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  1. Comparative transcriptome analysis of Yersinia pestis in response to hyperosmotic and high-salinity stress.

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    Han, Yanping; Zhou, Dongsheng; Pang, Xin; Zhang, Ling; Song, Yajun; Tong, Zongzhong; Bao, Jingyue; Dai, Erhei; Wang, Jin; Guo, Zhaobiao; Zhai, Junhui; Du, Zongmin; Wang, Xiaoyi; Wang, Jian; Huang, Peitang; Yang, Ruifu

    2005-04-01

    DNA microarray was used as a tool to investigate genome-wide transcriptional responses of Yersinia pestis to hyperosmotic and high-salinity stress. Hyperosmotic stress specifically upregulated genes responsible for ABC-type transport and the cytoplasmic accumulation of certain polysaccharides, while high-salinity stress induced the transcription of genes encoding partition proteins and several global transcriptional regulators. Genes whose transcription was enhanced by both kinds of stress comprised those encoding osmoprotectant transport systems and a set of virulence determinants. The number of genes downregulated by the two kinds of stress was much lower than that of upregulated genes, suggesting that neither kind of stress severely depresses cellular processes in general. Many differentially regulated genes still exist whose functions remain unknown. Y. pestis recognized high-salinity and hyperosmotic stress as different kinds of environmental stimuli, and different mechanisms enabled acclimation to these two kinds of stress, although Y. pestis still executed common mechanisms to accommodate both types of stress.

  2. High-frequency conjugative transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to Yersinia pestis in the flea midgut.

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    Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Rosso, Marie-Laure; Schwan, Tom G; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2002-10-01

    The acquisition of foreign DNA by horizontal transfer from unrelated organisms is a major source of variation leading to new strains of bacterial pathogens. The extent to which this occurs varies widely, due in part to lifestyle factors that determine exposure to potential donors. Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus, infects normally sterile sites in its mammalian host, but forms dense aggregates in the non-sterile digestive tract of its flea vector to produce a transmissible infection. Here we show that unrelated co-infecting bacteria in the flea midgut are readily incorporated into these aggregates, and that this close physical contact leads to high-frequency conjugative genetic exchange. Transfer of an antibiotic resistance plasmid from an Escherichia coli donor to Y. pestis occurred in the flea midgut at a frequency of 10-3 after only 3 days of co-infection, and after 4 weeks 95% of co-infected fleas contained an average of 103 antibiotic-resistant Y. pestis transconjugants. Thus, transit in its arthropod vector exposes Y. pestis to favourable conditions for efficient genetic exchange with microbial flora of the flea gut. Horizontal gene transfer in the flea may be the source of antibiotic-resistant Y. pestis strains recently isolated from plague patients in Madagascar.

  3. Tandem repeats analysis for the high resolution phylogenetic analysis of Yersinia pestis

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    Ramisse F

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, is a young and highly monomorphic species. Three biovars, each one thought to be associated with the last three Y. pestis pandemics, have been defined based on biochemical assays. More recently, DNA based assays, including DNA sequencing, IS typing, DNA arrays, have significantly improved current knowledge on the origin and phylogenetic evolution of Y. pestis. However, these methods suffer either from a lack of resolution or from the difficulty to compare data. Variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs provides valuable polymorphic markers for genotyping and performing phylogenetic analyses in a growing number of pathogens and have given promising results for Y. pestis as well. Results In this study we have genotyped 180 Y. pestis isolates by multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA using 25 markers. Sixty-one different genotypes were observed. The three biovars were distributed into three main branches, with some exceptions. In particular, the Medievalis phenotype is clearly heterogeneous, resulting from different mutation events in the napA gene. Antiqua strains from Asia appear to hold a central position compared to Antiqua strains from Africa. A subset of 7 markers is proposed for the quick comparison of a new strain with the collection typed here. This can be easily achieved using a Web-based facility, specifically set-up for running such identifications. Conclusion Tandem-repeat typing may prove to be a powerful complement to the existing phylogenetic tools for Y. pestis. Typing can be achieved quickly at a low cost in terms of consumables, technical expertise and equipment. The resulting data can be easily compared between different laboratories. The number and selection of markers will eventually depend upon the type and aim of investigations.

  4. Yersinia pestis with regulated delayed attenuation as a vaccine candidate to induce protective immunity against plague.

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    Sun, Wei; Roland, Kenneth L; Kuang, Xiaoying; Branger, Christine G; Curtiss, Roy

    2010-03-01

    Two mutant strains of Yersinia pestis KIM5+, a Deltacrp mutant and a mutant with arabinose-dependent regulated delayed-shutoff crp expression (araC P(BAD) crp), were constructed, characterized in vitro, and evaluated for virulence, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy in mice. Both strains were highly attenuated by the subcutaneous (s.c.) route. The 50% lethal doses (LD(50)s) of the Deltacrp and araC P(BAD) crp mutants were approximately 1,000,000-fold and 10,000-fold higher than those of Y. pestis KIM5+, respectively, indicating that both strains were highly attenuated. Mice vaccinated s.c. with 3.8 x 10(7) CFU of the Deltacrp mutant developed high anti-Y. pestis and anti-LcrV serum IgG titers, both with a strong Th2 bias, and induced protective immunity against subcutaneous challenge with virulent Y. pestis (80% survival) but no protection against pulmonary challenge. Mice vaccinated with 3.0 x 10(4) CFU of the araC P(BAD) crp mutant also developed high anti-Y. pestis and anti-LcrV serum IgG titers but with a more balanced Th1/Th2 response. This strain induced complete protection against s.c. challenge and partial protection (70% survival) against pulmonary challenge. Our results demonstrate that arabinose-dependent regulated crp expression is an effective strategy to attenuate Y. pestis while retaining strong immunogenicity, leading to protection against the pneumonic and bubonic forms of plague.

  5. A High-Coverage Yersinia pestis Genome from a Sixth-Century Justinianic Plague Victim.

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    Feldman, Michal; Harbeck, Michaela; Keller, Marcel; Spyrou, Maria A; Rott, Andreas; Trautmann, Bernd; Scholz, Holger C; Päffgen, Bernd; Peters, Joris; McCormick, Michael; Bos, Kirsten; Herbig, Alexander; Krause, Johannes

    2016-11-01

    The Justinianic Plague, which started in the sixth century and lasted to the mid eighth century, is thought to be the first of three historically documented plague pandemics causing massive casualties. Historical accounts and molecular data suggest the bacterium Yersinia pestis as its etiological agent. Here we present a new high-coverage (17.9-fold) Y. pestis genome obtained from a sixth-century skeleton recovered from a southern German burial site close to Munich. The reconstructed genome enabled the detection of 30 unique substitutions as well as structural differences that have not been previously described. We report indels affecting a lacl family transcription regulator gene as well as nonsynonymous substitutions in the nrdE, fadJ, and pcp genes, that have been suggested as plague virulence determinants or have been shown to be upregulated in different models of plague infection. In addition, we identify 19 false positive substitutions in a previously published lower-coverage Y. pestis genome from another archaeological site of the same time period and geographical region that is otherwise genetically identical to the high-coverage genome sequence reported here, suggesting low-genetic diversity of the plague during the sixth century in rural southern Germany. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  6. Integrating high-content imaging and chemical genetics to probe host cellular pathways critical for Yersinia pestis infection.

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    Krishna P Kota

    Full Text Available The molecular machinery that regulates the entry and survival of Yersinia pestis in host macrophages is poorly understood. Here, we report the development of automated high-content imaging assays to quantitate the internalization of virulent Y. pestis CO92 by macrophages and the subsequent activation of host NF-κB. Implementation of these assays in a focused chemical screen identified kinase inhibitors that inhibited both of these processes. Rac-2-ethoxy-3 octadecanamido-1-propylphosphocholine (a protein Kinase C inhibitor, wortmannin (a PI3K inhibitor, and parthenolide (an IκB kinase inhibitor, inhibited pathogen-induced NF-κB activation and reduced bacterial entry and survival within macrophages. Parthenolide inhibited NF-κB activation in response to stimulation with Pam3CSK4 (a TLR2 agonist, E. coli LPS (a TLR4 agonist or Y. pestis infection, while the PI3K and PKC inhibitors were selective only for Y. pestis infection. Together, our results suggest that phagocytosis is the major stimulus for NF-κB activation in response to Y. pestis infection, and that Y. pestis entry into macrophages may involve the participation of protein kinases such as PI3K and PKC. More importantly, the automated image-based screening platform described here can be applied to the study of other bacteria in general and, in combination with chemical genetic screening, can be used to identify host cell functions facilitating the identification of novel antibacterial therapeutics.

  7. Yersinia pestis intracellular parasitism of macrophages from hosts exhibiting high and low severity of plague.

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    Duraisamy Ponnusamy

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Yersinia pestis causes severe disease in natural rodent hosts, but mild to inapparent disease in certain rodent predators such as dogs. Y. pestis initiates infection in susceptible hosts by parasitizing and multiplying intracellularly in local macrophages prior to systemic dissemination. Thus, we hypothesize that Y. pestis disease severity may depend on the degree to which intracellular Y. pestis overcomes the initial host macrophage imposed stress. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To test this hypothesis, the progression of in vitro infection by Y. pestis KIM62053.1+ of mouse splenic and RAW264.7 tissue culture macrophages and dog peripheral blood-derived and DH82 tissue culture macrophages was studied using microscopy and various parameters of infection. The study showed that during the early stage of infection, intracellular Y. pestis assumed filamentous cellular morphology with multiple copies of the genome per bacterium in both mouse and dog macrophages. Later, in mouse macrophages, the infection elicited spacious vacuolar extension of Yersinia containing vacuoles (YCV, and the filamentous Y. pestis reverted to coccobacillary morphology with genomic equivalents approximately equaling colony forming units. In contrast, Y. pestis infected dog macrophages did not show noticeable extension of YCV, and intracellular Y. pestis retained the filamentous cellular morphology for the entire experiment in DH82 cells or were killed by blood-derived macrophages. In addition, during the later stage of infection, Y. pestis infected mouse macrophages exhibited cell lysis whereas dog macrophages did not. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, these results support our hypothesis that Y. pestis in mouse macrophages can overcome the initial intracellular stress necessary for subsequent systemic infection. However, in dogs, failure of Y. pestis to overcome macrophage imposed stress may result in mild or in apparent disease in dogs.

