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Sample records for anthracis lethal factor

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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. Mapping the epitopes of a neutralizing antibody fragment directed against the lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis and cross-reacting with the homologous edema factor.

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    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.

  5. 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.

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    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.

  6. Development of a Cell-Based Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Reporter for Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor Protease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kimura, R H; Steenblock, E R; Camarero, J A

    2007-03-22

    We report the construction of a cell-based fluorescent reporter for anthrax lethal factor (LF) protease activity using the principle of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). This was accomplished by engineering an Escherichia coli cell line to express a genetically encoded FRET reporter and LF protease. Both proteins were encoded in two different expression plasmids under the control of different tightly controlled inducible promoters. The FRET-based reporter was designed to contain a LF recognition sequence flanked by the FRET pair formed by CyPet and YPet fluorescent proteins. The length of the linker between both fluorescent proteins was optimized using a flexible peptide linker containing several Gly-Gly-Ser repeats. Our results indicate that this FRET-based LF reporter was readily expressed in E. coli cells showing high levels of FRET in vivo in the absence of LF. The FRET signal, however, decreased 5 times after inducing LF expression in the same cell. These results suggest that this cell-based LF FRET reporter may be used to screen genetically encoded libraries in vivo against LF.

  7. Expression and purification of lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis in Escherichia coli%炭疽芽胞杆菌致死因子在大肠埃希菌中的表达与纯化

    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 在大肠埃希菌中表达炭疽致死因子,获得纯化蛋白,用于炭疽快速诊断方法以及炭疽致病机制研究.方法 PCR方法扩增炭疽致死因子,构建表达质粒pET-LF,转化大肠埃希菌BL21(DE3),IPTG诱导重组蛋白表达,通过Ni离子金属螯合树脂进行纯化,Western blot(WB)试验检查免疫原性,MTT方法检查生物学活性.结果 获得重组炭疽致死因子,WB结果显示重组蛋白具有良好的免疫反应性,MTT方法进行的生物学活性测定表明致死因子与保护性抗原联合,细胞毒性与文献报道相比有明显降低.结论 所获得的重组炭疽致死因子,对于发展炭疽快速诊断方法,以及研究炭疽毒素的作用机制具有一定的促进作用.%Objective To acquire the purified recombinant lethal factor (rLF) of Bacillus anthracis and investigate its use in the rapid diagnosis of anthrax and in the study of the mechanism of the disease. Methods The lethal factor gene was cloned into the Escherichia coli expression vector pET-30a(+) and expressed as a fusion protein in E. coli BL21(DE3). rLF was purification of rLF by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. The purified rLF was subjected to immunogenicity and biological activity analysis by Western blot assay and MTT assay. Results rLF was expressed and purified. Western blot results suggested that recombinant proteins reacted specifically with anti-B. anthracis serum. The cytotoxicity analysis showed the rLF was fully functional. And rLF combined with PA could significantly decrease cytotoxicity compared with previous study. Conclusion rLF protein has tremendous potential both for the diagnosis of B. anthracis infection and for the study of the mechanism of anthrax toxin.

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

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    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.

  9. Bacillus anthracis factors for phagosomal escape.

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    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.

  10. 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

  11. ATP Depletion Via Mitochondrial F1F0 Complex by Lethal Factor is an Early Event in B. Anthracis-Induced Sudden Cell Death

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    Mitchell W. Woodberry

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis’ primary virulence factor is a tripartite anthrax toxin consisting of edema factor (EF, lethal factor (LF and protective antigen (PA. In complex with PA, EF and LF are internalized via receptor-mediated endocytosis. EF is a calmodulin- dependent adenylate cyclase that induces tissue edema. LF is a zinc-metalloprotease that cleaves members of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases. Lethal toxin (LT: PA plus LF-induced death of macrophages is primarily attributed to expression of the sensitive Nalp1b allele, inflammasome formation and activation of caspase-1, but early events that initiate these processes are unknown. Here we provide evidence that an early essential event in pyroptosis of alveolar macrophages is LF-mediated depletion of cellular ATP. The underlying mechanism involves interaction of LF with F1F0-complex gamma and beta subunits leading to increased ATPase activity in mitochondria. In support, mitochondrial DNA-depleted MH-S cells have decreased F1F0 ATPase activity due to the lack of F06 and F08 polypeptides and show increased resistance to LT. We conclude that ATP depletion is an important early event in LT-induced sudden cell death and its prevention increases survival of toxin-sensitive cells.

  12. MHC Class II and Non-MHC Class II Genes Differentially Influence Humoral Immunity to Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Protective Antigen

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    Judith A. James

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax Lethal Toxin consists of Protective Antigen (PA and Lethal Factor (LF, and current vaccination strategies focus on eliciting antibodies to PA. In human vaccination, the response to PA can vary greatly, and the response is often directed toward non-neutralizing epitopes. Variable vaccine responses have been shown to be due in part to genetic differences in individuals, with both MHC class II and other genes playing roles. Here, we investigated the relative contribution of MHC class II versus non-MHC class II genes in the humoral response to PA and LF immunization using three immunized strains of inbred mice: A/J (H-2k at the MHC class II locus, B6 (H-2b, and B6.H2k (H-2k. IgG antibody titers to LF were controlled primarily by the MHC class II locus, whereas IgG titers to PA were strongly influenced by the non-MHC class II genetic background. Conversely, the humoral fine specificity of reactivity to LF appeared to be controlled primarily through non-MHC class II genes, while the specificity of reactivity to PA was more dependent on MHC class II. Common epitopes, reactive in all strains, occurred in both LF and PA responses. These results demonstrate that MHC class II differentially influences humoral immune responses to LF and PA.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    Sunil K Joshi

    2009-09-01

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

  16. Recombinant expression of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin components of Indian isolate in Escherichia coli and determination of its acute toxicity level in mouse model.

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    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.

  17. Lethal factor, but not edema factor, is required to cause fatal anthrax in cynomolgus macaques after pulmonary spore challenge.

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    Hutt, Julie A; Lovchik, Julie A; Drysdale, Melissa; Sherwood, Robert L; Brasel, Trevor; Lipscomb, Mary F; Lyons, C Rick

    2014-12-01

    Inhalational anthrax is caused by inhalation of Bacillus anthracis spores. The ability of B. anthracis to cause anthrax is attributed to the plasmid-encoded A/B-type toxins, edema toxin (edema factor and protective antigen) and lethal toxin (lethal factor and protective antigen), and a poly-d-glutamic acid capsule. To better understand the contribution of these toxins to the disease pathophysiology in vivo, we used B. anthracis Ames strain and isogenic toxin deletion mutants derived from the Ames strain to examine the role of lethal toxin and edema toxin after pulmonary spore challenge of cynomolgus macaques. Lethal toxin, but not edema toxin, was required to induce sustained bacteremia and death after pulmonary challenge with spores delivered via bronchoscopy. After intravenous challenge with bacilli to model the systemic phase of infection, lethal toxin contributed to bacterial proliferation and subsequent host death to a greater extent than edema toxin. Deletion of protective antigen resulted in greater loss of virulence after intravenous challenge with bacilli than deletion of lethal toxin or edema toxin alone. These findings are consistent with the ability of anti-protective antigen antibodies to prevent anthrax and suggest that lethal factor is the dominant toxin that contributes to the escape of significant numbers of bacilli from the thoracic cavity to cause anthrax after inhalation challenge with spores.

  18. Bacillus anthracis Factors for Phagosomal Escape

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    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.

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

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    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.

  20. Human Neutrophils Kill Bacillus anthracis.

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    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.

  1. Human neutrophils kill Bacillus anthracis.

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    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.

  2. Human neutrophils kill Bacillus anthracis.

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    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.

  3. Ligand-induced expansion of the S1' site in the anthrax toxin lethal factor

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    Maize, Kimberly M.; Kurbanov, Elbek K.; Johnson, Rodney L.; Amin, Elizabeth Ambrose; Finzel, Barry C. (UMM)

    2016-07-05

    The Bacillus anthracis lethal factor (LF) is one component of a tripartite exotoxin partly responsible for persistent anthrax cytotoxicity after initial bacterial infection. Inhibitors of the zinc metalloproteinase have been investigated as potential therapeutic agents, but LF is a challenging target because inhibitors lack sufficient selectivity or possess poor pharmaceutical properties. These structural studies reveal an alternate conformation of the enzyme, induced upon binding of specific inhibitors, that opens a previously unobserved deep pocket termed S1'* which might afford new opportunities to design selective inhibitors that target this subsite.

  4. Chloroquine derivatives block the translocation pores and inhibit cellular entry of Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin and Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 1: Discovery of potent lethal factor inhibitors with in vivo efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Kim, Seongjin; Moayeri, Mahtab; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2010-11-15

    Sub-nanomolar small molecule inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor have been identified using SAR and Merck L915 (4) as a model compound. One of these compounds (16) provided 100% protection in a rat lethal toxin model of anthrax disease.

  10. Erythrocytic mobilization enhanced by the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is associated with reduced anthrax-lethal-toxin-induced mortality in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsin-Hou Chang

    Full Text Available Anthrax lethal toxin (LT, one of the primary virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis, causes anthrax-like symptoms and death in animals. Experiments have indicated that levels of erythrocytopenia and hypoxic stress are associated with disease severity after administering LT. In this study, the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF was used as a therapeutic agent to ameliorate anthrax-LT- and spore-induced mortality in C57BL/6J mice. We demonstrated that G-CSF promoted the mobilization of mature erythrocytes to peripheral blood, resulting in a significantly faster recovery from erythrocytopenia. In addition, combined treatment using G-CSF and erythropoietin tended to ameliorate B. anthracis-spore-elicited mortality in mice. Although specific treatments against LT-mediated pathogenesis remain elusive, these results may be useful in developing feasible strategies to treat anthrax.

  11. Secretory expression and efficient purification of recombinant anthrax toxin lethal factor with full biological activity in E. coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ju; Cai, Chenguang; Guo, Qiang; Zhang, Jun; Dong, Dayong; Li, Guanlin; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2013-05-01

    Lethal factor (LF), a virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, plays key roles in anthrax pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions. The detailed mechanisms by which LF contributes to infection are still under investigation. While these studies require pure, homogeneous and reliable LF preparations, most methods reported for production of recombinant LF (rLF) in B. anthracis or Escherichia coli either are complicated or add extra residues to the protein. In this work, we modified our previous method by codon optimization and chromatograph workflow refinement and developed an improved strategy for efficient production of rLF from the periplasm of E. coli. We were able to obtain fully functional rLF with a purity above 95% and with a considerable yield of 5 mg/L. The preparation was characterized by SDS-PAGE, Western blot, and N-terminal sequencing, and the activity was validated by intoxication of macrophages and Fischer 344 rats. Our final product is suitable for most research involving drug development and mechanism analysis of anthrax pathogenesis.

  12. In trans complementation of lethal factor reveal roles in colonization and dissemination in a murine mouse model.

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    David E Lowe

    Full Text Available Lethal factor (LF is a component of the B. anthracis exotoxin and critical for pathogenesis. The roles of LF in early anthrax pathogenesis, such as colonization and dissemination from the initial site of infection, are poorly understood. In mice models of infection, LF-deficient strains either have altered dissemination patterns or do not colonize, precluding analysis of the role of LF in colonization and dissemination from the portal of entry. Previous reports indicate rabbit and guinea pig models infected with LF-deficient strains have decreased virulence, yet the inability to use bioluminescent imaging techniques to track B. anthracis growth and dissemination in these hosts makes analysis of early pathogenesis challenging. In this study, the roles of LF early in infection were analyzed using bioluminescent signature tagged libraries of B. anthracis with varying ratios of LF-producing and LF-deficient clones. Populations where all clones produced LF and populations where only 40% of clones produce LF were equally virulent. The 40% LF-producing clones trans complimented the LF mutants and permitted them to colonize and disseminate. Decreases of the LF producing strains to 10% or 0.3% of the population led to increased host survival and decreased trans complementation of the LF mutants. A library with 10% LF producing clones could replicate and disseminate, but fewer clones disseminated and the mutant clones were less competitive than wild type. The inoculum with 0.3% LF producing clones could not colonize the host. This strongly suggests that between 10% and 0.3% of the population must produce LF in order to colonize. In total, these findings suggest that a threshold of LF must be produced in order for colonization and dissemination to occur in vivo. These observations suggest that LF has a major role in the early stages of colonization and dissemination.

  13. Highly predictive support vector machine (SVM) models for anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF) inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xia; Amin, Elizabeth Ambrose

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a highly lethal, acute infectious disease caused by the rod-shaped, Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF), a zinc metalloprotease secreted by the bacilli, plays a key role in anthrax pathogenesis and is chiefly responsible for anthrax-related toxemia and host death, partly via inactivation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKK) enzymes and consequent disruption of key cellular signaling pathways. Antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones are capable of clearing the bacilli but have no effect on LF-mediated toxemia; LF itself therefore remains the preferred target for toxin inactivation. However, currently no LF inhibitor is available on the market as a therapeutic, partly due to the insufficiency of existing LF inhibitor scaffolds in terms of efficacy, selectivity, and toxicity. In the current work, we present novel support vector machine (SVM) models with high prediction accuracy that are designed to rapidly identify potential novel, structurally diverse LF inhibitor chemical matter from compound libraries. These SVM models were trained and validated using 508 compounds with published LF biological activity data and 847 inactive compounds deposited in the Pub Chem BioAssay database. One model, M1, demonstrated particularly favorable selectivity toward highly active compounds by correctly predicting 39 (95.12%) out of 41 nanomolar-level LF inhibitors, 46 (93.88%) out of 49 inactives, and 844 (99.65%) out of 847 Pub Chem inactives in external, unbiased test sets. These models are expected to facilitate the prediction of LF inhibitory activity for existing molecules, as well as identification of novel potential LF inhibitors from large datasets.

  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. Direct proteolytic cleavage of NLRP1B is necessary and sufficient for inflammasome activation by anthrax lethal factor.

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    Joseph Chavarría-Smith

    Full Text Available Inflammasomes are multimeric protein complexes that respond to infection by recruitment and activation of the Caspase-1 (CASP1 protease. Activated CASP1 initiates immune defense by processing inflammatory cytokines and by causing a rapid and lytic cell death called pyroptosis. Inflammasome formation is orchestrated by members of the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat (NLR or AIM2-like receptor (ALR protein families. Certain NLRs and ALRs have been shown to function as direct receptors for specific microbial ligands, such as flagellin or DNA, but the molecular mechanism responsible for activation of most NLRs is still poorly understood. Here we determine the mechanism of activation of the NLRP1B inflammasome in mice. NLRP1B, and its ortholog in rats, is activated by the lethal factor (LF protease that is a key virulence factor secreted by Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. LF was recently shown to cleave mouse and rat NLRP1 directly. However, it is unclear if cleavage is sufficient for NLRP1 activation. Indeed, other LF-induced cellular events have been suggested to play a role in NLRP1B activation. Surprisingly, we show that direct cleavage of NLRP1B is sufficient to induce inflammasome activation in the absence of LF. Our results therefore rule out the need for other LF-dependent cellular effects in activation of NLRP1B. We therefore propose that NLRP1 functions primarily as a sensor of protease activity and thus could conceivably detect a broader spectrum of pathogens than just B. anthracis. By adding proteolytic cleavage to the previously established ligand-receptor mechanism of NLR activation, our results illustrate the remarkable flexibility with which the NLR architecture can be deployed for the purpose of pathogen-detection and host defense.

  16. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 2: structural modifications leading to improved in vivo efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seongjin; Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Moayeri, Mahtab; Crown, Devorah; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2011-04-01

    New anthrax lethal factor inhibitors (LFIs) were designed based upon previously identified potent inhibitors 1a and 2. Combining the new core structures with modifications to the C2-side chain yielded analogs with improved efficacy in the rat lethal toxin model.

  17. 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.

  18. Lifestyle and dietary factors in the prevention of lethal prostate cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kathryn M Wilson; Edward L Giovannucci; Lorelei A Mucci

    2012-01-01

    The prevention of lethal prostate cancer is a critical public health challenge that would improve health and reduce suffering from this disease.In this review,we discuss the evidence surrounding specific lifestyle and dietary factors in the prevention of lethal prostate cancer.We present a summary of evidence for the following selected behavioral risk factors:obesity and weight change,physical activity,smoking,antioxidant intake,vitamin D and calcium,and coffee intake.

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

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    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.

  20. The maternally expressed WRKY transcription factor TTG2 controls lethality in interploidy crosses of Arabidopsis.

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    Brian P Dilkes

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The molecular mechanisms underlying lethality of F1 hybrids between diverged parents are one target of speciation research. Crosses between diploid and tetraploid individuals of the same genotype can result in F1 lethality, and this dosage-sensitive incompatibility plays a role in polyploid speciation. We have identified variation in F1 lethality in interploidy crosses of Arabidopsis thaliana and determined the genetic architecture of the maternally expressed variation via QTL mapping. A single large-effect QTL, DR. STRANGELOVE 1 (DSL1, was identified as well as two QTL with epistatic relationships to DSL1. DSL1 affects the rate of postzygotic lethality via expression in the maternal sporophyte. Fine mapping placed DSL1 in an interval encoding the maternal effect transcription factor TTG2. Maternal parents carrying loss-of-function mutations in TTG2 suppressed the F1 lethality caused by paternal excess interploidy crosses. The frequency of cellularization in the endosperm was similarly affected by both natural variation and ttg2 loss-of-function mutants. The simple genetic basis of the natural variation and effects of single-gene mutations suggests that F1 lethality in polyploids could evolve rapidly. Furthermore, the role of the sporophytically active TTG2 gene in interploidy crosses indicates that the developmental programming of the mother regulates the viability of interploidy hybrid offspring.

  1. Prediction of Protein-Peptide Interactions: Application of the XPairIT to Anthrax Lethal Factor and Substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    Prediction of Protein-Peptide Interactions: Application of the XPairIt API to Anthrax Lethal Factor and Substrates by Margaret M. Hurley and...Peptide Interactions: Application of the XPairIt API to Anthrax Lethal Factor and Substrates Margaret M. Hurley and Michael S. Sellers Weapons and...Prediction of Protein-Peptide Interactions: Application of the XPairIt API to Anthrax Lethal Factor and Substrates 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER ORAUW911QX-04-C

  2. Blocking anthrax lethal toxin at the protective antigen channel by using structure-inspired drug design

    OpenAIRE

    Karginov, Vladimir A.; Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2005-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis secretes three polypeptides: protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF), which interact at the surface of mammalian cells to form toxic complexes. LF and EF are enzymes that target substrates within the cytosol; PA provides a heptameric pore to facilitate LF and EF transport into the cytosol. Other than administration of antibiotics shortly after exposure, there is currently no approved effective treatment for inhalational anthrax. Here we demonstrat...

  3. Venous anomalies as potentially lethal risk factors during ordinary catheterization

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    Savino Occhionorelli

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Venous malformations are rare but possible findings too, constituting a further risk factor for central venous catheter procedures. Herein we describe a case of death because of an innominate vein perforation by a catheter that incidentally was tucked into a sacciform malformation. Even if the technology advancement is constantly offering us new investigation tools, up to now diagnostic options are limited in the detection of those malformations that could potentially lead to dramatic complications as the described one. The present work raises the awareness about rare venous anomalies and their potential clinical implications. A proper literature review and diagnostic implementation proposal are reported.

  4. Anthrax lethal factor as an immune target in humans and transgenic mice and the impact of HLA polymorphism on CD4+ T cell immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascough, Stephanie; Ingram, Rebecca J; Chu, Karen K; Reynolds, Catherine J; Musson, Julie A; Doganay, Mehmet; Metan, Gökhan; Ozkul, Yusuf; Baillie, Les; Sriskandan, Shiranee; Moore, Stephen J; Gallagher, Theresa B; Dyson, Hugh; Williamson, E Diane; Robinson, John H; Maillere, Bernard; Boyton, Rosemary J; Altmann, Daniel M

    2014-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis produces a binary toxin composed of protective antigen (PA) and one of two subunits, lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF). Most studies have concentrated on induction of toxin-specific antibodies as the correlate of protective immunity, in contrast to which understanding of cellular immunity to these toxins and its impact on infection is limited. We characterized CD4+ T cell immunity to LF in a panel of humanized HLA-DR and DQ transgenic mice and in naturally exposed patients. As the variation in antigen presentation governed by HLA polymorphism has a major impact on protective immunity to specific epitopes, we examined relative binding affinities of LF peptides to purified HLA class II molecules, identifying those regions likely to be of broad applicability to human immune studies through their ability to bind multiple alleles. Transgenics differing only in their expression of human HLA class II alleles showed a marked hierarchy of immunity to LF. Immunogenicity in HLA transgenics was primarily restricted to epitopes from domains II and IV of LF and promiscuous, dominant epitopes, common to all HLA types, were identified in domain II. The relevance of this model was further demonstrated by the fact that a number of the immunodominant epitopes identified in mice were recognized by T cells from humans previously infected with cutaneous anthrax and from vaccinated individuals. The ability of the identified epitopes to confer protective immunity was demonstrated by lethal anthrax challenge of HLA transgenic mice immunized with a peptide subunit vaccine comprising the immunodominant epitopes that we identified.

  5. Anthrax lethal factor as an immune target in humans and transgenic mice and the impact of HLA polymorphism on CD4+ T cell immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Ascough

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis produces a binary toxin composed of protective antigen (PA and one of two subunits, lethal factor (LF or edema factor (EF. Most studies have concentrated on induction of toxin-specific antibodies as the correlate of protective immunity, in contrast to which understanding of cellular immunity to these toxins and its impact on infection is limited. We characterized CD4+ T cell immunity to LF in a panel of humanized HLA-DR and DQ transgenic mice and in naturally exposed patients. As the variation in antigen presentation governed by HLA polymorphism has a major impact on protective immunity to specific epitopes, we examined relative binding affinities of LF peptides to purified HLA class II molecules, identifying those regions likely to be of broad applicability to human immune studies through their ability to bind multiple alleles. Transgenics differing only in their expression of human HLA class II alleles showed a marked hierarchy of immunity to LF. Immunogenicity in HLA transgenics was primarily restricted to epitopes from domains II and IV of LF and promiscuous, dominant epitopes, common to all HLA types, were identified in domain II. The relevance of this model was further demonstrated by the fact that a number of the immunodominant epitopes identified in mice were recognized by T cells from humans previously infected with cutaneous anthrax and from vaccinated individuals. The ability of the identified epitopes to confer protective immunity was demonstrated by lethal anthrax challenge of HLA transgenic mice immunized with a peptide subunit vaccine comprising the immunodominant epitopes that we identified.

