Psomopoulos, Fotis E; Siarkou, Victoria I; Papanikolaou, Nikolas; Iliopoulos, Ioannis; Tsaftaris, Athanasios S; Promponas, Vasilis J; Ouzounis, Christos A
The entire publicly available set of 37 genome sequences from the bacterial order Chlamydiales has been subjected to comparative analysis in order to reveal the salient features of this pangenome and its evolutionary history. Over 2,000 protein families are detected across multiple species, with a distribution consistent to other studied pangenomes. Of these, there are 180 protein families with multiple members, 312 families with exactly 37 members corresponding to core genes, 428 families with peripheral genes with varying taxonomic distribution and finally 1,125 smaller families. The fact that, even for smaller genomes of Chlamydiales, core genes represent over a quarter of the average protein complement, signifies a certain degree of structural stability, given the wide range of phylogenetic relationships within the group. In addition, the propagation of a corpus of manually curated annotations within the discovered core families reveals key functional properties, reflecting a coherent repertoire of cellular capabilities for Chlamydiales. We further investigate over 2,000 genes without homologs in the pangenome and discover two new protein sequence domains. Our results, supported by the genome-based phylogeny for this group, are fully consistent with previous analyses and current knowledge, and point to future research directions towards a better understanding of the structural and functional properties of Chlamydiales.
Lienard, Julia; Croxatto, Antony; Prod'hom, Guy; Greub, Gilbert
Originally, the Chlamydiales order was represented by a single family, the Chlamydiaceae, composed of several pathogens, such as Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia abortus. Recently, 6 new families of Chlamydia-related bacteria have been added to the Chlamydiales order. Most of these obligate intracellular bacteria are able to replicate in free-living amoebae. Amoebal co-culture may be used to selectively isolate amoeba-resisting bacteria. This method allowed in a previous work to discover strain CRIB 30, from an environmental water sample. Based on its 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with Criblamydia sequanensis, strain CRIB 30 was considered as a new member of the Criblamydiaceae family. In the present work, phylogenetic analyses of the genes gyrA, gyrB, rpoA, rpoB, secY, topA and 23S rRNA as well as MALDI-TOF MS confirmed the taxonomic classification of strain CRIB 30. Morphological examination revealed peculiar star-shaped elementary bodies (EBs) similar to those of C. sequanensis. Therefore, this new strain was called "Estrella lausannensis". Finally, E. lausannensis showed a large amoebal host range and a very efficient replication rate in Acanthamoeba species. Furthermore, E. lausannensis is the first member of the Chlamydiales order to grow successfully in the genetically tractable Dictyostelium discoideum, which opens new perspectives in the study of chlamydial biology.
Croxatto, Antony; Rieille, Nadia; Kernif, Tahar; Bitam, Idir; Aeby, Sébastien; Péter, Olivier; Greub, Gilbert
The Chlamydiales order includes the Chlamydiaceae, Parachlamydiaceae, Waddliaceae, Simkaniaceae, Criblamydiaceae, Rhabdochlamydiaceae, Clavichlamydiaceae, and Piscichlamydiaceae families. Members of the Chlamydiales order are obligate intracellular bacteria that replicate within eukaryotic cells of different origins including humans, animals, and amoebae. Many of these bacteria are pathogens or emerging pathogens of both humans and animals, but their true diversity is largely underestimated, and their ecology remains to be investigated. Considering their potential threat on human health, it is important to expand our knowledge on the diversity of Chlamydiae, but also to define the host range colonized by these bacteria. Thus, using a new pan-Chlamydiales PCR, we analyzed the prevalence of Chlamydiales DNA in ticks and fleas, which are important vectors of several viral and bacterial infectious diseases. To conduct this study, 1340 Ixodes ricinus ticks prepared in 192 pools were collected in Switzerland and 55 other ticks belonging to different tick species and 97 fleas belonging to different flea species were harvested in Algeria. In Switzerland, the prevalence of Chlamydiales DNA in the 192 pools was equal to 28.1% (54/192) which represents an estimated prevalence in the 1340 individual ticks of between 4.0% and 28.4%. The pan-Chlamydiales qPCR was positive for 45% (25/55) of tick samples collected in Algeria. The sequencing of the positive qPCR amplicons revealed a high diversity of Chlamydiales species. Most of them belonged to the Rhabdochlamydiaceae and Parachlamydiaceae families. Thus, ticks may carry Chlamydiales and should thus be considered as possible vectors for Chlamydiales propagation to both humans and animals.
Fotis E. Psomopoulos
Full Text Available The entire publicly available set of 37 genome sequences from the bacterial order Chlamydiales has been subjected to comparative analysis in order to reveal the salient features of this pangenome and its evolutionary history. Over 2,000 protein families are detected across multiple species, with a distribution consistent to other studied pangenomes. Of these, there are 180 protein families with multiple members, 312 families with exactly 37 members corresponding to core genes, 428 families with peripheral genes with varying taxonomic distribution and finally 1,125 smaller families. The fact that, even for smaller genomes of Chlamydiales, core genes represent over a quarter of the average protein complement, signifies a certain degree of structural stability, given the wide range of phylogenetic relationships within the group. In addition, the propagation of a corpus of manually curated annotations within the discovered core families reveals key functional properties, reflecting a coherent repertoire of cellular capabilities for Chlamydiales. We further investigate over 2,000 genes without homologs in the pangenome and discover two new protein sequence domains. Our results, supported by the genome-based phylogeny for this group, are fully consistent with previous analyses and current knowledge, and point to future research directions towards a better understanding of the structural and functional properties of Chlamydiales.
Full Text Available Since routine eubacterial 16S rRNA PCR does not amplify members of the Chlamydiales order, we tested all samples received in our laboratory during a 10 months period using a pan-Chlamydiales real-time PCR. 3 of 107 samples (2.8% revealed to be positive, suggesting a role of some Chlamydiales in the pathogenesis of chronic bronchial stenosis or bronchial stenosis superinfection and as agents of orthopaedic prosthesis infections.
Full Text Available A growing number of human infections incriminate environmental bacteria that have evolved virulent mechanisms to resist amoebae and use them as a replicative niche. These bacteria are designated amoeba-resisting bacteria (ARB. Despite the isolation of these ARB in various human clinical samples, the possible source of infection remains undetermined in most cases. However, it is known that the ARB Legionella pneumophila, for instance, causes a respiratory infection in susceptible hosts after inhalation of contaminated water aerosols from various sources. The Chlamydiales order contains many ARB, such as Parachlamydia acanthamoebae or Simkania negevensis, previously implicated in human respiratory infections with no identified contamination sources. We thus investigated whether domestic water systems are a potential source of transmission of these Chlamydiales to humans by using amoebal culture and molecular methods. Other important ARB such as mycobacteria and Legionella were also investigated, as were their possible amoebal hosts. This work reports for the first time a very high prevalence and diversity of Chlamydiales in drinking water, being detected in 35 (72.9% of 48 investigated domestic water systems, with members of the Parachlamydiaceae family being dominantly detected. Furthermore, various Legionella and mycobacteria species were also recovered, some species of which are known to be causal agents of human infections.
