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Sample records for francisella tularensis infection-derived

  1. Genetic manipulation of Francisella tularensis

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    Xhavit eZogaj

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes the disease tularemia. F. tularensis subsp. tularensis causes the most severe disease in humans and has been classified as a select A agent and potential bioweapon. There is currently no vaccine approved for human use, making genetic manipulation of this organism critical to unraveling the genetic basis of pathogenesis and developing countermeasures against tularemia. The development of genetic techniques applicable to F. tularensis have lagged behind those routinely used for other bacteria, primarily due to lack of research and the restricted nature of the biocontainment required for studying this pathogen. However, in recent years, genetic techniques, such as transposon mutagenesis and targeted gene disruption, have been developed, that have had a dramatic impact on our understanding of the genetic basis of F. tularensis virulence. In this review, we describe some of the methods developed for genetic manipulation of F. tularensis.

  2. Francisella tularensis - potential biological agent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taleski, V.

    2009-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a small, nonmotile, aerobic, gram-negative coccobacillus capable of surviving for weeks at low temperatures in water, moist soil, hay, straw, or decaying animal carcasses. F. tularensis is the causative of the zoonotic disease tularemia. This bacterium was first identified in ground squirrels in Tulare County, California (1912). The human disease was recognized and described by Edward Francis (1922) as tularemia, and the agent was renamed Francisella tularensis in his honor. F. tularensis is one of the most infectious bacterial pathogens known, as few as 10-50 organisms can cause disease. Humans can become incidentally infected through diverse environmental exposures: bites by infected arthropods; handling infectious animal tissues or fluids; direct contact with or ingestion of contaminated food, water, or soil and inhalation of infective aerosols. Humans can develop severe and sometimes fatal illness, but do not transmit the disease to others. F. tularensis have few subspecies: 1) F. tularensis subsp. tularensis (type A), highly virulent, found only in North America. The bacterium is transmitted among animals and from animals to humans by ticks, occasionally deerfly, or by aerosols; 2) F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (type B), moderately virulent, occurs in Euroasia and North America, mainly associated with streams, lakes, ponds, rivers and semi-aquatic animals such as muskrats and beavers (water-borne disease). Type B tularemia has been observed during war times (during Second World War 100 000 cases occurred each year, in Kosovo in 2000 and 2003 over 300 cases each year); 3) F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica, rarely reported, isolated only in Kazahstan and Turkmenistan; 4) F. tularensis subsp. novicida is of low virulence, isolated in USA, Canada, Spain and Australia; 5) F. tularensis subsp. philomiragia, is of low virulence, associated with salt water (Atlantic, Mediterranean). Tularemia is very rear in Macedonia, but in 1996 an

  3. Comparative Transcriptional Analyses of Francisella tularensis and Francisella novicida.

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    Siva T Sarva

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is composed of a number of subspecies with varied geographic distribution, host ranges, and virulence. In view of these marked differences, comparative functional genomics may elucidate some of the molecular mechanism(s behind these differences. In this study a shared probe microarray was designed that could be used to compare the transcriptomes of Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis Schu S4 (Ftt, Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica OR960246 (Fth, Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica LVS (LVS, and Francisella novicida U112 (Fn. To gain insight into expression differences that may be related to the differences in virulence of these subspecies, transcriptomes were measured from each strain grown in vitro under identical conditions, utilizing a shared probe microarray. The human avirulent Fn strain exhibited high levels of transcription of genes involved in general metabolism, which are pseudogenes in the human virulent Ftt and Fth strains, consistent with the process of genome decay in the virulent strains. Genes encoding an efflux system (emrA2 cluster of genes, siderophore (fsl operon, acid phosphatase, LPS synthesis, polyamine synthesis, and citrulline ureidase were all highly expressed in Ftt when compared to Fn, suggesting that some of these may contribute to the relative high virulence of Ftt. Genes expressed at a higher level in Ftt when compared to the relatively less virulent Fth included genes encoding isochorismatases, cholylglycine hydrolase, polyamine synthesis, citrulline ureidase, Type IV pilus subunit, and the Francisella Pathogenicity Island protein PdpD. Fth and LVS had very few expression differences, consistent with the derivation of LVS from Fth. This study demonstrated that a shared probe microarray designed to detect transcripts in multiple species/subspecies of Francisella enabled comparative transcriptional analyses that may highlight critical differences that underlie the relative

  4. Francisella tularensis Confronts the Complement System

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    Susan R. Brock

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis has developed a number of effective evasion strategies to counteract host immune defenses, not the least of which is its ability to interact with the complement system to its own advantage. Following exposure of the bacterium to fresh human serum, complement is activated and C3b and iC3b can be found covalently attached to the bacterial surface. However, the lipopolysaccharide and capsule of the F. tularensis cell wall prevent complement-mediated lysis and endow the bacterium with serum resistance. Opsonization of F. tularensis with C3 greatly increases its uptake by human neutrophils, dendritic cells and macrophages. Uptake occurs by an unusual looping morphology in human macrophages. Complement receptor 3 is thought to play an important role in opsonophagocytosis by human macrophages, and signaling through this receptor can antagonize Toll-like receptor 2-initiated macrophage activation. Complement C3 also determines the survival of infected human macrophages and perhaps other cell types. C3-opsonization of F. tularensis subsp. tularensis strain SCHU S4 results in greatly increased death of infected human macrophages, which requires more than complement receptor engagement and is independent of the intracellular replication by the pathogen. Given its entry into the cytosol of host cells, F. tularensis has the potential for a number of other complement-mediated interactions. Studies on the uptake C3-opsonized adenovirus have suggested the existence of a C3 sensing system that initiates cellular responses to cytosolic C3b present on invading microbes. Here we propose that C3 peptides enter the cytosol of human macrophages following phagosome escape of F. tularensis and are recognized as intruding molecular patterns that signal host cell death. With the discovery of new roles for intracellular C3, a better understanding of tularemia pathogenesis is likely to emerge.

  5. Mechanisms of heme utilization by Francisella tularensis.

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    Helena Lindgren

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent facultative intracellular pathogen causing the severe disease tularemia in mammals. As for other bacteria, iron is essential for its growth but very few mechanisms for iron acquisition have been identified. Here, we analyzed if and how F. tularensis can utilize heme, a major source of iron in vivo. This is by no means obvious since the bacterium lacks components of traditional heme-uptake systems. We show that SCHU S4, the prototypic strain of subspecies tularensis, grew in vitro with heme as the sole iron source. By screening a SCHU S4 transposon insertion library, 16 genes were identified as important to efficiently utilize heme, two of which were required to avoid heme toxicity. None of the identified genes appeared to encode components of a potential heme-uptake apparatus. Analysis of SCHU S4 deletion mutants revealed that each of the components FeoB, the siderophore system, and FupA, contributed to the heme-dependent growth. In the case of the former two systems, iron acquisition was impaired, whereas the absence of FupA did not affect iron uptake but led to abnormally high binding of iron to macromolecules. Overall, the present study demonstrates that heme supports growth of F. tularensis and that the requirements for the utilization are highly complex and to some extent novel.

  6. A 52 Kilodalton Protein Vaccine Candidate for Francisella tularensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-12-01

    du vaccin vivant F. tularensis (LVS). Soixante pourcent (60%) des souris vaccindes ont survdcu la dose ltale multiple alors que toutes les souris non...le lysat des cellules de cultures vivantes du vaccin vivant F. tularensis. Plusieurs composants de Francisella tularensis ont dt6 identifids par cet...antiserum. Le s6rum de souris provenant de souris vaccin6es avec F. tularensis non- vivant n’a pas identifid ces composants. A partir de ces prot6ines

  7. Virulence differences among Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis clades in mice.

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    Claudia R Molins

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis (type A and holarctica (type B are of clinical importance in causing tularemia. Molecular typing methods have further separated type A strains into three genetically distinct clades, A1a, A1b and A2. Epidemiological analyses of human infections in the United States suggest that A1b infections are associated with a significantly higher mortality rate as compared to infections caused by A1a, A2 and type B. To determine if genetic differences as defined by molecular typing directly correlate with differences in virulence, A1a, A1b, A2 and type B strains were compared in C57BL/6 mice. Here we demonstrate significant differences between survival curves for infections caused by A1b versus A1a, A2 and type B, with A1b infected mice dying earlier than mice infected with A1a, A2 or type B; these results were conserved among multiple strains. Differences were also detected among type A clades as well as between type A clades and type B with respect to bacterial burdens, and gross anatomy in infected mice. Our results indicate that clades defined within F. tularensis subsp. tularensis by molecular typing methods correlate with virulence differences, with A1b strains more virulent than A1a, A2 and type B strains. These findings indicate type A strains are not equivalent with respect to virulence and have important implications for public health as well as basic research programs.

  8. Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida isolated from a human in Arizona

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    Birdsell Dawn N

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Francisella tularensis is the etiologic agent of tularemia and is classified as a select agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently four known subspecies of F. tularensis that differ in virulence and geographical distribution are recognized:tularensis (type A, holarctica (type B, mediasiatica, and novicida. Because of the Select Agent status and differences in virulence and geographical location, the molecular analysis of any clinical case of tularemia is of particular interest. We analyzed an unusual Francisella clinical isolate from a human infection in Arizona using multiple DNA-based approaches. Findings We report that the isolate is F. tularensis subsp. novicida, a subspecies that is rarely isolated. Conclusion The rarity of this novicida subspecies in clinical settings makes each case study important for our understanding of its role in disease and its genetic relationship with other F. tularensis subspecies.

  9. Host-pathogen interactions between Francisella tularensis and Drosophila melanogaster

    OpenAIRE

    Vonkavaara, Malin

    2012-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent Gram-negative bacterium causing the zoonotic disease tularemia. Arthropod-borne transmission plays an important role in transferring the disease to humans. F. tularensis induces very low amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines during infection, due to inhibition of immune signaling pathways and an unusual structure of its lipopolysaccharide (LPS). To date, there is no vaccine available that is approved for public use, although an attenuated live vacci...

  10. Geographic Differentiation of Francisella Tularensis using Molecular Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-05-01

    Department of Animal Health, Facultad de Veterinaria , Leon, Spain, 4 for contribution of his entire F. tularensis strain DNA collection. I thank Dr...Medicina Veterinaria , 1998. 15: p. 418-423. 32. de la Puente-Redondo, V.A., et al., Comparison of different PCR approaches for typing of Francisella

  11. Francisella tularensis endocarditis: two case reports and a literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaci, Rostane; Alauzet, Corentine; Selton-Suty, Christine; Lozniewski, Alain; Pulcini, Céline; May, Thierry; Goehringer, François

    2017-02-01

    We report the first two cases of infective endocarditis caused by Francisella tularensis in Europe (two cases have previously been reported outside Europe). We suggest clinicians should consider tularemia as a possible diagnosis in endemic regions in cases of culture-negative endocarditis.

  12. The Role and Mechanism of Erythrocyte Invasion by Francisella tularensis

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    Deanna M. Schmitt

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is an extremely virulent bacterium that can be transmitted naturally by blood sucking arthropods. During mammalian infection, F. tularensis infects numerous types of host cells, including erythrocytes. As erythrocytes do not undergo phagocytosis or endocytosis, it remains unknown how F. tularensis invades these cells. Furthermore, the consequence of inhabiting the intracellular space of red blood cells (RBCs has not been determined. Here, we provide evidence indicating that residing within an erythrocyte enhances the ability of F. tularensis to colonize ticks following a blood meal. Erythrocyte residence protected F. tularensis from a low pH environment similar to that of gut cells of a feeding tick. Mechanistic studies revealed that the F. tularensis type VI secretion system (T6SS was required for erythrocyte invasion as mutation of mglA (a transcriptional regulator of T6SS genes, dotU, or iglC (two genes encoding T6SS machinery severely diminished bacterial entry into RBCs. Invasion was also inhibited upon treatment of erythrocytes with venom from the Blue-bellied black snake (Pseudechis guttatus, which aggregates spectrin in the cytoskeleton, but not inhibitors of actin polymerization and depolymerization. These data suggest that erythrocyte invasion by F. tularensis is dependent on spectrin utilization which is likely mediated by effectors delivered through the T6SS. Our results begin to elucidate the mechanism of a unique biological process facilitated by F. tularensis to invade erythrocytes, allowing for enhanced colonization of ticks.

  13. A novel nanoprobe for the sensitive detection of Francisella tularensis

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    Kim, Ji-eun; Seo, Youngmin; Jeong, Yoon [Department of Bionano Technology, Graduate School, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of); Hwang, Mintai P. [Center for Biomaterials, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 136-791 (Korea, Republic of); Hwang, Jangsun [Department of Bionano Technology, Graduate School, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of); Choo, Jaebum; Hong, Jong Wook [Department of Bionano Technology, Graduate School, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of); Department of Bionano Engineering, Hanyang University ERICA, Ansan 426-791 (Korea, Republic of); Jeon, Jun Ho; Rhie, Gi-eun [Division of High-risk Pathogen Research, Center for Infectious Disease, Korea National Institute of Health, Cheongju 363-951 (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Jonghoon, E-mail: jonghchoi@hanyang.ac.kr [Department of Bionano Technology, Graduate School, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of); Department of Bionano Engineering, Hanyang University ERICA, Ansan 426-791 (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-11-15

    Highlights: • We prepare apoferritin nanoprobes decorated with antibodies and nanoparticles. • We examine nanoprobes for the sensitive detection of Francisella tularensis. • 10-fold decrease of minimum concentration of pathogen was achieved. • Simultaneous detection of multiple high-risk pathogens was obtained. - Abstract: Francisella tularensis is a human zoonotic pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia, a severe infectious disease. Given the extreme infectivity of F. tularensis and its potential to be used as a biological warfare agent, a fast and sensitive detection method is highly desirable. Herein, we construct a novel detection platform composed of two units: (1) Magnetic beads conjugated with multiple capturing antibodies against F. tularensis for its simple and rapid separation and (2) Genetically-engineered apoferritin protein constructs conjugated with multiple quantum dots and a detection antibody against F. tularensis for the amplification of signal. We demonstrate a 10-fold increase in the sensitivity relative to traditional lateral flow devices that utilize enzyme-based detection methods. We ultimately envision the use of our novel nanoprobe detection platform in future applications that require the highly-sensitive on-site detection of high-risk pathogens.

  14. A novel nanoprobe for the sensitive detection of Francisella tularensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Ji-eun; Seo, Youngmin; Jeong, Yoon; Hwang, Mintai P.; Hwang, Jangsun; Choo, Jaebum; Hong, Jong Wook; Jeon, Jun Ho; Rhie, Gi-eun; Choi, Jonghoon

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We prepare apoferritin nanoprobes decorated with antibodies and nanoparticles. • We examine nanoprobes for the sensitive detection of Francisella tularensis. • 10-fold decrease of minimum concentration of pathogen was achieved. • Simultaneous detection of multiple high-risk pathogens was obtained. - Abstract: Francisella tularensis is a human zoonotic pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia, a severe infectious disease. Given the extreme infectivity of F. tularensis and its potential to be used as a biological warfare agent, a fast and sensitive detection method is highly desirable. Herein, we construct a novel detection platform composed of two units: (1) Magnetic beads conjugated with multiple capturing antibodies against F. tularensis for its simple and rapid separation and (2) Genetically-engineered apoferritin protein constructs conjugated with multiple quantum dots and a detection antibody against F. tularensis for the amplification of signal. We demonstrate a 10-fold increase in the sensitivity relative to traditional lateral flow devices that utilize enzyme-based detection methods. We ultimately envision the use of our novel nanoprobe detection platform in future applications that require the highly-sensitive on-site detection of high-risk pathogens

  15. Adaptive Immunity to Francisella tularensis and Considerations for Vaccine Development

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    Lydia M. Roberts

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is an intracellular bacterium that causes the disease tularemia. There are several subspecies of F. tularensis whose ability to cause disease varies in humans. The most virulent subspecies, tularensis, is a Tier One Select Agent and a potential bioweapon. Although considerable effort has made to generate efficacious tularemia vaccines, to date none have been licensed for use in the United States. Despite the lack of a tularemia vaccine, we have learned a great deal about the adaptive immune response the underlies protective immunity. Herein, we detail the animal models commonly used to study tularemia and their recapitulation of human disease, the field's current understanding of vaccine-mediated protection, and discuss the challenges associated with new vaccine development.

  16. Indigenous Infection with Francisella tularensis holarctica in The Netherlands

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    Boulos Maraha

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We report here the first case of indigenous tularemia detected in The Netherlands, a nonendemic country, since 1953. Whole genome DNA sequence analysis assigned the isolate BD11-00177 to the genomic group B.FTNF002-00, which previously has been exclusively reported from Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. The patient had not been abroad for years, which implies that this is an indigenous infection. The current case might predict an upcoming distribution of Francisella tularensis holarctica genomic group B.FTNF002-00 in Europe.

  17. Natural Selection in Virulence Genes of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunnell, Mark K; Robison, Richard A; Adams, Byron J

    2016-06-01

    A fundamental tenet of evolution is that alleles that are under negative selection are often deleterious and confer no evolutionary advantage. Negatively selected alleles are removed from the gene pool and are eventually extinguished from the population. Conversely, alleles under positive selection do confer an evolutionary advantage and lead to an increase in the overall fitness of the organism. These alleles increase in frequency until they eventually become fixed in the population. Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic pathogen and a potential biothreat agent. The most virulent type of F. tularensis, Type A, is distributed across North America with Type A.I occurring mainly in the east and Type A.II appearing mainly in the west. F. tularensis is thought to be a genome in decay (losing genes) because of the relatively large number of pseudogenes present in its genome. We hypothesized that the observed frequency of gene loss/pseudogenes may be an artifact of evolution in response to a changing environment, and that genes involved in virulence should be under strong positive selection. To test this hypothesis, we sequenced and compared whole genomes of Type A.I and A.II isolates. We analyzed a subset of virulence and housekeeping genes from several F. tularensis subspecies genomes to ascertain the presence and extent of positive selection. Eleven previously identified virulence genes were screened for positive selection along with 10 housekeeping genes. Analyses of selection yielded one housekeeping gene and 7 virulence genes which showed significant evidence of positive selection at loci implicated in cell surface structures and membrane proteins, metabolism and biosynthesis, transcription, translation and cell separation, and substrate binding and transport. Our results suggest that while the loss of functional genes through disuse could be accelerated by negative selection, the genome decay in Francisella could also be the byproduct of adaptive evolution

  18. Virulent Type A Francisella tularensis actively suppresses cytokine responses in human monocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillette, Devyn D.; Curry, Heather M.; Cremer, Thomas; Ravneberg, David; Fatehchand, Kavin; Shah, Prexy A.; Wewers, Mark D.; Schlesinger, Larry S.; Butchar, Jonathan P.; Tridandapani, Susheela; Gavrilin, Mikhail A.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Human monocyte inflammatory responses differ between virulent and attenuated Francisella infection. Results: A mixed infection model showed that the virulent F. tularensis Schu S4 can attenuate inflammatory cytokine responses to the less virulent F. novicida in human monocytes. Conclusion: F. tularensis dampens inflammatory response by an active process. Significance: This suppression may contribute to enhanced pathogenicity of F. tularensis. Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative facultative bacterium that can cause the disease tularemia, even upon exposure to low numbers of bacteria. One critical characteristic of Francisella is its ability to dampen or subvert the host immune response. Previous work has shown that monocytes infected with highly virulent F. tularensis subsp. tularensis strain Schu S4 responded with a general pattern of quantitatively reduced pro-inflammatory signaling pathway genes and cytokine production in comparison to those infected with the less virulent related F. novicida. However, it has been unclear whether the virulent Schu S4 was merely evading or actively suppressing monocyte responses. By using mixed infection assays with F. tularensis and F. novicida, we show that F. tularensis actively suppresses monocyte pro-inflammatory responses. Additional experiments show that this suppression occurs in a dose-dependent manner and is dependent upon the viability of F. tularensis. Importantly, F. tularensis was able to suppress pro-inflammatory responses to earlier infections with F. novicida. These results lend support that F. tularensis actively dampens human monocyte responses and this likely contributes to its enhanced pathogenicity. PMID:24783062

  19. The Francisella tularensis proteome and its recognition by antibodies

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    Sara L.N. Kilmury

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of a spectrum of diseases collectively known as tularemia. The extreme virulence of the pathogen in humans, combined with the low infectious dose and the ease of dissemination by aerosol have led to concerns about its abuse as a bioweapon. Until recently, nothing was known about the virulence mechanisms and even now, there is still a relatively poor understanding of pathogen virulence. Completion of increasing numbers of Francisella genome sequences, combined with comparative genomics and proteomics studies, are contributing to the knowledge in this area. Tularemia may be treated with antibiotics, but there is currently no licensed vaccine. An attenuated strain, the Live Vaccine Strain (LVS has been used to vaccinate military and at risk laboratory personnel, but safety concerns mean that it is unlikely to be licensed by the FDA for general use. Little is known about the protective immunity induced by vaccination with LVS, in humans or animals models. Immunoproteomics studies with sera from infected humans or vaccinated mouse strains, are being used in gel based or proteome microarray approaches to give insight into the humoral immune response. In addition, these data have the potential to be exploited in the identification of new diagnostic or protective antigens, the design of next generation live vaccine strains, and the development of subunit vaccines. Herein, we briefly review the current knowledge from Francisella comparative proteomics studies and then focus upon the findings from immunoproteomics approaches.

  20. An original case of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica bacteremia after a near-drowning accident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ughetto, Estelle; Héry-Arnaud, Geneviève; Cariou, Marie-Estelle; Pelloux, Isabelle; Maurin, Max; Caillon, Jocelyne; Moreau, Philippe; Ygout, Jean-François; Corvec, Stéphane

    2015-08-01

    We report the first case of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica bacteremia after water contamination in France. A 75-year-old man developed septic pneumonic tularemia after a near-drowning accident. We highlight the need for a longer incubation time for isolation of F. tularensis from blood cultures.

  1. Draft genome sequence of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica BD11-00177

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coolen, J.P.M.; Sjödin, A.; Maraha, B.; Hajer, G.F.; Forsman, M.; Verspui, E.; Frenay, H.M.E.; Notermans, D.W.; Vries, M.C. de; Reubsaet, F.A.G.; Paauw, A.; Roeselers, G.

    2013-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium in the class Gammaproteobacteria. This strain is of interest because it is the etiologic agent of tularemia and a highly virulent category A biothreat agent. Here we describe the draft genome sequence and annotation of Francisella

  2. Genome-wide DNA microarray analysis of Francisella tularensis strains demonstrates extensive genetic conservation within the species but identifies regions that are unique to the highly virulent F. tularensis subsp. tularensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broekhuijsen, M.P.; Larsson, P.; Johansson, A.; Byström, M.; Eriksson, U.; Larsson, E.; Prior, R.G.; Sjöstedt, A.; Titball, R.W.; Forsman, M.

    2003-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a potent pathogen and a possible bioterrorism agent. Little is known, however, to explain the molecular basis for its virulence and the distinct differences in virulence found between the four recognized subspecies, F. tularensis subsp. tularensis, F. tularensis subsp.

  3. Virulent Type A Francisella tularensis actively suppresses cytokine responses in human monocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devyn D Gilette

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative facultative bacterium that can cause the disease tularemia, even upon exposure to low numbers of bacteria. One critical characteristic of Francisella is its ability to dampen or subvert the host immune response. Previous work has shown that monocytes infected with highly virulent F. tularensis subsp. tularensis strain Schu S4 responded with a general pattern of quantitatively reduced pro-inflammatory signaling pathway genes and cytokine production in comparison to those infected with the less virulent related F. novicida. However, it has been unclear whether the virulent Schu S4 was merely evading or actively suppressing monocyte responses. By using mixed infection assays with F. tularensis and F. novicida, we show that F. tularensis actively suppresses monocyte pro-inflammatory responses. Additional experiments show that this suppression occurs in a dose-dependent manner and is dependent upon the viability of F. tularensis. Importantly, F. tularensis was able to suppress pro-inflammatory responses to earlier infections with F. novicida. These results lend support that F. tularensis actively dampens human monocyte responses and this likely contributes to its enhanced pathogenicity.

  4. Characterization of a Francisella tularensis-Caenorhabditis elegans Pathosystem for the Evaluation of Therapeutic Compounds

    OpenAIRE

    Jayamani, Elamparithi; Tharmalingam, Nagendran; Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Coleman, Jeffrey J.; Kim, Wooseong; Okoli, Ikechukwu; Hernandez, Ana M.; Lee, Kiho; Nau, Gerard J.; Ausubel, Frederick M.; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2017-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes tularemia. Because of its potential as a bioterrorism agent, there is a need for new therapeutic agents. We therefore developed a whole-animal Caenorhabditis elegans-F. tularensis pathosystem for high-throughput screening to identify and characterize potential therapeutic compounds. We found that the C. elegans p38 mitogen-activate protein (MAP) kinase cascade is involved in the immune response to F...

  5. The potential for flower nectar to allow mosquito to mosquito transmission of Francisella tularensis.

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    Adam Kenney

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is disseminated in nature by biting arthropods such as mosquitoes. The relationship between mosquitoes and F. tularensis in nature is highly ambiguous, due in part to the fact that mosquitoes have caused significant tularemia outbreaks despite being classified as a mechanical vector of F. tularensis. One possible explanation for mosquitoes being a prominent, yet mechanical vector is that these insects feed on flower nectar between blood meals, allowing for transmission of F. tularensis between mosquitoes. Here, we aimed to assess whether F. tularensis could survive in flower nectar. Moreover, we examined if mosquitoes could interact with or ingest and transmit F. tularensis from one source of nectar to another. F. tularensis exhibited robust survivability in flower nectar with concentrations of viable bacteria remaining consistent with the rich growth medium. Furthermore, F. tularensis was able to survive (albeit to a lesser extent in 30% sucrose (a nectar surrogate over a period of time consistent with that of a typical flower bloom. Although we observed diminished bacterial survival in the nectar surrogate, mosquitoes that fed on this material became colonized with F. tularensis. Finally, colonized mosquitoes were capable of transferring F. tularensis to a sterile nectar surrogate. These data suggest that flower nectar may be capable of serving as a temporary source of F. tularensis that could contribute to the amplification of outbreaks. Mosquitoes that feed on an infected mammalian host and subsequently feed on flower nectar could deposit some F. tularensis bacteria into the nectar in the process. Mosquitoes subsequently feeding on this nectar source could potentially become colonized by F. tularensis. Thus, the possibility exists that flower nectar may allow for vector-vector transmission of F. tularensis.

  6. The potential for flower nectar to allow mosquito to mosquito transmission of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenney, Adam; Cusick, Austin; Payne, Jessica; Gaughenbaugh, Anna; Renshaw, Andrea; Wright, Jenna; Seeber, Roger; Barnes, Rebecca; Florjanczyk, Aleksandr; Horzempa, Joseph

    2017-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is disseminated in nature by biting arthropods such as mosquitoes. The relationship between mosquitoes and F. tularensis in nature is highly ambiguous, due in part to the fact that mosquitoes have caused significant tularemia outbreaks despite being classified as a mechanical vector of F. tularensis. One possible explanation for mosquitoes being a prominent, yet mechanical vector is that these insects feed on flower nectar between blood meals, allowing for transmission of F. tularensis between mosquitoes. Here, we aimed to assess whether F. tularensis could survive in flower nectar. Moreover, we examined if mosquitoes could interact with or ingest and transmit F. tularensis from one source of nectar to another. F. tularensis exhibited robust survivability in flower nectar with concentrations of viable bacteria remaining consistent with the rich growth medium. Furthermore, F. tularensis was able to survive (albeit to a lesser extent) in 30% sucrose (a nectar surrogate) over a period of time consistent with that of a typical flower bloom. Although we observed diminished bacterial survival in the nectar surrogate, mosquitoes that fed on this material became colonized with F. tularensis. Finally, colonized mosquitoes were capable of transferring F. tularensis to a sterile nectar surrogate. These data suggest that flower nectar may be capable of serving as a temporary source of F. tularensis that could contribute to the amplification of outbreaks. Mosquitoes that feed on an infected mammalian host and subsequently feed on flower nectar could deposit some F. tularensis bacteria into the nectar in the process. Mosquitoes subsequently feeding on this nectar source could potentially become colonized by F. tularensis. Thus, the possibility exists that flower nectar may allow for vector-vector transmission of F. tularensis.

  7. Innate immune recognition of Francisella tularensis: activation of type-I interferons and the inflammasome

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    Jonathan Wiley Jones

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is an intracellular pathogen that can cause severe disease in a wide range of mammalian hosts. Primarily residing in host macrophages, F. tularensis escapes phagosomal degradation, and replicates in the macrophage cytosol. The macrophage uses a series of pattern recognition receptors to detect conserved microbial molecules from invading pathogens, and initiates an appropriate host response. In the cytosol, F. tularensis is recognized by the inflammasome, a multiprotein complex responsible for the activation of the cysteine protease caspase-1. Caspase-1 activation leads to processing and release of proinflammatory cytokines and host cell death. Here we review recent work on the molecular mechanisms of inflammasome activation by F. tularensis, and its consequences both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we discuss the coordination between the inflammasome and other cytosolic host responses, and the evidence for F. tularensis virulence factors that suppress inflammasome activation.

  8. Tick salivary gland extract accelerates proliferation of Francisella tularensis in the host

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kročová, Z.; Macela, A.; Hernychová, L.; Kroča, M.; Pechová, Jitka; Kopecký, Jan

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 89, č. 1 (2003), s. 14-20 ISSN 0022-3395 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA524/02/0901; GA MZd NI4700 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6022909 Keywords : salivary gland extract * tick * Francisella tularensis Subject RIV: EC - Immunology Impact factor: 1.137, year: 2003

  9. A combined enrichment and aptamer pulldown assay for francisella tularensis detection in food and environmental matrices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamont, Elise A.; Wang, Ping; Enomoto, Shinichiro; Borewicz, Klaudyna; Abdallah, Ahmed; Isaacson, Richard E.; Sreevatsan, Srinand; Kourentzi, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative bacterium and causative agent of tularemia, is categorized as a Class A select agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to its ease of dissemination and ability to cause disease. Oropharyngeal and gastrointestinal tularemia may occur due

  10. Comparative genomic characterization of Francisella tularensis strains belonging to low and high virulence subspecies.

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    Mia D Champion

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Tularemia is a geographically widespread, severely debilitating, and occasionally lethal disease in humans. It is caused by infection by a gram-negative bacterium, Francisella tularensis. In order to better understand its potency as an etiological agent as well as its potential as a biological weapon, we have completed draft assemblies and report the first complete genomic characterization of five strains belonging to the following different Francisella subspecies (subsp.: the F. tularensis subsp. tularensis FSC033, F. tularensis subsp. holarctica FSC257 and FSC022, and F. tularensis subsp. novicida GA99-3548 and GA99-3549 strains. Here, we report the sequencing of these strains and comparative genomic analysis with recently available public Francisella sequences, including the rare F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica FSC147 strain isolate from the Central Asian Region. We report evidence for the occurrence of large-scale rearrangement events in strains of the holarctica subspecies, supporting previous proposals that further phylogenetic subdivisions of the Type B clade are likely. We also find a significant enrichment of disrupted or absent ORFs proximal to predicted breakpoints in the FSC022 strain, including a genetic component of the Type I restriction-modification defense system. Many of the pseudogenes identified are also disrupted in the closely related rarely human pathogenic F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica FSC147 strain, including modulator of drug activity B (mdaB (FTT0961, which encodes a known NADPH quinone reductase involved in oxidative stress resistance. We have also identified genes exhibiting sequence similarity to effectors of the Type III (T3SS and components of the Type IV secretion systems (T4SS. One of the genes, msrA2 (FTT1797c, is disrupted in F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica and has recently been shown to mediate bacterial pathogen survival in host organisms. Our findings suggest that in addition to the duplication of

  11. Inactivation of Francisella tularensis Gene Encoding Putative ABC Transporter Has a Pleiotropic Effect upon Production of Various Glycoconjugates

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Daňková, V.; Balonová, L.; Link, M.; Strašková, Adéla; Sheshko, V .; Stulík, J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 2 (2016), s. 510-524 ISSN 1535-3893 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : Francisella tularensis * glycosylation * lipopolysaccharide Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 4.268, year: 2016

  12. Adaptation of Francisella tularensis to the Mammalian Environment Is Governed by Cues Which Can Be Mimicked In Vitro▿ †

    OpenAIRE

    Hazlett, Karsten R. O.; Caldon, Seth D.; McArthur, Debbie G.; Cirillo, Kerry A.; Kirimanjeswara, Girish S.; Magguilli, Micheal L.; Malik, Meenakshi; Shah, Aaloki; Broderick, Scott; Golovliov, Igor; Metzger, Dennis W.; Rajan, Krishna; Sellati, Timothy J.; Loegering, Daniel J.

    2008-01-01

    The intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis survives in mammals, arthropods, and freshwater amoeba. It was previously established that the conventional media used for in vitro propagation of this microbe do not yield bacteria that mimic those harvested from infected mammals; whether these in vitro-cultivated bacteria resemble arthropod- or amoeba-adapted Francisella is unknown. As a foundation for our goal of identifying F. tularensis outer membrane proteins which are expressed during ...

  13. Molecular evolutionary consequences of niche restriction in Francisella tularensis, a facultative intracellular pathogen.

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    Pär Larsson

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a potent mammalian pathogen well adapted to intracellular habitats, whereas F. novicida and F. philomiragia are less virulent in mammals and appear to have less specialized lifecycles. We explored adaptations within the genus that may be linked to increased host association, as follows. First, we determined the genome sequence of F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica, the only subspecies that had not been previously sequenced. This genome, and those of 12 other F. tularensis isolates, were then compared to the genomes of F. novicida (three isolates and F. philomiragia (one isolate. Signs of homologous recombination were found in approximately 19.2% of F. novicida and F. philomiragia genes, but none among F. tularensis genomes. In addition, random insertions of insertion sequence elements appear to have provided raw materials for secondary adaptive mutations in F. tularensis, e.g. for duplication of the Francisella Pathogenicity Island and multiplication of a putative glycosyl transferase gene. Further, the five major genetic branches of F. tularensis seem to have converged along independent routes towards a common gene set via independent losses of gene functions. Our observations suggest that despite an average nucleotide identity of >97%, F. tularensis and F. novicida have evolved as two distinct population lineages, the former characterized by clonal structure with weak purifying selection, the latter by more frequent recombination and strong purifying selection. F. tularensis and F. novicida could be considered the same bacterial species, given their high similarity, but based on the evolutionary analyses described in this work we propose retaining separate species names.

  14. Russian isolates enlarge the known geographic diversity of Francisella tularensis subsp. mediasiatica.

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    Vitalii Timofeev

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis, a small Gram-negative bacterium, is capable of infecting a wide range of animals, including humans, and causes a plague-like disease called tularemia-a highly contagious disease with a high mortality rate. Because of these characteristics, F. tularensis is considered a potential agent of biological terrorism. Currently, F. tularensis is divided into four subspecies, which differ in their virulence and geographic distribution. Two of them, subsp. tularensis (primarily found in North America and subsp. holarctica (widespread across the Northern Hemisphere, are responsible for tularemia in humans. Subsp. novicida is almost avirulent in humans. The fourth subspecies, subsp. mediasiatica, is the least studied because of its limited distribution and impact in human health. It is found only in sparsely populated regions of Central Asia. In this report, we describe the first focus of naturally circulating F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica in Russia. We isolated and characterized 18 strains of this subspecies in the Altai region. All strains were highly virulent in mice. The virulence of subsp. mediasiatica in a vaccinated mouse model is intermediate between that of subsp. tularensis and subsp. holarctica. Based on a multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA, we show that the Altaic population of F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica is genetically distinct from the classical Central Asian population, and probably is endemic to Southern Siberia. We propose to subdivide the mediasiatica subspecies into three phylogeographic groups, M.I, M.II and M.III.

  15. Proteomic analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid proteins from mice infected with Francisella tularensis ssp novicida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Varnum, Susan M.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Pounds, Joel G.; Moore, Ronald J.; Smith, Richard D.; Frevert, Charles; Skerret, Shawn J.; Wunschel, David S.

    2012-07-06

    Francisella tularensis causes the zoonosis tularemia in humans and is one of the most virulent bacterial pathogens. We utilized a global proteomic approach to characterize protein changes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from mice exposed to one of three organisms, F. tularensis ssp. novicida, an avirulent mutant of F. tularensis ssp. novicida (F.t. novicida-ΔmglA); and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The composition of BALF proteins was altered following infection, including proteins involved in neutrophil activation, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. Components of the innate immune response were induced including the acute phase response and the complement system, however the timing of their induction varied. Francisella tularensis ssp. novicida infected mice do not appear to have an effective innate immune response in the first hours of infection, however within 24 hours they show an upregulation of innate immune response proteins. This delayed response is in contrast to P. aeruginosa infected animals which show an early innate immune response. Likewise, F.t. novicida-ΔmglA infection initiates an early innate immune response, however this response is dimished by 24 hours. Finally, this study identifies several candidate biomarkers, including Chitinase 3-like-1 (CHI3L1 or YKL-40) and peroxiredoxin 1, that are associated with F. tularensis ssp. novicida but not P. aeruginosa infection.

  16. Francisella tularensis detection using magnetic labels and a magnetic biosensor based on frequency mixing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, Martin H.F.; Krause, Hans-Joachim; Hartmann, Markus; Miethe, Peter; Oster, Juergen; Keusgen, Michael

    2007-01-01

    A biosensor that uses resonant coils with a special frequency-mixing technique and magnetic beads as detectable labels has been established for the detection of Francisella tularensis, the causative agent for tularemia. The detection principle is based on a sandwich immunoassay using an anti-Ft antibody for immunofiltration immobilized to ABICAP[reg] polyethylene filters, and biotinylated with streptavidin-coated magnetic beads as labels. The linear detection range of this biosensor was found to be 10 4 -10 6 cfu F. tularensis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) per ml. Tested sample matrices were physiological PBS buffer and rabbit serum

  17. Francisella tularensis detection using magnetic labels and a magnetic biosensor based on frequency mixing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, Martin H.F. [Institute for Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Philipps-Universitaet Marburg (Germany); Krause, Hans-Joachim [Institute of Bio-and Nanosystems (IBN-2), Research Center Juelich (Germany); Hartmann, Markus [Institute for Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Philipps-Universitaet Marburg (Germany); Miethe, Peter [SENOVA GmbH, Jena (Germany); Oster, Juergen [chemagen GmbH, Baesweiler (Germany); Keusgen, Michael [Institute for Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Philipps-Universitaet Marburg (Germany)]. E-mail: Keusgen@staff.uni-marburg.de

    2007-04-15

    A biosensor that uses resonant coils with a special frequency-mixing technique and magnetic beads as detectable labels has been established for the detection of Francisella tularensis, the causative agent for tularemia. The detection principle is based on a sandwich immunoassay using an anti-Ft antibody for immunofiltration immobilized to ABICAP[reg] polyethylene filters, and biotinylated with streptavidin-coated magnetic beads as labels. The linear detection range of this biosensor was found to be 10{sup 4}-10{sup 6} cfu F. tularensis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) per ml. Tested sample matrices were physiological PBS buffer and rabbit serum.

  18. Live attenuated Francisella novicida vaccine protects against Francisella tularensis pulmonary challenge in rats and non-human primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Chu

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis causes the disease tularemia. Human pulmonary exposure to the most virulent form, F. tularensis subsp. tularensis (Ftt, leads to high morbidity and mortality, resulting in this bacterium being classified as a potential biothreat agent. However, a closely-related species, F. novicida, is avirulent in healthy humans. No tularemia vaccine is currently approved for human use. We demonstrate that a single dose vaccine of a live attenuated F. novicida strain (Fn iglD protects against subsequent pulmonary challenge with Ftt using two different animal models, Fischer 344 rats and cynomolgus macaques (NHP. The Fn iglD vaccine showed protective efficacy in rats, as did a Ftt iglD vaccine, suggesting no disadvantage to utilizing the low human virulent Francisella species to induce protective immunity. Comparison of specific antibody profiles in vaccinated rat and NHP sera by proteome array identified a core set of immunodominant antigens in vaccinated animals. This is the first report of a defined live attenuated vaccine that demonstrates efficacy against pulmonary tularemia in a NHP, and indicates that the low human virulence F. novicida functions as an effective tularemia vaccine platform.

  19. Interactions of Francisella tularensis with Alveolar Type II Epithelial Cells and the Murine Respiratory Epithelium.

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    Matthew Faron

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is classified as a Tier 1 select agent by the CDC due to its low infectious dose and the possibility that the organism can be used as a bioweapon. The low dose of infection suggests that Francisella is unusually efficient at evading host defenses. Although ~50 cfu are necessary to cause human respiratory infection, the early interactions of virulent Francisella with the lung environment are not well understood. To provide additional insights into these interactions during early Francisella infection of mice, we performed TEM analysis on mouse lungs infected with F. tularensis strains Schu S4, LVS and the O-antigen mutant Schu S4 waaY::TrgTn. For all three strains, the majority of the bacteria that we could detect were observed within alveolar type II epithelial cells at 16 hours post infection. Although there were no detectable differences in the amount of bacteria within an infected cell between the three strains, there was a significant increase in the amount of cellular debris observed in the air spaces of the lungs in the Schu S4 waaY::TrgTn mutant compared to either the Schu S4 or LVS strain. We also studied the interactions of Francisella strains with human AT-II cells in vitro by characterizing the ability of these three strains to invade and replicate within these cells. Gentamicin assay and confocal microscopy both confirmed that F. tularensis Schu S4 replicated robustly within these cells while F. tularensis LVS displayed significantly lower levels of growth over 24 hours, although the strain was able to enter these cells at about the same level as Schu S4 (1 organism per cell, as determined by confocal imaging. The Schu S4 waaY::TrgTn mutant that we have previously described as attenuated for growth in macrophages and mouse virulence displayed interesting properties as well. This mutant induced significant airway inflammation (cell debris and had an attenuated growth phenotype in the human AT-II cells. These

  20. Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis induces a unique pulmonary inflammatory response: role of bacterial gene expression in temporal regulation of host defense responses.

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    Kathie-Anne Walters

    Full Text Available Pulmonary exposure to Francisella tularensis is associated with severe lung pathology and a high mortality rate. The lack of induction of classical inflammatory mediators, including IL1-β and TNF-α, during early infection has led to the suggestion that F. tularensis evades detection by host innate immune surveillance and/or actively suppresses inflammation. To gain more insight into the host response to Francisella infection during the acute stage, transcriptomic analysis was performed on lung tissue from mice exposed to virulent (Francisella tularensis ssp tularensis SchuS4. Despite an extensive transcriptional response in the lungs of animals as early as 4 hrs post-exposure, Francisella tularensis was associated with an almost complete lack of induction of immune-related genes during the initial 24 hrs post-exposure. This broad subversion of innate immune responses was particularly evident when compared to the pulmonary inflammatory response induced by other lethal (Yersinia pestis and non-lethal (Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa pulmonary infections. However, the unique induction of a subset of inflammation-related genes suggests a role for dysregulation of lymphocyte function and anti-inflammatory pathways in the extreme virulence of Francisella. Subsequent activation of a classical inflammatory response 48 hrs post-exposure was associated with altered abundance of Francisella-specific transcripts, including those associated with bacterial surface components. In summary, virulent Francisella induces a unique pulmonary inflammatory response characterized by temporal regulation of innate immune pathways correlating with altered bacterial gene expression patterns. This study represents the first simultaneous measurement of both host and Francisella transcriptome changes that occur during in vivo infection and identifies potential bacterial virulence factors responsible for regulation of host inflammatory pathways.

  1. Amblyomma americanum as a Bridging Vector for Human Infection with Francisella tularensis.

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    Rinosh J Mani

    Full Text Available The γ-proteobacterium Francisella tularensis causes seasonal tick-transmitted tularemia outbreaks in natural rabbit hosts and incidental infections in humans in the south-central United States. Although Dermacentor variabilis is considered a primary vector for F. tularensis, Amblyomma americanum is the most abundant tick species in this endemic region. A systematic study of F. tularensis colonization of A. americanum was undertaken to better understand its potential to serve as an overwintering reservoir for F. tularensis and as a bridging vector for human infections. Colony-reared A. americanum were artificially fed F. tularensis subspecies holarctica strain LVS via glass capillaries and colonization levels determined. Capillary-fed larva and nymph were initially infected with 10(4 CFU/tick which declined prior to molting for both stages, but rebounded post-molting in nymphs and persisted in 53% at 10(3 to 10(8 CFU/nymph at 168 days post-capillary feeding (longest sampling time in the study. In contrast, only 18% of adults molted from colonized nymphs maintained LVS colonization at 10(1 to 10(5 CFU/adult at 168 days post-capillary feeding (longest sampling time. For adults, LVS initially colonized the gut and disseminated to salivary glands by 24 h and had an ID50 of <5CFU in mice. Francisella tularensis infected the ovaries of gravid females, but transmission to eggs was infrequent and transovarial transmission to hatched larvae was not observed. The prolonged persistence of F. tularensis in A. americanum nymphs supports A. americanum as an overwintering reservoir for F. tularensis from which seasonal epizootics may originate; however, although the rapid dissemination of F. tularensis from gut to salivary glands in adults A. americanum is compatible with intermittent feeding adult males acting as bridging vectors for incidental F. tularensis infections of humans, acquisition of F. tularensis by adults may be unlikely based on adult feeding

  2. Nasal Acai Polysaccharides Potentiate Innate Immunity to Protect against Pulmonary Francisella tularensis and Burkholderia pseudomallei Infections

    OpenAIRE

    Skyberg, Jerod A.; Rollins, MaryClare F.; Holderness, Jeff S.; Marlenee, Nicole L.; Schepetkin, Igor A.; Goodyear, Andrew; Dow, Steven W.; Jutila, Mark A.; Pascual, David W.

    2012-01-01

    Pulmonary Francisella tularensis and Burkholderia pseudomallei infections are highly lethal in untreated patients, and current antibiotic regimens are not always effective. Activating the innate immune system provides an alternative means of treating infection and can also complement antibiotic therapies. Several natural agonists were screened for their ability to enhance host resistance to infection, and polysaccharides derived from the Acai berry (Acai PS) were found to have potent abilitie...

  3. From the Outside-In: the Francisella tularensis Envelope and Virulence

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    Hannah M. Rowe

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a highly-infectious bacterium that causes the rapid, and often lethal disease, tularemia. Many studies have been performed to identify and characterize the virulence factors that F. tularensis uses to infect a wide variety of hosts and host cell types, evade immune defenses, and induce severe disease and death. This review focuses on the virulence factors that are present in the F. tularensis envelope, including capsule, LPS, outer membrane, periplasm, inner membrane, secretion systems, and various molecules in each of aforementioned sub-compartments. Whereas no single bacterial molecule or molecular complex single-handedly controls F. tularensis virulence, we review here how diverse bacterial systems work in conjunction to subvert the immune system, attach to and invade host cells, alter phagosome/lysosome maturation pathways, replicate in host cells without being detected, inhibit apoptosis, and induce host cell death for bacterial release and infection of adjacent cells. Given that the F. tularensis envelope is the outermost layer of the bacterium, we highlight herein how many of these molecules directly interact with the host to promote infection and disease. These and future envelope studies are important to advance our collective understanding of F. tularensis virulence mechanisms and offer targets for future vaccine development efforts.

  4. TLR-dependent control of Francisella tularensis infection and host inflammatory responses.

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    Allison L Abplanalp

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia and is classified as a Category A select agent. Recent studies have implicated TLR2 as a critical element in the host protective response to F. tularensis infection, but questions remain about whether TLR2 signaling dominates the response in all circumstances and with all species of Francisella and whether F. tularensis PAMPs are predominantly recognized by TLR2/TLR1 or TLR2/TLR6. To address these questions, we have explored the role of Toll-like receptors (TLRs in the host response to infections with F. tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS and F. tularensis subspecies (subsp. novicida in vivo.C57BL/6 (B6 control mice and TLR- or MyD88-deficient mice were infected intranasally (i.n. or intradermally (i.d. with F. tularensis LVS or with F. tularensis subsp. novicida. B6 mice survived >21 days following infection with LVS by both routes and survival of TLR1(-/-, TLR4(-/-, and TLR6(-/- mice infected i.n. with LVS was equivalent to controls. Survival of TLR2(-/- and MyD88(-/- mice, however, was significantly reduced compared to B6 mice, regardless of the route of infection or the subspecies of F. tularensis. TLR2(-/- and MyD88(-/- mice also showed increased bacterial burdens in lungs, liver, and spleen compared to controls following i.n. infection. Primary macrophages from MyD88(-/- and TLR2(-/- mice were significantly impaired in the ability to secrete TNF and other pro-inflammatory cytokines upon ex vivo infection with LVS. TNF expression was also impaired in vivo as demonstrated by analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and by in situ immunofluorescent staining.We conclude from these studies that TLR2 and MyD88, but not TLR4, play critical roles in the innate immune response to F. tularensis infection regardless of the route of infection or the subspecies. Moreover, signaling through TLR2 does not depend exclusively on TLR1 or TLR6 during F. tularensis LVS infection.

  5. Rapid high resolution genotyping of Francisella tularensis by whole genome sequence comparison of annotated genes ("MLST+".

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    Markus H Antwerpen

    Full Text Available The zoonotic disease tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. This pathogen is considered as a category A select agent with potential to be misused in bioterrorism. Molecular typing based on DNA-sequence like canSNP-typing or MLVA has become the accepted standard for this organism. Due to the organism's highly clonal nature, the current typing methods have reached their limit of discrimination for classifying closely related subpopulations within the subspecies F. tularensis ssp. holarctica. We introduce a new gene-by-gene approach, MLST+, based on whole genome data of 15 sequenced F. tularensis ssp. holarctica strains and apply this approach to investigate an epidemic of lethal tularemia among non-human primates in two animal facilities in Germany. Due to the high resolution of MLST+ we are able to demonstrate that three independent clones of this highly infectious pathogen were responsible for these spatially and temporally restricted outbreaks.

  6. Role of pathogenicity determinant protein C (PdpC in determining the virulence of the Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis SCHU.

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    Akihiko Uda

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis, the etiological agent of tularemia, is highly pathogenic to humans and animals. However, the SCHU strain of F. tularensis SCHU P0 maintained by passaging in artificial media has been found to be attenuated. To better understand the molecular mechanisms behind the pathogenicity of F. tularensis SCHU, we attempted to isolate virulent bacteria by serial passages in mice. SCHU P5 obtained after 5th passages in mice remained avirulent, while SCHU P9 obtained after 9th passages was completely virulent in mice. Moreover, SCHU P9 grew more efficiently in J774.1 murine macrophages compared with that in the less pathogenic SCHU P0 and P5. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of the whole genomes of SCHU P0, P5, and P9 revealed only 1 nucleotide difference among P0, P5 and P9 in 1 of the 2 copies of pathogenicity determinant protein C (pdpC gene. An adenine residue deletion was observed in the pdpC1 gene of SCHU P0, P5, and P9 and in the pdpC2 gene of SCHU P0, and P5, while P9 was characterized by the wild type pdpC2 gene. Thus, SCHU P0 and P5 expressed only truncated forms of PdpC protein, while SCHU P9 expressed both wild type and truncated versions. To validate the pathogenicity of PdpC, both copies of the pdpC gene in SCHU P9 have been inactivated by Targetron mutagenesis. SCHU P9 mutants with inactivated pdpC gene showed low intracellular growth in J774.1 cells and did not induce severe disease in experimentally infected mice, while virulence of the mutants was restored by complementation with expression of the intact PdpC. These results demonstrate that PdpC is crucial in determining the virulence of F. tularensis SCHU.

  7. Characterization of a Francisella tularensis-Caenorhabditis elegans Pathosystem for the Evaluation of Therapeutic Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayamani, Elamparithi; Tharmalingam, Nagendran; Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Kim, Wooseong; Okoli, Ikechukwu; Hernandez, Ana M.; Lee, Kiho; Nau, Gerard J.; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes tularemia. Because of its potential as a bioterrorism agent, there is a need for new therapeutic agents. We therefore developed a whole-animal Caenorhabditis elegans-F. tularensis pathosystem for high-throughput screening to identify and characterize potential therapeutic compounds. We found that the C. elegans p38 mitogen-activate protein (MAP) kinase cascade is involved in the immune response to F. tularensis, and we developed a robust F. tularensis-mediated C. elegans killing assay with a Z′ factor consistently of >0.5, which was then utilized to screen a library of FDA-approved compounds that included 1,760 small molecules. In addition to clinically used antibiotics, five FDA-approved drugs were also identified as potential hits, including the anti-inflammatory drug diflunisal that showed anti-F. tularensis activity in vitro. Moreover, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diflunisal, at 4× MIC, blocked the replication of an F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) in primary human macrophages and nonphagocytic cells. Diflunisal was nontoxic to human erythrocytes and HepG2 human liver cells at concentrations of ≥32 μg/ml. Finally, diflunisal exhibited synergetic activity with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin in both a checkerboard assay and a macrophage infection assay. In conclusion, the liquid C. elegans-F. tularensis LVS assay described here allows screening for anti-F. tularensis compounds and suggests that diflunisal could potentially be repurposed for the management of tularemia. PMID:28652232

  8. Characterization of a Francisella tularensis-Caenorhabditis elegans Pathosystem for the Evaluation of Therapeutic Compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayamani, Elamparithi; Tharmalingam, Nagendran; Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Coleman, Jeffrey J; Kim, Wooseong; Okoli, Ikechukwu; Hernandez, Ana M; Lee, Kiho; Nau, Gerard J; Ausubel, Frederick M; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2017-09-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes tularemia. Because of its potential as a bioterrorism agent, there is a need for new therapeutic agents. We therefore developed a whole-animal Caenorhabditis elegans - F. tularensis pathosystem for high-throughput screening to identify and characterize potential therapeutic compounds. We found that the C. elegans p38 mitogen-activate protein (MAP) kinase cascade is involved in the immune response to F. tularensis , and we developed a robust F. tularensis -mediated C. elegans killing assay with a Z' factor consistently of >0.5, which was then utilized to screen a library of FDA-approved compounds that included 1,760 small molecules. In addition to clinically used antibiotics, five FDA-approved drugs were also identified as potential hits, including the anti-inflammatory drug diflunisal that showed anti- F. tularensis activity in vitro Moreover, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diflunisal, at 4× MIC, blocked the replication of an F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) in primary human macrophages and nonphagocytic cells. Diflunisal was nontoxic to human erythrocytes and HepG2 human liver cells at concentrations of ≥32 μg/ml. Finally, diflunisal exhibited synergetic activity with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin in both a checkerboard assay and a macrophage infection assay. In conclusion, the liquid C. elegans - F. tularensis LVS assay described here allows screening for anti- F. tularensis compounds and suggests that diflunisal could potentially be repurposed for the management of tularemia. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  9. Description of two new plasmids isolated from Francisella philomiragia strains and construction of shuttle vectors for the study of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Pihive, E; Blaha, D; Chenavas, S; Thibault, F; Vidal, D; Valade, E

    2009-11-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia, a zoonotic disease often transmitted to humans by infected animals. The lack of useful specific genetic tools has long hampered the study of F. tularensis subspecies. We identified and characterized two new plasmids, pF242 and pF243, isolated from Francisella philomiragia strains ATCC 25016 and ATCC 25017, respectively. Sequence analysis revealed that pF242 and pF243 are closely related to pC194 and pFNL10 plasmids, respectively. Two generations of pF242- and pF243-based shuttle vectors, harboring several antibiotic resistance markers, were developed. We used the first generation to compare transformation efficiencies in two virulent F. tularensis subspecies. We found that electroporation was more efficient than cryotransformation: almost all vectors tested were successfully introduced by electroporation into Francisella strains with a high level of efficiency. The second generation of shuttle vectors, containing a multiple cloning site and/or gfp gene downstream of Francisella groES promotor, was used for GFP production in F. tularensis. The development of new shuttle vectors offers new perspectives in the genetic manipulation of F. tularensis, helping to elucidate the mechanisms underlying its virulence.

  10. The orange spotted cockroach (Blaptica dubia, Serville 1839) is a permissive experimental host for Francisella tularensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eklund, Bridget E.; Mahdi, Osama; Huntley, Jason F.; Collins, Elliot; Martin, Caleb; Horzempa, Joseph; Fisher, Nathan A.

    2018-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic bacterial pathogen that causes severe disease in a wide range of host animals, including humans. Well-developed murine models of F. tularensis pathogenesis are available, but they do not meet the needs of all investigators. However, researchers are increasingly turning to insect host systems as a cost-effective alternative that allows greater increased experimental throughput without the regulatory requirements associated with the use of mammals in biomedical research. Unfortunately, the utility of previously-described insect hosts is limited because of temperature restriction, short lifespans, and concerns about the immunological status of insects mass-produced for other purposes. Here, we present a novel host species, the orange spotted (OS) cockroach (Blaptica dubia), that overcomes these limitations and is readily infected by F. tularensis. Intrahemocoel inoculation was accomplished using standard laboratory equipment and lethality was directly proportional to the number of bacteria injected. Progression of infection differed in insects housed at low and high temperatures and F. tularensis mutants lacking key virulence components were attenuated in OS cockroaches. Finally, antibiotics were delivered to infected OS cockroaches by systemic injection and controlled feeding; in the latter case, protection correlated with oral bioavailability in mammals. Collectively, these results demonstrate that this new host system provides investigators with a new tool capable of interrogating F. tularensis virulence and immune evasion in situations where mammalian models are not available or appropriate, such as undirected screens of large mutant libraries. PMID:29578544

  11. CpG oligodeoxyribonucleotides protect mice from Burkholderia pseudomallei but not Francisella tularensis Schu S4 aerosols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozak, David A; Gelhaus, Herbert C; Smith, Mark; Zadeh, Mojgan; Huzella, Louis; Waag, David; Adamovicz, Jeffrey J

    2010-02-05

    Studies have shown that CpG oligodeoxyribonucleotides (ODN) protect mice from various bacterial pathogens, including Burkholderia pseudomallei and Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS), when administered before parenteral challenge. Given the potential to develop CpG ODN as a pre-treatment for multiple bacterial biological warfare agents, we examined survival, histopathology, and cytokine data from CpG ODN-treated C57BL/6 mice to determine whether previously-reported protection extended to aerosolized B. pseudomallei 1026b and highly virulent F. tularensis Schu S4 infections. We found that, although CpG ODN protected mice from aerosolized B. pseudomallei challenges, the immunostimulant failed to benefit the animals exposed to F. tularensis Schu S4 aerosols. Our results, which contrast with earlier F. tularensis LVS studies, highlight potential differences in Francisella species pathogenesis and underscore the need to evaluate immunotherapies against human pathogenic species.

