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Sample records for bacillus anthracis spore

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Edmonds

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. 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

  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. Flow-cytometric Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. V. Kamboj

    2006-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle M Nerandzic

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Processing, Assembly and Localization of a Bacillus anthracis Spore Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    10.1099/ mic .0.033407-0 174 033407 Printed in Great Britain Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited Report Documentation Page Form...on LB agar plates to assay viable cells. In vivo challenges. Female Hartley guinea pigs (350–400 g) were obtained from Charles River Laboratories...Guinea pigs were challenged intramuscularly (Fellows et al., 2001) by injection of 200 ml of heat-activated spores suspended in water. The animals were

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy E Barnewall

    2012-06-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  4. 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. Analysis of a Novel Spore Antigen in Bacillus anthracis That Contributes to Spore Opsonization

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    identity with homologues in B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis (99 and 94 %, respectively). In addition, a small ORF (BA5270) was located immediately...N. R. (1962). Field evaluation of a human anthrax vaccine. Am J Public Health 52, 632–645. Brossier, F. & Mock, M. (2001). Toxins of Bacillus ...authors (2007). The complete genome sequence of Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam. J Bacteriol 189, 3680–3681. Clements, M. O. & Moir, A. (1998). Role of

  6. 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.

  7. Current Physical and SDS Extraction Methods Do Not Efficiently Remove Exosporium Proteins from Bacillus anthracis spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Brian M.; Binkley, Jana M.; Stewart, George C.

    2011-01-01

    Biochemical studies of the outermost spore layers of the Bacillus cereus family are hindered by difficulties in efficient dispersal of the external spore layers and difficulties in dissociating protein complexes that comprise the exosporium layer. Detergent and physical methods have been utilized to disrupt the exosporium layer. Herein we compare commonly used SDS extraction buffers used to extract spore proteins and demonstrate the incomplete extractability of the exosporium layer by these methods. Sonication and bead beating methods for exosporium layer removal were also examined. A combination of genetic and physical methods is the most effective for isolating proteins found in the spore exosporium. PMID:21338631

  8. 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.

  9. Human Neutrophils Kill Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-11-01

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

  10. Human neutrophils kill Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Mayer-Scholl

    2005-11-01

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

  11. Human neutrophils kill Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-11-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiuli Dong; Eric McCoy; Mei Zhang; Liju Yang

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Micro-Etched Platforms for Thermal Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis and Bacillus Thuringiensis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    furnace. A silicon nitride base provided a uniformly heated surface which ensured a uniform temperature exposure for the entire platform surface ...holding spores was wet chemical etching. This procedure entailed several steps in order to prepare the glass surface to be etched. Cleanliness of the...inspected by light microscopy at multiple intervals for surface cleanliness . 40 Figure 17. 400x magnification of Cover slip after the surface has

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-09-15

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

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon A Weller

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

  4. 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.

  5. Bacillus anthracis factors for phagosomal escape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonello, Fiorella; Zornetta, Irene

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. The differential effects of heat-shocking on the viability of spores from Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Clostridium sporogenes after treatment with peracetic acid- and glutaraldehyde-based disinfectants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    March, Jordon K; Pratt, Michael D; Lowe, Chinn-Woan; Cohen, Marissa N; Satterfield, Benjamin A; Schaalje, Bruce; O'Neill, Kim L; Robison, Richard A

    2015-10-01

    This study investigated (1) the susceptibility of Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain), Bacillus subtilis (ATCC 19659), and Clostridium sporogenes (ATCC 3584) spores to commercially available peracetic acid (PAA)- and glutaraldehyde (GA)-based disinfectants, (2) the effects that heat-shocking spores after treatment with these disinfectants has on spore recovery, and (3) the timing of heat-shocking after disinfectant treatment that promotes the optimal recovery of spores deposited on carriers. Suspension tests were used to obtain inactivation kinetics for the disinfectants against three spore types. The effects of heat-shocking spores after disinfectant treatment were also determined. Generalized linear mixed models were used to estimate 6-log reduction times for each spore type, disinfectant, and heat treatment combination. Reduction times were compared statistically using the delta method. Carrier tests were performed according to AOAC Official Method 966.04 and a modified version that employed immediate heat-shocking after disinfectant treatment. Carrier test results were analyzed using Fisher's exact test. PAA-based disinfectants had significantly shorter 6-log reduction times than the GA-based disinfectant. Heat-shocking B. anthracis spores after PAA treatment resulted in significantly shorter 6-log reduction times. Conversely, heat-shocking B. subtilis spores after PAA treatment resulted in significantly longer 6-log reduction times. Significant interactions were also observed between spore type, disinfectant, and heat treatment combinations. Immediately heat-shocking spore carriers after disinfectant treatment produced greater spore recovery. Sporicidal activities of disinfectants were not consistent across spore species. The effects of heat-shocking spores after disinfectant treatment were dependent on both disinfectant and spore species. Caution must be used when extrapolating sporicidal data of disinfectants from one spore species to another. Heat

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Functional and Immunological Analyses of Superoxide Dismutases and Other Spore-Associated Proteins of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-08-20

    performed experiments on aerial dispersal of spores in the Guinard Islands near Scotland , a study that ultimately led to observations on the capacity...respiratory route. J. Pathol. Bacteriol. 73:485-494. 188. ROTH , N. G. and D. H. LIVELY. 1956. Germination of spores of certain aerobic bacilli under

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-18

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

  13. 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.

  14. Removal of Bacillus anthracis sterne spore from commercial unpasteurized liquid egg white

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thermal pasteurization used by the egg industry for controlling vegetative cells of pathogens is ineffective for destroying endospores. There is a strong need in the agri-industries to develop effective intervention strategies to eliminate the possible bioterrorism threat from spore forming bacteria...

  15. Roles of the Bacillus anthracis Spore Protein ExsK in Exosporium Maturation and Germination

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    Fritsch, and T. Maniatis . 1989. Molecular cloning : a laboratory manual, 2nd ed. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. 37...on ExsFA/BxpB. In spores lacking the exosporium surface protein BclA, ExsK fails to mature into high- molecular -mass species observed in wild-type...the envi- ronment. To gain insight into the molecular basis of exosporium as- sembly and function, we studied a previously identified but otherwise

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn G. Gibbs

    2014-05-01

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

  19. In situ detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using fully submersible, self-exciting, self-sensing PMN-PT/Sn piezoelectric microcantilevers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, John-Paul; Shih, Wan Y; Shih, Wei-Heng

    2007-08-01

    In this study, we have demonstrated in situ, all-electrical detection of Bacillus anthracis (BA) spores using lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate/tin (PMN-PT/Sn) piezoelectric microcantilever sensors (PEMS) fabricated from PMN-PT freestanding films and electrically insulated with methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMS) coatings on the tin surface. Antibody specific to BA spore surface antigen was immobilized on the platinum electrode of the PMN-PT layer. In phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution, the PMN-PT/Sn PEMS exhibited quality (Q) values ranging from 50 to 75. The detection was carried out in a closed-loop flow cell with a liquid volume of 0.8 ml and a flow rate of 1 ml min(-1). It was shown that one sensor, "PEMS-A" (500 microm long, 800 microm wide, with a 22 microm thick PMN-PT layer, a 20 microm thick tin layer and a 1 +/- 0.5 x 10(-12) g Hz(-1) mass detection sensitivity) exhibited resonance frequency shifts of 2100 +/- 200, 1100 +/- 100 and 700 +/- 100 Hz at concentrations of 20,000, 2000, and 200 spores ml(-1) or 16,000, 1600, and 160 total spores, respectively. Additionally, "PEMS-B" (350 microm long, 800 microm wide, with an 8 microm thick PMN-PT layer, a 6 microm thick tin layer and a 2 +/- 1 x 10(-13) g Hz(-1) mass detection sensitivity) exhibited resonance frequency shifts of 2400 +/- 200, 1500 +/- 200, 500 +/- 150 and 200 +/- 100 Hz at concentrations of 20,000, 2000, 100, and 45 spores ml(-1) or 16,000, 1600, 80, and 36 total spores, respectively.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-12-20

    The structure of the Bacillus anthracis spore-binding phage 8a was determined by cryo-electron tomography. The phage capsid forms a T = 16 icosahedron attached to a contractile tail via a head-tail connector protein. The tail consists of a six-start helical sheath surrounding a central tail tube, and a structurally novel baseplate at the distal end of the tail that recognizes and attaches to host cells. The parameters of the icosahedral capsid lattice and the helical tail sheath suggest protein folds for the capsid and tail-sheath proteins, respectively, and indicate evolutionary relationships to other dsDNA viruses. Analysis of 2518 intact phage particles show four distinct conformations that likely correspond to four sequential states of the DNA ejection process during infection. Comparison of the four observed conformations suggests a mechanism for DNA ejection, including the molecular basis underlying coordination of tail sheath contraction and genome release from the capsid.

  1. 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.

  2. Germination of Bacillus anthracis spores:research advances%炭疽芽孢杆菌芽孢萌发研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高志奇; 刘先凯; 王恒樑

    2014-01-01

    芽孢是炭疽芽孢杆菌为应对不适的外界环境而形成的一种生命形式,休眠期的芽孢可以通过萌发恢复生长成为繁殖体。萌发过程作为关键步骤,可以由营养萌发剂和一些非营养类物质或者在其他情况下触发。在萌发过程中,萌发剂通过与存在于芽孢内膜上的萌发剂受体结合来触发芽孢核内各种阳离子的释放以及芽孢核对水的吸收。在芽孢皮层的肽聚糖被酶水解后,芽孢核逐渐完全水合化,开始进行新陈代谢以及大分子的合成活动,逐渐成长为一个新的营养细胞。该文将从萌发受体、芽孢皮层水解酶功能等方面对炭疽菌芽孢萌发机制进行阐述。%A spore is another life cycle form of Bacillus anthracis for resisting starvation.When conditions are favorable for growth, the dormant spore will germinate,go through outgrowth, and are ultimately converted back into a growing cell. As the first step back to vegetative growth, germination could be induced by nutrients and a variety of non-nutrient agents. Nutrient germinants trigger cation release and water absorption by binding to receptors in the spore′s inner membrane.Then the spore′s peptidoglycan cortex is hydrolyzed and the spore core rehydrates, which allows the resumption of spore metabo-lism and macromolecular synthesis.This paper reviews the nutrient germinant receptor and cortex lytic enzymes in the spore germination process of B.anthracis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason M Edmonds

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

  5. 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.

  6. Inactivation of vegetative cells, but not spores, of Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus, and B. subtilis on stainless steel surfaces coated with an antimicrobial silver- and zinc-containing zeolite formulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeano, Belinda; Korff, Emily; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2003-07-01

    Stainless steel surfaces coated with paints containing a silver- and zinc-containing zeolite (AgION antimicrobial) were assayed in comparison to uncoated stainless steel for antimicrobial activity against vegetative cells and spores of three Bacillus species, namely, B. anthracis Sterne, B. cereus T, and B. subtilis 168. Under the test conditions (25 degrees C and 80% relative humidity), the zeolite coating produced approximately 3 log(10) inactivation of vegetative cells within a 5- to 24-h period, but viability of spores of the three species was not significantly affected.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Evaluation of the Efficacy of Methyl Bromide in the Decontamination of Building and Interior Materials Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Spreadsheets containing data for recovery of spores from different materials. Data on the fumigation parameters are also included. This dataset is associated with...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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...

  12. Array lead zirconate titanate/glass piezoelectric microcantilevers for real-time detection of Bacillus anthracis with 10 spores/ml sensitivity and 1/1000 selectivity in bacterial mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, John-Paul; Shih, Wei-Heng; Rest, Richard F.; Purohit, Mitali; Mattiucci, Mark; Pourrezaei, Kambiz; Onaral, Banu; Shih, Wan Y.

    2009-12-01

    An array of three identical piezoelectric microcantilever sensors (PEMSs) consisting of a lead zirconate titanate layer bonded to a glass layer was fabricated and examined for simultaneous, in situ, real-time, all-electrical detection of Bacillus anthracis (BA) spores in an aqueous suspension using the first longitudinal extension mode of resonance. With anti-BA antibody immobilized on the sensor surfaces all three PEMS exhibited identical BA detection resonance frequency shifts at all tested concentrations, 10-107 spores/ml with a standard deviation of less than 10%. The detection concentration limit of 10 spores/ml was about two orders of magnitude lower than would be permitted by flexural peaks. In blinded-sample testing, the array PEMS detected BA in three samples containing BA: (1) 3.3×103 spores/ml, (2) a mixture of 3.3×103 spores/ml and 3.3×105 S. aureus (SA) and P. aeruginosa (PA) per ml, and (3) a mixture of 3.3×103 spores/ml with 3.3×106 SA+PA/ml. There was no response to a sample containing only 3.3×106 SA+PA/ml. These results illustrate the sensitivity, specificity, reusability, and reliability of array PEMS for in situ, real-time detection of BA spores.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    basophil and lymphocyte populations. In some experiments, control mice were pretreated with saline, and in others, rat IgG (reagent grade, from serum... International . REFERENCES 1. Abalakin, V. A., E. G. Sirina, and T. D. Cherkasova. 1990. The effect of lethal anthrax toxin on the functional activity of...The structure of spores as revealed by mechanical disruption. J. Bacteriol. 66:312–319. 16. Friedlander, A. M. 2000. Anthrax: clinical features

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly H Ganz

    2014-06-01

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

  16. Bacillus anthracis Factors for Phagosomal Escape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Zornetta

    2012-07-01

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

  17. Observations on the migration of bacillus spores outside a contaminated facility during a decontamination efficacy study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestri, Erin E.; Perkins, Sarah; Lordo, Robert; Kovacik, William; Nichols, Tonya L.; Bowling, Charlena Yoder; Griffin, Dale W.; Schaefer, Frank W.

    2015-01-01

    The potential for an intentional wide-area or indoor release of Bacillus anthracis spores remains a concern, but the fate and transport of B. anthracis spores in indoor and outdoor environments are not well understood. Some studies have examined the possibility of spore transport within ventilation systems and in buildings and transport into a building following an outdoor release. Little research exists regarding the potential for spores to migrate to the outside of a building following an indoor release.

  18. False-negative rate, limit of detection and recovery efficiency performance of a validated macrofoam-swab sampling method for low surface concentrations of Bacillus anthracis Sterne and Bacillus atrophaeus spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, G. F. [Applied Statistics and Computational Sciences, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Deatherage Kaiser, B. L. [Chemical and Biological Signature Science Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Amidan, B. G. [Applied Statistics and Computational Sciences, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Sydor, M. A. [Chemical and Biological Signature Science Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Barrett, C. A. [Analytical Chemistry of Nuclear Materials, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Hutchison, J. R. [Chemical and Biological Signature Science Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA

    2016-05-06

    The performance of a macrofoam-swab sampling method was evaluated using Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores applied at nine low target amounts (2-500 spores) to positive-control plates and test coupons (2 in × 2 in) of four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic). Test results from cultured samples were used to evaluate the effects of surrogate, surface concentration, and surface material on recovery efficiency (RE), false negative rate (FNR), and limit of detection. For RE, surrogate and surface material had statistically significant effects, but concentration did not. Mean REs were the lowest for vinyl tile (50.8% with BAS and 40.2% with BG) and the highest for glass (92.8% with BAS and 71.4% with BG). FNR values ranged from 0 to 0.833 for BAS and 0 to 0.806 for BG; values increased as concentration decreased in the range tested (0.078 to 19.375 CFU/cm2). Surface material also had a statistically significant effect. A FNR-concentration curve was fit for each combination of surrogate and surface material. For both surrogates, the FNR curves tended to be the lowest for glass and highest for vinyl title. The FNR curves for BG tended to be higher than for BAS at lower concentrations, especially for glass. Results using a modified Rapid Viability-Polymerase Chain Reaction (mRV-PCR) analysis method were also obtained. The mRV-PCR results and comparisons to the culture results will be discussed in a subsequent article.

  19. Binding Affinity of Glycoconjugates to BACILLUS Spores and Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasol, Aveen; Eassa, Souzan; Tarasenko, Olga

    2010-04-01

    Early recognition of Bacillus cereus group species is important since they can cause food-borne illnesses and deadly diseases in humans. Glycoconjugates (GCs) are carbohydrates covalently linked to non-sugar moieties including lipids, proteins or other entities. GCs are involved in recognition and signaling processes intrinsic to biochemical functions in cells. They also stimulate cell-cell adhesion and subsequent recognition and activation of receptors. We have demonstrated that GCs are involved in Bacillus cereus spore recognition. In the present study, we have investigated whether GCs possess the ability to bind and recognize B. cereus spores and Bacillus anthracis recombinant single toxins (sTX) and complex toxins (cTX). The affinity of GCs to spores + sTX and spores + cTX toxins was studied in the binding essay. Our results demonstrated that GC9 and GC10 were able to selectively bind to B. cereus spores and B. anthracis toxins. Different binding affinities for GCs were found toward Bacillus cereus spores + sTX and spores + cTX. Dilution of GCs does not impede the recognition and binding. Developed method provides a tool for simultaneous recognition and targeting of spores, bacteria toxins, and/or other entities.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    甄蓓; 宋亚军; 郭兆彪; 王津; 张敏丽; 俞守义; 杨瑞馥

    2001-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Synthesis of lipoteichoic acids in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Hydrazine inactivates bacillus spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Wayne; Plett, G. A.; Yavrouian, A. H.; Barengoltz, J.

    2005-01-01

    Planetary Protection places requirements on the maximum number of viable bacterial spores that may be delivered by a spacecraft to another solar system body. Therefore, for such space missions, the spores that may be found in hydrazine are of concern. A proposed change in processing procedures that eliminated a 0.2 um filtration step propmpted this study to ensure microbial contamination issue existed, especially since no information was found in the literature to substantiate bacterial spore inactivation by hydrazine.

  7. Impact of Spore Biology on the Rate of Kill and Suppression of Resistance in Bacillus anthracis▿

    OpenAIRE

    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

    2009-01-01

    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 moxifloxac...

  8. An Optical Biosensor for Bacillus Cereus Spore Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chengquan; Tom, Harry W. K.

    2005-03-01

    We demonstrate a new transduction scheme for optical biosensing. Bacillus cereus is a pathogen that may be found in food and dairy products and is able to produce toxins and cause food poisoning. It is related to Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). A CCD array covered with micro-structured glass coverslip is used to detect the optical resonant shift due to the binding of the antigen (bacillus cereus spore) to the antibody (polyclonal antibody). This novel optical biosensor scheme has the potential for detecting 10˜100 bioagents in a single device as well as the potential to test for antigens with multiple antibody tests to avoid ``false positives.''

  9. Evaluation of up-converting phosphor technology-based lateral flow strips for rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis Spore, Brucella spp., and Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingping Zhang

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, Brucella spp., and Yersinia pestis are zoonotic pathogens and biowarfare- or bioterrorism-associated agents that must be detected rapidly on-site from various samples (e.g., viscera and powders. An up-converting phosphor technology-based lateral flow (UPT-LF strip was developed as a point-of-care testing (POCT to satisfy the requirements of first-level emergency response. We developed UPT-LF POCT to quantitatively detect the three pathogens within 15 min. Sample and operation-error tolerances of the assay were comprehensively evaluated. The sensitivity of UPT-LF assay to bacterial detection reached 10(4 cfu · mL(-1 (100 cfu/test, with a linear quantitative range of 4 to 6 orders of magnitude. Results revealed that the UPT-LF assay exhibited a high specificity with the absence of false-positive results even at 10(9 cfu · mL(-1 of non-specific bacterial contamination. The assay could tolerate samples with a wide pH range (2 to 12, high ion strengths (≥ 4 mol · L(-1 of NaCl, high viscosities (≤ 25 mg · mL(-1 of PEG20000 or ≥ 20% of glycerol, and high concentrations of bio-macromolecule (≤ 200 mg · mL(-1 of bovine serum albumin or ≥ 80 mg · mL(-1 of casein. The influence of various types of powders and viscera (fresh and decomposed on the performance of UPT-LF assay was determined. The operational error of liquid measurement exhibited few effects on sensitivity and specificity. The developed UPT-LF POCT assay is applicable under field conditions with excellent tolerance to sample complexity and operational error.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Hydrazine vapor inactivates Bacillus spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Wayne W.; Engler, Diane L.; Beaudet, Robert A.