Pierlé, Sebastián Aguilar; Morales, Cirani Obregón; Martínez, Leonardo Perea; Ceballos, Nidia Aréchiga; Rivero, Juan José Pérez; Díaz, Osvaldo López; Brayton, Kelly A; Setién, Alvaro Aguilar
An intracellular bacterium was isolated from fruit bats (Artibeus intermedius) in Cocoyoc, Mexico. The bacterium caused severe lesions in the lungs and spleens of bats and intracytoplasmic vacuoles in cell cultures. Sequence analyses showed it is related to Waddlia spp. (order Chlamydiales). We propose to call this bacterium Waddlia cocoyoc.
Kebbi-Beghdadi, Carole; Fatton, Morgane; Greub, Gilbert
Recent large scale studies questioning the presence of intracellular bacteria of the Chlamydiales order in ticks and fleas revealed that arthropods, similarly to mammals, reptiles, birds or fishes, can be colonized by Chlamydia-related bacteria with a predominant representation of the Rhabdochlamydiaceae and Parachlamydiaceae families. We thus investigated the permissivity of two insect cell lines towards Waddlia chondrophila, Estrella lausannensis and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, three bacteria representative of three distinct families within the Chlamydiales order, all documented in ticks and/or in other arthropods. We demonstrated that W. chondrophila and E. lausannensis are able to very efficiently multiply in these insect cell lines. E. lausannensis however induced a rapid cytopathic effect, which somehow restricted its replication. P. acanthamoebae was not able to grow in these cell lines even if inclusions containing a few replicating bacteria could occasionally be observed.
Kostanjsek, Rok; Strus, Jasna; Drobne, Damjana; Avgustin, Gorazd
Intracellular bacteria were observed in the hepatopancreas of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and electron microscopic observations were used to determine the taxonomic position of these intracellular bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis and a complex developmental cycle affiliate these bacteria to the order Chlamydiales, within which they form a distinctive lineage, close to the family Simkaniaceae. They share scaber.
Full Text Available Growing evidence suggests that a novel member of the Chlamydiales order, Waddlia chondrophila, is a potential agent of miscarriage in humans and abortion in ruminants. Due to the lack of genetic tools to manipulate chlamydia, genomic analysis is proving to be the most incisive tool in stimulating investigations into the biology of these obligate intracellular bacteria. 454/Roche and Solexa/Illumina technologies were thus used to sequence and assemble de novo the full genome of the first representative of the Waddliaceae family, W. chondrophila. The bacteria possesses a 2'116'312 bp chromosome and a 15'593 bp low-copy number plasmid that might integrate into the bacterial chromosome. The Waddlia genome displays numerous repeated sequences indicating different genome dynamics from classical chlamydia which almost completely lack repetitive elements. Moreover, W. chondrophila exhibits many virulence factors also present in classical chlamydia, including a functional type III secretion system, but also a large complement of specific factors for resistance to host or environmental stresses. Large families of outer membrane proteins were identified indicating that these highly immunogenic proteins are not Chlamydiaceae specific and might have been present in their last common ancestor. Enhanced metabolic capability for the synthesis of nucleotides, amino acids, lipids and other co-factors suggests that the common ancestor of the modern Chlamydiales may have been less dependent on their eukaryotic host. The fine-detailed analysis of biosynthetic pathways brings us closer to possibly developing a synthetic medium to grow W. chondrophila, a critical step in the development of genetic tools. As a whole, the availability of the W. chondrophila genome opens new possibilities in Chlamydiales research, providing new insights into the evolution of members of the order Chlamydiales and the biology of the Waddliaceae.
Carol A Bonner
Full Text Available We previously proposed that in Chlamydiaceae rapid vegetative growth and a quiescent state of survival (persistence depend upon alternative protein translational profiles dictated by host tryptophan (Trp availability. These alternative profiles correspond, respectively, with a set of chlamydial proteins having higher-than-predicted contents of Trp (Up-Trp selection, or with another set exhibiting lower-than-predicted contents of Trp (Down-Trp selection. A comparative evaluation of Chlamydiaceae proteomes for Trp content has now been extended to a number of other taxon families within the Chlamydiales Order. At the Order level, elevated Trp content occurs for transporters of nucleotides, S-adenosylmethionine, dicarboxylate substrates, and Trp itself. For Trp and nucleotide transporters, this is even more pronounced in other chlamydiae families (Parachlamydiaceae, Waddliaceae, and Simkaniaceae due to extensive paralog expansion. This suggests that intracellular Trp availability served as an ancient survival cue for enhancement or restraint of chlamydial metabolism in the common Chlamydiales ancestor. The Chlamydiaceae Family further strengthened Up-Trp selection for proteins that function in cell division, lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis, and methyltransferase reactions. Some proteins that exhibit Up-Trp selection are uniquely present in the Chlamydiaceae, e.g., cytotoxin and the paralog families of polymorphic membrane proteins. A striking instance of Down-Trp selection in the Chlamydiaceae is the chorismate biosynthesis pathway and the connecting menaquinone pathway. The newly recognized 1,4-dihydroxy-6-napthoate pathway of menaquinone biosynthesis operates in Chlamydiaceae, whereas the classic 2-napthoate pathway is used in the other Chlamydiales families. Because of the extreme Down-Trp selection, it would appear that menaquinone biosynthesis is particularly important to the integrity of the persistent state maintained under conditions of
Dille, Stephanie; Kleinschnitz, Eva-Maria; Kontchou, Collins Waguia; Nölke, Thilo; Häcker, Georg
The Chlamydiales are an order of obligate intracellular bacteria sharing a developmental cycle inside a cytosolic vacuole, with very diverse natural hosts, from amoebae to mammals. The clinically most important species is Chlamydia trachomatis. Many uncertainties remain as to how Chlamydia organizes its intracellular development and replication. The discovery of new Chlamydiales species from other families permits the comparative analysis of cell-biological events and may indicate events that are common to all or peculiar to some species and more or less tightly linked to "chlamydial" development. We used this approach in the infection of human cells with Waddlia chondrophila, a species from the family Waddliaceae whose natural host is uncertain. Compared to C. trachomatis, W. chondrophila had slightly different growth characteristics, including faster cytotoxicity. The embedding in cytoskeletal structures was not as pronounced as for the C. trachomatis inclusion. C. trachomatis infection generates proteolytic activity by the protease Chlamydia protease-like activity factor (CPAF), which degrades host substrates upon extraction; these substrates were not cleaved in the case of W. chondrophila. Unlike Chlamydia, W. chondrophila did not protect against staurosporine-induced apoptosis. C. trachomatis infection causes Golgi apparatus fragmentation and redirects post-Golgi sphingomyelin transport to the inclusion; both were absent from W. chondrophila-infected cells. When host cells were infected with both species, growth of both species was reduced. This study highlights differences between bacterial species that both depend on obligate intracellular replication inside an inclusion. Some features seem principally dispensable for intracellular development of Chlamydiales in vitro but may be linked to host adaptation of Chlamydia and the higher virulence of C. trachomatis.
Croxatto, Antony; Murset, Valérie; Chassot, Bérénice; Greub, Gilbert
The type three secretion system (T3SS) operons of Chlamydiales bacteria are distributed in different clusters along their chromosomes and are conserved at both the level of sequence and genetic organization. A complete characterization of the temporal expression of multiple T3SS components at the transcriptional and protein levels has been performed in Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, replicating in its natural host cell Acanthamoeba castellanii. The T3SS components were classified in four different temporal clusters depending on their pattern of expression during the early, mid- and late phases of the infectious cycle. The putative T3SS transcription units predicted in Parachlamydia are similar to those described in Chlamydia trachomatis, suggesting that T3SS units of transcriptional expression are highly conserved among Chlamydiales bacteria. The maximal expression and activation of the T3SS of Parachlamydia occurred during the early to mid-phase of the infectious cycle corresponding to a critical phase during which the intracellular bacterium has (1) to evade and/or block the lytic pathway of the amoeba, (2) to differentiate from elementary bodies (EBs) to reticulate bodies (RBs), and (3) to modulate the maturation of its vacuole to create a replicative niche able to sustain efficient bacterial growth.
