WorldWideScience

Sample records for bacillus anthracis toxins

  1. Anthrax Lethal Toxin Impairs Innate Immune Functions of Alveolar Macrophages and Facilitates Bacillus anthracis Survival

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ribot, Wilson J; Panchal, Rekha G; Brittingham, Katherine C; Ruthel, Gordon; Kenny, Tara A; Lane, Douglas; Curry, Bob; Hoover, Timothy A; Friedlander, Arthur M; Bavari, Sina

    2006-01-01

    .... Although several factors contribute to inhalational anthrax, we hypothesized that unimpeded infection of Bacillus anthracis is directly linked to disabling the innate immune functions contributed by AM...

  2. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Micropatterned Macrophage Analysis Reveals Global Cytoskeleton Constraints Induced by Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trescos, Yannick; Tessier, Emilie; Rougeaux, Clémence; Goossens, Pierre L.

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis secretes the edema toxin (ET) that disrupts the cellular physiology of endothelial and immune cells, ultimately affecting the adherens junction integrity of blood vessels that in turn leads to edema. The effects of ET on the cytoskeleton, which is critical in cell physiology, have not been described thus far on macrophages. In this study, we have developed different adhesive micropatterned surfaces (L and crossbow) to control the shape of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) and primary peritoneal macrophages. We found that macrophage F-actin cytoskeleton adopts a specific polar organization slightly different from classical human HeLa cells on the micropatterns. Moreover, ET induced a major quantitative reorganization of F-actin within 16 h with a collapse at the nonadhesive side of BMDMs along the nucleus. There was an increase in size and deformation into a kidney-like shape, followed by a decrease in size that correlates with a global cellular collapse. The collapse of F-actin was correlated with a release of focal adhesion on the patterns and decreased cell size. Finally, the cell nucleus was affected by actin reorganization. By using this technology, we could describe many previously unknown macrophage cellular dysfunctions induced by ET. This novel tool could be used to analyze more broadly the effects of toxins and other virulence factors that target the cytoskeleton. PMID:26015478

  5. New developments in vaccines, inhibitors of anthrax toxins, and antibiotic therapeutics for Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beierlein, J M; Anderson, A C

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent responsible for anthrax infections, poses a significant biodefense threat. There is a high mortality rate associated with untreated anthrax infections; specifically, inhalation anthrax is a particularly virulent form of infection with mortality rates close to 100%, even with aggressive treatment. Currently, a vaccine is not available to the general public and few antibiotics have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of inhalation anthrax. With the threat of natural or engineered bacterial resistance to antibiotics and the limited population for whom the current drugs are approved, there is a clear need for more effective treatments against this deadly infection. A comprehensive review of current research in drug discovery is presented in this article, including efforts to improve the purity and stability of vaccines, design inhibitors targeting the anthrax toxins, and identify inhibitors of novel enzyme targets. High resolution structural information for the anthrax toxins and several essential metabolic enzymes has played a significant role in aiding the structure-based design of potent and selective antibiotics.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitalii Silin

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Regulation of anthrax toxin activator gene (atxA) expression in Bacillus anthracis: temperature, not CO2/bicarbonate, affects AtxA synthesis.

    OpenAIRE

    Dai, Z; Koehler, T M

    1997-01-01

    Anthrax toxin gene expression in Bacillus anthracis is dependent on the presence of atxA, a trans-acting regulatory gene located on the resident 185-kb plasmid pXO1. In atxA+ strains, expression of the toxin genes (pag, lef, and cya) is enhanced by two physiologically significant signals: elevated CO2/bicarbonate and temperature. To determine whether increased toxin gene expression in response to these signals is associated with increased atxA expression, we monitored steady-state levels of a...

  8. Disinfection of Vegetative Cells of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    Society for Microbiology ; New Orleans, LA, 2004. American Public Health Association. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater...Disinfection kinetics of vegetative cells of Bacillus anthracis in water with free available chlorine ([FAC] 2 mg/L) and monochloramine ([MC] 2 mg/L) were...anthracis. Bacillus anthracis cells Drinking water Chlorine demand-free (CDF

  9. Gastric pH and Toxin Factors Modulate Infectivity and Disease Progression After Gastrointestinal Exposure to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Tao; Rotstein, David; Sun, Chen; Fang, Hui; Frucht, David M

    2017-12-12

    Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax is the most prevalent form of naturally acquired Bacillus anthracis infection, which is associated with exposure to vegetative bacteria in infected meat (carnivores) or to fermented rumen contents (herbivores). We assessed whether key host and pathogen factors modulate infectivity and progression of infection using a mouse model of GI infection. Gastric acid neutralization increases infectivity, but 30%-40% of mice succumb to infection without neutralization. Mice either fed or fasted before exposure showed similar infectivity rates. Finally, the pathogen's anthrax lethal factor is required to establish lethal infection, whereas its edema factor modulates progression and dissemination of infection. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  10. Characterization of 21 Strains of Bacillus Anthracis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kournikakis, B

    2000-01-01

    Twenty-one strains of Bacillus anthracis currently held in the culture collection at DRES were characterized by colonial morphology, antibiotic sensitivity and BiologTM metabolic identification profiles...

  11. Siderophores of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Melissa K; Abergel, Rebecca J; Raymond, Kenneth N; Arceneaux, Jean E L; Byers, B Rowe

    2006-09-15

    Three Bacillus anthracis Sterne strains (USAMRIID, 7702, and 34F2) and Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 excrete two catecholate siderophores, petrobactin (which contains 3,4-dihydroxybenzoyl moieties) and bacillibactin (which contains 2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl moieties). However, the insecticidal organism Bacillus thuringiensis ATCC 33679 makes only bacillibactin. Analyses of siderophore production by previously isolated [Cendrowski et al., Mol. Microbiol. 52 (2004) 407-417] B. anthracis mutant strains revealed that the B. anthracis bacACEBF operon codes for bacillibactin production and the asbAB gene region is required for petrobactin assembly. The two catecholate moieties also were synthesized by separate routes. PCR amplification identified both asbA and asbB genes in the petrobactin producing strains whereas B. thuringiensis ATCC 33679 retained only asbA. Petrobactin synthesis is not limited to the cluster of B. anthracis strains within the B. cereus sensu lato group (in which B. cereus, B. anthracis, and B. thuringiensis are classified), although petrobactin might be prevalent in strains with pathogenic potential for vertebrates.

  12. Genome sequence of Bacillus cereus and comparative analysis with Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, Natalia; Sorokin, Alexei; Anderson, Iain; Galleron, Nathalie; Candelon, Benjamin; Kapatral, Vinayak; Bhattacharyya, Anamitra; Reznik, Gary; Mikhailova, Natalia; Lapidus, Alla; Chu, Lien; Mazur, Michael; Goltsman, Eugene; Larsen, Niels; D'Souza, Mark; Walunas, Theresa; Grechkin, Yuri; Pusch, Gordon; Haselkorn, Robert; Fonstein, Michael; Ehrlich, S Dusko; Overbeek, Ross; Kyrpides, Nikos

    2003-05-01

    Bacillus cereus is an opportunistic pathogen causing food poisoning manifested by diarrhoeal or emetic syndromes. It is closely related to the animal and human pathogen Bacillus anthracis and the insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis, the former being used as a biological weapon and the latter as a pesticide. B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis are readily distinguished from B. cereus by the presence of plasmid-borne specific toxins (B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis) and capsule (B. anthracis). But phylogenetic studies based on the analysis of chromosomal genes bring controversial results, and it is unclear whether B. cereus, B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis are varieties of the same species or different species. Here we report the sequencing and analysis of the type strain B. cereus ATCC 14579. The complete genome sequence of B. cereus ATCC 14579 together with the gapped genome of B. anthracis A2012 enables us to perform comparative analysis, and hence to identify the genes that are conserved between B. cereus and B. anthracis, and the genes that are unique for each species. We use the former to clarify the phylogeny of the cereus group, and the latter to determine plasmid-independent species-specific markers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  14. Non-Toxin-Producing Bacillus cereus Strains Belonging to the B. anthracis Clade Isolated from the International Space Station

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Singh, Nitin K.; Sielaff, Aleksandra Checinska; Pope, Robert K.; Bergman, Nicholas H.; van Tongeren, Sandra P.; Patel, Nisha B.; Lawson, Paul A.; Satomi, Masataka; Williamson, Charles H. D.; Sahl, Jason W.; Keim, Paul; Pierson, Duane; Perry, Jay

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT: In an ongoing Microbial Observatory investigation of the International Space Station (ISS), 11 Bacillus strains (2 from the Kibo Japanese experimental module, 4 from the U.S. segment, and 5 from the Russian module) were isolated and their whole genomes were sequenced. A comparative

  15. Inhibition of the adenylyl cyclase toxin, edema factor, from Bacillus anthracis by a series of 18 mono- and bis-(M)ANT-substituted nucleoside 5'-triphosphates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Hesham; Dove, Stefan; Geduhn, Jens; König, Burkhard; Shen, Yuequan; Tang, Wei-Jen; Seifert, Roland

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax disease and exerts its deleterious effects by the release of three exotoxins, i.e. lethal factor, protective antigen and edema factor (EF), a highly active calmodulin-dependent adenylyl cyclase (AC). Conventional antibiotic treatment is ineffective against either toxaemia or antibiotic-resistant strains. Thus, more effective drugs for anthrax treatment are needed. Our previous studies showed that EF is differentially inhibited by various purine and pyrimidine nucleotides modified with N-methylanthraniloyl (MANT)- or anthraniloyl (ANT) groups at the 2'(3')-O-ribosyl position, with the unique preference for the base cytosine (Taha et al., Mol Pharmacol 75:693 (2009)). MANT-CTP was the most potent EF inhibitor (K (i), 100 nM) among 16 compounds studied. Here, we examined the interaction of EF with a series of 18 2',3'-O-mono- and bis-(M)ANT-substituted nucleotides, recently shown to be very potent inhibitors of the AC toxin from Bordetella pertussis, CyaA (Geduhn et al., J Pharmacol Exp Ther 336:104 (2011)). We analysed purified EF and EF mutants in radiometric AC assays and in fluorescence spectroscopy studies and conducted molecular modelling studies. Bis-MANT nucleotides inhibited EF competitively. Propyl-ANT-ATP was the most potent EF inhibitor (K (i), 80 nM). In contrast to the observations made for CyaA, introduction of a second (M)ANT-group decreased rather than increased inhibitor potency at EF. Activation of EF by calmodulin resulted in effective fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) from tryptophan and tyrosine residues located in the vicinity of the catalytic site to bis-MANT-ATP, but FRET to bis-MANT-CTP was only small. Mutations N583Q, K353A and K353R differentially altered the inhibitory potencies of bis-MANT-ATP and bis-MANT-CTP. The nucleotide binding site of EF accommodates bulky bis-(M)ANT-substituted purine and pyrimidine nucleotides, but the fit is suboptimal compared to CyaA. These data provide a basis

  16. Bacillus anthracis-derived edema toxin (ET counter-regulates movement of neutrophils and macromolecules through the endothelial paracellular pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen Chinh

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A common finding amongst patients with inhalational anthrax is a paucity of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs in infected tissues in the face of abundant circulating PMNs. A major virulence determinant of anthrax is edema toxin (ET, which is formed by the combination of two proteins produced by the organism, edema factor (EF, which is an adenyl cyclase, and protective antigen (PA. Since cAMP, a product of adenyl cyclase, is known to enhance endothelial barrier integrity, we asked whether ET might decrease extravasation of PMNs into tissues through closure of the paracellular pathway through which PMNs traverse. Results Pretreatment of human microvascular endothelial cell(ECs of the lung (HMVEC-L with ET decreased interleukin (IL-8-driven transendothelial migration (TEM of PMNs with a maximal reduction of nearly 60%. This effect required the presence of both EF and PA. Conversely, ET did not diminish PMN chemotaxis in an EC-free system. Pretreatment of subconfluent HMVEC-Ls decreased transendothelial 14 C-albumin flux by ~ 50% compared to medium controls. Coadministration of ET with either tumor necrosis factor-α or bacterial lipopolysaccharide, each at 100 ng/mL, attenuated the increase of transendothelial 14 C-albumin flux caused by either agent alone. The inhibitory effect of ET on TEM paralleled increases in protein kinase A (PKA activity, but could not be blocked by inhibition of PKA with either H-89 or KT-5720. Finally, we were unable to replicate the ET effect with either forskolin or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, two agents known to increase cAMP. Conclusions We conclude that ET decreases IL-8-driven TEM of PMNs across HMVEC-L monolayers independent of cAMP/PKA activity.

  17. Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-30

    effect of SWNTs in combination with antimicrobial chemicals on inactivation of B. anthracis spores; 4) the effect of CNTs coated surfaces on the...2010 31-May-2014 Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: (Life Science Division/ Biochemistry ) Inactivation of Bacillus... Biochemistry ) Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes Report Title The Specific Aims of the project were to investigate: 1) the

  18. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Brittingham, Katherine C; Ruthel, Gordon; Panchal, Rekha G; Fuller, Claudette L; Ribot, Wilson J

    2005-01-01

    Phagocytosis of inhaled Bacillus anthracis spores and subsequent trafficking to lymph nodes are decisive events in the progression of inhaled anthrax because they initiate germination and dissemination of spores...

  20. Bacillus thuringiensis HD-1 Cry- : development of a safe, non-insecticidal simulant for Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, A H; Robinson, C V

    2014-09-01

    A representative simulant for spores of Bacillus anthracis is needed for field testing. Bacillus thuringiensis is gaining recognition as a suitable organism. A strain that does not form the insecticidal, parasporal crystals that are characteristic of this species is a more accurate physical representative of B. anthracis spores. We developed noninsecticidal derivatives of two isolates of B. thuringiensis HD-1. Two plasmid-cured derivatives of B. thuringiensis HD-1, unable to make crystal toxins ('Cry(-) '), were isolated. These isolates and the existing Cry(-) strain, B. thuringiensis Al Hakam, were probed with PCR assays against the known insecticidal genes cry, vip and cyt. Their genomic DNA was sequenced to demonstrate a lack of insecticidal genes. This was confirmed by bioassays against a number of invertebrate species. Real-time PCR assays were developed to identify the B. thuringiensis HD-1 Cry(-) derivatives and an effective differential and selective medium was assessed. All three Cry(-) isolates are devoid of known insecticidal determinants. The B. thuringiensis HD-1 Cry(-) derivatives can easily be recovered from soil and identified by PCR with some selectivity. The B. thuringiensis HD-1 Cry(-) derivatives represent accurate, nongenetically manipulated simulants for B. anthracis with excellent human and environmental safety records. © 2014 Crown Copyright. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology This article is published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. Pathogenomic sequence analysis of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates closely related to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Cliff S; Xie, Gary; Challacombe, Jean F; Altherr, Michael R; Bhotika, Smriti S; Brown, Nancy; Bruce, David; Campbell, Connie S; Campbell, Mary L; Chen, Jin; Chertkov, Olga; Cleland, Cathy; Dimitrijevic, Mira; Doggett, Norman A; Fawcett, John J; Glavina, Tijana; Goodwin, Lynne A; Green, Lance D; 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 Philip; Richardson, Paul; Robinson, Donna L; Rubin, Eddy; Saunders, Elizabeth; Tapia, Roxanne; Tesmer, Judith G; Thayer, Nina; Thompson, Linda S; Tice, Hope; Ticknor, Lawrence O; Wills, Patti L; Brettin, Thomas S; Gilna, Paul

    2006-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis are closely related gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria of the B. cereus sensu lato group. While independently derived strains of B. anthracis reveal conspicuous sequence homogeneity, environmental isolates of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis exhibit extensive genetic diversity. Here we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of the genomes of two members of the B. cereus group, B. thuringiensis 97-27 subsp. konkukian serotype H34, isolated from a necrotic human wound, and B. cereus E33L, which was isolated from a swab of a zebra carcass in Namibia. These two strains, when analyzed by amplified fragment length polymorphism within a collection of over 300 of B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis isolates, appear closely related to B. anthracis. The B. cereus E33L isolate appears to be the nearest relative to B. anthracis identified thus far. Whole-genome sequencing of B. thuringiensis 97-27and B. cereus E33L was undertaken to identify shared and unique genes among these isolates in comparison to the genomes of pathogenic strains B. anthracis Ames and B. cereus G9241 and nonpathogenic strains B. cereus ATCC 10987 and B. cereus ATCC 14579. Comparison of these genomes revealed differences in terms of virulence, metabolic competence, structural components, and regulatory mechanisms.

  4. Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Bacillus anthracis ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Journal Article 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. Four 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. Despite the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the upper conducting airways of the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. This greater deposition of spores in the upper airways in the human resulted in lower penetration and deposition in the tracheobronchial airways and the deep lung than that predict

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly H Ganz

    2014-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Real-Time PCR Assay for a Unique Chromosomal Sequence of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-12-01

    13061 Neisseria lactamica .............................................................. 23970 Bacillus coagulans ...NEG Bacillus coagulane 7050 NEG NEG Bacillus cereus 13472 NEG NEG Bacillus licheniforms 12759 NEG NEG Bacillus cereus 13824 NEG NEG Bacillus ...Assay for a Unique Chromosomal Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Elizabeth Bode,1 William Hurtle,2† and David Norwood1* United States Army Medical

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Reiman, Robert W

    2007-01-01

    The need for a simple, specific, sensitive, inexpensive, accurate, and rapid method to identify Bacillus anthracis became apparent during the Fall 2001 anthrax attacks which caused widespread panic...

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Elizabeth Kempsell

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempsell, Karen E.; Kidd, Stephen P.; Lewandowski, Kuiama; Elmore, Michael J.; Charlton, Sue; Yeates, Annemarie; Cuthbertson, Hannah; Hallis, Bassam; Altmann, Daniel M.; Rogers, Mitch; Wattiau, Pierre; Ingram, Rebecca J.; Brooks, Tim; Vipond, Richard

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Identification of Bacillus anthracis by Using Monoclonal Antibody to Cell Wall Galactose-N-Acetylglucosamine Polysaccharide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-02-01

    Bacillus circulans ATCC 4513 b - - NR NT NT NT NT Bacillus coagulans ATCC 7050 b - - NR NT NT NT NT Bacillus eugilitis B-61 f - - NR NT NT NT NT...American Society for Microbiology W Identification of Bacillus anthracis by-U-sing Monoclonal Antibody CC to Cell Wall Galactose-N-Acetylglucosamine...Received 22 June 1989/Accepted 31 October 1989 ’ Guanidine extracts of crude Bacillus anthracis cell wall were used to vaccinate BALB/c mice and to

  15. 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. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Germination and persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis in soil microcosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, A H

    2014-11-01

    Decontaminating large, outdoor spaces of Bacillus anthracis spores presents significant problems, particularly in soil. Proof was sought that the addition of germinant chemicals could cause spores of B. anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis, a commonly used simulant of the threat agent, to convert to the less resistant vegetative form in a microcosm. Nonsterile plant/soil microcosms were inoculated with spores of B. thuringiensis and two nonpathogenic strains of B. anthracis. A combination of L-alanine (100 mmol l(-1)) and inosine (10 mmol l(-1)) resulted in a 6 log decrease in spore numbers in both strains of B. anthracis over 2 weeks at 22°C; a 3 log decrease in B. anthracis Sterne spore numbers was observed after incubation for 2 weeks at 10°C. Negligible germination nor a decrease in viable count occurred in either strain when the concentration of L-alanine was decreased to 5 mmol l(-1). Germinated spores of B. thuringiensis were able to persist in vegetative form in the microcosms, whereas those of B. anthracis rapidly disappeared. The pleiotropic regulator PlcR, which B. anthracis lacks, does not contribute to the persistence of B. thuringiensis in vegetative form in soil. The principle of adding germinants to soil to trigger the conversion of spores to vegetative form has been demonstrated. Bacillus anthracis failed to persist in vegetative form or resporulate in the microcosms after it had been induced to germinate. The large scale, outdoor decontamination of B. anthracis spores may be facilitated by the application of simple, defined combinations of germinants. © 2014 Crown Copyright. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology This article is Published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and Queen's Printer for Scotland.

  17. The genome sequence of Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 reveals metabolic adaptations and a large plasmid related to Bacillus anthracis pXO1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasko, David A; Ravel, Jacques; Økstad, Ole Andreas; Helgason, Erlendur; Cer, Regina Z; Jiang, Lingxia; Shores, Kelly A; Fouts, Derrick E; Tourasse, Nicolas J; Angiuoli, Samuel V; Kolonay, James; Nelson, William C; Kolstø, Anne-Brit; Fraser, Claire M; Read, Timothy D

    2004-01-01

    We sequenced the complete genome of Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987, a non-lethal dairy isolate in the same genetic subgroup as Bacillus anthracis. Comparison of the chromosomes demonstrated that B.cereus ATCC 10987 was more similar to B.anthracis Ames than B.cereus ATCC 14579, while containing a number of unique metabolic capabilities such as urease and xylose utilization and lacking the ability to utilize nitrate and nitrite. Additionally, genetic mechanisms for variation of capsule carbohydrate and flagella surface structures were identified. Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 contains a single large plasmid (pBc10987), of approximately 208 kb, that is similar in gene content and organization to B.anthracis pXO1 but is lacking the pathogenicity-associated island containing the anthrax lethal and edema toxin complex genes. The chromosomal similarity of B.cereus ATCC 10987 to B.anthracis Ames, as well as the fact that it contains a large pXO1-like plasmid, may make it a possible model for studying B.anthracis plasmid biology and regulatory cross-talk.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillis, Annika; Mahillon, Jacques

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzana Islam Rume

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Bacillus anthracis: una mirada molecular a un patógeno célebre Bacillus anthracis: a molecular look at a famous pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María E Pavan

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis es un bacilo gram positivo del grupo Bacillus cereus, que posee un genoma extremadamente monomórfco y comparte gran similitud fsiológica y de estructura genética con B. cereus y Bacillus thuringiensis. En este artículo se describen nuevos métodos moleculares para la identifcación y tipifcación de B. anthracis, basados en repeticiones en tándem de número variable o en diferencias genéticas detectadas por secuenciación, desarrollados en los últimos años. Los aspectos moleculares de los factores de virulencia tradicionales, cápsula, antígeno protector, factor letal y factor edema se describen en profundidad, junto con factores de virulencia recientemente propuestos, como los sideróforos, petrobactina y bacilibactina, la adhesina de la capa S y la lipoproteína MntA. También se detalla la organización molecular de los megaplásmidos pXO1 y pXO2, incluyendo la isla de patogenicidad de pXO1. El esqueleto genético de estos plásmidos se ha encontrado en otras especies relacionadas, probablemente debido a eventos de transferencia lateral. Finalmente, se presentan los dos receptores celulares del antígeno protector, ANTXR1/TEM8 y ANTXR2/CMG2, esenciales en la interacción del patógeno con el hospedador. Los estudios moleculares realizados en los últimos años han permitido aumentar enormemente el conocimiento de los diferentes aspectos de este microorganismo y su relación con el hospedador, pero a la vez han abierto nuevos interrogantes sobre este notorio patógeno.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 identifcation 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-03

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

  6. Literature Review of DNA-Based Subspecies Analysis of Bacillus Anthracis Burkholderia Pseudomallel Burkholderia Mallei, and Yersinia Pestis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Harvey, Steven

    1999-01-01

    ...; Bacillus anthracis, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Burkholderia mallei, and Yersinia pestis. Considerable research has been accomplished for the identification of polymorphisms from the strains B. anthracis and B. pseudomallei. The B...

  7. Identification and characterization of clinical Bacillus spp. isolates phenotypically similar to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beesley, Cari A; Vanner, Cynthia L; Helsel, Leta O; Gee, Jay E; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2010-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is a gram-positive, spore-forming rod, with colonies exhibiting a unique ground-glass appearance, and lacking hemolysis and motility. In addition to these phenotypes, several others traits are characteristic of B. anthracis such as susceptibility to gamma phage, the presence of two virulence plasmids (pX01 and pX02), and specific cell wall and capsular antigens that are commonly detected by direct fluorescent-antibody assays. We report on the identification and characterization of 14 Bacillus megaterium and four Bacillus sp. clinical isolates that are nonhemolytic, nonmotile, and produce a capsule antigenically similar to B. anthracis. This work furthers our understanding of Bacillus diversity and the limitations of the assays and phenotypes that are used to differentiate species in this genus. Further work is necessary to understand whether these strains are opportunistic pathogens or just contaminates. FEMS Microbiology Letters © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. No claim to original US government works.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Reiman, Robert W

    2007-01-01

    ... and ultimately killed five individuals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently employs agar plate lysis by gamma phage and direct fluorescence assay to confirm the presence of Bacillus anthracis...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Goetz, Kristina M

    2005-01-01

    In this research, Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to bursts of heat lasting on the order of one second in duration using a laser system to simulate the explosive environment from an agent defeat weapon...

  10. Pharmacokinetics-Pharmacodynamics of Gatifloxacin in a Lethal Murine Bacillus Anthracis Inhalation Infection Model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ambrose, Paul G; Forrest, Alan; Craig, William A; Rubino, Christopher M; Bhavnani, Sujata M; Drusano, George L; Heine, Henery S

    2007-01-01

    We determined the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) measure most predictive of gatifloxacin efficacy and the magnitude of this measure necessary for survival in a murine Bacillus anthracis inhalation infection model...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Heine, H. S; Bassett, J; Miller, L; Bassett, A; Ivins, B. E; Lehous, D; Arhin, F. F; Parr, Jr., T. R; Moeck, G

    2008-01-01

    The inhaled form of Bacillus anthracis infection may be fatal to humans. The current standard of care for inhalational anthrax postexposure prophylaxis is ciprofloxacin therapy twice daily for 60 days...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    gentlemen are approachable and extremely well versed in their fields. Dr. Burggraf’s passion for learning coupled with the patience necessary to allow...wide spread employment on civilian targets has increased. Indeed, the well known biological agent Anthrax, Bacillus anthracis (B.a.), was recently...reached at 0.5 seconds with the heat from the fireball lasting a total of 4 seconds ( Orson , J.A. 2003; 104). From this data, the short time-temperature

  13. 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.

  14. 9 CFR 121.4 - Overlap select agents and toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ...; Brucella abortus; Brucella melitensis; Brucella suis; Burkholderia mallei; Burkholderia pseudomallei... toxins must be reported within 24 hours by telephone, facsimile, or e-mail: Bacillus anthracis, Brucella...

  15. Monitoramento Tecnológico de Biossensores para Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Garcia, Rômulo Santiago de Lima

    2017-01-01

    O Exército Brasileiro, por meio da Seção de Defesa Biológica do Instituto de Defesa Química, Biológica, Radiológica e Nuclear, realizou o monitoramento tecnológico de biossensores para Bacillus anthracis em bancos de dados de patentes, para aperfeiçoar as atividades de pesquisa e desenvolvimento de produtos de defesa e analisar as tendências tecnológicas relativas a esta área, especialmente no que se refere aos biosensores ópticos baseados no principio de ressonância de plásmons de superfície...

  16. 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.

  17. A Bivalent Anthrax–Plague Vaccine That Can Protect against Two Tier-1 Bioterror Pathogens, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pan Tao

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Bioterrorism remains as one of the biggest challenges to global security and public health. Since the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001 in the United States, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, the causative agents of anthrax and plague, respectively, gained notoriety and were listed by the CDC as Tier-1 biothreat agents. Currently, there is no Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine against either of these threats for mass vaccination to protect general public, let alone a bivalent vaccine. Here, we report the development of a single recombinant vaccine, a triple antigen consisting of all three target antigens, F1 and V from Y. pestis and PA from B. anthracis, in a structurally stable context. Properly folded and soluble, the triple antigen retained the functional and immunogenicity properties of all three antigens. Remarkably, two doses of this immunogen adjuvanted with Alhydrogel® elicited robust antibody responses in mice, rats, and rabbits and conferred complete protection against inhalational anthrax and pneumonic plague. No significant antigenic interference was observed. Furthermore, we report, for the first time, complete protection of animals against simultaneous challenge with Y. pestis and the lethal toxin of B. anthracis, demonstrating that a single biodefense vaccine can protect against a bioterror attack with weaponized B. anthracis and/or Y. pestis. This bivalent anthrax–plague vaccine is, therefore, a strong candidate for stockpiling, after demonstration of its safety and immunogenicity in human clinical trials, as part of national preparedness against two of the deadliest bioterror threats.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Redkar Rajendra

    2004-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Beyer

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Wolfgang; Bellan, Steve; Eberle, Gisela; Ganz, Holly H; Getz, Wayne M; Haumacher, Renate; Hilss, Karen A; Kilian, Werner; Lazak, Judith; Turner, Wendy C; Turnbull, Peter C B

    2012-01-01

    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 epidemiological

  1. Comparison of sampling methods to recover germinated Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis endospores from surface coupons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mott, T M; Shoe, J L; Hunter, M; Woodson, A M; Fritts, K A; Klimko, C P; Quirk, A V; Welkos, S L; Cote, C K

    2017-05-01

    In an attempt to devise decontamination methods that are both effective and minimally detrimental to the environment, we evaluated germination induction as an enhancement to strategies for Bacillus anthracis spore decontamination. To determine an optimal method for the recovery of germinating spores from different matrices, it was critical to ensure that the sampling procedures did not negatively impact the viability of the germinating spores possibly confounding the results and downstream analyses of field trial data. Therefore, the two main objectives of this study were the following: (i) development of an effective processing protocol capable of recovering the maximum number of viable germinating or germinated spores from different surface materials; and (ii) using a model system of spore contamination, employ this protocol to evaluate the potential applicability of germination induction to wide-area decontamination of B. anthracis spores. We examined parameters affecting the sampling efficiencies of B. anthracis and the surrogate species Bacillus thuringiensis on nonporous and porous materials. The most efficient extraction from all matrices was observed using PBS with 0·01% Tween 80 extraction buffer. The addition of a sonication and/or extended vortex treatment did not yield significant increases in spore or germinated spore recovery. Our data demonstrate that previous germination-induction experiments performed in suspension can be reproduced when Bacillus spores are deposited onto reference surfaces materials. Our proof of concept experiment illustrated that a germination pretreatment step significantly improves conventional secondary decontamination strategies and remediation plans. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  2. Genes of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis encoding proteins of the exosporium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Sarah J; Moir, Arthur J G; Johnson, Matt J; Moir, Anne

    2003-06-01

    The exosporium is the outermost layer of spores of Bacillus cereus and its close relatives Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis. For these pathogens, it represents the surface layer that makes initial contact with the host. To date, only the BclA glycoprotein has been described as a component of the exosporium; this paper defines 10 more tightly associated proteins from the exosporium of B. cereus ATCC 10876, identified by N-terminal sequencing of proteins from purified, washed exosporium. Likely coding sequences were identified from the incomplete genome sequence of B. anthracis or B. cereus ATCC 14579, and the precise corresponding sequence from B. cereus ATCC 10876 was defined by PCR and sequencing. Eight genes encode likely structural components (exsB, exsC, exsD, exsE, exsF, exsG, exsJ, and cotE). Several proteins of the exosporium are related to morphogenetic and outer spore coat proteins of B. subtilis, but most do not have homologues in B. subtilis. ExsE is processed from a larger precursor, and the CotE homologue appears to have been C-terminally truncated. ExsJ contains a domain of GXX collagen-like repeats, like the BclA exosporium protein of B. anthracis. Although most of the exosporium genes are scattered on the genome, bclA and exsF are clustered in a region flanking the rhamnose biosynthesis operon; rhamnose is part of the sugar moiety of spore glycoproteins. Two enzymes, alanine racemase and nucleoside hydrolase, are tightly adsorbed to the exosporium layer; they could metabolize small molecule germinants and may reduce the sensitivity of spores to these, limiting premature germination.

  3. 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.

  4. The Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain shows protective effects against the B. anthracis LT toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontier-Bres, Rodolphe; Rampal, Patrick; Peyron, Jean-François; Munro, Patrick; Lemichez, Emmanuel; Czerucka, Dorota

    2015-10-30

    The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) has been prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of several infectious diarrheal diseases. Gastrointestinal anthrax causes fatal systemic disease. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects conferred by Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain on polarized T84 columnar epithelial cells intoxicated by the lethal toxin (LT) of Bacillus anthracis. Exposure of polarized T84 cells to LT affected cell monolayer integrity, modified the morphology of tight junctions and induced the formation of actin stress fibers. Overnight treatment of cells with S. boulardii before incubation with LT maintained the integrity of the monolayers, prevented morphological modification of tight junctions, restricted the effects of LT on actin remodeling and delayed LT-induced MEK-2 cleavage. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that in the presence of S. boulardii, the medium is depleted of both LF and PA sub-units of LT and the appearance of a cleaved form of PA. Our study highlights the potential of the S. boulardii CNCM I-745 strain as a prophylactic agent against the gastrointestinal form of anthrax.

  5. The Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 Strain Shows Protective Effects against the B. anthracis LT Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolphe Pontier-Bres

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii has been prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of several infectious diarrheal diseases. Gastrointestinal anthrax causes fatal systemic disease. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects conferred by Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain on polarized T84 columnar epithelial cells intoxicated by the lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis. Exposure of polarized T84 cells to LT affected cell monolayer integrity, modified the morphology of tight junctions and induced the formation of actin stress fibers. Overnight treatment of cells with S. boulardii before incubation with LT maintained the integrity of the monolayers, prevented morphological modification of tight junctions, restricted the effects of LT on actin remodeling and delayed LT-induced MEK-2 cleavage. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that in the presence of S. boulardii, the medium is depleted of both LF and PA sub-units of LT and the appearance of a cleaved form of PA. Our study highlights the potential of the S. boulardii CNCM I-745 strain as a prophylactic agent against the gastrointestinal form of anthrax.

  6. 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

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boucher, Ian W.; Kalliomaa, Anne K.; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Blagova, Elena V.; Fogg, Mark J.; Brannigan, James A.; Wilson, Keith S.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Draft Genome Sequences of Bacillus cereus E41 and Bacillus anthracis F34 Isolated from Algerian Salt Lakes

    OpenAIRE

    Daas, Mohamed Seghir; Rosana, Albert Remus R.; Acedo, Jeella Z.; Nateche, Farida; Kebbouche-Gana, Salima; Vederas, John C.; Case, Rebecca J.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Two strains of Bacillus, B.?cereus E41 and B.?anthracis F34, were isolated from a salt lake in A?n M?lila-Oum El Bouaghi, eastern Algeria, and Ain Baida-Ouargla, southern Algeria, respectively. Their genomes display genes for the production of several bioactive secondary metabolites, including polyhydroxyalkanoate, iron siderophores, lipopeptides, and bacteriocins.

  9. 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.

  10. The structure of the major cell wall polysaccharide of Bacillus anthracis is species-specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Biswa; Leoff, Christine; Saile, Elke; Wilkins, Patricia; Quinn, Conrad P; Kannenberg, Elmar L; Carlson, Russell W

    2006-09-22

    In this report we describe the structure of the polysaccharide released from Bacillus anthracis vegetative cell walls by aqueous hydrogen fluoride (HF). This HF-released polysaccharide (HF-PS) was isolated and structurally characterized from the Ames, Sterne, and Pasteur strains of B. anthracis. The HF-PSs were also isolated from the closely related Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 strain, and from the B. cereus ATCC 14579 type strain and compared with those of B. anthracis. The structure of the B. anthracis HF-PS was determined by glycosyl composition and linkage analyses, matrix-assisted laser desorption-time of flight mass spectrometry, and one- and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The HF-PSs from all of the B. anthracis isolates had an identical structure consisting of an amino sugar backbone of -->6)-alpha-GlcNAc-(1-->4)-beta-ManNAc-(1-->4)-beta-GlcNAc-(1-->, in which the alpha-GlcNAc residue is substituted with alpha-Gal and beta-Gal at O-3 and O-4, respectively, and the beta-GlcNAc substituted with alpha-Gal at O-3. There is some variability in the presence of two of these three Gal substitutions. Comparison with the HF-PSs from B. cereus ATCC 10987 and B. cereus ATCC 14579 showed that the B. anthracis structure was clearly different from each of these HF-PSs and, furthermore, that the B. cereus ATCC 10987 HF-PS structure was different from that of B. cereus ATCC 14579. The presence of a B. anthracis-specific polysaccharide structure in its vegetative cell wall is discussed with regard to its relationship to those of other Bacillus species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen eSt John

    2013-05-01

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

  12. Application of high-throughput technologies to a structural proteomics-type analysis of Bacillus anthracis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Au, K.; Folkers, G.E.; Kaptein, R.

    2006-01-01

    A collaborative project between two Structural Proteomics In Europe (SPINE) partner laboratories, York and Oxford, aimed at high-throughput (HTP) structure determination of proteins from Bacillus anthracis, the aetiological agent of anthrax and a biomedically important target, is described. Based

  13. 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 ...

  14. Isolation of Bacillus anthracis from dry cattle meat, skin and soil from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Isolation of Bacillus anthracis from dry cattle meat, skin and soil from the Western Province of Zambia. LM Tuchili, JB Muma, T Fujikura, GS Pandey, MM Musonda, G Bbalo, W Ulaya. Abstract. No Abstract Available Journal of Science and Technology Vol.1(2) 1997: 56-58. Published 2004. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL ...

  15. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Bacillus anthracis Strains from Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valseth, Karoline; Nesbø, Camilla L; Easterday, W Ryan; Turner, Wendy C; Olsen, Jaran S; Stenseth, Nils C; Haverkamp, Thomas H A

    2016-08-25

    Bacillus anthracis strains K1 and K2 were isolated from two plains zebra anthrax carcasses in Etosha National Park, Namibia. These are draft genomes obtained by Illumina MiSeq sequencing of isolates collected from culture of blood-soaked soil from each carcass. Copyright © 2016 Valseth et al.

  17. Identification of Proteins in the Exosporium of Bacillus Anthracis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Redmond, Caroline; Baillie, Leslie W. J; Hibbs, Stephen; Moir, Arthur J. G; Moir, Anne

    2004-01-01

    .... The protein profiles of SDS-PAGE-separated exosporium extracts were similar for all three. This suggests that avirulent variants lacking either or both plasmids are realistic models for studying the exosporium from spores of B. anthracis...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Green tea and epigallocatechin-3-gallate are bactericidal against Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falcinelli, Shane D; Shi, Maggie C; Friedlander, Arthur M; Chua, Jennifer

    2017-07-03

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is listed as a category A biothreat agent by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virulence of the organism is due to expression of two exotoxins and capsule, which interfere with host cellular signaling, alter host water homeostasis and inhibit phagocytosis of the pathogen, respectively. Concerns regarding the past and possible future use of B. anthracis as a bioterrorism agent have resulted in an impetus to develop more effective protective measures and therapeutics. In this study, green tea was found to inhibit the in vitro growth of B. anthracis. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound found abundantly in green tea, was shown to be responsible for this activity. EGCG was bactericidal against both the attenuated B. anthracis ANR and the virulent encapsulated B. anthracis Ames strain. This study highlights the antimicrobial activity of green tea and EGCG against anthrax and suggests the need for further investigation of EGCG as a therapeutic candidate against B. anthracis. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of FEMS 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Schuch

    2009-08-01

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

  1. Ecological niche modelling of the Bacillus anthracis A1.a sub-lineage in Kazakhstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullins, Jocelyn; Lukhnova, Larissa; Aikimbayev, Alim; Pazilov, Yerlan; Van Ert, Matthew; Blackburn, Jason K

    2011-12-12

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a globally distributed zoonotic pathogen that continues to be a veterinary and human health problem in Central Asia. We used a database of anthrax outbreak locations in Kazakhstan and a subset of genotyped isolates to model the geographic distribution and ecological associations of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The aims of the study were to test the influence of soil variables on a previous ecological niche based prediction of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan and to determine if a single sub-lineage of B. anthracis occupies a unique ecological niche. The addition of soil variables to the previously developed ecological niche model did not appreciably alter the limits of the predicted geographic or ecological distribution of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The A1.a experiment predicted the sub-lineage to be present over a larger geographic area than did the outbreak based experiment containing multiple lineages. Within the geographic area predicted to be suitable for B. anthracis by all ten best subset models, the A1.a sub-lineage was associated with a wider range of ecological tolerances than the outbreak-soil experiment. Analysis of rule types showed that logit rules predominate in the outbreak-soil experiment and range rules in the A1.a sub-lineage experiment. Random sub-setting of locality points suggests that models of B. anthracis distribution may be sensitive to sample size. Our analysis supports careful consideration of the taxonomic resolution of data used to create ecological niche models. Further investigations into the environmental affinities of individual lineages and sub-lineages of B. anthracis will be useful in understanding the ecology of the disease at large and small scales. With model based predictions serving as approximations of disease risk, these efforts will improve the efficacy of public health interventions for anthrax prevention and control.

  2. Ecological Niche Modelling of the Bacillus anthracis A1.a sub-lineage in Kazakhstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a globally distributed zoonotic pathogen that continues to be a veterinary and human health problem in Central Asia. We used a database of anthrax outbreak locations in Kazakhstan and a subset of genotyped isolates to model the geographic distribution and ecological associations of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The aims of the study were to test the influence of soil variables on a previous ecological niche based prediction of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan and to determine if a single sub-lineage of B. anthracis occupies a unique ecological niche. Results The addition of soil variables to the previously developed ecological niche model did not appreciably alter the limits of the predicted geographic or ecological distribution of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The A1.a experiment predicted the sub-lineage to be present over a larger geographic area than did the outbreak based experiment containing multiple lineages. Within the geographic area predicted to be suitable for B. anthracis by all ten best subset models, the A1.a sub-lineage was associated with a wider range of ecological tolerances than the outbreak-soil experiment. Analysis of rule types showed that logit rules predominate in the outbreak-soil experiment and range rules in the A1.a sub-lineage experiment. Random sub-setting of locality points suggests that models of B. anthracis distribution may be sensitive to sample size. Conclusions Our analysis supports careful consideration of the taxonomic resolution of data used to create ecological niche models. Further investigations into the environmental affinities of individual lineages and sub-lineages of B. anthracis will be useful in understanding the ecology of the disease at large and small scales. With model based predictions serving as approximations of disease risk, these efforts will improve the efficacy of public health interventions for anthrax prevention and control. PMID:22152056

  3. In Vitro and In Vivo Activity of Omadacycline Against Two Biothreat Pathogens: Bacillus Anthracis and Yersinia Pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-27

    vivo efficacy of omadacycline ( OMC ) were evaluated against the causative pathogen of anthrax and plague, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis...respectively. Methods: Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of OMC were determined by microbroth dilution according to CLSI guidelines for 30

  4. 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...display a currently valid OMB control number. 1. REPORT DATE 02 OCT 2015 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Inhibiting...inosine hydrolase and alanine racemase to enhance the germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores potential spore decontamination strategies 5a

  5. The impact of inducing germination of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis spores on potential secondary decontamination strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omotade, T O; Bernhards, R C; Klimko, C P; Matthews, M E; Hill, A J; Hunter, M S; Webster, W M; Bozue, J A; Welkos, S L; Cote, C K

    2014-12-01

    Decontamination and remediation of a site contaminated by the accidental or intentional release of fully virulent Bacillus anthracis spores are difficult, costly and potentially damaging to the environment. Development of novel decontamination strategies that have minimal environmental impacts remains a high priority. Although ungerminated spores are amongst the most resilient organisms known, once exposed to germinants, the germinating spores, in some cases, become susceptible to antimicrobial environments. We evaluated the concept that once germinated, B. anthracis spores would be less hazardous and significantly easier to remediate than ungerminated dormant spores. Through in vitro germination and sensitivity assays, we demonstrated that upon germination, B. anthracis Ames spores and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores (serving as a surrogate for B. anthracis) become susceptible to environmental stressors. The majority of these germinated B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis spores were nonviable after exposure to a defined minimal germination-inducing solution for prolonged periods of time. Additionally, we examined the impact of potential secondary disinfectant strategies including bleach, hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde and artificial UV-A, UV-B and UV-C radiation, employed after a 60-min germination-induction step. Each secondary disinfectant employs a unique mechanism of killing; as a result, germination-induction strategies are better suited for some secondary disinfectants than others. These results provide evidence that the deployment of an optimal combination strategy of germination-induction/secondary disinfection may be a promising aspect of wide-area decontamination following a B. anthracis contamination event. By inducing spores to germinate, our data confirm that the resulting cells exhibit sensitivities that can be leveraged when paired with certain decontamination measures. This increased susceptibility could be exploited to devise more

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grenha, Rosa; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Fogg, Mark J.; Blagova, Elena V.; Brannigan, James A.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.; Wilson, Keith S.

    2005-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Dan; Rands, Anthony D.; Losee, Scott C.; Holt, Brian C.; Williams, John R.; Lammert, Stephen A.; Robison, Richard A.; Tolley, H. Dennis; Lee, Milton L.

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biketov, S.; Dunaytsev, I.; Baranova, E.; Marinin, L.; Dyatlov, I.

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Draft Genome Sequences of Bacillus cereus E41 and Bacillus anthracis F34 Isolated from Algerian Salt Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daas, Mohamed Seghir; Rosana, Albert Remus R.; Acedo, Jeella Z.; Nateche, Farida; Kebbouche-Gana, Salima; Vederas, John C.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Two strains of Bacillus, B. cereus E41 and B. anthracis F34, were isolated from a salt lake in Aïn M’lila-Oum El Bouaghi, eastern Algeria, and Ain Baida-Ouargla, southern Algeria, respectively. Their genomes display genes for the production of several bioactive secondary metabolites, including polyhydroxyalkanoate, iron siderophores, lipopeptides, and bacteriocins. PMID:28522726

  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

    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.

  14. 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...infection can be detected as early as one hour after exposing as few as 105 CFU bacteria to the stressor. We predicted that similar responses could be used... bacteria to form confluent growth and for phage-induced plaques to appear. Techniques that permit faster detection of species-specific bacteria /phage

  15. 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 (T 0 ) 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-15

    The rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, has gained much attention since the anthrax spore bioterrorism attacks in the United States in 2001. In this work, a DNA probe functionalized quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) biosensor was developed to detect B. anthracis based on the recognition of its specific DNA sequences, i.e., the 168 bp fragment of the Ba813 gene in chromosomes and the 340 bp fragment of the pag gene in plasmid pXO1. A thiol DNA probe was immobilized onto the QCM gold surface through self-assembly via Au-S bond formation to hybridize with the target ss-DNA sequence obtained by asymmetric PCR. Hybridization between the target DNA and the DNA probe resulted in an increase in mass and a decrease in the resonance frequency of the QCM biosensor. Moreover, to amplify the signal, a thiol-DNA fragment complementary to the other end of the target DNA was functionalized with gold nanoparticles. The results indicate that the DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor could specifically recognize the target DNA fragment of B. anthracis from that of its closest species, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, and that the limit of detection (LOD) reached 3.5 × 10(2)CFU/ml of B. anthracis vegetative cells just after asymmetric PCR amplification, but without culture enrichment. The DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor demonstrated stable, pollution-free, real-time sensing, and could find application in the rapid detection of B. anthracis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Evaluation of DNA extraction methods for Bacillus anthracis spores isolated from spiked food samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, M C; Shields, M J; Hahn, K R; Janzen, T W; Goji, N; Amoako, K K

    2013-07-01

    Nine commercial DNA extraction kits were evaluated for the isolation of DNA from 10-fold serial dilutions of Bacillus anthracis spores using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). The three kits determined by qPCR to yield the most sensitive and consistent detection (Epicenter MasterPure Gram Positive; MoBio PowerFood; ABI PrepSeq) were subsequently tested for their ability to isolate DNA from trace amounts of B. anthracis spores (approx. 6·5 × 10(1) and 1·3 × 10(2)  CFU in 25 ml or 50 g of food sample) spiked into complex food samples including apple juice, ham, whole milk and bagged salad and recovered with immunomagnetic separation (IMS). The MasterPure kit effectively and consistently isolated DNA from low amounts of B. anthracis spores captured from food samples. Detection was achieved from apple juice, ham, whole milk and bagged salad from as few as 65 ± 14, 68 ± 8, 66 ± 4 and 52 ± 16 CFU, respectively, and IMS samples were demonstrated to be free of PCR inhibitors. Detection of B. anthracis spores isolated from food by IMS differs substantially between commercial DNA extraction kits; however, sensitive results can be obtained with the MasterPure Gram Positive kit. The extraction protocol identified herein combined with IMS is novel for B. anthracis and allows detection of low levels of B. anthracis spores from contaminated food samples. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada [2013]. Reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

  18. 42 CFR 73.4 - Overlap select agents and toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... animal health, or to animal products. (b) Overlap select agents and toxins: Bacillus anthracis Brucella abortus Brucella melitensis Brucella suis Burkholderia mallei (formerly Pseudomonas mallei) Burkholderia... CDC or APHIS. (i) The seizure of Bacillus anthracis, Brucella melitensis, Hendra virus, Nipah virus...