  6. Lethality by pneumonia and factors associated to death

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    Sidnei Ferreira

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To describe the case-fatality rate (CFR and risk factors of death in children with community-acquired acute pneumonia (CAP in a pediatric university hospital. METHOD: A longitudinal study was developed with prospective data collected from 1996 to 2011. Patients aged 1 month to 12 years were included in the study. Those who left the hospital against medical orders and those transferred to ICU or other units were excluded. Demographic andclinical-etiological characteristics and the initial treatment were studied. Variables associated to death were determined by bivariate and multivariate analysis using logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 871 patients were selected, of whom 11 were excluded; thus 860 children were included in the study. There were 26 deaths, with a CFR of 3%; in 58.7% of these, penicillin G was the initial treatment. Pneumococcus was the most common pathogen (50.4%. From 1996 to 2000, there were 24 deaths (93%, with a CFR of 5.8% (24/413. From 2001 to 2011, the age group of hospitalized patients was older (p = 0.03, and the number of deaths (p = 0.02 and the percentage of disease severity were lower (p = 0.06. Only disease severity remained associated to death in the multivariate analysis (OR = 3.2; 95%CI: 1.2-8.9; p = 0.02. CONCLUSION: When the 1996-2000 and 2001-2011 periods were compared, a significant reduction in CFR was observed in the latter, as well as a change in the clinical profile of the pediatric in patients at the institute. These findings may be related to the improvement in the socio-economical status of the population. Penicillin use did not influence CFR.

  7. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. Bacterial Factors Associated with Lethal Outcome of Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Infection: Genomic Case-Control Studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael S Donnenberg

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Typical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (tEPEC strains were associated with mortality in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS. Genetic differences in tEPEC strains could underlie some of the variability in clinical outcome.We produced draft genome sequences of all available tEPEC strains from GEMS lethal infections (LIs and of closely matched EPEC strains from GEMS subjects with non-lethal symptomatic infections (NSIs and asymptomatic infections (AIs to identify gene clusters (potential protein encoding sequences sharing ≥90% nucleotide sequence identity associated with lethality.Among 14,412 gene clusters identified, the presence or absence of 392 was associated with clinical outcome. As expected, more gene clusters were associated with LI versus AI than LI versus NSI. The gene clusters more prevalent in strains from LI than those from NSI and AI included those encoding proteins involved in O-antigen biogenesis, while clusters encoding type 3 secretion effectors EspJ and OspB were among those more prevalent in strains from non-lethal infections. One gene cluster encoding a variant of an NleG ubiquitin ligase was associated with LI versus AI, while two other nleG clusters had the opposite association. Similar associations were found for two nleG gene clusters in an additional, larger sample of NSI and AI GEMS strains.Particular genes are associated with lethal tEPEC infections. Further study of these factors holds potential to unravel the mechanisms underlying severe disease and to prevent adverse outcomes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Purification and biophysical characterization of the core protease domain of anthrax lethal factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkazonis, Petros V; Dalkas, Georgios A; Chasapis, Christos T; Vlamis-Gardikas, Alexios; Bentrop, Detlef; Spyroulias, Georgios A

    2010-06-04

    Anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx) stands for the major virulence factor of the anthrax disease. It comprises a 90kDa highly specific metalloprotease, the anthrax lethal factor (LF). LF possesses a catalytic Zn(2+) binding site and is highly specific against MAPK kinases, thus representing the most potent native biomolecule to alter and inactivate MKK [MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) kinases] signalling pathways. Given the importance of the interaction between LF and substrate for the development of anti-anthrax agents as well as the potential treatment of nascent tumours, the analysis of the structure and dynamic properties of the LF catalytic site are essential to elucidate its enzymatic properties. Here we report the recombinant expression and purification of a C-terminal part of LF (LF(672-776)) that harbours the enzyme's core protease domain. The biophysical characterization and backbone assignments ((1)H, (13)C, (15)N) of the polypeptide revealed a stable, well folded structure even in the absence of Zn(2+), suitable for high resolution structural analysis by NMR.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Contribution of Vibrio parahaemolyticus virulence factors to cytotoxicity, enterotoxicity, and lethality in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiyoshi, Hirotaka; Kodama, Toshio; Iida, Tetsuya; Honda, Takeshi

    2010-04-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus, one of the human-pathogenic vibrios, causes three major types of clinical illness: gastroenteritis, wound infections, and septicemia. Thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) secreted by this bacterium has been considered a major virulence factor of gastroenteritis because it has biological activities, including cytotoxic and enterotoxic activities. Previous reports revealed that V. parahaemolyticus strain RIMD2210633, which contains tdh, has two sets of type III secretion system (T3SS) genes on chromosomes 1 and 2 (T3SS1 and T3SS2, respectively) and that T3SS1 is responsible for cytotoxicity and T3SS2 is involved in enterotoxicity, as well as in cytotoxic activity. However, the relative importance and contributions of TDH and the two T3SSs to V. parahaemolyticus pathogenicity are not well understood. In this study, we constructed mutant strains with nonfunctional T3SSs from the V. parahaemolyticus strain containing tdh, and then the pathogenicities of the wild-type and mutant strains were evaluated by assessing their cytotoxic activities against HeLa, Caco-2, and RAW 264 cells, their enterotoxic activities in rabbit ileal loops, and their lethality in a murine infection model. We demonstrated that T3SS1 was involved in cytotoxic activities against all cell lines used in this study, while T3SS2 and TDH had cytotoxic effects on a limited number of cell lines. T3SS2 was the major contributor to V. parahaemolyticus-induced enterotoxicity. Interestingly, we found that both T3SS1 and TDH played a significant role in lethal activity in a murine infection model. Our findings provide new indications that these virulence factors contribute to and orchestrate each distinct aspect of the pathogenicity of V. parahaemolyticus.

  17. Anthrax vaccination induced anti-lethal factor IgG: fine specificity and neutralizing capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Sherry R; Garman, Lori; Engler, Renata J M; Farris, A Darise; Ballard, Jimmy D; Harley, John B; James, Judith A

    2011-05-09

    The efficacy biomarker of the currently licensed anthrax vaccine (AVA) is based on quantity and neutralizing capacity of anti-protective antigen (anti-PA) antibodies. However, animal studies have demonstrated that antibodies to lethal factor (LF) can provide protection against in vivo bacterial spore challenges. Improved understanding of the fine specificities of humoral immune responses that provide optimum neutralization capacity may enhance the efficacy of future passive immune globulin preparations to treat and prevent inhalation anthrax morbidity and mortality. This study (n=1000) was designed to identify AVA vaccinated individuals who generate neutralizing antibodies and to determine what specificities correlate with protection. The number of vaccine doses, years post vaccination, and PA titer were associated with in vitro neutralization, reinforcing previous reports. In addition, African American individuals had lower serologic neutralizing activity than European Americans, suggesting a genetic role in the generation of these neutralizing antibodies. Of the vaccinated individuals, only 69 (6.9%) had moderate levels of anti-LF IgG compared to 244 (24.4%) with low and 687 (68.7%) with extremely low levels of IgG antibodies to LF. Using overlapping decapeptide analysis, we identified six common LF antigenic regions targeted by those individuals with moderate levels of antibodies to LF and high in vitro toxin neutralizing activity. Affinity purified antibodies directed against antigenic epitopes within the PA binding and ADP-ribotransferase-like domains of LF were able to protect mice against lethal toxin challenge. Findings from these studies have important implications for vaccine design and immunotherapeutic development.

  18. Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 Mitigates Hematopoietic Toxicity After Lethal Total Body Irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Dunhua; Deoliveira, Divino; Kang, Yubin; Choi, Seung S. [Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (United States); Li, Zhiguo [Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (United States); Chao, Nelson J. [Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (United States); Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (United States); Department of Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (United States); Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (United States); Chen, Benny J., E-mail: chen0032@mc.duke.edu [Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (United States); Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (United States)

    2013-03-15

    Purpose: To investigate whether and how insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) mitigates hematopoietic toxicity after total body irradiation. Methods and Materials: BALB/c mice were irradiated with a lethal dose of radiation (7.5 Gy) and treated with IGF-1 at a dose of 100 μg/dose intravenously once a day for 5 consecutive days starting within 1 hour after exposure. Survival and hematopoietic recovery were monitored. The mechanisms by which IGF-1 promotes hematopoietic recovery were also studied by use of an in vitro culture system. Results: IGF-1 protected 8 of 20 mice (40%) from lethal irradiation, whereas only 2 of 20 mice (10%) in the saline control group survived for more than 100 days after irradiation. A single dose of IGF-1 (500 μg) was as effective as daily dosing for 5 days. Positive effects were noted even when the initiation of treatment was delayed as long as 6 hours after irradiation. In comparison with the saline control group, treatment with IGF-1 significantly accelerated the recovery of both platelets and red blood cells in peripheral blood, total cell numbers, hematopoietic stem cells, and progenitor cells in the bone marrow when measured at day 14 after irradiation. IGF-1 protected both hematopoietic stem cells and progenitor cells from radiation-induced apoptosis and cell death. In addition, IGF-1 was able to facilitate the proliferation and differentiation of nonirradiated and irradiated hematopoietic progenitor cells. Conclusions: IGF-1 mitigates radiation-induced hematopoietic toxicity through protecting hematopoietic stem cells and progenitor cells from apoptosis and enhancing proliferation and differentiation of the surviving hematopoietic progenitor cells.

  19. 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

  20. American Visceral Leishmaniasis: Factors Associated with Lethality in the State of São Paulo, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldine Madalosso

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To identify factors associated with death in visceral leishmaniasis (VL cases. Patients and Methodology. We evaluated prognostic factors for death from VL in São Paulo state, Brazil, from 1999 to 2005. A prognostic study nested in a clinical cohort was carried out by data analysis of 376 medical files. A comparison between VL fatal cases and survivors was performed for clinical, laboratory, and biological features. Association between variables and death was assessed by univariate analysis, and the multiple logistic regression model was used to determine adjusted odds ratio for death, controlling confounding factors. Results. Data analysis identified 53 fatal cases out of 376 patients, between 1999 and 2005 in São Paulo state. Lethality was 14.1% (53/376, being higher in patients older than fifty years. The main causes of death were sepsis, bleeding, liver failure, and cardiotoxicity due to treatment. Variables significantly associated with death were severe anemia, bleeding, heart failure, jaundice, diarrhea, fever for more than sixty days, age older than fifty years, and antibiotic use. Conclusion. Educational health measures are needed for the general population and continuing education programs for health professionals working in the affected areas with the purpose of identifying and treating early cases, thus preventing the disease evolution towards death.

  1. 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.

  2. Protected graft copolymer-formulated fibroblast growth factors mitigate the lethality of partial body irradiation injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Gerardo M.; Nishimoto-Ashfield, Akiko; Jones, Cynthia C.; Kabirov, Kasim K.; Zakharov, Alexander; Lyubimov, Alexander V.

    2017-01-01

    We evaluated the mitigating effects of fibroblast growth factor 4 and 7 (FGF4 and FGF7, respectively) in comparison with long acting protected graft copolymer (PGC)-formulated FGF4 and 7 (PF4 and PF7, respectively) administered to C57BL/6J mice a day after exposure to LD50/30 (15.7 Gy) partial body irradiation (PBI) which targeted the gastrointestinal (GI) system. The PGC that we developed increased the bioavailability of FGF4 and FGF7 by 5- and 250-fold compared to without PGC, respectively, and also sustained a 24 hr presence in the blood after a single subcutaneous administration. The dose levels tested for mitigating effects on radiation injury were 3 mg/kg for the PF4 and PF7 and 1.5 mg each for their combination (PF4/7). Amifostine administered prior to PBI was used as a positive control. The PF4, PF7, or PF4/7 mitigated the radiation lethality in mice. The mitigating effect of PF4 and PF7 was similar to the positive control and PF7 was better than other mitigators tested. The plasma citrulline levels and hematology parameters were early markers of recovery and survival. GI permeability function appeared to be a late or full recovery indicator. The villus length and crypt number correlated with plasma citrulline level, indicating that it can act as a surrogate marker for these histology evaluations. The IL-18 concentrations in jejunum as early as day 4 and TPO levels in colon on day 10 following PBI showed statistically significant changes in irradiated versus non-irradiated mice which makes them potential biomarkers of radiation exposure. Other colon and jejunum cytokine levels are potentially useful but require larger numbers of samples than in the present study before their full utility can be realized. PMID:28207794

  3. 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.

  4. An accompanying genetic severe deficiency of tissue factor protects mice with a protein C deficiency from lethal endotoxemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellino, Francis J; Donahue, Deborah L; Navari, Rudolph M; Ploplis, Victoria A; Walsh, Mark

    2011-01-06

    Mice with a severe genetic deficiency of protein C (PC), PC(-/-)PC(tg4), display enhanced susceptibility to lethal effects of gram-negative endotoxemia induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), whereas mice severely deficient in tissue factor (TF), TF(-/-)hTF(tg), are protected from LPS-mediated lethality. In this study, we show that a simultaneous severe deficiency of TF protected low-PC mice from LPS-induced death, resulting in a survival profile similar to that experienced by wild-type (WT) mice. Plasma and whole blood coagulation assays, the latter measured by thromboelastography, demonstrated development of coagulopathies in LPS-treated mice, which were more severe in the case of the doubly deficient TF(-/-)hTF(tg)/PC(-/-)PC(tg4) mice, mainly reflecting earlier signs of disseminated intravascular coagulation in this latter cohort. Markers of inflammation were also elevated in response to LPS in both groups of mice at times just preceding death. We conclude that whereas coagulopathies are more exacerbated in LPS-treated TF(-/-)hTF(tg)/PC(-/-)PC(tg4) mice, the lowering of TF levels in mice with an accompanying severe PC deficiency confers protection against death compared with mice with a single severe PC deficiency. This suggests that proteases generated as a result of factor VIIa/TF-mediated thrombin generation play a mechanistic role in the enhanced lethality seen under very low PC conditions in an endotoxemia model in mice.

  5. 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

  6. Lethal factor and anti-protective antigen IgG levels associated with inhalation anthrax, Minnesota, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprenkle, Mark D; Griffith, Jayne; Marinelli, William; Boyer, Anne E; Quinn, Conrad P; Pesik, Nicki T; Hoffmaster, Alex; Keenan, Joseph; Juni, Billie A; Blaney, David D

    2014-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis was identified in a 61-year-old man hospitalized in Minnesota, USA. Cooperation between the hospital and the state health agency enhanced prompt identification of the pathogen. Treatment comprising antimicrobial drugs, anthrax immune globulin, and pleural drainage led to full recovery; however, the role of passive immunization in anthrax treatment requires further evaluation.

  7. Anthrax lethal factor cleavage of Nlrp1 is required for activation of the inflammasome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan L Levinsohn

    Full Text Available NOD-like receptor (NLR proteins (Nlrps are cytosolic sensors responsible for detection of pathogen and danger-associated molecular patterns through unknown mechanisms. Their activation in response to a wide range of intracellular danger signals leads to formation of the inflammasome, caspase-1 activation, rapid programmed cell death (pyroptosis and maturation of IL-1β and IL-18. Anthrax lethal toxin (LT induces the caspase-1-dependent pyroptosis of mouse and rat macrophages isolated from certain inbred rodent strains through activation of the NOD-like receptor (NLR Nlrp1 inflammasome. Here we show that LT cleaves rat Nlrp1 and this cleavage is required for toxin-induced inflammasome activation, IL-1 β release, and macrophage pyroptosis. These results identify both a previously unrecognized mechanism of activation of an NLR and a new, physiologically relevant protein substrate of LT.

  8. 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.

  9. Erythropoiesis suppression is associated with anthrax lethal toxin-mediated pathogenic progression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsin-Hou Chang

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which results in high mortality in animals and humans. Although some of the mechanisms are already known such as asphyxia, extensive knowledge of molecular pathogenesis of this disease is deficient and remains to be further investigated. Lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of B. anthracis and a specific inhibitor/protease of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MAPKKs. Anthrax LT causes lethality and induces certain anthrax-like symptoms, such as anemia and hypoxia, in experimental mice. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs are the downstream pathways of MAPKKs, and are important for erythropoiesis. This prompted us to hypothesize that anemia and hypoxia may in part be exacerbated by erythropoietic dysfunction. As revealed by colony-forming cell assays in this study, LT challenges significantly reduced mouse erythroid progenitor cells. In addition, in a proteolytic activity-dependent manner, LT suppressed cell survival and differentiation of cord blood CD34(+-derived erythroblasts in vitro. Suppression of cell numbers and the percentage of erythroblasts in the bone marrow were detected in LT-challenged C57BL/6J mice. In contrast, erythropoiesis was provoked through treatments of erythropoietin, significantly ameliorating the anemia and reducing the mortality of LT-treated mice. These data suggested that suppressed erythropoiesis is part of the pathophysiology of LT-mediated intoxication. Because specific treatments to overcome LT-mediated pathogenesis are still lacking, these efforts may help the development of effective treatments against anthrax.

  10. 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.

  11. Species origin of genomic factors in Nicotiana nudicaulis Watson controlling hybrid lethality in interspecific hybrids between N. nudicaulis Watson and N. tabacum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongshuo Liu

    Full Text Available Hybrid lethality is expressed at 28°C in the cross Nicotiana nudicaulis × N. tabacum. The S subgenome of N. tabacum has been identified as controlling this hybrid lethality. To clarify the responsible genomic factor(s of N. nudicaulis, we crossed N. trigonophylla (paternal progenitor of N. nudicaulis with N. tabacum, because hybrids between N. sylvestris (maternal progenitor of N. nudicaulis and N. tabacum are viable when grown in a greenhouse. In the cross N. trigonophylla×N. tabacum, approximately 50% of hybrids were vitrified, 20% were viable, and 20% were nonviable at 28°C. To reveal which subgenome of N. tabacum was responsible for these phenotypes, we crossed N. trigonophylla with two progenitors of N. tabacum, N. sylvestris (SS and N. tomentosiformis (TT. In the cross N. sylvestris × N. trigonophylla, we confirmed that over half of hybrids of N. sylvestris × N. trigonophylla were vitrified, and none of the hybrids of N. trigonophylla × N. tomentosiformis were. The results imply that the S subgenome, encoding a gene or genes inducing hybrid lethality in the cross between N. nudicaulis and N. tabacum, has one or more genomic factors that induce vitrification. Furthermore, in vitrified hybrids of N. trigonophylla × N. tabacum and N. sylvestris × N. trigonophylla, we found that nuclear fragmentation, which progresses during expression of hybrid lethality, was accompanied by vitrification. This observation suggests that vitrification has a relationship to hybrid lethality. Based on these results, we speculate that when N. nudicaulis was formed approximately 5 million years ago, several causative genomic factors determining phenotypes of hybrid seedlings were inherited from N. trigonophylla. Subsequently, genome downsizing and various recombination-based processes took place. Some of the causative genomic factors were lost and some became genomic factor(s controlling hybrid lethality in extant N. nudicaulis.

  12. Species origin of genomic factors in Nicotiana nudicaulis Watson controlling hybrid lethality in interspecific hybrids between N. nudicaulis Watson and N. tabacum L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hongshuo; Marubashi, Wataru

    2014-01-01

    Hybrid lethality is expressed at 28°C in the cross Nicotiana nudicaulis × N. tabacum. The S subgenome of N. tabacum has been identified as controlling this hybrid lethality. To clarify the responsible genomic factor(s) of N. nudicaulis, we crossed N. trigonophylla (paternal progenitor of N. nudicaulis) with N. tabacum, because hybrids between N. sylvestris (maternal progenitor of N. nudicaulis) and N. tabacum are viable when grown in a greenhouse. In the cross N. trigonophylla×N. tabacum, approximately 50% of hybrids were vitrified, 20% were viable, and 20% were nonviable at 28°C. To reveal which subgenome of N. tabacum was responsible for these phenotypes, we crossed N. trigonophylla with two progenitors of N. tabacum, N. sylvestris (SS) and N. tomentosiformis (TT). In the cross N. sylvestris × N. trigonophylla, we confirmed that over half of hybrids of N. sylvestris × N. trigonophylla were vitrified, and none of the hybrids of N. trigonophylla × N. tomentosiformis were. The results imply that the S subgenome, encoding a gene or genes inducing hybrid lethality in the cross between N. nudicaulis and N. tabacum, has one or more genomic factors that induce vitrification. Furthermore, in vitrified hybrids of N. trigonophylla × N. tabacum and N. sylvestris × N. trigonophylla, we found that nuclear fragmentation, which progresses during expression of hybrid lethality, was accompanied by vitrification. This observation suggests that vitrification has a relationship to hybrid lethality. Based on these results, we speculate that when N. nudicaulis was formed approximately 5 million years ago, several causative genomic factors determining phenotypes of hybrid seedlings were inherited from N. trigonophylla. Subsequently, genome downsizing and various recombination-based processes took place. Some of the causative genomic factors were lost and some became genomic factor(s) controlling hybrid lethality in extant N. nudicaulis.

  13. Prediction of protein-peptide interactions: application of the XPairIt API to anthrax lethal factor and substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurley, Margaret M.; Sellers, Michael S.

    2013-05-01

    As software and methodology develop, key aspects of molecular interactions such as detailed energetics and flexibility are continuously better represented in docking simulations. In the latest iteration of the XPairIt API and Docking Protocol, we perform a blind dock of a peptide into the cleavage site of the Anthrax lethal factor (LF) metalloprotein. Molecular structures are prepared from RCSB:1JKY and we demonstrate a reasonably accurate docked peptide through analysis of protein motion and, using NCI Plot, visualize and characterize the forces leading to binding. We compare our docked structure to the 1JKY crystal structure and the more recent 1PWV structure, and discuss both captured and overlooked interactions. Our results offer a more detailed look at secondary contact and show that both van der Waals and electrostatic interactions from peptide residues further from the enzyme's catalytic site are significant.