Full Text Available Ticks carry several human pathogenic microbes including Borreliae and Flavivirus causing tick-born encephalitis. Ticks can also carry DNA of Chlamydia-like organisms (CLOs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of CLOs in ticks and skin biopsies taken from individuals with suspected tick bite. DNA from CLOs was detected by pan-Chlamydiales-PCR in 40% of adult ticks from southwestern Finland. The estimated minimal infection rate for nymphs and larvae (studied in pools was 6% and 2%, respectively. For the first time, we show CLO DNA also in human skin as 68% of all skin biopsies studied contained CLO DNA as determined through pan-Chlamydiales-PCR. Sequence analyses based on the 16S rRNA gene fragment indicated that the sequences detected in ticks were heterogeneous, representing various CLO families; whereas the majority of the sequences from human skin remained “unclassified Chlamydiales” and might represent a new family-level lineage. CLO sequences detected in four skin biopsies were most closely related to “uncultured Chlamydial bacterium clones from Ixodes ricinus ticks” and two of them were very similar to CLO sequences from Finnish ticks. These results suggest that CLO DNA is present in human skin; ticks carry CLOs and could potentially transmit CLOs to humans.
Rusconi, Brigida; Kebbi-Beghdadi, Carole; Greub, Gilbert
Estrella lausannensis is a new member of the Chlamydiales order. Like other Chlamydia-related bacteria, it is able to replicate in amoebae and in fish cell lines. A preliminary study investigating the pathogenic potential of Chlamydia-related bacteria found a correlation between antibody response to E. lausannensis and pneumonia in children. To further investigate the pathogenic potential of E. lausannensis, we determined its ability to grow in human macrophages and its intracellular trafficking. The replication in macrophages resulted in viable E. lausannensis; however, it caused a significant cytopathic effect. The intracellular trafficking of E. lausannensis was analyzed by determining the interaction of the Estrella-containing inclusions with various endocytic markers as well as host organelles. The E. lausannensis inclusion escaped the endocytic pathway rapidly avoiding maturation into phagolysosomes by preventing both EEA-1 and LAMP-1 accumulation. Compared to Waddlia chondrophila, another Chlamydia-related bacteria, the recruitment of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum was minimal for E. lausannensis inclusions. Estrella lausannensis appears to use a distinct source of nutrients and energy compared to other members of the Chlamydiales order. In conclusion, we hypothesize that E. lausannensis has a restricted growth in human macrophages, due to its reduced capacity to control programmed cell death.
Full Text Available Background and Objective: Chlamydophila psittaci is a lethal bacterium that causes endemic avian chlamydiosis, and respiratory psittacosis. Laboratory diagnosis of Chlamydophila psittaci is difficult by culture. This study was design to investigate the presence of Chlamydophila psittaci in collected pharyngeal swabs from asyptomatic pigeons by PCR.Materials and Methods: Pharyngeal samples from pigeons with no symptoms of disease (n=280 were collected during hot and cold seasons in different parts of Ahvaz. DNA was extracted from specimens and subjected to PCR targeting pmp genes and 16s-23s rRNA intergenic spacer of Cp. psittaci and chlamydiales specific primers.Results: Of 280 samples 2 (0.7% harbor were positive for chlamydiales (16s-23s intergenic spacer and Cp. psittaci specific genes (pmp gene.Conclusions: In this research the pigeons were asymptomatic carriers for Cp. psittaci in their respiratory discharges. These results suggest that Cp. psittaci infection of human can occur in very close and continuous contact with pigeons.
Barkallah, Mohamed; Slima, Ahlem Ben; Mallek, Zouhir; Gautier, Michel; Greub, Gilbert; Gdoura, Radhouane; Fendri, Imen
Bovine abortion of unknown infectious etiology still remains a major economic problem. Thus, we investigated whether Brucella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp. and Coxiella burnetii are associated with abortion and/or stillbirth in Tunisian dairy cattle. Using a pan-Chlamydiales PCR, we also investigated the role of Chlamydiaceae, Waddlia chondrophila, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae and other members of the Chlamydiales order in this setting. Veterinary samples taken from mid to late-term abortions from twenty dairy herds were tested. From a total of 150 abortion cases collected, infectious agents were detected by PCR in 73 (48.66%) cases, 13 (8.66%) of which represented co-infections with two infectious agents. Detected pathogens include Brucella spp (31.3%), Chlamydiaceae (4.66%), Waddlia chondrophila (8%), Parachlamydia acanthamoebae (5.33%), Listeria monocytogenes (4.66%) and Salmonella spp. (3.33%). In contrast, Campylobacter spp. and Coxiella burnetii DNA were not detected among the investigated veterinary samples. This demonstrates that different bacterial agents may cause bovine abortion in Tunisia. This is the first report suggesting the role of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae in bovine abortion in Africa. Further studies with a larger number of samples are necessary to confirm whether this emerging pathogen is directly linked to abortion in cattle. PMID:24662769
Megan C Stride
Full Text Available Six consecutively hatched cohorts and one cohort of pre-hatch eggs of farmed barramundi (Lates calcarifer from south Australia were examined for Chlamydia-like organisms associated with epitheliocystis. To identify and characterise the bacteria, 59 gill samples and three pre-hatch egg samples were processed for histology, in situ hybridisation and 16S rRNA amplification, sequencing and comprehensive phylogenetic analysis. Cases of epitheliocystis were observed microscopically and characterised by membrane-enclosed basophilic cysts filled with a granular material that caused hypertrophy of the epithelial cells. In situ hybridisation with a Chlamydiales-specific probe lead to specific labelling of the epitheliocystis inclusions within the gill epithelium. Two distinct but closely related 16S rRNA chlamydial sequences were amplified from gill DNA across the seven cohorts, including from pre-hatch eggs. These genotype sequences were found to be novel, sharing 97.1 - 97.5% similarity to the next closest 16S rRNA sequence, Ca. Similichlamydia latridicola, from Australian striped trumpeter. Comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of these genotype sequences against representative members of the Chlamydiales order and against other epitheliocystis agents revealed these Chlamydia-like organisms to be novel and taxonomically placed them within the recently proposed genus Ca. Similichlamydia. Following Fredricks and Relman's molecular postulates and based on these observations, we propose the epitheliocystis agents of barramundi to be known as "Candidatus Similichlamydia laticola" (sp. nov..
Swanborg, Robert H; Boros, Dov L; Whittum-Hudson, Judith A; Hudson, Alan P
All species of the order Chlamydiales are obligate intracellular eubacterial pathogens of their various hosts. Two chlamydial species, Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae, are primarily human pathogens, and each is known to cause important diseases. Some strains of C. trachomatis are sexually transmitted and frequently cause severe reproductive problems, primarily in women. Other strains of the organism serve as the aetiological agents for blinding trachoma, still the leading cause of preventable blindness in underdeveloped nations. C. pneumoniae is a respiratory pathogen known to cause community-acquired pneumonia. Importantly, both organisms engender an immunopathogenic response in the human host, and both have been associated with widely diverse, relatively common and currently idiopathic chronic diseases, most of which include an important autoimmune component. In this article, we explore the available experimental data regarding the possible elicitation of autoimmunity in various contexts by chlamydial infection, and we suggest several avenues for research to explore this potentially important issue further.
