shown that the stable products are comprised of the C-terminal domain of YpeB. Modification of the predominant YpeB cleavage sites reduced proteolysis, but cleavage at other sites still resulted in loss of full-length YpeB. A B. anthracis strain lacking the HtrC protease did not generate the same stable YpeB products. In B. anthracis and Bacillus subtilis htrC mutants, YpeB was partially stabilized during germination but was still degraded at a reduced rate by other, unidentified proteases. Purified HtrC cleaved YpeB to a fragment similar to that observed in vivo, and this cleavage was stimulated by Mn(2+) or Ca(2+) ions. A lack of HtrC did not stabilize YpeB or SleB during spore formation in the absence of the partner protein, indicating other proteases are involved in their degradation during sporulation.

  19. Residual DNA analysis in biologics development: review of measurement and quantitation technologies and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xing; Morgan, Donna M; Wang, Gan; Mozier, Ned M

    2012-02-01

    Residual DNA (rDNA) is comprised of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragments and longer length molecules originating from the host organism that may be present in samples from recombinant biological processes. Although similar in basic structural base pair units, rDNA may exist in different sizes and physical forms. Interest in measuring rDNA in recombinant products is based primarily on demonstration of effective purification during manufacturing, but also on some hypothetical concerns that, in rare cases, depending on the host expression system, some DNA sequences may be potentially infectious or oncogenic (e.g., HIV virus and the Ras oncogene, respectively). Recent studies suggest that a sequence known as long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1), widely distributed in the mammalian genome, is active as a retrotransposon that can be transcribed to RNA, reverse-transcribed into DNA and inserts into a new site in genome. This integration process could potentially disrupt critical gene functions or induce tumorigenesis in mammals. Genomic DNA from microbial sources, on the other hand, could add to risk of immunogenicity to the target recombinant protein being expressed, due to the high CpG content and unmethylated DNA sequence. For these and other reasons, it is necessary for manufacturers to show clearance of DNA throughout production processes and to confirm low levels in the final drug substance using an appropriately specific and quantitative analytical method. The heterogeneity of potential rDNA sequences that might be makes the testing of all potential analytes challenging. The most common methodology for rDNA quantitation used currently is real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a robust and proven technology. Like most rDNA quantitation methods, the specificity of RT-PCR is limited by the sequences to which the primers are directed. To address this, primase-based whole genome amplification is introduced herein. This paper will review the recent

  20. A tandem repeats database for bacterial genomes: application to the genotyping of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denoeud France

    2001-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Some pathogenic bacteria are genetically very homogeneous, making strain discrimination difficult. In the last few years, tandem repeats have been increasingly recognized as markers of choice for genotyping a number of pathogens. The rapid evolution of these structures appears to contribute to the phenotypic flexibility of pathogens. The availability of whole-genome sequences has opened the way to the systematic evaluation of tandem repeats diversity and application to epidemiological studies. Results This report presents a database (http://minisatellites.u-psud.fr of tandem repeats from publicly available bacterial genomes which facilitates the identification and selection of tandem repeats. We illustrate the use of this database by the characterization of minisatellites from two important human pathogens, Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis. In order to avoid simple sequence contingency loci which may be of limited value as epidemiological markers, and to provide genotyping tools amenable to ordinary agarose gel electrophoresis, only tandem repeats with repeat units at least 9 bp long were evaluated. Yersinia pestis contains 64 such minisatellites in which the unit is repeated at least 7 times. An additional collection of 12 loci with at least 6 units, and a high internal conservation were also evaluated. Forty-nine are polymorphic among five Yersinia strains (twenty-five among three Y. pestis strains. Bacillus anthracis contains 30 comparable structures in which the unit is repeated at least 10 times. Half of these tandem repeats show polymorphism among the strains tested. Conclusions Analysis of the currently available bacterial genome sequences classifies Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis as having an average (approximately 30 per Mb density of tandem repeat arrays longer than 100 bp when compared to the other bacterial genomes analysed to date. In both cases, testing a fraction of these sequences for

  1. 炭疽杆菌鞭毛的初步研究%The Preliminary Studies on Flagellum of Bacillus anthracis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梁旭东

    1999-01-01

    通过半固体扩散生长法发现中国炭疽杆菌(Bacillus anthracis)大多数具有鞭毛,并经各种经典方法和分子生物学方法证实了这一结果,提示具有鞭毛是中国炭疽杆菌的一种特征,且不排除国外也有这种特征的菌株.

  2. Nanoparticle-labeled DNA capture elements for detection and identification of biological agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Johnathan L.; Holwitt, Eric A.; Parker, Jill E.; Vivekananda, Jeevalatha; Franz, Veronica

    2004-12-01

    Aptamers, synthetic DNA capture elements (DCEs), can be made chemically or in genetically engineered bacteria. DNA capture elements are artificial DNA sequences, from a random pool of sequences, selected for their specific binding to potential biological warfare or terrorism agents. These sequences were selected by an affinity method using filters to which the target agent was attached and the DNA isolated and amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in an iterative, increasingly stringent, process. The probes can then be conjugated to Quantum Dots and super paramagnetic nanoparticles. The former provide intense, bleach-resistant fluorescent detection of bioagent and the latter provide a means to collect the bioagents with a magnet. The fluorescence can be detected in a flow cytometer, in a fluorescence plate reader, or with a fluorescence microscope. To date, we have made DCEs to Bacillus anthracis spores, Shiga toxin, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) virus, and Francisella tularensis. DCEs can easily distinguish Bacillus anthracis from its nearest relatives, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. Development of a high through-put process is currently being investigated.

  3. Interaction of DNA and Proteins with Single Nanopores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasianowicz, J. J.

    2006-03-01

    The bacterial toxins Staphylococcus aureus alpha-hemolysin and Bacillus anthracis protective antigen kill cells in part by forming ion channels in target membranes. We are using electrophysiology, molecular biology/protein biochemistry and computer modeling to study how biopolymers (e.g., single-stranded DNA and proteins) bind to and transport through these nanometer-scale pores. The results provide insight into the mechanism by which these toxins work and are the basis for several potential nanobiotechnology applications including ultra-rapid DNA sequencing, the sensitive and selective detection of a wide range of analytes and high throughput screening of therapeutic agents against several anthrax toxins. In collaboration with V.M. Stanford, M. Misakian, B. Nablo, S.E. Henrickson, NIST, EEEL, Gaithersburg, MD; T. Nguyen, R. Gussio, NCI, Ft. Detrick, MD; and K.M. Halverson, S. Bavari, R.G. Panchal, USAMRIID, Ft. Detrick, MD.

  4. Computational fluid dynamics modeling of Bacillus anthracis spore deposition in rabbit and human respiratory airways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kabilan, S.; Suffield, S. R.; Recknagle, K. P.; Jacob, R. E.; Einstein, D. R.; Kuprat, A. P.; Carson, J. P.; Colby, S. M.; Saunders, J. H.; Hines, S. A.; Teeguarden, J. G.; Straub, T. M.; Moe, M.; Taft, S. C.; Corley, R. A.

    2016-09-01

    Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived respectively from computed tomography (CT) and µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation–exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. Two different exposure scenarios were modeled in the rabbit based upon experimental inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulations were conducted at the highest exposure concentration used during the rabbit experimental exposures. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Due to the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the nasal sinus compared to the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. In contrast, higher spore deposition was predicted in the lower conducting airways of the human compared to the rabbit lung due to differences in airway branching pattern. This information can be used to refine published and ongoing biokinetic models of inhalation anthrax spore exposures, which currently estimate deposited spore concentrations based solely upon exposure concentrations and inhaled doses that do not factor in species-specific anatomy and physiology for deposition.

  5. Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Bacillus anthracis Spore Deposition in Rabbit and Human Respiratory Airways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kabilan, Senthil; Suffield, Sarah R.; Recknagle, Kurtis P.; Jacob, Rick E.; Einstein, Daniel R.; Kuprat, Andrew P.; Carson, James P.; Colby, Sean M.; Saunders, James H.; Hines, Stephanie; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Straub, Tim M.; Moe, M.; Taft, Sarah; Corley, Richard A.

    2016-09-30

    Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived from computed tomography (CT) or µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation-exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. The highest exposure concentration was modeled in the rabbit based upon prior acute inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulation was also conducted at the same concentration. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Due to the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the upper conducting airways compared to the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. As a result, higher particle deposition was predicted in the conducting airways and deep lung of the human compared to the rabbit lung due to differences in airway branching pattern. This information can be used to refine published and ongoing biokinetic models of inhalation anthrax spore exposures, which currently estimate deposited spore concentrations based solely upon exposure concentrations and inhaled doses that do not factor in species-specific anatomy and physiology.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Screening of peptide libraries against protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis in a disposable microfluidic cartridge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M Kogot

    Full Text Available Bacterial surface peptide display has gained popularity as a method of affinity reagent generation for a wide variety of applications ranging from drug discovery to pathogen detection. In order to isolate the bacterial clones that express peptides with high affinities to the target molecule, multiple rounds of manual magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS followed by multiple rounds of fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS are conventionally used. Although such manual methods are effective, alternative means of library screening which improve the reproducibility, reduce the cost, reduce cross contamination, and minimize exposure to hazardous target materials are highly desired for practical application. Toward this end, we report the first semi-automated system demonstrating the potential for screening bacterially displayed peptides using disposable microfluidic cartridges. The Micro-Magnetic Separation platform (MMS is capable of screening a bacterial library containing 3 × 10¹⁰ members in 15 minutes and requires minimal operator training. Using this system, we report the isolation of twenty-four distinct peptide ligands that bind to the protective antigen (PA of Bacilus anthracis in three rounds of selection. A consensus motif WXCFTC was found using the MMS and was also found in one of the PA binders isolated by the conventional MACS/FACS approach. We compared MMS and MACS rare cell recovery over cell populations ranging from 0.1% to 0.0000001% and found that both magnetic sorting methods could recover cells down to 0.0000001% initial cell population, with the MMS having overall lower standard deviation of cell recovery. We believe the MMS system offers a compelling approach towards highly efficient, semi-automated screening of molecular libraries that is at least equal to manual magnetic sorting methods and produced, for the first time, 15-mer peptide binders to PA protein that exhibit better affinity and specificity than peptides

  9. 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.

  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.

  11. 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

  12. Bacillus anthracis acetyltransferases PatA1 and PatA2 modify the secondary cell wall polysaccharide and affect the assembly of S-layer proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunderberg, J Mark; Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Richter, G Stefan; Wang, Ya-Ting; Dworkin, Jonathan; Missiakas, Dominique M; Schneewind, Olaf

    2013-03-01

    The envelope of Bacillus anthracis encompasses a proteinaceous S-layer with two S-layer proteins (Sap and EA1). Protein assembly in the envelope of B. anthracis requires S-layer homology domains (SLH) within S-layer proteins and S-layer-associated proteins (BSLs), which associate with the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP), an acetylated carbohydrate that is tethered to peptidoglycan. Here, we investigated the contributions of two putative acetyltransferases, PatA1 and PatA2, on SCWP acetylation and S-layer assembly. We show that mutations in patA1 and patA2 affect the chain lengths of B. anthracis vegetative forms and perturb the deposition of the BslO murein hydrolase at cell division septa. The patA1 and patA2 mutants are defective for the assembly of EA1 in the envelope but retain the ability of S-layer formation with Sap. SCWP isolated from the patA1 patA2 mutant lacked acetyl moieties identified in wild-type polysaccharide and failed to associate with the SLH domains of EA1. A model is discussed whereby patA1- and patA2-mediated acetylation of SCWP enables the deposition of EA1 as well as BslO near the septal region of the B. anthracis envelope.

  13. Identification of stringent response-related and potential serological proteins released from Bacillus anthracis overexpressing the RelA/SpoT homolog, Rsh Bant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Se Kye; Park, Moon Kyoo; Kim, Sang Hoon; Oh, Kwang Gun; Jung, Kyoung Hwa; Hong, Chong-Hae; Yoon, Jang W; Chai, Young Gyu

    2014-10-01

    RelA and SpoT synthesize ppGpp, a key effector molecule that facilitates the adaptation of bacteria to nutrient starvation and other stresses, known as the stringent response. To investigate the role of Rsh Bant , a putative RelA/SpoT homolog (encoded by BAS4302) in Bacillus anthracis, we examined the alteration of the secretome profiles after the overexpression of a functional His-Rsh Bant protein in the B. anthracis strain Sterne at the stationary growth phase. In the ppGpp-deficient E. coli mutant strain CF1693, overexpression of Rsh Bant restored a ppGpp-dependent growth defect on minimal glucose media. The secretome profiles obtained using a two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) analysis were altered by overexpression of Rsh Bant in B. anthracis. Among the 66 protein spots differentially expressed >1.5-fold, the 29 proteins were abundant for further identification using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Functional categorization of those proteins implicated their involvement in various biological activities. Taken together, our results imply that overexpression of a functional His-Rsh Bant can lead to the increased levels of intracellular ppGpp in B. anthracis, resulting in the significant changes in its secretome profiling. The stringent response-controlled proteins identified are likely useful as potential targets for serodiagnostic applications.

  14. Delineating the effect of host environmental signals on a fully virulent strain of Bacillus anthracis using an integrated transcriptomics and proteomics approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Panda, G.; Basak, T.; Tanwer, P.; Sengupta, S.; Martins dos Santos, V.A.P.; Bhatnagar, R.

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria sense the host environment and regulate expression of virulence-related genes. Environmental signals like temperature, bicarbonate/CO2 and glucose induce toxin production in Bacillus anthracis, but the mechanisms by which these signals contribute to virulence and overall physiolo

  15. Virtual screening of LPXTG competitive SrtA inhibitors targeting signal transduction mechanism in Bacillus anthracis: a combined experimental and theoretical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selvaraj, Chandrabose; Sivakamavalli, Jeyachandran; Baskaralingam, Vaseeharan; Singh, Sanjeev Kumar

    2014-06-01

    Members of the sortase enzyme super family decorate the surfaces of Bacillus anthracis cell wall with proteins that play key roles in microbial pathogenesis and its biofilm formation. Bacillus anthracis Sortase-A (Ba-SrtA) is a potential target for new therapeutics as it is required for B. anthracis survival and replication within macrophages. An understanding of the binding site pocket and substrate recognition mechanism by SrtA enzymes may serve to be beneficial in the rational development of sortase inhibitors. Here, the LPXTG signal peptide-based competitive inhibitors are screened against the Ba-SrtA and compounds with reasonable inhibition, specificity, and mechanisms of inactivation of SrtA have been covered. The screened compounds are experimentally validated against the phylogenetically similar Gram-positive pathogen B. cereus. In situ microscopic visualizations suggest that these screened compounds showed the microbial and biofilm inhibitory activity against B. cereus. It facilitates the further development of these molecules into useful anti-infective agents to treat infections caused by B. anthracis and other Gram-positive pathogens. These results provide insight into basic design principles for generating new clinically relevant lead molecules. It also provides an alternative strategy where a screened ligand molecule can be used in combination to battle increasingly against the Gram-positive pathogens.

  16. Rapid identification of bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples by using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dybwad, M.; Laaken, A.L. van der; Blatny, J.M.; Paauw, A.