  14. Suppressive effects of anthrax lethal toxin on megakaryopoiesis.

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    Po-Kong Chen

    Full Text Available Anthrax lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis. LT challenge suppresses platelet counts and platelet function in mice, however, the mechanism responsible for thrombocytopenia remains unclear. LT inhibits cellular mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs, which are vital pathways responsible for cell survival, differentiation, and maturation. One of the MAPKs, the MEK1/2-extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway, is particularly important in megakaryopoiesis. This study evaluates the hypothesis that LT may suppress the progenitor cells of platelets, thereby inducing thrombocytopenic responses. Using cord blood-derived CD34(+ cells and mouse bone marrow mononuclear cells to perform in vitro differentiation, this work shows that LT suppresses megakaryopoiesis by reducing the survival of megakaryocytes. Thrombopoietin treatments can reduce thrombocytopenia, megakaryocytic suppression, and the quick onset of lethality in LT-challenged mice. These results suggest that megakaryocytic suppression is one of the mechanisms by which LT induces thrombocytopenia. These findings may provide new insights for developing feasible approaches against anthrax.

  15. Synthetic Lethality Screen Identifies RPS6KA2 as Modifier of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Activity in Pancreatic Cancer

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    Nada Milosevic

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Pancreatic cancer is characterized by a high degree of resistance to chemotherapy. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR inhibition using the small-molecule inhibitor erlotinib was shown to provide a small survival benefit in a subgroup of patients. To identify kinases whose inhibition acts synergistically with erlotinib, we employed a kinome-wide small-interfering RNA (siRNA-based loss-of-function screen in the presence of erlotinib. Of 779 tested kinases, we identified several targets whose inhibition acted synergistically lethal with EGFR inhibition by erlotinib, among them the S6 kinase ribosomal protein S6 kinase 2 (RPS6KA2/ribosomal S6 kinase 3. Activated RPS6KA2 was expressed in approximately 40% of 123 human pancreatic cancer tissues. RPS6KA2 was shown to act downstream of EGFR/RAS/mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK/extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK signaling and was activated by EGF independently of the presence of KRAS mutations. Knockdown of RPS6KA2 by siRNA led to increased apoptosis only in the presence of erlotinib, whereas RPS6KA2 activation or overexpression rescued from erlotinib- and gemcitabine-induced apoptosis. This effect was at least in part mediated by downstream activation of ribosomal protein S6. Genetic as well as pharmacological inhibition of RPS6KA2 by the inhibitor BI-D1870 acted synergistically with erlotinib. By applying this synergistic lethality screen using a kinome-wide RNA interference-library approach, we identified RPS6KA2 as potential drug target whose inhibition synergistically enhanced the effect of erlotinib on tumor cell survival. This kinase therefore represents a promising drug candidate suitable for the development of novel inhibitors for pancreatic cancer therapy.

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

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    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.

  17. 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...

  18. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 3: Evaluation of core structures and further modifications to the C2-side chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Kim, Seongjin; Moayeri, Mahtab; Crown, Devorah; Thai, April; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Sankaran, Banumathi; Lehrer, Axel; Wong, Teri; Johns, Lisa; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2012-03-15

    Four core structures capable of providing sub-nanomolar inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor (LF) were evaluated by comparing the potential for toxicity, physicochemical properties, in vitro ADME profiles, and relative efficacy in a rat lethal toxin (LT) model of LF intoxication. Poor efficacy in the rat LT model exhibited by the phenoxyacetic acid series (3) correlated with low rat microsome and plasma stability. Specific molecular interactions contributing to the high affinity of inhibitors with a secondary amine in the C2-side chain were revealed by X-ray crystallography.

  19. NMR conformational properties of an Anthrax Lethal Factor domain studied by multiple amino acid-selective labeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vourtsis, Dionysios J.; Chasapis, Christos T.; Pairas, George [Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, GR-26504 Patras (Greece); Bentrop, Detlef [Institute of Physiology II, University of Freiburg, D-79104 Freiburg (Germany); Spyroulias, Georgios A., E-mail: G.A.Spyroulias@upatras.gr [Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, GR-26504 Patras (Greece)

    2014-07-18

    Highlights: • A polypeptide, N-ALF{sub 233}, was overexpressed in E. coli and successfully isolated. • We produced {sup 2}H/{sup 15}N/{sup 13}C labeled protein samples. • Amino acid selective approaches were applied. • We acquired several heteronuclear NMR spectra, to complete the backbone assignment. • Prediction of the secondary structure was performed. - Abstract: NMR-based structural biology urgently needs cost- and time-effective methods to assist both in the process of acquiring high-resolution NMR spectra and their subsequent analysis. Especially for bigger proteins (>20 kDa) selective labeling is a frequently used means of sequence-specific assignment. In this work we present the successful overexpression of a polypeptide of 233 residues, corresponding to the structured part of the N-terminal domain of Anthrax Lethal Factor, using Escherichia coli expression system. The polypeptide was subsequently isolated in pure, soluble form and analyzed structurally by solution NMR spectroscopy. Due to the non-satisfying quality and resolution of the spectra of this 27 kDa protein, an almost complete backbone assignment became feasible only by the combination of uniform and novel amino acid-selective labeling schemes. Moreover, amino acid-type selective triple-resonance NMR experiments proved to be very helpful.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Sub-lethal oxidative stress induces lysosome biogenesis via a lysosomal membrane permeabilization-cathepsin-caspase 3-transcription factor EB-dependent pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leow, San Min; Chua, Shu Xian Serene; Venkatachalam, Gireedhar; Shen, Liang; Luo, Le; Clement, Marie-Veronique

    2016-12-18

    Here we provide evidence to link sub-lethal oxidative stress to lysosomal biogenesis. Exposure of cells to sub-lethal concentrations of exogenously added hydrogen peroxide resulted in cytosol to nuclear translocation of the Transcription Factor EB (TFEB), the master controller of lysosome biogenesis and function. Nuclear translocation of TFEB was dependent upon the activation of a cathepsin-caspase 3 signaling pathway, downstream of a lysosomal membrane permeabilization and accompanied by a significant increase in lysosome numbers as well as induction of TFEB dependent lysosome-associated genes expression such as Ctsl, Lamp2 and its spliced variant Lamp2a, Neu1and Ctsb and Sqstm1 and Atg9b. The effects of sub-lethal oxidative stress on lysosomal gene expression and biogenesis were rescued upon gene silencing of caspase 3 and TFEB. Notably, caspase 3 activation was not associated with phenotypic hallmarks of apoptosis, evidenced by the absence of caspase 3 substrate cleavage, such as PARP, Lamin A/C or gelsolin. Taken together, these data demonstrate for the first time an unexpected and non-canonical role of a cathepsin-caspase 3 axis in the nuclear translocation of TFEB leading to lysosomes biogenesis under conditions of sub-lethal oxidative stress.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Investigation of a panel of monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal sera against anthrax toxins resulted in identification of an anti-lethal factor antibody with disease-enhancing characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulshreshtha, Parul; Tiwari, Ashutosh; Priyanka; Joon, Shikha; Sinha, Subrata; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-12-01

    Hybridomas were created using spleen of mice that were actively immunized with rLFn (recombinant N-terminal domain of lethal factor). Later on, separate group of mice were immunized with rLFn to obtain a polyclonal control for passive immunization studies of monoclonal antibodies. This led to the identification of one cohort of rLFn-immnized mice that harboured disease-enhancing polyclonal antibodies. At the same time, the monoclonal antibodies secreted by all the hybridomas were being tested. Two hybridomas secreted monoclonal antibodies (H10 and H8) that were cross-reactive with EF (edema factor) and LF (lethal factor), while the other two hybridomas secreted LF-specific antibodies (H7 and H11). Single chain variable fragment (LETscFv) was derived from H10 hybridoma. H11 was found to have disease-enhancing property. Combination of H11 with protective monoclonal antibodies (H8 and H10) reduced its disease enhancing nature. This in vitro abrogation of disease-enhancement provides the proof of concept that in polyclonal sera the disease enhancing character of a fraction of antibodies is overshadowed by the protective nature of the rest of the antibodies generated on active immunization.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  18. Passive Immunotherapy Protects against Enteric Invasion and Lethal Sepsis in a Murine Model of Gastrointestinal Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Bruce; Xie, Tao; Rotstein, David; Fang, Hui; Frucht, David M

    2015-09-29

    The principal portal for anthrax infection in natural animal outbreaks is the digestive tract. Enteric exposure to anthrax, which is difficult to detect or prevent in a timely manner, could be exploited as an act of terror through contamination of human or animal food. Our group has developed a novel animal model of gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax for evaluation of disease pathogenesis and experimental therapeutics, utilizing vegetative Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) administered to A/J mice (a complement-deficient strain) by oral gavage. We hypothesized that a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody (mAb) * that neutralizes the protective antigen (PA) component of B. anthracis lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET) could be an effective treatment. Although the efficacy of this anti-anthrax PA mAb has been shown in animal models of inhalational anthrax, its activity in GI infection had not yet been ascertained. We hereby demonstrate that passive immunotherapy with anti-anthrax PA mAb, administered at the same time as gastrointestinal exposure to B. anthracis, prevents lethal sepsis in nearly all cases (>90%), while a delay of up to forty-eight hours in treatment still greatly reduces mortality following exposure (65%). Moreover, passive immunotherapy protects against enteric invasion, associated mucosal injury and subsequent dissemination by gastrointestinal B. anthracis, indicating that it acts to prevent the initial stages of infection. * Expired raxibacumab being cycled off the Strategic National Stockpile; biological activity confirmed by in vitro assay.

  19. Reversion of lethality and growth defects in Fatiga oxygen-sensor mutant flies by loss of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-α/Sima

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centanin, Lázaro; Ratcliffe, Peter J; Wappner, Pablo

    2005-01-01

    Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylase domains (PHDs) have been proposed to act as sensors that have an important role in oxygen homeostasis. In the presence of oxygen, they hydroxylate two specific prolyl residues in HIF-α polypeptides, thereby promoting their proteasomal degradation. So far, however, the developmental consequences of the inactivation of PHDs in higher metazoans have not been reported. Here, we describe novel loss-of-function mutants of fatiga, the gene encoding the Drosophila PHD oxygen sensor, which manifest growth defects and lethality. We also report a null mutation in dHIF-α/sima, which is unable to adapt to hypoxia but is fully viable in normoxic conditions. Strikingly, loss-of-function mutations of sima rescued the developmental defects observed in fatiga mutants and enabled survival to adulthood. These results indicate that the main functions of Fatiga in development, including control of cell size, involve the regulation of dHIF/Sima. PMID:16179946

  20. Reversion of lethality and growth defects in Fatiga oxygen-sensor mutant flies by loss of hypoxia-inducible factor-alpha/Sima.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centanin, Lázaro; Ratcliffe, Peter J; Wappner, Pablo

    2005-11-01

    Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylase domains (PHDs) have been proposed to act as sensors that have an important role in oxygen homeostasis. In the presence of oxygen, they hydroxylate two specific prolyl residues in HIF-alpha polypeptides, thereby promoting their proteasomal degradation. So far, however, the developmental consequences of the inactivation of PHDs in higher metazoans have not been reported. Here, we describe novel loss-of-function mutants of fatiga, the gene encoding the Drosophila PHD oxygen sensor, which manifest growth defects and lethality. We also report a null mutation in dHIF-alpha/sima, which is unable to adapt to hypoxia but is fully viable in normoxic conditions. Strikingly, loss-of-function mutations of sima rescued the developmental defects observed in fatiga mutants and enabled survival to adulthood. These results indicate that the main functions of Fatiga in development, including control of cell size, involve the regulation of dHIF/Sima.

  1. 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.

  2. Leishmaniose visceral: estudo retrospectivo de fatores associados à letalidade Visceral leishmaniasis: retrospective study on factors associated with lethality

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    Daniel Gomes de Alvarenga

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUÇÃO: A leishmaniose visceral é um problema de saúde pública, com grau de letalidade alcançando 10%. Para o tratamento medicamentoso, é recomendado o antimoniato de metilglucamina. Este estudo tem como objetivo avaliar o uso de medicamento em casos de leishmaniose visceral atendidos no Serviço de Infectologia do Núcleo de Hospital Universitário de Campo Grande Estado do Mato Grosso do Sul. MÉTODOS: Para coleta de dados, foram pesquisados prontuários de 76 pacientes com diagnóstico de leishmaniose visceral atendidos pelo Serviço de Infectologia do Hospital Universitário de Campo Grande. RESULTADOS: Foram analisados prontuários de 76 (28,9% pacientes (56 homens e 20 mulheres apresentavam comorbidades. Como droga de 1ª escolha, 88,2% dos pacientes utilizaram o antimoniato-N-metil glucamina com evolução para óbito de 18,4%. A análise de sobrevida mostrou diferença estatisticamente significativa em pacientes com e sem comorbidades (pINTRODUCTION: Visceral leishmaniasis is a public health problem, with lethality reaching 10%. The recommended drug treatment is methylglucamine antimoniate. This study aimed to evaluate drug use for cases of visceral leishmaniasis treated at the Infectology Clinic of the Campo Grande University Hospital Center, State of Mato Grosso do Sul. METHODS: To collect data, we examined the medical records of 76 patients with a diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis treated at this Infectology Clinic. RESULTS: The medical files of 76 patients (56 men and 20 women; 28.9% showed comorbidities. The first choice drug for 88.2% of the patients was N-methylglucamine antimoniate, with a fatal outcome for 18.4%. Survival analysis showed a statistically significant difference between patients with and without comorbidities (p <0.0001 and with comorbidities who used Glucantime® (p < 0.0009. The fatality rate of 18.4% indicates the low efficiency of the healthcare measures used. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that

  3. 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.

  4. Antiplatelet activities of anthrax lethal toxin are associated with suppressed p42/44 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in the platelets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kau, Jyh-Hwa; Sun, Der-Shan; Tsai, Wei-Jern; Shyu, Huey-Fen; Huang, Hsin-Hsien; Lin, Hung-Chi; Chang, Hsin-Hou

    2005-10-15

    Anthrax lethal toxin (LT) is the major virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis, but the mechanism by which it induces high mortality remains unclear. We found that LT treatment could induce severe hemorrhage in mice and significantly suppress human whole-blood clotting and platelet aggregation in vitro. In addition, LT could inhibit agonist-induced platelet surface P-selectin expression, resulting in the inhibition of platelet-endothelial cell engagements. Data from Western blot analysis indicated that LT treatment resulted in the suppression of p42/44 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in platelets. Combined treatments with LT and antiplatelet agents such as aspirin and the RGD-containing disintegrin rhodostomin significantly increased mortality in mice. Our data suggest that platelets are a pathogenic target for anthrax LT.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Genomic and immunologic factors associated with viral pathogenesis in a lethal EV71 infected neonatal mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Yingying; Li, Peng; Song, Nannan; Li, Bingqing; Li, Zhihui; Guo, Yuqi; Zhang, Weidong; Wei, Ming Q; Gai, Zhongtao; Meng, Hong; Wang, Jiwen; Qin, Lizeng

    2016-05-01

    Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) caused by enterovirus 71 (EV71) has emerged as a major health problem in China and worldwide. The present study aimed to understand the virological features of EV71 and host responses resulting from EV71 infection. Six different EV71 strains were isolated from HFMD patients with severe or mild clinical symptoms, and were analyzed for pathogenicity in vitro and in vivo. The results demonstrated that the six virus strains exhibited similar cytopathogenic effects on susceptible MA104 cells. However, marked differences in histological and immunopathological changes were observed when mice were inoculated with the different virus strains. Thus, the viruses studied were divided into two groups, highly or weakly pathogenic. Two representative virus strains, JN200804 and JN200803 (highly and weakly pathogenic, respectively) were studied further to investigate pathogenicity-associated factors, including genetic mutations and immunopathogenesis. The present study has demonstrated that highly pathogenic strains have stable genome and amino acid sequences. Notably, the present study demonstrated that a highly pathogenic strain induced a significant increase of the bulk CD4 T cell levels at 3 days post‑inoculation. In conclusion, the current study demonstrates that genomic and immunologic factors may be responsible for the multiple tissue damage caused by highly pathogenic EV71 infection.

  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. 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

  11. Development of an in Vitro Potency Assay for Anti-anthrax Lethal Toxin Neutralizing Antibodies

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    Sjoerd Rijpkema

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis reduces the production of a number of inflammatory mediators, including transcription factors, chemokines and cytokines in various human cell lines, leading to down-regulation of the host inflammatory response. Previously we showed that the reduction of interleukin-8 (IL-8 is a sensitive marker of LT-mediated intoxication in human neutrophil-like NB-4 cells and that IL-8 levels are restored to normality when therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb with toxin-neutralising (TN activity are added. We used this information to develop cell-based assays that examine the effects of TN therapeutic mAbs designed to treat LT intoxication and here we extend these findings. We present an in vitro assay based on human endothelial cell line HUVEC jr2, which measures the TN activity of therapeutic anti-LT mAbs using IL-8 as a marker for intoxication. HUVEC jr2 cells have the advantage over NB-4 cells that they are adherent, do not require a differentiation step and can be used in a microtitre plate format and therefore can facilitate high throughput analysis. This human cell-based assay provides a valid alternative to the mouse macrophage assay as it is a more biologically relevant model of the effects of toxin-neutralising antibodies in human infection.

  12. 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

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

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    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.

  14. Lethal Midline Granuloma

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    Ghosh S.N

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Midline granuloma is a term with several synonyms: Stewart’s granuloma, granuloma gangraenescens nasi, lethal granuloma, polymorphous reticulosis 2-4 The conditiin is characterized by localized inflammation, destruction and often mutilation of tissues of the upper respiratory tract and face and, unless treated, it ends fatally within 12 to 18 months of onset. The pathological changes are those of nonspecific chronic inflammation to necrotizing vasculitis and granulomatosis. A case of lethal midline granuloma is reported.

  15. Increased Expression of Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF) in Multiple Organs After Exposure of Non-Human Primates (NHP) to Lethal Doses of Radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Pei; Cui, Wanchang; Hankey, Kim G; Gibbs, Allison M; Smith, Cassandra P; Taylor-Howell, Cheryl; Kearney, Sean R; MacVittie, Thomas J

    2015-11-01

    Exposure to sufficiently high doses of ionizing radiation is known to cause fibrosis in many different organs and tissues. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2), a member of the CCN family of matricellular proteins, plays an important role in the development of fibrosis in multiple organs. The aim of the present study was to quantify the gene and protein expression of CTGF in a variety of organs from non-human primates (NHP) that were previously exposed to potentially lethal doses of radiation. Tissues from non-irradiated NHP and NHP exposed to whole thoracic lung irradiation (WTLI) or partial-body irradiation with 5% bone marrow sparing (PBI/BM5) were examined by real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR, western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Expression of CTGF was elevated in the lung tissues of NHP exposed to WTLI relative to the lung tissues of the non-irradiated NHP. Increased expression of CTGF was also observed in multiple organs from NHP exposed to PBI/BM5 compared to non-irradiated NHP; these included the lung, kidney, spleen, thymus, and liver. These irradiated organs also exhibited histological evidence of increased collagen deposition compared to the control tissues. There was significant correlation of CTGF expression with collagen deposition in the lung and spleen of NHP exposed to PBI/BM5. Significant correlations were observed between spleen and multiple organs on CTGF expression and collagen deposition, respectively, suggesting possible crosstalk between spleen and other organs. These data suggest that CTGF levels are increased in multiple organs after radiation exposure and that inflammatory cell infiltration may contribute to the elevated levels of CTGF in multiple organs.

  16. Genetic Characterization of Bacillus anthracis 17 JB strain

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    Sakineh Seyed-Mohamadi

    2015-11-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Acceleration of epithelial cell syndecan-1 shedding by anthrax hemolytic virulence factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandhoke Vikas

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been recently reported that major pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa accelerate a normal process of cell surface syndecan-1 (Synd1 ectodomain shedding as a mechanism of host damage due to the production of shedding-inducing virulence factors. We tested if acceleration of Synd1 shedding takes place in vitro upon treatment of epithelial cells with B. anthracis hemolysins, as well as in vivo during anthrax infection in mice. Results The isolated anthrax hemolytic proteins AnlB (sphingomyelinase and AnlO (cholesterol-binding pore-forming factor, as well as ClnA (B. cereus homolog of B. anthracis phosphatidyl choline-preferring phospholipase C cause accelerated shedding of Synd1 and E-cadherin from epithelial cells and compromise epithelial barrier integrity within a few hours. In comparison with hemolysins in a similar range of concentrations, anthrax lethal toxin (LT also accelerates shedding albeit at slower rate. Individual components of LT, lethal factor and protective antigen are inactive with regard to shedding. Inhibition experiments favor a hypothesis that activities of tested bacterial shedding inducers converge on the stimulation of cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases of the Syk family, ultimately leading to activation of cellular sheddase. Both LT and AnlO modulate ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK signaling pathways, while JNK pathway seems to be irrelevant to accelerated shedding. Accelerated shedding of Synd1 also takes place in DBA/2 mice challenged with Bacillus anthracis (Sterne spores. Elevated levels of shed ectodomain are readily detectable in circulation after 24 h. Conclusion The concerted acceleration of shedding by several virulence factors could represent a new pathogenic mechanism contributing to disruption of epithelial or endothelial integrity, hemorrhage, edema and abnormal cell signaling during anthrax infection.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. [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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Lethality of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Due to Short Duration Heating Measured Using Infrared Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

    fiber optic cable, it is collimated through a 50-mm, f/1.4 camera lens (L2 in the diagram). The light is sent through the notch filter (NF) and an...electronic shutter (SH). The notch filter is used to reject the laser wavelength and disperse the Raman scattered light (Kaiser, 2001a: 7-14). Next...of this IR spectrometer is based on the Michelson interferometer. The Michelson interferometer is used to modulate radiation in the optical region

  6. Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Assessment of Faropenem in a Lethal Murine Bacillus anthracis Inhalation Postexposure Prophylaxis Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    Craig, W. A., and D. R. Andes. 2001. In vivo pharmacodynamic activity of faropenem against Streptococcus pneumoniae , abstr. A-2094. Abstr. 41st In...approved by the United States Food and Drug Ad- ministration (FDA) for treatment after exposure to this bac- terial agent. Of these, only penicillin is...tested for their susceptibilities to faropenem, amoxicillin-clavulanate, penicillin , mero- penem, azithromycin, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, and

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  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. 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...