  19. 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

  20. 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 0.05. 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 the issue of the role of vultures in transmission of anthrax.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozgur eCelebi

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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, 102, 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. PMID:27213119

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-02-02

    the bands excised, and the DNA extracted with phenol for cloning in M13. 6 Nuclotida sequence analysis. The two fragments were each cloned into phages ...E.c. ToxA a £scherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin A gene (45) V.c. CTxA - Vibrio ctolerae cholera toxin alfa subunlt gene (28) atotal nurber of specific amino acid residues deduced from p’otective antigen gene.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jocelyn C Mullins

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Dyer

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullins, Jocelyn C; Garofolo, Giuliano; Van Ert, Matthew; Fasanella, Antonio; Lukhnova, Larisa; Hugh-Jones, Martin E; Blackburn, Jason K

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendling, Morgan; Richter, William; Lastivka, Andrew; Mickelsen, Leroy

    2016-01-01

    The primary goal of this study was to determine the conditions required for the effective inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores on materials by using methyl bromide (MeBr) gas. Another objective was to obtain comparative decontamination efficacy data with three avirulent microorganisms to assess their potential for use as surrogates for B. anthracis Ames. Decontamination tests were conducted with spores of B. anthracis Ames and Geobacillus stearothermophilus, B. anthracis NNR1Δ1, and B. anthracis Sterne inoculated onto six different materials. Experimental variables included temperature, relative humidity (RH), MeBr concentration, and contact time. MeBr was found to be an effective decontaminant under a number of conditions. This study highlights the important role that RH has when fumigation is performed with MeBr. There were no tests in which a ≥6-log10 reduction (LR) of B. anthracis Ames was achieved on all materials when fumigation was done at 45% RH. At 75% RH, an increase in the temperature, the MeBr concentration, or contact time generally improved the efficacy of fumigation with MeBr. This study provides new information for the effective use of MeBr at temperatures and RH levels lower than those that have been recommended previously. The study also provides data to assist with the selection of an avirulent surrogate for B. anthracis Ames spores when additional tests with MeBr are conducted. PMID:26801580

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kym S Antonation

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a potential source of bioterrorism. The existing assays for its identification lack specificity due to the close genetic relationship it exhibits to other members of the B. cereus group. Our comparative analyses of protein sequences from Bacillus species have identified a 24 amino acid deletion in a conserved region of the YeaC protein that is uniquely present in B. anthracis. PCR primers based on conserved regions flanking this indel in the Bacillus cereus group of species (viz. Bacillus cereus, B. anthracis, B. thuringiensis, B. mycoides, B. weihenstephnensis and B. pseudomycoides) specifically amplified a 282 bp fragment from all six reference B. anthracis strains, whereas a 354 bp fragment was amplified from 15 other B. cereus group of species/strains. These fragments, due to large size difference, are readily distinguished by means of agarose gel electrophoresis. In contrast to the B. cereus group, no PCR amplification was observed with any of the non-B. cereus group of species/strains. This indel was also used for developing a rapid pyrosequencing assay for the identification of B. anthracis. Its performance was evaluated by examining the presence or absence of this indel in a panel of 81 B. cereus-like isolates from various sources that included 39 B. anthracis strains. Based upon the sequence data from the pyrograms, the yeaC indel was found to be a distinctive characteristic of various B. anthracis strains tested and not found in any other species/strains from these samples. Therefore, this B. anthracis specific indel provides a robust and highly-specific chromosomal marker for the identification of this high-risk pathogen from other members of the B. cereus group independent of a strain's virulence. The pyrosequencing platform also allows for the rapid and simultaneous screening of multiple samples for the presence of this B. anthracis-specific marker. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haft Daniel H

    2009-04-01

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

  6. Mechanisms of DNA binding and regulation of Bacillus anthracis DNA primase.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-11

    DNA primases are pivotal enzymes in chromosomal DNA replication in all organisms. In this article, we report unique mechanistic characteristics of recombinant DNA primase from Bacillus anthracis. The mechanism of action of B. anthracis DNA primase (DnaG(BA)) may be described in several distinct steps as follows. Its mechanism of action is initiated when it binds to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) in the form of a trimer. Although DnaG(BA) binds to different DNA sequences with moderate affinity (as expected of a mobile DNA binding protein), we found that DnaG(BA) bound to the origin of bacteriophage G4 (G4ori) with approximately 8-fold higher affinity. DnaG(BA) was strongly stimulated (>or=75-fold) by its cognate helicase, DnaB(BA), during RNA primer synthesis. With the G4ori ssDNA template, DnaG(BA) formed short (primers in the absence of DnaB(BA). The presence of DnaB(BA) increased the rate of primer synthesis. The observed stimulation of primer synthesis by cognate DnaB(BA) is thus indicative of a positive effector role for DnaB(BA). By contrast, Escherichia coli DnaB helicase (DnaB(EC)) did not stimulate DnaG(BA) and inhibited primer synthesis to near completion. This observed effect of E. coli DnaB(EC) is indicative of a strong negative effector role for heterologous DnaB(EC). We conclude that DnaG(BA) is capable of interacting with DnaB proteins from both B. anthracis and E. coli; however, between DnaB proteins derived from these two organisms, only the homologous DNA helicase (DnaB(BA)) acted as a positive effector of primer synthesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beecher, Douglas J.

    2006-01-01

    The discovery of a letter intentionally filled with dried Bacillus anthracis spores in the office of a United States senator prompted the collection and quarantine of all mail in congressional buildings. This mail was subsequently searched for additional intentionally contaminated letters. A microbiological sampling strategy was used to locate heavy contamination within the 642 separate plastic bags containing the mail. Swab sampling identified 20 bags for manual and visual examination. Air 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 × 106 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. PMID:16885280

  8. Type II topoisomerase mutations in Bacillus anthracis associated with high-level fluoroquinolone resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bast, Darrin J; Athamna, Abed; Duncan, Carla L; de Azavedo, Joyce C S; Low, Donald E; Rahav, Galia; Farrell, David; Rubinstein, Ethan

    2004-07-01

    To identify and characterize the mechanisms of high-level fluoroquinolone resistance in two strains of Bacillus anthracis following serial passage in increasing concentrations of fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates of the Sterne and Russian Anthrax Vaccine STi strains were obtained following serial passage in the presence of increasing concentrations of four different fluoroquinolones. The quinolone-resistance-determining regions of the type II topoisomerase genes from the resistant strains were amplified by PCR and characterized by DNA sequence analysis. The MICs in the presence and absence of reserpine were determined using broth microdilution as a means of detecting active efflux. Single and double amino acid substitutions in the GyrA (Ser-85-Leu; Glu-89-Arg/Gly/Lys) and GrlA (Ser-81-Tyr; Val-96-Ala; Asn-70-Lys) were most common. A single amino acid substitution in GyrB (Asp-430-Asn) was also identified. Efflux only applied to isolates selected for by either levofloxacin or ofloxacin. Specific amino acid substitutions in the type II topoisomerase enzymes significantly contributed to the development of high-level fluoroquinolone resistance in B. anthracis. However, notable differences between the strains and the drugs tested were identified including the role of efflux and the numbers and types of mutations identified.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiankai Liu

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadayon, K.

    2016-07-01

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

  11. Secondary cell wall polysaccharides of Bacillus anthracis are antigens that contain specific epitopes which cross-react with three pathogenic Bacillus cereus strains that caused severe disease, and other epitopes common to all the Bacillus cereus strains tested.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leoff, Christine; Saile, Elke; Rauvolfova, Jana; Quinn, Conrad P; Hoffmaster, Alex R; Zhong, Wei; Mehta, Alok S; Boons, Geert-Jan; Carlson, Russell W; Kannenberg, Elmar L

    2009-06-01

    The immunoreactivities of hydrogen fluoride (HF)-released cell wall polysaccharides (HF-PSs) from selected Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus strains were compared using antisera against live and killed B. anthracis spores. These antisera bound to the HF-PSs from B. anthracis and from three clinical B. cereus isolates (G9241, 03BB87, and 03BB102) obtained from cases of severe or fatal human pneumonia but did not bind to the HF-PSs from the closely related B. cereus ATCC 10987 or from B. cereus type strain ATCC 14579. Antiserum against a keyhole limpet hemocyanin conjugate of the B. anthracis HF-PS (HF-PS-KLH) also bound to HF-PSs and cell walls from B. anthracis and the three clinical B. cereus isolates, and B. anthracis spores. These results indicate that the B. anthracis HF-PS is an antigen in both B. anthracis cell walls and spores, and that it shares cross-reactive, and possibly pathogenicity-related, epitopes with three clinical B. cereus isolates that caused severe disease. The anti-HF-PS-KLH antiserum cross-reacted with the bovine serum albumin (BSA)-conjugates of all B. anthracis and all B. cereus HF-PSs tested, including those from nonclinical B. cereus ATCC 10987 and ATCC 14579 strains. Finally, the serum of vaccinated (anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA)) Rhesus macaques that survived inhalation anthrax contained IgG antibodies that bound the B. anthracis HF-PS-KLH conjugate. These data indicate that HF-PSs from the cell walls of the bacilli tested here are (i) antigens that contain (ii) a potentially virulence-associated carbohydrate antigen motif, and (iii) another antigenic determinant that is common to B. cereus strains.

  12. 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.

  13. Esterase activity as a novel parameter of spore germination in Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferencko, Linda; Cote, Mindy A.; Rotman, Boris

    2004-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis were shown to produce esterase activity about 4 min after exposure to conventional germinants such as combinations of amino acids and purine ribosides. Neither amino acids nor ribosides alone induce germination and esterase activity. Expression of esterase activity was chloramphenicol resistant, and correlated with loss of spore refractivity, a traditional parameter of early germination. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that esterase activity could be used as a novel parameter for quantifying early events during spore germination. To test this hypothesis, we measured expression of esterase activity under a variety of germinating conditions. Using diacetyl fluorescein as fluorogenic substrate of esterases, we demonstrated that esterase activity was invariably induced whenever spores were triggered by known germinants. Moreover, D-alanine, an inhibitor of L-alanine-mediated germination, was found to significantly inhibit expression of esterase activity. In terms of molecular mechanisms, esterase expression could represent activation of proteases at the onset of spore germination

  14. Bacillus anthracis Overcomes an Amino Acid Auxotrophy by Cleaving Host Serum Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terwilliger, Austen; Swick, Michelle C.; Pflughoeft, Kathryn J.; Pomerantsev, Andrei; Lyons, C. Rick; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacteria sustain an infection by acquiring nutrients from the host to support replication. The host sequesters these nutrients as a growth-restricting strategy, a concept termed “nutritional immunity.” Historically, the study of nutritional immunity has centered on iron uptake because many bacteria target hemoglobin, an abundant circulating protein, as an iron source. Left unresolved are the mechanisms that bacteria use to attain other nutrients from host sources, including amino acids. We employed a novel medium designed to mimic the chemical composition of human serum, and we show here that Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, proteolyzes human hemoglobin to liberate essential amino acids which enhance its growth. This property can be traced to the actions of InhA1, a secreted metalloprotease, and extends to at least three other serum proteins, including serum albumin. The results suggest that we must also consider proteolysis of key host proteins to be a way for bacterial pathogens to attain essential nutrients, and we provide an experimental framework to determine the host and bacterial factors involved in this process. IMPORTANCE The mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens acquire nutrients during infection are poorly understood. Here we used a novel defined medium that approximates the chemical composition of human blood serum, blood serum mimic (BSM), to better model the nutritional environment that pathogens encounter during bacteremia. Removing essential amino acids from BSM revealed that two of the most abundant proteins in blood—hemoglobin and serum albumin—can satiate the amino acid requirement for Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. We further demonstrate that hemoglobin is proteolyzed by the secreted protease InhA1. These studies highlight that common blood proteins can be a nutrient source for bacteria. They also challenge the historical view that hemoglobin is solely an iron source for

  15. Nanoscale Structural and Mechanical Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Spores Inactivated with Rapid Dry Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felker, Daniel L.; Burggraf, Larry W.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24375142

  16. Rapid Detection of the Poly-γ-d-Glutamic Acid Capsular Antigen of Bacillus anthracis by Latex Agglutination

    Science.gov (United States)

    AuCoin, David P.; Sutherland, Marjorie D.; Percival, Ann L.; Lyons, C. Rick; Lovchik, Julie A.; Kozel, Thomas R.

    2009-01-01

    Latex agglutination has been used to detect capsular polysaccharides from a variety of bacteria in body fluids. A latex agglutination assay was constructed for detection of the poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (γdPGA) capsular polypeptide of Bacillus anthracis in serum from animal models of pulmonary anthrax. The assay was able to detect γdPGA in serum from infected animals at concentrations of 100–200 ng/ml. PMID:19345041

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Bacillus anthracis Prolyl 4-Hydroxylase Interacts with and Modifies Elongation Factor Tu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schnicker, Nicholas J. [Department; Razzaghi, Mortezaali [Department; Guha Thakurta, Sanjukta [Department; Chakravarthy, Srinivas [Biophysics; Dey, Mishtu [Department

    2017-10-17

    Prolyl hydroxylation is a very common post-translational modification and plays many roles in eukaryotes such as collagen stabilization, hypoxia sensing, and controlling protein transcription and translation. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that prokaryotes contain prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4Hs) homologous to the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD) enzymes that act on elongation factor Tu (EFTu) and are likely involved in the regulation of bacterial translation. Recent biochemical and structural studies with a PHD from Pseudomonas putida (PPHD) determined that it forms a complex with EFTu and hydroxylates a prolyl residue of EFTu. Moreover, while animal, plant, and viral P4Hs act on peptidyl proline, most prokaryotic P4Hs have been known to target free l-proline; the exceptions include PPHD and a P4H from Bacillus anthracis (BaP4H) that modifies collagen-like proline-rich peptides. Here we use biophysical and mass spectrometric methods to demonstrate that BaP4H recognizes full-length BaEFTu and a BaEFTu 9-mer peptide for site-specific proline hydroxylation. Using size-exclusion chromatography coupled small-angle X-ray scattering (SEC–SAXS) and binding studies, we determined that BaP4H forms a 1:1 heterodimeric complex with BaEFTu. The SEC–SAXS studies reveal dissociation of BaP4H dimeric subunits upon interaction with BaEFTu. While BaP4H is unusual within bacteria in that it is structurally and functionally similar to the animal PHDs and collagen P4Hs, respectively, this work provides further evidence of its promiscuous substrate recognition. It is possible that the enzyme might have evolved to hydroxylate a universally conserved protein in prokaryotes, similar to the PHDs, and implies a functional role in B. anthracis.

  20. 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. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

    2009-01-01

    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 cm2). Steel and carpet coupons seeded in the chamber were sampled with swab (103 cm2) or wipe or vacuum (929 cm2) surface sampling methods and analyzed at three laboratories. Agar settle plates (60 cm2) 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 cm2 for sampling steel surfaces and 40, 9.2, and 28 CFU/100 cm2 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. PMID:19429546

  2. [Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) site in Bacillus anthracis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Zhiqi; Wang, Dongshu; Feng, Erling; Wang, Bingxiang; Hui, Yiming; Han, Shaobo; Jiao, Lei; Liu, Xiankai; Wang, Hengliang

    2014-11-04

    To investigate the polymorphism of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in Bacillu santhracis and the application to molecular typing based on the polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis. We downloaded the whole genome sequence of 6 B. anthracis strains and extracted the CRISPR sites. We designed the primers of CRISPR sites and amplified the CRISPR fragments in 193 B. anthracis strains by PCR and sequenced these fragments. In order to reveal the polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis, wealigned all the extracted sequences and sequenced results by local blasting. At the same time, we also analyzed the CRISPR sites in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. We did not find any polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis. The molecular typing approach based on CRISPR polymorphism is not suitable for B. anthracis, but it is possible for us to distinguish B. anthracis from B. cereus and B. thuringiensis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Flaherty, Sarah; Klaenhammer, Todd R

    2016-10-15

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

  4. 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.

  5. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores from environmental water using bioluminescent reporter phage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, C; Makkar, R; Sharp, N J; Page, M A; Molineux, I J; Schofield, D A

    2017-11-01

    We investigated the ability of a temperate Bacillus anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2), which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells, to detect viable spores from deliberately contaminated environmental water samples. Environmental water was inoculated with spores and assayed with Wβ::luxAB-2. Bioluminescent signals directly correlated with input phage and spore concentrations. A limit of detection of 10 1 and 10 2 CFU per ml within 8 h was achieved from pond and lake water, respectively. Detection was greatly simplified by minimizing sample processing steps without spore extraction. The complex endogenous microbial flora and salt content of brackish water challenged the assay, extending the detection time to 12 h for a sensitivity of 10 2 CFU per ml. Phage-mediated bioluminescence was strictly dependent on bacterial physiology, being significantly reduced in mid/late log phase cells. This was shown to be due to an inability of the phage to adsorb. The reporter phage Wβ::luxAB-2 displays potential for simplified detection of viable spores from contaminated water samples within 12 h. A deliberate aerosol release of spores could lead to widespread contamination, leaving large areas uninhabitable until remediation. An essential requirement of this restoration process is the development of simplified detection assays in different environmental matrices. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  6. 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.

  7. Activities of different fluoroquinolones against Bacillus anthracis mutants selected in vitro and harboring topoisomerase mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grohs, Patrick; Podglajen, Isabelle; Gutmann, Laurent

    2004-08-01

    Three sets of mutants of Bacillus anthracis resistant to fluoroquinolones were selected on ciprofloxacin and moxifloxacin in a stepwise manner from a nalidixic acid-resistant but fluoroquinolone-susceptible plasmidless strain harboring a Ser85Leu GyrA mutation. A high level of resistance to fluoroquinolones could be obtained in four or five selection steps. In each case, ParC was the secondary target. However, in addition to the GyrA mutation, expression of high-level resistance required (i) in the first set of mutants, active drug efflux associated with a mutation in the QRDR of ParC; (ii) in the second set, two mutations in the QRDR of ParC associated with a mutation in GyrB; and (iii) in the third set, two QRDR mutations, one in ParC and one in GyrA. Interestingly, several selection steps occurred without obvious mutations in the QRDR of any topoisomerase, thereby implying the existence of other resistance mechanisms. Among the fluoroquinolones tested, garenoxacin showed the best activity.

  8. Structural analysis and evidence for dynamic emergence of Bacillus anthracis S-layer networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Delacroix, Hervé; Mignot, Tâm; Mesnage, Stéphane; Chami, Mohamed; Fouet, Agnès; Mosser, Gervaise

    2002-12-01

    Surface layers (S-layers), which form the outermost layers of many Bacteria and Archaea, consist of protein molecules arranged in two-dimensional crystalline arrays. Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, responsible for anthrax, synthesizes two abundant surface proteins: Sap and EA1. Regulatory studies showed that EA1 and Sap appear sequentially at the surface of the parental strain. Sap and EA1 can form arrays. The structural parameters of S-layers from mutant strains (EA1(-) and Sap(-)) were determined by computer image processing of electron micrographs of negatively stained regular S-layer fragments or deflated whole bacteria. Sap and EA1 projection maps were calculated on a p1 symmetry basis. The unit cell parameters of EA1 were a = 69 A, b = 83 A, and gamma = 106 degrees, while those of Sap were a = 184 A, b = 81 A, and gamma = 84 degrees. Freeze-etching experiments and the analysis of the peripheral regions of the cell suggested that the two S-layers have different settings. We characterized the settings of each network at different growth phases. Our data indicated that the scattered emergence of EA1 destabilizes the Sap S-layer.

  9. 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.

  10. Comparison of false-negative rates and limits of detection following macrofoam-swab sampling of Bacillus anthracis surrogates via Rapid Viability PCR and plate culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, J R; Piepel, G F; Amidan, B G; Hess, B M; Sydor, M A; Deatherage Kaiser, B L

    2018-01-21

    We evaluated the effects of Bacillus anthracis surrogates, low surface concentrations, surface materials and assay methods on false-negative rate (FNR) and limit of detection (LOD 95 ) for recovering Bacillus spores using a macrofoam-swab sampling procedure. Bacillus anthracis Sterne or Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura spores were deposited over a range of low target concentrations (2-500 per coupon) onto glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile and plastic. Samples were assayed using a modified Rapid Viability-PCR (mRV-PCR) method and the traditional plate culture method to obtain FNR and LOD 95 results. Mean FNRs tended to be lower for mRV-PCR compared to culturing, and increased as spore concentration decreased for all surface materials. Surface material, but not B. anthracis surrogate, influenced FNRs with the mRV-PCR method. The mRV-PCR LOD 95 was lowest for glass and highest for vinyl tile. LOD 95 values overall were lower for mRV-PCR than for the culture method. This study adds to the limited data on FNR and LOD 95 for mRV-PCR and culturing methods with low concentrations of B. anthracis sampled from various surface materials by the CDC macrofoam-swab method. These are key inputs for planning characterization and clearance studies for low contamination levels of B. anthracis. © 2018 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  11. Comparison of false-negative rates and limits of detection following macrofoam-swab sampling of Bacillus anthracis surrogates via Rapid Viability PCR and plate culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2018-03-13

    Aims: We evaluated the effects of Bacillus anthracis surrogates, low surface concentrations, surface materials, and assay methods on false-negative rate (FNR) and limit of detection (LOD95) for recovering Bacillus spores using a macrofoam-swab sampling procedure. Methods and Results: Bacillus anthracis Sterne or Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura spores were deposited over a range of low target concentrations (2 – 500 coupon-1) onto glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic. Samples were assayed using a modified Rapid Viability-PCR (mRV-PCR) method and the traditional plate culture method to obtain FNR and LOD95 results. Conclusions: Mean FNRs tended to be lower for mRV-PCR compared to culturing, and increased as spore concentration decreased for all surface materials. Surface material, but not B. anthracis surrogate, influenced FNRs with the mRV-PCR method. The mRV-PCR LOD95 was lowest for glass and highest for vinyl tile. LOD95 values overall were lower for mRV-PCR than for the culture method. Significance and Impact of Study: This study adds to the limited data on FNR and LOD95 for mRV-PCR and culturing methods with low concentrations of B. anthracis sampled from various surface materials by the CDC macrofoam-swab method. These are key inputs for planning characterization and clearance studies for low contamination levels of B. anthracis.

  12. 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".

  13. MICs of Selected Antibiotics for Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus mycoides From a Range of Clinical and Environmental Sources as Determined by the Etest

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Turnbull, Peter C; Sirianni, Nicky M; LeBron, Carlos I; Samaan, Marian N; Sutton, Felicia N; Reyes, Anatalio E; Peruski , Jr, Leonard F

    2004-01-01

    ...; based on these breakpoints, the B. anthracis isolates were all fully susceptible to ciprofloxacin and tetracycline, and all except four cultures, three of which had a known history of penicillin resistance and were thought...

  14. Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) fuels the tricarboxylic acid cycle and de novo lipid biosynthesis during Bacillus anthracis sporulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadykov, Marat R; Ahn, Jong-Sam; Widhelm, Todd J; Eckrich, Valerie M; Endres, Jennifer L; Driks, Adam; Rutkowski, Gregory E; Wingerd, Kevin L; Bayles, Kenneth W

    2017-06-01

    Numerous bacteria accumulate poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) as an intracellular reservoir of carbon and energy in response to imbalanced nutritional conditions. In Bacillus spp., where PHB biosynthesis precedes the formation of the dormant cell type called the spore (sporulation), the direct link between PHB accumulation and efficiency of sporulation was observed in multiple studies. Although the idea of PHB as an intracellular carbon and energy source fueling sporulation was proposed several decades ago, the mechanisms underlying PHB contribution to sporulation have not been defined. Here, we demonstrate that PHB deficiency impairs Bacillus anthracis sporulation through diminishing the energy status of the cells and by reducing carbon flux into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and de novo lipid biosynthesis. Consequently, this metabolic imbalance decreased biosynthesis of the critical components required for spore integrity and resistance, such as dipicolinic acid (DPA) and the spore's inner membrane. Supplementation of the PHB deficient mutant with exogenous fatty acids overcame these sporulation defects, highlighting the importance of the TCA cycle and lipid biosynthesis during sporulation. Combined, the results of this work reveal the molecular mechanisms of PHB contribution to B. anthracis sporulation and provide valuable insight into the metabolic requirements for this developmental process in Bacillus species. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. 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

  16. A novel live attenuated anthrax spore vaccine based on an acapsular Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain with mutations in the htrA, lef and cya genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-20

    We recently reported the development of a novel, next-generation, live attenuated anthrax spore vaccine based on disruption of the htrA (High Temperature Requirement A) gene in the Bacillus anthracis Sterne veterinary vaccine strain. This vaccine exhibited a highly significant decrease in virulence in murine, guinea pig and rabbit animal models yet preserved the protective value of the parental Sterne strain. Here, we report the evaluation of additional mutations in the lef and cya genes, encoding for the toxin components lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF), to further attenuate the SterneΔhtrA strain and improve its compatibility for human use. Accordingly, we constructed seven B. anthracis Sterne-derived strains exhibiting different combinations of mutations in the htrA, cya and lef genes. The various strains were indistinguishable in growth in vitro and in their ability to synthesise the protective antigen (PA, necessary for the elicitation of protection). In the sensitive murine model, we observed a gradual increase (ΔhtrAattenuation - up to 10 8 -fold relative to the parental Sterne vaccine strain. Most importantly, all various SterneΔhtrA derivative strains did not differ in their ability to elicit protective immunity in guinea pigs. Immunisation of guinea pigs with a single dose (10 9 spores) or double doses (>10 7 spores) of the most attenuated triple mutant strain SterneΔhtrAlef MUT Δcya induced a robust immune response, providing complete protection against a subsequent respiratory lethal challenge. Partial protection was observed in animals vaccinated with a double dose of as few as 10 5 spores. Furthermore, protective immune status was maintained in all vaccinated guinea pigs and rabbits for at least 40 and 30weeks, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. Test methods and response surface models for hot, humid air decontamination of materials contaminated with dirty spores of Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buhr, T L; Young, A A; Barnette, H K; Minter, Z A; Kennihan, N L; Johnson, C A; Bohmke, M D; DePaola, M; Cora-Laó, M; Page, M A

    2015-11-01

    To develop test methods and evaluate survival of Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne or Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam on materials contaminated with dirty spore preparations after exposure to hot, humid air using response surface modelling. Spores (>7 log10 ) were mixed with humic acid + spent sporulation medium (organic debris) or kaolin (dirt debris). Spore samples were then dried on five different test materials (wiring insulation, aircraft performance coating, anti-skid, polypropylene, and nylon). Inoculated materials were tested with 19 test combinations of temperature (55, 65, 75°C), relative humidity (70, 80, 90%) and time (1, 2, 3 days). The slowest spore inactivation kinetics was on nylon webbing and/or after addition of organic debris. Hot, humid air effectively decontaminates materials contaminated with dirty Bacillus spore preparations; debris and material interactions create complex decontamination kinetic patterns; and B. thuringiensis Al Hakam is a realistic surrogate for B. anthracis. Response surface models of hot, humid air decontamination were developed which may be used to select decontamination parameters for contamination scenarios including aircraft. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcellene A Gates-Hollingsworth

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Structural and functional characterization of microcin C resistance peptidase MccF from Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocek, Boguslaw; Tikhonov, Anton; Babnigg, Gyorgy; Gu, Minyi; Zhou, Min; Makarova, Kira S; Vondenhoff, Gaston; Van Aerschot, Arthur; Kwon, Keehwan; Anderson, Wayne F; Severinov, Konstantin; Joachimiak, Andrzej

    2012-07-20

    Microcin C (McC) is heptapeptide adenylate antibiotic produced by Escherichia coli strains carrying the mccABCDEF gene cluster encoding enzymes, in addition to the heptapeptide structural gene mccA, necessary for McC biosynthesis and self-immunity of the producing cell. The heptapeptide facilitates McC transport into susceptible cells, where it is processed releasing a non-hydrolyzable aminoacyl adenylate that inhibits an essential aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase. The self-immunity gene mccF encodes a specialized serine peptidase that cleaves an amide bond connecting the peptidyl or aminoacyl moieties of, respectively, intact and processed McC with the nucleotidyl moiety. Most mccF orthologs from organisms other than E. coli are not linked to the McC biosynthesis gene cluster. Here, we show that a protein product of one such gene, MccF from Bacillus anthracis (BaMccF), is able to cleave intact and processed McC, and we present a series of structures of this protein. Structural analysis of apo-BaMccF and its adenosine monophosphate complex reveals specific features of MccF-like peptidases that allow them to interact with substrates containing nucleotidyl moieties. Sequence analyses and phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that several distinct subfamilies form the MccF clade of the large S66 family of bacterial serine peptidases. We show that various representatives of the MccF clade can specifically detoxify non-hydrolyzable aminoacyl adenylates differing in their aminoacyl moieties. We hypothesize that bacterial mccF genes serve as a source of bacterial antibiotic resistance. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. Synergistic activity of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins against Simulium spp. larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monnerat, Rose; Pereira, Eleny; Teles, Beatriz; Martins, Erica; Praça, Lilian; Queiroz, Paulo; Soberon, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra; Ramos, Felipe; Soares, Carlos Marcelo

    2014-09-01

    Species of Simulium spread diseases in humans and animals such as onchocerciasis and mansonelosis, causing health problems and economic loses. One alternative for controlling these insects is the use of Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis (Bti). This bacterium produces different dipteran-active Cry and Cyt toxins and has been widely used in blackfly biological control programs worldwide. Studies on other insect targets have revealed the role of individual Cry and Cyt proteins in toxicity and demonstrated a synergistic effect among them. However, the insecticidal activity and interactions of these proteins against Simulium larvae have not been reported. In this study we demonstrate that Cry4Ba is the most effective toxin followed by Cry4Aa and Cry11Aa. Cry10Aa and Cyt1Aa were not toxic when administered alone but both were able to synergise the activity of Cry4B and Cry11Aa toxins. Cyt1Aa is also able to synergise with Cry4Aa. The mixture of all toxin-producing strains showed the greatest level of synergism, but still lower than the Bti parental strain. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Identification of potential drug targets by subtractive genome analysis of Bacillus anthracis A0248: An in silico approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Anisur; Noore, Sanaullah; Hasan, Anayet; Ullah, Rakib; Rahman, Hafijur; Hossain, Amzad; Ali, Yeasmeen; Islam, Saiful

    2014-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a gram positive, spore forming, rod shaped bacteria which is the etiologic agent of anthrax - cutaneous, pulmonary and gastrointestinal. A recent outbreak of anthrax in a tropical region uncovered natural and in vitro resistance against penicillin, ciprofloxacin, quinolone due to over exposure of the pathogen to these antibiotics. This fact combined with the ongoing threat of using B. anthracis as a biological weapon proves that the identification of new therapeutic targets is urgently needed. In this computational approach various databases and online based servers were used to detect essential proteins of B. anthracis A0248. Protein sequences of B. anthracis A0248 strain were retrieved from the NCBI database which was then run in CD-hit suite for clustering. NCBI BlastP against the human proteome and similarity search against DEG were done to find out essential human non-homologous proteins. Proteins involved in unique pathways were analyzed using KEGG genome database and PSORTb, CELLO v.2.5, ngLOC - these three tools were used to deduce putative cell surface proteins. Successive analysis revealed 116 proteins to be essential human non-homologs among which 17 were involved in unique metabolic pathways and 28 were predicted as membrane associated proteins. Both types of proteins can be exploited as they are unlikely to have homologous counterparts in the human host. Being human non-homologous, these proteins can be targeted for potential therapeutic drug development in future. Targets on unique metabolic and membrane-bound proteins can block cell wall synthesis, bacterial replication and signal transduction respectively. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    ligation of a DNA fragment bearing the green fluorescent protein ( GFP ) open reading frame (produced by digestion of pAS5 [28] with BamHI and HindIII...microscopy of B. anthracis (Sterne) sporangia. Phase-contrast (Phase) and fluorescence ( GFP , Hoechst, and Merge) images of B. anthracis exsK- gfp (A, C, E...visualized for GFP fluorescence and DNA staining with Hoechst 33352. VOL. 191, 2009 B. ANTHRACIS EXOSPORIUM MATURATION AND GERMINATION 7589 at U S A M R

  10. 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

  11. Molecular Basis for the Attachment of S-Layer Proteins to the Cell Wall of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sychantha, David; Chapman, Robert N; Bamford, Natalie C; Boons, Geert-Jan; Howell, P Lynne; Clarke, Anthony J

    2018-04-03

    Bacterial surface (S) layers are paracrystalline arrays of protein assembled on the bacterial cell wall that serve as protective barriers and scaffolds for housekeeping enzymes and virulence factors. The attachment of S-layer proteins to the cell walls of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato, which includes the pathogen Bacillus anthracis, occurs through noncovalent interactions between their S-layer homology domains and secondary cell wall polysaccharides. To promote these interactions, it is presumed that the terminal N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) residues of the secondary cell wall polysaccharides must be ketal-pyruvylated. For a few specific S-layer proteins, the O-acetylation of the penultimate N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is also required. Herein, we present the X-ray crystal structure of the SLH domain of the major surface array protein Sap from B. anthracis in complex with 4,6- O-ketal-pyruvyl-β-ManNAc-(1,4)-β-GlcNAc-(1,6)-α-GlcN. This structure reveals for the first time that the conserved terminal SCWP unit is the direct ligand for the SLH domain. Furthermore, we identify key binding interactions that account for the requirement of 4,6- O-ketal-pyruvyl-ManNAc while revealing the insignificance of the O-acetylation on the GlcNAc residue for recognition by Sap.

  12. Intraclade Variability in Toxin Production and Cytotoxicity of Bacillus cereus Group Type Strains and Dairy-Associated Isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Rachel A; Jian, Jiahui; Beno, Sarah M; Wiedmann, Martin; Kovac, Jasna

    2018-03-15

    While some species in the Bacillus cereus group are well-characterized human pathogens (e.g., B. anthracis and B. cereus sensu stricto ), the pathogenicity of other species (e.g., B. pseudomycoides ) either has not been characterized or is presently not well understood. To provide an updated characterization of the pathogenic potential of species in the B. cereus group, we classified a set of 52 isolates, including 8 type strains and 44 isolates from dairy-associated sources, into 7 phylogenetic clades and characterized them for (i) the presence of toxin genes, (ii) phenotypic characteristics used for identification, and (iii) cytotoxicity to human epithelial cells. Overall, we found that B. cereus toxin genes are broadly distributed but are not consistently present within individual species and/or clades. After growth at 37°C, isolates within a clade did not typically show a consistent cytotoxicity phenotype, except for isolates in clade VI ( B. weihenstephanensis / B. mycoides ), where none of the isolates were cytotoxic, and isolates in clade I ( B. pseudomycoides ), which consistently displayed cytotoxic activity. Importantly, our study highlights that B. pseudomycoides is cytotoxic toward human cells. Our results indicate that the detection of toxin genes does not provide a reliable approach to predict the pathogenic potential of B. cereus group isolates, as the presence of toxin genes is not always consistent with cytotoxicity phenotype. Overall, our results suggest that isolates from multiple B. cereus group clades have the potential to cause foodborne illness, although cytotoxicity is not always consistently found among isolates within each clade. IMPORTANCE Despite the importance of the Bacillus cereus group as a foodborne pathogen, characterizations of the pathogenic potential of all B. cereus group species were lacking. We show here that B. pseudomycoides (clade I), which has been considered a harmless environmental microorganism, produces toxins and

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis and Its Dipteran-Specific Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Dov, Eitan

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) is the first Bacillus thuringiensis to be found and used as an effective biological control agent against larvae of many mosquito and black fly species around the world. Its larvicidal activity resides in four major (of 134, 128, 72 and 27 kDa) and at least two minor (of 78 and 29 kDa) polypeptides encoded respectively by cry4Aa, cry4Ba, cry11Aa, cyt1Aa, cry10Aa and cyt2Ba, all mapped on the 128 kb plasmid known as pBtoxis. These six δ-endotoxins form a complex parasporal crystalline body with remarkably high, specific and different toxicities to Aedes, Culex and Anopheles larvae. Cry toxins are composed of three domains (perforating domain I and receptor binding II and III) and create cation-selective channels, whereas Cyts are composed of one domain that acts as well as a detergent-like membrane perforator. Despite the low toxicities of Cyt1Aa and Cyt2Ba alone against exposed larvae, they are highly synergistic with the Cry toxins and hence their combinations prevent emergence of resistance in the targets. The lack of significant levels of resistance in field mosquito populations treated for decades with Bti-bioinsecticide suggests that this bacterium will be an effective biocontrol agent for years to come. PMID:24686769

  16. Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis and Its Dipteran-Specific Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eitan Ben-Dov

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti is the first Bacillus thuringiensis to be found and used as an effective biological control agent against larvae of many mosquito and black fly species around the world. Its larvicidal activity resides in four major (of 134, 128, 72 and 27 kDa and at least two minor (of 78 and 29 kDa polypeptides encoded respectively by cry4Aa, cry4Ba, cry11Aa, cyt1Aa, cry10Aa and cyt2Ba, all mapped on the 128 kb plasmid known as pBtoxis. These six δ-endotoxins form a complex parasporal crystalline body with remarkably high, specific and different toxicities to Aedes, Culex and Anopheles larvae. Cry toxins are composed of three domains (perforating domain I and receptor binding II and III and create cation-selective channels, whereas Cyts are composed of one domain that acts as well as a detergent-like membrane perforator. Despite the low toxicities of Cyt1Aa and Cyt2Ba alone against exposed larvae, they are highly synergistic with the Cry toxins and hence their combinations prevent emergence of resistance in the targets. The lack of significant levels of resistance in field mosquito populations treated for decades with Bti-bioinsecticide suggests that this bacterium will be an effective biocontrol agent for years to come.

  17. Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins: An Overview of Their Biocidal Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma, Leopoldo; Muñoz, Delia; Berry, Colin; Murillo, Jesús; Caballero, Primitivo

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a Gram positive, spore-forming bacterium that synthesizes parasporal crystalline inclusions containing Cry and Cyt proteins, some of which are toxic against a wide range of insect orders, nematodes and human-cancer cells. These toxins have been successfully used as bioinsecticides against caterpillars, beetles, and flies, including mosquitoes and blackflies. Bt also synthesizes insecticidal proteins during the vegetative growth phase, which are subsequently secreted into the growth medium. These proteins are commonly known as vegetative insecticidal proteins (Vips) and hold insecticidal activity against lepidopteran, coleopteran and some homopteran pests. A less well characterized secretory protein with no amino acid similarity to Vip proteins has shown insecticidal activity against coleopteran pests and is termed Sip (secreted insecticidal protein). Bin-like and ETX_MTX2-family proteins (Pfam PF03318), which share amino acid similarities with mosquitocidal binary (Bin) and Mtx2 toxins, respectively, from Lysinibacillus sphaericus, are also produced by some Bt strains. In addition, vast numbers of Bt isolates naturally present in the soil and the phylloplane also synthesize crystal proteins whose biological activity is still unknown. In this review, we provide an updated overview of the known active Bt toxins to date and discuss their activities. PMID:25514092

  18. Bacillus thuringiensis membrane-damaging toxins acting on mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celandroni, Francesco; Salvetti, Sara; Senesi, Sonia; Ghelardi, Emilia

    2014-12-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is widely used as a biopesticide in forestry and agriculture, being able to produce potent species-specific insecticidal toxins and considered nonpathogenic to other animals. More recently, however, repeated observations are documenting the association of this microorganism with various infectious diseases in humans, such as food-poisoning-associated diarrheas, periodontitis, bacteremia, as well as ocular, burn, and wound infections. Similar to B. cereus, B. thuringiensis produces an array of virulence factors acting against mammalian cells, such as phosphatidylcholine- and phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC and PI-PLC), hemolysins, in particular hemolysin BL (HBL), and various enterotoxins. The contribution of some of these toxins to B. thuringiensis pathogenicity has been studied in animal models of infection, following intravitreous, intranasal, or intratracheal inoculation. These studies lead to the speculation that the activities of PC-PLC, PI-PLC, and HBL are responsible for most of the pathogenic properties of B. thuringiensis in nongastrointestinal infections in mammals. This review summarizes data regarding the biological activity, the genetic basis, and the structural features of these membrane-damaging toxins. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins: An Overview of Their Biocidal Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leopoldo Palma

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt is a Gram positive, spore-forming bacterium that synthesizes parasporal crystalline inclusions containing Cry and Cyt proteins, some of which are toxic against a wide range of insect orders, nematodes and human-cancer cells. These toxins have been successfully used as bioinsecticides against caterpillars, beetles, and flies, including mosquitoes and blackflies. Bt also synthesizes insecticidal proteins during the vegetative growth phase, which are subsequently secreted into the growth medium. These proteins are commonly known as vegetative insecticidal proteins (Vips and hold insecticidal activity against lepidopteran, coleopteran and some homopteran pests. A less well characterized secretory protein with no amino acid similarity to Vip proteins has shown insecticidal activity against coleopteran pests and is termed Sip (secreted insecticidal protein. Bin-like and ETX_MTX2-family proteins (Pfam PF03318, which share amino acid similarities with mosquitocidal binary (Bin and Mtx2 toxins, respectively, from Lysinibacillus sphaericus, are also produced by some Bt strains. In addition, vast numbers of Bt isolates naturally present in the soil and the phylloplane also synthesize crystal proteins whose biological activity is still unknown. In this review, we provide an updated overview of the known active Bt toxins to date and discuss their activities.

  20. Construction of a high-efficiency cloning system using the Golden Gate method and I-SceI endonuclease for targeted gene replacement in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tiantian; Wang, Dongshu; Lyu, Yufei; Feng, Erling; Zhu, Li; Liu, Chunjie; Wang, Yanchun; Liu, Xiankai; Wang, Hengliang

    2018-02-10

    To investigate gene function in Bacillus anthracis, a high-efficiency cloning system is required with an increased rate of allelic exchange. Golden Gate cloning is a molecular cloning strategy allowing researchers to simultaneously and directionally assemble multiple DNA fragments to construct target plasmids using type IIs restriction enzymes and T4 DNA ligase in the same reaction system. Here, a B. anthracis S-layer protein EA1 allelic exchange vector was successfully constructed using the Golden Gate method. No new restriction sites were introduced into this knockout vector, and seamless assembly of the DNA fragments was achieved. To elevate the efficiency of homologous recombination between the allelic exchange vector and chromosomal DNA, we introduced an I-SceI site into the allelic exchange vector. The eag gene was successfully knocked out in B. anthracis using this vector. Simultaneously, the allelic exchange vector construction method was developed into a system for generating B. anthracis allelic exchange vectors. To verify the effectiveness of this system, some other allelic exchange vectors were constructed and gene replacements were performed in B. anthracis. It is speculated that this gene knockout vector construction system and high-efficiency targeted gene replacement using I-SceI endonuclease can be applied to other Bacillus spp. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Thullier

    Full Text Available The lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis, composed of the protective antigen (PA and the lethal factor (LF, plays an essential role in anthrax pathogenesis. PA also interacts with the edema factor (EF, 20% identity with LF to form the edema toxin (ET, which has a lesser role in anthrax pathogenesis. The first recombinant antibody fragment directed against LF was scFv 2LF; it neutralizes LT by blocking the interaction between PA and LF. Here, we report that scFv 2LF cross-reacts with EF and cross-neutralizes ET, and we present an in silico method taking advantage of this cross-reactivity to map the epitope of scFv 2LF on both LF and EF. This method identified five epitope candidates on LF, constituted of a total of 32 residues, which were tested experimentally by mutating the residues to alanine. This combined approach precisely identified the epitope of scFv 2LF on LF as five residues (H229, R230, Q234, L235 and Y236, of which three were missed by the consensus epitope candidate identified by pre-existing in silico methods. The homolog of this epitope on EF (H253, R254, E258, L259 and Y260 was experimentally confirmed to constitute the epitope of scFv 2LF on EF. Other inhibitors, including synthetic molecules, could be used to target these epitopes for therapeutic purposes. The in silico method presented here may be of more general interest.

  2. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Identification of Bacillus anthracis by using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry and artificial neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasch, Peter; Beyer, Wolfgang; Nattermann, Herbert; Stämmler, Maren; Siegbrecht, Enrico; Grunow, Roland; Naumann, Dieter

    2009-11-01

    This report demonstrates the applicability of a combination of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) and chemometrics for rapid and reliable identification of vegetative cells of the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. Bacillus cultures were prepared under standardized conditions and inactivated according to a recently developed MS-compatible inactivation protocol for highly pathogenic microorganisms. MALDI-TOF MS was then employed to collect spectra from the microbial samples and to build up a database of bacterial reference spectra. This database comprised mass peak profiles of 374 strains from Bacillus and related genera, among them 102 strains of B. anthracis and 121 strains of B. cereus. The information contained in the database was investigated by means of visual inspection of gel view representations, univariate t tests for biomarker identification, unsupervised hierarchical clustering, and artificial neural networks (ANNs). Analysis of gel views and independent t tests suggested B. anthracis- and B. cereus group-specific signals. For example, mass spectra of B. anthracis exhibited discriminating biomarkers at 4,606, 5,413, and 6,679 Da. A systematic search in proteomic databases allowed tentative assignment of some of the biomarkers to ribosomal protein or small acid-soluble proteins. Multivariate pattern analysis by unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis further revealed a subproteome-based taxonomy of the genus Bacillus. Superior classification accuracy was achieved when supervised ANNs were employed. For the identification of B. anthracis, independent validation of optimized ANN models yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 100%.

  4. ATR/TEM8 is highly expressed in epithelial cells lining Bacillus anthracis' three sites of entry: implications for the pathogenesis of anthrax infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonuccelli, Gloria; Sotgia, Federica; Frank, Philippe G; Williams, Terence M; de Almeida, Cecilia J; Tanowitz, Herbert B; Scherer, Philipp E; Hotchkiss, Kylie A; Terman, Bruce I; Rollman, Brent; Alileche, Abdelkrim; Brojatsch, Jürgen; Lisanti, Michael P

    2005-06-01

    Anthrax is a disease caused by infection with spores from the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. These spores enter the body, where they germinate into bacteria and secrete a tripartite toxin that causes local edema and, in systemic infections, death. Recent studies identified the cellular receptor for anthrax toxin (ATR), a type I membrane protein. ATR is one of the splice variants of the tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) gene. ATR and TEM8 are identical throughout their extracellular and transmembrane sequence, and both proteins function as receptors for the toxin. ATR/TEM8 function and expression have been associated with development of the vascular system and with tumor angiogenesis. TEM8 is selectively upregulated in endothelial cells during blood vessel formation and tumorigenesis. However, selective expression of TEM8 in endothelial cells contradicts the presumably ubiquitous expression of the receptor. To resolve this controversial issue, we evaluated the distribution of ATR/TEM8 in a variety of tissues. For this purpose, we generated and characterized a novel anti-ATR/TEM8 polyclonal antibody. Here, we show that this novel antibody recognizes all three ATR/TEM8 isoforms, which are widely and differentially expressed in various tissue types. We found that ATR/TEM8 expression is not only associated with tumor endothelial cells, as previously described. Indeed, ATR/TEM8 is highly and selectively expressed in the epithelial cells lining those organs that constitute the anthrax toxin's sites of entry, i.e., the lung, the skin, and the intestine. In fact, we show that ATR/TEM8 is highly expressed in the respiratory epithelium of the bronchi of the lung and is particularly abundant in the ciliated epithelial cells coating the bronchi. Furthermore, immunostaining of skin biopsies revealed that ATR/TEM8 is highly expressed in the keratinocytes of the epidermis. Finally, we show that the epithelial cells lining the small intestine strongly express ATR/TEM8 isoforms. This

  5. Characterization of the variable-number tandem repeats in vrrA from different Bacillus anthracis isolates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jackson, P.J.; Walthers, E.A.; Richmond, K.L. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)] [and others

    1997-04-01

    PCR analysis of 198 Bacillus anthracis isolates revealed a variable region of DNA sequence differing in length among the isolates. Five Polymorphisms differed by the presence Of two to six copies of the 12-bp tandem repeat 5{prime}-CAATATCAACAA-3{prime}. This variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) region is located within a larger sequence containing one complete open reading frame that encodes a putative 30-kDa protein. Length variation did not change the reading frame of the encoded protein and only changed the copy number of a 4-amino-acid sequence (QYQQ) from 2 to 6. The structure of the VNTR region suggests that these multiple repeats are generated by recombination or polymerase slippage. Protein structures predicted from the reverse-translated DNA sequence suggest that any structural changes in the encoded protein are confined to the region encoded by the VNTR sequence. Copy number differences in the VNTR region were used to define five different B. anthracis alleles. Characterization of 198 isolates revealed allele frequencies of 6.1, 17.7, 59.6, 5.6, and 11.1% sequentially from shorter to longer alleles. The high degree of polymorphism in the VNTR region provides a criterion for assigning isolates to five allelic categories. There is a correlation between categories and geographic distribution. Such molecular markers can be used to monitor the epidemiology of anthrax outbreaks in domestic and native herbivore populations. 22 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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→.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    penem against B. anthracis on the basis of the data presented herein is consistent with values determined against S. pneu - moniae by Craig and Andes...in the neutropenic murine thigh infection model (8). Against 13 strains of Streptococcus pneu - moniae (MIC values, 0.008 to 2 g/ml), the mean

  10. 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

  11. Comparative analysis of antimicrobial activities of valinomycin and cereulide, the Bacillus cereus emetic toxin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tempelaars, M.H.; Rodrigues, S.; Abee, T.