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and reliable identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powders is important to mitigate the safety risks and economic burdens associated with such incidents. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a rapid and reliable laboratory- based matrix-assisted laser desorptio

  17. Identification of B. anthracis N(5)-carboxyaminoimidazole ribonucleotide mutase (PurE) active site binding compounds via fragment library screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Hao; Jones, Christopher; Zhu, Tian; Patel, Kavankumar; Wolf, Nina M; Fung, Leslie W-M; Lee, Hyun; Johnson, Michael E

    2016-02-15

    The de novo purine biosynthesis pathway is an attractive target for antibacterial drug design, and PurE from this pathway has been identified to be crucial for Bacillus anthracis survival in serum. In this study we adopted a fragment-based hit discovery approach, using three screening methods-saturation transfer difference nucleus magnetic resonance (STD-NMR), water-ligand observed via gradient spectroscopy (WaterLOGSY) NMR, and surface plasmon resonance (SPR), against B. anthracis PurE (BaPurE) to identify active site binding fragments by initially testing 352 compounds in a Zenobia fragment library. Competition STD NMR with the BaPurE product effectively eliminated non-active site binding hits from the primary hits, selecting active site binders only. Binding affinities (dissociation constant, KD) of these compounds varied between 234 and 301μM. Based on test results from the Zenobia compounds, we subsequently developed and applied a streamlined fragment screening strategy to screen a much larger library consisting of 3000 computationally pre-selected fragments. Thirteen final fragment hits were confirmed to exhibit binding affinities varying from 14μM to 700μM, which were categorized into five different basic scaffolds. All thirteen fragment hits have ligand efficiencies higher than 0.30. We demonstrated that at least two fragments from two different scaffolds exhibit inhibitory activity against the BaPurE enzyme.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, Peter; Grass, Gregor; Aceti, Angela; Serrecchia, Luigina; Affuso, Alessia; Marino, Leonardo; Grimaldi, Stefania; Pagano, Stefania; Hanczaruk, Matthias; Georgi, Enrico; Northoff, Bernd; Schöler, Anne; Schloter, Michael; Antwerpen, Markus; Fasanella, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    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.

  1. Failure of Sterne- and Pasteur-like strains of Bacillus anthracis to replicate and survive in the urban bluebottle blow fly Calliphora vicina under laboratory conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britta von Terzi

    Full Text Available This study aimed to elucidate the bacteriological events occurring within the gut of Calliphora vicina, selected as the European representative of blow flies held responsible for the spread of anthrax during epidemics in certain parts of the world. Green-fluorescent-protein-carrying derivatives of Bacillus anthracis were used. These lacked either one of the virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 and were infected, or not infected, with a worm intestine phage (Wip4 known to influence the phenotype and survival of the pathogen. Blood meals were prepared for the flies by inoculation of sheep blood with germinated and, in case of pXO2+ strains, encapsulated cells of the four B. anthracis strains. After being fed for 4 h an initial 10 flies were externally disinfected with peracetic acid to ensure subsequent quantitation representing ingested B. anthracis only. Following neutralization, they were crushed in sterile saline. Over each of the ensuing 7 to 10 days, 10 flies were removed and processed the same way. In the absence of Wip4, strains showed steady declines to undetectable in the total B. anthracis counts, within 7-9 days. With the phage infected strains, the falls in viable counts were significantly more rapid than in their uninfected counterparts. Spores were detectable in flies for longer periods than vegetative bacteria. In line with the findings in both biting and non-biting flies of early workers our results indicate that B. anthracis does not multiply in the guts of blow flies and survival is limited to a matter of days.

  2. Bacillus anthracis isolates analysis by multiple-locus variable-numbers of tandem repeats analysis,Liaoning,China%辽宁省炭疽芽胞杆菌 MLVA 分型研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    毛玲玲; 田疆; 雷露; 刘学升; 张巍; 张眉眉; 韩悦; 姚文清

    2015-01-01

    The epidemic characteristics and genotype of Bacillus anthracis strains in Liaoning Province ,China was analyze in this study .Six Bacillus anthracis strains from 2001 to 2011 were studied with multiple‐locus variable‐number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) .BioNumerics4 .0 software was used to analyze the DNA fingerprint of statistics ,and cluster analysis results were obtained .Clustering analysis found that the 6 strains could be divided into two genotypes .For anthrax outbreaks ,the ge‐netic markers of multiple‐locus variable‐number tandem repeat were highly similar .It's suggested that MLVA is quite useful for investigation of strain relatedness in regions of outbreaks .%目的:了解辽宁地区炭疽芽胞杆菌的流行特征及菌型基因特征。方法通过多位点可变数目串联重复序列(Multiple locus variable numbers of tandem repeats analysis ,MLVA)分型实验,对2001—2011年辽宁省分离到的6株炭疽芽胞杆菌分离株DNA进行检测,DNA指纹图谱使用BioNumerics 4.0软件进行统计分析,得出聚类分析结果。结果聚类分析发现,6株炭疽芽胞杆菌株可分为2个基因型。对于炭疽暴发而言,其可变数目串联重复序列遗传标记具有高度相似性。结论炭疽芽胞杆菌基因组中的串联重复序列可作为炭疽芽胞杆菌基因分型的指标,在炭疽暴发事件中的病原体溯源上具有重要的意义。

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. National validation study of a swab protocol for the recovery of Bacillus anthracis spores from surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, Lisa R; Rose, Laura J; O'Connell, Heather; Arduino, Matthew J

    2010-05-01

    Twelve Laboratory Response Network (LRN) affiliated laboratories participated in a validation study of a macrofoam swab protocol for the recovery, detection, and quantification of viable B. anthracis (BA) Sterne spores from steel surfaces. CDC personnel inoculated steel coupons (26cm(2)) with 1-4 log(10) BA spores and recovered them by sampling with pre-moistened macrofoam swabs. Phase 1 (P1) of the study evaluated swabs containing BA only, while dust and background organisms were added to swabs in Phase 2 (P2) to mimic environmental conditions. Laboratories processed swabs and enumerated spores by culturing eluted swab suspensions and counting colonies with morphology consistent with BA. Processed swabs were placed in enrichment broth, incubated 24h, and cultured by streaking for isolation. Real-time PCR was performed on selected colonies from P2 samples to confirm the identity of BA. Mean percent recovery (%R) of spores from the surface ranged from 15.8 to 31.0% (P1) and from 27.9 to 55.0% (P2). The highest mean percent recovery was 31.0% (sd 10.9%) for P1 (4 log(10) inoculum) and 55.0% (sd 27.6%) for P2 (1 log(10) inoculum). The overall %R was higher for P2 (44.6%) than P1 (24.1%), but the overall reproducibility (between-lab variability) was lower in P2 than in P1 (25.0 vs 16.5%CV, respectively). The overall precision (within-lab variability) was close to identical for P1 and P2 (44.0 and 44.1, respectively), but varied greatly between inoculum levels. The protocol demonstrated linearity in %R over the three inoculum levels and is able to detect between 26 and 5x10(6)spores/26cm(2). Sensitivity as determined by culture was >98.3% for both phases and all inocula, suggesting that the culture method maintains sensitivity in the presence of contaminants. The enrichment broth method alone was less sensitive for sampled swabs (66.4%) during P2, suggesting that the presence of background organisms inhibited growth or isolation of BA from the broth. The addition of

  6. 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

  7. Possession, Use, and Transfer of Select Agents and Toxins-- Addition of Bacillus Cereus Biovar Anthracis to the HHS List of Select Agents and Toxins. Interim final rule and request for comments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-14

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is adding Bacillus cereus Biovar anthracis to the list of HHS select agents and toxins as a Tier 1 select agent. We are taking this action to regulate this agent that is similar to B. anthracis to prevent its misuse, which could cause a biological threat to public health and/or national security.

  8. 炭疽芽孢杆菌S-层蛋白功能研究进展%S-layer proteins of Bacillus anthracis: research progress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王雪芳; 刘先凯; 陈福生; 王恒樑

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the etiological agent of anthrax. Currently, plasmids pXOl and pX02 of B. anthracis, which were encoding the virulence genes and capsule synthesis genes respectively, have been studied thoroughly. However, the S-layer, a protein paracrystalline structure that exists between the capsule and the cell wall of B. anthracis, is less known. Sap( surface array protein ) and EA1( extracellular antigen 1 ) are the major proteins of S-layer as well as some other relative proteins in B. anthracis. Investigation of the interaction of these proteins and their immunologic mechanism is vital for understanding the pathogenesis of B. anthracis. This brief review will focus on recent researches on the components of S-layer proteins, their linkage with the cell wall and the regulation patterns of their encoding genes of S-layer proteins, their role in the pathogenesis of B. anthracis, and the relationship between S-layer proteins and host immune systems.%炭疽芽孢杆菌是人畜共患病炭疽的病原菌.目前,对炭疽杆菌2个毒力大质粒(编码主要毒力基因的pXO1与编码合成荚膜基因的pXO2)的研究比较深入;炭疽杆菌细胞壁与荚膜间还存在一种蛋白性质的类晶体(paracrystalline)结构:S-层(surface-layer,表层)结构.炭疽杆菌的S-层蛋白主要为表面排列蛋白(surface array protein,Sap)和胞外抗原1(extracellular antigen 1,EA1),此外,在炭疽杆菌中还存在其他一些与S-层相关的蛋白,了解这些蛋白的相互作用及免疫机制对深入认识炭疽杆菌的致病机制具有重要意义.本文将就近年来关于炭疽杆菌S-层蛋白成分、与细胞壁的连接、S-层基因的调控、致病性及其与宿主免疫机制的关系等方面的研究进展做一简要综述.

  9. 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.

  10. Evaluation of Immunoassays and General Biological Indicator Tests for Field Screening of Bacillus anthracis and Ricin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Ozanich, Richard M.; Arce, Jennifer S.; Engelmann, Heather E.; Heredia-Langner, Alejandro; Hofstad, Beth A.; Hutchison, Janine R.; Jarman, Kristin; Melville, Angela M.; Victry, Kristin D.; Bruckner-Lea, Cynthia J.

    2017-02-01

    The goal of this testing was to evaluate the ability of currently available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) biological indicator tests and immunoassays to detect Bacillus anthracis (Ba) spores and ricin. In general, immunoassays provide more specific identification of biological threats as compared to indicator tests [3]. Many of these detection products are widely used by first responders and other end users. In most cases, performance data for these instruments are supplied directly from the manufacturer, but have not been verified by an external, independent assessment [1]. Our test plan modules included assessments of inclusivity (ability to generate true positive results), commonly encountered hoax powders (which can cause potential interferences or false positives), and estimation of limit of detection (LOD) (sensitivity) testing.

  11. 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.

  12. 炭疽芽胞杆菌的基因分型%The genotyping of Bacillus anthracis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周伟(综述); 郭学军(审校)

    2013-01-01

    In order to identify the genotype of the Bacillus anthracis,multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), single nucleotide polymorphism analysis (SNP) and single nucleotide repeat analysis (SNR) have been used, and become the main methods gradually .This paper reviewes the status of their application .%为了鉴别炭疽芽胞杆菌( Bacillus anthracis)的基因型,多位点可变数量串联重复序列分析( MLVA)、单核苷酸多态性分析( SNP )和单核苷酸重复序列分析( SNR )被广泛应用,并逐渐成为炭疽分型的基本方法,因而对其应用现状进行了综述。

  13. Characteristics and distribution of 11 variable number tandem repeats of Bacillus anthracis in China%中国炭疽芽胞杆菌中11个串联重复序列位点的特征和分布

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏建春; 张恩民; 张慧娟; 张建华

    2012-01-01

    目的 检测炭疽芽胞杆菌中可变数量串联重复序列(VNTR)的变化,分析我国菌株中VNTR的特征和分布规律.方法 PCR扩增.琼脂糖电泳和毛细管电泳,测序验证,BLAST比对等.结果 11个VNTR位点中有4个在所有菌株中没有差别,另外7个位点只在个别菌株中检测到差别,有差别的菌株多分布在新疆;11个VNTR位点均位于基因编码区内,编码对细菌生存重要的蛋白和一些功能不明蛋白.结论 结果提示新疆的菌株类型较复杂;本研究中的VNTR位点比较保守,可能不能用于区别不同的炭疽芽胞杆菌,但对于了解炭疽芽胞杆菌的基因组特征以及鉴定炭疽芽胞杆菌具有一定的作用.%To study the characteristics and distribution of the variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) of Bacillus an-thracis in China, we selected 109 strains isolated from 17 provinces, and the polymorphism of 11 VNTR loci were studied by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The PCR products were detected by agarose electrophoresis or capillary electrophoresis, and different DNA fragment in each VNTR locus were sequenced. The results showed no difference was found in 4 of 11 VNTR loci in tested strains; a few strains were detected different from most strains in 7 VNTR loci. All of VNTR loci were located in genes encoding important protein and some hypothetical protein. The results suggest that these strains isolated from Xinjiang were complicated. Although these VNTR loci varied too lightly to distinguish Bacillus anthracis strains, it's useful to understand the genome characteristics and identify Bacillus anthracis strains from other Bacillus species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Haim; Glinert, Itai; Weiss, Shay; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Schlomovitz, Josef; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David

    2014-01-01

    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.

  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. Detection probability models for bacteria, and how to obtain them from heterogeneous spiking data. An application to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedell, Ronny; Stephansson, Olga; Mostad, Petter; Andersson, Mats Gunnar

    2017-01-16

    Efficient and correct evaluation of sampling results with respect to hypotheses about the concentration or distribution of bacteria generally requires knowledge about the performance of the detection method. To assess the sensitivity of the detection method an experiment is usually performed where the target matrix is spiked (i.e. artificially contaminated) with different concentrations of the bacteria, followed by analyses of the samples using the pre-enrichment method and the analytical detection method of interest. For safety reasons or because of economic or time limits it is not always possible to perform exactly such an experiment, with the desired number of samples. In this paper, we show how heterogeneous data from diverse sources may be combined within a single model to obtain not only estimates of detection probabilities, but also, crucially, uncertainty estimates. We indicate how such results can then be used to obtain optimal conclusions about presence of bacteria, and illustrate how strongly the sampling results speak in favour of or against contamination. In our example, we consider the case when B. cereus is used as surrogate for B. anthracis, for safety reasons. The statistical modelling of the detection probabilities and of the growth characteristics of the bacteria types is based on data from four experiments where different matrices of food were spiked with B. anthracis or B. cereus and analysed using plate counts and qPCR. We show how flexible and complex Bayesian models, together with inference tools such as OpenBUGS, can be used to merge information about detection probability curves. Two different modelling approaches, differing in whether the pre-enrichment step and the PCR detection step are modelled separately or together, are applied. The relative importance on the detection curves for various existing data sets are evaluated and illustrated.

  18. Progress on the Molecular Genotyping Techniques of Bacillus anthracis%炭疽芽孢杆菌分子分型研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴松羽; 刘先凯; 宋丽; 魏华; 王恒樑

    2011-01-01

    随着分子生物学的发展,分子分型技术被广泛应用于鉴别炭疽芽孢杆菌菌株间的遗传相关性和流行病学特征.我们就近年来常用的炭疽芽孢杆菌分子分型方法的优缺点和研究进展进行综述.%With the development of molecular biology, genotyping techniques are widely used in identification of strains of Bacillus anthracis in the genetic correlation and epidemiological characteristics. In this paper, we reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of the commonly methods used in genotyping of B.anthracis in recent years.

  19. 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

  20. 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; Fabian H Leendertz; 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Two new sequence type isolates of Bacillus anthracis by multilocus sequence typing%两株炭疽芽胞杆菌MLST新序列型(ST)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    左庭婷; 李岩伟; 韩雪莲; 何君; 端青

    2012-01-01

    [目的]2株炭疽芽胞杆菌(Bacillus anthracis)17003-14和17003-32的多位点序列分型(Multilocussequence typing,MLST)研究.[方法]选取B.anthracis基因组7个常见管家基因位点glpF、gmk、ilvD、pta、pur、pycA和tpi进行PCR扩增、测序,与MLST数据库中的等位基因序列进行比对,确定菌株的序列型( sequence type,ST).[结果]B.anthracis 17003-14和17003-32的等位基因编号分别为113、31、1、43、1、53、7和113、31、1、43、1、53、37,比对结果显示这2株细菌的等位基因编号组合未见报道.[结论]17003-14和17003-32为新ST菌株,已被MLST数据库确认,注册号(pubMLST id)分别为id-1053和id-1054.%[Objective] To define the sequence type (ST) isolates of Bacillus anthracis by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). [Methods] Fragments of seven housekeeping genes (glpF, gmk, ilvD, pta, pur, pycA , and tpi) were amplified by PCR using the standard primers as described on the website for MLST of Bacillus and the sequences were compared with existing allele sequences on the MLST website. [Results] Two novel allele combinations of the seven loci were found in two isolates 17003-14 and 17003-32. [Conclusion] Two novel ST isolates of B. anthracis were identified by this study and confirmed by the MLST website, and the pubMLST ids were id-1053 and id-1054.