  11. Crash Lethality Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-02-05

    26,800 400 Ethyl Benzene 0.121 40,900 4,900 Ethyl Ether 0.094 33,800 3,200 Gasoline 0.055 43,700 2,400 Hexane 0.074 44,700 3,300 Heptane 0.101...the product of projectile diameter and target weight. The animal lethality data were entered into MATLAB© and the function cftool() was used to...generate a logistic function. The x-axis represents a ratio of kinetic energy to the product of projectile diameter and target weight as defined by

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptors are effective therapeutic agents in lethal endotoxemia and function simultaneously as both TNF carriers and TNF antagonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohler, K M; Torrance, D S; Smith, C A; Goodwin, R G; Stremler, K E; Fung, V P; Madani, H; Widmer, M B

    1993-08-01

    Two forms (monomeric or dimeric) of the extracellular, ligand-binding portion of the human p80 cell-surface receptor for TNF were used to antagonize TNF activity in vitro and in vivo. The dimeric sTNFR:Fc molecule was a more potent inhibitor of TNF than the monomeric sTNFR (50 to 1000x), as assessed in vitro by inhibition of TNF binding or bioactivity and in vivo by protection of mice from an otherwise lethal injection of LPS. Surprisingly, the dimeric sTNFR:Fc construct demonstrated a beneficial effect even when administered 3 h after a lethal LPS injection (i.e., after serum TNF levels had peaked and receded). To study the mechanism by which the soluble TNFR functions in vivo, serum TNF levels were examined in mice given LPS in the presence or absence of soluble receptor. Administration of a mortality-reducing dose of sTNFR:Fc ablated the rise in serum TNF bioactivity that normally occurs in response to LPS. However, TNF bioactivity was revealed in these "TNF-negative" serum samples when the L929 bioassay was modified by inclusion of a mAb that blocks the binding of murine TNF to the human soluble TNFReceptor. These results indicate that the absence of direct cytolytic activity in the L929 assay was caused by neutralization of TNF, rather than to an absence of TNF in the serum. Moreover, administration of either monomeric sTNFR or low doses of dimeric sTNFR:Fc actually resulted in increased serum TNF levels compared to mice given LPS but no soluble receptor. However, these "agonistic" doses of soluble receptor did not lead to increased mortality when an LD60 dose of LPS was given. Thus, dimeric sTNFR are effective inhibitors of TNF and under some circumstances function simultaneously as both TNF "carriers" and antagonists of TNF biologic activity.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Derivation of Human Lethal Doses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-19

    Hardman, JG; Limbird, LE; Goodman Gilman , A, (editors). (2001) Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. New York, NY: McGraw... Goodman and Gilman’s N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal dose for humans; no LD50 for rat or mouse NIOSH N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal dose for humans; no LD50...Basis of Therapeutics– Goodman and Gilman’s N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal dose for humans; no LD50 for rat or mouse NIOSH N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Cardiac-specific catalase overexpression rescues anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction: role of oxidative stress and autophagy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kandadi Machender R

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lethal and edema toxins secreted by Bacillus anthracis during anthrax infection were found to incite serious cardiovascular complications. However, the underlying mechanisms in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac anomalies remain unknown. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of antioxidant enzyme catalase in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction. Methods Wild type (WT and cardiac-specific catalase overexpression mice were challenged with lethal toxin (2 μg/g, intraperotineally (i.p.. Cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca2+ properties were assessed 18 h later using an IonOptix edge-detection system. Proteasome function was assessed using chymotrypsin-like and caspase-like activities. GFP-LC3 puncta and Western blot analysis were used to evaluate autophagy and protein ubiquitination. Results Lethal toxin exposure suppressed cardiomyocyte contractile function (suppressed peak shortening, maximal velocity of shortening/re-lengthening, prolonged duration of shortening/re-lengthening, and impaired intracellular Ca2+ handling, the effects of which were alleviated by catalase. In addition, lethal toxin triggered autophagy, mitochondrial and ubiquitin-proteasome defects, the effects of which were mitigated by catalase. Pretreatment of cardiomyocytes from catalase mice with the autophagy inducer rapamycin significantly attenuated or ablated catalase-offered protection against lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte dysfunction. On the other hand, the autophagy inhibitor 3-MA ablated or significantly attenuated lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile anomalies. Conclusions Our results suggest that catalase is protective against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca2+ anomalies, possibly through regulation of autophagy and mitochondrial function.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. ONO 3403, a synthetic serine protease inhibitor, inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha and nitric oxide production and protects mice from lethal endotoxic shock

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tumurkhuu, Gantsetseg; Koide, Naoki; Hiwasa, Takaki; Ookoshi, Motohiro; Dagvadorj, Jargalsaikhan; Noman, Abu Shadat Mohammod; Iftakhar-E-Khuda, Imtiaz; Naiki, Yoshikazu; Komatsu, Takayuki; Yoshida, Tomoaki; Yokochi, Takashi

    2011-01-01

    ONO 3403, a new synthetic serine protease inhibitor, is a derivative of camostat mesilate and has a higher protease-inhibitory activity. The effect of ONO 3403 on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and nitric oxide (NO) production in RAW 264.7 macrophage-like cells wa

  12. 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

  13. Complement component 5 promotes lethal thrombosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuno, Tomohiro; Yoshioka, Kengo; Mizuno, Masashi; Shimizu, Mie; Nagano, Fumihiko; Okuda, Tomoyuki; Tsuboi, Naotake; Maruyama, Shoichi; Nagamatsu, Tadashi; Imai, Masaki

    2017-01-01

    Extracellular histones promote platelet aggregation and thrombosis; this is followed by induction of coagulation disorder, which results in exhaustion of coagulation factors. Complement component 5 (C5) is known to be associated with platelet aggregation and coagulation system activation. To date, the pathological mechanism underlying liver injury has remained unclear. Here, we investigated whether C5 promotes liver injury associated with histone-induced lethal thrombosis. C5-sufficient and C5-deficient mice received single tail vein injections of purified, unfractionated histones obtained from calf thymus (45–75 μg/g). Subsequently, the mice were monitored for survival for up to 72 h. Based on the survival data, the 45 μg/g dose was used for analysis of blood cell count, liver function, blood coagulation ability, and promotion of platelet aggregation and platelet/leukocyte aggregate (PLA) production by extracellular histones. C5-deficient mice were protected from lethal thrombosis and had milder thrombocytopenia, consumptive coagulopathy, and liver injury with embolism and lower PLA production than C5-sufficient mice. These results indicate that C5 is associated with coagulation disorders, PLA production, and embolism-induced liver injury. In conclusion, C5 promotes liver injury associated with histone-induced lethal thrombosis. PMID:28205538

  14. Survival and Predictive Factors of Lethality in Hemodyalisis: D/I Polymorphism of The Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme and of the Angiotensinogen M235T Genes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alves, Mauro, E-mail: malves@cardiol.br; Silva, Nelson Albuquerque de Souza e; Salis, Lucia Helena Alvares; Pereira, Basilio de Bragança; Godoy, Paulo Henrique; Nascimento, Emília Matos do [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Oliveira, Jose Mario Franco [Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, RJ (Brazil)

    2014-09-15

    End-stage kidney disease patients continue to have markedly increased cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Analysis of genetic factors connected with the renin-angiotensin system that influences the survival of the patients with end-stage kidney disease supports the ongoing search for improved outcomes. To assess survival and its association with the polymorphism of renin-angiotensin system genes: angiotensin I-converting enzyme insertion/deletion and angiotensinogen M235T in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Our study was designed to examine the role of renin-angiotensin system genes. It was an observational study. We analyzed 473 chronic hemodialysis patients in four dialysis units in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Survival rates were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method and the differences between the curves were evaluated by Tarone-Ware, Peto-Prentice, and log rank tests. We also used logistic regression analysis and the multinomial model. A p value ≤ 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. The local medical ethics committee gave their approval to this study. The mean age of patients was 45.8 years old. The overall survival rate was 48% at 11 years. The major causes of death were cardiovascular diseases (34%) and infections (15%). Logistic regression analysis found statistical significance for the following variables: age (p = 0.000038), TT angiotensinogen (p = 0.08261), and family income greater than five times the minimum wage (p = 0.03089), the latter being a protective factor. The survival of hemodialysis patients is likely to be influenced by the TT of the angiotensinogen M235T gene.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Embryonic lethality in mice lacking the nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 protein due to impaired cardiac development and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Man Chi Mak

    Full Text Available Nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 protein (NFAT5 is thought to be important for cellular adaptation to osmotic stress by regulating the transcription of genes responsible for the synthesis or transport of organic osmolytes. It is also thought to play a role in immune function, myogenesis and cancer invasion. To better understand the function of NFAT5, we developed NFAT5 gene knockout mice. Homozygous NFAT5 null (NFAT5(-/- mouse embryos failed to develop normally and died after 14.5 days of embryonic development (E14.5. The embryos showed peripheral edema, and abnormal heart development as indicated by thinner ventricular wall and reduced cell density at the compact and trabecular areas of myocardium. This is associated with reduced level of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and increased caspase-3 in these tissues. Cardiomyocytes from E14.5 NFAT5(-/- embryos showed a significant reduction of beating rate and abnormal Ca(2+ signaling profile as a consequence of reduced sarco(endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+-ATPase (SERCA and ryanodine receptor (RyR expressions. Expression of NFAT5 target genes, such as HSP 70 and SMIT were reduced in NFAT5(-/- cardiomyocytes. Our findings demonstrated an essential role of NFAT5 in cardiac development and Ca(2+ signaling. Cardiac failure is most likely responsible for the peripheral edema and death of NFAT5(-/- embryos at E14.5 days.

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. Select human anthrax protective antigen (PA) epitope-specific antibodies provide protection from lethal toxin challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Sherry R.; Ash, Linda L.; Engler, Renata J. M.; Ballard, Jimmy D.; Harley, John B.; Farris, A. Darise; James, Judith A.

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis remains a serious bioterrorism concern, and the currently licensed vaccine remains an incomplete solution for population protection from inhalation anthrax and has been associated with concerns regarding efficacy and safety. Thus, understanding how to generate long lasting protective immunity with reduced immunizations or providing protection through post exposure immunotherapeutics are long sought goals. Through evaluation of a large military cohort, we characterized the levels of antibodies against protective antigen and found that over half of anthrax vaccinees had low levels of in vitro toxin neutralization capacity in their sera. Using solid phase epitope mapping and confirmatory assays, we identified several neutralization-associated humoral epitopes and demonstrated that select anti-peptide responses mediated protection in vitro. Finally, passively transferred antibodies specific for select epitopes provided protection in an in vivo lethal toxin mouse model. Identification of these antigenic regions has important implications for vaccine design and the development of directed immunotherapeutics. PMID:20533877

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Development of a cytotoxicity-based method for detection of anthrax toxin lethal factor in blood%利用细胞毒性实验检测血液中炭疽毒素致死因子的方法学研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘炬; 郭强; 张军; 吴诗坡; 董大勇; 李亮亮; 付玲; 徐俊杰; 陈薇

    2013-01-01

    Objective To establish a simple , rapid and sensitive method for detection of anthrax lethal factor in blood . Methods J774A. 1 Cell, which is highly sensitive to anthrax lethal toxin , was used as an indicator to detect LF in blood. The protective antigen (PA) and blood plasma concentration was optimized to yield higher sensitivity in the assay . Verification was carried out with the samples from Fischer rats injected with anthrax lethal factor . Results The PA and blood plas -ma concentration was optimized and a cytotoxicity -based method , which could detect as low as 5 ng/ml LF in the plasma, was established. Samples from Fischer rats injected with anthrax lethal factor could be measured accurately and the half life of LF in the blood of rats was estimated at 4. 8 -6. 5 h. Conclusion A cytotoxicity-based method for detection of anthrax toxin lethal factor in the blood plasma is developed , which exhibits advantages in sensitivity , economy, and practice while facilitating clinical detection of anthrax toxins , therapy and basic research of anthrax.%目的 探索利用炭疽毒素致死因子(lethal factor,LF)的细胞毒性检测血液中LF的可行性,为炭疽的临床检测、治疗及相关研究提供支持.方法 利用小鼠巨噬细胞系J774A.1对LF细胞毒性的高度敏感性,检测血液中LF的浓度,对实验条件进行优化,并利用Fischer 344大鼠模型验证该方法的可行性.结果 细胞毒性实验能够检测到血浆中的LF浓度可低至5 ng/ml,该方法操作简单,灵敏度高,并在大鼠模型中得到了验证,利用本法测定LF在大鼠血液中的半衰期为4.8~6.5 h.结论 初步建立了利用细胞毒性实验检测血液中LF的方法,该方法在灵敏性、经济性和实用性等方面具备一定优势,为炭疽相关研究及临床检测提供了新的选择.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Western Blot Analysis of the Exotoxin Components From Bacillus anthracis Separated by Isoelectric Focusing Gel Electrophoresis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-02-14

    adding hydroxylapatite (0.5% w/v; Calbiochem fast flow; Calbiochem, San Diego , CA). The suspensions were shaken on ice for 1–2 h, then incubated...Pellizzari, C. Recchi, G. Napolitani , M. Mock, C. Montecucco, Anthrax lethal factor cleaves the N-terminus of MAPKKs and induces tyrosine/threonine

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. NON-LETHAL WEAPONS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Non-lethal weapons, also called less-lethal weapons, less-than lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, compliance weapons, or pain-inducing weapons are weapons intended to be less likely to kill a living target than conventional weapons. It is often understood that accidental, incidental, and correlative casualties are risked wherever force is applied, but non-lethal weapons try to minimise the risk as much as possible. Non-lethal weapons are used in combat situations to limit the escalation of c...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Anthrax lethal and edema toxins in anthrax pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shihui; Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H

    2014-06-01

    The pathophysiological effects resulting from many bacterial diseases are caused by exotoxins released by the bacteria. Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming bacterium, is such a pathogen, causing anthrax through a combination of bacterial infection and toxemia. B. anthracis causes natural infection in humans and animals and has been a top bioterrorism concern since the 2001 anthrax attacks in the USA. The exotoxins secreted by B. anthracis use capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2) as the major toxin receptor and play essential roles in pathogenesis during the entire course of the disease. This review focuses on the activities of anthrax toxins and their roles in initial and late stages of anthrax infection.

  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. 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

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  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 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  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. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Lethal entanglement in baleen whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassoff, Rachel M; Moore, Kathleen M; McLellan, William A; Barco, Susan G; Rotsteins, David S; Moore, Michael J

    2011-10-06

    Understanding the scenarios whereby fishing gear entanglement of large whales induces mortality is important for the development of mitigation strategies. Here we present a series of 21 cases involving 4 species of baleen whales in the NW Atlantic, describing the available sighting history, necropsy observations, and subsequent data analyses that enabled the compilation of the manners in which entanglement can be lethal. The single acute cause of entanglement mortality identified was drowning from entanglement involving multiple body parts, with the animal's inability to surface. More protracted causes of death included impaired foraging during entanglement, resulting in starvation after many months; systemic infection arising from open, unresolved entanglement wounds; and hemorrhage or debilitation due to severe gear-related damage to tissues. Serious gear-induced injury can include laceration of large vessels, occlusion of the nares, embedding of line in growing bone, and massive periosteal proliferation of new bone in an attempt to wall off constricting, encircling lines. These data show that baleen whale entanglement is not only a major issue for the conservation of some baleen whale populations, but is also a major concern for the welfare of each affected individual.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Synthetic lethality between PAXX and XLF in mammalian development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balmus, Gabriel; Barros, Ana C.; Wijnhoven, Paul W.G.; Lescale, Chloé; Hasse, Hélène Lenden; Boroviak, Katharina; le Sage, Carlos; Doe, Brendan; Speak, Anneliese O.; Galli, Antonella; Jacobsen, Matt; Deriano, Ludovic; Adams, David J.; Jackson, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    PAXX was identified recently as a novel nonhomologous end-joining DNA repair factor in human cells. To characterize its physiological roles, we generated Paxx-deficient mice. Like Xlf−/− mice, Paxx−/− mice are viable, grow normally, and are fertile but show mild radiosensitivity. Strikingly, while Paxx loss is epistatic with Ku80, Lig4, and Atm deficiency, Paxx/Xlf double-knockout mice display embryonic lethality associated with genomic instability, cell death in the central nervous system, and an almost complete block in lymphogenesis, phenotypes that closely resemble those of Xrcc4−/− and Lig4−/− mice. Thus, combined loss of Paxx and Xlf is synthetic-lethal in mammals. PMID:27798842

  1. 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.

  2. Effect of acute alcohol use on the lethality of suicide attempts in patients with mood disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sher, Leo; Oquendo, Maria A; Richardson-Vejlgaard, Randall; Makhija, Nita M; Posner, Kelly; Mann, J John; Stanley, Barbara H

    2009-07-01

    Acute alcohol use is an important risk factor for attempted and completed suicide. We evaluated the effect of acute alcohol intake on the lethality of suicide attempts to test the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication is associated with more lethal suicide attempts. This retrospective study included 317 suicide attempters enrolled in mood disorders protocols. Demographic and clinical parameters were assessed. The use of alcohol at the time of the most lethal suicide attempt was determined. On the basis of their responses participants were classified into three groups: participants who reported "Enough alcohol intake to impair judgment, reality testing and diminish responsibility" or "Intentional intake of alcohol in order to facilitate implementation of attempt" were included in the group "Alcohol" (A); participants who reported "Some alcohol intake prior to but not related to attempt, reportedly not enough to impair judgment, reality testing" were included in the group "Some Alcohol" (SA); and participants who reported "No alcohol intake immediately prior to attempt" were included in the group "No Alcohol" (NA). Lethality of the most lethal suicide attempts was higher in the A group compared to the SA and NA groups. Prevalence of patients with alcohol use disorders was higher in the A group compared to the SA and NA groups. SA participants reported more reasons for living and lower suicide intent scores at the time of their most lethal suicide attempt compared to the A and NA groups. Acute alcohol use increases the lethality of suicide attempts in individuals with mood disorders.

  3. 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.

  4. The Potential Contributions of Lethal and Edema Toxins to the Pathogenesis of Anthrax Associated Shock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Q. Eichacker

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Outbreaks of Bacillus anthracis in the US and Europe over the past 10 years have emphasized the health threat this lethal bacteria poses even for developed parts of the world. In contrast to cutaneous anthrax, inhalational disease in the US during the 2001 outbreaks and the newly identified injectional drug use form of disease in the UK and Germany have been associated with relatively high mortality rates. One notable aspect of these cases has been the difficulty in supporting patients once shock has developed. Anthrax bacilli produce several different components which likely contribute to this shock. Growing evidence indicates that both major anthrax toxins may produce substantial cardiovascular dysfunction. Lethal toxin (LT can alter peripheral vascular function; it also has direct myocardial depressant effects. Edema toxin (ET may have even more pronounced peripheral vascular effects than LT, including the ability to interfere with the actions of conventional vasopressors. Additionally, ET also appears capable of interfering with renal sodium and water retention. Importantly, the two toxins exert their actions via quite different mechanisms and therefore have the potential to worsen shock and outcome in an additive fashion. Finally, both toxins have the ability to inhibit host defense and microbial clearance, possibly contributing to the very high bacterial loads noted in patients dying with anthrax. This last point is clinically relevant since emerging data has begun to implicate other bacterial components such as anthrax cell wall in the shock and organ injury observed with infection. Taken together, accumulating evidence regarding the potential contribution of LT and ET to anthrax-associated shock supports efforts to develop adjunctive therapies that target both toxins in patients with progressive shock.

  5. 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. ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Guidebook for non-lethal experimentation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paulissen, J.J.M.; Rahimi, R.

    2011-01-01

    In the 2009-2011 timeframe, NATO conducts a capability based assessment of Non-Lethal Weapon (NLW) systems. The work, performed by the RTO study team SAS-078, involves the development of NLW requirement descriptions, which are put against a set of NLW systems. Gaps are likely to occur, indicating th

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Cholesterol Metabolism and Prostate Cancer Lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stopsack, Konrad H; Gerke, Travis A; Sinnott, Jennifer A; Penney, Kathryn L; Tyekucheva, Svitlana; Sesso, Howard D; Andersson, Swen-Olof; Andrén, Ove; Cerhan, James R; Giovannucci, Edward L; Mucci, Lorelei A; Rider, Jennifer R

    2016-08-15

    Cholesterol metabolism has been implicated in prostate cancer pathogenesis. Here, we assessed the association of intratumoral mRNA expression of cholesterol synthesis enzymes, transporters, and regulators in tumor specimen at diagnosis and lethal prostate cancer, defined as mortality or metastases from prostate cancer in contrast to nonlethal disease without evidence of metastases after at least 8 years of follow-up. We analyzed the prospective prostate cancer cohorts within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (n = 249) and the Physicians' Health Study (n = 153) as well as expectantly managed patients in the Swedish Watchful Waiting Study (n = 338). The expression of squalene monooxygenase (SQLE) was associated with lethal cancer in all three cohorts. Men with high SQLE expression (>1 standard deviation above the mean) were 8.3 times (95% confidence interval, 3.5 to 19.7) more likely to have lethal cancer despite therapy compared with men with the mean level of SQLE expression. Absolute SQLE expression was associated with lethal cancer independently from Gleason grade and stage, as was a SQLE expression ratio in tumor versus surrounding benign prostate tissue. Higher SQLE expression was tightly associated with increased histologic markers of angiogenesis. Collectively, this study establishes the prognostic value of intratumoral cholesterol synthesis as measured via SQLE, its second rate-limiting enzyme. SQLE expression at cancer diagnosis is prognostic for lethal prostate cancer both after curative-intent prostatectomy and in a watchful waiting setting, possibly by facilitating micrometastatic disease. Cancer Res; 76(16); 4785-90. ©2016 AACR.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. Complications and lethality rate in the surgery of cerebral aneurysms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roganović Zoran

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. To establish the risk factors for complications and fatal outcome after the operative occlusion of cerebral aneurysms. Methods. Retrospective study on 91 (lethality rate and on 72 operated patients (complications. For survived and dead patients, as well as for patients with and without complications, following parameters were compared: gender, age, clinical condition, preoperative interval, use of temporary clips, vasospasm, outcome, as well as localization, size and intraoperative rupture of the aneurysm. Results. Complications existed: in 54.5% of aneurysms of middle cerebral and 13.6% of aneurysms of internal carotid artery (p<0.01; in 18.2% of patients in the first and 45.8% of patients in the third clinical Hunt and Hess group (p<0.05; in 57.9% of patients with and 20.5% of patients without intraoperative rupture (p<0.01; in 50% of patients with and 18.7% of patients without vasospasm (p<0.05. Average aneurysmal size was 18 mm in group with complications and 10.8 mm in patients with no complications (p<0.05, while average preoperative intervals in these two groups were 20 and 8.7 days (p<0.05. Lethality rate was 25% for the third and 83.3% for the fourth and fifth clinical group (p<0.01, and the existence of complications significantly increased mortality (from 15.7% to 50%, p<0.01. Good outcome existed in 19.2% of operated patients with complications and in 78.3% of those without complications (p<0.01. Conclusions. Incidence of complications depended significantly on preoperative clinical condition, duration of preoperative interval, size, localization and intraoperative rupture of aneurysm. Complications significantly minimized the surgical treatment outcome and increased the lethality rate mortality.