  12. Francisella tularensis: No Evidence for Transovarial Transmission in the Tularemia Tick Vectors Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genchi, Marco; Prati, Paola; Vicari, Nadia; Manfredini, Andrea; Sacchi, Luciano; Clementi, Emanuela; Bandi, Claudio; Epis, Sara; Fabbi, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Background Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by the Francisella tularensis, a highly infectious Gram-negative coccobacillus. Due to easy dissemination, multiple routes of infection, high environmental contamination and morbidity and mortality rates, Francisella is considered a potential bioterrorism threat and classified as a category A select agent by the CDC. Tick bites are among the most prevalent modes of transmission, and ticks have been indicated as a possible reservoir, although their reservoir competence has yet to be defined. Tick-borne transmission of F. tularensis was recognized in 1923, and transstadial transmission has been demonstrated in several tick species. Studies on transovarial transmission, however, have reported conflicting results. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of ticks as reservoirs for Francisella, assessing the transovarial transmission of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in ticks, using experimentally-infected females of Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus. Results Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization showed F. tularensis within oocytes. However, cultures and bioassays of eggs and larvae were negative; in addition, microscopy techniques revealed bacterial degeneration/death in the oocytes. Conclusions These results suggest that bacterial death might occur in oocytes, preventing the transovarial transmission of Francisella. We can speculate that Francisella does not have a defined reservoir, but that rather various biological niches (e.g. ticks, rodents), that allow the bacterium to persist in the environment. Our results, suggesting that ticks are not competent for the bacterium vertical transmission, are congruent with this view. PMID:26244842

  13. Francisella tularensis: No Evidence for Transovarial Transmission in the Tularemia Tick Vectors Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Genchi

    Full Text Available Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by the Francisella tularensis, a highly infectious Gram-negative coccobacillus. Due to easy dissemination, multiple routes of infection, high environmental contamination and morbidity and mortality rates, Francisella is considered a potential bioterrorism threat and classified as a category A select agent by the CDC. Tick bites are among the most prevalent modes of transmission, and ticks have been indicated as a possible reservoir, although their reservoir competence has yet to be defined. Tick-borne transmission of F. tularensis was recognized in 1923, and transstadial transmission has been demonstrated in several tick species. Studies on transovarial transmission, however, have reported conflicting results.The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of ticks as reservoirs for Francisella, assessing the transovarial transmission of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in ticks, using experimentally-infected females of Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus.Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization showed F. tularensis within oocytes. However, cultures and bioassays of eggs and larvae were negative; in addition, microscopy techniques revealed bacterial degeneration/death in the oocytes.These results suggest that bacterial death might occur in oocytes, preventing the transovarial transmission of Francisella. We can speculate that Francisella does not have a defined reservoir, but that rather various biological niches (e.g. ticks, rodents, that allow the bacterium to persist in the environment. Our results, suggesting that ticks are not competent for the bacterium vertical transmission, are congruent with this view.

  14. Inhibition of AcpA phosphatase activity with ascorbate attenuates Francisella tularensis intramacrophage survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McRae, Steven; Pagliai, Fernando A; Mohapatra, Nrusingh P; Gener, Alejandro; Mahmou, Asma Sayed Abdelgeliel; Gunn, John S; Lorca, Graciela L; Gonzalez, Claudio F

    2010-02-19

    Acid phosphatase activity in the highly infectious intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis is directly related with the ability of these bacteria to survive inside host cells. Pharmacological inactivation of acid phosphatases could potentially help in the treatment of tularemia or even be utilized to neutralize the infection. In the present work, we report inhibitory compounds for three of the four major acid phosphatases produced by F. tularensis SCHU4: AcpA, AcpB, and AcpC. The inhibitors were identified using a catalytic screen from a library of chemicals approved for use in humans. The best results were obtained against AcpA. The two compounds identified, ascorbate (K(i) = 380 +/- 160 microM) and 2-phosphoascorbate (K(i) = 3.2 +/- 0.85 microM) inhibit AcpA in a noncompetitive, nonreversible fashion. A potential ascorbylation site in the proximity of the catalytic pocket of AcpA was identified using site-directed mutagenesis. The effects of the inhibitors identified in vitro were evaluated using bioassays determining the ability of F. tularensis to survive inside infected cells. The presence of ascorbate or 2-phosphoascorbate impaired the intramacrophage survival of F. tularensis in an AcpA-dependent manner as it was probed using knockout strains. The evidence presented herein indicated that ascorbate could be a good alternative to be used clinically to improve treatments against tularemia.

  15. Signatures of T cells as correlates of immunity to Francisella tularensis.

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    Kjell Eneslätt

    Full Text Available Tularemia or vaccination with the live vaccine strain (LVS of Francisella tularensis confers long-lived cell-mediated immunity. We hypothesized that this immunity depends on polyfunctional memory T cells, i.e., CD4(+ and/or CD8(+ T cells with the capability to simultaneously express several functional markers. Multiparametric flow cytometry, measurement of secreted cytokines, and analysis of lymphocyte proliferation were used to characterize in vitro recall responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC to killed F. tularensis antigens from the LVS or Schu S4 strains. PBMC responses were compared between individuals who had contracted tularemia, had been vaccinated, or had not been exposed to F. tularensis (naïve. Significant differences were detected between either of the immune donor groups and naïve individuals for secreted levels of IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IFN-γ, MCP-1, and MIP-1β. Expression of IFN-γ, MIP-1β, and CD107a by CD4(+CD45RO(+ or CD8(+CD45RO(+ T cells correlated to antigen concentrations. In particular, IFN-γ and MIP-1β strongly discriminated between immune and naïve individuals. Only one cytokine, IL-6, discriminated between the two groups of immune individuals. Notably, IL-2- or TNF-α-secretion was low. Our results identify functional signatures of T cells that may serve as correlates of immunity and protection against F. tularensis.

  16. Glutathione provides a source of cysteine essential for intracellular multiplication of Francisella tularensis.

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    Khaled Alkhuder

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium causing the zoonotic disease tularemia. Its ability to multiply and survive in macrophages is critical for its virulence. By screening a bank of HimarFT transposon mutants of the F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS to isolate intracellular growth-deficient mutants, we selected one mutant in a gene encoding a putative gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT. This gene (FTL_0766 was hence designated ggt. The mutant strain showed impaired intracellular multiplication and was strongly attenuated for virulence in mice. Here we present evidence that the GGT activity of F. tularensis allows utilization of glutathione (GSH, gamma-glutamyl-cysteinyl-glycine and gamma-glutamyl-cysteine dipeptide as cysteine sources to ensure intracellular growth. This is the first demonstration of the essential role of a nutrient acquisition system in the intracellular multiplication of F. tularensis. GSH is the most abundant source of cysteine in the host cytosol. Thus, the capacity this intracellular bacterial pathogen has evolved to utilize the available GSH, as a source of cysteine in the host cytosol, constitutes a paradigm of bacteria-host adaptation.

  17. Phylogeographical pattern of Francisella tularensis in a nationwide outbreak of tularaemia in Norway, 2011.

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    Afset, J E; Larssen, K W; Bergh, K; Larkeryd, A; Sjodin, A; Johansson, A; Forsman, M

    2015-05-14

    In 2011, a nationwide outbreak of tularaemia occurred in Norway with 180 recorded cases. It was associated with the largest peak in lemming density seen in 40 years. Francisella tularensis was isolated from 18 patients. To study the geographical distribution of F.tularensis genotypes in Norway and correlate genotype with epidemiology and clinical presentation,we performed whole genome sequencing of patient isolates. All 18 genomes from the outbreak carried genetic signatures of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica and were assigned to genetic clades using canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms. Ten isolates were assigned to major genetic clade B.6 (subclade B.7),seven to clade B.12, and one to clade B.4. The B.6 subclade B.7 was most common in southern and central Norway, while clade B.12 was evenly distributed between the southern, central and northern parts of the country. There was no association between genotype and clinical presentation of tularaemia, time of year or specimen type. We found extensive sequence similarity with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica genomes from high-endemic tularaemia areas in Sweden.Finding nearly identical genomes across large geographical distances in Norway and Sweden imply a life cycle of the bacterium without replication between the outbreaks and raise new questions about long-range migration mechanisms.

  18. A method for functional trans-complementation of intracellular Francisella tularensis.

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    Shaun Steele

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterial pathogen that invades and replicates within numerous host cell types. After uptake, F. tularensis bacteria escape the phagosome, replicate within the cytosol, and suppress cytokine responses. However, the mechanisms employed by F. tularensis to thrive within host cells are mostly unknown. Potential F. tularensis mutants involved in host-pathogen interactions are typically discovered by negative selection screens for intracellular replication or virulence. Mutants that fulfill these criteria fall into two categories: mutants with intrinsic intracellular growth defects and mutants that fail to modify detrimental host cell processes. It is often difficult and time consuming to discriminate between these two possibilities. We devised a method to functionally trans-complement and thus identify mutants that fail to modify the host response. In this assay, host cells are consistently and reproducibly infected with two different F. tularensis strains by physically tethering the bacteria to antibody-coated beads. To examine the efficacy of this protocol, we tested phagosomal escape, cytokine suppression, and intracellular replication for F. tularensis ΔripA and ΔpdpC. ΔripA has an intracellular growth defect that is likely due to an intrinsic defect and fails to suppress IL-1β secretion. In the co-infection model, ΔripA was unable to replicate in the host cell when wild-type bacteria infected the same cell, but cytokine suppression was rescued. Therefore, ΔripA intracellular growth is due to an intrinsic bacterial defect while cytokine secretion results from a failed host-pathogen interaction. Likewise, ΔpdpC is deficient for phagosomal escape, intracellular survival and suppression of IL-1β secretion. Wild-type bacteria that entered through the same phagosome as ΔpdpC rescued all of these phenotypes, indicating that ΔpdpC failed to properly manipulate the host. In summary, functional

  19. The Multiple Localized Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Contributes to the Attenuation of the Francisella tularensis dsbA Deletion Mutant

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pavkova, I.; Kopečková, M.; Klimentová, J.; Schmidt, M.; Sheshko, V.; Sobol, Margaryta; Žáková, J.; Hozák, Pavel; Stulík, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 7, zima (2017), č. článku 503. ISSN 2235-2988 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : DsbA * SILAC * glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase * Francisella tularensis * moonlighting Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Biochemistry and molecular biology Impact factor: 4.300, year: 2016

  20. Cellular and humoral immunity are synergistic in protection against types A and B Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastian, Shite; Pinkham, Jessica T; Lynch, Jillian G; Ross, Robin A; Reinap, Barbara; Blalock, Leeann T; Conlan, J Wayne; Kasper, Dennis L

    2009-01-22

    Herein we report studies with a novel combination vaccine that, when administered to mice, conferred protection against highly virulent strains of Francisella tularensis by stimulating both arms of the immune system. Our earlier studies with Ft.LVS::wbtA, an O-polysaccharide (OPS)-negative mutant derived from the available live vaccine strain of F. tularensis (Ft.LVS), elucidated the role of antibodies to the OPS - a key virulence determinant - in protection against virulent type A organisms. However, when expressed on the organism, the OPS enhances virulence. In contrast, in purified form, the OPS is completely benign. We hypothesized that a novel combination vaccine containing both a component that induces humoral immunity and a component that induces cellular immunity to this intracellular microbe would have an enhanced protective capacity over either component alone and would be much safer than the LVS vaccine. Thus we developed a combination vaccine containing both OPS (supplied in an OPS-tetanus toxoid glycoconjugate) to induce a humoral antibody response and strain Ft.LVS::wbtA (which is markedly attenuated by its lack of OPS) to induce a cell-mediated protective response. This vaccine protected mice against otherwise-lethal intranasal and intradermal challenge with wild-type F. tularensis strains Schu S4 (type A) and FSC 108 (type B). These results represent a significant advance in our understanding of immunity to F. tularensis and provide important insight into the development of a safer vaccine effective against infections caused by clinical type A and B strains of F. tularensis.

  1. An outbreak of respiratory tularemia caused by diverse clones of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Anders; Lärkeryd, Adrian; Widerström, Micael; Mörtberg, Sara; Myrtännäs, Kerstin; Ohrman, Caroline; Birdsell, Dawn; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Forsman, Mats; Larsson, Pär

    2014-12-01

    The bacterium Francisella tularensis is recognized for its virulence, infectivity, genetic homogeneity, and potential as a bioterrorism agent. Outbreaks of respiratory tularemia, caused by inhalation of this bacterium, are poorly understood. Such outbreaks are exceedingly rare, and F. tularensis is seldom recovered from clinical specimens. A localized outbreak of tularemia in Sweden was investigated. Sixty-seven humans contracted laboratory-verified respiratory tularemia. F. tularensis subspecies holarctica was isolated from the blood or pleural fluid of 10 individuals from July to September 2010. Using whole-genome sequencing and analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), outbreak isolates were compared with 110 archived global isolates. There were 757 SNPs among the genomes of the 10 outbreak isolates and the 25 most closely related archival isolates (all from Sweden/Finland). Whole genomes of outbreak isolates were >99.9% similar at the nucleotide level and clustered into 3 distinct genetic clades. Unexpectedly, high-sequence similarity grouped some outbreak and archival isolates that originated from patients from different geographic regions and up to 10 years apart. Outbreak and archival genomes frequently differed by only 1-3 of 1 585 229 examined nucleotides. The outbreak was caused by diverse clones of F. tularensis that occurred concomitantly, were widespread, and apparently persisted in the environment. Multiple independent acquisitions of F. tularensis from the environment over a short time period suggest that natural outbreaks of respiratory tularemia are triggered by environmental cues. The findings additionally caution against interpreting genome sequence identity for this pathogen as proof of a direct epidemiological link. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Towards Development of Improved Serodiagnostics for Tularemia by Use of Francisella tularensis Proteome Microarrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Rie; Escudero, Raquel; Molina, Douglas M; Rodríguez-Vargas, Manuela; Randall, Arlo; Jasinskas, Algis; Pablo, Jozelyn; Felgner, Philip L; AuCoin, David P; Anda, Pedro; Davies, D Huw

    2016-07-01

    Tularemia in humans is caused mainly by two subspecies of the Gram-negative facultative anaerobe Francisella tularensis: F. tularensis subsp. tularensis (type A) and F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (type B). The current serological test for tularemia is based on agglutination of whole organisms, and the reactive antigens are not well understood. Previously, we profiled the antibody responses in type A and B tularemia cases in the United States using a proteome microarray of 1,741 different proteins derived from the type A strain Schu S4. Fifteen dominant antigens able to detect antibodies to both types of infection were identified, although these were not validated in a different immunoassay format. Since type A and B subspecies are closely related, we hypothesized that Schu S4 antigens would also have utility for diagnosing type B tularemia caused by strains from other geographic locations. To test this, we probed the Schu S4 array with sera from 241 type B tularemia cases in Spain. Despite there being no type A strains in Spain, we confirmed the responses against some of the same potential serodiagnostic antigens reported previously, as well as determined the responses against additional potential serodiagnostic antigens. Five potential serodiagnostic antigens were evaluated on immunostrips, and two of these (FTT1696/GroEL and FTT0975/conserved hypothetical protein) discriminated between the Spanish tularemia cases and healthy controls. We conclude that antigens from the type A strain Schu S4 are suitable for detection of antibodies from patients with type B F. tularensis infections and that these can be used for the diagnosis of tularemia in a deployable format, such as the immunostrip. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  3. Automated microfluidically controlled electrochemical biosensor for the rapid and highly sensitive detection of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulay, Samuel B; Gransee, Rainer; Julich, Sandra; Tomaso, Herbert; O'Sullivan, Ciara K

    2014-09-15

    Tularemia is a highly infectious zoonotic disease caused by a Gram-negative coccoid rod bacterium, Francisella tularensis. Tularemia is considered as a life-threatening potential biological warfare agent due to its high virulence, transmission, mortality and simplicity of cultivation. In the work reported here, different electrochemical immunosensor formats for the detection of whole F. tularensis bacteria were developed and their performance compared. An anti-Francisella antibody (FB11) was used for the detection that recognises the lipopolysaccharide found in the outer membrane of the bacteria. In the first approach, gold-supported self-assembled monolayers of a carboxyl terminated bipodal alkanethiol were used to covalently cross-link with the FB11 antibody. In an alternative second approach F(ab) fragments of the FB11 antibody were generated and directly chemisorbed onto the gold electrode surface. The second approach resulted in an increased capture efficiency and higher sensitivity. Detection limits of 4.5 ng/mL for the lipopolysaccharide antigen and 31 bacteria/mL for the F. tularensis bacteria were achieved. Having demonstrated the functionality of the immunosensor, an electrode array was functionalised with the antibody fragment and integrated with microfluidics and housed in a tester set-up that facilitated complete automation of the assay. The only end-user intervention is sample addition, requiring less than one-minute hands-on time. The use of the automated microfluidic set-up not only required much lower reagent volumes but also the required incubation time was considerably reduced and a notable increase of 3-fold in assay sensitivity was achieved with a total assay time from sample addition to read-out of less than 20 min. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  5. Nonrandom distribution of vector ticks (Dermacentor variabilis infected by Francisella tularensis.

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    Heidi K Goethert

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, is the site of a sustained outbreak of tularemia due to Francisella tularensis tularensis. Dog ticks, Dermacentor variabilis, appear to be critical in the perpetuation of the agent there. Tularemia has long been characterized as an agent of natural focality, stably persisting in characteristic sites of transmission, but this suggestion has never been rigorously tested. Accordingly, we sought to identify a natural focus of transmission of the agent of tularemia by mapping the distribution of PCR-positive ticks. From 2004 to 2007, questing D. variabilis were collected from 85 individual waypoints along a 1.5 km transect in a field site on Martha's Vineyard. The positions of PCR-positive ticks were then mapped using ArcGIS. Cluster analysis identified an area approximately 290 meters in diameter, 9 waypoints, that was significantly more likely to yield PCR-positive ticks (relative risk 3.3, P = 0.001 than the rest of the field site. Genotyping of F. tularensis using variable number tandem repeat (VNTR analysis on PCR-positive ticks yielded 13 different haplotypes, the vast majority of which was one dominant haplotype. Positive ticks collected in the cluster were 3.4 times (relative risk = 3.4, P<0.0001 more likely to have an uncommon haplotype than those collected elsewhere from the transect. We conclude that we have identified a microfocus where the agent of tularemia stably perpetuates and that this area is where genetic diversity is generated.

  6. Biochemical responses and oxidative stress in Francisella tularensis infection: a European brown hare model

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    Treml Frantisek

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of the present study was to investigate biochemical and oxidative stress responses to experimental F. tularensis infection in European brown hares, an important source of human tularemia infections. Methods For these purposes we compared the development of an array of biochemical parameters measured in blood plasma using standard procedures of dry chemistry as well as electrochemical devices following a subcutaneous infection with a wild Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica strain (a single dose of 2.6 × 109 CFU pro toto. Results Subcutaneous inoculation of a single dose with 2.6 × 109 colony forming units of a wild F. tularensis strain pro toto resulted in the death of two out of five hares. Plasma chemistry profiles were examined on days 2 to 35 post-infection. When compared to controls, the total protein, urea, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase were increased, while albumin, glucose and amylase were decreased. Both uric and ascorbic acids and glutathione dropped on day 2 and then increased significantly on days 6 to 12 and 6 to 14 post-inoculation, respectively. There was a two-fold increase in lipid peroxidation on days 4 to 8 post-inoculation. Conclusions Contrary to all expectations, the present study demonstrates that the European brown hare shows relatively low susceptibility to tularemia. Therefore, the circumstances of tularemia in hares under natural conditions should be further studied.

  7. Entry of Francisella tularensis into Murine B Cells: The Role of B Cell Receptors and Complement Receptors.

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    Lenka Plzakova

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis, the etiological agent of tularemia, is an intracellular pathogen that dominantly infects and proliferates inside phagocytic cells but can be seen also in non-phagocytic cells, including B cells. Although protective immunity is known to be almost exclusively associated with the type 1 pathway of cellular immunity, a significant role of B cells in immune responses already has been demonstrated. Whether their role is associated with antibody-dependent or antibody-independent B cell functions is not yet fully understood. The character of early events during B cell-pathogen interaction may determine the type of B cell response regulating the induction of adaptive immunity. We used fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry to identify the basic requirements for the entry of F. tularensis into B cells within in vivo and in vitro infection models. Here, we present data showing that Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica strain LVS significantly infects individual subsets of murine peritoneal B cells early after infection. Depending on a given B cell subset, uptake of Francisella into B cells is mediated by B cell receptors (BCRs with or without complement receptor CR1/2. However, F. tularensis strain FSC200 ΔiglC and ΔftdsbA deletion mutants are defective in the ability to enter B cells. Once internalized into B cells, F. tularensis LVS intracellular trafficking occurs along the endosomal pathway, albeit without significant multiplication. The results strongly suggest that BCRs alone within the B-1a subset can ensure the internalization process while the BCRs on B-1b and B-2 cells need co-signaling from the co receptor containing CR1/2 to initiate F. tularensis engulfment. In this case, fluidity of the surface cell membrane is a prerequisite for the bacteria's internalization. The results substantially underline the functional heterogeneity of B cell subsets in relation to F. tularensis.

  8. Crystallization of a newly discovered histidine acid phosphatase from Francisella tularensis

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    Felts, Richard L. [Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211 (United States); Reilly, Thomas J. [Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212 (United States); Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212 (United States); Calcutt, Michael J. [Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212 (United States); Tanner, John J., E-mail: tannerjj@missouri.edu [Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211 (United States); Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211 (United States)

    2006-01-01

    A histidine acid phosphatase from the CDC Category A pathogen F. tularensis has been crystallized in space group P4{sub 1}2{sub 1}2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. A 1.75 Å resolution data set was collected at Advanced Light Source beamline 4.2.2. Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterial pathogen that is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a potential bioterrorism weapon. Here, the crystallization of a 37.2 kDa phosphatase encoded by the genome of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica live vaccine strain is reported. This enzyme shares 41% amino-acid sequence identity with Legionella pneumophila major acid phosphatase and contains the RHGXRXP motif that is characteristic of the histidine acid phosphatase family. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of Tacsimate, HEPES and PEG 3350. The crystals belong to space group P4{sub 1}2{sub 1}2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain one protein molecule, with a solvent content of 53%. A 1.75 Å resolution native data set was recorded at beamline 4.2.2 of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source. Molecular-replacement trials using the human prostatic acid phosphatase structure as the search model (28% amino-acid sequence identity) did not produce a satisfactory solution. Therefore, the structure of F. tularensis histidine acid phosphatase will be determined by multiwavelength anomalous dispersion phasing using a selenomethionyl derivative.

  9. Crystallization of a newly discovered histidine acid phosphatase from Francisella tularensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

    A histidine acid phosphatase from the CDC Category A pathogen F. tularensis has been crystallized in space group P4 1 2 1 2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. A 1.75 Å resolution data set was collected at Advanced Light Source beamline 4.2.2. Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterial pathogen that is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a potential bioterrorism weapon. Here, the crystallization of a 37.2 kDa phosphatase encoded by the genome of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica live vaccine strain is reported. This enzyme shares 41% amino-acid sequence identity with Legionella pneumophila major acid phosphatase and contains the RHGXRXP motif that is characteristic of the histidine acid phosphatase family. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of Tacsimate, HEPES and PEG 3350. The crystals belong to space group P4 1 2 1 2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain one protein molecule, with a solvent content of 53%. A 1.75 Å resolution native data set was recorded at beamline 4.2.2 of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source. Molecular-replacement trials using the human prostatic acid phosphatase structure as the search model (28% amino-acid sequence identity) did not produce a satisfactory solution. Therefore, the structure of F. tularensis histidine acid phosphatase will be determined by multiwavelength anomalous dispersion phasing using a selenomethionyl derivative

  10. Serological evidence of Francisella tularensis in febrile patients seeking treatment at remote hospitals, northeastern Kenya, 2014–2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Njeru

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Tularaemia is a highly contagious infectious zoonosis caused by the bacterial agent Francisella tularensis. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of antibodies to F. tularensis in febrile patients in northeastern Kenya. During 2014–2015, 730 patients were screened for anti-F. tularensis antibodies using a combination of ELISA and Western blot. Twenty-seven (3.7% individuals were positive for F. tularensis. Tularaemia was not suspected by the treating clinicians in any of them. Our results suggest that tularaemia may be present in Kenya but remain unreported, and emphasizes the need for local clinicians to broaden their diagnostic repertoire when evaluating patients with undifferentiated febrile illness.

  11. The Effect of Interferon-γ and Lipopolysaccharide on the Growth of Francisella tularensis LVS in Murine Macrophage-like Cell Line J774

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Holická

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Francisella tularensis, a causative agent of human tularemia, displaying the ability to proliferate inside the human cells. Aims: To evaluate the growth potential of F. tularensis LVS strain in macrophage-like cell line J774 modulated by recombinant interferon γ and E. coli derived lipopolysaccharide. Results: Stimulation of J774 cells either by interferon-γ or lipopolysaccharide alone, or especially in combination before infection F. tularensis, revealed protective effects. Higher concentrations of stimulating agents were needed to inhibit ongoing F. tularensis infection. Conclusions: Stimulation of J774 cell line by combination of interferon-γ with lipopolysaccharide inhibits the intracellular growth of F. tularensis.

  12. TaqMan real-time PCR assays for single-nucleotide polymorphisms which identify Francisella tularensis and its subspecies and subpopulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dawn N Birdsell

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis, the etiologic agent of tularemia and a Class A Select Agent, is divided into three subspecies and multiple subpopulations that differ in virulence and geographic distribution. Given these differences, there is a need to rapidly and accurately determine if a strain is F. tularensis and, if it is, assign it to subspecies and subpopulation. We designed TaqMan real-time PCR genotyping assays using eleven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs that were potentially specific to closely related groups within the genus Francisella, including numerous subpopulations within F. tularensis species. We performed extensive validation studies to test the specificity of these SNPs to particular populations by screening the assays across a set of 565 genetically and geographically diverse F. tularensis isolates and an additional 21 genetic near-neighbor (outgroup isolates. All eleven assays correctly determined the genetic groups of all 565 F. tularensis isolates. One assay differentiates F. tularensis, F. novicida, and F. hispaniensis from the more genetically distant F. philomiragia and Francisella-like endosymbionts. Another assay differentiates F. tularensis isolates from near neighbors. The remaining nine assays classify F. tularensis-confirmed isolates into F. tularensis subspecies and subpopulations. The genotyping accuracy of these nine assays diminished when tested on outgroup isolates (i.e. non F. tularensis, therefore a hierarchical approach of assay usage is recommended wherein the F. tularensis-specific assay is used before the nine downstream assays. Among F. tularensis isolates, all eleven assays were highly sensitive, consistently amplifying very low concentrations of DNA. Altogether, these eleven TaqMan real-time PCR assays represent a highly accurate, rapid, and sensitive means of identifying the species, subspecies, and subpopulation of any F. tularensis isolate if used in a step-wise hierarchical scheme. These assays

  13. Border Patrol Gone Awry: Lung NKT Cell Activation by Francisella tularensis Exacerbates Tularemia-Like Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Timothy M; Gilchuk, Pavlo; Cicek, Basak B; Osina, Maria A; Boyd, Kelli L; Durrant, Douglas M; Metzger, Dennis W; Khanna, Kamal M; Joyce, Sebastian

    2015-06-01

    The respiratory mucosa is a major site for pathogen invasion and, hence, a site requiring constant immune surveillance. The type I, semi-invariant natural killer T (NKT) cells are enriched within the lung vasculature. Despite optimal positioning, the role of NKT cells in respiratory infectious diseases remains poorly understood. Hence, we assessed their function in a murine model of pulmonary tularemia--because tularemia is a sepsis-like proinflammatory disease and NKT cells are known to control the cellular and humoral responses underlying sepsis. Here we show for the first time that respiratory infection with Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain resulted in rapid accumulation of NKT cells within the lung interstitium. Activated NKT cells produced interferon-γ and promoted both local and systemic proinflammatory responses. Consistent with these results, NKT cell-deficient mice showed reduced inflammatory cytokine and chemokine response yet they survived the infection better than their wild type counterparts. Strikingly, NKT cell-deficient mice had increased lymphocytic infiltration in the lungs that organized into tertiary lymphoid structures resembling induced bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (iBALT) at the peak of infection. Thus, NKT cell activation by F. tularensis infection hampers iBALT formation and promotes a systemic proinflammatory response, which exacerbates severe pulmonary tularemia-like disease in mice.

  14. Mouse models of aerosol-acquired tularemia caused by Francisella tularensis types A and B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritz, David L; England, Marilyn J; Miller, Lynda; Waag, David M

    2014-10-01

    After preliminary assessment of virulence in AKR/J, DBA/1, BALB/c, and C57BL/6 mice, we investigated histopathologic changes in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice infected with type A (strain SCHU S4) or type B (strain 425) Francisella tularensis by aerosol exposure. In mice exposed to type A infection, changes in histologic presentation were not apparent until day 3 after infection, when pyogranulomatous inflammation was detected in spleens and livers of BALB/c mice, and in lungs and spleens of C57BL/6 mice. Histopathologic changes were most severe and widespread in both mouse strains on day 5 after infection and seemed to completely resolve within 22 d of challenge. BALB/c mice were more resistant than C57BL/6 mice in lethal-dose calculations, but C57BL/6 mice cleared the infection more rapidly. Mice similarly challenged with type B F. tularensis also developed histopathologic signs of infection beginning on day 3. The most severe changes were noted on day 8 and were characterized by granulomatous or pyogranulomatous infiltrations of the lungs. Unlike type A infection, lesions due to type B did not resolve over time and remained 3 wk after infection. In type B, but not type A, infection we noted extensive inflammation of the heart muscle. Although no microorganisms were found in tissues of type A survivors beyond 9 d after infection, mice surviving strain 425 infection had a low level of residual infection at 3 wk after challenge. The histopathologic presentation of tularemia caused by F. tularensis types A and B in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice bears distinct similarities to tularemia in humans.

  15. Insights to genetic characterization tools for epidemiological tracking of Francisella tularensis in Sweden.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tara Wahab

    Full Text Available Tularaemia, caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is endemic in Sweden and is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of three different genetic typing systems to link a genetic type to the source and place of tularemia infection in Sweden. Canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNPs, MLVA including five variable number of tandem repeat loci and PmeI-PFGE were tested on 127 F. tularensis positive specimens collected from Swedish case-patients. All three typing methods identified two major genetic groups with near-perfect agreement. Higher genetic resolution was obtained with canSNP and MLVA compared to PFGE; F. tularensis samples were first assigned into ten phylogroups based on canSNPs followed by 33 unique MLVA types. Phylogroups were geographically analysed to reveal complex phylogeographic patterns in Sweden. The extensive phylogenetic diversity found within individual counties posed a challenge to linking specific genetic types with specific geographic locations. Despite this, a single phylogroup (B.22, defined by a SNP marker specific to a lone Swedish sequenced strain, did link genetic type with a likely geographic place. This result suggests that SNP markers, highly specific to a particular reference genome, may be found most frequently among samples recovered from the same location where the reference genome originated. This insight compels us to consider whole-genome sequencing (WGS as the appropriate tool for effectively linking specific genetic type to geography. Comparing the WGS of an unknown sample to WGS databases of archived Swedish strains maximizes the likelihood of revealing those rare geographically informative SNPs.

  16. Rapid countermeasure discovery against Francisella tularensis based on a metabolic network reconstruction.

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    Sidhartha Chaudhury

    Full Text Available In the future, we may be faced with the need to provide treatment for an emergent biological threat against which existing vaccines and drugs have limited efficacy or availability. To prepare for this eventuality, our objective was to use a metabolic network-based approach to rapidly identify potential drug targets and prospectively screen and validate novel small-molecule antimicrobials. Our target organism was the fully virulent Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis Schu S4 strain, a highly infectious intracellular pathogen that is the causative agent of tularemia and is classified as a category A biological agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We proceeded with a staggered computational and experimental workflow that used a strain-specific metabolic network model, homology modeling and X-ray crystallography of protein targets, and ligand- and structure-based drug design. Selected compounds were subsequently filtered based on physiological-based pharmacokinetic modeling, and we selected a final set of 40 compounds for experimental validation of antimicrobial activity. We began screening these compounds in whole bacterial cell-based assays in biosafety level 3 facilities in the 20th week of the study and completed the screens within 12 weeks. Six compounds showed significant growth inhibition of F. tularensis, and we determined their respective minimum inhibitory concentrations and mammalian cell cytotoxicities. The most promising compound had a low molecular weight, was non-toxic, and abolished bacterial growth at 13 µM, with putative activity against pantetheine-phosphate adenylyltransferase, an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of coenzyme A, encoded by gene coaD. The novel antimicrobial compounds identified in this study serve as starting points for lead optimization, animal testing, and drug development against tularemia. Our integrated in silico/in vitro approach had an overall 15% success rate in terms of

  17. Re-emergence of tularemia in Germany: Presence of Francisella tularensis in different rodent species in endemic areas

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    Pfeffer Martin

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tularemia re-emerged in Germany starting in 2004 (with 39 human cases from 2004 to 2007 after over 40 years of only sporadic human infections. The reasons for this rise in case numbers are unknown as is the possible reservoir of the etiologic agent Francisella (F. tularensis. No systematic study on the reservoir situation of F. tularensis has been published for Germany so far. Methods We investigated three areas six to ten months after the initial tularemia outbreaks for the presence of F. tularensis among small mammals, ticks/fleas and water. The investigations consisted of animal live-trapping, serologic testing, screening by real-time-PCR and cultivation. Results A total of 386 small mammals were trapped. F. tularensis was detected in five different rodent species with carrier rates of 2.04, 6.94 and 10.87% per trapping area. None of the ticks or fleas (n = 432 tested positive for F. tularensis. We were able to demonstrate F. tularensis-specific DNA in one of 28 water samples taken in one of the outbreak areas. Conclusion The findings of our study stress the need for long-term surveillance of natural foci in order to get a better understanding of the reasons for the temporal and spatial patterns of tularemia in Germany.

  18. Francisella tularensis Catalase Restricts Immune Function by Impairing TRPM2 Channel Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakerley, Nicole L; Chandrasekaran, Akshaya; Trebak, Mohamed; Miller, Barbara A; Melendez, J Andrés

    2016-02-19

    As an innate defense mechanism, macrophages produce reactive oxygen species that weaken pathogens and serve as secondary messengers involved in immune function. The Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis utilizes its antioxidant armature to limit the host immune response, but the mechanism behind this suppression is not defined. Here we establish that F. tularensis limits Ca(2+) entry in macrophages, thereby limiting actin reorganization and IL-6 production in a redox-dependent fashion. Wild type (live vaccine strain) or catalase-deficient F. tularensis (ΔkatG) show distinct profiles in their H2O2 scavenging rates, 1 and 0.015 pm/s, respectively. Murine alveolar macrophages infected with ΔkatG display abnormally high basal intracellular Ca(2+) concentration that did not increase further in response to H2O2. Additionally, ΔkatG-infected macrophages displayed limited Ca(2+) influx in response to ionomycin, as a result of ionophore H2O2 sensitivity. Exogenously added H2O2 or H2O2 generated by ΔkatG likely oxidizes ionomycin and alters its ability to transport Ca(2+). Basal increases in cytosolic Ca(2+) and insensitivity to H2O2-mediated Ca(2+) entry in ΔkatG-infected cells are reversed by the Ca(2+) channel inhibitors 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate and SKF-96365. 2-Aminoethyl diphenylborinate but not SKF-96365 abrogated ΔkatG-dependent increases in macrophage actin remodeling and IL-6 secretion, suggesting a role for H2O2-mediated Ca(2+) entry through the transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) channel in macrophages. Indeed, increases in basal Ca(2+), actin polymerization, and IL-6 production are reversed in TRPM2-null macrophages infected with ΔkatG. Together, our findings provide compelling evidence that F. tularensis catalase restricts reactive oxygen species to temper macrophage TRPM2-mediated Ca(2+) signaling and limit host immune function. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  19. Detection of Francisella tularensis-Specific Antibodies in Patients with Tularemia by a Novel Competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Neekun; Hotta, Akitoyo; Yamamoto, Yoshie; Fujita, Osamu; Uda, Akihiko; Morikawa, Shigeru; Yamada, Akio

    2013-01-01

    A novel competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) was developed and evaluated for detection of antibodies against Francisella tularensis in humans. The assay is based on the ability of serum antibodies to inhibit the binding of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against F. tularensis lipopolysaccharide antigens. The assay was evaluated using serum samples of tularemia patients, inactivated F. tularensis-immunized rabbits, and F. tularensis-infected mice. Antibodies against F. tularensis were successfully detected in serum samples of tularemia patients as well as the immunized and infected animals. The cELISA method was compared to indirect ELISA (iELISA) and the commonly used microagglutination test (MA) using serum samples of 19 tularemia patients and 50 healthy individuals. The sensitivity and specificity of cELISA were 93.9 and 96.1%, respectively, in comparison to the iELISA. MA was less sensitive than cELISA with a sensitivity and specificity of only 81.8 and 98.0%, respectively. A high degree of correlation (R2 = 0.8226) was observed between cELISA and iELISA results. The novel cELISA developed in this study appears to be highly sensitive and specific for serodiagnosis of human tularemia. The potential of the MAb-based cELISA to be used in both human and animal samples emphasizes its usefulness for serological survey of tularemia among multiple animal species. PMID:23114700

  20. Complete genome sequence of Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica FTNF002-00.

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    Ravi D Barabote

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica FTNF002-00 strain was originally obtained from the first known clinical case of bacteremic F. tularensis pneumonia in Southern Europe isolated from an immunocompetent individual. The FTNF002-00 complete genome contains the RD(23 deletion and represents a type strain for a clonal population from the first epidemic tularemia outbreak in Spain between 1997-1998. Here, we present the complete sequence analysis of the FTNF002-00 genome. The complete genome sequence of FTNF002-00 revealed several large as well as small genomic differences with respect to two other published complete genome sequences of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica strains, LVS and OSU18. The FTNF002-00 genome shares >99.9% sequence similarity with LVS and OSU18, and is also approximately 5 MB smaller by comparison. The overall organization of the FTNF002-00 genome is remarkably identical to those of LVS and OSU18, except for a single 3.9 kb inversion in FTNF002-00. Twelve regions of difference ranging from 0.1-1.5 kb and forty-two small insertions and deletions were identified in a comparative analysis of FTNF002-00, LVS, and OSU18 genomes. Two small deletions appear to inactivate two genes in FTNF002-00 causing them to become pseudogenes; the intact genes encode a protein of unknown function and a drug:H(+ antiporter. In addition, we identified ninety-nine proteins in FTNF002-00 containing amino acid mutations compared to LVS and OSU18. Several non-conserved amino acid replacements were identified, one of which occurs in the virulence-associated intracellular growth locus subunit D protein. Many of these changes in FTNF002-00 are likely the consequence of direct selection that increases the fitness of this subsp. holarctica clone within its endemic population. Our complete genome sequence analyses lay the foundation for experimental testing of these possibilities.

  1. About three cases of ulceroglandular tularemia, is this the re-emergence of Francisella tularensis in Belgium?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, E; Van Eeckhoudt, S; Thissen, X; Ausselet, N; Fretin, D; Stefanescu, I; Glupczynski, Y; Delaere, B

    2015-10-01

    Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by Francisella tularensis that can be transmitted by several ways to human being and cause different clinical manifestations. We report three clinical cases of tularemia with ulceroglandular presentation in young males acquired during outdoor activities in Southern Belgium. Confirmation of the diagnosis was established by serology. Only three cases of tularemia have been reported in Belgium between 1950 and 2012 by the National Reference Laboratory CODA-CERVA (Ref Lab CODA-CERVA) but re-emergence of tularemia is established in several European countries and F. tularensis is also well known to be present in animal reservoirs and vectors in Belgium. The diagnosis of tularemia has to be considered in case of suggestive clinical presentation associated with epidemiological risk factors.

  2. Novel engineered cationic antimicrobial peptides display broad-spectrum activity against Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Burkholderia pseudomallei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelbaqi, Suha; Deslouches, Berthony; Steckbeck, Jonathan; Montelaro, Ronald; Reed, Douglas S

    2016-02-01

    Broad-spectrum antimicrobials are needed to effectively treat patients infected in the event of a pandemic or intentional release of a pathogen prior to confirmation of the pathogen's identity. Engineered cationic antimicrobial peptides (eCAPs) display activity against a number of bacterial pathogens including multi-drug-resistant strains. Two lead eCAPs, WLBU2 and WR12, were compared with human cathelicidin (LL-37) against three highly pathogenic bacteria: Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Both WLBU2 and WR12 demonstrated bactericidal activity greater than that of LL-37, particularly against F. tularensis and Y. pestis. Only WLBU2 had bactericidal activity against B. pseudomallei. WLBU2, WR12 and LL-37 were all able to inhibit the growth of the three bacteria in vitro. Because these bacteria can be facultative intracellular pathogens, preferentially infecting macrophages and dendritic cells, we evaluated the activity of WLBU2 against F. tularensis in an ex vivo infection model with J774 cells, a mouse macrophage cell line. In that model WLBU2 was able to achieve greater than 50% killing of F. tularensis at a concentration of 12.5 μM. These data show the therapeutic potential of eCAPs, particularly WLBU2, as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial for treating highly pathogenic bacterial infections.

  3. Protective Immunity against Tularemia Provided by an Adenovirus-Vectored Vaccine Expressing Tul4 of Francisella tularensis

    OpenAIRE

    Kaur, Ravinder; Chen, Shan; Arévalo, Maria T.; Xu, Qingfu; Chen, Yanping; Zeng, Mingtao

    2012-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, a category A bioterrorism agent, is a highly infectious organism that is passed on via skin contact and inhalation routes. A live attenuated vaccine strain (LVS) has been developed, but it has not been licensed for public use by the FDA due to safety concerns. Thus, there exists a need for a safer and improved vaccine. In this study, we have constructed a replication-incompetent adenovirus, Ad/opt-Tul4, carrying a codon-optimized gene for expression of a membrane prote...

  4. Francisella tularensis type A Strains Cause the Rapid Encystment of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Survive in Amoebal Cysts for Three Weeks post Infection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    El-Etr, S H; Margolis, J; Monack, D; Robison, R; Cohen, M; Moore, E; Rasley, A

    2009-07-28

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of the zoonotic disease tularemia, has recently gained increased attention due to the emergence of tularemia in geographical areas where the disease has been previously unknown, and the organism's potential as a bioterrorism agent. Although F. tularensis has an extremely broad host range, the bacterial reservoir in nature has not been conclusively identified. In this study, the ability of virulent F. tularensis strains to survive and replicate in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was explored. We observe that A. castellanii trophozoites rapidly encyst in response to F. tularensis infection and that this rapid encystment phenotype (REP) is caused by factor(s) secreted by amoebae and/or F. tularensis into the co-culture media. Further, our results indicate that in contrast to LVS, virulent strains of F. tularensis can survive in A. castellanii cysts for at least 3 weeks post infection and that induction of rapid amoeba encystment is essential for survival. In addition, our data indicate that pathogenic F. tularensis strains block lysosomal fusion in A. castellanii. Taken together, these data suggest that the interactions between F. tularensis strains and amoeba may play a role in the environmental persistence of F. tularensis.

  5. Quantitative Proteomics Analysis of Macrophage-Derived Lipid Rafts Reveals Induction of Autophagy Pathway at the Early Time of Francisella tularensis LVS Infection

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hartlová, A.; Link, M.; Balounová, Jana; Benešová, Martina; Resch, U.; Strašková, A.; Sobol, Margaryta; Filimonenko, Anatolij; Hozák, Pavel; Krocová, Z.; Gekara, N.; Filipp, Dominik; Stulík, J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 13, č. 2 (2014), s. 796-804 ISSN 1535-3893 R&D Projects: GA MO(CZ) OVUOFVZ200808 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : innate immune response * bacterial infection * lipid rafts * Francisella tularensis * phagocytosis * autophagy Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.245, year: 2014

  6. Protective immunity against tularemia provided by an adenovirus-vectored vaccine expressing Tul4 of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Ravinder; Chen, Shan; Arévalo, Maria T; Xu, Qingfu; Chen, Yanping; Zeng, Mingtao

    2012-03-01

    Francisella tularensis, a category A bioterrorism agent, is a highly infectious organism that is passed on via skin contact and inhalation routes. A live attenuated vaccine strain (LVS) has been developed, but it has not been licensed for public use by the FDA due to safety concerns. Thus, there exists a need for a safer and improved vaccine. In this study, we have constructed a replication-incompetent adenovirus, Ad/opt-Tul4, carrying a codon-optimized gene for expression of a membrane protein, Tul4, of F. tularensis LVS. Its ability to protect against lethal challenge and its immunogenicity were evaluated in a murine model. An intramuscular injection of a single dose (1 × 10(7) PFU) of Ad/opt-Tul4 elicited a robust Tul4-specific antibody response. Assays suggest a Th1-driven response. A single dose elicited 20% protection against challenge with 100 × 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) F. tularensis LVS; two additional booster shots resulted in 60% protection. In comparison, three doses of 5 μg recombinant Tul4 protein did not elicit significant protection against challenge. Therefore, the Ad/opt-Tul4 vaccine was more effective than the protein vaccine, and protection was dose dependent. Compared to LVS, the protection rate is lower, but an adenovirus-vectored vaccine may be more attractive due to its enhanced safety profile and mucosal route of delivery. Furthermore, simple genetic modification of the vaccine may potentially produce antibodies protective against a fully virulent strain of F. tularensis. Our data support the development and further research of an adenovirus-vectored vaccine against Tul4 of F. tularensis LVS.

  7. Generation of a convalescent model of virulent Francisella tularensis infection for assessment of host requirements for survival of tularemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah D Crane

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium and the causative agent of tularemia. Development of novel vaccines and therapeutics for tularemia has been hampered by the lack of understanding of which immune components are required to survive infection. Defining these requirements for protection against virulent F. tularensis, such as strain SchuS4, has been difficult since experimentally infected animals typically die within 5 days after exposure to as few as 10 bacteria. Such a short mean time to death typically precludes development, and therefore assessment, of immune responses directed against virulent F. tularensis. To enable identification of the components of the immune system that are required for survival of virulent F. tularensis, we developed a convalescent model of tularemia in C57Bl/6 mice using low dose antibiotic therapy in which the host immune response is ultimately responsible for clearance of the bacterium. Using this model we demonstrate αβTCR(+ cells, γδTCR(+ cells, and B cells are necessary to survive primary SchuS4 infection. Analysis of mice deficient in specific soluble mediators shows that IL-12p40 and IL-12p35 are essential for survival of SchuS4 infection. We also show that IFN-γ is required for survival of SchuS4 infection since mice lacking IFN-γR succumb to disease during the course of antibiotic therapy. Finally, we found that both CD4(+ and CD8(+ cells are the primary producers of IFN-γand that γδTCR(+ cells and NK cells make a minimal contribution toward production of this cytokine throughout infection. Together these data provide a novel model that identifies key cells and cytokines required for survival or exacerbation of infection with virulent F. tularensis and provides evidence that this model will be a useful tool for better understanding the dynamics of tularemia infection.

  8. The involvement of IL-17A in the murine response to sub-lethal inhalational infection with Francisella tularensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gal Markel

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is an intercellular bacterium often causing fatal disease when inhaled. Previous reports have underlined the role of cell-mediated immunity and IFNgamma in the host response to Francisella tularensis infection.Here we provide evidence for the involvement of IL-17A in host defense to inhalational tularemia, using a mouse model of intranasal infection with the Live Vaccine Strain (LVS. We demonstrate the kinetics of IL-17A production in lavage fluids of infected lungs and identify the IL-17A-producing lymphocytes as pulmonary gammadelta and Th17 cells. The peak of IL-17A production appears early during sub-lethal infection, it precedes the peak of immune activation and the nadir of the disease, and then subsides subsequently. Exogenous airway administration of IL-17A or of IL-23 had a limited yet consistent effect of delaying the onset of death from a lethal dose of LVS, implying that IL-17A may be involved in restraining the infection. The protective role for IL-17A was directly demonstrated by in vivo neutralization of IL-17A. Administration of anti IL-17A antibodies concomitantly to a sub-lethal airway infection with 0.1xLD(50 resulted in a fatal disease.In summary, these data characterize the involvement and underline the protective key role of the IL-17A axis in the lungs from inhalational tularemia.

  9. Revisiting Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica, Causative Agent of Tularemia in Germany With Bioinformatics: New Insights in Genome Structure, DNA Methylation and Comparative Phylogenetic Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Busch

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Francisella (F. tularensis is a highly virulent, Gram-negative bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of the zoonotic disease tularemia. Here, we generated, analyzed and characterized a high quality circular genome sequence of the F. tularensis subsp. holarctica strain 12T0050 that caused fatal tularemia in a hare. Besides the genomic structure, we focused on the analysis of oriC, unique to the Francisella genus and regulating replication in and outside hosts and the first report on genomic DNA methylation of a Francisella strain. The high quality genome was used to establish and evaluate a diagnostic whole genome sequencing pipeline. A genotyping strategy for F. tularensis was developed using various bioinformatics tools for genotyping. Additionally, whole genome sequences of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica isolates isolated in the years 2008–2015 in Germany were generated. A phylogenetic analysis allowed to determine the genetic relatedness of these isolates and confirmed the highly conserved nature of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica.

  10. FmvB: A Francisella tularensis Magnesium-Responsive Outer Membrane Protein that Plays a Role in Virulence.

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    Xiaojun Wu

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of the lethal disease tularemia. Despite decades of research, little is understood about why F. tularensis is so virulent. Bacterial outer membrane proteins (OMPs are involved in various virulence processes, including protein secretion, host cell attachment, and intracellular survival. Many pathogenic bacteria require metals for intracellular survival and OMPs often play important roles in metal uptake. Previous studies identified three F. tularensis OMPs that play roles in iron acquisition. In this study, we examined two previously uncharacterized proteins, FTT0267 (named fmvA, for Francisella metal and virulence and FTT0602c (fmvB, which are homologs of the previously studied F. tularensis iron acquisition genes and are predicted OMPs. To study the potential roles of FmvA and FmvB in metal acquisition and virulence, we first examined fmvA and fmvB expression following pulmonary infection of mice, finding that fmvB was upregulated up to 5-fold during F. tularensis infection of mice. Despite sequence homology to previously-characterized iron-acquisition genes, FmvA and FmvB do not appear to be involved iron uptake, as neither fmvA nor fmvB were upregulated in iron-limiting media and neither ΔfmvA nor ΔfmvB exhibited growth defects in iron limitation. However, when other metals were examined in this study, magnesium-limitation significantly induced fmvB expression, ΔfmvB was found to express significantly higher levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS in magnesium-limiting medium, and increased numbers of surface protrusions were observed on ΔfmvB in magnesium-limiting medium, compared to wild-type F. tularensis grown in magnesium-limiting medium. RNA sequencing analysis of ΔfmvB revealed the potential mechanism for increased LPS expression, as LPS synthesis genes kdtA and wbtA were significantly upregulated in ΔfmvB, compared with wild-type F. tularensis. To provide further evidence for the potential

  11. Isolation and mutagenesis of a capsule-like complex (CLC from Francisella tularensis, and contribution of the CLC to F. tularensis virulence in mice.

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    Aloka B Bandara

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Francisella tularensis is a category-A select agent and is responsible for tularemia in humans and animals. The surface components of F. tularensis that contribute to virulence are not well characterized. An electron-dense capsule has been postulated to be present around F. tularensis based primarily on electron microscopy, but this specific antigen has not been isolated or characterized. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A capsule-like complex (CLC was effectively extracted from the cell surface of an F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS lacking O-antigen with 0.5% phenol after 10 passages in defined medium broth and growth on defined medium agar for 5 days at 32°C in 7% CO₂. The large molecular size CLC was extracted by enzyme digestion, ethanol precipitation, and ultracentrifugation, and consisted of glucose, galactose, mannose, and Proteinase K-resistant protein. Quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR showed that expression of genes in a putative polysaccharide locus in the LVS genome (FTL_1432 through FTL_1421 was upregulated when CLC expression was enhanced. Open reading frames FTL_1423 and FLT_1422, which have homology to genes encoding for glycosyl transferases, were deleted by allelic exchange, and the resulting mutant after passage in broth (LVSΔ1423/1422_P10 lacked most or all of the CLC, as determined by electron microscopy, and CLC isolation and analysis. Complementation of LVSΔ1423/1422 and subsequent passage in broth restored CLC expression. LVSΔ1423/1422_P10 was attenuated in BALB/c mice inoculated intranasally (IN and intraperitoneally with greater than 80 times and 270 times the LVS LD₅₀, respectively. Following immunization, mice challenged IN with over 700 times the LD₅₀ of LVS remained healthy and asymptomatic. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicated that the CLC may be a glycoprotein, FTL_1422 and -FTL_1423 were involved in CLC biosynthesis, the CLC contributed to the virulence of F. tularensis LVS, and a CLC

  12. Prior Inoculation with Type B Strains of Francisella tularensis Provides Partial Protection against Virulent Type A Strains in Cottontail Rabbits.

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    Vienna R Brown

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent bacterium that is capable of causing severe disease (tularemia in a wide range of species. This organism is characterized into two distinct subspecies: tularensis (type A and holarctica (type B which vary in several crucial ways, with some type A strains having been found to be considerably more virulent in humans and laboratory animals. Cottontail rabbits have been widely implicated as a reservoir species for this subspecies; however, experimental inoculation in our laboratory revealed type A organisms to be highly virulent, resulting in 100% mortality following challenge with 50-100 organisms. Inoculation of cottontail rabbits with the same number of organisms from type B strains of bacteria was found to be rarely lethal and to result in a robust humoral immune response. The objective of this study was to characterize the protection afforded by a prior challenge with type B strains against a later inoculation with a type A strain in North American cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus spp. Previous infection with a type B strain of organism was found to lengthen survival time and in some cases prevent death following inoculation with a type A2 strain of F. tularensis. In contrast, inoculation of a type A1b strain was uniformly lethal in cottontail rabbits irrespective of a prior type B inoculation. These findings provide important insight about the role cottontail rabbits may play in environmental maintenance and transmission of this organism.

  13. The Natural History of Pneumonic Tularemia in Female Fischer 344 Rats after Inhalational Exposure to Aerosolized Francisella tularensis Subspecies tularensis Strain SCHU S4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutt, Julie A; Lovchik, Julie A; Dekonenko, Alexander; Hahn, Andrew C; Wu, Terry H

    2017-02-01

    The inbred Fischer 344 rat is being evaluated for testing novel vaccines and therapeutics against pneumonic tularemia. Although primary pneumonic tularemia in humans typically occurs by inhalation of aerosolized bacteria, the rat model has relied on intratracheal inoculation of organisms because of safety and equipment issues. We now report the natural history of pneumonic tularemia in female Fischer 344 rats after nose-only inhalational exposure to lethal doses of aerosolized Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis, strain SCHU S4. Our results are consistent with initial uptake of aerosolized SCHU S4 from the nasal cavity, lungs, and possibly the gastrointestinal tract. Bacteremia with hematogenous dissemination was first detected 2 days after exposure. Shortly thereafter, the infected rats exhibited fever, tachypnea, and hypertension that persisted for 24 to 36 hours and then rapidly decreased as animals succumbed to infection between days 5 and 8 after exposure. Tachycardia was observed briefly, but only after the core body temperature and blood pressure began to decrease as the animals were near death. Initial neutrophilic and histiocytic inflammation in affected tissues became progressively more fibrinous and necrotizing over time. At death, as many as 10 10 colony-forming units were found in the lungs, spleen, and liver. Death was attributed to sepsis and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Overall, the pathogenesis of pneumonic tularemia in the female F344 rat model appears to replicate the disease in humans. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Immunoproteomics analysis of the murine antibody response to vaccination with an improved Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS.

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    Susan M Twine

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis is the causative agent of a spectrum of diseases collectively known as tularemia. An attenuated live vaccine strain (LVS has been shown to be efficacious in humans, but safety concerns have prevented its licensure by the FDA. Recently, F. tularensis LVS has been produced under Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP guidelines. Little is known about the immunogenicity of this new vaccine preparation in comparison with extensive studies conducted with laboratory passaged strains of LVS. Thus, the aim of the current work was to evaluate the repertoire of antibodies produced in mouse strains vaccinated with the new LVS vaccine preparation.In the current study, we used an immunoproteomics approach to examine the repertoire of antibodies induced following successful immunization of BALB/c versus unsuccessful vaccination of C57BL/6 mice with the new preparation of F. tularensis LVS. Successful vaccination of BALB/c mice elicited antibodies to nine identified proteins that were not recognized by antisera from vaccinated but unprotected C57BL/6 mice. In addition, the CGMP formulation of LVS stimulated a greater repertoire of antibodies following vaccination compared to vaccination with laboratory passaged ATCC LVS strain. A total of 15 immunoreactive proteins were identified in both studies, however, 16 immunoreactive proteins were uniquely reactive with sera from the new formulation of LVS.This is the first report characterising the antibody based immune response of the new formulation of LVS in the widely used murine model of tularemia. Using two mouse strains, we show that successfully vaccinated mice can be distinguished from unsuccessfully vaccinated mice based upon the repertoire of antibodies generated. This opens the door towards downselection of antigens for incorporation into tularemia subunit vaccines. In addition, this work also highlights differences in the humoral immune response to

  15. Cell-mediated and humoral immune responses induced by scarification vaccination of human volunteers with a new lot of the live vaccine strain of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waag, D M; Galloway, A; Sandstrom, G; Bolt, C R; England, M J; Nelson, G O; Williams, J C

    1992-01-01

    Tularemia is a disease caused by the facultative intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis. We evaluated a new lot of live F. tularensis vaccine for its immunogenicity in human volunteers. Scarification vaccination induced humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Indications of a positive immune response after vaccination included an increase in specific antibody levels, which were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent and immunoblot assays, and the ability of peripheral blood lymphocytes to respond to whole F. tularensis bacteria as recall antigens. Vaccination caused a significant rise (P less than 0.05) in immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgG, and IgM titers. Lymphocyte stimulation indices were significantly increased (P less than 0.01) in vaccinees 14 days after vaccination. These data verify that this new lot of live F. tularensis vaccine is immunogenic. Images PMID:1400988

  16. Phylogeography of Francisella tularensis from Tibet, China: Evidence for an asian origin and radiation of holarctica-type Tularemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yongfeng; Yu, Yonghui; Feng, Le; Li, Yanwei; He, Jun; Zhu, Hong; Duan, Qing; Song, Lihua

    2016-07-01

    The geographical origin and radiation of holarctica-type tularemia, which has spread across the northern hemisphere, is open to scientific debate. Here, through phylogenetics, we show that five Tibetan Francisella tularensis isolates subsp. holarctica cluster between basal-positioned Japanese isolates and all other subspecies strains in the world, providing evidence for a previously unknown intermediate lineage next to the Japanese isolates. Importantly, identification of this new intermediate lineage complements current knowledge of tularemia epidemiology, supporting a geographical origin and radiation of the subsp. holarctica in Asia. In addition, thirteen Tibetan isolates belonging to a clade previously found only in North America and Scandinavia, further increases the diversity of holarctica strains in Asia. In summary, this study provides evidence for an Asian origin and radiation of holarctica-type tularemia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. Rapid focused sequencing: a multiplexed assay for simultaneous detection and strain typing of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

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    Rosemary S Turingan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The intentional release of Bacillus anthracis in the United States in 2001 has heightened concern about the use of pathogenic microorganisms in bioterrorism attacks. Many of the deadliest bacteria, including the Class A Select Agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis, are highly infectious via the pulmonary route when released in aerosolized form. Hence, rapid, sensitive, and reliable methods for detection of these biothreats and characterization of their potential impact on the exposed population are of critical importance to initiate and support rapid military, public health, and clinical responses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have developed microfluidic multiplexed PCR and sequencing assays based on the simultaneous interrogation of three pathogens per assay and ten loci per pathogen. Microfluidic separation of amplified fluorescently labeled fragments generated characteristic electrophoretic signatures for identification of each agent. The three sets of primers allowed significant strain typing and discrimination from non-pathogenic closely-related species and environmental background strains based on amplicon sizes alone. Furthermore, sequencing of the 10 amplicons per pathogen, termed "Rapid Focused Sequencing," allowed an even greater degree of strain discrimination and, in some cases, can be used to determine virulence. Both amplification and sequencing assays were performed in microfluidic biochips developed for fast thermal cycling and requiring 7 µL per reaction. The 30-plex sequencing assay resulted in genotypic resolution of 84 representative strains belonging to each of the three biothreat species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The microfluidic multiplexed assays allowed identification and strain differentiation of the biothreat agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis and clear discrimination from closely-related species and several environmental

  18. A Molecular Survey for Francisella tularensis and Rickettsia spp. in Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Acari: Ixodidae) in Northern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tara; Lane, Robert S; Foley, Janet

    2017-03-01

    Francisella tularensis and Rickettsia spp. have been cultured from Haemaphysalis leporispalustris Packard, but their prevalence in this tick has not been determined using modern molecular methods. We collected H. leporispalustris by flagging vegetation and leaf litter and from lagomorphs (Lepus californicus Gray and Sylvilagus bachmani (Waterhouse)) in northern California. Francisella tularensis DNA was not detected in any of 1,030 ticks tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), whereas 0.4% of larvae tested in pools, 0 of 117 individual nymphs, and 2.3% of 164 adult ticks were PCR-positive for Rickettsia spp. Positive sites were Laurel Canyon Trail in Tilden Regional Park in Alameda Contra Costa County, with a Rickettsia spp. prevalence of 0.6% in 2009, and Hopland Research and Extension Center in Mendocino County, with a prevalence of 4.2% in 1988. DNA sequencing revealed R. felis, the agent of cat-flea typhus, in two larval pools from shaded California bay and live oak leaf litter in Contra Costa County and one adult tick from a L. californicus in chaparral in Mendocino County. The R. felis in unfed, questing larvae demonstrates that H. leporispalustris can transmit this rickettsia transovarially. Although R. felis is increasingly found in diverse arthropods and geographical regions, prior literature suggests a typical epidemiological cycle involving mesocarnivores and the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of R. felis in H. leporispalustris. Natural infection and transovarial transmission of this pathogen in the tick indicate the existence of a previously undocumented wild-lands transmission cycle that may intersect mesocarnivore-reservoired cycles and collectively affect human health risk. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Structure of the Francisella tularensis enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabI) in complex with NAD+ and triclosan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mehboob, Shahila; Truong, Kent; Santarsiero, Bernard D.; Johnson, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    Structure of the ternary complex of F. tularensis enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase reveals the structure of the substrate binding loop whose electron density was missing in an earlier structure, and demonstrates a shift in the position of the NAD + cofactor. Enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabI) catalyzes the last rate-limiting step in the elongation cycle of the fatty-acid biosynthesis pathway and has been validated as a potential antimicrobial drug target in Francisella tularensis. The development of new antibiotic therapies is important both to combat potential drug-resistant bioweapons and to address the broader societal problem of increasing antibiotic resistance among many pathogenic bacteria. The crystal structure of FabI from F. tularensis (FtuFabI) in complex with the inhibitor triclosan and the cofactor NAD + has been solved to a resolution of 2.1 Å. Triclosan is known to effectively inhibit FabI from different organisms. Precise characterization of the mode of triclosan binding is required to develop highly specific inhibitors. Comparison of our structure with the previously determined FtuFabI structure which is bound to only NAD + reveals the conformation of the substrate-binding loop, electron density for which was missing in the earlier structure, and demonstrates a shift in the conformation of the NAD + cofactor. This shift in the position of the phosphate groups allows more room in the active site for substrate or inhibitor to bind and be better accommodated. This information will be crucial for virtual screening studies to identify novel scaffolds for development into new active inhibitors

  20. Historical distribution and host-vector diversity of Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, in Ukraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hightower, Jake; Kracalik, Ian T; Vydayko, Nataliya; Goodin, Douglas; Glass, Gregory; Blackburn, Jason K

    2014-10-16

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, is a zoonotic agent that remains across much of the northern hemisphere, where it exists in enzootic cycles. In Ukraine, tularemia has a long history that suggests a need for sustained surveillance in natural foci. To better characterize the host-vector diversity and spatial distribution of tularemia, we analyzed historical data from field collections carried out from 1941 to 2008. We analyzed the spatial-temporal distribution of bacterial isolates collected from field samples. Isolates were characterized by source and dominant land cover type. To identify environmental persistence and spatial variation in the source of isolation, we used the space-time permutation and multinomial models in SaTScan. A total of 3,086 positive isolates were taken from 1,084 geographic locations. Isolation of F. tularensis was more frequent among arthropods [n = 2,045 (66.3%)] followed by mammals [n = 619 (20.1%)], water [n = 393 (12.7%)], and farm produce [n = 29 (0.94%)], respectively. Four areas of persistent bacterial isolation were identified. Water and farm produce as sources of bacterial isolation were clustered. Our findings confirm the presence of long-standing natural foci of F. tularensis in Ukraine. Given the history of tularemia as well as its environmental persistence there exists a possibility of (re)emergence in human populations. Heterogeneity in the distribution of tularemia isolate recovery related to land cover type supports the theory of natural nidality and clusters identify areas to target potential sources of the pathogen and improve surveillance.