  3. 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.

  4. GneZ, a UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase, is required for S-layer assembly and vegetative growth of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ya-Ting; Missiakas, Dominique; Schneewind, Olaf

    2014-08-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, forms an S-layer atop its peptidoglycan envelope and displays S-layer proteins and Bacillus S-layer-associated (BSL) proteins with specific functions to support cell separation of vegetative bacilli and growth in infected mammalian hosts. S-layer and BSL proteins bind via the S-layer homology (SLH) domain to the pyruvylated secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) with the repeat structure [→4)-β-ManNAc-(1→4)-β-GlcNAc-(1→6)-α-GlcNAc-(1→]n, where α-GlcNAc and β-GlcNAc are substituted with two and one galactosyl residues, respectively. B. anthracis gneY (BAS5048) and gneZ (BAS5117) encode nearly identical UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase enzymes that catalyze the reversible conversion of UDP-GlcNAc and UDP-ManNAc. UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase enzymes have been shown to be required for the attachment of the phage lysin PlyG with the bacterial envelope and for bacterial growth. Here, we asked whether gneY and gneZ are required for the synthesis of the pyruvylated SCWP and for S-layer assembly. We show that gneZ, but not gneY, is required for B. anthracis vegetative growth, rod cell shape, S-layer assembly, and synthesis of pyruvylated SCWP. Nevertheless, inducible expression of gneY alleviated all the defects associated with the gneZ mutant. In contrast to vegetative growth, neither germination of B. anthracis spores nor the formation of spores in mother cells required UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase activity.

  5. A survey of the occurrence of Bacillus anthracis in North American soils over two long-range transects and within post-Katrina New Orleans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Dale W.; Petrosky, Terry; Morman, Suzette A.; Luna, Vicki A.

    2009-01-01

    Soil samples were collected along a north-south transect extending from Manitoba, Canada, to the US-Mexico border near El Paso, Texas in 2004 (104 samples), a group of sites within New Orleans, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (19 samples), and a Gulf Coast transect extending from Sulphur, Louisiana, to DeFuniak Springs, Florida, in 2007 (38 samples). Samples were collected from the top 40 cm of soil and were screened for the presence of total Bacillus species and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), specifically using multiplex-polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Using an assay with a sensitivity of ~170 equivalent colony-forming units (CFU) g-1 field moist soil, the prevalence rate of Bacillus sp./B. anthracis in the north-south transect and the 2005 New Orleans post-Katrina sample set were 20/5% and 26/26%, respectively. Prevalence in the 2007 Gulf Coast sample set using an assay with a sensitivity of ~4 CFU g-1 of soil was 63/0%. Individual transect-set data indicate a positive relation between occurrences of species and soil moisture or soil constituents (i.e., Zn and Cu content). The 2005 New Orleans post-Katrina data indicated that B. anthracis is readily detectable in Gulf Coast soils following flood events. The data also indicated that occurrence, as it relates to soil chemistry, may be confounded by flood-induced dissemination of germinated cells and the mixing of soil constituents for short temporal periods following an event.

  6. Characterization of Genetic Diversity of Bacillus anthracis in France by Using High-Resolution Melting Assays and Multilocus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis ▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, S.; Laroche, S.; Le Flèche, P.; Hauck, Y.; Thierry, S.; Vergnaud, G.; Madani, N.

    2011-01-01

    Using high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis, we developed a cost-effective method to genotype a set of 13 phylogenetically informative single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the genome of Bacillus anthracis. SNP discrimination assays were performed in monoplex or duplex and applied to 100 B. anthracis isolates collected in France from 1953 to 2009 and a few reference strains. HRM provided a reliable and cheap alternative to subtype B. anthracis into one of the 12 major sublineages or subgroups. All strains could be correctly positioned on the canonical SNP (canSNP) phylogenetic tree, except the divergent Pasteur vaccine strain ATCC 4229. We detected the cooccurrence of three canSNP subgroups in France. The dominant B.Br.CNEVA sublineage was found to be prevalent in the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Auvergne region, and the Saône-et-Loire department. Strains affiliated with the A.Br.008/009 subgroup were observed throughout most of the country. The minor A.Br.001/002 subgroup was restricted to northeastern France. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis using 24 markers further resolved French strains into 60 unique profiles and identified some regional patterns. Diversity found within the A.Br.008/009 and B.Br.CNEVA subgroups suggests that these represent old, ecologically established clades in France. Phylogenetic relationships with strains from other parts of the world are discussed. PMID:21998431

  7. Evaluation of the Relationship between the Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP Bioluminescence Assay and the Presence of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Vegetative Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn G. Gibbs

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Adenosine triphosphate (ATP bioluminescence assay was utilized in laboratory evaluations to determine the presence and concentration of vegetative and spore forms of Bacillus anthracis Sterne 34F2. Methods: Seventeen surfaces from the healthcare environment were selected for evaluation. Surfaces were inoculated with 50 µL of organism suspensions at three concentrations of 104, 106, 108 colony forming units per surface (CFU/surface of B. anthracis. Culture-based methods and ATP based methods were utilized to determine concentrations. Results: When all concentrations were evaluated together, a positive correlation between log-adjusted CFU and Relative Light Units (RLU for endospores and vegetative cells was established. When concentrations were evaluated separately, a significant correlation was not demonstrated. Conclusions: This study demonstrated a positive correlation for ATP and culture-based methods for the vegetative cells of B. anthracis. When evaluating the endospores and combining both metabolic states, the ATP measurements and CFU recovered did not correspond to the initial concentrations on the evaluated surfaces. The results of our study show that the low ATP signal which does not correlate well to the CFU results would not make the ATP measuring devises effective in confirming contamination residual from a bioterrorist event.

  8. 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

    2016-01-06

    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.

  9. The effect of prolonged storage on the virulence of isolates of Bacillus anthracis obtained from environmental and animal sources in the Kars Region of Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buyuk, Fatih; Sahin, Mitat; Cooper, Callum; Celebi, Ozgur; Saglam, Aliye Gulmez; Baillie, Les; Celik, Elif; Akca, Dogan; Otlu, Salih

    2015-07-01

    The stability of the plasmid-mediated virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis, a tripartite toxin located on pXO1 and an antiphagocytic capsule encoded by genes located on pXO2, following long-term storage was investigated. A collection of 159 isolates of B. anthracis were collected from the Kars region of Turkey between 2000 and 2013 and stored at -20°C in Brucella broth supplemented with 20% glycerine. A total of 142 isolates were recovered of which one failed to express a capsule upon primary culture. A further 35 isolates yielded a mixture of mucoid and non-mucoid colonies; the majority of which had lost the pXO2 plasmid as determined by PCR analysis. Results would suggest that pXO2 is more unstable than pXO1 and that this instability increases with the length of storage. It is possible that the pXO2-deficient isolates of B. anthracis described here could be developed into a vaccine to treat at risk animals in the Kars region as many animal vaccines are based upon pXO2 deficiency.

  10. Molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis in the Netherlands: investigating the relationship to the worldwide population using whole-genome SNP discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Girault, Guillaume; Roest, Hendrik Ido Jan; Koene, Miriam

    2015-06-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been widely described as a clonal species. Here we report the use of both canonical SNP analysis and whole-genome sequencing to characterize the phylogenetic lineages of B. anthracis from the Netherlands. Eleven strains isolated over a 25-years period (1968-1993) were paired-end sequenced using parallel sequencing technology. Five canSNP groups or lineages, i.e. A.Br.001/002 (n=6), A.Br.Aust94 (n=2), A.Br.008/011 (n=1), A.Br.011/009 (n=1) and A.Br.Vollum (n=1) were identified. Comparative analyses, with a focus on SNPs discovery, were carried out using a total of 52 B. anthracis genomes. A phylogeographic "Dutch" cluster within the dominant A.Br.001/002 group was discovered, involving isolates from a single outbreak. Diagnostic SNPs specific to the newly identified sub-groups were developed into high-resolution melting SNP discriminative assays for the purpose of rapid molecular epidemiology. Phylogenetic relationships with strains from other parts of the world are discussed.

  11. Comprehensive Laboratory Evaluation of a Highly Specific Lateral Flow Assay for the Presumptive Identification of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Suspicious White Powders and Environmental Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramage, Jason G.; Prentice, Kristin W.; DePalma, Lindsay; Venkateswaran, Kodumudi S.; Chivukula, Sruti; Chapman, Carol; Bell, Melissa; Datta, Shomik; Singh, Ajay; Hoffmaster, Alex; Sarwar, Jawad; Parameswaran, Nishanth; Joshi, Mrinmayi; Thirunavkkarasu, Nagarajan; Krishnan, Viswanathan; Morse, Stephen; Avila, Julie R.; Sharma, Shashi; Estacio, Peter L.; Stanker, Larry; Hodge, David R.

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a comprehensive, multiphase laboratory evaluation of the Anthrax BioThreat Alert® test strip, a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. The study, conducted at 2 sites, evaluated this assay for the detection of spores from the Ames and Sterne strains of B. anthracis, as well as those from an additional 22 strains. Phylogenetic near neighbors, environmental background organisms, white powders, and environmental samples were also tested. The Anthrax LFA demonstrated a limit of detection of about 106 spores/mL (ca. 1.5 × 105 spores/assay). In this study, overall sensitivity of the LFA was 99.3%, and the specificity was 98.6%. The results indicated that the specificity, sensitivity, limit of detection, dynamic range, and repeatability of the assay support its use in the field for the purpose of qualitatively evaluating suspicious white powders and environmental samples for the presumptive presence of B. anthracis spores. PMID:27661796

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Youngsu; Lee, Jonghee; Kim, Seongsoo [Agency for Defense Development, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-09-15

    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.

  13. A New FRET-Based Sensitive DNA Sensor for Medical Diagnostics using PNA Probe and Water-Soluble Blue Light Emitting Polymer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidhi Mathur

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available A reliable, fast, and low-cost biosensor for medical diagnostics using DNA sequence detection has been developed and tested for the detection of the bacterium “Bacillus anthracis.” In this sensor, Poly [9,9-di (6,6′- N, N′ trimethylammonium hexylfluorenyl-2, 7-diyl-alt-co- (1,4-phenylene] dibromide salt (PFP has been taken as cationic conjugated polymer (CCP and PNA attached with fluorescein dye (PNAC∗ as a probe. The basic principle of this sensor is that when a PNAC∗ probe is hybridized with a single strand DNA (ssDNA having complementary sequence, Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET may take place from PFP to the PNAC∗/DNA complex. If the FRET is efficient, the photoluminescence from the PFP will be highly quenched and that from PNAC∗ will be enhanced. On the other hand, if the DNA sequence is noncomplementary to PNA, FRET will not occur.

  14. DNA Nanotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi, Masateru; Kawai, Tomoji

    2002-11-01

    DNA is one candidate of promising molecules for molecular electronic devices, since it has the double helix structure with pi-electron bases for electron transport, the address at 0.4 nm intervals, and the self-assembly. Electrical conductivity and nanostructure of DNA and modified DNA molecules are investigated in order to research the application of DNA in nanoelectronic devices. It has been revealed that DNA is a wide-gap semiconductor in the absence of doping. The conductivity of DNA has been controlled by chemical doping, electric field doping, and photo-doping. It has found that Poly(dG)[middle dot]Poly(dC) has the best conductivity and can function as a conducting nanowire. The pattern of DNA network is controlled by changing the concentration of the DNA solution.

  15. DNA Methylation

    OpenAIRE

    Alokail, Majed S.; Alenad, Amal M.

    2015-01-01

    The DNA of E. coli contains 19,120 6-methyladenines and 12,045 5-methylcytosines in addition to the four regular bases and these are formed by the postreplicative action of three DNA methyltransferases. The majority of the methylated bases are formed by the Dam and Dcm methyltransferases encoded by the dam (DNA adenine methyltransferase) and dcm (DNA cytosine methyltransferase) genes. Although not essential, Dam methylation is important for strand discrimination during repair of replication e...

  16. 炭疽芽胞杆菌(Bacillus anthracis)检测质粒的构建及其应用%Construction of Plasmid pBIB2006 for Detecting Bacillus anthracis and Its Application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吕和平; 闵勇; 杨东明; 郑应华; 李旭; 武轶

    2007-01-01

    根据炭疽芽胞杆菌(Bacillus anthracis)毒性质粒pX01和pX02上的2个毒力相关基因cya和capA的序列特点,以pIJ2925为出发载体,采用一步重叠延伸PCR技术(One-step Overlap Extension PCR,简称OOE-PCR)构建了包含cya基因和capA基因保守区DNA片段的炭疽检测质粒pBIB2006.采用复合PCR对模拟炭疽危险品进行分析,结果表明pBIB2006可以为炭疽芽胞杆菌的检测提供准确、安全和方便的阳性参照品,从而为检测炭疽芽胞杆菌和炭疽芽胞杆菌灭活疫苗提供了便利.

  17. Dna Sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabor, Stanley; Richardson, Charles C.

    1995-04-25

    A method for sequencing a strand of DNA, including the steps off: providing the strand of DNA; annealing the strand with a primer able to hybridize to the strand to give an annealed mixture; incubating the mixture with four deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates, a DNA polymerase, and at least three deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates in different amounts, under conditions in favoring primer extension to form nucleic acid fragments complementory to the DNA to be sequenced; labelling the nucleic and fragments; separating them and determining the position of the deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates by differences in the intensity of the labels, thereby to determine the DNA sequence.

  18. DNA polymerase-associated lectin (DPAL) and its binding to the galactose-containing glycoconjugate of the replication complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, T J; St Amand, T; Groll, J M; Ray, S; Basu, S

    1999-10-01

    The highly purified DNA Pol-alpha from rat prostate tumor (PA-3) and human neuroblastoma (IMR-32) cells appeared to be inhibited by Ricin (RCA-II), and Con-A. Loss of activity (40 to 60%) of a specific form of DNA polymerase from IMR-32 was observed when the cells were treated with tunicamycin [Bhattacharya, P. and Basu, S. (1982) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 79:1488-1492]. Binding of ConA and RCA to human recombinant DNA polymerase-alpha showed a specific labile site in the N-terminus [Hsi et al.. (1990) Nucleic Acid Res. 18:6231-6237]. The catalytic polypeptide, DNA polymerase-alpha of eukaryotic origin, was isolated from developing tissues or cultured cells as a family of 180 to 120 kDa polypeptides, perhaps derived from a single primary structure. Immunoblot analysis with a monoclonal antibody (SJK-237-71) indicated that the lower molecular weight polypeptides resulted from either proteolytic cleavage of post-translational modification after specific cleavages. Present results suggest DNA polymerase-alpha from embryonic chicken brain (ECB) contains an alpha-galactose-binding subunit which may be involved in developmental regulation of the enzyme. It was shown before that the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase-alpha reduces from 186 kDa in 11-day-old ECB to 120 kDa in 19-day-old ECB [Ray, S. et al. Cell Growth and Differentiation 2:567-573] by the treatment with methyl-alpha-galactose. The low molecular weight DNA polymerase activity (120 kDa) can be reconstituted to high molecular weight (Mr = 186 kDa) with an alpha-galactose binding, 56kDa lectin-like protein. Polyclonal antibodies raised against the purified lectin were able to precipitate DNA. Pol-alpha as determined by immunostaining with the polymerase-alpha-specific monoclonal antibody SJK 132-20, suggesting this is a DNA polymerase associated-lectin (DPAL). RCA-II and GS-I-Sepharose 4B chromatographies resulted in significant purification of DNA-alpha and a complete separation of polymerase complex and

  19. Binding domains of Bacillus anthracis phage endolysins recognize cell culture age-related features on the bacterial surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paskaleva, Elena E; Mundra, Ruchir V; Mehta, Krunal K; Pangule, Ravindra C; Wu, Xia; Glatfelter, Willing S; Chen, Zijing; Dordick, Jonathan S; Kane, Ravi S

    2015-01-01

    Bacteriolytic enzymes often possess a C-terminal binding domain that recognizes specific motifs on the bacterial surface and a catalytic domain that cleaves covalent linkages within the cell wall peptidoglycan. PlyPH, one such lytic enzyme of bacteriophage origin, has been reported to be highly effective against Bacillus anthracis, and can kill up to 99.99% of the viable bacteria. The bactericidal activity of this enzyme, however, appears to be strongly dependent on the age of the bacterial culture. Although highly bactericidal against cells in the early exponential phase, the enzyme is substantially less effective against stationary phase cells, thus limiting its application in real-world settings. We hypothesized that the binding domain of PlyPH may differ in affinity to cells in different Bacillus growth stages and may be primarily responsible for the age-restricted activity. We therefore employed an in silico approach to identify phage lysins differing in their specificity for the bacterial cell wall. Specifically we focused our attention on Plyβ, an enzyme with improved cell wall-binding ability and age-independent bactericidal activity. Although PlyPH and Plyβ have dissimilar binding domains, their catalytic domains are highly homologous. We characterized the biocatalytic mechanism of Plyβ by identifying the specific bonds cleaved within the cell wall peptidoglycan. Our results provide an example of the diversity of phage endolysins and the opportunity for these biocatalysts to be used for broad-based protection from bacterial pathogens.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Xiuli; McCoy, Eric; Zhang, Mei; Yang, Liju

    2014-12-01

    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.