  10. Mining of lethal recessive genetic variation in Danish cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Das, Ashutosh

    2015-01-01

    in fertility. The primary objective of this PhD projekt was to identify recessive lethal gentic variants in the main Danish dairy cattle breed. Holstein-Friesian utilzing next generation sequencing (NGS) data. This study shows a potential for the use of the NGS-based reverse genetic approach in identifying...... lethal or semi-lethal recessive gentic variation...

  11. Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene

    OpenAIRE

    Nohemi Sala; Juan Luis Arsuaga; Ana Pantoja-Pérez; Adrián Pablos; Ignacio Martínez; Quam, Rolf M.; Asier Gómez-Olivencia; José María Bermúdez de Castro; Eudald Carbonell

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force ...

  12. Lethal midline granuloma syndrome: a diagnostic dilemma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribeiro, Bruno Niemeyer de Freitas; Bahia, Paulo Roberto Valle [Radiology, Hospital Universitario Clementino Fraga Filho - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (HUCFF-UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Oliveira, Ana Luiza Vianna Sobral de Magalhaes [Resident of Medical Practice, Hospital Federal da Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Marchon Junior, Joao Luiz [Unit of Computed Tomography, Hospital Federal da Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2012-11-15

    The rare lethal midline granuloma syndrome is difficult to diagnose because of the wide array of related diseases and lack of knowledge by the majority of physicians. In the present report, the authors describe the case of a patient with this disease, caused by squamous cell carcinoma, drawing attention to differential diagnoses and to clinical and radiological findings that may be useful to define the diagnosis. (author)

  13. Brine shrimp lethality assay of Bacopa monnieri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Prashanth; Deepak, Mundkinajeddu; Rani, Padmaja; Kadamboor, Sandhya; Mathew, Anjana; Chandrashekar, Arun P; Agarwal, Amit

    2002-03-01

    Successive petroleum ether, chloroform, ethanol and water extracts, a saponin rich fraction (SRF) and bacoside A isolated from Bacopa monnieri were tested for brine shrimp lethality. Successive ethanol extracts and SRF showed potent activity. Bacoside A showed the maximum activity with a LC(50) of 38.3 microg/mL. The results confirmed the previous reports of an anticancer effect of Bacopa monnieri and suggest bacoside A as the active constituent.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  1. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nohemi Sala

    Full Text Available Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  2. 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...

  3. 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),...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Andrew Joyner

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. Killing Range: Explaining Lethality Variance within a Terrorist Organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asal, Victor; Gill, Paul; Rethemeyer, R Karl; Horgan, John

    2015-04-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the Provisional Irish Republican Army's (PIRA) brigade level behavior during the Northern Ireland Conflict (1970-1998) and identifies the organizational factors that impact a brigade's lethality as measured via terrorist attacks. Key independent variables include levels of technical expertise, cadre age, counter-terrorism policies experienced, brigade size, and IED components and delivery methods. We find that technical expertise within a brigade allows for careful IED usage, which significantly minimizes civilian casualties (a specific strategic goal of PIRA) while increasing the ability to kill more high value targets with IEDs. Lethal counter-terrorism events also significantly affect a brigade's likelihood of killing both civilians and high-value targets but in different ways. Killing PIRA members significantly decreases IED fatalities but also significantly decreases the possibility of zero civilian IED-related deaths in a given year. Killing innocent Catholics in a Brigade's county significantly increases total and civilian IED fatalities. Together the results suggest the necessity to analyze dynamic situational variables that impact terrorist group behavior at the sub-unit level.

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

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The Gottingen Minipig Is a Model of the Hematopoietic Acute Radiation Syndrome: G-Colony Stimulating Factor Stimulates Hematopoiesis and Enhances Survival From Lethal Total-Body γ-Irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moroni, Maria, E-mail: maria.moroni@usuhs.edu [Radiation Countermeasures Program, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland (United States); Ngudiankama, Barbara F. [Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland (United States); Christensen, Christine [Division of Comparative Pathology, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland (United States); Olsen, Cara H. [Biostatistics Consulting Center, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland (United States); Owens, Rossitsa [Radiation Countermeasures Program, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland (United States); Lombardini, Eric D. [Veterinary Medicine Department, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok (Thailand); Holt, Rebecca K. [Veterinary Science Department, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland (United States); Whitnall, Mark H. [Radiation Countermeasures Program, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland (United States)

    2013-08-01

    Purpose: We are characterizing the Gottingen minipig as an additional large animal model for advanced drug testing for the acute radiation syndrome (ARS) to enhance the discovery and development of novel radiation countermeasures. Among the advantages provided by this model, the similarities to human hematologic parameters and dynamics of cell loss/recovery after irradiation provide a convenient means to compare the efficacy of drugs known to affect bone marrow cellularity and hematopoiesis. Methods and Materials: Male Gottingen minipigs, 4 to 5 months old and weighing 9 to 11 kg, were used for this study. We tested the standard off-label treatment for ARS, rhG-CSF (Neupogen, 10 μg/kg/day for 17 days), at the estimated LD70/30 total-body γ-irradiation (TBI) radiation dose for the hematopoietic syndrome, starting 24 hours after irradiation. Results: The results indicated that granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) enhanced survival, stimulated recovery from neutropenia, and induced mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells. In addition, the administration of G-CSF resulted in maturation of monocytes/macrophages. Conclusions: These results support continuing efforts toward validation of the minipig as a large animal model for advanced testing of radiation countermeasures and characterization of the pathophysiology of ARS, and they suggest that the efficacy of G-CSF in improving survival after total body irradiation may involve mechanisms other than increasing the numbers of circulating granulocytes.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mutation induced extinction in finite populations: lethal mutagenesis and lethal isolation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Scott Wylie

    Full Text Available Reproduction is inherently risky, in part because genomic replication can introduce new mutations that are usually deleterious toward fitness. This risk is especially severe for organisms whose genomes replicate "semi-conservatively," e.g. viruses and bacteria, where no master copy of the genome is preserved. Lethal mutagenesis refers to extinction of populations due to an unbearably high mutation rate (U, and is important both theoretically and clinically, where drugs can extinguish pathogens by increasing their mutation rate. Previous theoretical models of lethal mutagenesis assume infinite population size (N. However, in addition to high U, small N can accelerate extinction by strengthening genetic drift and relaxing selection. Here, we examine how the time until extinction depends jointly on N and U. We first analytically compute the mean time until extinction (τ in a simplistic model where all mutations are either lethal or neutral. The solution motivates the definition of two distinct regimes: a survival phase and an extinction phase, which differ dramatically in both how τ scales with N and in the coefficient of variation in time until extinction. Next, we perform stochastic population-genetics simulations on a realistic fitness landscape that both (i features an epistatic distribution of fitness effects that agrees with experimental data on viruses and (ii is based on the biophysics of protein folding. More specifically, we assume that mutations inflict fitness penalties proportional to the extent that they unfold proteins. We find that decreasing N can cause phase transition-like behavior from survival to extinction, which motivates the concept of "lethal isolation." Furthermore, we find that lethal mutagenesis and lethal isolation interact synergistically, which may have clinical implications for treating infections. Broadly, we conclude that stably folded proteins are only possible in ecological settings that support sufficiently

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. Assessment of Neutralising Activity of Colostrum-Derived, Polyclonal, Bovine Antibodies: Use of the J774A.1 Anthrax Lethal Toxin Cytototoxity Assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

    Assessment of Neutralising Activity of Colostrum - Derived, Polyclonal, Bovine Antibodies: Use of the J774A.1 Anthrax Lethal Toxin...activity of colostrum -derived, polyclonal, bovine antibodies. Antibodies against lethal factor and protective antigen were found to protect...APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE Assessment of Neutralising Activity of Colostrum - Derived, Polyclonal, Bovine Antibodies: Use of the J774A.1

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

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    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Anthrax lethal toxin-mediated killing of human and murine dendritic cells impairs the adaptive immune response.

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    Abdelkrim Alileche

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Many pathogens have acquired strategies to combat the immune response. Bacillus anthracis interferes with host defenses by releasing anthrax lethal toxin (LT, which inactivates mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, rendering dendritic cells (DCs and T lymphocytes nonresponsive to immune stimulation. However, these cell types are considered resistant to killing by LT. Here we show that LT kills primary human DCs in vitro, and murine DCs in vitro and in vivo. Kinetics of LT-mediated killing of murine DCs, as well as cell death pathways induced, were dependent upon genetic background: LT triggered rapid necrosis in BALB/c-derived DCs, and slow apoptosis in C57BL/6-derived DCs. This is consistent with rapid and slow killing of LT-injected BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, respectively. We present evidence that anthrax LT impairs adaptive immunity by specifically targeting DCs. This may represent an immune-evasion strategy of the bacterium, and contribute to anthrax disease progression. We also established that genetic background determines whether apoptosis or necrosis is induced by LT. Finally, killing of C57BL/6-derived DCs by LT mirrors that of human DCs, suggesting that C57BL/6 DCs represent a better model system for human anthrax than the prototypical BALB/c macrophages.

  1. Suicide Intent and Accurate Expectations of Lethality: Predictors of Medical Lethality of Suicide Attempts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Gregory K.; Henriques, Gregg R.; Sosdjan, Daniella; Beck, Aaron T.

    2004-01-01

    The degree of intent to commit suicide and the severity of self-injury were examined in individuals (N = 180) who had recently attempted suicide. Although a minimal association was found between the degree of suicide intent and the degree of lethality of the attempt, the accuracy of expectations about the likelihood of dying was found to moderate…

  2. Potential lethal and non-lethal effects of predators on dispersal of spider mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuki, Hatsune; Yano, Shuichi

    2014-11-01

    Predators can affect prey dispersal lethally by direct consumption or non-lethally by making prey hesitate to disperse. These lethal and non-lethal effects are detectable only in systems where prey can disperse between multiple patches. However, most studies have drawn their conclusions concerning the ability of predatory mites to suppress spider mites based on observations of their interactions on a single patch or on heavily infested host plants where spider mites could hardly disperse toward intact patches. In these systems, specialist predatory mites that penetrate protective webs produced by spider mites quickly suppress the spider mites, whereas generalist predators that cannot penetrate the webs were ineffective. By using a connected patch system, we revealed that a generalist ant, Pristomyrmex punctatus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), effectively prevented dispersal of spider mites, Tetranychus kanzawai Kishida (Acari: Tetranychidae), by directly consuming dispersing individuals. We also revealed that a generalist predatory mite, Euseius sojaensis Ehara (Acari: Phytoseiidae), prevented between-patch dispersal of T. kanzawai by making them hesitate to disperse. In contrast, a specialist phytoseiid predatory mite, Neoseiulus womersleyi Schicha, allowed spider mites to escape an initial patch, increasing the number of colonized patches within the system. Our results suggest that ants and generalist predatory mites can effectively suppress Tetranychus species under some conditions, and should receive more attention as agents for conservation biological control in agroecosystems.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Synthetic lethal approaches for assessing combinatorial efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Rebecca A; Chen, Ee Sin

    2016-06-01

    The recent advances in pharmacogenomics have made personalized medicine no longer a pipedream but a precise and powerful way to tailor individualized cancer treatment strategies. Cancer is a devastating disease, and contemporary chemotherapeutic strategies now integrate several agents in the treatment of some types of cancer, with the intent to block more than one target simultaneously. This constitutes the premise of synthetic lethality, an attractive therapeutic strategy already demonstrating clinical success in patients with breast and ovarian cancers. Synthetic lethal combinations offer the potential to also target the hitherto "undruggable" mutations that have challenged the cancer field for decades. However, synthetic lethality in clinical cancer therapy is very much still in its infancy, and selecting the most appropriate combinations-or synthetic lethal pairs-is not always an intuitive process. Here, we review some of the recent progress in identifying synthetic lethal combinations and their potential for therapy and highlight some of the tools through which synthetic lethal pairs are identified.

  9. [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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  12. 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.

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

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    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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%.

  16. 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.

  17. Lethal photosensitization of biofilm-grown bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Michael

    1997-12-01

    Antibacterial agents are increasingly being used for the prophylaxis and treatment of oral diseases. As these agents can be rendered ineffective by resistance development in the target organisms there is a need to develop alternative antimicrobial approaches. Light-activated antimicrobial agents release singlet oxygen and free radicals which can kill adjacent bacteria and a wide range of cariogenic and periodontopathogenic bacteria has been shown to be susceptible to such agents. In the oral cavity these organisms are present as biofilms (dental plaques) which are less susceptible to traditional antimicrobial agents than bacterial suspensions. The results of these studies have shown that biofilm-grown oral bacteria are also susceptible to lethal photosensitization although the light energy doses required are grater than those needed to kill the organisms when they are grown as aqueous suspensions.

  18. Alleged lethal sorcery in East Timor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollanen, Michael S

    2004-01-01

    A wide range of cultural and social perspectives exists on the concept of sudden and unexpected death. In countries, without a formal system of death investigation, sudden death is shrouded in mysticism often based on traditional belief systems. This cultural perspective on sudden death is often at variance with medical and forensic concepts and may include explanations such as sorcery, magic, and voodoo. In this case report, the postmortem findings in an alleged victim of lethal 'black magic', known as ema halo by the indigenous people of East Timor, is described. The alleged victim died suddenly in front of witnesses. At autopsy, marked dilation of a bicuspid aortic valve with annuloaortic ectasia and a sinus of Valsalva aneurysm was found after exhumation of the body. The findings mitigated the local belief in witchcraft and established a natural manner of death.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Differentiation of lethal and non lethal prostate cancer:PSA and PSA isoforms and kinetics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    H Ballentine Carter

    2012-01-01

    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer has led to a decrease in cancer mortality.However,the high prevalence of low-grade prostate cancer and its long natural history,competing causes of death in older men and treatment patterns of prostate cancer,have led to dramatic overtreatment of the disease.Improved markers of prostate cancer lethality are needed to reduce the overtreatment of prostate cancer that leads to a reduced quality of life without extending life for a high proportion of men.The PSA level prior to treatment is routinely used in multivariable models to predict prostate cancer aggressiveness.PSA isoforms and PSA kinetics have been associated with more aggressive phenotypes,but are not routinely employed as part of prediction tools prior to treatment.PSA kinetics is a valuable marker of lethality post treatment and routinely used in determining the need for salvage therapy.

  6. 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

  7. Mutation Induced Extinction in Finite Populations: Lethal Mutagenesis and Lethal Isolation

    OpenAIRE

    C Scott Wylie; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2012-01-01

    Reproduction is inherently risky, in part because genomic replication can introduce new mutations that are usually deleterious toward fitness. This risk is especially severe for organisms whose genomes replicate “semi-conservatively,” e.g. viruses and bacteria, where no master copy of the genome is preserved. Lethal mutagenesis refers to extinction of populations due to an unbearably high mutation rate (U), and is important both theoretically and clinically, where drugs can extinguish pathoge...

  8. Syn-lethality: an integrative knowledge base of synthetic lethality towards discovery of selective anticancer therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xue-juan; Mishra, Shital K; Wu, Min; Zhang, Fan; Zheng, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic lethality (SL) is a novel strategy for anticancer therapies, whereby mutations of two genes will kill a cell but mutation of a single gene will not. Therefore, a cancer-specific mutation combined with a drug-induced mutation, if they have SL interactions, will selectively kill cancer cells. While numerous SL interactions have been identified in yeast, only a few have been known in human. There is a pressing need to systematically discover and understand SL interactions specific to human cancer. In this paper, we present Syn-Lethality, the first integrative knowledge base of SL that is dedicated to human cancer. It integrates experimentally discovered and verified human SL gene pairs into a network, associated with annotations of gene function, pathway, and molecular mechanisms. It also includes yeast SL genes from high-throughput screenings which are mapped to orthologous human genes. Such an integrative knowledge base, organized as a relational database with user interface for searching and network visualization, will greatly expedite the discovery of novel anticancer drug targets based on synthetic lethality interactions. The database can be downloaded as a stand-alone Java application.

  9. 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→.

  10. 40 CFR 798.5450 - Rodent dominant lethal assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Rodent dominant lethal assay. 798.5450 Section 798.5450 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES... lethality, high pregnancy frequency and high implant numbers are recommended. (ii) Age. Healthy,...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of five pesticides used in rice farming on the earthworm Eisenia fetida

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rico, Andreu; Sabater, Consuelo; Castillo, María Ángeles

    2016-01-01

    The toxicity of five pesticides typically used in rice farming (trichlorfon, dimethoate, carbendazim, tebuconazole and prochloraz) was evaluated on different lethal and sub-lethal endpoints of the earthworm Eisenia fetida. The evaluated endpoints included: avoidance behaviour after an exposure pe

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Tumor clone dynamics in lethal prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreira, Suzanne; Romanel, Alessandro; Goodall, Jane; Grist, Emily; Ferraldeschi, Roberta; Miranda, Susana; Prandi, Davide; Lorente, David; Frenel, Jean-Sebastien; Pezaro, Carmel; Omlin, Aurelius; Rodrigues, Daniel Nava; Flohr, Penelope; Tunariu, Nina; S de Bono, Johann; Demichelis, Francesca; Attard, Gerhardt

    2014-09-17

    It is unclear whether a single clone metastasizes and remains dominant over the course of lethal prostate cancer. We describe the clonal architectural heterogeneity at different stages of disease progression by sequencing serial plasma and tumor samples from 16 ERG-positive patients. By characterizing the clonality of commonly occurring deletions at 21q22, 8p21, and 10q23, we identified multiple independent clones in metastatic disease that are differentially represented in tissue and circulation. To exemplify the clinical utility of our studies, we then showed a temporal association between clinical progression and emergence of androgen receptor (AR) mutations activated by glucocorticoids in about 20% of patients progressing on abiraterone and prednisolone or dexamethasone. Resistant clones showed a complex dynamic with temporal and spatial heterogeneity, suggesting distinct mechanisms of resistance at different sites that emerged and regressed depending on treatment selection pressure. This introduces a management paradigm requiring sequential monitoring of advanced prostate cancer patients with plasma and tumor biopsies to ensure early discontinuation of agents when they become potential disease drivers.

  2. Prevention and treatment of lethal murine endotoxemia by the novel immunomodulatory agent MFP-14

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nicoletti, F; Di Marco, R; Sacerdote, P

    2001-01-01

    Multifunctional protein 14 (MFP-14) is a ubiquitous protein that inhibits the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), which are involved in the pathogenesis of sepsis. Here, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lethality in mice was markedly reduced...... by MFP-14. The treatment also lowered LPS-induced levels of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma in the blood....

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-02-15

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

  4. Are high-lethality suicide attempters with bipolar disorder a distinct phenotype?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oquendo, Maria A; Carballo, Juan Jose; Rajouria, Namita; Currier, Dianne; Tin, Adrienne; Merville, Jessica; Galfalvy, Hanga C; Sher, Leo; Grunebaum, Michael F; Burke, Ainsley K; Mann, J John

    2009-01-01

    Because Bipolar Disorder (BD) individuals making highly lethal suicide attempts have greater injury burden and risk for suicide, early identification is critical. BD patients were classified as high- or low-lethality attempters. High-lethality attempts required inpatient medical treatment. Mixed effects logistic regression models and permutation analyses examined correlations between lethality, number, and order of attempts. High-lethality attempters reported greater suicidal intent and more previous attempts. Multiple attempters showed no pattern of incremental lethality increase with subsequent attempts, but individuals with early high-lethality attempts more often made high-lethality attempts later. A subset of high-lethality attempters make only high-lethality attempts. However, presence of previous low-lethality attempts does not indicate that risk for more lethal, possibly successful, attempts is reduced.

  5. 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".

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Whittington Jessica

    2007-07-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Lethal and sub-lethal responses of native freshwater mussels exposed to granular Bayluscide®, a sea lamprey larvicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Teresa; Boogaard, Michael A.; Gray, Brian R.; Hubert, Terrance D.; Schloesser, Nicholas

    2017-01-01

    The invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) poses a substantial threat to fish communities in the Great Lakes. Efforts to control sea lamprey populations typically involve treating tributary streams with lampricides on a recurring cycle. The presence of a substantial population of larval sea lampreys in the aquatic corridor between Lakes Huron and Erie prompted managers to propose a treatment using the granular formulation of Bayluscide® that targets larval sea lampreys that reside in sediments. However, these treatments could cause adverse effects on native freshwater mussels—imperiled animals that also reside in sediments. We estimated the risk of mortality and sub-lethal effects among eight species of adult and sub-adult mussels exposed to Bayluscide® for durations up to 8 h to mimic field applications. Mortality was appreciable in some species, especially in sub-adults (range, 23–51%). The lethal and sub-lethal effects were positively associated with the duration of exposure in most species and life stage combinations. Estimates of the median time of exposure that resulted in lethal and sub-lethal effects suggest that sub-adults were often affected by Bayluscide® earlier than adults. Siphoning activity and burrowing position of mussels during exposure may have moderated the uptake of Bayluscide® and may have influenced lethal and sub-lethal responses. Given that the various species and life stages were differentially affected, it will be difficult to predict the effects of Bayluscide® treatments on mussels.

  10. 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.