  1. Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance of Rodents and Vectors for Francisella tularensis Following Outbreaks of Human Tularemia in Georgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elashvili, Eka; Kracalik, Ian; Burjanadze, Irma; Datukishvili, Sophio; Chanturia, Gvantsa; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Beridze, Levan; Shavishvili, Merab; Dzneladze, Archil; Grdzelidze, Marina; Imnadze, Paata; Pearson, Andrew; Blackburn, Jason K

    2015-10-01

    Tularemia is a re-emerging bacterial zoonosis, broadly distributed across the northern hemisphere. In Georgia, there is a history of human tularemia outbreaks dating back to the 1940s. In response to outbreaks, health officials initiated long-term field surveillance and environmental monitoring. The objective of our study was to obtain information from 57 years of field surveys to identify species that play a role in the occurrence Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica in the environment in Georgia. We collected historical data on human outbreaks, field collections, population dynamics of the common vole (Microtus arvalis), and conducted surveys on small mammals and vectors from five regions in Georgia during 1956-2012. Bacterial isolation was conducted using standard culturing techniques, and isolation rates for species were obtained for a subset of years. We used a Spearman rank correlation to test for associations between the density of the common vole and isolation rates. From 1956 through 2012, there were four recorded outbreaks of human tularemia (362 cases). A total of 465 bacterial isolates of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica were obtained from 27 species and environmental samples. The number of isolations was highest in the common vole (M. arvalis; 149 isolates; 32%) and Dermacentor marginatus ticks (132 isolates; 28%); isolation rates ranged between 0-0.91% and 0-0.47%, respectively. Population dynamics of the common vole were not correlated with the isolation rate. Given the history of tularemia re-emergence in Georgia, continued field surveys and environmental monitoring may provide an early indication of outbreak risk in humans. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence of long-standing foci of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica that are likely maintained by the common vole-tick cycle.

  2. Comparison of virulence of Francisella tularensis ssp. holarctica genotypes B.12 and B.FTNF002-00.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Erdélyi, Károly; Felde, Orsolya; Fabbi, Massimo; Sulyok, Kinga M; Magyar, Tibor; Gyuranecz, Miklós

    2017-02-10

    Two main genetic groups (B.12 and B.FTNF002-00) of Francisella tularensis ssp. holarctica are endemic in Europe. The B.FTNF002-00 group proved to be dominant in Western European countries, while strains of the B.12 group were isolated mainly in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. The clinical course of tularemia in the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) also shows distinct patterns according to the geographical area. Acute course of the disease is observed in hares in Western European countries, while signs of sub-acute or chronic infection are more frequently detected in the eastern part of the continent. The aim of the present study was to examine whether there is any difference in the virulence of the strains belonging to the B.FTNF002-00 and B.12 genetic clades. Experimental infection of Fischer 344 rats was performed by intra-peritoneal injection of three dilutions of a Hungarian (B.12 genotype) and an Italian (B.FTNF002-00 genotype) F. tularensis ssp. holarctica strain. Moderate difference was observed in the virulence of the two genotypes. Significant differences were observed in total weight loss values and scores of clinical signs between the two genotypes with more rats succumbing to tularemia in groups infected with the B.FTNF002-00 genotype. Results of the experimental infection are consistent with previous clinical observations and pathological studies suggesting that F. tularensis ssp. holarctica genotype B.FTNF002-00 has higher pathogenic potential than the B.12 genotype.

  3. A Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain that improves stimulation of antigen-presenting cells does not enhance vaccine efficacy.

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    Deanna M Schmitt

    Full Text Available Vaccination is a proven strategy to mitigate morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases. The methodology of identifying and testing new vaccine candidates could be improved with rational design and in vitro testing prior to animal experimentation. The tularemia vaccine, Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS, does not elicit complete protection against lethal challenge with a virulent type A Francisella strain. One factor that may contribute to this poor performance is limited stimulation of antigen-presenting cells. In this study, we examined whether the interaction of genetically modified LVS strains with human antigen-presenting cells correlated with effectiveness as tularemia vaccine candidates. Human dendritic cells infected with wild-type LVS secrete low levels of proinflammatory cytokines, fail to upregulate costimulatory molecules, and activate human T cells poorly in vitro. One LVS mutant, strain 13B47, stimulated higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines from dendritic cells and macrophages and increased costimulatory molecule expression on dendritic cells compared to wild type. Additionally, 13B47-infected dendritic cells activated T cells more efficiently than LVS-infected cells. A deletion allele of the same gene in LVS displayed similar in vitro characteristics, but vaccination with this strain did not improve survival after challenge with a virulent Francisella strain. In vivo, this mutant was attenuated for growth and did not stimulate T cell responses in the lung comparable to wild type. Therefore, stimulation of antigen-presenting cells in vitro was improved by genetic modification of LVS, but did not correlate with efficacy against challenge in vivo within this model system.

  4. Diversity of Francisella tularensis Schu4 antigens recognized by T lymphocytes after natural infections in humans: identification of candidate epitopes for inclusion in a rationally designed tularemia vaccine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McMurry, Julie A; Gregory, Stephen H; Moise, Leonard

    2007-01-01

    The T lymphocyte antigens, which may have a role in protection against tularemia, were predicted by immunoinformatics analysis of Francisella tularensis Schu4. Twenty-seven class II putative promiscuous epitopes and 125 putative class I supertype epitopes were chosen for synthesis; peptides were...... responded to pools of 25 A2, A24, and B7 peptides, respectively. These data can aid in the development of novel epitope-based and subunit tularemia vaccines....

  5. Evidence Suggesting That Francisella tularensis O-Antigen Capsule Contains a Lipid A-Like Molecule That Is Structurally Distinct from the More Abundant Free Lipid A.

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    Jason H Barker

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis, the Gram-negative bacterium that causes tularemia, produces a high molecular weight capsule that is immunologically distinct from Francisella lipopolysaccharide but contains the same O-antigen tetrasaccharide. To pursue the possibility that the capsule of Francisella live vaccine strain (LVS has a structurally unique lipid anchor, we have metabolically labeled Francisella with [14C]acetate to facilitate highly sensitive compositional analysis of capsule-associated lipids. Capsule was purified by two independent methods and yielded similar results. Autoradiographic and immunologic analysis confirmed that this purified material was largely devoid of low molecular weight LPS and of the copious amounts of free lipid A that the Francisellae accumulate. Chemical hydrolysis yielded [14C]-labeled free fatty acids characteristic of Francisella lipid A but with a different molar ratio of 3-OH C18:0 to 3-OH C16:0 and different composition of non-hydroxylated fatty acids (mainly C14:0 rather than C16:0 than that of free Francisella lipid A. Mild acid hydrolysis to induce selective cleavage of KDO-lipid A linkage yielded a [14C]-labeled product that partitioned during Bligh/Dyer extraction and migrated during thin-layer chromatography like lipid A. These findings suggest that the O-antigen capsule of Francisella contains a covalently linked and structurally distinct lipid A species. The presence of a discrete lipid A-like molecule associated with capsule raises the possibility that Francisella selectively exploits lipid A structural heterogeneity to regulate synthesis, transport, and stable bacterial surface association of the O-antigen capsular layer.

  6. Complement Receptor 3-Mediated Inhibition of Inflammasome Priming by Ras GTPase-Activating Protein During Francisella tularensis Phagocytosis by Human Mononuclear Phagocytes

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    Ky V. Hoang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a remarkably infectious facultative intracellular bacterium of macrophages that causes tularemia. Early evasion of host immune responses contributes to the success of F. tularensis as a pathogen. F. tularensis entry into human monocytes and macrophages is mediated by the major phagocytic receptor, complement receptor 3 (CR3, CD11b/CD18. We recently determined that despite a significant increase in macrophage uptake following C3 opsonization of the virulent Type A F. tularensis spp. tularensis Schu S4, this phagocytic pathway results in limited pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Notably, MAP kinase/ERK activation is suppressed immediately during C3-opsonized Schu S4-CR3 phagocytosis. A mathematical model of CR3-TLR2 crosstalk predicted early involvement of Ras GTPase-activating protein (RasGAP in immune suppression by CR3. Here, we link CR3-mediated uptake of opsonized Schu S4 by human monocytes and macrophages with inhibition of early signal 1 inflammasome activation, evidenced by limited caspase-1 cleavage and IL-18 release. This inhibition is due to increased RasGAP activity, leading to a reduction in the Ras-ERK signaling cascade upstream of the early inflammasome activation event. Thus, our data uncover a novel signaling pathway mediated by CR3 following engagement of opsonized virulent F. tularensis to limit inflammasome activation in human phagocytic cells, thereby contributing to evasion of the host innate immune system.

  7. Cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of macrophage growth locus A (MglA) protein from Francisella tularensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subburaman, Priadarsini; Austin, Brian P.; Shaw, Gary X.; Waugh, David S.; Ji, Xinhua

    2010-01-01

    The macrophage growth locus A (MglA) protein from F. tularensis crystallized in the hexagonal space group P6 1 or P6 5 , with unit-cell parameters a = b = 125, c = 54 Å. Francisella tularensis, a potential bioweapon, causes a rare infectious disease called tularemia in humans and animals. The macrophage growth locus A (MglA) protein from F. tularensis associates with RNA polymerase to positively regulate the expression of multiple virulence factors that are required for its survival and replication within macrophages. The MglA protein was overproduced in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized. The crystals diffracted to 7.5 Å resolution at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory and belonged to the hexagonal space group P6 1 or P6 5 , with unit-cell parameters a = b = 125, c = 54 Å

  8. Host-adaptation of Francisella tularensis alters the bacterium's surface-carbohydrates to hinder effectors of innate and adaptive immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiffany M Zarrella

    Full Text Available The gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis survives in arthropods, fresh water amoeba, and mammals with both intracellular and extracellular phases and could reasonably be expected to express distinct phenotypes in these environments. The presence of a capsule on this bacterium has been controversial with some groups finding such a structure while other groups report that no capsule could be identified. Previously we reported in vitro culture conditions for this bacterium which, in contrast to typical methods, yielded a bacterial phenotype that mimics that of the bacterium's mammalian, extracellular phase.SDS-PAGE and carbohydrate analysis of differentially-cultivated F. tularensis LVS revealed that bacteria displaying the host-adapted phenotype produce both longer polymers of LPS O-antigen (OAg and additional HMW carbohydrates/glycoproteins that are reduced/absent in non-host-adapted bacteria. Analysis of wildtype and OAg-mutant bacteria indicated that the induced changes in surface carbohydrates involved both OAg and non-OAg species. To assess the impact of these HMW carbohydrates on the access of outer membrane constituents to antibody we used differentially-cultivated bacteria in vitro to immunoprecipitate antibodies directed against outer membrane moieties. We observed that the surface-carbohydrates induced during host-adaptation shield many outer membrane antigens from binding by antibody. Similar assays with normal mouse serum indicate that the induced HMW carbohydrates also impede complement deposition. Using an in vitro macrophage infection assay, we find that the bacterial HMW carbohydrate impedes TLR2-dependent, pro-inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages. Lastly we show that upon host-adaptation, the human-virulent strain, F. tularensis SchuS4 also induces capsule production with the effect of reducing macrophage-activation and accelerating tularemia pathogenesis in mice.F. tularensis undergoes host-adaptation which

  9. Further Characterization of the Capsule-Like Complex (CLC Produced by Francisella tularensis Subspecies tularensis: Protective Efficacy and Similarity to Outer Membrane Vesicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna E. Champion

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is the etiologic agent of tularemia, and subspecies tularensis (type A is the most virulent subspecies. The live vaccine strain (LVS of subspecies holarctica produces a capsule-like complex (CLC that consists of a large variety of glycoproteins. Expression of the CLC is greatly enhanced when the bacteria are subcultured in and grown on chemically defined medium. Deletion of two genes responsible for CLC glycosylation in LVS results in an attenuated mutant that is protective against respiratory tularemia in a mouse model. We sought to further characterize the CLC composition and to determine if a type A CLC glycosylation mutant would be attenuated in mice. The CLCs isolated from LVS extracted with 0.5% phenol or 1 M urea were similar, as determined by gel electrophoresis and Western blotting, but the CLC extracted with urea was more water-soluble. The CLC extracted with either 0.5% phenol or 1 M urea from type A strains was also similar to the CLC of LVS in antigenic properties, electrophoretic profile, and by transmission electron microscopy (TEM. The solubility of the CLC could be further enhanced by fractionation with Triton X-114 followed by N-Lauroylsarcosine detergents; the largest (>250 kDa molecular size component appeared to be an aggregate of smaller components. Outer membrane vesicles/tubules (OMV/T isolated by differential centrifugation and micro-filtration appeared similar to the CLC by TEM, and many of the proteins present in the OMV/T were also identified in soluble and insoluble fractions of the CLC. Further investigation is warranted to assess the relationship between OMV/T and the CLC. The CLC conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin or flagellin was highly protective against high-dose LVS intradermal challenge and partially protective against intranasal challenge. A protective response was associated with a significant rise in cytokines IL-12, IL-10, and IFN-γ. However, a type A CLC glycosylation mutant

  10. The Multiple Localized Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Contributes to the Attenuation of the Francisella tularensis dsbA Deletion Mutant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivona Pavkova

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The DsbA homolog of Francisella tularensis was previously demonstrated to be required for intracellular replication and animal death. Disruption of the dsbA gene leads to a pleiotropic phenotype that could indirectly affect a number of different cellular pathways. To reveal the broad effects of DsbA, we compared fractions enriched in membrane proteins of the wild-type FSC200 strain with the dsbA deletion strain using a SILAC-based quantitative proteomic analysis. This analysis enabled identification of 63 proteins with significantly altered amounts in the dsbA mutant strain compared to the wild-type strain. These proteins comprise a quite heterogeneous group including hypothetical proteins, proteins associated with membrane structures, and potential secreted proteins. Many of them are known to be associated with F. tularensis virulence. Several proteins were selected for further studies focused on their potential role in tularemia's pathogenesis. Of them, only the gene encoding glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, an enzyme of glycolytic pathway, was found to be important for full virulence manifestations both in vivo and in vitro. We next created a viable mutant strain with deleted gapA gene and analyzed its phenotype. The gapA mutant is characterized by reduced virulence in mice, defective replication inside macrophages, and its ability to induce a protective immune response against systemic challenge with parental wild-type strain. We also demonstrate the multiple localization sites of this protein: In addition to within the cytosol, it was found on the cell surface, outside the cells, and in the culture medium. Recombinant GapA was successfully obtained, and it was shown that it binds host extracellular serum proteins like plasminogen, fibrinogen, and fibronectin.

  11. Rapid Countermeasure Discovery against Francisella tularensis Based on a Metabolic Network Reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-21

    growth inhibition [13]. These modeling frameworks can also be used to identify synergistic effects that arise from combination therapies that inhibit...addition of the compound. Briefly, scrapings from F. tularensis Schu S4 in 25% glycerol stock were streaked onto a chocolate agar plate and incubated...at 37uC for 2 days until clearly formed colonies appeared. A single colony from the chocolate agar plate was used to inoculate 3 ml Chamberlain’s

  12. Population Genomics of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica and its Implication on the Eco-Epidemiology of Tularemia in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittwer, Matthias; Altpeter, Ekkehard; Pilo, Paola; Gygli, Sebastian M; Beuret, Christian; Foucault, Frederic; Ackermann-Gäumann, Rahel; Karrer, Urs; Jacob, Daniela; Grunow, Roland; Schürch, Nadia

    2018-01-01

    Whole genome sequencing (WGS) methods provide new possibilities in the field of molecular epidemiology. This is particularly true for monomorphic organisms where the discriminatory power of traditional methods (e.g., restriction enzyme length polymorphism typing, multi locus sequence typing etc.) is inadequate to elucidate complex disease transmission patterns, as well as resolving the phylogeny at high resolution on a micro-geographic scale. In this study, we present insights into the population structure of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica , the causative agent of tularemia in Switzerland. A total of 59 Fth isolates were obtained from castor bean ticks ( Ixodes ricinus) , animals and humans and a high resolution phylogeny was inferred using WGS methods. The majority of the Fth population in Switzerland belongs to the west European B.11 clade and shows an extraordinary genetic diversity underlining the old evolutionary history of the pathogen in the alpine region. Moreover, a new B.11 subclade was identified which was not described so far. The combined analysis of the epidemiological data of human tularemia cases with the whole genome sequences of the 59 isolates provide evidence that ticks play a pivotal role in transmitting Fth to humans and other vertebrates in Switzerland. This is further underlined by the correlation of disease risk estimates with climatic and ecological factors influencing the survival of ticks.

  13. Population Genomics of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica and its Implication on the Eco-Epidemiology of Tularemia in Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittwer, Matthias; Altpeter, Ekkehard; Pilo, Paola; Gygli, Sebastian M.; Beuret, Christian; Foucault, Frederic; Ackermann-Gäumann, Rahel; Karrer, Urs; Jacob, Daniela; Grunow, Roland; Schürch, Nadia

    2018-01-01

    Whole genome sequencing (WGS) methods provide new possibilities in the field of molecular epidemiology. This is particularly true for monomorphic organisms where the discriminatory power of traditional methods (e.g., restriction enzyme length polymorphism typing, multi locus sequence typing etc.) is inadequate to elucidate complex disease transmission patterns, as well as resolving the phylogeny at high resolution on a micro-geographic scale. In this study, we present insights into the population structure of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica, the causative agent of tularemia in Switzerland. A total of 59 Fth isolates were obtained from castor bean ticks (Ixodes ricinus), animals and humans and a high resolution phylogeny was inferred using WGS methods. The majority of the Fth population in Switzerland belongs to the west European B.11 clade and shows an extraordinary genetic diversity underlining the old evolutionary history of the pathogen in the alpine region. Moreover, a new B.11 subclade was identified which was not described so far. The combined analysis of the epidemiological data of human tularemia cases with the whole genome sequences of the 59 isolates provide evidence that ticks play a pivotal role in transmitting Fth to humans and other vertebrates in Switzerland. This is further underlined by the correlation of disease risk estimates with climatic and ecological factors influencing the survival of ticks. PMID:29623260

  14. IL-23 p19 knockout mice exhibit minimal defects in responses to primary and secondary infection with Francisella tularensis LVS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherry L Kurtz

    Full Text Available Our laboratory's investigations into mechanisms of protective immunity against Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS have uncovered mediators important in host defense against primary infection, as well as those correlated with successful vaccination. One such potential correlate was IL-12p40, a pleiotropic cytokine that promotes Th1 T cell function as part of IL-12p70. LVS-infected IL-12p40 deficient knockout (KO mice maintain a chronic infection, but IL-12p35 KO mice clear LVS infection; thus the role that IL-12p40 plays in immunity to LVS is independent of the IL-12p70 heterodimer. IL-12p40 can also partner with IL-23p19 to create the heterodimeric cytokine IL-23. Here, we directly tested the role of IL-23 in LVS resistance, and found IL-23 to be largely dispensable for immunity to LVS following intradermal or intranasal infection. IL-23p19 KO splenocytes were fully competent in controlling intramacrophage LVS replication in an in vitro overlay assay. Further, antibody responses in IL-23p19 KO mice were similar to those of normal wild type mice after LVS infection. IL-23p19 KO mice or normal wild type mice that survived primary LVS infection survived maximal doses of LVS secondary challenge. Thus p40 has a novel role in clearance of LVS infection that is unrelated to either IL-12 or IL-23.

  15. Cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of intracellular growth locus E (IglE) protein from Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robb, Craig S.; Nano, Francis E.; Boraston, Alisdair B.

    2010-01-01

    The F. tularensis protein IglE from the FPI, which is a component of the type VI-like secretion system, has been crystallized and preliminary X-ray data have been collected. Tularaemia is an uncommon but potentially dangerous zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. As few as ten bacterial cells are sufficient to cause disease in a healthy human, making this one of the most infectious disease agents known. The virulence of this organism is dependent upon a genetic locus known as the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI), which encodes components of a secretion system that is related to the type VI secretion system. Here, the cloning, expression, purification and preliminary X-ray diffraction statistics of the FPI-encoded protein IglE are presented. This putative lipoprotein is required for intra-macrophage growth and is thought to be a constituent of the periplasmic portion of the type VI-like protein complex that is responsible for the secretion of critical virulence factors in Francisella

  16. Vaccine-Mediated Mechanisms Controlling Replication of Francisella tularensis in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Using a Co-culture System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjell Eneslätt

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Cell-mediated immunity (CMI is normally required for efficient protection against intracellular infections, however, identification of correlates is challenging and they are generally lacking. Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent, facultative intracellular bacterium and CMI is critically required for protection against the pathogen, but how this is effectuated in humans is poorly understood. To understand the protective mechanisms, we established an in vitro co-culture assay to identify how control of infection of F. tularensis is accomplished by human cells and hypothesized that the model will mimic in vivo immune mechanisms. Non-adherent peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs were expanded with antigen and added to cultures with adherent PBMC infected with the human vaccine strain, LVS, or the highly virulent SCHU S4 strain. Intracellular numbers of F. tularensis was followed for 72 h and secreted and intracellular cytokines were analyzed. Addition of PBMC expanded from naïve individuals, i.e., those with no record of immunization to F. tularensis, generally resulted in little or no control of intracellular bacterial growth, whereas addition of PBMC from a majority of F. tularensis-immune individuals executed static and sometimes cidal effects on intracellular bacteria. Regardless of infecting strain, statistical differences between the two groups were significant, P < 0.05. Secretion of 11 cytokines was analyzed after 72 h of infection and significant differences with regard to secretion of IFN-γ, TNF, and MIP-1β was observed between immune and naïve individuals for LVS-infected cultures. Also, in LVS-infected cultures, CD4 T cells from vaccinees, but not CD8 T cells, showed significantly higher expression of IFN-γ, MIP-1β, TNF, and CD107a than cells from naïve individuals. The co-culture system appears to identify correlates of immunity that are relevant for the understanding of mechanisms of the protective host immunity to

  17. Lymphotoxin-α Plays Only a Minor Role in Host Resistance to Respiratory Infection with Virulent Type A Francisella tularensis in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Zhang

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the role of lymphotoxin (LT-α in host defense against airborne infection with Francisella tularensis, a gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterium and the causative agent of tularemia. Following a low-dose aerosol infection with the highly virulent type A strain of F. tularensis, mice deficient in LT α (LTα−/− consistently harbored approximately 10-fold fewer bacteria in their spleens at day 2 and 10-fold more bacteria in their lungs at day 4 than LTα+/+ mice. However, the mortality and median time to death were indistinguishable between the two mouse strains. In addition, the inflammatory responses to the infection, as reflected by the cytokine levels and leukocyte influx in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and histopathological analysis, were generally similar between LTα−/− and LTα+/+ mice. These data suggest that although LTα does not contribute significantly to the resistance and host responses of mice to airborne type A F. tularensis infection, it does play a subtle role in the multiplication/dissemination of F. tularensis.

  18. Human Dose-Response Data for Francisella tularensis and a Dose- and Time-Dependent Mathematical Model of Early-Phase Fever Associated with Tularemia After Inhalation Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClellan, Gene; Coleman, Margaret; Crary, David; Thurman, Alec; Thran, Brandolyn

    2018-04-25

    Military health risk assessors, medical planners, operational planners, and defense system developers require knowledge of human responses to doses of biothreat agents to support force health protection and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) defense missions. This article reviews extensive data from 118 human volunteers administered aerosols of the bacterial agent Francisella tularensis, strain Schu S4, which causes tularemia. The data set includes incidence of early-phase febrile illness following administration of well-characterized inhaled doses of F. tularensis. Supplemental data on human body temperature profiles over time available from de-identified case reports is also presented. A unified, logically consistent model of early-phase febrile illness is described as a lognormal dose-response function for febrile illness linked with a stochastic time profile of fever. Three parameters are estimated from the human data to describe the time profile: incubation period or onset time for fever; rise time of fever; and near-maximum body temperature. Inhaled dose-dependence and variability are characterized for each of the three parameters. These parameters enable a stochastic model for the response of an exposed population through incorporation of individual-by-individual variability by drawing random samples from the statistical distributions of these three parameters for each individual. This model provides risk assessors and medical decisionmakers reliable representations of the predicted health impacts of early-phase febrile illness for as long as one week after aerosol exposures of human populations to F. tularensis. © 2018 Society for Risk Analysis.

  19. Lipids Derived from Virulent Francisella tularensis Broadly Inhibit Pulmonary Inflammation via Toll-Like Receptor 2 and Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor α

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Deborah D.; Ireland, Robin; Alinger, Joshua B.; Small, Pamela

    2013-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative facultative intracellular pathogen that causes an acute lethal respiratory disease in humans. The heightened virulence of the pathogen is linked to its unique ability to inhibit Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated inflammatory responses. The bacterial component and mechanism of this inhibition are unknown. Here we show that lipids isolated from virulent but not attenuated strains of F. tularensis are not detected by host cells, inhibit production of proinflammatory cytokines by primary macrophages in response to known TLR ligands, and suppress neutrophil recruitment in vivo. We further show that lipid-mediated inhibition of inflammation is dependent on TLR2, MyD88, and the nuclear hormone and fatty acid receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα). Pathogen lipid-mediated interference with inflammatory responses through the engagement of TLR2 and PPARα represents a novel manipulation of host signaling pathways consistent with the ability of highly virulent F. tularensis to efficiently evade host immune responses. PMID:23925884

  20. Biohazard Analysis of Select Biodefense Vaccine Candidates - Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Strain 3526 and Francisella Tularensis LVS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rao, V.

    2007-01-01

    Biohazard assessment of biodefense vaccine candidates forms the basis for a facility- and activity-specific risk assessment performed to determine the biosafety levels and general safety standards required for biological product development. As a part of our support to the US biodefense vaccine development program, we perform a systematic biohazard assessment of potential vaccine candidates with the primary objective to, (a) Identify and characterize hazard elements associated with the wild type and vaccine strains, (b) Provide biohazard information on the etiologic agent (vaccine candidate) to assess Phase 1 clinical trial facility sites, (c) Provide a baseline to conduct an agent and facility-specific risk assessment at clinical trial facilities interested in performing phase 1 clinical trial, (d) Provide comparative hazard profiles of the vaccine candidates wit MSDS for wild-type to identify and establish appropriate protective biosafety levels, and (e) Support determination of a hazard level to select personal protective equipment as required under the OSHA guidelines. This paper will describe the biohazard analysis of two vaccine candidates, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Strain 3526 and Francisella tularensis LVS, a viral and bacterial agent, respectively. As part of the biohazard assessment we preformed a thorough review of published literature on medical pathology, epidemiology, pre-clinical investigational studies, and environmental data on the etiologic agent subtypes and the vaccine candidates. Using standard analytical procedures, the data were then analyzed relative to two intrinsic hazard parameters-health hazard and environmental hazard. Using a weight-of-evidence (WOE) approach, the potential hazards of etiologic agent wild subtypes and vaccine candidates were ranked under three main categories: Public Health Hazard, Environmental Hazard, and Overall Hazard. A WOE scoring system allows for both a determination of the intrinsic hazard of each

  1. Biohazard Analysis of Select Biodefense Vaccine Candidates - Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Strain 3526 and Francisella Tularensis LVS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rao, V [National Security Programs, Computer Science Corporation, Alexandria (United States)

    2007-07-01

    Biohazard assessment of biodefense vaccine candidates forms the basis for a facility- and activity-specific risk assessment performed to determine the biosafety levels and general safety standards required for biological product development. As a part of our support to the US biodefense vaccine development program, we perform a systematic biohazard assessment of potential vaccine candidates with the primary objective to, (a) Identify and characterize hazard elements associated with the wild type and vaccine strains, (b) Provide biohazard information on the etiologic agent (vaccine candidate) to assess Phase 1 clinical trial facility sites, (c) Provide a baseline to conduct an agent and facility-specific risk assessment at clinical trial facilities interested in performing phase 1 clinical trial, (d) Provide comparative hazard profiles of the vaccine candidates wit MSDS for wild-type to identify and establish appropriate protective biosafety levels, and (e) Support determination of a hazard level to select personal protective equipment as required under the OSHA guidelines. This paper will describe the biohazard analysis of two vaccine candidates, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Strain 3526 and Francisella tularensis LVS, a viral and bacterial agent, respectively. As part of the biohazard assessment we preformed a thorough review of published literature on medical pathology, epidemiology, pre-clinical investigational studies, and environmental data on the etiologic agent subtypes and the vaccine candidates. Using standard analytical procedures, the data were then analyzed relative to two intrinsic hazard parameters-health hazard and environmental hazard. Using a weight-of-evidence (WOE) approach, the potential hazards of etiologic agent wild subtypes and vaccine candidates were ranked under three main categories: Public Health Hazard, Environmental Hazard, and Overall Hazard. A WOE scoring system allows for both a determination of the intrinsic hazard of each

  2. Francisella tularensis elicits IL-10 via a PGE₂-inducible factor, to drive macrophage MARCH1 expression and class II down-regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Hunt

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a bacterial pathogen that uses host-derived PGE₂ to subvert the host's adaptive immune responses in multiple ways. Francisella-induced PGE₂ acts directly on CD4 T cells to blunt production of IFN-γ. Francisella-induced PGE₂ can also elicit production of a >10 kDa soluble host factor termed FTMØSN (F. tularensismacrophage supernatant, which acts on IFN-γ pre-activated MØ to down-regulate MHC class II expression via a ubiquitin-dependent mechanism, blocking antigen presentation to CD4 T cells. Here, we report that FTMØSN-induced down-regulation of MØ class II is the result of the induction of MARCH1, and that MØ expressing MARCH1 "resistant" class II molecules are resistant to FTMØSN-induced class II down-regulation. Since PGE₂ can induce IL-10 production and IL-10 is the only reported cytokine able to induce MARCH1 expression in monocytes and dendritic cells, these findings suggested that IL-10 is the active factor in FTMØSN. However, use of IL-10 knockout MØ established that IL-10 is not the active factor in FTMØSN, but rather that Francisella-elicited PGE₂ drives production of a >10 kDa host factor distinct from IL-10. This factor then drives MØ IL-10 production to induce MARCH1 expression and the resultant class II down-regulation. Since many human pathogens such as Salmonella typhi, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Legionella pneumophila also induce production of host PGE₂, these results suggest that a yet-to-be-identified PGE₂-inducible host factor capable of inducing IL-10 is central to the immune evasion mechanisms of multiple important human pathogens.

  3. Monitoring of Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in Danish hares (Lepus europaeus) by fluorescent in-situ hybridization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mette Sif; Chriél, Mariann; Larsen, Gitte

    . pseudotuberculosis has a wide host range and causes high mortality in hares. When it comes to zoonotic potential F. tularensis poses the major risk for humans, where it causes tularemia - a potentially deadly disease. FISH is an easy, cheap and not at least safe method for monitoring F. tularensis and Y...

  4. Low Dose Vaccination with Attenuated Francisella tularensis Strain SchuS4 Mutants Protects against Tularemia Independent of the Route of Vaccination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockx-Brouwer, Dedeke; Chong, Audrey; Wehrly, Tara D.; Child, Robert; Crane, Deborah D.

    2012-01-01

    Tularemia, caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a severe, sometimes fatal disease. Interest in tularemia has increased over the last decade due to its history as a biological weapon. In particular, development of novel vaccines directed at protecting against pneumonic tularemia has been an important goal. Previous work has demonstrated that, when delivered at very high inoculums, administration of live, highly attenuated strains of virulent F. tularensis can protect against tularemia. However, lower vaccinating inoculums did not offer similar immunity. One concern of using live vaccines is that the host may develop mild tularemia in response to infection and use of high inoculums may contribute to this issue. Thus, generation of a live vaccine that can efficiently protect against tularemia when delivered in low numbers, e.g. tularemia when delivered at concentrations of approximately 50 or fewer bacteria. Attenuated strains for use as vaccines were selected by their inability to efficiently replicate in macrophages in vitro and impaired replication and dissemination in vivo. Although all strains were defective for replication in vitro within macrophages, protective efficacy of each attenuated mutant was correlated with their ability to modestly replicate and disseminate in the host. Finally, we demonstrate the parenteral vaccination with these strains offered superior protection against pneumonic tularemia than intranasal vaccination. Together our data provides proof of principle that low dose attenuated vaccines may be a viable goal in development of novel vaccines directed against tularemia. PMID:22662210

  5. Inhibition of expression in Escherichia coli of a virulence regulator MglB of Francisella tularensis using external guide sequence technology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaoping Xiao

    Full Text Available External guide sequences (EGSs have successfully been used to inhibit expression of target genes at the post-transcriptional level in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. We previously reported that EGS accessible and cleavable sites in the target RNAs can rapidly be identified by screening random EGS (rEGS libraries. Here the method of screening rEGS libraries and a partial RNase T1 digestion assay were used to identify sites accessible to EGSs in the mRNA of a global virulence regulator MglB from Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative pathogenic bacterium. Specific EGSs were subsequently designed and their activities in terms of the cleavage of mglB mRNA by RNase P were tested in vitro and in vivo. EGS73, EGS148, and EGS155 in both stem and M1 EGS constructs induced mglB mRNA cleavage in vitro. Expression of stem EGS73 and EGS155 in Escherichia coli resulted in significant reduction of the mglB mRNA level coded for the F. tularensis mglB gene inserted in those cells.

  6. Live Vaccine Strain Francisella tularensis is Detectable at the Inoculation Site but Not in Blood after Vaccination Against Tularemia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hepburn, Matthew J; Purcell, Bret K; Lawler, James V; Coyne, Susan R; Petitt, Patricia L; Sellers, Karen D; Norwood, David A; Ulrich, Melanie P

    2006-01-01

    ...) for the detection of F. tularensis in human clinical samples. Methods. Blood and skin swab samples were prospectively collected from volunteers who received the LVS tularemia vaccine at baseline (negative controls...

  7. Antibodies to Both Terminal and Internal B-Cell Epitopes of Francisella tularensis O-Polysaccharide Produced by Patients with Tularemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhaohua; Perkins, Hillary M.

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the Gram-negative bacterium that causes tularemia, is considered a potential bioterrorism threat due to its low infectivity dose and the high morbidity and mortality from respiratory disease. We previously characterized two mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for the O-polysaccharide (O antigen [OAg]) of F. tularensis lipopolysaccharide (LPS): Ab63, which targets a terminal epitope at the nonreducing end of OAg, and Ab52, which targets a repeating internal OAg epitope. These two MAbs were protective in a mouse model of respiratory tularemia. To determine whether these epitope types are also targeted by humans, we tested the ability of each of 18 blood serum samples from 11 tularemia patients to inhibit the binding of Ab63 or Ab52 to F. tularensis LPS in a competition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Although all serum samples had Ab63- and Ab52-inhibitory activities, the ratios of Ab63 to Ab52 inhibitory potencies varied 75-fold. However, the variation was only 2.3-fold for sequential serum samples from the same patient, indicating different distributions of terminal- versus internal-binding antibodies in different individuals. Western blot analysis using class-specific anti-human Ig secondary antibodies showed that both terminal- and internal-binding OAg antibodies were of the IgG, IgM, and IgA isotypes. These results support the use of a mouse model to discover protective B-cell epitopes for tularemia vaccines or prophylactic/therapeutic antibodies, and they present a general strategy for interrogating the antibody responses of patients and vaccinees to microbial carbohydrate epitopes that have been characterized in experimental animals. PMID:24351753

  8. Low dose vaccination with attenuated Francisella tularensis strain SchuS4 mutants protects against tularemia independent of the route of vaccination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dedeke Rockx-Brouwer

    Full Text Available Tularemia, caused by the gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a severe, sometimes fatal disease. Interest in tularemia has increased over the last decade due to its history as a biological weapon. In particular, development of novel vaccines directed at protecting against pneumonic tularemia has been an important goal. Previous work has demonstrated that, when delivered at very high inoculums, administration of live, highly attenuated strains of virulent F. tularensis can protect against tularemia. However, lower vaccinating inoculums did not offer similar immunity. One concern of using live vaccines is that the host may develop mild tularemia in response to infection and use of high inoculums may contribute to this issue. Thus, generation of a live vaccine that can efficiently protect against tularemia when delivered in low numbers, e.g. <100 organisms, may address this concern. Herein we describe the ability of three defined, attenuated mutants of F. tularensis SchuS4, deleted for FTT0369c, FTT1676, or FTT0369c and FTT1676, respectively, to engender protective immunity against tularemia when delivered at concentrations of approximately 50 or fewer bacteria. Attenuated strains for use as vaccines were selected by their inability to efficiently replicate in macrophages in vitro and impaired replication and dissemination in vivo. Although all strains were defective for replication in vitro within macrophages, protective efficacy of each attenuated mutant was correlated with their ability to modestly replicate and disseminate in the host. Finally, we demonstrate the parenteral vaccination with these strains offered superior protection against pneumonic tularemia than intranasal vaccination. Together our data provides proof of principle that low dose attenuated vaccines may be a viable goal in development of novel vaccines directed against tularemia.

  9. 3-Substituted Indole Inhibitors Against Francisella tularensis FabI Identified by Structure-Based Virtual Screening

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-01

    and incubation at 35 ± 2 °C on agar plates using starting samples removed from freezer stocks of each strain. Chocolate agar was used for F. tularensis...potential massive use of antimicrobial agents as prophylaxis or therapy of a bioterrorist attack. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 2002, 8, 534−539. (11) Loveless, B

  10. Evaluation of an Immunochromatographic Test for Rapid and Reliable Serodiagnosis of Human Tularemia and Detection of Francisella tularensis-Specific Antibodies in Sera from Different Mammalian Species ▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Splettstoesser, W.; Guglielmo-Viret, V.; Seibold, E.; Thullier, P.

    2010-01-01

    Tularemia is a highly contagious infectious zoonosis caused by the bacterial agent Francisella tularensis. Serology is still considered to be a cornerstone in tularemia diagnosis due to the low sensitivity of bacterial culture and the lack of standardization in PCR methodology for the direct identification of the pathogen. We developed a novel immunochromatographic test (ICT) to efficiently detect F. tularensis-specific antibodies in sera from humans and other mammalian species (nonhuman primate, pig, and rabbit). This new tool requires none or minimal laboratory equipment, and the results are obtained within 15 min. When compared to the method of microagglutination, which was shown to be more specific than the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the ICT had a sensitivity of 98.3% (58 positive sera were tested) and a specificity of 96.5% (58 negative sera were tested) on human sera. On animal sera, the overall sensitivity was 100% (22 positive sera were tested) and specificity was also 100% (70 negative sera were tested). This rapid test preferentially detects IgG antibodies that may occur early in the course of human tularemia, but further evaluation with human sera is important to prove that the ICT can be a valuable field test to support a presumptive diagnosis of tularemia. The ICT can also be a useful tool to monitor successful vaccination with subunit vaccines or live vaccine strains containing lipopolysaccharide (e.g., LVS) and to detect seropositive individuals or animals in outbreak situations or in the context of epidemiologic surveillance programs in areas of endemicity as recently recommended by the World Health Organization. PMID:20220165

  11. M-Cells Contribute to the Entry of an Oral Vaccine but Are Not Essential for the Subsequent Induction of Protective Immunity against Francisella tularensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee L Cunningham

    Full Text Available M-cells (microfold cells are thought to be a primary conduit of intestinal antigen trafficking. Using an established neutralizing anti-RANKL (Receptor Activator of NF-κB Ligand antibody treatment to transiently deplete M-cells in vivo, we sought to determine whether intestinal M-cells were required for the effective induction of protective immunity following oral vaccination with ΔiglB (a defined live attenuated Francisella novicida mutant. M-cell depleted, ΔiglB-vaccinated mice exhibited increased (but not significant morbidity and mortality following a subsequent homotypic or heterotypic pulmonary F. tularensis challenge. No significant differences in splenic IFN-γ, IL-2, or IL-17 or serum antibody (IgG1, IgG2a, IgA production were observed compared to non-depleted, ΔiglB-vaccinated animals suggesting complementary mechanisms for ΔiglB entry. Thus, we examined other possible routes of gastrointestinal antigen sampling following oral vaccination and found that ΔiglB co-localized to villus goblet cells and enterocytes. These results provide insight into the role of M-cells and complementary pathways in intestinal antigen trafficking that may be involved in the generation of optimal immunity following oral vaccination.

  12. Francisella novicida bacteremia after a near-drowning accident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brett, Meghan; Doppalapudi, Avanthi; Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B; Myers, Debra; Husband, Brigitte; Pollard, Kerry; Mead, Paul; Petersen, Jeannine M; Whitener, Cynthia J

    2012-08-01

    We describe a rare case of Francisella novicida bacteremia following a near-drowning event in seawater. We highlight the challenges associated with laboratory identification of F. novicida and differences in the epidemiology of F. novicida and Francisella tularensis infections.

  13. Downmodulation of Vaccine-Induced Immunity and Protection against the Intracellular Bacterium Francisella tularensis by the Inhibitory Receptor FcγRIIB

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    Brian J. Franz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Fc gamma receptor IIB (FcγRIIB is the only Fc gamma receptor (FcγR which negatively regulates the immune response, when engaged by antigen- (Ag- antibody (Ab complexes. Thus, the generation of Ag-specific IgG in response to infection or immunization has the potential to downmodulate immune protection against infection. Therefore, we sought to determine the impact of FcγRIIB on immune protection against Francisella tularensis (Ft, a Category A biothreat agent. We utilized inactivated Ft (iFt as an immunogen. Naïve and iFt-immunized FcγRIIB knockout (KO or wildtype (WT mice were challenged with Ft-live vaccine strain (LVS. While no significant difference in survival between naïve FcγRIIB KO versus WT mice was observed, iFt-immunized FcγRIIB KO mice were significantly better protected than iFt-immunized WT mice. Ft-specific IgA in serum and bronchial alveolar lavage, as well as IFN-γ, IL-10, and TNF-α production by splenocytes harvested from iFt-immunized FcγRIIB KO, were also significantly elevated. In addition, iFt-immunized FcγRIIB KO mice exhibited a reduction in proinflammatory cytokine levels in vivo at 5 days after challenge, which correlates with increased survival following Ft-LVS challenge in published studies. Thus, these studies demonstrate for the first time the ability of FcγRIIB to regulate vaccine-induced IgA production and downmodulate immunity and protection. The immune mechanisms behind the above observations and their potential impact on vaccine development are discussed.

  14. Mucosal immunization with live attenuated Francisella novicida U112ΔiglB protects against pulmonary F. tularensis SCHU S4 in the Fischer 344 rat model.

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    Aimee L Signarovitz

    Full Text Available The need for an efficacious vaccine against Francisella tularensis is a consequence of its low infectious dose and high mortality rate if left untreated. This study sought to characterize a live attenuated subspecies novicida-based vaccine strain (U112ΔiglB in an established second rodent model of pulmonary tularemia, namely the Fischer 344 rat using two distinct routes of vaccination (intratracheal [i.t.] and oral. Attenuation was verified by comparing replication of U112ΔiglB with wild type parental strain U112 in F344 primary alveolar macrophages. U112ΔiglB exhibited an LD(50>10(7 CFU compared to the wild type (LD(50 = 5 × 10(6 CFU i.t.. Immunization with 10(7 CFU U112ΔiglB by i.t. and oral routes induced antigen-specific IFN-γ and potent humoral responses both systemically (IgG2a>IgG1 in serum and at the site of mucosal vaccination (respiratory/intestinal compartment. Importantly, vaccination with U112ΔiglB by either i.t. or oral routes provided equivalent levels of protection (50% survival in F344 rats against a subsequent pulmonary challenge with ~25 LD(50 (1.25 × 10(4 CFU of the highly human virulent strain SCHU S4. Collectively, these results provide further evidence on the utility of a mucosal vaccination platform with a defined subsp. novicida U112ΔiglB vaccine strain in conferring protective immunity against pulmonary tularemia.

  15. Discordant results obtained with Francisella tularensis during in vitro and in vivo immunological studies are attributable to compromised bacterial structural integrity.

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    Anju Singh

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis (Ft is a highly infectious intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. Because Ft can be dispersed via small droplet-aerosols and has a very low infectious dose it is characterized as a category A Select Agent of biological warfare. Respiratory infection with the attenuated Live Vaccine Strain (LVS and the highly virulent SchuS4 strain of Ft engenders intense peribronchiolar and perivascular inflammation, but fails to elicit select pro-inflammatory mediators (e.g., TNF, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, and IFN-γ within the first ~72 h. This in vivo finding is discordant with the principally TH1-oriented response to Ft frequently observed in cell-based studies wherein the aforementioned cytokines are produced. An often overlooked confounding factor in the interpretation of experimental results is the influence of environmental cues on the bacterium's capacity to elicit certain host responses. Herein, we reveal that adaptation of Ft to its mammalian host imparts an inability to elicit select pro-inflammatory mediators throughout the course of infection. Furthermore, in vitro findings that non-host adapted Ft elicits such a response from host cells reflect aberrant recognition of the DNA of structurally-compromised bacteria by AIM2-dependent and -independent host cell cytosolic DNA sensors. Growth of Ft in Muller-Hinton Broth or on Muller-Hinton-based chocolate agar plates or genetic mutation of Ft was found to compromise the structural integrity of the bacterium thus rendering it capable of aberrantly eliciting pro-inflammatory mediators (e.g., TNF, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, and IFN-γ. Our studies highlight the profound impact of different growth conditions on host cell response to infection and demonstrate that not all in vitro-derived findings may be relevant to tularemia pathogenesis in the mammalian host. Rational development of a vaccine and immunotherapeutics can only proceed from a foundation of knowledge based upon

  16. Identification of Ciprofloxacin Resistance by SimpleProbe (trademark), High Resolution Melt and Pyrosequencing (trademark) Nucleic Acid Analysis in Biothreat Agents: Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    tularensis strain Schu4 following standardmicrobiological techniques to develop antibiotic resistance. Colonies from an original chocolate agar culture...35 C for two weeks. Growth in broth containing 16 mg/ml ciprofloxacin was transferred to chocolate agar plates containing 64 mg/ml ciprofloxacin and...expeditious therapy , the three PCR technologies described in this study were evaluated for the ability to accurately differentiate wt B. anthracis, Y

  17. Azithromycin effectiveness against intracellular infections of Francisella

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    Mann Barbara J

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Macrolide antibiotics are commonly administered for bacterial respiratory illnesses. Azithromycin (Az is especially noted for extremely high intracellular concentrations achieved within macrophages which is far greater than the serum concentration. Clinical strains of Type B Francisella (F. tularensis have been reported to be resistant to Az, however our laboratory Francisella strains were found to be sensitive. We hypothesized that different strains/species of Francisella (including Type A may have different susceptibilities to Az, a widely used and well-tolerated antibiotic. Results In vitro susceptibility testing of Az confirmed that F. tularensis subsp. holarctica Live Vaccine Strain (LVS (Type B was not sensitive while F. philomiragia, F. novicida, and Type A F. tularensis (NIH B38 and Schu S4 strain were susceptible. In J774A.1 mouse macrophage cells infected with F. philomiragia, F. novicida, and F. tularensis LVS, 5 μg/ml Az applied extracellularly eliminated intracellular Francisella infections. A concentration of 25 μg/ml Az was required for Francisella-infected A549 human lung epithelial cells, suggesting that macrophages are more effective at concentrating Az than epithelial cells. Mutants of RND efflux components (tolC and ftlC in F. novicida demonstrated less sensitivity to Az by MIC than the parental strain, but the tolC disc-inhibition assay demonstrated increased sensitivity, indicating a complex role for the outer-membrane transporter. Mutants of acrA and acrB mutants were less sensitive to Az than the parental strain, suggesting that AcrAB is not critical for the efflux of Az in F. novicida. In contrast, F. tularensis Schu S4 mutants ΔacrB and ΔacrA were more sensitive than the parental strain, indicating that the AcrAB may be important for Az efflux in F. tularensis Schu S4. F. novicida LPS O-antigen mutants (wbtN, wbtE, wbtQ and wbtA were found to be less sensitive in vitro to Az compared to the wild

  18. Tularemia vaccine: Safety, reactogenicity, "Take" skin reactions, and antibody responses following vaccination with a new lot of the Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain - A phase 2 randomized clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Mark J; Stapleton, Jack T; Keitel, Wendy A; Frey, Sharon E; Chen, Wilbur H; Rouphael, Nadine; Edupuganti, Srilatha; Beck, Allison; Winokur, Patricia L; El Sahly, Hana M; Patel, Shital M; Atmar, Robert L; Graham, Irene; Anderson, Edwin; El-Kamary, Samer S; Pasetti, Marcela F; Sztein, Marcelo B; Hill, Heather; Goll, Johannes B

    2017-08-24

    Tularemia is caused by Francisella tularensis, a gram-negative bacterium that has been weaponized as an aerosol. For protection of personnel conducting biodefense research, the United States Army required clinical evaluation of a new lot of tularemia live vaccine strain manufactured in accordance with Current Good Manufacturing Practices. A phase 2 randomized clinical trial compared the new lot (DVC-LVS) to the existing vaccine that has been in use for decades (USAMRIID-LVS). The vaccines were delivered by scarification to 228 participants. Safety, reactogenicity, take and/or antibody levels were assessed on days 0, 1, 2, 8, 14, 28, 56, and 180. Both vaccines were safe and had acceptable reactogenicity profiles during six months of follow-up. There were no serious or grade 3 and 4 laboratory adverse events. Moderate systemic reactogenicity (mostly headache or feeling tired) was reported by ∼23% of participants receiving either vaccine. Injection site reactogenicity was mostly mild itchiness and pain. The frequencies of vaccine take skin reactions were 73% (95% CI, 64, 81) for DVC-LVS and 80% (95% CI, 71, 87) for USAMRIID-LVS. The 90% CI for the difference in proportions was -6.9% (-16.4, 2.6). The rates of seroconversion measured by microagglutination assay on days 28 or 56 were 94% (95% CI, 88, 98; n=98/104) for DVC-LVS and 94% (95% CI, 87, 97; n=103/110) for USAMRIID-LVS (p=1.00). Day 14 sera revealed more rapid seroconversion for DVC-LVS relative to USAMRIID-LVS: 82% (95% CI, 73, 89) versus 55% (95% CI, 45, 65), respectively (p<0.0001). The DVC-LVS vaccine had similar safety, reactogenicity, take and antibody responses compared to the older USAMRIID vaccine, and was superior for early (day 14) antibody production. Vaccination take was not a sensitive surrogate for seroconversion in a multi-center study where personnel at five research clinics performed assessments. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01150695. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier

  19. Long-Lasting Fever and Lymphadenitis: Think about F. tularensis

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    Maria Vittoria Longo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We report the case of glandular tularemia that developed in a man supposedly infected by a tick bite in Western Switzerland. Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis was identified. In Europe tularemia most commonly manifests itself as ulcero-glandular or glandular disease; the diagnosis of tularemia may be delayed in glandular form where skin or mucous lesion is absent, particularly in areas which are assumed to have a low incidence of the disease.

  20. Proteogenomic biomarkers for identification of Francisella species and subspecies by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durighello, Emie; Bellanger, Laurent; Ezan, Eric; Armengaud, Jean

    2014-10-07

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia. Because some Francisella strains are very virulent, this species is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a potential category A bioweapon. A mass spectrometry method to quickly and robustly distinguish between virulent and nonvirulent Francisella strains is desirable. A combination of shotgun proteomics and whole-cell matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry on the Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica LVS defined three protein biomarkers that allow such discrimination: the histone-like protein HU form B, the 10 kDa chaperonin Cpn10, and the 50S ribosomal protein L24. We established that their combined detection by whole-cell MALDI-TOF spectrum could enable (i) the identification of Francisella species, and (ii) the prediction of their virulence level, i.e., gain of a taxonomical level with the identification of Francisella tularensis subspecies. The detection of these biomarkers by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is straightforward because of their abundance and the absence of other abundant protein species closely related in terms of m/z. The predicted molecular weights for the three biomarkers and their presence as intense peaks were confirmed with MALDI-TOF/MS spectra acquired on Francisella philomiragia ATCC 25015 and on Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis CCUG 2112, the most virulent Francisella subspecies.

  1. Medical Countermeasure Models. Volume 4. Francisella tularensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-12

    abscess complicating ulceroglandular tularemia." Canadian Medical Association Journal. 129(12). 1983. 191 Hanna C and Lyford J. "Tularemia...administration of another antibiotic (TMP/SMX) 3 3 Lung infiltrate Cefazolin 6 7 Streptomycin 13 7 Relapsed 1 week after therapy with a...course. 1 patient was not treated with antibiotics and subsequently died. 2 46 Lung infiltrates Isoniazid Streptomycin 3 11

  2. A Spontaneous Mutation in kdsD, a Biosynthesis Gene for 3-Deoxy-D-manno-Octulosonic Acid, Occurred in a Ciprofloxacin Resistant Strain of Francisella tularensis and Causes a High Level of Attenuation in Murine Models of Tularemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-30

    often associated with areas of tissue necrosis . These random 339 areas of neutrophilic inflammation are consistent with embolic ( vascular ) spread of F...colonization of tissues and associated tissue necrosis . For mice on day 5 post-exposure, 342 classic lesions consistent with acute to subacute infection...with F. tularensis were observed (Fig. 8). These 343 lesions consisted of random foci of lytic necrosis in the liver, spleen, lungs, and lymph nodes

  3. FEASIBILITY OF THE AEROSOL-TO-LIQUID PARTICLE EXTRACTION SYSTEM (ALPES) FOR COLLECTION OF VIABLE FRANCISELLA SP.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heitkamp, M

    2006-08-07

    Several Biowatch monitoring sites in the Houston area have tested positive for Francisella tularensis and there is a need to determine whether natural occurring Francisella-related microorganism(s) may be responsible for these observed positive reactions. The collection, culturing and characterization of Francisella-related natural microorganisms will provide the knowledge base to improve the future selectivity of Biowatch monitoring for Francisella. The aerosol-to-liquid particle extraction system (ALPES) is a high-efficiency, dual mechanism collection system that utilizes a liquid collection medium for capture of airborne microorganisms. Since the viability of microorganisms is preserved better in liquid medium than on air filters, this project was undertaken to determine whether Francisella philomiragia and Francisella tularensis LVS maintain acceptable viability in the continuous liquid recirculation, high direct current voltage and residual ozone concentrations which occur during ALPES operation. Throughout a series of preliminary trial runs with representative gram-negative and gram-positive microorganisms, several design modifications and improvements to the ALPES optimized liquid handling, electrical stability, sampling and overall performance for biological sampling. Initial testing with Francisella philomiragia showed viability was preserved better in PBS buffer than HBSS buffer. Trial runs at starting cell concentrations of 1.8 x 10{sup 6} and 2.5 x 10{sup 4} CFU/L showed less than a 1-log decrease in viability for F. philomiragia after 24 h in the ALPES. Francisella tularensis LVS (live vaccine strain) was used as a surrogate for virulent F. tularensis in ALPES trial runs conducted at starting cell concentrations of 10{sup 4}, 10{sup 5} and 10{sup 6} CFU/L. F. tularensis LVS was slow-growing and required highly selective growth media to prevent overgrowth by collected airborne microorganisms. In addition, one ALPES unit intake was HEPA filtered during

  4. Benzimidazole-Based Antibacterial Agents Against F. tularensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Kunal; Awasthi, Divya; Lee, Seung-Yub; Cummings, Jason E.; Knudson, Susan E.; Slayden, Richard A.; Ojima, Iwao

    2013-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent pathogenic bacterium. In order to identify novel potential antibacterial agents against F. tularensis, libraries of trisubstituted benzimidazoles were screened against F. tularensis LVS strain. In a preliminary screening assay, remarkably, 23 of 2,5,6- and 2,5,7-trisubstituted benzimidazoles showed excellent activity exhibiting greater than 90 % growth inhibition at 1 µg/mL. Among those hits, 21 compounds showed MIC90 values in the range of 0.35–48.6 µg/mL after accurate MIC determination. In ex-vivo efficacy assays, four of these compounds exhibited 2–3 Log reduction in colony forming units (CFU) per mL at concentrations of 10 and 50 µg/mL. PMID:23623254

  5. Live Attenuated Tularemia Vaccines for Protection Against Respiratory Challenge With Virulent F. tularensis subsp. tularensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Qingmei; Horwitz, Marcus A.