  8. The role of relA and spoT in Yersinia pestis KIM5 pathogenicity.

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    Wei Sun

    Full Text Available The ppGpp molecule is part of a highly conserved regulatory system for mediating the growth response to various environmental conditions. This mechanism may represent a common strategy whereby pathogens such as Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, regulate the virulence gene programs required for invasion, survival and persistence within host cells to match the capacity for growth. The products of the relA and spoT genes carry out ppGpp synthesis. To investigate the role of ppGpp on growth, protein synthesis, gene expression and virulence, we constructed a Delta relA Delta spoT Y. pestis mutant. The mutant was no longer able to synthesize ppGpp in response to amino acid or carbon starvation, as expected. We also found that it exhibited several novel phenotypes, including a reduced growth rate and autoaggregation at 26 degrees C. In addition, there was a reduction in the level of secretion of key virulence proteins and the mutant was > 1,000-fold less virulent than its wild-type parent strain. Mice vaccinated subcutaneously (s.c. with 2.5x10(4 CFU of the Delta relA Delta spoT mutant developed high anti-Y. pestis serum IgG titers, were completely protected against s.c. challenge with 1.5x10(5 CFU of virulent Y. pestis and partially protected (60% survival against pulmonary challenge with 2.0x10(4 CFU of virulent Y. pestis. Our results indicate that ppGpp represents an important virulence determinant in Y. pestis and the Delta relA Delta spoT mutant strain is a promising vaccine candidate to provide protection against plague.

  9. PLASMINOGEN ACTIVATOR OF YERSINIA PESTIS

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    V. V. Evseeva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Plague has been the cause of three pandemics and has led to the death of millions of people. Plague is a typical zoonosis caused by Yersinia pestis that circulates in populations of wild rodents inhabiting natural plague foci on all continents except for Australia. Transmission of plague is provided by flea bites. Circulation of Y. pestis in natural plague foci is supported by a numerous of pathogenicity factors. This review explores one of them, plasminogen activator Pla. This protein is one of representatives of omptins, a family of enterobacterial outer membrane proteases that are responsible for colonization of specific organs or even infection generalization as a result of successful overcoming of the host innate immunity. The review reflects the history of its discovery and studying of its genetic control, biosynthesis, isolation and purification, physicochemical properties. Highly purified preparations of plasminogen activator are deficient in enzymatic activities but renaturation in the presence of Y. pestis lipooligosaccharide restores enzymatic properties of Pla. This pathogenicity factor is absent in representatives of the most ancient phylogenetic group of the plague pathogen, bv. caucasica, while the ancestor of other groups of Y. pestis subsp. microtus obtained in result of horizontal transfer Pla isoform with characteristics similar to properties of omptins from the less virulent enterobacteria. After that in the course of microevolution the “classic” isoform of Pla with increased protease activity was selected that is typical of all highly virulent for humans strains of Y. pestis subsp. pestis. The “classic” isoform of Pla Y. pestis is functionally similar to mammalian plasminogen activators transforming plasminogen into plasmin with the help of limited proteolysis. Pla protease activating plasminogen and also degrading the main plasmin inhibitor — α2-antiplasmin and, respectively, determining Y. pestis ability to lyse

  10. Yersinia pestis lineages in Mongolia.

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    Julia M Riehm

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Whole genome sequencing allowed the development of a number of high resolution sequence based typing tools for Yersinia (Y. pestis. The application of these methods on isolates from most known foci worldwide and in particular from China and the Former Soviet Union has dramatically improved our understanding of the population structure of this species. In the current view, Y. pestis including the non or moderate human pathogen Y. pestis subspecies microtus emerged from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis about 2,600 to 28,600 years ago in central Asia. The majority of central Asia natural foci have been investigated. However these investigations included only few strains from Mongolia. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Prokaryotic Repeats (CRISPR analysis and Multiple-locus variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR analysis (MLVA with 25 loci was performed on 100 Y. pestis strains, isolated from 37 sampling areas in Mongolia. The resulting data were compared with previously published data from more than 500 plague strains, 130 of which had also been previously genotyped by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP analysis. The comparison revealed six main clusters including the three microtus biovars Ulegeica, Altaica, and Xilingolensis. The largest cluster comprises 78 isolates, with unique and new genotypes seen so far in Mongolia only. Typing of selected isolates by key SNPs was used to robustly assign the corresponding clusters to previously defined SNP branches. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We show that Mongolia hosts the most recent microtus clade (Ulegeica. Interestingly no representatives of the ancestral Y. pestis subspecies pestis nodes previously identified in North-western China were identified in this study. This observation suggests that the subsequent evolution steps within Y. pestis pestis did not occur in Mongolia. Rather, Mongolia was most likely re-colonized by more recent clades coming back from

  11. Novel plasmids and resistance phenotypes in Yersinia pestis: unique plasmid inventory of strain Java 9 mediates high levels of arsenic resistance.

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    Mark Eppinger

    Full Text Available Growing evidence suggests that the plasmid repertoire of Yersinia pestis is not restricted to the three classical virulence plasmids. The Java 9 strain of Y. pestis is a biovar Orientalis isolate obtained from a rat in Indonesia. Although it lacks the Y. pestis-specific plasmid pMT, which encodes the F1 capsule, it retains virulence in mouse and non-human primate animal models. While comparing diverse Y. pestis strains using subtractive hybridization, we identified sequences in Java 9 that were homologous to a Y. enterocolitica strain carrying the transposon Tn2502, which is known to encode arsenic resistance. Here we demonstrate that Java 9 exhibits high levels of arsenic and arsenite resistance mediated by a novel promiscuous class II transposon, named Tn2503. Arsenic resistance was self-transmissible from Java 9 to other Y. pestis strains via conjugation. Genomic analysis of the atypical plasmid inventory of Java 9 identified pCD and pPCP plasmids of atypical size and two previously uncharacterized cryptic plasmids. Unlike the Tn2502-mediated arsenic resistance encoded on the Y. enterocolitica virulence plasmid; the resistance loci in Java 9 are found on all four indigenous plasmids, including the two novel cryptic plasmids. This unique mobilome introduces more than 105 genes into the species gene pool. The majority of these are encoded by the two entirely novel self-transmissible plasmids, which show partial homology and synteny to other enterics. In contrast to the reductive evolution in Y. pestis, this study underlines the major impact of a dynamic mobilome and lateral acquisition in the genome evolution of the plague bacterium.

  12. Immunology of Yersinia pestis Infection.

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    Bi, Yujing

    2016-01-01

    As a pathogen of plague, Yersinia pestis caused three massive pandemics in history that killed hundreds of millions of people. Yersinia pestis is highly invasive, causing severe septicemia which, if untreated, is usually fatal to its host. To survive in the host and maintain a persistent infection, Yersinia pestis uses several stratagems to evade the innate and the adaptive immune responses. For example, infections with this organism are biphasic, involving an initial "noninflammatory" phase where bacterial replication occurs initially with little inflammation and following by extensive phagocyte influx, inflammatory cytokine production, and considerable tissue destruction, which is called "proinflammatory" phase. In contrast, the host also utilizes its immune system to eliminate the invading bacteria. Neutrophil and macrophage are the first defense against Yersinia pestis invading through phagocytosis and killing. Other innate immune cells also play different roles, such as dendritic cells which help to generate more T helper cells. After several days post infection, the adaptive immune response begins to provide organism-specific protection and has a long-lasting immunological memory. Thus, with the cooperation and collaboration of innate and acquired immunity, the bacterium may be eliminated from the host. The research of Yersinia pestis and host immune systems provides an important topic to understand pathogen-host interaction and consequently develop effective countermeasures.

  13. Bacteriophages of Yersinia pestis.

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    Zhao, Xiangna; Skurnik, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Bacteriophage play many varied roles in microbial ecology and evolution. This chapter collates a vast body of knowledge and expertise on Yersinia pestis phages, including the history of their isolation and classical methods for their isolation and identification. The genomic diversity of Y. pestis phage and bacteriophage islands in the Y. pestis genome are also discussed because all phage research represents a branch of genetics. In addition, our knowledge of the receptors that are recognized by Y. pestis phage, advances in phage therapy for Y. pestis infections, the application of phage in the detection of Y. pestis, and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) sequences of Y. pestis from prophage DNA are all reviewed here.

  14. Adjunctive Corticosteroid Treatment Against Yersinia pestis Improves Bacterial Clearance, Immunopathology, and Survival in the Mouse Model of Bubonic Plague.

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    Levy, Yinon; Vagima, Yaron; Tidhar, Avital; Zauberman, Ayelet; Aftalion, Moshe; Gur, David; Fogel, Itay; Chitlaru, Theodor; Flashner, Yehuda; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2016-09-15

    Plague is initiated by Yersinia pestis, a highly virulent bacterial pathogen. In late stages of the infection, bacteria proliferate extensively in the internal organs despite the massive infiltration of neutrophils. The ineffective inflammatory response associated with tissue damage may contribute to the low efficacy of antiplague therapies during late stages of the infection. In the present study, we address the possibility of improving therapeutic efficacy by combining corticosteroid administration with antibody therapy in the mouse model of bubonic plague. Mice were subcutaneously infected with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain and treated at progressive stages of the disease with anti-Y. pestis antibodies alone or in combination with the corticosteroid methylprednisolone. The addition of methylprednisolone to antibody therapy correlated with improved mouse survival, a significant decrease in the amount of neutrophils and matrix metalloproteinase 9 in the tissues, and the mitigation of tissue damage. Interestingly, the combined treatment led to a decrease in the bacterial loads in infected organs. Corticosteroids induce an unexpectedly effective antibacterial response apart from their antiinflammatory properties, thereby improving treatment efficacy. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. 3a-Negative Yersinia Pestis, China

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    Zhizhen Qi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Dear Editor, As the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis has killed millions of people in the three major historical pandemics and remains endemic in many natural foci around the world today. This Gram-negative bacterium is transmitted to humans and susceptible animals from the natural rodent reservoirs through the bites of infected fleas, contact with infected animals or persons, or aerosols. Because of its respiratory transmission and high pathogenicity, the potential use of Y. pestis as a bioterrorism agent is a major concern. The specific and rapid detection of Y. pestis is the key step in implementing effective countermeasures during plague epidemics. The standard culture and biochemical identification methods for Y. pestis are relatively time-consuming, so PCR assays are frequently used because they are rapid. However, the amplification targets are usually based on three plasmids, which may be lost in atypical strains, causing false-negative results. Therefore, Radnedge et al. identified a signature sequence, designated “3a”, in a chromosomal region of Y. pestis, based on the results of suppression subtractive hybridization, which was later confirmed with a microarray-based analysis. A positive 3a result has been shown to be an effective marker for the identification of Y. pestis isolates. However, the recent isolation of 3a-negative Y. pestis in China suggests that this indicator is unreliable.

  16. Distinct clones of Yersinia pestis caused the black death

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haensch, Stephanie; Bianucci, Raffaella; Signoli, Michel; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Schultz, Michael; Kacki, Sacha; Vermunt, Marco; Weston, Darlene A; Hurst, Derek; Achtman, Mark; Carniel, Elisabeth; Bramanti, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    .... The etiology of this disease has remained highly controversial, ranging from claims based on genetics and the historical descriptions of symptoms that it was caused by Yersinia pestis to conclusions...