  11. Composite Sampling Approaches for Bacillus anthracis Surrogate Extracted from Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    France, Brian; Bell, William; Chang, Emily; Scholten, Trudy

    2015-01-01

    Any release of anthrax spores in the U.S. would require action to decontaminate the site and restore its use and operations as rapidly as possible. The remediation activity would require environmental sampling, both initially to determine the extent of contamination (hazard mapping) and post-decon to determine that the site is free of contamination (clearance sampling). Whether the spore contamination is within a building or outdoors, collecting and analyzing what could be thousands of samples can become the factor that limits the pace of restoring operations. To address this sampling and analysis bottleneck and decrease the time needed to recover from an anthrax contamination event, this study investigates the use of composite sampling. Pooling or compositing of samples is an established technique to reduce the number of analyses required, and its use for anthrax spore sampling has recently been investigated. However, use of composite sampling in an anthrax spore remediation event will require well-documented and accepted methods. In particular, previous composite sampling studies have focused on sampling from hard surfaces; data on soil sampling are required to extend the procedure to outdoor use. Further, we must consider whether combining liquid samples, thus increasing the volume, lowers the sensitivity of detection and produces false negatives. In this study, methods to composite bacterial spore samples from soil are demonstrated. B. subtilis spore suspensions were used as a surrogate for anthrax spores. Two soils (Arizona Test Dust and sterilized potting soil) were contaminated and spore recovery with composites was shown to match individual sample performance. Results show that dilution can be overcome by concentrating bacterial spores using standard filtration methods. This study shows that composite sampling can be a viable method of pooling samples to reduce the number of analysis that must be performed during anthrax spore remediation. PMID:26714315

  12. Composite Sampling Approaches for Bacillus anthracis Surrogate Extracted from Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    France, Brian; Bell, William; Chang, Emily; Scholten, Trudy

    2015-01-01

    Any release of anthrax spores in the U.S. would require action to decontaminate the site and restore its use and operations as rapidly as possible. The remediation activity would require environmental sampling, both initially to determine the extent of contamination (hazard mapping) and post-decon to determine that the site is free of contamination (clearance sampling). Whether the spore contamination is within a building or outdoors, collecting and analyzing what could be thousands of samples can become the factor that limits the pace of restoring operations. To address this sampling and analysis bottleneck and decrease the time needed to recover from an anthrax contamination event, this study investigates the use of composite sampling. Pooling or compositing of samples is an established technique to reduce the number of analyses required, and its use for anthrax spore sampling has recently been investigated. However, use of composite sampling in an anthrax spore remediation event will require well-documented and accepted methods. In particular, previous composite sampling studies have focused on sampling from hard surfaces; data on soil sampling are required to extend the procedure to outdoor use. Further, we must consider whether combining liquid samples, thus increasing the volume, lowers the sensitivity of detection and produces false negatives. In this study, methods to composite bacterial spore samples from soil are demonstrated. B. subtilis spore suspensions were used as a surrogate for anthrax spores. Two soils (Arizona Test Dust and sterilized potting soil) were contaminated and spore recovery with composites was shown to match individual sample performance. Results show that dilution can be overcome by concentrating bacterial spores using standard filtration methods. This study shows that composite sampling can be a viable method of pooling samples to reduce the number of analysis that must be performed during anthrax spore remediation.

  13. Composite Sampling Approaches for Bacillus anthracis Surrogate Extracted from Soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian France

    Full Text Available Any release of anthrax spores in the U.S. would require action to decontaminate the site and restore its use and operations as rapidly as possible. The remediation activity would require environmental sampling, both initially to determine the extent of contamination (hazard mapping and post-decon to determine that the site is free of contamination (clearance sampling. Whether the spore contamination is within a building or outdoors, collecting and analyzing what could be thousands of samples can become the factor that limits the pace of restoring operations. To address this sampling and analysis bottleneck and decrease the time needed to recover from an anthrax contamination event, this study investigates the use of composite sampling. Pooling or compositing of samples is an established technique to reduce the number of analyses required, and its use for anthrax spore sampling has recently been investigated. However, use of composite sampling in an anthrax spore remediation event will require well-documented and accepted methods. In particular, previous composite sampling studies have focused on sampling from hard surfaces; data on soil sampling are required to extend the procedure to outdoor use. Further, we must consider whether combining liquid samples, thus increasing the volume, lowers the sensitivity of detection and produces false negatives. In this study, methods to composite bacterial spore samples from soil are demonstrated. B. subtilis spore suspensions were used as a surrogate for anthrax spores. Two soils (Arizona Test Dust and sterilized potting soil were contaminated and spore recovery with composites was shown to match individual sample performance. Results show that dilution can be overcome by concentrating bacterial spores using standard filtration methods. This study shows that composite sampling can be a viable method of pooling samples to reduce the number of analysis that must be performed during anthrax spore remediation.

  14. Factor Composition of the Suicide Intent Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieczkowski, Tammy A.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Analyzed Suicide Intent Scale using data from 98 psychiatric inpatients who had attempted suicide. Analysis resulted in two-factor solution: Lethal Intent factor contained items pertaining to subjective level of lethal intent; Planning factor contained items related to objective planning for attempt. Findings suggest that Suicide Intent Scale can…

  15. Lethal Lullabies: A History of Opium Use in Infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obladen, Michael

    2016-02-01

    Poppy extract accompanied the human infant for more than 3 millenia. Motives for its use included excessive crying, suspected pain, and diarrhea. In antiquity, infantile sleeplessness was regarded as a disease. When treatment with opium was recommended by Galen, Rhazes, and Avicenna, baby sedation made its way into early medical treatises and pediatric instructions. Dabbing maternal nipples with bitter substances and drugging the infant with opium were used to hasten weaning. A freerider of gum lancing, opiates joined the treatment of difficult teething in the 17th century. Foundling hospitals and wet-nurses used them extensively. With industrialization, private use was rampant among the working class. In German-speaking countries, poppy extracts were administered in soups and pacifiers. In English-speaking countries, proprietary drugs containing opium were marketed under names such as soothers, nostrums, anodynes, cordials, preservatives, and specifics and sold at the doorstep or in grocery stores. Opium's toxicity for infants was common knowledge; thousands of cases of lethal intoxication had been reported from antiquity. What is remarkable is that the willingness to use it in infants persisted and that physicians continued to prescribe it for babies. Unregulated trade, and even that protected by governments, led to greatly increased private use of opiates during the 19th century. Intoxication became a significant factor in infant mortality. As late as 1912, the International Hague Convention forced governments to implement legislation that effectively curtailed access to opium and broke the dangerous habit of sedating infants.

  16. Fentanyl-Laced 'Norco' Is Lethal, Report Warns

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160158.html Fentanyl-Laced 'Norco' Is Lethal, Report Warns New street ... study involving the drug. The street drug combines fentanyl -- the synthetic opioid painkiller linked to the death ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Testicular trauma secondary to less-lethal kinetic energy munitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavoussi, Parviz K; Hermans, Michael R

    2006-06-01

    Many cases of testicular trauma secondary to munitions have been reported. We report a case of a 37-year-old man who suffered testicular trauma as a result of a less-lethal munition projectile. With the advent, and increased use, of less-lethal munitions by the military and law enforcement agencies, more of these new subsets of genitourinary trauma patients who will require care are sure to result.

  2. Perinatal-lethal Gaucher disease presenting as hydrops fetalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    BenHamida, Emira; Ayadi, Imene; Ouertani, Ines; Chammem, Maroua; Bezzine, Ahlem; BenTmime, Riadh; Attia, Leila; Mrad, Ridha; Marrakchi, Zahra

    2015-01-01

    Perinatal-lethal Gaucher disease is very rare and is considered a variant of type 2 Gaucher disease that occurs in the neonatal period. The most distinct features of perinatal-lethal Gaucher disease are non-immune hydrops fetalis. Less common signs of the disease are hepatosplenomegaly, ichthyosis and arthrogryposis. We report a case of Gaucher's disease (type 2) diagnosed in a newborn who presented with Hydrops Fetalis.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Fatores de risco e letalidade de infecção da corrente sanguínea laboratorialmente confirmada, causada por patógenos não contaminantes da pele em recém-nascidos Risk factors and lethality of laboratory-confirmed bloodstream infection caused by non-skin contaminant pathogens in neonates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta M.C. Romanelli

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Avaliar os fatores de risco e a letalidade da infecção da corrente sanguínea laboratorialmente confirmada (ICSLC de início tardio em uma Unidade Neonatal de Cuidados Progressivos (UNCP brasileira. MÉTODOS: Trata-se de um estudo caso-controle realizado de 2008 a 2012. Os casos foram definidos como todos os recém-nascidos com ICSLC de início tardio, excluindo pacientes isolados com contaminantes da pele comuns. Os controles foram recém-nascidos que não mostraram qualquer evidência de ICSLC de início tardio, sendo separados por peso e tempo de permanência na UNCP. As variáveis foram obtidas na base de dados da Comissão de Controle de Infecção Hospitalar (CCIH. A análise foi realizada utilizando o Pacote Estatístico para Ciências Sociais. O teste χ² foi utilizado e a relevância estatística foi definida como p OBJECTIVE: To evaluate risk factors and lethality of late onset laboratory-confirmed bloodstream infection (ICSLC in a Brazilian neonatal unit for progressive care (NUPC. Methods: This was a case-control study, performed from 2008 to 2012. Cases were defined as all newborns with late onset ICSLC, excluding patients with isolated common skin contaminants. Controls were newborns who showed no evidence of late onset ICSLC, matched by weight and time of permanence in the NUPC. Variables were obtained in the Hospital Infection Control Committee (HICC database. Analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS. The chi-squared test was used, and statistical significance was defined as p < 0.05, followed by multivariate analysis. RESULTS: 50 patients with late onset ICSLC were matched with 100 patients without late onset ICSLC. In the group of patients with late onset ICSLC, a a significant higher proportion of patients who underwent surgical procedures (p = 0.001 and who used central venous catheter (CVC (p = 0.012 and mechanical ventilation (p = 0.001 was identified. In multivariate

  11. Impact of the Timing of Morphine Administration on Lipopolysaccharide-Mediated Lethal Endotoxic Shock in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukada, Tomoko; Kato, Hidehito; Ozaki, Makoto; Yagi, Junji

    2016-05-01

    Sepsis is a serious condition related to systemic inflammation, organ dysfunction, and organ failure. It is a subset of the cytokine storm caused by dysregulation of cytokine production. Morphine influences the severity of infection in vivo and in vitro because it regulates cytokine production. We investigated the immunological function of morphine using a mouse model of septic shock. We treated mice with α-galactosylceramide (2 μg/mouse) to induce lethal endotoxic shock following a challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1.5 μg/mouse). This model represents acute lung injury and respiratory failure, and reflects the clinical features of severe septic shock. We evaluated the effect of the timing of morphine (0.8 mg/mouse) administration on the survival rate, cytokine production in vivo, and histological changes of mice with LPS-mediated lethal endotoxic shock. Morphine treatment before LPS challenge suppressed lethal endotoxic shock. In contrast, when we administered after LPS, morphine exacerbated lethal endotoxic shock; hematoxylin and eosin staining revealed a marked increase in the accumulation of infiltrates comprising polymorphonuclear leukocytes and mononuclear cells in the lung; and Elastica van Gieson staining revealed the destruction of alveoli. The plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, monocyte-chemotactic protein-1, and interleukin-12 in the group treated with morphine after LPS challenge were higher than those treated with morphine before LPS challenge. In conclusion, one of the factors that determine whether morphine exacerbates or inhibits infection is the timing of its administration. Morphine treatment before shock improved the survival rate, and morphine treatment after shock decreased the rate of survival.

  12. Anthrax toxins cooperatively inhibit endocytic recycling by the Rab11/Sec15 exocyst

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guichard, Annabel; McGillivray, Shauna M.; Cruz-Moreno, Beatriz; van Sorge, Nina M.; Nizet, Victor; Bier, Ethan

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax in humans and other mammals(1,2). In lethal systemic anthrax, proliferating bacilli secrete large quantities of the toxins lethal factor (LF) and oedema factor (EF), leading to widespread vascular leakage and shock. Whereas host targets of LF (mit

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Anthrax lethal toxin induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization and cytosolic cathepsin release is Nlrp1b/Nalp1b-dependent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen M Averette

    Full Text Available NOD-like receptors (NLRs are a group of cytoplasmic molecules that recognize microbial invasion or 'danger signals'. Activation of NLRs can induce rapid caspase-1 dependent cell death termed pyroptosis, or a caspase-1 independent cell death termed pyronecrosis. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT, is recognized by a subset of alleles of the NLR protein Nlrp1b, resulting in pyroptotic cell death of macrophages and dendritic cells. Here we show that LT induces lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP. The presentation of LMP requires expression of an LT-responsive allele of Nlrp1b, and is blocked by proteasome inhibitors and heat shock, both of which prevent LT-mediated pyroptosis. Further the lysosomal protease cathepsin B is released into the cell cytosol and cathepsin inhibitors block LT-mediated cell death. These data reveal a role for lysosomal membrane permeabilization in the cellular response to bacterial pathogens and demonstrate a shared requirement for cytosolic relocalization of cathepsins in pyroptosis and pyronecrosis.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A screen for F1 hybrid male rescue reveals no major-effect hybrid lethality loci in the Drosophila melanogaster autosomal genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuykendall, Tawny N; Satyaki, P; Ji, Shuqing; Clay, Derek M; Edelman, Nathaniel B; Kimchy, Alexandra; Li, Ling-Hei; Nuzzo, Erin A; Parekh, Neil; Park, Suna; Barbash, Daniel A

    2014-10-27

    Hybrid sons between Drosophila melanogaster females and D. simulans males die as 3rd instar larvae. Two genes, D. melanogaster Hybrid male rescue (Hmr) on the X chromosome, and D. simulans Lethal hybrid rescue (Lhr) on chromosome II, interact to cause this lethality. Loss-of-function mutations in either gene suppress lethality, but several pieces of evidence suggest that additional factors are required for hybrid lethality. Here we screen the D. melanogaster autosomal genome by using the Bloomington Stock Center Deficiency kit to search for additional regions that can rescue hybrid male lethality. Our screen is designed to identify putative hybrid incompatibility (HI) genes similar to Hmr and Lhr which, when removed, are dominant suppressors of lethality. After screening 89% of the autosomal genome, we found no regions that rescue males to the adult stage. We did, however, identify several regions that rescue up to 13% of males to the pharate adult stage. This weak rescue suggests the presence of multiple minor-effect HI loci, but we were unable to map these loci to high resolution, presumably because weak rescue can be masked by genetic background effects. We attempted to test one candidate, the dosage compensation gene male specific lethal-3 (msl-3), by using RNA interference with short hairpin microRNA constructs targeted specifically against D. simulans msl-3 but failed to achieve knockdown, in part due to off-target effects. We conclude that the D. melanogaster autosomal genome likely does not contain additional major-effect HI loci. We also show that Hmr is insufficient to fully account for the lethality associated with the D. melanogaster X chromosome, suggesting that additional X-linked genes contribute to hybrid lethality.

  4. Overexpression of dilp2 causes nutrient-dependent semi-lethality in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukiko eSato-Miyata

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF plays an important role as a systemic regulator of metabolism in multicellular organisms. Hyperinsulinemia, a high level of blood insulin, is often associated with impaired physiological conditions such as hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and diabetes. However, due to the complex pathophysiology of hyperinsulinemia, the causative role of excess insulin/IGF signaling has remained elusive. To investigate the biological effects of a high level of insulin in metabolic homeostasis and physiology, we generated flies overexpressing Drosophila insulin-like peptide 2 (Dilp2, which has the highest potential of promoting tissue growth among the Ilp genes in Drosophila. In this model, a UAS-Dilp2 transgene was overexpressed under control of sd-Gal4 that drives expression predominantly in developing imaginal wing discs. Overexpression of Dilp2 caused semi-lethality, which was partially suppressed by mutations in the insulin receptor (InR or Akt1, suggesting that dilp2-induced semi-lethality is mediated by the PI3K/Akt1 signaling. We found that dilp2-overexpressing flies exhibited intensive autophagy in fat body cells. Interestingly, the dilp2-induced autophagy as well as the semi-lethality was partially rescued by increasing the protein content relative to glucose in the media. Our results suggest that excess insulin/IGF signaling impairs the physiology of animals, which can be ameliorated by controlling the nutritional balance between proteins and carbohydrates, at least in flies.

  5. A multivariate model of stakeholder preference for lethal cat management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wald, Dara M; Jacobson, Susan K

    2014-01-01

    Identifying stakeholder beliefs and attitudes is critical for resolving management conflicts. Debate over outdoor cat management is often described as a conflict between two groups, environmental advocates and animal welfare advocates, but little is known about the variables predicting differences among these critical stakeholder groups. We administered a mail survey to randomly selected stakeholders representing both of these groups (n=1,596) in Florida, where contention over the management of outdoor cats has been widespread. We used a structural equation model to evaluate stakeholder intention to support non-lethal management. The cognitive hierarchy model predicted that values influenced beliefs, which predicted general and specific attitudes, which in turn, influenced behavioral intentions. We posited that specific attitudes would mediate the effect of general attitudes, beliefs, and values on management support. Model fit statistics suggested that the final model fit the data well (CFI=0.94, RMSEA=0.062). The final model explained 74% of the variance in management support, and positive attitudes toward lethal management (humaneness) had the largest direct effect on management support. Specific attitudes toward lethal management and general attitudes toward outdoor cats mediated the relationship between positive (pstakeholder intention to support non-lethal cat management. Our findings suggest that stakeholders can simultaneously perceive both positive and negative beliefs about outdoor cats, which influence attitudes toward and support for non-lethal management.

  6. Effects of lethal and non-lethal malaria on the mononuclear phagocyte system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Eduardo Tosta

    1983-03-01

    Full Text Available The effects ofone non-lethal species ofmalarialparasite, Plasmodium yoelii, and one lethal species, P. berghei, on the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS of BALB/c mice were studied. P. yoelii caused a greater and more sustained expansion and activation of the MPS, and the two major populations of spleen phagocytic cells-red pulp and marginal zone macrophages - exhibited a greater increase in numbers in this infection. During the course of P. berghei mataria, the spleen was progressively occupied by haematopoietic tissue and, at the terminal stage of infection, an extensive depletion of lymphocytes and macrophages was apparent. The possibility was suggested that the outcome of mataria may be inftuenced by the particular way the parasite interacts with the MPS.Estudou-se o efeito da infecção causada por espécie letal (Plasmodium berghei e não- letal (P. yoelii de plasmódio sobre o sistema de fagócitos mononucleares de camundongo BALB/c. O P. yoelii causou maior e mais prolongada expansão e ativação do sistema de macrófagos. As duas mais importantes populações de fagócitos esplênicos - macrófagos de polpa vermelha e da zona marginal - exibiam maior aumento do número de células nesta infecção. Durante a evolução da malária por P. berghei, o baço foi progressivamente ocupado por tecido hematopoiético e, na fase terminal da infecção, observou-se significativa depleção dos linfócitos e macrófagos esplênicos. Os dados apresentados indicam que a evolução da malária depende do tipo de interação entre o plasmódio e o sistema de fagócitos mononucleares.

  7. Evaluation of lethal and non-lethal sampling methods for the detection of white sturgeon iridovirus infection in white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus (Richardson).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drennan, J D; Lapatra, S E; Samson, C A; Ireland, S; Eversman, K F; Cain, K D

    2007-06-01

    Pectoral fin tissue of white sturgeon was investigated as a potential non-lethal sample source for the detection of white sturgeon iridovirus (WSIV) infection. Histopathology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results using fin tissue were compared with the standard lethal histopathology sampling method that utilizes head tissue. Tissues for each of the three sampling methods were collected weekly for 8 weeks from individual sturgeon undergoing an experimental cohabitation challenge with fish infected with the Abernathy isolate of WSIV. Non-lethal fin histopathological evaluation did not reveal infection during the first 3 weeks of sampling, while non-lethal PCR and the lethal method were variable. However, all three sampling methods were equally capable of identifying infection from 4 to 8 weeks post-exposure. Of the survivors tested, all were negative by PCR and the lethal method, and only one fish was identified as being positive by non-lethal fin histopathology. In another experiment, all three sampling methods were applied to asymptomatic WSIV carriers in a case study conducted at the Kootenai Tribal Sturgeon Conservation Hatchery. Results showed that both lethal and non-lethal fin histopathology were equally effective in detecting infection, but PCR was unable to identify this strain of WSIV. Depending on the virus isolate, these results suggest that non-lethal sampling of fin tissue (histopathology or PCR) is comparable with the lethal sampling method at identifying WSIV infection once infection is established, and under certain circumstances may provide an alternative to lethal sampling.

  8. Lethal effects of short-wavelength visible light on insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hori, Masatoshi; Shibuya, Kazuki; Sato, Mitsunari; Saito, Yoshino

    2014-12-09

    We investigated the lethal effects of visible light on insects by using light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The toxic effects of ultraviolet (UV) light, particularly shortwave (i.e., UVB and UVC) light, on organisms are well known. However, the effects of irradiation with visible light remain unclear, although shorter wavelengths are known to be more lethal. Irradiation with visible light is not thought to cause mortality in complex animals including insects. Here, however, we found that irradiation with short-wavelength visible (blue) light killed eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults of Drosophila melanogaster. Blue light was also lethal to mosquitoes and flour beetles, but the effective wavelength at which mortality occurred differed among the insect species. Our findings suggest that highly toxic wavelengths of visible light are species-specific in insects, and that shorter wavelengths are not always more toxic. For some animals, such as insects, blue light is more harmful than UV light.

  9. Crossover suppressors and balanced recessive lethals in Caenorhabditis elegans. [Nematode

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herman, R.K.

    1978-01-01

    Two dominant suppressors of crossing over have been identified following x-ray treatment of the small nematode C. elegans. They suppress crossing over in linkage group II (LGII) about 100-fold and 50-fold and are both tightly linked to LGII markers. One, called C1, segregates independently of all other linkage groups and is homozygous fertile. The other is a translocation involving LGII and X. The translocation also suppresses crossing over along the right half of X and is homozygous lethal. C1 has been used as a balancer of LGII recessive lethal and sterile mutations induced by EMS. The frequencies of occurrence of lethals and steriles were approximately equal. Fourteen mutations were assigned to complementation groups and mapped. They tended to map in the same region where LGII visibles are clustered.