    2016-05-01

    NASA policy restricts the total number of bacterial spores that can remain on a spacecraft traveling to any planetary body which might harbor life or have evidence of past life. Hydrazine, N2H4, is commonly used as a propellant on spacecraft. Hydrazine as a liquid is known to inactivate bacterial spores. We have now verified that hydrazine vapor also inactivates bacterial spores. After Bacillus atrophaeus ATCC 9372 spores deposited on stainless steel coupons were exposed to saturated hydrazine vapor in closed containers, the spores were recovered from the coupons, serially diluted, pour plated and the surviving bacterial colonies were counted. The exposure times required to reduce the spore population by a factor of ten, known as the D-value, were 4.70 ± 0.50 h at 25 °C and 2.85 ± 0.13 h at 35 °C. These inactivation rates are short enough to ensure that the bioburden of the surfaces and volumes would be negligible after prolonged exposure to hydrazine vapor. Thus, all the propellant tubing and internal tank surfaces exposed to hydrazine vapor do not contribute to the total spore count.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. High-Resolution Spore Coat Architecture and Assembly of Bacillus Spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malkin, A J; Elhadj, S; Plomp, M

    2011-03-14

    Elucidating the molecular architecture of bacterial and cellular surfaces and its structural dynamics is essential to understanding mechanisms of pathogenesis, immune response, physicochemical interactions, environmental resistance, and provide the means for identifying spore formulation and processing attributes. I will discuss the application of in vitro atomic force microscopy (AFM) for studies of high-resolution coat architecture and assembly of several Bacillus spore species. We have demonstrated that bacterial spore coat structures are phylogenetically and growth medium determined. We have proposed that strikingly different species-dependent coat structures of bacterial spore species are a consequence of sporulation media-dependent nucleation and crystallization mechanisms that regulate the assembly of the outer spore coat. Spore coat layers were found to exhibit screw dislocations and two-dimensional nuclei typically observed on inorganic and macromolecular crystals. This presents the first case of non-mineral crystal growth patterns being revealed for a biological organism, which provides an unexpected example of nature exploiting fundamental materials science mechanisms for the morphogenetic control of biological ultrastructures. We have discovered and validated, distinctive formulation-specific high-resolution structural spore coat and dimensional signatures of B. anthracis spores (Sterne strain) grown in different formulation condition. We further demonstrated that measurement of the dimensional characteristics of B. anthracis spores provides formulation classification and sample matching with high sensitivity and specificity. I will present data on the development of an AFM-based immunolabeling technique for the proteomic mapping of macromolecular structures on the B. anthracis surfaces. These studies demonstrate that AFM can probe microbial surface architecture, environmental dynamics and the life cycle of bacterial and cellular systems at near

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myung-Chul Chung

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Genetic Characterization of Bacillus anthracis 17 JB strain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakineh Seyed-Mohamadi

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Disinfection of Vegetative Cells of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    and the fate of vegetative cells resulting from augmented germination . In this study, data were generated on the inactivation of vegetative B...all the dilutions. First, a solution of 1000 mg chlorine solution was prepared in two steps . Sodium hypochlorite solution was diluted 1:5, and then 1... Germinant -Enhanced Decontamination of Bacillus Spores Adhered to Iron and Cement-Mortar Drinking Water Infrastructures. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2012, 78

  11. Measurement of 100 B. anthracis Ames spores within 15 minutes by SERS at the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Ctr.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    Since the distribution of Bacillus anthracis-Ames spores through the US Postal System, there has been a persistent fear that biological warfare agents will be used by terrorists against our military abroad and our civilians at home. While there has been substantial effort since the anthrax attack of 2001 to develop analyzers to detect this and other biological warfare agents, the analyzers remain either too slow, lack sensitivity, produce high false-positive rates, or cannot be fielded. In an effort to overcome these limitations we have been developing a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy system. Here we describe the use of silver nanoparticles functionalized with a short peptide to selectively capture Bacillus anthracis spores and produce SER scattering. Specifically, measurements of 100 B. anthracis-Ames spores/mL in ~25 minutes performed at the US Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are presented. The measurements provide a basis for the development of systems that can detect spores collected from the air or water supplies with the potential of saving lives during a biological warfare attack.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Bacillus spore classification via surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and principal component analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guicheteau, J; Argue, L; Emge, D; Hyre, A; Jacobson, M; Christesen, S

    2008-03-01

    Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) can provide rapid fingerprinting of biomaterial in a nondestructive manner. The adsorption of colloidal silver to biological material suppresses native biofluorescence while providing electromagnetic surface enhancement of the normal Raman signal. This work validates the applicability of qualitative SER spectroscopy for analysis of bacterial species by utilizing principal component analysis (PCA) to show discrimination of biological threat simulants, based upon multivariate statistical confidence limits bounding known data clusters. Gram-positive Bacillus spores (Bacillus atrophaeus, Bacillus anthracis, and Bacillus thuringiensis) are investigated along with the Gram-negative bacterium Pantoea agglomerans.

  16. 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

  17. Inactivation and ultrastructure analysis of Bacillus spp. and Clostridium perfringens spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brantner, Christine A; Hannah, Ryan M; Burans, James P; Pope, Robert K

    2014-02-01

    Bacterial endospores are resistant to many environmental factors from temperature extremes to ultraviolet irradiation and are generally more difficult to inactivate or kill than vegetative bacterial cells. It is often considered necessary to treat spores or samples containing spores with chemical fixative solutions for prolonged periods of time (e.g., 1-21 days) to achieve fixation/inactivation to enable electron microscopy (EM) examination outside of containment laboratories. Prolonged exposure to chemical fixatives, however, can alter the ultrastructure of spores for EM analyses. This study was undertaken to determine the minimum amount of time required to inactivate/sterilize and fix spore preparations from several bacterial species using a universal fixative solution for EM that maintains the ultrastructural integrity of the spores. We show that a solution of 4% paraformaldehyde with 1% glutaraldehyde inactivated spore preparations of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Clostridium perfringens in 30 min, and Bacillus subtilis in 240 min. These results suggest that this fixative solution can be used to inactivate and fix spores from several major groups of bacterial spore formers after 240 min, enabling the fixed preparations to be removed from biocontainment and safely analyzed by EM outside of biocontainment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Measurement of Metabolic Activity in Dormant Spores of Bacillus Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-14

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: Spores of Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus subtilis were harvested shortly after release from sporangia, incubated under...Dec-2014 Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: Measurement of Metabolic Activity in Dormant Spores of Bacillus Species...Research Office P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 spores, Bacillus , spore dormancy, 3-phosphoglycerate REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE 11

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Sterilization effect of UV light on Bacillus spores using TiO2 films depends on wavelength

    OpenAIRE

    Nhung, Le Thi Tuyet; Nagata, Hirofumi; Takahashi, Akira; Aihara, Mutsumi; Okamoto, Toshihiro; Shimohata, Takaaki; Mawatari, Kazuaki; Akutagawa, Masatake; Kinouchi, Yohsuke; Haraguchi, Masanobu

    2012-01-01

    UV light and photocatalysts such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) and silver (Ag) are useful for disinfection of water and surfaces. However, the effect of UV wavelength on photocatalytic disinfection of spores is not well understood. Inactivation of Bacillus spores has been examined using different UV wavelengths and TiO2 or TiO2/Ag composite materials. The level of UVA disinfection of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus brevis vegetative cells increased with the presence of the TiO2 and Ag photocatal...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicia D Langel

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

  11. Evaluation of surface sampling method performance for Bacillus Spores on clean and dirty outdoor surfaces.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, Mollye C.; Einfeld, Wayne; Boucher, Raymond M.; Brown, Gary Stephen; Tezak, Matthew Stephen

    2011-06-01

    Recovery of Bacillus atrophaeous spores from grime-treated and clean surfaces was measured in a controlled chamber study to assess sampling method performance. Outdoor surfaces investigated by wipe and vacuum sampling methods included stainless steel, glass, marble and concrete. Bacillus atrophaeous spores were used as a surrogate for Bacillus anthracis spores in this study designed to assess whether grime-coated surfaces significantly affected surface sampling method performance when compared to clean surfaces. A series of chamber tests were carried out in which known amounts of spores were allowed to gravitationally settle onto both clean and dirty surfaces. Reference coupons were co-located with test coupons in all chamber experiments to provide a quantitative measure of initial surface concentrations of spores on all surfaces, thereby allowing sampling recovery calculations. Results from these tests, carried out under both low and high humidity conditions, show that spore recovery from grime-coated surfaces is the same as or better than spore recovery from clean surfaces. Statistically significant differences between method performance for grime-coated and clean surfaces were observed in only about half of the chamber tests conducted.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. The role of a purine-specific nucleoside hydrolase in spore germination of Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Liang; He, Xihong; Liu, Gang; Tan, Huarong

    2008-05-01

    A homologous gene (iunH) of a putative nucleoside hydrolase (NH), which had been identified from the exosporia of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis spores, was cloned from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki. Disruption of iunH did not affect the vegetative growth and sporulation of Bacillus thuringiensis, but promoted both inosine- and adenosine-induced spore germination. The inosine- or adenosine-induced germination rate decreased when the wild-type iunH gene was overexpressed in Bacillus thuringiensis. The iunH gene product was characterized as a purine-specific NH. The kinetic parameters of IunH with inosine as substrate were K(m)=399+/-115 microM, k(cat)=48.9+/-8.5 s(-1) and k(cat)/K(m)=1.23 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1). The optimal pH and temperature for IunH were found to be pH 6 and 80 degrees C. Meanwhile, the specific activity of inosine hydrolase in intact spores of the wild-type strain with inosine as substrate was 2.89+/-0.23x10(-2) micromol min(-1) (mg dry wt)(-1). These results indicate that IunH is important in moderating inosine- or adenosine-induced germination of Bacillus thuringiensis spores.

  15. Association and decontamination of Bacillus spores in a simulated drinking water system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, J B; Almeida, J L; Fitzgerald, L A; Cole, K D

    2008-12-01

    The objective of this work was to elucidate the disinfectant susceptibility of Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BA) and a commercial preparation of Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) spores associated with a simulated drinking water system. Biofilms composed of indigenous water system bacteria were accumulated on copper and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe material surfaces in a low-flow pipe loop and uniformly mixed tank reactor (CDC biofilm reactor). Application of a distributed shear during spore contact resulted in approximately a 1.0 and 1.6 log10 increase in the number of spores associated with copper and PVC surfaces, respectively. Decontamination of spores in both free suspension and after association with biofilm-conditioned pipe materials was attempted using free chlorine and monochloramine. Associated spores required 5- to 10-fold higher disinfectant concentrations to observe the same reduction of viable spores as in suspension. High disinfectant concentrations (103 mg/L free chlorine and 49 mg/L monochloramine) yielded less than a 2-log10 reduction in viable associated spores after 60 min. Spores associated with biofilms on copper surfaces consistently yielded higher Ct values than PVC.

  16. Architecture and Assembly of the Bacillus subtilis Spore Coat

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-26

    icandy contaminated with germinated spores and these germinat ed spores were removed by centrifugation in a one step HistodenzTM (Sigma, St. Louis...spore resistance but also because some coat proteins play significant roles in spore germination . However, much recent work on the spore coat has... germinating spores of various Bacillus [14,21 30] and Clostridium [3 1] species. H owever, this analysis has generally been conducted on wild type

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-04-29

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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Mapping of Proteomic Composition on the Surfaces of Bacillus spores by Atomic Force Microscopy-based Immunolabeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plomp, M; Malkin, A J

    2008-06-02

    Atomic force microscopy provides a unique capability to image high-resolution architecture and structural dynamics of pathogens (e.g. viruses, bacteria and bacterial spores) at near molecular resolution in native conditions. Further development of atomic force microscopy in order to enable the correlation of pathogen protein surface structures with specific gene products is essential to understand the mechanisms of the pathogen life cycle. We have applied an AFM-based immunolabeling technique for the proteomic mapping of macromolecular structures through the visualization of the binding of antibodies, conjugated with nanogold particles, to specific epitopes on Bacillus spore surfaces. This information is generated while simultaneously acquiring the surface morphology of the pathogen. The immunospecificity of this labeling method was established through the utilization of specific polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies that target spore coat and exosporium epitopes of Bacillus atrophaeus and Bacillus anthracis spores.

  6. 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.

  7. Detection of Bacillus spores within 15 minutes by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shende, Chetan; Inscore, Frank; Huang, Hermes; Farquharson, Stuart; Sengupta, Atanu

    2012-06-01

    Since the distribution of Bacillus anthracis causing spores through the US Postal System, there has been a persistent fear that biological warfare agents (BWAs) will be used by terrorists against our military abroad and our civilians at home. Despite the substantial effort to develop BWA analyzers, they remain either too slow, produce high falsealarm rates, lack sensitivity, or cannot be fielded. Consequently there remains a need for a portable analyzer that can overcome these limitations as expressed at the 2011 Biological Weapons Convention. To meet this need we have been developing a sample system that selectively binds BWAs and produce surface-enhanced Raman (SER) spectra using portable Raman spectrometers. Here we describe the use of a short peptide ligand functionalized on silver nanoparticles to selectively capture Bacillus cereus spores (a surrogate of B. anthracis) and their subsequent detection by SER spectroscopy. This technique was used to specifically detect B. cereus spores over closely related species like B. subtilis belonging to the same genus within 15 minutes. Sensitivity of the method was demonstrated by detecting 104 B. cereus spores/mL of water. The technology, once developed should prove invaluable for rapid monitoring of BWAs, which will immensely help first responders and emergency personnel in implementing appropriate counter measures.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Evaluating Composite Sampling Methods of Bacillus spores at Low Concentrations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hess, Becky M.; Amidan, Brett G.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2016-10-13

    Restoring facility operations after the 2001 Amerithrax attacks took over three months to complete, highlighting the need to reduce remediation time. The most time intensive tasks were environmental sampling and sample analyses. Composite sampling allows disparate samples to be combined, with only a single analysis needed, making it a promising method to reduce response times. We developed a statistical experimental design to test three different composite sampling methods: 1) single medium single pass composite: a single cellulose sponge samples multiple coupons; 2) single medium multi-pass composite: a single cellulose sponge is used to sample multiple coupons; and 3) multi-medium post-sample composite: a single cellulose sponge samples a single surface, and then multiple sponges are combined during sample extraction. Five spore concentrations of Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura spores were tested; concentrations ranged from 5 to 100 CFU/coupon (0.00775 to 0.155CFU/cm2, respectively). Study variables included four clean surface materials (stainless steel, vinyl tile, ceramic tile, and painted wallboard) and three grime coated/dirty materials (stainless steel, vinyl tile, and ceramic tile). Analysis of variance for the clean study showed two significant factors: composite method (p-value < 0.0001) and coupon material (p-value = 0.0008). Recovery efficiency (RE) was higher overall using the post-sample composite (PSC) method compared to single medium composite from both clean and grime coated materials. RE with the PSC method for concentrations tested (10 to 100 CFU/coupon) was similar for ceramic tile, painted wall board, and stainless steel for clean materials. RE was lowest for vinyl tile with both composite methods. Statistical tests for the dirty study showed RE was significantly higher for vinyl and stainless steel materials, but significantly lower for ceramic tile. These results suggest post-sample compositing can be used to reduce sample analysis time when

  11. 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.

  12. Structural Analysis of Bacillus subtilis Spore Peptidoglycan During Sporulation

    OpenAIRE

    2000-01-01

    Structural analysis of Bacillus subtilis spore peptidoglycan during sporulation:Jennifer L. Meador-Parton:David L. Popham, Chairman:Department of Biology:(ABSTRACT):Bacterial spore peptidoglycan (PG) is very loosely cross-linked relative to vegetative PG. Theories suggest that loosely cross-linked spore PG may have a flexibility which contributes to the attainment of spore core dehydration. The structure of the PG found in fully dormant spores has previously been examined in wild type and m...

  13. 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...

  14. [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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 同时检测沙门氏菌和炭疽杆菌磁致伸缩生物传感器制备与应用%Preparation and application of magnetoelastic biosensors system for simultaneously detectingSalmonella typhimurium andBacillus anthracis spores

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    胡静; 胡佳佳; 沈雯; Bryan A Chin

    2016-01-01

    a biorecognition element. In this study, a magnetostrictive platform is served as the transducer, and as the mass sensitivity, the magnetoelastic resonance sensors have a characteristic resonant frequency that can be determined by monitoring the magnetic flux emitted by the sensor in response to an applied time-varying magnetic field. Due to the magnetoelastic nature of the amorphous magnetostrictive alloy, the sensor exhibits a physical resonance when it undergoes a time-varying magnetic field, and a shift in resonance frequency of the magnetostrictive sensor depends only on the mass change when environmental parameters are invariable. This magnetostrictive platform has a unique advantage over conventional sensor platforms in that its measurement is wireless and remote. And phage, which has been verified to be thermally stable, is used as the biorecognition element. In this paper, a multiple phage-based magnetoelastic (ME) biosenor system for simultaneously detectingSalmonella typhimuriumandBacillus anthracis spores was prepared by immobilizing 2 different kinds of phages as biorecognition element onto the magnetoelastic thin film made from 2826 MB MetglasTM, and the 2 kinds of phages were the E2 phage specific toSalmonella typhimurium and the JRB7 phage specific toBacillus anthracisspores, respectively. Finally, 1 mg/mL bovine serum albumin (BSA) was immobilized onto the magnetoelastic thin film as blocking agent for getting specific binding of target bacteria. The multiple phage-based magnetoelastic (ME) biosensor system was simultaneously monitored for the detection of different biological pathogens that were sequentially introduced to the measurement system.The detection system included a reference sensor as a control, an E2 phage-coated sensor specific toSalmonella typhimurium, and a JRB7 phage-coated sensor specific toBacillus anthracisspores. The sensors were free standing during the test, and held in place by a magnetic field. In the detection process, 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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Early Warning of Biological Threats via Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy: A Case Study of Bacillus Spores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonia Lai

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A study on the application of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS in detecting biological threats is here reported. Simulants of deadly Bacillus anthracis endospores were used. This study proposes an automated device where SERS is used as a fast, pre-alarm technique of a two-stage sensor equipped with a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR. In order to check the potentialities of SERS in terms of sensitivity and specificity for on-site, real-time, automatic detection and identification of biological agents, two strains of genetically and harmless closely B. anthracis-related spores, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus atrophaeus, were used as simulants. In order to assure the selectivity of the SERS substrate against B. thuringiensis spores, the substrate was functionalized by specific peptides. The obtained SERS measurements are classified as positive or negative hits by applying a special data evaluation based on the Euclidian distance between each spectrum and a reference spectrum of blank measurement. Principal component analysis (PCA was applied for discriminating between different strains representing dangerous and harmless spores. The results show that the SERS sensor is capable of detecting a few tenths of spores in a few minutes, and is particularly sensitive and fast for this purpose. Post-process analysis of the spectra allowed for discrimination between the contaminated and uncontaminated SERS sensors and even between different strains of spores, although not as clearly. For this purpose, the use of a non-functionalized SERS substrate is suggested.

  4. 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.

  5. Anthrax Spores under a microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    Anthrax spores are inactive forms of Bacillus anthracis. They can survive for decades inside a spore's tough protective coating; they become active when inhaled by humans. A result of NASA- and industry-sponsored research to develop small greenhouses for space research is the unique AiroCide TiO2 system that kills anthrax spores and other pathogens.