Christerson, Linus; Blomqvist, Maria; Grannas, Karin; Thollesson, Mikael; Laroucau, Karine; Waldenström, Jonas; Eliasson, Ingvar; Olsen, Björn; Herrmann, Björn
The family Chlamydiaceae contains several bacterial pathogens of important human and veterinary medical concern, such as Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydophila psittaci. Within the order Chlamydiales there are also an increasing number of chlamydia-like bacteria whose biodiversity, host range and environmental spread seem to have been largely underestimated, and which are currently being investigated for their potential medical relevance. In this study we present 16S rRNA, rnpB and ompA gene sequence data congruently indicating a novel chlamydia-like bacterium found in faecal specimens from opportunistic fish-eating sea birds, belonging to the Laridae and Alcidae families, from the Bering Sea. This novel bacterium appears to be closer to the Chlamydiaceae than other chlamydia-like bacteria and is most likely a novel genus within the Chlamydiaceae family.
Burnard, Delaney; Polkinghorne, Adam
Members of the order Chlamydiales are biphasic intracellular pathogens known to cause disease in both humans and animals. As we learn more about the genetic diversity of this group of pathogens, evidence is growing that these bacteria infect a broader range of animal hosts than previously thought. Over 400 host species are now documented globally with the majority of these being wild animals. Given the impact of chlamydial infections on humans and domesticated animals, the identification of members of the order Chlamydiales in wildlife raises significant questions over a) their impact on animal health and b) the relationships to those strains also found in humans and domestic animals. In some species such as the iconic marsupial, the koala, the conservation impact is known with chlamydial infections associated with debilitating disease, however, in general, little is known about the pathogenic potential of Chlamydiae infecting most wildlife hosts. Accumulating evidence suggests contact with wild animals is a risk factor for infections in domestic animals and/or humans. Beyond the well-recognised zoonotic pathogen, Chlamydia psittaci, a range of studies have now reported traditional pathogens in the family Chlamydiaceae such as Chlamydia pecorum, Chlamydia suis, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia abortus in wild animals. The spectre of cross-host transmission 'spill-over' and 'spill-back' in the epidemiology of infections is of potential concern, however, comprehensive epidemiological studies are lacking for most of these. Accurate evaluation of the significance of chlamydial infections in wildlife is otherwise hampered by i) the cross-sectional nature of most impact studies, ii) a lack of standardised diagnostic approaches, iii) limited study sizes, and iv) biases associated with opportunistic sampling.
Full Text Available Waddlia chondrophila, an obligate intracellular bacterium of the Chlamydiales order, is considered as an agent of bovine abortion and a likely cause of miscarriage in humans. Its role in respiratory diseases was questioned after the detection of its DNA in clinical samples taken from patients suffering from pneumonia or bronchiolitis. To better define the role of Waddlia in both miscarriage and pneumonia, a tool allowing large-scale serological investigations of Waddlia seropositivity is needed. Therefore, enriched outer membrane proteins of W. chondrophila were used as antigens to develop a specific ELISA. After thorough analytical optimization, the ELISA was validated by comparison with micro-immunofluorescence and it showed a sensitivity above 85% with 100% specificity. The ELISA was subsequently applied to human sera to specify the role of W. chondrophila in pneumonia. Overall, 3.6% of children showed antibody reactivity against W. chondrophila but no significant difference was observed between children with and without pneumonia. Proteomic analyses were then performed using mass spectrometry, highlighting members of the outer membrane protein family as the dominant proteins. The major Waddlia putative immunogenic proteins were identified by immunoblot using positive and negative human sera. The new ELISA represents an efficient tool with high throughput applications. Although no association with pneumonia and Waddlia seropositivity was observed, this ELISA could be used to specify the role of W. chondrophila in miscarriage and in other diseases.
Full Text Available Autotransporters are secreted proteins that are assembled into the outer membrane of bacterial cells. The passenger domains of autotransporters are crucial for bacterial pathogenesis, with some remaining attached to the bacterial surface while others are released by proteolysis. An enigma remains as to whether autotransporters should be considered a class of secretion system, or simply a class of substrate with peculiar requirements for their secretion. We sought to establish a sensitive search protocol that could identify and characterize diverse autotransporters from bacterial genome sequence data. The new sequence analysis pipeline identified more than 1500 autotransporter sequences from diverse bacteria, including numerous species of Chlamydiales and Fusobacteria as well as all classes of Proteobacteria. Interrogation of the proteins revealed that there are numerous classes of passenger domains beyond the known proteases, adhesins and esterases. In addition the barrel-domain-a characteristic feature of autotransporters-was found to be composed from seven conserved sequence segments that can be arranged in multiple ways in the tertiary structure of the assembled autotransporter. One of these conserved motifs overlays the targeting information required for autotransporters to reach the outer membrane. Another conserved and diagnostic motif maps to the linker region between the passenger domain and barrel-domain, indicating it as an important feature in the assembly of autotransporters.
Stride, M C; Polkinghorne, A; Nowak, B F
Chlamydial infections of fish are emerging as an important cause of disease in new and established aquaculture industries. To date, epitheliocystis, a skin and gill disease associated with infection by these obligate intracellular pathogens, has been described in over 90 fish species, including hosts from marine and fresh water environments. Aided by advances in molecular detection and typing, recent years have seen an explosion in the description of these epitheliocystis-related chlamydial pathogens of fish, significantly broadening our knowledge of the genetic diversity of the order Chlamydiales. Remarkably, in most cases, it seems that each new piscine host studied has revealed the presence of a phylogenetically unique and novel chlamydial pathogen, providing researchers with a fascinating opportunity to understand the origin, evolution and adaptation of their traditional terrestrial chlamydial relatives. Despite the advances in this area, much still needs to be learnt about the epidemiology of chlamydial infections in fish if these pathogens are to be controlled in farmed environments. The lack of in vitro methods for culturing of chlamydial pathogens of fish is a major hindrance to this field. This review provides an update on our current knowledge of the taxonomy and diversity of chlamydial pathogens of fish, discusses the impact of these infections on the health, and highlights further areas of research required to understand the biology and epidemiology of this important emerging group of fish pathogens of aquaculture species.
Kahane, S; Dvoskin, B; Mathias, M; Friedman, M G
Simkania negevensis, a novel microorganism belonging to the family Simkaniaceae in the order Chlamydiales, has an intracellular developmental cycle during which two morphological entities, elementary bodies (EB) and reticulate bodies (RB), are seen by electron microscopy. Rates of seropositivity to the organism are high in certain population groups, and S. negevensis has been associated with respiratory illness in humans. This study reports for the first time the ability of S. negevensis to survive and grow inside Acanthamoeba polyphaga in addition to its known ability to grow in cell cultures of human or simian origin. Infectivity of S. negevensis and growth in amoebae were monitored by immunoperoxidase assays. Long-term persistence and exponential growth of S. negevensis in amoebal trophozoites were demonstrated by infectivity assays and by electron microscopy. EB and dividing RB of S. negevensis were observed within inclusion bodies inside A. polyphaga. When S. negevensis-infected A. polyphaga amoebae were exposed to adverse conditions resulting in encystation of the amoebae, several possible outcomes were observed: cysts containing both normal amoebic cytoplasm and S. negevensis; cysts in which S. negevensis cells were relegated to the space between cyst walls; and cysts containing S. negevensis, but apparently lacking amoebal cytoplasm. S. negevensis within dried amoebal cysts was capable of long-term survival. The possibility that amoebae may have a role in natural transmission of S. negevensis needs to be investigated.