  17. [Yersinia pestis and plague - an update].

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    Stock, Ingo

    2014-12-01

    The plague of man is a severe, systemic bacterial infectious disease. Without antibacterial therapy, the disease is associated with a high case fatality rate, ranging from 40% (bubonic plague) to nearly 100% (septicemic and pneumonic plague). The disease is caused by Yersinia pestis, a non-motile, gram-negative, facultative anaerobic bacterium belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. In nature, Y. pestis has been found in several rodent species and some other small animals such as shrews. Within its reservoir host, Y. pestis circulates via flea bites. Transmission of Y. pestis to humans occurs by the bite of rat fleas, other flea vectors or by non vectorial routes, e. g., handling infected animals or consumption of contaminated food. Human-to-human transmission of the pathogen occurs primarily through aerosol droplets. Compared to the days when plague was a pandemic scourge, the disease is now relatively rare and limited to some rural areas of Africa. During the last ten years, however, plague outbreaks have been registered repea- tedly in some African regions. For treatment of plague, streptomycin is still considered the drug of choice. Chloramphenicol, doxycycline, gentamicin and ciprofloxacin are also promising drugs. Recombinant vaccines against plague are in clinical development.

  18. High-Throughput, Signature-Tagged Mutagenic Approach To Identify Novel Virulence Factors of Yersinia pestis CO92 in a Mouse Model of Infection

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    Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Fitts, Eric C.; Erova, Tatiana E.; Kozlova, Elena V.; Kirtley, Michelle L.; Tiner, Bethany L.; Andersson, Jourdan A.

    2015-01-01

    The identification of new virulence factors in Yersinia pestis and understanding their molecular mechanisms during an infection process are necessary in designing a better vaccine or to formulate an appropriate therapeutic intervention. By using a high-throughput, signature-tagged mutagenic approach, we created 5,088 mutants of Y. pestis strain CO92 and screened them in a mouse model of pneumonic plague at a dose equivalent to 5 50% lethal doses (LD50) of wild-type (WT) CO92. From this screen, we obtained 118 clones showing impairment in disseminating to the spleen, based on hybridization of input versus output DNA from mutant pools with 53 unique signature tags. In the subsequent screen, 20/118 mutants exhibited attenuation at 8 LD50 when tested in a mouse model of bubonic plague, with infection by 10/20 of the aforementioned mutants resulting in 40% or higher survival rates at an infectious dose of 40 LD50. Upon sequencing, six of the attenuated mutants were found to carry interruptions in genes encoding hypothetical proteins or proteins with putative functions. Mutants with in-frame deletion mutations of two of the genes identified from the screen, namely, rbsA, which codes for a putative sugar transport system ATP-binding protein, and vasK, a component of the type VI secretion system, were also found to exhibit some attenuation at 11 or 12 LD50 in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. Likewise, among the remaining 18 signature-tagged mutants, 9 were also attenuated (40 to 100%) at 12 LD50 in a pneumonic plague mouse model. Previously, we found that deleting genes encoding Braun lipoprotein (Lpp) and acyltransferase (MsbB), the latter of which modifies lipopolysaccharide function, reduced the virulence of Y. pestis CO92 in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Deletion of rbsA and vasK genes from either the Δlpp single or the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant augmented the attenuation to provide 90 to 100% survivability to mice in a pneumonic plague model at 20

  19. High-throughput, signature-tagged mutagenic approach to identify novel virulence factors of Yersinia pestis CO92 in a mouse model of infection.

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    Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Fitts, Eric C; Sha, Jian; Erova, Tatiana E; Kozlova, Elena V; Kirtley, Michelle L; Tiner, Bethany L; Andersson, Jourdan A; Chopra, Ashok K

    2015-05-01

    The identification of new virulence factors in Yersinia pestis and understanding their molecular mechanisms during an infection process are necessary in designing a better vaccine or to formulate an appropriate therapeutic intervention. By using a high-throughput, signature-tagged mutagenic approach, we created 5,088 mutants of Y. pestis strain CO92 and screened them in a mouse model of pneumonic plague at a dose equivalent to 5 50% lethal doses (LD50) of wild-type (WT) CO92. From this screen, we obtained 118 clones showing impairment in disseminating to the spleen, based on hybridization of input versus output DNA from mutant pools with 53 unique signature tags. In the subsequent screen, 20/118 mutants exhibited attenuation at 8 LD50 when tested in a mouse model of bubonic plague, with infection by 10/20 of the aforementioned mutants resulting in 40% or higher survival rates at an infectious dose of 40 LD50. Upon sequencing, six of the attenuated mutants were found to carry interruptions in genes encoding hypothetical proteins or proteins with putative functions. Mutants with in-frame deletion mutations of two of the genes identified from the screen, namely, rbsA, which codes for a putative sugar transport system ATP-binding protein, and vasK, a component of the type VI secretion system, were also found to exhibit some attenuation at 11 or 12 LD50 in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. Likewise, among the remaining 18 signature-tagged mutants, 9 were also attenuated (40 to 100%) at 12 LD50 in a pneumonic plague mouse model. Previously, we found that deleting genes encoding Braun lipoprotein (Lpp) and acyltransferase (MsbB), the latter of which modifies lipopolysaccharide function, reduced the virulence of Y. pestis CO92 in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Deletion of rbsA and vasK genes from either the Δlpp single or the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant augmented the attenuation to provide 90 to 100% survivability to mice in a pneumonic plague model at 20

  20. СAPSULAR ANTIGEN OF YERSINIA PESTIS

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    L. A. Kadnikova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Plague is a zoonosis caused by gram-negative bacteria Yersinia pestis, which, as a rule, is transmitted to humans from septicemic rodents by the bites of infected fleas. This microbe killed more people than all of the wars in the human history. Y. pestis circulation in the natural plague foci is ensured by the whole number of pathogenicity factors with differing functional orientation. This review is devoted to one of them, Y. pestis capsular antigen (F1 or Caf1. The history of its discovery and studying of its genetic control, biosynthesis, isolation and purification, and physicochemical properties are reviewed. Its roles in plague pathogenesis and its application as a main component of plague vaccines are also discussed. Y. pestis capsule under light microscopy is visually amorphous, while high-resolution electron microscopy displays the structure formed from separate fimbria-like cords up to 200 nm long, diverging from the bacterial surface in different directions. At 37°C Y. pestis produce 800–1000 times more capsular antigen than at 28°C. Genes coding for 17.6-kD Caf1 protein, which contains 170 amino acids, are located in caf1 operon of pFra plasmid. Analysis of caf1 operon nucleotide sequence testified its close phylogenetic relationship with the gene clusters coding for pilus adhesins that were secreted with the help of chaperone/usher systems in enterobacteria including six additional adhesins in Y. pestis. Y. pestis multiplication within macrophages is the obligatory stage of plague pathogenesis, and the plague pathogen virulence correlates not with resistance to phagocyte ingesting but with bacterial ability to survive and multiply within phagolysosomes of phagocytes due to neutralization of antibacterial functions of eukaryotic cells. The capsule formed out of the Caf1 aggregates protects Y. pestis from ingestion by naïve host’s phagocytes and prevents from initiation of the alternative pathway of the complement system

  1. Yersinia pestis Ail: multiple roles of a single protein

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    Kolodziejek, Anna M.; Hovde, Carolyn J.; Minnich, Scott A.

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is one of the most virulent bacteria identified. It is the causative agent of plague—a systemic disease that has claimed millions of human lives throughout history. Y. pestis survival in insect and mammalian host species requires fine-tuning to sense and respond to varying environmental cues. Multiple Y. pestis attributes participate in this process and contribute to its pathogenicity and highly efficient transmission between hosts. These include factors inherited from its enteric predecessors; Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis, as well as phenotypes acquired or lost during Y. pestis speciation. Representatives of a large Enterobacteriaceae Ail/OmpX/PagC/Lom family of outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are found in the genomes of all pathogenic Yersiniae. This review describes the current knowledge regarding the role of Ail in Y. pestis pathogenesis and virulence. The pronounced role of Ail in the following areas are discussed (1) inhibition of the bactericidal properties of complement, (2) attachment and Yersinia outer proteins (Yop) delivery to host tissue, (3) prevention of PMNL recruitment to the lymph nodes, and (4) inhibition of the inflammatory response. Finally, Ail homologs in Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis are compared to illustrate differences that may have contributed to the drastic bacterial lifestyle change that shifted Y. pestis from an enteric to a vector-born systemic pathogen. PMID:22919692

  2. Insights into the genome evolution of Yersinia pestis through whole genome comparison with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souza, B; Stoutland, P; Derbise, A; Georgescu, A; Elliott, J; Land, M; Marceau, M; Motin, V; Hinnebusch, J; Simonet, M; Medigue, C; Dacheux, D; Chenal-Francisque, V; Regala, W; Brubaker, R R; Carniel, E; Chain, P; Verguez, L; Fowler, J; Garcia, E; Lamerdin, J; Hauser, L; Larimer, F

    2004-01-24

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is a highly uniform clone that diverged recently from the enteric pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Despite their close genetic relationship, they differ radically in their pathogenicity and transmission. Here we report the complete genomic sequence of Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953 and its use for detailed genome comparisons to available Y. pestis sequences. Analyses of identified differences across a panel of Yersinia isolates from around the world reveals 32 Y. pestis chromosomal genes that, together with the two Y. pestis-specific plasmids, represent the only new genetic material in Y. pestis acquired since the divergence from Y. pseudotuberculosis. In contrast, 149 new pseudogenes (doubling the previous estimate) and 317 genes absent from Y. pestis were detected, indicating that as many as 13% of Y. pseudotuberculosis genes no longer function in Y. pestis. Extensive IS-mediated genome rearrangements and reductive evolution through massive gene loss, resulting in elimination and modification of pre-existing gene expression pathways appear to be more important than acquisition of new genes in the evolution of Y. pestis. These results provide a sobering example of how a highly virulent epidemic clone can suddenly emerge from a less virulent, closely related progenitor.