    2011-01-01

    Cereulide and valinomycin are highly similar cyclic dodecadepsipeptides with potassium ionophoric properties. Cereulide, produced by members of the Bacillus cereus group, is known mostly as emetic toxin, and no ecological function has been assigned. A comparative analysis of the antimicrobial

  12. 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.

  13. Sensitivity of Dormant and Germinating B, Anthracis Spores to Polycationic Compound

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-06-01

    practical problems such as food spoilage , degradation of industrial materials, and "sick building syndrome" resulting from colonization of ventilation systems...species of Clostridium and Bacillus are of concern to the food industry due to their potential for spoilage of or toxin production in improperly...1.2. While most spore-forming bacterial species are classified as non-pathogenic or opportunistically pathogenic, Bacillus anthracis is well-known a

  14. Response surface modeling for hot, humid air decontamination of materials contaminated with Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Response surface methodology using a face-centered cube design was used to describe and predict spore inactivation of Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores after exposure of six spore-contaminated materials to hot, humid air. For each strain/material pair, an attempt was made to fit a first or second order model. All three independent predictor variables (temperature, relative humidity, and time) were significant in the models except that time was not significant for B. thuringiensis Al Hakam on nylon. Modeling was unsuccessful for wiring insulation and wet spores because there was complete spore inactivation in the majority of the experimental space. In cases where a predictive equation could be fit, response surface plots with time set to four days were generated. The survival of highly purified Bacillus spores can be predicted for most materials tested when given the settings for temperature, relative humidity, and time. These predictions were cross-checked with spore inactivation measurements. PMID:24949256

  15. Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin-binding region of Bombyx mori aminopeptidase N.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaoi, K; Nakanishi, K; Kadotani, T; Imamura, M; Koizumi, N; Iwahana, H; Sato, R

    1999-12-17

    The Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin-binding region of Bombyx mori aminopeptidase N (APN) was analyzed, to better understand the molecular mechanism of susceptibility to the toxin and the development of resistance in insects. APN was digested with lysylendopeptidase and the ability of the resulting fragments to bind to Cry1Aa and 1Ac toxins was examined. The binding abilities of the two toxins to these fragments were different. The Cry1Aa toxin bound to the fragment containing 40-Asp to 313-Lys, suggesting that the Cry1Aa toxin-binding site is located in the region between 40-Asp and 313-Lys, while Cry1Ac toxin bound exclusively to mature APN. Next, recombinant APN of various lengths was expressed in Escherichia coli cells and its ability to bind to Cry1Aa toxin was examined. The results localized the Cry1Aa toxin binding to the region between 135-Ile and 198-Pro.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E Carlson

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AH ahmadi

    2015-02-01

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

  18. Effects and mechanisms of Bacillus thuringiensis crystal toxins for mosquito larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qi; Hua, Gang; Adang, Michael J

    2017-10-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is a Gram-positive aerobic bacterium that produces insecticidal crystalline inclusions during sporulation phases of the mother cell. The virulence factor, known as parasporal crystals, is composed of Cry and Cyt toxins. Most Cry toxins display a common 3-domain topology. Cry toxins exert intoxication through toxin activation, receptor binding and pore formation in a suitable larval gut environment. The mosquitocidal toxins of Bt subsp. israelensis (Bti) were found to be highly active against mosquito larvae and are widely used for vector control. Bt subsp. jegathesan is another strain which possesses high potency against broad range of mosquito larvae. The present review summarizes characterized receptors for Cry toxins in mosquito larvae, and will also discuss the diversity and effects of 3-D mosquitocidal Cry toxin and the ongoing research for Cry toxin mechanisms generated from investigations of lepidopteran and dipteran larvae. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Youngsu; Lee, Jonghee; Kim, Seongsoo

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-29

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

  2. 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.

  3. The Poly-γ-D-Glutamic Acid Capsule of Bacillus licheniformis, a Surrogate of Bacillus anthracis Capsule Induces Interferon-Gamma Production in NK Cells through Interactions with Macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hae-Ri; Jeon, Jun Ho; Rhie, Gi-Eun

    2017-05-28

    The poly-γ- D -glutamic acid (PGA) capsule, a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis , provides protection of the bacterium from phagocytosis and allows its unimpeded growth in the host. We investigated crosstalk between murine natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages stimulated with the PGA capsule of Bacillus licheniformis , a surrogate of the B. anthracis capsule. PGA induced interferon-gamma production from NK cells cultured with macrophages. This effect was dependent on macrophage-derived IL-12 and cell-cell contact interaction with macrophages through NK cell receptor NKG2D and its ligand RAE-1. The results showed that PGA could enhance NK cell activation by inducing IL-12 production in macrophages and a contact-dependent crosstalk with macrophages.

  4. Differential Binding of Co(II) and Zn(II) to Metallo-beta-Lactamase Bla2 from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hawk, M.; Breece, R; Hajdin, C; Bender, K; Hu, Z; Costello, A; Bennett, B; Tierney, D; Crowder, M

    2009-01-01

    In an effort to probe the structure, mechanism, and biochemical properties of metallo-{beta}-lactamase Bla2 from Bacillus anthracis, the enzyme was overexpressed, purified, and characterized. Metal analyses demonstrated that recombinant Bla2 tightly binds 1 equiv of Zn(II). Steady-state kinetic studies showed that mono-Zn(II) Bla2 (1Zn-Bla2) is active, while di-Zn(II) Bla2 (ZnZn-Bla2) was unstable. Catalytically, 1Zn-Bla2 behaves like the related enzymes CcrA and L1. In contrast, di-Co(II) Bla2 (CoCo-Bla2) is substantially more active than the mono-Co(II) analogue. Rapid kinetics and UV-vis, 1H NMR, EPR, and EXAFS spectroscopic studies show that Co(II) binding to Bla2 is distributed, while EXAFS shows that Zn(II) binding is sequential. To our knowledge, this is the first documented example of a Zn enzyme that binds Co(II) and Zn(II) via distinct mechanisms, underscoring the need to demonstrate transferability when extrapolating results on Co(II)-substituted proteins to the native Zn(II)-containing forms.

  5. Biochemical and Structural Analysis of an Eis Family Aminoglycoside Acetyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Green, Keith D.; Biswas, Tapan; Chang, Changsoo; Wu, Ruiying; Chen, Wenjing; Janes, Brian K.; Chalupska, Dominika; Gornicki, Piotr; Hanna, Philip C.; Tsodikov, Oleg V.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Garneau-Tsodikova, Sylvie

    2015-05-26

    Proteins from the enhanced intracellular survival (Eis) family are versatile acetyltransferases that acetylate amines at multiple positions of several aminoglycosides (AGs). Their upregulation confers drug resistance. Homologues of Eis are present in diverse bacteria, including many pathogens. Eis from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Eis_Mtb) has been well characterized. In this study, we explored the AG specificity and catalytic efficiency of the Eis family protein from Bacillus anthracis (Eis_Ban). Kinetic analysis of specificity and catalytic efficiency of acetylation of six AGs indicates that Eis_Ban displays significant differences from Eis_Mtb in both substrate binding and catalytic efficiency. The number of acetylated amines was also different for several AGs, indicating a distinct regiospecificity of Eis_Ban. Furthermore, most recently identified inhibitors of Eis_Mtb did not inhibit Eis_Ban, underscoring the differences between these two enzymes. To explain these differences, we determined an Eis_Ban crystal structure. The comparison of the crystal structures of Eis_Ban and Eis_Mtb demonstrates that critical residues lining their respective substrate binding pockets differ substantially, explaining their distinct specificities. Our results suggest that acetyltransferases of the Eis family evolved divergently to garner distinct specificities while conserving catalytic efficiency, possibly to counter distinct chemical challenges. The unique specificity features of these enzymes can be utilized as tools for developing AGs with novel modifications and help guide specific AG treatments to avoid Eis-mediated resistance.

  6. BLACK-BACKED JACKAL EXPOSURE TO RABIES VIRUS, CANINE DISTEMPER VIRUS, AND BACILLUS ANTHRACIS IN ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK, NAMIBIA

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) and rabies virus (RABV) occur worldwide in wild carnivore and domestic dog populations and pose threats to wildlife conservation and public health. In Etosha National Park (ENP), Namibia, anthrax is endemic and generates carcasses frequently fed on by an unusually dense population of black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas). Using serology and phylogenetic analyses (on samples obtained from February, 2009 to July, 2010), and historical mortality records (1975–2011), we assessed jackal exposure to Bacillus anthracis (BA; the causal bacterial agent of anthrax), CDV, and RABV. Seroprevalence to all three pathogens was relatively high with 95% (n = 86), 73% (n = 86), and 9% (n = 81) of jackals exhibiting antibodies to BA, CDV, and RABV, respectively. Exposure to BA, as assessed with an anti-Protective Antigen ELISA test, increased significantly with age and all animals >1 yr old tested positive. Seroprevalence of exposure to CDV also increased significantly with age, with similar age-specific trends during both years of the study. No significant effect of age was found on RABV seroprevalence. Three of the seven animals exhibiting immunity to RABV were monitored for more than one year after sampling and did not succumb to the disease. Mortality records revealed that rabid animals are destroyed nearly every year inside the ENP tourist camps. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that jackal RABV in ENP is part of the same transmission cycle as other dog-jackal RABV cycles in Namibia. PMID:22493112

  7. Effect of Phosphate Ion on the Structure of Lumazine Synthase, an Antigen Presentation System From Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yangjie; Wahome, Newton; Kumar, Prashant; Whitaker, Neal; Picking, Wendy L; Middaugh, C Russell

    2018-03-01

    Lumazine synthase (LS) is an oligomeric enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of riboflavin in microorganisms, fungi, and plants. LS has become of significant interest to biomedical science because of its critical biological role and attractive structural properties for antigen presentation in vaccines. LS derived from Bacillus anthracis (BaLS) consists of 60 identical subunits forming an icosahedron. Its crystal structure has been solved, but its dynamic conformational properties have not yet been studied. We investigated the conformation of BaLS in response to different stress conditions (e.g., chemical denaturants, pH, and temperature) using a variety of biophysical techniques. The physical basis for these thermal transitions was studied, indicating that a molten globular state was present during chemical unfolding by guanidine HCl. In addition, BaLS showed 2 distinct thermal transitions in phosphate-containing buffers. The first transition was due to the dissociation of phosphate ions from BaLS and the second one came from the dissociation and conformational alteration of its icosahedral structure. A small conformational alteration was induced by the binding/dissociation of phosphate ions to BaLS. This work provides a closer view of the conformational behavior of BaLS and provides important information for the formulation of vaccines which use this protein. Copyright © 2018 American Pharmacists Association®. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  9. Constant domains influence binding of mouse–human chimeric antibodies to the capsular polypeptide of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Mark A; Thorkildson, Peter; Kozel, Thomas R; AuCoin, David P

    2013-01-01

    Our laboratory previously described the binding characteristics of the murine IgG3 monoclonal antibody (MuAb) F26G3. This antibody binds the poly-glutamic acid capsule (PGA) of Bacillus anthracis, an essential virulence factor in the progression of anthrax. F26G3 IgG3 MuAb binds PGA with a relatively high functional affinity (10 nM), produces a distinct “rim” quellung reaction, and is protective in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax. This study engineered an IgG subclass family of F26G3 mouse–human chimeric antibodies (ChAb). The F26G3 ChAbs displayed 9- to 20-fold decreases in functional affinity, as compared with the parent IgG3 MuAb. Additionally, the quellung reactions that were produced by the ChAbs all differed from the parent IgG3 MuAb in that they appeared “puffy” in nature. This study demonstrates that human constant domains may influence multiple facets of antibody binding to microbial capsular antigens despite their spatial separation from the traditional antigen-binding site. PMID:23863605

  10. Stereo-selective binding of monoclonal antibodies to the poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsular antigen of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Mark A; Thorkildson, Peter; Welch, William H; Kozel, Thomas R

    2013-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis is surrounded by an anti-phagocytic capsule that is entirely composed of γ-linked D-glutamic acid (γDPGA). γDPGA is required for virulence and is produced in large quantities following spore germination. We have previously described the isolation of several γDPGA-reactive mAbs. The reagents are effective in both immunoprotection and diagnostic applications. The current work was done to further investigate the specificity of γDPGA-reactive mAbs. The specificity of each mAb was characterized using surface plasmon resonance. Our results indicate that each mAb is stereoselective for binding to D-glutamic acid oligomers, but to varying degrees. In particular, mAb F26G3 is highly selective for γDPGA; alterations in stereochemistry disrupted recognition. These differences in mAb reactivity suggest that binding of γDPGA by mAb F26G3 is more specific than non-directional ionic interactions between a negatively charged antigen and a positively charged antibody. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Constant domains influence binding of mouse-human chimeric antibodies to the capsular polypeptide of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Mark A; Thorkildson, Peter; Kozel, Thomas R; AuCoin, David P

    2013-08-15

    Our laboratory previously described the binding characteristics of the murine IgG3 monoclonal antibody (MuAb) F26G3. This antibody binds the poly-glutamic acid capsule (PGA) of Bacillus anthracis, an essential virulence factor in the progression of anthrax. F26G3 IgG3 MuAb binds PGA with a relatively high functional affinity (10 nM), produces a distinct "rim" quellung reaction, and is protective in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax. This study engineered an IgG subclass family of F26G3 mouse-human chimeric antibodies (ChAb). The F26G3 ChAbs displayed 9- to 20-fold decreases in functional affinity, as compared with the parent IgG3 MuAb. Additionally, the quellung reactions that were produced by the ChAbs all differed from the parent IgG3 MuAb in that they appeared "puffy" in nature. This study demonstrates that human constant domains may influence multiple facets of antibody binding to microbial capsular antigens despite their spatial separation from the traditional antigen-binding site.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    During an anthrax outbreak at the Pollino National Park (Basilicata, Italy) in 2004, diseased cattle were buried and from these anthrax-foci Bacillus anthracis endospores still diffuse to the surface resulting in local accumulations. Recent data suggest that B. anthracis multiplies in soil outside the animal-host body. This notion is supported by the frequent isolation of B. anthracis from soil lacking one or both virulence plasmids. Such strains represent an evolutionary dead end, as they are likely no longer able to successfully infect new hosts. This loss of virulence plasmids is explained most simply by postulating a soil-borne life cycle of the pathogen. To test this hypothesis we investigated possible microevolution at two natural anthrax foci from the 2004 outbreak. If valid, then genotypes of strains isolated from near the surface at these foci should be on a different evolutionary trajectory from those below residing in deeper-laying horizons close to the carcass. Thus, the genetic diversity of B. anthracis isolates was compared conducting Progressive Hierarchical Resolving Assays using Nucleic Acids (PHRANA) and next generation Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). PHRANA was not discriminatory enough to resolve the fine genetic relationships between the isolates. Conversely, WGS of nine isolates from near-surface and nine from near-carcass revealed five isolate specific SNPs, four of which were found only in different near-surface isolates. In support of our hypothesis, one surface-isolate lacked plasmid pXO1 and also harbored one of the unique SNPs. Taken together, our results suggest a limited soil-borne life cycle of B. anthracis. PMID:26266934

  13. 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.

  14. Enterotoxins and emetic toxins production by Bacillus cereus and other species of Bacillus isolated from Soumbala and Bikalga, African alkaline fermentedfood condiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ouoba, Labia Irene I.; Thorsen, Line; Varnam, Alan H.

    2008-01-01

    -hemolytic enterotoxin (NheA, NheB, NheC) and EM1 specific of emetic toxin producerswas also investigated using PCR with single pair and multiplex primers. Of 41 isolates, 29 Bacillus belonging to the species of B. cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus pumilus showed haemolysis on blood agar......The ability of various species of Bacillus from fermented seeds of Parkia biglobosa known as African locust bean(Soumbala) and fermented seeds of Hibiscus sabdariffa (Bikalga) was investigated. The study included screening of the isolates by haemolysis on blood agar, detection of toxins in broth...... and during the fermentation of African locust bean using the Bacillus cereus Enterotoxin Reverse Passive Latex Agglutination test kit (BCETRPLA) and the Bacillus Diarrhoeal Enterotoxin Visual Immunoassay (BDEVIA). Detection of genes encoding´cytotoxin K (CytK), haemolysin BL (Hbl A, Hbl C, Hbl D), non...

  15. The occurrence of Photorhabdus-like toxin complexes in Bacillus thuringiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recently, genomic sequencing of a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) isolate from our collection revealed the presence of an apparent operon encoding an insecticidal toxin complex (Tca) similar to that first described from the entomopathogen Photorhabdus luminescens. To determine whether these genes are w...

  16. Bacillus thuringiensis toxins trigger receptor shedding from gypsy moth midgut cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algimantas P. Valaitis

    2007-01-01

    The mechanism of action of the Cry1 insecticidal proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) begins with the processing of these proteins in the larval gut. After proteolytic activation, the Bt toxins bind to specific midgut receptors and insert into the membrane of the gut epithelial cells, causing insect death.

  17. 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; Pillai, Segaran P

    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 10(6) spores/mL (ca. 1.5 × 10(5) 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.

  18. Rapid detection method for Bacillus anthracis using a combination of multiplexed real-time PCR and pyrosequencing and its application for food biodefense.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has the capacity to form highly resilient spores as part of its life cycle. The potential for the dissemination of these spores using food as a vehicle is a huge public health concern and, hence, requires the development of a foodborne bioterrorism response approach. In this work, we address a critical gap in food biodefense by presenting a novel, combined, sequential method involving the use of real-time PCR and pyrosequencing for the rapid, specific detection of B. anthracis spores in three food matrices: milk, apple juice, and bottled water. The food samples were experimentally inoculated with 40 CFU ml(-1), and DNA was extracted from the spores and analyzed after immunomagnetic separation. Applying the combination of multiplex real-time PCR and pyrosequencing, we successfully detected the presence of targets on both of the virulence plasmids and the chromosome. The results showed that DNA amplicons generated from a five-target multiplexed real-time PCR detection using biotin-labeled primers can be used for single-plex pyrosequencing detection. The combined use of multiplexed real-time PCR and pyrosequencing is a novel, rapid detection method for B. anthracis from food and provides a tool for accurate, quantitative identification with potential biodefense applications.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Au, Kinfai; Ren, Jingshan; Walter, Thomas S.; Harlos, Karl; Nettleship, Joanne E.; Owens, Raymond J.; Stuart, David I.; Esnouf, Robert M.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter E Chen

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

  1. Reverse-Phase Microarray Analysis Reveals Novel Targets in Lymph Nodes of Bacillus anthracis Spore-Challenged Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taissia G Popova

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a frequently fatal infection of many animal species and men. The causative agent Bacillus anthracis propagates through the lymphatic system of the infected host; however, the specific interactions of the host and microbe within the lymphatics are incompletely understood. We report the first description of the phosphoprotein signaling in the lymph nodes of DBA/2 mice using a novel technique combining the reverse-phase microarray with the laser capture microdissection. Mice were challenged into foot pads with spores of toxinogenic, unencapsulated Sterne strain. The spores quickly migrated to the regional popliteal lymph nodes and spread to the bloodstream as early as 3 h post challenge. All mice died before 72 h post challenge from the systemic disease accompanied by a widespread LN tissue damage by bacteria, including the hemorrhagic necrotizing lymphadenitis, infiltration of CD11b+ and CD3+ cells, and massive proliferation of bacteria in lymph nodes. A macrophage scavenger receptor CD68/macrosialin was upregulated and found in association with vegetative bacteria likely as a marker of their prior interaction with macrophages. The major signaling findings among the 65 tested proteins included the reduced MAPK signaling, upregulation of STAT transcriptional factors, and altered abundance of a number of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins with signaling properties opposing each other. Downregulation of ERK1/2 was associated with the response of CD11b+ macrophages/dendritic cells, while upregulation of the pro-apoptotic Puma indicated a targeting of CD3+ T-cells. A robust upregulation of the anti-apoptotic survivin was unexpected because generally it is not observed in adult tissues. Taken together with the activation of STATs it may reflect a new pathogenic mechanism aimed to delay the onset of apoptosis. Our data emphasize a notion that the net biological outcome of disease is determined by a cumulative impact of factors representing the

  2. Reverse-Phase Microarray Analysis Reveals Novel Targets in Lymph Nodes of Bacillus anthracis Spore-Challenged Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, Taissia G; Espina, Virginia; Liotta, Lance A; Popov, Serguei G

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is a frequently fatal infection of many animal species and men. The causative agent Bacillus anthracis propagates through the lymphatic system of the infected host; however, the specific interactions of the host and microbe within the lymphatics are incompletely understood. We report the first description of the phosphoprotein signaling in the lymph nodes of DBA/2 mice using a novel technique combining the reverse-phase microarray with the laser capture microdissection. Mice were challenged into foot pads with spores of toxinogenic, unencapsulated Sterne strain. The spores quickly migrated to the regional popliteal lymph nodes and spread to the bloodstream as early as 3 h post challenge. All mice died before 72 h post challenge from the systemic disease accompanied by a widespread LN tissue damage by bacteria, including the hemorrhagic necrotizing lymphadenitis, infiltration of CD11b+ and CD3+ cells, and massive proliferation of bacteria in lymph nodes. A macrophage scavenger receptor CD68/macrosialin was upregulated and found in association with vegetative bacteria likely as a marker of their prior interaction with macrophages. The major signaling findings among the 65 tested proteins included the reduced MAPK signaling, upregulation of STAT transcriptional factors, and altered abundance of a number of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins with signaling properties opposing each other. Downregulation of ERK1/2 was associated with the response of CD11b+ macrophages/dendritic cells, while upregulation of the pro-apoptotic Puma indicated a targeting of CD3+ T-cells. A robust upregulation of the anti-apoptotic survivin was unexpected because generally it is not observed in adult tissues. Taken together with the activation of STATs it may reflect a new pathogenic mechanism aimed to delay the onset of apoptosis. Our data emphasize a notion that the net biological outcome of disease is determined by a cumulative impact of factors representing the microbial insult and

  3. Structural Insights into Bacillus thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and Parasporin Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chengchen; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Yu, Ziniu; Sun, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Since the first X-ray structure of Cry3Aa was revealed in 1991, numerous structures of B. thuringiensis toxins have been determined and published. In recent years, functional studies on the mode of action and resistance mechanism have been proposed, which notably promoted the developments of biological insecticides and insect-resistant transgenic crops. With the exploration of known pore-forming toxins (PFTs) structures, similarities between PFTs and B. thuringiensis toxins have provided great insights into receptor binding interactions and conformational changes from water-soluble to membrane pore-forming state of B. thuringiensis toxins. This review mainly focuses on the latest discoveries of the toxin working mechanism, with the emphasis on structural related progress. Based on the structural features, B. thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and parasporin toxins could be divided into three categories: three-domain type α-PFTs, Cyt toxin type β-PFTs and aerolysin type β-PFTs. Structures from each group are elucidated and discussed in relation to the latest data, respectively. PMID:25229189

  4. Structural Insights into Bacillus thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and Parasporin Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengchen Xu

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Since the first X-ray structure of Cry3Aa was revealed in 1991, numerous structures of B. thuringiensis toxins have been determined and published. In recent years, functional studies on the mode of action and resistance mechanism have been proposed, which notably promoted the developments of biological insecticides and insect-resistant transgenic crops. With the exploration of known pore-forming toxins (PFTs structures, similarities between PFTs and B. thuringiensis toxins have provided great insights into receptor binding interactions and conformational changes from water-soluble to membrane pore-forming state of B. thuringiensis toxins. This review mainly focuses on the latest discoveries of the toxin working mechanism, with the emphasis on structural related progress. Based on the structural features, B. thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and parasporin toxins could be divided into three categories: three-domain type α-PFTs, Cyt toxin type β-PFTs and aerolysin type β-PFTs. Structures from each group are elucidated and discussed in relation to the latest data, respectively.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-02-21

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

  6. Changes in protease activity and Cry3Aa toxin binding in the Colorado potato beetle: implications for insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olga Loseva; Mohamed Ibrahim; Mehmet Candas; C. Noah Koller; Leah S. Bauer; Lee A. Jr. Bulla

    2002-01-01

    Widespread commercial use of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins to control pest insects has increased the likelihood for development of insect resistance to this entomopathogen. In this study, we investigated protease activity profiles and toxin-binding capacities in the midgut of a strain of Colorado potato beetle (CPB) that has developed resistance...

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2014-04-16

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    efforts today by many aca- demic, government and industrial groups to generate new anthrax vaccines incorporating PA with or without other pertinent...response. More promising, perhaps, is the use of probiotics generally regarded as safe, such as Lactobacillus spp. expressing PA fused to a peptide that...considered for human anthrax vaccines as a mixed, defined inocu lum. • New - generation vaccines for anthrax should elicit both humoral and T-cell

  11. Anthrax Lethal Toxin Impairs Innate Immune Functions of Alveolar Macrophages and Facilitates Bacillus anthracis Survival

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ribot, Wilson J; Panchal, Rekha G; Brittingham, Katherine C; Ruthel, Gordon; Kenny, Tara A; Lane, Douglas; Curry, Bob; Hoover, Timothy A; Friedlander, Arthur M; Bavari, Sina

    2006-01-01

    Alveolar macrophages (AM) are very important for pulmonary innate immune responses against invading inhaled pathogens because they directly kill the organisms and initiate a cascade of innate and adaptive immune responses...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kandadi, Machender R; Yu, Xuejun; Frankel, Arthur E; Ren, Jun

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Lethal and edema toxins secreted by Bacillus anthracis during anthrax infection were found to incite serious cardiovascular complications. However, the underlying mechanisms in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac anomalies remain unknown. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of antioxidant enzyme catalase in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction. Methods Wild type (WT) and cardiac-specific catalase overexpression mice were challenged...

  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); 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.

  14. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores and a model protein using PEMC sensors in a flow cell at 1 mL/min.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Gossett A; Mutharasan, Raj

    2006-07-15

    Piezoelectric-excited millimeter-sized cantilever (PEMC) sensors of 4mm(2) sensing area were immobilized with antibody specific to Bacillus anthracis (anti-BA) spores or bovine serum albumin (anti-BSA). Detection of pathogen (Bacillus anthracis (BA) at 300 spores/mL) and BSA (1 mg/mL) were investigated under both stagnant and flow conditions. Two flow cell designs were evaluated by characterizing flow-induced resonant frequency shifts. One of the flow cells labeled SFC-2 (hold-up volume of 0.3 mL), showed small fluctuations (+/-20 Hz) around a common resonant frequency response of 217 Hz in the flow rate range of 1-17 mL/min. The total resonant frequency change obtained for the binding of 300 spores/mL in 1h was 90+/-5 Hz (n=2), and 162+/-10 Hz (n=2) under stagnant and flow conditions, respectively. Binding of antibodies, anti-BA and anti-BSA, were more rapid under flow than under stagnant conditions. The sensor was repeatedly exposed to BSA with an intermediate release step. The first and second responses to BSA were nearly identical. The total resonant frequency response to BSA was 388+/-10 (n=2) Hz under flow conditions. Kinetic analysis is carried out to quantify the effect of flow rate on antibody immobilization and the two types of detection experiments.

  15. Milk-originated Bacillus cereus sensu lato strains harbouring Bacillus anthracis-like plasmids are genetically and phenotypically diverse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartoszewicz, Marek; Marjańska, Paulina Sylwia

    2017-10-01

    Bacillus cereus sensu lato is widely distributed in food products, including raw and processed milk. Plasmids often determine bacterial virulence and toxicity, but their role in the evolution of B. cereus sensu lato is only partly known. Here, we observed that nearly 8% of B. cereus sensu lato isolates were positive for pXO1-like plasmids and 12% for pXO2-like plasmids in raw and ultra-heat-treated (UHT) milk from one dairy plant. However, pXO1-like plasmids were significantly more frequent in raw milk, while pXO2-like plasmids were more frequent in processed milk. Strains from raw and UHT milk were enterotoxigenic, with up to one-fifth of the isolates being psychrotolerant. Phylogenetic assessment using multi-locus sequence typing revealed a polyphyletic structure for these bacilli, with distinct groups of cold-adapted isolates and pathogenic strains (including emetic B. cereus). Populations corresponding to both sampling sites exhibited significant linkage disequilibrium and the presence of purifying selection. The far-from-clonal population structure indicated the presence of sequence types or ecotypes adapted to specific conditions in the dairy industry. A high recombination-to-mutation ratio suggested an important role for horizontal gene transfer among B. cereus sensu lato isolates in milk. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 42 CFR 73.6 - Exemptions for overlap select agents and toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... reported by telephone, facsimile, or e-mail: Bacillus anthracis, Brucella melitensis, Hendra virus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley fever virus, or Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. This report must be followed by... to biological products (42 U.S.C. 262), (3) The Act commonly known as the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act (21 U...

  17. Inhibition of Bacillus cereus Growth and Toxin Production by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens RD7-7 in Fermented Soybean Products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eom, Jeong Seon; Choi, Hye Sun

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is a gram-positive, rod-shaped, spore-forming bacterium that has been isolated from contaminated fermented soybean food products and from the environment. B. cereus produces diarrheal and emetic toxins and has caused many outbreaks of foodborne diseases. In this study, we investigated whether B. amyloliquefaciens RD7-7, isolated from rice doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste), a traditional Korean fermented soybean food, shows antimicrobial activity against B. cereus and regulates its toxin gene expression. B. amyloliquefaciens RD7-7 exhibited strong antibacterial activity against B. cereus and inhibited the expression of B. cereus toxin-related genes (groEL, nheA, nheC, and entFM). We also found that addition of water extracts of soybean and buckwheat soksungjang (Korean fermented soybean paste made in a short time) fermented with B. amyloliquefaciens RD7-7 significantly reduced the growth and toxin expression of B. cereus. These results indicate that B. amyloliquefaciens RD7-7 could be used to control B. cereus growth and toxin production in the fermented soybean food industry. Our findings also provide a basis for the development of candidate biological control agents against B. cereus to improve the safety of fermented soybean food products.

  18. Structure and distribution of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin in lipid membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Stroh, Cordula [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Zhu Rong [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Angsuthanasombat, Chanan [Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Hinterdorfer, Peter [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria)]. E-mail: peter.hinterdorfer@jku.at

    2005-11-15

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry {delta}-endotoxins cause death of susceptible insect larvae by forming lytic pores in the midgut epithelial cell membranes. The 65 kDa trypsin activated Cry4Ba toxin was previously shown to be capable of permeabilizing liposomes and forming ionic channels in receptor-free planar lipid bilayers. Here, magnetic ACmode (MACmode) atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the lateral distribution and the native molecular structure of the Cry4Ba toxin in the membrane. Liposome fusion and the Langmuir-Blodgett technique were employed for supported lipid bilayer preparations. The toxin preferentially inserted in a self-assembled structure, rather than as a single monomeric molecule. In addition, the spontaneous insertion into receptor-free lipid bilayers lead to formation of characteristic pore-like structures with four-fold symmetry, suggesting that tetramers are the preferred oligomerization state of this toxin.

  19. Structure and distribution of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin in lipid membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn; Stroh, Cordula; Zhu Rong; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan; Hinterdorfer, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry δ-endotoxins cause death of susceptible insect larvae by forming lytic pores in the midgut epithelial cell membranes. The 65 kDa trypsin activated Cry4Ba toxin was previously shown to be capable of permeabilizing liposomes and forming ionic channels in receptor-free planar lipid bilayers. Here, magnetic ACmode (MACmode) atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the lateral distribution and the native molecular structure of the Cry4Ba toxin in the membrane. Liposome fusion and the Langmuir-Blodgett technique were employed for supported lipid bilayer preparations. The toxin preferentially inserted in a self-assembled structure, rather than as a single monomeric molecule. In addition, the spontaneous insertion into receptor-free lipid bilayers lead to formation of characteristic pore-like structures with four-fold symmetry, suggesting that tetramers are the preferred oligomerization state of this toxin

  20. Structural elucidation of the nonclassical secondary cell wall polysaccharide from Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987. Comparison with the polysaccharides from Bacillus anthracis and B. cereus type strain ATCC 14579 reveals both unique and common structural features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leoff, Christine; Choudhury, Biswa; Saile, Elke; Quinn, Conrad P; Carlson, Russell W; Kannenberg, Elmar L

    2008-10-31

    Nonclassical secondary cell wall polysaccharides constitute a major cell wall structure in the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria. The structure of the secondary cell wall polysaccharide from Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987, a strain that is closely related to Bacillus anthracis, was determined. This polysaccharide was released from the cell wall with aqueous hydrogen fluoride (HF) and purified by gel filtration chromatography. The purified polysaccharide, HF-PS, was characterized by glycosyl composition and linkage analyses, mass spectrometry, and one- and two-dimensional NMR analysis. The results showed that the B. cereus ATCC 10987 HF-PS has a repeating oligosaccharide consisting of a -->6)-alpha-GalNAc-(1-->4)-beta-ManNAc-(1-->4)-beta-GlcNAc-(1--> trisaccharide that is substituted with beta-Gal at O3 of the alpha-GalNAc residue and nonstoichiometrically acetylated at O3 of the N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) residue. Comparison of this structure with that of the B. anthracis HF-PS and with structural data obtained for the HF-PS from B. cereus type strain ATCC 14579 revealed that each HF-PS had the same general structural theme consisting of three HexNAc and one Hex residues. A common structural feature in the HF-PSs from B. cereus ATCC 10987 and B. anthracis was the presence of a repeating unit consisting of a HexNAc(3) trisaccharide backbone in which two of the three HexNAc residues are GlcNAc and ManNAc and the third can be either GlcNAc or GalNAc. The implications of these results with regard to the possible functions of the HF-PSs are discussed.

  1. Bacillus subtilis HJ18-4 from traditional fermented soybean food inhibits Bacillus cereus growth and toxin-related genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eom, Jeong Seon; Lee, Sun Young; Choi, Hye Sun

    2014-11-01

    Bacillus subtilis HJ18-4 isolated from buckwheat sokseongjang, a traditional Korean fermented soybean food, exhibits broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against foodborne pathogens, including Bacillus cereus. In this study, we investigated the antibacterial efficacy and regulation of toxin gene expression in B. cereus by B. subtilis HJ18-4. Expression of B. cereus toxin-related genes (groEL, nheA, nheC, and entFM) was downregulated by B. subtilis HJ18-4, which also exhibited strong antibacterial activity against B. cereus. We also found that water extracts of soy product fermented with B. subtilis HJ18-4 significantly inhibited the growth of B. cereus and toxin expression. These results indicate that B. subtilis HJ18-4 could be used as an antimicrobial agent to control B. cereus in the fermented soybean food industry. Our findings also provide an opportunity to develop an efficient biological control agent against B. cereus. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Food Science published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Institute of Food Technologists®

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahillon Jacques

    2005-07-01

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

  3. [Development and comparative evaluation of up-converting phosphor technology based lateral flow assay for rapid detection of Yersinia pestis, Bacillus anthracis spore and Brucella spp].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chunfeng; Zhang, Pingping; Wang, Xiaoying; Liu, Xiao; Zhao, Yong; Sun, Chongyun; Wang, Chengbin; Yang, Ruifu; Zhou, Lei

    2015-01-01

    To develop an up-converting phosphor technology based lateral flow (UPT-LF) assay for rapid and quantitative detection of Yersinia pestis, Bacillus anthracis spore and Brucella spp.and make the comparison with BioThreat Alert (BTA) test strips (Tetracore Inc., USA). Using up-converting phosphor nano-particles (UCP-NPs) as the bio-marker, three double-antibody-sandwich model based UPT-LF strips including Plague-UPT-LF, Anthrax-UPT-LF, Brucella-UPT-LF were prepared and its sensitivity, accuracy, linearity and specificity were determined by detecting 10(10), 10(9), 10(8), 10(7), 10(6), 10(5) and 0 CFU/ml series of concentrations of Y.pestis, B.anthracis, Brucella standards and other 27 kinds of 10(9) CFU/ml series of contrations of bacteria strains.Furthermore, the speed, sensitivity and accuracy of bacteria standards and simulated sample detection were compared between UPT-LF and BTA system. The detection limit of Plague-UPT-LF, Anthrax-UPT-LF and Brucella-LF was 10(5) CFU/ml. The CV of series of bacteria concentrations was ≤ 15%, and the r between lg (T/C-cut-off) and lg (concentration) was 0.996,0.998 and 0.999 (F values were 1 647.57, 743.51 and 1 822.17. All the P values were Brucella-LF were excellent, while that of Anthrax-UPT-LF was a little bit regretful because of non-specific reaction with two isolates of B. subtilis and one B.cereus. On-site evaluation showed the detection time of UPT-LF for all Y.pestis, B.anthracis spore and Brucella spp.was 33, 36 and 37 min, while BTA was 115, 115 and 111 min, which revealed the higher detection speed and sensitivity of UPT-LF comparing with BTA. The negative rate of two methods for blank standard was both 5/5, the sensitivity of UPT-LF for Y.pestis,B.anthracis spore and Brucella spp. was all 10(5) CFU/ml, then BTA was 10(6), 10(6) and 10(5) CFU/ml, respectively. The detection rate of UPT-LF for all three bacteria analog positive samples was 16/16, while BTA for B.anthracis was 7/16 only. The good performance

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barro, Alassane S; Fegan, Mark; Moloney, Barbara; Porter, Kelly; Muller, Janine; Warner, Simone; Blackburn, Jason K

    2016-06-01

    The ecology and distribution of B. anthracis in Australia is not well understood, despite the continued occurrence of anthrax outbreaks in the eastern states of the country. Efforts to estimate the spatial extent of the risk of disease have been limited to a qualitative definition of an anthrax belt extending from southeast Queensland through the centre of New South Wales and into northern Victoria. This definition of the anthrax belt does not consider the role of environmental conditions in the distribution of B. anthracis. Here, we used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction model system (GARP), historical anthrax outbreaks and environmental data to model the ecological niche of B. anthracis and predict its potential geographic distribution in Australia. Our models reveal the niche of B. anthracis in Australia is characterized by a narrow range of ecological conditions concentrated in two disjunct corridors. The most dominant corridor, used to redefine a new anthrax belt, parallels the Eastern Highlands and runs from north Victoria to central east Queensland through the centre of New South Wales. This study has redefined the anthrax belt in eastern Australia and provides insights about the ecological factors that limit the distribution of B. anthracis at the continental scale for Australia. The geographic distributions identified can help inform anthrax surveillance strategies by public and veterinary health agencies.

  5. Localization of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxin-binding molecules in gypsy moth larval gut sections using fluorescence microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algimantas P. Valaitis

    2011-01-01

    The microbial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces Cry toxins, proteins that bind to the brush border membranes of gut epithelial cells of insects that ingest it, disrupting the integrity of the membranes, and leading to cell lysis and insect death. In gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, two toxin-binding molecules for the...

  6. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Pyridine Nucleotide Complexes with Bacillus anthracis Coenzyme A-Disulfide Reductase: A Structural Analysis of Dual NAD(P)H Specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallen,J.; Paige, C.; Mallett, T.; Karplus, P.; Claiborne, A.

    2008-01-01

    We have recently reported that CoASH is the major low-molecular weight thiol in Bacillus anthracis, and we have now characterized the kinetic and redox properties of the B. anthracis coenzyme A-disulfide reductase (CoADR, BACoADR) and determined the crystal structure at 2.30 Angstroms resolution. While the Staphylococcus aureus and Borrelia burgdorferi CoADRs exhibit strong preferences for NADPH and NADH, respectively, B. anthracis CoADR can use either pyridine nucleotide equally well. Sequence elements within the respective NAD(P)H-binding motifs correctly reflect the preferences for S. aureus and Bo. burgdorferi CoADRs, but leave questions as to how BACoADR can interact with both pyridine nucleotides. The structures of the NADH and NADPH complexes at ca. 2.3 Angstroms resolution reveal that a loop consisting of residues Glu180-Thr187 becomes ordered and changes conformation on NAD(P)H binding. NADH and NADPH interact with nearly identical conformations of this loop; the latter interaction, however, involves a novel binding mode in which the 2'-phosphate of NADPH points out toward solvent. In addition, the NAD(P)H-reduced BACoADR structures provide the first view of the reduced form (Cys42-SH/CoASH) of the Cys42-SSCoA redox center. The Cys42-SH side chain adopts a new conformation in which the conserved Tyr367'-OH and Tyr425'-OH interact with the nascent thiol(ate) on the flavin si-face. Kinetic data with Y367F, Y425F, and Y367, 425F BACoADR mutants indicate that Tyr425' is the primary proton donor in catalysis, with Tyr367' functioning as a cryptic alternate donor in the absence of Tyr425'.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Thierry

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

  9. Investigation of Cytocidal Activity of Bacillus Thuringiensis Parasporal Toxin on CCRF-CEM Cell Line

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elham Moazamian

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Background & Objective: Parasporin is a parasporal protein of Bacillus thuringiensis and exhibits special cytocidal activity against human cancer cells. Similar to other insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis crystal toxins, parasporin shows target specificity and damages the cellular membrane. In this study, different strains of Bacillus thuringiensis isolated from various regions of Iran and their cytocidal activity against CCRF-CEM cell line and human erythrocyte were investigated.   Materials & Methods: Fifty soil samples were collected from different Iranian provinces, and characterization was performed based on protein crystal morphology by phase-contrast microscope and variations of Cry protein toxin using SDS-PAGE. After parasporin was processed with proteinase K, the active form was produced and protein activity on the cell line was evaluated. Results: Parasporal inclusion proteins showed different cytotoxicity against acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells (ALL, but not against normal lymphocyte. Isolated parasporin demonstrated no hemolytic activity against human erythrocyte. It appears that these proteins have the ability to differentiate between normal lymphocytes and leukemia cells and have specific receptors on specific cancer cell lines. Conclusion: Our results provide evidence that the parasporin-producing organism is a common member in Bacillus thuringiensis populations occurring in the natural environments of Iran.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasada, Aleksandra Anna; Jagielski, Marek

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Plant Compounds Enhance the Assay Sensitivity for Detection of Active Bacillus cereus Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reuven Rasooly

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus cereus is an important food pathogen, producing emetic and diarrheal syndromes, the latter mediated by enterotoxins. The ability to sensitively trace and identify this active toxin is important for food safety. This study evaluated a nonradioactive, sensitive, in vitro cell-based assay, based on B. cereus toxin inhibition of green fluorescent protein (GFP synthesis in transduced monkey kidney Vero cells, combined with plant extracts or plant compounds that reduce viable count of B. cereus in food. The assay exhibited a dose dependent GFP inhibition response with ~25% inhibition at 50 ng/mL toxin evaluated in culture media or soy milk, rice milk or infant formula, products associated with food poisonings outbreak. The plant extracts of green tea or bitter almond and the plant compounds epicatechin or carvacrol were found to amplify the assay response to ~90% inhibition at the 50 ng/mL toxin concentration greatly increasing the sensitivity of this assay. Additional studies showed that the test formulations also inhibited the growth of the B. cereus bacteria, likely through cell membrane disruption. The results suggest that the improved highly sensitive assay for the toxin and the rapid inactivation of the pathogen producing the toxin have the potential to enhance food safety.

  12. Prevalence and Toxin Characteristics of Bacillus thuringiensis Isolated from Organic Vegetables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jung-Beom; Choi, Ok-Kyung; Kwon, Sun-Mok; Cho, Seung-Hak; Park, Byung-Jae; Jin, Na Young; Yu, Yong Man; Oh, Deog-Hwan

    2017-08-28

    The prevalence and toxin characteristics of Bacillus thuringiensis isolated from 39 organic vegetables were investigated. B. thuringiensis was detected in 30 out of the 39 organic vegetables (76.9%) with a mean value of 2.60 log CFU/g. Twenty-five out of the 30 B. thuringiensis isolates (83.3%) showed insecticidal toxicity against Spodoptera exigua . The hblCDA, nheABC , and entFM genes were found to be the major toxin genes, but the ces gene was not detected in any of the tested B. thuringiensis isolates. The hemolysin BL enterotoxin was detected in all 30 B. thuringiensis isolates (100%). The non-hemolytic enterotoxin complex was found in 27 out of 30 B. thuringiensis isolates (90.0%). The B. thuringiensis tested in this study had similar toxin gene characteristics to B. cereus , which possessed more than one toxin gene. B. thuringiensis could have the potential risk of foodborne illness based on the toxin genes and toxin-producing ability.

  13. Effect of Bacillus thuringiensis parasporal toxin on stimulating of IL-2 and IL-5 cytokines production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marzieh Soleimany

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction:Bacillus thuringiensis, is a Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium that produces crystalline parasporal protein (Cry during sporulation. Some of these Cry toxins do not show cytotoxicity against insects but they are capable to kill some human and animal cancer cells. The aim of this study was to verify whether cytocidal parasporal of B thuringiensis strains have immunostimulatory activity on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC and to evaluate the ability of IL-2 and IL-5 production. Materials and methods: B. thuringiensis toxin with cytocidal activity was isolated and treated with proteinase K. PBMNC was cultured and treated with activated crystal proteins. We evaluated the ability of different cytokines production with Flow Cytometry. Results: In this study, immune stimulatory toxins Cry1 were distinguished. This toxin can stimulate production of cytokines IL-2 and stop production of IL-5. Discussion and conclusion: According to anti-cancer effect of B. thuringiensis toxins and also immune stimulatory effect, with more research these toxins can be introduced as immunotherapy drug in cancer treatment.

  14. Larvicidal activity of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis Cry11Aa toxin against Haemonchus contortus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DE Lara, Ana Paula DE Souza Stori; Lorenzon, Lucas Bigolin; Vianna, Ana Muñoz; Santos, Francisco Denis Souza; Pinto, Luciano Silva; Aires Berne, Maria Elisabeth; Leite, Fábio Pereira Leivas

    2016-10-01

    Effective control of gastrointestinal parasites is necessary in sheep production. The development of anthelmintics resistance is causing the available chemically based anthelmintics to become less effective. Biological control strategies present an alternative to this problem. In the current study, we tested the larvicidal effects of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis Cry11Aa toxin against Haemonchus contortus larvae. Bacterial suspensions [2 × 108 colony-forming units (CFU) g-1 of the feces] of B. thuringiensis var. israelensis and recombinant Escherichia coli expressing Cry11Aa toxin were added to naturally H. contortus egg-contaminated feces. The larvae were quantified, and significant reductions of 62 and 81% (P var. israelensis and recombinant E. coli expressing Cry11Aa toxin were then orally administered to lambs naturally infected with H. contortus. Twelve hours after administration, feces were collected and submitted to coprocultures. Significant larvae reductions (P var. israelensis is a promising new class of biological anthelmintics for treating sheep against H. contortus.

  15. 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.

  16. An ABC transporter mutation is correlated with insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda J Gahan

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt are commercially successful in reducing pest damage, yet knowledge of resistance mechanisms that threaten their sustainability is incomplete. Insect resistance to the pore-forming Cry1Ac toxin is correlated with the loss of high-affinity, irreversible binding to the mid-gut membrane, but the genetic factors responsible for this change have been elusive. Mutations in a 12-cadherin-domain protein confer some Cry1Ac resistance but do not block this toxin binding in in vitro assays. We sought to identify mutations in other genes that might be responsible for the loss of binding. We employed a map-based cloning approach using a series of backcrosses with 1,060 progeny to identify a resistance gene in the cotton pest Heliothis virescens that segregated independently from the cadherin mutation. We found an inactivating mutation of the ABC transporter ABCC2 that is genetically linked to Cry1Ac resistance and is correlated with loss of Cry1Ac binding to membrane vesicles. ABC proteins are integral membrane proteins with many functions, including export of toxic molecules from the cell, but have not been implicated in the mode of action of Bt toxins before. The reduction in toxin binding due to the inactivating mutation suggests that ABCC2 is involved in membrane integration of the toxin pore. Our findings suggest that ABC proteins may play a key role in the mode of action of Bt toxins and that ABC protein mutations can confer high levels of resistance that could threaten the continued utilization of Bt-expressing crops. However, such mutations may impose a physiological cost on resistant insects, by reducing export of other toxins such as plant secondary compounds from the cell. This weakness could be exploited to manage this mechanism of Bt resistance in the field.