Kebbi-Beghdadi, Carole; Greub, Gilbert
Free-living amoebae are distributed worldwide and are frequently in contact with humans and animals. As cysts, they can survive in very harsh conditions and resist biocides and most disinfection procedures. Several microorganisms, called amoeba-resisting microorganisms (ARMs), have evolved to survive and multiply within these protozoa. Among them are many important pathogens, such as Legionella and Mycobacteria, and also several newly discovered Chlamydia-related bacteria, such as Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, Estrella lausannensis, Simkania negevensis or Waddlia chondrophila whose pathogenic role towards human or animal is strongly suspected. Amoebae represent an evolutionary crib for their resistant microorganisms since they can exchange genetic material with other ARMs and develop virulence traits that will be further used to infect other professional phagocytes. Moreover, amoebae constitute an ideal tool to isolate strict intracellular microorganisms from complex microbiota, since they will feed on other fast-growing bacteria, such as coliforms potentially present in the investigated samples. The paradigm that ARMs are likely resistant to macrophages, another phagocytic cell, and that they are likely virulent towards humans and animals is only partially true. Indeed, we provide examples of the Chlamydiales order that challenge this assumption and suggest that the ability to multiply in protozoa does not strictly correlate with pathogenicity and that we should rather use the ability to replicate in multiple and diverse eukaryotic cells as an indirect marker of virulence towards mammals. Thus, cell-culture-based microbial culturomics should be used in the future to try to discover new pathogenic bacterial species.
Barta, Michael L.; Lovell, Scott; Sinclair, Amy N.; Battaile, Kevin P.; Hefty, P. Scott
Asymmetric diadenosine 5′,5′″-P1,P4-tetraphosphate (Ap4A) hydrolases are members of the Nudix superfamily that asymmetrically cleave the metabolite Ap4A into ATP and AMP while facilitating homeostasis. The obligate intracellular mammalian pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis possesses a single Nudix family protein, CT771. As pathogens that rely on a host for replication and dissemination typically have one or zero Nudix family proteins, this suggests that CT771 could be critical for chlamydial biology and pathogenesis. We identified orthologs to CT771 within environmental Chlamydiales that share active site residues suggesting a common function. Crystal structures of both apo- and ligand-bound CT771 were determined to 2.6 Å and 1.9 Å resolution, respectively. The structure of CT771 shows a αβα-sandwich motif with many conserved elements lining the putative Nudix active site. Numerous aspects of the ligand-bound CT771 structure mirror those observed in the ligand-bound structure of the Ap4A hydrolase from Caenorhabditis elegans. These structures represent only the second Ap4A hydrolase enzyme member determined from eubacteria and suggest that mammalian and bacterial Ap4A hydrolases might be more similar than previously thought. The aforementioned structural similarities, in tandem with molecular docking, guided the enzymatic characterization of CT771. Together, these studies provide the molecular details for substrate binding and specificity, supporting the analysis that CT771 is an Ap4A hydrolase (nudH). PMID:24354275
Kebbi-Beghdadi, Carole; Batista, Claudia; Greub, Gilbert
Epitheliocystis is an infectious disease affecting gills and skin of various freshwater and marine fishes, associated with high mortality and reduced growth of survivors. Candidatus Piscichlamydia salmonis and Clavochlamydia salmonicola have recently been identified as aetiological agents of epitheliocystis in Atlantic Salmon. In addition, several other members of the Chlamydiales order have been identified in other fish species. To clarify the pathogenicity of Chlamydia-like organisms towards fishes, we investigated the permissivity of two fish cell lines, EPC-175 (Fathead Minnow) and RTG-2 (rainbow trout) to three Chlamydia-related bacteria: Waddlia chondrophila, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae and Estrella lausannensis. Quantitative PCR and immunofluorescence demonstrated that W. chondrophila and, to a lesser extent, E. lausannensis were able to replicate in the two cell lines tested. Waddlia chondrophila multiplied rapidly in its host cell and a strong cytopathic effect was observed. During E. lausannensis infection, we observed a limited replication of the bacteria not followed by host cell lysis. Very limited replication of P. acanthamoebae was observed in both cell lines tested. Given its high infectivity and cytopathic effect towards fish cell lines, W. chondrophila represents the most interesting Chlamydia-related bacteria to be used to develop an in vivo model of epitheliocystis disease in fishes.
Kebbi-Beghdadi, Carole; Domröse, Andreas; Becker, Elisabeth; Cisse, Ousmane H; Hegemann, Johannes H; Greub, Gilbert
Waddlia chondrophila is a obligate intracellular bacterium belonging to the Chlamydiales order, a clade that also includes the well-known classical Chlamydia responsible for a number of severe human and animal diseases. Waddlia is an emerging pathogen associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in humans and abortion in ruminants. Adhesion to the host cell is an essential prerequisite for survival of every strict intracellular bacteria and, in classical Chlamydia, this step is partially mediated by polymorphic outer membrane proteins (Pmps), a family of highly diverse autotransporters that represent about 15% of the bacterial coding capacity. Waddlia chondrophila genome however only encodes one putative Pmp-like protein. Using a proteomic approach, we identified several bacterial proteins potentially implicated in the adhesion process and we characterized their expression during the replication cycle of the bacteria. In addition, we demonstrated that the Waddlia Pmp-like autotransporter as well as OmpA2 and OmpA3, two members of the extended Waddlia OmpA protein family, exhibit adhesive properties on epithelial cells. We hypothesize that the large diversity of the OmpA protein family is linked to the wide host range of these bacteria that are able to enter and multiply in various host cells ranging from protozoa to mammalian and fish cells.
Nunes, Alexandra; Gomes, João P
The Chlamydiaceae are a family of obligate intracellular bacteria characterized by a unique biphasic developmental cycle. It encompasses the single genus Chlamydia, which involves nine species that affect a wide range of vertebral hosts, causing infections with serious impact on human health (mainly due to Chlamydia trachomatis infections) and on farming and veterinary industries. It is believed that Chlamydiales originated ∼700mya, whereas C. trachomatis likely split from the other Chlamydiaceae during the last 6mya. This corresponds to the emergence of modern human lineages, with the first descriptions of chlamydial infections as ancient as four millennia. Chlamydiaceae have undergone a massive genome reduction, on behalf of the deletional bias "use it or lose it", stabilizing at 1-1.2Mb and keeping a striking genome synteny. Their phylogeny reveals species segregation according to biological properties, with huge differences in terms of host range, tissue tropism, and disease outcomes. Genome differences rely on the occurrence of mutations in the >700 orthologous genes, as well as on events of recombination, gene loss, inversion, and paralogous expansion, affecting both a hypervariable region named the plasticity zone, and genes essentially encoding polymorphic and transmembrane head membrane proteins, type III secretion effectors and some metabolic pathways. Procedures for molecular typing are still not consensual but have allowed the knowledge of molecular epidemiology patterns for some species as well as the identification of outbreaks and emergence of successful clones for C. trachomatis. This manuscript intends to provide a comprehensive review on the evolution, phylogeny, and molecular epidemiology of Chlamydia.