    2018-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia and a Tier I bioterrorism agent. In the 1900s, several vaccines were developed against tularemia including the killed “Foshay” vaccine, subunit vaccines comprising F. tularensis protein(s) or lipoproteins(s) in an adjuvant formulation, and the F. tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS); none were licensed in the U.S.A. or European Union. The LVS vaccine retains toxicity in humans and animals—especially mice—but has demonstrated efficacy in humans, and thus serves as the current gold standard for vaccine efficacy studies. The U.S.A. 2001 anthrax bioterrorism attack spawned renewed interest in vaccines against potential biowarfare agents including F. tularensis. Since live attenuated—but not killed or subunit—vaccines have shown promising efficacy and since vaccine efficacy against respiratory challenge with less virulent subspecies holarctica or F. novicida, or against non-respiratory challenge with virulent subsp. tularensis (Type A) does not reliably predict vaccine efficacy against respiratory challenge with virulent subsp. tularensis, the route of transmission and species of greatest concern in a bioterrorist attack, in this review, we focus on live attenuated tularemia vaccine candidates tested against respiratory challenge with virulent Type A strains, including homologous vaccines derived from mutants of subsp. holarctica, F. novicida, and subsp. tularensis, and heterologous vaccines developed using viral or bacterial vectors to express F. tularensis immunoprotective antigens. We compare the virulence and efficacy of these vaccine candidates with that of LVS and discuss factors that can significantly impact the development and evaluation of live attenuated tularemia vaccines. Several vaccines meet what we would consider the minimum criteria for vaccines to go forward into clinical development—safety greater than LVS and efficacy at least as great as LVS, and of these, several meet the

  6. AR-13, a Celecoxib Derivative, Directly Kills Francisella In Vitro and Aids Clearance and Mouse Survival In Vivo

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    Ky V. Hoang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia and is classified as a Tier 1 select agent. No licensed vaccine is currently available in the United States and treatment of tularemia is confined to few antibiotics. In this study, we demonstrate that AR-13, a derivative of the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor celecoxib, exhibits direct in vitro bactericidal killing activity against Francisella including a type A strain of F. tularensis (SchuS4 and the live vaccine strain (LVS, as well as toward the intracellular proliferation of LVS in macrophages, without causing significant host cell toxicity. Identification of an AR-13-resistant isolate indicates that this compound has an intracellular target(s and that efflux pumps can mediate AR-13 resistance. In the mouse model of tularemia, AR-13 treatment protected 50% of the mice from lethal LVS infection and prolonged survival time from a lethal dose of F. tularensis SchuS4. Combination of AR-13 with a sub-optimal dose of gentamicin protected 60% of F. tularensis SchuS4-infected mice from death. Taken together, these data support the translational potential of AR-13 as a lead compound for the further development of new anti-Francisella agents.

  7. Identification of Francisella novicida mutants that fail to induce prostaglandin E2 synthesis by infected macrophages.

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    Matthew Dale Woolard

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia. We have previously shown that infection with F. tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS induces macrophages to synthesize prostaglandin E2 (PGE2. Synthesis of PGE2 by F. tularensis infected macrophages results in decreased T cell proliferation in vitro and increased bacterial survival in vivo. Although we understand some of the biological consequences of F. tularensis induced PGE2 synthesis by macrophages, we do not understand the cellular pathways (neither host nor bacterial that result in up-regulation of the PGE2 biosynthetic pathway in F. tularensis infected macrophages. We took a genetic approach to begin to understand the molecular mechanisms of bacterial induction of PGE2 synthesis from infected macrophages. To identify F. tularensis genes necessary for the induction of PGE2 in primary macrophages, we infected cells with individual mutants from the closely related strain Francisella tularensis subspecies novicida U112 (U112 two allele mutant library. Twenty genes were identified that when disrupted resulted in U112 mutant strains unable to induce the synthesis of PGE2 by infected macrophages. Fourteen of the genes identified are located within the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI. Genes in the FPI are required for F. tularensis to escape from the phagosome and replicate in the cytosol, which might account for the failure of U112 with transposon insertions within the FPI to induce PGE2. This implies that U112 mutant strains that do not grow intracellularly would also not induce PGE2. We found that U112 clpB::Tn grows within macrophages yet fails to induce PGE2, while U112 pdpA::Tn does not grow yet does induce PGE2. We also found that U112 iglC::Tn neither grows nor induces PGE2. These findings indicate that there is dissociation between intracellular growth and the ability of F. tularensis to induce PGE2 synthesis. These mutants provide a critical entrée into the pathways used

  8. Clinical Characterization of Aerosolized Francisella tularensis Infection in Cynomolgus macaques

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-11-21

    All airflows, environmental monitoring, and system balancing were configured, controlled, and recorded through the institute standard automated...were used as a baseline to fit an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model. Temperature elevations exceeding three standard deviations...supervision of a pathologist board certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologist in a biosafety level (BSL) 3 necropsy facility. Tissues

  9. Indigenous infection with Francisella tularensis holarctica in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maraha, B.; Hajer, G.F.; Sjödin, A.; Forsman, M.; Paauw, A.; Roeselers, G.; Verspui, E.; Frenay, H.M.E.; Notermans, D.W.; Vries, M.C. de; Reubsaet, F.A.G.

    2013-01-01

    We report here the first case of indigenous tularemia detected inTheNetherlands, a nonendemic country, since 1953.Whole genome DNAsequence analysis assigned the isolate BD11-00177 to the genomic group B.FTNF002-00,which previously has been exclusively reported from Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland,

  10. Construction of a New Phage Integration Vector pFIV-Val for Use in Different Francisella Species

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    Hana Tlapák

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available We recently identified and described a putative prophage on the genomic island FhaGI-1 located within the genome of Francisella hispaniensis AS02-814 (F. tularensis subsp. novicida-like 3523. In this study, we constructed two variants of a Francisella phage integration vector, called pFIV1-Val and pFIV2-Val (Francisella Integration Vector-tRNAVal-specific, using the attL/R-sites and the site-specific integrase (FN3523_1033 of FhaGI-1, a chloramphenicol resistance cassette and a sacB gene for counter selection of transformants against the vector backbone. We inserted the respective sites and genes into vector pUC57-Kana to allow for propagation in Escherichia coli. The constructs generated a circular episomal form in E. coli which could be used to transform Francisella spp. where FIV-Val stably integrated site specifically into the tRNAVal gene of the genome, whereas pUC57-Kana is lost due to counter selection. Functionality of the new vector was demonstrated by the successfully complementation of a Francisella mutant strain. The vectors were stable in vitro and during host-cell infection without selective pressure. Thus, the vectors can be applied as a further genetic tool in Francisella research, expanding the present genetic tools by an integrative element. This new element is suitable to perform long-term experiments with different Francisella species.

  11. Rapid differentiation of Francisella species and subspecies by fluorescent in situ hybridization targeting the 23S rRNA

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    Trebesius Karlheinz

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Francisella (F. tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia. Due to its low infectious dose, ease of dissemination and high case fatality rate, F. tularensis was the subject in diverse biological weapons programs and is among the top six agents with high potential if misused in bioterrorism. Microbiological diagnosis is cumbersome and time-consuming. Methods for the direct detection of the pathogen (immunofluorescence, PCR have been developed but are restricted to reference laboratories. Results The complete 23S rRNA genes of representative strains of F. philomiragia and all subspecies of F. tularensis were sequenced. Single nucleotide polymorphisms on species and subspecies level were confirmed by partial amplification and sequencing of 24 additional strains. Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH assays were established using species- and subspecies-specific probes. Different FISH protocols allowed the positive identification of all 4 F. philomiragia strains, and more than 40 F. tularensis strains tested. By combination of different probes, it was possible to differentiate the F. tularensis subspecies holarctica, tularensis, mediasiatica and novicida. No cross reactivity with strains of 71 clinically relevant bacterial species was observed. FISH was also successfully applied to detect different F. tularensis strains in infected cells or tissue samples. In blood culture systems spiked with F. tularensis, bacterial cells of different subspecies could be separated within single samples. Conclusion We could show that FISH targeting the 23S rRNA gene is a rapid and versatile method for the identification and differentiation of F. tularensis isolates from both laboratory cultures and clinical samples.

  12. Inflammasome priming is similar for francisella species that differentially induce inflammasome activation.

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    Mohammed G Ghonime

    Full Text Available Inflammasome activation is a two-step process where step one, priming, prepares the inflammasome for its subsequent activation, by step two. Classically step one can be induced by LPS priming followed by step two, high dose ATP. Furthermore, when IL-18 processing is used as the inflammasome readout, priming occurs before new protein synthesis. In this context, how intracellular pathogens such as Francisella activate the inflammasome is incompletely understood, particularly regarding the relative importance of priming versus activation steps. To better understand these events we compared Francisella strains that differ in virulence and ability to induce inflammasome activation for their relative effects on step one vs. step two. When using the rapid priming model, i.e., 30 min priming by live or heat killed Francisella strains (step 1, followed by ATP (step 2, we found no difference in IL-18 release, p20 caspase-1 release and ASC oligomerization between Francisella strains (F. novicida, F. holarctica -LVS and F. tularensis Schu S4. This priming is fast, independent of bacteria viability, internalization and phagosome escape, but requires TLR2-mediated ERK phosphorylation. In contrast to their efficient priming capacity, Francisella strains LVS and Schu S4 were impaired in inflammasome triggering compared to F. novicida. Thus, observed differences in inflammasome activation by F. novicida, LVS and Schu S4 depend not on differences in priming but rather on their propensity to trigger the primed inflammasome.

  13. Francisella subverts innate immune signaling: Focus on PI3K/Akt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas John Cremer

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Intracellular bacterial pathogens exploit host cells as a part of their lifecycle, and they do so by manipulating host cell signaling events. Many such bacteria are known to produce effector proteins that promote cell invasion, alter membrane trafficking and disrupt signaling cascades. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of signaling pathways involved in host cell responses to Francisella tularensis, a facultative Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes tularemia. We highlight several key pathways that are targeted by Francisella, with a focus on the PI3K/Akt pathway. Lastly, we discuss the emerging role of microRNAs, specifically miR-155, as a key regulator of host signaling and defense.

  14. Macrophage replication screen identifies a novel Francisella hydroperoxide resistance protein involved in virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna C Llewellyn

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a gram-negative facultative intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. Recently, genome-wide screens have identified Francisella genes required for virulence in mice. However, the mechanisms by which most of the corresponding proteins contribute to pathogenesis are still largely unknown. To further elucidate the roles of these virulence determinants in Francisella pathogenesis, we tested whether each gene was required for replication of the model pathogen F. novicida within macrophages, an important virulence trait. Fifty-three of the 224 genes tested were involved in intracellular replication, including many of those within the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI, validating our results. Interestingly, over one third of the genes identified are annotated as hypothetical, indicating that F. novicida likely utilizes novel virulence factors for intracellular replication. To further characterize these virulence determinants, we selected two hypothetical genes to study in more detail. As predicted by our screen, deletion mutants of FTN_0096 and FTN_1133 were attenuated for replication in macrophages. The mutants displayed differing levels of attenuation in vivo, with the FTN_1133 mutant being the most attenuated. FTN_1133 has sequence similarity to the organic hydroperoxide resistance protein Ohr, an enzyme involved in the bacterial response to oxidative stress. We show that FTN_1133 is required for F. novicida resistance to, and degradation of, organic hydroperoxides as well as resistance to the action of the NADPH oxidase both in macrophages and mice. Furthermore, we demonstrate that F. holarctica LVS, a strain derived from a highly virulent human pathogenic species of Francisella, also requires this protein for organic hydroperoxide resistance as well as replication in macrophages and mice. This study expands our knowledge of Francisella's largely uncharacterized intracellular lifecycle and

  15. Manipulation of host membranes by the bacterial pathogens Listeria, Francisella, Shigella and Yersinia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizarro-Cerdá, Javier; Charbit, Alain; Enninga, Jost; Lafont, Frank; Cossart, Pascale

    2016-12-01

    Bacterial pathogens display an impressive arsenal of molecular mechanisms that allow survival in diverse host niches. Subversion of plasma membrane and cytoskeletal functions are common themes associated to infection by both extracellular and intracellular pathogens. Moreover, intracellular pathogens modify the structure/stability of their membrane-bound compartments and escape degradation from phagocytic or autophagic pathways. Here, we review the manipulation of host membranes by Listeria monocytogenes, Francisella tularensis, Shigella flexneri and Yersinia spp. These four bacterial model pathogens exemplify generalized strategies as well as specific features observed during bacterial infection processes. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. MiR-155 induction by F. novicida but not the virulent F. tularensis results in SHIP down-regulation and enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokine response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas J Cremer

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The intracellular gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis causes the disease tularemia and is known for its ability to subvert host immune responses. Previous work from our laboratory identified the PI3K/Akt pathway and SHIP as critical modulators of host resistance to Francisella. Here, we show that SHIP expression is strongly down-regulated in monocytes and macrophages following infection with F. tularensis novicida (F.n.. To account for this negative regulation we explored the possibility that microRNAs (miRs that target SHIP may be induced during infection. There is one miR that is predicted to target SHIP, miR-155. We tested for induction and found that F.n. induced miR-155 both in primary monocytes/macrophages and in vivo. Using luciferase reporter assays we confirmed that miR-155 led to down-regulation of SHIP, showing that it specifically targets the SHIP 3'UTR. Further experiments showed that miR-155 and BIC, the gene that encodes miR-155, were induced as early as four hours post-infection in primary human monocytes. This expression was dependent on TLR2/MyD88 and did not require inflammasome activation. Importantly, miR-155 positively regulated pro-inflammatory cytokine release in human monocytes infected with Francisella. In sharp contrast, we found that the highly virulent type A SCHU S4 strain of Francisella tularensis (F.t. led to a significantly lower miR-155 response than the less virulent F.n. Hence, F.n. induces miR-155 expression and leads to down-regulation of SHIP, resulting in enhanced pro-inflammatory responses. However, impaired miR-155 induction by SCHU S4 may help explain the lack of both SHIP down-regulation and pro-inflammatory response and may account for the virulence of Type A Francisella.

  17. Screening for bacterial DNA in the hard tick Hyalomma marginatum (Ixodidae from Socotra Island (Yemen: detection of Francisella-like endosymbiont

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Montagna

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Thirty-four adult ticks collected from livestock on Socotra Island (Yemen were identified as Hyalomma marginatum using traditional morphological characteristics. Morphological identification was confirmed for all the collected specimens using a molecular approach targeting a fragment of the mitochondrial gene 12S rRNA. All the specimens were examined for the presence of tick-borne pathogens and the tick endosymbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii using polymerase chain reaction. Three specimens out of the 34 analyzed tested positive to the presence of Francisella spp. leading to the first detection of these bacteria in H. marginatum on Socotra Island. The phylogenetic analyses conducted on a 660 bp fragment of the ribosomal gene 16S rRNA of Francisella spp. (including F. philomiragia as outgroup, the four subspecies of F. tularensis and the Francisella-like endosymbiont of ticks confirm that the newly detected Francisella strains cluster into the Francisella-like endosymbionts of ticks. Interestingly, the detected Francisella-like endosymbiont, shows a different genotype to that previously isolated from H. marginatum collected in Bulgaria. No specimen was positive for the presence of Rickettsia spp., Coxiella burnetii, Borrelia burgdorferi or M. mitochondrii.

  18. Evasion of IFN-γ signaling by Francisella novicida is dependent upon Francisella outer membrane protein C.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalyan C Nallaparaju

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterium and the causative agent of the lethal disease tularemia. An outer membrane protein (FTT0918 of F. tularensis subsp. tularensis has been identified as a virulence factor. We generated a F. novicida (F. tularensis subsp. novicida FTN_0444 (homolog of FTT0918 fopC mutant to study the virulence-associated mechanism(s of FTT0918.The ΔfopC strain phenotype was characterized using immunological and biochemical assays. Attenuated virulence via the pulmonary route in wildtype C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice, as well as in knockout (KO mice, including MHC I, MHC II, and µmT (B cell deficient, but not in IFN-γ or IFN-γR KO mice was observed. Primary bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDM prepared from C57BL/6 mice treated with rIFN-γ exhibited greater inhibition of intracellular ΔfopC than wildtype U112 strain replication; whereas, IFN-γR KO macrophages showed no IFN-γ-dependent inhibition of ΔfopC replication. Moreover, phosphorylation of STAT1 was downregulated by the wildtype strain, but not the fopC mutant, in rIFN-γ treated macrophages. Addition of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine, an NOS inhibitor, led to an increase of ΔfopC replication to that seen in the BMDM unstimulated with rIFN-γ. Enzymatic screening of ΔfopC revealed aberrant acid phosphatase activity and localization. Furthermore, a greater abundance of different proteins in the culture supernatants of ΔfopC than that in the wildtype U112 strain was observed.F. novicida FopC protein facilitates evasion of IFN-γ-mediated immune defense(s by down-regulation of STAT1 phosphorylation and nitric oxide production, thereby promoting virulence. Additionally, the FopC protein also may play a role in maintaining outer membrane stability (integrity facilitating the activity and localization of acid phosphatases and other F. novicida cell components.

  19. Identification of genes required for secretion of the Francisella oxidative burst-inhibiting acid phosphatase AcpA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S Gunn

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a Tier 1 bioterror threat and the intracellular pathogen responsible for tularemia in humans and animals. Upon entry into the host, Francisella uses multiple mechanisms to evade killing. Our previous studies have shown that after entering its primary cellular host, the macrophage, Francisella immediately suppresses the oxidative burst by secreting a series of acid phosphatases including AcpA-B-C and HapA, thereby evading the innate immune response of the macrophage and enhancing survival and further infection. However, the mechanism of acid phosphatase secretion by Francisella is still unknown. In this study, we screened for genes required for AcpA secretion in Francisella. We initially demonstrated that the known secretion systems, the putative Francisella-pathogenicity island (FPI-encoded Type VI secretion system and the Type IV pili, do not secrete AcpA. Using random transposon mutagenesis in conjunction with ELISA, Western blotting and acid phosphatase enzymatic assays, a transposon library of 5450 mutants was screened for strains with a minimum 1.5-fold decrease in secreted (culture supernatant AcpA, but no defect in cytosolic AcpA. Three mutants with decreased supernatant AcpA were identified. The transposon insertion sites of these mutants were revealed by direct genomic sequencing or inverse-PCR and sequencing. One of these mutants has a severe defect in AcpA secretion (at least 85% decrease and is a predicted hypothetical inner membrane protein. Interestingly, this mutant also affected the secretion of the FPI-encoded protein, VgrG. Thus, this screen identified novel protein secretion factors involved in the subversion of host defenses.

  20. Type IV pili in Francisella – A virulence trait in an intracellular pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emelie eNäslund Salomonsson

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent intracellular human pathogen that is capable of rapid proliferation in the infected host. Mutants affected in intracellular survival and growth are highly attenuated which highlights the importance of the intracellular phase of the infection. Genomic analysis has revealed that Francisella encodes all genes required for expression of functional type IV pili (Tfp, and in this focused review we summarise recent findings regarding this system in the pathogenesis of tularemia. Tfp are dynamic adhesive structures that have been identified as major virulence determinants in several human pathogens, but it is not obvious what role these structures could have in an intracellular pathogen like Francisella. In the human pathogenic strains, genes required for secretion and assembly of Tfp and one pilin, PilA, have shown to be required for full virulence. Importantly, specific genetic differences have been identified between the different Francisella subspecies where in the most pathogenic type A variants all genes are intact while several Tfp genes are pseudogenes in the less pathogenic type B strains. This suggests that there has been a selection for expression of Tfp with different properties in the different subspecies. There is also a possibility that the genetic differences reflect adaption to different environmental niches of the subspecies and plays a role in transmission of tularemia. This is also in line with recent findings where Tfp pilins are found to be glycosylated which could reflect a role for Tfp in the environment to promote survival and transmission. We are still far from understanding the role of Tfp in virulence and transmission of tularemia, but with the genomic information and genetic tools available we are in a good position to address these issues in the future.

  1. Nanolipoprotein Particles (NLPs) as Versatile Vaccine Platforms for Co-delivery of Multiple Adjuvants with Subunit Antigens from Burkholderia spp. and F. tularensis - Technical Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, N. O. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2015-01-13

    The goal of this proposal is to demonstrate that colocalization of protein subunit antigens and adjuvants on nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs) can increase the protective efficacy of subunit antigens from Burkholderia spp. and Francisella tularensis against an aerosol challenge. In the third quarter of the third year, F344 rats vaccinated with adjuvanted NLP formulations were challenged with F. tularensis SCHU S4 at Battelle. Preliminary data indicate that up to 65% of females vaccinated intranasally with an NLP-based formulation survived this challenge, compared to only 20% survival of naïve animals. In addition, NLPs were successfully formulated with Burkholderia protein antigens. IACUC approval for immunological assessments in BALB/c mice was received and we anticipate that these assessments will begin by March 2015, pending ACURO approval.

  2. Nanolipoprotein Particles (NLPs) as Versatile Vaccine Platforms for Co-delivery of Multiple Adjuvants with Subunit Antigens from Burkholderia spp. and F. tularensis - Technical Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, N. O. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2015-01-06

    The goal of this proposal is to demonstrate that colocalization of protein subunit antigens and adjuvants on nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs) can increase the protective efficacy of subunit antigens from Burkholderia spp. and Francisella tularensis against an aerosol challenge. In the second quarter of the third year, LLNL finalized all immunological assessments of NLP vaccine formulations in the F344 model. Battelle has immunized rats with three unique NLP formulations by either intramuscular or intranasal administration. All inoculations have been completed, and protective efficacy against an aerosolized challenge will begin at the end of October, 2014.

  3. DotU and VgrG, core components of type VI secretion systems, are essential for Francisella LVS pathogenicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeanette E Bröms

    Full Text Available The Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis causes tularemia, a disease which requires bacterial escape from phagosomes of infected macrophages. Once in the cytosol, the bacterium rapidly multiplies, inhibits activation of the inflammasome and ultimately causes death of the host cell. Of importance for these processes is a 33-kb gene cluster, the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI, which is believed to encode a type VI secretion system (T6SS. In this study, we analyzed the role of the FPI-encoded proteins VgrG and DotU, which are conserved components of type VI secretion (T6S clusters. We demonstrate that in F. tularensis LVS, VgrG was shown to form multimers, consistent with its suggested role as a trimeric membrane puncturing device in T6SSs, while the inner membrane protein DotU was shown to stabilize PdpB/IcmF, another T6SS core component. Upon infection of J774 cells, both ΔvgrG and ΔdotU mutants did not escape from phagosomes, and subsequently, did not multiply or cause cytopathogenicity. They also showed impaired activation of the inflammasome and marked attenuation in the mouse model. Moreover, all of the DotU-dependent functions investigated here required the presence of three residues that are essentially conserved among all DotU homologues. Thus, in agreement with a core function in T6S clusters, VgrG and DotU play key roles for modulation of the intracellular host response as well as for the virulence of F. tularensis.

  4. Macrophage pro-inflammatory response to Francisella novicida infection is regulated by SHIP.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kishore V L Parsa

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative facultative intracellular pathogen infecting principally macrophages and monocytes, is the etiological agent of tularemia. Macrophage responses to F. tularensis infection include the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL-12, which is critical for immunity against infection. Molecular mechanisms regulating production of these inflammatory mediators are poorly understood. Herein we report that the SH2 domain-containing inositol phosphatase (SHIP is phosphorylated upon infection of primary murine macrophages with the genetically related F. novicida, and negatively regulates F. novicida-induced cytokine production. Analyses of the molecular details revealed that in addition to activating the MAP kinases, F. novicida infection also activated the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K/Akt pathway in these cells. Interestingly, SHIP-deficient macrophages displayed enhanced Akt activation upon F. novicida infection, suggesting elevated PI3K-dependent activation pathways in absence of SHIP. Inhibition of PI3K/Akt resulted in suppression of F. novicida-induced cytokine production through the inhibition of NFkappaB. Consistently, macrophages lacking SHIP displayed enhanced NFkappaB-driven gene transcription, whereas overexpression of SHIP led to decreased NFkappaB activation. Thus, we propose that SHIP negatively regulates F. novicida-induced inflammatory cytokine response by antagonizing the PI3K/Akt pathway and suppressing NFkappaB-mediated gene transcription. A detailed analysis of phosphoinositide signaling may provide valuable clues for better understanding the pathogenesis of tularemia.

  5. Understanding Virulence in the Brucellae and Francisellae: Towards Efficacious Treatments for Two Potential Biothreat Agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasley, A; Parsons, D A; El-Etr, S; Roux, C; Tsolis, R

    2009-12-30

    Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Brucellae species are highly infectious pathogens classified as select agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the potential for use in bioterrorism attacks. These organisms are known to be facultative intracellular pathogens that preferentially infect human monocytes. As such, understanding how the host responds to infection with these organisms is paramount in detecting and combating human disease. We have compared the ability of fully virulent strains of each pathogen and their non-pathogenic near neighbors to enter and survive inside the human monocytic cell line THP-1 and have quantified the cellular response to infection with the goal of identifying both unique and common host response patterns. We expanded the scope of these studies to include experiments with pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague. Nonpathogenic strains of each organism were impaired in their ability to survive intracellularly compared with their pathogenic counterparts. Furthermore, infection of THP-1 cells with pathogenic strains of Y. pestis and F. tularensis resulted in marked increases in the secretion of the inflammatory chemokines IL-8, RANTES, and MIP-1{beta}. In contrast, B. melitensis infection failed to elicit any significant increases in a panel of cytokines tested. These differences may underscore distinct strategies in pathogenic mechanisms employed by these pathogens.

  6. Francisella philomiragia Adenitis and Pulmonary Nodules in a Child with Chronic Granulomatous Disease

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    Timothy Mailman

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Francisella philomiragia is a rare and opportunistic pathogen capable of producing invasive infection in patients with compromised neutrophil function and in patients that have survived a near-drowning. A case of F philomiragia adenitis and lung nodules, refractory to cephalosporin therapy, is reported in a 10-year-old boy with chronic granulomatous disease following a facial abrasion from a saltwater crab. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first Canadian clinical isolate to be reported. Genus and species identification was confirmed via 16S ribosomal RNA sequence analysis. A literature review revealed three groups at risk of F philomiragia infection: young patients with chronic granulomatous disease; adults with hematogenous malignancy; and near-drowning patients. Pneumonia, fever without an apparent source and sepsis are the main clinical presentations. Invasive procedures may be required to isolate this organism and ensure appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Limited awareness of F philomiragia has led to delayed identification, patient death and misidentification as Francisella tularensis - a biosafety level three pathogen and potential bioterrorism agent.

  7. Francisella tularensis prevalence and load in Dermacentor reticulatus ticks in an endemic area in Central Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hubálek, Zdeněk; Rudolf, Ivo

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 31, č. 2 (2017), s. 234-239 ISSN 0269-283X Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Ixodid ticks * pathogen load * Tularaemia Subject RIV: FN - Epidemiology, Contagious Diseases ; Clinical Immunology OBOR OECD: Epidemiology Impact factor: 1.809, year: 2016

  8. Nanolipoprotein Particles (NLPs) as Versatile Vaccine Platforms for Co-delivery of Multiple Adjuvants with Subunit Antigens from Burkholderia spp. and F. tularensis - Annual Technical Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, N. O. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2015-04-16

    The goal of this proposal is to demonstrate that co-localization of protein subunit antigens and adjuvants on nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs) can increase the protective efficacy of recombinant subunit antigens from Burkholderia spp. and Francisella tularensis against an aerosol challenge. NLPs are are biocompatible, high-density lipoprotein mimetics that are amenable to the incorporation of multiple, chemically-disparate adjuvant and antigen molecules. We hypothesize that the ability to co-localize optimized adjuvant formulations with subunit antigens within a single particle will enhance the stimulation and activation of key immune effector cells, increasing the protective efficacy of subunit antigen-based vaccines. While Burkholderia spp. and F. tularensis subunit antigens are the focus of this proposal, we anticipate that this approach is applicable to a wide range of DOD-relevant biothreat agents. The F344 rat aerosol challenge model for F. tularensis has been successfully established at Battelle under this contract, and Year 3 efficacy studies performed at Battelle demonstrated that an NLP vaccine formulation was able to enhance survival of female F344 rats relative to naïve animals. In addition, Year 3 focused on the incorporation of multiple Burkholderia antigens (both polysaccharides and proteins) onto adjuvanted NLPs, with immunological analysis poised to begin in the next quarter.

  9. New species in the genus Francisella (Gammaproteobacteria; Francisellaceae); Francisella piscicida sp. nov. isolated from cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ottem, Karl F; Nylund, Are; Karlsbakk, Egil

    2007-01-01

    A Francisella strain, GM2212, previously isolated from moribund farmed Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in Norway, is closely related to Francisella philomiragia among Francisella spp. according to its complete 16S rDNA, 16S-23S intergenic spacer, 23S rDNA, 23S-5S intergenic spacer, 5S rDNA, Fop...

  10. Structure of the Francisella response regulator QseB receiver domain, and characterization of QseB inhibition by antibiofilm 2-aminoimidazole-based compounds: Inhibition of response regulator QseB by antibiofilm compounds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milton, Morgan E.; Allen, C. Leigh; Feldmann, Erik A.; Bobay, Benjamin G.; Jung, David K.; Stephens, Matthew D.; Melander, Roberta J.; Theisen, Kelly E.; Zeng, Daina; Thompson, Richele J.; Melander, Christian; Cavanagh, John (NCSU)

    2017-08-16

    With antibiotic resistance increasing at alarming rates, targets for new antimicrobial therapies must be identified. A particularly promising target is the bacterial two-component system. Two-component systems allow bacteria to detect, evaluate and protect themselves against changes in the environment, such as exposure to antibiotics and also to trigger production of virulence factors. Drugs that target the response regulator portion of two-component systems represent a potent new approach so far unexploited. Here, we focus efforts on the highly virulent bacterium Francisella tularensis tularensis. Francisella contains only three response regulators, making it an ideal system to study. In this study, we initially present the structure of the N-terminal domain of QseB, the response regulator responsible for biofilm formation. Subsequently, using binding assays, computational docking and cellular studies, we show that QseB interacts with2-aminoimidazole based compounds that impede its function. This information will assist in tailoring compounds to act as adjuvants that will enhance the effect of antibiotics.

  11. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0103 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0103 ref|YP_169727.1| serine transporter [Francisella tularensis subsp.... tularensis SCHU S4] ref|YP_666859.1| serine transporter [Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis FSC198] ...ref|ZP_03665376.1| serine transporter [Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis MA00-2987] ref|ZP_04986333.1...5247354.1| serine transporter [Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis MA00-2987] emb|CAG45345.1| serine transporter [Fran...cisella tularensis subsp. tularensis SCHU S4] emb|CAL08728.1| serine transporter [Francisella

  12. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0084 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0084 ref|ZP_03665674.1| amino acid permease [Francisella tularensis su...bsp. tularensis MA00-2987] ref|ZP_04986598.1| amino acid permease [Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis ...FSC033] ref|ZP_05247618.1| amino acid permease [Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis MA00-2987] gb|EDN34...490.1| amino acid permease [Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis FSC033] gb|E...ET19343.1| amino acid permease [Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis MA00-2987] ZP_03665674.1 0.22 27% ...

  13. DESTRUCTION OF FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS AND YERSINIA PESTIS PERSISTENCE OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS SPORES AND CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM IN MUNICIPAL SOLID LANDFILL LEACHATES

    Science.gov (United States)

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) in collaboration with the Department of Defense Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) are evaluating the permanence of biological and chemi...

  14. Biofilm formation of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Esteban; Halliday-Wimmonds, Iona; Francis , Stewart; Kearney, Michael T.; Hansen, John D.

    2015-01-01

    Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) is an emergent fish pathogen in both marine and fresh water environments. The bacterium is suspected to persist in the environment even without the presence of a suitable fish host. In the present study, the influence of different abiotic factors such as salinity and temperature were used to study the biofilm formation of different isolates of Fno including intracellular growth loci C (iglC)and pathogenicity determinant protein A (pdpA) knockout strains. Finally, we compared the susceptibility of planktonic and biofilm to three disinfectants used in the aquaculture and ornamental fish industry, namely Virkon®, bleach and hydrogen peroxide. The data indicates that Fno is capable of producing biofilms within 24 h where both salinity as well as temperature plays a role in the growth and biofilm formation of Fno. Mutations in theiglC or pdpA, both known virulence factors, do not appear to affect the capacity of Fno to produce biofilms, and the minimum inhibitory concentration, and minimum biocidal concentration for the three disinfectants were lower than the minimum biofilm eradication concentration values. This information needs to be taken into account if trying to eradicate the pathogen from aquaculture facilities or aquariums.

  15. Francisella guangzhouensis sp. nov., isolated from air-conditioning systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Ping-Hua; Chen, Shou-Yi; Scholz, Holger C; Busse, Hans-Jürgen; Gu, Quan; Kämpfer, Peter; Foster, Jeffrey T; Glaeser, Stefanie P; Chen, Cha; Yang, Zhi-Chong

    2013-10-01

    Four strains (08HL01032(T), 09HG994, 10HP82-6 and 10HL1960) were isolated from water of air-conditioning systems of various cooling towers in Guangzhou city, China. Cells were Gram-stain-negative coccobacilli without flagella, catalase-positive and oxidase-negative, showing no reduction of nitrate, no hydrolysis of urea and no production of H2S. Growth was characteristically enhanced in the presence of l-cysteine, which was consistent with the properties of members of the genus Francisella. The quinone system was composed of ubiquinone Q-8 with minor amounts of Q-9. The polar lipid profile consisted of the predominant lipids phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine, two unidentified phospholipids (PL2, PL3), an unidentified aminophospholipid and an unidentified glycolipid (GL2). The polyamine pattern consisted of the major compounds spermidine, cadaverine and spermine. The major cellular fatty acids were C10 : 0, C14 : 0, C16 : 0, C18 : 1ω9c and C18 : 1 3-OH. A draft whole-genome sequence of the proposed type strain 08HL01032(T) was generated. Comparative sequence analysis of the complete 16S and 23S rRNA genes confirmed affiliation to the genus Francisella, with 95 % sequence identity to the closest relatives in the database, the type strains of Francisella philomiragia and Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis. Full-length deduced amino acid sequences of various housekeeping genes, recA, gyrB, groEL, dnaK, rpoA, rpoB, rpoD, rpoH, fopA and sdhA, exhibited similarities of 67-92 % to strains of other species of the genus Francisella. Strains 08HL01032(T), 09HG994, 10HP82-6 and 10HL1960 exhibited highly similar pan-genome PCR profiles. Both the phenotypic and molecular data support the conclusion that the four strains belong to the genus Francisella but exhibit considerable divergence from all recognized Francisella species. Therefore, we propose the name Francisella guangzhouensis sp

  16. Lipophilic prodrugs of FR900098 are antimicrobial against Francisella novicida in vivo and in vitro and show GlpT independent efficacy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth S McKenney

    Full Text Available Bacteria, plants, and algae produce isoprenoids through the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP pathway, an attractive pathway for antimicrobial drug development as it is present in prokaryotes and some lower eukaryotes but absent from human cells. The first committed step of the MEP pathway is catalyzed by 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR/MEP synthase. MEP pathway genes have been identified in many biothreat agents, including Francisella, Brucella, Bacillus, Burkholderia, and Yersinia. The importance of the MEP pathway to Francisella is demonstrated by the fact that MEP pathway mutations are lethal. We have previously established that fosmidomycin inhibits purified MEP synthase (DXR from F. tularensis LVS. FR900098, the acetyl derivative of fosmidomycin, was found to inhibit the activity of purified DXR from F. tularensis LVS (IC(50=230 nM. Fosmidomycin and FR900098 are effective against purified DXR from Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well, but have no effect on whole cells because the compounds are too polar to penetrate the thick cell wall. Fosmidomycin requires the GlpT transporter to enter cells, and this is absent in some pathogens, including M. tuberculosis. In this study, we have identified the GlpT homologs in F. novicida and tested transposon insertion mutants of glpT. We showed that FR900098 also requires GlpT for full activity against F. novicida. Thus, we synthesized several FR900098 prodrugs that have lipophilic groups to facilitate their passage through the bacterial cell wall and bypass the requirement for the GlpT transporter. One compound, that we termed "compound 1," was found to have GlpT-independent antimicrobial activity. We tested the ability of this best performing prodrug to inhibit F. novicida intracellular infection of eukaryotic cell lines and the caterpillar Galleria mellonella as an in vivo infection model. As a lipophilic GlpT-independent DXR inhibitor, compound 1 has the potential to be a broad

  17. Characterization of Francisella sp., GM2212, the first Francisella isolate from marine fish, Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ottem, Karl F; Nylund, Are; Karlsbakk, Egil

    2007-01-01

    from F. tularensis and F. philomiragia. GM2212(T) is catalase-positive, indole positive, oxidase-negative, do not produce H(2)S in Triple Sugar Iron agar, and does not hydrolyze gelatin, is resistant to erythromycin and susceptible to ceftazidime, the latter five characteristics separating it from F...

  18. Characterization of Francisella sp., GM2212, the first Francisella isolate from marine fish, Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ottem, Karl F; Nylund, Are; Karlsbakk, Egil

    2007-01-01

    A Francisella sp., isolate GM2212(T), previously isolated from diseased farmed Atlantic cod Gadus morhua in Norway is characterized. The complete 16S rDNA, 16S-23S intergenic spacer, 23S rDNA, 23S-5S intergenic spacer, 5S rDNA, FopA, lipoprotein TUL4 (LpnA), malate dehydrogenase and a hypothetica...

  19. New species in the genus Francisella (Gammaproteobacteria; Francisellaceae); Francisella piscicida sp. nov. isolated from cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ottem, Karl F; Nylund, Are; Karlsbakk, Egil

    2007-01-01

    A, lipoprotein TUL4 (LpnA), malate dehydrogenase and hypothetical lipoprotein (LpnB) sequences. A comparison between GM2212 and the type strain of Francisella philomiragia were performed by DNA-DNA hybridization and fatty acid analysis. The DNA-DNA hybridization showed a 70% similarity. The fatty acid analysis...

  20. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-CBRI-05-0288 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-CBRI-05-0288 ref|YP_512974.1| Acyltransferase [Francisella tularensis subsp. h...olarctica] ref|YP_762841.1| acyltransferase [Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica OSU18] ref|YP_001427626.1| acyltransferase [Fra...ncisella tularensis subsp. holarctica FTA] emb|CAJ78620.1| Acyltransferase [Francis...ella tularensis subsp. holarctica LVS] gb|ABI82204.1| acyltransferase [Francisell...a tularensis subsp. holarctica OSU18] gb|EBA51928.1| acyltransferase [Francisella tularensis subsp. holarcti

  1. Characterization of Francisella species isolated from the cooling water of an air conditioning system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Quan; Li, Xunde; Qu, Pinghua; Hou, Shuiping; Li, Juntao; Atwill, Edward R; Chen, Shouyi

    2015-01-01

    Strains of Francisella spp. were isolated from cooling water from an air conditioning system in Guangzhou, China. These strains are Gram negative, coccobacilli, non-motile, oxidase negative, catalase negative, esterase and lipid esterase positive. In addition, these bacteria grow on cysteine-supplemented media at 20 °C to 40 °C with an optimal growth temperature of 30 °C. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that these strains belong to the genus Francisella. Biochemical tests and phylogenetic and BLAST analyses of 16S rRNA, rpoB and sdhA genes indicated that one strain was very similar to Francisella philomiragia and that the other strains were identical or highly similar to the Francisella guangzhouensis sp. nov. strain 08HL01032 we previously described. Biochemical and molecular characteristics of these strains demonstrated that multiple Francisella species exist in air conditioning systems.

  2. Re-sensitizing Multidrug Resistant Bacteria to Antibiotics by Targeting Bacterial Response Regulators: Characterization and Comparison of Interactions between 2-Aminoimidazoles and the Response Regulators BfmR from Acinetobacter baumannii and QseB from Francisella spp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan E. Milton

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available 2-aminoimidazole (2-AI compounds inhibit the formation of bacterial biofilms, disperse preformed biofilms, and re-sensitize multidrug resistant bacteria to antibiotics. 2-AIs have previously been shown to interact with bacterial response regulators, but the mechanism of interaction is still unknown. Response regulators are one part of two-component systems (TCS. TCSs allow cells to respond to changes in their environment, and are used to trigger quorum sensing, virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance. Drugs that target the TCS signaling process can inhibit pathogenic behavior, making this a potent new therapeutic approach that has not yet been fully exploited. We previously laid the groundwork for the interaction of the Acinetobacter baumannii response regulator BfmR with an early 2-AI derivative. Here, we further investigate the response regulator/2-AI interaction and look at a wider library of 2-AI compounds. By combining molecular modeling with biochemical and cellular studies, we expand on a potential mechanism for interaction between response regulators and 2-AIs. We also establish that Francisella tularensis/novicida, encoding for only three known response regulators, can be a model system to study the interaction between 2-AIs and response regulators. We show that knowledge gained from studying Francisella can be applied to the more complex A. baumannii system, which contains over 50 response regulators. Understanding the impact of 2-AIs on response regulators and their mechanism of interaction will lead to the development of more potent compounds that will serve as adjuvant therapies to broad-range antibiotics.

  3. Host immune response and acute disease in a zebrafish model of francisella pathogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vojtech, L.N.; Sanders, G.E.; Conway, C.; Ostland, V.; Hansen, J.D.

    2009-01-01

    Members of the bacterial genus Francisella are highly virulent and infectious pathogens. New models to study Francisella pathogenesis in evolutionarily distinct species are needed to provide comparative insight, as the mechanisms of host resistance and pathogen virulence are not well understood. We took advantage of the recent discovery of a novel species of Francisella to establish a zebrafish/Francisella comparative model of pathogenesis and host immune response. Adult zebraflsh were susceptible to acute Francisella-induced disease and suffered mortality in a dose-dependent manner. Using immunohistochemical analysis, we localized bacterial antigens primarily to lymphoid tissues and livers of zebraflsh following infection by intraperitoneal injection, which corresponded to regions of local cellular necrosis. Francisella sp. bacteria replicated rapidly in these tissues beginning 12 h postinfection, and bacterial titers rose steadily, leveled off, and then decreased by 7 days postinfection. Zebraflsh mounted a significant tissue-specific proinflammatory response to infection as measured by the upregulation of interleukin-l?? (IL-1??), gamma interferon, and tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNA beginning by 6 h postinfection and persisting for up to 7 days postinfection. In addition, exposure of zebraflsh to heat-killed bacteria demonstrated that the significant induction of IL-?? was highly specific to live bacteria. Taken together, the pathology and immune response to acute Francisella infection in zebraflsh share many features with those in mammals, highlighting the usefulness of this new model system for addressing both general and specific questions about Francisella host-pathogen interactions via an evolutionary approach. Copyright ?? 2009, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  4. Francisella marina sp. nov., etiologic agent of systemic disease in cultured spotted rose snapper (Lutjanus guttatus) in Central America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Historically, piscine francisellosis in various warm, temperate and coldwater fish hosts has been attributed to Francisella noatunensis. From 2015-2016, an undescribed Francisella sp. was recovered during mortality events in cultured spotted rose snapper (Lutjanus guttatus) off the Pacific coast of ...

  5. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0103 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0103 ref|YP_514171.1| serine transporter [Francisella tularensis subsp.... holarctica] ref|YP_001429039.1| hypothetical protein FTA_1608 [Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica FT...NF002-00] ref|ZP_02274778.1| serine permease [Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica FSC200] ref|ZP_049841...11.1| serine transporter [Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica 257] emb|CAJ79...963.1| serine transporter [Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica LVS] gb|EBA52995.1| serine transporter [Fran

  6. Molecular detection of Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Coxiella and Francisella bacteria in ticks collected from Artiodactyla in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumrandee, Chalao; Baimai, Visut; Trinachartvanit, Wachareeporn; Ahantarig, Arunee

    2016-07-01

    A total of 79 ticks collected from Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor), Barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak) and Wild boar (Sus scrofa) were examined by PCR for the presence of Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Coxiella, and Francisella bacteria. Of the 79 ticks, 13% tested positive for Rickettsia, 15% tested positive for Anaplasma, 4% tested positive for Coxiella, and 3% tested positive for Francisella. Interestingly, triple infection with Anaplasma, Rickettsia and Francisella was determined in a Dermacentor auratus tick. Moreover, another triple infection with Rickettsia, Anaplasma, and Coxiella was found in a Haemaphysalis lagrangei tick. Double infection of Rickettsia with Coxiella was also detected in another H. lagrangei tick. From the phylogenetic analyses, we found a Rickettsia sp. with a close evolutionary relationship to Rickettsia bellii in the H. lagrangei tick. We also found the first evidence of a Rickettsia sp. that is closely related to Rickettsia tamurae in Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus ticks from Thailand. H. lagrangei and Haemaphysalis obesa ticks collected from Sambar deer tested positive for Anaplasma species form the same clade with Anaplasma bovis. In contrast, other H. lagrangei ticks collected from Sambar deer and D. auratus ticks collected from Wild boar were also reported for the first time to be infected with an Anaplasma species that is closely related to Anaplasma platys. The phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of Coxiella bacteria revealed that Coxiella symbionts from H. lagrangei formed a distinctly different lineage from Coxiella burnetii (a human pathogen). Additionally, Francisella bacteria identified in D. auratus ticks were found to be distantly related to a group of pathogenic Francisella species. The identification of these bacteria in several feeding ticks suggests the risk of various emerging tick-borne diseases and endosymbionts in humans, wildlife, and domestic animals in Thailand. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights

  7. Problems in identification of Francisella philomiragia associated with fatal bacteremia in a patient with chronic granulomatous disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis-Møller, Alice; Lemming, L E; Valerius, Niels Henrik

    2004-01-01

    Francisella philomiragia is a rare gram-negative, halophilic coccobacillus with bizarre spherical forms on primary isolation. A case of F. philomiragia bacteremia in a 24-year-old patient with chronic granulomatous disease is reported. Identification of F. philomiragia was problematic with conven......Francisella philomiragia is a rare gram-negative, halophilic coccobacillus with bizarre spherical forms on primary isolation. A case of F. philomiragia bacteremia in a 24-year-old patient with chronic granulomatous disease is reported. Identification of F. philomiragia was problematic...

  8. Immunochromatographic Assays for Identification of Biological Agents: NATO SIBCA Exercise I

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Fulton, R

    2000-01-01

    ...: Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Vibrio cholerae, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) virus, Francisella tularensis, Brucella melitensis, Burkholderia mallei, Yellow Fever virus, Vaccinia virus, or Coxiella burnetii...

  9. Problems in identification of Francisella philomiragia associated with fatal bacteremia in a patient with chronic granulomatous disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis-Møller, Alice; Lemming, L E; Valerius, Niels Henrik

    2004-01-01

    Francisella philomiragia is a rare gram-negative, halophilic coccobacillus with bizarre spherical forms on primary isolation. A case of F. philomiragia bacteremia in a 24-year-old patient with chronic granulomatous disease is reported. Identification of F. philomiragia was problematic...

  10. Phylogenetic relationships of Francisella-like endosymbionts detected in two species of Amblyomma from snakes in Thailand

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sumrandee, C.; Hirunkanokpun, S.; Grubhoffer, Libor; Baimai, V.; Trinachartvanit, W.; Ahantarig, A.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 1 (2014), s. 29-32 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : tick * Francisella-like endosymbiont * Amblyomma varanense * Amblyomma helvolum * snake * Thailand Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.718, year: 2014

  11. The Early Dendritic Cell Signaling Induced by Virulent Francisella tularensis Strain Occurs in Phases and Involves the Activation of Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinases (ERKs) and p38 In the Later Stage

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fabrik, I.; Link, M.; Putzova, D.; Plzakova, L.; Lubovska, Zuzana; Philimonenko, Vlada; Pavkova, I.; Řehulka, P.; Krocová, Z.; Hozák, Pavel; Santic, M.; Stulík, J.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 1 (2018), s. 95-108 ISSN 1535-9476 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015062 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : factor-alpha production * live vaccine strain * phosphorylation sites * negative regulator * innate immunity * lvs infection * pathway * identification * reveals * mapk Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Cell biology Impact factor: 6.540, year: 2016

  12. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-DNOV-01-2151 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-DNOV-01-2151 ref|YP_897819.1| competence protein [Francisella tularensis subsp.... novicida U112] gb|ABK89065.1| competence protein [Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida U112] YP_897819.1 0.005 24% ...

  13. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-DNOV-01-2378 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-DNOV-01-2378 ref|YP_897819.1| competence protein [Francisella tularensis subsp.... novicida U112] gb|ABK89065.1| competence protein [Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida U112] YP_897819.1 0.12 24% ...

  14. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-SARA-01-0900 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-SARA-01-0900 ref|YP_898010.1| phosphatidylserine synthase [Francisella tularen...sis subsp. novicida U112] gb|ABK89256.1| phosphatidylserine synthase [Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida U112] YP_898010.1 3.0 27% ...

  15. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0103 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0103 ref|YP_763917.1| HAAAP family serine permease [Francisella tulare...nsis subsp. holarctica OSU18] gb|ABI83280.1| HAAAP family serine permease [Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica OSU18] YP_763917.1 0.077 25% ...

  16. Francisella-Like Endosymbionts and Rickettsia Species in Local and Imported Hyalomma Ticks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azagi, Tal; Klement, Eyal; Perlman, Gidon; Lustig, Yaniv; Mumcuoglu, Kosta Y; Apanaskevich, Dmitry A; Gottlieb, Yuval

    2017-09-15

    Hyalomma ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are hosts for Francisella -like endosymbionts (FLE) and may serve as vectors of zoonotic disease agents. This study aimed to provide an initial characterization of the interaction between Hyalomma and FLE and to determine the prevalence of pathogenic Rickettsia in these ticks. Hyalomma marginatum , Hyalomma rufipes , Hyalomma dromedarii , Hyalomma aegyptium , and Hyalomma excavatum ticks, identified morphologically and molecularly, were collected from different hosts and locations representing the distribution of the genus Hyalomma in Israel, as well as from migratory birds. A high prevalence of FLE was found in all Hyalomma species (90.6%), as well as efficient maternal transmission of FLE (91.8%), and the localization of FLE in Malpighian tubules, ovaries, and salivary glands in H. marginatum Furthermore, we demonstrated strong cophylogeny between FLE and their host species. Contrary to FLE, the prevalence of Rickettsia ranged from 2.4% to 81.3% and was significantly different between Hyalomma species, with a higher prevalence in ticks collected from migratory birds. Using ompA gene sequences, most of the Rickettsia spp. were similar to Rickettsia aeschlimannii , while a few were similar to Rickettsia africae of the spotted fever group (SFG). Given their zoonotic importance, 249 ticks were tested for Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever virus infection, and all were negative. The results imply that Hyalomma and FLE have obligatory symbiotic interactions, indicating a potential SFG Rickettsia zoonosis risk. A further understanding of the possible influence of FLE on Hyalomma development, as well as on its infection with Rickettsia pathogens, may lead to novel ways to control tick-borne zoonoses. IMPORTANCE This study shows that Francisella -like endosymbionts were ubiquitous in Hyalomma , were maternally transmitted, and cospeciated with their hosts. These findings imply that the interaction between FLE and Hyalomma is of an obligatory

  17. Roles of inflammatory caspases during processing of zebrafish interleukin-1β in Francisella noatunensis infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vojtech, Lucia N.; Scharping, Nichole; Woodson, James C.; Hansen, John D.

    2012-01-01

    The interleukin-1 family of cytokines are essential for the control of pathogenic microbes but are also responsible for devastating autoimmune pathologies. Consequently, tight regulation of inflammatory processes is essential for maintaining homeostasis. In mammals, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) is primarily regulated at two levels, transcription and processing. The main pathway for processing IL-1β is the inflammasome, a multiprotein complex that forms in the cytosol and which results in the activation of inflammatory caspase (caspase 1) and the subsequent cleavage and secretion of active IL-1β. Although zebrafish encode orthologs of IL-1β and inflammatory caspases, the processing of IL-1β by activated caspase(s) has never been examined. Here, we demonstrate that in response to infection with the fish-specific bacterial pathogen Francisella noatunensis, primary leukocytes from adult zebrafish display caspase-1-like activity that results in IL-1β processing. Addition of caspase 1 or pancaspase inhibitors considerably abrogates IL-1β processing. As in mammals, this processing event is concurrent with the secretion of cleaved IL-1β into the culture medium. Furthermore, two putative zebrafish inflammatory caspase orthologs, caspase A and caspase B, are both able to cleave IL-1β, but with different specificities. These results represent the first demonstration of processing and secretion of zebrafish IL-1β in response to a pathogen, contributing to our understanding of the evolutionary processes governing the regulation of inflammation.                   

  18. First identification of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis causing mortality in Mexican tilapia Oreochromis spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Cesar; Mancera, Gerardo; Enríquez, Ricardo; Vargas, Augusto; Martínez, Simón; Fajardo, Raúl; Avendaño-Herrera, Ruben; Navarrete, María José; Romero, Alex

    2016-08-09

    Francisellosis, an emerging disease in tilapia Oreochromis spp., is caused by the facultative, intracellular bacterium Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis, which is present in various countries where tilapia farming is commercially important. We confirmed the presence of francisellosis in Mexican tilapia cultures in association with an outbreak during the second semester of 2012. Broodstock fish presented a mortality rate of approximately 40%, and disease was characterized by histologically classified granulomas, or whitish nodules, in different organs, mainly the spleen and kidney. Through DNA obtained from infected tissue and pure cultures in a cysteine heart medium supplemented with hemoglobin, F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis was initially confirmed through the amplification and analysis of the 16S rRNA gene and the internal transcribed spacer region. Phylogenetic analysis of these genes demonstrated close similarity with previously reported F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis sequences obtained from infected tilapia from various countries. The identification of this subspecies as the causative agent of the outbreak was confirmed using the iglC gene as a target sequence, which showed 99.5% identity to 2 F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis strains (Ethime-1 and Toba04). These findings represent the first documented occurrence of francisellosis in Mexican tilapia cultures, which highlights the importance of establishing preventative measures to minimize the spread of this disease within the Mexican aquaculture industry.

  19. A Polyphasic Approach for Phenotypic and Genetic Characterization of the Fastidious Aquatic Pathogen Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José G. Ramírez-Paredes

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno is the causative agent of piscine francisellosis, an emerging infectious disease in Asia and Latin America. In this study two outbreaks of francisellosis were diagnosed in the UK on the basis of histopathology, electron microscopy, PCR, bacterial isolation and fulfillment of Koch's postulates. Furthermore, a phenotypic fingerprint based on biochemical analyses, metabolic activity, chemotaxonomic composition, and antimicrobial assays was generated for the novel isolates, the Fno type strain Ehime-1 from Asia and other Fno from Latin America. The genetic relatedness between the novel Fno and other Francisellaceae species was investigated by sequencing and comparing the 16SrRNA gene, 8 housekeeping genes (individually and concatenated and the 16SrRNA-ITS-23SrRNA sequence. The phenotypic profiling indicated a high degree of similarity among the Fno strains as all were able to metabolize dextrin, N-acetyl-D glucosamine, D-fructose, α-D-glucose, D-mannose, methyl pyruvate, acetic acid, α-keto butyric acid, L-alaninamide, L-alanine, L-alanylglycine, L-asparagine, L-glutamic acid, L-proline, L-serine, L-threonine, inosine, uridine, glycerol, D L-α-glycerol phosphate, glucose-1-phosphate, and glucose-6-phosphate. The chemotaxonomic analyses indicated that 24:1 (20.3%, 18:1n-9 (16.9%, 24:0 (13.1% 14:0 (10.9%, 22:0 (7.8%, 16:0 (7.6%, and 18:0 (5.5% were the predominant structural fatty acids in Fno. The antimicrobial assays showed little variation between the isolates and high susceptibility to enrofloxacin, gentamicin, neomycin, streptomycin, amikacin, ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin, nitrofurantoin, tobramycin, kanamycin, tetracycline, oxytetracycline, florfenicol, oxolinic acid, and streptomycin in all the Fno analyzed. In all the phylogenetic trees the Fno strains clustered together in independent branches confirming a high degree of homogeneity. Interestingly in five of the 11 trees i.e., mutS, putA, rpo

  20. Decontamination of materials contaminated with Francisella philomiragia or MS2 bacteriophage using PES-Solid, a solid source of peracetic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buhr, T L; Young, A A; Johnson, C A; Minter, Z A; Wells, C M

    2014-08-01

    The aim of the study was to develop test methods and evaluate survival of Francisella philomiragia cells and MS2 bacteriophage after exposure to PES-Solid (a solid source of peracetic acid) formulations with or without surfactants. Francisella philomiragia cells (≥7·6 log10 CFU) or MS2 bacteriophage (≥6·8 log10 PFU) were deposited on seven different test materials and treated with three different PES-Solid formulations, three different preneutralized samples and filter controls at room temperature for 15 min. There were 0-1·3 log10 CFU (6 log10 CFU/PFU F. philomiragia cells and/or MS2 bacteriophage on different materials. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  1. CHLORINE INACTIVATION OF CATEGORY "A" BIO-TERRORISM AGENTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    This poster presents information on the inactivation of select bioterrorist agents. Information will be presented on chlorine disinfection of vegetative cells of Brucella suis, Brucella melitensis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Francisella tularensis and endos...

  2. Elisa-Like Format for Comparing DNA Capture Elements (Aptamers) to Antibody in Diagnostic Efficacy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kiel, Johnathan L; Holwitt, Eric A; Vivekananda, Jeevalatha; Franz, Veronica

    2004-01-01

    .... For this purpose, the microtiter, heterologous phase, ELISAlike sandwich assay test was chosen. The antigen of choice was the standard antigen used in commercially available agglutination tests for Francisella tularensis (tularemia bacterium...

  3. Tularemia blood test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tularemia test; Serology for Francisella tularensis ... This blood test is done when tularemia is suspected. ... Elsevier; 2017:chap 44. Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Tularemia agglutinins - serum. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. ...

  4. Flåtbårne infektioner i Danmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Bo Bødker; Ocias, Lukas Frans; Andersen, Nanna Skaarup

    2017-01-01

    The castor bean tick, Ixodes ricinus, is common in woodlands in most of Denmark. Besides Borrelia burgdorferi, it can harbour a number of pathogenic microorganisms such as tick-borne encephalitis virus, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia helvetica, Francisella tularensis, Candidatus Neoehrlichia...

  5. 76 FR 56099 - Implementation of a Decision Adopted Under the Australia Group (AG) Intersessional Silent...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-12

    ... virus; a.22. Marburg virus; a.23. Monkey pox virus; a.24. Murray Valley encephalitis virus; a.25. Nipah... serotypes; c.11. Francisella tularensis; c.12. Salmonella typhi; c.13. Shigella dysenteriae; c.14. Vibrio...

  6. Natural coinfection by Streptococcus agalactiae and Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in farmed Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assis, G B N; Tavares, G C; Pereira, F L; Figueiredo, H C P; Leal, C A G

    2017-01-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae and Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) are important pathogens for farm-raised tilapia worldwide. There are no reports of coinfection caused by S. agalactiae and Fno in fish. This study aimed to determine the aetiology of atypical mortalities in a cage farm of Nile tilapia and to characterize the genetic diversity of the isolates. Fifty-two fish were sampled and subjected to parasitological and bacteriological examination. The S. agalactiae and Fno isolates were genotyped using MLST and REP-PCR, respectively. Whole-genome sequencing was performed to confirm the MLST results. Seven fish were shown coinfected by S. agalactiae and Fno. Chronic hypoxia and a reduction in the water temperature were determined as risk factors for coinfection. Fno isolates were shown clonally related in REP-PCR. The MLST analysis revealed that the S. agalactiae isolates from seven coinfected fish were negative for the glcK gene; however, these were determined to be members of clonal complex CC-552. This is the first description of coinfection by S. agalactiae and Fno in farm-raised Nile tilapia. The coinfection was predisposed by chronic hypoxia and was caused by the main genotypes of S. agalactiae and Fno reported in Brazil. Finally, a new S. agalactiae genotype with glcK gene partially deleted was described. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Determination of the Persistence of Non-Spore-Forming ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Report This report presents the results of an investigation to evaluate the persistence (or natural attenuation) of Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis), and Burkholderia mallei (B. mallei) on glass and soil under multiple environmental conditions and time points.