  17. An ABC transporter mutation is correlated with insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gahan, Linda J; Pauchet, Yannick; Vogel, Heiko; Heckel, David G

    2010-12-16

    Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are commercially successful in reducing pest damage, yet knowledge of resistance mechanisms that threaten their sustainability is incomplete. Insect resistance to the pore-forming Cry1Ac toxin is correlated with the loss of high-affinity, irreversible binding to the mid-gut membrane, but the genetic factors responsible for this change have been elusive. Mutations in a 12-cadherin-domain protein confer some Cry1Ac resistance but do not block this toxin binding in in vitro assays. We sought to identify mutations in other genes that might be responsible for the loss of binding. We employed a map-based cloning approach using a series of backcrosses with 1,060 progeny to identify a resistance gene in the cotton pest Heliothis virescens that segregated independently from the cadherin mutation. We found an inactivating mutation of the ABC transporter ABCC2 that is genetically linked to Cry1Ac resistance and is correlated with loss of Cry1Ac binding to membrane vesicles. ABC proteins are integral membrane proteins with many functions, including export of toxic molecules from the cell, but have not been implicated in the mode of action of Bt toxins before. The reduction in toxin binding due to the inactivating mutation suggests that ABCC2 is involved in membrane integration of the toxin pore. Our findings suggest that ABC proteins may play a key role in the mode of action of Bt toxins and that ABC protein mutations can confer high levels of resistance that could threaten the continued utilization of Bt-expressing crops. However, such mutations may impose a physiological cost on resistant insects, by reducing export of other toxins such as plant secondary compounds from the cell. This weakness could be exploited to manage this mechanism of Bt resistance in the field.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  19. Improvement and efficient display of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins on M13 phages and ribosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Sabino; Cantón, Emiliano; Zuñiga-Navarrete, Fernando; Pecorari, Frédéric; Bravo, Alejandra; Soberón, Mario

    2015-12-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces insecticidal proteins that have been used worldwide in the control of insect-pests in crops and vectors of human diseases. However, different insect species are poorly controlled by the available Bt toxins or have evolved resistance to these toxins. Evolution of Bt toxicity could provide novel toxins to control insect pests. To this aim, efficient display systems to select toxins with increased binding to insect membranes or midgut proteins involved in toxicity are likely to be helpful. Here we describe two display systems, phage display and ribosome display, that allow the efficient display of two non-structurally related Bt toxins, Cry1Ac and Cyt1Aa. Improved display of Cry1Ac and Cyt1Aa on M13 phages was achieved by changing the commonly used peptide leader sequence of the coat pIII-fusion protein, that relies on the Sec translocation pathway, for a peptide leader sequence that relies on the signal recognition particle pathway (SRP) and by using a modified M13 helper phage (Phaberge) that has an amber mutation in its pIII genomic sequence and preferentially assembles using the pIII-fusion protein. Also, both Cry1Ac and Cyt1Aa were efficiently displayed on ribosomes, which could allow the construction of large libraries of variants. Furthermore, Cry1Ac or Cyt1Aa displayed on M13 phages or ribosomes were specifically selected from a mixture of both toxins depending on which antigen was immobilized for binding selection. These improved systems may allow the selection of Cry toxin variants with improved insecticidal activities that could counter insect resistances.

  20. New Bacillus thuringiensis toxin combinations for biological control of lepidopteran larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elleuch, Jihen; Zghal, Raida Zribi; Jemaà, Mohamed; Azzouz, Hichem; Tounsi, Slim; Jaoua, Samir

    2014-04-01

    Cyt1Aa from Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis is known by its synergistical activity with B. thuringiensis and Bacillus sphaericus toxins. It is able to improve dipteran specific toxins activity and can prevent or overcome larval resistance to those proteins. The objective of the current study was to investigate the possible improvement of larvicidal activity of B. thuringiensis kurstaki expressing heterogeneous proteins Cyt1A and P20. cyt1A98 and p20 genes encoding the cytolytic protein (Cyt1A98) and the accessory protein (P20), respectively, were introduced individually and in combination into B. thuringiensis kurstaki strain BNS3. Immunoblot analysis evidenced the expression of these genes in the recombinant strains and hinted that P20 acts as molecular chaperone protecting Cyt1A98 from proteolytic attack in BNS3. The toxicities of recombinant strains were studied and revealed that BNS3pHTp20 exhibited higher activity than that of the negative control (BNS3pHTBlue) toward Ephestia kuehniella, but not toward Spodoptera littoralis. When expressed in combination with P20, Cyt1A98 enhanced BNS3 activity against E. kuehniella and S. littoralis. Thus, Cyt1Aa protein could enhance lepidopteran Cry insecticidal activity and would prevent larval resistance to the most commercialized B. thuringiensis kurstaki toxins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. A portable cell-based optical detection device for rapid detection of Listeria and Bacillus toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Pratik; Banada, Padmapriya P.; Rickus, Jenna L.; Morgan, Mark T.; Bhunia, Arun K.

    2005-11-01

    A mammalian cell-based optical biosensor was built to detect pathogenic Listeria and Bacillus species. This sensor measures the ability of the pathogens to infect and induce cytotoxicity on hybrid lymphocyte cell line (Ped-2E9) resulting in the release of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) that can be detected optically using a portable spectrophotometer. The Ped-2E9 cells were encapsulated in collagen gel matrices and grown in 48-well plates or in specially designed filtration tube units. Toxin preparations or bacterial cells were introduced and ALP release was assayed after 3-5 h. Pathogenic L. monocytogenes strains or the listeriolysin toxins preparation showed cytotoxicity ranging from 55% - 92%. Toxin preparations (~20 μg/ml) from B. cereus strains showed 24 - 98% cytotoxicity. In contrast, a non-pathogenic L. innocua (F4247) and a B. substilis induced only 2% and 8% cytotoxicity, respectively. This cell-based detection device demonstrates its ability to detect the presence of pathogenic Listeria and Bacillus species and can potentially be used onsite for food safety or in biosecurity application.

  2. Cytopathological effects of Bacillus sphaericus Cry48Aa/Cry49Aa toxin on binary toxin-susceptible and -resistant Culex quinquefasciatus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Melo, Janaina Viana; Jones, Gareth Wyn; Berry, Colin; Vasconcelos, Romero Henrique Teixeira; de Oliveira, Cláudia Maria Fontes; Furtado, André Freire; Peixoto, Christina Alves; Silva-Filha, Maria Helena Neves Lobo

    2009-07-01

    The Cry48Aa/Cry49Aa mosquitocidal two-component toxin was recently characterized from Bacillus sphaericus strain IAB59 and is uniquely composed of a three-domain Cry protein toxin (Cry48Aa) and a binary (Bin) toxin-like protein (Cry49Aa). Its mode of action has not been elucidated, but a remarkable feature of this protein is the high toxicity against species from the Culex complex, besides its capacity to overcome Culex resistance to the Bin toxin, the major insecticidal factor in B. sphaericus-based larvicides. The goal of this work was to investigate the ultrastructural effects of Cry48Aa/Cry49Aa on midgut cells of Bin-toxin-susceptible and -resistant Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. The major cytopathological effects observed after Cry48Aa/Cry49Aa treatment were intense mitochondrial vacuolation, breakdown of endoplasmic reticulum, production of cytoplasmic vacuoles, and microvillus disruption. These effects were similar in Bin-toxin-susceptible and -resistant larvae and demonstrated that Cry48Aa/Cry49Aa toxin interacts with and displays toxic effects on cells lacking receptors for the Bin toxin, while B. sphaericus IAB59-resistant larvae did not show mortality after treatment with Cry48Aa/Cry49Aa toxin. The cytopathological alterations in Bin-toxin-resistant larvae provoked by Cry48Aa/Cry49Aa treatment were similar to those observed when larvae were exposed to a synergistic mixture of Bin/Cry11Aa toxins. Such effects seemed to result from a combined action of Cry-like and Bin-like toxins. The complex effects caused by Cry48Aa/Cry49Aa provide evidence for the potential of these toxins as active ingredients of a new generation of biolarvicides that conjugate insecticidal factors with distinct sites of action, in order to manage mosquito resistance.

  3. Dominant negative mutants of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab toxin function as anti-toxins: demonstration of the role of oligomerization in toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Rodríguez-Almazán

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins, that are used worldwide in insect control, kill insects by a mechanism that depends on their ability to form oligomeric pores that insert into the insect-midgut cells. These toxins are being used worldwide in transgenic plants or spray to control insect pests in agriculture. However, a major concern has been the possible effects of these insecticidal proteins on non-target organisms mainly in ecosystems adjacent to agricultural fields.We isolated and characterized 11 non-toxic mutants of Cry1Ab toxin affected in different steps of the mechanism of action namely binding to receptors, oligomerization and pore-formation. These mutant toxins were analyzed for their capacity to block wild type toxin activity, presenting a dominant negative phenotype. The dominant negative phenotype was analyzed at two levels, in vivo by toxicity bioassays against susceptible Manduca sexta larvae and in vitro by pore formation activity in black lipid bilayers. We demonstrate that some mutations located in helix alpha-4 completely block the wild type toxin activity at sub-stoichiometric level confirming a dominant negative phenotype, thereby functioning as potent antitoxins.This is the first reported case of a Cry toxin dominant inhibitor. These data demonstrate that oligomerization is a fundamental step in Cry toxin action and represent a potential mechanism to protect special ecosystems from the possible effect of Cry toxins on non-target organisms.

  4. Comparative analysis of antimicrobial activities of valinomycin and cereulide, the Bacillus cereus emetic toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Tempelaars, M.H.; Rodrigues, S.; Abee, T.

    2011-01-01

    Cereulide and valinomycin are highly similar cyclic dodecadepsipeptides with potassium ionophoric properties. Cereulide, produced by members of the Bacillus cereus group, is known mostly as emetic toxin, and no ecological function has been assigned. A comparative analysis of the antimicrobial activity of valinomycin produced by Streptomyces spp. and cereulide was performed at a pH range of pH 5.5 to pH 9.5, under anaerobic and aerobic conditions. Both compounds display pH-dependent activity a...

  5. Detection of toxin genes and RAPD analysis of bacillus cereus isolates from different soil types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savic Dejana

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to detect genes for enterotoxins (hbla, entFM and bceT and for emetic toxin (cer, to determine antibiotic resistance, and to estimate intraspecies diversity in B. cereus isolates by RAPD analysis. B. cereus was identified in 12 out of 117 indigenous Bacillus spp. using the classical microbiological methods and PCR. All isolates were resistant to penicillin and ampicillin, two to tetracyclin and four to trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole. Also, all isolates produced inducible penicillinases and β-lactamase. Toxin genes were detected with PCR. EntFM and cer genes were present in all isolates, hbla in all, but two, and bceT in none. RAPD analysis was performed with four different primers, two of them designed for this study. The intraspecies diversity revealed 10 different patterns at the 90% similarity level. Two separate clusters were formed regardless of a soil type or utilization. The detection of genes encoding toxins in all B. cereus isolates indicated these bacteria as potentially pathogenic and seriously for human health. Regardless of a soil type or utilization, the RAPD analysis showed high intraspecies heterogeneity in B. cereus isolates. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to analyse the presence of entero- and emetic toxin genes and genetic heterogeneity in B. cereus isolates from different soil types and different soil utilization in Serbia. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. TR37006

  6. High instability of a nematicidal Cry toxin plasmid in Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheppard, Anna E; Nakad, Rania; Saebelfeld, Manja; Masche, Anna C; Dierking, Katja; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-01-01

    In bacterial pathogens, virulence factors are often carried on plasmids and other mobile genetic elements, and as such, plasmid evolution is central in understanding pathogenicity. Bacillus thuringiensis is an invertebrate pathogen that uses plasmid-encoded crystal (Cry) toxins to establish infections inside the host. Our study aimed to quantify stability of two Cry toxin-encoding plasmids, BTI_23p and BTI_16p, under standard laboratory culturing conditions. These two plasmids are part of the genome of the B. thuringiensis strain MYBT18679, which is of particular interest because of its high pathogenicity towards nematodes. One of the plasmids, BTI_23p, was found to be highly unstable, with substantial loss occurring within a single growth cycle. Nevertheless, longer term experimental evolution in the absence of a host revealed maintenance of the plasmid at low levels in the bacterial populations. BTI_23p encodes two nematicidal Cry toxins, Cry21Aa2 and Cry14Aa1. Consistent with previous findings, loss of the plasmid abolished pathogenicity towards the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which could be rescued by addition of Cry21Aa2-expressing Escherichia coli. These results implicate BTI_23p as a plasmid that is required for successful infection, yet unstable when present at high frequency in the population, consistent with the role of Cry toxins as public goods. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Quantification of Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa16 Entomopathogenic Toxin Using Its Hemolytic Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boukedi, Hanen; Ben Khedher, Saoussen; Ghribi, Dhouha; Dammak, Mariam; Tounsi, Slim; Abdelkefi-Mesrati, Lobna

    2017-05-01

    Vegetative insecticidal proteins produced by some Bacillus thuringiensis strains are specifically toxic to different agricultural pests such as the polyphagous Spodoptera and several other Lepidopteran insects, but one of the major problems found in the use of these biopesticides was the lack of an easy and credible method of quantification of such secreted toxins. Heterologous expression of B. thuringiensis Vip3Aa16 toxin was performed in Escherichia coli then the protein was purified by chromatography. Using blood agar as well as blood agar overlay (zymogram assay), we reported, for the first time, the capacity of Vip3Aa16 to induce hemolysis. The hemolytic activity of this protein was shown to be relatively stable after treatment at 40 °C and at a range of pH between 6.5 and 9. Moreover, a linear relationship was shown between hemolysis levels and Vip3Aa16 concentrations. The model established in the present study could quantify Vip3A toxin as a function of hemolytic activity and the assay proposed showed to be a simple and low-cost method to readily assess Vip3A toxins in liquid cultures and facilitate the use of this kind of bioinsecticides in pest management programs.

  8. Molecular Approaches to Improve the Insecticidal Activity of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wagner A. Lucena

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt is a gram-positive spore-forming soil bacterium that is distributed worldwide. Originally recognized as a pathogen of the silkworm, several strains were found on epizootic events in insect pests. In the 1960s, Bt began to be successfully used to control insect pests in agriculture, particularly because of its specificity, which reflects directly on their lack of cytotoxicity to human health, non-target organisms and the environment. Since the introduction of transgenic plants expressing Bt genes in the mid-1980s, numerous methodologies have been used to search for and improve toxins derived from native Bt strains. These improvements directly influence the increase in productivity and the decreased use of chemical insecticides on Bt-crops. Recently, DNA shuffling and in silico evaluations are emerging as promising tools for the development and exploration of mutant Bt toxins with enhanced activity against target insect pests. In this report, we describe natural and in vitro evolution of Cry toxins, as well as their relevance in the mechanism of action for insect control. Moreover, the use of DNA shuffling to improve two Bt toxins will be discussed together with in silico analyses of the generated mutations to evaluate their potential effect on protein structure and cytotoxicity.

  9. Expression of recombinant Clostridium difficile toxin A and B in Bacillus megaterium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nie Weijia

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Major Clostridium difficile virulence factors are the exotoxins TcdA and TcdB. Due to the large size and poor stability of the proteins, the active recombinant TcdA and TcdB have been difficult to produce. Results The toxin genes tcdA and tcdB were amplified by PCR using chromosomal DNA from a toxigenic strain as a template, and cloned into a shuttle vector pHis1522. The sequences of both tcdA and tcdB genes in the vector have been verified by DNA sequencing. The constructs were transformed into B. megaterium protoplasts and the protein expression was controlled under a xylose promoter. The recombinant toxins (rTcdA and rTcdB were purified from bacterial crude extracts. Approximately 5 – 10 mg of highly purified recombinant toxins were obtained from one liter of bacterial culture. The resulting rTcdA and rTcdB had similar molecular masses to the native toxins, and their biological activities were found to be similar to their native counterparts after an extensive examination. Conclusion We have generated the full length and active recombinant TcdA and TcdB in Bacillus megaterium.

  10. Interactions of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin in genetically engineered cotton with predatory heteropterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Jorge B; Ruberson, John R

    2008-06-01

    A number of cotton varieties have been genetically transformed with genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to continuously produce Bt endotoxins, offering whole plant and season-long protection against many lepidopteran larvae. Constant whole-plant toxin expression creates a significant opportunity for non-target herbivores to acquire and bio-accumulate the toxin for higher trophic levels. In the present study we investigated movement of Cry1Ac toxin from the transgenic cotton plant through specific predator-prey pairings, using omnivorous predators with common cotton pests as prey: (1) the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), with the predator Podisus maculiventris (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae); (2) the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae (Acarina: Tetranychidae), with the predatory big-eyed bug Geocoris punctipes (Heteroptera: Geocoridae) and (3) with the predatory damsel bug Nabis roseipennis (Heteropera: Nabidae); and (4) the thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) with the predatory pirate bug Orius insidiosus (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae). We quantified Cry1Ac toxin in the cotton plants, and in the pests and predators, and the effects of continuous feeding on S. exigua larvae fed either Bt or non-Bt cotton on life history traits of P. maculiventris. All three herbivores were able to convey Cry1Ac toxin to their respective predators. Among the herbivores, T. urticae exhibited 16.8 times more toxin in their bodies than that expressed in Bt-cotton plant, followed by S. exigua (1.05 times), and F. occidentalis immatures and adults (0.63 and 0.73 times, respectively). Of the toxin in the respective herbivorous prey, 4, 40, 17 and 14% of that amount was measured in the predators G. punctipes, P. maculiventris, O. insidiosus, and N. roseipennis, respectively. The predator P. maculiventris exhibited similar life history characteristics (developmental time, survival, longevity, and fecundity) regardless of the prey's food

  11. Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Aedes aegypti Larval Midgut after Intoxication with Cry11Aa Toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cancino-Rodezno, Angeles; Lozano, Luis; Oppert, Cris; Castro, Julieta I.; Lanz-Mendoza, Humberto; Encarnación, Sergio; Evans, Amy E.; Gill, Sarjeet S.; Soberón, Mario; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan L.; Bravo, Alejandra

    2012-01-01

    Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria are environmentally safe alternatives to control insect pests. They are pore-forming toxins that specifically affect cell permeability and cellular integrity of insect-midgut cells. In this work we analyzed the defensive response of Aedes aegypti larva to Cry11Aa toxin intoxication by proteomic and functional genomic analyses. Two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) was utilized to analyze proteomic differences among A. aegypti larvae intoxicated with different doses of Cry11Aa toxin compared to a buffer treatment. Spots with significant differential expression (plarvae became hypersensitive to toxin action. In addition, we found that mosquito larvae displayed a resistant phenotype when the heat shock protein was silenced. These results provide insight into the molecular components influencing the defense to Cry toxin intoxication and facilitate further studies on the roles of identified genes. PMID:22615881

  12. Fluorescence quenching dynamics and mechanism of cry1ab toxin from bacillus thuringiensis by different metal ions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, X.; Zhang, J.

    2016-01-01

    The reaction dynamics of Cry1Ab toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis with sodium, calcium and lead ions was studied by fluorescence quenching technique. Gradual quenching was observed by titration of Cry1Ab toxin with metal ions (Na+, Ca/sup 2+/ or Pb/sup 2+/). The quenched strength of these ions in the descending order was: lead ion > calcium ion > sodium ion. The quenching equilibrium of Cry1Ab toxin by metal ions reached within 60 min, and the quenching dynamics of Cry1Ab toxin could be expressed by the Elovich model. The toxin concentration, pH and temperature had influence on the quenching dynamics. The interaction between Cry1Ab toxin and metal ions is based on static quenching mechanism. (author)

  13. Combinatorial effect of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens AG1 biosurfactant and Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa16 toxin on Spodoptera littoralis larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Khedher, Saoussen; Boukedi, Hanen; Dammak, Mariam; Kilani-Feki, Olfa; Sellami-Boudawara, Tahya; Abdelkefi-Mesrati, Lobna; Tounsi, Slim

    2017-03-01

    Spodoptera littoralis, one of the most serious and destructive agricultural pests in the world, is very susceptible to Vip3 toxin. In order to develop a new efficient bioinsecticide and to prevent the development of resistance by the target pest, insecticidal activity of biosurfactant produced by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens AG1 was evaluated against S. littoralis. Bioassays revealed the susceptibility of the first instar larvae of this pest to AG1 biosurfactant with an LC 50 of 245ng/cm 2 . Moreover, the histopathology examination of the larval midgut treated by AG1 biosurfactant showed vacuolization, necrosis and disintegration of the basement membrane. Binding experiments revealed that the AG1 biosurfactant recognized three putative receptors located in the brush border membrane vesicles of S. littoralis with sizes of 91, 72 and 64kDa. Competition assays using biotinylated metabolites indicated that AG1 biosurfactant and Vip3Aa16 toxin did not compete for the same S. littoralis receptors. When combined, AG1 biosurfactant and Vip3Aa16 showed an additive effect against S. littoralis larvae. These findings suggested that B. amyloliquefaciens AG1 biosurfactant could be a promising biocontrol agent to eradicate S. littoralis and to prevent resistance development by this pest. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

    Here, we constructed stable, chromosomal, constitutively expressed, green and red fluorescent protein (GFP and RFP) as reporters in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Using bioinformatic approaches and other experimental analyses, we identified P0253 and P1 as potent promoters that drive the optimal expression of fluorescent reporters in single copy in B. anthracis and Burkholderia spp. as well as their surrogate strains, respectively. In comparison, Y. pestis and its surrogate strain need two chromosomal copies of cysZK promoter (P2cysZK) for optimal fluorescence. The P0253-, P2cysZK-, and P1-driven GFP and RFP fusions were first cloned into the vectors pRP1028, pUC18R6KT-mini-Tn7T-Km, pmini-Tn7-gat, or their derivatives. The resultant constructs were delivered into the respective surrogates and subsequently into the select agent strains. The chromosomal GFP- and RFP-tagged strains exhibited bright fluorescence at an exposure time of less than 200 msec and displayed the same virulence traits as their wild-type parental strains. The utility of the tagged strains was proven by the macrophage infection assays and lactate dehydrogenase release analysis. Such strains will be extremely useful in high-throughput screens for novel compounds that could either kill these organisms, or interfere with critical virulence processes in these important bioweapon agents and during infection of alveolar macrophages. © 2014 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. 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.

  16. Potato flour mediated solid-state fermentation for the enhanced production of Bacillus thuringiensis-toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smitha, Robinson Babysarojam; Jisha, Veloorvalappil Narayanan; Pradeep, Selvanesan; Josh, Moolakkariyil Sarath; Benjamin, Sailas

    2013-11-01

    In this study, we explored the efficacy of raw potato flour (PF) as supplement to the conventional LB medium (LB control, designated as M1) for enhancing the concomitant production of endospores and δ-endotoxin from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki by solid-state fermentation (SSF). Of different concentrations and combinations of media tested, 10% (w/v) PF supplemented LB medium (M2) was found as the best source for the maximum yield of toxin. After 12 h submerged fermentation (SmF) at 37°C and 125 rpm, M2 was made into a wet-solid matter for SSF by removing the supernatant (1000 ×g, 10 min); the resultant pellet subsequently incubated statically (37°C) for the production of B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki toxin (Btk-toxin). In comparison to M1, yield of δ-endotoxin purified by sucrose density gradient centrifugation method from M2 was about 6-fold higher (53% recovery). This maximum yield from M2 was obtained at 48 h (as against 72 h from M1), thus the gestation period of M2 was reduced by 24 h with higher yield. In addition to the quantitative data, qualitative photomicrographs taken by image analyzer, scanning electron and fluorescent microscopes and digital camera showed physical evidences for the upper hand of SSF over conventional SmF for the enhanced production of Btk-toxin. SDS-PAGE image of the purified δ-endotoxin showed three major fractions with apparent MWs 66, 45 and 30 kDa. Briefly, if low-cost agricultural products like PF is used as supplement to LB, by SSF strategy, production of Btk-toxin could be enhanced to 6-fold in short gestation time without losing its entomotoxicity efficiency. Copyright © 2013 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Field-evolved resistance by western corn rootworm to multiple Bacillus thuringiensis toxins in transgenic maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gassmann, Aaron J; Petzold-Maxwell, Jennifer L; Clifton, Eric H; Dunbar, Mike W; Hoffmann, Amanda M; Ingber, David A; Keweshan, Ryan S

    2014-04-08

    The widespread planting of crops genetically engineered to produce insecticidal toxins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) places intense selective pressure on pest populations to evolve resistance. Western corn rootworm is a key pest of maize, and in continuous maize fields it is often managed through planting of Bt maize. During 2009 and 2010, fields were identified in Iowa in which western corn rootworm imposed severe injury to maize producing Bt toxin Cry3Bb1. Subsequent bioassays revealed Cry3Bb1 resistance in these populations. Here, we report that, during 2011, injury to Bt maize in the field expanded to include mCry3A maize in addition to Cry3Bb1 maize and that laboratory analysis of western corn rootworm from these fields found resistance to Cry3Bb1 and mCry3A and cross-resistance between these toxins. Resistance to Bt maize has persisted in Iowa, with both the number of Bt fields identified with severe root injury and the ability western corn rootworm populations to survive on Cry3Bb1 maize increasing between 2009 and 2011. Additionally, Bt maize targeting western corn rootworm does not produce a high dose of Bt toxin, and the magnitude of resistance associated with feeding injury was less than that seen in a high-dose Bt crop. These first cases of resistance by western corn rootworm highlight the vulnerability of Bt maize to further evolution of resistance from this pest and, more broadly, point to the potential of insects to develop resistance rapidly when Bt crops do not achieve a high dose of Bt toxin.

  18. Specificity and combinatorial effects of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins in the context of GMO environmental risk assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelika eHilbeck

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Stacked GM crops expressing up to six Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis are today replacing the formerly grown single- transgene GM crop varieties. Stacking of multiple Cry toxins not only increase the environmental load of toxins but also raise the question on how possible interactions of the toxins can be assessed for risk assessment, which is mandatory for GM crops. However, no operational guidelines for a testing strategy or testing procedures exist. From the developers point of view, little data testing for combinatorial effects of Cry toxins is necessary as the range of affected organisms is focused on pest species and no evidence is claimed to exists pointing to combinatorial effects on nontarget organisms. We have examined this rationale critically using information reported in the scientific literature. To do so we address the hypothesis of narrow specificity of Cry toxins subdivided into three underlying different conceptual conditions i 'efficacy' in target pests as indicator for 'narrow specificity', ii lack of reported adverse effects of Cry toxins on nontarget organisms, and iii proposed modes of action of Cry toxins (or the lack thereof as mechanisms underlying the reported activity/efficacy/specificity of Cry toxins. Complementary to this information we evaluate reports about outcomes of combinatorial effect testing of Cry toxins in the scientific literature and relate those findings to the practice of the environmental risk assessment of Bt-corps in general and of stacked Bt-events in particular.

  19. Isolation of transcripts from Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte responsive to the Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Cry3Bb1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crystal proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been widely used as a method of insect pest management for several decades. In recent years, a transgenic corn expressing the Cry3Bb1 toxin has been successfully used for protection against corn rootworm larvae (Genus...

  20. Expression of Bacillus thuringiensis cytolytic toxin (Cyt2Ca1) in citrus roots to control Diaprepes abbreviatus larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.) is an important pest of citrus in the USA. Currently, no effective management strategies of Diaprepes abbreviatus exist in citriculture. To protect citrus against Diaprepes abbreviatus a transgenic citrus rootstock expressing Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt2Ca1, an insect toxin...

  1. INSECTICIDAL TOXIN FROM BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS IS RELEASED FROM ROOTS OF TRANSGENIC BT CORN IN VITRO AND IN SITU. (R826107)

    Science.gov (United States)

    AbstractThe insecticidal toxin encoded by the cry1Ab gene from Bacillus thuringiensis was released in root exudates from transgenic Bt corn during 40 days of growth in soil amended to 0, 3, 6, 9, or 12% (v/v) with montmorillonite or kaolinite in a...

  2. Comparative genomics of Bacillus anthracis from the wool industry highlights polymorphisms of lineage A.Br.Vollum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Aguilar-Bultet, Lisandra; Frey, Joachim

    2016-12-01

    With the advent of affordable next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, major progress has been made in the understanding of the population structure and evolution of the B. anthracis species. Here we report the use of whole genome sequencing and computer-based comparative analyses to characterize six strains belonging to the A.Br.Vollum lineage. These strains were isolated in Switzerland, in 1981, during iterative cases of anthrax involving workers in a textile plant processing cashmere wool from the Indian subcontinent. We took advantage of the hundreds of currently available B. anthracis genomes in public databases, to investigate the genetic diversity existing within the A.Br.Vollum lineage and to position the six Swiss isolates into the worldwide B. anthracis phylogeny. Thirty additional genomes related to the A.Br.Vollum group were identified by whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis, including two strains forming a new evolutionary branch at the basis of the A.Br.Vollum lineage. This new phylogenetic lineage (termed A.Br.H9401) splits off the branch leading to the A.Br.Vollum group soon after its divergence to the other lineages of the major A clade (i.e. 6 SNPs). The available dataset of A.Br.Vollum genomes were resolved into 2 distinct groups. Isolates from the Swiss wool processing facility clustered together with two strains from Pakistan and one strain of unknown origin isolated from yarn. They were clearly differentiated (69 SNPs) from the twenty-five other A.Br.Vollum strains located on the branch leading to the terminal reference strain A0488 of the lineage. Novel analytic assays specific to these new subgroups were developed for the purpose of rapid molecular epidemiology. Whole genome SNP surveys greatly expand upon our knowledge on the sub-structure of the A.Br.Vollum lineage. Possible origin and route of spread of this lineage worldwide are discussed. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights

  3. 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); Kaiser, Brooke L. D. [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)

    2016-06-16

    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 are discussed in a separate report.

  4. 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.

  5. Structural and Functional Properties of Exopolysaccharide Excreted by a NovelBacillus anthracis(Strain PFAB2) of Hot Spring Origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Aparna; Rudra, Shalini Gaur; Mazumder, Koushik; Nigam, Vinod; Bandopadhyay, Rajib

    2018-03-01

    Exopolysaccharide produced by a unique avirulent Bacillus anthracis strain PFAB2 of hot spring origin has been characterized and its functional properties are investigated which is a first report. Maximum yield of EPS is 7.66 g/l with 2% glucose and 1% peptone as optimum carbon and nitrogen source respectively. The EPS is found to be a homopolymer consisting of only glucose as principle monosaccharide component. Through 1 H NMR study, different dextran-like proton peaks are observed. Molecular weight of the EPS resembles low molecular weight bacterial origin polysaccharides. Melting transition of the EPS has started after 276 °C which indicates good thermal stability. The EPS also shows potent antioxidant activity in terms of DPPH and ABTS mediated free radical scavenging property compared to standard ascorbic acid. Emulsifying property of the EPS is also observed and has shown good emulsification of vegetable oils. The polysaccharide forms a thermo resistant gel during the heating phase, with G' higher than G″ indicating excellent shear-thinning behaviour and viscoelastic nature of the EPS.

  6. Structure of the Bacillus anthracis dTDP- L -rhamnose-biosynthetic enzyme glucose-1-phosphate thymidylyltransferase (RfbA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baumgartner, Jackson; Lee, Jesi; Halavaty, Andrei S.; Minasov, George; Anderson, Wayne F.; Kuhn, Misty L. (NWU); (SFSU)

    2017-10-30

    L-Rhamnose is a ubiquitous bacterial cell-wall component. The biosynthetic pathway for its precursor dTDP-L-rhamnose is not present in humans, which makes the enzymes of the pathway potential drug targets. In this study, the three-dimensional structure of the first protein of this pathway, glucose-1-phosphate thymidylyltransferase (RfbA), fromBacillus anthraciswas determined. In other organisms this enzyme is referred to as RmlA. RfbA was co-crystallized with the products of the enzymatic reaction, dTDP-α-D-glucose and pyrophosphate, and its structure was determined at 2.3 Å resolution. This is the first reported thymidylyltransferase structure from a Gram-positive bacterium. RfbA shares overall structural characteristics with known RmlA homologs. However, RfbA exhibits a shorter sequence at its C-terminus, which results in the absence of three α-helices involved in allosteric site formation. Consequently, RfbA was observed to exhibit a quaternary structure that is unique among currently reported glucose-1-phosphate thymidylyltransferase bacterial homologs. These structural analyses suggest that RfbA may not be allosterically regulated in some organisms and is structurally distinct from other RmlA homologs.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are abundant in genomes of all species and represent informative DNA markers extensively used to analyze phylogenetic relationships between strains. Medium to high throughput, open methodologies able to test many SNPs in a minimum time are therefore in great...... been modified and adapted for simultaneous interrogation of 13 biallelic canonical SNPs in a 13-plex assay. Changes made to the originally published method include the design of allele-specific dual-priming-oligonucleotides (DPOs) as competing detection probes (MOLigo probes) and use of asymmetric PCR...... laboratories. While cost-effective compared to other singleplex methods, the present MOL-PCR method offers a high degree of flexibility and scalability. It can easily accommodate newly identified SNPs to increase resolving power to the canSNP typing of B. anthracis....

  8. Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Toxins also include some medicines that are helpful in small doses, but poisonous in large amounts. Most toxins that cause problems ...

  9. Role of UPR Pathway in Defense Response of Aedes aegypti against Cry11Aa Toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Bravo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The insecticidal Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins produced by the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis that disrupt insect-midgut cells. Cells can trigger different survival mechanisms to counteract the effects of sub-lytic doses of pore forming toxins. Particularly, two signaling pathways have been demonstrated to play a role in the defense mechanism to other toxins in Caenorhabditis elegans and in mammalian cells. These are the unfolded protein response (UPR and the sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBP pathways, which are proposed to facilitate membrane repair responses. In this work we analyzed the role of these pathways in Aedes aegypti response to intoxication with Cry11Aa toxin. We show that UPR is activated upon toxin ingestion. The role of these two pathways was analyzed in vivo by using RNA interference. We silenced the expression of specific proteins in A. aegypti larvae. Gene silencing of Ire-1 and Xbp-1 proteins from UPR system, resulted in hypersensitive to Cry11Aa toxin action. In contrast, silencing of Cas-1, Scap and S2P from SREBP pathway had no affect on Cry11Aa toxicity in A. aegypti larvae. However, the role of SREBP pathway requires further studies to be conclusive. Our data indicate that the UPR pathway is involved in the insect defense against Cry toxins.

  10. Induction of Manduca sexta Larvae Caspases Expression in Midgut Cells by Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena Porta

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis produces crystal toxins known as Cry that are highly selective against important agricultural and human health-related insect pests. Cry proteins are pore-forming toxins that interact with specific receptors in the midgut cell membrane of susceptible larvae making pores that cause osmotic shock, leading finally to insect death. In the case of pore-forming toxins that are specific to mammalian cells, death responses at low doses may induce apoptosis or pyroptosis, depending on the cell type. The death mechanism induced by Cry toxins in insect midgut cells is poorly understood. Here, we analyze the caspases expression by RT-PCR analysis, showing that the initial response of Manduca sexta midgut cells after low dose of Cry1Ab toxin administration involves a fast and transient accumulation of caspase-1 mRNA, suggesting that pyroptosis was activated by Cry1Ab toxin as an initial response but was repressed later. In contrast, caspase-3 mRNA requires a longer period of time of toxin exposure to be activated but presents a sustained activation, suggesting that apoptosis may be a cell death mechanism induced also at low dose of toxin.

  11. Comparative analysis of antimicrobial activities of valinomycin and cereulide, the Bacillus cereus emetic toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tempelaars, Marcel H; Rodrigues, Susana; Abee, Tjakko

    2011-04-01

    Cereulide and valinomycin are highly similar cyclic dodecadepsipeptides with potassium ionophoric properties. Cereulide, produced by members of the Bacillus cereus group, is known mostly as emetic toxin, and no ecological function has been assigned. A comparative analysis of the antimicrobial activity of valinomycin produced by Streptomyces spp. and cereulide was performed at a pH range of pH 5.5 to pH 9.5, under anaerobic and aerobic conditions. Both compounds display pH-dependent activity against selected Gram-positive bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria innocua, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987. Notably, B. cereus strain ATCC 14579 and the emetic B. cereus strains F4810/72 and A529 showed reduced sensitivity to both compounds, with the latter two strains displaying full resistance to cereulide. Both compounds showed no activity against the selected Gram-negative bacteria. Antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria was highest at alkaline pH values, where the membrane potential (ΔΨ) is the main component of the proton motive force (PMF). Furthermore, inhibition of growth was observed in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Determination of the ΔΨ, using the membrane potential probe DiOC(2)(3) (in the presence of 50 mM KCl) in combination with flow cytometry, demonstrated for the first time the ability of cereulide to dissipate the ΔΨ in sensitive Gram-positive bacteria. The putative role of cereulide production in the ecology of emetic B. cereus is discussed.

  12. Toxin production in a rare and genetically remote cluster of strains of the Bacillus cereus group

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Granum Per

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Three enterotoxins are implicated in diarrhoeal food poisoning due to Bacillus cereus: Haemolysin BL (Hbl, Non-haemolytic enterotoxin (Nhe, and Cytotoxin K (CytK. Toxin gene profiling and assays for detection of toxin-producing stains have been used in attempts to evaluate the enterotoxic potential of B. cereus group strains. B. cereus strain NVH 391/98, isolated from a case of fatal enteritis, was genetically remote from other B. cereus group strains. This strain lacked the genes encoding Hbl and Nhe, but contains CytK-1. The high virulence of this strain is thought to be due to the greater cytotoxic activity of CytK-1 compared to CytK-2, and to a high level of cytK expression. To date, only three strains containing cytK-1 have been identified; B. cereus strains NVH 391/98, NVH 883/00, and INRA AF2. Results A novel gene variant encoding Nhe was identified in these three strains, which had an average of 80% identity in protein sequence with previously identified Nhe toxins. While culture supernatants containing CytK and Nhe from NVH 391/98 and INRA AF2 were highly cytotoxic, NVH 883/00 expressed little or no CytK and Nhe and was non-cytotoxic. Comparative sequence and expression studies indicated that neither the PlcR/PapR quorum sensing system, nor theYvrGH and YvfTU two-component systems, were responsible for the observed difference in toxin production. Additionally, phylogenetic analysis of 13 genes showed that NVH 391/98, NVH 883/00, and INRA AF2 comprise a novel cluster of strains genetically distant from other B. cereus group strains. Conclusion Due to its divergent sequence, the novel nhe operon had previously not been detected in NVH 391/98 using PCR and several monoclonal antibodies. Thus, toxigenic profiling based on the original nhe sequence will fail to detect the toxin in this group of strains. The observation that strain NVH 883/00 carries cytK-1 but is non-cytotoxic indicates that the detection of this gene

  13. A theoretical model of the tridimensional structure of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. medellin Cry 11Bb toxin deduced by homology modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutierrez Pablo

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Cry11Bb is an insecticidal crystal protein produced by Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. medellin during its stationary phase; this ¶-endotoxin is active against dipteran insects and has great potential for mosquito borne disease control. Here, we report the first theoretical model of the tridimensional structure of a Cry11 toxin. The tridimensional structure of the Cry11Bb toxin was obtained by homology modelling on the structures of the Cry1Aa and Cry3Aa toxins. In this work we give a brief description of our model and hypothesize the residues of the Cry11Bb toxin that could be important in receptor recognition and pore formation. This model will serve as a starting point for the design of mutagenesis experiments aimed to the improvement of toxicity, and to provide a new tool for the elucidation of the mechanism of action of these mosquitocidal proteins.

  14. 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.

    2003-01-01

    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°C and 80% relative humidity), the zeolite coating produced approximately 3 log10 inactivation of vegetative cells within a 5- to 24-h period, but viability of spores of the three species was not significantly affected. PMID:12839825

  15. Mtx toxins synergize Bacillus sphaericus and Cry11Aa against susceptible and insecticide-resistant Culex quinquefasciatus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Margaret C; Yang, Yangkun; Walton, William E; Federici, Brian A; Berry, Colin

    2007-10-01

    Two mosquitocidal toxins (Mtx) of Bacillus sphaericus, which are produced during vegetative growth, were investigated for their potential to increase toxicity and reduce the expression of insecticide resistance through their interactions with other mosquitocidal proteins. Mtx-1 and Mtx-2 were fused with glutathione S-transferase and produced in Escherichia coli, after which lyophilized powders of these fusions were assayed against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. Both Mtx proteins showed a high level of activity against susceptible C. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, with 50% lethal concentrations (LC(50)) of Mtx-1 and Mtx-2 of 0.246 and 4.13 microg/ml, respectively. The LC(50)s were 0.406 to 0.430 microg/ml when Mtx-1 or Mtx-2 was mixed with B. sphaericus, and synergy improved activity and reduced resistance levels. When the proteins were combined with a recombinant Bacillus thuringiensis strain that produces Cry11Aa, the mixtures were highly active against Cry11A-resistant larvae and resistance was also reduced. The mixture of two Mtx toxins and B. sphaericus was 10 times more active against susceptible mosquitoes than B. sphaericus alone, demonstrating the influence of relatively low concentrations of these toxins. These results show that, similar to Cyt toxins from B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, Mtx toxins can increase the toxicity of other mosquitocidal proteins and may be useful for both increasing the activity of commercial bacterial larvicides and managing potential resistance to these substances among mosquito populations.

  16. Structure of the NheA component of the Nhe toxin from Bacillus cereus: implications for function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdah Ganash

    Full Text Available The structure of NheA, a component of the Bacillus cereus Nhe tripartite toxin, has been solved at 2.05 Å resolution using selenomethionine multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion (MAD. The structure shows it to have a fold that is similar to the Bacillus cereus Hbl-B and E. coli ClyA toxins, and it is therefore a member of the ClyA superfamily of α-helical pore forming toxins (α-PFTs, although its head domain is significantly enlarged compared with those of ClyA or Hbl-B. The hydrophobic β-hairpin structure that is a characteristic of these toxins is replaced by an amphipathic β-hairpin connected to the main structure via a β-latch that is reminiscent of a similar structure in the β-PFT Staphylococcus aureus α-hemolysin. Taken together these results suggest that, although it is a member of an archetypal α-PFT family of toxins, NheA may be capable of forming a β rather than an α pore.

  17. Cadherin AdCad1 in Alphitobius diaperinus larvae is a receptor of Cry3Bb toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Gang; Park, Youngjin; Adang, Michael J

    2014-02-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry proteins are used as components of biopesticides or expressed in transgenic crops to control diverse insect pests worldwide. These Cry toxins bind to receptors on the midgut brush border membrane and kill enterocytes culminating in larval mortality. Cadherin proteins have been identified as Cry toxin receptors in diverse lepidopteran, coleopteran, and dipteran species. In the present work we report a 185 kDa cadherin (AdCad1) from larvae of the lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus) larvae as the first identified receptor for Cry3Bb toxin. The AdCad1 protein contains typical structural components for Cry toxin receptor cadherins, including nine cadherin repeats (CR9), a membrane-proximal extracellular domain (MPED) and a cytosolic region. Peptides corresponding to the CR9 and MPED regions bound Cry3Bb toxin with high affinities (23 nM and 40 nM) and significantly synergized Cry3Bb toxicity against A. diperinus larvae. Silencing of AdCad1 expression through RNA interference resulted in highly reduced susceptibility to Cry3Bb in A. diperinus larvae. The CR9 peptide fed with toxin to RNAi-treated larvae restored Cry3Bb toxicity. These results are evidences that AdCad1 is a functional receptor of Cry3Bb toxin and that exogenously fed CR9 peptide can overcome the effect of reduced AdCad1expression on Cry3Bb toxicity to larvae. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Persistence of Bt Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin in various soils determined by physicochemical reactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helassa, N.; Noinville, S.; Déjardin, P.; Janot, J. M.; Quiquampoix, H.; Staunton, S.

    2009-04-01

    Insecticidal Cry proteins from the soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are produced by a class of genetically modified (GM) crops, and released into soils through root exudates and upon decomposition of residues. In contrast to the protoxin produced by the Bacillus, the protein produced in GM crops does not require activation in insect midguts and thereby potentially looses some of its species specificity. Although gene transfer and resistance emergence phenomena are well documented, the fate of these toxins in soil has not yet been clearly elucidated. Cry proteins, in common with other proteins, are adsorbed on soils and soil components. Adsorption on soil, and the reversibility of this adsorption is an important aspect of the environmental behaviour of these toxins. The orientation of the molecule and conformational changes on surfaces may modify the toxicity and confer some protection against microbial degradation. Adsorption will have important consequences for both the risk of exposition of non target species and the acquisition of resistance by target species. We have adopted different approaches to investigate the fate of Cry1Aa in soils and model minerals. In each series of experiments we endeavoured to maintain the protein in a monomeric form (pH above 6.5 and a high ionic strength imposed with 150 mM NaCl). The adsorption and the desorbability of the Cry1Aa Bt insecticidal protein were measured on two different homoionic clays: montmorillonite and kaolinite. Adsorption isotherms obtained followed a low affinity interaction for both clays and could be fitted using the Langmuir equation. Binding of the toxin decreased as the pH increased from 6.5 (close to the isoelectric point) to 9. Maximum adsorption was about 40 times greater on montmorillonite (1.71 g g-1) than on kaolinite (0.04 g g-1) in line with the contrasting respective specific surface areas of the minerals. Finally, some of the adsorbed toxin was desorbed by water and more, about 36

  19. Decontamination Efficacy of Three Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Sporicidal Disinfectants on Medium-Sized Panels Contaminated with Surrogate Spores of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabol, Jonathan P.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24940605

  20. 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.

  1. Bacillus anthracis GrlAV96A topoisomerase IV, a quinolone resistance mutation that does not affect the water-metal ion bridge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldred, Katie J; Breland, Erin J; McPherson, Sylvia A; Turnbough, Charles L; Kerns, Robert J; Osheroff, Neil

    2014-12-01

    The rise in quinolone resistance is threatening the clinical use of this important class of broad-spectrum antibacterials. Quinolones kill bacteria by increasing the level of DNA strand breaks generated by the type II topoisomerases gyrase and topoisomerase IV. Most commonly, resistance is caused by mutations in the serine and acidic amino acid residues that anchor a water-metal ion bridge that facilitates quinolone-enzyme interactions. Although other mutations in gyrase and topoisomerase IV have been reported in quinolone-resistant strains, little is known regarding their contributions to cellular quinolone resistance. To address this issue, we characterized the effects of the V96A mutation in the A subunit of Bacillus anthracis topoisomerase IV on quinolone activity. The results indicate that this mutation causes an ∼ 3-fold decrease in quinolone potency and reduces the stability of covalent topoisomerase IV-cleaved DNA complexes. However, based on metal ion usage, the V96A mutation does not disrupt the function of the water-metal ion bridge. A similar level of resistance to quinazolinediones (which do not use the bridge) was seen. V96A is the first topoisomerase IV mutation distal to the water-metal ion bridge demonstrated to decrease quinolone activity. It also represents the first A subunit mutation reported to cause resistance to quinazolinediones. This cross-resistance suggests that the V96A change has a global effect on the structure of the drug-binding pocket of topoisomerase IV. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. T Cell Targeting by Anthrax Toxins: Two Faces of the Same Coin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Rossi Paccani

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, similar to other bacterial pathogens, has evolved effective immune evasion strategies to prolong its survival in the host, thus ensuring the unchecked spread of the infection. This function is subserved by lethal (LT and edema (ET toxins, two exotoxins produced by vegetative anthrax bacilli following germination of the spores. The structure of these toxins and the mechanism of cell intoxication are topics covered by other reviews in this issue. Here we shall discuss how B. anthracis uses LT and ET to suppress the immune defenses of the host, focusing on T lymphocytes, the key players in adaptive immunity. We shall also summarize recent findings showing that, depending on its concentration, ET has the ability not only to suppress T cell activation but also to promote the polarization of CD4+ T cells to the Th2 and Th17 subsets, highlighting the potential use of this toxin as an immunomodulator.

  4. Mannose Phosphate Isomerase Isoenzymes in Plutella xylostella Support Common Genetic Bases of Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins in Lepidopteran Species

    OpenAIRE

    Herrero, Salvador; Ferré, Juan; Escriche, Baltasar

    2001-01-01

    A strong correlation between two mannose phosphate isomerase (MPI) isoenzymes and resistance to Cry1A toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis has been found in a Plutella xylostella population. MPI linkage to Cry1A resistance had previously been reported for a Heliothis virescens population. The fact that the two populations share similar biochemical, genetic, and cross-resistance profiles of resistance suggests the occurrence of homologous resistance loci in both species.