  2. Experimental PCR Data on Soil DNA Extracts

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Bacillus species and B. anthracis presence/absence data were determined in 4,770 soil samples collected across the contiguous United States, in cooperation with the...

  3. Genetic Evidence for the Involvement of the S-Layer Protein Gene sap and the Sporulation Genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in Phage AP50c Infection of Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Roger D Plaut; Beaber, John W.; Zemansky, Jason; Kaur, Ajinder P.; George, Matroner; Biswas, Biswajit; Henry, Matthew; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A.; Mokashi, Vishwesh; Hannah, Ryan M.; Pope, Robert K.; Timothy D. Read; Stibitz, Scott; Calendar, Richard; Sozhamannan, Shanmuga

    2014-01-01

    In order to better characterize the Bacillus anthracis typing phage AP50c, we designed a genetic screen to identify its bacterial receptor. Insertions of the transposon mariner or targeted deletions of the structural gene for the S-layer protein Sap and the sporulation genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in B. anthracis Sterne resulted in phage resistance with concomitant defects in phage adsorption and infectivity. Electron microscopy of bacteria incubated with AP50c revealed phage particles assoc...

  4. 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.

  5. Establishment of Bacillus anthracis infection and its mechanism%炭疽芽孢杆菌建立感染的过程及其机制

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘炬; 徐俊杰; 陈薇

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is a fulminating infectious disease .Bacillus anthracis, as the pathogen of anthrax , is a potential ma-terial for biological warfare agents and biological terrors .Immunoprophylaxis and specific theraphies play key roles in cop-ing with anthrax threats.Researches on the mechanism of B.anthracis infection, especially the process of infection , can fa-cilitate the development of novel drugs for anthrax prevention and therapy .Herein, by reviewing research progress , the in-fection process of B.anthracis is introduced and the potential mechanism of anthrax infection is described .Furthermore, the relationship between researches on anthrax infection mechanisms and the development of drugs for anthrax prevention and therapy is also discussed .%炭疽是一类烈性传染病,其病原体炭疽芽孢杆菌(简称炭疽菌)形成的芽孢是生物战剂和生物恐怖的原材料。免疫预防和特异性的治疗药物是应对这类生物威胁的重要手段。炭疽菌感染的机制研究,尤其是感染建立过程的研究能够为新型炭疽防治药物的研发提供新的思路。该文通过综述相关研究进展,介绍了炭疽菌的感染过程,描述了可能的感染机制,并结合炭疽防治药物的研究工作展开了讨论。

  6. 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'.

  7. Genotyping of French Bacillus anthracis strains based on 31-loci multi locus VNTR analysis: epidemiology, marker evaluation, and update of the internet genotype database.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Thierry

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bacillus anthracis is known to have low genetic variability. In spite of this lack of diversity, multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR analysis (MLVA and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs including the canonical SNPs assay (canSNP have proved to be highly effective to differentiate strains. Five different MLVA schemes based on a collection of 31 VNTR loci (MLVA8, MLVA15, MLVA20, MLVA25 and MLVA31 with increased resolving power have been described. RESULTS: MLVA31 was applied to characterize the French National Reference Laboratory collection. The total collection of 130 strains is resolved in 35 genotypes. The 119 veterinary and environmental strains collection in France were resolved into 26 genotypes belonging to three canSNP lineages and four MLVA clonal complexes (CCs with particular geographical clustering. A subset of seven loci (MLVA7 is proposed to constitute a first line assay. The loci are compatible with moderate resolution equipment such as agarose gel electrophoresis and show a good congruence value with MLVA31. The associated MLVA and SNP data was imported together with published genotyping data by taking advantage of major enhancements to the MLVAbank software and web site. CONCLUSIONS: The present report provides a wide coverage of the genetic diversity of naturally occurring B. anthracis strains in France as can be revealed by MLVA. The data obtained suggests that once such coverage is achieved, it becomes possible to devise optimized first-line MLVA assays comprising a sufficiently low number of loci to be typed either in one multiplex PCR or on agarose gels. Such a selection of seven loci is proposed here, and future similar investigations in additional countries will indicate to which extend the same selection can be used worldwide as a common minimum set. It is hoped that this approach will contribute to an efficient and low-cost routine surveillance of important pathogens for biosecurity such as

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Genome Sequence of Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 Reveals Metabolic Adaptations and a Large Plasmid Related to Bacillus anthracis pXO1

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    R.L. and Waites,K.B. (2003) Bacillus cereus bacteremia in a preterm neonate. J. Clin. Microbiol., 41, 3441±3444. 9. Ginsburg,A.S., Salazar,L.G., True... bacteremia and pneumonia due to Bacillus cereus . J. Clin. Microbiol., 35, 504±507. 12. Okinaka,R., Cloud,K., Hampton,O., Hoffmaster,A., Hill,K., Keim,P...The genome sequence of Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 reveals metabolic adaptations and a large plasmid related to Bacillus anthracis pXO1 David A. Rasko

  11. 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.

  12. The Poly-γ-d-Glutamic Acid Capsule Surrogate of the Bacillus anthracis Capsule Is a Novel Toll-Like Receptor 2 Agonist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Jun Ho; Lee, Hae-Ri; Cho, Min-Hee; Park, Ok-Kyu; Park, Jungchan; Rhie, Gi-eun

    2015-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a pathogenic Gram-positive bacterium that causes a highly lethal infectious disease, anthrax. The poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (PGA) capsule is one of the major virulence factors of B. anthracis, along with exotoxins. PGA enables B. anthracis to escape phagocytosis and immune surveillance. Our previous study showed that PGA activates the human macrophage cell line THP-1 and human dendritic cells, resulting in the production of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) (M. H. Cho et al., Infect Immun 78:387-392, 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00956-09). Here, we investigated PGA-induced cytokine responses and related signaling pathways in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) using Bacillus licheniformis PGA as a surrogate for B. anthracis PGA. Upon exposure to PGA, BMDMs produced proinflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), IL-6, IL-12p40, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), in a concentration-dependent manner. PGA stimulated Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) but not TLR4 in Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing either TLR2 or TLR4. The ability of PGA to induce TNF-α and IL-6 was retained in TLR4(-/-) but not TLR2(-/-) BMDMs. Blocking experiments with specific neutralizing antibodies for TLR1, TLR6, and CD14 showed that TLR6 and CD14 also were necessary for PGA-induced inflammatory responses. Furthermore, PGA enhanced activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), which are responsible for expression of proinflammatory cytokines. Additionally, PGA-induced TNF-α production was abrogated not only in MyD88(-/-) BMDMs but also in BMDMs pretreated with inhibitors of MAP kinases and NF-κB. These results suggest that immune responses induced by PGA occur via TLR2, TLR6, CD14, and MyD88 through activation of MAP kinase and NF-κB pathways.

  13. Comparison of French and Worldwide Bacillus anthracis Strains Favors a Recent, Post-Columbian Origin of the Predominant North-American Clade.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Vergnaud

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, the highly dangerous zoonotic bacterial pathogen species is currently composed of three genetic groups, called A, B and C. Group A is represented worldwide whereas group B is present essentially in Western Europe and Southern Africa. Only three strains from group C have been reported. This knowledge is derived from the genotyping of more than 2000 strains collected worldwide. Strains from both group A and group B are present in France. Previous investigations showed that the majority of sporadic French strains belong to the so-called A.Br.011/009 group A clade and define a very remarkable polytomy with six branches. Here we explore the significance of this polytomy by comparing the French B. anthracis lineages to worldwide lineages. We take advantage of whole genome sequence data previously determined for 122 French strains and 45 strains of various origins.A total of 6690 SNPs was identified among the available dataset and used to draw the phylogeny. The phylogeny of the French B group strains which belongs to B.Br.CNEVA indicates an expansion from the south-east part of France (the Alps towards the south-west (Massif-Central and Pyrenees. The relatively small group A strains belonging to A.Br.001/002 results from at least two independent introductions. Strikingly, the data clearly demonstrates that the currently predominant B. anthracis lineage in North America, called WNA for Western North American, is derived from one branch of the A.Br.011/009 polytomy predominant in France.The present work extends the range of observed substitution rate heterogeneity within B. anthracis, in agreement with its ecology and in contrast with some other pathogens. The population structure of the six branches A.Br.011/009 polytomy identified in France, diversity of branch length, and comparison with the WNA lineage, suggests that WNA is of post-Columbian and west European origin, with France as a likely source. Furthermore, it is tempting to

  14. Phylogeography of Bacillus anthracis in the country of Georgia shows evidence of population structuring and is dissimilar to other regional genotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterine Khmaladze

    Full Text Available Sequence analyses and subtyping of Bacillus anthracis strains from Georgia reveal a single distinct lineage (Aust94 that is ecologically established. Phylogeographic analysis and comparisons to a global collection reveals a clade that is mostly restricted to Georgia. Within this clade, many groups are found around the country, however at least one subclade is only found in the eastern part. This pattern suggests that dispersal into and out of Georgia has been rare and despite historical dispersion within the country, for at least for one lineage, current spread is limited.

  15. The Bacillus anthracis arylamine N-acetyltransferase ((BACAN)NAT1) that inactivates sulfamethoxazole, reveals unusual structural features compared with the other NAT isoenzymes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pluvinage, Benjamin; Li de la Sierra-Gallay, Inés; Kubiak, Xavier Jean Philippe

    2011-01-01

    Arylamine N-acetyltransferases (NATs) are xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes that biotransform arylamine drugs. The Bacillus anthracis (BACAN)NAT1 enzyme affords increased resistance to the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole through its acetylation. We report the structure of (BACAN)NAT1. Unexpectedly...... marked differences in the mode of binding and location of coenzymeA when compared to the other NATs. This suggests that the mechanisms of cofactor recognition by NATs is more diverse than expected and supports the cofactor-binding site as being a unique subsite to target in drug design against bacterial...

  16. DNA glue

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Filichev, Vyacheslav V; Astakhova, Irina V.; Malakhov, Andrei D.

    2008-01-01

    Significant alterations in thermal stability of parallel DNA triplexes and antiparallel duplexes were observed upon changing the attachment of ethynylpyrenes from para to ortho in the structure of phenylmethylglycerol inserted as a bulge into DNA (TINA). Insertions of two ortho-TINAs as a pseudo...

  17. Identification and Analysis of Novel Amino-Acid Sequence Repeats in Bacillus anthracis str. Ames Proteome Using Computational Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Satyanarayana Rao

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available We have identified four repeats and ten domains that are novel in proteins encoded by the Bacillus anthracis str. Ames proteome using automated in silico methods. A “repeat” corresponds to a region comprising less than 55-amino-acid residues that occur more than once in the protein sequence and sometimes present in tandem. A “domain” corresponds to a conserved region with greater than 55-amino-acid residues and may be present as single or multiple copies in the protein sequence. These correspond to (1 57-amino-acid-residue PxV domain, (2 122-amino-acid-residue FxF domain, (3 111-amino-acid-residue YEFF domain, (4 109-amino-acid-residue IMxxH domain, (5 103-amino-acid-residue VxxT domain, (6 84-amino-acid-residue ExW domain, (7 104-amino-acid-residue NTGFIG domain, (8 36-amino-acid-residue NxGK repeat, (9 95-amino-acid-residue VYV domain, (10 75-amino-acid-residue KEWE domain, (11 59-amino-acid-residue AFL domain, (12 53-amino-acid-residue RIDVK repeat, (13 (a 41-amino-acid-residue AGQF repeat and (b 42-amino-acid-residue GSAL repeat. A repeat or domain type is characterized by specific conserved sequence motifs. We discuss the presence of these repeats and domains in proteins from other genomes and their probable secondary structure.

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of Intermediates between Vitamins K2 and K3 on Mammalian DNA Polymerase Inhibition and Anti-Inflammatory Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Azuma

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Previously, we reported that vitamin K3 (VK3, but not VK1 or VK2 (=MK-4, inhibits the activity of human DNA polymerase γ (pol γ. In this study, we chemically synthesized three intermediate compounds between VK2 and VK3, namely MK-3, MK-2 and MK-1, and investigated the inhibitory effects of all five compounds on the activity of mammalian pols. Among these compounds, MK-2 was the strongest inhibitor of mammalian pols α, κ and λ, which belong to the B, Y and X families of pols, respectively; whereas VK3 was the strongest inhibitor of human pol γ, an A-family pol. MK-2 potently inhibited the activity of all animal species of pol tested, and its inhibitory effect on pol λ activity was the strongest with an IC50 value of 24.6 μM. However, MK-2 did not affect the activity of plant or prokaryotic pols, or that of other DNA metabolic enzymes such as primase of pol α, RNA polymerase, polynucleotide kinase or deoxyribonuclease I. Because we previously found a positive relationship between pol λ inhibition and anti-inflammatory action, we examined whether these compounds could inhibit inflammatory responses. Among the five compounds tested, MK-2 caused the greatest reduction in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA-induced acute inflammation in mouse ear. In addition, in a cell culture system using mouse macrophages, MK-2 displayed the strongest suppression of the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS. Moreover, MK-2 was found to inhibit the action of nuclear factor (NF-κB. In an in vivo mouse model of LPS-evoked acute inflammation, intraperitoneal injection of MK-2 in mice led to suppression of TNF-α production in serum. In conclusion, this study has identified VK2 and VK3 intermediates, such as MK-2, that are promising anti-inflammatory candidates.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Construction and characterization of stable, constitutively expressed, chromosomal green and red fluorescent transcriptional fusions in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shengchang; Bangar, Hansraj; Saldanha, Roland; Pemberton, Adin; Aronow, Bruce; Dean, Gary E; Lamkin, Thomas J; Hassett, Daniel J

    2014-10-01

    Here, we constructed stable, chromosomal, constitutively expressed, green and red fluorescent protein (GFP and RFP) as reporters in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Using bioinformatic approaches and other experimental analyses, we identified P0253 and P1 as potent promoters that drive the optimal expression of fluorescent reporters in single copy in B. anthracis and Burkholderia spp. as well as their surrogate strains, respectively. In comparison, Y. pestis and its surrogate strain need two chromosomal copies of cysZK promoter (P2cysZK) for optimal fluorescence. The P0253-, P2cysZK-, and P1-driven GFP and RFP fusions were first cloned into the vectors pRP1028, pUC18R6KT-mini-Tn7T-Km, pmini-Tn7-gat, or their derivatives. The resultant constructs were delivered into the respective surrogates and subsequently into the select agent strains. The chromosomal GFP- and RFP-tagged strains exhibited bright fluorescence at an exposure time of less than 200 msec and displayed the same virulence traits as their wild-type parental strains. The utility of the tagged strains was proven by the macrophage infection assays and lactate dehydrogenase release analysis. Such strains will be extremely useful in high-throughput screens for novel compounds that could either kill these organisms, or interfere with critical virulence processes in these important bioweapon agents and during infection of alveolar macrophages.