  8. First case of severe pneumonic tularemia in an immunocompetent patient in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sigaloff, K.C.E.; Chung, P.K.; Koopmans, J.; Notermans, D.W.; Rijckevorsel, Van G.G.C.; Koene, M.; Sprengers, R.W.; Gooskens, J.; Stalenhoef, J.E.

    2017-01-01

    Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by different subspecies of the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis. We report the first case in the Netherlands of pneumonic tularemia caused by the F. tularensis subspecies holarctica after probable occupational inhalation of contaminated aerosols.

  9. First case of severe pneumonic tularemia in an immunocompetent patient in the Netherlands.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sigaloff, K C E; Chung, P K; Koopmans, J; Notermans, D W; van Rijckevorsel, G G C; Koene, M; Sprengers, R W; Gooskens, J; Stalenhoef, J E

    Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by different subspecies of the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis. We report the first case in the Netherlands of pneumonic tularemia caused by the F. tularensis subspecies holarctica after probable occupational inhalation of contaminated aerosols.

  10. Environmental surveillance during an outbreak of tularaemia in hares, the Netherlands, 2015.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janse, Ingmar; Maas, Miriam; Rijks, Jolianne M; Koene, Miriam; van der Plaats, Rozemarijn Qj; Engelsma, Marc; van der Tas, Peter; Braks, Marieta; Stroo, Arjan; Notermans, Daan W; de Vries, Maaike C; Reubsaet, Frans; Fanoy, Ewout; Swaan, Corien; Kik, Marja Jl; IJzer, Jooske; Jaarsma, Ryanne I; van Wieren, Sip; de Roda-Husman, Ana Maria; van Passel, Mark; Roest, Hendrik-Jan; van der Giessen, Joke

    2017-01-01

    Tularaemia, a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a re-emerging zoonosis in the Netherlands. After sporadic human and hare cases occurred in the period 2011 to 2014, a cluster of F. tularensis-infected hares was recognised in a region in the north of the Netherlands from

  11. Buse_Francisella Medium

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This dataset contains colony forming unit and qPCR data. This dataset is associated with the following publication: Morris, B., H. Buse, N. Adcock, and E. Rice. A...

  12. Immunotherapy for tularemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skyberg, Jerod A.

    2013-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a gram-negative bacterium that causes the zoonotic disease tularemia. Francisella is highly infectious via the respiratory route (~10 CFUs) and pulmonary infections due to type A strains of F. tularensis are highly lethal in untreated patients (>30%). In addition, no vaccines are licensed to prevent tularemia in humans. Due to the high infectivity and mortality of pulmonary tularemia, F. tularensis has been weaponized, including via the introduction of antibiotic resistance, by several countries. Because of the lack of efficacious vaccines, and concerns about F. tularensis acquiring resistance to antibiotics via natural or illicit means, augmentation of host immunity, and humoral immunotherapy have been investigated as countermeasures against tularemia. This manuscript will review advances made and challenges in the field of immunotherapy against tularemia. PMID:23959031

  13. Harepest hos jaeger

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edfors, Robert; Smith, Birgitte; Lillebaek, Troels

    2010-01-01

    "Rabbit fever" (Francisella Tularensis) is a rare infection in Denmark. It was first described in Denmark in 1987. It is most likely to affect people who come into close contact with infected animals or ticks, such as hunters, butchers and veterinarians. The diagnosis should be suspected in such ......"Rabbit fever" (Francisella Tularensis) is a rare infection in Denmark. It was first described in Denmark in 1987. It is most likely to affect people who come into close contact with infected animals or ticks, such as hunters, butchers and veterinarians. The diagnosis should be suspected...

  14. IFN-γ extends the immune functions of Guanylate Binding Proteins to inflammasome-independent antibacterial activities during Francisella novicida infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Wallet

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Guanylate binding proteins (GBPs are interferon-inducible proteins involved in the cell-intrinsic immunity against numerous intracellular pathogens. The molecular mechanisms underlying the potent antibacterial activity of GBPs are still unclear. GBPs have been functionally linked to the NLRP3, the AIM2 and the caspase-11 inflammasomes. Two opposing models are currently proposed to explain the GBPs-inflammasome link: i GBPs would target intracellular bacteria or bacteria-containing vacuoles to increase cytosolic PAMPs release ii GBPs would directly facilitate inflammasome complex assembly. Using Francisella novicida infection, we investigated the functional interactions between GBPs and the inflammasome. GBPs, induced in a type I IFN-dependent manner, are required for the F. novicida-mediated AIM2-inflammasome pathway. Here, we demonstrate that GBPs action is not restricted to the AIM2 inflammasome, but controls in a hierarchical manner the activation of different inflammasomes complexes and apoptotic caspases. IFN-γ induces a quantitative switch in GBPs levels and redirects pyroptotic and apoptotic pathways under the control of GBPs. Furthermore, upon IFN-γ priming, F. novicida-infected macrophages restrict cytosolic bacterial replication in a GBP-dependent and inflammasome-independent manner. Finally, in a mouse model of tularemia, we demonstrate that the inflammasome and the GBPs are two key immune pathways functioning largely independently to control F. novicida infection. Altogether, our results indicate that GBPs are the master effectors of IFN-γ-mediated responses against F. novicida to control antibacterial immune responses in inflammasome-dependent and independent manners.

  15. The Atypical Occurrence of Two Biotin Protein Ligases in Francisella novicida Is Due to Distinct Roles in Virulence and Biotin Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Youjun; Chin, Chui-Yoke; Chakravartty, Vandana; Gao, Rongsui; Crispell, Emily K.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The physiological function of biotin requires biotin protein ligase activity in order to attach the coenzyme to its cognate proteins, which are enzymes involved in central metabolism. The model intracellular pathogen Francisella novicida is unusual in that it encodes two putative biotin protein ligases rather than the usual single enzyme. F. novicida BirA has a ligase domain as well as an N-terminal DNA-binding regulatory domain, similar to the prototypical BirA protein in E. coli. However, the second ligase, which we name BplA, lacks the N-terminal DNA binding motif. It has been unclear why a bacterium would encode these two disparate biotin protein ligases, since F. novicida contains only a single biotinylated protein. In vivo complementation and enzyme assays demonstrated that BirA and BplA are both functional biotin protein ligases, but BplA is a much more efficient enzyme. BirA, but not BplA, regulated transcription of the biotin synthetic operon. Expression of bplA (but not birA) increased significantly during F. novicida infection of macrophages. BplA (but not BirA) was required for bacterial replication within macrophages as well as in mice. These data demonstrate that F. novicida has evolved two distinct enzymes with specific roles; BplA possesses the major ligase activity, whereas BirA acts to regulate and thereby likely prevent wasteful synthesis of biotin. During infection BplA seems primarily employed to maximize the efficiency of biotin utilization without limiting the expression of biotin biosynthetic genes, representing a novel adaptation strategy that may also be used by other intracellular pathogens. PMID:26060274

  16. Environmental surveillance during an outbreak of tularaemia in hares, the Netherlands, 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janse, Ingmar; Maas, Miriam; Rijks, Jolianne M; Koene, Miriam; van der Plaats, Rozemarijn Qj; Engelsma, Marc; van der Tas, Peter; Braks, Marieta; Stroo, Arjan; Notermans, Daan W; de Vries, Maaike C; Reubsaet, Frans; Fanoy, Ewout; Swaan, Corien; Kik, Marja Jl; IJzer, Jooske; Jaarsma, Ryanne I; van Wieren, Sip; de Roda-Husman, Ana Maria; van Passel, Mark; Roest, Hendrik-Jan; van der Giessen, Joke

    2017-08-31

    Tularaemia, a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a re-emerging zoonosis in the Netherlands. After sporadic human and hare cases occurred in the period 2011 to 2014, a cluster of F. tularensis-infected hares was recognised in a region in the north of the Netherlands from February to May 2015. No human cases were identified, including after active case finding. Presence of F. tularensis was investigated in potential reservoirs and transmission routes, including common voles, arthropod vectors and surface waters. F. tularensis was not detected in common voles, mosquito larvae or adults, tabanids or ticks. However, the bacterium was detected in water and sediment samples collected in a limited geographical area where infected hares had also been found. These results demonstrate that water monitoring could provide valuable information regarding F. tularensis spread and persistence, and should be used in addition to disease surveillance in wildlife. This article is copyright of The Authors, 2017.

  17. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U15463-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 40 |pid:none) Bazzania tayloriana voucher NSW712... 248 3e-64 DQ406895_1( DQ406895 |pid:none) Sabia sp. Qiu ...248 3e-64 CP000439_1615( CP000439 |pid:none) Francisella tularensis subsp. n... 248 3e-64 EF101040_1( EF1010

  18. Tularemia in Alaska, 1938 - 2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hansen Cristina M

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Tularemia is a serious, potentially life threatening zoonotic disease. The causative agent, Francisella tularensis, is ubiquitous in the Northern hemisphere, including Alaska, where it was first isolated from a rabbit tick (Haemophysalis leporis-palustris in 1938. Since then, F. tularensis has been isolated from wildlife and humans throughout the state. Serologic surveys have found measurable antibodies with prevalence ranging from F. tularensis isolates from Alaska were analyzed using canonical SNPs and a multi-locus variable-number tandem repeats (VNTR analysis (MLVA system. The results show that both F. t. tularensis and F. t. holarctica are present in Alaska and that subtype A.I, the most virulent type, is responsible for most recently reported human clinical cases in the state.

  19. Towards an understanding of the perpetuation of the agent of tularemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam eTelford

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The epidemiology of tularemia has influenced, perhaps incorrectly skewed, our views on the ecology of the agent of tularemia. In particular, the central role of lagomorphs needs to be reexamined. Diverse observations, some incidental, and some that are more generally reproducible, have not been synthesized so that the critical elements of the perpetuation of Francisella tularensis can be identified. Developing a quantitative model of the basic reproduction number (BRN of F. tularensis may require separate treatments for Type A and Type B given the fundamental differences in their ecology.

  20. Development of a Multivalent Subunit Vaccine against Tularemia Using Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV Based Delivery System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukalyani Banik

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular pathogen, and is the causative agent of a fatal human disease known as tularemia. F. tularensis is classified as a Category A Biothreat agent by the CDC based on its use in bioweapon programs by several countries in the past and its potential to be used as an agent of bioterrorism. No licensed vaccine is currently available for prevention of tularemia. In this study, we used a novel approach for development of a multivalent subunit vaccine against tularemia by using an efficient tobacco mosaic virus (TMV based delivery platform. The multivalent subunit vaccine was formulated to contain a combination of F. tularensis protective antigens: OmpA-like protein (OmpA, chaperone protein DnaK and lipoprotein Tul4 from the highly virulent F. tularensis SchuS4 strain. Two different vaccine formulations and immunization schedules were used. The immunized mice were challenged with lethal (10xLD100 doses of F. tularensis LVS on day 28 of the primary immunization and observed daily for morbidity and mortality. Results from this study demonstrate that TMV can be used as a carrier for effective delivery of multiple F. tularensis antigens. TMV-conjugate vaccine formulations are safe and multiple doses can be administered without causing any adverse reactions in immunized mice. Immunization with TMV-conjugated F. tularensis proteins induced a strong humoral immune response and protected mice against respiratory challenges with very high doses of F. tularensis LVS. This study provides a proof-of-concept that TMV can serve as a suitable platform for simultaneous delivery of multiple protective antigens of F. tularensis. Refinement of vaccine formulations coupled with TMV-targeting strategies developed in this study will provide a platform for development of an effective tularemia subunit vaccine as well as a vaccination approach that may broadly be applicable to many other bacterial pathogens.

  1. The distribution and spreading pattern of Dermacentor reticulatus over its threshold area in the Czech Republic—How much is range of this vector expanding?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Široký, P.; Kubelová, M.; Bednář, M.; Modrý, David; Hubálek, Zdeněk; Tkadlec, Emil

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 183, 1/2 (2011), s. 130-135 ISSN 0304-4017 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA524/09/0715 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518; CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Moravia * tick-borne diseases * Babesia canis * Francisella tularensis Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 2.579, year: 2011

  2. Descriptive Summaries of the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Army Appropriation. Supporting Data FY 1994, Budget Estimates Submitted to Congress, April 1993

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-04-01

    Investigate the genetics and physiology of Yersinia pestis, Brucella Sp., Q-fever, Vibrio cholerae , Francisella tularensis and Bacillus anthracis "* (U) Conduct...New Mexico State University, NM; Optimetrics, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, MA; Mission Research Corporation...Laboratory (ARL), Adelphi, MD. Contractors include: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM; Dynamic Sciences, Inc., Phoenix, AZ; Honeywell

  3. A More Flexible Lipoprotein Sorting Pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chahales, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Lipoprotein biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria occurs by a conserved pathway, each step of which is considered essential. In contrast to this model, LoVullo and colleagues demonstrate that the N-acyl transferase Lnt is not required in Francisella tularensis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This suggests the existence of a more flexible lipoprotein pathway, likely due to a modified Lol transporter complex, and raises the possibility that pathogens may regulate lipoprotein processing to modulate interactions with the host. PMID:25755190

  4. Testing and Validation of High Density Resequencing Microarray for Broad Range Biothreat Agents Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-08-11

    concentration of the virus was expressed in plaque forming units (pfu). For synthetic DNA templates, the DNA concentration was used to calculate the...cells ATCC Escherichia coli O157:H7 ATCC 43985 (CDC EDL933) Nucleic acid ATCC Francisella tularensis SHU4 Nucleic acid AFIP Leptospira interrogans ATCC...2% on the nucleotide level and 0.6% on the protein level. Similar strain discrimination was obtained in case of Machupo virus strains Carvallo and

  5. Prevalence and distribution of soil-borne zoonotic pathogens in Lahore district of Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Shabbir, Muhammad Z.; Jamil, Tariq; Ali, Asad A.; Ahmad, Arfan; Naeem, Muhammad; Chaudhary, Muhammad H.; Bilal, Muhammad; Ali, Muhammad A.; Muhammad, Khushi; Yaqub, Tahir; Bano, Asghari; Mirza, Ali I.; Shabbir, Muhammad A. B.; McVey, Walter R.; Patel, Ketan

    2015-01-01

    A multidisciplinary, collaborative project was conducted to determine the prevalence and distribution of soil-borne zoonotic pathogens in Lahore district of Pakistan and ascertain its Public Health Significance. Using a grid-based sampling strategy, soil samples (n = 145) were collected from villages (n = 29, 5 samples/village) and examined for Bacillus anthracis, Burkholderia mallei/pseudomallei, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis using real time PCR assays. Chemi...

  6. Public Health Surveillance: A Local Health Department Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-04-03

    vomiting – Diarrhea (+/-bloody) • Rash and fever – Vesicular – Petechial • Neurologic – cranial nerve palsies, HA, fever , confusion • Septic Shock...Francisella tularensis (tularemia) • Viral hemorrhagic fever Agents of Concern: CDC Category B • Coxiella burnetti (Q fever ) • Brucella species...Concern: CDC Category C • Nipah virus • hantaviruses • tickborne hemorrhagic fever viruses • yellow fever • multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

  7. New England Bioterrorism Preparedness Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-04-04

    Hypoxia • GI – Fever – Nausea/vomiting – Diarrhea (+/-bloody) • Rash and fever – Vesicular – Petechial • Neurologic – cranial nerve palsies, HA...plague) • variola major (smallpox) • Francisella tularensis (tularemia) • Viral hemorrhagic fever Agents of Concern: CDC Category B • Coxiella...burnetti (Q fever ) • Brucella species (brucellosis) • Burkholderia mallei (glanders) • ricin toxin from Ricinus communis (castor beans) • epsilon toxin of

  8. Performance of seven serological assays for diagnosing tularemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Tularemia is a rare zoonotic disease caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis. Serology is frequently the preferred diagnostic approach, because the pathogen is highly infectious and difficult to cultivate. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of tularemia specific tests. Methods The Serazym®Anti-Francisella tularensis ELISA, Serion ELISA classic Francisella tularensis IgG/IgM, an in-house ELISA, the VIRapid® Tularemia immunochromatographic test, an in-house antigen microarray, and a Western Blot (WB) assay were evaluated. The diagnosis tularemia was established using a standard micro-agglutination assay. In total, 135 sera from a series of 110 consecutive tularemia patients were tested. Results The diagnostic sensitivity and diagnostic specificity of the tests were VIRapid (97.0% and 84.0%), Serion IgG (96.3% and 96.8%), Serion IgM (94.8% and 96.8%), Serazym (97.0% and 91.5%), in-house ELISA (95.6% and 76.6%), WB (93.3% and 83.0%), microarray (91.1% and 97.9%). Conclusions The diagnostic value of the commercial assays was proven, because the diagnostic accuracy was >90%. The diagnostic sensitivity of the in-house ELISA and the WB were acceptable, but the diagnostic accuracy was <90%. Interestingly, the antigen microarray test was very specific and had a very good positive predictive value. PMID:24885274

  9. Landscape Epidemiology of Tularemia Outbreaks in Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Kerstin; Bäck, Erik; Eliasson, Henrik; Berglund, Lennart; Granberg, Malin; Karlsson, Linda; Larsson, Pär; Forsman, Mats

    2009-01-01

    Summer outbreaks of tularemia that occurred from 1995 through 2005 in 2 locations in Sweden affected 441 persons. We performed an epidemiologic investigation of these outbreaks using a novel strategy, involving high-resolution genotyping of Francisella tularensis isolates obtained from 136 patients (using 18 genetic markers developed from 6 F. tularensis genome sequences) and interviews with the patients. Strong spatial associations were found between F. tularensis subpopulations and the places of disease transmission; infection by some subpopulations occurred within areas as small as 2 km2, indicating unidentified environmental point sources of tularemia. In both locations, disease clusters were associated with recreational areas beside water, and genetic subpopulations were present throughout the tularemia season and persisted over years. High-resolution genotyping in combination with patients’ statements about geographic places of disease transmission provided valuable indications of likely sources of infection and the causal genotypes during these tularemia outbreaks. PMID:19961673

  10. Evaluation of In-House and Commercial Serological Tests for Diagnosis of Human Tularemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanes, Hadjila; Hennebique, Aurélie; Pelloux, Isabelle; Boisset, Sandrine; Bicout, Dominique J.; Caspar, Yvan

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Its specific diagnosis remains based on serological methods, while F. tularensis is rarely detected in clinical samples by culture or PCR. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the performance of the Serion enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) classic Francisella tularensis IgG and IgM tests (Virion/Serion GmbH Institute, Würzburg, Germany) and the VIRapid tularemia immunochromatographic test (ICT) (Vircell, Granada, Spain) compared to that of the in-house microagglutination test (MAT) and indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) currently used at the French National Reference Center for Francisella. We evaluated 256 consecutive sera from 208 patients, including 51 confirmed and 23 probable tularemia cases, and 134 control patients not infected with F. tularensis. The IFA tests displayed 72.5% sensitivity for IgM (cutoff titer ≥80) and 74.5% for IgG (cutoff titer ≥160), and 99.3% specificity for both IgM and IgG. Using cutoffs advocated by the manufacturer, the Serion ELISAs displayed 88.2% sensitivity for IgM and 86.3% for IgG antibodies; specificity was 94.8% for IgM and 95.5% for IgG. Compared to MAT and IFA tests, the Serion ELISAs allowed earlier detection of specific antibodies (1 to 2 weeks versus 2 to 3 weeks after the onset of symptoms). The ICT sensitivity and specificity were 90% and 83.6%, respectively, when considering the cutoff advocated by the manufacturer. In conclusion, the Serion ELISAs are useful as screening tests for tularemia diagnosis, but additional confirmatory tests (such as MAT and IFA) are needed, especially in areas of low endemicity. PMID:29118164

  11. Revisiting the Gram-negative lipoprotein paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LoVullo, Eric D; Wright, Lori F; Isabella, Vincent; Huntley, Jason F; Pavelka, Martin S

    2015-05-01

    The processing of lipoproteins (Lpps) in Gram-negative bacteria is generally considered an essential pathway. Mature lipoproteins in these bacteria are triacylated, with the final fatty acid addition performed by Lnt, an apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase. The mature lipoproteins are then sorted by the Lol system, with most Lpps inserted into the outer membrane (OM). We demonstrate here that the lnt gene is not essential to the Gram-negative pathogen Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis strain Schu or to the live vaccine strain LVS. An LVS Δlnt mutant has a small-colony phenotype on sucrose medium and increased susceptibility to globomycin and rifampin. We provide data indicating that the OM lipoprotein Tul4A (LpnA) is diacylated but that it, and its paralog Tul4B (LpnB), still sort to the OM in the Δlnt mutant. We present a model in which the Lol sorting pathway of Francisella has a modified ABC transporter system that is capable of recognizing and sorting both triacylated and diacylated lipoproteins, and we show that this modified system is present in many other Gram-negative bacteria. We examined this model using Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which has the same Lol architecture as that of Francisella, and found that the lnt gene is not essential in this organism. This work suggests that Gram-negative bacteria fall into two groups, one in which full lipoprotein processing is essential and one in which the final acylation step is not essential, potentially due to the ability of the Lol sorting pathway in these bacteria to sort immature apolipoproteins to the OM. This paper describes the novel finding that the final stage in lipoprotein processing (normally considered an essential process) is not required by Francisella tularensis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The paper provides a potential reason for this and shows that it may be widespread in other Gram-negative bacteria. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  12. Comparison of experimental respiratory tularemia in three nonhuman primate species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glynn, Audrey R; Alves, Derron A; Frick, Ondraya; Erwin-Cohen, Rebecca; Porter, Aimee; Norris, Sarah; Waag, David; Nalca, Aysegul

    2015-04-01

    Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis, which is transmitted to humans most commonly by contact with infected animals, tick bites, or inhalation of aerosolized bacteria. F. tularensis is highly infectious via the aerosol route; inhalation of as few as 10-50 organisms can cause pneumonic tularemia. Left untreated, the pneumonic form has more than >30% case-fatality rate but with early antibiotic intervention can be reduced to 3%. This study compared tularemia disease progression across three species of nonhuman primates [African green monkey (AGM), cynomolgus macaque (CM), and rhesus macaque (RM)] following aerosolized F. tularensis Schu S4 exposure. Groups of the animals exposed to various challenge doses were observed for clinical signs of infection and blood samples were analyzed to characterize the disease pathogenesis. Whereas the AGMs and CMs succumbed to disease following challenge doses of 40 and 32 colony forming units (CFU), respectively, the RM lethal dose was 276,667 CFU. Following all challenge doses that caused disease, the NHPs experienced weight loss, bacteremia, fever as early as 4 days post exposure, and tissue burden. Necrotizing-to-pyogranulomatous lesions were observed most commonly in the lung, lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow. Overall, the CM model consistently manifested pathological responses similar to those resulting from inhalation of F. tularensis in humans and thereby most closely emulates human tularemia disease. The RM model displayed a higher tolerance to infection and survived exposures of up to 15,593 CFU of aerosolized F. tularensis. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Customizable PCR-microplate array for differential identification of multiple pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woubit, Abdela; Yehualaeshet, Teshome; Roberts, Sherrelle; Graham, Martha; Kim, Moonil; Samuel, Temesgen

    2013-11-01

    Customizable PCR-microplate arrays were developed for the rapid identification of Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Saintpaul, Salmonella Typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis, Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida, Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Yersinia pestis, and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Previously, we identified highly specific primers targeting each of these pathogens. Here, we report the development of customizable PCR-microplate arrays for simultaneous identification of the pathogens using the primers identified. A mixed aliquot of genomic DNA from 38 strains was used to validate three PCR-microplate array formats. Identical PCR conditions were used to run all the samples on the three formats. Specific amplifications were obtained on all three custom plates. In preliminary tests performed to evaluate the sensitivity of these assays in samples inoculated in the laboratory with Salmonella Typhimurium, amplifications were obtained from 1 g of beef hot dog inoculated at as low as 9 CFU/ml or from milk inoculated at as low as 78 CFU/ml. Such microplate arrays could be valuable tools for initial identification or secondary confirmation of contamination by these pathogens.

  14. Expansion and retention of pulmonary CD4+ T cells after prime boost vaccination correlates with improved longevity and strength of immunity against tularemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Lydia M; Wehrly, Tara D; Crane, Deborah D; Bosio, Catharine M

    2017-05-02

    Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis strain SchuS4 (Ftt) is a highly virulent intracellular bacterium. Inhalation of 10 or fewer organisms results in an acute and potentially lethal disease called pneumonic tularemia. Ftt infections occur naturally in the U.S. and Ftt was developed as a bioweapon. Thus, there is a need for vaccines that protect against this deadly pathogen. Although a live vaccine strain of Francisella tularensis (LVS) exists, LVS fails to generate long-lived protective immunity against modest challenge doses of Ftt. We recently identified an important role for high avidity CD4 + T cells in short-term protection and hypothesized that expanding this pool of cells would improve overall vaccine efficacy with regard to longevity and challenge dose. In support of our hypothesis, application of a prime/boost vaccination strategy increased the pool of high avidity CD4 + T cells which correlated with improved survival following challenge with either increased doses of virulent Ftt or at late time points after vaccination. In summary, we demonstrate that both epitope selection and vaccination strategies that expand antigen-specific T cells correlate with superior immunity to Ftt as measured by survival. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. [Evaluation of modern epizootic activity of natural tularemia foci in Voronezh region using immune-serological and molecular-genetic study of main carriers of the disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meshcheriakova, I S; Trankvilevskiĭ, D V; Kvasov, D A; Mikhaĭlova, T V; Kormilitsina, M I; Demidova, T N; Stepkin, Iu I; Zhukov, V I

    2015-01-01

    Improvement of monitoring and prognosis of epidemic manifestations of natural foci of tularemia on the territory of Voronezh region using immune-serological and molecular-genetic study of main carriers of the disease. 539 small mammals captured during summer period of 2011 in 4 districts of North-Eastern part of Voronezh region were studied. Animal organs were studied by serologic (search for Francisella tularensis antigens) and molecular-biologic (detection of F. tularensis DNA) methods. Tularemia antigen was detected using passive hemagglutination reaction (PHAR) with erythrocytic tularemia immunoglobulin diagnosticum. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was applied for detection of tularemia causative agent DNA. Complex study revealed epizootic activity of natural foci of tularemia in the examined territory. F. tularensis antigen and/or DNA were detected in 82 objects (15.2%). Use of RT-PCR allowed to additionally detect samples with relatively low content of F. tularensis DNA substrate, when antigen was not detected in samples. High sensitivity and specificity of the RT-PCR was ensured by inclusion of specific probes (tu14-PR2 and ISFTu2P). The results obtained give evidence on functioning and epizootic activity of natural foci of tularemia in Voronezh region that requires constant monitoring of the territory and prophylaxis measures, first of all vaccination of risk groups by live tularemia vaccine.

  16. Bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT and survival in a vaccine mouse model of tularemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiana Chiavolini

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis causes severe pulmonary disease, and nasal vaccination could be the ideal measure to effectively prevent it. Nevertheless, the efficacy of this type of vaccine is influenced by the lack of an effective mucosal adjuvant.Mice were immunized via the nasal route with lipopolysaccharide isolated from F. tularensis and neisserial recombinant PorB as an adjuvant candidate. Then, mice were challenged via the same route with the F. tularensis attenuated live vaccine strain (LVS. Mouse survival and analysis of a number of immune parameters were conducted following intranasal challenge. Vaccination induced a systemic antibody response and 70% of mice were protected from challenge as showed by their improved survival and weight regain. Lungs from mice recovering from infection presented prominent lymphoid aggregates in peribronchial and perivascular areas, consistent with the location of bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT. BALT areas contained proliferating B and T cells, germinal centers, T cell infiltrates, dendritic cells (DCs. We also observed local production of antibody generating cells and homeostatic chemokines in BALT areas.These data indicate that PorB might be an optimal adjuvant candidate for improving the protective effect of F. tularensis antigens. The presence of BALT induced after intranasal challenge in vaccinated mice might play a role in regulation of local immunity and long-term protection, but more work is needed to elucidate mechanisms that lead to its formation.

  17. Influence of anthropogenic transformation of Danube–Dniester interfluve on natural foci of tularaemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. T. Rusev

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper is devoted to the problem of occurrence of bacteria Francisella tularensis in steppe coastal zone of the Black Sea west part in the second half of XX century. The key factor decreasing the activity of tularaemia natural foci is anthropogenic influence. Resumed activity of natural foci appeared after implementation of big irrigation and drainage construction in former USSR – building of the Danube-Dniester-Dnepr irrigation system resulted in forming new environmental conditions as well as corridors for tularaemia distribution. The practical recommendation is to implement the eco-epizootological monitoring and to collect data for developing practical management of the natural foci of disease.

  18. [Natural focus of tularemia on the Kerchen peninsula (Crimea)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golkovskiĭ, G M; Mitsevich, G F; Khaĭtovich, A B; Alekseev, E V; Korchevskiĭ, P G

    1981-10-01

    The study confirming the existence of the steppe-type natural focus of tularemia on the Kerch peninsula has been carried out. For the first time the cultures of Francisella tularensis have been isolated. Voles and house mice play the main role in the circulation of the infection. The parasitic system comprises ticks (Ixodidae and Nyalomma), as well as some species of fleas. In carrying out erizootological studies for detecting tularemia in the Crimea the use of low temperature (0 degrees C) for the preservation of specimens and preparations in recommended.

  19. A more flexible lipoprotein sorting pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chahales, Peter; Thanassi, David G

    2015-05-01

    Lipoprotein biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria occurs by a conserved pathway, each step of which is considered essential. In contrast to this model, LoVullo and colleagues demonstrate that the N-acyl transferase Lnt is not required in Francisella tularensis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This suggests the existence of a more flexible lipoprotein pathway, likely due to a modified Lol transporter complex, and raises the possibility that pathogens may regulate lipoprotein processing to modulate interactions with the host. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  20. Transmission of tularemia from a water source by transstadial maintenance in a mosquito vector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bäckman, Stina; Näslund, Jonas; Forsman, Mats; Thelaus, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    Mosquitoes are thought to function as mechanical vectors of Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica (F. t. holarctica) causing tularemia in humans. We investigated the clinical relevance of transstadially maintained F. t. holarctica in mosquitoes. Aedes egypti larvae exposed to a fully virulent F. t. holarctica strain for 24 hours, were allowed to develop into adults when they were individually homogenized. Approximately 24% of the homogenates tested positive for F. t. DNA in PCR. Mice injected with the mosquito homogenates acquired tularemia within 5 days. This novel finding demonstrates the possibility of transmission of bacteria by adult mosquitoes having acquired the pathogen from their aquatic larval habitats.

  1. Changes in the repertoire of natural antibodies caused by immunization with bacterial antigens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shilova, N V; Navakouski, M J; Huflejt, M

    2011-01-01

    The repertoire of natural anti-glycan antibodies in naïve chickens and in chickens immunized with bacteria Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, and Francisella tularensis as well as with peptides from an outer membrane protein of B. pseudomallei was studied. A relatively restricted pat...... pattern of natural antibodies (first of all IgY against bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan fragments, L-Rha, and core N-acetyllactosamine) shrank and, moreover, the level of detectable antibodies decreased as a result of immunization....

  2. Prevalence of Rickettsia species in Dermacentor variabilis ticks from Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Heidi; Dillon, Liz; Patel, Samir N; Ralevski, Filip

    2016-07-01

    Relatively little is known about the prevalence of rickettsial species in Dermacentor ticks in eastern Canada. In this study, Dermacentor ticks from the province of Ontario, Canada, were tested for the presence of spotted fever group rickettsial (SFGR) species, Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis. Rickettsia rickettsii was not detected in any ticks tested, but R. montanensis was detected at a prevalence of 2.2% in D. variabilis (17/778). Two other SFGR species, R. parkeri and Candidatus R. andeanae, were detected individually in 2 Amblyomma maculatum ticks. Rickettsia peacockii, a non-pathogenic endosymbiont, was detected in two D. andersonii ticks. Given the highly abundant nature of D. variabilis, surveillance for human pathogens in this species of tick has important public health implications, but the lack of detection of known human pathogens indicates a low risk of infection via this tick species in Ontario. However, the detection of R. parkeri in an adventive A. maculatum tick indicates that health care providers should be aware of the possibility of spotted fever rickettsioses in individuals with a history of travel outside of Ontario and symptoms compatible with a spotted fever rickettsiosis. Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis, human pathogens also potentially transmitted by D. variabilis, were not detected in a subset of the ticks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Buse_Francisella and free-living amoebae data sets

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Co-infection data in the form of colony forming units and amoeba cell counts. This dataset is associated with the following publication: Buse , H., F. Schaefer, and...

  4. MglA/SspA complex interactions are modulated by inorganic polyphosphate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrench, Algevis P; Gardner, Christopher L; Siegel, Sara D; Pagliai, Fernando A; Malekiha, Mahsa; Gonzalez, Claudio F; Lorca, Graciela L

    2013-01-01

    The transcription factors MglA and SspA of Francisella tularensis form a heterodimer complex and interact with the RNA polymerase to regulate the expression of the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI) genes. These genes are essential for this pathogen's virulence and survival within host cells. Our goal was to determine if an intracellular metabolite modulate these protein/protein interactions. In this study, we identified inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) as a signal molecule that promotes the interaction of MglA and SspA from F. tularensis SCHU S4. Analysis of the Mgla/SspA interaction was carried out using a two-hybrid system. The Escherichia coli reporter strain contained a deletion on the ppK-ppX operon, inhibiting polyP synthesis. The interaction between MglA and SspA was significantly impaired, as was the interaction between the MglA/SspA complex and the regulatory protein, FevR, indicating the stabilizing effect of polyP. In F. tularensis, chromatin immune precipitation studies revealed that in the absence of polyP, binding of the MglA/SspA complex to the promoter region of the pdpD, iglA, fevR and ppK genes is decreased. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) indicated that polyP binds directly to the MglA/SspA complex with high affinity (KD = 0.3 µM). These observations directly correlated with results obtained from calorimetric scans (DSC), where a strong shift in the mid-transition temperature (Tm) of the MglA/SspA complex was observed in the presence of polyP.

  5. MglA/SspA complex interactions are modulated by inorganic polyphosphate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Algevis P Wrench

    Full Text Available The transcription factors MglA and SspA of Francisella tularensis form a heterodimer complex and interact with the RNA polymerase to regulate the expression of the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI genes. These genes are essential for this pathogen's virulence and survival within host cells. Our goal was to determine if an intracellular metabolite modulate these protein/protein interactions. In this study, we identified inorganic polyphosphate (polyP as a signal molecule that promotes the interaction of MglA and SspA from F. tularensis SCHU S4. Analysis of the Mgla/SspA interaction was carried out using a two-hybrid system. The Escherichia coli reporter strain contained a deletion on the ppK-ppX operon, inhibiting polyP synthesis. The interaction between MglA and SspA was significantly impaired, as was the interaction between the MglA/SspA complex and the regulatory protein, FevR, indicating the stabilizing effect of polyP. In F. tularensis, chromatin immune precipitation studies revealed that in the absence of polyP, binding of the MglA/SspA complex to the promoter region of the pdpD, iglA, fevR and ppK genes is decreased. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC indicated that polyP binds directly to the MglA/SspA complex with high affinity (KD = 0.3 µM. These observations directly correlated with results obtained from calorimetric scans (DSC, where a strong shift in the mid-transition temperature (Tm of the MglA/SspA complex was observed in the presence of polyP.

  6. Tularaemia outbreaks in Sakarya, Turkey: case-control and environmental studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meric, M; Sayan, M; Dundar, D; Willke, A

    2010-08-01

    Tularaemia is an important zoonotic disease that leads to outbreaks. This study aimed to compare the epidemiological characteristics of two tularaemia outbreaks that occurred in the Sakarya region of Turkey, analyse the risk factors for the development of outbreaks and identify Francisella (F.) tularensis in the water samples. Two tularaemia outbreaks occurred in the Kocadongel village in 2005 and 2006. A field investigation and a case-control study with 47 cases and 47 healthy households were performed during the second outbreak. Clinical samples from the patients and filtrated water samples were analysed for F. tularensis via real-time polymerase chain reaction. From the two outbreaks, a total of 58 patients were diagnosed with oropharyngeal tularaemia based on their clinical and serological results. Both outbreaks occurred between the months of January and April, and the number of patients peaked in February. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the consumption of natural spring water was the only significant risk factor for tularaemia infection (odds ratio 3.5, confidence interval 1.23-10.07). F. tularensis was detected in eight clinical samples and in the filtrated natural spring water. This study is the first report of tularaemia from this region. The results show that both tularaemia outbreaks were related to the consumption of untreated natural spring water. To prevent waterborne tularaemia, community water supplies should be treated and checked periodically.

  7. [The epizootic characteristics of tularemia in the Crimea].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alekseev, A F; Chirniĭ, V I; Bogatyreva, L M; Tovpinets, N N; Evstaf'ev, I L; Markeshin, S Ia; Kovin, V V; Evstratov, Iu V; Zakharova, T F; Galushko, V I

    1996-01-01

    Cases of tularemia were registered in the Crimea both before and after planned immunization. In 1981-1993 in 4.000 localities 35,100 mammals, 27,400 ectoparasites, 8,800 feces left by birds of prey and foxes and 900 environmental specimens were studied. 137 Francisella tularensis strains were isolated. Field mapping of the spread of F.tularensis and places of habitation of small mammals was carried out. The active polyhostal natural focus of tularemia was found to exist on the Kerch Peninsula, less affected by anthropogenic factors, where tularemia morbidity among humans, and tularemia epizootic coincided with the maximum rises in the number of myomorphs. The core of the focus constituted 2.4% of its area and were characterized by the stable complex of Ixodes ticks and the preservation of F. tularensis in the environment. In other regions of the flat part of the Crimea with considerable anthropogenic transformations of the landscape rises in tularemia epizootics and tularemia morbidity in humans were rare. In the mountainous part of the Crimea tularemia epizootics were registered only by the detection of specific antibodies and antigens.

  8. [Tularemia in a jogger woman after the attack by a common buzzard (Buteo buteo): A "One Health" case report].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrensperger, F; Riederer, L; Friedl, A

    2018-03-01

    A female jogger was attacked by a common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and was scratched lightly at the back of the head. One week later she was taken ill with high fever and headache which was later diagnosed as ulcero-glandular tularemia in regional lymph nodes, caused by Francisella tularensis. Recovery was only achieved after several weeks of systemic antibiotic treatment (Gentamicin/ Ciprofloxacine). Tularemia is a well known zoonotic disease, called "rabbit fever", mainly affecting rabbits and hares, but also small rodents. Human infection occurs often following tick bites or bloodsucking insects, or in hunters or slaughterers handling infected animals. Bites by mice have also been reported as a cause of tularemia. For the first time we report this case of tularemia as a result of an attack by a bird of prey. We assume that the bird acted as a vector just carrying the F. tularensis on its claws or beak, but we cannot exclude an infection of the bird itself. Several other joggers had also been attacked by a common buzzard in the same area shortly after the above described event and one of these also became infected with F. tularensis.

  9. Dynamics of a Tularemia Outbreak in a Closely Monitored Free-Roaming Population of Wild House Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobay, Akos; Pilo, Paola; Lindholm, Anna K; Origgi, Francesco; Bagheri, Homayoun C; König, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Infectious disease outbreaks can be devastating because of their sudden occurrence, as well as the complexity of monitoring and controlling them. Outbreaks in wildlife are even more challenging to observe and describe, especially when small animals or secretive species are involved. Modeling such infectious disease events is relevant to investigating their dynamics and is critical for decision makers to accomplish outbreak management. Tularemia, caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a potentially lethal zoonosis. Of the few animal outbreaks that have been reported in the literature, only those affecting zoo animals have been closely monitored. Here, we report the first estimation of the basic reproduction number R0 of an outbreak in wildlife caused by F. tularensis using quantitative modeling based on a susceptible-infected-recovered framework. We applied that model to data collected during an extensive investigation of an outbreak of tularemia caused by F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (also designated as type B) in a closely monitored, free-roaming house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) population in Switzerland. Based on our model and assumptions, the best estimated basic reproduction number R0 of the current outbreak is 1.33. Our results suggest that tularemia can cause severe outbreaks in small rodents. We also concluded that the outbreak self-exhausted in approximately three months without administrating antibiotics.

  10. Dynamics of a Tularemia Outbreak in a Closely Monitored Free-Roaming Population of Wild House Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akos Dobay

    Full Text Available Infectious disease outbreaks can be devastating because of their sudden occurrence, as well as the complexity of monitoring and controlling them. Outbreaks in wildlife are even more challenging to observe and describe, especially when small animals or secretive species are involved. Modeling such infectious disease events is relevant to investigating their dynamics and is critical for decision makers to accomplish outbreak management. Tularemia, caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a potentially lethal zoonosis. Of the few animal outbreaks that have been reported in the literature, only those affecting zoo animals have been closely monitored. Here, we report the first estimation of the basic reproduction number R0 of an outbreak in wildlife caused by F. tularensis using quantitative modeling based on a susceptible-infected-recovered framework. We applied that model to data collected during an extensive investigation of an outbreak of tularemia caused by F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (also designated as type B in a closely monitored, free-roaming house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus population in Switzerland. Based on our model and assumptions, the best estimated basic reproduction number R0 of the current outbreak is 1.33. Our results suggest that tularemia can cause severe outbreaks in small rodents. We also concluded that the outbreak self-exhausted in approximately three months without administrating antibiotics.

  11. Infection-derived lipids elicit a novel immune deficiency circuitry in arthropods

    Science.gov (United States)

    The insect Immune Deficiency (IMD) pathway resembles the tumor necrosis factor receptor network in mammals and senses diaminopimelic-type peptidoglycans present in Gram-negative bacteria. Whether unidentified chemical moieties elicit the IMD signaling cascade remains unknown. Here, we disclose thoug...

  12. A Prognostic Scoring Tool for Cesarean Organ/Space Surgical Site Infections: Derivation and Internal Validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assawapalanggool, Srisuda; Kasatpibal, Nongyao; Sirichotiyakul, Supatra; Arora, Rajin; Suntornlimsiri, Watcharin

    Organ/space surgical site infections (SSIs) are serious complications after cesarean delivery. However, no scoring tool to predict these complications has yet been developed. This study sought to develop and validate a prognostic scoring tool for cesarean organ/space SSIs. Data for case and non-case of cesarean organ/space SSI between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012 from a tertiary care hospital in Thailand were analyzed. Stepwise multivariable logistic regression was used to select the best predictor combination and their coefficients were transformed to a risk scoring tool. The likelihood ratio of positive for each risk category and the area under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curves were analyzed on total scores. Internal validation using bootstrap re-sampling was tested for reproducibility. The predictors of 243 organ/space SSIs from 4,988 eligible cesarean delivery cases comprised the presence of foul-smelling amniotic fluid (four points), vaginal examination five or more times before incision (two points), wound class III or greater (two points), being referred from local setting (two points), hemoglobin less than 11 g/dL (one point), and ethnic minorities (one point). The likelihood ratio of cesarean organ/space SSIs with 95% confidence interval among low (total score of 0-1 point), medium (total score of 2-5 points), and high risk (total score of ≥6 points) categories were 0.11 (0.07-0.19), 1.03 (0.89-1.18), and 13.25 (10.87-16.14), respectively. Both AUROCs of the derivation and validation data were comparable (87.57% versus 86.08%; p = 0.418). This scoring tool showed a high predictive ability regarding cesarean organ/space SSIs on the derivation data and reproducibility was demonstrated on internal validation. It could assist practitioners prioritize patient care and management depending on risk category and decrease SSI rates in cesarean deliveries.

  13. Ocular Manifestations of Mosquito-Transmitted Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karesh, James W; Mazzoli, Robert A; Heintz, Shannon K

    2018-03-01

    Of the 3,548 known mosquito species, about 100 transmit human diseases. Mosquitoes are distributed globally throughout tropical and temperate regions where standing water sources are available for egg laying and the maturation of larva. Female mosquitoes require blood meals for egg production. This is the main pathway for disease transmission. Mosquitoes carry several pathogenic organisms responsible for significant ocular pathology and vision loss including West Nile, Rift Valley, chikungunya, dengue viruses, various encephalitis viruses, malarial parasites, Francisella tularensis, microfilarial parasites, including Dirofilaria, Wuchereria, and Brugia spp., and human botfly larvae. Health care providers may not be familiar with many of these mosquito-transmitted diseases or their associated ocular findings delaying diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of visual function. This article aims to provide an overview of the ocular manifestations associated with mosquito-transmitted diseases.

  14. Rapid and high-throughput detection of highly pathogenic bacteria by Ibis PLEX-ID technology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Jacob

    Full Text Available In this manuscript, we describe the identification of highly pathogenic bacteria using an assay coupling biothreat group-specific PCR with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS run on an Ibis PLEX-ID high-throughput platform. The biothreat cluster assay identifies most of the potential bioterrorism-relevant microorganisms including Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei and pseudomallei, Brucella species, and Coxiella burnetii. DNA from 45 different reference materials with different formulations and different concentrations were chosen and sent to a service screening laboratory that uses the PCR/ESI-MS platform to provide a microbial identification service. The standard reference materials were produced out of a repository built up in the framework of the EU funded project "Establishment of Quality Assurances for Detection of Highly Pathogenic Bacteria of Potential Bioterrorism Risk" (EQADeBa. All samples were correctly identified at least to the genus level.

  15. Metabolic network analysis-based identification of antimicrobial drug targets in category A bioterrorism agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong-Yeol Ahn

    Full Text Available The 2001 anthrax mail attacks in the United States demonstrated the potential threat of bioterrorism, hence driving the need to develop sophisticated treatment and diagnostic protocols to counter biological warfare. Here, by performing flux balance analyses on the fully-annotated metabolic networks of multiple, whole genome-sequenced bacterial strains, we have identified a large number of metabolic enzymes as potential drug targets for each of the three Category A-designated bioterrorism agents including Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis. Nine metabolic enzymes- belonging to the coenzyme A, folate, phosphatidyl-ethanolamine and nucleic acid pathways common to all strains across the three distinct genera were identified as targets. Antimicrobial agents against some of these enzymes are available. Thus, a combination of cross species-specific antibiotics and common antimicrobials against shared targets may represent a useful combinatorial therapeutic approach against all Category A bioterrorism agents.

  16. The Impact of “Omic” and Imaging Technologies on Assessing the Host Immune Response to Biodefence Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia A. Tree

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the interactions between host and pathogen is important for the development and assessment of medical countermeasures to infectious agents, including potential biodefence pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis, Ebola virus, and Francisella tularensis. This review focuses on technological advances which allow this interaction to be studied in much greater detail. Namely, the use of “omic” technologies (next generation sequencing, DNA, and protein microarrays for dissecting the underlying host response to infection at the molecular level; optical imaging techniques (flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy for assessing cellular responses to infection; and biophotonic imaging for visualising the infectious disease process. All of these technologies hold great promise for important breakthroughs in the rational development of vaccines and therapeutics for biodefence agents.

  17. First Pediatric Case of Tularemia after a Coyote Bite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno B. Chomel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Bite-transmitted tularemia is a rare event in humans and most of the cases have been associated with cat bites. We report the first pediatric case of tularemia caused by a coyote (Canis latrans bite. Coyotes can be healthy carriers of Francisella tularensis and transmit this infectious agent through a bite. Pediatricians should be aware of this risk after a carnivore bite and implement appropriate antibiotic therapy, as amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (Augmentin may have prolonged the typical two to three days’ incubation period commonly observed for tularemia after an animal bite and was not effective in preventing clinical signs in this child. Finally, it emphasizes again the importance of early and late serum samples for appropriate serodiagnostic.

  18. Rare Cause of Pleuropnemonia: Tularemia Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agca, Meltem; Duman, Dildar; Sulu, Ebru; Ozbaki, Fatma; Barkay, Orcun; Ozturk, Derya; Yarkin, Tulay

    2017-09-01

    Tularemia is a zoonotic infection which is caused by gram negative coccobacilli, Francisella tularensis. The disease occurs after contact with blood and body fluids of infected animals, bites and ingestion of infected food and water. Although it commonly presents with skin lesions, there may also be serious organ involvements. A55-year woman was consulted for presumptive diagnosis of tuberculosis. Multiple lymphadenopathy in right cervical area was present on physical examination. Pleural effusion on left side was detected with computed tomography. In detailed history, knowledge of a family member with the diagnosis of tularemia was obtained. Both of them had the history of contact with infected animals. Diagnosis of tularemia was confirmed with microagglutination test. With this patient who was initially presumptively diagnosed as tuberculosis, we aim to draw attention to diagnosis of tularemia in the presence of pleuropnemonia and peripheral lymphadenopathy and emphasize importance of detailed patient history.

  19. Imaging Findings of Ulceroglandular Tularemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, Neil; Deochand, Osmani; Murphy, Robyn

    2017-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the causative organism in Tularemia, is a relatively rare disease. There are a few radiological clues to elucidate its presence when suspicion arises. There should be strong consideration for Tularemia in the differential of any patient with its classic symptoms, diffuse cervical lymphadenopathy with evidence of necrosis, and enlarged adenoids. Ultrasound may demonstrate suppurative lymphadenopathy suggestive of infection, as in the case presented. CT often will demonstrate the extent of lymphadenopathy. On chest radiography, tularemia pneumonia is often the presenting finding, which may demonstrate bilateral or lobar infiltrates. Additionally, hilar lymphadenopathy and pleural effusions are often associated findings. Cavitary lesions may be present, which are better delineated on CT scan. We present a case of a 7-year-old male who presented with a painful right-sided palpable neck mass for 9 days, who was diagnosed with Tularemia after numerous admissions.

  20. Atypical Presentations of Tularemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odegaard, Karah; Boersma, Beth; Keegan, James

    2017-05-01

    Francisella tularensis is a gram-negative coccobacillus that causes a condition commonly referred to as tularemia. There has been a dramatic increase in tularemia cases reported in South Dakota, many of which were challenging to diagnose due to atypical clinical manifestations. We describe an interesting case of pneumonic tularemia and summarize six similar cases, several of which presented with lung nodules suggestive of malignancy. According to the literature, this is only the third outbreak of pneumonic tularemia reported in the U.S. We believe it is important for clinicians to be aware of the increased incidence of tularemia in the area and to be vigilant in the diagnosis and management of these atypically presenting cases. Copyright© South Dakota State Medical Association.

  1. Tularemia vaccine development: paralysis or progress?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunagar R

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Raju Sunagar, Sudeep Kumar, Brian J Franz, Edmund J Gosselin Center for Immunology and Microbial Disease, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA Abstract: Francisella tularensis (Ft is a gram-negative intercellular pathogen and category A biothreat agent. However, despite 15 years of strong government investment and intense research focused on the development of a US Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine against Ft, the primary goal remains elusive. This article reviews research efforts focused on developing an Ft vaccine, as well as a number of important factors, some only recently recognized as such, which can significantly impact the development and evaluation of Ft vaccine efficacy. Finally, an assessment is provided as to whether a US Food and Drug Administration-approved Ft vaccine is likely to be forthcoming and the potential means by which this might be achieved. Keywords: Sex bias, media impact, differential protection, cellular immunity, humoral immunity

  2. Development of Liposomal Ciprofloxacin to Treat Lung Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Cipolla

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Except for management of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA in cystic fibrosis, there are no approved inhaled antibiotic treatments for any other diseases or for infections from other pathogenic microorganisms such as tuberculosis, non-tuberculous mycobacteria, fungal infections or potential inhaled biowarfare agents including Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Coxiella burnetii (which cause pneumonic tularemia, plague and Q fever, respectively. Delivery of an antibiotic formulation via the inhalation route has the potential to provide high concentrations at the site of infection with reduced systemic exposure to limit side effects. A liposomal formulation may improve tolerability, increase compliance by reducing the dosing frequency, and enhance penetration of biofilms and treatment of intracellular infections. Two liposomal ciprofloxacin formulations (Lipoquin® and Pulmaquin® that are in development by Aradigm Corporation are described here.

  3. A rare cause of abdominal lymphadenopathy--tularemia: report of two pediatric cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gülhan, Belgin; Tezer, Hasan; Kanık-Yüksek, Saliha; Kılıç, Selçuk; Senel, Emrah

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia caused by Francisella tularensis occurs worldwide in the northern hemisphere, with great variation in geographic and temporal occurrence. It generally presents as an acute febrile disease with the major clinical presentations including the six classic forms of tularemia: ulceroglandular, glandular, oculoglandular, oropharyngeal, typhoidal, and pneumonic. In contrast to European countries, where the ulceroglandular form is more prominent, the oropharyngeal form is the most common presentation in Turkey. We present rare cases of oropharyngeal tularemia in a 16-year-old boy and nine-year-old girl. To the best of our knowledge, these are the firstly described abdominal lymphadenopathy cases from Turkey. The second case was admitted with erythema nodosum, and abdominal lymphadenopathy was detected during the investigation. Excisional lymph node biopsy revealed abdominal tularemia. It is necessary to consider tularemia in the differential diagnosis of abdominal lymphadenopathy in tularemia regions. We also conclude that oropharyngeal tularemia can cause lymphadenopathy in any part of the gastrointestinal tract.

  4. Tularemia Outbreaks and Common Vole (Microtus arvalis) Irruptive Population Dynamics in Northwestern Spain, 1997-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque-Larena, Juan José; Mougeot, François; Roig, Dolors Vidal; Lambin, Xavier; Rodríguez-Pastor, Ruth; Rodríguez-Valín, Elena; Anda, Pedro; Escudero, Raquel

    2015-09-01

    During the last decades, large tularemia outbreaks in humans have coincided in time and space with population outbreaks of common voles in northwestern Spain, leading us to hypothesize that this rodent species acts as a key spillover agent of Francisella tularensis in the region. Here, we evaluate for the first time a potential link between irruptive vole numbers and human tularemia outbreaks in Spain. We compiled vole abundance estimates obtained through live-trapping monitoring studies and official reports of human tularemia cases during the period 1997-2014. We confirm a significant positive association between yearly cases of tularemia infection in humans and vole abundance. High vole densities during outbreaks (up to 1000 voles/hectare) may therefore enhance disease transmission and spillover contamination in the environment. If this ecological link is further confirmed, the apparent multiannual cyclicity of common vole outbreaks might provide a basis for forecasting the risk of tularemia outbreaks in northwestern Spain.

  5. [Tularemia in Germany].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohlmann, R; Geis, G; Gatermann, S G

    2014-07-01

    The bacterium Francisella tularensis is known for more than 100 years by now as the etiological agent of the disease tularemia, a zoonotic infection with a worldwide distribution in the Northern Hemisphere. The prevalence of tularemia shows a wide geographic variation, being comparably infrequent in Germany. Tularemia can present itself with multiple clinical manifestations including ulceroglandular, glandular, oropharyngeal, oculoglandular, respiratory and typhoidal forms. Due to the low prevalence and the unspecific symptomatology, a rapid diagnosis and early start of an effective therapy are rarely obtained. Thus, in this article we summarize important aspects concerning etiology, ecology and routes of transmission, recent epidemiologic situation, clinical picture, diagnostics and treatment of tularemia, focusing on the situation in Germany. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  6. Tularemia in Children, Turkey, September 2009–November 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tezer, Hasan; Aykan, Hakan; Erkocoglu, Mustafa; Gülhan, Belgin; Demir, Ahmet; Kanik-Yuksek, Saliha; Tapisiz, Anil; Polat, Meltem; Kara, Soner; Devrim, Ilker; Kilic, Selcuk

    2015-01-01

    Tularemia, a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis, is found throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere. It is not well known and is often misdiagnosed in children. Our aim with this study was to evaluate the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis for 100 children with tularemia in Turkey. The mean patient age was 10.1 ± 3.5 years (range 3–18 years), and most (63%) patients were male. The most common physical signs and laboratory findings were cervical lymphadenopathy (92%) and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (89%). Treatment response was higher and rate of relapse lower for children 5–10 years of age than for those in other age groups. Associated with treatment failure were female sex, treatment delay of ≥16 days, and use of doxycycline. Tularemia is endemic to Turkey, and the number of cases has been increasing among children as well as adults. PMID:25529639

  7. Comparison ecological characteristics of mound-building mouse (mus spicilegus in two natural hotbeds of tularemia at North-West coast of the Black sea

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    І. T. Rusev

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of ecology-epizootic monitoring of North-West coast of the Black sea carried out in wintering seasons of 2004, 2005 and 2011 testifies the basic role of the Mound-building mouse (Mus spicilegus Petenyi, 1882 as a carrier of Francisella tularensis. Spatial distribution of the Mound-building mouse strongly dependson a biotope, geographical region and weather conditions of a specific season. Mice nests in the storage mounds are located normally at a depth of 20–40 cm under the food storage chamber. Average number of the mice in storage mounds is 3.08 ± 1.54 in the south of investigated region and 3.88 ± 2.63 – in the NE of the region.

  8. Molecular Investigation of Tularemia Outbreaks, Spain, 1997–2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariza-Miguel, Jaime; Johansson, Anders; Fernández-Natal, María Isabel; Martínez-Nistal, Carmen; Orduña, Antonio; Rodríguez-Ferri, Elías F.; Hernández, Marta

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia outbreaks occurred in northwestern Spain in 1997–1998 and 2007–2008 and affected >1,000 persons. We assessed isolates involved in these outbreaks by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis with 2 restriction enzymes and multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis of 16 genomic loci of Francisella tularensis, the cause of this disease. Isolates were divided into 3 pulsotypes by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and 8 allelic profiles by multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis. Isolates obtained from the second tularemia outbreak had the same genotypes as isolates obtained from the first outbreak. Both outbreaks were caused by genotypes of genetic subclade B.Br:FTNF002–00, which is widely distributed in countries in central and western Europe. Thus, reemergence of tularemia in Spain was not caused by the reintroduction of exotic strains, but probably by persistence of local reservoirs of infection. PMID:24750848

  9. Subversion of inflammasome activation and pyroptosis by pathogenic bacteria

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    Larissa D Cunha

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Activation of the inflammasome occurs in response to a notably high number of pathogenic microbes and is a broad innate immune response that effectively contributes to restriction of pathogen replication and generation of adaptive immunity. Activation of these platforms leads to caspase-1- and/or caspase-11-dependent secretion of proteins, including cytokines, and induction of a specific form of cell death called pyroptosis, which directly or indirectly contribute for restriction of pathogen replication. Not surprisingly, bona fide intracellular pathogens developed strategies for manipulation of cell death to guarantee intracellular replication. In this sense, the remarkable advances in the knowledge of the inflammasome field have been accompanied by several reports characterizing the inhibition of this platform by several pathogenic bacteria. Herein, we review some processes used by pathogenic bacteria, including Yersinia spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Chlamydia trachomatis, Francisella tularensis, Shigella flexneri, Legionella pneumophila and Coxiella burnetii to evade the activation of the inflammasome and the induction of pyroptosis.

  10. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U16581-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 915_913( CP000915 |pid:none) Francisella tularensis subsp. me... 174 1e-41 AP008232_642( AP008232 |pid:none) Sodalis glossini...( FM992690 |pid:none) Candida dubliniensis CD36 chromo... 227 9e-58 (Q9Y7F0) RecName: Full=Peroxiredoxin TSA...9( CP000148 |pid:none) Geobacter metallireducens GS-15... 199 3e-49 AY842247_1( AY842247 |pid:none) Leishmania amazonensi...2e-48 AE001363_758( AE001363 |pid:none) Chlamydophila pneumoniae CWL029,... 196 2e-48 CP001071_1298( CP001071 |pid:none) Akkermansi...none) Helicobacter pylori isolate HP52 a... 169 3e-40 CU468135_2542( CU468135 |pid:none) Erwinia tasmaniensi

  11. Susceptibility of Select Agents to Predation by Predatory Bacteria

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    Riccardo Russo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Select Agents are microorganisms and toxins considered to be exploitable as biological weapons. Although infections by many Select Agents can be treated by conventional antibiotics, the risk of an emerging or engineered drug resistant strain is of great concern. One group of microorganisms that is showing potential to control drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria are the predatory bacteria from the genera Bdellovibrio spp. and Micavibrio spp. In this study, we have examined the ability of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus (B. bacteriovorus strain 109J, HD100 and Micavibrio aeruginosavorus (M. aeruginosavorus ARL-13 to prey on a variety of Select Agents. Our findings demonstrate that B. bacteriovorus and M. aeruginosavorus are able to prey efficiently on Yersinia pestis and Burkholderia mallei. Modest predation was also measured in co-cultures of B. bacteriovorus and Francisella tularensis. However, neither of the predators showed predation when Burkholderia pseudomallei and Brucella melitensis were used as prey.