  3. Isolation of Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis from Blood Cultures by Plasma Purification and Immunomagnetic Separation Accelerates Antibiotic Susceptibility Determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aloni-Grinstein, Ronit; Schuster, Ofir; Yitzhaki, Shmuel; Aftalion, Moshe; Maoz, Sharon; Steinberger-Levy, Ida; Ber, Raphael

    2017-01-01

    The early symptoms of tularemia and plague, which are caused by Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis infection, respectively, are common to other illnesses, resulting in a low index of suspicion among clinicians. Moreover, because these diseases can be treated only with antibiotics, rapid isolation of the bacteria and antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) are preferable. Blood cultures of patients may serve as a source for bacteria isolation. However, due to the slow growth rates of F. tularensis and Y. pestis on solid media, isolation by plating blood culture samples on proper agar plates may require several days. Thus, improving the isolation procedure prior to antibiotic susceptibility determination is a major clinically relevant need. In this study, we developed a rapid, selective procedure for the isolation of F. tularensis and Y. pestis from blood cultures. We examined drop-plating and plasma purification followed by immunomagnetic separation (IMS) as alternative isolation methods. We determined that replacing the classical isolation method with drop-plating is advantageous with respect to time at the expense of specificity. Hence, we also examined isolation by IMS. Sub-localization of F. tularensis within blood cultures of infected mice has revealed that the majority of the bacteria are located within the extracellular fraction, in the plasma. Y. pestis also resides within the plasma. Therefore, the plasma fraction was isolated from blood cultures and subjected to an IMS procedure using polyclonal anti-F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) or anti-Y. pestis antibodies conjugated to 50-nm nano-beads. The time required to reach an inoculum of sufficient bacteria for AST was shortest when using the plasma and IMSs for both bacteria, saving up to 2 days of incubation for F. tularensis and 1 day for Y. pestis. Our isolation procedure provides a proof of concept for the clinical relevance of rapid isolation for AST from F. tularensis- and Y. pestis

  4. Distinct clones of Yersinia pestis caused the black death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haensch, Stephanie; Bianucci, Raffaella; Signoli, Michel; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Schultz, Michael; Kacki, Sacha; Vermunt, Marco; Weston, Darlene A; Hurst, Derek; Achtman, Mark; Carniel, Elisabeth; Bramanti, Barbara

    2010-10-07

    From AD 1347 to AD 1353, the Black Death killed tens of millions of people in Europe, leaving misery and devastation in its wake, with successive epidemics ravaging the continent until the 18(th) century. The etiology of this disease has remained highly controversial, ranging from claims based on genetics and the historical descriptions of symptoms that it was caused by Yersinia pestis to conclusions that it must have been caused by other pathogens. It has also been disputed whether plague had the same etiology in northern and southern Europe. Here we identified DNA and protein signatures specific for Y. pestis in human skeletons from mass graves in northern, central and southern Europe that were associated archaeologically with the Black Death and subsequent resurgences. We confirm that Y. pestis caused the Black Death and later epidemics on the entire European continent over the course of four centuries. Furthermore, on the basis of 17 single nucleotide polymorphisms plus the absence of a deletion in glpD gene, our aDNA results identified two previously unknown but related clades of Y. pestis associated with distinct medieval mass graves. These findings suggest that plague was imported to Europe on two or more occasions, each following a distinct route. These two clades are ancestral to modern isolates of Y. pestis biovars Orientalis and Medievalis. Our results clarify the etiology of the Black Death and provide a paradigm for a detailed historical reconstruction of the infection routes followed by this disease.

  5. Distinct clones of Yersinia pestis caused the black death.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Haensch

    Full Text Available From AD 1347 to AD 1353, the Black Death killed tens of millions of people in Europe, leaving misery and devastation in its wake, with successive epidemics ravaging the continent until the 18(th century. The etiology of this disease has remained highly controversial, ranging from claims based on genetics and the historical descriptions of symptoms that it was caused by Yersinia pestis to conclusions that it must have been caused by other pathogens. It has also been disputed whether plague had the same etiology in northern and southern Europe. Here we identified DNA and protein signatures specific for Y. pestis in human skeletons from mass graves in northern, central and southern Europe that were associated archaeologically with the Black Death and subsequent resurgences. We confirm that Y. pestis caused the Black Death and later epidemics on the entire European continent over the course of four centuries. Furthermore, on the basis of 17 single nucleotide polymorphisms plus the absence of a deletion in glpD gene, our aDNA results identified two previously unknown but related clades of Y. pestis associated with distinct medieval mass graves. These findings suggest that plague was imported to Europe on two or more occasions, each following a distinct route. These two clades are ancestral to modern isolates of Y. pestis biovars Orientalis and Medievalis. Our results clarify the etiology of the Black Death and provide a paradigm for a detailed historical reconstruction of the infection routes followed by this disease.

  6. Distinct Clones of Yersinia pestis Caused the Black Death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haensch, Stephanie; Bianucci, Raffaella; Signoli, Michel; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Schultz, Michael; Kacki, Sacha; Vermunt, Marco; Weston, Darlene A.; Hurst, Derek; Achtman, Mark; Carniel, Elisabeth; Bramanti, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    From AD 1347 to AD 1353, the Black Death killed tens of millions of people in Europe, leaving misery and devastation in its wake, with successive epidemics ravaging the continent until the 18th century. The etiology of this disease has remained highly controversial, ranging from claims based on genetics and the historical descriptions of symptoms that it was caused by Yersinia pestis to conclusions that it must have been caused by other pathogens. It has also been disputed whether plague had the same etiology in northern and southern Europe. Here we identified DNA and protein signatures specific for Y. pestis in human skeletons from mass graves in northern, central and southern Europe that were associated archaeologically with the Black Death and subsequent resurgences. We confirm that Y. pestis caused the Black Death and later epidemics on the entire European continent over the course of four centuries. Furthermore, on the basis of 17 single nucleotide polymorphisms plus the absence of a deletion in glpD gene, our aDNA results identified two previously unknown but related clades of Y. pestis associated with distinct medieval mass graves. These findings suggest that plague was imported to Europe on two or more occasions, each following a distinct route. These two clades are ancestral to modern isolates of Y. pestis biovars Orientalis and Medievalis. Our results clarify the etiology of the Black Death and provide a paradigm for a detailed historical reconstruction of the infection routes followed by this disease. PMID:20949072

  7. Investigating the ?Trojan Horse? Mechanism of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCutchen-Maloney, S L; Fitch, J P

    2005-02-08

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is a Gram-negative, highly communicable, enteric bacterium that has been responsible for three historic plague pandemics. Currently, several thousand cases of plague are reported worldwide annually, and Y. pestis remains a considerable threat from a biodefense perspective. Y. pestis infection can manifest in three forms: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. Of these three forms, pneumonic plague has the highest fatality rate ({approx}100% if left untreated), the shortest intervention time ({approx}24 hours), and is highly contagious. Currently, there are no rapid, widely available vaccines for plague and though plague may be treated with antibiotics, the emergence of both naturally occurring and potentially engineered antibiotic resistant strains makes the search for more effective therapies and vaccines for plague of pressing concern. The virulence mechanism of this deadly bacterium involves induction of a Type III secretion system, a syringe-like apparatus that facilitates the injection of virulence factors, termed Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops), into the host cell. These virulence factors inhibit phagocytosis and cytokine secretion, and trigger apoptosis of the host cell. Y. pestis virulence factors and the Type III secretion system are induced thermally, when the bacterium enters the mammalian host from the flea vector, and through host cell contact (or conditions of low Ca{sup 2+} in vitro). Apart from the temperature increase from 26 C to 37 C and host cell contact (or low Ca{sup 2+} conditions), other molecular mechanisms that influence virulence induction in Y. pestis are largely uncharacterized. This project focused on characterizing two novel mechanisms that regulate virulence factor induction in Y. pestis, immunoglobulin G (IgG) binding and quorum sensing, using a real-time reporter system to monitor induction of virulence. Incorporating a better understanding of the mechanisms of virulence

  8. Transit through the flea vector induces a pretransmission innate immunity resistance phenotype in Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viveka Vadyvaloo

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, is transmitted to mammals by infected fleas. Y. pestis exhibits a distinct life stage in the flea, where it grows in the form of a cohesive biofilm that promotes transmission. After transmission, the temperature shift to 37 degrees C induces many known virulence factors of Y. pestis that confer resistance to innate immunity. These factors are not produced in the low-temperature environment of the flea, however, suggesting that Y. pestis is vulnerable to the initial encounter with innate immune cells at the flea bite site. In this study, we used whole-genome microarrays to compare the Y. pestis in vivo transcriptome in infective fleas to in vitro transcriptomes in temperature-matched biofilm and planktonic cultures, and to the previously characterized in vivo gene expression profile in the rat bubo. In addition to genes involved in metabolic adaptation to the flea gut and biofilm formation, several genes with known or predicted roles in resistance to innate immunity and pathogenicity in the mammal were upregulated in the flea. Y. pestis from infected fleas were more resistant to phagocytosis by macrophages than in vitro-grown bacteria, in part attributable to a cluster of insecticidal-like toxin genes that were highly expressed only in the flea. Our results suggest that transit through the flea vector induces a phenotype that enhances survival and dissemination of Y. pestis after transmission to the mammalian host.

  9. Preliminary validation of real-time PCR assays for the identification of Yersinia pestis (Authors' personal document)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tomaso, H.; Jacobs, D.; Eickhoff, M.; Scholz, H.C.; Dahouk, S.al; Kattar, M.M.; Reischl, U.; Plicka, H.; Strand Olsen, J.; Nikkari, S.; Matero, P.; Beuret, C.; Ciammaruconi, A.; Lista, F.; Gala, J.-L.; Broll, H.; Appel, B.; Sellek Cano, R.E.; Ybarra de Villavicencio, M.d.C.; Broekhuijsen, M.P.; Indra, A.; Petersen, R.; Neubauer, H.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) is a zoonotic bacterium mainly circulating among rodents and their fleas. Transmission to humans can cause bubonic, pneumonic or septicemic plague with a high case-fatality rate. Therefore, rapid and reliable diagnostic tools are crucial. The objective of this

  10. Genotyping and phylogenetic analysis of Yersinia pestis by MLVA: insights into the worldwide expansion of Central Asia plague foci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanjun Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The species Yersinia pestis is commonly divided into three classical biovars, Antiqua, Medievalis, and Orientalis, belonging to subspecies pestis pathogenic for human and the (atypical non-human pathogenic biovar Microtus (alias Pestoides including several non-pestis subspecies. Recent progress in molecular typing methods enables large-scale investigations in the population structure of this species. It is now possible to test hypotheses about its evolution which were proposed decades ago. For instance the three classical biovars of different geographical distributions were suggested to originate from Central Asia. Most investigations so far have focused on the typical pestis subspecies representatives found outside of China, whereas the understanding of the emergence of this human pathogen requires the investigation of strains belonging to subspecies pestis from China and to the Microtus biovar. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Multi-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA with 25 loci was performed on a collection of Y. pestis isolates originating from the majority of the known foci worldwide and including typical rhamnose-negative subspecies pestis as well as rhamnose-positive subspecies pestis and biovar Microtus. More than 500 isolates from China, the Former Soviet Union (FSU, Mongolia and a number of other foci around the world were characterized and resolved into 350 different genotypes. The data revealed very close relationships existing between some isolates from widely separated foci as well as very high diversity which can conversely be observed between nearby foci. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results obtained are in full agreement with the view that the Y. pestis subsp. pestis pathogenic for humans emerged in the Central Asia region between China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, only three clones of which spread out of Central Asia. The relationships among the strains in China, Central Asia and the rest of the world based on the MLVA