  6. INCORPORATION OF BACTERIOPHAGE GENOME BY SPORES OF BACILLUS SUBTILIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    TAKAHASHI, I

    1964-06-01

    Takahashi, I. (Microbiology Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). Incorporation of bacteriophage genome by spores of Bacillus subtilis. J. Bacteriol. 87:1499-1502. 1964-The buoyant density in a CsCl gradient of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extracted from spores of Bacillus subtilis was found to be identical to that of DNA from vegetative cells. Density-gradient centrifugation of DNA of spores derived from cultures infected with phage PBS 1 revealed the presence of a minor band whose density corresponded to that of the phage DNA in addition to the spore DNA. No intermediate bands were present. The relative amount of the phage DNA present in the spores was estimated to be 11%, suggesting that spores of this organism may incorporate several copies of the phage genome. Although the possibility that true lysogeny may occur cannot be entirely eliminated, the results seem to indicate that the phage genomes incorporated into spores are not attached to the host chromosome in this system.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. Comparison of hand hygiene procedures for removing Bacillus cereus spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasahara, Teppei; Hayashi, Shunji; Hosoda, Kouichi; Morisawa, Yuji; Hirai, Yoshikazu

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is a spore-forming bacterium. B. cereus occasionally causes nosocomial infections, in which hand contamination with the spores plays an important role. Therefore, hand hygiene is the most important practice for controlling nosocomial B. cereus infections. This study aimed to determine the appropriate hand hygiene procedure for removing B. cereus spores. Thirty volunteers' hands were experimentally contaminated with B. cereus spores, after which they performed 6 different hand hygiene procedures. We compared the efficacy of the procedures in removing the spores from hands. The alcohol-based hand-rubbing procedures scarcely removed them. The soap washing procedures reduced the number of spores by more than 2 log10. Extending the washing time increased the spore-removing efficacy of the washing procedures. There was no significant difference in efficacy between the use of plain soap and antiseptic soap. Handwashing with soap is appropriate for removing B. cereus spores from hands. Alcohol-based hand-rubbing is not effective.

  12. Electron Beam Irradiation Dose Dependently Damages the Bacillus Spore Coat and Spore Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. E. Fiester

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Effective control of spore-forming bacilli begs suitable physical or chemical methods. While many spore inactivation techniques have been proven effective, electron beam (EB irradiation has been frequently chosen to eradicate Bacillus spores. Despite its widespread use, there are limited data evaluating the effects of EB irradiation on Bacillus spores. To study this, B. atrophaeus spores were purified, suspended in sterile, distilled water, and irradiated with EB (up to 20 kGy. Irradiated spores were found (1 to contain structural damage as observed by electron microscopy, (2 to have spilled cytoplasmic contents as measured by spectroscopy, (3 to have reduced membrane integrity as determined by fluorescence cytometry, and (4 to have fragmented genomic DNA as measured by gel electrophoresis, all in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, cytometry data reveal decreased spore size, increased surface alterations, and increased uptake of propidium iodide, with increasing EB dose, suggesting spore coat alterations with membrane damage, prior to loss of spore viability. The present study suggests that EB irradiation of spores in water results in substantial structural damage of the spore coat and inner membrane, and that, along with DNA fragmentation, results in dose-dependent spore inactivation.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Live-imaging of Bacillus subtilis spore germination and outgrowth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pandey, R.

    2014-01-01

    Spores of Gram-positive bacteria such as Bacillus and Clostridium cause huge economic losses to the food industry. In food products, spores survive under food preservation conditions and subsequent germination and outgrowth eventually causes food spoilage. Therefore efforts are being made to elimina

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Bacillus atrophaeus Outer Spore Coat Assembly and Ultrastructure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plomp, M; Leighton, T J; Wheeler, K E; Pitesky, M E; Malkin, A J

    2005-11-21

    Our previous atomic force microscopy (AFM) studies successfully visualized native Bacillus atrophaeus spore coat ultrastructure and surface morphology. We have shown that the outer spore coat surface is formed by a crystalline array of {approx}11 nm thick rodlets, having a periodicity of {approx}8 nm. We present here further AFM ultrastructural investigations of air-dried and fully hydrated spore surface architecture. In the rodlet layer, planar and point defects, as well as domain boundaries, similar to those described for inorganic and macromolecular crystals, were identified. For several Bacillus species, rodlet structure assembly and architectural variation appear to be a consequence of species-specific nucleation and crystallization mechanisms that regulate the formation of the outer spore coat. We propose a unifying mechanism for nucleation and self-assembly of this crystalline layer on the outer spore coat surface.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Beyer

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-28

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Presence survival spores of Bacillus thuringiensis varieties in grain warehouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sánchez-Yáñez Juan Manuel

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Genus Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt synthesized spores and crystals toxic to pest-insects in agriculture. Bt is comospolitan then possible to isolate some subspecies or varieties from warehouse. The aims of study were: i to isolate Bt varieties from grain at werehouse ii to evaluate Bt toxicity on Spodoptera frugiperda and Shit-ophilus zeamaisese iii to analyze Bt spores persistence in Zea mays grains at werehouse compared to same Bt on grains exposed to sun radiation. Results showed that at werehouse were recovered more than one variety of Bt spores. According to each isolate Bt1 o Bt2 were toxic to S. frugiperda or S. zeamaisese. One those Bt belong to var morrisoni. At werehouse these spores on Z. mays grains surviving more time, while the same spores exposed to boicide sun radiation they died.

  13. Quantitative and Sensitive RNA Based Detection of Bacillus Spores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina eOsmekhina

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The fast and reliable detection of bacterial spores is of great importance and still remains a challenge. Here we describe a direct RNA based diagnostic method for the specific detection of viable bacterial spores which does not depends on an enzymatic amplification step and therefore is directly appropriate for quantification. The procedure includes the following steps: (i heat activation of spores, (ii germination and enrichment cultivation, (iii cell lysis, and (iv analysis of 16S rRNA in crude cell lysates using a sandwich hybridization assay. The sensitivity of the method is dependent on the cultivation time and the detection limit; it is possible to detect 10 spores per ml when the RNA analysis is performed after 6 h of enrichment cultivation. At spore concentrations above 106 spores per ml the cultivation time can be shortened to 30 min. Total analysis times are in the range of 2 to 8 hours depending on the spore concentration in samples. The developed procedure is optimized at the example of Bacillus subtilis spores but should be applicable to other organisms. The new method can easily be modified for other target RNAs and is suitable for specific detection of spores from known groups of organisms.

  14. Unlocking the Sporicidal Potential of Ethanol: Induced Sporicidal Activity of Ethanol against Clostridium difficile and Bacillus Spores under Altered Physical and Chemical Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerandzic, Michelle M.; Sunkesula, Venkata C. K.; C., Thriveen Sankar; Setlow, Peter; Donskey, Curtis J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Due to their efficacy and convenience, alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been widely adopted as the primary method of hand hygiene in healthcare settings. However, alcohols lack activity against bacterial spores produced by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis. We hypothesized that sporicidal activity could be induced in alcohols through alteration of physical or chemical conditions that have been shown to degrade or allow penetration of spore coats. Principal Findings Acidification, alkalinization, and heating of ethanol induced rapid sporicidal activity against C. difficile, and to a lesser extent Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis. The sporicidal activity of acidified ethanol was enhanced by increasing ionic strength and mild elevations in temperature. On skin, sporicidal ethanol formulations were as effective as soap and water hand washing in reducing levels of C. difficile spores. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that novel ethanol-based sporicidal hand hygiene formulations can be developed through alteration of physical and chemical conditions. PMID:26177038

  15. Bacillus globigii bugbeads: a model simulant of a bacterial spore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, Svetlana; Halsall, H Brian; Heineman, William R

    2005-01-15

    Nonpathogenic microorganisms are often used as simulants of biological pathogens during the initial phase of detection method development. While these simulants approximate the size, shape, and cellular organization of the microorganism of interest, they do not resemble its surface protein content, a factor particularly important in methods based on immunorecognition. Here, we develop and detect an artificial bacterial spore--B. globigii (BG) Bugbead-a particle mimicking the antigenic surface of BG spores. Two methods of spore protein extraction were compared both quantitatively (by protein concentration assay) and qualitatively (by SDS-PAGE and Western blot): extraction by mechanical disruption and extraction by chemical decoating. The former method was more efficient in producing more protein and a greater number of antigens. BG Bugbeads were made by conjugating the extracted proteins to 0.8-microm carboxyl-coated polystyrene particles via carbodiimide coupling. BG Bugbeads were successfully detected by a bead-based enzyme-labeled immunoassay with fluorescence detection with a detection limit of 6.9 x 10(3) particles/mL. Formation of the Bugbead-capture bead complex was confirmed by ESEM. The concept of a harmless artificial spore can be applied to developing improved simulants for pathogenic spore-forming microorganisms such as B. anthracis, C. botulinum, and B. cereus, which can to be used for method validation, instrument calibration, and troubleshooting.

  16. Architecture and High-Resolution Structure of Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus Spore Coat Surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plomp, M; Leighton, T; Wheeler, K; Malkin, A

    2005-02-18

    We have utilized atomic force microscopy (AFM) to visualize the native surface topology and ultrastructure of Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus spores in water and in air. AFM was able to resolve the nanostructure of the exosporium and three distinctive classes of appendages. Removal of the exosporium exposed either a hexagonal honeycomb layer (B. thuringiensis) or a rodlet outer spore coat layer (B. cereus). Removal of the rodlet structure from B. cereus spores revealed an underlying honeycomb layer similar to that observed with B. thuringiensis spores. The periodicity of the rodlet structure on the outer spore coat of B. cereus was {approx}8 nm, and the length of the rodlets was limited to the cross-patched domain structure of this layer to {approx}200 nm. The lattice constant of the honeycomb structures was {approx}9 nm for both B. cereus and B. thuringiensis spores. Both honeycomb structures were composed of multiple, disoriented domains with distinct boundaries. Our results demonstrate that variations in storage and preparation procedures result in architectural changes in individual spore surfaces, which establish AFM as a useful tool for evaluation of preparation and processing ''fingerprints'' of bacterial spores. These results establish that high-resolution AFM has the capacity to reveal species-specific assembly and nanometer scale structure of spore surfaces. These species-specific spore surface structural variations are correlated with sequence divergences in a spore core structural protein SspE.

  17. 14C Analysis of protein extracts from Bacillus spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappuccio, Jenny A; Falso, Miranda J Sarachine; Kashgarian, Michaele; Buchholz, Bruce A

    2014-07-01

    Investigators of bioagent incidents or interdicted materials need validated, independent analytical methods that will allow them to distinguish between recently made bioagent samples versus material drawn from the archives of a historical program. Heterotrophic bacteria convert the carbon in their food sources, growth substrate or culture media, into the biomolecules they need. The F(14)C (fraction modern radiocarbon) of a variety of media, Bacillus spores, and separated proteins from Bacillus spores was measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). AMS precisely measures F(14)C values of biological materials and has been used to date the synthesis of biomaterials over the bomb pulse era (1955 to present). The F(14)C of Bacillus spores reflects the radiocarbon content of the media in which they were grown. In a survey of commercial media we found that the F(14)C value indicated that carbon sources for the media were alive within about a year of the date of manufacture and generally of terrestrial origin. Hence, bacteria and their products can be dated using their (14)C signature. Bacillus spore samples were generated onsite with defined media and carbon free purification and also obtained from archived material. Using mechanical lysis and a variety of washes with carbon free acids and bases, contaminant carbon was removed from soluble proteins to enable accurate (14)C bomb-pulse dating. Since media is contemporary, (14)C bomb-pulse dating of isolated soluble proteins can be used to distinguish between historical archives of bioagents and those produced from recent media.

  18. Maximum shields: the assembly and function of the bacterial spore coat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driks, Adam

    2002-06-01

    Spores produced by bacilli and clostridia are surrounded by a multilayered protein shell called the coat. As the armor-like appearance of the coat suggests, this structure, along with others within the spore, confers the remarkable resistance properties that make Bacillus anthracis spores such potent biological weapons. Here, I review recent studies of coat assembly in the model organism Bacillus subtilis, and explore the implications of these findings for coat assembly in B. anthracis and for defense against biological weapons.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. A method for the determination of bacterial spore DNA content based on isotopic labelling, spore germination and diphenylamine assay; ploidy of spores of several Bacillus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, P M; Karamata, D

    1992-01-01

    A reliable method for measuring the spore DNA content, based on radioactive DNA labelling, spore germination in absence of DNA replication and diphenylamine assay, was developed. The accuracy of the method, within 10-15%, is adequate for determining the number of chromosomes per spore, provided that the genome size is known. B subtilis spores were shown to be invariably monogenomic, while those of larger bacilli Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis, often, if not invariably, contain two genomes. Attempts to modify the spore DNA content of B subtilis by altering the richness of the sporulation medium, the sporulation conditions (liquid or solid medium), or by mutation, were apparently unsuccessful. An increase of spore size with medium richness, not accompanied by an increase in DNA content, was observed. The implication of the apparently species-specific spore ploidy and the influence of the sporulation conditions on spore size and shape are discussed.

  2. 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.

  3. Spore Resistance Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setlow, Peter

    2014-10-01

    Spores of various Bacillus and Clostridium species are among the most resistant life forms known. Since the spores of some species are causative agents of much food spoilage, food poisoning, and human disease, and the spores of Bacillus anthracis are a major bioweapon, there is much interest in the mechanisms of spore resistance and how these spores can be killed. This article will discuss the factors involved in spore resistance to agents such as wet and dry heat, desiccation, UV and γ-radiation, enzymes that hydrolyze bacterial cell walls, and a variety of toxic chemicals, including genotoxic agents, oxidizing agents, aldehydes, acid, and alkali. These resistance factors include the outer layers of the spore, such as the thick proteinaceous coat that detoxifies reactive chemicals; the relatively impermeable inner spore membrane that restricts access of toxic chemicals to the spore core containing the spore's DNA and most enzymes; the low water content and high level of dipicolinic acid in the spore core that protect core macromolecules from the effects of heat and desiccation; the saturation of spore DNA with a novel group of proteins that protect the DNA against heat, genotoxic chemicals, and radiation; and the repair of radiation damage to DNA when spores germinate and return to life. Despite their extreme resistance, spores can be killed, including by damage to DNA, crucial spore proteins, the spore's inner membrane, and one or more components of the spore germination apparatus.

  4. Online monitoring of Escherichia coli and Bacillus thuringiensis spore inactivation after advanced oxidation treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherchan, Samendra P; Snyder, Shane A; Gerba, Charles P; Pepper, Ian L

    2014-01-01

    Various studies have shown that advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) such as UV light in combination with hydrogen peroxide is an efficient process for the removal of a large variety of emerging contaminants including microorganisms. The mechanism of destruction in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is the enhanced formation of hydroxyl (·OH) radicals, which have a high oxidation potential. The goal of this study was to utilize in-line advanced oxidation to inactivate microbes, and document the inactivation via an in-line, real-time sensor. Escherichia coli cells and Bacillus thuringiensis spores were exposed to UV/H2O2 treatment in DI water, and the online sensor BioSentry(®) was evaluated for its potential to monitor inactivation in real-time. B. thuringiensis was selected as a non-pathogenic surrogate for B. anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a proven biological weapon. UV radiation and UV/H2O2 exposure resulted in a >6 log10 reduction of the viable culturable counts of E. coli vegetative cells, and a 3 log10 reduction of B. thuringiensis spores. Scanning electron microscopy of the treated samples revealed severe damage on the surface of most E. coli cells, yet there was no significant change observed in the morphology of the B. thuringiensis spores. Following AOP exposure, the BioSentry sensor showed an increase in the categories of unknown, rod and spores counts, but overall, did not correspond well with viable count assays. Data from this study show that advanced oxidation processes effectively inactivate E. coli vegetative cells, but not B. thuringiensis spores, which were more resistant to AOP. Further, the BioSentry in-line sensor was not successful in documenting destruction of the microbial cells in real-time.

  5. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhang Da; Zhu Houchu; Huang Liuyu

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Da Zhang

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Thermal Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores Using Rapid Resistive Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-24

    setup including a laptop with appropriate software, a DC power supply, alligator clips attached to the power supply, a FLIR (forward looking infrared...filament, were tested on the microscope to validate the purity of tungsten. The samples included 4 light bulb filaments from different brands and the...easily clamped by the alligator clips, which are attached to the direct current power supply. The lamp cord was cut using wire snips in order to

  9. 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.

  10. Monitoring Rates and Heterogeneity of High-Pressure Germination of Bacillus Spores by Phase-Contrast Microscopy of Individual Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: The germination of multiple individual Bacillus subtilis spores by a high pressure (HP) of 140-150 (unless noted...otherwise) megaPascals (MPa) that activates spore germinant receptors (GRs) was monitored by phase contrast microscopy in a diamond anvil cell. Major...conclusions were that: i) >95% of spores germinated in 40 min; ii) individual spore’s HP germination kinetics were very similar to those for nutrient

  11. Studies on the bacterial spore coat 6 effects of alkali extraction on the spore of Bacillus thiaminolyticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minami, J; Ichikawa, T; Kondo, M

    1977-01-01

    Thin sections of the spore of Bacillus thiaminolyticus Matsukawa and Misawa show a characteristic surface structure with five ridges, and a series of three district layers. The outer layer of the spore coat was peeled off by SDS sonic treatment, and than the middle layer was solubilized by alkali extraction of the SDS sonic-treated spore. The spores subjected to these treatments were still refractile, heat resistant, and contained dipicolinic acid, but lost their resistance to mechanical shock.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-15

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely o

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Challenges and advances in systems biology analysis of Bacillus spore physiology; molecular differences between an extreme heat resistant spore forming Bacillus subtilis food isolate and a laboratory strain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brul, S.; van Beilen, J.; Caspers, M.; O'Brien, A.; de Koster, C.; Oomes, S.; Smelt, J.; Kort, R.; ter Beek, A.

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial spore formers are prime organisms of concern in the food industry. Spores from the genus Bacillus are extremely stress resistant, most notably exemplified by high thermotolerance. This sometimes allows surviving spores to germinate and grow out to vegetative cells causing food spoilage and

  17. 炭疽杆菌表面四糖抗原全合成的研究进展%Research progress in the synthesis of antigen Bacillus anthracis tetrasaccharide

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄蕾; 许克寒; 吴俊琪; 姚阔; 俞世冲; 吴秋业

    2015-01-01

    炭疽是由炭疽杆菌引起的人畜共患的传染病。炭疽杆菌属于需氧芽孢杆菌属,为G+菌,其病原体是芽孢。炭疽芽孢最外层含有特定结构的四糖抗原,可用于制备糖缀合物疫苗,诱导免疫反应。综述近10年来文献报道对炭疽四糖化学合成的研究进展,并结合国内外最新研究成果介绍各条制备路线,比较各种方法的主要优缺点。%Objective Anthrax is an anthropozoonosis caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis .Bacillus anthracis is an aerobic ,spore-forming ,rod-shaped bacterium ,which infects human through ingestion or inhalation of the spores .The exos-porium of spores of Bacillus anthracis contains tetrasaccharide antigen with specific chemical structure ,which can be used in preparation of glycoconjugates vaccines ,inducing an immune response .This paper reviewed articles in the last decade that re-ported research advances in chemical synthesis of anthrax tetrasaccharide ,presented the methods for synthesis ,and compared the advantages and limitations among different methods .