  12. Tularemia induces different biochemical responses in BALB/c mice and common voles

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    Vitula Frantisek

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Both BALB/c mice and common voles (Microtus arvalis are considered highly susceptible to tularemia. However, the common vole is reported to harbour Francisella tularensis in European habitats as well as to survive longer with chronic shedding of the bacterium. The purpose of the present study was to compare the response of these two rodents to a wild Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica strain infection. Methods Rodents were evaluated for differences in the total antioxidant capacity derived from low-molecular-weight antioxidants, biochemistry including lipid metabolism, tissue bacterial burdens and histopathology following experimental intraperitoneal infection with 160 colony forming units (CFU pro toto. Results Bacterial burdens in common voles started to develop later post-exposure and amounted to lower levels than in BALB/c mice. Elevation of liver function enzymes was more pronounced in mice than common voles and there were marked differences in lipid metabolism in the course of tularemia in these two species. Hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia developed in mice, while physiologically higher levels of triglycerides and cholesterol showed a decreasing tendency in common voles. On the other hand, the total plasma antioxidant capacity gradually dropped to 81.5% in mice on day 5 post-infection, while it increased to 130% on day 6 post-infection in common voles. Significant correlations between tissue bacterial burdens and several biochemical parameters were found. Conclusion As differences in lipid metabolism and the total antioxidant capacity of highly susceptible rodent species were demonstrated, the role of triglycerides, cholesterol and antioxidants in tularemic sepsis should be further investigated.

  13. Molecular Survey of Zoonotic Agents in Rodents and Other Small Mammals in Croatia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tadin, Ante; Tokarz, Rafal; Markotić, Alemka; Margaletić, Josip; Turk, Nenad; Habuš, Josipa; Svoboda, Petra; Vucelja, Marko; Desai, Aaloki; Jain, Komal; Lipkin, W Ian

    2016-02-01

    Croatia is a focus for many rodent-borne zoonosis. Here, we report a survey of 242 rodents and small mammals, including 43 Myodes glareolus, 131 Apodemus flavicollis, 53 Apodemus agrarius, three Apodemus sylvaticus, six Sorex araneus, four Microtus arvalis, one Microtus agrestis, and one Muscardinus avellanarius, collected at eight sites in Croatia over an 8-year period. Multiplex MassTag polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used for detection of Borrelia, Rickettsia, Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Francisella tularensis, and Coxiella burnetii. Individual PCR assays were used for detection of Leptospira, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopoxviruses, flaviviruses, hantaviruses, and Toxoplasma gondii. Of the rodents, 52 (21.5%) were infected with Leptospira, 9 (3.7%) with Borrelia miyamotoi, 5 (2%) with Borrelia afzelii, 29 (12.0%) with Bartonella, 8 (3.3%) with Babesia microti, 2 (0.8%) with Ehrlichia, 4 (1.7%) with Anaplasma, 2 (0.8%) with F. tularensis, 43 (17.8%) with hantaviruses, and 1 (0.4%) with an orthopoxvirus. Other agents were not detected. Multiple infections were found in 32 rodents (13.2%): dual infections in 26 rodents (10.7%), triple infections in four rodents (2.9%), and quadruple infections in two rodents (0.8%). Our findings indicate that rodents in Croatia harbor a wide range of bacteria and viruses that are pathogenic to humans. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  14. Surveillance of tularaemia in Kosovo, 2001 to 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunow, R; Kalaveshi, A; Kühn, A; Mulliqi-Osmani, G; Ramadani, N

    2012-07-12

    Tularaemia, caused by Francisella tularensis, had not been registered in Kosovo before an outbreak in 1999 and 2000. A national surveillance system has been implemented in Kosovo since 2000 to monitor a number of diseases, including tularaemia. Antibody detection in human sera was used for laboratory diagnosis of tularaemia and F. tularensis lipopolysaccharide antigen was used as a marker of infection. The purpose of this study is to describe the incidence of tularaemia in Kosovo after the 1999-00 outbreak. In 2001 and 2002, a second outbreak occurred, with 327 serologically confirmed cases. From 2001 to 2010, 25-327 cases were registered per year, giving a mean annual incidence of 5.2 per 100,000 population. The most likely sources of infection were contaminated drinking water and food. The dominant clinical manifestations were the glandular (79%) and ulcero-glandular (21%) forms. By 2010, the disease had spread throughout Kosovo. Presumably as a result of war and subsequent environmental disruption, mass population displacement and breakdown of sanitation and hygiene, the two major outbreaks of tularaemia resulted in the establishment of an active endemic area of tularaemia in Kosovo.

  15. Zoonotic Infections in Communities of the James Bay Cree Territory: An Overview of Seroprevalence

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    Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Cree communities of James Bay are at risk for contracting infectious diseases transmitted by wildlife. Data from serological testing for a range of zoonotic infections performed in the general population (six communities, or trappers and their spouses (one community, were abstracted from four population-based studies conducted in Cree territory (Quebec between 2005 and 2009. Evidence of exposure to Trichinella species, Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara canis, Echinococcus granulosus, Leptospira species, Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis was verified in all communities, whereas antibodies against Sin Nombre virus and California serogroup viruses (Jamestown Canyon and snowshoe hare viruses were evaluated in three and six communities, respectively. Seroprevalence varied widely among communities: snowshoe hare virus (1% to 42%, F tularensis (14% to 37%, Leptospira species (10% to 27%, Jamestown Canyon virus (9% to 24%, C burnetii (0% to 18%, T gondii (4% to 12%, T canis (0% to 10%, E granulosus (0% to 4% and Trichinella species (0% to 1%. No subject had serological evidence of Sin Nombre virus exposure. These data suggest that large proportions of the Cree population have been exposed to at least one of the targeted zoonotic agents. The Cree population, particularly those most heavily exposed to fauna, as well as the medical staff living in these regions, should be aware of these diseases. Greater awareness would not only help to decrease exposures but would also increase the chance of appropriate diagnostic testing.

  16. Respiratory and oral vaccination improves protection conferred by the live vaccine strain against pneumonic tularemia in the rabbit model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinson, Elizabeth; Smith, Le'Kneitah P; Cole, Kelly Stefano; Barry, Eileen M; Reed, Douglas S

    2016-10-01

    Tularemia is a severe, zoonotic disease caused by a gram-negative bacterium, Francisella tularensis We have previously shown that rabbits are a good model of human pneumonic tularemia when exposed to aerosols containing a virulent, type A strain, SCHU S4. We further demonstrated that the live vaccine strain (LVS), an attenuated type B strain, extended time to death when given by scarification. Oral or aerosol vaccination has been previously shown in humans to offer superior protection to parenteral vaccination against respiratory tularemia challenge. Both oral and aerosol vaccination with LVS were well tolerated in the rabbit with only minimal fever and no weight loss after inoculation. Plasma antibody titers against F. tularensis were higher in rabbits that were vaccinated by either oral or aerosol routes compared to scarification. Thirty days after vaccination, all rabbits were challenged with aerosolized SCHU S4. LVS given by scarification extended time to death compared to mock-vaccinated controls. One orally vaccinated rabbit did survive aerosol challenge, however, only aerosol vaccination extended time to death significantly compared to scarification. These results further demonstrate the utility of the rabbit model of pneumonic tularemia in replicating what has been reported in humans and macaques as well as demonstrating the utility of vaccination by oral and respiratory routes against an aerosol tularemia challenge. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Neutrophils: potential therapeutic targets in tularemia?

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    Lee-Ann H Allen

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The central role of neutrophils in innate immunity and host defense has long been recognized, and the ability of these cells to efficiently engulf and kill invading bacteria has been extensively studied, as has the role of neutrophil apoptosis in resolution of the inflammatory response. In the past few years additional immunoregulatory properties of neutrophils were discovered, and it is now clear that these cells play a much greater role in control of the immune response than was previously appreciated. In this regard, it is noteworthy that Francisella tularensis is one of relatively few pathogens that can successfully parasitize neutrophils as well as macrophages, DC and epithelial cells. Herein we will review the mechanisms used by F. tularensis to evade elimination by neutrophils. We will also reprise effects of this pathogen on neutrophil migration and lifespan as compared with other infectious and inflammatory disease states. In addition, we will discuss the evidence which suggests that neutrophils contribute to disease progression rather than effective defense during tularemia, and consider whether manipulation of neutrophil migration or turnover may be suitable adjunctive therapeutic strategies.

  18. Organs of BALB/c mice can be injured in course of tularemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlis, Oto; Kusakova, Eva; Novotny, Ladislav; Pohanka, Miroslav

    2014-12-01

    Francisella tularensis is a biological agent exploitable for bioterrorism and biological warfare purposes due to serious pathogenic progression and easy dissemination. Despite intensive research in the past, some adverse consequences remain unclear. One consequence of this pathogen is oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to undertake ex vivo assays for monitoring the disease in mice and increase our knowledge of the oxidative stress induced by tularemia. The mouse BALB/c model was chosen and the animals were infected by a dose 10(4) CFU of F. tularensis. After five days, the animals were euthanized. Blood immediately processed in plasma, spleen and liver were sampled from the cadavers. Oxidative stress markers, cytokines and histopathological were undertaken. There was a significant link between oxidative stress and tularemia. Particularly elevated levels of malondialdehyde and decreased levels of low molecular weight antioxidants were found in the liver and spleen of tularemia-infected animals. The histopathological findings correlated well with the oxidative stress markers. The liver and spleen were proven to be significantly at risk from the disease and an association between stress and neutrophils in the affected organs was found. The histopathology excluded risk to other organs such as the kidney and or heart. Oxidative stress plays a significant role in tularemia infection in mice and this was confirmed by the histology.

  19. Rabbit hunter uveitis: case report of tularemia uveitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrada, Céline; Azza, Said; Bodaghi, Bahram; Le Hoang, Phuc; Drancourt, Michel

    2016-09-01

    Literature reports on ophthalmological manifestations related to tularemia, a zoonose caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, largely refer to Parinaud's oculoglandular syndrome, which consists of the association of conjunctivitis with preauricular lymphadenitis. In this paper, we report a case of intraocular inflammation during tularemia infection. A 52-year-old Caucasian man was diagnosed with unilateral uveitis. The uveitis was posterior, with a 2+ vitritis and a large yellowish lesion involving the macula with an overlying sub-retinal detachment, extending inferiorly, and subretinal hemorrhages. Fluorescein angiography showed a late hyperfluorescence with focal vascular leakage. Ultrasound biomicroscopy confirmed the presence of a 3.8 mm parietal granuloma with a few calcifications in the left eye. While extensive work-up eliminated any other infectious and non-infectious etiology, tularemia was diagnosed by advanced serology consisting of two-dimensional Western-immunoblotting. The patient, a hunter, recalled having killed rabbits in the days before the symptoms appeared. Uveitis was rapidly controlled following treatment with doxycycline, yet three years after initiation of the treatment, the patient still complained of loss of vision in the left eye with a central scotoma. Posterior uveitis may be an infrequent manifestation of tularemia infection, and therefore this infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis of intraocular inflammation in areas where F. tularensis is endemic.

  20. The status of tularemia in Europe in a one-health context: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestvik, G; Warns-Petit, E; Smith, L A; Fox, N J; Uhlhorn, H; Artois, M; Hannant, D; Hutchings, M R; Mattsson, R; Yon, L; Gavier-Widen, D

    2015-07-01

    The bacterium Francisella tularensis causes the vector-borne zoonotic disease tularemia, and may infect a wide range of hosts including invertebrates, mammals and birds. Transmission to humans occurs through contact with infected animals or contaminated environments, or through arthropod vectors. Tularemia has a broad geographical distribution, and there is evidence which suggests local emergence or re-emergence of this disease in Europe. This review was developed to provide an update on the geographical distribution of F. tularensis in humans, wildlife, domestic animals and vector species, to identify potential public health hazards, and to characterize the epidemiology of tularemia in Europe. Information was collated on cases in humans, domestic animals and wildlife, and on reports of detection of the bacterium in arthropod vectors, from 38 European countries for the period 1992-2012. Multiple international databases on human and animal health were consulted, as well as published reports in the literature. Tularemia is a disease of complex epidemiology that is challenging to understand and therefore to control. Many aspects of this disease remain poorly understood. Better understanding is needed of the epidemiological role of animal hosts, potential vectors, mechanisms of maintenance in the different ecosystems, and routes of transmission of the disease.

  1. Climate Variability Reveals Complex Events for Tularemia Dynamics in Man and Mammals

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    Thomas R. Palo

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, but the natural reservoir is unknown and environmental conditions for outbreaks in mammals and man are poorly understood. The present study analyzed the synchrony between the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO index, the number of human cases of tularemia reported in Sweden, and the density of hares. Climate variation at a lag of 2 yr explained as a single factor ~ 27% of the variation in the number of tularemia cases over time. A low NAO index, indicating cold winters, and low water flow in rivers during the coming summer were associated with high numbers of human cases of tularemia 2 yr later. The number of mountain hares was not related to NAO or to the number of cases of tularemia. The change in mountain hare numbers was negatively associated with the number of human cases, showing the sensitivity of this species to the disease. Low turnover in water environments may at some point in time trigger a chain of events leading to increased replication of F. tularensis via unknown reservoirs and/or vectors that affect humans and mammals. A possible increase in the NAO index with a future warmer climate would not be expected to facilitate a higher frequency of tularemia outbreaks in Sweden.

  2. Environmental and behavioral changes may influence the exposure of an Arctic apex predator to pathogens and contaminants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Patyk, Kelly A.; Nol, Pauline; Rhyan, Jack; McCollum, Matthew; McKinney, Melissa A.; Ramey, Andy M.; Cerqueira-Cezar, Camila; Kwok, Oliver C H; Dubey, Jitender P; Hennager, S.G.

    2017-01-01

    Recent decline of sea ice habitat has coincided with increased use of land by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea (SB), which may alter the risks of exposure to pathogens and contaminants. We assayed blood samples from SB polar bears to assess prior exposure to the pathogens Brucella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, and Neospora caninum, estimate concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and evaluate risk factors associated with exposure to pathogens and POPs. We found that seroprevalence of Brucella spp. and T. gondii antibodies likely increased through time, and provide the first evidence of exposure of polar bears to C. burnetii, N. caninum, and F. tularensis. Additionally, the odds of exposure to T. gondii were greater for bears that used land than for bears that remained on the sea ice during summer and fall, while mean concentrations of the POP chlordane (ΣCHL) were lower for land-based bears. Changes in polar bear behavior brought about by climate-induced modifications to the Arctic marine ecosystem may increase exposure risk to certain pathogens and alter contaminant exposure pathways.

  3. Tularemia in Germany—A Re-emerging Zoonosis

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    Mirko Faber

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Tularemia, also known as “rabbit fever,” is a zoonosis caused by the facultative intracellular, gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis. Infection occurs through contact with infected animals (often hares, arthropod vectors (such as ticks or deer flies, inhalation of contaminated dust or through contaminated food and water. In this review, we would like to provide an overview of the current epidemiological situation in Germany using published studies and case reports, an analysis of recent surveillance data and our own experience from the laboratory diagnostics, and investigation of cases. While in Germany tularemia is a rarely reported disease, there is evidence of recent re-emergence. We also describe some peculiarities that were observed in Germany, such as a broad genetic diversity, and a recently discovered new genus of Francisella and protracted or severe clinical courses of infections with the subspecies holarctica. Because tularemia is a zoonosis, we also touch upon the situation in the animal reservoir and one-health aspects of this disease. Apparently, many pieces of the puzzle need to be found and put into place before the complex interaction between wildlife, the environment and humans are fully understood. Funding for investigations into rare diseases is scarce. Therefore, combining efforts in several countries in the framework of international projects may be necessary to advance further our understanding of this serious but also scientifically interesting disease.

  4. An Immature Myeloid/Myeloid-Suppressor Cell Response Associated with Necrotizing Inflammation Mediates Lethal Pulmonary Tularemia.

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    Sivakumar Periasamy

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Inhalation of Francisella tularensis (Ft causes acute and fatal pneumonia. The lung cytokine milieu favors exponential Ft replication, but the mechanisms underlying acute pathogenesis and death remain unknown. Evaluation of the sequential and systemic host immune response in pulmonary tularemia reveals that in contrast to overwhelming bacterial burden or cytokine production, an overt innate cellular response to Ft drives tissue pathology and host mortality. Lethal infection with Ft elicits medullary and extra-medullary myelopoiesis supporting recruitment of large numbers of immature myeloid cells and MDSC to the lungs. These cells fail to mature and die, leading to subsequent necrotic lung damage, loss of pulmonary function, and host death that is partially dependent upon immature Ly6G+ cells. Acceleration of this process may account for the rapid lethality seen with Ft SchuS4. In contrast, during sub-lethal infection with Ft LVS the pulmonary cellular response is characterized by a predominance of mature neutrophils and monocytes required for protection, suggesting a required threshold for lethal bacterial infection. Further, eliciting a mature phagocyte response provides transient, but dramatic, innate protection against Ft SchuS4. This study reveals that the nature of the myeloid cell response may be the primary determinant of host mortality versus survival following Francisella infection.

  5. Tularemia in Germany—A Re-emerging Zoonosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber, Mirko; Heuner, Klaus; Jacob, Daniela; Grunow, Roland

    2018-01-01

    Tularemia, also known as “rabbit fever,” is a zoonosis caused by the facultative intracellular, gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis. Infection occurs through contact with infected animals (often hares), arthropod vectors (such as ticks or deer flies), inhalation of contaminated dust or through contaminated food and water. In this review, we would like to provide an overview of the current epidemiological situation in Germany using published studies and case reports, an analysis of recent surveillance data and our own experience from the laboratory diagnostics, and investigation of cases. While in Germany tularemia is a rarely reported disease, there is evidence of recent re-emergence. We also describe some peculiarities that were observed in Germany, such as a broad genetic diversity, and a recently discovered new genus of Francisella and protracted or severe clinical courses of infections with the subspecies holarctica. Because tularemia is a zoonosis, we also touch upon the situation in the animal reservoir and one-health aspects of this disease. Apparently, many pieces of the puzzle need to be found and put into place before the complex interaction between wildlife, the environment and humans are fully understood. Funding for investigations into rare diseases is scarce. Therefore, combining efforts in several countries in the framework of international projects may be necessary to advance further our understanding of this serious but also scientifically interesting disease. PMID:29503812

  6. An Immature Myeloid/Myeloid-Suppressor Cell Response Associated with Necrotizing Inflammation Mediates Lethal Pulmonary Tularemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Periasamy, Sivakumar; Avram, Dorina; McCabe, Amanda; MacNamara, Katherine C.; Sellati, Timothy J.; Harton, Jonathan A.

    2016-01-01

    Inhalation of Francisella tularensis (Ft) causes acute and fatal pneumonia. The lung cytokine milieu favors exponential Ft replication, but the mechanisms underlying acute pathogenesis and death remain unknown. Evaluation of the sequential and systemic host immune response in pulmonary tularemia reveals that in contrast to overwhelming bacterial burden or cytokine production, an overt innate cellular response to Ft drives tissue pathology and host mortality. Lethal infection with Ft elicits medullary and extra-medullary myelopoiesis supporting recruitment of large numbers of immature myeloid cells and MDSC to the lungs. These cells fail to mature and die, leading to subsequent necrotic lung damage, loss of pulmonary function, and host death that is partially dependent upon immature Ly6G+ cells. Acceleration of this process may account for the rapid lethality seen with Ft SchuS4. In contrast, during sub-lethal infection with Ft LVS the pulmonary cellular response is characterized by a predominance of mature neutrophils and monocytes required for protection, suggesting a required threshold for lethal bacterial infection. Further, eliciting a mature phagocyte response provides transient, but dramatic, innate protection against Ft SchuS4. This study reveals that the nature of the myeloid cell response may be the primary determinant of host mortality versus survival following Francisella infection. PMID:27015566

  7. Depletion of alveolar macrophages in CD11c diphtheria toxin receptor mice produces an inflammatory response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Lydia M; Ledvina, Hannah E; Tuladhar, Shraddha; Rana, Deepa; Steele, Shaun P; Sempowski, Gregory D; Frelinger, Jeffrey A

    2015-01-01

    Alveolar macrophages play a critical role in initiating the immune response to inhaled pathogens and have been shown to be the first cell type infected following intranasal inoculation with several pathogens, including Francisella tularensis. In an attempt to further dissect the role of alveolar macrophages in the immune response to Francisella, we selectively depleted alveolar macrophages using CD11c.DOG mice. CD11c.DOG mice express the diphtheria toxin receptor (DTR) under control of the full CD11c promoter. Because mice do not express DTR, tissue restricted expression of the primate DTR followed by treatment with diphtheria toxin (DT) has been widely used as a tool in immunology to examine the effect of acute depletion of a specific immune subset following normal development. We successfully depleted alveolar macrophages via intranasal administration of DT. However, alveolar macrophage depletion was accompanied by many other changes to the cellular composition and cytokine/chemokine milieu in the lung that potentially impact innate and adaptive immune responses. Importantly, we observed a transient influx of neutrophils in the lung and spleen. Our experience serves as a cautionary note to other researchers using DTR mice given the complex changes that occur following DT treatment that must be taken into account when analyzing data. PMID:26029367

  8. The Cynomolgus Macaque Natural History Model of Pneumonic Tularemia for Predicting Clinical Efficacy Under the Animal Rule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guina, Tina; Lanning, Lynda L.; Omland, Kristian S.; Williams, Mark S.; Wolfraim, Larry A.; Heyse, Stephen P.; Houchens, Christopher R.; Sanz, Patrick; Hewitt, Judith A.

    2018-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative bacterium that is the etiologic agent of tularemia in animals and humans and a Tier 1 select agent. The natural incidence of pneumonic tularemia worldwide is very low; therefore, it is not feasible to conduct clinical efficacy testing of tularemia medical countermeasures (MCM) in human populations. Development and licensure of tularemia therapeutics and vaccines need to occur under the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Animal Rule under which efficacy studies are conducted in well-characterized animal models that reflect the pathophysiology of human disease. The Tularemia Animal Model Qualification (AMQ) Working Group is seeking qualification of the cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis) model of pneumonic tularemia under Drug Development Tools Qualification Programs with the FDA based upon the results of studies described in this manuscript. Analysis of data on survival, average time to death, average time to fever onset, average interval between fever and death, and bacteremia; together with summaries of clinical signs, necropsy findings, and histopathology from the animals exposed to aerosolized F. tularensis Schu S4 in five natural history studies and one antibiotic efficacy study form the basis for the proposed cynomolgus macaque model. Results support the conclusion that signs of pneumonic tularemia in cynomolgus macaques exposed to 300–3,000 colony forming units (cfu) aerosolized F. tularensis Schu S4, under the conditions described herein, and human pneumonic tularemia cases are highly similar. Animal age, weight, and sex of animals challenged with 300–3,000 cfu Schu S4 did not impact fever onset in studies described herein. This study summarizes critical parameters and endpoints of a well-characterized cynomolgus macaque model of pneumonic tularemia and demonstrates this model is appropriate for qualification, and for testing efficacy of tularemia therapeutics under Animal Rule. PMID

  9. The potential of TaqMan Array Cards for detection of multiple biological agents by real-time PCR.

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    Phillip A Rachwal

    Full Text Available The TaqMan Array Card architecture, normally used for gene expression studies, was evaluated for its potential to detect multiple bacterial agents by real-time PCR. Ten PCR assays targeting five biological agents (Bacillus anthracis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis were incorporated onto Array Cards. A comparison of PCR performance of each PCR in Array Card and singleplex format was conducted using DNA extracted from pure bacterial cultures. When 100 fg of agent DNA was added to Array Card channels the following levels of agent detection (where at least one agent PCR replicate returned a positive result were observed: Y. pestis 100%, B. mallei & F. tularensis 93%; B. anthracis 71%; B. pseudomallei 43%. For B. mallei & pseudomallei detection the BPM2 PCR, which detects both species, outperformed PCR assays specific to each organism indicating identification of the respective species would not be reproducible at the 100 fg level. Near 100% levels of detection were observed when 100 fg of DNA was added to each PCR in singleplex format with singleplex PCRs also returning sporadic positives at the 10 fg per PCR level. Before evaluating the use of Array Cards for the testing of environmental and clinical sample types, with potential levels of background DNA and PCR inhibitors, users would therefore have to accept a 10-fold reduction in sensitivity of PCR assays on the Array Card format, in order to benefit for the capacity to test multiple samples for multiple agents. A two PCR per agent strategy would allow the testing of 7 samples for the presence of 11 biological agents or 3 samples for 23 biological agents per card (with negative control channels.

  10. Evaluation of tularemia cases focusing on the oculoglandular form.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eren Gok, Sebnem; Kocagul Celikbas, Aysel; Baykam, Nurcan; Atay Buyukdemirci, Ayse; Eroglu, Mustafa Necati; Evren Kemer, Ozlem; Dokuzoguz, Basak

    2014-10-15

    Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis. The oculoglandular form is one of the rarest forms. In this study, evaluated tularemia patients, focusing on the ocular form and the efficacy of early antibiotic therapy. During a tularemia outbreak, the epidemiological and clinical findings, laboratory assays, and drugs used for the treatment of 48 patients were recorded prospectively. The diagnosis of tularemia was confirmed with microagglutination test (MAT) as well as clinical findings. The mean age of the subject was 48.6 years; 23 (47.9%) of them were female. Thirty-six (81.25%) patients had clinical presentation compatible with oropharyngeal tularemia, seven (14.58%) with oculoglandular tularemia, and two (4.1%) with ulceroglandular tularemia. The most common symptoms were fever (91.6%) and sore throat (81.2%), and the most common findings were lymphadenopathy (91.6%) and tonsillopharyngitis (81.2%). In the oculoglandular form, fever, lymphadenopathy, periorbital edema, conjunctival injection, and chemosis were found. The most distinctive ophthalmic feature was follicular conjunctivitis and conjunctival epithelial defects. Forty-five cases had positive serological results with MAT. All the patients were treated with antibiotics considered effective against F. tularensis, and topical antimicrobial treatment was given to the patients with oculoglandular tularemia. Twenty-six (54.16%) patients, who were admitted within three weeks of the onset of symptoms, recovered without sequel. During tularemia outbreaks, ocular involvement should be considered carefully. The early administration of appropriate treatment will be more effective in resolving the infection and preventing complications. Along with systemic antibiotic therapy, topical treatment will help recovery.

  11. Tularemia, a re-emerging infectious disease in Iran and neighboring countrie

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    Zargar, Afsaneh; Maurin, Max; Mostafavi, Ehsan

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Tularemia is a zoonotic disease transmitted by direct contact with infected animals and through arthropod bites, inhalation of contaminated aerosols, ingestion of contaminated meat or water, and skin contact with any infected material. It is widespread throughout the northern hemisphere, including Iran and its neighbors to the north, northeast, and northwest. METHODS: In this paper, the epidemiology of tularemia as a re-emerging infectious disease in the world with a focus on Iran and the neighboring countries is reviewed. RESULTS: In Iran, positive serological tests were first reported in 1973, in wildlife and domestic livestock in the northwestern and southeastern parts of the country. The first human case was reported in 1980 in the southwest of Iran, and recent studies conducted among at-risk populations in the western, southeastern, and southwestern parts of Iran revealed seroprevalences of 14.4, 6.52, and 6%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Several factors may explain the absence of reported tularemia cases in Iran since 1980. Tularemia may be underdiagnosed in Iran because Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica is likely to be the major etiological agent and usually causes mild to moderately severe disease. Furthermore, tularemia is not a disease extensively studied in the medical educational system in Iran, and empirical therapy may be effective in many cases. Finally, it should be noted that laboratories capable of diagnosing tularemia have only been established in the last few years. Since both recent and older studies have consistently found tularemia antibodies in humans and animals, the surveillance of this disease should receive more attention. In particular, it would be worthwhile for clinical researchers to confirm tularemia cases more often by isolating F. tularensis from infected humans and animals. PMID:25773439

  12. Assessing bat droppings and predatory bird pellets for vector-borne bacteria: molecular evidence of bat-associated Neorickettsia sp. in Europe.

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    Hornok, Sándor; Szőke, Krisztina; Estók, Péter; Krawczyk, Aleksandra; Haarsma, Anne-Jifke; Kováts, Dávid; Boldogh, Sándor A; Morandini, Pál; Szekeres, Sándor; Takács, Nóra; Kontschán, Jenő; Meli, Marina L; Fernández de Mera, Isabel G; de la Fuente, José; Gyuranecz, Miklós; Sulyok, Kinga M; Weibel, Beatrice; Gönczi, Enikő; de Bruin, Arnout; Sprong, Hein; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina

    2018-02-28

    In Europe, several species of bats, owls and kestrels exemplify highly urbanised, flying vertebrates, which may get close to humans or domestic animals. Bat droppings and bird pellets may have epidemiological, as well as diagnostic significance from the point of view of pathogens. In this work 221 bat faecal and 118 bird pellet samples were screened for a broad range of vector-borne bacteria using PCR-based methods. Rickettsia DNA was detected in 13 bat faecal DNA extracts, including the sequence of a rickettsial insect endosymbiont, a novel Rickettsia genotype and Rickettsia helvetica. Faecal samples of the pond bat (Myotis dasycneme) were positive for a Neorickettsia sp. and for haemoplasmas of the haemofelis group. In addition, two bird pellets (collected from a Long-eared Owl, Asio otus, and from a Common Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus) contained the DNA of a Rickettsia sp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, respectively. In both of these bird pellets the bones of Microtus arvalis were identified. All samples were negative for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Francisella tularensis, Coxiella burnetii and Chlamydiales. In conclusion, bats were shown to pass rickettsia and haemoplasma DNA in their faeces. Molecular evidence is provided for the presence of Neorickettsia sp. in bat faeces in Europe. In the evaluated regions bat faeces and owl/kestrel pellets do not appear to pose epidemiological risk from the point of view of F. tularensis, C. burnetii and Chlamydiales. Testing of bird pellets may provide an alternative approach to trapping for assessing the local occurrence of vector-borne bacteria in small mammals.

  13. Differential diagnosis of cervical lymphadenitis mimicking malignancy due to tularemia: Our experiences

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    Vedat Turhan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Tularemia is a disease caused by a Gram-negative coccobacillus Francisella tularensis. This bacterium may cause different types of clinical pictures owing to acquisition route and entrance site, such as ulceroglandular, oropharyngeal, glandular, pneumonic, typhoid and ocular forms. Oropharyngeal tularemia (OPT is the most common form of tularemia in some regions. OPT may cause tonsillopharyngitis followed by cervical lymphadenopathies (LAPs. Without treatment LAP may persist for several months and may mimic other diseases causing cervical LAPs. Materials and Methods: A total of six cases of OPT, five male and one female, between 21 and 31 years old, diagnosed serologically and clinically recorded in GATA Haydarpasa Training Hospital were included in this study. Detailed story including the region they lived for last 6 months, their occupation, family and neighborhood story with similar complaints were obtained. Patient data were also obtained from manually written patients files and electronical patient file system. Formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue blocks of all biopsy material were submitted for polymerase chain reaction (PCR study for F. tularensis. Results: A total of six cases with head and neck mass following a story of tonsillopharyngitis admitted to different clinics including infectious diseases, ear-nose-throat and internal medicine in our tertiary care hospital. Physical examination revealed immobile, hard, conglomerated unilateral cervical lymphadenopathy in all cases. Histopathological examination revealed granulomatous inflammation in four cases. Acute suppurative inflammatory changes were also seen in two cases. Large necrotic areas mimicking casseifying necrosis were seen in two cases. PCR amplification of F. tularensis genom from isolated deoxyribonucleic acids was successful in five cases. Conclusion: Tularemia should be kept in mind in patients with tonsillopharyngitis not responding to penicillins and beta

  14. [Tularemia is spreading from north to south side of Turkey: a small outbreak in Kahramanmaras, Turkey].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozkurt, İlkay; Kiliç, Selçuk

    2014-07-01

    Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis. Sporadic tularemia cases have been increasingly reported particularly from provinces located at northwest and central regions of Turkey especially during last two decades, as well as waterborne outbreaks reported from almost all regions. Transmission most often occurs through consumption of contaminated water and food, thus, oropharyngeal form is the most common clinical presentation in our country. The aim of this study was to present a small outbreak experience in Afsin, country of Kahramanmaras province located at southern part of Turkey. A total of 10 patients (5 male, 5 female; age range 2-68 years; mean age 25 years) who were admitted to Afsin State Hospital with the complaints of swollen neck between 21 October 2013-22 January 2014, were evaluated considering their clinical findings and treatment outcomes. Following the diagnosis of the first tularemia case coming from Nadir village, a field investigation was performed. All villagers were informed about the disease and water samples from the possible sources of outbreak were collected by provincial health authorities. Lymph node aspirate and serum samples were sent for culture and serologic investigation and the environmental water samples were sent for molecular analysis to the National Tularemia Reference Laboratory at Public Health Institution of Turkey. Six out of 10 patients' sera were found positive in terms of F.tularensis antibodies between the titers of 1/320-1/1280 by microagglutination test (MAT) and diagnosis of oropharyngeal tularemia was based on the clinical and serological findings. One of the patients also presented with oculoglandular form accompanying oropharyngeal form. Cultures from aspirate samples that could be obtained from only two patients yielded negative results. Three out of six patients' lymph nodes were drained surgically and one was drained by ultrasound-guided needle. In one case lymph node suppuration occured

  15. Role of latent membrane protein 1 in chronic active Epstein–Barr virus infection-derived T/NK-cell proliferation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ito, Takuto; Kawazu, Hidetaka; Murata, Takayuki; Iwata, Seiko; Arakawa, Saki; Sato, Yoshitaka; Kuzushima, Kiyotaka; Goshima, Fumi; Kimura, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) predominantly infects B cells and causes B-cell lymphomas, such as Burkitt lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. However, it also infects other types of cells, including T and natural killer (NK) cells, and causes disorders, such as chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV) and T/NK-cell lymphoma. The CAEBV is a lymphoproliferative disease with poor prognosis, where EBV-positive T or NK cells grow rapidly, although the molecular mechanisms that cause the cell expansion still remain to be elucidated. EBV-encoded latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is an oncogene that can transform some cell types, such as B cells and mouse fibroblasts, and thus may stimulate cell proliferation in CAEBV. Here, we examined the effect of LMP1 on EBV-negative cells using the cells conditionally expressing LMP1, and on CAEBV-derived EBV-positive cells by inhibiting the function of LMP1 using a dominant negative form of LMP1. We demonstrated that LMP1 was responsible for the increased cell proliferation in the cell lines derived from CAEBV, while LMP1 did not give any proliferative advantage to the EBV-negative cell line

  16. Systematic detection of positive selection in the human-pathogen interactome and lasting effects on infectious disease susceptibility.

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    Erik Corona

    Full Text Available Infectious disease has shaped the natural genetic diversity of humans throughout the world. A new approach to capture positive selection driven by pathogens would provide information regarding pathogen exposure in distinct human populations and the constantly evolving arms race between host and disease-causing agents. We created a human pathogen interaction database and used the integrated haplotype score (iHS to detect recent positive selection in genes that interact with proteins from 26 different pathogens. We used the Human Genome Diversity Panel to identify specific populations harboring pathogen-interacting genes that have undergone positive selection. We found that human genes that interact with 9 pathogen species show evidence of recent positive selection. These pathogens are Yersenia pestis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV 1, Zaire ebolavirus, Francisella tularensis, dengue virus, human respiratory syncytial virus, measles virus, Rubella virus, and Bacillus anthracis. For HIV-1, GWAS demonstrate that some naturally selected variants in the host-pathogen protein interaction networks continue to have functional consequences for susceptibility to these pathogens. We show that selected human genes were enriched for HIV susceptibility variants (identified through GWAS, providing further support for the hypothesis that ancient humans were exposed to lentivirus pandemics. Human genes in the Italian, Miao, and Biaka Pygmy populations that interact with Y. pestis show significant signs of selection. These results reveal some of the genetic footprints created by pathogens in the human genome that may have left lasting marks on susceptibility to infectious disease.

  17. Demographic characteristics and infectious diseases of a population of American black bears in Humboldt County, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Nicole; Higley, J Mark; Sajecki, Jaime L; Chomel, Bruno B; Brown, Richard N; Foley, Janet E

    2015-02-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) are common, widely distributed, and broad-ranging omnivorous mammals in northern California forests. Bears may be susceptible to pathogens infecting both domestic animals and humans. Monitoring bear populations, particularly in changing ecosystems, is important to understanding ecological features that could affect bear population health and influence the likelihood that bears may cause adverse impacts on humans. In all, 321 bears were captured between May, 2001, and October, 2003, and blood samples were collected and tested for multiple zoonotic and vector-borne diseases. We found a PCR prevalence of 10% for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and a seroprevalence of 28% for Toxoplasma gondii, 26% for Borrelia burgdorferi, 26% for A. phagocytophilum, 8% for Trichinella spiralis, 8% for Francisella tularensis and 1% for Yersinia pestis. In addition, we tested bears for pathogens of domestic dogs and found a seroprevalence of 15% for canine distemper virus and 0.6% for canine parvovirus. Our findings show that black bears can become infected with pathogens that are an important public health concern, as well as pathogens that can affect both domestic animals and other wildlife species.

  18. Climate change and infectious diseases in the Arctic: establishment of a circumpolar working group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Alan J.; Evengard, Birgitta; Semenza, Jan C.; Ogden, Nicholas; Børresen, Malene L.; Berner, Jim; Brubaker, Michael; Sjöstedt, Anders; Evander, Magnus; Hondula, David M.; Menne, Bettina; Pshenichnaya, Natalia; Gounder, Prabhu; Larose, Tricia; Revich, Boris; Hueffer, Karsten; Albihn, Ann

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic, even more so than other parts of the world, has warmed substantially over the past few decades. Temperature and humidity influence the rate of development, survival and reproduction of pathogens and thus the incidence and prevalence of many infectious diseases. Higher temperatures may also allow infected host species to survive winters in larger numbers, increase the population size and expand their habitat range. The impact of these changes on human disease in the Arctic has not been fully evaluated. There is concern that climate change may shift the geographic and temporal distribution of a range of infectious diseases. Many infectious diseases are climate sensitive, where their emergence in a region is dependent on climate-related ecological changes. Most are zoonotic diseases, and can be spread between humans and animals by arthropod vectors, water, soil, wild or domestic animals. Potentially climate-sensitive zoonotic pathogens of circumpolar concern include Brucella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Trichinella spp., Clostridium botulinum, Francisella tularensis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Bacillus anthracis, Echinococcus spp., Leptospira spp., Giardia spp., Cryptosporida spp., Coxiella burnetti, rabies virus, West Nile virus, Hantaviruses, and tick-borne encephalitis viruses. PMID:25317383

  19. YopP-expressing variant of Y. pestis activates a potent innate immune response affording cross-protection against yersiniosis and tularemia [corrected].

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    Ayelet Zauberman

    Full Text Available Plague, initiated by Yersinia pestis infection, is a rapidly progressing disease with a high mortality rate if not quickly treated. The existence of antibiotic-resistant Y. pestis strains emphasizes the need for the development of novel countermeasures against plague. We previously reported the generation of a recombinant Y. pestis strain (Kim53ΔJ+P that over-expresses Y. enterocolitica YopP. When this strain was administered subcutaneously to mice, it elicited a fast and effective protective immune response in models of bubonic, pneumonic and septicemic plague. In the present study, we further characterized the immune response induced by the Kim53ΔJ+P recombinant strain. Using a panel of mouse strains defective in specific immune functions, we observed the induction of a prompt protective innate immune response that was interferon-γ dependent. Moreover, inoculation of mice with Y. pestis Kim53ΔJ+P elicited a rapid protective response against secondary infection by other bacterial pathogens, including the enteropathogen Y. enterocolitica and the respiratory pathogen Francisella tularensis. Thus, the development of new therapies to enhance the innate immune response may provide an initial critical delay in disease progression following the exposure to highly virulent bacterial pathogens, extending the time window for successful treatment.

  20. Ticks and tick-borne pathogens and putative symbionts of black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) from Georgia and Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yabsley, Michael J; Nims, Todd N; Savage, Mason Y; Durden, Lance A

    2009-10-01

    Ticks were collected from 38 black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) from northwestern Florida (n = 18) from 2003 to 2005 and southern Georgia (n = 20) in 2006. Five species (Amblyomma americanum, A. maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, and I. affinis) were collected from Florida bears, and 4 species (A. americanum, A. maculatum, D. variabilis, I. scapularis) were collected from bears in Georgia. Ixodes scapularis was the most frequently collected tick, followed by D. variabilis, A. americanum, A. maculatum, and I. affinis. The collection of I. affinis from a Florida bear represents a new host record. A subset of ticks was screened for pathogens and putative symbionts by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The zoonotic tick-borne pathogens Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Rickettsia parkeri were detected in 1 of 23 (4.3%) A. americanum and 1 of 12 (8.3%) A. maculatum, respectively. The putative zoonotic pathogen "Rickettsia amblyommii" was detected in 4 (17.4%) A. americanum and 1 (8.3%) A. maculatum. Other putative symbiotic rickettsiae detected included R. bellii and R. montanensis in D. variabilis, a Rickettsia cooleyi-like sp. and Rickettsia sp. Is-1 in I. scapularis, and Rickettsia TR39-like sp. in I. scapularis and A. americanum. All ticks were PCR-negative for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Panola Mountain Ehrlichia sp., E. ewingii, Francisella tularensis, and Borrelia spp.

  1. Comparison of Two Suspension Arrays for Simultaneous Detection of Five Biothreat Bacterial in Powder Samples

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    Yu Yang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We have developed novel Bio-Plex assays for simultaneous detection of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Brucella spp., Francisella tularensis, and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Universal primers were used to amplify highly conserved region located within the 16S rRNA amplicon, followed by hybridized to pathogen-specific probes for identification of these five organisms. The other assay is based on multiplex PCR to simultaneously amplify five species-specific pathogen identification-targeted regions unique to individual pathogen. Both of the two arrays are validated to be flexible and sensitive for simultaneous detection of bioterrorism bacteria. However, universal primer PCR-based array could not identify Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Brucella spp. at the species level because of the high conservation of 16S rDNA of the same genus. The two suspension arrays can be utilized to detect Bacillus anthracis sterne spore and Yersinia pestis EV76 from mimic “write powder” samples, they also proved that the suspension array system will be valuable tools for diagnosis of bacterial biothreat agents in environmental samples.

  2. Pilot Cross-Sectional Study of Three Zoonoses (Lyme Disease, Tularaemia, Leptospirosis) among Healthy Blood Donors in Eastern Slovakia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zákutná, Ľubica; Dorko, Erik; Rimárová, Kvetoslava; Kizeková, Marianna

    2015-06-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the seroprevalence of three zoonotic infections among healthy blood donors/volunteers in Eastern Slovakia. Sera from 124 blood donors were investigated for the presence of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi, Francisella tularensis and Leptospira pomona. The participants also completed the questionnaire about demographic, exposure and epidemiological characteristics. Two serological methods were used for the diagnosis: the enzyme linked protein A/G assay (ELPAGA) and the Western blot (WB). First, sera were screened by ELPAGA (except for leptospirosis). The observed seroprevalence was 15% for Lyme borreliosis (LB) and 4% for tularaemia (TUL). The results were confirmed by WB. Positive IgG antibodies (WB method) were detected only in 1.6% of examined for LB and 0.8% for TUL. Our results did not identify any antibodies against Leptospira pomona agent in the examined healthy blood donors group. ELPAGA seroprevalence for TUL was significantly higher in blood donors working in the agricultural area in the direct contact with hay, straw, manure, and agricultural land. Our outputs determine tick bite as a significant risk factor for LB. The study confirms the explosion of tick-borne diseases in the healthy population of people. The exposure risk for leptospirosis seems to be minimal. Copyright© by the National Institute of Public Health, Prague 2015.

  3. Getting “Inside” Type I IFNs: Type I IFNs in Intracellular Bacterial Infections

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    Deann T. Snyder

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Type I interferons represent a unique and complex group of cytokines, serving many purposes during innate and adaptive immunity. Discovered in the context of viral infections, type I IFNs are now known to have myriad effects in infectious and autoimmune disease settings. Type I IFN signaling during bacterial infections is dependent on many factors including whether the infecting bacterium is intracellular or extracellular, as different signaling pathways are activated. As such, the repercussions of type I IFN induction can positively or negatively impact the disease outcome. This review focuses on type I IFN induction and downstream consequences during infection with the following intracellular bacteria: Chlamydia trachomatis, Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Francisella tularensis, Brucella abortus, Legionella pneumophila, and Coxiella burnetii. Intracellular bacterial infections are unique because the bacteria must avoid, circumvent, and even co-opt microbial “sensing” mechanisms in order to reside and replicate within a host cell. Furthermore, life inside a host cell makes intracellular bacteria more difficult to target with antibiotics. Because type I IFNs are important immune effectors, modulating this pathway may improve disease outcomes. But first, it is critical to understand the context-dependent effects of the type I IFN pathway in intracellular bacterial infections.

  4. Serologic survey for selected arboviruses and other potential pathogens in wildlife from Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguirre, A A; McLean, R G; Cook, R S; Quan, T J

    1992-07-01

    During 1988 and 1989, a serologic survey of wildlife was conducted in northeastern Mexico to determine the presence, prevalence, and distribution of arboviruses and other selected disease agents. Eighty mammal specimens were tested. Antibodies to vesicular stomatitis-Indiana, Venezuelan equine encephalitis-Mena II, Rio Grande virus, and vesicular stomatitis-New Jersey were detected predominantly in small mammals. Deer and mouflon (Ovis musimon) had antibodies to bluetongue and epizootic hemorrhagic disease. Two species had serologic evidence of recent exposure to Francisella tularensis. A white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) had antibodies to Anaplasma marginale. All specimens tested for antibodies against Yersinia pestis and Brucella abortus were negative. Sera from 315 birds were tested for antibody against five equine encephalitis viruses and six avian pathogens. During 1988, antibodies to Venezuelan equine encephalitis-Mena II, Venezuelan equine encephalitis-TC83, St. Louis encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, and western equine encephalitis were detected in birds of several species. Antibodies to Pasteurella multocida and Newcastle disease virus were also detected. Birds from five species presented antibodies to Mycoplasma meleagridis. Specimens tested for M. gallisepticum, M. synoviae, and Chlamydia psittaci were negative. To the best of our knowledge, this survey represents the first serologic evidence of bluetongue, Cache Valley virus, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, Jamestown Canyon virus, vesicular stomatitis-Indiana, vesicular stomatitis-New Jersey, Rio Grande virus, and tularemia reported among wildlife in Mexico.

  5. Clinical Characteristics of Ulceroglandular Tularemia in Two Bulgarian Regions, 2014-2015: a Report of Five Cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pekova Liliya M.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available We present here the first five human cases with tularemia from two regions in South Bulgaria in which there had been no previous report of the infection. The cases occurred over a period of 8 months (December 2014 - August 2015. They were treated at the Department of Infectious Diseases in Stara Zagora University Hospital, Bulgaria. We present the clinical, epidemiological and laboratory data for four men and one woman (age range 52 to 73 years. Three men were hunters, four patients took part in handling, preparing/skinning and cooking the game animals. One man marked agricultural work and contact with straw stems. After a mean incubation period of 4.8±1.4 days ulcers appeared, followed by local painful lymphadenitis. All patients presented with liver enlargement and elevation in acute phase reactants. The etiological diagnosis was made by tube agglutination test in all cases, PCR positive result was found in one. The administered antibacterial treatment was a combination of aminoglycosides and 4-quinolones with the outcome being favorable for all patients. The current report suggests presence of Francisella tularensis in South Bulgaria.

  6. Climate change and infectious diseases in the Arctic: establishment of a circumpolar working group

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan J. Parkinson

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic, even more so than other parts of the world, has warmed substantially over the past few decades. Temperature and humidity influence the rate of development, survival and reproduction of pathogens and thus the incidence and prevalence of many infectious diseases. Higher temperatures may also allow infected host species to survive winters in larger numbers, increase the population size and expand their habitat range. The impact of these changes on human disease in the Arctic has not been fully evaluated. There is concern that climate change may shift the geographic and temporal distribution of a range of infectious diseases. Many infectious diseases are climate sensitive, where their emergence in a region is dependent on climate-related ecological changes. Most are zoonotic diseases, and can be spread between humans and animals by arthropod vectors, water, soil, wild or domestic animals. Potentially climate-sensitive zoonotic pathogens of circumpolar concern include Brucella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Trichinella spp., Clostridium botulinum, Francisella tularensis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Bacillus anthracis, Echinococcus spp., Leptospira spp., Giardia spp., Cryptosporida spp., Coxiella burnetti, rabies virus, West Nile virus, Hantaviruses, and tick-borne encephalitis viruses.

  7. An overview: tularemia and travel medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulu-Kilic, Aysegul; Doganay, Mehmet

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia is a bacterial zoonotic infection. The disease is endemic in most parts of the world, has been reported through the northern hemisphere between 30 and 71° N latitude. Francisella tularensis causes infection in a wide range of vertebrates (rodents, lagomorphs) and invertebrates (ticks, mosquitoes and other arthropods). Humans can acquire this infection through several routes including; a bite from an infected tick, deerfly or mosquito, contact with an infected animal or its dead body. It can also be spread to human by drinking contaminated water or breathing contaminated dirt or aerosol. Clinical manifestation of this disease varies depending on the biotype, inoculum and port of entry. Infection is potentially life threatening, but can effectively be treated with antibiotics. Travelers visiting rural and agricultural areas in endemic countries may be at greater risk. Appropriate clothing and use of insect repellants is essential to prevent tick borne illness. Travelers also should be aware of food and waterborne disease; avoid consuming potentially contaminated water and uncooked meat. Physicians should be aware of any clinical presentation of tularemia in the patients returning from endemic areas. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Immunoproteomic analysis of the human antibody response to natural tularemia infection with Type A or Type B strains or LVS vaccination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, Kelly M.; Zhao, Xigeng; Petit, Mireille D.; Kilmury, Sara L.N; Wolfraim, Lawrence A.; House, Robert V.; Sjostedt, Anders; Twine, Susan M.

    2011-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is pathogenic for many mammalian species including humans, causing a spectrum of diseases called tularemia. The highly virulent Type A strains have associated mortality rates of up to 60% if inhaled. An attenuated live vaccine strain (LVS) is the only vaccine to show efficacy in humans, but suffers several barriers to licensure, including the absence of a correlate of protection. An immunoproteomics approach was used to survey the repertoire of antibodies in sera from individuals who had contracted tularemia during two outbreaks and individuals from two geographical areas who had been vaccinated with NDBR Lot 11 or Lot 17 LVS. These data showed a large overlap in the antibodies generated in response to tularemia infection or LVS vaccination. A total of seven proteins were observed to be reactive with 60 % or more sera from vaccinees and convalescents. A further four proteins were recognised by 30–60 % of the sera screened. These proteins have the potential to serve as markers of vaccination or candidates for subunit vaccines. PMID:21873113

  9. Evolutionary Insights into IL17A in Lagomorphs

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    Fabiana Neves

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In leporids, IL17A had been implicated in the host defense against extracellular pathogens, such as Francisella tularensis that infects hares and rabbits and causes the zoonotic disease tularemia. Here, we studied IL17A from five lagomorphs, European rabbit, pygmy rabbit, brush rabbit, European brown hare, and American pika. We observed that this protein is highly conserved between these species, with a similarity of 97–99% in leporids and ~88% between leporids and American pika. The exon/intron structure, N-glycosylation sites, and cysteine residues are conserved between lagomorphs. However, at codon 88, one of the interaction sites between IL17A and its receptor IL17RA, there is an Arg>Pro mutation that only occurs in European rabbit and European brown hare. This could induce critical alterations in the IL17A structure and conformation and consequently modify its function. The differences observed between leporids and humans or rodents might also represent important alterations in protein structure and function. In addition, as for other interleukins, IL17A sequences of human and European rabbit are more closely related than the sequences of human and mouse or European rabbit and mouse. This study gives further support to the hypothesis that European rabbit might be a more suitable animal model for studies on human IL17.

  10. A case of typhoidal tularemia in a male Japanese farmer

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    Kiwamu Nakamura

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available In Japan, most tularemia cases occur after contact with hares (hunting, cooking and involve the glandular or ulceroglandular form. Here, we present a case of typhoidal tularemia in a 72-year-old Japanese male farmer who presented with fever, fatigue, and right lower abdominal pain. Computed tomography revealed intestinal wall thickening at the ascending colon, pleural effusion, and ascites. Following an initial diagnosis of bacterial enteric infection, his symptoms deteriorated after a week-long cephalosporin treatment course. The patient lived in an area endemic for scrub typhus; the antibiotic was changed to a tetracycline on suspicion of scrub typhus infection. His symptoms rapidly improved after initiation of minocycline treatment. Later, blood tests revealed marked increases in serological tests against Francisella tularensis exclusively, and the patient was diagnosed with typhoidal tularemia. Typhoidal tularemia may be characterized by any combination of general symptoms, but does not exhibit the local manifestations associated with other forms of tularemia. The patient, in this case, had no direct contact with hares or other wild animals and did not present with local manifestations of tularemia. Physicians should consider this disease, especially when tick-borne disease is suspected in the absence of local wounds, eschar, ulcers, or lymphadenopathy.

  11. Tularemia: potential role of cytopathology in differential diagnosis of cervical lymphadenitis: multicenter experience in 53 cases and literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuncer, Ersin; Onal, Binnur; Simsek, Gulcin; Elagoz, Sahande; Sahpaz, Ahmet; Kilic, Selcuk; Altuntas, Emine Elif; Ulu Kilic, Aysegul

    2014-03-01

    Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by Francisella tularensis. Tularemia outbreaks occurred in Central Anatolia during 2009 and 2011. We evaluated the clinical characteristics and cytomorphologies of fine needle aspirations (FNAs) from cervical lymph nodes in serologically confirmed tularemia cases. To our knowledge, this is the first large series concerning FNA morphology of Tularemia. FNA smears of 53 patients of the 290, diagnosed by microagglutination tests and PCR, were evaluated at three Pathology centers. FNAs were performed by cytopathologists or ear-nose-throat surgeons. Of all patients, 17 had also lymph node resections. FNAs showed the presence of suppuration and abscess. Rare epithelioid histiocytes and granulomas, seldom phagocytosed bacilli-like microorganisms were observed. On histopathology; granulomas, necrosis, and suppurative inflammation extending extracapsular areas were seen. Tularemia is endemic in certain areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The benefit from cytopathology is limited and cytological suspicion should be confirmed by serology. However FNA cytology is helpful in differential diagnosis of tularemia and other diseases presented with suppurative, granulomatous cervical lymphadenitis. It is also useful in providing the material for PCR and culture in early phase when the serology is negative and the treatment is more effective. © 2013 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Spatio-temporal dynamics of tularemia in French wildlife: 2002-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moinet, Marie; Decors, Anouk; Mendy, Christiane; Faure, Eva; Durand, Benoit; Madani, Nora

    2016-08-01

    Tularemia, caused by Francisella tularensis, is endemic in France. The surveillance of this disease in wildlife is operated by the SAGIR Network and by the National Reference Laboratory for Tularemia. Wild animals found dead or dying collected by the SAGIR network are necropsied and when tularemia is suspected culture and/or PCR are performed to confirm the diagnosis. The aim of this study was to present the results of tularemia surveillance in wildlife and to investigate the spatial and temporal pattern of tularemia observed between the 2002-2003 and 2012-2013 hunting seasons in French wildlife. Fourty-one to 121 cases were collected each hunting season for a total of 693 confirmed cases and 46 additional suspected cases. The main species affected was the European Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) but 4 rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), 2 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and one wild boar (Sus scrofa) were also found positive. The Standard Mortality Ratio was mapped and Kulldorff's retrospective space-time scan statistic was implemented and allowed the detection of several clusters: the nationwide outbreak of 2007-2008; 2 clusters in northern and central-western France in high hare-abundance areas and another in North-eastern France where the abundance of hares is low. Our results confirm the usefulness of brown hare as a sentinel of environmental risk. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Seroepidemiological survey of tularemia among different groups in western Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmaeili, Saber; Gooya, Mohammad Mehdi; Shirzadi, Mohammad Reza; Esfandiari, Behzad; Amiri, Fahimeh Bagheri; Behzadi, Manijeh Yousefi; Banafshi, Omid; Mostafavi, Ehsan

    2014-01-01

    The first human case of tularemia in Iran was reported in 1980 and there have been no subsequent reports of tularemia in the country. The aim of this study was to carry out a survey of tularemia among different groups in the province of Kurdistan in western Iran. The following information was collected by means of an in-house questionnaire: participant demographic characteristics, exposure to risks, and use of appropriate personal protective equipment and disinfectant in their occupation. A blood sample was collected from each participant. Sera were tested using an ELISA kit (Virion\\Serion) to detect specific IgG antibodies against Francisella tularensis. Of a total of 250 serum samples, 14.40% had anti-tularemia IgG antibodies. The highest seroprevalence was found in hunters (18%) and the lowest in health care workers (12%). Age had a significant positive association with tularemia seroprevalence (ptularemia in people exposed to foxes (hunting or eating the meat) (25%) was significantly higher than in others (8.65%) (p = 0.01). According to the findings of this study, it is highly recommended that physicians and health care workers are informed about bacteria circulating in this area. By sensitizing the health system, it is expected that some cases of the clinical disease will be reported in the near future. Similar studies in other parts of the country and on domestic and wild animals will clarify the epidemiology of tularemia in Iran. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Tularemia in the Republic of Serbia during the period from 2000-2011

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    Marić Jovan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Tularemia is an infective disease of zoonotic character, bacterial etiology, which occurs predominantly among rodents, but also in other species of domestic and wild mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and humans. The cause of the disease is Francisella tularensis. Due to its epidemiological-epizootiological characteristics, the cause belongs to the group of biological agents and it has been used as a biological weapon. The disease is characterized by primary local ulcerous changes on the skin and mucosa, regional lymphadenitis, expressed general septicemia, and other changes. This disease is suspected on the grounds of epizootiological data on the incidence of the disease or the deaths of rabbits, sheep, or dogs, but also humans. During the observed period of twelve years, 317 cases of infected humans were recorded in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, without any mortal outcomes. The disease was confirmed in animals in only one case (2006.. In order to ensure full success in preventing the spreading and in the curbing of tularemia it is necessary to secure cooperation among a large number of professionals, in particular those engaged in the fields of human and veterinary medicine.