  11. Phylogeography and Molecular Epidemiology of Yersinia pestis in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogler, Amy J.; Chan, Fabien; Wagner, David M.; Roumagnac, Philippe; Lee, Judy; Nera, Roxanne; Eppinger, Mark; Ravel, Jacques; Rahalison, Lila; Rasoamanana, Bruno W.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen M.; Achtman, Mark; Chanteau, Suzanne; Keim, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Background Plague was introduced to Madagascar in 1898 and continues to be a significant human health problem. It exists mainly in the central highlands, but in the 1990s was reintroduced to the port city of Mahajanga, where it caused extensive human outbreaks. Despite its prevalence, the phylogeography and molecular epidemiology of Y. pestis in Madagascar has been difficult to study due to the great genetic similarity among isolates. We examine island-wide geographic-genetic patterns based upon whole-genome discovery of SNPs, SNP genotyping and hypervariable variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) loci to gain insight into the maintenance and spread of Y. pestis in Madagascar. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed a set of 262 Malagasy isolates using a set of 56 SNPs and a 43-locus multi-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) system. We then analyzed the geographic distribution of the subclades and identified patterns related to the maintenance and spread of plague in Madagascar. We find relatively high levels of VNTR diversity in addition to several SNP differences. We identify two major groups, Groups I and II, which are subsequently divided into 11 and 4 subclades, respectively. Y. pestis appears to be maintained in several geographically separate subpopulations. There is also evidence for multiple long distance transfers of Y. pestis, likely human mediated. Such transfers have resulted in the reintroduction and establishment of plague in the port city of Mahajanga, where there is evidence for multiple transfers both from and to the central highlands. Conclusions/Significance The maintenance and spread of Y. pestis in Madagascar is a dynamic and highly active process that relies on the natural cycle between the primary host, the black rat, and its flea vectors as well as human activity. PMID:21931876

  12. Phylogeography and molecular epidemiology of Yersinia pestis in Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy J Vogler

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Plague was introduced to Madagascar in 1898 and continues to be a significant human health problem. It exists mainly in the central highlands, but in the 1990s was reintroduced to the port city of Mahajanga, where it caused extensive human outbreaks. Despite its prevalence, the phylogeography and molecular epidemiology of Y. pestis in Madagascar has been difficult to study due to the great genetic similarity among isolates. We examine island-wide geographic-genetic patterns based upon whole-genome discovery of SNPs, SNP genotyping and hypervariable variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR loci to gain insight into the maintenance and spread of Y. pestis in Madagascar.We analyzed a set of 262 Malagasy isolates using a set of 56 SNPs and a 43-locus multi-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA system. We then analyzed the geographic distribution of the subclades and identified patterns related to the maintenance and spread of plague in Madagascar. We find relatively high levels of VNTR diversity in addition to several SNP differences. We identify two major groups, Groups I and II, which are subsequently divided into 11 and 4 subclades, respectively. Y. pestis appears to be maintained in several geographically separate subpopulations. There is also evidence for multiple long distance transfers of Y. pestis, likely human mediated. Such transfers have resulted in the reintroduction and establishment of plague in the port city of Mahajanga, where there is evidence for multiple transfers both from and to the central highlands.The maintenance and spread of Y. pestis in Madagascar is a dynamic and highly active process that relies on the natural cycle between the primary host, the black rat, and its flea vectors as well as human activity.

  13. Fast and Simple Detection of Yersinia pestis Applicable to Field Investigation of Plague Foci

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Stéphanie; Demeure, Christian; Lamourette, Patricia; Filali, Sofia; Plaisance, Marc; Créminon, Christophe; Volland, Hervé; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus, has a rodent-flea-rodent life cycle but can also persist in the environment for various periods of time. There is now a convenient and effective test (F1-dipstick) for the rapid identification of Y. pestis from human patient or rodent samples, but this test cannot be applied to environmental or flea materials because the F1 capsule is mostly produced at 37°C. The plasminogen activator (PLA), a key virulence factor encoded by a Y. pestis-specific plasmid, is synthesized both at 20°C and 37°C, making it a good candidate antigen for environmental detection of Y. pestis by immunological methods. A recombinant PLA protein from Y. pestis synthesized by an Escherichia coli strain was used to produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). PLA-specific mAbs devoid of cross-reactions with other homologous proteins were further cloned. A pair of mAbs was selected based on its specificity, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, and ability to react with Y. pestis strains grown at different temperatures. These antibodies were used to develop a highly sensitive one-step PLA-enzyme immunoassay (PLA-EIA) and an immunostrip (PLA-dipstick), usable as a rapid test under field conditions. These two PLA-immunometric tests could be valuable, in addition to the F1-disptick, to confirm human plague diagnosis in non-endemic areas (WHO standard case definition). They have the supplementary advantage of allowing a rapid and easy detection of Y. pestis in environmental and flea samples, and would therefore be of great value for surveillance and epidemiological investigations of plague foci. Finally, they will be able to detect natural or genetically engineered F1-negative Y. pestis strains in human patients and environmental samples. PMID:23383008

  14. Fast and simple detection of Yersinia pestis applicable to field investigation of plague foci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Simon

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus, has a rodent-flea-rodent life cycle but can also persist in the environment for various periods of time. There is now a convenient and effective test (F1-dipstick for the rapid identification of Y. pestis from human patient or rodent samples, but this test cannot be applied to environmental or flea materials because the F1 capsule is mostly produced at 37°C. The plasminogen activator (PLA, a key virulence factor encoded by a Y. pestis-specific plasmid, is synthesized both at 20°C and 37°C, making it a good candidate antigen for environmental detection of Y. pestis by immunological methods. A recombinant PLA protein from Y. pestis synthesized by an Escherichia coli strain was used to produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs. PLA-specific mAbs devoid of cross-reactions with other homologous proteins were further cloned. A pair of mAbs was selected based on its specificity, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, and ability to react with Y. pestis strains grown at different temperatures. These antibodies were used to develop a highly sensitive one-step PLA-enzyme immunoassay (PLA-EIA and an immunostrip (PLA-dipstick, usable as a rapid test under field conditions. These two PLA-immunometric tests could be valuable, in addition to the F1-disptick, to confirm human plague diagnosis in non-endemic areas (WHO standard case definition. They have the supplementary advantage of allowing a rapid and easy detection of Y. pestis in environmental and flea samples, and would therefore be of great value for surveillance and epidemiological investigations of plague foci. Finally, they will be able to detect natural or genetically engineered F1-negative Y. pestis strains in human patients and environmental samples.

  15. Gene flow in a Yersinia pestis vector, Oropsylla hirsuta, during a plague epizootic

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    Philip H. Jones , Leigh R. Washburn & Hugh B. Britten

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Background & objectives: Appreciating how Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, spreads amongblack-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus colonies (BTPD, is vital to wildlife conservation programsin North American grasslands. A little-studied aspect of the system is the role of Y. pestis vectors, i.e. fleas,play in the spreading of plague in natural settings. We investigated the genetic structure and variability of acommon prairie dog flea (Oropsylla hirsuta in BTPD colonies in order to examine dispersal patterns. Giventhat this research took place during a widespread plague epizootic, there was the added advantage of gaininginformation on the dynamics of sylvatic plague.Methods & Results: Oropsylla hirsuta were collected from BTPD burrows in nine colonies from May 2005 toJuly 2005, and eight polymorphic microsatellite markers were used to generate genotypic data from them.Gene flow estimates revealed low genetic differentiation among fleas sampled from different colonies. NestedPCR plague assays confirmed the presence of Y. pestis with the average Y. pestis prevalence across all ninecolonies at 12%. No significant correlations were found between the genetic variability and gene flow of O.hirsuta and Y. pestis prevalence on a per-colony basis.Conclusion: Oropsylla hirsuta dispersal among BTPD colonies was high, potentially explaining the rapidspread of Y. pestis in our study area in 2005 and 2006.

  16. Gene flow in a Yersinia pestis vector, Oropsylla hirsuta, during a plague epizootic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Philip H; Washburn, Leigh R; Britten, Hugh B

    2011-09-01

    Appreciating how Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, spreads among black - tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies (BTPD), is vital to wildlife conservation programs in North American grasslands. A little - studied aspect of the system is the role of Y. pestis vectors, i.e. fleas, play in the spreading of plague in natural settings. We investigated the genetic structure and variability of a common prairie dog flea (Oropsylla hirsuta) in BTPD colonies in order to examine dispersal patterns. Given that this research took place during a widespread plague epizootic, there was the added advantage of gaining information on the dynamics of sylvatic plague. Oropsylla hirsuta were collected from BTPD burrows in nine colonies from May 2005 to July 2005, and eight polymorphic microsatellite markers were used to generate genotypic data from them. Gene flow estimates revealed low genetic differentiation among fleas sampled from different colonies. NestedPCR plague assays confirmed the presence of Y. pestis with the average Y. pestis prevalence across all nine colonies at 12%. No significant correlations were found between the genetic variability and gene flow of O. hirsuta and Y. pestis prevalence on a per -colony basis. Oropsylla hirsuta dispersal among BTPD colonies was high, potentially explaining the rapid spread of Y. pestis in our study area in 2005 and 2006.

  17. Inactivation of Peroxiredoxin 6 by the Pla Protease of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimbler, Daniel L; Eddy, Justin L; Schroeder, Jay A; Lathem, Wyndham W

    2015-11-09

    Pneumonic plague represents the most severe form of disease caused by Yersinia pestis due to its ease of transmission, rapid progression, and high mortality rate. The Y. pestis outer membrane Pla protease is essential for the development of pneumonic plague; however, the complete repertoire of substrates cleaved by Pla in the lungs is not known. In this study, we describe a proteomic screen to identify host proteins contained within the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of mice that are cleaved and/or processed by Y. pestis in a Pla-dependent manner. We identified peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6), a host factor that contributes to pulmonary surfactant metabolism and lung defense against oxidative stress, as a previously unknown substrate of Pla. Pla cleaves Prdx6 at three distinct sites, and these cleavages disrupt both the peroxidase and phospholipase A2 activities of Prdx6. In addition, we found that infection with wild-type Y. pestis reduces the abundance of extracellular Prdx6 in the lungs compared to that after infection with Δpla Y. pestis, suggesting that Pla cleaves Prdx6 in the pulmonary compartment. However, following infection with either wild-type or Δpla Y. pestis, Prdx6-deficient mice exhibit no differences in bacterial burden, host immune response, or lung damage from wild-type mice. Thus, while Pla is able to disrupt Prdx6 function in vitro and reduce Prdx6 levels in vivo, the cleavage of Prdx6 has little detectable impact on the progression or outcome of pneumonic plague.