  18. 14C Analysis of Protein Extracts from Bacillus Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappucio, Jenny A.; Sarachine Falso, Miranda J.; Kashgarian, Michaele; Buchholz, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Investigators of bioagent incidents or interdicted materials need validated, independent analytical methods that will allow them to distinguish between recently made bioagent samples versus material drawn from the archives of a historical program. Heterotrophic bacteria convert the carbon in their food sources, growth substrate or culture media, into the biomolecules they need. The F14C (fraction modern radiocarbon) of a variety of media, Bacillus spores, and separated proteins from Bacillus spores was measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). AMS precisely measures F14C values of biological materials and has been used to date the synthesis of biomaterials over the bomb pulse era (1955 to present). The F14C of Bacillus spores reflects the radiocarbon content of the media in which they were grown. In a survey of commercial media we found that the F14C value indicated that carbon sources for the media were alive within about a year of the date of manufacture and generally of terrestrial origin. Hence, bacteria and their products can be dated using their 14C signature. Bacillus spore samples were generated onsite with defined media and carbon free purification and also obtained from archived material. Using mechanical lysis and a variety of washes with carbon free acids and bases, contaminant carbon was removed from soluble proteins to enable accurate 14C bomb-pulse dating. Since media is contemporary, 14C bomb-pulse dating of isolated soluble proteins can be used to distinguish between historical archives of bioagents and those produced from recent media. PMID:24814329

  19. Vacuum-induced Mutations In Bacillus Subtilis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munakata, N.; Maeda, M.; Hieda, K.

    During irradiation experiments with vacuum-UV radiation using synchrotron sources, we made unexpected observation that Bacillus subtilis spores of several recombination-deficient strains lost colony-forming ability by the exposure to high vacuum alone. Since this suggested the possible injury in spore DNA, we looked for mutation induction using the spores of strains HA101 (wild-type repair capability) and TKJ6312 (excision and spore repair deficient) that did not lose survivability. It was found that the frequency of nalidixic-acid resistant mutation increased several times in both of these strains by the exposure to high vacuum (10e-4 Pa after 24 hours). The analysis of sequence changes in gyrA gene showed that the majority of mutations carried a unique allele (gyrA12) of tandem double-base substitutions from CA to TT. The observation has been extended to rifampicin resistant mutations, the majority of that carried substitutions from CA to TT or AT in rpoB gene. On the other hand, when the spores of strains PS578 and PS2319 (obtained from P. Setlow) that are defective in a group of small acidic proteins (alpha/beta-type SASP) were similarly treated, none of the mutants analyzed carried such changes. This suggests that the unique mutations might be induced by the interaction of small acidic proteins with spore DNA under forced dehydration. The results indicate that extreme vacuum causes severe damage in spore DNA, and provide additional constraint to the long-term survival of bacterial spores in the space environment.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. Evaluation of sampling methods for Bacillus spore-contaminated HVAC filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calfee, M Worth; Rose, Laura J; Tufts, Jenia; Morse, Stephen; Clayton, Matt; Touati, Abderrahmane; Griffin-Gatchalian, Nicole; Slone, Christina; McSweeney, Neal

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to compare an extraction-based sampling method to two vacuum-based sampling methods (vacuum sock and 37mm cassette filter) with regards to their ability to recover Bacillus atrophaeus spores (surrogate for Bacillus anthracis) from pleated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters that are typically found in commercial and residential buildings. Electrostatic and mechanical HVAC filters were tested, both without and after loading with dust to 50% of their total holding capacity. The results were analyzed by one-way ANOVA across material types, presence or absence of dust, and sampling device. The extraction method gave higher relative recoveries than the two vacuum methods evaluated (p≤0.001). On average, recoveries obtained by the vacuum methods were about 30% of those achieved by the extraction method. Relative recoveries between the two vacuum methods were not significantly different (p>0.05). Although extraction methods yielded higher recoveries than vacuum methods, either HVAC filter sampling approach may provide a rapid and inexpensive mechanism for understanding the extent of contamination following a wide-area biological release incident.

  6. 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

  7. Inhibition of Bacillus cereus spore outgrowth and multiplication by chitosan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellegård, Hilde; From, Cecilie; Christensen, Bjørn E; Granum, Per E

    2011-10-03

    Bacillus cereus is an endospore-forming bacterium able to cause food-associated illness. Different treatment processes are used in the food industry to reduce the number of spores and thereby the potential of foodborne disease. Chitosan is a polysaccharide with well-documented antibacterial activity towards vegetative cells. The activity against bacterial spores, spore germination and subsequent outgrowth and growth (the latter two events hereafter denoted (out)growth), however, is poorly documented. By using six different chitosans with defined macromolecular properties, we evaluated the effect of chitosan on Bacillus cereus spore germination and (out)growth using optical density assays and a dipicolinic acid release assay. (Out)growth was inhibited by chitosan, but germination was not. The action of chitosan was found to be concentration-dependent and also closely related to weight average molecular weight (M(w)) and fraction of acetylation (F(A)) of the biopolymer. Chitosans of low acetylation (F(A)=0.01 or 0.16) inhibited (out)growth more effectively than higher acetylated chitosans (F(A)=0.48). For the F(A)=0.16 chitosans with medium (56.8kDa) and higher M(w) (98.3kDa), a better (out)growth inhibition was observed compared to low M(w) (10.6kDa) chitosan. The same trend was not evident with chitosans of 0.48 acetylation, where the difference in activity between the low (19.6kDa) and high M(w) (163.0kDa) chitosans was only minor. In a spore test concentration corresponding to 10(2)-10(3)CFU/ml (spore numbers relevant to food), less chitosan was needed to suppress (out)growth compared to higher spore numbers (equivalent to 10(8)CFU/ml), as expected. No major differences in chitosan susceptibility between three different strains of B. cereus were detected. Our results contribute to a better understanding of chitosan activity towards bacterial spore germination and (out)growth.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A Be

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. A Cumulative Spore Killing Approach: Synergistic Sporicidal Activity of Dilute Peracetic Acid and Ethanol at Low pH Against Clostridium difficile and Bacillus subtilis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerandzic, Michelle M.; Sankar C, Thriveen; Setlow, Peter; Donskey, Curtis J.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the primary method of hand hygiene in healthcare settings, but they lack activity against bacterial spores produced by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis. We previously demonstrated that acidification of ethanol induced rapid sporicidal activity, resulting in ethanol formulations with pH 1.5–2 that were as effective as soap and water washing in reducing levels of C difficile spores on hands. We hypothesized that the addition of dilute peracetic acid (PAA) to acidified ethanol would enhance sporicidal activity while allowing elevation of the pH to a level likely to be well tolerated on skin (ie, >3). Methods. We tested the efficacy of acidified ethanol solutions alone or in combination with PAA against C difficile and Bacillus subtilis spores in vitro and against nontoxigenic C difficile spores on hands of volunteers. Results. Acidification of ethanol induced rapid sporicidal activity against C difficile and to a lesser extent B subtilis. The addition of dilute PAA to acidified ethanol resulted in synergistic enhancement of sporicidal activity in a dose-dependent fashion in vitro. On hands, the addition of 1200–2000 ppm PAA enhanced the effectiveness of acidified ethanol formulations, resulting in formulations with pH >3 that were as effective as soap and water washing. Conclusions. Acidification and the addition of dilute PAA induced rapid sporicidal activity in ethanol. Our findings suggest that it may be feasible to develop effective sporicidal ethanol formulations that are safe and tolerable on skin. PMID:26885539

  12. A Cumulative Spore Killing Approach: Synergistic Sporicidal Activity of Dilute Peracetic Acid and Ethanol at Low pH Against Clostridium difficile and Bacillus subtilis Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerandzic, Michelle M; Sankar C, Thriveen; Setlow, Peter; Donskey, Curtis J

    2016-01-01

    Background.  Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the primary method of hand hygiene in healthcare settings, but they lack activity against bacterial spores produced by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis. We previously demonstrated that acidification of ethanol induced rapid sporicidal activity, resulting in ethanol formulations with pH 1.5-2 that were as effective as soap and water washing in reducing levels of C difficile spores on hands. We hypothesized that the addition of dilute peracetic acid (PAA) to acidified ethanol would enhance sporicidal activity while allowing elevation of the pH to a level likely to be well tolerated on skin (ie, >3). Methods.  We tested the efficacy of acidified ethanol solutions alone or in combination with PAA against C difficile and Bacillus subtilis spores in vitro and against nontoxigenic C difficile spores on hands of volunteers. Results.  Acidification of ethanol induced rapid sporicidal activity against C difficile and to a lesser extent B subtilis. The addition of dilute PAA to acidified ethanol resulted in synergistic enhancement of sporicidal activity in a dose-dependent fashion in vitro. On hands, the addition of 1200-2000 ppm PAA enhanced the effectiveness of acidified ethanol formulations, resulting in formulations with pH >3 that were as effective as soap and water washing. Conclusions.  Acidification and the addition of dilute PAA induced rapid sporicidal activity in ethanol. Our findings suggest that it may be feasible to develop effective sporicidal ethanol formulations that are safe and tolerable on skin.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    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.

  2. Mechanisms of Induction of Germination of Bacillus subtilis Spores by High Pressure

    OpenAIRE

    Paidhungat, Madan; Setlow, Barbara; Daniels, William B.; Hoover, Dallas; Papafragkou, Efstathia; Setlow, Peter

    2002-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus subtilis lacking all germinant receptors germinate >500-fold slower than wild-type spores in nutrients and were not induced to germinate by a pressure of 100 MPa. However, a pressure of 550 MPa induced germination of spores lacking all germinant receptors as well as of receptorless spores lacking either of the two lytic enzymes essential for cortex hydrolysis during germination. Complete germination of spores either lacking both cortex-lytic enzymes or with a cortex not att...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Adhesion of Spores of Bacillus thuringiensis on a Planar Surface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chung, Eunhyea [Georgia Institute of Technology; Kweon, Hyojin [Georgia Institute of Technology; Yiacoumi, Sotira [Georgia Institute of Technology; Lee, Ida [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Joy, David Charles [ORNL; Palumbo, Anthony Vito [ORNL; Tsouris, Costas [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Adhesion of spores of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and spherical silica particles on surfaces was experimentally and theoretically investigated in this study. Topography analysis via atomic force microscopy (AFM) and electron microscopy indicates that Bt spores are rod shaped, {approx}1.3 {mu}m in length and {approx}0.8 {mu}m in diameter. The adhesion force of Bt spores and silica particles on gold-coated glass was measured at various relative humidity (RH) levels by AFM. It was expected that the adhesion force would vary with RH because the individual force components contributing to the adhesion force depend on RH. The adhesion force between a particle and a planar surface in atmospheric environments was modeled as the contribution of three major force components: capillary, van der Waals, and electrostatic interaction forces. Adhesion force measurements for Bt spore (silica particle) and the gold surface system were comparable with calculations. Modeling results show that there is a critical RH value, which depends on the hydrophobicity of the materials involved, below which the water meniscus does not form and the contribution of the capillary force is zero. As RH increases, the van der Waals force decreases while the capillary force increases to a maximum value.

  8. Sporicidal characteristics of heated dolomite powder against Bacillus subtilis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasue, Syogo; Sawai, Jun; Kikuchi, Mikio; Nakakuki, Takahito; Sano, Kazuo; Kikuchi, Takahide

    2014-01-01

    Dolomite is a double salt composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). The heat treatment of CaCO3 and MgCO3 respectively generates calcium oxide (CaO) and magnesium oxide (MgO), which have antimicrobial activity. In this study, heated dolomite powder (HDP) slurry was investigated for its sporicidal activity against Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 spores. The B. subtilis spores used in this study were not affected by acidic (pH 1) or alkaline (pH 13) conditions, indicating that they were highly resistant. However, dolomite powder heated to 1000℃ for 1 h could kill B. subtilis spores, even at pH 12.7. Sporicidal activity was only apparent when the dolomite powder was heated to 800℃ or higher, and sporicidal activity increased with increases in the heating temperature. This temperature corresponded to that of the generation of CaO. We determined that MgO did not contribute to the sporicidal activity of HDP. To elucidate the sporicidal mechanism of the HDP against B. subtilis spores, the generation of active oxygen from HDP slurry was examined by chemiluminescence analysis. The generation of active oxygen increased when the HDP slurry concentration rose. The results suggested that, in addition to its alkalinity, the active oxygen species generated from HDP were associated with sporicidal activity.

  9. 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.

  10. Low-level detection of a bacillus anthracis simulant using Love-wave biosensors on 36 degrees YX LiTaO3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branch, Darren W; Brozik, Susan M

    2004-03-15

    We present an acoustic Love-wave biosensor for detection of the Bacillus anthracis simulant, Bacillus thuringiensis at or below inhalational infectious levels. The present work is an experimental study of 36 degrees YX cut LiTaO3 based Love-wave devices for detection of pathogenic spores in aqueous conditions. Given that the detection limit (D1) of Love-wave-based sensors is a strong function of the overlying waveguide, two waveguide materials have been investigated, which are polyimide and polystyrene. To determine the mass sensitivity of Love-wave sensor, bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein was injected into the Love-wave test cell while recording the magnitude and phase shift across each sensor. Polyimide had the lowest mass detection limit with an estimated value of 1.0-2.0 ng/cm2, as compared to polystyrene where D1 = 2.0 ng/cm2. Suitable chemistries were used to orient antibodies on the Love-wave sensor using protein G. The thickness of each biofilm was measured using ellipsometry from which the surface concentrations were calculated. The monoclonal antibody BD8 with a high degree of selectivity for anthrax spores was used to capture the non-pathogenic simulant B. thuringiensis B8 spores. Bacillus subtilis spores were used as a negative control to determine whether significant non-specific binding would occur. Spore aliquots were prepared using an optical counting method, which permitted removal of background particles for consistent sample preparation. This work demonstrates that Love-wave biosensors are promising for low-level detection for whole-cell biological pathogens.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Mutagenesis of Bacillus subtilis spores exposed to simulated space environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munakata, N.; Natsume, T.; Takahashi, K.; Hieda, K.; Panitz, C.; Horneck, G.

    Bacterial spores can endure in a variety of extreme earthly environments. However, some conditions encountered during the space flight could be detrimental to DNA in the spore, delimiting the possibility of transpermia. We investigate the genetic consequences of the exposure to space environments in a series of preflight simulation project of EXPOSE. Using Bacillus subtilis spores of repair-proficient HA101 and repair-deficient TKJ6312 strains, the mutations conferring resistance to rifampicin were detected, isolated and sequenced. Most of the mutations were located in a N-terminal region of the rpoB gene encoding RNA polymerase beta-subunit. Among several potentially mutagenic factors, high vacuum, UV radiation, heat, and accelerated heavy ions induced mutations with varying efficiencies. A majority of mutations induced by vacuum exposure carried a tandem double-base change (CA to TT) at a unique sequence context of TCAGC. Results indicate that the vacuum and high temperature may act synergistically for the induction of mutations.

  18. 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.

  19. Culturability of Bacillus spores on aerosol collection filters exposed to airborne combustion products of Al, Mg, and B·Ti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, Atin; Yermakov, Michael; Indugula, Reshmi; Reponen, Tiina; Driks, Adam; Grinshpun, Sergey A

    2016-05-01

    Destruction of bioweapon facilities due to explosion or fire could aerosolize highly pathogenic microorganisms. The post-event air quality assessment is conducted through air sampling. A bioaerosol sample (often collected on a filter for further culture-based analysis) also contains combustion products, which may influence the microbial culturability and, thus, impact the outcome. We have examined the interaction between spores deposited on collection filters using two simulants of Bacillus anthracis [B. thuringiensis (Bt) and B. atrophaeus (referred to as BG)] and incoming combustion products of Al as well as Mg and B·Ti (common ingredient of metalized explosives). Spores extracted from Teflon, polycarbonate, mixed cellulose ester (MCE), and gelatin filters (most common filter media for bioaerosol sampling), which were exposed to combustion products during a short-term sampling, were analyzed by cultivation. Surprisingly, we observed that aluminum combustion products enhanced the culturability of Bt (but not BG) spores on Teflon filters increasing the culturable count by more than an order of magnitude. Testing polycarbonate and MCE filter materials also revealed a moderate increase of culturability although gelatin did not. No effect was observed with either of the two species interacting on either filter media with products originated by combustion of Mg and B·Ti. Sample contamination, spore agglomeration, effect of a filter material on the spore survival, changes in the spore wall ultrastructure and germination, as well as other factors were explored to interpret the findings. The study raises a question about the reliability of certain filter materials for collecting airborne bio-threat agents in combustion environments.

  20. 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. ...

  1. 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

  2. Effects of Mn2+ Levels on the Resistance Properties of Bacillus cereus Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    In contrast, Bacillus subtilis spores with over a 200-fold range of protoplast Mn levels exhibited no significant differences in resistance to...Bacillus megaterium by wet heat. Lett. Appl . Microbiol. 50:507-514. Daly MJ (2012) Death by protein damage in irradiated cells. DNA Repair 11:12-21...levels on resistance of Bacillus megaterium spores to heat, radiation and hydrogen peroxide. J. Appl . Microbiol. 111:663-670. Ghosh S, Setlow P (2010

  3. NanoSIMS analysis of Bacillus spores for forensics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, P K; Davisson, M L; Velsko, S P

    2010-02-23

    The threat associated with the potential use of radiological, nuclear, chemical and biological materials in terrorist acts has resulted in new fields of forensic science requiring the application of state-of-the-science analytical techniques. Since the anthrax letter attacks in the United States in the fall of 2001, there has been increased interest in physical and chemical characterization of bacterial spores. While molecular methods are powerful tools for identifying genetic differences, other methods may be able to differentiate genetically identical samples based on physical and chemical properties, as well as provide complimentary information, such as methods of production and approximate date of production. Microanalysis has the potential to contribute significantly to microbial forensics. Bacillus spores are highly structured, consisting of a core, cortex, coat, and in some species, an exosporium. This structure provides a template for constraining elemental abundance differences at the nanometer scale. The primary controls on the distribution of major elements in spores are likely structural and physiological. For example, P and Ca are known to be abundant in the spore core because that is where P-rich nucleic acids and Cadipicolinic acid are located, respectively. Trace elements are known to bind to the spore coat but the controls on these elements are less well understood. Elemental distributions and abundances may be directly related to spore production, purification and stabilization methodologies, which are of particular interest for forensic investigation. To this end, we are developing a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry method using a Cameca NanoSIMS 50 to study the distribution and abundance of trace elements in bacterial spores. In this presentation we will review and compare methods for preparing and analyzing samples, as well as review results on the distribution and abundance of elements in bacterial spores. We use NanoSIMS to

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Assembly of the BclB glycoprotein into the exosporium and evidence for its role in the formation of the exosporium 'cap' structure in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Brian M; Hoelscher, Bryce C; Driks, Adam; Stewart, George C

    2012-12-01

    The outermost layer of the Bacillus anthracis spore consists of an exosporium comprised of an outer hair-like nap layer and an internal basal layer. A major component of the hair-like nap is the glycosylated collagen-like protein BclA. A second collagen-like protein, BclB, is also present in the exosporium. BclB possesses an N-terminal sequence that targets it to the exosporium and is similar in sequence to a cognate targeting region in BclA. BclB lacks, however, sequence similarity to the region of BclA thought to mediate attachment to the basal layer via covalent interactions with the basal layer protein BxpB. Here we demonstrate that BxpB is critical for correct localization of BclB during spore formation and that the N-terminal domains of the BclA and BclB proteins compete for BxpB-controlled assembly sites. We found that BclB is located principally in a region of the exosporium that excludes a short arc on one side of the exosporium (the so-called bottle-cap region). We also found that in bclB mutant spores, the distribution of exosporium proteins CotY and BxpB is altered, suggesting that BclB has roles in exosporium assembly. In bclB mutant spores, the distance between the exosporium and the coat, the interspace, is reduced.