Baud, D; Regan, L; Greub, G
Screening for Chlamydia trachomatis-specific antibodies is valuable in investigating recurrent miscarriage, tubal infertility and extrauterine pregnancy. We compared here the performance of immunofluorescence (IF) to four other commercial tests in detecting IgG antibodies directed against C. trachomatis: two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) using the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) as the antigen, commercialised respectively by Medac and R-Biopharm (RB), one ELISA using the chlamydial heat shock protein 60 (cHSP60) as the antigen (Medac), as well as a new automated epifluorescence immunoassay (InoDiag). A total of 405 patients with (n = 251) and without (n = 154) miscarriages were tested by all five tests. The prevalence of C. trachomatis-specific IgG antibodies as determined by the IF, cHSP60-Medac, MOMP-Medac, MOMP-RB and InoDiag was 14.3, 23.2, 14.3, 11.9 and 26.2%, respectively. InoDiag exhibited the highest sensitivity, whereas MOMP-RB showed the best specificity. Cross-reactivity was observed with C. pneumoniae using IF, MOMP-RB and InoDiag, and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae using the cHSP60 ELISA test. No cross-reactivity was observed between C. trachomatis and the other Chlamydiales (Neochlamydia hartmannellae, Waddlia chondrophila and Simkania negevensis). Given its high sensitivity, the new automated epifluorescence immunoassay from InoDiag represents an interesting alternative. The MOMP-based ELISA of R-Biopharm should be preferred for large serological studies, given the high throughput of ELISA and its excellent specificity.
Siarkou, Victoria I; Vorimore, Fabien; Vicari, Nadia; Magnino, Simone; Rodolakis, Annie; Pannekoek, Yvonne; Sachse, Konrad; Longbottom, David; Laroucau, Karine
Chlamydia abortus, an obligate intracellular bacterium, is the most common infectious cause of abortion in small ruminants worldwide and has zoonotic potential. We applied multilocus sequence typing (MLST) together with multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) to genotype 94 ruminant C. abortus strains, field isolates and samples collected from 1950 to 2011 in diverse geographic locations, with the aim of delineating C. abortus lineages and clones. MLST revealed the previously identified sequence types (STs) ST19, ST25, ST29 and ST30, plus ST86, a recently-assigned type on the Chlamydiales MLST website and ST87, a novel type harbouring the hemN_21 allele, whereas MLVA recognized seven types (MT1 to MT7). Minimum-spanning-tree analysis suggested that all STs but one (ST30) belonged to a single clonal complex, possibly reflecting the short evolutionary timescale over which the predicted ancestor (ST19) has diversified into three single-locus variants (ST86, ST87 and ST29) and further, through ST86 diversification, into one double-locus variant (ST25). ST descendants have probably arisen through a point mutation evolution mode. Interestingly, MLVA showed that in the ST19 population there was a greater genetic diversity than in other STs, most of which exhibited the same MT over time and geographical distribution. However, the evolutionary pathways of C. abortus STs seem to be diverse across geographic distances with individual STs restricted to particular geographic locations. The ST30 singleton clone displaying geographic specificity and represented by the Greek strains LLG and POS was effectively distinguished from the clonal complex lineage, supporting the notion that possibly two separate host adaptations and hence independent bottlenecks of C. abortus have occurred through time. The combination of MLST and MLVA assays provides an additional level of C. abortus discrimination and may prove useful for the investigation and surveillance of
Victoria I Siarkou
Full Text Available Chlamydia abortus, an obligate intracellular bacterium, is the most common infectious cause of abortion in small ruminants worldwide and has zoonotic potential. We applied multilocus sequence typing (MLST together with multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA to genotype 94 ruminant C. abortus strains, field isolates and samples collected from 1950 to 2011 in diverse geographic locations, with the aim of delineating C. abortus lineages and clones. MLST revealed the previously identified sequence types (STs ST19, ST25, ST29 and ST30, plus ST86, a recently-assigned type on the Chlamydiales MLST website and ST87, a novel type harbouring the hemN_21 allele, whereas MLVA recognized seven types (MT1 to MT7. Minimum-spanning-tree analysis suggested that all STs but one (ST30 belonged to a single clonal complex, possibly reflecting the short evolutionary timescale over which the predicted ancestor (ST19 has diversified into three single-locus variants (ST86, ST87 and ST29 and further, through ST86 diversification, into one double-locus variant (ST25. ST descendants have probably arisen through a point mutation evolution mode. Interestingly, MLVA showed that in the ST19 population there was a greater genetic diversity than in other STs, most of which exhibited the same MT over time and geographical distribution. However, the evolutionary pathways of C. abortus STs seem to be diverse across geographic distances with individual STs restricted to particular geographic locations. The ST30 singleton clone displaying geographic specificity and represented by the Greek strains LLG and POS was effectively distinguished from the clonal complex lineage, supporting the notion that possibly two separate host adaptations and hence independent bottlenecks of C. abortus have occurred through time. The combination of MLST and MLVA assays provides an additional level of C. abortus discrimination and may prove useful for the investigation and
Full Text Available Abstract Background Free-living amoebae serve as a natural reservoir for some bacteria that have evolved into «amoeba-resistant» bacteria. Among these, some are strictly intra-amoebal, such as Candidatus "Protochlamydia amoebophila" (Candidatus "P. amoebophila", whose genomic sequence is available. We sequenced the genome of Legionella drancourtii (L. drancourtii, another recently described intra-amoebal bacterium. By comparing these two genomes with those of their closely related species, we were able to study the genetic characteristics specific to their amoebal lifestyle. Findings We identified a sterol delta-7 reductase-encoding gene common to these two bacteria and absent in their relatives. This gene encodes an enzyme which catalyses the last step of cholesterol biosynthesis in eukaryotes, and is probably functional within L. drancourtii since it is transcribed. The phylogenetic analysis of this protein suggests that it was acquired horizontally by a few bacteria from viridiplantae. This gene was also found in the Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus genome, a virus that grows in amoebae and possesses the largest viral genome known to date. Conclusion L. drancourtii acquired a sterol delta-7 reductase-encoding gene of viridiplantae origin. The most parsimonious hypothesis is that this gene was initially acquired by a Chlamydiales ancestor parasite of plants. Subsequently, its descendents transmitted this gene in amoebae to other intra-amoebal microorganisms, including L. drancourtii and Coxiella burnetii. The role of the sterol delta-7 reductase in prokaryotes is as yet unknown but we speculate that it is involved in host cholesterol parasitism.