  18. Development of a Chemoenzymatic-like and Photoswitchable Method for the High-Throughput creation of Protein Microarrays. Application to the Analysis of the Protein/Protein Interactions Involved in the YOP Virulon from Yersinia pestis.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camarero, J A

    2006-12-07

    Protein arrays are ideal tools for the rapid analysis of whole proteomes as well as for the development of reliable and cheap biosensors. The objective of this proposal is to develop a new ligand assisted ligation method based in the naturally occurring protein trans-splicing process. This method has been used for the generation of spatially addressable arrays of multiple protein components by standard micro-lithographic techniques. Key to our approach is the use of the protein trans-splicing process. This naturally occurring process allows the development of a truly generic and highly efficient method for the covalent attachment of proteins through its C-terminus to any solid support. This technology has been used for the creation of protein chips containing several virulence factors from the human pathogen Y. pestis.

  19. Constitutive uptake and degradation of fatty acids by Yersinia pestis.

    OpenAIRE

    Moncla, B. J.; Hillier, S L; Charnetzky, W T

    1983-01-01

    Yersinia pestis was found to utilize palmitic acid as a primary carbon and energy source. No inhibition of growth by palmitic acid was observed. Comparison of palmitic acid uptake by cells pregrown either with or without palmitic acid demonstrated that fatty acid uptake was constitutive. High basal levels of two enzymes of beta-oxidation, beta-hydroxyacyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase and thiolase, and the two enzymes of the glyoxylate shunt, isocitrate lyase and malate synthase, were found in cel...

  20. Rapid and sensitive detection of Yersinia pestis using amplification of plague diagnostic bacteriophages monitored by real-time PCR.

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    Kirill V Sergueev

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, has caused many millions of human deaths and still poses a serious threat to global public health. Timely and reliable detection of such a dangerous pathogen is of critical importance. Lysis by specific bacteriophages remains an essential method of Y. pestis detection and plague diagnostics. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The objective of this work was to develop an alternative to conventional phage lysis tests--a rapid and highly sensitive method of indirect detection of live Y. pestis cells based on quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR monitoring of amplification of reporter Y. pestis-specific bacteriophages. Plague diagnostic phages phiA1122 and L-413C were shown to be highly effective diagnostic tools for the detection and identification of Y. pestis by using qPCR with primers specific for phage DNA. The template DNA extraction step that usually precedes qPCR was omitted. phiA1122-specific qPCR enabled the detection of an initial bacterial concentration of 10(3 CFU/ml (equivalent to as few as one Y. pestis cell per 1-microl sample in four hours. L-413C-mediated detection of Y. pestis was less sensitive (up to 100 bacteria per sample but more specific, and thus we propose parallel qPCR for the two phages as a rapid and reliable method of Y. pestis identification. Importantly, phiA1122 propagated in simulated clinical blood specimens containing EDTA and its titer rise was detected by both a standard plating test and qPCR. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Thus, we developed a novel assay for detection and identification of Y. pestis using amplification of specific phages monitored by qPCR. The method is simple, rapid, highly sensitive, and specific and allows the detection of only live bacteria.

  1. Yersinia pestis DNA from skeletal remains from the 6(th) century AD reveals insights into Justinianic Plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbeck, Michaela; Seifert, Lisa; Hänsch, Stephanie; Wagner, David M; Birdsell, Dawn; Parise, Katy L; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Grupe, Gisela; Thomas, Astrid; Keim, Paul; Zöller, Lothar; Bramanti, Barbara; Riehm, Julia M; Scholz, Holger C

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of the disease plague, has been implicated in three historical pandemics. These include the third pandemic of the 19(th) and 20(th) centuries, during which plague was spread around the world, and the second pandemic of the 14(th)-17(th) centuries, which included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death. Previous studies have confirmed that Y. pestis caused these two more recent pandemics. However, a highly spirited debate still continues as to whether Y. pestis caused the so-called Justinianic Plague of the 6(th)-8(th) centuries AD. By analyzing ancient DNA in two independent ancient DNA laboratories, we confirmed unambiguously the presence of Y. pestis DNA in human skeletal remains from an Early Medieval cemetery. In addition, we narrowed the phylogenetic position of the responsible strain down to major branch 0 on the Y. pestis phylogeny, specifically between nodes N03 and N05. Our findings confirm that Y. pestis was responsible for the Justinianic Plague, which should end the controversy regarding the etiology of this pandemic. The first genotype of a Y. pestis strain that caused the Late Antique plague provides important information about the history of the plague bacillus and suggests that the first pandemic also originated in Asia, similar to the other two plague pandemics.

  2. Yersinia pestis DNA from skeletal remains from the 6(th century AD reveals insights into Justinianic Plague.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michaela Harbeck

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of the disease plague, has been implicated in three historical pandemics. These include the third pandemic of the 19(th and 20(th centuries, during which plague was spread around the world, and the second pandemic of the 14(th-17(th centuries, which included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death. Previous studies have confirmed that Y. pestis caused these two more recent pandemics. However, a highly spirited debate still continues as to whether Y. pestis caused the so-called Justinianic Plague of the 6(th-8(th centuries AD. By analyzing ancient DNA in two independent ancient DNA laboratories, we confirmed unambiguously the presence of Y. pestis DNA in human skeletal remains from an Early Medieval cemetery. In addition, we narrowed the phylogenetic position of the responsible strain down to major branch 0 on the Y. pestis phylogeny, specifically between nodes N03 and N05. Our findings confirm that Y. pestis was responsible for the Justinianic Plague, which should end the controversy regarding the etiology of this pandemic. The first genotype of a Y. pestis strain that caused the Late Antique plague provides important information about the history of the plague bacillus and suggests that the first pandemic also originated in Asia, similar to the other two plague pandemics.

  3. Yersinia pestis DNA from Skeletal Remains from the 6th Century AD Reveals Insights into Justinianic Plague

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbeck, Michaela; Seifert, Lisa; Hänsch, Stephanie; Wagner, David M.; Birdsell, Dawn; Parise, Katy L.; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Grupe, Gisela; Thomas, Astrid; Keim, Paul; Zöller, Lothar; Bramanti, Barbara; Riehm, Julia M.; Scholz, Holger C.

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of the disease plague, has been implicated in three historical pandemics. These include the third pandemic of the 19th and 20th centuries, during which plague was spread around the world, and the second pandemic of the 14th–17th centuries, which included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death. Previous studies have confirmed that Y. pestis caused these two more recent pandemics. However, a highly spirited debate still continues as to whether Y. pestis caused the so-called Justinianic Plague of the 6th–8th centuries AD. By analyzing ancient DNA in two independent ancient DNA laboratories, we confirmed unambiguously the presence of Y. pestis DNA in human skeletal remains from an Early Medieval cemetery. In addition, we narrowed the phylogenetic position of the responsible strain down to major branch 0 on the Y. pestis phylogeny, specifically between nodes N03 and N05. Our findings confirm that Y. pestis was responsible for the Justinianic Plague, which should end the controversy regarding the etiology of this pandemic. The first genotype of a Y. pestis strain that caused the Late Antique plague provides important information about the history of the plague bacillus and suggests that the first pandemic also originated in Asia, similar to the other two plague pandemics. PMID:23658525

  4. Yersinia pestis endowed with increased cytotoxicity is avirulent in a bubonic plague model and induces rapid protection against pneumonic plague.

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    Ayelet Zauberman

    Full Text Available An important virulence strategy evolved by bacterial pathogens to overcome host defenses is the modulation of host cell death. Previous observations have indicated that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague disease, exhibits restricted capacity to induce cell death in macrophages due to ineffective translocation of the type III secretion effector YopJ, as opposed to the readily translocated YopP, the YopJ homologue of the enteropathogen Yersinia enterocolitica Oratio8. This led us to suggest that reduced cytotoxic potency may allow pathogen propagation within a shielded niche, leading to increased virulence. To test the relationship between cytotoxic potential and virulence, we replaced Y. pestis YopJ with YopP. The YopP-expressing Y. pestis strain exhibited high cytotoxic activity against macrophages in vitro. Following subcutaneous infection, this strain had reduced ability to colonize internal organs, was unable to induce septicemia and exhibited at least a 10(7-fold reduction in virulence. Yet, upon intravenous or intranasal infection, it was still as virulent as the wild-type strain. The subcutaneous administration of the cytotoxic Y. pestis strain appears to activate a rapid and potent systemic, CTL-independent, immunoprotective response, allowing the organism to overcome simultaneous coinfection with 10,000 LD(50 of virulent Y. pestis. Moreover, three days after subcutaneous administration of this strain, animals were also protected against septicemic or primary pneumonic plague. Our findings indicate that an inverse relationship exists between the cytotoxic potential of Y. pestis and its virulence following subcutaneous infection. This appears to be associated with the ability of the engineered cytotoxic Y. pestis strain to induce very rapid, effective and long-lasting protection against bubonic and pneumonic plague. These observations have novel implications for the development of vaccines/therapies against Y. pestis and shed

  5. Yersinia pestis endowed with increased cytotoxicity is avirulent in a bubonic plague model and induces rapid protection against pneumonic plague.

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    Zauberman, Ayelet; Tidhar, Avital; Levy, Yinon; Bar-Haim, Erez; Halperin, Gideon; Flashner, Yehuda; Cohen, Sara; Shafferman, Avigdor; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2009-06-16

    An important virulence strategy evolved by bacterial pathogens to overcome host defenses is the modulation of host cell death. Previous observations have indicated that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague disease, exhibits restricted capacity to induce cell death in macrophages due to ineffective translocation of the type III secretion effector YopJ, as opposed to the readily translocated YopP, the YopJ homologue of the enteropathogen Yersinia enterocolitica Oratio8. This led us to suggest that reduced cytotoxic potency may allow pathogen propagation within a shielded niche, leading to increased virulence. To test the relationship between cytotoxic potential and virulence, we replaced Y. pestis YopJ with YopP. The YopP-expressing Y. pestis strain exhibited high cytotoxic activity against macrophages in vitro. Following subcutaneous infection, this strain had reduced ability to colonize internal organs, was unable to induce septicemia and exhibited at least a 10(7)-fold reduction in virulence. Yet, upon intravenous or intranasal infection, it was still as virulent as the wild-type strain. The subcutaneous administration of the cytotoxic Y. pestis strain appears to activate a rapid and potent systemic, CTL-independent, immunoprotective response, allowing the organism to overcome simultaneous coinfection with 10,000 LD(50) of virulent Y. pestis. Moreover, three days after subcutaneous administration of this strain, animals were also protected against septicemic or primary pneumonic plague. Our findings indicate that an inverse relationship exists between the cytotoxic potential of Y. pestis and its virulence following subcutaneous infection. This appears to be associated with the ability of the engineered cytotoxic Y. pestis strain to induce very rapid, effective and long-lasting protection against bubonic and pneumonic plague. These observations have novel implications for the development of vaccines/therapies against Y. pestis and shed new light on the

  6. Microgravity Effects on Yersinia Pestis Virulence

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    Lawal, A.; Abogunde, O.; Jejelowo, O.; Rosenzweig, J.-A.