  4. Structure of the Bacillus anthracis Sortase A Enzyme Bound to Its Sorting Signal: A FLEXIBLE AMINO-TERMINAL APPENDAGE MODULATES SUBSTRATE ACCESS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Albert H; Yi, Sung Wook; Terwilliger, Austen L; Maresso, Anthony W; Jung, Michael E; Clubb, Robert T

    2015-10-16

    The endospore forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis causes lethal anthrax disease in humans and animals. The ability of this pathogen to replicate within macrophages is dependent upon the display of bacterial surface proteins attached to the cell wall by the B. anthracis Sortase A ((Ba)SrtA) enzyme. Previously, we discovered that the class A (Ba)SrtA sortase contains a unique N-terminal appendage that wraps around the body of the protein to contact the active site of the enzyme. To gain insight into its function, we determined the NMR structure of (Ba)SrtA bound to a LPXTG sorting signal analog. The structure, combined with dynamics, kinetics, and whole cell protein display data suggest that the N terminus modulates substrate access to the enzyme. We propose that it may increase the efficiency of protein display by reducing the unproductive hydrolytic cleavage of enzyme-protein covalent intermediates that form during the cell wall anchoring reaction. Notably, a key active site loop (β7/β8 loop) undergoes a disordered to ordered transition upon binding the sorting signal, potentially facilitating recognition of lipid II.

  5. DNA methylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williams, Kristine; Christensen, Jesper; Helin, Kristian

    2012-01-01

    DNA methylation is involved in key cellular processes, including X-chromosome inactivation, imprinting and transcriptional silencing of specific genes and repetitive elements. DNA methylation patterns are frequently perturbed in human diseases such as imprinting disorders and cancer. The recent...... discovery that the three members of the TET protein family can convert 5-methylcytosine (5mC) into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) has provided a potential mechanism leading to DNA demethylation. Moreover, the demonstration that TET2 is frequently mutated in haematopoietic tumours suggests that the TET...... proteins are important regulators of cellular identity. Here, we review the current knowledge regarding the function of the TET proteins, and discuss various mechanisms by which they contribute to transcriptional control. We propose that the TET proteins have an important role in regulating DNA methylation...

  6. DNA data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Raw DNA chromatogram data produced by the ABI 373, 377, 3130 and 3730 automated sequencing machines in ABI format. These are from fish (primarily Sebastes spp.,...

  7. DNA adductomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balbo, Silvia; Turesky, Robert J; Villalta, Peter W

    2014-03-17

    Systems toxicology is a broad-based approach to describe many of the toxicological features that occur within a living system under stress or subjected to exogenous or endogenous exposures. The ultimate goal is to capture an overview of all exposures and the ensuing biological responses of the body. The term exposome has been employed to refer to the totality of all exposures, and systems toxicology investigates how the exposome influences health effects and consequences of exposures over a lifetime. The tools to advance systems toxicology include high-throughput transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and adductomics, which is still in its infancy. A well-established methodology for the comprehensive measurement of DNA damage resulting from every day exposures is not fully developed. During the past several decades, the (32)P-postlabeling technique has been employed to screen the damage to DNA induced by multiple classes of genotoxicants; however, more robust, specific, and quantitative methods have been sought to identify and quantify DNA adducts. Although triple quadrupole and ion trap mass spectrometry, particularly when using multistage scanning (LC-MS(n)), have shown promise in the field of DNA adductomics, it is anticipated that high-resolution and accurate-mass LC-MS(n) instrumentation will play a major role in assessing global DNA damage. Targeted adductomics should also benefit greatly from improved triple quadrupole technology. Once the analytical MS methods are fully mature, DNA adductomics along with other -omics tools will contribute greatly to the field of systems toxicology.

  8. DNA expressions - A formal notation for DNA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vliet, Rudy van

    2015-01-01

    We describe a formal notation for DNA molecules that may contain nicks and gaps. The resulting DNA expressions denote formal DNA molecules. Different DNA expressions may denote the same molecule. Such DNA expressions are called equivalent. We examine which DNA expressions are minimal, which

  9. Detection of anthrax lef with DNA-based photonic crystal sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bailin; Dallo, Shatha; Peterson, Ralph; Hussain, Syed; Weitao, Tao; Ye, Jing Yong

    2011-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis has posed a threat of becoming biological weapons of mass destruction due to its virulence factors encoded by the plasmid-borne genes, such as lef for lethal factor. We report the development of a fast and sensitive anthrax DNA biosensor based on a photonic crystal structure used in a total-internal-reflection configuration. For the detection of the lef gene, a single-stranded DNA lef probe was biotinylated and immobilized onto the sensor via biotin-streptavidin interactions. A positive control, lef-com, was the complementary strand of the probe, while a negative control was an unrelated single-stranded DNA fragment from the 16S rRNA gene of Acinetobacter baumannii. After addition of the biotinylated lef probe onto the sensor, significant changes in the resonance wavelength of the sensor were observed, resulting from binding of the probe to streptavidin on the sensor. The addition of lef-com led to another significant increase as a result of hybridization between the two DNA strands. The detection sensitivity for the target DNA reached as low as 0.1 nM. In contrast, adding the unrelated DNAs did not cause an obvious shift in the resonant wavelength. These results demonstrate that detection of the anthrax lef by the photonic crystal structure in a total-internal-reflection sensor is highly specific and sensitive.

  10. FY02 CBNP Annual Report: Discovery of DNA Signature of Biothreat Detection Using Suppression Subtractive Hybridization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersen, G L; Radnedge, L

    2002-11-19

    Our goal is to develop robust DNA signatures for rapid and specific DNA-based detection platforms that can be employed by CBNP to detect a wide range of potential agents. Our approach has resulted in highly specific DNA signatures for Yersina pestis, Bacillus anthracis and Brucella species. Furthermore, this approach can be applied to any genome (even uncharacterized ones), which facilitates DNA signature development for detection of newly emerging pathogens. We are using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) as a tool to define large DNA regions specific to multiple biothreat pathogens by comparing them to genomes of the most closely related organisms. This approach has become increasingly accurate as we continue to find new, distinctive strains and ever-closer near-neighbors. With the huge costs incurred by whole genome sequencing, it is not possible to sequence each new bacterial genome. However, it is completely practical to identify genome differences in the laboratory using SSH, and becomes especially useful when comparing new strains to previously sequenced genomes.

  11. Detection of anthrax lef with DNA-based photonic crystal sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bailin; Dallo, Shatha; Peterson, Ralph; Hussain, Syed; Weitao, Tao; Ye, Jing Yong

    2011-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis has posed a threat of becoming biological weapons of mass destruction due to its virulence factors encoded by the plasmid-borne genes, such as lef for lethal factor. We report the development of a fast and sensitive anthrax DNA biosensor based on a photonic crystal structure used in a total-internal-reflection configuration. For the detection of the lef gene, a single-stranded DNA lef probe was biotinylated and immobilized onto the sensor via biotin-streptavidin interactions. A positive control, lef-com, was the complementary strand of the probe, while a negative control was an unrelated single-stranded DNA fragment from the 16S rRNA gene of Acinetobacter baumannii. After addition of the biotinylated lef probe onto the sensor, significant changes in the resonance wavelength of the sensor were observed, resulting from binding of the probe to streptavidin on the sensor. The addition of lef-com led to another significant increase as a result of hybridization between the two DNA strands. The detection sensitivity for the target DNA reached as low as 0.1 nM. In contrast, adding the unrelated DNAs did not cause an obvious shift in the resonant wavelength. These results demonstrate that detection of the anthrax lef by the photonic crystal structure in a total-internal-reflection sensor is highly specific and sensitive.

  12. DNA and RNA sensor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU; Tao; LIN; Lin; ZHAO; Hong; JIANG; Long

    2005-01-01

    This review summarizes recent advances in DNA sensor. Major areas of DNA sensor covered in this review include immobilization methods of DNA, general techniques of DNA detection and application of nanoparticles in DNA sensor.

  13. What Is Mitochondrial DNA?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... DNA What is mitochondrial DNA? What is mitochondrial DNA? Although most DNA is packaged in chromosomes within ... proteins. For more information about mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA: Molecular Expressions, a web site from the Florida ...

  14. DNA vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregersen, Jens-Peter

    2001-12-01

    Immunization by genes encoding immunogens, rather than with the immunogen itself, has opened up new possibilities for vaccine research and development and offers chances for new applications and indications for future vaccines. The underlying mechanisms of antigen processing, immune presentation and regulation of immune responses raise high expectations for new and more effective prophylactic or therapeutic vaccines, particularly for vaccines against chronic or persistent infectious diseases and tumors. Our current knowledge and experience of DNA vaccination is summarized and critically reviewed with particular attention to basic immunological mechanisms, the construction of plasmids, screening for protective immunogens to be encoded by these plasmids, modes of application, pharmacokinetics, safety and immunotoxicological aspects. DNA vaccines have the potential to accelerate the research phase of new vaccines and to improve the chances of success, since finding new immunogens with the desired properties is at least technically less demanding than for conventional vaccines. However, on the way to innovative vaccine products, several hurdles have to be overcome. The efficacy of DNA vaccines in humans appears to be much less than indicated by early studies in mice. Open questions remain concerning the persistence and distribution of inoculated plasmid DNA in vivo, its potential to express antigens inappropriately, or the potentially deleterious ability to insert genes into the host cell's genome. Furthermore, the possibility of inducing immunotolerance or autoimmune diseases also needs to be investigated more thoroughly, in order to arrive at a well-founded consensus, which justifies the widespread application of DNA vaccines in a healthy population.

  15. DNA nanotechnology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadrian C Seeman

    2003-01-01

    We are all aware that the DNA found in cells is a double helix consisting of two antiparallel strands held together by specific hydrogen-bonded base pairs; adenine (A always pairs with thymine (T, and guanine (G always pairs with cytosine (C. The specificity of this base pairing and the ability to ensure that it occurs in this fashion (and not some other1 is key to the use of DNA in materials applications. The double helical arrangement of the two molecules leads to a linear helix axis, linear not in the geometrical sense of being a straight line, but in the topological sense of being unbranched. Genetic engineers discovered in the 1970s how to splice together pieces of DNA to add new genes to DNA molecules2, and synthetic chemists worked out convenient syntheses for short pieces of DNA (up to ∼100–150 units in the 1980s3. Regardless of the impact of these technologies on biological systems, hooking together linear molecules leads only to longer linear molecules, with circles, knots, and catenanes perhaps resulting from time to time.

  16. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores by a combination of biocides and heating under high-temperature short-time pasteurization conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Sa; Labuza, Theodore P; Diez-Gonzalez, Francisco

    2008-06-01

    The milk supply is considered a primary route for a bioterrorism attack with Bacillus anthracis spores because typical high-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization conditions cannot inactivate spores. In the event of intentional contamination, an effective method to inactivate the spores in milk under HTST processing conditions is needed. This study was undertaken to identify combinations and concentrations of biocides that can inactivate B. anthracis spores at temperatures in the HTST range in less than 1 min. Hydrogen peroxide (HP), sodium hypochlorite (SH), and peroxyacetic acid (PA) were evaluated for their efficacy in inactivating spores of strains 7702, ANR-1, and 9131 in milk at 72, 80, and 85 degrees C using a sealed capillary tube technique. Strains ANR-1 and 9131 were more resistant to all of the biocide treatments than strain 7702. Addition of 1,260 ppm SH to milk reduced the number of viable spores of each strain by 6 log CFU/ml in less than 90 and 60 s at 72 and 80 degrees C, respectively. After neutralization, 1,260 ppm SH reduced the time necessary to inactivate 6 log CFU/ml (TTI6-log) at 80 degrees C to less than 20 s. Treatment of milk with 7,000 ppm HP resulted in a similar level of inactivation in 60 s. Combined treatment with 1,260 ppm SH and 1,800 ppm HP inactivated spores of all strains in less than 20 s at 80 degrees C. Mixing 15 ppm PA with milk containing 1,260 ppm SH resulted in TTI6-log of 25 and 12 s at 72 and 80 degrees C, respectively. TTI6-log of less than 20 s were also achieved at 80 degrees C by using two combinations of biocides: 250 ppm SH, 700 ppm HP, and 150 ppm PA; and 420 ppm SH (pH 7), 1,100 ppm HP, and 15 ppm PA. These results indicated that different combinations of biocides could consistently result in 6-log reductions in the number of B. anthracis spores in less than 1 min at temperatures in the HTST range. This information could be useful for developing more effective thermal treatment strategies which could be

  17. Multivalent Chromosomal Expression of the Clostridium botulinum Serotype A Neurotoxin Heavy-Chain Antigen and the Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen in Lactobacillus acidophilus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaenhammer, Todd R.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Clostridium botulinum and Bacillus anthracis produce potent toxins that cause severe disease in humans. New and improved vaccines are needed for both of these pathogens. For mucosal vaccine delivery using lactic acid bacteria, chromosomal expression of antigens is preferred over plasmid-based expression systems, as chromosomal expression circumvents plasmid instability and the need for antibiotic pressure. In this study, we constructed three strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM expressing from the chromosome (i) the nontoxic host receptor-binding domain of the heavy chain of Clostridium botulinum serotype A neurotoxin (BoNT/A-Hc), (ii) the anthrax protective antigen (PA), and (iii) both the BoNT/A-Hc and the PA. The BoNT/A-Hc vaccine cassette was engineered to contain the signal peptide from the S-layer protein A from L. acidophilus and a dendritic-cell-targeting peptide. A chromosomal region downstream of lba0889 carrying a highly expressed enolase gene was selected for insertion of the vaccine cassettes. Western blot analysis confirmed the heterologous expression of the two antigens from plasmid and chromosome locations. Stability assays demonstrated loss of the vaccine cassettes from expression plasmids without antibiotic maintenance. RNA sequencing showed high expression of each antigen and that insertion of the vaccine cassettes had little to no effect on the transcription of other genes in the chromosome. This study demonstrated that chromosomal integrative recombinant strains are promising vaccine delivery vehicles when targeted into high-expression chromosomal regions. Levels of expression match high-copy-number plasmids and eliminate the requirement for antibiotic selective maintenance of recombinant plasmids. IMPORTANCE Clostridium botulinum and Bacillus anthracis produce potent neurotoxins that pose a biochemical warfare concern; therefore, effective vaccines against these bacteria are required. Chromosomal expression of antigens is

  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. [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.