  15. Tularemia, plague, yersiniosis, and Tyzzer’s disease in wild rodents and lagomorphs in Canada: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wobeser, Gary; Campbell, G. Douglas; Dallaire, André; McBurney, Scott

    2009-01-01

    Information related to infection of wild rodents or lagomorphs in Canada by Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, other Yersinia spp., and Clostridium piliforme was searched for this study. Reports on tularemia in humans linked to these species came from diagnostic databases, literature, wildlife health specialists, and public health agencies. Tularemia has been diagnosed in 8 species of wild rodent and 2 species in the genus Lepus in Canada. Tularemia occurred in wild animals, or in humans associated with these species, in all jurisdictions except the Yukon and Nunavut. Tularemia was diagnosed most frequently in beaver, muskrats, and snowshoe hares, and although tularemia is closely linked to cottontail rabbits in the USA, it has not been reported in cottontails in Canada. Tularemia in humans was associated with muskrats and hares more commonly than with beaver. Plague was diagnosed in bushy-tailed woodrats in British Columbia in 1988. Based on surveys, Y. pestis may occur enzootically in southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Infection with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica has been diagnosed in beaver, muskrats, and snowshoe hares in many provinces. Tyzzer’s disease has been diagnosed in muskrats in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec and in snowshoe hares in Ontario. Infection with these bacteria is likely much more frequent than indicated by diagnostic records. PMID:20190973

  16. Bioterrorismo e microrganismos patogênicosApresentação

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    Hermann G. Schatzmayr

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available O uso de microrganismos patogênicos em atos de bioterrorismo é já há algum tempo objeto de grande preocupação em vários países. O presente trabalho apresenta a possível aplicação de vírus e bactérias para fins bélicos e terroristas, bem como o diagnóstico laboratorial para a identificação desses agentes. Foram salientados, entre outros, como agentes de infecções humanas visando o bioterrorismo, os vírus da varíola (ortopoxvírus, os de febres hemorrágicas e os pertencentes aos filovírus. Entre as bactérias foram destacadas as do antrax ( Bacillus anthracis , da peste ( Yersinia pestis , do botulismo ( Clostridium botulinum e da tularemia ( Francisella tularensis , incluindo ainda a ricina ( Ricinus communis como componente do grupo B de agentes.

  17. Do Tick Attachment Times Vary between Different Tick-Pathogen Systems?

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    Stephanie L. Richards

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Improvements to risk assessments are needed to enhance our understanding of tick-borne disease epidemiology. We review tick vectors and duration of tick attachment required for pathogen transmission for the following pathogens/toxins and diseases: (1 Anaplasma phagocytophilum (anaplasmosis; (2 Babesia microti (babesiosis; (3 Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease; (4 Southern tick-associated rash illness; (5 Borrelia hermsii (tick-borne relapsing fever; (6 Borrelia parkeri (tick-borne relapsing fever; (7 Borrelia turicatae (tick-borne relapsing fever; (8 Borrelia mayonii; (9 Borrelia miyamotoi; (10 Coxiella burnetii (Query fever; (11 Ehrlichia chaffeensis (ehrlichiosis; (12 Ehrlichia ewingii (ehrlichiosis; (13 Ehrlichia muris; (14 Francisella tularensis (tularemia; (15 Rickettsia 364D; (16 Rickettsia montanensis; (17 Rickettsia parkeri (American boutonneuse fever, American tick bite fever; (18 Rickettsia ricketsii (Rocky Mountain spotted fever; (19 Colorado tick fever virus (Colorado tick fever; (20 Heartland virus; (21 Powassan virus (Powassan disease; (22 tick paralysis neurotoxin; and (23 Galactose-α-1,3-galactose (Mammalian Meat Allergy-alpha-gal syndrome. Published studies for 12 of the 23 pathogens/diseases showed tick attachment times. Reported tick attachment times varied (<1 h to seven days between pathogen/toxin type and tick vector. Not all studies were designed to detect the duration of attachment required for transmission. Knowledge of this important aspect of vector competence is lacking and impairs risk assessment for some tick-borne pathogens.

  18. Atomic Structure of Type VI Contractile Sheath from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salih, Osman; He, Shaoda; Planamente, Sara; Stach, Lasse; MacDonald, James T; Manoli, Eleni; Scheres, Sjors H W; Filloux, Alain; Freemont, Paul S

    2018-02-06

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa has three type VI secretion systems (T6SSs), H1-, H2-, and H3-T6SS, each belonging to a distinct group. The two T6SS components, TssB/VipA and TssC/VipB, assemble to form tubules that conserve structural/functional homology with tail sheaths of contractile bacteriophages and pyocins. Here, we used cryoelectron microscopy to solve the structure of the H1-T6SS P. aeruginosa TssB1C1 sheath at 3.3 Å resolution. Our structure allowed us to resolve some features of the T6SS sheath that were not resolved in the Vibrio cholerae VipAB and Francisella tularensis IglAB structures. Comparison with sheath structures from other contractile machines, including T4 phage and R-type pyocins, provides a better understanding of how these systems have conserved similar functions/mechanisms despite evolution. We used the P. aeruginosa R2 pyocin as a structural template to build an atomic model of the TssB1C1 sheath in its extended conformation, allowing us to propose a coiled-spring-like mechanism for T6SS sheath contraction. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Physiologic Reference Ranges for Captive Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keckler, M Shannon; Gallardo-Romero, Nadia F; Langham, Gregory L; Damon, Inger K; Karem, Kevin L; Carroll, Darin S

    2010-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a member of the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae. Ecologically, prairie dogs are a keystone species in prairie ecology. This species is used as an animal model for human gallbladder disease and diseases caused by infection with Clostridium difficile, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, and most recently, Orthopoxvirus. Despite increasing numbers of prairie dogs used in research and kept as pets, few data are available on their baseline physiology in animal facility housing conditions. To establish baseline physiologic reference ranges, we designed a study using 18 wild-caught black-tailed prairie dogs. Telemetry data were analyzed to establish circadian rhythms for activity and temperature. In addition, hematologic and serum chemistry analyses were performed. Baseline measurements were used to establish the mean for each animal, which then were compiled and analyzed to determine the reference ranges. Here we present physiologic data on serum chemistry and hematology profiles, as well as weight, core body temperature, and daily activity patterns for black-tailed prairie dogs. These results reflect the use of multiple measurements from species- and age-matched prairie dogs and likely will be useful to ecologists, scientists interested in using this animal model in research, and veterinarians caring for pet prairie dogs. PMID:20587156

  20. Risk Prioritization Tool to Identify the Public Health Risks of Wildlife Trade: The Case of Rodents from Latin America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, I; Smith, K M; Sampedro, F; Machalaba, C C; Karesh, W B; Travis, D A

    2016-06-01

    Wildlife trade (both formal and informal) is a potential driver of disease introduction and emergence. Legislative proposals aim to prevent these risks by banning wildlife imports, and creating 'white lists' of species that are cleared for importation. These approaches pose economic harm to the pet industry, and place substantial burden on importers and/or federal agencies to provide proof of low risk for importation of individual species. As a feasibility study, a risk prioritization tool was developed to rank the pathogens found in rodent species imported from Latin America into the United States with the highest risk of zoonotic consequence in the United States. Four formally traded species and 16 zoonotic pathogens were identified. Risk scores were based on the likelihood of pathogen release and human exposure, and the severity of the disease (consequences). Based on the methodology applied, three pathogens (Mycobacterium microti, Giardia spp. and Francisella tularensis) in one species (Cavia porcellus) were ranked as highest concern. The goal of this study was to present a methodological approach by which preliminary management resources can be allocated to the identified high-concern pathogen-species combinations when warranted. This tool can be expanded to other taxa and geographic locations to inform policy surrounding the wildlife trade. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  1. Modulation of immune response by bacterial lipopolysaccharides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Aldapa-Vega

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Lipopolysaccharide (LPS is a molecule that is profusely found on the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and is also a potent stimulator of the immune response. As the main molecule on the bacterial surface, is also the most biologically active. The immune response of the host is activated by the recognition of LPS through Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4 and this receptor-ligand interaction is closely linked to LPS structure. Microorganisms have evolved systems to control the expression and structure of LPS, producing structural variants that are used for modulating the host immune responses during infection. Examples of this include Helicobacter pylori, Francisella tularensis, Chlamydia trachomatis and Salmonella spp. High concentrations of LPS can cause fever, increased heart rate and lead to septic shock and death. However, at relatively low concentrations some LPS are highly active immunomodulators, which can induce non-specific resistance to invading microorganisms. The elucidation of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the recognition of LPS and its structural variants has been fundamental to understand inflammation and is currently a pivotal field of research to understand the innate immune response, inflammation, the complex host-pathogen relationship and has important implications for the rational development of new immunomodulators and adjuvants.

  2. [Tularemia in Konya region, Turkey].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikici, Nebahat; Ural, Onur; Sümer, Sua; Oztürk, Kayhan; Albayrak Yiğit, Ozgen; Katlanır, Eda; Keleş, Bahar

    2012-04-01

    Tularemia is a zoonotic infection caused by Francisella tularensis. In the recent years tularemia has become a re-emerging infection in Turkey with epidemics and also sporadic cases. Transmission occurs most often through consumption of contaminated water and food, direct contact with animals and insect/ tick bites. In this study, we evaluated clinical features and laboratory findings of 35 tularemia cases diagnosed during two outbreaks that occurred in two different villages during two different periods in Konya (located in Central Anatolia), Turkey and five sporadic cases. In both outbreaks, first (index) cases were admitted to our outpatient clinic with the complaints of cervical lympadenopathy. After diagnosis of tularemia, an organized team visited the villages to search if more cases existed. For microbiological diagnosis, blood, throat and tonsil swabs and lymph node aspirate specimens were collected from the suspected cases. Diagnostic tests (culture, serology, molecular methods) for tularemia were performed in reference center, Refik Saydam National Public Health Agency. Drinking and potable water samples from those villages were also collected by provincial health authorities. The cases (n= 14) that belonged to the first epidemics were detected in February 2010 and cases (n= 21) of the second epidemics in November- December 2010; five cases were followed as sporadic. The mean age of the 40 patients (25 females, 15 males) was 37.6 (age range: 5-80 years; five of them were pediatric group) years. The most common complaints of patients were cervical mass (90%), sore throat (63%), chills (60%) and fever (58%). The most frequently detected clinical findings were enlarged lymph nodes (n= 34, 85%), followed by tonsillitis (20%), skin lesions (15%) and conjunctivitis (8%). Most of the patients (82.5%) had been misdignosed as acute tonsillitis, suppurative lymphadenitis, tuberculous lymphadenitis and brucellosis, before their admission to our hospital and treated

  3. [Investigation of the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lymph node aspirates of the suspected tularemia lymphadenitis cases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albayrak, Nurhan; Celebi, Bekir; Kavas, Semra; Simşek, Hülya; Kılıç, Selçuk; Sezen, Figen; Arslantürk, Ahmet

    2014-01-01

    Recently reports of cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis and oropharyngeal tularemia which are the most common infectious causes of granulomatous lymphadenitis, have been significantly increased in Turkey. The differentiation of cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis and oropharyngeal tularemia is usually confusing on the basis of clinical and histopathological findings. Thus, in tularemia endemic areas, the patients are more commonly evaluated in terms of tularemia lymphadenitis leaving tuberculosis out. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in cervical lymph node aspirates, obtained from tularemia suspected cases. A total of 105 oropharyngeal tularemia-suspected cases which were found negative for Francisella tularensis by bacteriological (culture), molecular (PCR) and serological (microagglutination) methods, were included in the study. The samples had been previously studied at National Tularemia Reference Laboratory, Turkish Public Health Institution, between 2009-2011. The study samples were evaluated in terms of M.tuberculosis by culture and real-time PCR (rtPCR) methods in the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory. Both Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) medium and liquid-based MGIT (BD, USA) automated culture system were used for mycobacterial culture. Samples that yielded mycobacterial growth were identified as M.tuberculosis by immunochromotographic test (BD, USA). The lymph node aspirates of 65 patients who were F.tularensis PCR negative but antibody positive, were used as the control group. As a result, M.tuberculosis was found to be positive in 9 (8.6%) of 105 tularemia-negative lymph node aspirates, sent to our laboratory from different geographic regions for the investigation of tularemia. Six of the M.tuberculosis positive cases were male and the age range of the patients was 26-85 years. The presence of M.tuberculosis was detected only by culture in two samples, only by rtPCR in five samples and both by culture and

  4. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex has a Pathway for the Biosynthesis of 4-Formamido-4,6-Dideoxy-d-Glucose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Haley A; Vinogradov, Evgeny; Gilbert, Michel; Holden, Hazel M

    2018-05-15

    Recent studies have demonstrated that the O-antigens of some pathogenic bacteria such as Brucella abortus, Francisella tularensis, and Campylobacter jejuni contain quite unusual N-formylated sugars (3-formamido-3,6-dideoxy-d-glucose or 4-formamido-4,6-dideoxy-d-glucose). Typically, four enzymes are required for the formation of such sugars: a thymidylyltransferase, a 4,6-dehydratase, a pyridoxal 5'-phosphate or PLP-dependent aminotransferase, and an N-formyltransferase. To date, there have been no published reports of N-formylated sugars associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A recent investigation from our laboratories, however, has demonstrated that one gene product from M. tuberculosis, Rv3404c, functions as a sugar N-formyltransferase. Given that M. tuberculosis produces l-rhamnose, both a thymidylyltransferase (Rv0334) and a 4,6-dehydratase (Rv3464) required for its formation have been identified. Thus, there is one remaining enzyme needed for the production of an N-formylated sugar in M. tuberculosis, namely a PLP-dependent aminotransferase. Here we demonstrate that the M. tuberculosis rv3402c gene encodes such an enzyme. Our data prove that M. tuberculosis contains all of the enzymatic activities required for the formation of dTDP-4-formamido-4,6-dideoxy-d-glucose. Indeed, the rv3402c gene product likely contributes to virulence or persistence during infection, though its temporal expression and location remain to be determined. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 The Protein Society.

  5. Evaluating thermodynamic integration performance of the new amber molecular dynamics package and assess potential halogen bonds of enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI) benzimidazole inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Pin-Chih; Johnson, Michael E

    2016-04-05

    Thermodynamic integration (TI) can provide accurate binding free energy insights in a lead optimization program, but its high computational expense has limited its usage. In the effort of developing an efficient and accurate TI protocol for FabI inhibitors lead optimization program, we carefully compared TI with different Amber molecular dynamics (MD) engines (sander and pmemd), MD simulation lengths, the number of intermediate states and transformation steps, and the Lennard-Jones and Coulomb Softcore potentials parameters in the one-step TI, using eleven benzimidazole inhibitors in complex with Francisella tularensis enoyl acyl reductase (FtFabI). To our knowledge, this is the first study to extensively test the new AMBER MD engine, pmemd, on TI and compare the parameters of the Softcore potentials in the one-step TI in a protein-ligand binding system. The best performing model, the one-step pmemd TI, using 6 intermediate states and 1 ns MD simulations, provides better agreement with experimental results (RMSD = 0.52 kcal/mol) than the best performing implicit solvent method, QM/MM-GBSA from our previous study (RMSD = 3.00 kcal/mol), while maintaining similar efficiency. Briefly, we show the optimized TI protocol to be highly accurate and affordable for the FtFabI system. This approach can be implemented in a larger scale benzimidazole scaffold lead optimization against FtFabI. Lastly, the TI results here also provide structure-activity relationship insights, and suggest the parahalogen in benzimidazole compounds might form a weak halogen bond with FabI, which is a well-known halogen bond favoring enzyme. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Structure-Based Design and Synthesis of a Small Molecule that Exhibits Anti-inflammatory Activity by Inhibition of MyD88-mediated Signaling to Bacterial Toxin Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Shahabuddin; Javor, Sacha; Degardin, Melissa; Ajami, Dariush; Rebek, Mitra; Kissner, Teri L; Waag, David M; Rebek, Julius; Saikh, Kamal U

    2015-08-01

    Both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens or pathogen-derived components, such as staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) and endotoxin (LPS) exposure, activate MyD88-mediated pro-inflammatory cellular immunity for host defense. However, dysregulated MyD88-mediated signaling triggers exaggerated immune response that often leads to toxic shock and death. Previously, we reported a small molecule compound 1 mimicking BB-loop structure of MyD88 was capable of inhibiting pro-inflammatory response to SEB exposure in mice. In this study, we designed a dimeric structure compound 4210 covalently linked with compound 1 by a non-polar cyclohexane linker which strongly inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human primary cells to SEB (IC50 1-50 μm) or LPS extracted from Francisella tularensis, Escherichia coli, or Burkholderia mallei (IC50 10-200 μm). Consistent with cytokine inhibition, in a ligand-induced cell-based reporter assay, compound 4210 inhibited Burkholderia mallei or LPS-induced MyD88-mediated NF-kB-dependent expression of reporter activity (IC50 10-30 μm). Furthermore, results from a newly expressed MyD88 revealed that 4210 inhibited MyD88 dimer formation which is critical for pro-inflammatory signaling. Importantly, a single administration of compound 4210 in mice showed complete protection from lethal toxin challenge. Collectively, these results demonstrated that compound 4210 inhibits toxin-induced inflated pro-inflammatory immune signaling, thus displays a potential bacterial toxin therapeutic. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  7. Biocidal and Sporicidal Efficacy of Pathoster® 0.35% and Pathoster® 0.50% Against Bacterial Agents in Potential Bioterrorism Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candeliere, Antonio; Donatiello, Adelia; Pagano, Stefania; Iatarola, Michela; Tolve, Francesco; Antonino, Leonardo; Fasanella, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The use of products that can neutralize or significantly reduce the microbial load and that are not harmful to human health and the environment represents a milestone in the fight against the spread of infectious diseases. Peracetic acid, besides being an excellent sterilizing and sporicidal agent, is harmless to humans and the environment when it is used in a common dosage. However, the high costs and loss of efficacy of the product very quickly after its reconstitution limit its use. We evaluated the efficacy and stability of 2 commercial products, based on stabilized peracetic acid (Pathoster® 0.35% and Pathoster® 0.50%) used against spores of Bacillus anthracis and spores of Bacillus cereus and vegetative forms of Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Francisella tularensis, Brucella abortus, and Brucella melitensis. The efficacy tests were based on the direct contact of the products with a standard suspension of the bacteria. The stability of the products was defined as the period of time during which the biocidal and sporicidal properties remained unchanged. The limit of effectiveness was the period after which the product was unable to exert a complete sterilization after a contact of 5 minutes with at least 1 of the 8 bacteria used in this work. Both formulations showed good efficacy against the microorganisms used in the study, confirming the utility of peracetic acid as a sterilizing product. After the reconstitution, Pathoster® 0.35% was stable until 16±1 days, while Pathoster® 0.50% was stable until 24±1 days. The formulations used in this study showed good performance and a significant stability of peracetic acid. PMID:27482880

  8. Structural modifications of bacterial lipopolysaccharide that facilitate Gram-negative bacteria evasion of host innate immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Motohiro eMatsuura

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS, a cell wall component characteristic of Gram-negative bacteria, is a representative pathogen-associated molecular pattern that allows mammalian cells to recognize bacterial invasion and trigger innate immune responses. The polysaccharide moiety of LPS primary plays protective roles for bacteria such as prevention from complement attacks or camouflage with common host carbohydrate residues. The lipid moiety, termed lipid A, is recognized by the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4/MD-2 complex, which transduces signals for activation of host innate immunity. The basic structure of lipid A is a glucosamine disaccharide substituted by phosphate groups and acyl groups. Lipid A with 6 acyl groups (hexa-acylated form has been indicated to be a strong stimulator of the TLR4/MD-2 complex. This type of lipid A is conserved among a wide variety of Gram-negative bacteria, and those bacteria are easily recognized by host cells for activation of defensive innate immune responses. Modifications of the lipid A structure to less-acylated forms have been observed in some bacterial species, and those forms are poor stimulators of the TLR4/MD-2 complex. Such modifications are thought to facilitate bacterial evasion of host innate immunity, thereby enhancing pathogenicity. This hypothesis is supported by studies of Yersinia pestis LPS, which contains hexa-acylated lipid A when the bacterium grows at 27ºC (the temperature of the vector flea, and shifts to contain less-acylated forms when grown at the human body temperature of 37ºC. This alteration of lipid A forms following transmission of Y. pestis from fleas to humans contributes predominantly to the virulence of this bacterium over other virulence factors. A similar role for less-acylated lipid A forms has been indicated in some other bacterial species, such as Francisella tularensis, Helicobacter pylori, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, and further studies to explore this concept are

  9. A Systematic Screen of FDA-Approved Drugs for Inhibitors of Biological Threat Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madrid, Peter B.; Chopra, Sidharth; Manger, Ian D.; Gilfillan, Lynne; Keepers, Tiffany R.; Shurtleff, Amy C.; Green, Carol E.; Iyer, Lalitha V.; Dilks, Holli Hutcheson; Davey, Robert A.; Kolokoltsov, Andrey A.; Carrion, Ricardo; Patterson, Jean L.; Bavari, Sina; Panchal, Rekha G.; Warren, Travis K.; Wells, Jay B.; Moos, Walter H.; Burke, RaeLyn L.; Tanga, Mary J.

    2013-01-01

    Background The rapid development of effective medical countermeasures against potential biological threat agents is vital. Repurposing existing drugs that may have unanticipated activities as potential countermeasures is one way to meet this important goal, since currently approved drugs already have well-established safety and pharmacokinetic profiles in patients, as well as manufacturing and distribution networks. Therefore, approved drugs could rapidly be made available for a new indication in an emergency. Methodology/Principal Findings A large systematic effort to determine whether existing drugs can be used against high containment bacterial and viral pathogens is described. We assembled and screened 1012 FDA-approved drugs for off-label broad-spectrum efficacy against Bacillus anthracis; Francisella tularensis; Coxiella burnetii; and Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fever viruses using in vitro cell culture assays. We found a variety of hits against two or more of these biological threat pathogens, which were validated in secondary assays. As expected, antibiotic compounds were highly active against bacterial agents, but we did not identify any non-antibiotic compounds with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Lomefloxacin and erythromycin were found to be the most potent compounds in vivo protecting mice against Bacillus anthracis challenge. While multiple virus-specific inhibitors were identified, the most noteworthy antiviral compound identified was chloroquine, which disrupted entry and replication of two or more viruses in vitro and protected mice against Ebola virus challenge in vivo. Conclusions/Significance The feasibility of repurposing existing drugs to face novel threats is demonstrated and this represents the first effort to apply this approach to high containment bacteria and viruses. PMID:23577127

  10. A systematic screen of FDA-approved drugs for inhibitors of biological threat agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter B Madrid

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The rapid development of effective medical countermeasures against potential biological threat agents is vital. Repurposing existing drugs that may have unanticipated activities as potential countermeasures is one way to meet this important goal, since currently approved drugs already have well-established safety and pharmacokinetic profiles in patients, as well as manufacturing and distribution networks. Therefore, approved drugs could rapidly be made available for a new indication in an emergency. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A large systematic effort to determine whether existing drugs can be used against high containment bacterial and viral pathogens is described. We assembled and screened 1012 FDA-approved drugs for off-label broad-spectrum efficacy against Bacillus anthracis; Francisella tularensis; Coxiella burnetii; and Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fever viruses using in vitro cell culture assays. We found a variety of hits against two or more of these biological threat pathogens, which were validated in secondary assays. As expected, antibiotic compounds were highly active against bacterial agents, but we did not identify any non-antibiotic compounds with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Lomefloxacin and erythromycin were found to be the most potent compounds in vivo protecting mice against Bacillus anthracis challenge. While multiple virus-specific inhibitors were identified, the most noteworthy antiviral compound identified was chloroquine, which disrupted entry and replication of two or more viruses in vitro and protected mice against Ebola virus challenge in vivo. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The feasibility of repurposing existing drugs to face novel threats is demonstrated and this represents the first effort to apply this approach to high containment bacteria and viruses.

  11. Vaccination evokes gender-dependent protection against tularemia infection in C57BL/6Tac mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Raju; Kumar, Sudeep; Franz, Brian J; Gosselin, Edmund J

    2016-06-17

    Francisella tularensis (Ft) is a Category A biothreat agent for which there currently is no FDA-approved vaccine. Thus, there is a substantial effort underway to develop an effective tularemia vaccine. While it is well established that gender can significantly impact susceptibility to primary infection, the impact of gender on vaccine efficacy is not well established. Thus, development of a successful vaccine against tularemia will require an understanding of the impact gender has on vaccine-induced protection against this organism. In this study, a role for gender in vaccine-induced protection following Ft challenge is identified for the first time. In the present study, mucosal vaccination with inactivated Ft (iFt) LVS elicited gender-based protection in C57BL/6Tac mice against respiratory challenge with Ft LVS. Specifically, vaccinated male mice were more susceptible to subsequent Ft LVS challenge. This increased susceptibility in male mice correlated with increased bacterial burden, increased tissue inflammation, and increased proinflammatory cytokine production late in post-challenge infection. In contrast, improved survival of iFt-vaccinated female mice correlated with reduced bacterial burden and enhanced levels of Ft-specific Abs in serum and broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid post-challenge. Furthermore, vaccination with a live attenuated vaccine consisting of an Ft LVS superoxide dismutase (SodB) mutant, which has proven efficacious against the highly virulent Ft SchuS4 strain, demonstrated similar gender bias in protection post-Ft SchuS4 challenge. Of particular significance is the fact that these are the first studies to demonstrate that gender differences impact disease outcome in the case of lethal respiratory tularemia following mucosal vaccination. In addition, these studies further emphasize the fact that gender differences must be a serious consideration in any future tularemia vaccine development studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All

  12. Dermatologic manifestations of tularemia: a study of 151 cases in the mid-Anatolian region of Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Şenel, Engin; Satılmış, Özgür; Acar, Bilal

    2015-01-01

    Tularemia is a serious and potentially life-threatening zoonosis caused by Francisella tularensis, a highly infective, gram-negative coccobacillus. Although there are plenty of case reports and studies of tularemia outbreaks, the literature is lacking in reports on dermatologic manifestations of the disease. This study aimed to identify skin manifestations in clinical forms of tularemia. A total of 151 patients diagnosed with tularemia at Çankırı State Hospital, Çankırı, Turkey, were retrospectively examined. Dermatologic data for these patients were assessed. The most frequent clinical manifestation of tularemia was the glandular form (49.7%), followed by the oropharyngeal, ulceroglandular, and oculoglandular forms (39.1, 6.0, and 5.3%, respectively). Physical manifestations were observed in 64.5% of females and 56.9% of males. Lymphadenopathy and tonsillitis were the most frequent physical findings and were noted in 57.6 and 25.2% of patients, respectively. Erythema multiforme was found in 17 patients (11.3%), most of whom presented with the oropharyngeal and glandular forms, and was followed by ulcer (6.0%), urticaria (3.3%), erythema nodosum (2.6%), and cellulitis (0.7%). However, it should be noted that this study was retrospective and that its patient sample demonstrated four of the six clinical forms of tularemia. Patients with the oropharyngeal form of tularemia had statistically significantly more physical findings than those with other clinical forms of the disease (P < 0.001). There were statistically more skin findings in the ulceroglandular form (P < 0.001). There was no statistical correlation between serum antibody titers and cutaneous findings (P = 0.585). Although the literature reports that skin lesions are observed more frequently in women than in men, we did not find any statistically significant difference between the sexes in any type of skin lesion. © 2014 The International Society of Dermatology.

  13. Lipoxin A4, a 5-lipoxygenase pathway metabolite, modulates immune response during acute respiratory tularemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Anju; Rahman, Tabassum; Bartiss, Rose; Arabshahi, Alireza; Prasain, Jeevan; Barnes, Stephen; Musteata, Florin Marcel; Sellati, Timothy J

    2017-02-01

    Respiratory infection with Francisella tularensis (Ft) is characterized by a muted, acute host response, followed by sepsis-like syndrome that results in death. Infection with Ft establishes a principally anti-inflammatory environment that subverts host-cell death programs to facilitate pathogen replication. Although the role of cytokines has been explored extensively, the role of eicosanoids in tularemia pathogenesis is not fully understood. Given that lipoxin A 4 (LXA 4 ) has anti-inflammatory properties, we investigated whether this lipid mediator affects host responses manifested early during infection. The addition of exogenous LXA 4 inhibits PGE 2 release by Ft-infected murine monocytes in vitro and diminishes apoptotic cell death. Tularemia pathogenesis was characterized in 5‑lipoxygenase-deficient (Alox5 -/- ) mice that are incapable of generating LXA 4 Increased release of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, as well as increased apoptosis, was observed in Alox5 -/- mice as compared with their wild-type counterparts. Alox5 -/- mice also exhibited elevated recruitment of neutrophils during the early phase of infection and increased resistance to lethal challenge. Conversely, administration of exogenous LXA 4 to Alox5 -/- mice made them more susceptible to infection thus mimicking wild-type animals. Taken together, our results suggest that 5-LO activity is a critical regulator of immunopathology observed during the acute phase of respiratory tularemia, regulating bacterial burden and neutrophil recruitment and production of proinflammatory modulators and increasing morbidity and mortality. These studies identify a detrimental role for the 5-LO-derived lipid mediator LXA 4 in Ft-induced immunopathology. Targeting this pathway may have therapeutic benefit as an adjunct to treatment with antibiotics and conventional antimicrobial peptides, which often have limited efficacy against intracellular bacteria. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.

  14. Tuberculosis or tularemia? A molecular study in cervical lymphadenitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yıldırım, Sükrü; Turhan, Vedat; Karadenizli, Aynur; Önem, Yalçın; Karagöz, Ergenekon; Eroğlu, Cafer; Çiftçi, Faruk

    2014-01-01

    Over the last two to three decades there has been a marked decrease in certain bacterial infections in Turkey. One of them is tuberculosis. Of note, statistics published by the Turkish Ministry of Health (MoH) show decreasing pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), but on the other hand, increasing extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB). The most common form of EPTB is tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis (TCL). The increase in the number of TCL cases despite the decline in cases of PTB is seen as a paradoxical issue. In contrast there has been an increase in the number of oropharyngeal tularemia cases in the last decade in Turkey. The aim of this study was to draw attention to the importance of differentiating between TCL and tularemia lymphadenitis, because these diseases may have a similar histopathological appearance. Thirty-two cases diagnosed as TCL were identified from the archives of a pathology laboratory (Patomer Pathology Laboratory, Bursa, Turkey). PCR tests for Francisella tularensis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis were carried out on the paraffin tissue blocks of these cases. At the same time, statistical data on PTB and EPTB for the period 1996-2010 were retrieved from the MoH and reviewed. Statistics related to tularemia, which has been diagnosed since 1988 and has been increasing in the last 10 years, were obtained from the Department of Zoonoses of the MoH. Six out of 32 (19%) cases who had previously been diagnosed with 'casseifying granulomatous lymphadenitis consistent with tuberculosis' were found to be positive for tularemia by PCR test of the cervical lymph nodes. Oropharyngeal tularemia should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of cervical lymphadenitis in widespread geographic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including the Asian continent. In particular, if granulomatous inflammation with necrosis is seen histopathologically, tularemia should be excluded before making the diagnosis of TCL. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier

  15. Development of a bead-based Luminex assay using lipopolysaccharide specific monoclonal antibodies to detect biological threats from Brucella species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silbereisen, Angelika; Tamborrini, Marco; Wittwer, Matthias; Schürch, Nadia; Pluschke, Gerd

    2015-10-05

    Brucella, a Gram-negative bacterium, is classified as a potential bioterrorism agent mainly due to the low dose needed to cause infection and the ability to transmit the bacteria via aerosols. Goats/sheep, cattle, pigs, dogs, sheep and rodents are infected by B. melitensis, B. abortus, B. suis, B. canis, B. ovis and B. neotomae, respectively, the six classical Brucella species. Most human cases are caused by B. melitensis and B. abortus. Our aim was to specifically detect Brucellae with 'smooth' lipopolysaccharide (LPS) using a highly sensitive monoclonal antibody (mAb) based immunological assay. To complement molecular detection systems for potential bioterror agents, as required by international biodefense regulations, sets of mAbs were generated by B cell hybridoma technology and used to develop immunological assays. The combination of mAbs most suitable for an antigen capture assay format was identified and an immunoassay using the Luminex xMAP technology was developed. MAbs specific for the LPS O-antigen of Brucella spp. were generated by immunising mice with inactivated B. melitensis or B. abortus cells. Most mAbs recognised both B. melitensis and B. abortus and antigen binding was not impeded by inactivation of the bacterial cells by γ irradiation, formalin or heat treatment, a step required to analyse the samples immunologically under biosafety level two conditions. The Luminex assay recognised all tested Brucella species with 'smooth' LPS with detection limits of 2×10(2) to 8×10(4) cells per mL, depending on the species tested. Milk samples spiked with Brucella spp. cells were identified successfully using the Luminex assay. In addition, the bead-based immunoassay was integrated into a multiplex format, allowing for simultaneous, rapid and specific detection of Brucella spp., Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis within a single sample. Overall, the robust Luminex assay should allow detection of Brucella spp. in both natural

  16. Genome sequence of the endosymbiont Rickettsia peacockii and comparison with virulent Rickettsia rickettsii: identification of virulence factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roderick F Felsheim

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Rickettsia peacockii, also known as the East Side Agent, is a non-pathogenic obligate intracellular bacterium found as an endosymbiont in Dermacentor andersoni ticks in the western USA and Canada. Its presence in ticks is correlated with reduced prevalence of Rickettsia rickettsii, the agent of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It has been proposed that a virulent SFG rickettsia underwent changes to become the East Side Agent. We determined the genome sequence of R. peacockii and provide a comparison to a closely related virulent R. rickettsii. The presence of 42 chromosomal copies of the ISRpe1 transposon in the genome of R. peacockii is associated with a lack of synteny with the genome of R. rickettsii and numerous deletions via recombination between transposon copies. The plasmid contains a number of genes from distantly related organisms, such as part of the glycosylation island of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Genes deleted or mutated in R. peacockii which may relate to loss of virulence include those coding for an ankyrin repeat containing protein, DsbA, RickA, protease II, OmpA, ScaI, and a putative phosphoethanolamine transferase. The gene coding for the ankyrin repeat containing protein is especially implicated as it is mutated in R. rickettsii strain Iowa, which has attenuated virulence. Presence of numerous copies of the ISRpe1 transposon, likely acquired by lateral transfer from a Cardinium species, are associated with extensive genomic reorganization and deletions. The deletion and mutation of genes possibly involved in loss of virulence have been identified by this genomic comparison. It also illustrates that the introduction of a transposon into the genome can have varied effects; either correlating with an increase in pathogenicity as in Francisella tularensis or a loss of pathogenicity as in R. peacockii and the recombination enabled by multiple transposon copies can cause significant deletions in some genomes while not in others.

  17. A Genetic Screen Reveals that Synthesis of 1,4-Dihydroxy-2-Naphthoate (DHNA), but Not Full-Length Menaquinone, Is Required for Listeria monocytogenes Cytosolic Survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Grischa Y; McDougal, Courtney E; D'Antonio, Marc A; Portman, Jonathan L; Sauer, John-Demian

    2017-03-21

    Through unknown mechanisms, the host cytosol restricts bacterial colonization; therefore, only professional cytosolic pathogens are adapted to colonize this host environment. Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive intracellular pathogen that is highly adapted to colonize the cytosol of both phagocytic and nonphagocytic cells. To identify L. monocytogenes determinants of cytosolic survival, we designed and executed a novel screen to isolate L. monocytogenes mutants with cytosolic survival defects. Multiple mutants identified in the screen were defective for synthesis of menaquinone (MK), an essential molecule in the electron transport chain. Analysis of an extensive set of MK biosynthesis and respiratory chain mutants revealed that cellular respiration was not required for cytosolic survival of L. monocytogenes but that, instead, synthesis of 1,4-dihydroxy-2-naphthoate (DHNA), an MK biosynthesis intermediate, was essential. Recent discoveries showed that modulation of the central metabolism of both host and pathogen can influence the outcome of host-pathogen interactions. Our results identify a potentially novel function of the MK biosynthetic intermediate DHNA and specifically highlight how L. monocytogenes metabolic adaptations promote cytosolic survival and evasion of host immunity. IMPORTANCE Cytosolic bacterial pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Francisella tularensis , are exquisitely evolved to colonize the host cytosol in a variety of cell types. Establishing an intracellular niche shields these pathogens from effectors of humoral immunity, grants access to host nutrients, and is essential for pathogenesis. Through yet-to-be-defined mechanisms, the host cytosol restricts replication of non-cytosol-adapted bacteria, likely through a combination of cell autonomous defenses (CADs) and nutritional immunity. Utilizing a novel genetic screen, we identified determinants of L. monocytogenes cytosolic survival and virulence and identified a role

  18. Detection of Staphylococcus Aureus Enterotoxin A and B Genes with PCR-EIA and a Hand-Held Electrochemical Sensor

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aitichou, Mohamed; Henkins, Robert; Sultana, Afroz M; Ulrich, Robert G; Ibrahim, M. S

    2004-01-01

    ... S. aureus DNA, and genomic DNA from Alcaligens, Bacillus, Bacteroides, Bordetella, Burkholderia, Clostridium, Comanonas, Enterobacter, Enterococcus, Escherichia, Francisella, Haemophilus, Klebsiella...

  19. Exploiting a natural auxotrophy for genetic selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramage, Elizabeth; Gallagher, Larry; Manoil, Colin

    2012-08-01

    We exploited the natural histidine auxotrophy of Francisella species to develop hisD (encodes histidinol dehydrogenase) as a positive selection marker. A shuttle plasmid (pBR103) carrying Escherichia coli hisD and designed for cloning of PCR fragments replicated in both attenuated and highly virulent Francisella strains. During this work, we formulated a simplified defined growth medium for Francisella novicida.

  20. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0856 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0856 ref|ZP_04756322.1| major facilitator transporter [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249985.1| predicted protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25015] gb|EET21710.1| predicted protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ZP_04756322.1 0.18 25% ...

  1. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0103 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0103 ref|YP_001678281.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1554 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] ref|ZP_04755921.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06231 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249586.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...ical membrane protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] gb|EET21311.1| conserved hyp...othetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] YP_001678281.1 0.012 24% ...

  2. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0519 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0519 ref|YP_001678281.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1554 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] ref|ZP_04755921.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06231 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249586.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...ical membrane protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] gb|EET21311.1| conserved hyp...othetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] YP_001678281.1 0.11 25% ...

  3. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-1354 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-1354 ref|YP_001678281.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1554 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] ref|ZP_04755921.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06231 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249586.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...ical membrane protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] gb|EET21311.1| conserved hyp...othetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] YP_001678281.1 0.062 22% ...

  4. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0280 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0280 ref|YP_001678281.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1554 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] ref|ZP_04755921.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06231 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249586.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...ical membrane protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] gb|EET21311.1| conserved hyp...othetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] YP_001678281.1 0.028 24% ...

  5. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0528 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0528 ref|YP_001678281.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1554 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] ref|ZP_04755921.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06231 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249586.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...ical membrane protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] gb|EET21311.1| conserved hyp...othetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] YP_001678281.1 0.039 24% ...

  6. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0560 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0560 ref|YP_001678281.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1554 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] ref|ZP_04755921.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06231 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249586.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...ical membrane protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] gb|EET21311.1| conserved hyp...othetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] YP_001678281.1 0.14 21% ...

  7. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0973 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0973 ref|YP_001678281.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1554 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] ref|ZP_04755921.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06231 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249586.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...ical membrane protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] gb|EET21311.1| conserved hyp...othetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] YP_001678281.1 0.041 21% ...

  8. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0552 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0552 ref|YP_001678281.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1554 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] ref|ZP_04755921.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06231 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249586.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...ical membrane protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] gb|EET21311.1| conserved hyp...othetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] YP_001678281.1 0.022 20% ...

  9. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0021 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0021 ref|YP_001678281.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1554 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] ref|ZP_04755921.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06231 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249586.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...ical membrane protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] gb|EET21311.1| conserved hyp...othetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] YP_001678281.1 0.23 23% ...

  10. Tularemia con afectación faríngea y ganglionar cervical

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Martín-Bailón

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Introducción: La tularemia es una zoonosis producida por la bacteria Francisella tularensis, la cual se encuentra principalmente en conejos y otros animales y a veces libre en el suelo o en aguas contaminadas. Se trasmite fundamentalmente a través de la picadura de garrapata aunque también puede adquirirse por contacto directo con productos animales, agua o alimentos contaminados o por aerosolización de las bacterias. En áreas geográficas con alto porcentaje de población rural en contacto con animales sigue siendo una enfermedad a tener en cuenta en el diagnóstico diferencial de síndromes adenopáticos.Caso clínico: Varón de 45 años sin antecedentes de interés que acude a Urgencias por odinofagia derecha sin fiebre y aparición de tumoración laterocervical derecha. En la exploración se objetiva ulceración y varias aftas a nivel de amígdala derecha, así como adenopatía cervical en nivel II derecho de unos 5 cm de tamaño; analítica de sangre dentro de la normalidad. Se instaura tratamiento con amoxicilina-clavulánico y antiinflamatorios, pero a los pocos días el paciente consulta de nuevo por ausencia de mejoría. Se solicita TC de cuello con contraste que muestra adenopatía abscesificada en área II derecha de 3 cm de tamaño. Serología para tularemia positiva. Se instaura tratamiento con Levofloxacino intravenoso durante 5 días y posteriormente oral durante 10 días más, con buena respuesta. Revisión del paciente a los 3 meses, estando asintomático, con negativización de la serología y desaparición de la adenopatía cervical.Discusión: Se distinguen siete formas clínicas de tularemia, siendo la ulceroganglionar responsable del 75% de los casos: consiste en  la aparición de una lesión típica cutánea o mucosa  y adenopatías mayores de 1 cm. Es frecuente la abscesificación de estas adenopatías, pudiendo fistulizar al exterior de forma espontánea. En un 25 % de los pacientes aparece una forma orofar

  11. Bacterial and protozoal pathogens found in ticks collected from humans in Corum province of Turkey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Djursun Karasartova

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Tick-borne diseases are increasing all over the word, including Turkey. The aim of this study was to determine the bacterial and protozoan vector-borne pathogens in ticks infesting humans in the Corum province of Turkey.From March to November 2014 a total of 322 ticks were collected from patients who attended the local hospitals with tick bites. Ticks were screened by real time-PCR and PCR, and obtained amplicons were sequenced. The dedected tick was belonging to the genus Hyalomma, Haemaphysalis, Rhipicephalus, Dermacentor and Ixodes. A total of 17 microorganism species were identified in ticks. The most prevalent Rickettsia spp. were: R. aeschlimannii (19.5%, R. slovaca (4.5%, R. raoultii (2.2%, R. hoogstraalii (1.9%, R. sibirica subsp. mongolitimonae (1.2%, R. monacensis (0.31%, and Rickettsia spp. (1.2%. In addition, the following pathogens were identified: Borrelia afzelii (0.31%, Anaplasma spp. (0.31%, Ehrlichia spp. (0.93%, Babesia microti (0.93%, Babesia ovis (0.31%, Babesia occultans (3.4%, Theileria spp. (1.6%, Hepatozoon felis (0.31%, Hepatozoon canis (0.31%, and Hemolivia mauritanica (2.1%. All samples were negative for Francisella tularensis, Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella spp., Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp.Ticks in Corum carry a large variety of human and zoonotic pathogens that were detected not only in known vectors, but showed a wider vector diversity. There is an increase in the prevalence of ticks infected with the spotted fever group and lymphangitis-associated rickettsiosis, while Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. were reported for the first time from this region. B. microti was detected for the first time in Hyalomma marginatum infesting humans. The detection of B. occultans, B. ovis, Hepatozoon spp., Theileria spp. and Hemolivia mauritanica indicate the importance of these ticks as vectors of pathogens of veterinary importance, therefore patients with a tick infestation should be followed for a variety of pathogens

  12. Fc receptor-targeting of immunogen as a strategy for enhanced antigen loading, vaccination, and protection using intranasally administered antigen-pulsed dendritic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Giang H; Iglesias, Bibiana V; Gosselin, Edmund J

    2014-09-08

    Dendritic cells (DCs) play a critical role in the generation of adaptive immunity via the efficient capture, processing, and presentation of antigen (Ag) to naïve T cells. Administration of Ag-pulsed DCs is also an effective strategy for enhancing immunity to tumors and infectious disease organisms. Studies have also demonstrated that targeting Ags to Fcγ receptors (FcγR) on Ag presenting cells can enhance humoral and cellular immunity in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, our studies using a Francisella tularensis (Ft) infectious disease vaccine model have demonstrated that targeting immunogens to FcγR via intranasal (i.n.) administration of monoclonal antibody (mAb)-inactivated Ft (iFt) immune complexes (ICs) enhances protection against Ft challenge. Ft is the causative agent of tularemia, a debilitating disease of humans and other mammals and a category A biothreat agent for which there is no approved vaccine. Therefore, using iFt Ag as a model immunogen, we sought to determine if ex vivo targeting of iFt to FcγR on DCs would enhance the potency of i.n. administered iFt-pulsed DCs. In this study, bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs) were pulsed ex vivo with iFt or mAb-iFt ICs. Intranasal administration of mAb-iFt-pulsed BMDCs enhanced humoral and cellular immune responses, as well as protection against Ft live vaccine strain (LVS) challenge. Increased protection correlated with increased iFt loading on the BMDC surface as a consequence of FcγR-targeting. However, the inhibitory FcγRIIB had no impact on this enhancement. In conclusion, targeting Ag ex vivo to FcγR on DCs provides a method for enhanced Ag loading of DCs ex vivo, thereby reducing the amount of Ag required, while also avoiding the inhibitory impact of FcγRIIB. Thus, this represents a simple and less invasive strategy for increasing the potency of ex vivo-pulsed DC vaccines against chronic infectious diseases and cancer. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0581 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0581 ref|ZP_04756268.1| apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249932.1| apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] gb|EET21657.1| apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ZP_04756268.1 0.014 24% ...

  14. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0149 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0149 ref|ZP_04755249.1| potassium-transporting ATPase subunit A [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05248926.1| potassium-transporting ATPase A chain [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] gb|EET20651.1| potassium-transporting ATPase A chain [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ZP_04755249.1 7.1 29% ...

  15. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-MDOM-03-0050 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-MDOM-03-0050 ref|ZP_04755880.1| hypothetical protein FphipA2_06026 [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249544.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] gb|EET21269.1| conserved hypothetical protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ZP_04755880.1 0.048 28% ...

  16. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-PHAM-01-0469 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-PHAM-01-0469 ref|ZP_04755732.1| fucose permease-like protein [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25015] ref|ZP_05249399.1| major facilitator superfamily transporter [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] gb|ACA66108.1| major facilitator superfamily protein [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia] gb|EET21124.1| major facilitator supe...rfamily transporter [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25015] ZP_04755732.1 0.099 25% ...

  17. Literature Review on Processing and Analytical Methods for ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Report The purpose of this report was to survey the open literature to determine the current state of the science regarding the processing and analytical methods currently available for recovery of F. tularensis from water and soil matrices, and to determine what gaps remain in the collective knowledge concerning F. tularensis identification from environmental samples.

  18. Medical Modeling of Particle Size Effects for CB Inhalation Hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    London, UK Gobbell Hayes Partners, Inc., San Antonio, TX Gradient Corporation, Cambridge, MA Hospital del Sur, Bogotá, Colombia ICaRuS Japan...found in North America, while F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (Type B) is found in Eurasia. F. tularensis can remain viable for weeks in water, soil and

  19. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U15071-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 753_861( CP000753 |pid:none) Shewanella baltica OS185, comple... 42 0.057 EU682994_1( EU682994 |pid:none) Francisella noatun...g... 42 0.057 FJ217169_1( FJ217169 |pid:none) Francisella noatunensis subsp. ori... 42 0.057 BA000012_917( B

  20. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U15531-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available enarc... 130 2e-28 EU682994_1( EU682994 |pid:none) Francisella noatunensis subsp. ori... 130 2e-28 FJ217169_...1( FJ217169 |pid:none) Francisella noatunensis subsp. ori... 130 2e-28 AM233362_804( AM233362 |pid:none) Fra

  1. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0581 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0581 ref|YP_001676748.1| apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase [Francisella philomiragia subsp. phil...omiragia ATCC 25017] gb|ABZ86247.1| apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] YP_001676748.1 0.011 25% ...

  2. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-VPAC-01-1047 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-VPAC-01-1047 ref|YP_001678249.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1917 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] gb|ABZ87748.1| hypothetical protein Fphi_1917 [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] YP_001678249.1 0.19 22% ...

  3. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-TTRU-01-0856 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-TTRU-01-0856 ref|YP_001676804.1| major facilitator transporter [Francisella philomiragia subsp. philo...miragia ATCC 25017] gb|ABZ86303.1| major facilitator superfamily (MFS) transport protein [Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia ATCC 25017] YP_001676804.1 0.32 24% ...

  4. Multiple-Locus VNTR Analysis (MLVA) for Bacterial Strain Identification - Quarterly Progress Report for the period 7/1/00 to 10/30/00

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dr. Paul Keim

    2000-11-07

    Multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) systems are being developed for B. anthracis, Y. pestis and F. tularensis. These are high resolution DNA fingerprinting systems that will allow for molecular epidemiology and forensic analysis of these pathogens.

  5. Multiple-Locus VNTR Analysis (MLVA) for Bacterial Strain Identification - Quarterly Progress Report for the period 7/1/00 to 10/30/00

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dr. Paul Keim

    2000-01-01

    Multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) systems are being developed for B. anthracis, Y. pestis and F. tularensis. These are high resolution DNA fingerprinting systems that will allow for molecular epidemiology and forensic analysis of these pathogens

  6. Multiple-Locus VNTR Analysis (MLVA) for Bacterial Strain Identification - Quarterly Progress Report for the Period 4/1/00 to 6/30/00

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dr. Paul Keim

    2000-11-07

    Multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) systems are being developed for B. anthracis, Y. pestis and F. tularensis. These are high resolution DNA fingerprinting systems that will allow for molecular epidemiology and forensic analysis of these pathogens.

  7. Multiple-Locus VNTR Analysis (MLVA) for Bacterial Strain Identification - Quarterly Progress Report for the Period 4/1/00 to 6/30/00

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dr. Paul Keim

    2000-01-01

    Multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) systems are being developed for B. anthracis, Y. pestis and F. tularensis. These are high resolution DNA fingerprinting systems that will allow for molecular epidemiology and forensic analysis of these pathogens

  8. Simultaneous Detection of CDC Category "A" DNA and RNA Bioterrorism Agents by Use of Multiplex PCR & RT-PCR Enzyme Hybridization Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly J. Henrickson

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Assays to simultaneously detect multiple potential agents of bioterrorism are limited. Two multiplex PCR and RT-PCR enzyme hybridization assays (mPCR-EHA, mRT-PCR-EHA were developed to simultaneously detect many of the CDC category “A” bioterrorism agents. The “Bio T” DNA assay was developed to detect: Variola major (VM, Bacillus anthracis (BA, Yersinia pestis (YP, Francisella tularensis (FT and Varicella zoster virus (VZV. The “Bio T” RNA assay (mRT-PCR-EHA was developed to detect: Ebola virus (Ebola, Lassa fever virus (Lassa, Rift Valley fever (RVF, Hantavirus Sin Nombre species (HSN and dengue virus (serotypes 1-4. Sensitivity and specificity of the 2 assays were tested by using genomic DNA, recombinant plasmid positive controls, RNA transcripts controls, surrogate (spiked clinical samples and common respiratory pathogens. The analytical sensitivity (limit of detection (LOD of the DNA asssay for genomic DNA was 1×100~1×102 copies/mL for BA, FT and YP. The LOD for VZV whole organism was 1×10-2 TCID50/mL. The LOD for recombinant controls ranged from 1×102~1×103copies/mL for BA, FT, YP and VM. The RNA assay demonstrated LOD for RNA transcript controls of 1×104~1×106 copies/mL without extraction and 1×105~1×106 copies/mL with extraction for Ebola, RVF, Lassa and HSN. The LOD for dengue whole organisms was ~1×10-4 dilution for dengue 1 and 2, 1×104 LD50/mL and 1×102 LD50/mL for dengue 3 and 4. The LOD without extraction for recombinant plasmid DNA controls was ~1×103 copies/mL (1.5 input copies/reaction for Ebola, RVF, Lassa and HSN. No cross-reactivity of primers and probes used in both assays was detected with common respiratory pathogens or between targeted analytes. Clinical sensitivity was estimated using 264 surrogate clinical samples tested with the BioT DNA assay and 549 samples tested with the BioT RNA assay. The clinical specificity is 99.6% and 99.8% for BioT DNA assay and BioT RNA assay, respectively. The

  9. Tularemia without lesions in grey tree squirrels: A diagnostic challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fifteen cases of Francisella tularenesis infection (tularemia) were identified in western grey (Sciurus griseus) and eastern grey (Sciurus carolinesis) squirrels submitted to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory between 2008 and 2011. All of the squirrels originated in Washington stat...

  10. Bacterial Population Genetics in a Forensic Context

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Velsko, S P

    2009-11-02

    augmented by phylogenetic representations of relatedness will not and enzootic outbreaks noted through international outbreak surveillance systems, and 'representative' genetic sequences from each outbreak. (5) Interpretation of genetic comparisons between an attack strain and reference strains requires a model for the network structure of maintenance foci, enzootic outbreaks, and human outbreaks of that disease, coupled with estimates of mutational rate constants. Validation of the model requires a set of sequences from exemplary outbreaks and laboratory data on mutation rates during animal passage. The necessary number of isolates in each validation set is determined by disease transmission network theory, and is based on the 'network diameter' of the outbreak. (6) The 8 bacteria in this study can be classified into 4 categories based on the complexity of the transmission network structure of their natural maintenance foci and their outbreaks, both enzootic and zoonotic. (7) For B. anthracis, Y. pestis, E. coli O157, and Brucella melitensis, and their primary natural animal hosts, most of the fundamental parameters needed for modeling genetic change within natural host or human transmission networks have been determined or can be estimated from existing field and laboratory studies. (8) For Burkholderia mallei, plausible approaches to transmission network models exist, but much of the fundamental parameterization does not. In addition, a validated high-resolution typing system for characterizing genetic change within outbreaks or foci has not yet been demonstrated, although a candidate system exists. (9) For Francisella tularensis, the increased complexity of the transmission network and unresolved questions about maintenance and transmission suggest that it will be more complex and difficult to develop useful models based on currently available data. (10) For Burkholderia pseudomallei and Clostridium botulinum, the transmission and maintenance

  11. New therapeutic approaches for treatment of tularaemia: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandrine eBOISSET

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Antibiotic treatment of tularaemia is based on a few drugs, including the fluoroquinolones, the tetracyclines and the aminoglycosides. Because no effective and safe vaccine is currently available, tularaemia prophylaxis following proven exposure to F. tularensis also relies on administration of antibiotics. A number of reasons make it necessary to search for new therapeutic alternatives: the potential toxicity of first-line drugs, especially in children and pregnant women; a high rate of treatment relapses and failures, especially for severe and/or suppurated forms of the disease; and the possible use of antibiotic-resistant strains in the context of a biological threat. This review presents novel therapeutic approaches that have been explored in recent years to improve tularaemia patients’ management and prognosis. First, the activities of newly available antibiotic compounds were evaluated against F. tularensis, including tigecycline (a glycylcycline, ketolides (telithromycin and cethromycin and fluoroquinolones (moxifloxacin, gatifloxacin, trovafloxacin and grepafloxacin. The liposome delivery of some antibiotics was evaluated. The effect of antimicrobial peptides against F. tularensis was also considered. Other drugs were evaluated for their ability to suppress the intracellular multiplication of F. tularensis. The effects of the modulation of the innate immune response (especially via TLR receptors on the course of F. tularensis infection were characterized. Another approach was the administration of specific antibodies to induce passive resistance to F. tularensis infection. All of these studies highlight the need to develop new therapeutic strategies to improve the management of patients with tularaemia. Many possibilities exist, some unexplored. Moreover, it is likely that new therapeutic alternatives that are effective against this intracellular pathogen could be, at least partially, extrapolated to other human pathogens.

  12. FnCpf1: a novel and efficient genome editing tool for Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swiat, Michal A.; Dashko, Sofia; Ridder, den Maxime; Wijsman, Melanie; Oost, van der John; Daran, Jean Marc; Daran-Lapujade, Pascale

    2017-01-01

    Cpf1 is a new class II family of CRISPR-Cas RNA-programmable endonucleases with unique features that make it a very attractive alternative or complement to Cas9 for genome engineering. Using constitutively expressed Cpf1 from Francisella novicida, the present study demonstrates that FnCpf1 can

  13. FnCpf1: a novel and efficient genome editing tool for Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swiat, M.A.; Dashko, S.; den Ridder, M.J.; Wijsman, M.; van der Oost, John; Daran, J.G.; Daran-Lapujade, P.A.S.

    2017-01-01

    Cpf1 is a new class II family of CRISPR-Cas RNA-programmable endonucleases with unique features that make it a very attractive alternative or complement to Cas9 for genome engineering. Using constitutively expressed Cpf1 from Francisella novicida, the present study demonstrates that FnCpf1 can

  14. Hard ticks and their bacterial endosymbionts (or would be pathogens)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ahantarig, A.; Trinachartvanit, W.; Baimai, V.; Grubhoffer, Libor

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 58, č. 5 (2013), s. 419-428 ISSN 0015-5632 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Ixodes ricinus * Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii * Francisella-like endosymbionts * vector Ambylomma americanum * fever group Rickettsiae * Dermacentor and ersoni * spotted fever * borne pathogens Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.145, year: 2013

  15. UniProt search blastx result: AK318569 [KOME

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available AK318569 J080307D05 B0TZA5|CLPP_FRAP2 ATP-dependent Clp protease proteolytic subunit OS=Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia (strain ATCC 25017) GN=clpP PE=3 SV=1 6.00E-34 ...

  16. UniProt search blastx result: AK318565 [KOME

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available AK318565 J075199H10 B0TZM7|PSD_FRAP2 Phosphatidylserine decarboxylase proenzyme OS=Francisella philo...miragia subsp. philomiragia (strain ATCC 25017) GN=psd PE=3 SV=1 5.00E-22 ...

  17. Tularemia: Current Diagnosis and Treatment Options

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-04-01

    for growing F. tularensis, which include cysteine blood agar, Thayer–Martin agar and cysteine heart agar with 9% heated sheep red blood cells (CHAB...SL et al. An outbreak of primary pneumonic tularemia on Martha’s Vineyard . N. Engl. J. Med. 345, 1601–1606 (2001). 86 Feldman KA, Stiles-Enos D...Julian K et al. Tularemia on Martha’s Vineyard : seroprevalence and occupational risk. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 9, 350–354 (2003). 87 Christensen DR

  18. The War Next Time: Countering Rogue States and Terrorists Armed with Chemical and Biological Weapons. Second Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-04-01

    or large pluralities are as follows: Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Iran, Nigeria , China, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan...Daan Goosen again acknowledged that the target of Project Coast’s work on drugs that would induce infertility was the black population. One line of...with F. tularensis or B. melitensis (Table 3). The differences between agents in medical costs as a percentage of total estimated costs are due to

  19. Plutonium 238/239 Decorporation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-01

    4. Transfer Coefficients for the DTPA Biokinetic Model (Breustedt 2009) ...................... 25 Table 5. Decay Properties of Pu-238 and Pu-239...volume 2), cesium-137 (volume 3), F. tularensis (volume 4), sulfur mustard (volume 5), americium-241 (volume 6), Y. pestis (volume 7), botulinum ... toxin (volume 8), plutonium-238/239 (volume 9) and vesicants (volume 10, an expansion on volume 5). This paper presents an inhalation exposure model for

  20. Use of the Immunegenetical Methods for Biological Risks Evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pozdnyakova, L.; Stopchanskaya, A.; Parkhomenko, N.; Pilipenko, N.; Kostyuchenko, L.; Djurtubaeva, G.; Slavina, N.; Pozdnyakov, S.