  8. Cloning of the Protective Antigen Gene of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Thermal Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis using Laser Irradiation of Micro-Etched Platforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

    Dry Population—wasteful? Adjust Slurry EtOH; ា% Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS) "As far as the material going into solution. We use a 1mg/ml...Rowley, D. (1963). Configuration and Base Composition of Deoxyribosenucleic Acid from Spores of Bacillus Subtilis var Niger . Journal of Bacteriology

  12. Nucleotide Sequence of the Protective Antigen Gene of Bacillus Anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-02-02

    Montie, S. Kadis, and S. I. Ajl (ed.), Microbial toxins, vol. 3. Academic Press, Inc., New York. 23. Little, S. F., and G. B. Knudaon. 1986...Takkinen, and L. Kaariainen. 1981. Nucleotide sequence of the promoter and NHa-terminal signal peptide region of the a- amylase gene from Bacillus

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. High Pressure Germination of Bacillus subtilis Spores with Alterations in Levels and Types of Germination Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    1ITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a CONTRACTNUMBER High pressure germination of Bacillus subtilis spores with W911NF-09-l-0286 alterations in levels and types of...A moderate high pressure (mHP) of 150 megaPascals (MPa) triggers germination of Bacillus subtilis spores via germinant receptors (GRs), while...germination by a very high pressure (vHP) of550 MPa is GR-independent. The mHP and vHP germination of Bacillus subtilis spores with different levels ofGRs

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Dyer

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

  7. 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.

  8. A Type III protein-RNA toxin-antitoxin system from Bacillus thuringiensis promotes plasmid retention during spore development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Francesca L; Monson, Rita E; Salmond, George P C

    2015-01-01

    Members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group of bacteria often contain multiple large plasmids, including those encoding virulence factors in B. anthracis. Bacillus species can develop into spores in response to stress. During sporulation the genomic content of the cell is heavily compressed, which could result in counterselection of extrachromosomal genomic elements, unless they have robust stabilization and segregation systems. Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are near-ubiquitous in prokaryotes and have multiple biological roles, including plasmid stabilization during vegetative growth. Here, we have shown that a Type III TA system, based on an RNA antitoxin and endoribonuclease toxin, from plasmid pAW63 in Bacillus thuringiensis serovar kurstaki HD-73 can dramatically promote plasmid retention in populations undergoing sporulation and germination, and we provide evidence that this occurs through the post-segregational killing of plasmid-free forespores. Our findings show how an extremely common genetic module can be used to ensure plasmid maintenance during stress-induced developmental transitions, with implications for plasmid dynamics in B. cereus s.l. bacteria.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill K Terra

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Gene expression profiling of human alveolar macrophages infected by B. anthracis spores demonstrates TNF-α and NF-κb are key components of the innate immune response to the pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hurst Robert E

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of anthrax, has recently been used as an agent of bioterrorism. The innate immune system initially appears to contain the pathogen at the site of entry. Because the human alveolar macrophage (HAM plays a key role in lung innate immune responses, studying the HAM response to B. anthracis is important in understanding the pathogenesis of the pulmonary form of this disease. Methods In this paper, the transcriptional profile of B. anthracis spore-treated HAM was compared with that of mock-infected cells, and differentially expressed genes were identified by Affymetrix microarray analysis. A portion of the results were verified by Luminex protein analysis. Results The majority of genes modulated by spores were upregulated, and a lesser number were downregulated. The differentially expressed genes were subjected to Ingenuity Pathway analysis, the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID analysis, the Promoter Analysis and Interaction Network Toolset (PAINT and Oncomine analysis. Among the upregulated genes, we identified a group of chemokine ligand, apoptosis, and, interestingly, keratin filament genes. Central hubs regulating the activated genes were TNF-α, NF-κB and their ligands/receptors. In addition to TNF-α, a broad range of cytokines was induced, and this was confirmed at the level of translation by Luminex multiplex protein analysis. PAINT analysis revealed that many of the genes affected by spores contain the binding site for c-Rel, a member of the NF-κB family of transcription factors. Other transcription regulatory elements contained in many of the upregulated genes were c-Myb, CP2, Barbie Box, E2F and CRE-BP1. However, many of the genes are poorly annotated, indicating that they represent novel functions. Four of the genes most highly regulated by spores have only previously been associated with head and neck and lung carcinomas. Conclusion The

  12. The Adsorption Properties of Bacillus atrophaeus Spore on Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes

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    P. Cortes

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available An equilibrium study of Bacillus atrophaeus (B.a spores on functionalized Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNTs has been performed in order to characterize the adsorption properties of the spores/nanotubes complex. The carbon nanotubes here investigated were subjected to a two-step purification and functionalization treatment in order to introduce chemical groups on their basal planes. The inclusion of carboxyl functional groups on the nanotubes was corroborated by Raman and infrared spectroscopy. These carboxyl groups appear to enhance the nanotube-B.a. interaction by reacting with the proteinaceous pili appendages present on the spore surface. The adsorption data demonstrate that bacillus spores diffuse faster on functionalized carbon nanotubes than on as-received and purified nanomaterials. Transmission Electron Microscopy also shows that the chemically treated nanotubes resulted in a swollen nano-network which seems to further enhance the bacillus adsorption due to a more extensive spore-nanotube contact area.

  13. 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.

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

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Effects of Electrolyzed Oxidizing Water on Inactivation of Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus Spores in Suspension and on Carriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunling; Li, Baoming; Jadeja, Ravirajsinh; Hung, Yen-Con

    2016-01-01

    Spores of some Bacillus species are responsible for food spoilage and foodborne disease. These spores are highly resistant to various interventions and cooking processes. In this study, the sporicidal efficacy of acidic electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water (AEW) and slightly acidic EO water (SAEW) with available chlorine concentration (ACC) of 40, 60, 80, 100, and 120 mg/L and treatment time for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 min were tested on Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus spores in suspension and on carrier with or without organics. The reduction of spore significantly increased with increasing ACC and treatment time (P waters containing 120 mg/L ACC, while only SAEW at 120 mg/L and 2 min treatment achieved >6 log reductions of B. subtilis spore. Both types of EO water with ACC of 60 mg/L and 6 min treatment achieved a reduction of B. subtilis and B. cereus spores to nondetectable level. EO water with ACC of 80 mg/L and treatment time of 3 min on carrier test without organics addition resulted in reductions of B. subtilis spore to nondetectable level. But, addition of 0.3% organics on carrier decreased the inactivation effect of EO water. This study indicated that EO water was highly effective in inactivation of B. subtilis and B. cereus spores in suspension or on carrier, and therefore, rendered it as a promising disinfectant to be applied in food industry.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Dynamic localization of penicillin-binding proteins during spore development in Bacillus subtilis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheffers, Dirk-Jan

    2005-01-01

    During Bacillus subtilis spore formation, many membrane proteins that function in spore development localize to the prespore septum and, subsequently, to the outer prespore membrane. Recently, it was shown that the cell-division-specific penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) 1 and 2b localize to the as

  2. Bacillus subtilis spore protein SpoVAC functions as a mechanosensitive channel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velasquez Guzman, Jeanette; Schuurman-Wolters, Geesina; Birkner, Jan Peter; Abee, Tjakko; Poolman, Bert

    2014-01-01

    A critical event during spore germination is the release of Ca-DPA (calcium in complex with dipicolinic acid). The mechanism of release of Ca-DPA through the inner membrane of the spore is not clear, but proteins encoded by the Bacillus subtilis spoVA operon are involved in the process. We cloned an

  3. Gas discharge plasmas are effective in inactivating Bacillus and Clostridium spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Shawn; Abramzon, Nina; Jackson, James O; Lin, Wei-Jen

    2012-03-01

    Bacterial spores are the most resistant form of life and have been a major threat to public health and food safety. Nonthermal atmospheric gas discharge plasma is a novel sterilization method that leaves no chemical residue. In our study, a helium radio-frequency cold plasma jet was used to examine its sporicidal effect on selected strains of Bacillus and Clostridium. The species tested included Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus stearothermophilus, Clostridium sporogenes, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium difficile, and Clostridium botulinum type A and type E. The plasmas were effective in inactivating selected Bacillus and Clostridia spores with D values (decimal reduction time) ranging from 2 to 8 min. Among all spores tested, C. botulinum type A and C. sporogenes were significantly more resistant to plasma inactivation than other species. Observations by phase contrast microscopy showed that B. subtilis spores were severely damaged by plasmas and the majority of the treated spores were unable to initiate the germination process. There was no detectable fragmentation of the DNA when the spores were treated for up to 20 min. The release of dipicolinic acid was observed almost immediately after the plasma treatment, indicating the spore envelope damage could occur quickly resulting in dipicolinic acid release and the reduction of spore resistance.

  4. 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

  5. Germination of Spores of Astrobiologically Relevant Bacillus Species in High-Salinity Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Katja; Julius, Christina; Moeller, Ralf

    2016-07-01

    In times of increasing space exploration and search for extraterrestrial life, new questions and challenges for planetary protection, aiming to avoid forward contamination of different planets or moons with terrestrial life, are emerging. Spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus species have a high contamination potential due to their spores' extreme resistance, enabling them to withstand space conditions. Spores require liquid water for their conversion into a growing cell (i.e., spore germination and subsequent growth). If present, water on extraterrestrial planets or moons is likely to be closely associated with salts (e.g., in salty oceans or brines), thus constituting high-salinity environments. Spores of Bacillus subtilis can germinate despite very high salt concentrations, although salt stress does exert negative effects on this process. In this study, germination and metabolic reactivation ("outgrowth") of spores of five astrobiologically relevant Bacillus species (B. megaterium, B. pumilus SAFR-032, B. nealsonii, B. mojavensis, and B. vallismortis) in high salinity (≤3.6 M NaCl) were investigated. Spores of different species exhibited different germination and outgrowth capabilities in high salinity, which strongly depended on germination conditions, especially the exact composition of the medium. In this context, a new "universal" germination trigger for Bacillus spores, named KAGE (KCl, L-alanine, D-glucose, ectoine), was identified, which will be very useful for future comparative germination and outgrowth studies on different Bacillus species. Overall, this study yielded interesting new insights on salt stress effects on spore germination and points out the difficulty of predicting the potential of spores to contaminate salty environments on extraterrestrial celestial bodies.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Germinant-enhanced decontamination of Bacillus spores adhered to iron and cement-mortar drinking water infrastructures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabo, Jeffrey G; Muhammad, Nur; Heckman, Lee; Rice, Eugene W; Hall, John

    2012-04-01

    Germination was evaluated as an enhancement to decontamination methods for removing Bacillus spores from drinking water infrastructure. Germinating spores before chlorinating cement mortar or flushing corroded iron was more effective than chlorinating or flushing alone.

  10. 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.

  11. Role of dipicolinic acid in the germination, stability, and viability of spores of Bacillus subtilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magge, Anil; Granger, Amanda C; Wahome, Paul G; Setlow, Barbara; Vepachedu, Venkata R; Loshon, Charles A; Peng, Lixin; Chen, De; Li, Yong-Qing; Setlow, Peter

    2008-07-01

    Spores of Bacillus subtilis spoVF strains that cannot synthesize dipicolinic acid (DPA) but take it up during sporulation were prepared in medium with various DPA concentrations, and the germination and viability of these spores as well as the DPA content in individual spores were measured. Levels of some other small molecules in DPA-less spores were also measured. These studies have allowed the following conclusions. (i) Spores with no DPA or low DPA levels that lack either the cortex-lytic enzyme (CLE) SleB or the receptors that respond to nutrient germinants could be isolated but were unstable and spontaneously initiated early steps in spore germination. (ii) Spores that lacked SleB and nutrient germinant receptors and also had low DPA levels were more stable. (iii) Spontaneous germination of spores with no DPA or low DPA levels was at least in part via activation of SleB. (iv) The other redundant CLE, CwlJ, was activated only by the release of high levels of DPA from spores. (v) Low levels of DPA were sufficient for the viability of spores that lacked most alpha/beta-type small, acid-soluble spore proteins. (vi) DPA levels accumulated in spores prepared in low-DPA-containing media varied greatly between individual spores, in contrast to the presence of more homogeneous DPA levels in individual spores made in media with high DPA concentrations. (vii) At least the great majority of spores of several spoVF strains that contained no DPA also lacked other major spore small molecules and had gone through some of the early reactions in spore germination.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

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    Haft Daniel H

    2009-04-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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%.

  19. Modeling Radiation Effectiveness for Inactivation of Bacillus Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-17

    will undergo germination which is the first step in the process by which bacteria transforms from a dormant spore into a vegetative cell [28]. The...order to survive a dose of radiation, a spore must repair its damaged DNA during germination . The DNA repair process is dependent on reactions catalyzed...in the next section. 2.2 Life Cycle of a Bacterial Spore A dormant spore is formed via a multi- step process called sporulation (refer to Figure 2.5

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

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    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.

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Najafi Olya, Z. (BSc

    2015-05-01

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

  5. Role of Spore Coat Proteins in the Resistance of Bacillus subtilis Spores to Caenorhabditis elegans Predation▿

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    Bacterial spores are resistant to a wide range of chemical and physical insults that are normally lethal for the vegetative form of the bacterium. While the integrity of the protein coat of the spore is crucial for spore survival in vitro, far less is known about how the coat provides protection in vivo against predation by ecologically relevant hosts. In particular, assays had characterized the in vitro resistance of spores to peptidoglycan-hydrolyzing enzymes like lysozyme that are also imp...

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

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    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.

  7. Responses of Bacillus subtilis spores to space environment: results from experiments in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G

    1993-02-01

    Onboard of several spacecrafts (Apollo 16, Spacelab 1, LDEF), spores of Bacillus subtilis were exposed to selected parameters of space, such as space vacuum, different spectral ranges of solar UV-radiation and cosmic rays, applied separately or in combination, and we have studied their survival and genetic changes after retrieval. The spores survive extended periods of time in space--up to several years--, if protected against the high influx of solar UV-radiation. Water desorption caused by the space vacuum leads to structural changes of the DNA; the consequences are an increased mutation frequency and altered photobiological properties of the spores. UV-effects, such as killing and mutagenesis, are augmented, if the spores are in space vacuum during irradiation. Vacuum-specific photoproducts which are different from the 'spore photoproduct' may cause the synergistic response of spores to the simultaneous action of UV and vacuum. The experiments provide an experimental test of certain steps of the panspermia hypothesis.

  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. Challenges and advances in systems biology analysis of Bacillus spore physiology; molecular differences between an extreme heat resistant spore forming Bacillus subtilis food isolate and a laboratory strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brul, Stanley; van Beilen, Johan; Caspers, Martien; O'Brien, Andrea; de Koster, Chris; Oomes, Suus; Smelt, Jan; Kort, Remco; Ter Beek, Alex

    2011-04-01

    Bacterial spore formers are prime organisms of concern in the food industry. Spores from the genus Bacillus are extremely stress resistant, most notably exemplified by high thermotolerance. This sometimes allows surviving spores to germinate and grow out to vegetative cells causing food spoilage and possible intoxication. Similar issues though more pending toward spore toxigenicity are observed for the anaerobic Clostridia. The paper indicates the nature of stress resistance and highlights contemporary molecular approaches to analyze the mechanistic basis of it in Bacilli. A molecular comparison between a laboratory strain and a food borne isolate, very similar at the genomic level to the laboratory strain but generating extremely heat resistant spores, is discussed. The approaches cover genome-wide genotyping, proteomics and genome-wide expression analyses studies. The analyses aim at gathering sufficient molecular information to be able to put together an initial framework for dynamic modelling of spore germination and outgrowth behaviour. Such emerging models should be developed both at the population and at the single spore level. Tools and challenges in achieving the latter are succinctly discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Function of the SpoVAEa and SpoVAF Proteins of Bacillus subtilis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-01

    1ITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a CONTRACTNUMBER Function of the SpoVAEa and SpoVAF proteins of Bacillus W911NF-09-1-0286 subtilis spores 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c...ABSTRACT The Bacillus subtilis spoVAEa and spoVAF genes are expressed in developng spores as members of the spoVA operon that encodes proteins essential...8217\\ ;~ 1~~~4-~,.1. A\\ C’~~1T 1\\ D~ ~~,.1 C’~~1T 1\\ T’\\ ~-~ ,.1;~~1. •• 4-~,.1 ~:-:1~-1 •• ;~ ~~~~~~~ ~f:’ 15. SUBJECT TERMS Bacillus , spores SpoVA

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. The characterisation of Bacillus spores occurring in the manufacturing of (low acid) canned products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oomes, S J C M; van Zuijlen, A C M; Hehenkamp, J O; Witsenboer, H; van der Vossen, J M B M; Brul, S

    2007-11-30

    Spore-forming bacteria can be a problem in the food industry, especially in the canning industry. Spores present in ingredients or present in the processing environment severely challenge the preservation process since their thermal resistance may be very high. We therefore asked the question which bacterial spore formers are found in a typical soup manufacturing plant, where they originate from and what the thermal resistance of their spores is. To answer these questions molecular techniques for bacterial species and strain identification were used as well as a protocol for the assessment of spore heat stress resistance based on the Kooiman method. The data indicate the existence and physiological cause of the high thermal resistance of spores of many of the occurring species. In particular it shows that ingredients used in soup manufacturing are a rich source of high thermal resistant spores and that sporulation in the presence of ingredients rich in divalent metal ions exerts a strong influence on spore heat resistance. It was also indicated that Bacillus spores may well be able to germinate and resporulate during manufacturing i.e. through growth and sporulation in line. Both these spores and those originating from the ingredients were able to survive certain thermal processing settings. Species identity was confirmed using fatty acid analysis, 16SrRNA gene sequencing and DNA-DNA hybridisation. Finally, molecular typing experiments using Ribotyping and AFLP analysis show that strains within the various Bacillus species can be clustered according to the thermal resistance properties of their spores. AFLP performed slightly better than Ribotyping. The data proofed to be useful for the generation of strain specific probes. Protocols to validate these probes in routine identification and innovation aimed at tailor made heat processing in soup manufacturing have been formulated.

  16. Ultraviolet irradiation of DNA complexed with. alpha. /. beta. -type small, acid-soluble proteins from spores of Bacillus or Clostridium species makes spore photoproduct but not thymine dimers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nicholson, W.L.; Setlow, B.; Setlow, P. (Univ. of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington (United States))

    1991-10-01

    UV irradiation of complexes of DNA and an {alpha}/{beta}-type small, acid-soluble protein (SASP) from Bacillus subtilis spores gave decreasing amounts of pyrimidine dimers and increasing amounts of spore photoproduct as the SASP/DNA ratio was increased. The yields of pyrimidine dimers and spore photoproduct were < 0.2% and 8% of total thymine, respectively, when DNA saturated with SASP was irradiated at 254 nm with 30 kJ/m{sup 2}; in the absence of SASP the yields were reversed - 4.5% and 0.3%, respectively. Complexes of DNA with {alpha}/{beta}-type SASP from Bacillus cereus, Bacillus megaterium, or Clostridium bifermentans spores also gave spore photoproduct upon UV irradiation. However, incubation of these SASPs with DNA under conditions preventing complex formation or use of mutant SASPs that do not form complexes did not affect the photoproducts formed in vitro. These results suggest that the UV photochemistry of bacterial spore DNA in vivo is due to the binding of {alpha}/{beta}-type SASP, a binding that is known to cause a change in DNA conformation in vitro from the B form to the A form. The yields of spore photoproduct in vitro were significantly lower than in vivo, perhaps because of the presence of substances other than SASP in spores. It is suggested that as these factors diffuse out in the first minutes of spore germination, spore photoproduct yields become similar to those observed for irradiation of SASP/DNA complexes in vitro.

  17. The Adsorption Properties of Bacillus atrophaeus Spores on Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Cortes

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available An adsorption equilibrium and a kinetic study of Bacillus atrophaeus on Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNTs were here performed to provide the basis for developing biosensor devices for detecting threatening micro-organisms in water supply systems. B. atrophaeus spores and carbon nanotubes were subjected to a batch adsorption process to document their equilibria and kinetics. Here, commercial nanotubes were either studied as received or were acid-purified before adsorption experiments. The Bacillus spores appear to show higher affinity towards the purified nanotubes than to the as-received nanomaterial. The effective diffusivity of the spores onto the purified nanotubes was found to be approximately 30 percent higher than onto the as-received nanotubes. It seems that the removal of amorphous carbon from the as-received nanotubes through a purification process yielded an intimate nantoubes-spore interaction as revealed by transmission electron microscopy. Freundlich model successfully correlated the adsorption equilibrium data for the nanotubes-spore interaction. Transmission electron micrographs showed extensive contact between the Bacillus and the purified nanotubes, but the association appeared less intimate between the spores and the as-received nanotubes.