  10. Determinants of the lethality of climate-related disasters in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM): a cross-country analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrewin, Aisha N; Rodriguez-Llanes, Jose M; Guha-Sapir, Debarati

    2015-07-08

    Floods and storms are climate-related hazards posing high mortality risk to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations. However risk factors for their lethality remain untested. We conducted an ecological study investigating risk factors for flood and storm lethality in CARICOM nations for the period 1980-2012. Lethality--deaths versus no deaths per disaster event- was the outcome. We examined biophysical and social vulnerability proxies and a decadal effect as predictors. We developed our regression model via multivariate analysis using a generalized logistic regression model with quasi-binomial distribution; removal of multi-collinear variables and backward elimination. Robustness was checked through subset analysis. We found significant positive associations between lethality, percentage of total land dedicated to agriculture (odds ratio [OR] 1.032; 95% CI: 1.013-1.053) and percentage urban population (OR 1.029, 95% CI 1.003-1.057). Deaths were more likely in the 2000-2012 period versus 1980-1989 (OR 3.708, 95% CI 1.615-8.737). Robustness checks revealed similar coefficients and directions of association. Population health in CARICOM nations is being increasingly impacted by climate-related disasters connected to increasing urbanization and land use patterns. Our findings support the evidence base for setting sustainable development goals (SDG).

  11. Prenatal diagnosis of lethal osteogenesis imperfecta in twin pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, L R; Herlicoviez, M; Loisel, J C; Jacob, B; Feuilly, C; Stanescu, V

    1991-06-01

    Lethal osteogenesis imperfecta was diagnosed at 27 weeks amenorrea in one fetus of a bichorial twin pregnancy. Sonographic findings included: short-limb dwarfism, hypotrophy and hypoechoic bones. The affected fetus was so translucent that only the normal fetus could be seen on plain in utero radiography. The affected fetus died immediately after birth. Postmortem radiography and histology were typical of lethal osteogenesis imperfecta of type IIA. Aids to the etiological diagnosis of in utero dwarfism are presented. Sonographic features correlated with neonatal death are described.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The Lethal "Femme Fatale" in the Noir Tradition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boozer, Jack

    2000-01-01

    Traces the lethal seductress through Hollywood's "noir" history from "Double Indemnity" (1944) to "The Last Seduction" (1996). Examines how this figure largely abjures traditional romance and passive domesticity, choosing instead to apply her sexuality to homicidal plots toward greed. Argues that her narrative positioning serves as a barometer of…

  10. Evaluation of lethality estimates for combustion gases in military scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, S M; Stuhmiller, J H; Januszkiewicz, A J

    1996-12-31

    To meet the military objective of determining criteria for incapacitation and lethality from toxic gas exposures, a series of small animal tests and data analyses were conducted. Carbon monoxide (CO), a narcotic gas and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), an irritant gas, along with carbon dioxide (CO2) were tested individually and in the following mixtures: (CO + CO2), (NO2 + CO2) and (NO2 + CO + CO2). A group of six animals was exposed to each of the gases and their combinations, lethality and biophysical data were collected. We conclude that our observations of lethality from single toxic gases can be correlated with a fractional effective dose (FED) description, in which external concentrations are corrected for minute volume changes. Multiple gas exposures clearly demonstrate synergistic effects because lethality rates greatly exceed those expected from statistically independent causes. Simple addition of the FED values, however, overstates the effect and implies a competition between the narcotic and irritant gas effects. The N-Gas model, while being an additive FED model, does not appear to be in a form that could guide the setting of military exposure standards.

  11. Dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Generoso, W.M.

    1983-01-01

    Chromosome aberrations are a major component of radiation or chemically induced genetic damage in mammalian germ cells. The types of aberration produced are dependent upon the mutagen used and the germ-cell stage treated. For example, in male meiotic and postmeiotic germ cells certain alkylating chemicals induce both dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations while others induce primarily dominant-lethal mutations. Production of these two endpoints appears to be determined by the stability of alkylation products with the chromosomes. If the reaction products are intact in the male chromosomes at the time of sperm entry, they may be repaired in fertilized eggs. If repair is not effected and the alkylation products persist to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication, they lead to chromatid-type aberrations and eventually to dominant-lethality. The production of heritable translocations, on the other hand, requires a transformation of unstable alkylation products into suitable intermediate lesions. The process by which these lesions are converted into chromosome exchange within the male genome takes place after sperm enters the egg but prior to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication (i.e., chromosome-type). Thus, dominant-lethal mutations result from both chromatid- and chromosome-type aberrations while heritable translocations result primarily from the latter type. DNA target sites associated with the production of these two endpoints are discussed.

  12. An overview of the future of non-lethal weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, J B

    2001-01-01

    During the past decade, vast changes have occurred in the geopolitical landscape and the nature of the types of conflicts in which technologically developed countries have been involved. While the threat of conventional war remains, forces have been more frequently deployed in situations that require great restraint. Adversaries are often likely to be elusive and commingled with noncombatants. There has been some shift in public opinion away from tolerance of collateral casualties. Therefore there is a need to be able to apply force while limiting casualties. Non-lethal weapons provide part of the solution. Among the changes that will influence the future have been studies by the US and NATO concerning the use of non-lethal weapons, coincidental with increased funding for their development and testing. New concepts and policies have recently been formalized. Surprisingly, the most strident objections to the implementation of non-lethal weapons have come from organizations that are ostensibly designed to protect non-combatants. These arguments are specious and, while technically and academically challenging, actually serve to foster an environment that will result in the deaths of many more innocent civilians. They misconstrue technology with human intent. The reasons for use of force will not abate. Alternatives to bombs, missiles, tanks and artillery must therefore be found. Non-lethal weapons are not a panacea but do offer the best hope of minimizing casualties while allowing nations or alliances the means to use force in protection of national or regional interests.

  13. The Prevalence, Lethality and Intent of Suicide Attempts among Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Judy A.; Lewinsohn, Peter M.

    Although suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents in the United States, little is known about the prevalence or characteristics of suicide attempts among adolescents. Data from 1,710 adolescents attending 9 high schools in 5 communities were examined to determine the prevalence of suicide attempts and the lethality and intent…

  14. Conditional lethality strains for the biological control of Anastrepha species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pro-apoptotic cell death genes are promising candidates for biologically-based autocidal control of pest insects as demonstrated by tetracycline (tet)-suppressible systems for conditional embryonic lethality in Drosophila melanogaster (Dm) and the medfly, Ceratitis capitata (Cc). However, for medfly...

  15. Papaya Lethal Yellowing Virus (PLYV) Infects Vasconcellea cauliflora

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amaral, P.P.R.; Resende, de R.O.; Souza, M.T.

    2006-01-01

    Papaya lethal yellowing virus (PLYV) é um dos três vírus descritos infectando mamoeiros (Carica papaya L.) no Brasil. Vasconcellea cauliflora (Jacq.) A. DC., antes denominada de Carica cauliflora (Jacq.), é uma reconhecida fonte de resistência natural ao Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), causador da "Ma

  16. The "Lethal Chamber": Further Evidence of the Euthanasia Option.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elks, Martin A.

    1993-01-01

    Historical discussions of the euthanasia or "lethal chamber" option in relation to people with mental retardation are presented. The paper concludes that eugenic beliefs in the primacy of heredity over environment and the positive role of natural selection may have condoned the poor conditions characteristic of large, segregated institutions and…

  17. Effective antiprotease-antibiotic treatment of experimental anthrax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MacAfee Rebecca

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inhalation anthrax is characterized by a systemic spread of the challenge agent, Bacillus anthracis. It causes severe damage, including multiple hemorrhagic lesions, to host tissues and organs. It is widely believed that anthrax lethal toxin secreted by proliferating bacteria is a major cause of death, however, the pathology of intoxication in experimental animals is drastically different from that found during the infectious process. In order to close a gap between our understanding of anthrax molecular pathology and the most prominent clinical features of the infectious process we undertook bioinformatic and experimental analyses of potential proteolytic virulence factors of B. anthracis distinct from lethal toxin. Methods Secreted proteins (other than lethal and edema toxins produced by B. anthracis were tested for tissue-damaging activity and toxicity in mice. Chemical protease inhibitors and rabbit immune sera raised against B. anthracis proteases were used to treat mice challenged with B. anthracis (Sterne spores. Results B. anthracis strain delta Ames (pXO1-, pXO2- producing no lethal and edema toxins secrets a number of metalloprotease virulence factors upon cultivation under aerobic conditions, including those with hemorrhagic, caseinolytic and collagenolytic activities, belonging to M4 and M9 thermolysin and bacterial collagenase families, respectively. These factors are directly toxic to DBA/2 mice upon intratracheal administration at 0.5 mg/kg and higher doses. Chemical protease inhibitors (phosphoramidon and 1, 10-phenanthroline, as well as immune sera against M4 and M9 proteases of B. anthracis, were used to treat mice challenged with B. anthracis (Sterne spores. These substances demonstrate a substantial protective efficacy in combination with ciprofloxacin therapy initiated as late as 48 h post spore challenge, compared to the antibiotic alone. Conclusion Secreted proteolytic enzymes are important pathogenic

  18. 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.

  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. Annotating novel genes by integrating synthetic lethals and genomic information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faty Mahamadou

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large scale screening for synthetic lethality serves as a common tool in yeast genetics to systematically search for genes that play a role in specific biological processes. Often the amounts of data resulting from a single large scale screen far exceed the capacities of experimental characterization of every identified target. Thus, there is need for computational tools that select promising candidate genes in order to reduce the number of follow-up experiments to a manageable size. Results We analyze synthetic lethality data for arp1 and jnm1, two spindle migration genes, in order to identify novel members in this process. To this end, we use an unsupervised statistical method that integrates additional information from biological data sources, such as gene expression, phenotypic profiling, RNA degradation and sequence similarity. Different from existing methods that require large amounts of synthetic lethal data, our method merely relies on synthetic lethality information from two single screens. Using a Multivariate Gaussian Mixture Model, we determine the best subset of features that assign the target genes to two groups. The approach identifies a small group of genes as candidates involved in spindle migration. Experimental testing confirms the majority of our candidates and we present she1 (YBL031W as a novel gene involved in spindle migration. We applied the statistical methodology also to TOR2 signaling as another example. Conclusion We demonstrate the general use of Multivariate Gaussian Mixture Modeling for selecting candidate genes for experimental characterization from synthetic lethality data sets. For the given example, integration of different data sources contributes to the identification of genetic interaction partners of arp1 and jnm1 that play a role in the same biological process.

  1. Antibodies against recombinant catalytic domain of lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii neutralize lethal toxin toxicity in HeLa cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arya, Preetika; Ponmariappan, S; Singh, Lokendra; Prasad, G B K S

    2013-02-01

    Lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii (MLD 150 ng/kg) is one of the most potent Clostridial toxins and is responsible for most of the diseases including sudden death syndrome in cattle, sheep and toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing faciitis, neonatal omphalitis and gangrene in humans. Lethal toxin (TcsL) is a single chain protein of about 270 kDa. In the present study, 1.6 kb DNA fragment encoding for the catalytic domain of TcsL was PCR amplified, cloned in pQE30 UA vector and expressed in E. coli SG 13009. The expression of recombinant lethal toxin protein (rTcsL) was optimized and it was purified under native conditions using a single step Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. The purified recombinant protein was used for the production of polyclonal antibodies in mice and rabbit. The raised antibodies reacted specifically with the purified rTcsL and intact native lethal toxin on Western blot. The biological activity of the recombinant protein was tested in HeLa cells where it showed the cytotoxicity. Further, the polyclonal antibodies were used for in-vitro neutralization of purified rTcsL, acid precipitated C. sordellii and C. difficile native toxins in HeLa cells. Mice and rabbit anti-rTcsL sera effectively neutralized the cytotoxicity of rTcsL and C. sordellii native toxin but it did not neutralize the cytotoxicity of C. difficile toxin in HeLa cells.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Trophic cascades in rocky shore tide pools: distinguishing lethal and nonlethal effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trussell, Geoffrey C; Ewanchuk, Patrick J; Bertness, Mark D; Silliman, Brian R

    2004-05-01

    The effects of predators on the density of their prey can have positive indirect effects on the abundance of the prey's resource via a trophic cascade. This concept has strongly influenced contemporary views of how communities are structured. However, predators also can transmit indirect effects by inducing changes in prey traits. We show that the mere presence of predator risk cues can initiate a trophic cascade in rocky shore tide pools. In large (mean surface area =9 m2), natural tide pools, we manipulated crab density and their foraging ability to examine the relative importance of lethal (density-mediated) and non-lethal (trait-mediated) predator effects to algal community development. We found that perceived predation risk reduced snail density as much as the direct predation treatment, showing that green crab predation was not an important factor regulating local snail density. Instead, snail emigration away from resident crabs appears to be the most important factor regulating local snail density. As a result, the abundance of ephemeral green algae was similar in the predation risk and direct predation treatments, suggesting that the consumption of snails by crabs plays a minimal role in mediating the trophic cascade. Increased attention to trait-mediated effects that are transmitted by predator-induced changes in prey behavior may change our view of how predators exert their strong influence on community structure.

  10. Loss of Vps54 Function Leads to Vesicle Traffic Impairment, Protein Mis-Sorting and Embryonic Lethality

    OpenAIRE

    Karlsson, Páll; Droce, Aida; Moser, Jakob; Cuhlmann, Simon; Padilla, Carolina; Heimann, Peter; Bartsch, Jörg; Füchtbauer, Annette; Füchtbauer, Ernst-Martin; Schmitt-John, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    The identification of the mutation causing the phenotype of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) model mouse, wobbler, has linked motor neuron degeneration with retrograde vesicle traffic. The wobbler mutation affects protein stability of Vps54, a ubiquitously expressed vesicle-tethering factor and leads to partial loss of Vps54 function. Moreover, the Vps54 null mutation causes embryonic lethality, which is associated with extensive membrane blebbing in the neural tube and is most likely ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. An improved brine shrimp larvae lethality microwell test method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Mu, Jun; Han, Jinyuan; Gu, Xiaojie

    2012-01-01

    This article described an improved brine shrimp larvae lethality microwell test method. A simply designed connecting vessel with alternative photoperiod was used to culture and collect high yield of active Artemia parthenogenetica nauplii for brine shrimp larvae lethality microwell test. Using this method, pure A. parthenogenetica nauplii suspension was easily cultured and harvested with high density about 100-150 larvae per milliliter and the natural mortality was reduced to near zero by elimination of unnecessary artificial disturbance. And its sensitivity was validated by determination of LC(50)-24 h of different reference toxicants including five antitumor agents, two pesticides, three organic pollutants, and four heavy metals salts, most of which exhibited LC(50)-24 h between 0.07 and 58.43 mg/L except for bleomycin and mitomycin C with LC(50)-24 h over 300 mg/L.

  14. 28 CFR 552.25 - Use of chemical agents or non-lethal weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Use of chemical agents or non-lethal weapons. 552.25 Section 552.25 Judicial Administration BUREAU OF PRISONS, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE... agents or non-lethal weapons. The Warden may authorize the use of chemical agents or non-lethal...

  15. Merging Hyperspectural Imagery and Multi Scale Modeling for Laser Lethality

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-24

    field, to be submitted Combustion Theory and Modeling, 2016. Changes in research objectives (if any): Change in AFOSR Program Manager, if any...Extensions granted or milestones slipped, if any: AFOSR LRIR Number LRIR Title Reporting Period Laboratory Task Manager Program Officer Research Objectives ...AFRL-AFOSR-VA-TR-2016-0088 MERGING HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGERY AND MULTI -SCALE MODELING FOR LASER LETHALITY Leonid Zhigilei UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA Final

  16. Lethal and Legal The Ethics of Drone Strikes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    security policy formulation. iii v Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press LETHAL AND LEGAL? THE ETHICS OF DRONE STRIKES Dr. Shima D...website at www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil/newsletter. ISBN 1-58487-713-8 vii FOREWORD The use of drones , or unmanned aerial vehicles, has...increased controversy, in particular closer scrutiny of the legal and ethical dimensions of the use of armed drones . In this monograph, British academic

  17. Meckel-Gruber syndrome: A rare and lethal anomaly

    OpenAIRE

    Kheir, Abdelmoneim E.M.; Imam, Abdelmutalab; Omer, Ilham M.; Hassan, Ibtsama M.A.; Elamin, Sara A.; Awadalla, Esra A.; Gadalla, Mohammed H.; Hamdoon, Tagwa A.

    2012-01-01

    Meckel-Gruber syndrome is a rare and lethal autosomal recessive disorder characterized by occipital encephalocele, postaxial polydactyly and bilateral dysplastic cystic kidneys. It can be associated with many other conditions. Antenatal ultrasound examination establishes the diagnosis by identifying at least two of the major features described. We describe a female baby who had the typical triad of Meckel-Gruber syndrome and died shortly after birth.

  18. A lethal syndrome resembling branchio-oculo-facial syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hing, A V; Torack, R; Dowton, S B

    1992-02-01

    Branchio-oculo-facial syndrome, a recently delineated autosomal dominant condition, is characterized by branchial cleft sinuses, ocular anomalies, and unusual facial appearance. A patient with branchial cleft fistulae, microphthalmia, nasomaxillary dysplasia, in addition to cardiac and CNS malformation (holoprosencephaly and meningo-encephalocele), is described. Although many features of this lethal malformation complex resemble those seen in the branchio-oculo-facial syndrome, the complex may represent a new multiple malformation syndrome.

  19. Mouse model of sublethal and lethal intraperitoneal glanders (Burkholderia mallei).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritz, D L; Vogel, P; Brown, D R; Deshazer, D; Waag, D M

    2000-11-01

    Sixty male BALB/c mice were inoculated intraperitoneally with either a sublethal or a lethal dose of Burkholderia mallei China 7 strain, then killed at multiple time points postinoculation. Histopathologic changes were qualitatively similar in both groups and consisted of pyogranulomatous inflammation. In sublethal study mice, changes were first seen at 6 hours in mediastinal lymph nodes, then in spleen, liver, peripheral lymph nodes, and bone marrow at day 3. These changes generally reached maximal incidence and severity by day 4 but decreased by comparison in all tissues except the liver. Changes were first seen in lethal study mice also at 6 hours in mediastinal lymph nodes and in spleens. At day 1, changes were present in liver, peripheral lymph nodes, and bone marrow. The incidence and severity of these changes were maximal at day 2. In contrast to sublethal study mice, the incidence and severity of the changes did not decrease through the remainder of the study. The most significant difference between the two groups was the rapid involvement of the spleen in the lethal study mice. Changes indicative of impaired vascular perfusion were more frequently seen in the sublethal study mice. Our findings indicate that mice are susceptible to B. mallei infection and may serve as an appropriate model for glanders infection in a resistant host such as human beings. Additionally, by immunoelectron microscopy, we showed the presence of type I O-antigenic polysaccharide (capsular) antigen surrounding B. mallei.

  20. The characteristic of lethality as an indicator of combinad infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Nechaev

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Combined Socially Important Infections (CSII in St. Petersburg are result of accumulation of chroniogenic potential of HIV infection, tuberculosis and chronic viral hepatitis B and C. The analysis of a lethality from the combined infection (CI for the long-term period in dynamics by years, showed to age and sexual groups and other signs that it exceeds that from tuberculosis by 2,4 times, from chronic hepatitis by 7,5 times. High level of a lethality of persons of young age, sharp growth of tuberculosis of intra chest, intra belly lymph nodes, frequent generalization of process with involvement in process of a liver, a spleen, kidneys testifies to the leading role of HIV infection in failures of diseases. The system and algorithm of proofs about the reasons of lethal outcomes of SI have to be based on representative selections. For this purpose it is necessary to carry out registration of HIV infection not only in the AIDS centers, but also regional in the form of the uniform register SI (HIV+TB+HIC or HIB for the purpose of complex impact on epidemic process.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Lack of dominant lethality in mice following 1-bromopropane treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Wook-Joon; Kim, Jong-Choon; Chung, Moon-Koo

    2008-03-29

    1-Bromopropane (1-BP) is widely used in spray adhesives, precision cleaner, and degreaser. This study was conducted to investigate the potential of 1-BP to induce dominant lethality in mice. 1-BP was orally administered to males at doses of 300 and 600 mg/kg for 10 days before mating. Cyclophosphamide was used as a positive control (PC), which was administered intraperitoneally to males at 40 mg/kg for 5 days. The vehicle control (VC) group received corn oil only. Thereafter, males were mated with untreated females during six sequential mating periods of a week each. Males were sacrificed at the end of mating and so were the pregnant females on days 15-17 of gestation. Clinical signs, gross findings, mating index, gestation index, the numbers of corpora lutea, implantations, live fetuses, resorptions and dead fetuses, pre- and post-implantation losses, and dominant lethal mutation rate were examined. There were no treatment-related changes in clinical signs, gross findings, mating index, gestation index, number of corpora lutea and implantations, pre-implantation loss, live fetuses, resorptions, dead fetuses, post-implantation loss at any 1-BP doses tested. In the PC group, there were no treatment-related changes in mating index, gestation index, number of corpora lutea, and dead fetuses. However, a decrease in the number of implantations and an increase in pre-implantation loss were observed during the first 2 weeks as compared to those of the VC group. No treatment-related changes were observed in the third to sixth weeks. Increases in resorptions, fetal deaths and post-implantation loss, and a decrease in the number of live fetuses were observed in the first 3 weeks of the PC group compared to those of the VC group. However, no treatment-related changes were observed during the forth to sixth weeks. An increase in dominant lethal mutation rate was observed in 1-3 weeks of mating of the PC group, but there was no significant difference in 1-6 weeks of mating of

  9. Research on Non-lethal Efficiency Evaluation of Electrical Weapon%电击武器非致命效能评估

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭三学; 黄德勇; 赵晓青

    2014-01-01

    This thesis brings up a method to evaluate the non-lethal efficiency of electrical weapon. First of all,on the basis of analyzing the key influence factors to non-lethal electrical weapon’s effectiveness,a non-lethal effectiveness evaluation index system is built. And then,the combination of quantitative calculation and qualitative analysis are adopted,the fuzzy evaluation method is applied to the non-lethal weapon effectiveness evaluation,the fuzzy evaluation matrix is determined,the fuzzy comprehensive method to build evaluation model is choosen. Finally,through the analysis of examples given non-lethal electrical weapon efficiency score,comparing the three kinds of model types of non-lethal electrical weapon efficiency,it is concluded that the results tally with the actual situation. It provides auxiliary decision-making basis for the development and application of non-lethal electrical weapon.%提出了电击武器非致命效能的评估方法,分析了影响电击武器非致命效能的关键因素,建立了电击武器非致命效能评估指标体系,采用定性分析和定量计算相结合,将模糊评判法应用到电击武器非致命效能评估中,确定了模糊评判矩阵,建立了评估模型。比较了3种不同类型电击武器的非致命效能,得出了符合实际情况的结果,为电击武器的发展应用提供了辅助决策的依据。

  10. On Theft with Lethal Weapons in Criminal Law%论刑法中的携带凶器盗窃

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    安军

    2012-01-01

    我国刑法中携带凶器型盗窃的立法意图及模式为具体理解与适用提供了基准。作为规范构成要件要素的凶器,除了需要考察凶器的客观因素外,还必须考虑行为人的主观因素,即在具体的案件中应以客观的及主观的要素为根据综合判断。携带凶器的时间段应包括着手实行盗窃行为至盗窃罪构成要件完成(既遂)的全过程。在这一过程中,行为人认识到自己携带了凶器,认识到自己在盗窃他人财物,希望通过携带的凶器排除或阻止他人的反抗,以便非法占有他人财物。与普通盗窃相比,携带凶器型盗窃除了属于行为犯外,更具有抽象危险犯的特征,二者并行不悖。%In Chinese criminal law,the legislative intent and model of theft with lethal weapons provides a benchmark for specific understanding and application.As normative elements of constitutive requirements of lethal weapons,the behavior of subjective factors should also be considered in addition to the objective factors of the weapon;in other words,the judgment should be based on objective and subjective elements in specific cases.The period of carrying lethal weapons should be from the start of acting to execute theft to complete offense of theft.The subject recognized carrying lethal weapons and his stealing behaviors,wished to exclude or block resistance and occupy property of others by carrying lethal weapons in this process.Compared with ordinary theft,theft with lethal weapons has more features of abstract potential damage offense in addition to belonging to behavioral offense,two of which are not contradictary to each other.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Golgi disruption and early embryonic lethality in mice lacking USO1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susie Kim

    Full Text Available Golgins are a family of long rod-like proteins characterized by the presence of central coiled-coil domains. Members of the golgin family have important roles in membrane trafficking, where they function as tethering factors that capture transport vesicles and facilitate membrane fusion. Golgin family members also have essential roles in maintaining the organization of the Golgi apparatus. Knockdown of individual golgins in cultured cells resulted in the disruption of the Golgi structure and the dispersal of Golgi marker proteins throughout the cytoplasm. However, these cellular phenotypes have not always been recapitulated in vivo. For example, embryonic development proceeds much further than expected and Golgi disruption was observed in only a subset of cell types in mice lacking the ubiquitously expressed golgin GMAP-210. Cell-type specific functional compensation among golgins may explain the absence of global cell lethality when a ubiquitously expressed golgin is missing. In this study we show that functional compensation does not occur for the golgin USO1. Mice lacking this ubiquitously expressed protein exhibit disruption of Golgi structure and early embryonic lethality, indicating that USO1 is indispensable for early embryonic development.