A comparative ultrastructural and molecular biological study on Chlamydia psittaci infection in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and non-alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency emphysema versus lung tissue of patients with hamartochondroma
Full Text Available Abstract Background Chlamydiales are familiar causes of acute and chronic infections in humans and animals. Human pulmonary emphysema is a component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and a condition in which chronic inflammation manifested as bronchiolitis and intra-alveolar accumulation of macrophages is common. It is generally presumed to be of infectious origin. Previous investigations based on serology and immunohistochemistry indicated Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection in cases of COPD. Furthermore, immunofluorescence with genus-specific antibodies and electron microscopy suggested involvement of chlamydial infection in most cases of pulmonary emphysema, but these findings could not be verified by PCR. Therefore, we examined the possibility of other chlamydial species being present in these patients. Methods Tissue samples from patients having undergone lung volume reduction surgery for advanced alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD, n = 6 or non-alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency emphysema (n = 34 or wedge resection for hamartochondroma (n = 14 were examined by transmission electron microscopy and PCR. Results In all cases of AATD and 79.4% of non-AATD, persistent chlamydial infection was detected by ultrastructural examination. Intra-alveolar accumulation of macrophages and acute as well as chronic bronchiolitis were seen in all positive cases. The presence of Chlamydia psittaci was demonstrated by PCR in lung tissue of 66.7% AATD vs. 29.0% non-AATD emphysema patients. Partial DNA sequencing of four positive samples confirmed the identity of the agent as Chlamydophila psittaci. In contrast, Chlamydophila pneumoniae was detected only in one AATD patient. Lung tissue of the control group of non-smokers with hamartochondroma was completely negative for chlamydial bodies by TEM or chlamydial DNA by PCR. Conclusions These data indicate a role of Chlamydophila psittaci in pulmonary emphysema by linking this chronic inflammatory process
Zocevic, Aleksandar; Vorimore, Fabien; Marhold, Cvetka; Horvatek, Danijela; Wang, Dongying; Slavec, Brigita; Prentza, Zoi; Stavianis, Grigorios; Prukner-Radovcic, Estella; Dovc, Alenka; Siarkou, Victoria I; Laroucau, Karine
Chlamydia psittaci is a zoonotic pathogen associated primarily with avian chlamydiosis. New chlamydial agents with suspected zoonotic potential were recently detected from domestic poultry in Germany and France indicating that the spectrum of Chlamydiaceae encountered in birds is not confined to a single chlamydial species. For further characterization, a specific real-time PCR targeting the conserved 16S rRNA gene was developed and validated for a specific detection of these atypical Chlamydiaceae. In order to address the epidemiological importance of the new chlamydial agents and their distribution, Chlamydiaceae-positive chicken samples collected from flocks from five different countries were examined. The results confirmed that C.psittaci is not the predominant chlamydial species among chickens examined and suggested that the new chlamydial agents could putatively be widespread in poultry flocks (France, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and China at least) justifying their systematic investigation when poultry samples are submitted to laboratories for avian chlamydiosis diagnosis. Besides, 16S rRNA-based dendrogram, including sequences from both isolates of the new chlamydial agents or positive samples as well as representative sequences from species belonging to the order Chlamydiales, showed the new chlamydial agents to form a distinct line of descent separated from those of other chlamydial species, but clearly grouped within the family Chlamydiaceae. Finally, the phylogenetic tree inferred from the multi-locus sequence typing based on four housekeeping fragments (gatA, gidA, enoA and hflX) and the ompA-based dendrogram showed an almost identical topology of the new chlamydial agents with that recovered by 16S rRNA-based dendrogram. Interestingly, partial ompA gene sequences displayed considerable diversity among isolates.
Matsuo, Junji; Kawaguchi, Kouhei; Nakamura, Shinji; Hayashi, Yasuhiro; Yoshida, Mitsutaka; Takahashi, Kaori; Mizutani, Yoshihiko; Yao, Takashi; Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki
Obligate intracellular bacteria are commonly found as endosymbionts of acanthamoebae; however, their survival in and ability to transfer to amoebae are currently uncharacterized. In this study, six bacterial endosymbionts, found in five environmental Acanthamoeba isolates (S13, R18, S23, S31, S40) from different locations of Sapporo city, Japan, were characterized. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that three bacterial endosymbionts (eS23, eS31, eS40a) belonged to α- and β-Proteobacteria phyla and the remaining endosymbionts (eS13, eR18, eS40b) belonged to the order Chlamydiales. The Acanthamoeba isolate (S40) contained two phylogenetically different bacterial endosymbionts (eS40a, eS40b). Fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis showed that all bacterial endosymbionts were diffusely localized within amoebae. Transmission electron microscopy also showed that the endosymbionts were rod-shaped (eS23, eS31, eS40a) or sphere- or crescent-shaped (eS13, eR18, eS40b). No successful culture of these bacteria was achieved using conventional culture methods, but the viability of endosymbionts was confirmed by live/dead staining and RT-PCR methods. However, endosymbionts (except eR18) derived from original host cells lost the ability to be transferred to another Acanthamoebae strains [ATCC strain (C3), environmental strains (S14, R23, S24)]. Thus, our data demonstrate that phylogenetically diverse bacterial endosymbionts found in amoebae maintain a stable interaction with amoebae, but the transferability is limited.
Full Text Available Waddlia chondrophila (W. chondrophila is an emerging agent of respiratory and reproductive disease in humans and cattle. The organism is a member of the order Chlamydiales, and shares many similarities at the genome level and in growth studies with other well-characterised zoonotic chlamydial agents, such as Chlamydia abortus (C. abortus. The current study investigated the growth characteristics and innate immune responses of human and ruminant epithelial cells in response to infection with W. chondrophila.Human epithelial cells (HEp2 were infected with W. chondrophila for 24h. CXCL8 release was significantly elevated in each of the cell lines by active-infection with live W. chondrophila, but not by exposure to UV-killed organisms. Inhibition of either p38 or p42/44 MAPK significantly inhibited the stimulation of CXCL8 release in each of the cell lines. To determine the pattern recognition receptor through which CXCL8 release was stimulated, wild-type HEK293 cells which express no TLR2, TLR4, NOD2 and only negligible NOD1 were infected with live organisms. A significant increase in CXCL8 was observed.W. chondrophila actively infects and replicates within both human and ruminant epithelial cells stimulating CXCL8 release. Release of CXCL8 is significantly inhibited by inhibition of either p38 or p42/44 MAPK indicating a role for this pathway in the innate immune response to W. chondrophila infection. W. chondrophila stimulation of CXCL8 secretion in HEK293 cells indicates that TLR2, TLR4, NOD2 and NOD1 receptors are not essential to the innate immune response to infection.
Schmalenberger, Achim; Tebbe, Christoph C
Bacterial communities in rhizospheres of transgenic maize (Zea mays, with the pat-gene conferring resistance to the herbicide glufosinate; syn. l-phosphinothricin) were compared to its isogenic, non-transgenic cultivar. Total DNA was extracted from bacterial cell consortia collected from rhizospheres of plants grown in an agricultural field. With the use of three different primer pairs binding to evolutionarily conserved regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, partial sequences were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The PCR products were subjected to single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) to generate genetic profiles which corresponded to the diversity of the amplified sequences. Genetic profiles of rhizospheres consisted of 40-60 distinguishable bands depending on the chosen primer pairs, and the variability between independent replicates was very low. Neither the genetic modification nor the use of the herbicide Liberty (syn. Basta; active ingredient: glufosinate) affected the SSCP profiles as investigated with digital image analysis. In contrast, PCR-SSCP profiles of bacterial communities from rhizospheres of sugar beet, grown in the same field as a control crop, were clearly different. A less pronounced but significant difference was also observed with rhizosphere samples from fine roots of maize plants collected 35 and 70 days after sowing. Sequencing of the dominant 30 products from one typical SSCP profile generated from transgenic maize rhizospheres indicated the presence of typical soil and rhizosphere bacteria: half of the bands could be attributed to Proteobacteria, mainly of the alpha- and beta-subgroups. Other SSCP bands could be assigned to members of the following phylogenetic groups: Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides, Chlamydiales-Verrucomicrobium, Planctomyces, Holophaga and to Gram-positive bacteria with a high G+C DNA content.