    2007-01-01

    For the present biological risk evaluation and forecast, information on gene-phenotypic characteristics of circulating regional EDAs, their connatural sources and conditions for epidemic distribution is necessary. We lead a relative gene-phenotypic comparison of vaccine and wild F.tularensis strains isolated from carriers, vectors, environment and patients in the different natural foci. Phenotyping investigations were done on 'in vitro' model with use of the human peripheral blood immune competent cells (ICC) of non-vaccinated and vaccinated with LVS volunteers. Variations of virulence manifestations of F.tularensis strains, isolated from different sources (ticks, waters, patients) are revealed. Principal differences in interactions of ICC with strains of various virulence degree, presence of ICC structural-functional changes in cytokines secretion dynamics at the presence of the wild and vaccine strains are shown. Morphological proofs for toxic materials production by pathogen during reproductive development term, damaging membranes structure, nucleus and cytoplasm are received. Certain interrelations between isolates phenotypic characteristics, source of isolation and types of natural foci is revealed. VNTR-analysis has showed genotypical heterogeneity and specific peculiarities in VNTR locuses combination of F. tularensis strains from different sources. Biological sense of VNTR-locuses combinations variations and their influence upon virulence signs expression are discussed. The complex approach, including agent's gene-phenotypic characteristics, ecological and geographical features of the natural foci, level of the human recruitment into the epidemic process will promote development of measures for counteraction in case of agents and their modified variants deliberate use. (author)

  1. [REAL TIME POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION IN TULAREMIA LABORATORY DIAGNOSTICS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kormilitsyna, M I; Mescheryakova, I S; Mikhailova, T V; Dobrovolsky, A A

    2015-01-01

    Enhancement of tularemia laboratory diagnostics by F. tularensis DNA determination in blood sera of patients using real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). 39 blood sera of patients obtained during transmissive epidemic outbreak of tularemia in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2013 were studied in agglutination reaction, passive hemagglutination, RT-PCR. Specific primers and fluorescent probes were used: ISFTu2F/R+ISFTu2P, Tu14GF/R+tul4-PR2. Advantages of using RT-PCR for early diagnostics of tularemia, when specific antibodies are not detected using traditional immunologic methods, were established. Use of a combination of primers and ISFTu2F/R+ISFTu2P probe allowed to detect F. tularensis DNA in 100% of sera, whereas Tul4G F/R+tul4-PR2 combination--92% of sera. The data were obtained when DNA was isolated from sera using "Proba Rapid" express method. Clinical-epidemiologic diagnosis oftularemia was confirmed by both immune-serologic and RT-PCR methods when sera were studied 3-4 weeks after the onset of the disease. RT-PCR with ISFTu2F/R primers and fluorescent probe ISFTu2P, having high sensitivity and specificity, allows to determine F. tularensis DNA in blood sera of patients at both the early stage and 3-4 weeks after the onset of the disease.

  2. Seroprevalence of brucellosis, tularemia, and yersiniosis in wild boars (Sus scrofa) from north-eastern Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Dahouk, S; Nöckler, K; Tomaso, H; Splettstoesser, W D; Jungersen, G; Riber, U; Petry, T; Hoffmann, D; Scholz, H C; Hensel, A; Neubauer, H

    2005-12-01

    Brucellosis and tularemia are classical zoonotic diseases transmitted from an animal reservoir to humans. Both, wildlife and domestic animals, contribute to the spreading of these zoonoses. The surveillance of the animal health status is strictly regulated for domestic animals, whereas systematic disease monitoring in wildlife does not exist. The aim of the present study was to provide data on the prevalence of anti-Brucella, anti-Francisella and anti-Yersinia antibodies in wild boars from North-Eastern Germany to assess public health risks. A total of 763 sera of wild boars from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania hunted in 1995/1996 were tested using a commercially available Brucella suis ELISA, an in-house lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-based Francisella ELISA, and commercially available Western blot kits for the detection of anti-Francisella and anti-Yersinia antibodies. The Yersinia enterocolitica O:9 LPS is able to induce serological cross-reactions indistinguishable from brucellosis due to a similar immunodominant epitope in the Brucella O-polysaccharide. The Yersinia Western blot assay was, therefore, based on five recombinant Yersinia outer proteins which have been proved to be specific for the serodiagnosis of yersiniosis. Anti-Brucella, anti-Francisella and anti-Yersinia antibodies were detected in 22.0%, 3.1%, and 62.6% of the wild boars, respectively. The high seroprevalence of tularemia and brucellosis in wild boars indicates that natural foci of these zoonoses are present in wildlife in Germany. However, the impact of transmission of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife to livestock is unknown. Only careful and systematic monitoring will help to prevent the (re)emergence of these zoonotic diseases in domestic animals and consequently human infection.

  3. Unique Structural Modifications Are Present in the Lipopolysaccharide from Colistin-Resistant Strains of Acinetobacter baumannii

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-01

    Selected reaction monitoring (SRM) studies were performed on a Thermo TSQ Quantum Ultra Triple Stage quadrupole mass spectrometer. The scans of the...well as a PmrC-dependent pEtN addition to the lipid A of E. coli O157:H7 (39). Surprisingly, the canine pathogen Capnocytophaga canimorsus and plant...variety of novel lipid A structures obtained from Francisella tula- rensis live vaccine strain. Innate Immun. 18:268 –278. 44. Balaji V, Jeremiah SS

  4. CRISPR-Cpf1: A New Tool for Plant Genome Editing

    KAUST Repository

    Zaidi, Syed Shan-e-Ali

    2017-05-19

    Clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated proteins (CRISPR-Cas), a groundbreaking genome-engineering tool, has facilitated targeted trait improvement in plants. Recently, CRISPR-CRISPR from Prevotella and Francisella 1 (Cpf1) has emerged as a new tool for efficient genome editing, including DNA-free editing in plants, with higher efficiency, specificity, and potentially wider applications than CRISPR-Cas9.

  5. CRISPR-Cpf1: A New Tool for Plant Genome Editing

    KAUST Repository

    Zaidi, Syed Shan-e-Ali; Mahfouz, Magdy M.; Mansoor, Shahid

    2017-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated proteins (CRISPR-Cas), a groundbreaking genome-engineering tool, has facilitated targeted trait improvement in plants. Recently, CRISPR-CRISPR from Prevotella and Francisella 1 (Cpf1) has emerged as a new tool for efficient genome editing, including DNA-free editing in plants, with higher efficiency, specificity, and potentially wider applications than CRISPR-Cas9.

  6. High-throughput screening of tick-borne pathogens in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelet, Lorraine; Delannoy, Sabine; Devillers, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    was conducted on 7050 Ixodes ricinus nymphs collected from France, Denmark, and the Netherlands using a powerful new high-throughput approach. This advanced methodology permitted the simultaneous detection of 25 bacterial, and 12 parasitic species (including; Borrelia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia......, Bartonella, Candidatus Neoehrlichia, Coxiella, Francisella, Babesia, and Theileria genus) across 94 samples. We successfully determined the prevalence of expected (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia helvetica, Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, Babesia divergens, Babesia...

  7. Immunomodulatory properties of Concholepas concholepas hemocyanin against francisellosis in a zebrafish model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagos, Leidy; Tandberg, Julia I; Becker, María Inés; Winther-Larsen, Hanne C

    2017-08-01

    The development of vaccines for aquaculture has been an important milestone in providing a continuous and sustainable production. Most of the vaccines currently on the market for aquaculture include oil as adjuvant. Nevertheless, several studies reported an occurrence of side effects after their use in farmed fish. As a result, there is a need for new and improved adjuvants that can stimulate the immune system while causing as few side-effects as possible. Hemocyanins are versatile macromolecules with strong immunogenic and immunomodulatory properties. Due to these characteristics, hemocyanin from Concholepas concholepas (CCH) has been biochemically characterized and evaluated as vaccine adjuvant in mice and humans. Francisellosis is a chronic granulomatous disease, which can result in high mortality depending on the host. The disease is caused by the facultative intracellular Gram-negative bacteria Francisella noatunensis, which remains an unsolved problem for the aquaculture, as no efficient vaccines are available. The aim of the present work was to investigate the immunoregulatory properties of CCH against francisellosis in an experimental zebrafish model. When immunized with CCH, zebrafish were protected from subsequent challenge with a lethal dose of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis. Subsequently the mRNA expression levels of several immune-related genes were studied, including mhcii, il12a, tnfα and ifng1-1. Taken together, the data report the immunoregulatory properties of CCH and its potential use as a vaccine adjuvant for aquaculture. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. [Seroprevalence of tularemia in risk groups of humans and animals in Van, eastern Turkey].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayram, Yasemin; Özkaçmaz, Ayşe; Parlak, Mehmet; Başbuğan, Yıldıray; Kılıç, Selçuk; Güdücüoğlu, Hüseyin

    2015-10-01

    Tularemia has become a re-emerging zoonotic disease in Turkey recently. The aims of this study were to determine the seroprevalence of tularemia in humans and their animals living in rural risky areas of our region and to investigate the risk factors. Between January and July 2012, people living in rural areas of Van province (located at eastern part of Turkey) and their domestic animals were included in the study. The sample size was determined by using cluster sampling method like in an event with known prevalence and planned as a cross-sectional epidemiological study. Proportional random sampling method was used to determine which individuals will be included in the study. Presence of tularemia antibodies in the sera of a total 495 voluntary persons (343 female, 152 male; age range: 18-79 years, mean age: 40.61) and their 171 animals (40 cattle, 124 sheep and 7 goats) were screened by microagglutination test using safranin O-stained F.tularensis antigen (Public Health Agency of Turkey). For the evaluation of cross-reactivity between Brucella spp., tularemia positive serum samples were also tested with brucella microagglutination test. Among human and animal samples, 11.9% (59/495) and 44% (76/171) yielded positive results with the titers of ≥ 1:20 in F.tularensis microagglutination test, respectively. However, 69.5% (41/59) of human sera and 78.9% (60/76) of animal sera demonstrated equal or higher titers in the brucella test, so those sera were considered as cross-reactive. After exclusion of these sera, the seroprevalence for F.tularensis were calculated as 3.6% (18/495) for humans and 9.4% (16/171) for animals. Among the 16 animals with positive results, 12 were sheep, three were cattle and one was goat. The difference between seropositivity rates among the domestic animal species was not statistically significant (p> 0.05). In addition, no statistically significant differences were found between risk factors including insect bite, tick bite, contact with

  9. Piezoelectric Biosensor for a Simple Serological Diagnosis of Tularemia in Infected European Brown Hares (Lepus europaeus

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    Jiří Pikula

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Piezoelectric biosensor was used for diagnosis of infection by Francisellatularensis subsp. holarctica in European brown hares. Two kinds of experiments wereperformed in this study. First, sera from experimentally infected European brown hares(Lepus europaeus were assayed by piezoelectric biosensor and the seventh day postinfection was found as the first one when statistically significant diagnosis of tularemia waspossible; all other sera collected from hares later than on day 7 following the infection werefound tularemia positive. Typing to classify the field strain of F. tularensis used for theexperimental infection was confirmed by proteome study. Second, sera from 35 Europeanbrown hare specimens sampled at hunting grounds and tested as tularemia positive by slowagglutination allowed diagnosis of tularemia by the piezoelectric biosensor. All these sera ofnaturally infected hares were found as tularemia positive, too. Efficacy of the piezoelectricbiosensor for the serological diagnosis of tularemia is discussed.

  10. Detecting Release of Bacterial dsDNA into the Host Cytosol Using Fluorescence Microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreier, Roland Felix; Santos, José Carlos; Broz, Petr

    2018-01-01

    Recognition of pathogens by the innate immune system relies on germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that recognize unique microbial molecules, so-called pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Nucleic acids and their derivatives are one of the most important groups of PAMPs, and are recognized by a number of surface-associated as well as cytosolic PRRs. Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) recognizes the presence of pathogen- or host-derived dsDNA in the cytosol and initiates type-I-IFN production. Here, we describe a methodology that allows for evaluating the association of cGAS with released bacterial dsDNA during Francisella novicida infection of macrophages, by fluorescence confocal microscopy. This method can be adapted to the study of cGAS-dependent responses elicited by other intracellular bacterial pathogens and in other cell types.

  11. The Tick Microbiome: Why Non-pathogenic Microorganisms Matter in Tick Biology and Pathogen Transmission

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    Sarah I. Bonnet

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Ticks are among the most important vectors of pathogens affecting humans and other animals worldwide. They do not only carry pathogens however, as a diverse group of commensal and symbiotic microorganisms are also present in ticks. Unlike pathogens, their biology and their effect on ticks remain largely unexplored, and are in fact often neglected. Nonetheless, they can confer multiple detrimental, neutral, or beneficial effects to their tick hosts, and can play various roles in fitness, nutritional adaptation, development, reproduction, defense against environmental stress, and immunity. Non-pathogenic microorganisms may also play a role in driving transmission of tick-borne pathogens (TBP, with many potential implications for both human and animal health. In addition, the genetic proximity of some pathogens to mutualistic symbionts hosted by ticks is evident when studying phylogenies of several bacterial genera. The best examples are found within members of the Rickettsia, Francisella, and Coxiella genera: while in medical and veterinary research these bacteria are traditionally recognized as highly virulent vertebrate pathogens, it is now clear to evolutionary ecologists that many (if not most Coxiella, Francisella, and Rickettsia bacteria are actually non-pathogenic microorganisms exhibiting alternative lifestyles as mutualistic ticks symbionts. Consequently, ticks represent a compelling yet challenging system in which to study microbiomes and microbial interactions, and to investigate the composition, functional, and ecological implications of bacterial communities. Ultimately, deciphering the relationships between tick microorganisms as well as tick symbiont interactions will garner invaluable information, which may aid in the future development of arthropod pest and vector-borne pathogen transmission control strategies.

  12. Temporal Sampling of White Band Disease Infected Corals Reveals Complex and Dynamic Bacterial Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gignoux-Wolfsohn, S.; Vollmer, S. V.; Aronson, F. M.

    2016-02-01

    White band disease (WBD) is a coral disease that is currently decimating populations of the endangered staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis and elkhorn coral, A. palmata across the Caribbean. Since it was first reported in 1979, WBD has killed 95% of these critical reef-building Caribbean corals. WBD is infectious; it can be transmitted through the water column or by a corallivorous snail. While previous research shows that WBD is likely caused by bacteria, identification of a specific pathogen or pathogens has remained elusive. Much of the difficulty of understanding the etiology of the disease comes from a lack of information about how existing bacterial communities respond to disease and separating initial from secondary colonizers. In order to address this lack of information, we performed a fully-crossed tank infection experiment. We exposed healthy corals from two different sites to disease and healthy (control) homogenates from both sites, replicating genotype across tanks. We sampled every coral at three time points: before inoculation with the homogenate, after inoculation, and when the coral showed signs of disease. We then performed 16S rRNA gene sequencing on the Illumina HiSeq 2000. We saw significant differences between time points and disease state. Interestingly, at the first time point (time one) we observed differences between genotypes: every fragment from some genotypes was dominated by Endozoicomonas, while other genotypes were not dominated by one family. At time two we saw an increase in abundance of Alteromonadaceae and Flavobacteriaceae in all corals, and a larger increase in disease-exposed corals. At time three, we saw another increase in Flavobacteriaceae abundance in diseased corals, as well as an introduction of Francisella to diseased corals. While Flavobacteriaceae and Francisella were proposed as potential pathogens, their increase at time three suggests they may be secondary colonizers or opportunists. In genotypes that were

  13. Human tularemia in Italy. Is it a re-emerging disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alessandro, D; Napoli, C; Nusca, A; Bella, A; Funari, E

    2015-07-01

    Tularemia is a contagious infectious disease due to Francisiella tularensis that can cause serious clinical manifestations and significant mortality if untreated. Although the frequency and significance of the disease has diminished over the last decades in Central Europe, over the past few years, there is new evidence suggesting that tularemia has re-emerged worldwide. To know the real epidemiology of the disease is at the root of correct control measures. In order to evaluate whether tularemia is re-emerging in Italy, data on mortality and morbidity (obtained by the National Institute of Statistics; ISTAT), Italian cases described in the scientific literature and data concerning hospitalizations for tularemia (obtained by the National Hospital Discharge Database) were analysed. From 1979 to 2010, ISTAT reported 474 cases and no deaths. The overall number of cases obtained from the literature review was at least 31% higher than that reported by ISTAT. Moreover, the number of cases reported by ISTAT was 3·5 times smaller than hospitalized cases. In Italy tularemia is sporadic, rarely endemic and self-limiting; but, although the trend of reported tularemia does not support the hypothesis of a re-emerging disease, the study demonstrates a wide underreporting of the disease. The real frequency of the disease should be carefully investigated and taken into account in order to implement specific prevention measures.

  14. CRISPR/Cas systems: new players in gene regulation and bacterial physiology

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    David eWeiss

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available CRISPR-Cas systems are bacterial defenses against foreign nucleic acids derived from bacteriophages, plasmids or other sources. These systems are targeted in an RNA-dependent, sequence-specific manner, and are also adaptive, providing protection against previously encountered foreign elements. In addition to their canonical function in defense against foreign nucleic acid, their roles in various aspects of bacterial physiology are now being uncovered. We recently revealed a role for a Cas9-based Type II CRISPR-Cas system in the control of endogenous gene expression, a novel form of prokaryotic gene regulation. Cas9 functions in association with two small RNAs to target and alter the stability of an endogenous transcript encoding a bacterial lipoprotein (BLP. Since BLPs are recognized by the host innate immune protein Toll-like Receptor 2 (TLR2, CRISPR-Cas-mediated repression of BLP expression facilitates evasion of TLR2 by the intracellular bacterial pathogen Francisella novicida, and is essential for its virulence. Here we describe the Cas9 regulatory system in detail, as well as data on its role in controlling virulence traits of Neisseria meningitidis and Campylobacter jejuni. We also discuss potential roles of CRISPR-Cas systems in the response to envelope stress and other aspects of bacterial physiology. Since ~45% of bacteria and ~83% of Archaea encode these machineries, the newly appreciated regulatory functions of CRISPR-Cas systems are likely to play broad roles in controlling the pathogenesis and physiology of diverse prokaryotes.

  15. A CRISPR-Cas system enhances envelope integrity mediating antibiotic resistance and inflammasome evasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampson, Timothy R; Napier, Brooke A; Schroeder, Max R; Louwen, Rogier; Zhao, Jinshi; Chin, Chui-Yoke; Ratner, Hannah K; Llewellyn, Anna C; Jones, Crystal L; Laroui, Hamed; Merlin, Didier; Zhou, Pei; Endtz, Hubert P; Weiss, David S

    2014-07-29

    Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats-CRISPR associated (CRISPR-Cas) systems defend bacteria against foreign nucleic acids, such as during bacteriophage infection and transformation, processes which cause envelope stress. It is unclear if these machineries enhance membrane integrity to combat this stress. Here, we show that the Cas9-dependent CRISPR-Cas system of the intracellular bacterial pathogen Francisella novicida is involved in enhancing envelope integrity through the regulation of a bacterial lipoprotein. This action ultimately provides increased resistance to numerous membrane stressors, including antibiotics. We further find that this previously unappreciated function of Cas9 is critical during infection, as it promotes evasion of the host innate immune absent in melanoma 2/apoptosis associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (AIM2/ASC) inflammasome. Interestingly, the attenuation of the cas9 mutant is complemented only in mice lacking both the AIM2/ASC inflammasome and the bacterial lipoprotein sensor Toll-like receptor 2, but not in single knockout mice, demonstrating that Cas9 is essential for evasion of both pathways. These data represent a paradigm shift in our understanding of the function of CRISPR-Cas systems as regulators of bacterial physiology and provide a framework with which to investigate the roles of these systems in myriad bacteria, including pathogens and commensals.

  16. The microbiome of Haemaphysalis lemuris (Acari: Ixodidae), a possible vector of pathogens of endangered lemur species in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lado, Paula; Qurollo, Barbara; Williams, Cathy; Junge, Randall; Klompen, Hans

    2018-05-02

    Lemurs are primate species that are endemic to Madagascar. At present, about 90% of lemur species are endangered, and 5 species are among the 25 most endangered primates worldwide. Health status is a major factor impacting the viability of wild populations of many endangered species including lemurs. Given this context, we analyzed the microbiome of 24 specimens of Haemaphysalis lemuris, the most common tick parasitizing lemurs in their native habitats. Ticks were collected from 6 lemur species and microbiomes analyzed using next-generation sequencing. Our results show that the H. lemuris microbiome is highly diverse, including over 500 taxa, 267 of which were identified to genus level. Analysis of the microbiome also shows that there is a distinct "host" (lemur species) component when explaining the differences among and between microbial communities of H. lemuris. This "host" component seems to overwhelm any "locality" (geographic origin of the sample) component. In addition to the microbiome data, targeted PCR was used to test for the presence of three pathogens recently detected in the blood of wild lemurs: Borrelia sp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia sp., and Babesia sp. Overall, the presence of DNA of Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., Francisella spp., and a Babesia sp., in H. lemuris, is consistent with the hypothesis that these ectoparasites may act as vector for these pathogens. Further studies assessing vector competence are needed to confirm this hypothesis. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. The characterization and manipulation of the bacterial microbiome of the Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Katie A; Gall, Cory A; Mason, Katheen L; Scoles, Glen A; Brayton, Kelly A

    2015-12-10

    In North America, ticks are the most economically impactful vectors of human and animal pathogens. The Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni (Acari: Ixodidae), transmits Rickettsia rickettsii and Anaplasma marginale to humans and cattle, respectively. In recent years, studies have shown that symbiotic organisms are involved in a number of biochemical and physiological functions. Characterizing the bacterial microbiome of D. andersoni is a pivotal step towards understanding symbiont-host interactions. In this study, we have shown by high-throughput sequence analysis that the composition of endosymbionts in the midgut and salivary glands in adult ticks is dynamic over three generations. Four Proteobacteria genera, Rickettsia, Francisella, Arsenophonus, and Acinetobacter, were identified as predominant symbionts in these two tissues. Exposure to therapeutic doses of the broad-spectrum antibiotic, oxytetracycline, affected both proportions of predominant genera and significantly reduced reproductive fitness. Additionally, Acinetobacter, a free-living ubiquitous microbe, invaded the bacterial microbiome at different proportions based on antibiotic treatment status suggesting that microbiome composition may have a role in susceptibility to environmental contaminants. This study characterized the bacterial microbiome in D. andersoni and determined the generational variability within this tick. Furthermore, this study confirmed that microbiome manipulation is associated with tick fitness and may be a potential method for biocontrol.

  18. Assessment of bacterial diversity in Hyalomma aegyptium, H. marginatum and H. excavatum ticks through tag-encoded pyrosequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keskin, Adem; Bursali, Ahmet; Snow, David E; Dowd, Scot E; Tekin, Saban

    2017-12-01

    Ticks are among the most significant human-biting ectoparasites and they play a major role in transmission of many pathogenic agents to humans. In the present study, three species of Hyalomma ticks, Hyalomma aegyptium, H. marginatum and H. excavatum, were examined for the presence of zoonotic bacteria, both male and female ticks alike. Examination of microbial diversity with tag-encoded pyrosequencing indicates that H. marginatum and H. excavatum were more diversity rich than H. aegyptium. Although numerous pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacterial genera were detected, including Acidovorax, Bacillus, Bacteroides, Bdellovibrio, Clostridium, Curvibacter, Escherichia, Flavobacterium, Limnohabitans, Paenibacillus, Ralstonia, Sarcina, Sediminibacterium, Segetibacter Stenotrophomonas and Variovorax, the predominant zoonotic bacteria represented in these ticks were genera Borrelia, Francisella, and Rickettsia. To the authors' knowledge, this work represents the first detection of Yersinia enterocolitica in the tick H. excavatum, raising questions regarding the vector competency of this tick, as well as associations of different disease representations perhaps through previously unforeseen routes of pathogen introduction. Likewise, similar questions are related to the presence of Legionella pneumophila in one H. excavatum sample.

  19. Identifying and Visualizing Functional PAM Diversity across CRISPR-Cas Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leenay, Ryan T; Maksimchuk, Kenneth R; Slotkowski, Rebecca A; Agrawal, Roma N; Gomaa, Ahmed A; Briner, Alexandra E; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Beisel, Chase L

    2016-04-07

    CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems in prokaryotes boast a diversity of protein families and mechanisms of action, where most systems rely on protospacer-adjacent motifs (PAMs) for DNA target recognition. Here, we developed an in vivo, positive, and tunable screen termed PAM-SCANR (PAM screen achieved by NOT-gate repression) to elucidate functional PAMs as well as an interactive visualization scheme termed the PAM wheel to convey individual PAM sequences and their activities. PAM-SCANR and the PAM wheel identified known functional PAMs while revealing complex sequence-activity landscapes for the Bacillus halodurans I-C (Cascade), Escherichia coli I-E (Cascade), Streptococcus thermophilus II-A CRISPR1 (Cas9), and Francisella novicida V-A (Cpf1) systems. The PAM wheel was also readily applicable to existing high-throughput screens and garnered insights into SpyCas9 and SauCas9 PAM diversity. These tools offer powerful means of elucidating and visualizing functional PAMs toward accelerating our ability to understand and exploit the multitude of CRISPR-Cas systems in nature. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. CGUG: in silico proteome and genome parsing tool for the determination of "core" and unique genes in the analysis of genomes up to ca. 1.9 Mb

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    Mahadevan Padmanabhan

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Viruses and small-genome bacteria (~2 megabases and smaller comprise a considerable population in the biosphere and are of interest to many researchers. These genomes are now sequenced at an unprecedented rate and require complementary computational tools to analyze. "CoreGenesUniqueGenes" (CGUG is an in silico genome data mining tool that determines a "core" set of genes from two to five organisms with genomes in this size range. Core and unique genes may reflect similar niches and needs, and may be used in classifying organisms. Findings CGUG is available at http://binf.gmu.edu/geneorder.html as a web-based on-the-fly tool that performs iterative BLASTP analyses using a reference genome and up to four query genomes to provide a table of genes common to these genomes. The result is an in silico display of genomes and their proteomes, allowing for further analysis. CGUG can be used for "genome annotation by homology", as demonstrated with Chlamydophila and Francisella genomes. Conclusion CGUG is used to reanalyze the ICTV-based classifications of bacteriophages, to reconfirm long-standing relationships and to explore new classifications. These genomes have been problematic in the past, due largely to horizontal gene transfers. CGUG is validated as a tool for reannotating small genome bacteria using more up-to-date annotations by similarity or homology. These serve as an entry point for wet-bench experiments to confirm the functions of these "hypothetical" and "unknown" proteins.

  1. Challenging a bioinformatic tool's ability to detect microbial contaminants using in silico whole genome sequencing data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Nathan D; Zook, Justin M; Morrow, Jayne B; Lin, Nancy J

    2017-01-01

    High sensitivity methods such as next generation sequencing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are adversely impacted by organismal and DNA contaminants. Current methods for detecting contaminants in microbial materials (genomic DNA and cultures) are not sensitive enough and require either a known or culturable contaminant. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is a promising approach for detecting contaminants due to its sensitivity and lack of need for a priori assumptions about the contaminant. Prior to applying WGS, we must first understand its limitations for detecting contaminants and potential for false positives. Herein we demonstrate and characterize a WGS-based approach to detect organismal contaminants using an existing metagenomic taxonomic classification algorithm. Simulated WGS datasets from ten genera as individuals and binary mixtures of eight organisms at varying ratios were analyzed to evaluate the role of contaminant concentration and taxonomy on detection. For the individual genomes the false positive contaminants reported depended on the genus, with Staphylococcus , Escherichia , and Shigella having the highest proportion of false positives. For nearly all binary mixtures the contaminant was detected in the in-silico datasets at the equivalent of 1 in 1,000 cells, though F. tularensis was not detected in any of the simulated contaminant mixtures and Y. pestis was only detected at the equivalent of one in 10 cells. Once a WGS method for detecting contaminants is characterized, it can be applied to evaluate microbial material purity, in efforts to ensure that contaminants are characterized in microbial materials used to validate pathogen detection assays, generate genome assemblies for database submission, and benchmark sequencing methods.

  2. [Seasonal and regional distribution of tularemia cases in Amasya, Turkey].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanık, Keramettin; Sarıaydın, Muzaffer; Uzun, M Önder; Çoban, Ahmet Yılmaz; Seçilmiş, Halil

    2015-01-01

    Tularemia have attracted attention due to increased number of cases since 2009 in Amasya region which is located at Central Blacksea Region of Turkey. The aims of this letter were to provide information about the disease, to emphasize the importance of early treatment due to the outbreak peak in our province between 2009-2012 and water chlorination in epidemic areas. A total of 250 tularemia-suspected patients (117 female, 133 male; mean age: 42 yrs) who were admitted to our hospital with the symptoms of sore throat, fever, malaise and/or presence of neck mass, from 20 different locations within last four years were included in the study. Serum samples of 73 (29.2%) patients yielded ≥ 1/160 titers with F.tularensis microagglutination test which were considered as positive. All positive cases presented with the oropharyngeal form of the disease. The year with the highest number of tularemia cases was 2010. When the regional distribution was evaluated, it was detected that positive cases have precipitated especially in the southeastern (highland area) and northeastern (lowland area) parts of Amasya (34/73; 46.6%). Majority of the tularemia cases (53/73; 72.6%) were identified in colder seasons. The number of cases in rural and urban centers have decreased after 2010. In conclusion, it is considered that the emergence of new cases is likely to persist due to the geographical characteristics of Amasya and occupational properties (livestock breeding) of the population. Therefore, the clinicians should consider tularemia in differential diagnosis of the cases originated from risky rural areas.

  3. Challenging a bioinformatic tool’s ability to detect microbial contaminants using in silico whole genome sequencing data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan D. Olson

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available High sensitivity methods such as next generation sequencing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR are adversely impacted by organismal and DNA contaminants. Current methods for detecting contaminants in microbial materials (genomic DNA and cultures are not sensitive enough and require either a known or culturable contaminant. Whole genome sequencing (WGS is a promising approach for detecting contaminants due to its sensitivity and lack of need for a priori assumptions about the contaminant. Prior to applying WGS, we must first understand its limitations for detecting contaminants and potential for false positives. Herein we demonstrate and characterize a WGS-based approach to detect organismal contaminants using an existing metagenomic taxonomic classification algorithm. Simulated WGS datasets from ten genera as individuals and binary mixtures of eight organisms at varying ratios were analyzed to evaluate the role of contaminant concentration and taxonomy on detection. For the individual genomes the false positive contaminants reported depended on the genus, with Staphylococcus, Escherichia, and Shigella having the highest proportion of false positives. For nearly all binary mixtures the contaminant was detected in the in-silico datasets at the equivalent of 1 in 1,000 cells, though F. tularensis was not detected in any of the simulated contaminant mixtures and Y. pestis was only detected at the equivalent of one in 10 cells. Once a WGS method for detecting contaminants is characterized, it can be applied to evaluate microbial material purity, in efforts to ensure that contaminants are characterized in microbial materials used to validate pathogen detection assays, generate genome assemblies for database submission, and benchmark sequencing methods.

  4. Microbial Communities in North American Ixodid Ticks of Veterinary and Medical Importance

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    Andrea S. Varela-Stokes

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Interest in microbial communities, or microbiota, of blood-feeding arthropods such as ticks (order Parasitiformes, suborder Ixodida is increasing. Studies on tick microorganisms historically emphasized pathogens of high medical or veterinary importance. Current techniques allow for simultaneous detection of pathogens of interest, non-pathogenic symbionts, like Coxiella-LE and Francisella-LE, and microorganisms of unknown pathogenic potential. While each generation of ticks begins with a maternally acquired repertoire of microorganisms, microhabitats off and on vertebrate hosts can alter the microbiome during the life cycle. Further, blood-feeding may allow for horizontal exchange of various pathogenic microbiota that may or may not also be capable of vertical transmission. Thus, the tick microbiome may be in constant flux. The geographical spread of tick vector populations has resulted in a broader appreciation of tick-borne diseases and tick-associated microorganisms. Over the last decade, next-generation sequencing technology targeting the 16S rRNA gene led to documented snapshots of bacterial communities among life stages of laboratory and field-collected ticks, ticks in various feeding states, and tick tissues. Characterizing tick bacterial communities at population and individual tissue levels may lead to identification of markers for pathogen maintenance, and thus, indicators of disease “potential” rather than disease state. Defining the role of microbiota within the tick may lead to novel control measures targeting tick-bacterial interactions. Here, we review our current understanding of microbial communities for some vectors in the family Ixodidae (hard ticks in North America, and interpret published findings for audiences in veterinary and medical fields with an appreciation of tick-borne disease.

  5. Immuno-Stimulatory Activity of Escherichia coli Mutants Producing Kdo2-Monophosphoryl-Lipid A or Kdo2-Pentaacyl-Monophosphoryl-Lipid A.

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    Biwen Wang

    Full Text Available Lipid A is the active center of lipopolysaccharide which also known as endotoxin. Monophosphoryl-lipid A (MPLA has less toxicity but retains potent immunoadjuvant activity; therefore, it can be developed as adjuvant for improving the strength and duration of the immune response to antigens. However, MPLA cannot be chemically synthesized and can only be obtained by hydrolyzing lipopolysaccharide (LPS purified from Gram-negative bacteria. Purifying LPS is difficult and time-consuming and can damage the structure of MPLA. In this study, Escherichia coli mutant strains HWB01 and HWB02 were constructed by deleting several genes and integrating Francisella novicida gene lpxE into the chromosome of E. coli wild type strain W3110. Compared with W3110, HWB01 and HWB02 synthesized very short LPS, Kdo2-monophosphoryl-lipid A (Kdo2-MPLA and Kdo2-pentaacyl-monophosphoryl-lipid A (Kdo2-pentaacyl-MPLA, respectively. Structural changes of LPS in the outer membranes of HWB01 and HWB02 increased their membrane permeability, surface hydrophobicity, auto-aggregation ability and sensitivity to some antibiotics, but the abilities of these strains to activate the TLR4/MD-2 receptor of HKE-Blue hTLR4 cells were deceased. Importantly, purified Kdo2-MPLA and Kdo2-pentaacyl-MPLA differed from wild type LPS in their ability to stimulate the mammalian cell lines THP-1 and RAW264.7. The purification of Kdo2-MPLA and Kdo2-pentaacyl-MPLA from HWB01 and HWB02, respectively, is much easier than the purification of LPS from W3110, and these lipid A derivatives could be important tools for developing future vaccine adjuvants.

  6. Pyrosequencing based assessment of bacterial diversity in Turkish Rhipicephalus annulatus and Dermacentor marginatus ticks (Acari: Ixodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tekin, Saban; Dowd, Scot E; Davinic, Marko; Bursali, Ahmet; Keskin, Adem

    2017-03-01

    Ticks continue to be a threat to human and animal health in Turkey, as they are considered important vectors of human and animal diseases. The objectives of this investigation are to characterize the microbial communities of two tick species, Rhipicephalus annulatus and Dermacenter marginatus, analyze patterns of co-occurrence among microbial taxa, identify and compare pathogens contributing human diseases, and determine whether avirulent symbionts could exclude human pathogens from tick communities. Furthermore, this study explores a microbiome of the R. annulatus and D. marginatus via the bacterial 16S tag-encoded FLX-titanium amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) technique to describe their bacterial diversity. Pyrosequencing was performed on adult males and females isolated from humans from two high-risk Turkish provinces, Sivas and Amasya, during tick outbreaks in 2009. A total of 36,253 sequences were utilized for analyses of the 8 tick samples. Several pathogenic genera such as Francisella, Coxiella, Rickettsia, and Shigella were detected in the ticks tested. The most distinguishable difference between the two species of ticks was the lack of known human pathogen Rickettsia in R. annulatus and in samples 9 and 10 of D. marginatus. These samples had higher relative abundance of Flavobacterium sp., Curvibacter sp., Acidovorax sp., and Bacteroidaceae genera mostly representing symbionts which form a large component of normal tick microbiota. The outcome of this study is consistent with the predictions of the community ecological theory that diversity-rich bacteriomes are more resistant to bacterial invasion (and consequent pathogen dissemination) than diversity-deprived ones.

  7. Galectin-3 functions as an alarmin: pathogenic role for sepsis development in murine respiratory tularemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bibhuti B Mishra

    Full Text Available Sepsis is a complex immune disorder with a mortality rate of 20-50% and currently has no therapeutic interventions. It is thus critical to identify and characterize molecules/factors responsible for its development. We have recently shown that pulmonary infection with Francisella results in sepsis development. As extensive cell death is a prominent feature of sepsis, we hypothesized that host endogenous molecules called alarmins released from dead or dying host cells cause a hyperinflammatory response culminating in sepsis development. In the current study we investigated the role of galectin-3, a mammalian β-galactoside binding lectin, as an alarmin in sepsis development during F. novicida infection. We observed an upregulated expression and extracellular release of galectin-3 in the lungs of mice undergoing lethal pulmonary infection with virulent strain of F. novicida but not in those infected with a non-lethal, attenuated strain of the bacteria. In comparison with their wild-type C57Bl/6 counterparts, F. novicida infected galectin-3 deficient (galectin-3(-/- mice demonstrated significantly reduced leukocyte infiltration, particularly neutrophils in their lungs. They also exhibited a marked decrease in inflammatory cytokines, vascular injury markers, and neutrophil-associated inflammatory mediators. Concomitantly, in-vitro pre-treatment of primary neutrophils and macrophages with recombinant galectin-3 augmented F. novicida-induced activation of these cells. Correlating with the reduced inflammatory response, F. novicida infected galectin-3(-/- mice exhibited improved lung architecture with reduced cell death and improved survival over wild-type mice, despite similar bacterial burden. Collectively, these findings suggest that galectin-3 functions as an alarmin by augmenting the inflammatory response in sepsis development during pulmonary F. novicida infection.

  8. Endosymbiont interference and microbial diversity of the Pacific coast tick, Dermacentor occidentalis, in San Diego County, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikos Gurfield

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The Pacific coast tick, Dermacentor occidentalis Marx, is found throughout California and can harbor agents that cause human diseases such as anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and rickettsiosis 364D. Previous studies have demonstrated that nonpathogenic endosymbiotic bacteria can interfere with Rickettsia co-infections in other tick species. We hypothesized that within D. occidentalis ticks, interference may exist between different nonpathogenic endosymbiotic or nonendosymbiotic bacteria and Spotted Fever group Rickettsia (SFGR. Using PCR amplification and sequencing of the rompA gene and intergenic region we identified a cohort of SFGR-infected and non-infected D. occidentalis ticks collected from San Diego County. We then amplified a partial segment of the 16S rRNA gene and used next-generation sequencing to elucidate the microbiomes and levels of co-infection in the ticks. The SFGR R. philipii str. 364D and R. rhipicephali were detected in 2.3% and 8.2% of the ticks, respectively, via rompA sequencing. Interestingly, next generation sequencing revealed an inverse relationship between the number of Francisella-like endosymbiont (FLE 16S rRNA sequences and Rickettsia 16S rRNA sequences within individual ticks that is consistent with partial interference between FLE and SFGR infecting ticks. After excluding the Rickettsia and FLE endosymbionts from the analysis, there was a small but significant difference in microbial community diversity and a pattern of geographic isolation by distance between collection locales. In addition, male ticks had a greater diversity of bacteria than female ticks and ticks that weren’t infected with SFGR had similar microbiomes to canine skin microbiomes. Although experimental studies are required for confirmation, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that FLEs and, to a lesser extent, other bacteria, interfere with the ability of D. occidentalis to be infected with

  9. Arthropod-Borne Diseases: The Camper's Uninvited Guests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juckett, Gregory

    2015-08-01

    Arthropod-borne diseases are a major problem whenever outdoor activities bring arthropods and people into contact. The arthropods discussed here include arachnids (ticks) and insects. Most arthropod bites and stings are minor, with the notable exception being bee-sting anaphylaxis. Ticks cause the most disease transmission. Key hard tick vectors include black-legged (Ixodes), dog (Dermacentor), and lone star (Amblyomma) ticks, which transmit Lyme and various rickettsial diseases. Insect repellents, permethrin sprays, and proper tick inspection reduce this risk significantly. Lyme disease and the milder southern-tick-associated rash illness (STARI) are characterized by the erythema migrans rash followed, in the case of Lyme disease, by early, disseminated, and late systemic symptoms. Treatment is with doxycycline or ceftriaxone. Indefinite treatment of "chronic Lyme disease" based on subjective symptoms is not beneficial. Rickettsial diseases include ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which are characterized by fever, headache, and possible rash and should be empirically treated with doxycycline while awaiting laboratory confirmation. Tularemia is a bacterial disease (Francisella) spread by ticks and rabbits and characterized by fever and adenopathy. Treatment is with gentamicin or streptomycin. Babesiosis is a protozoal disease, mimicking malaria, that causes a self-limited flu-like disease in healthy hosts but can be life threatening with immune compromise. Treatment is with atovaquone and azithromycin. Other tick-related conditions include viral diseases (Powassan, Colorado tick fever, heartland virus), tick-borne relapsing fever (Borrelia), and tick paralysis (toxin). Mosquitoes, lice, fleas, and mites are notable for their annoying bites but are increasingly significant disease vectors even in the United States.

  10. Fc Receptor-Targeting of Immunogen as a Strategy for Enhanced Antigen Loading, Vaccination, and Protection Using Intranasally-Administered Antigen-Pulsed Dendritic Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Giang H.; Iglesias, Bibiana V.; Gosselin, Edmund J.

    2014-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) play a critical role in the generation of adaptive immunity via the efficient capture, processing, and presentation of antigen (Ag) to naïve T cells. Administration of Ag-pulsed DCs is also an effective strategy for enhancing immunity to tumors and infectious disease organisms. Studies have also demonstrated that targeting Ags to Fcγ receptors (FcγR) on Ag presenting cells can enhance humoral and cellular immunity in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, our studies using an F. tularensis (Ft) infectious disease vaccine model have demonstrated that targeting immunogens to FcγR via intranasal (i.n.) administration of monoclonal antibody (mAb)-inactivated Ft (iFt) immune complexes (ICs) enhances protection against Ft challenge. Ft is the causative agent of tularemia, a debilitating disease of humans and other mammals and a category A biothreat agent for which there is no approved vaccine. Therefore, using iFt Ag as a model immunogen, we sought to determine if ex vivo targeting of iFt to FcγR on DCs would enhance the potency of i.n. administered iFt-pulsed DCs. In this study, bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs) were pulsed ex vivo with iFt or mAb-iFt ICs. Intranasal administration of mAb-iFt-pulsed BMDCs enhanced humoral and cellular immune responses, as well as protection against Ft live vaccine strain (LVS) challenge. Increased protection correlated with increased iFt loading on the BMDC surface as a consequence of FcγR targeting. However, the inhibitory FcγRIIB had no impact on this enhancement. In conclusion, targeting Ag ex vivo to FcγR on DCs provides a method for enhanced Ag loading of DCs ex vivo, thereby reducing the amount of Ag required, while also avoiding the inhibitory impact of FcγRIIB. Thus, this represents a simple and less invasive strategy for increasing the potency of ex vivo-pulsed DC vaccines against chronic infectious diseases and cancer. PMID:25068496

  11. Distinct Bacterial Composition Associated with Different Laboratory-cultured Aiptasia Strains Across Two Thermal Conditions

    KAUST Repository

    Ahmed, Hanin

    2018-05-01

    Coral reefs are crucial for the ecological sustainability of the oceans, yet, increasing sea surface temperature is threatening these ecosystems globally. Microbial communities associated with corals have become a recent research focus, as the associated microbiome may contribute to coral resilience to environmental stressors, e.g., heat stress. However, research in this area is hampered by the difficulty of working with corals. This study aims to use Aiptasia, a sea anemone, as a tractable laboratory model system to study the role of the coral microbiome. Analyses of the bacterial compositions associated with different Aiptasia strains across two temperatures (25 °C and 32 °C), based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing. This study aims also to identify a “core” microbiome associated with heat stress acclimation, as well as host-specific differences. In general, results showed that bacterial composition associated with Aiptasia strains differs significantly with temperature. Higher bacterial diversity and richness were observed when all Aiptasia strains were placed under heat stress. Moreover, results showed an increase in beta diversity and dispersion of bacterial communities in response to heat stress. These changes in the bacterial composition are in line with the recently described “Anna Karenina principle” for animal microbiomes, which suggests that the microbiomes of unhealthy individuals vary more than healthy and stable individuals. This study further shows that while temperature had the greatest effect on structuring the bacterial compositions, there were some variations better attributed to batch and host effects. This suggests that technical aspects have to be carefully addressed in the framework of microbiome studies. Members of a putative “core” microbiome associated with 32 °C Aiptasia have been identified as indicator species of heat stress (i.e., Francisella sp.,). Previous reports have shown that these indicator taxa are associated with

  12. Comparative Metagenomic Profiling of Symbiotic Bacterial Communities Associated with Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes pavlovskyi and Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurilshikov, Alexander; Livanova, Natalya N; Fomenko, Nataliya V; Tupikin, Alexey E; Rar, Vera A; Kabilov, Marsel R; Livanov, Stanislav G; Tikunova, Nina V

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes pavlovskyi, and Dermacentor reticulatus ticks inhabiting Western Siberia are responsible for the transmission of a number of etiological agents that cause human and animal tick-borne diseases. Because these ticks are abundant in the suburbs of large cities, agricultural areas, and popular tourist sites and frequently attack people and livestock, data regarding the microbiomes of these organisms are required. Using metagenomic 16S profiling, we evaluate bacterial communities associated with I. persulcatus, I. pavlovskyi, and D. reticulatus ticks collected from the Novosibirsk region of Russia. A total of 1214 ticks were used for this study. DNA extracted from the ticks was pooled according to tick species and sex. Sequencing of the V3-V5 domains of 16S rRNA genes was performed using the Illumina Miseq platform. The following bacterial genera were prevalent in the examined communities: Acinetobacter (all three tick species), Rickettsia (I. persulcatus and D. reticulatus) and Francisella (D. reticulatus). B. burgdorferi sensu lato and B. miyamotoi sequences were detected in I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi but not in D. reticulatus ticks. The pooled samples of all tick species studied contained bacteria from the Anaplasmataceae family, although their occurrence was low. DNA from A. phagocytophilum and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis was first observed in I. pavlovskyi ticks. Significant inter-species differences in the number of bacterial taxa as well as intra-species diversity related to tick sex were observed. The bacterial communities associated with the I. pavlovskyi ticks displayed a higher biodiversity compared with those of the I. persulcatus and D. reticulatus ticks. Bacterial community structure was also diverse across the studied tick species, as shown by permutational analysis of variance using the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity metric (p = 0.002). Between-sex variation was confirmed by PERMANOVA testing in I. persulcatus (p = 0

  13. In vitro assessment of the antimicrobial activity of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles against fish pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaalan, Mohamed Ibrahim; El-Mahdy, Magdy Mohamed; Theiner, Sarah; El-Matbouli, Mansour; Saleh, Mona

    2017-07-21

    Antibiotic resistance is a global issue that threatens public health. The excessive use of antibiotics contributes to this problem as the genes of antibiotic resistance can be transferred between the bacteria in humans, animals and aquatic organisms. Metallic nanoparticles could serve as future substitutes for some conventional antibiotics because of their antimicrobial activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial effects of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles against major fish pathogens and assess their safety in vitro. Silver nanoparticles were synthesized by chemical reduction and characterized with UV-Vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and zeta sizer. The concentrations of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles were measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Subsequently, silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles were tested for their antimicrobial activity against Aeromonas hydrophila, Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida, Edwardsiella ictaluri, Edwardsiella tarda, Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis, Yersinia ruckeri and Aphanomyces invadans and the minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined. MTT assay was performed on eel kidney cell line (EK-1) to determine the cell viability after incubation with nanoparticles. The interaction between silver nanoparticles and A. salmonicida was investigated by transmission electron microscopy. The tested nanoparticles exhibited marked antimicrobial activity. Silver nanoparticles inhibited the growth of both A. salmonicida and A. invadans at a concentration of 17 µg/mL. Zinc oxide nanoparticles inhibited the growth of A. salmonicida, Y. ruckeri and A. invadans at concentrations of 15.75, 31.5 and 3.15 µg/mL respectively. Silver nanoparticles showed higher cell viability when compared to zinc oxide nanoparticles in the MTT assay. Transmission electron microscopy showed the attachment of silver nanoparticles to the bacterial membrane and disruption of its

  14. Comparative Metagenomic Profiling of Symbiotic Bacterial Communities Associated with Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes pavlovskyi and Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Kurilshikov

    Full Text Available Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes pavlovskyi, and Dermacentor reticulatus ticks inhabiting Western Siberia are responsible for the transmission of a number of etiological agents that cause human and animal tick-borne diseases. Because these ticks are abundant in the suburbs of large cities, agricultural areas, and popular tourist sites and frequently attack people and livestock, data regarding the microbiomes of these organisms are required. Using metagenomic 16S profiling, we evaluate bacterial communities associated with I. persulcatus, I. pavlovskyi, and D. reticulatus ticks collected from the Novosibirsk region of Russia. A total of 1214 ticks were used for this study. DNA extracted from the ticks was pooled according to tick species and sex. Sequencing of the V3-V5 domains of 16S rRNA genes was performed using the Illumina Miseq platform. The following bacterial genera were prevalent in the examined communities: Acinetobacter (all three tick species, Rickettsia (I. persulcatus and D. reticulatus and Francisella (D. reticulatus. B. burgdorferi sensu lato and B. miyamotoi sequences were detected in I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi but not in D. reticulatus ticks. The pooled samples of all tick species studied contained bacteria from the Anaplasmataceae family, although their occurrence was low. DNA from A. phagocytophilum and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis was first observed in I. pavlovskyi ticks. Significant inter-species differences in the number of bacterial taxa as well as intra-species diversity related to tick sex were observed. The bacterial communities associated with the I. pavlovskyi ticks displayed a higher biodiversity compared with those of the I. persulcatus and D. reticulatus ticks. Bacterial community structure was also diverse across the studied tick species, as shown by permutational analysis of variance using the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity metric (p = 0.002. Between-sex variation was confirmed by PERMANOVA testing in I

  15. Acidosis increases the susceptibility of respiratory epithelial cells to Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Iviana M; Demirdjian, Sally; Vargas, Jennifer; Goodale, Britton C; Berwin, Brent

    2017-07-01

    Bacterial infection can lead to acidosis of the local microenvironment, which is believed to exacerbate disease pathogenesis; however, the mechanisms by which changes in pH alter disease progression are poorly understood. We test the hypothesis that acidosis enhances respiratory epithelial cell death in response to infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa Our findings support the idea that acidosis in the context of P. aeruginosa infection results in increased epithelial cell cytotoxicity due to ExoU intoxication. Importantly, enforced maintenance of neutral pH during P. aeruginosa infection demonstrates that cytotoxicity is dependent on the acidosis. Investigation of the underlying mechanisms revealed that host cell cytotoxicity correlated with increased bacterial survival during an acidic infection that was due to reduced bactericidal activity of host-derived antimicrobial peptides. These findings extend previous reports that the activities of antimicrobial peptides are pH-dependent and provide novel insights into the consequences of acidosis on infection-derived pathology. Therefore, this report provides the first evidence that physiological levels of acidosis increase the susceptibility of epithelial cells to acute Pseudomonas infection and demonstrates the benefit of maintaining pH homeostasis during a bacterial infection. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  16. Under-reporting of accidents involving biological material by nursing professionals at a Brazilian emergency hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facchin, Luiza Tayar; Gir, Elucir; Pazin-Filho, Antonio; Hayashida, Miyeko; da Silva Canini, Silvia Rita Marin

    2013-01-01

    Pathogens can be transmitted to health professionals after contact with biological material. The exact number of infections deriving from these events is still unknown, due to the lack of systematic surveillance data and under-reporting. A cross-sectional study was carried out, involving 451 nursing professionals from a Brazilian tertiary emergency hospital between April and July 2009. Through an active search, cases of under-reporting of occupational accidents with biological material by the nursing team were identified by means of individual interviews. The Institutional Review Board approved the research project. Over half of the professionals (237) had been victims of one or more accidents (425 in total) involving biological material, and 23.76% of the accidents had not been officially reported using an occupational accident report. Among the underreported accidents, 53.47% were percutaneous and 67.33% were bloodborne. The main reason for nonreporting was that the accident had been considered low risk. The under-reporting rate (23.76%) was low in comparison with other studies, but most cases of exposure were high risk.

  17. 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.

  18. DETECTION OF SEROLOGIC ANTIBODIES AGAINST Chlamydophila abortus IN TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE EXPOSED TO RISK IN OVINE FARMS IN XALATLACO, MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Montes de Oca Jiménez

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Chlamydophila abortus (Cp. abortus is the bacterial etiologic agent of the ovine enzootic abortion; zoonotic relevance rises during handling of ill animals.  The present work estimates the prevalence of serum antibodies against Cp. abortus in groups of people at risk of infection derived from working activities, and estimates possible risk factors involve in the infection. A transversal study was conducted in two groups of exposed people. In Group A 86 sheep flock owners or workers were included. In Group B 52 veterinary doctors were included. Antibody titers were determined by rELISA assay, additionally it was asked to people sampled to answer a questionnaire to establish risk factors. Overall serum antibody prevalence against Cp. abortus in both groups was 6.52% (IC95%, 3.02-12.01%. According to the risk group, people from group A was 4.45% (IC95% 1.28 – 11.48 and in group B 9.62 (IC95% 3.19 – 21.02, according to gender prevalences were 5.07% (IC95% 1.99 – 11.29and 1.44% for women and men respectively; no differences were found (P>0.05. It is concluded that serum anti Cp. abortus antibody prevalence in relatively low among sheep flock owners, workers and veterinarians and no significant differences were found among possible risk factors.

  19. The effect of mechanical extension stimulation combined with epithelial cell sorting on outcomes of implanted tissue-engineered muscular urethras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Qiang; Deng, Chen-Liang; Zhao, Ren-Yan; Wang, Ying; Cao, Yilin

    2014-01-01

    Urethral defects are common and frequent disorders and are difficult to treat. Simple natural or synthetic materials do not provide a satisfactory curative solution for long urethral defects, and urethroplasty with large areas of autologous tissues is limited and might interfere with wound healing. In this study, adipose-derived stem cells were used. These cells can be derived from a wide range of sources, have extensive expansion capability, and were combined with oral mucosal epithelial cells to solve the problem of finding seeding cell sources for producing the tissue-engineered urethras. We also used the synthetic biodegradable polymer poly-glycolic acid (PGA) as a scaffold material to overcome issues such as potential pathogen infections derived from natural materials (such as de-vascular stents or animal-derived collagen) and differing diameters. Furthermore, we used a bioreactor to construct a tissue-engineered epithelial-muscular lumen with a double-layer structure (the epithelial lining and the muscle layer). Through these steps, we used an epithelial-muscular lumen built in vitro to repair defects in a canine urethral defect model (1 cm). Canine urethral reconstruction was successfully achieved based on image analysis and histological techniques at different time points. This study provides a basis for the clinical application of tissue engineering of an epithelial-muscular lumen. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Persistence of Coxsackievirus B4 in pancreatic ductal-like cells results in cellular and viral changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alidjinou, E K; Engelmann, I; Bossu, J; Villenet, C; Figeac, M; Romond, M-B; Sané, F; Hober, D

    2017-10-03

    Although known as cytolytic viruses, group B coxackieviruses (CVB) are able to establish a persistent infection in vitro and in vivo. Viral persistence has been reported as a key mechanism in the pathogenesis of CVB-associated chronic diseases such as type 1 diabetes (T1D). The impact of CVB4 persistence on human pancreas ductal-like cells was investigated. A persistent CVB4 infection was established in ductal-like cells. PDX-1 expression, resistance to CVB4-induced lysis and CAR expression were evaluated. The profile of cellular microRNAs (miRNAs) was investigated through miRNA-sequencing. Viral phenotypic changes were examined, and genomic modifications were assessed by sequencing of the viral genome. The CVB4 persistence in ductal-like cells was productive, with continuous release of infectious particles. Persistently infected cells displayed a resistance to CVB4-induced lysis upon superinfection and expression of PDX-1 and CAR was decreased. These changes were maintained even after virus clearance. The patterns of cellular miRNA expression in mock-infected and in CVB4-persistently infected ductal-like cells were clearly different. The persistent infection-derived virus (PIDV) was still able to induce cytopathic effect but its plaques were smaller than the parental virus. Several mutations appeared in various PIDV genome regions, but amino acid substitutions did not affect the predicted site of interaction with CAR. Cellular and viral changes occur during persistent infection of human pancreas ductal-like cells with CVB4. The persistence of cellular changes even after virus clearance supports the hypothesis of a long-lasting impact of persistent CVB infection on the cells.

  1. STRUCTURES AND BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY OF CUPROPHYLLINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martynov A.V.

    2017-06-01

    . Hydrophilic cuprophyllin chlorophyllin very good studied and have good profile of toxicity and uses in cooking as colorant. Chlorophyllin have such biological effects: antiatherosclerotic, antiviral, antimicrobial, immunomodulating, antimutagenic and anticancerogenic, antioxidant. Most of the studies were carried out as in vitro and in vivo with statistically trustworth results. Derivatives of chlorophyll are very perspective candidates for fight with multiresistant strains of mnicroorganisms and viral infections. Derivatives of chlorophyll must be more studied for using as active pharmaceutical ingredients for development a new drugs in the form of injection, tablets, ointments.

  2. Clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecium exhibit strain-specific collagen binding mediated by Acm, a new member of the MSCRAMM family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nallapareddy, Sreedhar R; Weinstock, George M; Murray, Barbara E

    2003-03-01

    A collagen-binding adhesin of Enterococcus faecium, Acm, was identified. Acm shows 62% similarity to the Staphylococcus aureus collagen adhesin Cna over the entire protein and is more similar to Cna (60% and 75% similarity with Cna A and B domains respectively) than to the Enterococcus faecalis collagen-binding adhesin, Ace, which shares homology with Acm only in the A domain. Despite the detection of acm in 32 out of 32 E. faecium isolates, only 11 of these (all clinical isolates, including four vancomycin-resistant endocarditis isolates and seven other isolates) exhibited binding to collagen type I (CI). Although acm from three CI-binding vancomycin-resistant E. faecium clinical isolates showed 100% identity, analysis of acm genes and their promoter regions from six non-CI-binding strains identified deletions or mutations that introduced stop codons and/or IS elements within the gene or the promoter region in five out of six strains, suggesting that the presence of an intact functional acm gene is necessary for binding of E. faecium strains to CI. Recombinant Acm A domain showed specific and concentration-dependent binding to collagen, and this protein competed with E. faecium binding to immobilized CI. Consistent with the adherence phenotype and sequence data, probing with Acm-specific IgGs purified from anti-recombinant Acm A polyclonal rabbit serum confirmed the surface expression of Acm in three out of three collagen-binding clinical isolates of E. faecium tested, but in none of the strains with a non-functional pseudo acm gene. Introduction of a functional acm gene into two non-CI-binding natural acm mutant strains conferred a CI-binding phenotype, further confirming that native Acm is sufficient for the binding of E. faecium to CI. These results demonstrate that acm, which encodes a potential virulence factor, is functional only in certain infection-derived clinical isolates of E. faecium, and suggest that Acm is the primary adhesin responsible for the

  3. Tratamiento contra la rabia humana: un poco de su historia Tratamento contra a raiva humana: um pouco de sua histária A historical review of the treatment of human rabies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cristina Schneider

    1994-12-01

    grande protetor era São Humberto. Com o renascimento surgem novamente muitos experimentos e avanços no conhecimento da doença, que deram as bases para importantes achados. Nessa época predominava a teoria miasmática e de contágio. Pasteur foi um grande opositor da espontaneidade da raiva. No final do século XIX, com os descobrimentos microbianos, Pasteur realizou a grande revolução científica em relação ao tratamento contra a raiva, que é a vacina. Essa atualmente pode ser de tipo nervoso ou não, variando também o número de doses recomendadas. Desenvolveram-se muitos estudos sobre vacinas, entretanto a mais utilizada na América Latina é a de tipo Fuenzalida e Palacios e a recomendada atualmente pela OMS é a de cultivo celular.A historical review of the treatment of human rabies from ancient times up to the present is undertaken. An attempt is made to trace parallel between the concept of the main cause of rabies in a certain period and the kind of treatment utilized. The ancient Greek goddess Artemis was considered to be a healer of rabies; they already identified wound cauterization. People of the first century A.D. knew of the infection deriving from the saliva of a rabid dog and called it virus (in Latin. During medieval times when a magical and religious concept regarding health was prevalent, the principal protector was called St. Humbert. During the Renaissance many experiments were carried out and new information on the disease was obtained, both were basic in opening the way for new findings in the future. At that time the miasmatic and contagious theories were predominant. Pasteur strongly objected to the idea of the spontaneity of rabies. At the end of the XIXth. century and based on microbial discoveries, Pasteur brought about a great scientific revolution as regards the possibility of treating rabies by using a vaccine. At the present time, vaccines are of the nervous type or not, and the recommended dose varies. A large-number of studies