  16. Molecular markers in prostate cancer.Part I:predicting lethality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sachin Agrawal; William D.Dunsmuir

    2009-01-01

    Assessing the lethality of 'early,' potentially organ-confined prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the central controversies in moderu-day urological clinical practice.Such cases are often considered for radical 'curative' treatment,although active surveillance may be equally appropriate for many men.Moreover,the balance between judicious intervention and overtreatment can be difficult to judge.The patient's age,comorbidities,family history and philosophy of self-health care can be weighed against clinical features such as the palpability of disease,the number and percentage of biopsy cores involved with the disease,histological grade,presenting prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and possible previous PSA kinetics.For many years,scientists and physicians have sought additional molecular factors that may be predictive for disease stage,progression and lethality.Usually,claims for a 'new' unique marker fall short of true clinical value.More often than not,such molecular markers are useful only in multivariate models.This review summarizes relevant molecular markers and models reported up to and including 2008.

  17. Relationship between lethal toxicity in oral administration and injection to mice: effect of exposure routes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yu; Ning, Zhong H; Tai, Hong W; Long, Shuang; Qin, Wei C; Su, Li M; Zhao, Yuan H

    2015-03-01

    The lethal toxicity (LD₅₀) in oral administration, intravenous, intraperitoneal, intramuscular and subcutaneous injections were used to investigate relationships of log 1/LD₅₀ from different exposure routes. Regression analysis showed that log 1/LD₅₀ in oral route was related to the toxicity in injection route. This relationship in lethality between the two routes is apparently due to the same mechanisms of the compounds to the same species. However, the scatter in the correlation curve indicates that exposure route is an important factor that influences the relationship. Some compounds with low intestinal absorption exhibit much less toxicity in oral administration than that in the injection route. A systemic bias of log 1/LD₅₀ between oral and injection routes indicates that tissue distribution of compounds between blood and target site is a very rapid process, leading to log 1/LD₅₀ in injection greater than those in oral administration. Although compounds can be metabolized in the body both from oral and injection routes, first-pass metabolism occurs in oral route but not in injection route. This will result in decrease of toxicity in oral route for most compounds as compared with injection route. In addition, experimental uncertainty, differences in gender, and species can also affect relationships of log1/LD₅₀ between exposure routes.

  18. Bioassay technique using seed shrimps for comparative studies regarding the aquatic acute lethality of biodegradable lubricants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, S; Ezoe, S; Sasaki, C

    2011-09-01

    To evaluate the environmental load resulting from the spillage of biodegradable lubricants in aquatic systems, a comparative acute lethality test wherein an oil-water interfacial area could be examined was considered. In this study, oleic acid was employed as a model biodegradable lubricant. Measurements of the pH value and dissolved oxygen (DO) level of water during the exposure tests indicate that water degradation depends on the oil-water interfacial area, exposure duration, and water temperature. Furthermore, 72 h acute lethality tests were performed using two types of freshwater ostracods (seed shrimps) as test organisms: the large species Stenocypris hislopi and the small species Cypretta seurati. The longevity of the small species, which was physically more active, was strongly affected by water pollution. During the exposure test, the DO in water was significantly consumed by the degradation of the lubricant floating on it. Water exposed to a lubricant containing copper (Cu) demonstrated strong toxicity even after the recovery of the pH value and DO level by aging. The decrease in the DO level of water and increase in the concentration of metal compounds are dominant factors responsible for the mortality of aquatic organisms.

  19. Development of a non-lethal method for evaluating transcriptomic endpoints in Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veldhoen, Nik; Beckerton, Jean E; Mackenzie-Grieve, Jody; Stevenson, Mitchel R; Truelson, Robert L; Helbing, Caren C

    2014-07-01

    With increases in active mining and continued discharge associated with former mine operations, evaluating the health of watersheds in the Canadian Yukon Territory is warranted. Current environmental assessment approaches often employ guidelines established using sentinel species not relevant to Arctic monitoring programs. The present study focused on the successful development of a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay directed towards the indigenous Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and examines the feasibility of using non-lethal sampling from the caudal fin as a means for evaluation of mRNA abundance profiles reflective of environmental conditions. In a proof of concept study performed blind, qPCR results from animals in an area with elevated water concentrations of cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) and higher body burdens of Cd, Zn, and lead (Pb) were compared to a reference location in the Yukon Territory. Lower condition factor and a higher abundance of hepatic and caudal fin gene transcripts encoding the metallothionein isoforms (mta/mtb), in addition to elevated heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) and catalase (cat) mRNAs in liver, were observed in fish from the test site. The strong positive correlation between metal body burden and caudal fin mta/mtb mRNA abundance demonstrates a high potential for use of the Arctic grayling assay in non-lethal environmental monitoring programs.

  20. [Bladder tumor lethality. Results in the autonomous community of Rioja between 1975-1991].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández Fernández, A; Gil Fabra, J; Fernández Ruíz, M; Angulo Castellanos, M G; Blanco Martín, E; Otero Mauricio, G

    1998-01-01

    Between 1975-1991, a total of 557 cases of bladder carcinoma were identified in the Autonomous Community of La Rioja (CAR) which were followed up to December 1994. The overall lethality was 21.9%. 492 cases with 22.35% lethality were identified in males. In females, however, there was 65 cases with 18.46% lethality. The comparison of males and females lethality resulted in p = 0.525. Lethality between cases diagnosed within each 5-year period analyzed is: 1975-1981: 177 cases, lethality 23.72%. 1982-1986: 168 cases, lethality 30.95%. 1987-1991: 212 cases, lethality 13.20%. Between the first and the second 5-year periods, p = 0.132; between the first and third 5-year periods p = 0.007 and between the second and third 5-year periods p CAR for a 22.35% lethality. Lethality is higher in males that in females but the difference is not statistically significant. In the last 5-year period assessed, 1987-1991, a reduction of lethality from bladder neoplasms has been documented.

  1. Systemic Analysis of Atg5-Null Mice Rescued from Neonatal Lethality by Transgenic ATG5 Expression in Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshii, Saori R; Kuma, Akiko; Akashi, Takumi; Hara, Taichi; Yamamoto, Atsushi; Kurikawa, Yoshitaka; Itakura, Eisuke; Tsukamoto, Satoshi; Shitara, Hiroshi; Eishi, Yoshinobu; Mizushima, Noboru

    2016-10-10

    Autophagy is a cytoplasmic degradation system that is important for starvation adaptation and cellular quality control. Previously, we reported that Atg5-null mice are neonatal lethal; however, the exact cause of their death remains unknown. Here, we show that restoration of ATG5 in the brain is sufficient to rescue Atg5-null mice from neonatal lethality. This suggests that neuronal dysfunction, including suckling failure, is the primary cause of the death of Atg5-null neonates, which would further be accelerated by nutrient insufficiency due to a systemic failure in autophagy. The rescued Atg5-null mouse model, as a resource, allows us to investigate the physiological roles of autophagy in the whole body after the neonatal period. These rescued mice demonstrate previously unappreciated abnormalities such as hypogonadism and iron-deficiency anemia. These observations provide new insights into the physiological roles of the autophagy factor ATG5.

  2. MUSCLE-SPECIFIC OVEREXPRESSION OF THE CATALYTIC SUBUNIT OF DNA POLYMERASE γ INDUCES PUPAL LETHALITY IN Drosophila melanogaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Azorín, Francisco; Calleja, Manuel; Hernández-Sierra, Rosana; Farr, Carol L.; Kaguni, Laurie S.; Garesse, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    We show the physiological effects and molecular characterization of overexpression of the catalytic core of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymerase (pol γ-α) in muscle of Drosophila melanogaster. Muscle-specific overexpression of pol γ-α using the UAS/GAL4 (where UAS is upstream activation sequence) system produced more than 90% of lethality at the end of pupal stage at 25°C, and the survivor adult flies showed a significant reduction in life span. The survivor flies displayed a decreased mtDNA level that is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the levels of the nucleoid-binding protein mitochondrial transcription factor A (mtTFA). Furthermore, an increase in apoptosis is detected in larvae and adults overexpressing pol γ-α. We suggest that the pupal lethality and reduced life span of survivor adult flies are both caused mainly by massive apoptosis of muscle cells induced by mtDNA depletion. PMID:23729397

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Mesenteric lymph duct ligation improves survival in a lethal shock model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badami, Chirag D; Senthil, Maheswari; Caputo, Francis J; Rupani, Bobby J; Doucet, Danielle; Pisarenko, Vadim; Xu, Da-Zhong; Lu, Qi; Feinman, Rena; Deitch, Edwin A

    2008-12-01

    The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that factors released from the gut and carried in the mesenteric lymph contribute to mortality in a lethal gut I/R model. To test this hypothesis, a lethal splanchnic artery occlusion (SAO) shock model was used in male Sprague-Dawley rats. In the first set of experiments, ligation of the mesenteric lymph duct (LDL), which prevents gut-derived factors carried in the intestinal lymphatics from reaching the systemic circulation, significantly improved 24-h survival after a 20-min SAO insult (0% vs. 60% survival; P < 0.05). This increase in survival in the LDL-treated rats was associated with a blunted hypotensive response. Because increased iNOS-induced NO levels have been implicated in SAO-induced shock, we measured plasma nitrite/nitrate levels and liver iNOS protein levels in a second group of animals. Ligation of the mesenteric lymph duct significantly abrogated the SAO-induced increase in plasma nitrite/nitrate levels and the induction of hepatic iNOS (P < 0.05). In an additional series of studies, we documented that LDL increased not only 24-h but also long-term 7-day survival. During the course of these studies, we made the unexpected finding that Sprague-Dawley rats from different animal vendors had differential resistance to SAO, and that the time of the year that the experiments were carried out also influenced the results. Nonetheless, in conclusion, these studies support the hypothesis that factors carried in the mesenteric lymph significantly contribute to the development of irreversible shock after SAO.

  7. 5-Lipoxygenase Deficiency Reduces Acetaminophen-Induced Hepatotoxicity and Lethality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam S. N. Hohmann

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO converts arachidonic acid into leukotrienes (LTs and is involved in inflammation. At present, the participation of 5-LO in acetaminophen (APAP-induced hepatotoxicity and liver damage has not been addressed. 5-LO deficient (5-LO-/- mice and background wild type mice were challenged with APAP (0.3–6 g/kg or saline. The lethality, liver damage, neutrophil and macrophage recruitment, LTB4, cytokine production, and oxidative stress were assessed. APAP induced a dose-dependent mortality, and the dose of 3 g/kg was selected for next experiments. APAP induced LTB4 production in the liver, the primary target organ in APAP toxicity. Histopathological analysis revealed that 5-LO-/- mice presented reduced APAP-induced liver necrosis and inflammation compared with WT mice. APAP-induced lethality, increase of plasma levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, liver cytokine (IL-1β, TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-10, superoxide anion, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances production, myeloperoxidase and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase activity, Nrf2 and gp91phox mRNA expression, and decrease of reduced glutathione and antioxidant capacity measured by 2,2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline 6-sulfonate assay were prevented in 5-LO-/- mice compared to WT mice. Therefore, 5-LO deficiency resulted in reduced mortality due to reduced liver inflammatory and oxidative damage, suggesting 5-LO is a promising target to reduce APAP-induced lethality and liver inflammatory/oxidative damage.

  8. 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.

  9. Clinics in diagnostic imaging (112). Perinatal lethal hypophosphatasia (PLH).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kritsaneepaiboon, S; Jaruratanasirikul, S; Dissaneevate, S

    2006-11-01

    A two-hour-old female infant presented with respiratory distress and short limbs. Neonatal radiographs showed micromelic dwarfism and generalised demineralisation, especially at the ribs, long bones of both forearms and both fibulae. The spine showed a flattened shape. All long bones showed metaphyseal irregularities and flaring. Normal serum calcium and elevated serum phosphorus were found, while serum alkaline phosphatase was markedly reduced. A diagnosis of perinatal lethal hypophosphatasia was made. The aetiology, clinical manifestations, radiographical findings, laboratory assays, prenatal diagnosis and treatment of hypophosphatasia are discussed.

  10. Perinatal lethal type II osteogenesis imperfecta: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayadi, Imene Dahmane; Hamida, Emira Ben; Rebeh, Rania Ben; Chaouachi, Sihem; Marrakchi, Zahra

    2015-01-01

    We report a new case of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) type II which is a perinatal lethal form. First trimester ultrasound didn't identified abnormalities. Second trimester ultrasound showed incurved limbs, narrow chest, with hypomineralization and multiple fractures of ribs and long bones. Parents refused pregnancy termination; they felt that the diagnosis was late. At birth, the newborn presented immediate respiratory distress. Postnatal examination and bone radiography confirmed the diagnosis of OI type IIA. Death occurred on day 25 of life related to respiratory failure.

  11. Lethal subarachnoid bleeding under immunosuppressive therapy due to mycotic arteritis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weigel, S.; Kloska, S.; Freund, M. [Dept. of Clinical Radiology, Univ. Hospital of Muenster, Muenster (Germany); Kehl, H.G. [Dept. of Pediatric Cardiology, Univ. Hospital of Muenster, Muenster (Germany)

    2003-12-01

    A subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) occurred 67 days after cardiac transplantation in 10-year-old girl with consecutive immunocompromising therapy. Neither digital subtraction angiography (DSA) nor computed tomographic angiography showed signs of intracranial vascular malformations. One month before the lethal SAH occurred, she had developed arterial hypertension and attacks of severe headache with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis while CT scans showed an infarct of the left thalamus. Pathologic findings established the rare diagnosis of SAH due to aspergillosis-related mycotic arteritis. Imaging characteristics are presented. (orig.)

  12. Embryonic Lethality Due to Arrested Cardiac Development in Psip1/Hdgfrp2 Double-Deficient Mice.

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    Hao Wang

    Full Text Available Hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF related protein 2 (HRP2 and lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF/p75 are closely related members of the HRP2 protein family. LEDGF/p75 has been implicated in numerous human pathologies including cancer, autoimmunity, and infectious disease. Knockout of the Psip1 gene, which encodes for LEDGF/p75 and the shorter LEDGF/p52 isoform, was previously shown to cause perinatal lethality in mice. The function of HRP2 was by contrast largely unknown. To learn about the role of HRP2 in development, we knocked out the Hdgfrp2 gene, which encodes for HRP2, in both normal and Psip1 knockout mice. Hdgfrp2 knockout mice developed normally and were fertile. By contrast, the double deficient mice died at approximate embryonic day (E 13.5. Histological examination revealed ventricular septal defect (VSD associated with E14.5 double knockout embryos. To investigate the underlying molecular mechanism(s, RNA recovered from ventricular tissue was subjected to RNA-sequencing on the Illumina platform. Bioinformatic analysis revealed several genes and biological pathways that were significantly deregulated by the Psip1 knockout and/or Psip1/Hdgfrp2 double knockout. Among the dozen genes known to encode for LEDGF/p75 binding factors, only the expression of Nova1, which encodes an RNA splicing factor, was significantly deregulated by the knockouts. However the expression of other RNA splicing factors, including the LEDGF/p52-interacting protein ASF/SF2, was not significantly altered, indicating that deregulation of global RNA splicing was not a driving factor in the pathology of the VSD. Tumor growth factor (Tgf β-signaling, which plays a key role in cardiac morphogenesis during development, was the only pathway significantly deregulated by the double knockout as compared to control and Psip1 knockout samples. We accordingly speculate that deregulated Tgf-β signaling was a contributing factor to the VSD and prenatal lethality

  13. The role of protein interactions in mediating essentiality and synthetic lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talavera, David; Robertson, David L; Lovell, Simon C

    2013-01-01

    Genes are characterized as essential if their knockout is associated with a lethal phenotype, and these "essential genes" play a central role in biological function. In addition, some genes are only essential when deleted in pairs, a phenomenon known as synthetic lethality. Here we consider genes displaying synthetic lethality as "essential pairs" of genes, and analyze the properties of yeast essential genes and synthetic lethal pairs together. As gene duplication initially produces an identical pair or sets of genes, it is often invoked as an explanation for synthetic lethality. However, we find that duplication explains only a minority of cases of synthetic lethality. Similarly, disruption of metabolic pathways leads to relatively few examples of synthetic lethality. By contrast, the vast majority of synthetic lethal gene pairs code for proteins with related functions that share interaction partners. We also find that essential genes and synthetic lethal pairs cluster in the protein-protein interaction network. These results suggest that synthetic lethality is strongly dependent on the formation of protein-protein interactions. Compensation by duplicates does not usually occur mainly because the genes involved are recent duplicates, but is more commonly due to functional similarity that permits preservation of essential protein complexes. This unified view, combining genes that are individually essential with those that form essential pairs, suggests that essentiality is a feature of physical interactions between proteins protein-protein interactions, rather than being inherent in gene and protein products themselves.

  14. The role of protein interactions in mediating essentiality and synthetic lethality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Talavera

    Full Text Available Genes are characterized as essential if their knockout is associated with a lethal phenotype, and these "essential genes" play a central role in biological function. In addition, some genes are only essential when deleted in pairs, a phenomenon known as synthetic lethality. Here we consider genes displaying synthetic lethality as "essential pairs" of genes, and analyze the properties of yeast essential genes and synthetic lethal pairs together. As gene duplication initially produces an identical pair or sets of genes, it is often invoked as an explanation for synthetic lethality. However, we find that duplication explains only a minority of cases of synthetic lethality. Similarly, disruption of metabolic pathways leads to relatively few examples of synthetic lethality. By contrast, the vast majority of synthetic lethal gene pairs code for proteins with related functions that share interaction partners. We also find that essential genes and synthetic lethal pairs cluster in the protein-protein interaction network. These results suggest that synthetic lethality is strongly dependent on the formation of protein-protein interactions. Compensation by duplicates does not usually occur mainly because the genes involved are recent duplicates, but is more commonly due to functional similarity that permits preservation of essential protein complexes. This unified view, combining genes that are individually essential with those that form essential pairs, suggests that essentiality is a feature of physical interactions between proteins protein-protein interactions, rather than being inherent in gene and protein products themselves.

  15. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of elevated CO2 concentrations on marine benthic invertebrates and fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Changkeun; Hong, Seongjin; Kwon, Bong-Oh; Lee, Jung-Ho; Ryu, Jongseong; Park, Young-Gyu; Kang, Seong-Gil; Khim, Jong Seong

    2016-08-01

    Concern about leakage of carbon dioxide (CO2) from deep-sea storage in geological reservoirs is increasing because of its possible adverse effects on marine organisms locally or at nearby coastal areas both in sediment and water column. In the present study, we examined how elevated CO2 affects various intertidal epibenthic (benthic copepod), intertidal endobenthic (Manila clam and Venus clam), sub-tidal benthic (brittle starfish), and free-living (marine medaka) organisms in areas expected to be impacted by leakage. Acute lethal and sub-lethal effects were detected in the adult stage of all test organisms exposed to varying concentrations of CO2, due to the associated decline in pH (8.3 to 5.2) during 96-h exposure. However, intertidal organisms (such as benthic copepods and clams) showed remarkable resistance to elevated CO2, with the Venus clam being the most tolerant (LpH50 = 5.45). Sub-tidal species (such as brittle starfish [LpH50 = 6.16] and marine medaka [LpH50 = 5.91]) were more sensitive to elevated CO2 compared to intertidal species, possibly because they have fewer defensive capabilities. Of note, the exposure duration might regulate the degree of acute sub-lethal effects, as evidenced by the Venus clam, which showed a time-dependent effect to elevated CO2. Finally, copper was chosen as a model toxic element to find out the synergist