  18. Quantification of the impact of single and multiple mild stresses on outgrowth heterogeneity of Bacillus cereus spores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Melis, van C.C.J.; Besten, den H.M.W.; Nierop Groot, M.N.; Abee, T.

    2014-01-01

    Outgrowth heterogeneity of bacterial spore populations complicates both prediction and efficient control of spore outgrowth. In this study, the impact of mild preservation stresses on outgrowth of Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 spores was quantified during the first stages of outgrowth. Heterogeneity in

  19. 3种细菌芽胞遗传同源性及抗力对比研究%Comparison of Genetic Homology and Resistance of Three Bacillus Spores

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    许斌; 程立庆; 黄国荣; 张林; 饶中林; 张廷惠; 熊鸿燕

    2009-01-01

    比较细菌芽胞的遗传同源性、结构和抗力差异,为炭疽芽胞的替代试验菌的可靠评价提供依据.采用资料检索、生物信息分析、显微镜观察和微生物学技术分析不同芽胞的遗传同源性、超微结构和抗力差异.炭疽芽胞与腊样芽胞的结构和大小相似,生物遗传同源性最近,对热力、UVC和有效氯的抗力相近.腊样芽胞对炭疽芽胞的代表性最好,可以倾向性选用其替代炭疽芽胞进行试验研究.%Genetic homology, structure, and resistance difference of bacillus spores were compared to provide founda-tion to evaluate the reliability of experimental substitute for Bacillus anthracis spore using data-search, bio-information analysis, microscopic observation, and microbiological technology to analyze the genetic homology, ultrastructure, and resistance difference of different spores. The results showed that the structure and the size of B. anthracis was similar to those of B. cereus, very close in genetic homology, close in the resistance against heat, UVC, and effective chlo-rine. Therefore, B. cereus had the best representativeness of B. anthracis, and could be used tendentiously and selec-tively to study their spores.

  20. [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.

  1. 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.

  2. Friction and Adhesion Forces of Bacillus thuringiensis Spores on Planar Surfaces in Atmospheric Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kweon, Hyojin [Georgia Institute of Technology; Yiacoumi, Sotira [Georgia Institute of Technology; Tsouris, Costas [ORNL

    2011-01-01

    The kinetic friction force and the adhesion force of Bacillus thuringiensis spores on planar surfaces in atmospheric systems were studied using atomic force microscopy. The influence of relative humidity (RH) on these forces varied for different surface properties including hydrophobicity, roughness, and surface charge. The friction force of the spore was greater on a rougher surface than on mica, which is atomically flat. As RH increases, the friction force of the spores decreases on mica whereas it increases on rough surfaces. The influence of RH on the interaction forces between hydrophobic surfaces is not as strong as for hydrophilic surfaces. The friction force of the spore is linear to the sum of the adhesion force and normal load on the hydrophobic surface. The poorly defined surface structure of the spore and the adsorption of contaminants from the surrounding atmosphere are believed to cause a discrepancy between the calculated and measured adhesion forces.

  3. Control of Bacillus licheniformis spores isolated from dairy materials in yogurt production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Takashi; Ito, Akiko; Kamikado, Hideaki

    2012-01-01

    To determine the effects of sporulation temperature and period on Bacillus licheniformis spore heat resistance, B. licheniformis strain No.25 spores were sporulated at 30, 37, 42, or 50°C for 11 d and at 50°C for 1.7, 4, 7, or 11 d. The heat resistance of B. licheniformis strain No.25 spores at 110°C increased with an increase in the sporulation temperature. Spores sporulated at 50°C were 1.4-fold more heat resistant than those sporulated at 30°C. Furthermore, the heat resistance of B. licheniformis strain No.25 spores at 110°C increased with an increase in the sporulation period. Spores sporulated for 11 d were 5.3-fold more heat resistant than those sporulated for 1.7 d. The heat resistance of B. licheniformis strain No.25 spores at 110°C increased with increases in the sporulation temperature and sporulation period. The results presented in this study can be applied to the pasteurization process to control B. licheniformis spores. Pasteurization at 110°C for about 60sec. is effective in controlling B. licheniformis spores isolated from dairy materials in yogurt production.

  4. 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.

  5. Recovery Efficiency, False Negative Rate, and Limit of Detection Performance of a Validated Macrofoam-Swab Sampling Method with Low Surface Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-03-31

    The performance of a macrofoam-swab sampling method was evaluated using Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores applied at nine low target amounts (2-500 spores) to positive-control plates and test coupons (2 in. × 2 in.) of four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic). Test results from cultured samples were used to evaluate the effects of surrogate, surface concentration, and surface material on recovery efficiency (RE), false negative rate (FNR), and limit of detection. For RE, surrogate and surface material had statistically significant effects, but concentration did not. Mean REs were the lowest for vinyl tile (50.8% with BAS, 40.2% with BG) and the highest for glass (92.8% with BAS, 71.4% with BG). FNR values ranged from 0 to 0.833 for BAS and 0 to 0.806 for BG, with values increasing as concentration decreased in the range tested (0.078 to 19.375 CFU/cm2, where CFU denotes ‘colony forming units’). Surface material also had a statistically significant effect. A FNR-concentration curve was fit for each combination of surrogate and surface material. For both surrogates, the FNR curves tended to be the lowest for glass and highest for vinyl title. The FNR curves for BG tended to be higher than for BAS at lower concentrations, especially for glass. Results using a modified Rapid Viability-Polymerase Chain Reaction (mRV-PCR) analysis method were also obtained. The mRV-PCR results and comparisons to the culture results will be discussed in a subsequent report.

  6. Inactivation of Bacillus spores inoculated in milk by Ultra High Pressure Homogenization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador Espejo, Genaro Gustavo; Hernández-Herrero, M M; Juan, B; Trujillo, A J

    2014-12-01

    Ultra High-Pressure Homogenization treatments at 300 MPa with inlet temperatures (Ti) of 55, 65, 75 and 85 °C were applied to commercial Ultra High Temperature treated whole milk inoculated with Bacillus cereus, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus sporothermodurans, Bacillus coagulans, Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus subtilis spores in order to evaluate the inactivation level achieved. Ultra High-Pressure Homogenization conditions at 300 MPa with Ti = 75 and 85 °C were capable of a spore inactivation of ∼5 log CFU/mL. Furthermore, under these processing conditions, commercial sterility (evaluated as the complete inactivation of the inoculated spores) was obtained in milk, with the exception of G. stearothermophilus and B. subtilis treated at 300 MPa with Ti = 75 °C. The results showed that G. stearothermophilus and B. subtilis have higher resistance to the Ultra High-Pressure Homogenization treatments applied than the other microorganisms inoculated and that a treatment performed at 300 MPa with Ti = 85 °C was necessary to completely inactivate these microorganisms at the spore level inoculated (∼1 × 10(6) CFU/mL). Besides, a change in the resistance of B. licheniformis, B. sporothermodurans, G. stearothermophilus and B. subtilis spores was observed as the inactivation obtained increased remarkably in treatments performed with Ti between 65 and 75 °C. This study provides important evidence of the suitability of UHPH technology for the inactivation of spores in high numbers, leading to the possibility of obtaining commercially sterile milk.

  7. Structural Analysis of Bacillus subtilis Spore Peptidoglycan during Sporulation

    OpenAIRE

    2000-01-01

    A major structural element of bacterial endospores is a peptidoglycan (PG) wall. This wall is produced between the two opposed membranes surrounding the developing forespore and is composed of two layers. The inner layer is the germ cell wall, which appears to have a structure similar to that of the vegetative cell wall and which serves as the initial cell wall following spore germination. The outer layer, the cortex, has a modified structure, is required for maintenance of spore dehydration,...

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason K Blackburn

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

  10. 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.

  11. [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

  12. Comparative analysis of Bacillus weihenstephanensis KBAB4 spores obtained at different temperatures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia, D.; Voort, van der M.; Abee, T.

    2010-01-01

    The impact of Bacillus weihenstephanensis KBAB4 sporulation temperature history was assessed on spore heat resistance, germination and outgrowth capacity at a temperature range from 7 to 30 °C. Sporulation rate and efficiency decreased at low temperature, as cells sporulated at 12, 20 and 30 °C with

  13. Gel-free proteomic identification of the Bacillus subtilis insoluble spore coat protein fraction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W. Abhyankar; A. ter Beek; H. Dekker; R. Kort; S. Brul; C.G. de Koster

    2011-01-01

    Species from the genus Bacillus have the ability to form endospores, dormant cellular forms that are able to survive heat and acid preservation techniques commonly used in the food industry. Resistance characteristics of spores towards various environmental stresses are in part attributed to their c

  14. Soya bean tempe extracts show antibacterial activity against Bacillus cereus cells and spores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roubos-van den Hil, P.J.; Dalmas, E.; Nout, M.J.R.; Abee, T.

    2010-01-01

    Aims: Tempe, a Rhizopus ssp.-fermented soya bean food product, was investigated for bacteriostatic and/or bactericidal effects against cells and spores of the food-borne pathogen Bacillus cereus. Methods and results: Tempe extract showed a high antibacterial activity against B. cereus ATCC 14579 bas

  15. Characterization of a spore-specific protein of the Bacillus cereus group

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    From, C.; Voort, van der M.; Abee, T.; Granum, P.E.

    2012-01-01

    Bc1245 is a monocistronic chromosomal gene of Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 encoding a putative protein of 143 amino acids identified in this study to have a spore-related function in B. cereus. Bc1245 is highly conserved in the genome of members of the B. cereus group, indicating an important function

  16. Germination and outgrowth of spores of Bacillus cereus group members: diversity and role of germinant receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abee, Tjakko; Groot, Masja Nierop; Tempelaars, Marcel; Zwietering, Marcel; Moezelaar, Roy; van der Voort, Menno

    2011-04-01

    Bacillus cereus is a gram-positive, facultative anaerobic, endospore-forming toxicogenic human pathogen. Endospores are highly specialized, metabolically dormant cell types that are resistant to extreme environmental conditions, including heat, dehydration and other physical stresses. B. cereus can enter a range of environments, and can in its spore form, survive harsh conditions. If these conditions become favorable, spores can germinate and grow out and reach considerable numbers in a range of environments including processed foods. Certainly the last decade, when consumer preferences have shifted to mildly processed food, new opportunities arose for spore-forming spoilage and pathogenic organisms. Only rigorous methods have been shown to be capable of destroying all spores present in food, thus a shift toward e.g., milder heat preservation strategies, may result in low but significant amounts of viable spores in food products. Hence, the need for a mild spore destruction strategy is eminent including control of spore outgrowth. Consequently, there is a large interest in triggering spore germination in foodstuffs, since germinated spores have lost the extreme resistance of dormant spores and are relatively easy to kill. Another option could be to prevent germination so that no dangerous levels can be reached. This contribution will focus on germination and outgrowth characteristics of B. cereus and other members of the B. cereus group, providing an overview of the niches these spore-formers can occupy, the signals that trigger germination, and how B. cereus copes with these wake-up calls in different environments including foods, during food processing and upon interaction with the human host.

  17. Morphological and mechanical imaging of Bacillus cereus spore formation at the nanoscale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Congzhou; Stanciu, Cristina; Ehrhardt, Christopher J; Yadavalli, Vamsi K

    2015-04-01

    Bacteria from the genus Bacillus are able to transform into metabolically dormant states called (endo) spores in response to nutrient deprivation and other harsh conditions. These morphologically distinct spores are fascinating constructs, amongst the most durable cells in nature, and have attracted attention owing to their relevance in food-related illnesses and bioterrorism. Observing the course of bacterial spore formation (sporulation) spatially, temporally and mechanically, from the vegetative cell to a mature spore, is critical for a better understanding of this process. Here, we present a fast and versatile strategy for monitoring both the morphological and mechanical changes of Bacillus cereus bacteria at the nanoscale using atomic force microscopy. Through a strategy of imaging and nanomechanical mapping, we show the morphogenesis of the endospore and released mature endospore. Finally, we investigate individual spores to characterize their surface mechanically. The progression in elasticity coupled with a similarity of characteristic distributions between the incipient endospores and the formed spores show these distinct stages. Taken together, our data demonstrates the power of atomic force microscopy applied in microbiology for probing this important biological process at the single cell scale.

  18. Evaluation of germination, distribution, and persistence of Bacillus subtilis spores through the gastrointestinal tract of chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre, J D; Hernandez-Velasco, X; Kallapura, G; Menconi, A; Pumford, N R; Morgan, M J; Layton, S L; Bielke, L R; Hargis, B M; Téllez, G

    2014-07-01

    Spores are popular as direct-fed microbials, though little is known about their mode of action. Hence, the first objective of the present study was to evaluate the in vitro germination and growth rate of Bacillus subtilis spores. Approximately 90% of B. subtilis spores germinate within 60 min in the presence of feed in vitro. The second objective was to determine the distribution of these spores throughout different anatomical segments of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) in a chicken model. For in vivo evaluation of persistence and dissemination, spores were administered to day-of-hatch broiler chicks either as a single gavage dose or constantly in the feed. During 2 independent experiments, chicks were housed in isolation chambers and fed sterile corn-soy-based diets. In these experiments one group of chickens was supplemented with 10(6) spores/g of feed, whereas a second group was gavaged with a single dose of 10(6) spores per chick on day of hatch. In both experiments, crop, ileum, and cecae were sampled from 5 chicks at 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h. Viable B. subtilis spores were determined by plate count method after heat treatment (75°C for 10 min). The number of recovered spores was constant through 120 h in each of the enteric regions from chickens receiving spores supplemented in the feed. However, the number of recovered B. subtilis spores was consistently about 10(5) spores per gram of digesta, which is about a 1-log10 reduction of the feed inclusion rate, suggesting approximately a 90% germination rate in the GIT when fed. On the other hand, recovered B. subtilis spores from chicks that received a single gavage dose decreased with time, with only approximately 10(2) spores per gram of sample by 120 h. This confirms that B. subtilis spores are transiently present in the GIT of chickens, but the persistence of vegetative cells is presently unknown. For persistent benefit, continuous administration of effective B. subtilis direct-fed microbials as vegetative

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Bacillus cereus spores and cereulide in food-borne illness

    OpenAIRE

    Shaheen, Ranad

    2009-01-01

    B. cereus is a gram-positive bacterium that possesses two different forms of life:the large, rod-shaped cells (ca. 0.002 mm by 0.004 mm) that are able to propagate and the small (0.001 mm), oval shaped spores. The spores can survive in almost any environment for up to centuries without nourishment or water. They are insensitive towards most agents that normally kill bacteria: heating up to several hours at 90 ºC, radiation, disinfectants and extreme alkaline (≥ pH 13) and acid (≀ pH 1) e...

  5. Graphical procedure for comparing thermal death of Bacillus stearothermophilus spores in saturated and superheated steam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    SHULL, J J; ERNST, R R

    1962-09-01

    The thermal death curve of dried spores of Bacillus stearothermophilus in saturated steam was characterized by three phases: (i) a sharp initial rise in viable count; (ii) a low rate of death which gradually increased; and (iii) logarithmic death at maximal rate. The first phase was a reflection of inadequate heat activation of the spore population. The second and third phases represented the characteristic thermal death curve of the spores in saturated steam. A jacketed steam sterilizer, equipped with a system for initial evacuation of the chamber, was examined for superheat during normal operation. Measurements of spore inactivation and temperature revealed superheat in surface layers of fabrics being processed in steam at 121 C. The high temperature of the fabric surfaces was attributed to absorption of excess heat energy from superheated steam. The superheated steam was produced at the beginning of the normal sterilizing cycle by transfer of heat from the steam-heated jacket to saturated steam entering the vessel.

  6. Investigating the thermodynamic stability of Bacillus subtilis spore-uranium(VI) adsorption though surface complexation modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrold, Z.; Hertel, M.; Gorman-Lewis, D.

    2012-12-01

    Dissolved uranium speciation, mobility, and remediation are increasingly important topics given continued and potential uranium (U) release from mining operations and nuclear waste. Vegetative bacterial cell surfaces are known to adsorb uranium and may influence uranium speciation in the environment. Previous investigations regarding U(VI) adsorption to bacterial spores, a differentiated and dormant cell type with a tough proteinaceous coat, include U adsorption affinity and XAFS data. We investigated the thermodynamic stability of aerobic, pH dependent uranium adsorption to bacterial spore surfaces using purified Bacillus subtilis spores in solution with 5ppm uranium. Adsorption reversibility and kinetic experiments indicate that uranium does not precipitate over the duration of the experiments and equilibrium is reached within 20 minutes. Uranium-spore adsorption edges exhibited adsorption at all pH measured between 2 and 10. Maximum adsorption was achieved around pH 7 and decreased as pH increased above 7. We used surface complexation modeling (SCM) to quantify uranium adsorption based on balanced chemical equations and derive thermodynamic stability constants for discrete uranium-spore adsorption reactions. Site specific thermodynamic stability constants provide insight on interactions occurring between aqueous uranium species and spore surface ligands. The uranium adsorption data and SCM parameters described herein, also provide a basis for predicting the influence of bacterial spores on uranium speciation in natural systems and investigating their potential as biosorption agents in engineered systems.

  7. 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

  8. Understanding of the importance of the spore coat structure and pigmentation in the Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to low-pressure plasma sterilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raguse, Marina; Fiebrandt, Marcel; Denis, Benjamin; Stapelmann, Katharina; Eichenberger, Patrick; Driks, Adam; Eaton, Peter; Awakowicz, Peter; Moeller, Ralf

    2016-07-01

    Low-pressure plasmas have been evaluated for their potential in biomedical and defense purposes. The sterilizing effect of plasma can be attributed to several active agents, including (V)UV radiation, charged particles, radical species, neutral and excited atoms and molecules, and the electric field. Spores of Bacillus subtilis were used as a bioindicator and a genetic model system to study the sporicidal effects of low-pressure plasma decontamination. Wild-type spores, spores lacking the major protective coat layers (inner, outer, and crust), pigmentation-deficient spores or spore impaired in encasement (a late step in coat assembly) were systematically tested for their resistance to low-pressure argon, hydrogen, and oxygen plasmas with and without admixtures. We demonstrate that low-pressure plasma discharges of argon and oxygen discharges cause significant physical damage to spore surface structures as visualized by atomic force microscopy. Spore resistance to low-pressure plasma was primarily dependent on the presence of the inner, and outer spore coat layers as well as spore encasement, with minor or less importance of the crust and spore pigmentation, whereas spore inactivation itself was strongly influenced by the gas composition and operational settings.

  9. 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".

  10. 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

  11. The high-resolution architecture and structural dynamics of Bacillus spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plomp, M; Leighton, T J; Wheeler, K E; Malkin, A J

    2004-05-06

    The capability to image single microbial cell surfaces at nanometer scale under native conditions would profoundly impact mechanistic and structural studies of pathogenesis, immunobiology, environmental resistance and biotransformation. We report here that advances in atomic force microscopy (AFM) have allowed us to directly visualize high-resolution native structures of bacterial endospores, including the exosporium and spore coats of four Bacillus species in air and water environments. The dimensions of individual Bacillus atrophaeus spores were found to decrease reversibly by 12% in response to a change in the environment from aqueous to aerial phase. Intraspecies spore size distribution analyses revealed that spore length could vary by a factor of 2 while the absolute deviation is 7 - 13% in length and 4 - 6 % in width. AFM analysis also demonstrated that the mechanisms of spore coat self-assembly are similar to those described for inorganic and macromolecular crystallization. These results establish AFM as a powerful new tool for the analysis of molecular architecture and variability as a function of spatial, temporal and developmental organizational scales.