  5. Genetic evidence for the involvement of the S-layer protein gene sap and the sporulation genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in Phage AP50c infection of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    In order to better characterize the Bacillus anthracis typing phage AP50c, we designed a genetic screen to identify its bacterial receptor. Insertions of the transposon mariner or targeted deletions of the structural gene for the S-layer protein Sap and the sporulation genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in B. anthracis Sterne resulted in phage resistance with concomitant defects in phage adsorption and infectivity. Electron microscopy of bacteria incubated with AP50c revealed phage particles associated with the surface of bacilli of the Sterne strain but not with the surfaces of Δsap, Δspo0A, Δspo0B, or Δspo0F mutants. The amount of Sap in the S layer of each of the spo0 mutant strains was substantially reduced compared to that of the parent strain, and incubation of AP50c with purified recombinant Sap led to a substantial reduction in phage activity. Phylogenetic analysis based on whole-genome sequences of B. cereus sensu lato strains revealed several closely related B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains that carry sap genes with very high similarities to the sap gene of B. anthracis. Complementation of the Δsap mutant in trans with the wild-type B. anthracis sap or the sap gene from either of two different B. cereus strains that are sensitive to AP50c infection restored phage sensitivity, and electron microscopy confirmed attachment of phage particles to the surface of each of the complemented strains. Based on these data, we postulate that Sap is involved in AP50c infectivity, most likely acting as the phage receptor, and that the spo0 genes may regulate synthesis of Sap and/or formation of the S layer.

  6. Dominant negative phenotype of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab, Cry11Aa and Cry4Ba mutants suggest hetero-oligomer formation among different Cry toxins.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carmona, D.; Rodriguez-Almazan, C.; Munoz-Garay, C.; Portugal, L.; Perez, C.; Maagd, de R.A.; Bakker, P.; Soberon, M.; Bravo, A.

    2011-01-01

    Background - Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins are used worldwide in the control of different insect pests important in agriculture or in human health. The Cry proteins are pore-forming toxins that affect the midgut cell of target insects. It was shown that non-toxic Cry1Ab helix a-4 mutants had a

  7. Comparative analysis of Bacillus thuringiensis toxin binding to gypsy moth, browntail moth, and douglas-fir tussock moth midgut tissue sections using fluorescence microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algimantas P. Valaitis; John D. Podgwaite

    2011-01-01

    Many strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produce insecticidal proteins, also referred to as Cry toxins, in crystal inclusions during sporulation. When ingested by insects, the Cry toxins bind to receptors on the brush border midgut epithelial cells and create pores in the epithelial gut membranes resulting in the death of...

  8. Isolation and partial characterization of gypsy moth BTR-270, an anionic brush border membrane glycoconjugate that binds Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxins with high affinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algimantas P. Valaitis; Jeremy L. Jenkins; Mi Kyong Lee; Donald H. Dean; Karen J. Garner

    2001-01-01

    BTR-270, a gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) brush border membrane molecule that binds Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1A toxins with high affinity, was purified by preparative gel electrophoresis. Rabbit antibodies specific for the Bt toxin-binding molecule were raised. Attempts to label BTR-270 by protein-directed techniques were...

  9. Edema toxin impairs anthracidal phospholipase A2 expression by alveolar macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoit Raymond

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is a spore-forming gram-positive bacterium. Infection with this pathogen results in multisystem dysfunction and death. The pathogenicity of B. anthracis is due to the production of virulence factors, including edema toxin (ET. Recently, we established the protective role of type-IIA secreted phospholipase A2 (sPLA2-IIA against B. anthracis. A component of innate immunity produced by alveolar macrophages (AMs, sPLA2-IIA is found in human and animal bronchoalveolar lavages at sufficient levels to kill B. anthracis. However, pulmonary anthrax is almost always fatal, suggesting the potential impairment of sPLA2-IIA synthesis and/or action by B. anthracis factors. We investigated the effect of purified ET and ET-deficient B. anthracis strains on sPLA2-IIA expression in primary guinea pig AMs. We report that ET inhibits sPLA2-IIA expression in AMs at the transcriptional level via a cAMP/protein kinase A-dependent process. Moreover, we show that live B. anthracis strains expressing functional ET inhibit sPLA2-IIA expression, whereas ET-deficient strains induced this expression. This stimulatory effect, mediated partly by the cell wall peptidoglycan, can be counterbalanced by ET. We conclude that B. anthracis down-regulates sPLA2-IIA expression in AMs through a process involving ET. Our study, therefore, describes a new molecular mechanism implemented by B. anthracis to escape innate host defense. These pioneering data will provide new molecular targets for future intervention against this deadly pathogen.

  10. A P-Glycoprotein Is Linked to Resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa Toxin in a Leaf Beetle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yannick Pauchet

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Chrysomela tremula is a polyvoltine oligophagous leaf beetle responsible for massive attacks on poplar trees. This beetle is an important model for understanding mechanisms of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt insecticidal toxins, because a resistant C. tremula strain has been found that can survive and reproduce on transgenic poplar trees expressing high levels of the Cry3Aa Bt toxin. Resistance to Cry3Aa in this strain is recessive and is controlled by a single autosomal locus. We used a larval midgut transcriptome for C. tremula to search for candidate resistance genes. We discovered a mutation in an ABC protein, member of the B subfamily homologous to P-glycoprotein, which is genetically linked to Cry3Aa resistance in C. tremula. Cultured insect cells heterologously expressing this ABC protein swell and lyse when incubated with Cry3Aa toxin. In light of previous findings in Lepidoptera implicating A subfamily ABC proteins as receptors for Cry2A toxins and C subfamily proteins as receptors for Cry1A and Cry1C toxins, this result suggests that ABC proteins may be targets of insecticidal three-domain Bt toxins in Coleoptera as well.

  11. Proteome response of Tribolium castaneum larvae to Bacillus thuringiensis toxin producing strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Estefanía; Rausell, Carolina; Real, M Dolores

    2013-01-01

    Susceptibility of Tribolium castaneum (Tc) larvae was determined against spore-crystal mixtures of five coleopteran specific and one lepidopteran specific Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxin producing strains and those containing the structurally unrelated Cry3Ba and Cry23Aa/Cry37Aa proteins were found toxic (LC(50) values 13.53 and 6.30 µg spore-crystal mixture/µL flour disc, respectively). Using iTRAQ combined with LC-MS/MS allowed the discovery of seven novel differentially expressed proteins in early response of Tc larvae to the two active spore-crystal mixtures. Proteins showing a statistically significant change in treated larvae compared to non-intoxicated larvae fell into two major categories; up-regulated proteins were involved in host defense (odorant binding protein C12, apolipophorin-III and chemosensory protein 18) and down-regulated proteins were linked to metabolic pathways affecting larval metabolism and development (pyruvate dehydrogenase Eα subunit, cuticular protein, ribosomal protein L13a and apolipoprotein LI-II). Among increased proteins, Odorant binding protein C12 showed the highest change, 4-fold increase in both toxin treatments. The protein displayed amino acid sequence and structural homology to Tenebrio molitor 12 kDa hemolymph protein b precursor, a non-olfactory odorant binding protein. Analysis of mRNA expression and mortality assays in Odorant binding protein C12 silenced larvae were consistent with a general immune defense function of non-olfactory odorant binding proteins. Regarding down-regulated proteins, at the transcriptional level, pyruvate dehydrogenase and cuticular genes were decreased in Tc larvae exposed to the Cry3Ba producing strain compared to the Cry23Aa/Cry37Aa producing strain, which may contribute to the developmental arrest that we observed with larvae fed the Cry3Ba producing strain. Results demonstrated a distinct host transcriptional regulation depending upon the Cry toxin treatment. Knowledge on how insects

  12. Proteome response of Tribolium castaneum larvae to Bacillus thuringiensis toxin producing strains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estefanía Contreras

    Full Text Available Susceptibility of Tribolium castaneum (Tc larvae was determined against spore-crystal mixtures of five coleopteran specific and one lepidopteran specific Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxin producing strains and those containing the structurally unrelated Cry3Ba and Cry23Aa/Cry37Aa proteins were found toxic (LC(50 values 13.53 and 6.30 µg spore-crystal mixture/µL flour disc, respectively. Using iTRAQ combined with LC-MS/MS allowed the discovery of seven novel differentially expressed proteins in early response of Tc larvae to the two active spore-crystal mixtures. Proteins showing a statistically significant change in treated larvae compared to non-intoxicated larvae fell into two major categories; up-regulated proteins were involved in host defense (odorant binding protein C12, apolipophorin-III and chemosensory protein 18 and down-regulated proteins were linked to metabolic pathways affecting larval metabolism and development (pyruvate dehydrogenase Eα subunit, cuticular protein, ribosomal protein L13a and apolipoprotein LI-II. Among increased proteins, Odorant binding protein C12 showed the highest change, 4-fold increase in both toxin treatments. The protein displayed amino acid sequence and structural homology to Tenebrio molitor 12 kDa hemolymph protein b precursor, a non-olfactory odorant binding protein. Analysis of mRNA expression and mortality assays in Odorant binding protein C12 silenced larvae were consistent with a general immune defense function of non-olfactory odorant binding proteins. Regarding down-regulated proteins, at the transcriptional level, pyruvate dehydrogenase and cuticular genes were decreased in Tc larvae exposed to the Cry3Ba producing strain compared to the Cry23Aa/Cry37Aa producing strain, which may contribute to the developmental arrest that we observed with larvae fed the Cry3Ba producing strain. Results demonstrated a distinct host transcriptional regulation depending upon the Cry toxin treatment. Knowledge

  13. Purified Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin Complex Formed in Vitro and During Infection Exhibits Functional and Biological Activity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Panchal, Rekha G; Halverson, Kelly M; Ribot, Wilson; Lane, Douglas; Kenny, Tara

    2005-01-01

    .... Purified LF complexed with PA63 heptamer was able to cleave both a synthetic peptide substrate and endogenous mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase substrates and kill susceptible macrophage...

  14. Hot, humid air decontamination of a C-130 aircraft contaminated with spores of two acrystalliferous Bacillus thuringiensis strains, surrogates for Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buhr, T L; Young, A A; Bensman, M; Minter, Z A; Kennihan, N L; Johnson, C A; Bohmke, M D; Borgers-Klonkowski, E; Osborn, E B; Avila, S D; Theys, A M G; Jackson, P J

    2016-04-01

    To develop test methods and evaluate survival of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki cry(-) HD-1 and B. thuringiensis Al Hakam spores after exposure to hot, humid air inside of a C-130 aircraft. Bacillus thuringiensis spores were either pre-inoculated on 1 × 2 or 2 × 2 cm substrates or aerosolized inside the cargo hold of a C-130 and allowed to dry. Dirty, complex surfaces (10 × 10 cm) swabbed after spore dispersal showed a deposition of 8-10 log10 m(-2) through the entire cargo hold. After hot, humid air decontamination at 75-80°C, 70-90% relative humidity for 7 days, 87 of 98 test swabs covering 0·98 m(2) , showed complete spore inactivation. There was a total of 1·67 log10 live CFU detected in 11 of the test swabs. Spore inactivation in the 98 test swabs was measured at 7·06 log10 m(-2) . Laboratory test methods for hot, humid air decontamination were scaled for a large-scale aircraft field test. The C-130 field test demonstrated that hot, humid air can be successfully used to decontaminate an aircraft. Transition of a new technology from research and development to acquisition at a Technology Readiness Level 7 is unprecedented. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  15. Susceptibility of Grapholita molesta (Busck, 1916) to formulations of Bacillus thuringiensis, individual toxins and their mixtures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricietto, Ana Paula Scaramal; Gomis-Cebolla, Joaquín; Vilas-Bôas, Gislayne Trindade; Ferré, Juan

    2016-11-01

    The Oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is a major pest of fruit trees worldwide, such as peach and apple. Bacillus thuringiensis has been shown to be an efficient alternative to synthetic insecticides in the control of many agricultural pests. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of B. thuringiensis individual toxins and their mixtures for the control of G. molesta. Bioassays were performed with Cry1Aa, Cry1Ac, Cry1Ca, Vip3Aa, Vip3Af and Vip3Ca, as well as with the commercial products DiPel® and XenTari®. The most active proteins were Vip3Aa and Cry1Aa, with LC 50 values of 1.8 and 7.5ng/cm 2 , respectively. Vip3Ca was nontoxic to this insect species. Among the commercial products, DiPel® was slightly, but significantly, more toxic than XenTari®, with LC 50 values of 13 and 33ng commercial product/cm 2 , respectively. Since Vip3A and Cry1 proteins are expressed together in some insect-resistant crops, we evaluated possible synergistic or antagonistic interactions among them. The results showed moderate to high antagonism in the combinations of Vip3Aa with Cry1Aa and Cry1Ca. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Fate of insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis Cry protein in soil: differences between purified toxin and biopesticide formulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Truong Phuc; Truong, Le Van; Binh, Ngo Dinh; Frutos, Roger; Quiquampoix, Hervé; Staunton, Siobhán

    2016-12-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis produces insecticidal proteins known as Cry, and its efficiency and absence of side effects make it the most widely used biopesticide. There is little information on the role of soils in the fate of Cry proteins from commercial biopesticide formulations, unlike toxins from genetically modified crops, which have been intensively studied in recent years. The persistence of Cry in soil was followed under field and laboratory conditions. Sunlight accelerated loss of detectable Cry under laboratory conditions, but little effect of shade was observed under field conditions. The half-life of biopesticide proteins in soil under natural conditions was about 1 week. Strong temperature effects were observed, but they differed for biopesticide and purified protein, indicating different limiting steps. For the biopesticide, the observed decline in detectable protein was due to biological factors, possibly including the germination of B. thuringiensis spores, and was favoured by higher temperature. In contrast, for purified proteins, the decline in detectable protein was slower at low temperature, probably because the conformational changes of the soil-adsorbed protein, which cause fixation and hence reduced extraction efficiency, are temperature dependent. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  17. Secreted Compounds of the Probiotic Bacillus clausii Strain O/C Inhibit the Cytotoxic Effects Induced by Clostridium difficile and Bacillus cereus Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripert, Gabrielle; Racedo, Silvia M; Elie, Anne-Marie; Jacquot, Claudine; Bressollier, Philippe; Urdaci, Maria C

    2016-06-01

    Although the use of probiotics based on Bacillus strains to fight off intestinal pathogens and antibiotic-associated diarrhea is widespread, the mechanisms involved in producing their beneficial effects remain unclear. Here, we studied the ability of compounds secreted by the probiotic Bacillus clausii strain O/C to counteract the cytotoxic effects induced by toxins of two pathogens, Clostridium difficile and Bacillus cereus, by evaluating eukaryotic cell viability and expression of selected genes. Coincubation of C. difficile and B. cereus toxic culture supernatants with the B. clausii supernatant completely prevented the damage induced by toxins in Vero and Caco-2 cells. The hemolytic effect of B. cereus was also avoided by the probiotic supernatant. Moreover, in these cells, the expression of rhoB, encoding a Rho GTPase target for C. difficile toxins, was normalized when C. difficile supernatant was pretreated using the B. clausii supernatant. All of the beneficial effects observed with the probiotic were abolished by the serine protease inhibitor phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). Suspecting the involvement of a secreted protease in this protective effect, a protease was purified from the B. clausii supernatant and identified as a serine protease (M-protease; GenBank accession number Q99405). Experiments on Vero cells demonstrated the antitoxic activity of the purified protease against pathogen supernatants. This is the first report showing the capacity of a protease secreted by probiotic bacteria to inhibit the cytotoxic effects of toxinogenic C. difficile and B. cereus strains. This extracellular compound could be responsible, at least in part, for the protective effects observed for this human probiotic in antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  18. Equilibrium, kinetic and thermodynamic studies on the adsorption of the toxins of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki by clay minerals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fu Qingling; Deng Yali; Li Huishu; Liu Jie; Hu Hongqing; Chen Shouwen; Sa Tongmin

    2009-01-01

    The persistence of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins in soil is further enhanced through association with soil particles. Such persistence may improve the effectiveness of controlling target pests, but impose a hazard to non-target organisms in soil ecosystems. In this study, the equilibrium adsorption of the Bt toxin by four clay minerals (montmorillonite, kaolinite, goethite, and silicon dioxide) was investigated, and the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters were calculated. The results showed that Bt toxin could be adsorbed easily by minerals, and the adsorption was much easier at low temperature than at high temperature at the initial concentration varying from 0 to 1000 mg L -1 . The adsorption fitted well to both Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models, but the Freundlich equation was more suitable. The pseudo-second-order (PSO) was the best application model to describe the adsorption kinetic. The adsorption process appeared to be controlled by chemical process, and the intra-particle diffusion was not the only rate-controlling step. The negative standard free energy (Δ r G m θ ) values of the adsorption indicated that the adsorption of the Bt toxin by the minerals was spontaneous, and the changes of the standard enthalpy (Δ r H m θ ) showed that the adsorption of the Bt toxin by montmorillonite was endothermic while the adsorption by the other three minerals was exothermic.

  19. Equilibrium, kinetic and thermodynamic studies on the adsorption of the toxins of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki by clay minerals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu Qingling; Deng Yali; Li Huishu; Liu Jie [Key Laboratory of Subtropical Agricultural Resource and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070 (China); Hu Hongqing, E-mail: hqhu@mail.hzau.edu.cn [Key Laboratory of Subtropical Agricultural Resource and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070 (China); Chen Shouwen [Key Laboratory of Subtropical Agricultural Resource and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070 (China); Sa Tongmin [Department of Agricultural Chemistry, College of Agriculture, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, 361-763 (Korea, Republic of)

    2009-02-01

    The persistence of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins in soil is further enhanced through association with soil particles. Such persistence may improve the effectiveness of controlling target pests, but impose a hazard to non-target organisms in soil ecosystems. In this study, the equilibrium adsorption of the Bt toxin by four clay minerals (montmorillonite, kaolinite, goethite, and silicon dioxide) was investigated, and the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters were calculated. The results showed that Bt toxin could be adsorbed easily by minerals, and the adsorption was much easier at low temperature than at high temperature at the initial concentration varying from 0 to 1000 mg L{sup -1}. The adsorption fitted well to both Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models, but the Freundlich equation was more suitable. The pseudo-second-order (PSO) was the best application model to describe the adsorption kinetic. The adsorption process appeared to be controlled by chemical process, and the intra-particle diffusion was not the only rate-controlling step. The negative standard free energy ({Delta}{sub r}G{sub m}{sup {theta}}) values of the adsorption indicated that the adsorption of the Bt toxin by the minerals was spontaneous, and the changes of the standard enthalpy ({Delta}{sub r}H{sub m}{sup {theta}}) showed that the adsorption of the Bt toxin by montmorillonite was endothermic while the adsorption by the other three minerals was exothermic.

  20. Monitoring resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis in the field by performing bioassays with each Cry toxin separately

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume Tetreau

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti is increasingly used worldwide for mosquito control and is the only larvicide used in the French Rhône-Alpes region since decades. The artificial selection of mosquitoes with field-persistent Bti collected in breeding sites from this region led to a moderate level of resistance to Bti, but to relatively high levels of resistance to individual Bti Cry toxins. Based on this observation, we developed a bioassay procedure using each Bti Cry toxin separately to detect cryptic Bti-resistance evolving in field mosquito populations. Although no resistance to Bti was detected in none of the three mosquito species tested (Aedes rusticus, Aedes sticticus and Aedes vexans, an increased tolerance to Cry4Aa (3.5-fold and Cry11Aa toxins (8-fold was found in one Ae. sticticus population compared to other populations of the same species, suggesting that resistance to Bti may be arising in this population. This study confirms previous works showing a lack of Bti resistance in field mosquito populations treated for decades with this bioinsecticide. It also provides a first panorama of their susceptibility status to individual Bti Cry toxins. In combination with bioassays with Bti, bioassays with separate Cry toxins allow a more sensitive monitoring of Bti-resistance in the field.

  1. First report of detection of the putative receptor of Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Vip3Aa from black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gamal H. Osman

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Black cutworm (BCW Agrotis ipsilon, an economically important lepidopteran insect, has attracted a great attention. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt is spore forming soil bacteria and is an excellent environment-friendly approach for the control of phytophagous and disease-transmitting insects. In fact, bio-pesticide formulations and insect resistant transgenic plants based on the bacterium Bt delta-endotoxin have attracted worldwide attention as a safer alternative to harmful chemical pesticides. The major objective of the current study was to understand the mechanism of interaction of Bt toxin with its receptor molecule(s. The investigation involved the isolation, identification, and characterization of a putative receptor – vip3Aa. In addition, the kinetics of vip toxin binding to its receptor molecule was also studied. The present data suggest that Vip3Aa toxin bound specifically with high affinity to a 48-kDa protein present at the brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV prepared from the midgut epithelial cells of BCW larvae. Keywords: Receptor, vip3Aa, Bacillus thuringiensis, BBMV

  2. Transcriptional cellular responses in midgut tissue of Aedes aegypti larvae following intoxication with Cry11Aa toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canton, Pablo Emiliano; Cancino-Rodezno, Angeles; Gill, Sarjeet S; Soberón, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra

    2015-12-09

    Although much is known about the mechanism of action of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins, the target tissue cellular responses to toxin activity is less understood. Previous transcriptomic studies indicated that significant changes in gene expression occurred during intoxication. However, most of these studies were done in organisms without a sequenced and annotated reference genome. A reference genome and transcriptome is available for the mosquito Aedes aegypti, and its importance as a disease vector has positioned its biological control as a primary health concern. Through RNA sequencing we sought to determine the transcriptional changes observed during intoxication by Cry11Aa in A. aegypti and to analyze possible defense and recovery mechanisms engaged after toxin ingestion. In this work the changes in the transcriptome of 4(th) instar A. aegypti larvae exposed to Cry11Aa toxin for 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 h were analyzed. A total of 1060 differentially expressed genes after toxin ingestion were identified with two bioconductoR packages: DESeq2 and EdgeR. The most important transcriptional changes were observed after 9 or 12 h of toxin exposure. GO enrichment analysis of molecular function and biological process were performed as well as Interpro protein functional domains and pBLAST analyses. Up regulated processes include vesicular trafficking, small GTPase signaling, MAPK pathways, and lipid metabolism. In contrast, down regulated functions are related to transmembrane transport, detoxification mechanisms, cell proliferation and metabolism enzymes. Validation with RT-qPCR showed large agreement with Cry11Aa intoxication since these changes were not observed with untreated larvae or larvae treated with non-toxic Cry11Aa mutants, indicating that a fully functional pore forming Cry toxin is required for the observed transcriptional responses. This study presents the first transcriptome of Cry intoxication response in a fully sequenced insect, and reveals possible

  3. Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa Toxin Resistance in Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickett, Brian R; Gulzar, Asim; Ferré, Juan; Wright, Denis J

    2017-05-01

    Laboratory selection with Vip3Aa of a field-derived population of Heliothis virescens produced >2,040-fold resistance in 12 generations of selection. The Vip3Aa-selected (Vip-Sel)-resistant population showed little cross-resistance to Cry1Ab and no cross-resistance to Cry1Ac. Resistance was unstable after 15 generations without exposure to the toxin. F 1 reciprocal crosses between Vip3Aa-unselected (Vip-Unsel) and Vip-Sel insects indicated a strong paternal influence on the inheritance of resistance. Resistance ranged from almost completely recessive (mean degree of dominance [ h ] = 0.04 if the resistant parent was female) to incompletely dominant (mean h = 0.53 if the resistant parent was male). Results from bioassays on the offspring from backcrosses of the F 1 progeny with Vip-Sel insects indicated that resistance was due to more than one locus. The results described in this article provide useful information for the insecticide resistance management strategies designed to overcome the evolution of resistance to Vip3Aa in insect pests. IMPORTANCE Heliothis virescens is an important pest that has the ability to feed on many plant species. The extensive use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crops or spray has already led to the evolution of insect resistance in the field for some species of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. The development of resistance in insect pests is the main threat to Bt crops. The effective resistance management strategies are very important to prolong the life of Bt plants. Lab selection is the key step to test the assumption and predictions of management strategies prior to field evaluation. Resistant insects offer useful information to determine the inheritance of resistance and the frequency of resistance alleles and to study the mechanism of resistance to insecticides. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  4. Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt2Aa2 toxin disrupts cell membranes by forming large protein aggregates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tharad, Sudarat; Toca-Herrera, José L; Promdonkoy, Boonhiang; Krittanai, Chartchai

    2016-10-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cyt2Aa2 showed toxicity against Dipteran insect larvae and in vitro lysis activity on several cells. It has potential applications in the biological control of insect larvae. Although pore-forming and/or detergent-like mechanisms were proposed, the mechanism underlying cytolytic activity remains unclear. Analysis of the haemolytic activity of Cyt2Aa2 with osmotic stabilizers revealed partial toxin inhibition, suggesting a distinctive mechanism from the putative pore formation model. Membrane permeability was studied using fluorescent dye entrapped in large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) at various protein/lipid molar ratios. Binding of Cyt2Aa2 monomer to the lipid membrane did not disturb membrane integrity until the critical protein/lipid molar ratio was reached, when Cyt2Aa2 complexes and cytolytic activity were detected. The complexes are large aggregates that appeared as a ladder when separated by agarose gel electrophoresis. Interaction of Cyt2Aa2 with Aedes albopictus cells was investigated by confocal microscopy and total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRF). The results showed that Cyt2Aa2 binds on the cell membrane at an early stage without cell membrane disruption. Protein aggregation on the cell membrane was detected later which coincided with cell swelling. Cyt2Aa2 aggregations on supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) were visualized by AFM. The AFM topographic images revealed Cyt2Aa2 aggregates on the lipid bilayer at low protein concentration and subsequently disrupts the lipid bilayer by forming a lesion as the protein concentration increased. These results supported the mechanism whereby Cyt2Aa2 binds and aggregates on the lipid membrane leading to the formation of non-specific hole and disruption of the cell membrane. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. Quantitative Mass Spectrometry for Bacterial Protein Toxins — A Sensitive, Specific, High-Throughput Tool for Detection and Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne Kalb

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Matrix-assisted laser-desorption time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS is a valuable high-throughput tool for peptide analysis. Liquid chromatography electrospray ionization (LC-ESI tandem-MS provides sensitive and specific quantification of small molecules and peptides. The high analytic power of MS coupled with high-specificity substrates is ideally suited for detection and quantification of bacterial enzymatic activities. As specific examples of the MS applications in disease diagnosis and select agent detection, we describe recent advances in the analyses of two high profile protein toxin groups, the Bacillus anthracis toxins and the Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins. The two binary toxins produced by B. anthracis consist of protective antigen (PA which combines with lethal factor (LF and edema factor (EF, forming lethal toxin and edema toxin respectively. LF is a zinc-dependent endoprotease which hydrolyzes specific proteins involved in inflammation and immunity. EF is an adenylyl cyclase which converts ATP to cyclic-AMP. Toxin-specific enzyme activity for a strategically designed substrate, amplifies reaction products which are detected by MALDI-TOF-MS and LC-ESI-MS/MS. Pre-concentration/purification with toxin specific monoclonal antibodies provides additional specificity. These combined technologies have achieved high specificity, ultrasensitive detection and quantification of the anthrax toxins. We also describe potential applications to diseases of high public health impact, including Clostridium difficile glucosylating toxins and the Bordetella pertussis adenylyl cyclase.

  6. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the NheA component of the Nhe toxin from Bacillus cereus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phung, Danh; Ganash, Magdah; Sedelnikova, Svetlana E.; Lindbäck, Toril; Granum, Per Einar; Artymiuk, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    The NheA component of the B. cereus Nhe toxin was overexpressed in E. coli, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected and processed to 2.05 Å resolution. The nonhaemolytic enterotoxin (Nhe) of Bacillus cereus plays a key role in cases of B. cereus food poisoning. The toxin is comprised of three different proteins: NheA, NheB and NheC. Here, the expression in Escherichia coli, purification and crystallization of the NheA protein are reported. The protein was crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 3350 as a precipitant. The crystals of NheA diffracted to 2.05 Å resolution and belonged to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 308.7, b = 58.2, c = 172.9 Å, β = 110.6°. Calculation of V M values suggests that there are approximately eight protein molecules per asymmetric unit

  7. Binding sites of mosquitocidal toxins of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis on pupae and larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary, K Athisaya; Paily, K P; Hoti, S L; Balaraman, K

    2015-01-01

    Two of the potential bacterial isolates, viz., Pseudomonas fluorescens (VCRC B-426) and Bacillus subtilis (VCRC B-471) whose toxins kill the mosquito pupae/larvae have been identified at our center. As the mode of action of these bacteria are not known, an attempt was made to find out the binding sites of the toxic proteins through immunological methods. Antibodies were raised in BALB/c mice and egg yolk system of chicken layers against the mosquitocidal proteins. The antibodies showed specific binding on to the cephalic and thoracic cuticle of the pupae as well as the paddles of the larvae, indicating the binding of the mosquitocidal proteins.

  8. Comparative proteomic analysis of Aedes aegypti larval midgut after intoxication with Cry11Aa toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angeles Cancino-Rodezno

    Full Text Available Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria are environmentally safe alternatives to control insect pests. They are pore-forming toxins that specifically affect cell permeability and cellular integrity of insect-midgut cells. In this work we analyzed the defensive response of Aedes aegypti larva to Cry11Aa toxin intoxication by proteomic and functional genomic analyses. Two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE was utilized to analyze proteomic differences among A. aegypti larvae intoxicated with different doses of Cry11Aa toxin compared to a buffer treatment. Spots with significant differential expression (p<0.05 were then identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS, revealing 18 up-regulated and seven down-regulated proteins. The most abundant subcategories of differentially expressed proteins were proteins involved in protein turnover and folding, energy production, and cytoskeleton maintenance. We selected three candidate proteins based on their differential expression as representatives of the different functional categories to perform gene silencing by RNA interference and analyze their functional role. The heat shock protein HSP90 was selected from the proteins involved in protein turnover and chaperones; actin, was selected as representative of the cytoskeleton protein group, and ATP synthase subunit beta was selected from the group of proteins involved in energy production. When we affected the expression of ATP synthase subunit beta and actin by silencing with RNAi the larvae became hypersensitive to toxin action. In addition, we found that mosquito larvae displayed a resistant phenotype when the heat shock protein was silenced. These results provide insight into the molecular components influencing the defense to Cry toxin intoxication and facilitate further studies on the roles of identified genes.

  9. Efficient mosquitocidal toxin production by Bacillus sphaericus using cheese whey permeate under both submerged and solid state fermentations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Bendary, Magda A; Moharam, Maysa E; Foda, M S

    2008-05-01

    Whey permeate (WP) was used efficiently for production of mosquitocidal toxin by Bacillus sphaericus 2362 (B. sphaericus 2362) and the Egyptian isolate, B. sphaericus 14N1 (B. sphaericus 14N1) under both submerged and solid state fermentation conditions. Under submerged fermentation, high mosquitocidal activity was produced by B. sphaericus 2362 and B. sphaericus 14N1 at 50-100% and 25-70% WP, respectively. Initial pH of WP was a critical factor for toxin production by both tested organisms. The highest toxicity was obtained at initial pH 7. Egyptian isolate, B. sphaericus 14N1 was tested for growth and toxin production under solid state fermentation conditions (SSF) by using WP as moistening agent instead of distilled water. The optimum conditions for production of B. sphaericus 14N1 on wheat bran-WP medium were 10 g wheat bran/250 ml flask moistened with 10-70% WP at 50% moisture content, inoculum size ranged between 17.2x10(7) and 34.4x10(7) and 6 days incubation under static conditions at 30 degrees C. Preliminary pilot-scale production of B. sphaericus 14N1 under SSF conditions in trays proved that wheat bran-WP medium was efficient and economic for industrial production of mosquitocidal toxin by B. sphaericus.

  10. Isolation and characterization of gut bacterial proteases involved in inducing pathogenicity of Bacillus thuringiensis toxin in cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Visweshwar Regode

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt toxin proteins are deployed in transgenic plants for pest management. The present studies were aimed at characterization of gut bacterial proteases involved in activation of inactive Cry1Ac protoxin (pro-Cry1Ac to active toxin in Helicoverpa armigera. Bacterial strains were isolated from H. armigera midgut and screened for their proteolytic activation towards pro-Cry1Ac. Among twelve gut bacterial isolates seven isolates showed proteolytic activity, and proteases from three isolates (IVS1, IVS2 and IVS3 were found to be involved in the proteolytic conversion of pro-Cry1Ac into active toxin. The proteases from IVS1, IVS2 and IVS3 isolates were purified to 11.90-, 15.50- and 17.20-fold, respectively. The optimum pH and temperature for gut bacterial protease activity was 8.0 and 40 oC. Maximum inhibition of total proteolytic activity was exerted by PMSF followed by EDTA. Fluorescence zymography revealed that proteases from IVS1, IVS2, and IVS3 were chymotrypsin-like and showing protease band at ~15, 65 and 15 kDa, respectively. Active Cry1Ac formed from processing pro-Cry1Ac by gut bacterial proteases exhibited toxicity towards H. armigera. The gut bacterial isolates IVS1, IVS2 and IVS3 showed homology with Bacillus thuringiensis (CP003763.1, Vibrio fischeri (CP000020.2 and Escherichia coli (CP011342.1, respectively. Proteases produced by midgut bacteria are involved in proteolytic processing of Bt protoxin and play a major role in inducing pathogenicity of Bt toxins in H. armigera.

  11. Effectiveness of the high dose/refuge strategy for managing pest resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) plants expressing one or two toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gryspeirt, Aiko; Grégoire, Jean-Claude

    2012-10-01

    To delay resistance development to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) plants expressing their own insecticide, the application of the Insect Resistance Management strategy called "High Dose/Refuge Strategy" (HD/R) is recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). This strategy was developed for Bt plants expressing one toxin. Presently, however, new Bt plants that simultaneously express two toxins are on the market. We used a mathematical model to evaluate the efficiency of the HD/R strategy for both these Bt toxins. As the current two-toxin Bt plants do not express two new Cry toxins but reuse one toxin already in use with a one-toxin plant, we estimated the spread of resistance when the resistance alleles are not rare. This study assesses: (i) whether the two toxins have to be present in high concentration, and (ii) the impact of the relative size of the refuge zone on the evolution of resistance and population density. We concluded that for Bt plants expressing one toxin, a high concentration is an essential condition for resistance management. For the pyramided Bt plants, one toxin could be expressed at a low titer if the two toxins are used for the first time, and a small refuge zone is acceptable.

  12. Rapid detection of vip1-type genes from Bacillus cereus and characterization of a novel vip binary toxin gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Xiumei; Liu, Tao; Liang, Xiaoxing; Tang, Changqing; Zhu, Jun; Wang, Shiquan; Li, Shuangcheng; Deng, Qiming; Wang, Linxia; Zheng, Aiping; Li, Ping

    2011-12-01

    A PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method for identifying vegetative insecticidal protein (vip) 1-type genes from Bacillus cereus was developed by designing specific primers based on the conserved regions of the genes to amplify vip1-type gene fragments. PCR products were digested with endonuclease AciI, and four known vip1-type genes were identified. Vip1Ac and vip1Aa-type genes appeared in 17 of 26 B. cereus strains. A novel vip1-type gene, vip1Ac1, was identified from B. cereus strain HL12. The vip1Ac1 and vip2Ae3 genes were co-expressed in Escherichia coli strain BL21 by vector pCOLADuet-1. The binary toxin showed activity only against Aphis gossypii (Homoptera), but not for Coleptera (Tenebrio molitor, Holotrichia oblita), Lepidoptera (Spodoptera exigua, Helicoverpa armigera, and Chilo suppressalis), Diptera (Culex quinquefasciatus). The LC(50) of this binary toxin for A. gossypii is 87.5 (34.2-145.3) ng mL(-1) . This is probably only the second report that Vip1 and Vip2 binary toxin shows toxicity against homopteran pests. The PCR-RFLP method developed could be very useful for identifying novel Vip1-Vip2-type binary toxins, and the novel binary toxins, Vip1Ac1 and Vip2Ae3, identified in this study may have applications in biological control of insects, thus avoiding potential problems of resistance. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin Cry2Ab in Trichoplusia ni Is Conferred by a Novel Genetic Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Xiaozhao; Kain, Wendy; Cassidy, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    The resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin Cry2Ab in a greenhouse-originated Trichoplusia ni strain resistant to both Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab was characterized. Biological assays determined that the Cry2Ab resistance in the T. ni strain was a monogenic recessive trait independent of Cry1Ac resistance, and there existed no significant cross-resistance between Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab in T. ni. From the dual-toxin-resistant T. ni strain, a strain resistant to Cry2Ab only was isolated, and the Cry2Ab resistance trait was introgressed into a susceptible laboratory strain to facilitate comparative analysis of the Cry2Ab resistance with the susceptible T. ni strain. Results from biochemical analysis showed no significant difference between the Cry2Ab-resistant and -susceptible T. ni larvae in midgut proteases, including caseinolytic proteolytic activity and zymogram profile and serine protease activities, in midgut aminopeptidase and alkaline phosphatase activity, and in midgut esterases and hemolymph plasma melanization activity. For analysis of genetic linkage of Cry2Ab resistance with potential Cry toxin receptor genes, molecular markers for the midgut cadherin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and aminopeptidase N (APN) genes were identified between the original greenhouse-derived dual-toxin-resistant and the susceptible laboratory T. ni strains. Genetic linkage analysis showed that the Cry2Ab resistance in T. ni was not genetically associated with the midgut genes coding for the cadherin, ALP, and 6 APNs (APN1 to APN6) nor associated with the ABC transporter gene ABCC2. Therefore, the Cry2Ab resistance in T. ni is conferred by a novel but unknown genetic mechanism. PMID:26025894

  14. Regulation of toxin production by Bacillus cereus and its food safety implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceuppens, Siele; Rajkovic, Andreja; Heyndrickx, Marc; Tsilia, Varvara; Van De Wiele, Tom; Boon, Nico; Uyttendaele, Mieke

    2011-08-01

    Toxin expression is of utmost importance for the food-borne pathogen B. cereus, both in food poisoning and non-gastrointestinal host infections as well as in interbacterial competition. Therefore it is no surprise that the toxin gene expression is tightly regulated by various internal and environmental signals. An overview of the current knowledge regarding emetic and diarrheal toxin transcription and expression is presented in this review. The food safety aspects and management tools such as temperature control, food preservatives and modified atmosphere packaging are discussed specifically for B. cereus emetic and diarrheal toxin production.

  15. Expression of Bacillus thuringiensis serovar. israelensis toxins in Asticcacaulis excentricus to control dipteran larvae of vectors of diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Óscar Enrique Guevara

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis cry genes encode for a diverse group of crystal-forming proteins that exhibit insecticidal activity towards dipteran, lepidopteran and coleopteran larvae. The effectiveness of insecticides based on mosquito larvicidal B. thuringiensis strains can be enhanced by using aquatic prosthecated bacteria as alternative hosts, since they do not sink, cytoplasmic located toxins are protected f rom UV radiation and, most importantly, mosquito larvae feed on them. An Asticcacaulis excentricus reference strain was transformed with the cry1 1Aa gene from Bacillus thuringiensis serovar. israelensis. Western blot and electrophoresis were used to test recombinant protein expression; Western blot revealed a 72 kDa protein corresponding to B. thuringiensis serovar. israelensis Cry1 1 Aa. These aquatic bacte­rias toxicity achieved 50% mortality at 23 ng/mL concentration in f irst instar Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. Other bioassays indicated that recombinant A. excentricus is toxic against Aedes aegyptiand Anopheles albimanus first instar larvae. Buoyancy tests demonstrated the advantage of A. excentricus over B. thuringiensis. Key words: Asticcacaulis excentricus, Bacillus thuringiensis, prosthecated bacteria, dengue, malaria.

  16. The pore-forming protein Cry5B elicits the pathogenicity of Bacillus sp. against Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie F Kho

    Full Text Available The soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis is a pathogen of insects and nematodes and is very closely related to, if not the same species as, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis. The defining characteristic of B. thuringiensis that sets it apart from B. cereus and B. anthracis is the production of crystal (Cry proteins, which are pore-forming toxins or pore-forming proteins (PFPs. Although it is known that PFPs are important virulence factors since their elimination results in reduced virulence of many pathogenic bacteria, the functions by which PFPs promote virulence are incompletely understood. Here we study the effect of Cry proteins in B. thuringiensis pathogenesis of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that whereas B. thuringiensis on its own is not able to infect C. elegans, the addition of the PFP Cry protein, Cry5B, results in a robust lethal infection that consumes the nematode host in 1-2 days, leading to a "Bob" or bag-of-bacteria phenotype. Unlike other infections of C. elegans characterized to date, the infection by B. thuringiensis shows dose-dependency based on bacterial inoculum size and based on PFP concentration. Although the infection process takes 1-2 days, the PFP-instigated infection process is irreversibly established within 15 minutes of initial exposure. Remarkably, treatment of C. elegans with Cry5B PFP is able to instigate many other Bacillus species, including B. anthracis and even "non-pathogenic" Bacillus subtilis, to become lethal and infectious agents to C. elegans. Co-culturing of Cry5B-expressing B. thuringiensis with B. anthracis can result in lethal infection of C. elegans by B. anthracis. Our data demonstrate that one potential property of PFPs is to sensitize the host to bacterial infection and further that C. elegans and probably other roundworms can be common hosts for B. cereus-group bacteria, findings with important ecological and research implications.

  17. Small RNA-mediated Cry toxin silencing allows Bacillus thuringiensis to evade Caenorhabditis elegans avoidance behavioral defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Donghai; Luo, Xiaoxia; Zhang, Ni; Guo, Suxia; Zheng, Jinshui; Chen, Ling

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Pathogen avoidance behavior protects animal hosts against microbial pathogens. Pathogens have evolved specific strategies during coevolution in response to such host defenses. However, these strategies for combatting host avoidance behavioral defenses remain poorly understood. Here, we used Caenorhabditis elegans and its bacterial pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis as a model and determined that small RNA (sRNA)-mediated Cry toxin silencing allowed pathogens to evade host avoidance behavioral defenses. The B. thuringiensis strain YBT-1518, which encodes three nematicidal cry genes, is highly toxic to C. elegans. However, the expression of the most potent toxin, Cry5Ba, was silenced in this strain when YBT-1518 was outside the host. Cry5Ba silencing was due to the sRNA BtsR1, which bound to the RBS site of the cry5Ba transcript via direct base pairing and inhibited Cry5Ba expression. Upon ingestion by C. elegans, Cry5Ba was expressed in vivo by strain YBT-1518. Cry5Ba silencing may allow B. thuringiensis to avoid nematode behavioral defenses and then express toxins once ingested to kill the host and gain a survival advantage. Our work describes a novel model of sRNA-mediated regulation to aid pathogens in combating host avoidance behavioral defenses. PMID:29069426

  18. Reduced levels of membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase are common to lepidopteran strains resistant to Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis; Karumbaiah, Lohitash; Jakka, Siva Rama Krishna; Ning, Changming; Liu, Chenxi; Wu, Kongming; Jackson, Jerreme; Gould, Fred; Blanco, Carlos; Portilla, Maribel; Perera, Omaththage; Adang, Michael

    2011-03-01

    Development of insect resistance is one of the main concerns with the use of transgenic crops expressing Cry toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Identification of biomarkers would assist in the development of sensitive DNA-based methods to monitor evolution of resistance to Bt toxins in natural populations. We report on the proteomic and genomic detection of reduced levels of midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (mALP) as a common feature in strains of Cry-resistant Heliothis virescens, Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera frugiperda when compared to susceptible larvae. Reduced levels of H. virescens mALP protein (HvmALP) were detected by two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) analysis in Cry-resistant compared to susceptible larvae, further supported by alkaline phosphatase activity assays and Western blotting. Through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) we demonstrate that the reduction in HvmALP protein levels in resistant larvae are the result of reduced transcript amounts. Similar reductions in ALP activity and mALP transcript levels were also detected for a Cry1Ac-resistant strain of H. armigera and field-derived strains of S. frugiperda resistant to Cry1Fa. Considering the unique resistance and cross-resistance phenotypes of the insect strains used in this work, our data suggest that reduced mALP expression should be targeted for development of effective biomarkers for resistance to Cry toxins in lepidopteran pests.

  19. Baculoviral polyhedrin-Bacillus thuringiensis toxin fusion protein: a protein-based bio-insecticide expressed in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Jeong Hyun; Yeo, Joo Sang; Cha, Hyung Joon

    2005-10-20

    Previously, we found that baculoviral polyhedrin (Polh) used as a fusion partner for recombinant expression in Escherichia coli showed almost the same characteristics (rapid solubilization under alkaline conditions and specific degradation by specific alkaline proteases in insect midgut) as the native baculoviral Polh, and formed easily isolatable inclusion bodies. Here, Polh derived from the Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcNPV) was fused with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin protein (truncated Cry1Ac having toxin region as a model Bt toxin) for the novel generation of a new bio-insecticide. The Polh-Cry1Ac fusion protein (approximately 99 kDa) was highly expressed (3.6-fold induction as compared to E. coli-derived single Cry1Ac (approximately 68 kDa)) as an insoluble inclusion body fraction in E. coli. Trypsin and alpha-chymotrypsin, which have similar properties to the insect midgut alkaline proteases, rapidly degraded the Polh portion in vitro, leaving only the toxic Cry1Ac protein behind. In vivo, the Polh-Cry1Ac fusion protein showed high insecticidal activity against the pest, Plutella xylostella. Because this novel bio-insecticide employs E. coli as the host, mass production at a low cost should be possible. Also, since this is a protein-based insecticide, living modified organism (LMO) issues such as environmental and ecological safety can be avoided. Copyright 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Nanobody-based electrochemical immunoassay for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab toxin by detecting the enzymatic formation of polyaniline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu, Min; Li, Guanghui; Li, Min; Zhou, Zikai; Liu, Hong; Lei, Hongtao; Shen, Yanfei; Wan, Yakun

    2015-01-01

    We describe an electrochemical immunoassay for the Cry1Ab toxin that is produced by Bacillus thuringiensis. It is making use of a nanobody (a heavy-chain only antibody) that was selected from an immune phage displayed library. A biotinylated primary nanobody and a HRP-conjugated secondary nanobody were applied in a sandwich immunoassay where horseradish peroxidase (HRP) is used to produce polyaniline (PANI) from aniline. PANI can be easily detected by differential pulse voltammetry at a working voltage as low as 40 mV (vs. Ag/AgCl) which makes the assay fairly selective. This immunoassay for Cry1Ab has an analytical range from 0.1 to 1000 ng∙mL -1 and a 0.07 ng∙mL -1 lower limit of detection. The average recoveries of the toxin from spiked samples are in the range from 102 to 114 %, with a relative standard deviation of <7.5 %. The results demonstrated that the assay represented an attractive alternative to existing immunoassays in enabling affordable, sensitive, robust and specific determination of this toxin. (author)

  1. Reduced levels of membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase are common to lepidopteran strains resistant to Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes

    Full Text Available Development of insect resistance is one of the main concerns with the use of transgenic crops expressing Cry toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Identification of biomarkers would assist in the development of sensitive DNA-based methods to monitor evolution of resistance to Bt toxins in natural populations. We report on the proteomic and genomic detection of reduced levels of midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (mALP as a common feature in strains of Cry-resistant Heliothis virescens, Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera frugiperda when compared to susceptible larvae. Reduced levels of H. virescens mALP protein (HvmALP were detected by two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE analysis in Cry-resistant compared to susceptible larvae, further supported by alkaline phosphatase activity assays and Western blotting. Through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR we demonstrate that the reduction in HvmALP protein levels in resistant larvae are the result of reduced transcript amounts. Similar reductions in ALP activity and mALP transcript levels were also detected for a Cry1Ac-resistant strain of H. armigera and field-derived strains of S. frugiperda resistant to Cry1Fa. Considering the unique resistance and cross-resistance phenotypes of the insect strains used in this work, our data suggest that reduced mALP expression should be targeted for development of effective biomarkers for resistance to Cry toxins in lepidopteran pests.