  19. Antibacterial activity of propolis against Bacillus anthracis%蜂胶对炭疽杆菌的抑菌活性

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    许兵红; 曾莉萍

    2011-01-01

    Objective To determine the antibacterial activity of propolis from Henan province against Bacillus anthracis.Methods The agar diffusion method was used to test for antibacterial activity. Antibacterial effects were measured after exposure to seven formulations of 31% propolis at pH ranging from 5.5-8.5 (5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5). Additionally, ten dilutions of propolis from 31% to 0.06% ( 1:512), including a 0 control, at pH 5.5 and a dose of 7 μl were examined in triplicate.Results The diameters (mm) of the zones of inhibition in each pH group, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0 and 8.5, were as follows:19.16 ± 0.29, 17.67 ± 0.29, 14.67 ± 0.58, 13.67 ± 0.29, 14.00 ± 0.00, 13.33 ± 1.15 and 12.00 ± 0.00 mm, respectively. The diameters in each concentration group, 15.50%, 7.75%, 3.88%, 1.94%, 0.97%, 0.48%, 0.24%, 0.12% and 0.06%, and the control group were: 19.50 ± 1.80, 19.67 ± 1.04, 17.75 ± 0.35, 15.67 ± 0.58, 14.00 ± 2.29, 13.17 ± 1.04, 11.83 ± 1.53, 10.83 ± 1.26,9.00±0.00 and 0.00±0.00 mm, respectively. Conclusion Propolis from Henan province had antibacterial activity against B. anthracis, which declined with increasing pH or decreasing concentration.%目的 了解产自河南省的蜂胶对炭疽杆菌的抑菌作用.方法 采用琼脂平板扩散法,将实验分为pH 5.5~8.5不同组(蜂胶浓度31%),以及在pH 5.5下设置10个不同浓度组,即将31%蜂胶溶液倍比稀释至0.06%(1∶512)及空白组(0),每组3次重复,每张滤纸片(φ6 mm)滴加蜂胶溶液7μl,记录蜂胶的抑菌效果.结果 河南省蜂胶在pH 5.5、6.0、6.5、7.0、7.5、8.0、8.5平板上的抑菌环直径依次为(19.16±0.29)、(17.67±0.29)、(14.67±0.58)、(13.67±0.29)、(14.00±0.00)、(13.33±1.15)、(12.00±0.00)mm,蜂胶浓度分别为15.50%、7.75%、3.88%、1.94%、0.97%、0.48%、0.24%、0.12%、0.06%和0(空白组)时,抑菌环直径依次为(19.50±1.80)、(19.67±1.04)、(17.75±0.35)、(15.67±0.58)、(14.00±2

  20. Digoxin-labelled Bacillus anthracis DNA probe%地高辛标记炭疽杆菌DNA探针的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梁旭东; 杨珊; 马凤琴; 王秉翔

    1995-01-01

    本文介绍了试用地高辛标记,将炭疽芽孢杆菌的PXD1和PXD2两质粒上分别扩增到290bp和288bp基因片断制成非放射性标记探针,利用菌落原位杂交方法进行检测,表明两探针的敏感性、特异性均良好,提示该两探针将能为基层工作提供更准确、快速的炭疽杆菌检验技术.

  1. DNA origami nanopores for controlling DNA translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Ainsa, Silvia; Bell, Nicholas A W; Thacker, Vivek V; Göpfrich, Kerstin; Misiunas, Karolis; Fuentes-Perez, Maria Eugenia; Moreno-Herrero, Fernando; Keyser, Ulrich F

    2013-07-23

    We combine DNA origami structures with glass nanocapillaries to reversibly form hybrid DNA origami nanopores. Trapping of the DNA origami onto the nanocapillary is proven by imaging fluorescently labeled DNA origami structures and simultaneous ionic current measurements of the trapping events. We then show two applications highlighting the versatility of these DNA origami nanopores. First, by tuning the pore size we can control the folding of dsDNA molecules ("physical control"). Second, we show that the specific introduction of binding sites in the DNA origami nanopore allows selective detection of ssDNA as a function of the DNA sequence ("chemical control").

  2. PlcR在炭疽芽胞杆菌A16R中的功能研究%The function of PlcR inBacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    贾晓琳; 王东澍; 高志奇; 冯尔玲; 郑继平; 王恒樑; 郭桂英; 刘先凯

    2015-01-01

    炭疽芽胞杆菌(Bacillus anthracis)、蜡样芽胞杆菌(B. cereus)和苏云金芽胞杆菌(B. thuringiensis)均属于蜡样芽胞杆菌群,在遗传学上有很高的相似性.PlcR (Phospholipase C regulator)在蜡样芽胞杆菌中是十分重要的调控因子,但plcR基因在炭疽芽胞杆菌中发生一个无义突变导致在炭疽芽胞杆菌中产生一个截短PlcR蛋白.为了研究plcR基因对炭疽芽胞杆菌功能的影响,文章以蜡样芽胞杆菌CMCC6330基因组为模板,构建重组表达质粒pBE2A-plcR后导入炭疽芽胞杆菌疫苗株 A16R中获得重组菌株,对其进行表型分析.结果显示,炭疽芽胞杆菌重组菌株的溶血活性基本没有恢复,但恢复了部分神经鞘磷脂酶活性,表明将蜡样芽胞杆菌的 plcR基因导入炭疽芽胞杆菌后,可以直接激活神经鞘磷脂酶活性.%Bacillus anthracis,B. thuringiensis andB. cereus are members of theB. cereusgroup. They share high genetic similarity. Whereas plcR (Phospholipase C regulator) usually encodes a functional pleiotropic activator pro-tein inB. cereus andB. thuringiensis isolates, a characteristic nonsense mutation is found in allB. anthracisstrains investigated, making the gene dysfunctional. To study the function of PlcR inB. anthracis, we used theB. cereus CMCC63301genome as a template and constructed a recombinant expression plasmid pBE2A-plcR, and introduced it intothe B. anthracis vaccine strain A16R, and then analyzed the activity of the hemolysin and sphingomyelinase. The results showed that transformation ofB. anthracis with plasmid pBE2A-plcR carrying the nativeB. cereus plcR gene active the expression of sphingomyelinase gene, but did not activate expression of hemolysin genes ofB. anthracis A16R.

  3. Detection of Bacillus Anthracis Using Fluorescence Immunoassay with Quantum Dots Labels%荧光量子点免疫标记法检测炭疽芽孢杆菌

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘晓红; 罗金平; 田青; 刘春秀; 蔡新霞

    2011-01-01

    A method for detecting Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) was constructed with indirect immunofluorescence technique using quantum dots (QDs) as fluorescent probes. B. anthracis could be labeled with QDs selectively, that was proved by fluorescence microscope and F4500 spectrofluorometer. The laboratory-made system including biosensor and device was utilized as detection apparatus. A linear relationship of the fluorescence intensity and log total count of B. anthracis was obtained with correlation coefficient of 0. 9554 from 100 CFU/mL to 1 × 106 CFU/mL, and a low relative standard deviation of 2. 2%. By comparing the fluorescence intensity of B. anthracis and other bacillus, this method showed good specificity. Because of the simple operation, the detecting time is less (1 h) than traditional methods as well as quantitative detection, this method has potential prospect in monitoring B. anthracis and other biowarfare agents.%建立了荧光量子点标记-免疫分析技术联用检测炭疽芽孢杆菌的方法.通过抗原抗体反应,结合生物素与亲和素间的特异性相互作用,将QDs特异性标记在炭疽芽孢杆菌上,并利用荧光显微镜和荧光分光光度计进行了验证.采用实验室自制的便携式荧光检测系统对标记QDs的炭疽芽孢杆菌样品进行定量检测.结果表明,在炭疽芽孢杆菌浓度在100~1×106CFU/mL范围内,相对荧光强度与炭疽芽孢杆菌浓度呈良好的线性关系,相关系数R=0.9554,检测相对标准偏差为2.2%.通过与同菌属其它杆菌对比,证明本方法特异性良好.与传统方法相比,本方法操作简单,检测时间短(1 h),且能实现定量检测,在公共安全等方面有广泛的应用前景.

  4. The Bacillus anthracis arylamine N-acetyltransferase ((BACAN)NAT1) that inactivates sulfamethoxazole, reveals unusual structural features compared with the other NAT isoenzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pluvinage, Benjamin; Li de la Sierra-Gallay, Inés; Kubiak, Xavier; Xu, Ximing; Dairou, Julien; Dupret, Jean-Marie; Rodrigues-Lima, Fernando

    2011-12-15

    Arylamine N-acetyltransferases (NATs) are xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes that biotransform arylamine drugs. The Bacillus anthracis (BACAN)NAT1 enzyme affords increased resistance to the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole through its acetylation. We report the structure of (BACAN)NAT1. Unexpectedly, endogenous coenzymeA was present in the active site. The structure suggests that, contrary to the other prokaryotic NATs, (BACAN)NAT1 possesses a 14-residue insertion equivalent to the "mammalian insertion", a structural feature considered unique to mammalian NATs. Moreover, (BACAN)NAT1 structure shows marked differences in the mode of binding and location of coenzymeA when compared to the other NATs. This suggests that the mechanisms of cofactor recognition by NATs is more diverse than expected and supports the cofactor-binding site as being a unique subsite to target in drug design against bacterial NATs.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    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.

  7. Elucidation of the bicarbonate binding site and insights into the carboxylation mechanism of (N(5))-carboxyaminoimidazole ribonucleotide synthase (PurK) from Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuntland, Micheal L; Santarsiero, Bernard D; Johnson, Michael E; Fung, Leslie W M

    2014-11-01

    Structures of (N(5))-carboxyaminoimidazole ribonucleotide synthase (PurK) from Bacillus anthracis with various combinations of ATP, ADP, Mg(2+), bicarbonate and aminoimidazole ribonucleotide (AIR) in the active site are presented. The binding site of bicarbonate has only been speculated upon previously, but is shown here for the first time. The binding involves interactions with the conserved residues Arg272, His274 and Lys348. These structures provide insights into each ligand in the active site and allow a possible mechanism to be proposed for the reaction that converts bicarbonate and AIR, in the presence of ATP, to produce (N(5))-carboxyaminoimidazole ribonucleotide. The formation of a carboxyphosphate intermediate through ATP phosphoryl transfer is proposed, followed by carboxylation of AIR to give the product, facilitated by a cluster of conserved residues and an active-site water network.

  8. Statistical assessment of DNA extraction reagent lot variability in real-time quantitative PCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushon, R.N.; Kephart, C.M.; Koltun, G.F.; Francy, D.S.; Schaefer, F. W.; Lindquist, H.D. Alan

    2010-01-01

    Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the variability in lots of a DNA extraction kit using real-time PCR assays for Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Vibrio cholerae. Methods and Results: Replicate aliquots of three bacteria were processed in duplicate with three different lots of a commercial DNA extraction kit. This experiment was repeated in triplicate. Results showed that cycle threshold values were statistically different among the different lots. Conclusions: Differences in DNA extraction reagent lots were found to be a significant source of variability for qPCR results. Steps should be taken to ensure the quality and consistency of reagents. Minimally, we propose that standard curves should be constructed for each new lot of extraction reagents, so that lot-to-lot variation is accounted for in data interpretation. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study highlights the importance of evaluating variability in DNA extraction procedures, especially when different reagent lots are used. Consideration of this variability in data interpretation should be an integral part of studies investigating environmental samples with unknown concentrations of organisms. ?? 2010 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  9. Identification of the bacterial protein FtsX as a unique target of chemokine-mediated antimicrobial activity against Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Matthew A; Lowe, David E; Fisher, Debra J; Stibitz, Scott; Plaut, Roger D; Beaber, John W; Zemansky, Jason; Mehrad, Borna; Glomski, Ian J; Strieter, Robert M; Hughes, Molly A

    2011-10-11

    Chemokines are a family of chemotactic cytokines that function in host defense by orchestrating cellular movement during infection. In addition to this function, many chemokines have also been found to mediate the direct killing of a range of pathogenic microorganisms through an as-yet-undefined mechanism. As an understanding of the molecular mechanism and microbial targets of chemokine-mediated antimicrobial activity is likely to lead to the identification of unique, broad-spectrum therapeutic targets for effectively treating infection, we sought to investigate the mechanism by which the chemokine CXCL10 mediates bactericidal activity against the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Here, we report that disruption of the gene ftsX, which encodes the transmembrane domain of a putative ATP-binding cassette transporter, affords resistance to CXCL10-mediated antimicrobial effects against vegetative B. anthracis bacilli. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in the absence of FtsX, CXCL10 is unable to localize to its presumed site of action at the bacterial cell membrane, suggesting that chemokines interact with specific, identifiable bacterial components to mediate direct microbial killing. These findings provide unique insight into the mechanism of CXCL10-mediated bactericidal activity and establish, to our knowledge, the first description of a bacterial component critically involved in the ability of host chemokines to target and kill a bacterial pathogen. These observations also support the notion of chemokine-mediated antimicrobial activity as an important foundation for the development of innovative therapeutic strategies for treating infections caused by pathogenic, potentially multidrug-resistant microorganisms.

  10. Crystal structure of the Bacillus anthracis nucleoside diphosphate kinase and its characterization reveals an enzyme adapted to perform under stress conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Gauri; Aggarwal, Anita; Dube, Divya; Zaman, Mohd Saif; Singh, Yogendra; Ramachandran, Ravishankar

    2009-08-01

    Nucleoside diphosphate kinases (Ndks) play an important role in a plethora of regulatory and metabolic functions. Inhibition of the B. anthracis Ndk mRNA results in the formation of nonviable aberrant spores. We report the characterization and crystal structure of the enzyme from B. anthracis nucleoside diphosphate kinase (BaNdk), the first from sporulating bacteria. The enzyme, although from a mesophilic source, is active at extremes of pH (3.5-10.5), temperature (10-95 degrees C) and ionic strength (0.25-4.0M NaCl). It exists as a hexamer that is composed of two SDS-stable trimers interacting in a back-to-back association; mutational analysis confirms that the enzyme is a histidine kinase. The high-resolution crystal structure reported here reveals an unanticipated change in the conformation of residues between 43 and 63 that also regulates substrate entry in other Ndks. A comparative structural analysis involving Ndks from seven mesophiles and three thermophiles has resulted in the delineation of the structure into relatively rigid and flexible regions. The analysis suggests that the larger number of intramolecular hydrogen bonds and to a lesser extent ionic interactions in BaNdk contributes to its high thermostability. Mutational analysis and Molecular Dynamics simulations were used to probe the role of a highly conserved Gly19 (present at the oligomeric interface in most of the Ndks). The results suggest that the mutation leads to a rigidification of those residues that facilitate substrate entry and consequently leads to a large reduction in the kinase activity. Overall, the enzyme characterization helps to understand its apparent adaptation to perform under stress conditions.

  11. DNA nanostructure immobilization to lithographic DNA arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negrete, Omar D.

    Although DNA is well known for its genetic role in biology, DNA has also been sought-after as a material for the self-assembly of biological and electronic devices. Examples of DNA nanostructure construction include DNA tiled self-assembly and DNA Origami, where by controlling the sequence and concentration of DNA molecules, the rational design of geometric DNA nanostructures is possible. The assembly of DNA nanostructures takes place in solution and thus they are in disorder and require further organization to construct circuitry or devices. Hence, it is essential for future applications of this technology to develop methods to direct the placement of DNA nanostructures on a surface. To address this challenge my research examines the use of DNA microarrays to capture DNA nanostructures via DNA hybridization. Modern DNA arrays offer a high-density of sequence-specific molecular recognition sites where the addressable placement of DNA nanostructures can be achieved. Using Maskless Array Synthesizer (MAS) technology, I have characterized photolithographic DNA arrays for the hybridization of DNA complexes like large DNA molecules (> 1 kb), DNA-gold nanoparticle conjugates, and DNA Origami. Although modern photolithographic DNA arrays can possess a high-density of sequence (106/cm2), the printed DNA areas are on the order of tens of microns. Thus, I have also developed a method to reduce the DNA array spot size to nanoscale dimensions through the combined use of electron beam lithography with photolithographic DNA synthesis. This work addresses the key elements towards developing a surface patterning technology that takes advantage of DNA base-pairing for both molecular sub-assembly and surface patterning.