    2010-04-01

    Microgravity effects on Yersinia pestis proliferation, cold growth, and type three secretion system function were evaluated in macrophage cell infections, HeLa cell infections, and cold growth plate assays.

  7. A live attenuated strain of Yersinia pestis KIM as a vaccine against plague.

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    Sun, Wei; Six, David; Kuang, Xiaoying; Roland, Kenneth L; Raetz, Christian R H; Curtiss, Roy

    2011-04-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is a potential weapon of bioterrorism. Y. pestis evades the innate immune system by synthesizing tetra-acylated lipid A with poor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-stimulating activity at 37°C, whereas hexa-acylated lipid A, a potent TLR4 agonist, is made at lower temperatures. Synthesis of Escherichia coli LpxL, which transfers the secondary laurate chain to the 2'-position of lipid A, in Y. pestis results in production of hexa-acylated lipid A at 37°C, leading to significant attenuation of virulence. Previously, we described a Y. pestis vaccine strain in which crp expression is under the control of the arabinose-regulated araC P(BAD) promoter, resulting in a 4-5 log reduction in virulence. To reduce the virulence of the crp promoter mutant further, we introduced E. coli lpxL into the Y. pestis chromosome. The χ10030(pCD1Ap) (ΔlpxP32::P(lpxL)lpxL ΔP(crp21)::TT araC P(BAD)crp) construct likewise produced hexa-acylated lipid A at 37°C and was significantly more attenuated than strains harboring each individual mutation. The LD(50) of the mutant in mice, when administered subcutaneously or intranasally was >10(7)-times and >10(4)-times greater than wild type, respectively. Mice immunized subcutaneously with a single dose of the mutant were completely protected against a subcutaneous challenge of 3.6×10(7) wild-type Y. pestis and significantly protected (80% survival) against a pulmonary challenge of 1.2×10(4) live cells. Intranasal immunization also provided significant protection against challenges by both routes. This mutant is an immunogenic, highly attenuated live Y. pestis construct that merits further development as a vaccine candidate.

  8. Yersinia pestis: new evidence for an old infection.

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    Kirsten I Bos

    Full Text Available The successful reconstruction of an ancient bacterial genome from archaeological material presents an important methodological advancement for infectious disease research. The reliability of evolutionary histories inferred by the incorporation of ancient data, however, are highly contingent upon the level of genetic diversity represented in modern genomic sequences that are publicly accessible, and the paucity of available complete genomes restricts the level of phylogenetic resolution that can be obtained. Here we add to our original analysis of the Yersinia pestis strain implicated in the Black Death by consolidating our dataset for 18 modern genomes with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP data for an additional 289 strains at over 600 positions. The inclusion of this additional data reveals a cluster of Y. pestis strains that diverge at a time significantly in advance of the Black Death, with divergence dates roughly coincident with the Plague of Justinian (6(th to 8(th century AD. In addition, the analysis reveals further clues regarding potential radiation events that occurred immediately preceding the Black Death, and the legacy it may have left in modern Y. pestis populations. This work reiterates the need for more publicly available complete genomes, both modern and ancient, to achieve an accurate understanding of the history of this bacterium.

  9. Combinational deletion of three membrane protein-encoding genes highly attenuates yersinia pestis while retaining immunogenicity in a mouse model of pneumonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiner, Bethany L; Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; Erova, Tatiana E; Popov, Vsevolod L; Baze, Wallace B; van Lier, Christina J; Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Andersson, Jourdan A; Motin, Vladimir L; Chauhan, Sadhana; Chopra, Ashok K

    2015-04-01

    Previously, we showed that deletion of genes encoding Braun lipoprotein (Lpp) and MsbB attenuated Yersinia pestis CO92 in mouse and rat models of bubonic and pneumonic plague. While Lpp activates Toll-like receptor 2, the MsbB acyltransferase modifies lipopolysaccharide. Here, we deleted the ail gene (encoding the attachment-invasion locus) from wild-type (WT) strain CO92 or its lpp single and Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutants. While the Δail single mutant was minimally attenuated compared to the WT bacterium in a mouse model of pneumonic plague, the Δlpp Δail double mutant and the Δlpp ΔmsbB Δail triple mutant were increasingly attenuated, with the latter being unable to kill mice at a 50% lethal dose (LD50) equivalent to 6,800 LD50s of WT CO92. The mutant-infected animals developed balanced TH1- and TH2-based immune responses based on antibody isotyping. The triple mutant was cleared from mouse organs rapidly, with concurrent decreases in the production of various cytokines and histopathological lesions. When surviving animals infected with increasing doses of the triple mutant were subsequently challenged on day 24 with the bioluminescent WT CO92 strain (20 to 28 LD50s), 40 to 70% of the mice survived, with efficient clearing of the invading pathogen, as visualized in real time by in vivo imaging. The rapid clearance of the triple mutant, compared to that of WT CO92, from animals was related to the decreased adherence and invasion of human-derived HeLa and A549 alveolar epithelial cells and to its inability to survive intracellularly in these cells as well as in MH-S murine alveolar and primary human macrophages. An early burst of cytokine production in macrophages elicited by the triple mutant compared to WT CO92 and the mutant's sensitivity to the bactericidal effect of human serum would further augment bacterial clearance. Together, deletion of the ail gene from the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant severely attenuated Y. pestis CO92 to evoke pneumonic plague in a

  10. Further characterization of a highly attenuated Yersinia pestis CO92 mutant deleted for the genes encoding Braun lipoprotein and plasminogen activator protease in murine alveolar and primary human macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lier, Christina J; Tiner, Bethany L; Chauhan, Sadhana; Motin, Vladimir L; Fitts, Eric C; Huante, Matthew B; Endsley, Janice J; Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Sha, Jian; Chopra, Ashok K

    2015-03-01

    We recently characterized the Δlpp Δpla double in-frame deletion mutant of Yersinia pestis CO92 molecularly, biologically, and immunologically. While Braun lipoprotein (Lpp) activates toll-like receptor-2 to initiate an inflammatory cascade, plasminogen activator (Pla) protease facilitates bacterial dissemination in the host. The Δlpp Δpla double mutant was highly attenuated in evoking bubonic and pneumonic plague, was rapidly cleared from mouse organs, and generated humoral and cell-mediated immune responses to provide subsequent protection to mice against a lethal challenge dose of wild-type (WT) CO92. Here, we further characterized the Δlpp Δpla double mutant in two murine macrophage cell lines as well as in primary human monocyte-derived macrophages to gauge its potential as a live-attenuated vaccine candidate. We first demonstrated that the Δpla single and the Δlpp Δpla double mutant were unable to survive efficiently in murine and human macrophages, unlike WT CO92. We observed that the levels of Pla and its associated protease activity were not affected in the Δlpp single mutant, and, likewise, deletion of the pla gene from WT CO92 did not alter Lpp levels. Further, our study revealed that both Lpp and Pla contributed to the intracellular survival of WT CO92 via different mechanisms. Importantly, the ability of the Δlpp Δpla double mutant to be phagocytized by macrophages, to stimulate production of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6, and to activate the nitric oxide killing pathways of the host cells remained unaltered when compared to the WT CO92-infected macrophages. Finally, macrophages infected with either the WT CO92 or the Δlpp Δpla double mutant were equally efficient in their uptake of zymosan particles as determined by flow cytometric analysis. Overall, our data indicated that although the Δlpp Δpla double mutant of Y. pestis CO92 was highly attenuated, it retained the ability to elicit innate and subsequent acquired immune

  11. Adaptive response of Yersinia pestis to extracellular effectors of innate immunity during bubonic plague.

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    Sebbane, Florent; Lemaître, Nadine; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Rebeil, Roberto; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Porcella, Stephen F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2006-08-01

    Yersinia pestis causes bubonic plague, characterized by an enlarged, painful lymph node, termed a bubo, that develops after bacterial dissemination from a fleabite site. In susceptible animals, the bacteria rapidly escape containment in the lymph node, spread systemically through the blood, and produce fatal sepsis. The fulminant progression of disease has been largely ascribed to the ability of Y. pestis to avoid phagocytosis and exposure to antimicrobial effectors of innate immunity. In vivo microarray analysis of Y. pestis gene expression, however, revealed an adaptive response to nitric oxide (NO)-derived reactive nitrogen species and to iron limitation in the extracellular environment of the bubo. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils recruited to the infected lymph node expressed abundant inducible NO synthase, and several Y. pestis homologs of genes involved in the protective response to reactive nitrogen species were up-regulated in the bubo. Mutation of one of these genes, which encodes the Hmp flavohemoglobin that detoxifies NO, attenuated virulence. Thus, the ability of Y. pestis to destroy immune cells and remain extracellular in the bubo appears to limit exposure to some but not all innate immune effectors. High NO levels induced during plague may also influence the developing adaptive immune response and contribute to septic shock.

  12. Yersinia pestis IS1541 transposition provides for escape from plague immunity.

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    Cornelius, Claire A; Quenee, Lauriane E; Elli, Derek; Ciletti, Nancy A; Schneewind, Olaf

    2009-05-01

    Yersinia pestis is perhaps the most feared infectious agent due to its ability to cause epidemic outbreaks of plague disease in animals and humans with high mortality. Plague infections elicit strong humoral immune responses against the capsular antigen (fraction 1 [F1]) of Y. pestis, and F1-specific antibodies provide protective immunity. Here we asked whether Y. pestis generates mutations that enable bacterial escape from protective immunity and isolated a variant with an IS1541 insertion in caf1A encoding the F1 outer membrane usher. The caf1A::IS1541 insertion prevented assembly of F1 pili and provided escape from plague immunity via F1-specific antibodies without a reduction in virulence in mouse models of bubonic or pneumonic plague. F1-specific antibodies interfere with Y. pestis type III transport of effector proteins into host cells, an inhibitory effect that was overcome by the caf1A::IS1541 insertion. These findings suggest a model in which IS1541 insertion into caf1A provides for reversible changes in envelope structure, enabling Y. pestis to escape from adaptive immune responses and plague immunity.