  2. Risk assessment of Cry toxins of Bacillus thuringiensis on the predatory mites Euseius concordis and Neoseiulus californicus (Acari: Phytoseiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Castro, Thiago Rodrigues; Ausique, John Jairo Saldarriaga; Nunes, Daiane Heloisa; Ibanhes, Fernando Henrique; Delalibera Júnior, Italo

    2013-04-01

    Genetically modified plants carrying Cry toxins of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely used for pest control. Possible adverse effects as a result of the use of this control technique to non-target organisms is still a concern; however, few studies have addressed the effects of Bt crops on phytoseiid predatory mites. Phytoseiids are important for the natural control of phytophagous mites, but they can also feed on pollen, plant exudates, etc. Thus, phytoseiids may ingest Bt toxins through several pathways. In this paper, we evaluate the direct effect of Bt-toxins by feeding the predators on Bt cell suspensions, on solution of a Bt toxin and the tri-trophic effect by Bt expressed in transgenic plants. We present a method of conducting toxicological tests with Phytoseiidae which can be useful in studies of risk analysis of toxins to be expressed by genetically engineered plants. This method was used to evaluate the potential effect of ingestion of suspensions of Bt (1.25 × 10(8) spores/ml) and of purified protein Cry1Ia12 (0.006 mg/ml and 0.018 mg/ml) on Euseius concordis, a predatory mite that develops and reproduces best on pollen. The effects of genetically modified Bollgard(®) cotton, which carries the Cry1Ac protein, on Neoseiulus californicus, a selective predator that feeds more on spider mites than on pollen or insects, was determined by feeding them with Tetranychus urticae reared in Bollgard(®) cotton and on the non-transgenic isoline. When E. concordis was fed with suspension of Bt isolate derived from product Dipel(®) PM, no significant effects were detected. Similarly, Cry1Ia12 Bt toxin, at a concentration of 0.006 mg/ml, did not affect E. concordis. At a concentration of 0.018 mg/ml, however, the intake of this protein reduced the reproduction of E. concordis. There were no effects of Bollgard(®) cotton on the biological traits and on the predatory capacity of N. californicus. Results indicate that the Cry toxins of B. thuringiensis

  3. Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis spores in Korean rice: prevalence and toxin production as affected by production area and degree of milling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Booyoung; Bang, Jihyun; Kim, Hoikyung; Kim, Yoonsook; Kim, Byeong-Sam; Beuchat, Larry R; Ryu, Jee-Hoon

    2014-09-01

    We determined the prevalence of and toxin production by Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis in Korean rice as affected by production area and degree of milling. Rough rice was collected from 64 farms in 22 agricultural areas and polished to produce brown and white rice. In total, rice samples were broadly contaminated with B. cereus spores, with no effect of production area. The prevalence and counts of B. cereus spores declined as milling progressed. Frequencies of hemolysin BL (HBL) production by isolates were significantly (P ≤ 0.01) reduced as milling progressed. This pattern corresponded with the presence of genes encoding the diarrheal enterotoxins. The frequency of B. cereus isolates positive for hblC, hblD, or nheB genes decreased as milling progressed. Because most B. cereus isolates from rice samples contained six enterotoxin genes, we concluded that B. cereus in rice produced in Korea is predominantly of the diarrheagenic type. The prevalence of B. thuringiensis in rice was significantly lower than that of B. cereus and not correlated with production area. All B. thuringiensis isolates were of the diarrheagenic type. This study provides information useful for predicting safety risks associated with B. cereus and B. thuringiensis in rough and processed Korean rice. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Mutations in the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ca toxin demonstrate the role of domain II and III in the specificity towards Spodoptera exigua larvae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Herrero Sendra, S.; González-Cabrera, J.; Ferré, J.; Bakker, P.L.; Maagd, de R.A.

    2004-01-01

    Several mutants of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ca toxin affected with regard to specific activity towards Spodoptera exigua were studied. Alanine was used to replace single residues in loops 2 and 3 of domain II (mutant pPB19) and to replace residues 541-544 in domain III (mutant pPB20).

  5. Linkage of an ABCC transporter to a single QTL that controls Ostrinia nubilalis larval resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Fa toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field evolved resistance of insect populations to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystalline (Cry) toxins expressed by crop plants has resulted in reduced control of insect feeding damage to field crops, and threatens the sustainability of Bt transgenic technologies. A single quantitative trait locus ...

  6. Bacillus thuringiensis toxin resistance mechanisms among Lepidoptera: progress on genomic approaches to uncover causal mutations in the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transgenic plants that expressed Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystalline (Cry) protein toxins can suffer feeding damage from a small number of lepidopteran insect species under field conditions, which has heightened concerns about the durability of pest control tactics. Genomics research has provid...

  7. Elimination of Gut Microbes with Antibiotics Confers Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin Proteins in Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visweshwar, R; Sharma, H C; Akbar, S M D; Sreeramulu, K

    2015-12-01

    Helicoverpa armigera is one of the most important pests worldwide. Transgenic crops with toxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been deployed on a large scale to control this pest. The insecticidal activity of Bt is probably influenced by the insect midgut microbes, which vary across crop hosts and locations. Therefore, we examined the role of gut microbes in pathogenicity of Bt toxins in the H. armigera. Antibiotic cocktail was used for the complete elimination of the H. armigera gut microbes. Activated Cry1Ac, Bt formulation, and transgenic cotton resulted in larval weight loss and increase in mortality, but pretreatment of larvae with antibiotic cocktail significantly decreased larval mortality and increased the larval weight gain. Activated Cry1Ac and Bt formulation inhibited the activity of proteases in midgut of H. armigera larvae but showed no such effect in the larvae pretreated with antibiotic cocktail. Five protease bands in activated Cry1Ac and two in Bt formulation-treated larvae were inhibited but no such effect in the larvae pretreated with antibiotic cocktail. Cry1Ac protein was detected in Bt/Cry1Ac protoxin-fed larval gut extract in the absence of antibiotic cocktail, but fewer in larvae pretreated with antibiotic cocktail. The activity of antioxidant enzymes and aminopeptidases increased in larvae fed on Bt toxin, but there was no significant increase in antioxidant enzymes in larvae reared on toxin protein in combination with antibiotic cocktail. The results suggest that gut microbes exercise a significant influence on the toxicity of Cry1Ac and Bt formulation in H. armigera larvae. The implications of these results have been discussed in relation to development of insect resistance to Bt transgenic crops deployed for pest management.

  8. Identification and validation of a linear protective neutralizing epitope in the β-pore domain of alpha toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oscherwitz, Jon; Cease, Kemp B

    2015-01-01

    The plethora of virulence factors associated with Staphylococcus aureus make this bacterium an attractive candidate for a molecularly-designed epitope-focused vaccine. This approach, which necessitates the identification of neutralizing epitopes for incorporation into a vaccine construct, is being evaluated for pathogens where conventional approaches have failed to elicit protective humoral responses, like HIV-1 and malaria, but may also hold promise for pathogens like S. aureus, where the elicitation of humoral immunity against multiple virulence factors may be required for development of an effective vaccine. Among the virulence factors employed by S. aureus, animal model and epidemiological data suggest that alpha toxin, a multimeric β-pore forming toxin like protective antigen from Bacillus anthracis, is particularly critical, yet no candidate neutralizing epitopes have been delineated in alpha toxin to date. We have previously shown that a linear determinant in the 2β2-2β3 loop of the pore forming domain of B. anthracis protective antigen is a linear neutralizing epitope. Antibody against this site is highly potent for neutralizing anthrax lethal toxin in vitro and for protection of rabbits in vivo from virulent B. anthracis. We hypothesized that sequences in the β-pore of S. aureus alpha toxin that share structural and functional homology to β-pore sequences in protective antigen would contain a similarly critical neutralizing epitope. Using an in vivo mapping strategy employing peptide immunogens, an optimized in vitro toxin neutralization assay, and an in vivo dermonecrosis model, we have now confirmed the presence of this epitope in alpha toxin, termed the pore neutralizing determinant. Antibody specific for this determinant neutralizes alpha toxin in vitro, and is highly effective for mitigating dermonecrosis and bacterial growth in a mouse model of S. aureus USA300 skin infection. The delineation of this linear neutralizing determinant in alpha

  9. Identification and validation of a linear protective neutralizing epitope in the β-pore domain of alpha toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Oscherwitz

    Full Text Available The plethora of virulence factors associated with Staphylococcus aureus make this bacterium an attractive candidate for a molecularly-designed epitope-focused vaccine. This approach, which necessitates the identification of neutralizing epitopes for incorporation into a vaccine construct, is being evaluated for pathogens where conventional approaches have failed to elicit protective humoral responses, like HIV-1 and malaria, but may also hold promise for pathogens like S. aureus, where the elicitation of humoral immunity against multiple virulence factors may be required for development of an effective vaccine. Among the virulence factors employed by S. aureus, animal model and epidemiological data suggest that alpha toxin, a multimeric β-pore forming toxin like protective antigen from Bacillus anthracis, is particularly critical, yet no candidate neutralizing epitopes have been delineated in alpha toxin to date. We have previously shown that a linear determinant in the 2β2-2β3 loop of the pore forming domain of B. anthracis protective antigen is a linear neutralizing epitope. Antibody against this site is highly potent for neutralizing anthrax lethal toxin in vitro and for protection of rabbits in vivo from virulent B. anthracis. We hypothesized that sequences in the β-pore of S. aureus alpha toxin that share structural and functional homology to β-pore sequences in protective antigen would contain a similarly critical neutralizing epitope. Using an in vivo mapping strategy employing peptide immunogens, an optimized in vitro toxin neutralization assay, and an in vivo dermonecrosis model, we have now confirmed the presence of this epitope in alpha toxin, termed the pore neutralizing determinant. Antibody specific for this determinant neutralizes alpha toxin in vitro, and is highly effective for mitigating dermonecrosis and bacterial growth in a mouse model of S. aureus USA300 skin infection. The delineation of this linear neutralizing

  10. The Roles of AtxA Orthologs in Virulence of Anthrax-like Bacillus cereus G9241

    OpenAIRE

    Scarff, Jennifer M.; Raynor, Malik J.; Seldina, Yuliya I.; Ventura, Christy L.; Koehler, Theresa M.; O’Brien, Alison D.

    2016-01-01

    AtxA is a critical transcriptional regulator of plasmid-encoded virulence genes in Bacillus anthracis. Bacillus cereus G9241, which caused an anthrax-like infection, has two virulence plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBC210, that each harbor toxin genes and a capsule locus. G9241 also produces two orthologs of AtxA: AtxA1, encoded on pBCXO1, and AtxA2, encoded on pBC210. The amino acid sequence of AtxA1 is identical to that of AtxA from B. anthracis, while the sequences of AtxA1 and AtxA2 are 79% identic...

  11. Characterization of Potential Antimicrobial Targets in Bacillus spp. II. Branched-Chain Aminotransferase and Methionine Regeneration in B. cereus and B. anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-09-01

    canaline, un inhibiteur de transaminase, inhibait la croissance de B. cereus avec une C150 de 35 gM dans un milieu minimum et 760 pM dans un bouillon...Depuis quelques anndes, ii existe une croissance de la rdsistance naturelle du charbon A la pdnicilline et aux autres antibiotiques b~ta-lactamines...tabolisme du B. anthracis. L’inhibition de la croissance du B. cereus in vitro avec la transaminase inhibitrice de la canaline a montr6 que le compos6 a

  12. cDNA cloning and expression of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin binding 120 kDa aminopeptidase N from Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaoi, K; Nakanishi, K; Kadotani, T; Imamura, M; Koizumi, N; Iwahana, H; Sato, R

    1999-01-18

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin binds to a 120 kDa putative receptor protein in the Bombyx mori midgut. Recently, this protein was purified and identified as glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchored aminopeptidase N (APN). In this study, a full-length cDNA thought to encode this 120 kDa APN was isolated and sequenced. It has a 2958 bp ORF encoding 986 amino acids. In the deduced amino acid sequence, we identified GPI-anchor and zinc-metallopeptidase signals, which are the same as those of APNs of other insects that are reported to be putative Cry1 toxin receptors. The B. mori APN amino acid sequence also has a high similarity with those of the other APNs. Subsequently, the recombinant APN was expressed by Escherichia coli and its Cry1Aa toxin binding ability was analyzed. Ligand blotting showed that Cry1Aa toxin bound to the recombinant APN.

  13. Expression of Bacillus thuringiensis cytolytic toxin (Cyt2Ca1) in citrus roots to control Diaprepes abbreviatus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoud, Sulley Ben; Ramos, John E; Shatters, Robert G; Hall, David G; Lapointe, Stephen L; Niedz, Randall P; Rougé, Pierre; Cave, Ronald D; Borovsky, Dov

    2017-03-01

    Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.) is an important pest of citrus in the USA. Currently, no effective management strategies of D. abbreviatus exist in citriculture, and new methods of control are desperately sought. To protect citrus against D. abbreviatus a transgenic citrus rootstock expressing Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt2Ca1, an insect toxin protein, was developed using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of 'Carrizo' citrange [Citrus sinensis (L) Osbeck Poncirus trifoliate (L) Raf]. The transgenic citrus root stock expressed the cytolytic toxin Cyt2Ca1 constitutively under the control of a 35S promoter in the transgenic Carrizo citrange trifoliate hybrid including the roots that are the food source of larval D. abbreviatus. The engineered citrus was screened by Western blot and RT-qPCR analyses for cyt2Ca1 and positive citrus identified. Citrus trees expressing different levels of cyt2Ca1 transcripts were identified (Groups A-C). High expression of the toxin in the leaves (10 9 transcripts/ng RNA), however, retarded plant growth. The transgenic plants were grown in pots and the roots exposed to 3week old D. abbreviatus larvae using no-choice plant bioassays. Three cyt2Ca1 transgenic plants were identified that sustained less root damage belonging to Group B and C. One plant caused death to 43% of the larvae that fed on its roots expressed 8×10 6 cyt2Ca1 transcripts/ng RNA. These results show, for the first time, that Cyt2Ca1 expressed in moderate amounts by the roots of citrus does not retard citrus growth and can protect it from larval D. abbreviatus. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. A naturally occurring plant cysteine protease possesses remarkable toxicity against insect pests and synergizes Bacillus thuringiensis toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinidi Mohan

    Full Text Available When caterpillars feed on maize (Zea maize L. lines with native resistance to several Lepidopteran pests, a defensive cysteine protease, Mir1-CP, rapidly accumulates at the wound site. Mir1-CP has been shown to inhibit caterpillar growth in vivo by attacking and permeabilizing the insect's peritrophic matrix (PM, a structure that surrounds the food bolus, assists in digestion and protects the midgut from microbes and toxins. PM permeabilization weakens the caterpillar defenses by facilitating the movement of other insecticidal proteins in the diet to the midgut microvilli and thereby enhancing their toxicity. To directly determine the toxicity of Mir1-CP, the purified recombinant enzyme was directly tested against four economically significant Lepidopteran pests in bioassays. Mir1-CP LC(50 values were 1.8, 3.6, 0.6, and 8.0 ppm for corn earworm, tobacco budworm, fall armyworm and southwestern corn borer, respectively. These values were the same order of magnitude as those determined for the Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Bt-CryIIA. In addition to being directly toxic to the larvae, 60 ppb Mir1-CP synergized sublethal concentrations of Bt-CryIIA in all four species. Permeabilization of the PM by Mir1-CP probably provides ready access to Bt-binding sites on the midgut microvilli and increases its activity. Consequently, Mir1-CP could be used for controlling caterpillar pests in maize using non-transgenic approaches and potentially could be used in other crops either singly or in combination with Bt-toxins.

  15. Potato expressing beetle-specific Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa toxin reduces performance of a moth

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hussein, H. M.; Habuštová, Oxana; Turanli, Ferit; Sehnal, František

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 32, č. 1 (2006), s. 1-13 ISSN 0098-0331 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA522/02/1507 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Bacillus thuringiensis * Spodoptera littoralis * Leptinotarsa decemlineata Subject RIV: GF - Plant Pathology, Vermin, Weed, Plant Protection Impact factor: 1.896, year: 2006

  16. Screen of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins for transgenic rice to control Sesamia inferens and Chilo suppressalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transgenic rice to control stem borer damage is under development in China. To assess the potential of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenes in stem borer control, the toxicity of five Bt protoxins (Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, Cry1Ba and Cry1Ca) against two rice stem borers, Sesamia inferens (pink stem...

  17. Surface-Layer (S-Layer) Proteins Sap and EA1 Govern the Binding of the S-Layer-Associated Protein BslO at the Cell Septa of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Valerie J.; Kern, Justin W.; Theriot, Julie A.; Schneewind, Olaf

    2012-01-01

    The Gram-positive pathogen Bacillus anthracis contains 24 genes whose products harbor the structurally conserved surface-layer (S-layer) homology (SLH) domain. Proteins endowed with the SLH domain associate with the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) following secretion. Two such proteins, Sap and EA1, have the unique ability to self-assemble into a paracrystalline layer on the surface of bacilli and form S layers. Other SLH domain proteins can also be found within the S layer and have been designated Bacillus S-layer-associated protein (BSLs). While both S-layer proteins and BSLs bind the same SCWP, their deposition on the cell surface is not random. For example, BslO is targeted to septal peptidoglycan zones, where it catalyzes the separation of daughter cells. Here we show that an insertional lesion in the sap structural gene results in elongated chains of bacilli, as observed with a bslO mutant. The chain length of the sap mutant can be reduced by the addition of purified BslO in the culture medium. This complementation in trans can be explained by an increased deposition of BslO onto the surface of sap mutant bacilli that extends beyond chain septa. Using fluorescence microscopy, we observed that the Sap S layer does not overlap the EA1 S layer and slowly yields to the EA1 S layer in a growth-phase-dependent manner. Although present all over bacilli, Sap S-layer patches are not observed at septa. Thus, we propose that the dynamic Sap/EA1 S-layer coverage of the envelope restricts the deposition of BslO to the SCWP at septal rings. PMID:22609927

  18. Evaluation of the ability of N-terminal fragment of lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis for delivery of Mycobacterium T cell antigen ESAT-6 into cytosol of antigen presenting cells to elicit effective cytotoxic T lymphocyte response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chandra, Subhash; Kaur, Manpreet; Midha, Shuchi; Bhatnagar, Rakesh; Banerjee-Bhatnagar, Nirupama

    2006-01-01

    We report the ability of N-terminal fragment of lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis to deliver genetically fused ESAT-6 (early secretory antigen target), a potent T cell antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, into cytosol to elicit Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response. In vitro Th1 cytokines data and CTL assay proved that efficient delivery of LFn.ESAT-6 occurs in cytosol, in the presence of protective antigen (PA), and leads to generation of effective CTL response. Since CTL response is essential for protection against intracellular pathogens and, it is well known that only single T cell epitope or single antigenic protein is not sufficient to elicit protective CTL response due to variation or polymorphism in MHC-I alleles among the individuals, we suggest that as a fusion protein LFn can be used to deliver multiepitopes of T cells or multiproteins which can generate effective CTLs against intracellular pathogens like M. tuberculosis. It can be used to enhance the protective efficacy of BCG vaccine

  19. Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxin-binding glycoconjugates present on the brush border membrane and in the peritrophic membrane of the Douglas-fir tussock moth are peritrophins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algimantas P. Valaitis; John D. Podgwaite

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1A toxin-binding sites in the Douglas fir tussock moth (DFTM) larval gut were localized using immunofluorescence microscopy. Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac all bound strongly to the DFTM peritrophic membrane (PM); weaker binding of the Cry1A toxins was observed along the apical brush border of the midgut epithelium....

  20. A Study To Assess the Numbers and Prevalence of Bacillus cereus and Its Toxins in Pasteurized Fluid Milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh-Lakha, Saleema; Leon-Velarde, Carlos G; Chen, Shu; Lee, Susan; Shannon, Kelly; Fabri, Martha; Downing, Gavin; Keown, Bruce

    2017-07-01

    Bacillus cereus is a pathogenic adulterant of raw milk and can persist as spores and grow in pasteurized milk. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of B. cereus and its enterotoxins in pasteurized milk at its best-before date when stored at 4, 7, and 10°C. More than 5.5% of moderately temperature-abused products (stored at 7°C) were found to contain >10 5 CFU/mL B. cereus , and about 4% of them contained enterotoxins at a level that may result in foodborne illness; in addition, more than 31% of the products contained >10 5 CFU/mL B. cereus and associated enterotoxins when stored at 10°C. Results from a growth kinetic study demonstrated that enterotoxin production by B. cereus in pasteurized milk can occur in as short as 7 to 8 days of storage at 7°C. The higher B. cereus counts were associated with products containing higher butterfat content or with those produced using the conventional high-temperature, short-time pasteurization process. Traditional indicators, aerobic colony counts and psychrotrophic counts, were found to have no correlation with level of B. cereus in milk. The characterization of 17 representative B. cereus isolates from pasteurized milk revealed five toxigenic gene patterns, with all the strains carrying genes encoding for diarrheal toxins but not for an emetic toxin, and with one strain containing all four diarrheal enterotoxin genes (nheA, entFM, hblC, and cytK). The results of this study demonstrate the risks associated even with moderately temperature-abused pasteurized milk and the necessity of a controlled cold chain throughout the shelf life of fluid milk to enhance product safety and minimize foodborne illness.

  1. Dissimilar Regulation of Antimicrobial Proteins in the Midgut of Spodoptera exigua Larvae Challenged with Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins or Baculovirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crava, Cristina M; Jakubowska, Agata K; Escriche, Baltasar; Herrero, Salvador; Bel, Yolanda

    2015-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and lysozymes are the main effectors of the insect immune system, and they are involved in both local and systemic responses. Among local responses, midgut immune reaction plays an important role in fighting pathogens that reach the insect body through the oral route, as do many microorganisms used in pest control. Under this point of view, understanding how insects defend themselves locally during the first phases of infections caused by food-borne pathogens is important to further improve microbial control strategies. In the present study, we analyzed the transcriptional response of AMPs and lysozymes in the midgut of Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a polyphagous pest that is commonly controlled by products based on Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or baculovirus. First, we comprehensively characterized the transcripts encoding AMPs and lysozymes expressed in S. exigua larval midgut, identifying 35 transcripts that represent the S. exigua arsenal against microbial infection. Secondly, we analyzed their expression in the midgut after ingestion of sub-lethal doses of two different pore-forming B. thuringiensis toxins, Cry1Ca and Vip3Aa, and the S. exigua nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV). We observed that both Bt toxins triggered a similar, wide and in some cases high transcriptional activation of genes encoding AMPs and lysozymes, which was not reflected in the activation of the classical systemic immune-marker phenoloxidase in hemolymph. Baculovirus ingestion resulted in the opposed reaction: Almost all transcripts coding for AMPs and lysozymes were down-regulated or not induced 96 hours post infection. Our results shed light on midgut response to different virulence factors or pathogens used nowadays as microbial control agents and point out the importance of the midgut immune response contribution to the larval immunity.

  2. Involvement of the processing step in the susceptibility/tolerance of two lepidopteran larvae to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dammak, Mariam; Khedher, Saoussen Ben; Boukedi, Hanen; Chaib, Ikbel; Laarif, Asma; Tounsi, Slim

    2016-02-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1A toxins are known for their effectiveness against lepidopteran insects. In this study, the entomopathogenic activity of Cry1Aa was investigated against two lepidopteran larvae causing serious threat to various crops, Spodoptera littoralis and Tuta absoluta. Contrarily to S. littoralis, which showed low susceptibility to Cry1Aa (40% mortality with 1μg/cm(2)), T. absoluta was very sensitive to this delta-endotoxin (LC50 of 95.8ng/cm(2)). The different steps in the mode of action of this toxin on the two larvae were studied with the aim to understand the origin of their difference of susceptibility. Activation of the 130kDa Cry1Aa protein by T. absoluta larvae juice generated a 65kDa active toxin, whereas S. littoralis gut juice led to a complete degradation of the protoxin. The study of the interaction of the brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) with purified biotinylated Cry1Aa toxin revealed six and seven toxin binding proteins in T. absoluta and S. littoralis BBMV, respectively. Midgut histopathology of Cry1Aa fed larvae demonstrated approximately similar damage caused by the toxin in the two larvae midguts. These results suggest that the activation step was strongly involved in the difference of susceptibility of the two larvae to Cry1Aa. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Genomic sequencing identifies novel Bacillus thuringiensis Vip1/Vip2 binary and Cry8 toxins that have high toxicity to Scarabaeoidea larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Yang; Zhang, Yanrui; Shu, Changlong; Crickmore, Neil; Wang, Qinglei; Du, Lixin; Song, Fuping; Zhang, Jie

    2015-01-01

    The Bacillus thuringiensis strain HBF-18 (CGMCC 2070), which has previously been shown to encode the cry8Ga toxin gene, is active against both Holotrichia oblita and Holotrichia parallela. Recombinant Cry8Ga however is only weakly toxic to these insect pests suggesting the involvement of additional toxins in the native strain. We report that through the use of Illumina sequencing three additional, and novel, genes, namely vip1Ad1, vip2Ag1, and cry8-like, were identified in this strain. Although no protein corresponding to these genes could be identified by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis of the HBF-18 proteome, reverse transcription (RT)-PCR indicated that all three genes were transcribed in the native strain. The two vip genes were cloned and expressed and, as with other Vip1/2 toxins, appeared to function as a binary toxin and showed strong activity against H. oblita, H. parallela and Anomala corpulenta. This is the first report to demonstrate that the Vip1/Vip2 binary toxin is active against these Scarabaeoidea larvae. The cry8-like gene appeared to be a C-terminally truncated form of a typical cry8 gene and was not expressed in our usual recombinant Bt expression system. When however the missing C-terminal region was replaced with the corresponding sequence from cry8Ea, the resulting hybrid expressed well and the toxin was active against the three test insects.

  4. Fate of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis in the Field: Evidence for Spore Recycling and Differential Persistence of Toxins in Leaf Litter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alessi, Mattia; Veyrenc, Sylvie; Périgon, Sophie; David, Jean-Philippe; Reynaud, Stéphane; Després, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis is a bioinsecticide increasingly used worldwide for mosquito control. Despite its apparent low level of persistence in the field due to the rapid loss of its insecticidal activity, an increasing number of studies suggested that the recycling of B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis can occur under specific, unknown conditions. Decaying leaf litters sampled in mosquito breeding sites in the French Rhône-Alpes region several months after a treatment were shown to exhibit a high level of larval toxicity and contained large amounts of spores. In the present article, we show that the high concentration of toxins found in these litters is consistent with spore recycling in the field, which gave rise to the production of new crystal toxins. Furthermore, in these toxic leaf litter samples, Cry4Aa and Cry4Ba toxins became the major toxins instead of Cyt1Aa in the commercial mixture. In a microcosm experiment performed in the laboratory, we also demonstrated that the toxins, when added in their crystal form to nontoxic leaf litter, exhibited patterns of differential persistence consistent with the proportions of toxins observed in the field-collected toxic leaf litter samples (Cry4 > Cry11 > Cyt). These results give strong evidence that B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis recycled in specific breeding sites containing leaf litters, and one would be justified in asking whether mosquitoes can become resistant when exposed to field-persistent B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis for several generations. PMID:23001669

  5. Proteomic evidences for rex regulation of metabolism in toxin-producing Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Laouami

    Full Text Available The facultative anaerobe, Bacillus cereus, causes diarrheal diseases in humans. Its ability to deal with oxygen availability is recognized to be critical for pathogenesis. The B. cereus genome comprises a gene encoding a protein with high similarities to the redox regulator, Rex, which is a central regulator of anaerobic metabolism in Bacillus subtilis and other Gram-positive bacteria. Here, we showed that B. cereus rex is monocistronic and down-regulated in the absence of oxygen. The protein encoded by rex is an authentic Rex transcriptional factor since its DNA binding activity depends on the NADH/NAD+ ratio. Rex deletion compromised the ability of B. cereus to cope with external oxidative stress under anaerobiosis while increasing B. cereus resistance against such stress under aerobiosis. The deletion of rex affects anaerobic fermentative and aerobic respiratory metabolism of B. cereus by decreasing and increasing, respectively, the carbon flux through the NADH-recycling lactate pathway. We compared both the cellular proteome and exoproteome of the wild-type and Δrex cells using a high throughput shotgun label-free quantitation approach and identified proteins that are under control of Rex-mediated regulation. Proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000886. The data suggest that Rex regulates both the cross-talk between metabolic pathways that produce NADH and NADPH and toxinogenesis, especially in oxic conditions.

  6. Proteomic evidences for rex regulation of metabolism in toxin-producing Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laouami, Sabrina; Clair, Géremy; Armengaud, Jean; Duport, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    The facultative anaerobe, Bacillus cereus, causes diarrheal diseases in humans. Its ability to deal with oxygen availability is recognized to be critical for pathogenesis. The B. cereus genome comprises a gene encoding a protein with high similarities to the redox regulator, Rex, which is a central regulator of anaerobic metabolism in Bacillus subtilis and other Gram-positive bacteria. Here, we showed that B. cereus rex is monocistronic and down-regulated in the absence of oxygen. The protein encoded by rex is an authentic Rex transcriptional factor since its DNA binding activity depends on the NADH/NAD+ ratio. Rex deletion compromised the ability of B. cereus to cope with external oxidative stress under anaerobiosis while increasing B. cereus resistance against such stress under aerobiosis. The deletion of rex affects anaerobic fermentative and aerobic respiratory metabolism of B. cereus by decreasing and increasing, respectively, the carbon flux through the NADH-recycling lactate pathway. We compared both the cellular proteome and exoproteome of the wild-type and Δrex cells using a high throughput shotgun label-free quantitation approach and identified proteins that are under control of Rex-mediated regulation. Proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000886. The data suggest that Rex regulates both the cross-talk between metabolic pathways that produce NADH and NADPH and toxinogenesis, especially in oxic conditions.

  7. Channel-Forming Bacterial Toxins in Biosensing and Macromolecule Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip A. Gurnev

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available To intoxicate cells, pore-forming bacterial toxins are evolved to allow for the transmembrane traffic of different substrates, ranging from small inorganic ions to cell-specific polypeptides. Recent developments in single-channel electrical recordings, X-ray crystallography, protein engineering, and computational methods have generated a large body of knowledge about the basic principles of channel-mediated molecular transport. These discoveries provide a robust framework for expansion of the described principles and methods toward use of biological nanopores in the growing field of nanobiotechnology. This article, written for a special volume on “Intracellular Traffic and Transport of Bacterial Protein Toxins”, reviews the current state of applications of pore-forming bacterial toxins in small- and macromolecule-sensing, targeted cancer therapy, and drug delivery. We discuss the electrophysiological studies that explore molecular details of channel-facilitated protein and polymer transport across cellular membranes using both natural and foreign substrates. The review focuses on the structurally and functionally different bacterial toxins: gramicidin A of Bacillus brevis, α-hemolysin of Staphylococcus aureus, and binary toxin of Bacillus anthracis, which have found their “second life” in a variety of developing medical and technological applications.

  8. Histopathological effects and determination of the putative receptor of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Da toxin in Spodoptera littoralis midgut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    BenFarhat-Touzri, Dalel; Saadaoui, Marwa; Abdelkefi-Mesrati, Lobna; Saadaoui, Imen; Azzouz, Hichem; Tounsi, Slim

    2013-02-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. aizawai strain HD133, known by its effectiveness against Spodoptera species, produces many insecticidal proteins including Cry1Ab, Cry1Ca and Cry1Da. In the present study, the insecticidal activity of Cry1Da against Spodoptera littoralis was investigated. It showed toxicity with an LC(50) of 224.4 ng/cm(2) with 95% confidence limits of (178.61-270.19) and an LC(90) of 467.77 ng/cm(2) with 95% confidence limits of (392.89-542.65). The midgut histopathology of Cry1Da fed larvae showed vesicle formation in the apical region, vacuolization and destruction of epithelial cells. Biotinylated-activated Cry1Da toxin bound protein of about 65 kDa on blots of S. littoralis brush border membrane preparations. This putative receptor differs in molecular size from those recognized by Cry1C and Vip3A which are active against this polyphagous insect. This difference in midgut receptors strongly supports the use of Cry1Da as insecticidal agent, particularly in case of Cry and/or Vip-resistance management. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. In Silico Modeling and Functional Interpretations of Cry1Ab15 Toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis BtB-Hm-16

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sudhanshu Kashyap

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The theoretical homology based structural model of Cry1Ab15 δ-endotoxin produced by Bacillus thuringiensis BtB-Hm-16 was predicted using the Cry1Aa template (resolution 2.25 Å. The Cry1Ab15 resembles the template structure by sharing a common three-domain extending conformation structure responsible for pore-forming and specificity determination. The novel structural differences found are the presence of β0 and α3, and the absence of α7b, β1a, α10a, α10b, β12, and α11a while α9 is located spatially downstream. Validation by SUPERPOSE and with the use of PROCHECK program showed folding of 98% of modeled residues in a favourable and stable orientation with a total energy Z-score of −6.56; the constructed model has an RMSD of only 1.15 Å. These increments of 3D structure information will be helpful in the design of domain swapping experiments aimed at improving toxicity and will help in elucidating the common mechanism of toxin action.

  10. Evidence of two mechanisms involved in Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis decreased toxicity against mosquito larvae: Genome dynamic and toxins stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elleuch, Jihen; Zribi Zghal, Raida; Lacoix, Marie Noël; Chandre, Fabrice; Tounsi, Slim; Jaoua, Samir

    2015-07-01

    Biopesticides based on Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis are the most used and most successful around the world. This bacterium is characterized by a dynamic genome able to win or lose genetic materials which leads to a decrease in its effectiveness. The detection of such phenomena is of great importance to monitor the stability of B. thuringiensis strains in industrial production processes of biopesticides. New local B. thuringiensis israelensis isolates were investigated. They present variable levels of delta-endotoxins production and insecticidal activities against Aedes aegypti larvae. Searching on the origin of this variability, molecular and biochemical analyses were performed. The obtained results describe two main reasons of the decrease of B. thuringiensis israelensis insecticidal activity. The first reason was the deletion of cry4Aa and cry10Aa genes from the 128-kb pBtoxis plasmid as evidenced in three strains (BLB124, BLB199 and BLB506) among five. The second was the early degradation of Cry toxins by proteases in larvae midgut mainly due to some amino acids substitutions evidenced in Cry4Ba and Cry11Aa δ-endotoxins detected in BLB356. Before biological treatment based on B. thuringiensis israelensis, the studies of microflore in each ecosystem have a great importance to succeed pest management programs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. Mode of Action and Specificity of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins in the Control of Caterpillars and Stink Bugs in Soybean Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiuza, Lidia Mariana

    2014-01-01

    The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces delta-endotoxins that possess toxic properties and can be used as biopesticides, as well as a source of genes for the construction of transgenic plants resistant to insects. In Brazil, the introduction of Bt soybean with insecticidal properties to the velvetbean caterpillar, the main insect pest of soybean, has been seen a promising tool in the management of these agroecosystems. However, the increase in stink bug populations in this culture, in various regions of the country, which are not susceptible to the existing genetically modified plants, requires application of chemicals that damage the environment. Little is known about the actual toxicity of Bt to Hemiptera, since these insects present sucking mouthparts, which hamper toxicity assays with artificial diets containing toxins of this bacterium. In recent studies of cytotoxicity with the gut of different hemipterans, susceptibility in the mechanism of action of delta-endotoxins has been demonstrated, which can generate promising subsidies for the control of these insect pests in soybean. This paper aims to review the studies related to the selection, application and mode of action of Bt in the biological control of the major pest of soybean, Anticarsia gemmatalis, and an analysis of advances in research on the use of Bt for control hemipterans. PMID:24575310

  12. An Intramolecular Salt Bridge in Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba Toxin Is Involved in the Stability of Helix α-3, Which Is Needed for Oligomerization and Insecticidal Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Sabino; Gómez, Isabel; Sánchez, Jorge; García-Gómez, Blanca-Ines; Soberón, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra

    2017-10-15

    Bacillus thuringiensis three-domain Cry toxins kill insects by forming pores in the apical membrane of larval midgut cells. Oligomerization of the toxin is an important step for pore formation. Domain I helix α-3 participates in toxin oligomerization. Here we identify an intramolecular salt bridge within helix α-3 of Cry4Ba (D111-K115) that is conserved in many members of the family of three-domain Cry toxins. Single point mutations such as D111K or K115D resulted in proteins severely affected in toxicity. These mutants were also altered in oligomerization, and the mutant K115D was more sensitive to protease digestion. The double point mutant with reversed charges, D111K-K115D, recovered both oligomerization and toxicity, suggesting that this salt bridge is highly important for conservation of the structure of helix α-3 and necessary to promote the correct oligomerization of the toxin. IMPORTANCE Domain I has been shown to be involved in oligomerization through helix α-3 in different Cry toxins, and mutations affecting oligomerization also elicit changes in toxicity. The three-dimensional structure of the Cry4Ba toxin reveals an intramolecular salt bridge in helix α-3 of domain I. Mutations that disrupt this salt bridge resulted in changes in Cry4Ba oligomerization and toxicity, while a double point reciprocal mutation that restored the salt bridge resulted in recovery of toxin oligomerization and toxicity. These data highlight the role of oligomer formation as a key step in Cry4Ba toxicity. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  13. Reliable detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis by using multiplex qPCR including internal controls for nucleic acid extraction and amplification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Rotterdam Bart J

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several pathogens could seriously affect public health if not recognized timely. To reduce the impact of such highly pathogenic micro-organisms, rapid and accurate diagnostic tools are needed for their detection in various samples, including environmental samples. Results Multiplex real-time PCRs were designed for rapid and reliable detection of three major pathogens that have the potential to cause high morbidity and mortality in humans: B. anthracis, F. tularensis and Y. pestis. The developed assays detect three pathogen-specific targets, including at least one chromosomal target, and one target from B. thuringiensis which is used as an internal control for nucleic acid extraction from refractory spores as well as successful DNA amplification. Validation of the PCRs showed a high analytical sensitivity, specificity and coverage of diverse pathogen strains. Conclusions The multiplex qPCR assays that were developed allow the rapid detection of 3 pathogen-specific targets simultaneously, without compromising sensitivity. The application of B. thuringiensis spores as internal controls further reduces false negative results. This ensures highly reliable detection, while template consumption and laboratory effort are kept at a minimum

  14. Toxins secreted by Bacillus isolated from lung adenocarcinomas favor the penetration of toxic substances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra eMerlos

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim was to explore the eventual role of bacteria in the induction of lung cancer by smoking habits. Viable bacteria closely related to the genus Bacillus were detected at high frequencies in lung-cancer biopsies. Similar, if not identical, microbes were isolated from cigarettes and in smog. Bacteria present in cigarettes could be transferred to a physiological solution via a smoker device that mimicked their potential transfer during smoking those bacteria produce exotoxins able to open transmembrane pores. These channels can be used as a way to penetrate cells of benzopyrenes and other toxic substances present in tobacco products. We hypothesize that Bacillaceae present in tobacco play a key role in the development of lung cancer.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Garman, Lori; Dumas, Eric K.; Kurella, Sridevi; Hunt, Jonathan J.; Crowe, Sherry R.; Nguyen, Melissa L.; Cox, Philip M.; James, Judith A.; Farris, A. Darise

    2012-01-01

    Anthrax Lethal Toxin consists of Protective Antigen (PA) and Lethal Factor (LF), and current vaccination strategies focus on eliciting antibodies to PA. In human vaccination, the response to PA can vary greatly, and the response is often directed toward non-neutralizing epitopes. Variable vaccine responses have been shown to be due in part to genetic differences in individuals, with both MHC class II and other genes playing roles. Here, we investigated the relative contribution of MHC class I...

  16. In vivo binding of the Cry11Bb toxin of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. medellin to the midgut of mosquito larvae (Diptera: Culicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruiz Lina María

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. medellin produces numerous proteins among which 94 kDa known as Cry11Bb, has mosquitocidal activity. The mode of action of the Cry11 proteins has been described as similar to those of the Cry1 toxins, nevertheless, the mechanism of action is still not clear. In this study we investigated the in vivo binding of the Cry11Bb toxin to the midgut of the insect species Anopheles albimanus, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus by immunohistochemical analysis. Spodoptera frugiperda was included as negative control. The Cry11Bb protein was detected on the apical microvilli of the midgut epithelial cells, mostly on the posterior midgut and gastric caeca of the three mosquito species. Additionally, the toxin was detected in the Malpighian tubules of An. albimanus, Ae. aegypti, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and in the basal membrane of the epithelial cells of Ae. aegypti midgut. No toxin accumulation was observed in the peritrophic membrane of any of the mosquito species studied. These results confirm that the primary site of action of the Cry11 toxins is the apical membrane of the midgut epithelial cells of mosquito larvae.

  17. Two conformational states of the membrane-associated Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba δ-endotoxin complex revealed by electron crystallography: Implications for toxin-pore formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ounjai, Puey; Unger, Vinzenz M.; Sigworth, Fred J.; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2007-01-01

    The insecticidal nature of Cry δ-endotoxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis is generally believed to be caused by their ability to form lytic pores in the midgut cell membrane of susceptible insect larvae. Here we have analyzed membrane-associated structures of the 65-kDa dipteran-active Cry4Ba toxin by electron crystallography. The membrane-associated toxin complex was crystallized in the presence of DMPC via detergent dialysis. Depending upon the charge of the adsorbed surface, 2D crystals of the oligomeric toxin complex have been captured in two distinct conformations. The projection maps of those crystals have been generated at 17 A resolution. Both complexes appeared to be trimeric; as in one crystal form, its projection structure revealed a symmetrical pinwheel-like shape with virtually no depression in the middle of the complex. The other form revealed a propeller-like conformation displaying an obvious hole in the center region, presumably representing the toxin-induced pore. These crystallographic data thus demonstrate for the first time that the 65-kDa activated Cry4Ba toxin in association with lipid membranes could exist in at least two different trimeric conformations, conceivably implying the closed and open states of the pore

  18. Cry1Ac and Vip3Aa proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis targeting Cry toxin resistance in Diatraea flavipennella and Elasmopalpus lignosellus from sugarcane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Rita Nunes Lemes

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The biological potential of Vip and Cry proteins from Bacillus is well known and widely established. Thus, it is important to look for new genes showing different modes of action, selecting those with differentiated entomotoxic activity against Diatraea flavipennella and Elasmopalpus lignosellus, which are secondary pests of sugarcane. Therefore, Cry1 and Vip3 proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli, and their toxicities were evaluated based on bioassays using neonate larvae. Of those, the most toxic were Cry1Ac and Vip3Aa considering the LC50 values. Toxins from E. coli were purified, solubilized, trypsinized, and biotinylated. Brush Border Membrane Vesicles (BBMVs were prepared from intestines of the two species to perform homologous and heterologous competition assays. The binding assays demonstrated interactions between Cry1Aa, Cry1Ac, and Vip3Aa toxins and proteins from the BBMV of D. flavipennella and E. lignosellus. Homologous competition assays demonstrated that binding to one of the BBMV proteins was specific for each toxin. Heterologous competition assays indicated that Vip3Aa was unable to compete for Cry1Ac toxin binding. Our results suggest that Cry1Ac and Vip3Aa may have potential in future production of transgenic sugarcane for control of D. flavipennella and E. lignosellus, but more research is needed on the potential antagonism or synergism of the toxins in these pests.

  19. Identification of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa toxin domain II loop 1 as the binding site of Tenebrio molitor cadherin repeat CR12.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zúñiga-Navarrete, Fernando; Gómez, Isabel; Peña, Guadalupe; Amaro, Itzel; Ortíz, Ernesto; Becerril, Baltazar; Ibarra, Jorge E; Bravo, Alejandra; Soberón, Mario

    2015-04-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins exert their toxic effect by specific recognition of larval midgut proteins leading to oligomerization of the toxin, membrane insertion and pore formation. The exposed domain II loop regions of Cry toxins have been shown to be involved in receptor binding. Insect cadherins have shown to be functionally involved in toxin binding facilitating toxin oligomerization. Here, we isolated a VHH (VHHA5) antibody by phage display that binds Cry3Aa loop 1 and competed with the binding of Cry3Aa to Tenebrio molitor brush border membranes. VHHA5 also competed with the binding of Cry3Aa to a cadherin fragment (CR12) that was previously shown to be involved in binding and toxicity of Cry3Aa, indicating that Cry3Aa binds CR12 through domain II loop 1. Moreover, we show that a loop 1 mutant, previously characterized to have increased toxicity to T. molitor, displayed a correlative enhanced binding affinity to T. molitor CR12 and to VHHA5. These results show that Cry3Aa domain II loop 1 is a binding site of CR12 T. molitor cadherin. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Susceptibility of The Asian Corn Borer, Ostrinia furnacalis, to Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin CRY1AC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aye Kyawt Kyawt Ei

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available The larval susceptibility of the Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenee (Lepidoptera: Crambidae, to a Bacillus thuringiensis protein (Cry1Ac was evaluated using insect feeding bioassays. The founding population of O. furnacalis was originally collected from the experimental station of UGM at Kalitirto and had been reared in the laboratory for three generations using an artificial diet “InsectaLf”. The tested instars were exposed on diets treated with a series of concentrations of Cry1Ac for one week. The LC50 values on the seventh day after treatment for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th instars were 7.79, 21.12, 113.66, and 123.17 ppm, respectively, showing that the higher the instars the lesser the susceptibility to Cry1Ac. When the neonates were exposed to sublethal concentrations of Cry1Ac (0.0583, 0.116, and 0.5830 ppm, growth and development of the surviving larvae were inhibited. The fecundity and viability of females produced from treated larvae decreased with increasing the concentrations. These findings indicate that Cry1Ac is toxic to larva of O. furnacalis and has chronic effects to larvae surviving from Cry1Ac ingestion.   Kepekaan larva penggerek batang jagung Asia, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenee (Lepidoptera: Crambidae, terhadap protein Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac diuji dengan metode celup pakan. Larva berasal dari pertanaman jagung di KP-4, UGM di Kalitirto dan telah dikembangbiakkan di laboratorium menggunakan pakan buatan (InsectaLF selama tiga generasi sebelum digunakan untuk pengujian. Larva O. furnacalis yang diuji dipaparkan pada pakan buatan yang telah dicelupkan pada seri konsentrasi Cry1Ac. Nilai LC50 pada hari ketujuh setelah perlakukan untuk instar 1, 2, 3, dan 4 berturut-turut adalah 0,79; 21,12; 113,66; dan 123,17 ppm. Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa instar yang semakin tinggi tingkat kepekaannya terhadap Cry1Ac semakin menurun. Larva yang baru menetas dan diberi pakan yang telah dicelupkan pada konsentrasi sublethal Cry1Ac

  1. Analogies and surprising differences between recombinant nitric oxide synthase-like proteins from Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis in their interactions with l-arginine analogs and iron ligands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salard, Isabelle; Mercey, Emilie; Rekka, Eleni; Boucher, Jean-Luc; Nioche, Pierre; Mikula, Ivan; Martasek, Pavel; Raman, C S; Mansuy, Daniel

    2006-12-01

    Genome sequencing has recently shown the presence of genes coding for NO-synthase (NOS)-like proteins in bacteria. The roles of these proteins remain unclear. The interactions of a series of l-arginine (l-arg) analogs and iron ligands with two recombinant NOS-like proteins from Staphylococcus aureus (saNOS) and Bacillus anthracis (baNOS) have been studied by UV-visible spectroscopy. SaNOS and baNOS in their ferric native state, as well as their complexes with l-arg analogs and with various ligands, exhibit spectral characteristics highly similar to the corresponding complexes of heme-thiolate proteins such as cytochromes P450 and NOSs. However, saNOS greatly differs from baNOS at the level of three main properties: (i) native saNOS mainly exists under an hexacoordinated low-spin ferric state whereas native baNOS is mainly high-spin, (ii) the addition of tetrahydrobiopterin (H4B) or H4B analogs leads to an increase of the affinity of l-arg for saNOS but not for baNOS, and (iii) saNOS Fe(II), contrary to baNOS, binds relatively bulky ligands such as nitrosoalkanes and tert-butylisocyanide. Thus, saNOS exhibits properties very similar to those of the oxygenase domain of inducible NOS (iNOS(oxy)) not containing H4B, as expected for a NOSoxy-like protein that does not contain H4B. By contrast, the properties of baNOS which look like those of H4B-containing iNOS(oxy) are unexpected for a NOS-like protein not containing H4B. The origin of these surprising properties of baNOS remains to be determined.

  2. Toxin stability improvement and toxicity increase against dipteran and lepidopteran larvae of Bacillus thuringiensis crystal protein Cry2Aa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elleuch, Jihen; Jaoua, Samir; Ginibre, Carole; Chandre, Fabrice; Tounsi, Slim; Zghal, Raida Z

    2016-12-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis δ-endotoxins are the most widely used biopesticides for controlling economically important crop pests and disease vectors. Improving their efficacy is of great benefit. Here, an improvement in Cry2Aa δ-endotoxin toxicity was attempted via a cry gene over expression system using P20 from B. thuringiensis israelensis. The coexpression of Cry2Aa with P20 resulted in a seven fold increase in its production yield in B. thuringiensis. Generated crystals proved to be significantly more toxic (505.207 µg g -1 , 1.99 mg L -1 and 1.49 mg L -1 ) than the P20-lacking control (720.78 µg g -1 , 705.69 mg L -1 and 508.51 mg L -1 ) against Ephestia kuehniella, Aedes aegypti and Culex pipiens larvae respectively. In vitro, processing experiments revealed a P20-mediated protection of Cry2Aa against degradation under larval gut conditions. Thus, P20 could promote the maintenance of a tightly packaged conformation of Cry2Aa toxins in the larval midgut upon correct activation and binding to its membrane receptors. Based on their resistance against excessive proteolysis, Cry2Aa δ-endotoxins, produced in the presence of P20, could be considered as a successful control agent for E. kuehniella and an effective alternative for mosquito control, implying its possible exploitation in pest management programmes. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. Field evaluation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in Bacillus thuringiensis toxin-expressing (Bt) and non-Bt maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheeke, Tanya E; Cruzan, Mitchell B; Rosenstiel, Todd N

    2013-07-01

    The cultivation of genetically engineered Bacillus thuringiensis toxin-expressing (Bt) maize continues to increase worldwide, yet the effects of Bt crops on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in soil are poorly understood. In this field experiment, we investigated the impact of seven different genotypes of Bt maize and five corresponding non-Bt parental cultivars on AMF and evaluated plant growth responses at three different physiological time points. Plants were harvested 60 days (active growth), 90 days (tasseling and starting to produce ears), and 130 days (maturity) after sowing, and data on plant growth responses and percent AMF colonization of roots at each harvest were collected. Spore abundance and diversity were also evaluated at the beginning and end of the field season to determine whether the cultivation of Bt maize had a negative effect on AMF propagules in the soil. Plant growth and AMF colonization did not differ between Bt and non-Bt maize at any harvest period, but AMF colonization was positively correlated with leaf chlorophyll content at the 130-day harvest. Cultivation of Bt maize had no effect on spore abundance and diversity in Bt versus non-Bt plots over one field season. Plot had the most significant effect on total spore counts, indicating spatial heterogeneity in the field. Although previous greenhouse studies demonstrated that AMF colonization was lower in some Bt maize lines, our field study did not yield the same results, suggesting that the cultivation of Bt maize may not have an impact on AMF in the soil ecosystem under field conditions.