  12. Genetic evidence for the involvement of the S-layer protein gene sap and the sporulation genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in Phage AP50c infection of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaut, Roger D; Beaber, John W; Zemansky, Jason; Kaur, Ajinder P; George, Matroner; Biswas, Biswajit; Henry, Matthew; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A; Mokashi, Vishwesh; Hannah, Ryan M; Pope, Robert K; Read, Timothy D; Stibitz, Scott; Calendar, Richard; Sozhamannan, Shanmuga

    2014-03-01

    In order to better characterize the Bacillus anthracis typing phage AP50c, we designed a genetic screen to identify its bacterial receptor. Insertions of the transposon mariner or targeted deletions of the structural gene for the S-layer protein Sap and the sporulation genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in B. anthracis Sterne resulted in phage resistance with concomitant defects in phage adsorption and infectivity. Electron microscopy of bacteria incubated with AP50c revealed phage particles associated with the surface of bacilli of the Sterne strain but not with the surfaces of Δsap, Δspo0A, Δspo0B, or Δspo0F mutants. The amount of Sap in the S layer of each of the spo0 mutant strains was substantially reduced compared to that of the parent strain, and incubation of AP50c with purified recombinant Sap led to a substantial reduction in phage activity. Phylogenetic analysis based on whole-genome sequences of B. cereus sensu lato strains revealed several closely related B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains that carry sap genes with very high similarities to the sap gene of B. anthracis. Complementation of the Δsap mutant in trans with the wild-type B. anthracis sap or the sap gene from either of two different B. cereus strains that are sensitive to AP50c infection restored phage sensitivity, and electron microscopy confirmed attachment of phage particles to the surface of each of the complemented strains. Based on these data, we postulate that Sap is involved in AP50c infectivity, most likely acting as the phage receptor, and that the spo0 genes may regulate synthesis of Sap and/or formation of the S layer.

  13. Cloning of Genomic DNA Flanking Transposon in the Nonpathogenic Mutant of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. glycines M715

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALINA AKHDIYA RUSMANA

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work is to clone flanking DNA derived from Tn-5 mutagenesis of wild type strain Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. glycines as first step to clone and to identify the gene involved in pathogenicity mechanism. We have localized the flanking DNA fragment from a nonpathogenic mutant of Xag M715. Southern hybridization analysis using 2.8 kb EcoRI from pYR103 as a probe showed that the fragment is located within 2.0 kb PstI fragment. A 0.7 kb flanking DNA was amplified using inverse PCR technique, and inserted into pGEM-T Easy vector generating a 3.7 kb recombinant plasmid (pAA01. Southern hybridization analysis of the wild type (YR32 with pAA01 as a probe indicated a hybridization signal located at approximately 3.0 kb PstI fragment. DNA sequence analysis revealed that the DNA fragment has a 64% identity to a vir gene of Bacillus anthracis.

  14. 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 .

  15. 蜂胶对炭疽杆菌弱毒株的抑菌效果%The Antibacterial Activity of Propolis against an Attenuated Strain of Bacillus anthracis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙斐; 许兵红; 杨小林; 张佑宏; 李进芬

    2012-01-01

    为了解产自河南省的蜂胶对炭疽杆菌(Bacillus anthracis)弱毒株的抑菌作用,采用琼脂平板扩散法将实验分为pH 5.5~8.5不同组(蜂胶浓度31%),以及在pH 5.5下将31%蜂胶溶液倍比稀释至0.06%(1∶512)及空白组(0%),在每张滤纸片上滴加蜂胶溶液7μL,记录蜂胶的抑菌效果.结果表明,河南省蜂胶在pH 5.5、6.0、6.5、7.0、7.5、8.0、8.5平板上的抑菌环直径依次为(19.16±0.29)、( 17.67±0.29)、(14.67±0.58)、(13.67±0.29)、(14.00±0.00)、(13.33±1.15)、(12.00±0.00) mm,蜂胶浓度分别为15.50%、7.75%、3.88%、1.94%、0.97%、0.48%、0.24%、0.12%、0.06%和0%(空白组)的抑菌环直径依次为(19.50±1.80)、(19.67±1.04)、(17.75±0.35)、(15.67±0.58)、(14.00±2.29)、(13.17±1.04)、(11.83±1.53)、(10.83±1.26)、(9.00±0.00)和(0.00±0.00) mm.说明河南蜂胶对炭疽杆菌弱毒株有明显的抑菌活性,对炭疽杆菌的抑菌活性随pH值增加或浓度降低而减小.%To investigate the antibacterial activity of propolis collected from Henan province against an attenuated strain of Bacillus anthracis, the agar diffusion method was used to test antibacterial activity. Plates smeared with B. Anthracis were respectively designed with different pH (5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0 and 8.5) of the culture medium and ten different concentrations of propolis for antibacterial test, 7 μL of sample was used in each testing plate, and the antibacterial ring was measured and recorded in each group after 24 h. It was found that after 24 h, the diameters of antibacterial ring of propolis against B. Anthracis in each pH group, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0 and 8.5 were respectively recorded as (19.16±0.29), (17.67±0.29),(14.67±0.58),(13.67±0.29),(14.00±0.00),(13.33±1.15),(12.00±0.00) mm. The diameters in each propolis concentration group, 15.50%,7.75%,3.88%, 1.94%,0.97%,0.48%,0.24%,0.12%,0.06% and control group were (19.50±1.80), (19.67±1.04), (17

  16. 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

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are abundant in genomes of all species and represent informative DNA markers extensively used to analyze phylogenetic relationships between strains. Medium to high throughput, open methodologies able to test many SNPs in a minimum time are therefore in great...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thierry, S.; Hamidjaja, R.A.; Girault, G.; Lofstrom, C.; Ruuls-van Stalle, E.M.F.; Sylviane, D.

    2013-01-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are abundant in genomes of all species and represent informative DNA markers extensively used to analyze phylogenetic relationships between strains. Medium to high throughput, open methodologies able to test many SNPs in a minimum time are therefore in great ne

  18. DNA nanostructure meets nanofabrication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guomei; Surwade, Sumedh P; Zhou, Feng; Liu, Haitao

    2013-04-07

    Recent advances in DNA nanotechnology have made it possible to construct DNA nanostructures of almost arbitrary shapes with 2-3 nm of precision in their dimensions. These DNA nanostructures are ideal templates for bottom-up nanofabrication. This review highlights the challenges and recent advances in three areas that are directly related to DNA-based nanofabrication: (1) fabrication of large scale DNA nanostructures; (2) pattern transfer from DNA nanostructure to an inorganic substrate; and (3) directed assembly of DNA nanostructures.

  19. Development of a duplex loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for detection of bacillus anthracis%炭疽杆菌双重可视化LAMP检测方法的建立

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘玉; 陈文琦; 王平; 操敏; 韩一芳; 张琪; 张锦海; 王长军

    2016-01-01

    Objective To develop a dupplex loop⁃mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for the detection of spe⁃cific structural genes and virulence genes in bacillus anthracis. Methods Two sets of specific primers were designed and synthesized according to CapA and PA genes of bacillus anthracis. The reaction parameters were optimized to develop the dupplex LAMP assay for the rapid detection of bacillus anthracis. This study also tested the sensitivity and specificity of the LAMP assay, and applied it to test simulated and actual samples. Results A double LAMP assay for rapid detection of bacillus anthracis PA gene ( plasmid pX01) and capA gene ( pX02 plasmid) on visualization methods had been established. The detectable sensitivity of the duplex LAMP was 50 tem⁃plate copy per reaction, and it had good specificity, stability and reproducibility. Conclusion Considering LAMP’s simplicity in op⁃eration and high sensitivity, there is potential use in clinical diagnosis and surveillance of bacillus anthracis.%目的:建立同时检测炭疽杆菌 capA 基因、PA 基因的双重环介导等温扩增( Loop⁃mediated isothermal amplification,LAMP)方法,用于防范生物恐怖威胁。方法设计和合成分别针对炭疽杆菌capA基因、PA基因的引物对,通过优化参数,建立可同时检测capA基因、PA基因的双重LAMP方法,测试敏感性和特异性,并应用于模拟样本和实战检测。结果双重LAMP的检测capA基因、PA基因的敏感性均可达到50模板拷贝每反应,并具有良好的特异性,在重大保障活动中得到检验。结论双重LAMP方法具有可以同时筛查、简单快速、灵敏度高等优点,在炭疽杆菌检测方面有良好应用前景。

  20. Germination of Bacillus anthracis spores:research advances%炭疽芽孢杆菌芽孢萌发研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高志奇; 刘先凯; 王恒樑

    2014-01-01

    芽孢是炭疽芽孢杆菌为应对不适的外界环境而形成的一种生命形式,休眠期的芽孢可以通过萌发恢复生长成为繁殖体。萌发过程作为关键步骤,可以由营养萌发剂和一些非营养类物质或者在其他情况下触发。在萌发过程中,萌发剂通过与存在于芽孢内膜上的萌发剂受体结合来触发芽孢核内各种阳离子的释放以及芽孢核对水的吸收。在芽孢皮层的肽聚糖被酶水解后,芽孢核逐渐完全水合化,开始进行新陈代谢以及大分子的合成活动,逐渐成长为一个新的营养细胞。该文将从萌发受体、芽孢皮层水解酶功能等方面对炭疽菌芽孢萌发机制进行阐述。%A spore is another life cycle form of Bacillus anthracis for resisting starvation.When conditions are favorable for growth, the dormant spore will germinate,go through outgrowth, and are ultimately converted back into a growing cell. As the first step back to vegetative growth, germination could be induced by nutrients and a variety of non-nutrient agents. Nutrient germinants trigger cation release and water absorption by binding to receptors in the spore′s inner membrane.Then the spore′s peptidoglycan cortex is hydrolyzed and the spore core rehydrates, which allows the resumption of spore metabo-lism and macromolecular synthesis.This paper reviews the nutrient germinant receptor and cortex lytic enzymes in the spore germination process of B.anthracis.

  1. DNA ligase I, the replicative DNA ligase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howes, Timothy R L; Tomkinson, Alan E

    2012-01-01

    Multiple DNA ligation events are required to join the Okazaki fragments generated during lagging strand DNA synthesis. In eukaryotes, this is primarily carried out by members of the DNA ligase I family. The C-terminal catalytic region of these enzymes is composed of three domains: a DNA binding domain, an adenylation domain and an OB-fold domain. In the absence of DNA, these domains adopt an extended structure but transition into a compact ring structure when they engage a DNA nick, with each of the domains contacting the DNA. The non-catalytic N-terminal region of eukaryotic DNA ligase I is responsible for the specific participation of these enzymes in DNA replication. This proline-rich unstructured region contains the nuclear localization signal and a PCNA interaction motif that is critical for localization to replication foci and efficient joining of Okazaki fragments. DNA ligase I initially engages the PCNA trimer via this interaction motif which is located at the extreme N-terminus of this flexible region. It is likely that this facilitates an additional interaction between the DNA binding domain and the PCNA ring. The similar size and shape of the rings formed by the PCNA trimer and the DNA ligase I catalytic region when it engages a DNA nick suggest that these proteins interact to form a double-ring structure during the joining of Okazaki fragments. DNA ligase I also interacts with replication factor C, the factor that loads the PCNA trimeric ring onto DNA. This interaction, which is regulated by phosphorylation of the non-catalytic N-terminus of DNA ligase I, also appears to be critical for DNA replication.

  2. Synthesis of DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariella, Jr., Raymond P.

    2008-11-18

    A method of synthesizing a desired double-stranded DNA of a predetermined length and of a predetermined sequence. Preselected sequence segments that will complete the desired double-stranded DNA are determined. Preselected segment sequences of DNA that will be used to complete the desired double-stranded DNA are provided. The preselected segment sequences of DNA are assembled to produce the desired double-stranded DNA.

  3. A S-Layer Protein of Bacillus anthracis as a Building Block for Functional Protein Arrays by In Vitro Self-Assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xu-Ying; Wang, Dian-Bing; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Bi, Li-Jun; Zhang, Ji-Bin; Ding, Wei; Zhang, Xian-En

    2015-11-18

    S-layer proteins create a cell-surface layer architecture in both bacteria and archaea. Because S-layer proteins self-assemble into a native-like S-layer crystalline structure in vitro, they are attractive building blocks in nanotechnology. Here, the potential use of the S-layer protein EA1 from Bacillus anthracis in constructing a functional nanostructure is investigated, and apply this nanostructure in a proof-of-principle study for serological diagnosis of anthrax. EA1 is genetically fused with methyl parathion hydrolase (MPH), to degrade methyl parathion and provide a label for signal amplification. EA1 not only serves as a nanocarrier, but also as a specific antigen to capture anthrax-specific antibodies. As results, purified EA1-MPH forms a single layer of crystalline nanostructure through self-assembly. Our chimeric nanocatalyst greatly improves enzymatic stability of MPH. When applied to the detection of anthrax-specific antibodies in serum samples, the detection of our EA1-MPH nanostructure is nearly 300 times more sensitive than that of the unassembled complex. Together, it is shown that it is possible to build a functional and highly sensitive nanosensor based on S-layer protein. In conclusion, our present study should serve as a model for the development of other multifunctional nanomaterials using S-layer proteins.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Assembly of the BclB glycoprotein into the exosporium and evidence for its role in the formation of the exosporium 'cap' structure in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Brian M; Hoelscher, Bryce C; Driks, Adam; Stewart, George C

    2012-12-01

    The outermost layer of the Bacillus anthracis spore consists of an exosporium comprised of an outer hair-like nap layer and an internal basal layer. A major component of the hair-like nap is the glycosylated collagen-like protein BclA. A second collagen-like protein, BclB, is also present in the exosporium. BclB possesses an N-terminal sequence that targets it to the exosporium and is similar in sequence to a cognate targeting region in BclA. BclB lacks, however, sequence similarity to the region of BclA thought to mediate attachment to the basal layer via covalent interactions with the basal layer protein BxpB. Here we demonstrate that BxpB is critical for correct localization of BclB during spore formation and that the N-terminal domains of the BclA and BclB proteins compete for BxpB-controlled assembly sites. We found that BclB is located principally in a region of the exosporium that excludes a short arc on one side of the exosporium (the so-called bottle-cap region). We also found that in bclB mutant spores, the distribution of exosporium proteins CotY and BxpB is altered, suggesting that BclB has roles in exosporium assembly. In bclB mutant spores, the distance between the exosporium and the coat, the interspace, is reduced.

  7. Molecular DNA switches and DNA chips

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabanayagam, Chandran R.; Berkey, Cristin; Lavi, Uri; Cantor, Charles R.; Smith, Cassandra L.

    1999-06-01

    We present an assay to detect single-nucleotide polymorphisms on a chip using molecular DNA switches and isothermal rolling- circle amplification. The basic principle behind the switch is an allele-specific oligonucleotide circularization, mediated by DNA ligase. A DNA switch is closed when perfect hybridization between the probe oligonucleotide and target DNA allows ligase to covalently circularize the probe. Mismatches around the ligation site prevent probe circularization, resulting in an open switch. DNA polymerase is then used to preferentially amplify the closed switches, via rolling-circle amplification. The stringency of the molecular switches yields 102 - 103 fold discrimination between matched and mismatched sequences.