  12. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Involvement of Coat Proteins in Bacillus subtilis Spore Germination in High-Salinity Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Katja; Setlow, Peter; Reineke, Kai; Driks, Adam; Moeller, Ralf

    2015-10-01

    The germination of spore-forming bacteria in high-salinity environments is of applied interest for food microbiology and soil ecology. It has previously been shown that high salt concentrations detrimentally affect Bacillus subtilis spore germination, rendering this process slower and less efficient. The mechanistic details of these salt effects, however, remained obscure. Since initiation of nutrient germination first requires germinant passage through the spores' protective integuments, the aim of this study was to elucidate the role of the proteinaceous spore coat in germination in high-salinity environments. Spores lacking major layers of the coat due to chemical decoating or mutation germinated much worse in the presence of NaCl than untreated wild-type spores at comparable salinities. However, the absence of the crust, the absence of some individual nonmorphogenetic proteins, and the absence of either CwlJ or SleB had no or little effect on germination in high-salinity environments. Although the germination of spores lacking GerP (which is assumed to facilitate germinant flow through the coat) was generally less efficient than the germination of wild-type spores, the presence of up to 2.4 M NaCl enhanced the germination of these mutant spores. Interestingly, nutrient-independent germination by high pressure was also inhibited by NaCl. Taken together, these results suggest that (i) the coat has a protective function during germination in high-salinity environments; (ii) germination inhibition by NaCl is probably not exerted at the level of cortex hydrolysis, germinant accessibility, or germinant-receptor binding; and (iii) the most likely germination processes to be inhibited by NaCl are ion, Ca(2+)-dipicolinic acid, and water fluxes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kau Jyh-Hwa

    2012-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-17

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

  19. Persistence strategies of Bacillus cereus spores isolated from dairy silo tanks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaheen, Ranad; Svensson, Birgitta; Andersson, Maria A; Christiansson, Anders; Salkinoja-Salonen, Mirja

    2010-05-01

    Survival of Bacillus cereus spores of dairy silo tank origin was investigated under conditions simulating those in operational dairy silos. Twenty-three strains were selected to represent all B. cereus isolates (n = 457) with genotypes (RAPD-PCR) that frequently colonised the silo tanks of at least two of the sampled eight dairies. The spores were studied for survival when immersed in liquids used for cleaning-in-place (1.0% sodium hydroxide at pH 13.1, 75 degrees C; 0.9% nitric acid at pH 0.8, 65 degrees C), for adhesion onto nonliving surfaces at 4 degrees C and for germination and biofilm formation in milk. Four groups with different strategies for survival were identified. First, high survival (log 15 min kill steel from cold water. Third, a cereulide producing group with spores characterised by slow germination in rich medium and well preserved viability when exposed to heating at 90 degrees C. Fourth, spores capable of germinating at 8 degrees C and possessing the cspA gene. There were indications that spores highly resistant to hot 1% sodium hydroxide may be effectively inactivated by hot 0.9% nitric acid. Eight out of the 14 dairy silo tank isolates possessing hot-alkali resistant spores were capable of germinating and forming biofilm in whole milk, not previously reported for B. cereus.

  20. Spatially resolved characterization of water and ion incorporation in Bacillus spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosal, Sutapa; Leighton, Terrance J; Wheeler, Katherine E; Hutcheon, Ian D; Weber, Peter K

    2010-05-01

    We present the first direct visualization and quantification of water and ion uptake into the core of individual dormant Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis) endospores. Isotopic and elemental gradients in the B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis spores show the permeation and incorporation of deuterium in deuterated water (D(2)O) and solvated ions throughout individual spores, including the spore core. Under hydrated conditions, incorporation into a spore occurs on a time scale of minutes, with subsequent uptake of the permeating species continuing over a period of days. The distribution of available adsorption sites is shown to vary with the permeating species. Adsorption sites for Li(+), Cs(+), and Cl(-) are more abundant within the spore outer structures (exosporium, coat, and cortex) relative to the core, while F(-) adsorption sites are more abundant in the core. The results presented here demonstrate that elemental abundance and distribution in dormant spores are influenced by the ambient environment. As such, this study highlights the importance of understanding how microbial elemental and isotopic signatures can be altered postproduction, including during sample preparation for analysis, and therefore, this study is immediately relevant to the use of elemental and isotopic markers in environmental microbiology and microbial forensics.

  1. Evaluation of a Stochastic Inactivation Model for Heat-Activated Spores of Bacillus spp. ▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corradini, Maria G.; Normand, Mark D.; Eisenberg, Murray; Peleg, Micha

    2010-01-01

    Heat activates the dormant spores of certain Bacillus spp., which is reflected in the “activation shoulder” in their survival curves. At the same time, heat also inactivates the already active and just activated spores, as well as those still dormant. A stochastic model based on progressively changing probabilities of activation and inactivation can describe this phenomenon. The model is presented in a fully probabilistic discrete form for individual and small groups of spores and as a semicontinuous deterministic model for large spore populations. The same underlying algorithm applies to both isothermal and dynamic heat treatments. Its construction does not require the assumption of the activation and inactivation kinetics or knowledge of their biophysical and biochemical mechanisms. A simplified version of the semicontinuous model was used to simulate survival curves with the activation shoulder that are reminiscent of experimental curves reported in the literature. The model is not intended to replace current models to predict dynamic inactivation but only to offer a conceptual alternative to their interpretation. Nevertheless, by linking the survival curve's shape to probabilities of events at the individual spore level, the model explains, and can be used to simulate, the irregular activation and survival patterns of individual and small groups of spores, which might be involved in food poisoning and spoilage. PMID:20453137

  2. The Exosporium Layer of Bacterial Spores: a Connection to the Environment and the Infected Host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, George C

    2015-12-01

    Much of what we know regarding bacterial spore structure and function has been learned from studies of the genetically well-characterized bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Molecular aspects of spore structure, assembly, and function are well defined. However, certain bacteria produce spores with an outer spore layer, the exosporium, which is not present on B. subtilis spores. Our understanding of the composition and biological functions of the exosporium layer is much more limited than that of other aspects of the spore. Because the bacterial spore surface is important for the spore's interactions with the environment, as well as being the site of interaction of the spore with the host's innate immune system in the case of spore-forming bacterial pathogens, the exosporium is worthy of continued investigation. Recent exosporium studies have focused largely on members of the Bacillus cereus family, principally Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus. Our understanding of the composition of the exosporium, the pathway of its assembly, and its role in spore biology is now coming into sharper focus. This review expands on a 2007 review of spore surface layers which provided an excellent conceptual framework of exosporium structure and function (A. O. Henriques and C. P. Moran, Jr., Annu Rev Microbiol 61:555-588, 2007, http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.micro.61.080706.093224). That review began a process of considering outer spore layers as an integrated, multilayered structure rather than simply regarding the outer spore components as independent parts.

  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. 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. Dry heat exposures of surface exposed and embedded Bacillus spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Wayne

    Dry heat microbial reduction (DHMR) is the primary technique used to reduce the microbial load of spacecraft and component parts. Often, manufacturing procedures require heating flight hardware to high temperatures for purposes other than planetary protection DHMR. The existing specifications, however, do not allow for additional planetary protection bioburden reduction credit if the hardware is exposed without controlled relative humidity. The intent of this study was to provide adequate data on the DHMR technique to support modification of four aspects of current requirements; expansion of acceptable time and temperature combinations used for spacecraft dry heat microbial reduction processes above 125° C, determining the effect that humidity has on spore lethality as a function of temperature, understanding the lethality for spores with exceptionally high thermal resistance and to investigate the extended exposure requirement for materials that might contain embedded microorganisms. Spores from two bacterial species were tested, B. atrophaeus ATCC 9372 and B. sp. ATCC 29669, under three conditions encompassing 5 temperature points. Embedded experiments utilized a silicone rubber polymer that is commonly used on robotic spacecraft, and surface exposed experiments were performed under both ambient and vacuum-controlled humidity conditions. The results obtained support the use of DHMR protocols that extend the maximum temperature range from 125° C to 170° C, with either controlled or ambient humidity. If implemented, this will give projects bioburden reduction credit for shorter treatments at extended temperatures, and allow spacecraft to be processed in more readily available and less expensive facilities that do not have humidity control, with significant cost and schedule benefits. The study also demonstrated that the required heating time for materials presumed to have embedded bioburden is conservative.

  7. Sporulation environment of emetic toxin-producing Bacillus cereus strains determines spore size, heat resistance and germination capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voort, van der M.; Abee, T.

    2013-01-01

    Aim Heat resistance, germination and outgrowth capacity of Bacillus cereus spores in processed foods are major factors in causing the emetic type of gastrointestinal disease. In this study, we aim to identify the impact of different sporulation conditions on spore properties of emetic toxin-producin

  8. The Adsorption Properties of Bacillus atrophaeus Spores on Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

    OpenAIRE

    Cortes, P; S. Deng; Smith, G. B.

    2009-01-01

    An adsorption equilibrium and a kinetic study of Bacillus atrophaeus on Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNTs) were here performed to provide the basis for developing biosensor devices for detecting threatening micro-organisms in water supply systems. B. atrophaeus spores and carbon nanotubes were subjected to a batch adsorption process to document their equilibria and kinetics. Here, commercial nanotubes were either studied as received or were acid-purified before adsorption experiments. The ...

  9. Spore and crystal formation in Bacillus thuringiensis var thuringiensis during growth in cystine and cysteine.

    OpenAIRE

    Rajalakshmi, S.; Shethna, YI

    1980-01-01

    The effect of the addition of different concentratons of cystine and cysteine on sporulation and parasporal crystal formation in Bacillus thuringiensis var. thuringiensis was studied. The effect was well pronounced when the systine/cysteine additions were made after the stationary phase. Heat stable spores and crystals were formed when the culture was provided with a low concentration of cystine/cysteine (0.05 per cent w/v). At a moderate concentration of cystine or cysteine (0.15%), only ...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周伟(综述); 郭学军(审校)

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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)

    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.

  14. Bacillus spores as building blocks for stimuli-responsive materials and nanogenerators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahin, Ozgur; Chen, Xi

    2014-03-01

    Materials that mechanically respond to external chemical stimuli have applications in a wide range of fields. Inspired by biological systems, stimuli-responsive materials that can oscillate, transport fluid, mimic homeostasis, and undergo complex changes in shape have been previously demonstrated. However, the effectiveness of synthetic stimuli-responsive materials in generating work is limited when compared to mechanical actuators. During studies of bacterial sporulation, we have found that the mechanical response of Bacillus spores to water gradients exhibits an energy density of more than 10 MJ/m3, which is two orders of magnitude higher than synthetic water-responsive materials. We also identified mutations that can approximately double the energy density of the spores, and found that spores can self-assemble into dense, submicron-thick monolayers on substrates such as silicon microcantilevers and elastomer sheets, creating self-assembled actuators that can remotely generate electrical power from an evaporating body of water. The energy conversion mechanism of Bacillus spores may facilitate synthetic stimuli-responsive materials with significantly higher energy densities. We acknowledge support from the U.S. Dept. of Energy Early Career Research Program, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the Rowland Institute at Harvard.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil K Joshi

    2009-09-01

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

  16. Carbon-13 (13C) labeling of Bacillus subtilis vegetative cells and spores: suitability for DNA stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP) of spores in soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Wayne L; Fedenko, Jeffrey; Schuerger, Andrew C

    2009-07-01

    To test the suitability of DNA stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP) for characterizing bacterial spore populations in soils, the properties of Bacillus subtilis cells and spores intensely labeled with [(13)C]glucose were characterized. Spore germination, vegetative growth rates, and sporulation efficiency were indistinguishable on glucose versus [(13)C]glucose, as were spore wet heat and UV resistance. Unlabeled and (13)C-labeled spores contained 1.0989 and 74.336 at.% (13)C, and exhibited wet densities of 1.356 and 1.365 g/ml, respectively. Chromosomal DNAs containing (12)C versus (13)C were readily separated by their different buoyant densities in cesium chloride/ethidium bromide gradients.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Inhibition of Bacillus licheniformis spore growth in milk by nisin, monolaurin, and pH combinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansour, M; Amri, D; Bouttefroy, A; Linder, M; Milliere, J B

    1999-02-01

    The effects of nisin and monolaurin, alone and in combination, were investigated on Bacillus licheniformis spores in milk at 37 degrees C. In the absence of inhibitors, germinated spores developed into growing vegetative cells and started sporulation at the end of the exponential phase. In the presence of nisin (25 IU ml-1), spore outgrowth was inhibited (4 log10 reduction at 10 h). Regrowth appeared between 10 and 24 h and reached a high population level (1.25 x 10(8) cfu ml-1) after 7 d. Monolaurin (250 micrograms ml-1) had a bacteriostatic effect during the first 10 h but thereafter, regrowth occurred slowly with a population level after 7 d (4 x 10(5) cfu ml-1) lower than that of nisin. Different combined effects of nisin (between 0 and 42 IU ml-1), monolaurin (ranging from 0 to 300 micrograms ml-1), pH values (between 5.0 and 7.0) and spore loads (10(3), 10(4), 10(5) spores ml-1) were investigated using a Doehlert matrix in order to study the main effects of these factors and the different interactions. Results were analysed using the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) and indicated that nisin and monolaurin had no action on spores before germination; only pH values had a significant effect (P monolaurin (100 micrograms ml-1) in combination acted synergistically on outgrown spores and vegetative cells, showing total inhibition at pH 6.0, without regrowth, within 7 d at 37 degrees C.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eAscough

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. [Bacterial spore--a new vaccine vehicle--a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanchun; Zhang, Zhaoshan

    2008-03-01

    Bacterial spores are robust and dormant life forms with formidable resistance properties. Spores of the genus Bacillus have been used for a long time as probiotics for oral bacteriotherapy both in humans and animals. Recently, genetically modified B. subtilis spores and B. anthracis spores have been used as indestructible delivery vehicles for vaccine antigens. They were used as vaccine vehicles or spore vaccine for oral immunization against tetanus and anthrax, and the results were very exciting. Unlike many second generation vaccine systems currently under development, bacterial spores offer heat stability and the flexibility for genetic manipulation. At the same time, they can elicit mucosal immune response by oral and nasal administration. This review focuses on the use of recombinant spores as vaccine delivery vehicles.

  4. 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.

  5. On the origin of heterogeneity in (preservation) resistance of Bacillus spores: Input for a ‘systems’ analysis approach of bacterial spore outgrowth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hornstra, L.M.; ter Beek, A.; Smelt, J.P.; Kallemeijn, W.W.; Brul, S.

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial spores are the ultimate (stress) ‘survival capsules’. They allow strains from the Bacillus and Clostridium species to survive harsh environmental conditions. In addition to the decision to enter sporulation the decision to do the reverse (germinate) is also a decisive event after which the

  6. Spore prevalence and toxigenicity of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates from U.S. retail spices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hariram, Upasana; Labbé, Ronald

    2015-03-01

    Recent incidents of foodborne illness associated with spices as the vehicle of transmission prompted this examination of U.S. retail spices with regard to Bacillus cereus. This study focused on the levels of aerobic-mesophilic spore-forming bacteria and B cereus spores associated with 247 retail spices purchased from five states in the United States. Samples contained a wide range of aerobic-mesophilic bacterial spore counts ( 10(7) CFU/g). Using a novel chromogenic agar, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis spores were isolated from 77 (31%) and 11 (4%) samples, respectively. Levels of B. cereus were thuringiensis isolates possessed at least one type of enterotoxin gene: HBL (hemolysin BL) or nonhemolytic enterotoxin (NHE). None of the 88 isolates obtained in this study possessed the emetic toxin gene (ces). Using commercially available immunological toxin detection kits, the toxigenicity of the isolates was confirmed. The NHE enterotoxin was expressed in 98% of B. cereus and 91% of B. thuringiensis isolates that possessed the responsible gene. HBL enterotoxin was detected in 87% of B. cereus and 100% of B. thuringiensis PCR-positive isolates. Fifty-two percent of B. cereus and 54% of B. thuringiensis isolates produced both enterotoxins. Ninety-seven percent of B. cereus isolates grew at 12°C, although only two isolates grew well at 9°C. The ability of these spice isolates to form spores, produce diarrheal toxins, and grow at moderately abusive temperatures makes retail spices an important potential vehicle for foodborne illness caused by B. cereus strains, in particular those that produce diarrheal toxins.

  7. An improved system for the surface immobilisation of proteins on Bacillus thuringiensis vegetative cells and spores through a new spore cortex-lytic enzyme anchor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Xiaohu; Ni, Hong; Lu, Ting; Jiang, Mengtian; Li, Hua; Huang, Xinfeng; Li, Lin

    2012-02-15

    An improved surface-immobilisation system was engineered to target heterologous proteins onto vegetative cells and spores of Bacillus thuringiensis plasmid-free recipient strain BMB171. The sporulation-dependent spore cortex-lytic enzyme from B. thuringiensis YBT-1520, SceA, was expressed in vegetative cells and used as the surface anchoring motif. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) and a Bacillus endo-β-1,3-1,4-glucanase (BglS) were used as the fusion partners to test the binding efficiency and the functional activities of immobilised surface proteins. The surface localisation of the SceA-GFP fusion protein on vegetative cells and spores was confirmed by Western blot, immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. The GFP fluorescence intensity from both vegetative cells and spores was measured and compared to a previously characterised surface display system using a peptidoglycan hydrolase anchor (Mbg). Results demonstrated comparable efficiency of SceA- and Mbg-mediated immobilisation on vegetative cells but a more efficient immobilisation on spores using the SceA anchor, suggesting SceA has greater potential for spore-based applications. The SceA protein was then applied to target BglS onto vegetative cells and spores, and the surface immobilisation was verified by the substantial whole-cell enzymatic activity and enhanced whole-spore enzymatic activity compared to vegetative cells. A dually active B. thuringiensis vegetative cell and spore display system could prove especially valuable for the development of regenerable and heat-stable biocatalysts that function under adverse environmental conditions, for example, an effective feed additive for improved digestion and nutrient absorption by livestock.