  4. Larvicidal Activities of Indigenous Bacillus thuringiensis Isolates and Nematode Symbiotic Bacterial Toxins against the Mosquito Vector, Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf M Ahmed

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: The incidence of mosquito-borne diseases and the resistance of mosquitoes to conventional pesticides have recently caused a panic to the authorities in the endemic countries. This study was conducted to identify native larvicidal biopesticides against Culex pipiens for utilization in the battle against mosquito-borne diseases.Methods: Larvicidal activities of new indigenous Bacillus thuringiensis isolates and crude toxin complexes (TCs of two nematode bacterial-symbionts, Photorhabdus luminescens akhurstii (HRM1 and Ph. luminescens akhurstii (HS1 that tested against Cx. pipiens. B. thuringiensis isolates were recovered from different environmental samples in Saudi Arabia, and the entomopathogenic nematodes, Heterorhabditis indica (HRM1 and He. sp (HS1 were iso­lated from Egypt. Larvicidal activities (LC50 and LC95 of the potentially active B. thuringiensis strains or TCs were then evaluated at 24 and 48h post-treatment.Results: Three B. thuringiensis isolates were almost as active as the reference B. thuringiensis israelensis (Bti-H14, and seven isolates were 1.6–5.4 times more toxic than Bti-H14. On the other hand, the TCs of the bacterial sym­bionts, HRM1 and HS1, showed promising larvicidal activities. HS1 showed LC50 of 2.54 folds that of HRM1 at 24h post-treatment. Moreover, histopathological examinations of the HS1-treated larvae showed deformations in midgut epithelial cells at 24h post-treatment.Conclusion: Synergistic activity and molecular characterization of these potentially active biocontrol agents are currently being investigated. These results may lead to the identification of eco-friend mosquito larvicidal product(s that could contribute to the battle against mosquito-borne diseases.

  5. Germination of Bacillus cereus spores : the role of germination receptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hornstra, L.M.

    2007-01-01

    The Bacillus cereus sensu lato group forms a highly homogeneous subdivision of the genus Bacillus and comprises several species that are relevant for humans. Notorious is Bacillus anthracis, the cause of the often-lethal disease anthrax, while the insect pathogen Bacillus

  6. Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Mediated by an ABC Transporter Mutation Increases Susceptibility to Toxins from Other Bacteria in an Invasive Insect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dandan; Gong, Lingling; He, Fei; Soberón, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra; Tabashnik, Bruce E.; Wu, Kongming

    2016-01-01

    Evolution of pest resistance reduces the efficacy of insecticidal proteins from the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) used widely in sprays and transgenic crops. Recent efforts to delay pest adaptation to Bt crops focus primarily on combinations of two or more Bt toxins that kill the same pest, but this approach is often compromised because resistance to one Bt toxin causes cross-resistance to others. Thus, integration of Bt toxins with alternative controls that do not exhibit such cross-resistance is urgently needed. The ideal scenario of negative cross-resistance, where selection for resistance to a Bt toxin increases susceptibility to alternative controls, has been elusive. Here we discovered that selection of the global crop pest, Helicoverpa armigera, for >1000-fold resistance to Bt toxin Cry1Ac increased susceptibility to abamectin and spineotram, insecticides derived from the soil bacteria Streptomyces avermitilis and Saccharopolyspora spinosa, respectively. Resistance to Cry1Ac did not affect susceptibility to the cyclodiene, organophospate, or pyrethroid insecticides tested. Whereas previous work demonstrated that the resistance to Cry1Ac in the strain analyzed here is conferred by a mutation disrupting an ATP-binding cassette protein named ABCC2, the new results show that increased susceptibility to abamectin is genetically linked with the same mutation. Moreover, RNAi silencing of HaABCC2 not only decreased susceptibility to Cry1Ac, it also increased susceptibility to abamectin. The mutation disrupting ABCC2 reduced removal of abamectin in live larvae and in transfected Hi5 cells. The results imply that negative cross-resistance occurs because the wild type ABCC2 protein plays a key role in conferring susceptibility to Cry1Ac and in decreasing susceptibility to abamectin. The negative cross-resistance between a Bt toxin and other bacterial insecticides reported here may facilitate more sustainable pest control. PMID:26872031

  7. Alkaline phosphatases are involved in the response of Aedes aegypti larvae to intoxication with Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis Cry toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stalinski, Renaud; Laporte, Frédéric; Després, Laurence; Tetreau, Guillaume

    2016-03-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) is a natural pathogen of dipterans widely used as a biological insecticide for mosquito control. To characterize the response of mosquitoes to intoxication with Bti, the transcriptome profile of Bti-exposed susceptible Aedes aegypti larvae was analysed using Illumina RNA-seq. Gene expression of 11 alkaline phosphatases (ALPs) was further investigated by real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and ALP activity was measured in the susceptible strain and in four strains resistant to a single Bti Cry toxin or to Bti. These strains were unexposed or exposed to their toxin of selection. Although all resistant strains constitutively exhibited a higher level of transcription of ALP genes than the susceptible strain, they showed a lower total ALP activity. The intoxication with different individual Cry toxins triggered a global pattern of ALP gene under-transcription in all the one-toxin-resistant strains but involving different specific sets of ALPs in each resistant phenotype. Most of the ALPs involved are not known Cry-binding proteins. RNA interference experiment demonstrated that reducing ALP expression conferred increased the survival of larvae exposed to Cry4Aa, confirming the involvement of ALP in Cry4Aa toxicity. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. LC and LD50 values of Bacillus thuringiensis Serovar japonensis strain buibui toxin to Oriental beetle and northern masked chafer larvae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashtoly, Tamer A; El-Zemaity, Mohamed El-Said; Hussien, Mohamed I; Alm, Steven R

    2009-10-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis serovar japonensis strain Buibui has the potential to be an important control agent for pest scarabs. Bioassays were designed to test B. t. japonensis against two of the major turf and ornamental scarab pests infesting turfgrasses and ornamentals and to serve as a basis for further tests against other scarab pests. LC and LD50 values of B. t. serovarjaponensis strain Buibui toxin and spores were determined by four different bioassays for the oriental beetle, Anomala orientalis (Waterhouse), and northern masked chafer, Cyclocephala borealis Arrow. Oriental beetle larvae were bioassayed in autoclaved and nonautoclaved soil from where they were collected (Kingston, RI [native]), in nonautoclaved soil from where the northern masked chafer larvae were collected (Groton, CT [foreign]), and per os. Northern masked chafer larvae were bioassayed in autoclaved and nonautoclaved soil from where they were collected (Groton, CT [native]), in nonautoclaved soil from where the oriental beetle larvae were collected (Kingston, RI [foreign]) and per os. LC50 values of 3.93 microg toxin/g autoclaved native soil, 1.80 microg toxin/g nonautoclaved native soil, and 0.42 microg toxin/g nonautoclaved foreign soil and an LD50 value of 0.41 microg per os were determined at 14 d forA. orientalis. LC50 values of 588.28 microg toxin/g autoclaved native soil, 155.10 microg toxin/g nonautoclaved native soil, 265.32 microg toxin/g nonautoclaved foreign soil, and LD50 of 5.21 microg per os were determined at 14 d (soils) and 10 d (per os) for C. borealis. There were significant differences in LC50 values for oriental beetles in autoclaved, nonautoclaved native soil and nonautoclaved foreign soil. There were significant differences in LCo values for northern masked chafers in autoclaved and nonautoclaved native soil. B. t. japonensis can be applied now for control of oriental beetles at rates that are economically competitive with synthetic chemicals. If we can determine the

  9. IgG subclass and heavy chain domains contribute to binding and protection by mAbs to the poly γ-D-glutamic acid capsular antigen of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovenden, Maria; Hubbard, Mark A; Aucoin, David P; Thorkildson, Peter; Reed, Dana E; Welch, William H; Lyons, C Rick; Lovchik, Julie A; Kozel, Thomas R

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial capsules are common targets for antibody-mediated immunity. The capsule of Bacillus anthracis is unusual among capsules because it is composed of a polymer of poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (γdPGA). We previously generated murine IgG3 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to γdPGA that were protective in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax. IgG3 antibodies are characteristic of the murine response to polysaccharide antigens. The goal of the present study was to produce subclass switch variants of the γdPGA mAbs (IgG3 → IgG1 → IgG2b → IgG2a) and assess the contribution of subclass to antibody affinity and protection. Subclass switch antibodies had identical variable regions but differed in their heavy chains. The results showed that a switch from the protective IgG3 to IgG1, IgG2b or IgG2a was accompanied by i) a loss of protective activity ii) a change in mAb binding to the capsular matrix, and iii) a loss of affinity. These results identify a role for the heavy chain constant region in mAb binding. Hybrid mAbs were constructed in which the CH1, CH2 or CH3 heavy chain constant domains from a non-protective, low binding IgG2b mAb were swapped into the protective IgG3 mAb. The IgG3 mAb that contained the CH1 domain from IgG2b showed no loss of affinity or protection. In contrast, swapping the CH2 or CH3 domains from IgG2b into IgG3 produced a reduction in affinity and a loss of protection. These studies identify a role for the constant region of IgG heavy chains in affinity and protection against an encapsulated bacterial pathogen.

  10. IgG subclass and heavy chain domains contribute to binding and protection by mAbs to the poly γ-D-glutamic acid capsular antigen of Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Hovenden

    Full Text Available Bacterial capsules are common targets for antibody-mediated immunity. The capsule of Bacillus anthracis is unusual among capsules because it is composed of a polymer of poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (γdPGA. We previously generated murine IgG3 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs to γdPGA that were protective in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax. IgG3 antibodies are characteristic of the murine response to polysaccharide antigens. The goal of the present study was to produce subclass switch variants of the γdPGA mAbs (IgG3 → IgG1 → IgG2b → IgG2a and assess the contribution of subclass to antibody affinity and protection. Subclass switch antibodies had identical variable regions but differed in their heavy chains. The results showed that a switch from the protective IgG3 to IgG1, IgG2b or IgG2a was accompanied by i a loss of protective activity ii a change in mAb binding to the capsular matrix, and iii a loss of affinity. These results identify a role for the heavy chain constant region in mAb binding. Hybrid mAbs were constructed in which the CH1, CH2 or CH3 heavy chain constant domains from a non-protective, low binding IgG2b mAb were swapped into the protective IgG3 mAb. The IgG3 mAb that contained the CH1 domain from IgG2b showed no loss of affinity or protection. In contrast, swapping the CH2 or CH3 domains from IgG2b into IgG3 produced a reduction in affinity and a loss of protection. These studies identify a role for the constant region of IgG heavy chains in affinity and protection against an encapsulated bacterial pathogen.

  11. Bacillus thuringiensis toxin (Cry1Ab) has no direct effect on larvae of the green lacewing Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeis, Jörg; Dutton, Anna; Bigler, Franz

    2004-01-01

    Earlier studies have shown that larvae of the green lacewing predator Chrysoperla carnea are negatively affected when preying on lepidopteran larvae that had been fed with transgenic maize expressing the cry1Ab gene from Bacillus thuringiensis. To test whether the observed effects were directly caused by the Cry1Ab toxin, we have developed a bioassay which allows us to feed high concentrations of the toxin directly to the predator. The results of these feeding studies show no direct toxic effect of Cry1Ab on C. carnea larvae. The amount of toxin ingested by first instar C. carnea in the present study was found to be a factor 10,000 higher than the concentration ingested when feeding on Bt-reared lepidopteran larvae, a treatment that was previously shown to have a negative impact on the predator. In addition, feeding first instar C. carnea with the Cry1Ab toxin did not affect the utilisation of subsequently provided prey. Furthermore, the quality of the prey provided to first instars did not affect the sensitivity of second and third instar C. carnea to the Bt-toxin. The presented results strongly suggest that C. carnea larvae are not sensitive to Cry1Ab and that earlier reported negative effects of Bt-maize were prey-quality mediated rather than direct toxic effects. These results, together with the fact that lepidopteran larvae are not regarded as an important prey for C. carnea in the field, led us to conclude that transgenic maize expressing Cry1Ab poses a negligible risk for this predator.

  12. Identification and Pathogenic Potential of Clinical Bacillus and Paenibacillus Isolates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Celandroni

    Full Text Available The soil-related Bacillus and Paenibacillus species have increasingly been implicated in various human diseases. Nevertheless, their identification still poses problems in the clinical microbiology laboratory and, with the exception of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus, little is known on their pathogenicity for humans. In this study, we evaluated the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS in the identification of clinical isolates of these genera and conducted genotypic and phenotypic analyses to highlight specific virulence properties. Seventy-five clinical isolates were subjected to biochemical and MALDI-TOF MS identification. 16S rDNA sequencing and supplemental tests were used to solve any discrepancies or failures in the identification results. MALDI-TOF MS significantly outperformed classical biochemical testing for correct species identification and no misidentification was obtained. One third of the collected strains belonged to the B. cereus species, but also Bacillus pumilus and Bacillus subtilis were isolated at high rate. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that all the B. cereus, B. licheniformis, B. simplex, B. mycoides, Paenibacillus glucanolyticus and Paenibacillus lautus isolates are resistant to penicillin. The evaluation of toxin/enzyme secretion, toxin-encoding genes, motility, and biofilm formation revealed that B. cereus displays the highest virulence potential. However, although generally considered nonpathogenic, most of the other species were shown to swim, swarm, produce biofilms, and secrete proteases that can have a role in bacterial virulence. In conclusion, MALDI-TOF MS appears useful for fast and accurate identification of Bacillus and Paenibacillus strains whose virulence properties make them of increasing clinical relevance.

  13. Identification and Pathogenic Potential of Clinical Bacillus and Paenibacillus Isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celandroni, Francesco; Salvetti, Sara; Gueye, Sokhna Aissatou; Mazzantini, Diletta; Lupetti, Antonella; Senesi, Sonia; Ghelardi, Emilia

    2016-01-01

    The soil-related Bacillus and Paenibacillus species have increasingly been implicated in various human diseases. Nevertheless, their identification still poses problems in the clinical microbiology laboratory and, with the exception of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus, little is known on their pathogenicity for humans. In this study, we evaluated the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) in the identification of clinical isolates of these genera and conducted genotypic and phenotypic analyses to highlight specific virulence properties. Seventy-five clinical isolates were subjected to biochemical and MALDI-TOF MS identification. 16S rDNA sequencing and supplemental tests were used to solve any discrepancies or failures in the identification results. MALDI-TOF MS significantly outperformed classical biochemical testing for correct species identification and no misidentification was obtained. One third of the collected strains belonged to the B. cereus species, but also Bacillus pumilus and Bacillus subtilis were isolated at high rate. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that all the B. cereus, B. licheniformis, B. simplex, B. mycoides, Paenibacillus glucanolyticus and Paenibacillus lautus isolates are resistant to penicillin. The evaluation of toxin/enzyme secretion, toxin-encoding genes, motility, and biofilm formation revealed that B. cereus displays the highest virulence potential. However, although generally considered nonpathogenic, most of the other species were shown to swim, swarm, produce biofilms, and secrete proteases that can have a role in bacterial virulence. In conclusion, MALDI-TOF MS appears useful for fast and accurate identification of Bacillus and Paenibacillus strains whose virulence properties make them of increasing clinical relevance.

  14. Experimental Design for a Sponge-Wipe Study to Relate the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to the Concentration of a Bacillus anthracis Surrogate for Six Surface Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Amidan, Brett G. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Krauter, Paula [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Einfeld, Wayne [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2010-12-16

    Two concerns were raised by the Government Accountability Office following the 2001 building contaminations via letters containing Bacillus anthracis (BA). These included the: 1) lack of validated sampling methods, and 2) need to use statistical sampling to quantify the confidence of no contamination when all samples have negative results. Critical to addressing these concerns is quantifying the probability of correct detection (PCD) (or equivalently the false negative rate FNR = 1 - PCD). The PCD/FNR may depend on the 1) method of contaminant deposition, 2) surface concentration of the contaminant, 3) surface material being sampled, 4) sample collection method, 5) sample storage/transportation conditions, 6) sample processing method, and 7) sample analytical method. A review of the literature found 17 laboratory studies that focused on swab, wipe, or vacuum samples collected from a variety of surface materials contaminated by BA or a surrogate, and used culture methods to determine the surface contaminant concentration. These studies quantified performance of the sampling and analysis methods in terms of recovery efficiency (RE) and not PCD/FNR (which left a major gap in available information). Quantifying the PCD/FNR under a variety of conditions is a key aspect of validating sample and analysis methods, and also for calculating the confidence in characterization or clearance decisions based on a statistical sampling plan. A laboratory study was planned to partially fill the gap in PCD/FNR results. This report documents the experimental design developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) for a sponge-wipe method. The study will investigate the effects on key response variables from six surface materials contaminated with eight surface concentrations of a BA surrogate (Bacillus atrophaeus). The key response variables include measures of the contamination on test coupons of surface materials tested, contamination

  15. Experimental Design for a Sponge-Wipe Study to Relate the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to the Concentration of a Bacillus anthracis Surrogate for Six Surface Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Krauter, Paula; Einfeld, Wayne

    2011-05-01

    Two concerns were raised by the Government Accountability Office following the 2001 building contaminations via letters containing Bacillus anthracis (BA). These included the: 1) lack of validated sampling methods, and 2) need to use statistical sampling to quantify the confidence of no contamination when all samples have negative results. Critical to addressing these concerns is quantifying the false negative rate (FNR). The FNR may depend on the 1) method of contaminant deposition, 2) surface concentration of the contaminant, 3) surface material being sampled, 4) sample collection method, 5) sample storage/transportation conditions, 6) sample processing method, and 7) sample analytical method. A review of the literature found 17 laboratory studies that focused on swab, wipe, or vacuum samples collected from a variety of surface materials contaminated by BA or a surrogate, and used culture methods to determine the surface contaminant concentration. These studies quantified performance of the sampling and analysis methods in terms of recovery efficiency (RE) and not FNR (which left a major gap in available information). Quantifying the FNR under a variety of conditions is a key aspect of validating sample and analysis methods, and also for calculating the confidence in characterization or clearance decisions based on a statistical sampling plan. A laboratory study was planned to partially fill the gap in FNR results. This report documents the experimental design developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) for a sponge-wipe method. The testing was performed by SNL and is now completed. The study investigated the effects on key response variables from six surface materials contaminated with eight surface concentrations of a BA surrogate (Bacillus atrophaeus). The key response variables include measures of the contamination on test coupons of surface materials tested, contamination recovered from coupons by sponge

  16. In vivo identification of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin receptors by RNA interference knockdown of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked aminopeptidase N transcripts in Aedes aegypti larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saengwiman, Suchada; Aroonkesorn, Aratee; Dedvisitsakul, Plaipol; Sakdee, Somsri; Leetachewa, Somphob; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan; Pootanakit, Kusol

    2011-04-22

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin selectively kills Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae as it is in part due to the presence of specific membrane-bound protein receptors. In this study, using data mining approach, we initially identified three potential glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked aminopeptidase N (GPI-APN) isoforms, APN2778, APN2783 and APN5808, which are believed to act as Cry4Ba toxin receptors. These three isoforms that are functionally expressed in the larval midgut can be sequence-specific knocked down (ranging from ∼80 % to 95 %) by soaking the Aedes aegypti larvae in buffer of long double-stranded GPI-APN RNAs (∼300-680 bp). Finally, to see the physiological effect of APN knockdowns, the larvae were fed with Escherichia coli expressing Cry4Ba toxin. The results revealed that all the three identified GPI-APN isoforms may possibly function as a Cry4Ba receptor, particularly for APN2783 as those larvae with this transcript knockdown showed a dramatic increase in resistance to Cry4Ba toxicity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Isoleucine at position 150 of Cyt2Aa toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis plays an important role during membrane binding and oligomerization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanwarang Pathaichindachote

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Cyt2Aa2 is a mosquito larvicidal and cytolytic toxin producedby Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. darmstadiensis. The toxin becomesinactive when isoleucine at position 150 was replacedby alanine. To investigate the functional role of this position,Ile150 was substituted with Leu, Phe, Glu and Lys. All mutantproteins were produced at high level, solubilized in carbonatebuffer and yielded protease activated product similar to thoseof the wild type. Intrinsic fluorescence spectra analysis suggestedthat these mutants retain similar folding to the wildtype. However, mosquito larvicidal and hemolytic activitiesdramatically decreased for the I150K and were completelyabolished for I150A and I150F mutants. Membrane bindingand oligomerization assays demonstrated that only I150E andI150L could bind and form oligomers on lipid membrane similarto that of the wild type. Our results suggest that amino acidat position 150 plays an important role during membranebinding and oligomerization of Cyt2Aa2 toxin. [BMB Reports2013; 46(3: 175-180

  18. Gene detection and toxin production evaluation of hemolysin BL of Bacillus cereus isolated from milk and dairy products marketed in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre L.S. Reis

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus cereusis an ubiquitous, spore-forming bacteria that can survive pasteurization and the majority of the heating processes used in the dairy industry. Besides, it is a pathogen responsible for different types of food poisoning. One type of foodborne disease caused by B.cereusis the diarrheal syndrome, which is caused by the ingestion of vegetative cells producing toxins in the small intestine. One virulence factor for the diarrheal syndrome is the toxin hemolysin BL (HBL, a three-component protein formed by the L1, L2 and B components. In order to evaluate the presence of diarrheal strains isolated from milk and dairy products, 63 B. cereus isolates were obtained from 260 samples of UHT milk, pasteurized milk and powdered milk, sold in commercial establishments and from different brands. The isolates were subjected to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR for the detection of the encoding genes for the L1, L2 and B components and the toxin production capacity were evaluated with an immunoassay. A total of 23 [36.5%] isolates were identified carrying simultaneously the three tested genes, from which, 20 [86.9%] showed toxigenic capacity. 26 [41.3%] isolates did not carry any of genes tested and the other 14 [22.2%] were positive for one or two of them. The results showed a high toxigenic capacity among the B. cereus isolates able to produce the HBL, indicating a potential risk for consumers.

  19. Ces locus embedded proteins control the non-ribosomal synthesis of the cereulide toxin in emetic Bacillus cereus on multiple levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Genia eLücking

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The emetic toxin cereulide produced by Bacillus cereus is synthesized by the modular enzyme complex Ces that is encoded on a pXO1-like mega-plasmid. To decipher the role of the genes adjacent to the structural genes cesA/cesB, coding for the nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS, gene inactivation- and overexpression mutants of the emetic strain F4810/72 were constructed and their impact on cereulide biosynthesis was assessed. The hydrolase CesH turned out to be a part of the complex regulatory network controlling cereulide synthesis on a transcriptional Level, while the ABC transporter CesCD was found to be essential for post-translational control of cereulide synthesis. Using a gene inactivation approach, we show that the NRPS activating function of the phosphopantetheinyl transferase (PPtase embedded in the ces locus was complemented by a chromosomally encoded Sfp-like PPtase, representing an interesting example for the functional interaction between a plasmid encoded NRPS and a chromosomally encoded activation enzyme. In summary, our results highlight the complexity of cereulide biosynthesis and reveal multiple levels of toxin formation control. ces operon internal genes were shown to play a pivotal role by acting at different levels of toxin production, thus complementing the action of the chromosomal key transcriptional regulators AbrB and CodY.

  20. Microimaging of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin-binding proteins in gypsy moth larval gut using confocal fluorescence microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel J. Krofcheck; Algimantas P. Valaitis

    2010-01-01

    After ingestion by susceptible insect larvae, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal proteins bind to the brush border membranes of gut epithelial cells and disrupt the integrity of the plasma membrane by forming...

  1. Two specific membrane-bound aminopeptidase N isoforms from Aedes aegypti larvae serve as functional receptors for the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin implicating counterpart specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aroonkesorn, Aratee; Pootanakit, Kusol; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2015-05-29

    The interaction between Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins and their receptors on midgut cells of susceptible insect larvae is the critical determinant in toxin specificity. Besides GPI-linked alkaline phosphatase in Aedes aegypti mosquito-larval midguts, membrane-bound aminopeptidase N (AaeAPN) is widely thought to serve as a Cry4Ba receptor. Here, two full-length AaeAPN isoforms, AaeAPN2778 and AaeAPN2783, predicted to be GPI-linked were cloned and successfully expressed in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells as 112- and 107-kDa membrane-bound proteins, respectively. In the cytotoxicity assay, Sf9 cells expressing each of the two AaeAPN isoforms showed increased sensitivity to the Cry4Ba mosquito-active toxin. Double immunolocalization revealed specific binding of Cry4Ba to each individual AaeAPN expressed on the cell membrane surface. Sequence analysis and homology-based modeling placed these two AaeAPNs to the M1 aminopeptidase family as they showed similar four-domain structures, with the most conserved domain II being the catalytic component. Additionally, the most variable domain IV containing negatively charged surface patches observed only in dipteran APNs could be involved in insect specificity. Overall results demonstrated that these two membrane-bound APN isoforms were responsible for mediating Cry4Ba toxicity against AaeAPN-expressed Sf9 cells, suggesting their important role as functional receptors for the toxin counterpart in A. aegypti mosquito larvae. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Computational tridimensional protein modeling of Cry1Ab19 toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis BtX-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashyap, Sudhanshu; Singh, B D; Amla, D V

    2012-06-01

    We report the computational structural simulation of the Cry1Ab19 toxin molecule from B. thuringiensis BtX-2 based on the structure of Cry1Aa1 deduced by x-ray diffraction. Validation results showed that 93.5% of modeled residues are folded in a favorable orientation with a total energy Z-score of -8.32, and the constructed model has an RMSD of only 1.13. The major differences in the presented model are longer loop lengths and shortened sheet components. The overall result supports the hierarchical three-domain structural hypothesis of Cry toxins and will help in better understanding the structural variation within the Cry toxin family along with facilitating the design of domain-swapping experiments aimed at improving the toxicity of native toxins.

  3. Overproduction of the Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa16 toxin and study of its insecticidal activity against the carob moth Ectomyelois ceratoniae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boukedi, Hanen; Ben Khedher, Saoussen; Triki, Nesrine; Kamoun, Fakher; Saadaoui, Imen; Chakroun, Maissa; Tounsi, Slim; Abdelkefi-Mesrati, Lobna

    2015-05-01

    The vip3Aa16 gene of Bacillus thuringiensis strain BUPM95 was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Optimization of Vip3A16 protein expression was conducted using Plackett-Burman design and response surface methodology. Accordingly, the optimum Vip3A16 toxin production was 170μg/ml at 18h post-induction time and 39°C post-induction temperature. This corresponds to an improvement of 21times compared to the starting conditions. The insecticidal activity, evaluated against Ectomyelois ceratoniae, displayed an LC50 value of 40ng/cm(2) and the midgut histopathology of Vip3Aa16 fed larvae showed vacuolization of the cytoplasm, brush border membrane destruction, vesicle formation in the apical region and cellular disintegration. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Enhancement of Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal activity by combining Cry1Ac and bi-functional toxin HWTX-XI from spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yunjun; Fu, Zujiao; He, Xiaohong; Yuan, Chunhua; Ding, Xuezhi; Xia, Liqiu

    2016-03-01

    In order to assess the potency of bi-functional HWTX-XI toxin from spider Ornithoctonus huwena in improving the insecticidal activity of Bacillus thuringiensis, a fusion gene of cry1Ac and hwtx-XI was constructed and expressed in an acrystalliferous B. thuringiensis strain Cry(-)B. Western blot analysis and microscopic observation revealed that the recombinant strain could express 140-kDa Cry1Ac-HWTX-XI fusion protein and produce parasporal inclusions during sporulation. Bioassay using the larvae of Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera exigua showed that the Cry1Ac-HWTX-XI fusion was more toxic than the control Cry1Ac protoxin, as revealed by 95% lethal concentration. Our study indicated that the HWTX-XI from spider might be a candidate for enhancing the toxicity of B. thuringiensis products. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. A Comparison of Soil microbial community structure, protozoa and nematodes in field plots of conventional and genetically modified maize expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab toxin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, B. S.; Caul, S.; Thompson, J.

    2005-01-01

    Field trials were established at three European sites (Denmark, Eastern France, South-West France) of genetically modified maize (Zea mays L.) expressing the CryIAb Bacillus thuringiensis toxin (Bt), the near-isogenic non-Bt cultivar, another conventional maize cultivar and grass. Soil from Denmark...... was sampled at sowing (May) and harvest (October) over two years (2002, 2003); from E France at harvest 2002, sowing and harvest 2003; and from SW France at sowing and harvest 2003. Samples were analysed for microbial community structure (2003 samples only) by community-level physiological-profiling (CLPP...... there was a reduced protozoan population under Bt maize compared to non-Bt maize. Microbial community structure within the sites only varied with grass compared to maize, with one occurrence of CLPP varying between maize cultivars (Bt versus a conventional cultivar). An overall comparison of Bt versus non-Bt maize...

  6. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of a full-length active form of the Cry4Ba toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thamwiriyasati, Niramon; Sakdee, Somsri; Chuankhayan, Phimonphan; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Chen, Chun-Jung; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2010-01-01

    The crystallization of the Cry4Ba toxin from B. thuringiensis is described. To obtain a complete structure of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba mosquito-larvicidal protein, a 65 kDa functional form of the Cry4Ba-R203Q mutant toxin was generated for crystallization by eliminating the tryptic cleavage site at Arg203. The 65 kDa trypsin-resistant fragment was purified and crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals belonged to the rhombohedral space group R32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 184.62, c = 187.36 Å. Diffraction data were collected to at least 2.07 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation and gave a data set with an overall R merge of 9.1% and a completeness of 99.9%. Preliminary analysis indicated that the asymmetric unit contained one molecule of the active full-length mutant, with a V M coefficient and solvent content of 4.33 Å 3 Da −1 and 71%, respectively

  7. Cadherin is involved in the action of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa in the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Lin; Hou, Leilei; Zhang, Boyao; Liu, Lang; Li, Bo; Deng, Pan; Ma, Weihua; Wang, Xiaoping; Fabrick, Jeffrey A; Chen, Lizhen; Lei, Chaoliang

    2015-05-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins are effective against some insect pests in sprays and transgenic crops, although the evolution of resistance could threaten the long-term efficacy of such Bt use. One strategy to delay resistance to Bt crops is to "pyramid" two or more Bt proteins that bind to distinct receptor proteins within the insect midgut. The most common Bt pyramid in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) employs Cry1Ac with Cry2Ab to target several key lepidopteran pests, including the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner), which is a serious migratory pest of many vegetable crops and is increasingly important in cotton in China. While cadherin and aminopeptidase-N are key receptors of Cry1 toxins in many lepidopterans including S. exigua, the receptor for Cry2A toxins remains poorly characterized. Here, we show that a heterologous expressed peptide corresponding to cadherin repeat 7 to the membrane proximal extracellular domain (CR7-MPED) in the S. exigua cadherin 1b (SeCad1b) binds Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa. Moreover, SeCad1b transcription was suppressed in S. exigua larvae by oral RNA interference and susceptibility to Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa was significantly reduced. These results indicate that SeCad1b plays important functional roles of both Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa, having major implications for resistance management for S. exigua in Bt crops. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Construction of a novel, stable, food-grade expression system by engineering the endogenous toxin-antitoxin system in Bacillus subtilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Sen; Kang, Zhen; Cao, Wenlong; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2016-02-10

    Bacillus subtilis as an important workhorse that has been widely used to produce enzymes and metabolites. To broaden its applications, especially in the food and feed industry, we constructed a novel, stable, food-grade expression system by engineering its type II toxin-antitoxin system. The expression of the toxin EndoA, encoded by the chromosomal ydcE gene, was regulated by an endogenous, xylose-inducible promoter, while the ydcD gene, which encodes the unstable antitoxin EndoB, was inserted into a food-grade vector backbone, where its expression was driven by the native, constitutive promoter PylxM. By maintaining the xylose concentration above 2.0 g L(-1), this auto-regulated expression system was absolutely stable after 100 generations. Compared with traditional antibiotic-dependent expression systems, this novel expression system resulted in greater biomass and higher titers of desired products (enzymes or metabolites). Our results demonstrate that this stable, food-grade expression system is suitable for enzyme production and pathway engineering, especially for the production of food-grade enzymes and metabolites. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Anthrax lethal toxin disrupts intestinal barrier function and causes systemic infections with enteric bacteria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Sun

    Full Text Available A variety of intestinal pathogens have virulence factors that target mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK signaling pathways, including Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax lethal toxin (LT has specific proteolytic activity against the upstream regulators of MAPKs, the MAPK kinases (MKKs. Using a murine model of intoxication, we show that LT causes the dose-dependent disruption of intestinal epithelial integrity, characterized by mucosal erosion, ulceration, and bleeding. This pathology correlates with an LT-dependent blockade of intestinal crypt cell proliferation, accompanied by marked apoptosis in the villus tips. C57BL/6J mice treated with intravenous LT nearly uniformly develop systemic infections with commensal enteric organisms within 72 hours of administration. LT-dependent intestinal pathology depends upon its proteolytic activity and is partially attenuated by co-administration of broad spectrum antibiotics, indicating that it is both a cause and an effect of infection. These findings indicate that targeting of MAPK signaling pathways by anthrax LT compromises the structural integrity of the mucosal layer, serving to undermine the effectiveness of the intestinal barrier. Combined with the well-described immunosuppressive effects of LT, this disruption of the intestinal barrier provides a potential mechanism for host invasion via the enteric route, a common portal of entry during the natural infection cycle of Bacillus anthracis.

  10. Aminopeptidase N isoforms from the midgut of Bombyx mori and Plutella xylostella -- their classification and the factors that determine their binding specificity to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, Kazuko; Yaoi, Katsuro; Nagino, Yasushi; Hara, Hirotaka; Kitami, Madoka; Atsumi, Shogo; Miura, Nami; Sato, Ryoichi

    2002-05-22

    Novel aminopeptidase N (APN) isoform cDNAs, BmAPN3 and PxAPN3, from the midguts of Bombyx mori and Plutella xylostella, respectively, were cloned, and a total of eight APN isoforms cloned from B. mori and P. xylostella were classified into four classes. Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab toxins were found to bind to specific APN isoforms from the midguts of B. mori and P. xylostella, and binding occurred with fragments that corresponded to the BmAPN1 Cry1Aa toxin-binding region of each APN isoform. The results suggest that APN isoforms have a common toxin-binding region, and that the apparent specificity of Cry1Aa toxin binding to each intact APN isoform seen in SDS-PAGE is determined by factors such as expression level in conjunction with differences in binding affinity.

  11. Comprehensive analysis of gene expression profiles of the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua larvae challenged with Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bel, Yolanda; Jakubowska, Agata K; Costa, Juliana; Herrero, Salvador; Escriche, Baltasar

    2013-01-01

    Host-pathogen interactions result in complex relationship, many aspects of which are not completely understood. Vip proteins, which are Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins produced during the vegetative stage, are selectively effective against specific insect pests. This new group of Bt proteins represents an interesting alternative to the classical Bt Cry toxins because current data suggests that they do not share the same mode of action. We have designed and developed a genome-wide microarray for the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua, a serious lepidopteran pest of many agricultural crops, and used it to better understand how lepidopteran larvae respond to the treatment with the insecticidal protein Vip3Aa. With this approach, the goal of our study was to evaluate the changes in gene expression levels caused by treatment with sublethal doses of Vip3Aa (causing 99% growth inhibition) at 8 and 24 h after feeding. Results indicated that the toxin provoked a wide transcriptional response, with 19% of the microarray unigenes responding significantly to treatment. The number of up- and down-regulated unigenes was very similar. The number of genes whose expression was regulated at 8 h was similar to the number of genes whose expression was regulated after 24 h of treatment. The up-regulated sequences were enriched for genes involved in innate immune response and in pathogen response such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and repat genes. The down-regulated sequences were mainly unigenes with homology to genes involved in metabolism. Genes related to the mode of action of Bt Cry proteins were found, in general, to be slightly overexpressed. The present study is the first genome-wide analysis of the response of lepidopteran insects to Vip3Aa intoxication. An insight into the molecular mechanisms and components related to Vip intoxication will allow designing of more effective management strategies for pest control.

  12. Lack of detrimental effects of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins on the insect predator Chrysoperla carnea: a toxicological, histopathological, and biochemical analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigo-Simón, Ana; de Maagd, Ruud A; Avilla, Carlos; Bakker, Petra L; Molthoff, Jos; González-Zamora, Jose E; Ferré, Juan

    2006-02-01

    The effect of Cry proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis on the green lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea) was studied by using a holistic approach which consisted of independent, complementary experimental strategies. Tritrophic experiments were performed, in which lacewing larvae were fed Helicoverpa armigera larvae reared on Cry1Ac, Cry1Ab, or Cry2Ab toxins. In complementary experiments, a predetermined amount of purified Cry1Ac was directly fed to lacewing larvae. In both experiments no effects on prey utilization or fitness parameters were found. Since binding to the midgut is an indispensable step for toxicity of Cry proteins to known target insects, we hypothesized that specific binding of the Cry1A proteins should be found if the proteins were toxic to the green lacewing. In control experiments, Cry1Ac was detected bound to the midgut epithelium of intoxicated H. armigera larvae, and cell damage was observed. However, no binding or histopathological effects of the toxin were found in tissue sections of lacewing larvae. Similarly, Cry1Ab or Cry1Ac bound in a specific manner to brush border membrane vesicles from Spodoptera exigua but not to similar fractions from green lacewing larvae. The in vivo and in vitro binding results strongly suggest that the lacewing larval midgut lacks specific receptors for Cry1Ab or Cry1Ac. These results agree with those obtained in bioassays, and we concluded that the Cry toxins tested, even at concentrations higher than those expected in real-life situations, do not have a detrimental effect on the green lacewing when they are ingested either directly or through the prey.

  13. Comprehensive analysis of gene expression profiles of the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua larvae challenged with Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yolanda Bel

    Full Text Available Host-pathogen interactions result in complex relationship, many aspects of which are not completely understood. Vip proteins, which are Bacillus thuringensis (Bt insecticidal toxins produced during the vegetative stage, are selectively effective against specific insect pests. This new group of Bt proteins represents an interesting alternative to the classical Bt Cry toxins because current data suggests that they do not share the same mode of action. We have designed and developed a genome-wide microarray for the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua, a serious lepidopteran pest of many agricultural crops, and used it to better understand how lepidopteran larvae respond to the treatment with the insecticidal protein Vip3Aa. With this approach, the goal of our study was to evaluate the changes in gene expression levels caused by treatment with sublethal doses of Vip3Aa (causing 99% growth inhibition at 8 and 24 h after feeding. Results indicated that the toxin provoked a wide transcriptional response, with 19% of the microarray unigenes responding significantly to treatment. The number of up- and down-regulated unigenes was very similar. The number of genes whose expression was regulated at 8 h was similar to the number of genes whose expression was regulated after 24 h of treatment. The up-regulated sequences were enriched for genes involved in innate immune response and in pathogen response such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs and repat genes. The down-regulated sequences were mainly unigenes with homology to genes involved in metabolism. Genes related to the mode of action of Bt Cry proteins were found, in general, to be slightly overexpressed. The present study is the first genome-wide analysis of the response of lepidopteran insects to Vip3Aa intoxication. An insight into the molecular mechanisms and components related to Vip intoxication will allow designing of more effective management strategies for pest control.

  14. Transponson Tn916 Mutagenesis in Bacillus anthracis,

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-11-10

    this manuscript was submitted for publication that J. G. Naglich, R. E. Andrews, Jr., and P. A. Pattee , Iowa State University, have transferred Tnga1...faeai var. zymogenes. J. Bacteriol. 117:360-372. 19. Jones, J. M., S. C. Yost, and P. A. Pattee . 1987. Transfer of the tetracycline resistance

  15. Holotrichia oblita Midgut Proteins That Bind to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry8-Like Toxin and Assembly of the H. oblita Midgut Tissue Transcriptome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jian; Huang, Ying; Shu, Changlong; Soberón, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra; Liu, Chunqing; Song, Fuping; Lai, Jinsheng; Zhang, Jie

    2017-06-15

    The Bacillus thuringiensis strain HBF-18 (CGMCC 2070), containing two cry genes ( cry8 -like and cry8Ga ), is toxic to Holotrichia oblita larvae. Both Cry8-like and Cry8Ga proteins are active against this insect pest, and Cry8-like is more toxic. To analyze the characteristics of the binding of Cry8-like and Cry8Ga proteins to brush border membrane vesicles (BBMVs) in H. oblita larvae, binding assays were conducted with a fluorescent DyLight488-labeled Cry8-like toxin. The results of saturation binding assays demonstrated that Cry8-like bound specifically to binding sites on BBMVs from H. oblita , and heterologous competition assays revealed that Cry8Ga shared binding sites with Cry8-like. Furthermore, Cry8-like-binding proteins in the midgut from H. oblita larvae were identified by pulldown assays and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In addition, the H. oblita midgut transcriptome was assembled by high-throughput RNA sequencing and used for identification of Cry8-like-binding proteins. Eight Cry8-like-binding proteins were obtained from pulldown assays conducted with BBMVs. The LC-MS/MS data for these proteins were successfully matched with the H. oblita transcriptome, and BLASTX results identified five proteins as serine protease, transferrin-like, uncharacterized protein LOC658236 of Tribolium castaneum , ATPase catalytic subunit, and actin. These identified Cry8-like-binding proteins were different from those confirmed previously as receptors for Cry1A proteins in lepidopteran insect species, such as aminopeptidase, alkaline phosphatase, and cadherin. IMPORTANCE Holotrichia oblita is one of the main soil-dwelling pests in China. The larvae damage the roots of crops, resulting in significant yield reductions and economic losses. H. oblita is difficult to control, principally due to its soil-dwelling habits. In recent years, some Cry8 toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis were shown to be active against this pest. Study of the mechanism of

  16. 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

  17. Beetle-specific Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa toxin reduces larval growth and curbs reproduction in Spodoptera littoralis (Boisd.)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hussein, Hany; Habuštová, Oxana; Sehnal, František

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 61, - (2005), s. 1186-1192 ISSN 1526-498X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA522/02/1507 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Bacillus thuringiensis * Spodoptera littoralis * Bt applications Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.175, year: 2005

  18. Uniform Orientation of Biotinylated Nanobody as an Affinity Binder for Detection of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1Ac Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Min; Zhu, Min; Zhang, Cunzheng; Liu, Xianjin; Wan, Yakun

    2014-01-01

    Nanobodies are the smallest natural fragments with useful properties such as high affinity, distinct paratope and high stability, which make them an ideal tool for detecting target antigens. In this study, we generated and characterized nanobodies against the Cry1Ac toxin and applied them in a biotin-streptavidin based double antibodies (nanobodies) sandwich-ELISA (DAS-ELISA) assay. After immunizing a camel with soluble Cry1Ac toxin, a phage displayed library was constructed to generate Nbs against the Cry1Ac toxin. Through successive rounds of affinity bio-panning, four nanobodies with greatest diversity in CDR3 sequences were obtained. After affinity determination and conjugating to HRP, two nanobodies with high affinity which can recognize different epitopes of the same antigen (Cry1Ac) were selected as capture antibody (Nb61) and detection antibody (Nb44). The capture antibody (Nb61) was biotinylated in vivo for directional immobilization on wells coated with streptavidin matrix. Both results of specificity analysis and thermal stability determination add support for reliability of the following DAS-ELISA with a minimum detection limit of 0.005 μg·mL−1 and a working range 0.010–1.0 μg·mL−1. The linear curve displayed an acceptable correlation coefficient of 0.9976. These results indicated promising applications of nanobodies for detection of Cry1Ac toxin with biotin-streptavidin based DAS-ELISA system. PMID:25474492

  19. Uniform Orientation of Biotinylated Nanobody as an Affinity Binder for Detection of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt Cry1Ac Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Li

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Nanobodies are the smallest natural fragments with useful properties such as high affinity, distinct paratope and high stability, which make them an ideal tool for detecting target antigens. In this study, we generated and characterized nanobodies against the Cry1Ac toxin and applied them in a biotin-streptavidin based double antibodies (nanobodies sandwich-ELISA (DAS-ELISA assay. After immunizing a camel with soluble Cry1Ac toxin, a phage displayed library was constructed to generate Nbs against the Cry1Ac toxin. Through successive rounds of affinity bio-panning, four nanobodies with greatest diversity in CDR3 sequences were obtained. After affinity determination and conjugating to HRP, two nanobodies with high affinity which can recognize different epitopes of the same antigen (Cry1Ac were selected as capture antibody (Nb61 and detection antibody (Nb44. The capture antibody (Nb61 was biotinylated in vivo for directional immobilization on wells coated with streptavidin matrix. Both results of specificity analysis and thermal stability determination add support for reliability of the following DAS-ELISA with a minimum detection limit of 0.005 μg·mL−1 and a working range 0.010–1.0 μg·mL−1. The linear curve displayed an acceptable correlation coefficient of 0.9976. These results indicated promising applications of nanobodies for detection of Cry1Ac toxin with biotin-streptavidin based DAS-ELISA system.

  20. Baseline Susceptibility of Field Populations of Helicoverpa armigera to Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa Toxin and Lack of Cross-Resistance between Vip3Aa and Cry Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiyun Wei

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner is one of the most damaging cotton pests worldwide. In China, control of this pest has been dependent on transgenic cotton producing a single Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt protein Cry1Ac since 1997. A small, but significant, increase in H. armigera resistance to Cry1Ac was detected in field populations from Northern China. Since Vip3Aa has a different structure and mode of action than Cry proteins, Bt cotton pyramids containing Vip3Aa are considered as ideal successors of Cry1Ac cotton in China. In this study, baseline susceptibility of H. armigera to Vip3Aa was evaluated in geographic field populations collected in 2014 from major cotton-producing areas of China. The LC50 values of 12 field populations ranged from 0.053 to 1.311 μg/cm2, representing a 25-fold range of natural variation among populations. It is also demonstrated that four laboratory strains of H. armigera with high levels of resistance to Cry1Ac or Cry2Ab have no cross-resistance to Vip3Aa protein. The baseline susceptibility data established here will serve as a comparative reference for detection of field-evolved resistance to Vip3Aa in H. armigera after future deployment of Bt cotton pyramids in China.

  1. Insect Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin Cry2Ab Is Conferred by Mutations in an ABC Transporter Subfamily A Protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wee Tek Tay

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The use of conventional chemical insecticides and bacterial toxins to control lepidopteran pests of global agriculture has imposed significant selection pressure leading to the rapid evolution of insecticide resistance. Transgenic crops (e.g., cotton expressing the Bt Cry toxins are now used world wide to control these pests, including the highly polyphagous and invasive cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera. Since 2004, the Cry2Ab toxin has become widely used for controlling H. armigera, often used in combination with Cry1Ac to delay resistance evolution. Isolation of H. armigera and H. punctigera individuals heterozygous for Cry2Ab resistance in 2002 and 2004, respectively, allowed aspects of Cry2Ab resistance (level, fitness costs, genetic dominance, complementation tests to be characterised in both species. However, the gene identity and genetic changes conferring this resistance were unknown, as was the detailed Cry2Ab mode of action. No cross-resistance to Cry1Ac was observed in mutant lines. Biphasic linkage analysis of a Cry2Ab-resistant H. armigera family followed by exon-primed intron-crossing (EPIC marker mapping and candidate gene sequencing identified three independent resistance-associated INDEL mutations in an ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC transporter gene we named HaABCA2. A deletion mutation was also identified in the H. punctigera homolog from the resistant line. All mutations truncate the ABCA2 protein. Isolation of further Cry2Ab resistance alleles in the same gene from field H. armigera populations indicates unequal resistance allele frequencies and the potential for Bt resistance evolution. Identification of the gene involved in resistance as an ABC transporter of the A subfamily adds to the body of evidence on the crucial role this gene family plays in the mode of action of the Bt Cry toxins. The structural differences between the ABCA2, and that of the C subfamily required for Cry1Ac toxicity, indicate differences in the

  2. Rapid peptide based diagnosis: peptide-based Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) protease substrates for the detection and diagnosis of bacillus spp

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bikker, F.J.; Kaman, W.E.