  8. Present status and prospects for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis-A review%炭疽杆菌检测方法的研究现状与展望

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘炬; 徐俊杰; 陈薇

    2012-01-01

    Anthrax, as a fulminating infectious disease, threatens human' s health seriously. Bacillus anthracis, the agent of anthrax, was classified into the second kinds of pathogenic microorganisms (one kind of the highly pathogenic microorganism) in the List of Human Pathogenic Microorganisms issued by the Chinese government. The spores formed by B. anthracis are potential material for biological warfare agent and biological terror. Therefore, it is very important and pressing to develop sensitive, efficient detection methods for the bacteria. For detection methods of B. anthracis, there are four types of targets:spores, vegetative cells, genes and anthrax toxin proteins. Among them, detection methods targeting spores and vegetative cells are developed. However, owing to disadvantages in specificity and clinical practicality, these methods are far from satisfaction. Detection methods targeting genes of B. anthracis are satisfactory in specificity and sensitivity, while it is short in clinical diagnosis. At the same time, the development of detection methods targeting anthrax toxin makes it possible to acquire information about main causative agent directly, which brings about great help in clinical diagnosis as well as epidemiology research. Herein, we summarized briefly detection methods of B. anthracis developed currently, investigated their application ranges and detection capacity, and discussed the development trend of related research, expecting favoring the profession developing detection methods of B. anthracis.%炭疽是严重威胁人类健康的烈性传染病,其病原体为炭疽芽孢杆菌.炭疽芽孢杆菌在我国公布的《人间传染的病原微生物名录》中被列为第二类病原微生物(高致病性病原微生物),其芽孢可作为生物战剂和生物恐怖的原材料,因此,发展灵敏、高效的炭疽杆菌检测方法十分重要和紧迫.按检测的靶标分类,针对炭疽杆菌的检测方法主要有四大类:针对炭疽杆

  9. Structural elucidation of the nonclassical secondary cell wall polysaccharide from Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987. Comparison with the polysaccharides from Bacillus anthracis and B. cereus type strain ATCC 14579 reveals both unique and common structural features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leoff, Christine; Choudhury, Biswa; Saile, Elke; Quinn, Conrad P; Carlson, Russell W; Kannenberg, Elmar L

    2008-10-31

    Nonclassical secondary cell wall polysaccharides constitute a major cell wall structure in the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria. The structure of the secondary cell wall polysaccharide from Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987, a strain that is closely related to Bacillus anthracis, was determined. This polysaccharide was released from the cell wall with aqueous hydrogen fluoride (HF) and purified by gel filtration chromatography. The purified polysaccharide, HF-PS, was characterized by glycosyl composition and linkage analyses, mass spectrometry, and one- and two-dimensional NMR analysis. The results showed that the B. cereus ATCC 10987 HF-PS has a repeating oligosaccharide consisting of a -->6)-alpha-GalNAc-(1-->4)-beta-ManNAc-(1-->4)-beta-GlcNAc-(1--> trisaccharide that is substituted with beta-Gal at O3 of the alpha-GalNAc residue and nonstoichiometrically acetylated at O3 of the N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) residue. Comparison of this structure with that of the B. anthracis HF-PS and with structural data obtained for the HF-PS from B. cereus type strain ATCC 14579 revealed that each HF-PS had the same general structural theme consisting of three HexNAc and one Hex residues. A common structural feature in the HF-PSs from B. cereus ATCC 10987 and B. anthracis was the presence of a repeating unit consisting of a HexNAc(3) trisaccharide backbone in which two of the three HexNAc residues are GlcNAc and ManNAc and the third can be either GlcNAc or GalNAc. The implications of these results with regard to the possible functions of the HF-PSs are discussed.

  10. The secondary cell wall polysaccharide of Bacillus anthracis provides the specific binding ligand for the C-terminal cell wall-binding domain of two phage endolysins, PlyL and PlyG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganguly, Jhuma; Low, Lieh Y; Kamal, Nazia; Saile, Elke; Forsberg, L Scott; Gutierrez-Sanchez, Gerardo; Hoffmaster, Alex R; Liddington, Robert; Quinn, Conrad P; Carlson, Russell W; Kannenberg, Elmar L

    2013-07-01

    Endolysins are bacteriophage enzymes that lyse their bacterial host for phage progeny release. They commonly contain an N-terminal catalytic domain that hydrolyzes bacterial peptidoglycan (PG) and a C-terminal cell wall-binding domain (CBD) that confers enzyme localization to the PG substrate. Two endolysins, phage lysin L (PlyL) and phage lysin G (PlyG), are specific for Bacillus anthracis. To date, the cell wall ligands for their C-terminal CBD have not been identified. We recently described structures for a number of secondary cell wall polysaccharides (SCWPs) from B. anthracis and B. cereus strains. They are covalently bound to the PG and are comprised of a -ManNAc-GlcNAc-HexNAc- backbone with various galactosyl or glucosyl substitutions. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) showed that the endolysins PlyL and PlyG bind to the SCWP from B. anthracis (SCWPBa) with high affinity (i.e. in the μM range with dissociation constants ranging from 0.81 × 10(-6) to 7.51 × 10(-6) M). In addition, the PlyL and PlyG SCWPBa binding sites reside with their C-terminal domains. The dissociation constants for the interactions of these endolysins and their derived C-terminal domains with the SCWPBa were in the range reported for other protein-carbohydrate interactions. Our findings show that the SCWPBa is the ligand that confers PlyL and PlyG lysin binding and localization to the PG. PlyL and PlyG also bound the SCWP from B. cereus G9241 with comparable affinities to SCWPBa. No detectable binding was found to the SCWPs from B. cereus ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) 10987 and ATCC 14579, thus demonstrating specificity of lysin binding to SCWPs.

  11. 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

  12. Inactivation of vegetative cells, but not spores, of Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus, and B. subtilis on stainless steel surfaces coated with an antimicrobial silver- and zinc-containing zeolite formulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeano, Belinda; Korff, Emily; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2003-07-01

    Stainless steel surfaces coated with paints containing a silver- and zinc-containing zeolite (AgION antimicrobial) were assayed in comparison to uncoated stainless steel for antimicrobial activity against vegetative cells and spores of three Bacillus species, namely, B. anthracis Sterne, B. cereus T, and B. subtilis 168. Under the test conditions (25 degrees C and 80% relative humidity), the zeolite coating produced approximately 3 log(10) inactivation of vegetative cells within a 5- to 24-h period, but viability of spores of the three species was not significantly affected.

  13. In situ detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using fully submersible, self-exciting, self-sensing PMN-PT/Sn piezoelectric microcantilevers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, John-Paul; Shih, Wan Y; Shih, Wei-Heng

    2007-08-01

    In this study, we have demonstrated in situ, all-electrical detection of Bacillus anthracis (BA) spores using lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate/tin (PMN-PT/Sn) piezoelectric microcantilever sensors (PEMS) fabricated from PMN-PT freestanding films and electrically insulated with methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMS) coatings on the tin surface. Antibody specific to BA spore surface antigen was immobilized on the platinum electrode of the PMN-PT layer. In phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution, the PMN-PT/Sn PEMS exhibited quality (Q) values ranging from 50 to 75. The detection was carried out in a closed-loop flow cell with a liquid volume of 0.8 ml and a flow rate of 1 ml min(-1). It was shown that one sensor, "PEMS-A" (500 microm long, 800 microm wide, with a 22 microm thick PMN-PT layer, a 20 microm thick tin layer and a 1 +/- 0.5 x 10(-12) g Hz(-1) mass detection sensitivity) exhibited resonance frequency shifts of 2100 +/- 200, 1100 +/- 100 and 700 +/- 100 Hz at concentrations of 20,000, 2000, and 200 spores ml(-1) or 16,000, 1600, and 160 total spores, respectively. Additionally, "PEMS-B" (350 microm long, 800 microm wide, with an 8 microm thick PMN-PT layer, a 6 microm thick tin layer and a 2 +/- 1 x 10(-13) g Hz(-1) mass detection sensitivity) exhibited resonance frequency shifts of 2400 +/- 200, 1500 +/- 200, 500 +/- 150 and 200 +/- 100 Hz at concentrations of 20,000, 2000, 100, and 45 spores ml(-1) or 16,000, 1600, 80, and 36 total spores, respectively.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Evaluation of up-converting phosphor technology-based lateral flow strips for rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis Spore, Brucella spp., and Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingping Zhang

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, Brucella spp., and Yersinia pestis are zoonotic pathogens and biowarfare- or bioterrorism-associated agents that must be detected rapidly on-site from various samples (e.g., viscera and powders. An up-converting phosphor technology-based lateral flow (UPT-LF strip was developed as a point-of-care testing (POCT to satisfy the requirements of first-level emergency response. We developed UPT-LF POCT to quantitatively detect the three pathogens within 15 min. Sample and operation-error tolerances of the assay were comprehensively evaluated. The sensitivity of UPT-LF assay to bacterial detection reached 10(4 cfu · mL(-1 (100 cfu/test, with a linear quantitative range of 4 to 6 orders of magnitude. Results revealed that the UPT-LF assay exhibited a high specificity with the absence of false-positive results even at 10(9 cfu · mL(-1 of non-specific bacterial contamination. The assay could tolerate samples with a wide pH range (2 to 12, high ion strengths (≥ 4 mol · L(-1 of NaCl, high viscosities (≤ 25 mg · mL(-1 of PEG20000 or ≥ 20% of glycerol, and high concentrations of bio-macromolecule (≤ 200 mg · mL(-1 of bovine serum albumin or ≥ 80 mg · mL(-1 of casein. The influence of various types of powders and viscera (fresh and decomposed on the performance of UPT-LF assay was determined. The operational error of liquid measurement exhibited few effects on sensitivity and specificity. The developed UPT-LF POCT assay is applicable under field conditions with excellent tolerance to sample complexity and operational error.

  18. Chloroquine derivatives block the translocation pores and inhibit cellular entry of Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin and Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidler, Anna-Maria; Benz, Roland; Barth, Holger

    2017-03-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium botulinum and Bacillus anthracis produce the binary protein toxins C2 and lethal toxin (LT), respectively. These toxins consist of a binding/transport (B7) component that delivers the separate enzyme (A) component into the cytosol of target cells where it modifies its specific substrate and causes cell death. The B7 components of C2 toxin and LT, C2IIa and PA63, respectively, are ring-shaped heptamers that bind to their cellular receptors and form complexes with their A components C2I and lethal factor (LF), respectively. After receptor-mediated endocytosis of the toxin complexes, C2IIa and PA63 insert into the membranes of acidified endosomes and form trans-membrane pores through which C2I and LF translocate across endosomal membranes into the cytosol. C2IIa and PA63 also form channels in planar bilayer membranes, and we used this approach earlier to identify chloroquine as a potent blocker of C2IIa and PA63 pores. Here, a series of chloroquine derivatives was investigated to identify more efficient toxin inhibitors with less toxic side effects. Chloroquine, primaquine, quinacrine, and fluphenazine blocked C2IIa and PA63 pores in planar lipid bilayers and in membranes of living epithelial cells and macrophages, thereby preventing the pH-dependent membrane transport of the A components into the cytosol and protecting cells from intoxication with C2 toxin and LT. These potent inhibitors of toxin entry underline the central role of the translocation pores for cellular uptake of binary bacterial toxins and as relevant drug targets, and might be lead compounds for novel pharmacological strategies against severe enteric diseases and anthrax.

  19. 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.

  20. Low-level detection of a bacillus anthracis simulant using Love-wave biosensors on 36 degrees YX LiTaO3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branch, Darren W; Brozik, Susan M

    2004-03-15

    We present an acoustic Love-wave biosensor for detection of the Bacillus anthracis simulant, Bacillus thuringiensis at or below inhalational infectious levels. The present work is an experimental study of 36 degrees YX cut LiTaO3 based Love-wave devices for detection of pathogenic spores in aqueous conditions. Given that the detection limit (D1) of Love-wave-based sensors is a strong function of the overlying waveguide, two waveguide materials have been investigated, which are polyimide and polystyrene. To determine the mass sensitivity of Love-wave sensor, bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein was injected into the Love-wave test cell while recording the magnitude and phase shift across each sensor. Polyimide had the lowest mass detection limit with an estimated value of 1.0-2.0 ng/cm2, as compared to polystyrene where D1 = 2.0 ng/cm2. Suitable chemistries were used to orient antibodies on the Love-wave sensor using protein G. The thickness of each biofilm was measured using ellipsometry from which the surface concentrations were calculated. The monoclonal antibody BD8 with a high degree of selectivity for anthrax spores was used to capture the non-pathogenic simulant B. thuringiensis B8 spores. Bacillus subtilis spores were used as a negative control to determine whether significant non-specific binding would occur. Spore aliquots were prepared using an optical counting method, which permitted removal of background particles for consistent sample preparation. This work demonstrates that Love-wave biosensors are promising for low-level detection for whole-cell biological pathogens.

  1. DNA vaccines used for biodefense%生物防御用DNA疫苗

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘文宇; 朱晓斐; 戚中田

    2011-01-01

    Most of the recent biodefense work has been focused on developing DNA vaccines,which are safe to both human and environment and cost-effective,and delivery of the combined DNA vaccines can offer the potential for multiple protection.Consequently,the DNA vaccines have good prospects for research,development and applications,but their immunogenicity and delivery methods remain to be improved.This review summarizes the research status of the DNA vaccines against several biodefense pathogens listed on both the NIH priority pathogen and CDC bioterrorism registries:Bacillus anthracis,Ebola and Marburg viruses,monkeypox virus,smallpox virus,and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus.%近年的生物防御疫苗研究集中于DNA疫苗.DNA疫苗对人以及环境相对安全、经济,并且多价联合DNA疫苗还可以提供多重保护,因此有良好的研发前景和潜在的实用价值,但也存在免疫原性不强和接种方式有待改进等问题.此文就炭疽杆菌、埃博拉病毒、马尔堡病毒、猴痘病毒、天花病毒和委内瑞拉马脑炎病毒等几种被美国NIH和CDC列为重要生物战剂的DNA疫苗研发现状作一综述.

  2. DNA fragmentation in apoptosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Cleavage of chromosomal DNA into oligonucleosomal size fragments is an integral part of apoptosis. Elegant biochemical work identified the DNA fragmentation factor (DFF) as a major apoptotic endonuclease for DNA fragmentation in vitro. Genetic studies in mice support the importance of DFF in DNA fragmentation and possibly in apoptosis in vivo. Recent work also suggests the existence of additional endonucleases for DNA degradation. Understanding the roles of individual endonucleases in apoptosis, and how they might coordinate to degrade DNA in different tissues during normal development and homeostasis, as well as in various diseased states, will be a major research focus in the near future.

  3. ex vivo DNA assembly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam B Fisher

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Even with decreasing DNA synthesis costs there remains a need for inexpensive, rapid and reliable methods for assembling synthetic DNA into larger constructs or combinatorial libraries. Advances in cloning techniques have resulted in powerful in vitro and in vivo assembly of DNA. However, monetary and time costs have limited these approaches. Here, we report an ex vivo DNA assembly method that uses cellular lysates derived from a commonly used laboratory strain of Escherichia coli for joining double-stranded DNA with short end homologies embedded within inexpensive primers. This method concurrently shortens the time and decreases costs associated with current DNA assembly methods.

  4. [Uracil-DNA glycosylases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pytel, Dariusz; Słupianek, Artur; Ksiazek, Dominika; Skórski, Tomasz; Błasiak, Janusz

    2008-01-01

    Uracil is one of four nitrogen bases, most frequently found in normal RNA. Uracyl can be found also in DNA as a result of enzymatic or non-enzymatic deamination of cytosine as well as misincorporation of dUMP instead of dTMP during DNA replication. Uracil from DNA can be removed by DNA repair enzymes with apirymidine site as an intermediate. However, if uracil is not removed from DNA a pair C:G in parental DNA can be changed into a T:A pair in the daughter DNA molecule. Therefore, uracil in DNA may lead to a mutation. Uracil in DNA, similarly to thymine, forms energetically most favorable hydrogen bonds with adenine, therefore uracil does not change the coding properties of DNA. Uracil in DNA is recognized by uracil DNA glycosylase (UDGs), which initiates DNA base excision repair, leading to removing of uracil from DNA and replacing it by thymine or cytosine, when arose as a result of cytosine deamination. Eukaryotes have at least four nuclear UDGs: UNG2, SMUG1, TDG i MBD4, while UNG1 operates in the mitochondrium. UNG2 is involved in DNA repair associated with DNA replication and interacts with PCNA and RPA proteins. Uracil can also be an intermediate product in the process of antigen-dependent antibody diversification in B lymphocytes. Enzymatic deamination of viral DNA by host cells can be a defense mechanism against viral infection, including HIV-1. UNG2, MBD4 and TDG glycosylases may cooperate with mismatch repair proteins and TDG can be involved in nucleotide excision repair system.