  8. Present status and prospects for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis-A review%炭疽杆菌检测方法的研究现状与展望

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘炬; 徐俊杰; 陈薇

    2012-01-01

    Anthrax, as a fulminating infectious disease, threatens human' s health seriously. Bacillus anthracis, the agent of anthrax, was classified into the second kinds of pathogenic microorganisms (one kind of the highly pathogenic microorganism) in the List of Human Pathogenic Microorganisms issued by the Chinese government. The spores formed by B. anthracis are potential material for biological warfare agent and biological terror. Therefore, it is very important and pressing to develop sensitive, efficient detection methods for the bacteria. For detection methods of B. anthracis, there are four types of targets:spores, vegetative cells, genes and anthrax toxin proteins. Among them, detection methods targeting spores and vegetative cells are developed. However, owing to disadvantages in specificity and clinical practicality, these methods are far from satisfaction. Detection methods targeting genes of B. anthracis are satisfactory in specificity and sensitivity, while it is short in clinical diagnosis. At the same time, the development of detection methods targeting anthrax toxin makes it possible to acquire information about main causative agent directly, which brings about great help in clinical diagnosis as well as epidemiology research. Herein, we summarized briefly detection methods of B. anthracis developed currently, investigated their application ranges and detection capacity, and discussed the development trend of related research, expecting favoring the profession developing detection methods of B. anthracis.%炭疽是严重威胁人类健康的烈性传染病,其病原体为炭疽芽孢杆菌.炭疽芽孢杆菌在我国公布的《人间传染的病原微生物名录》中被列为第二类病原微生物(高致病性病原微生物),其芽孢可作为生物战剂和生物恐怖的原材料,因此,发展灵敏、高效的炭疽杆菌检测方法十分重要和紧迫.按检测的靶标分类,针对炭疽杆菌的检测方法主要有四大类:针对炭疽杆

  9. The Synergistic Effect of High Pressure CO2 and Nisin on Inactivation of Bacillus subtilis Spores in Aqueous Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Lei; Wang, Yongtao; Chen, Fang; Liao, Xiaojun

    2016-01-01

    The inactivation effects of high pressure CO2 + nisin (simultaneous treatment of HPCD and nisin, HPCD + nisin), HPCD→nisin (HPCD was followed by nisin), and nisin→HPCD (nisin was followed by HPCD) treatments on Bacillus subtilis spores in aqueous solutions were compared. The spores were treated by HPCD at 6.5 or 20 MPa, 84–86°C and 0–30 min, and the concentration of nisin was 0.02%. Treated spores were examined for the viability, the permeability of inner membrane (IM) using flow cytometry method and pyridine-2, 6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA) release, and structural damage by transmission electron microscopy. A synergistic effect of HPCD + nisin treatment on inactivation of the spores was found, and the inactivation efficiency of the spores was HPCD + nisin > HPCD→nisin or nisin→HPCD. Moreover, HPCD + nisin caused higher IM permeability and DPA release of the spores than HPCD. A possible action mode of nisin-enhanced inactivation of the spores was suggested as that HPCD firstly damaged the coat and cortex of spores, and nisin penetrated into and acted on the IM of spores, which increased the damage to the IM of spores, and resulted in higher inactivation of the spores. PMID:27708639

  10. Killing of Bacillus Megaterium Spores by X-rays at the Phosphorus K-edge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, Robert C.; Frigo, Sean P.; Ehret, Charles F.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    This study continues a progression of experiments on the radiation-induced killing of bacterial spores that began at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1957. A series of aliquots of Bacillus megaterium spores were prepared onto polycarbonate filters and irradiated with photons of 2159 eV compared to 2140 eV energy on the 2-IDB beamline at the Advanced Photon Source. Flux density was approximately 10(exp 18) photons/sec/sq mm. The phosphorous K-edge absorption spectrum in these spores was determined to peak at 2159 eV, wheras 2140 eV was determined to be outside that absorption spectrum. Spores on filters were irradiated at ambient conditions, and were either immediately plated for colony formation after irradiation, or were held for postirradiation exposure to oxygen prior to plating. Slopes of survival curves from the four conditions of irradiation, i.e., two photon energies each comparing immediate plating vs postirradiation holding, were used for quantitative determination of differences in rates of spore killing over a range of radiation doses. It was found that spores irradiated at the phosphorus K-edge were killed 20% more efficiently than when irradiated with 2140 eV photons, and this was true for both immediate plating and postirradiation holding in air. Postirradiation holding in air increased killing efficiency by about 12% for both photon energies compared to plating immediately after irradiation. The increase of killing efficiency with postirradiation holding is less than expected from earlier experiments using relatively low-flux X-rays, and raises the possibility of dose-mitigation by radical-radical recombination in the case of high-flux X-rays from the synchrotron.

  11. 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.

  12. Comprehensive Assignment of Mass Spectral Signatures from Individual Bacillus atrophaeus Spores in Matrix-Free Bioaerosol Mass Spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Srivastava, A; Pitesky, M; Steele, P; Tobias, H; Fergenson, D P; Horn, J; Russell, S C; Czerwieniec, G; Lebrilla, C; Gard, E E; Frank, M

    2004-10-22

    We have conducted studies to fully characterize the mass spectral signature of individual Bacillus atrophaeus, previously known as Bacillus subtilis var niger or Bacillus globigii, spores obtained in matrix-free bioaerosol mass spectrometry (BAMS). Mass spectra of spores grown in unlabeled, {sup 13}C-labeled and {sup 15}N-labeled growth media are used to determine the number of carbon and nitrogen atoms associated with each mass peak. To determine the parent ion structure associated with fragment ions present in the spore spectra, the mass-to-charge (m/z) fragmentation pattern of several chemical standards was obtained. Our results agree with prior assignments of dipicolinic acid, amino acids and calcium complex ions made in the spore mass spectra. Identity of several previously unidentified mass peaks, key to recognition of Bacillus spore by matrix-free BAMS, is revealed. Specifically, a set of fragment peaks in the negative polarity is shown to be consistent with the fragmentation pattern of purine nucleobase containing compounds. The identity of m/z=+74, a marker peak that helps discriminate Bacillus atrophaeus from Bacillus thuringiensis spores grown in rich medium, is surprisingly a non-description, viz. [N{sub 1}C{sub 4}H{sub 12}]{sup +}. A probable precursor molecule for the [N{sub 1}C{sub 4}H{sub 12}]{sup +} ion observed in spore spectra is trimethyl glycine ({sup +}N(CH{sub 3}){sub 3}CH{sub 2}COOH) that produces a m/z=74 peak in presence of dipicolinic acid.

  13. Film coating of seeds with Bacillus cereus RS87 spores for early plant growth enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetiyanon, Kanchalee; Wittaya-Areekul, Sakchai; Plianbangchang, Pinyupa

    2008-10-01

    The plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium Bacillus cereus RS87 was previously reported to promote plant growth in various crops in both greenhouse and field trials. To apply as a plant growth promoting agent with practical use, it is essential to ease the burden of routine preparation of a fresh suspension of strain RS87 in laboratory. The objectives of this study were to investigate the feasibility of film-coating seeds with B. cereus RS87 spores for early plant growth enhancement and to reveal the indoleacetic acid (IAA) production released from strain RS87. The experiment consisted of the following 5 treatments: nontreated seeds, water-soaked seeds, film-coated seeds, seeds soaked with vegetative cells of strain RS87, and film-coated seeds with strain RS87 spores. Three experiments were conducted separately to assess seed emergence, root length, and plant height. Results showed that both vegetative cells and spores of strain RS87 significantly promoted (P seed emergence, root length and plant height over the control treatments. The strain RS87 also produced IAA. In conclusion, the film coating of seeds with spores of B. cereus RS87 demonstrated early plant growth enhancement as well as seeds using their vegetative cells. IAA released from strain RS87 would be one of the mechanisms for plant growth enhancement.

  14. Bacillus subtilis spores on artificial meteorites survive hypervelocity atmospheric entry: implications for Lithopanspermia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fajardo-Cavazos, Patricia; Link, Lindsey; Melosh, H Jay; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2005-12-01

    An important but untested aspect of the lithopanspermia hypothesis is that microbes situated on or within meteorites could survive hypervelocity entry from space through Earth's atmosphere. The use of high-altitude sounding rockets to test this notion was explored. Granite samples permeated with spores of Bacillus subtilis strain WN511 were attached to the exterior telemetry module of a sounding rocket and launched from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico into space, reaching maximum atmospheric entry velocity of 1.2 km/s. Maximum recorded temperature during the flight was measured at 145 degrees C. The surfaces of the post-flight granite samples were swabbed and tested for recovery and survival of WN511 spores, using genetic markers and the unique DNA fingerprint of WN511 as recovery criteria. Spore survivors were isolated at high frequency, ranging from 1.2% to 4.4% compared with ground controls, from all surfaces except the forward-facing surface. Sporulation-defective mutants were noted among the spaceflight survivors at high frequency (4%). These experiments constitute the first report of spore survival to hypervelocity atmospheric transit, and indicate that sounding rocket flights can be used to model the high-speed atmospheric entry of bacteria-laden artificial meteorites.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Feasibility of Wide-Area Decontamination of Bacillus anthracis Spores Using a Germination-Lysis Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-16

    ethanol showed disinfection within 15 min  5% pH-adjusted bleach was effective within 15 min (100% lysis)  3% H2O2 was effective after 30 min (100...508394 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LLNL-PRES- 4 Disinfectant >6 Log Reduction on Materials (EPA, 2010a,b; Wood et al., 2011...Target Disinfectant Concentration (ppm) OSHA PEL (ppm) CDC IDLH (ppm) pH-amended bleach (sodium hypochlorite) Stainless Steel, Glass

  19. Efficacy of Oritavancin in a Murine Model of Bacillus anthracis Spore Inhalation Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-21

    considered to be a treat- ment of choice for anthrax, numerous reports of -lactamase- producing strains and of treatment failures have appeared in the...model of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection (28), and in a rat model of S. aureus granuloma pouch infection (27). Mice ( female CD-1; body weight, 19...may have resulted from the expression of a cryptic or inducible -lactamase (37). DISCUSSION Oritavancin, a lipoglycopeptide antibiotic that is

  20. Disinfection and regrowth potential of bacillus subtilis spores by ozone, ultraviolet rays and gamma irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Hae Yeon; Lee, O Mi; Kim, Tae Hun; Lee, Myun Joo; Yu, Seung Ho [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Jeongeup (Korea, Republic of)

    2009-06-15

    Chlorination has been the most commonly adopted disinfection process for the treatment of drinking water. However, Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and Giardia lamblia cysts were not treated effectively by the common chlorine-based disinfectants. Additionally the regrowth of pathogenic microorganisms is associated with hygienic and aesthetic problems for the consumers of drinking water. Study on alternative disinfection processes such as ozone, UV-C, VUV and gamma irradiation were conducted. Bacillus subtilis spores have been used as a surrogate microorganism for Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and Giardia lamblia cyst. Inactivation efficiency by ozone was from 30% to 96% within the range of 5 min to 120 min exposures. Inactivation efficiencies by UV-C and VUV were 95.18%, 95.07% at 30 sec, respectively. Inactivation efficiency at gamma irradiation dose of 2 kGy was 99.4%. Microbial regrowths after ozone, UV-C, VUV and gamma irradiation disinfections were also evaluated for 4 days. Bacillus subtilis spores after ozone treatment for 120 min exposure at the rate of 1.68 mg {center_dot} min{sup -1} showed 96.02% disinfection efficiency and significant microbial regrowth. Bacillus subtilis spores after UV-C (99.25% disinfection efficiency) and VUV (99.67% disinfection efficiency) treatments for 5 min showed gradual regrowth. However, inactivation efficiency of gamma irradiation at dose of 1 kGy was 98.8% and the disinfected sample showed no microbial regrowth for 4 days. Therefore, gamma irradiation is the most effective process for the disinfection of pathogenic microorganisms such as oocysts of protozoan parasites among four disinfection process.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagendra Prasad Muddala

    2015-04-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Kinetics of Mn(II) oxidation by spores of the marine Bacillus sp. SG-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyoda, Kazuhiro; Tebo, Bradley M.

    2016-09-01

    The kinetics of Mn(II) oxidation by spores of the marine Bacillus sp. SG-1 was measured under controlled conditions of the initial Mn(II) concentration, spore concentration, chemical speciation, pH, O2, and temperature. Mn(II) oxidation experiments were performed with spore concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 11 × 109 spores/L, a pH range from 5.8 to 8.1, temperatures between 4 and 58 °C, a range of dissolved oxygen from 2 to 270 μM, and initial Mn(II) concentrations from 1 to 200 μM. The Mn(II) oxidation rates were directly proportional to the spore concentrations over these ranges of concentration. The Mn(II) oxidation rate increased with increasing initial Mn(II) concentration to a critical concentration, as described by the Michaelis-Menten model (Km = ca. 3 μM). Whereas with starting Mn(II) concentrations above the critical concentration, the rate was almost constant in low ionic solution (I = 0.05, 0.08). At high ionic solution (I = 0.53, 0.68), the rate was inversely correlated with Mn(II) concentration. Increase in the Mn(II) oxidation rate with the dissolved oxygen concentration followed the Michaelis-Menten model (Km = 12-19 μM DO) in both a HEPES-buffered commercial drinking (soft) water and in artificial and natural seawater. Overall, our results suggest that the mass transport limitations of Mn(II) ions due to secondary Mn oxide products accumulating on the spores cause a significant decrease of the oxidation rate at higher initial Mn(II) concentration on a spore basis, as well as in more concentrated ionic solutions. The optimum pH for Mn(II) oxidation was approximately 7.0 in low ionic solutions (I = 0.08). The high rates at the alkaline side (pH > 7.5) may suggest a contribution by heterogeneous reactions on manganese bio-oxides. The effect of temperature on the Mn(II) oxidation rate was studied in three solutions (500 mM NaCl, ASW, NSW solutions). Thermal denaturation occurred at 58 °C and spore germination was evident at 40 °C in all three

  4. 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→.

  5. A genetic algorithm-Bayesian network approach for the analysis of metabolomics and spectroscopic data: application to the rapid identification of Bacillus spores and classification of Bacillus species

    OpenAIRE

    Goodacre Royston; Correa Elon

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background The rapid identification of Bacillus spores and bacterial identification are paramount because of their implications in food poisoning, pathogenesis and their use as potential biowarfare agents. Many automated analytical techniques such as Curie-point pyrolysis mass spectrometry (Py-MS) have been used to identify bacterial spores giving use to large amounts of analytical data. This high number of features makes interpretation of the data extremely difficult We analysed Py-...

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Scanning Surface Potential Microscopy of Spore Adhesion on Surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Ida [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Chung, Eunhyea [Georgia Institute of Technology; Kweon, Hyojin [Georgia Institute of Technology; Yiacoumi, Sotira [Georgia Institute of Technology; Tsouris, Costas [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    The adhesion of spores of Bacillus anthracis - the cause of anthrax and a likely biological threat - to solid surfaces is an important consideration in cleanup after an accidental or deliberate release. However, because of safety concerns, directly studying B. anthracis spores with advanced instrumentation is problematic. As a first step, we are examining the electrostatic potential of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is a closely related species that is often used as a simulant to study B. anthracis. Scanning surface potential microscopy (SSPM), also known as Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM), was used to investigate the influence of relative humidity (RH) on the surface electrostatic potential of Bt that had adhered to silica, mica, or gold substrates. AFM/SSPM side-by-side images were obtained separately in air, at various values of RH, after an aqueous droplet with spores was applied on each surface and allowed to dry before measurements. In the SSPM images, a negative potential on the surface of the spores was observed compared with that of the substrates. The surface potential decreased as the humidity increased. Spores were unable to adhere to a surface with an extremely negative potential, such as mica.

  10. 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.

  11. Changes in Bacillus Spore Small Molecules, rRNA, Germination, and Outgrowth after Extended Sublethal Exposure to Various Temperatures: Evidence that Protein Synthesis Is Not Essential for Spore Germination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korza, George; Setlow, Barbara; Rao, Lei; Li, Qiao; Setlow, Peter

    2016-12-15

    rRNAs of dormant spores of Bacillus subtilis were >95% degraded during extended incubation at 50°C, as reported previously (E. Segev, Y. Smith, and S. Ben-Yehuda, Cell 148:139-114, 2012, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2011.11.059), and this was also true of spores of Bacillus megaterium Incubation of spores of these two species for ∼20 h at 75 to 80°C also resulted in the degradation of all or the great majority of the 23S and 16S rRNAs, although this rRNA degradation was slower than nonenzymatic hydrolysis of purified rRNAs at these temperatures. This rRNA degradation at high temperature generated almost exclusively oligonucleotides with minimal levels of mononucleotides. RNase Y, suggested to be involved in rRNA hydrolysis during B. subtilis spore incubation at 50°C, did not play a role in B. subtilis spore rRNA breakdown at 80°C. Twenty hours of incubation of Bacillus spores at 70°C also decreased the already minimal levels of ATP in dormant spores 10- to 30-fold, to ≤0.01% of the total free adenine nucleotide levels. Spores depleted of rRNA were viable and germinated relatively normally, often even faster than starting spores. Their return to vegetative growth was also similar to that of untreated spores for B. megaterium spores and slower for heat-treated B. subtilis spores; accumulation of rRNA took place only after completion of spore germination. These findings thus strongly suggest that protein synthesis is not essential for Bacillus spore germination.IMPORTANCE A recent report (L. Sinai, A. Rosenberg, Y. Smith, E. Segev, and S. Ben-Yehuda, Mol Cell 57:3486-3495, 2015, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2014.12.019) suggested that protein synthesis is essential for early steps in the germination of dormant spores of Bacillus subtilis If true, this would be a paradigm shift in our understanding of spore germination. We now show that essentially all of the rRNA can be eliminated from spores of Bacillus megaterium or B. subtilis, and these

  12. Modelling the effect of sub(lethal) heat treatment of Bacillus subtilis spores on germination rate and outgrowth to exponentially growing vegetative cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smelt, J.P.P.M.; Bos, A.P.; Kort, R.; Brul, S.

    2008-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus subtilis were subjected to relatively mild heat treatments in distilled water and properties of these spores were studied. These spores had lost all or part of their dipicolinic acid (DPA) depending on the severity of the heat treatment. Even after relatively mild heat treatments

  13. 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.

  14. Direct investigation of viscosity of an atypical inner membrane of Bacillus spores: a molecular rotor/FLIM study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loison, Pauline; Hosny, Neveen A; Gervais, Patrick; Champion, Dominique; Kuimova, Marina K; Perrier-Cornet, Jean-Marie

    2013-11-01

    We utilize the fluorescent molecular rotor Bodipy-C12 to investigate the viscoelastic properties of hydrophobic layers of bacterial spores Bacillus subtilis. The molecular rotor shows a marked increase in fluorescence lifetime, from 0.3 to 4ns, upon viscosity increase from 1 to 1500cP and can be incorporated into the hydrophobic layers within the spores from dormant state through to germination. We use fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy to visualize the viscosity inside different compartments of the bacterial spore in order to investigate the inner membrane and relate its compaction to the extreme resistance observed during exposure of spores to toxic chemicals. We demonstrate that the bacterial spores possess an inner membrane that is characterized by a very high viscosity, exceeding 1000cP, where the lipid bilayer is likely in a gel state. We also show that this membrane evolves during germination to reach a viscosity value close to that of a vegetative cell membrane, ca. 600cP. The present study demonstrates quantitative imaging of the microscopic viscosity in hydrophobic layers of bacterial spores Bacillus subtilis and shows the potential for further investigation of spore membranes under environmental stress.

  15. 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

  16. ON THE USE OF FROTH FLOTATION IN THE RECOVERY OF Bacillus sphaericus SPORES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.M. RIOS

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract - The recovery of Bacillus sphaericus strain 2362 spores from fermented medium by batch flotation was tested under different conditions. Flotation kinetic studies were performed at 800 rpm and 3 l air/min. The pH values were adjusted at the following set of values: 5.0, 7.0 and 9.0. The results showed that the spore removal rate is influenced by the pH value. At pH equal to 5.0 we observe an adverse effect on the spore concentrate obtention. In this situation the maximum value of the concentration factor was 1.4 when the recuperation percentage was 99%. At pH equal to 7.0 the concentration factor reached the highest value, 7.0, but the recuperation percentage stayed around 96%. Field experiments with the floated material demonstrated that its larvicide activity was sufficient to keep a Culex quinquefasciatus larvae population under control at in a breeding site, during 3 months with 2 applications

  17. Bacillus spores as building blocks for stimuli-responsive materials and nanogenerators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xi; Mahadevan, L.; Driks, Adam; Sahin, Ozgur

    2014-02-01

    Materials that respond mechanically to external chemical stimuli have applications in biomedical devices, adaptive architectural systems, robotics and energy harvesting. Inspired by biological systems, stimuli-responsive materials have been created that can oscillate, transport fluid, provide homeostasis and undergo complex changes in shape. However, the effectiveness of synthetic stimuli-responsive materials in generating work is limited when compared with mechanical actuators. Here, we show that the mechanical response of Bacillus spores to water gradients exhibits an energy density of more than 10 MJ m-3, which is two orders of magnitude higher than synthetic water-responsive materials. We also identified mutations that can approximately double the energy density of the spores and found that they can self-assemble into dense, submicrometre-thick monolayers on substrates such as silicon microcantilevers and elastomer sheets, creating bio-hybrid hygromorph actuato