    2014-01-01

    We describe the development of a highly specific protease-based Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) assay for easy and rapid detection both in vitro and in vivo of Bacillus spp, including Bacillus anthracis. Synthetic substrates for B. anthracis proteases were designed and exposed to

  3. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Bacillus thuringiensis Strains and Characterization of a Putative 41.9-kDa Insecticidal Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma, Leopoldo; Muñoz, Delia; Berry, Colin; Murillo, Jesús; Caballero, Primitivo

    2014-01-01

    In this work, we report the genome sequencing of two Bacillus thuringiensis strains using Illumina next-generation sequencing technology (NGS). Strain Hu4-2, toxic to many lepidopteran pest species and to some mosquitoes, encoded genes for two insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins, cry1Ia and cry9Ea, and a vegetative insecticidal protein (Vip) gene, vip3Ca2. Strain Leapi01 contained genes coding for seven Cry proteins (cry1Aa, cry1Ca, cry1Da, cry2Ab, cry9Ea and two cry1Ia gene variants) and a vip3 gene (vip3Aa10). A putative novel insecticidal protein gene 1143 bp long was found in both strains, whose sequences exhibited 100% nucleotide identity. The predicted protein showed 57 and 100% pairwise identity to protein sequence 72 from a patented Bt strain (US8318900) and to a putative 41.9-kDa insecticidal toxin from Bacillus cereus, respectively. The 41.9-kDa protein, containing a C-terminal 6× HisTag fusion, was expressed in Escherichia coli and tested for the first time against four lepidopteran species (Mamestra brassicae, Ostrinia nubilalis, Spodoptera frugiperda and S. littoralis) and the green-peach aphid Myzus persicae at doses as high as 4.8 µg/cm2 and 1.5 mg/mL, respectively. At these protein concentrations, the recombinant 41.9-kDa protein caused no mortality or symptoms of impaired growth against any of the insects tested, suggesting that these species are outside the protein’s target range or that the protein may not, in fact, be toxic. While the use of the polymerase chain reaction has allowed a significant increase in the number of Bt insecticidal genes characterized to date, novel NGS technologies promise a much faster, cheaper and efficient screening of Bt pesticidal proteins. PMID:24784323

  4. MAPK signaling pathway alters expression of midgut ALP and ABCC genes and causes resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin in diamondback moth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaojiang Guo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Insecticidal crystal toxins derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt are widely used as biopesticide sprays or expressed in transgenic crops to control insect pests. However, large-scale use of Bt has led to field-evolved resistance in several lepidopteran pests. Resistance to Bt Cry1Ac toxin in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L., was previously mapped to a multigenic resistance locus (BtR-1. Here, we assembled the 3.15 Mb BtR-1 locus and found high-level resistance to Cry1Ac and Bt biopesticide in four independent P. xylostella strains were all associated with differential expression of a midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (ALP outside this locus and a suite of ATP-binding cassette transporter subfamily C (ABCC genes inside this locus. The interplay between these resistance genes is controlled by a previously uncharacterized trans-regulatory mechanism via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK signaling pathway. Molecular, biochemical, and functional analyses have established ALP as a functional Cry1Ac receptor. Phenotypic association experiments revealed that the recessive Cry1Ac resistance was tightly linked to down-regulation of ALP, ABCC2 and ABCC3, whereas it was not linked to up-regulation of ABCC1. Silencing of ABCC2 and ABCC3 in susceptible larvae reduced their susceptibility to Cry1Ac but did not affect the expression of ALP, whereas suppression of MAP4K4, a constitutively transcriptionally-activated MAPK upstream gene within the BtR-1 locus, led to a transient recovery of gene expression thereby restoring the susceptibility in resistant larvae. These results highlight a crucial role for ALP and ABCC genes in field-evolved resistance to Cry1Ac and reveal a novel trans-regulatory signaling mechanism responsible for modulating the expression of these pivotal genes in P. xylostella.

  5. Extending the Bacillus cereus group genomics to putative food-borne pathogens of different toxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lapidus, Alla L. [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Goltsman, Eugene [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Auger, Sandrine [Genetique Microbienne; Galleron, Nathalie [Genetique Microbienne; Segurens, Beatrice [Center National Sequencage, F-91057 Evry, France; Simon, Jorg [Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Dossat, Carole [Genoscope/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Unite Mixte de Recherche; Land, Miriam L [ORNL; Broussolle, Veronique [Securite et Qualite des Produits d' Origine Vegetale; Brillard, Julien [Securite et Qualite des Produits d' Origine Vegetale; Guinebretiere, Marie-Helene [Securite et Qualite des Produits d' Origine Vegetale; Sanchis, Vincent [Genetique Microbienne; Nguen-the, Christophe [Securite et Qualite des Produits d' Origine Vegetale; Lereclus, Didier [Genetique Microbienne; Richardson, P M [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Wincker, Patrick [Genoscope/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Unite Mixte de Recherche; Weissenbach, Jean [Genoscope/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Unite Mixte de Recherche; Ehrlich, Dusko [Genetique Microbienne; Sorokin, Alexei [Genetique Microbienne

    2008-01-01

    The Bacillus cereus group represents sporulating soil bacteria containing pathogenic strains which may cause diarrheic or emetic food poisoning outbreaks. Multiple locus sequence typing revealed a presence in natural samples of these bacteria of about 30 clonal complexes. Application of genomic methods to this group was however biased due to the major interest for representatives closely related to Bacillus anthracis. Albeit the most important food-borne pathogens were not yet defined, existing data indicate that they are scattered all over the phylogenetic tree. The preliminary analysis of the sequences of three genomes discussed in this paper narrows down the gaps in our knowledge of the B. cereus group. The strain NVH391-98 is a rare but particularly severe food-borne pathogen. Sequencing revealed that the strain should be a representative of a novel bacterial species, for which the name Bacillus cytotoxis or Bacillus cytotoxicus is proposed. This strain has a reduced genome size compared to other B. cereus group strains. Genome analysis revealed absence of sigma B factor and the presence of genes encoding diarrheic Nhe toxin, not detected earlier. The strain B. cereus F837/76 represents a clonal complex close to that of B. anthracis. Including F837/76, three such B. cereus strains had been sequenced. Alignment of genomes suggests that B. anthracis is their common ancestor. Since such strains often emerge from clinical cases, they merit a special attention. The third strain, KBAB4, is a typical facultative psychrophile generally found in soil. Phylogenic studies show that in nature it is the most active group in terms of gene exchange. Genomic sequence revealed high presence of extra-chromosomal genetic material (about 530 kb) that may account for this phenomenon. Genes coding Nhe-like toxin were found on a big plasmid in this strain. This may indicate a potential mechanism of toxicity spread from the psychrophile strain community. The results of this genomic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandadi, Machender R; Yu, Xuejun; Frankel, Arthur E; Ren, Jun

    2012-11-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kandadi Machender R

    2012-11-01

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

  8. Layer-by-layer films containing peptides of the Cry1Ab16 toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis for potential biotechnological applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plácido, Alexandra; Oliveira Farias, Emanuel Airton de; Marani, Mariela M.; Vasconcelos, Andreanne G.; Mafud, Ana C.; Mascarenhas, Yvonne P.; Eiras, Carla

    2016-01-01

    Cry1Ab16 is a toxin of crystalline insecticidal proteins that has been widely used in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to gain resistance to pests. For the first time, in this study, peptides derived from the immunogenic Cry1Ab16 toxin (from Bacillus thuringiensis) were immobilized as layer-by-layer (LbL) films. Given the concern about food and environmental safety, a peptide with immunogenic potential, PcL342–354C, was selected for characterization of the electrochemical, optical, and morphological properties. The results obtained by cyclic voltammetry (CV) showed that the peptide have an irreversible oxidation process in electrolyte of 0.1 mol·L −1 potassium phosphate buffer (PBS) at pH 7.2. It was also observed that the electrochemical response of the peptide is governed mainly by charge transfer. In an attempt to maximize the electrochemical signal of peptide, it was intercalated with natural (agar, alginate and chitosan) or synthetic polymers (polyethylenimine (PEI) and poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate (PSS)). The presence of synthetic polymers on the film increased the electrochemical signal of PcL342–354C up to 100 times. Images by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) showed that the immobilized PcL342–354C formed self-assembled nanofibers with diameters ranging from 100 to 200 nm on the polymeric film. By UV–Visible spectroscopy (UV–Vis) it was observed that the ITO/PEI/PSS/PcL342–354C film grows linearly up to the fifth layer, thereafter tending to saturation. X-ray diffraction confirmed the presence on the films of crystalline ITO and amorphous polypeptide phases. In general, the ITO/PEI/PSS/PcL342–354C film characterization proved that this system is an excellent candidate for applications in electrochemical sensors and other biotechnological applications for GMOs and environmental indicators. - Highlights: • Peptides of the Cry1Ab16 toxin for potential biotechnological applications • Optimized LbL film deposition for synergic

  9. Genetic Basis of Cry1F-Resistance in a Laboratory Selected Asian Corn Borer Strain and Its Cross-Resistance to Other Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yueqin Wang

    Full Text Available The Asian corn borer (ACB, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée (Lepidoptera: Crambidae, is the most destructive insect pest of corn in China. Susceptibility to the Cry1F toxin derived from Bacillus thuringiensis has been demonstrated for ACB, suggesting the potential for Cry1F inclusion as part of an insect pest management program. Insects can develop resistance to Cry toxins, which threatens the development and use of Bt formulations and Bt crops in the field. To determine possible resistance mechanisms to Cry1F, a Cry1F-resistant colony of ACB (ACB-FR that exhibited more than 1700-fold resistance was established through selection experiments after 49 generations of selection under laboratory conditions. The ACB-FR strain showed moderate cross-resistance to Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac of 22.8- and 26.9-fold, respectively, marginally cross-resistance to Cry1Ah (3.7-fold, and no cross-resistance to Cry1Ie (0.6-fold. The bioassay responses of progeny from reciprocal F1 crosses to different Cry1 toxin concentrations indicated that the resistance trait to Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac and Cry1F has autosomal inheritance with no maternal effect or sex linked. The effective dominance (h of F1 offspring was calculated at different concentrations of Cry1F, showing that h decreased as concentration of Cry1F increased. Finally, the analysis of actual and expected mortality of the progeny from a backcross (F1 × resistant strain indicated that the inheritance of the resistance to Cry1F in ACB-FR was due to more than one locus. The present study provides an understanding of the genetic basis of Cry1F resistance in ACB-FR and also shows that pyramiding Cry1F with Cry1Ah or Cry1Ie could be used as a strategy to delay the development of ACB resistance to Bt proteins.

  10. Layer-by-layer films containing peptides of the Cry1Ab16 toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis for potential biotechnological applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plácido, Alexandra [REQUIMTE/LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 431, 4200-072 Porto (Portugal); Oliveira Farias, Emanuel Airton de [Núcleo de Pesquisa em Biodiversidade e Biotecnologia, BIOTEC, Campus Ministro Reis Velloso, CMRV, Universidade Federal do Piauí, UFPI, 64202020 Parnaíba, Piaui (Brazil); Marani, Mariela M. [IPEEC-CENPAT-CONICET, Centro Nacional Patagónico, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, 9120 Puerto Madryn, Chubut (Argentina); Vasconcelos, Andreanne G. [Núcleo de Pesquisa em Biodiversidade e Biotecnologia, BIOTEC, Campus Ministro Reis Velloso, CMRV, Universidade Federal do Piauí, UFPI, 64202020 Parnaíba, Piaui (Brazil); Mafud, Ana C.; Mascarenhas, Yvonne P. [Instituto de Física de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo, USP, 13566-590 São Carlos, SP (Brazil); Eiras, Carla [Núcleo de Pesquisa em Biodiversidade e Biotecnologia, BIOTEC, Campus Ministro Reis Velloso, CMRV, Universidade Federal do Piauí, UFPI, 64202020 Parnaíba, Piaui (Brazil); Laboratório de Materiais Avançados, LIMAV, Engenharia de Materiais, Centro de Tecnologia, CT, Universidade Federal do Piauí, UFPI, 64049550 Teresina, Piaui (Brazil); and others

    2016-04-01

    Cry1Ab16 is a toxin of crystalline insecticidal proteins that has been widely used in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to gain resistance to pests. For the first time, in this study, peptides derived from the immunogenic Cry1Ab16 toxin (from Bacillus thuringiensis) were immobilized as layer-by-layer (LbL) films. Given the concern about food and environmental safety, a peptide with immunogenic potential, PcL342–354C, was selected for characterization of the electrochemical, optical, and morphological properties. The results obtained by cyclic voltammetry (CV) showed that the peptide have an irreversible oxidation process in electrolyte of 0.1 mol·L{sup −1} potassium phosphate buffer (PBS) at pH 7.2. It was also observed that the electrochemical response of the peptide is governed mainly by charge transfer. In an attempt to maximize the electrochemical signal of peptide, it was intercalated with natural (agar, alginate and chitosan) or synthetic polymers (polyethylenimine (PEI) and poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate (PSS)). The presence of synthetic polymers on the film increased the electrochemical signal of PcL342–354C up to 100 times. Images by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) showed that the immobilized PcL342–354C formed self-assembled nanofibers with diameters ranging from 100 to 200 nm on the polymeric film. By UV–Visible spectroscopy (UV–Vis) it was observed that the ITO/PEI/PSS/PcL342–354C film grows linearly up to the fifth layer, thereafter tending to saturation. X-ray diffraction confirmed the presence on the films of crystalline ITO and amorphous polypeptide phases. In general, the ITO/PEI/PSS/PcL342–354C film characterization proved that this system is an excellent candidate for applications in electrochemical sensors and other biotechnological applications for GMOs and environmental indicators. - Highlights: • Peptides of the Cry1Ab16 toxin for potential biotechnological applications • Optimized LbL film deposition for synergic

  11. SecDF as part of the Sec-translocase facilitates efficient secretion of Bacillus cereus toxins and cell wall-associated proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aniko Vörös

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to explore the role of SecDF in protein secretion in Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 by in-depth characterization of a markerless secDF knock out mutant. Deletion of secDF resulted in pleiotropic effects characterized by a moderately slower growth rate, aberrant cell morphology, enhanced susceptibility to xenobiotics, reduced virulence and motility. Most toxins, including food poisoning-associated enterotoxins Nhe, Hbl, and cytotoxin K, as well as phospholipase C were less abundant in the secretome of the ΔsecDF mutant as determined by label-free mass spectrometry. Global transcriptome studies revealed profound transcriptional changes upon deletion of secDF indicating cell envelope stress. Interestingly, the addition of glucose enhanced the described phenotypes. This study shows that SecDF is an important part of the Sec-translocase mediating efficient secretion of virulence factors in the Gram-positive opportunistic pathogen B. cereus, and further supports the notion that B. cereus enterotoxins are secreted by the Sec-system.

  12. Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 RpoN (Sigma 54) Is a Pleiotropic Regulator of Growth, Carbohydrate Metabolism, Motility, Biofilm Formation and Toxin Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayrapetyan, Hasmik; Tempelaars, Marcel; Nierop Groot, Masja; Abee, Tjakko

    2015-01-01

    Sigma 54 is a transcriptional regulator predicted to play a role in physical interaction of bacteria with their environment, including virulence and biofilm formation. In order to study the role of Sigma 54 in Bacillus cereus, a comparative transcriptome and phenotypic study was performed using B. cereus ATCC 14579 WT, a markerless rpoN deletion mutant, and its complemented strain. The mutant was impaired in many different cellular functions including low temperature and anaerobic growth, carbohydrate metabolism, sporulation and toxin production. Additionally, the mutant showed lack of motility and biofilm formation at air-liquid interphase, and this correlated with absence of flagella, as flagella staining showed only WT and complemented strain to be highly flagellated. Comparative transcriptome analysis of cells harvested at selected time points during growth in aerated and static conditions in BHI revealed large differences in gene expression associated with loss of phenotypes, including significant down regulation of genes in the mutant encoding enzymes involved in degradation of branched chain amino acids, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, flagella synthesis and virulence factors. Our study provides evidence for a pleiotropic role of Sigma 54 in B. cereus supporting its adaptive response and survival in a range of conditions and environments.

  13. SecDF as part of the Sec-translocase facilitates efficient secretion of Bacillus cereus toxins and cell wall-associated proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vörös, Aniko; Simm, Roger; Slamti, Leyla; McKay, Matthew J; Hegna, Ida K; Nielsen-LeRoux, Christina; Hassan, Karl A; Paulsen, Ian T; Lereclus, Didier; Økstad, Ole Andreas; Molloy, Mark P; Kolstø, Anne-Brit

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the role of SecDF in protein secretion in Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 by in-depth characterization of a markerless secDF knock out mutant. Deletion of secDF resulted in pleiotropic effects characterized by a moderately slower growth rate, aberrant cell morphology, enhanced susceptibility to xenobiotics, reduced virulence and motility. Most toxins, including food poisoning-associated enterotoxins Nhe, Hbl, and cytotoxin K, as well as phospholipase C were less abundant in the secretome of the ΔsecDF mutant as determined by label-free mass spectrometry. Global transcriptome studies revealed profound transcriptional changes upon deletion of secDF indicating cell envelope stress. Interestingly, the addition of glucose enhanced the described phenotypes. This study shows that SecDF is an important part of the Sec-translocase mediating efficient secretion of virulence factors in the Gram-positive opportunistic pathogen B. cereus, and further supports the notion that B. cereus enterotoxins are secreted by the Sec-system.

  14. Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 RpoN (Sigma 54 Is a Pleiotropic Regulator of Growth, Carbohydrate Metabolism, Motility, Biofilm Formation and Toxin Production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasmik Hayrapetyan

    Full Text Available Sigma 54 is a transcriptional regulator predicted to play a role in physical interaction of bacteria with their environment, including virulence and biofilm formation. In order to study the role of Sigma 54 in Bacillus cereus, a comparative transcriptome and phenotypic study was performed using B. cereus ATCC 14579 WT, a markerless rpoN deletion mutant, and its complemented strain. The mutant was impaired in many different cellular functions including low temperature and anaerobic growth, carbohydrate metabolism, sporulation and toxin production. Additionally, the mutant showed lack of motility and biofilm formation at air-liquid interphase, and this correlated with absence of flagella, as flagella staining showed only WT and complemented strain to be highly flagellated. Comparative transcriptome analysis of cells harvested at selected time points during growth in aerated and static conditions in BHI revealed large differences in gene expression associated with loss of phenotypes, including significant down regulation of genes in the mutant encoding enzymes involved in degradation of branched chain amino acids, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, flagella synthesis and virulence factors. Our study provides evidence for a pleiotropic role of Sigma 54 in B. cereus supporting its adaptive response and survival in a range of conditions and environments.

  15. The Peptide Toxin Amylosin of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens from Moisture-Damaged Buildings Is Immunotoxic, Induces Potassium Efflux from Mammalian Cells, and Has Antimicrobial Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teplova, Vera V.; Andersson, Maria A.; Mikkola, Raimo; Kankkunen, Päivi; Matikainen, Sampsa; Gahmberg, Carl G.; Andersson, Leif C.; Salkinoja-Salonen, Mirja

    2015-01-01

    Amylosin, a heat-stable channel-forming non-ribosomally synthesized peptide toxin produced by strains of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens isolated from moisture-damaged buildings, is shown in this paper to have immunotoxic and cytotoxic effects on human cells as well as antagonistic effects on microbes. Human macrophages exposed to 50 ng of amylosin ml−1 secreted high levels of cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 within 2 h, indicating activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, an integral part of the innate immune system. At the same exposure level, expression of IL-1β and IL-18 mRNA increased. Amylosin caused dose-dependent potassium ion efflux from all tested mammalian cells (human monocytes and keratinocytes and porcine sperm cells) at 1 to 2 μM exposure. Amylosin also inhibited the motility of porcine sperm cells and depolarized the mitochondria of human keratinocytes. Amylosin may thus trigger the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and subsequently cytokine release by causing potassium efflux from exposed cells. The results of this study indicate that exposure to amylosin activates the innate immune system, which could offer an explanation for the inflammatory symptoms experienced by occupants of moisture-damaged buildings. In addition, the amylosin-producing B. amyloliquefaciens inhibited the growth of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic indoor microbes, and purified amylosin also had an antimicrobial effect. These antimicrobial effects could make amylosin producers dominant and therefore significant causal agents of health problems in some moisture-damaged sites. PMID:25681192

  16. Comparative Genomics of Bacillus thuringiensis Reveals a Path to Specialized Exploitation of Multiple Invertebrate Hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Jinshui; Gao, Qiuling; Liu, Linlin; Liu, Hualin; Wang, Yueying; Peng, Donghai; Ruan, Lifang; Raymond, Ben; Sun, Ming

    2017-08-08

    Understanding the genetic basis of host shifts is a key genomic question for pathogen and parasite biology. The Bacillus cereus group, which encompasses Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus anthracis , contains pathogens that can infect insects, nematodes, and vertebrates. Since the target range of the essential virulence factors (Cry toxins) and many isolates is well known, this group presents a powerful system for investigating how pathogens can diversify and adapt to phylogenetically distant hosts. Specialization to exploit insects occurs at the level of the major clade and is associated with substantial changes in the core genome, and host switching between insect orders has occurred repeatedly within subclades. The transfer of plasmids with linked cry genes may account for much of the adaptation to particular insect orders, and network analysis implies that host specialization has produced strong associations between key toxin genes with similar targets. Analysis of the distribution of plasmid minireplicons shows that plasmids with orf156 and orf157 , which carry genes encoding toxins against Lepidoptera or Diptera, were contained only by B. thuringiensis in the specialized insect clade (clade 2), indicating that tight genome/plasmid associations have been important in adaptation to invertebrate hosts. Moreover, the accumulation of multiple virulence factors on transposable elements suggests that cotransfer of diverse virulence factors is advantageous in terms of expanding the insecticidal spectrum, overcoming insect resistance, or through gains in pathogenicity via synergistic interactions between toxins. IMPORTANCE Population genomics have provided many new insights into the formation, evolution, and dynamics of bacterial pathogens of humans and other higher animals, but these pathogens usually have very narrow host ranges. As a pathogen of insects and nematodes, Bacillus thuringiensis , which produces toxins showing toxicity to many orders of insects and

  17. Cry1A(b)16 toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis: Theoretical refinement of three-dimensional structure and prediction of peptides as molecular markers for detection of genetically modified organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plácido, Alexandra; Coelho, Andreia; Abreu Nascimento, Lucas; Gomes Vasconcelos, Andreanne; Fátima Barroso, Maria; Ramos-Jesus, Joilson; Costa, Vladimir; das Chagas Alves Lima, Francisco; Delerue-Matos, Cristina; Martins Ramos, Ricardo; Marani, Mariela M; Roberto de Souza de Almeida Leite, José

    2017-07-01

    Transgenic maize produced by the insertion of the Cry transgene into its genome became the second most cultivated crop worldwide. Cry gene from Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki expresses protein derivatives of crystalline endotoxins which confer insect resistance onto the maize crop. Mandatory labeling of processed food containing or made by genetically modified organisms is in force in many countries, so, it is very urgent to develop fast and practical methods for GMO identification, for example, biosensors. In the absence of an available empirical structure of Cry1A(b)16 protein, a theoretical model was effectively generated, in this work, by homology modeling and molecular dynamics simulations based on two available homologous protein structures. Molecular dynamics simulations were carried out to refine the selected model, and an analysis of its global structure was performed. The refined models of Cry1A(b)16 showed a standard fold and structural characteristics similar to those seen in Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A(a) insecticidal toxin and Bacillus thuringiensis serovar kurstaki Cry1A(c) toxin. After in silico analysis of Cry1A(b)16, two immunoreactive candidate peptides were selected and specific polyclonal antibodies were produced resulting in antibody-peptide interaction. Biosensing devices are expected to be developed for detection of the Cry1A(b) protein as a marker of transgenic maize in food. Proteins 2017; 85:1248-1257. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Different Effects of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin Cry1Ab on Midgut Cell Transmembrane Potential of Mythimna separata and Agrotis ipsilon Larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yingying; Hu, Zhaonong; Wu, Wenjun

    2015-12-15

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry toxins from the Cry1A family demonstrate significantly different toxicities against members of the family Noctuidae for unknown reasons. In this study, membrane potential was measured and analyzed in freshly isolated midgut samples from Mythimna separata and Agrotis ipsilon larvae under oral administration and in vitro incubation with Bt toxin Cry1Ab to elucidate the mechanism of action for further control of these pests. Bioassay results showed that the larvae of M. separata achieved a LD50 of 258.84 ng/larva at 24 h after ingestion; M. separata larvae were at least eightfold more sensitive than A. ipsilon larvae to Cry1Ab. Force-feeding showed that the observed midgut apical-membrane potential (V(am)) of M. separata larvae was significantly depolarized from -82.9 ± 6.6 mV to -19.9 ± 7.2 mV at 8 h after ingestion of 1 μg activated Cry1Ab, whereas no obvious changes were detected in A. ipsilon larvae with dosage of 5 μg Cry1Ab. The activated Cry1Ab caused a distinct concentration-dependent depolarization of the apical membrane; V(am) was reduced by 50% after 14.7 ± 0.2, 9.8 ± 0.4, and 7.6 ± 0.6 min of treatment with 1, 5, and 10 μg/mL Cry1Ab, respectively. Cry1Ab showed a minimal effect on A. ipsilon larvae even at 20 μg/mL, and V(am) decreased by 26.3% ± 2.3% after 15 min. The concentrations of Cry1Ab displayed no significant effect on the basolateral side of the epithelium. The V(am) of A. ipsilon (-33.19 ± 6.29 mV, n = 51) was only half that of M. separata (-80.94 ± 6.95 mV, n = 75). The different degrees of sensitivity to Cry1Ab were speculatively associated with various habits, as well as the diverse physiological or biochemical characteristics of the midgut cell membranes.

  19. Different Effects of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin Cry1Ab on Midgut Cell Transmembrane Potential of Mythimna separata and Agrotis ipsilon Larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingying Wang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt Cry toxins from the Cry1A family demonstrate significantly different toxicities against members of the family Noctuidae for unknown reasons. In this study, membrane potential was measured and analyzed in freshly isolated midgut samples from Mythimna separata and Agrotis ipsilon larvae under oral administration and in vitro incubation with Bt toxin Cry1Ab to elucidate the mechanism of action for further control of these pests. Bioassay results showed that the larvae of M. separata achieved a LD50 of 258.84 ng/larva at 24 h after ingestion; M. separata larvae were at least eightfold more sensitive than A. ipsilon larvae to Cry1Ab. Force-feeding showed that the observed midgut apical-membrane potential (Vam of M. separata larvae was significantly depolarized from −82.9 ± 6.6 mV to −19.9 ± 7.2 mV at 8 h after ingestion of 1 μg activated Cry1Ab, whereas no obvious changes were detected in A. ipsilon larvae with dosage of 5 μg Cry1Ab. The activated Cry1Ab caused a distinct concentration-dependent depolarization of the apical membrane; Vam was reduced by 50% after 14.7 ± 0.2, 9.8 ± 0.4, and 7.6 ± 0.6 min of treatment with 1, 5, and 10 μg/mL Cry1Ab, respectively. Cry1Ab showed a minimal effect on A. ipsilon larvae even at 20 μg/mL, and Vam decreased by 26.3% ± 2.3% after 15 min. The concentrations of Cry1Ab displayed no significant effect on the basolateral side of the epithelium. The Vam of A. ipsilon (−33.19 ± 6.29 mV, n = 51 was only half that of M. separata (−80.94 ± 6.95 mV, n = 75. The different degrees of sensitivity to Cry1Ab were speculatively associated with various habits, as well as the diverse physiological or biochemical characteristics of the midgut cell membranes.

  20. Rapid, High-Throughput Identification of Anthrax-Causing and Emetic Bacillus cereus Group Genome Assemblies via BTyper, a Computational Tool for Virulence-Based Classification of Bacillus cereus Group Isolates by Using Nucleotide Sequencing Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Laura M.; Miller, Rachel A.; Wiedmann, Martin

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Bacillus cereus group comprises nine species, several of which are pathogenic. Differentiating between isolates that may cause disease and those that do not is a matter of public health and economic importance, but it can be particularly challenging due to the high genomic similarity within the group. To this end, we have developed BTyper, a computational tool that employs a combination of (i) virulence gene-based typing, (ii) multilocus sequence typing (MLST), (iii) panC clade typing, and (iv) rpoB allelic typing to rapidly classify B. cereus group isolates using nucleotide sequencing data. BTyper was applied to a set of 662 B. cereus group genome assemblies to (i) identify anthrax-associated genes in non-B. anthracis members of the B. cereus group, and (ii) identify assemblies from B. cereus group strains with emetic potential. With BTyper, the anthrax toxin genes cya, lef, and pagA were detected in 8 genomes classified by the NCBI as B. cereus that clustered into two distinct groups using k-medoids clustering, while either the B. anthracis poly-γ-d-glutamate capsule biosynthesis genes capABCDE or the hyaluronic acid capsule hasA gene was detected in an additional 16 assemblies classified as either B. cereus or Bacillus thuringiensis isolated from clinical, environmental, and food sources. The emetic toxin genes cesABCD were detected in 24 assemblies belonging to panC clades III and VI that had been isolated from food, clinical, and environmental settings. The command line version of BTyper is available at https://github.com/lmc297/BTyper. In addition, BMiner, a companion application for analyzing multiple BTyper output files in aggregate, can be found at https://github.com/lmc297/BMiner. IMPORTANCE Bacillus cereus is a foodborne pathogen that is estimated to cause tens of thousands of illnesses each year in the United States alone. Even with molecular methods, it can be difficult to distinguish nonpathogenic B. cereus group isolates from their

  1. The identification of a tetracycline resistance gene tet(M), on a Tn916-like transposon, in the Bacillus cereus group

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersø, Yvonne; Jensen, Lars Bogø; Givskov, Michael Christian

    2002-01-01

    In order to investigate whether resistance genes present in bacteria in manure could transfer to indigenous soil bacteria, resistant isolates belonging to the Bacillus cereus group (Bacillus cereus, Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis) were isolated from farm soil (72 isolates) and manure...

  2. The recombinant fusion protein of cholera toxin B and neutrophil-activating protein expressed on Bacillus subtilis spore surface suppresses allergic inflammation in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Hui; Huang, Yanmei; Yao, Shuwen; Liang, Bingshao; Long, Yan; Xie, Yongqiang; Mai, Jialiang; Gong, Sitang; Zhou, Zhenwen

    2017-07-01

    The neutrophil-activating protein of Helicobacter pylori (HP-NAP) has been identified as a modulator with anti-Th2 inflammation activity, and cholera toxin B (CTB) is a mucosal adjuvant that can also induce antigen tolerance. In this study, we constructed a CTB-NAP fusion protein on the surface of Bacillus subtilis spore and evaluate the efficiency of oral administration of the recombinant CTB-NAP spores in preventing asthma in mice. Oral administration of recombinant CTB or CTB-NAP spores significantly decreased serum ovalbumin (OVA)-specific IgE (p recombinant spores. Oral administration of recombinant CTB or CTB-NAP spores induced IL-10 and IFN-γ expression and reduced IL-4 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Moreover, CTB and CTB-NAP spores reduced the eosinophils in BALF and inflammatory cell infiltration in the lungs. Furthermore, CD4 + CD25 + Foxp3 + Tregs in splenocytes were significantly increased in mice treated with recombinant CTB or CTB-NAP spores. The number of CD4 + CD25 + Foxp3 + Tregs caused by CTB-NAP was higher than that by CTB alone. Our study indicated that B. subtilis spores with surface expression of subunit CTB or CTB-NAP could inhibit OVA-induced allergic inflammation in mice. The attenuated inflammation was attributed to the induction of CD4 + CD25 + Foxp3 + Tregs and IgA. Moreover, the fusion protein CTB-NAP demonstrated a better efficiency than CTB alone in inhibiting the inflammation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sjoerd Rijpkema

    2012-01-01

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

  4. The Effect of Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 on The Survival of The Non-Target Pest, Spodoptera litura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurnia Pratiwi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Spodoptera litura is one of the important insect pest of maize besides the notoriously damaging corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis. S. litura has been the target of various controls including the use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt toxin Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2. This study was conducted to evaluate the acute effect of Bt toxin Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 on the growth and development of S. litura from larval to adult stages. Two sublethal concentrations were used; 0.1875 and 0.0469 ppm for Cry1A.105, and 0.0008 and 0.0003 ppm for Cry2Ab2. The bioassay using diet dipping was carried out on a CRD with three experiments and five repetitions. The observation was carried out on the mortality and survival rates of S. litura. The mortality reached 28% when the larvae were treated with 0.1875 ppm and 20% with 0.0469 ppm of Cry 1A.105. The exposed larvae and pupae were smaller than control. Larval and pupal weight were 117.0 and 165.6 g with 0.1875 ppm, while control were 212.9 and 211.2 g. Cry1A.105 also longer the larval stage, larval stage with higher and lower concentration were 24.5 and 22.3 day, while control was 20.5 day. The resulted pupae from larve which exposed by Cry1A.105 were less than control; there were 40% at concentration 0.1875 ppm and control 61%. The two concentration of Cry2Ab2 produced similar mortality of 20%. Similarly, Cry2Ab2 affected pupal to adult stages development. The longevity of pupal stage with concentration 0.0003 ppm was 9.5 days, followed by 0.0008 ppm (9.1 days and control (10.1 days. The adult emerge on the highest concentration was 47.4% while control only 34.6%. There results showed that both Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 were detrimental to the survival of S. litura which is the non-target insect of transgenic Bt maize.   INTISARI   Spodoptera litura merupakan salah satu hama penting yang menyerang tanaman jagung, selain Ostrinia furnacalis. Belakangan ini O. furnacalis diketahui telah menjadi target dari berbagai macam cara

  5. Mobility of adsorbed Cry1Aa insecticidal toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) on montmorillonite measured by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helassa, Nordine; Daudin, Gabrielle; Noinville, Sylvie; Janot, Jean-Marc; Déjardin, Philippe; Staunton, Siobhán; Quiquampoix, Hervé

    2010-06-01

    The insecticidal toxins produced by genetically modified Bt crops are introduced into soil through root exudates and tissue decomposition and adsorb readily on soil components, especially on clays. This immobilisation and the consequent concentration of the toxins in "hot spots" could increase the exposure of soil organisms. Whereas the effects on non-target organisms are well documented, few studies consider the migration of the toxin in soil. In this study, the residual mobility of Bt Cry1Aa insecticidal toxin adsorbed on montmorillonite was assessed using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). This technique, which is usually used to study dynamics of cytoplasmic and membrane molecules in live cells, was applied for the first time to a protein adsorbed on a finely divided swelling clay mineral, montmorillonite. No mobility of adsorbed toxin was observed at any pH and at different degrees of surface saturation.

  6. In vitro evaluation, biodistribution and scintigraphic imaging in mice of radiolabeled anthrax toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dadachova, Ekaterina; Rivera, Johanna; Revskaya, Ekaterina; Nakouzi, Antonio; Cahill, Sean M.; Blumenstein, Michael; Xiao, Hui; Rykunov, Dmitry; Casadevall, Arturo

    2008-01-01

    Introduction: There is a lot of interest towards creating therapies and vaccines for Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium which causes anthrax in humans and which spores can be made into potent biological weapons. Systemic injection of lethal factor (LF), edema factor (EF) and protective antigen (PA) in mice produces toxicity, and this protocol is commonly used to investigate the efficacy of specific antibodies in passive protection and vaccine studies. Availability of toxins labeled with imageable radioisotopes would allow to demonstrate their tissue distribution after intravenous injection at toxin concentration that are below pharmacologically significant to avoid masking by toxic effects. Methods: LF, EF and PA were radiolabeled with 188 Re and 99m Tc, and their performance in vitro was evaluated by macrophages and Chinese hamster ovary cells toxicity assays and by binding to macrophages. Scintigraphic imaging and biodistribution of intravenously (IV) injected 99m Tc-and 123 I-labeled toxins was performed in BALB/c mice. Results: Radiolabeled toxins preserved their biological activity. Scatchard-type analysis of the binding of radiolabeled PA to the J774.16 macrophage-like cells revealed 6.6x10 4 binding sites per cell with a dissociation constant of 6.7 nM. Comparative scintigraphic imaging of mice injected intravenously with either 99m Tc-or 123 I-labeled PA, EF and LF toxins demonstrated similar biodistribution patterns with early localization of radioactivity in the liver, spleen, intestines and excretion through kidneys. The finding of renal excretion shortly after IV injection strongly suggests that toxins are rapidly degraded which could contribute to the variability of mouse toxigenic assays. Biodistribution studies confirmed that all three toxins concentrated in the liver and the presence of high levels of radioactivity again implied rapid degradation in vivo. Conclusions: The availability of 188 Re and 99m Tc-labeled PA, LF and EF toxins allowed us to

  7. Domain III of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ie Toxin Plays an Important Role in Binding to Peritrophic Membrane of Asian Corn Borer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongmei Feng

    Full Text Available The insecticidal IE648 toxin is a truncated Cry1Ie protein with increased toxicity against Asian corn borer (ACB. Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins that disrupt insect midgut cells to kill the larvae. However, the peritrophic membrane (PM is an important barrier that Cry toxins must cross before binding to midgut cells. Previously, it was shown that Cry toxins are able to bind and accumulate in the PM of several lepidopteran insects. Binding of IE648 toxin to PM of ACB was previously reported and the goal of the current work was the identification of the binding region between Cry1Ie and the PM of ACB. Homologous competition binding assays showed that this interaction was specific. Heterologous competition binding assays performed with different fragments corresponding to domain I, domain II and domain III allowed us to identify that domain III participates in the interaction of IE648 with the PM. Specifically, peptide D3-L8 (corresponding to Cry1Ie toxin residues 607 to 616, located in an exposed loop region of domain III is probably involved in this interaction. Ligand blot assays show that IE648 interact with chitin and PM proteins with sizes of 30, 32 and 80 kDa. The fact that domain III interacts with proteins of similar molecular masses supports that this region of the toxin might be involved in PM interaction. These data provide for the first time the identification of domain III as a putative binding region between PM and 3D-Cry toxin.

  8. Lack of detrimental effects of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins on the insect predator Chrysoperla carnea: a toxicological, histopathological, and biochemical analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigo-Simón, A.; Maagd, de R.A.; Avilla, C.; Bakker, P.L.; Molthoff, J.W.; González-Zamora, J.; Ferré, J.

    2006-01-01

    The effect of Cry proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis on the green lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea) was studied by using a holistic approach which consisted of independent, complementary experimental strategies. Tritrophic experiments were performed, in which lacewing larvae were fed Helicoverpa

  9. Characterization of AmiBA2446, a novel bacteriolytic enzyme active against Bacillus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    There continues to be a need for developing efficient and environmentally friendly treatments for Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. One emerging approach for inactivation of vegetative B. anthracis is the use of bacteriophage endolysins or lytic enzymes encoded by bacterial genomes (autolysins) with highly evolved specificity toward bacterium-specific peptidoglycan cell walls. In this work, we performed in silico analysis of the genome of Bacillus anthracis strain Ames, using a consensus binding domain amino acid sequence as a probe, and identified a novel lytic enzyme that we termed AmiBA2446. This enzyme exists as a homodimer, as determined by size exclusion studies. It possesses N-acetylmuramoyl-l-alanine amidase activity, as determined from liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis of muropeptides released due to the enzymatic digestion of peptidoglycan. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that AmiBA2446 was an autolysin of bacterial origin. We characterized the effects of enzyme concentration and phase of bacterial growth on bactericidal activity and observed close to a 5-log reduction in the viability of cells of Bacillus cereus 4342, a surrogate for B. anthracis. We further tested the bactericidal activity of AmiBA2446 against various Bacillus species and demonstrated significant activity against B. anthracis and B. cereus strains. We also demonstrated activity against B. anthracis spores after pretreatment with germinants. AmiBA2446 enzyme was also stable in solution, retaining its activity after 4 months of storage at room temperature.

  10. Establishment of a sensitive time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay for detection of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ie toxin based nanobody from a phage display library.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chongxin; Liu, Xiaoqin; Zhang, Cunzheng; Zhang, Xiao; Zhong, Jianfeng; Liu, Yuan; Hu, Xiaodan; Lin, Manman; Liu, Xianjin

    2017-02-01

    Cry1Ie toxin was an insect-resistant protein used in genetically modified crops (GMC). In this study, a large human VH gene nanobodies phage displayed library was employed to select anti-Cry1Ie toxin antibody by affinity panning. After 5 rounds of panning, total 12 positive monoclonal phage particles were obtained. One of the identified positive phage nanobody was expressed in E.coli BL21 and the purified protein was indicated as a molecular mass of approximately 20 kDa by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Then a sensitive indirect competitive time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay (IC-TRFIA) was established for detection of Cry1Ie toxin by the purified protein. The working range of detection for Cry1Ie toxin standards in the IC-TRFIA were 0.08-6.44 ng mL -1 and the medium inhibition of control (IC 50 ) was 0.73 ng mL -1 . It showed a weak cross-reactivity with Cry1Ab toxin (at 5.6%), but did not recognize Cry1B, Cry1C, Cry1F, and Cry2A toxins (were <0.1%). The average recoveries of Cry1Ie toxin from respectively spiked in rice, corn and soil samples were in the range of 83.5%-96.6% and with a coefficient of variation (CV) among 2.0%-8.6%. These results showed the IC-TRFIA was promising for detection of Cry1Ie toxin in agricultural and environmental samples. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Characterization of Bacillus cereus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijnands LM; Dufrenne JB; Leusden FM; MGB

    2002-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is a ubiquitary microorganism that may cause food borne disease. Pathogenicity, however, depends on various characteristics such as the ability to form (entero)-toxin(s) that can not be detected by microbiological methods. Further characterization of pathogenic properties is not only

  12. Stool C difficile toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... toxin; Colitis - toxin; Pseudomembranous - toxin; Necrotizing colitis - toxin; C difficile - toxin ... be analyzed. There are several ways to detect C difficile toxin in the stool sample. Enzyme immunoassay ( ...

  13. Single-reversal charge in the β10-β11 receptor-binding loop of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Aa and Cry4Ba toxins reflects their different toxicity against Culex spp. larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visitsattapongse, Sarinporn; Sakdee, Somsri; Leetacheewa, Somphob; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2014-07-25

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Aa toxin was previously shown to be much more toxic to Culex mosquito-larvae than its closely related toxin - Cry4Ba, conceivably due to their sequence differences within the β10-β11 receptor-binding loop. Here, single-Ala substitutions of five residues (Pro(510), Thr(512), Tyr(513), Lys(514) and Thr(515)) within the Cry4Aa β10-β11 loop revealed that only Lys(514) corresponding to the relative position of Cry4Ba-Asp(454) is crucial for toxicity against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. Interestingly, charge-reversal mutations at Cry4Ba-Asp(454) (D454R and D454K) revealed a marked increase in toxicity against such less-susceptible larvae. In situ binding analyses revealed that both Cry4Ba-D454R and D454K mutants exhibited a significant increase in binding to apical microvilli of Culex larval midguts, albeit at lower-binding activity when compared with Cry4Aa. Altogether, our present data suggest that a positively charged side-chain near the tip of the β10-β11 loop plays a critical role in determining target specificity of Cry4Aa against Culex spp., and hence a great increase in the Culex larval toxicity of Cry4Ba was obtained toward an opposite-charge conversion of the corresponding Asp(454). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Two different Bacillus thuringiensis toxin genes confer resistance to beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hübner) in transgenic Bt-shallots (Allium cepa L.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zheng Sijun, S.J.; Henken, B.; Maagd, de R.A.; Purwito, A.; Krens, F.A.; Kik, C.

    2005-01-01

    Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation was applied to produce beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hübner) resistant tropical shallots (Allium cepa L. group Aggregatum). A cry1Ca or a H04 hybrid gene from Bacillus thuringiensis, driven by the chrysanthemum ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate

  15. 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.

  16. A cadherin-like protein functions as a receptor for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa and Cry1Ac toxins on midgut epithelial cells of Bombyx mori larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Hirotaka; Atsumi, Shogo; Yaoi, Katsuro; Nakanishi, Kazuko; Higurashi, Satoshi; Miura, Nami; Tabunoki, Hiroko; Sato, Ryoichi

    2003-03-13

    Aminopeptidase N (APN) and cadherin-like protein (BtR175) from Bombyx mori larvae were examined for their roles in Cry1Aa- and Cry1Ac-induced lysis of B. mori midgut epithelial cells (MECs). APNs and BtR175 were present in all areas of the midgut, were particularly abundant in the posterior region, and were found only on columnar cell microvilli and not on the lateral membrane that makes cell-cell contacts. This distribution was in accordance with the distribution of Cry1A-susceptible MECs in the midgut. The lytic activity of Cry1Aa and Cry1Ac on collagenase-dissociated MECs was linearly dependent on toxin concentration. Although pre-treatment of MECs with anti-BtR175 antibody was observed to partially inhibit the lytic activity exerted by 0.1-1 nM Cry1Aa toxin or 5 nM Cry1Ac toxin, no significant inhibition was observed when MECs were pre-treated with anti-APN antibody. These results suggest that BtR175 functions as a major receptor for Cry1A toxins in the midgut of B. mori larvae.

  17. Construction of a non toxic chimeric protein (L1-L2-B) of Haemolysin BL from Bacillus cereus and its application in HBL toxin detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, T D Kalyan; Murali, H S; Batra, H V

    2008-12-01

    Among the many potential virulence factors of B. cereus, Haemolysin BL is a unique and potent three component pore forming toxin composed of a binding component, B, and two lytic components, L(1) and L(2). Heterogeneity in nucleic acid and protein sequences of HBL components and problems during expression of L(1) and L(2) proteins in recombinant host due to their toxicity causes problems for development of specific detection systems based on PCR and Immunoassay, respectively. Commercially available kit (BCET RPLA, Oxoid) is useful for detection of L(2) component of HBL, but detection of only one component is insufficient to give comprehensive view on HBL toxin producing strains as some strains produced only one or two of the three HBL components. To address above mentioned problems, in this study, we cloned conserved domains of B, L(1) and L(2) components together as single fusion gene and expressed as recombinant multidomain chimeric protein in E. coli. The resultant protein having L(1), B and L(2) components in the form of single protein had no toxicity towards E. coli as we followed truncated protein approach. The hyperimmune antisera raised in mice against r-chimeric protein reacted with all the three components of HBL toxin of B. cereus (ATCC 14579) and provided three reaction bands at ~40 kDa to ~50 kDa regions during Western blot analysis. The hyperimmune sera of r-chimeric protein also notably neutralized the hemolytic activity of native HBL toxin. These results demonstrated that the obtained chimeric protein is correct and retained the antigenicity of native HBL toxin components. Therefore, it has better application in the development of a comprehensive HBL detection immunoassay and may also be a potential candidate molecule for vaccine studies.

  18. Cytotoxic Potential of Bacillus cereus Strains ATCC 11778 and 14579 Against Human Lung Epithelial Cells Under Microaerobic Growth Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen eKilcullen

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus cereus, a food poisoning bacterium closely related to Bacillus anthracis, secretes a multitude of virulence factors including enterotoxins, hemolysins, and phospholipases. However, the majority of the in vitro experiments evaluating the cytotoxic potential of B. cereus were carried out in the conditions of aeration, and the impact of the oxygen limitation in conditions encountered by the microbe in natural environment such as gastrointestinal tract remains poorly understood. This research reports comparative analysis of ATCC strains 11778 (BC1 and 14579 (BC2 in aerated and microaerobic (static cultures with regard to their toxicity for human lung epithelial cells. We showed that BC1 increased its toxicity upon oxygen limitation while BC2 was highly cytotoxic in both growth conditions. The combined effect of the pore-forming, cholesterol-dependent hemolysin, cereolysin O (CLO, and metabolic product(s such as succinate produced in microaerobic conditions provided substantial contribution to the toxicity of BC1 but not BC2 which relied mainly on other toxins. This mechanism is shared between CB1 and B. anthracis. It involves the permeabilization of the cell membrane which facilitates transport of toxic bacterial metabolites into the cell. The toxicity of BC1was potentiated in the presence of bovine serum albumin which appeared to serve as reservoir for bacteria-derived nitric oxide participating in the downstream production of reactive oxidizing species with the properties of peroxynitrite. In agreement with this the BC1cultures demonstrated the increased oxidation of the indicator dye Amplex Red catalyzed by peroxidase as well as the increased toxicity in the presence of externally added ascorbic acid.

  19. Cytotoxic Potential of Bacillus cereus Strains ATCC 11778 and 14579 Against Human Lung Epithelial Cells Under Microaerobic Growth Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilcullen, Kathleen; Teunis, Allison; Popova, Taissia G; Popov,