Bertelli, Claire; Cissé, Ousmane H.; Rusconi, Brigida; Kebbi-Beghdadi, Carole; Croxatto, Antony; Goesmann, Alexander; Collyn, François; Greub, Gilbert
Recently, a new Chlamydia-related organism, Protochlamydia naegleriophila KNic, was discovered within a Naegleria amoeba. To decipher the mechanisms at play in the modeling of genomes from the Protochlamydia genus, we sequenced the full genome of Pr. naegleriophila, which includes a 2,885,090 bp chromosome and a 145,285 bp megaplasmid. For the first time within the Chlamydiales order, we describe the presence of a clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) system, the immune system of bacteria, located on the chromosome. It is composed of a small CRISPR locus comprising eight repeats and associated cas-cse genes of the subtype I-E. A CRISPR locus is also present within Chlamydia sp. Diamant, another Pr. naegleriophila strain, suggesting that the CRISPR system was acquired by a common ancestor of Pr. naegleriophila, after its divergence from Pr. amoebophila. Both nucleotide bias and comparative genomics approaches identified probable horizontal gene acquisitions within two and four genomic islands in Pr. naegleriophila KNic and Diamant genomes, respectively. The plasmid encodes an F-type conjugative system highly similar to 1) that found in the Pam100G genomic island of Pr. amoebophila UWE25 chromosome, as well as on the plasmid of Rubidus massiliensis and 2) to the three genes remaining in the chromosome of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae strains. Therefore, this conjugative system was likely acquired on an ancestral plasmid before the divergence of Parachlamydiaceae. Overall, this new complete Pr. naegleriophila genome sequence enables further investigation of the dynamic processes shaping the genomes of the family Parachlamydiaceae and the genus Protochlamydia. PMID:27516530
Bertelli, Claire; Aeby, Sébastien; Chassot, Bérénice; Clulow, James; Hilfiker, Olivier; Rappo, Samuel; Ritzmann, Sébastien; Schumacher, Paolo; Terrettaz, Céline; Benaglio, Paola; Falquet, Laurent; Farinelli, Laurent; Gharib, Walid H; Goesmann, Alexander; Harshman, Keith; Linke, Burkhard; Miyazaki, Ryo; Rivolta, Carlo; Robinson-Rechavi, Marc; van der Meer, Jan Roelof; Greub, Gilbert
With the widespread availability of high-throughput sequencing technologies, sequencing projects have become pervasive in the molecular life sciences. The huge bulk of data generated daily must be analyzed further by biologists with skills in bioinformatics and by "embedded bioinformaticians," i.e., bioinformaticians integrated in wet lab research groups. Thus, students interested in molecular life sciences must be trained in the main steps of genomics: sequencing, assembly, annotation and analysis. To reach that goal, a practical course has been set up for master students at the University of Lausanne: the "Sequence a genome" class. At the beginning of the academic year, a few bacterial species whose genome is unknown are provided to the students, who sequence and assemble the genome(s) and perform manual annotation. Here, we report the progress of the first class from September 2010 to June 2011 and the results obtained by seven master students who specifically assembled and annotated the genome of Estrella lausannensis, an obligate intracellular bacterium related to Chlamydia. The draft genome of Estrella is composed of 29 scaffolds encompassing 2,819,825 bp that encode for 2233 putative proteins. Estrella also possesses a 9136 bp plasmid that encodes for 14 genes, among which we found an integrase and a toxin/antitoxin module. Like all other members of the Chlamydiales order, Estrella possesses a highly conserved type III secretion system, considered as a key virulence factor. The annotation of the Estrella genome also allowed the characterization of the metabolic abilities of this strictly intracellular bacterium. Altogether, the students provided the scientific community with the Estrella genome sequence and a preliminary understanding of the biology of this recently-discovered bacterial genus, while learning to use cutting-edge technologies for sequencing and to perform bioinformatics analyses.
Taylor-Brown, Alyce; Rüegg, Simon; Polkinghorne, Adam; Borel, Nicole
Chlamydiosis has been described in both free-ranging and captive reptiles. The infection usually manifests as granulomatous inflammation in inner organs such as spleen, heart, lung and liver but might also occur in asymptomatic reptiles. The aim of this study was to investigate and characterise Chlamydia pneumoniae and potential other novel chlamydial infections in the choana and cloaca samples of 137 clinically healthy captive snakes from six private collections. Forty eight samples from 29 animals were found to be positive by a Chlamydiaceae family-specific qPCR. By Chlamydia species-specific ArrayTube Microarray, 43 samples were positive, with 36 of these being identified as C. pneumoniae. The prevalence of Chlamydia ranged from 5 to 33%. PCR and sequencing of the Chlamydiales 16S rRNA signature sequence of 21 Chlamydia positive samples revealed the presence of seven novel 16S rRNA genotypes. BLAST-n and phylogenetic analysis of the near-full length 16S rRNA gene sequence of each of these novel 16S rRNA sequences revealed that five genotypes share closest sequence identity to 16S rRNA sequences from C. pneumoniae (98.6-99.2%), suggesting that these sequences are novel C. pneumoniae strains. One genotype is 96.9% similar to C. pneumoniae strains suggesting it may originate from a yet undescribed chlamydial species within the genus Chlamydia. This study further highlights the broad host range for C. pneumoniae and suggests that reptiles may still contain a significant and largely uncharacterised level of chlamydial genetic diversity that requires further investigation.
Full Text Available Waddlia chondrophila (W. chondrophila is an emerging abortifacient organism which has been identified in the placentae of humans and cattle. The organism is a member of the order Chlamydiales, and shares many similarities at the genome level and in growth studies with other well-characterised zoonotic chlamydial abortifacients, such as Chlamydia abortus (C. abortus. This study investigates the growth of the organism and its effects upon pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in a ruminant placental cell line which we have previously utilised in a model of C. abortus pathogenicity.Using qPCR, fluorescent immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy, we characterised the infection and growth of W. chondrophila within the ovine trophoblast AH-1 cell line. Inclusions were visible from 6 h post-infection (p.i. and exponential growth of the organism could be observed over a 60 h time-course, with significant levels of host cell lysis being observed only after 36 h p.i. Expression of CXCL8, TNF-α, IL-1α and IL-1β were determined 24 h p.i. A statistically significant response in the expression of CXCL8, TNF-α and IL-1β could be observed following active infection with W. chondrophila. However a significant increase in IL-1β expression was also observed following the exposure of cells to UV-killed organisms, indicating the stimulation of multiple innate recognition pathways.W. chondrophila infects and grows in the ruminant trophoblast AH-1 cell line exhibiting a complete chlamydial replicative cycle. Infection of the trophoblasts resulted in the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in a dose-dependent manner similar to that observed with C. abortus in previous studies, suggesting similarities in the pathogenesis of infection between the two organisms.
Parachlamydiaceae and Chlamydiaceae, when the Parachlamydia-related symbiont was an intracellular bacteria. It suggests that this heterologous DNA was acquired from a phylogenetically-distant bacteria sharing an amoebal vacuole. Since Parachlamydiaceae are emerging agents of pneumonia, this GI might be involved in pathogenicity. In future, conjugative systems might be developed as genetic tools for Chlamydiales.