  13. Selective isolation of Yersinia pestis from plague-infected fleas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarovich, Derek S.; Colman, Rebecca E.; Price, Erin P.; Chung, Wai Kwan; Lee, Judy; Schupp, James M.; Alexander, James; Keim, Paul; Wagner., David M.

    2010-01-01

    We evaluated Yersinia CIN agar for the isolation of Yersinia pestis from infected fleas. CIN media is effective for the differentiation of Y. pestis from flea commensal flora and is sufficiently inhibitory to other bacteria that typically outcompete Y. pestis after 48 hours of growth using less selective media. PMID:20385178

  14. Pulmonary infection by Yersinia pestis rapidly establishes a permissive environment for microbial proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Paul A; Jin, Jianping; Goldman, William E

    2012-02-21

    Disease progression of primary pneumonic plague is biphasic, consisting of a preinflammatory and a proinflammatory phase. During the long preinflammatory phase, bacteria replicate to high levels, seemingly uninhibited by normal pulmonary defenses. In a coinfection model of pneumonic plague, it appears that Yersinia pestis quickly creates a localized, dominant anti-inflammatory state that allows for the survival and rapid growth of both itself and normally avirulent organisms. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, the relatively recent progenitor of Y. pestis, shows no similar trans-complementation effect, which is unprecedented among other respiratory pathogens. We demonstrate that the effectors secreted by the Ysc type III secretion system are necessary but not sufficient to mediate this apparent immunosuppression. Even an unbiased negative selection screen using a vast pool of Y. pestis mutants revealed no selection against any known virulence genes, demonstrating the transformation of the lung from a highly restrictive to a generally permissive environment during the preinflammatory phase of pneumonic plague.

  15. Role of the Yersinia pestis Ail protein in preventing a protective polymorphonuclear leukocyte response during bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Jarrett, Clayton O; Callison, Julie A; Gardner, Donald; Buchanan, Susan K; Plano, Gregory V

    2011-12-01

    The ability of Yersinia pestis to forestall the mammalian innate immune response is a fundamental aspect of plague pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the effect of Ail, a 17-kDa outer membrane protein that protects Y. pestis against complement-mediated lysis, on bubonic plague pathogenesis in mice and rats. The Y. pestis ail mutant was attenuated for virulence in both rodent models. The attenuation was greater in rats than in mice, which correlates with the ability of normal rat serum, but not mouse serum, to kill ail-negative Y. pestis in vitro. Intradermal infection with the ail mutant resulted in an atypical, subacute form of bubonic plague associated with extensive recruitment of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN or neutrophils) to the site of infection in the draining lymph node and the formation of large purulent abscesses that contained the bacteria. Systemic spread and mortality were greatly attenuated, however, and a productive adaptive immune response was generated after high-dose challenge, as evidenced by high serum antibody levels against Y. pestis F1 antigen. The Y. pestis Ail protein is an important bubonic plague virulence factor that inhibits the innate immune response, in particular the recruitment of a protective PMN response to the infected lymph node.

  16. Role of the Yersinia pestis Ail Protein in Preventing a Protective Polymorphonuclear Leukocyte Response during Bubonic Plague▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Jarrett, Clayton O.; Callison, Julie A.; Gardner, Donald; Buchanan, Susan K.; Plano, Gregory V.

    2011-01-01

    The ability of Yersinia pestis to forestall the mammalian innate immune response is a fundamental aspect of plague pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the effect of Ail, a 17-kDa outer membrane protein that protects Y. pestis against complement-mediated lysis, on bubonic plague pathogenesis in mice and rats. The Y. pestis ail mutant was attenuated for virulence in both rodent models. The attenuation was greater in rats than in mice, which correlates with the ability of normal rat serum, but not mouse serum, to kill ail-negative Y. pestis in vitro. Intradermal infection with the ail mutant resulted in an atypical, subacute form of bubonic plague associated with extensive recruitment of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN or neutrophils) to the site of infection in the draining lymph node and the formation of large purulent abscesses that contained the bacteria. Systemic spread and mortality were greatly attenuated, however, and a productive adaptive immune response was generated after high-dose challenge, as evidenced by high serum antibody levels against Y. pestis F1 antigen. The Y. pestis Ail protein is an important bubonic plague virulence factor that inhibits the innate immune response, in particular the recruitment of a protective PMN response to the infected lymph node. PMID:21969002

  17. Insight into bacterial virulence mechanisms against host immune response via the Yersinia pestis-human protein-protein interaction network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Huiying; Ke, Yuehua; Wang, Jian; Tan, Yafang; Myeni, Sebenzile K; Li, Dong; Shi, Qinghai; Yan, Yanfeng; Chen, Hui; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yuan, Yanzhi; Yang, Xiaoming; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2011-11-01

    A Yersinia pestis-human protein interaction network is reported here to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. Up to 204 interactions between 66 Y. pestis bait proteins and 109 human proteins were identified by yeast two-hybrid assay and then combined with 23 previously published interactions to construct a protein-protein interaction network. Topological analysis of the interaction network revealed that human proteins targeted by Y. pestis were significantly enriched in the proteins that are central in the human protein-protein interaction network. Analysis of this network showed that signaling pathways important for host immune responses were preferentially targeted by Y. pestis, including the pathways involved in focal adhesion, regulation of cytoskeleton, leukocyte transendoepithelial migration, and Toll-like receptor (TLR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Cellular pathways targeted by Y. pestis are highly relevant to its pathogenesis. Interactions with host proteins involved in focal adhesion and cytoskeketon regulation pathways could account for resistance of Y. pestis to phagocytosis. Interference with TLR and MAPK signaling pathways by Y. pestis reflects common characteristics of pathogen-host interaction that bacterial pathogens have evolved to evade host innate immune response by interacting with proteins in those signaling pathways. Interestingly, a large portion of human proteins interacting with Y. pestis (16/109) also interacted with viral proteins (Epstein-Barr virus [EBV] and hepatitis C virus [HCV]), suggesting that viral and bacterial pathogens attack common cellular functions to facilitate infections. In addition, we identified vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) as a novel interaction partner of YpkA and showed that YpkA could inhibit in vitro actin assembly mediated by VASP.

  18. Insight into microevolution of Yersinia pestis by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.

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    Yujun Cui

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Yersinia pestis, the pathogen of plague, has greatly influenced human history on a global scale. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR, an element participating in immunity against phages' invasion, is composed of short repeated sequences separated by unique spacers and provides the basis of the spoligotyping technology. In the present research, three CRISPR loci were analyzed in 125 strains of Y. pestis from 26 natural plague foci of China, the former Soviet Union and Mongolia were analyzed, for validating CRISPR-based genotyping method and better understanding adaptive microevolution of Y. pestis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using PCR amplification, sequencing and online data processing, a high degree of genetic diversity was revealed in all three CRISPR elements. The distribution of spacers and their arrays in Y. pestis strains is strongly region and focus-specific, allowing the construction of a hypothetic evolutionary model of Y. pestis. This model suggests transmission route of microtus strains that encircled Takla Makan Desert and ZhunGer Basin. Starting from Tadjikistan, one branch passed through the Kunlun Mountains, and moved to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Another branch went north via the Pamirs Plateau, the Tianshan Mountains, the Altai Mountains and the Inner Mongolian Plateau. Other Y. pestis lineages might be originated from certain areas along those routes. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: CRISPR can provide important information for genotyping and evolutionary research of bacteria, which will help to trace the source of outbreaks. The resulting data will make possible the development of very low cost and high-resolution assays for the systematic typing of any new isolate.

  19. Novel genetic tools for diaminopimelic acid selection in virulence studies of Yersinia pestis.

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    David M Bland

    Full Text Available Molecular studies of bacterial virulence are enhanced by expression of recombinant DNA during infection to allow complementation of mutants and expression of reporter proteins in vivo. For highly pathogenic bacteria, such as Yersinia pestis, these studies are currently limited because deliberate introduction of antibiotic resistance is restricted to those few which are not human treatment options. In this work, we report the development of alternatives to antibiotics as tools for host-pathogen research during Yersinia pestis infections focusing on the diaminopimelic acid (DAP pathway, a requirement for cell wall synthesis in eubacteria. We generated a mutation in the dapA-nlpB(dapX operon of Yersinia pestis KIM D27 and CO92 which eliminated the expression of both genes. The resulting strains were auxotrophic for diaminopimelic acid and this phenotype was complemented in trans by expressing dapA in single and multi-copy. In vivo, we found that plasmids derived from the p15a replicon were cured without selection, while selection for DAP enhanced stability without detectable loss of any of the three resident virulence plasmids. The dapAX mutation rendered Y. pestis avirulent in mouse models of bubonic and septicemic plague which could be complemented when dapAX was inserted in single or multi-copy, restoring development of disease that was indistinguishable from the wild type parent strain. We further identified a high level, constitutive promoter in Y. pestis that could be used to drive expression of fluorescent reporters in dapAX strains that had minimal impact to virulence in mouse models while enabling sensitive detection of bacteria during infection. Thus, diaminopimelic acid selection for single or multi-copy genetic systems in Yersinia pestis offers an improved alternative to antibiotics for in vivo studies that causes minimal disruption to virulence.

  20. Defective Innate Cell Response and Lymph Node Infiltration Specify Yersinia pestis Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinet, Françoise; Avé, Patrick; Jones, Louis; Huerre, Michel; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2008-01-01

    Since its recent emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Y. pestis, the plague agent, has acquired an intradermal (id) route of entry and an extreme virulence. To identify pathophysiological events associated with the Y. pestis high degree of pathogenicity, we compared disease progression and evolution in mice after id inoculation of the two Yersinia species. Mortality studies showed that the id portal was not in itself sufficient to provide Y. pseudotuberculosis with the high virulence power of its descendant. Surprisingly, Y. pseudotuberculosis multiplied even more efficiently than Y. pestis in the dermis, and generated comparable histological lesions. Likewise, Y. pseudotuberculosis translocated to the draining lymph node (DLN) and similar numbers of the two bacterial species were found at 24 h post infection (pi) in this organ. However, on day 2 pi, bacterial loads were higher in Y. pestis-infected than in Y. pseudotuberculosis-infected DLNs. Clustering and multiple correspondence analyses showed that the DLN pathologies induced by the two species were statistically significantly different and identified the most discriminating elementary lesions. Y. pseudotuberculosis infection was accompanied by abscess-type polymorphonuclear cell infiltrates containing the infection, while Y. pestis-infected DLNs exhibited an altered tissue density and a vascular congestion, and were typified by an invasion of the tissue by free floating bacteria. Therefore, Y. pestis exceptional virulence is not due to its recently acquired portal of entry into the host, but is associated with a distinct ability to massively infiltrate the DLN, without inducing in this organ an organized polymorphonuclear cell reaction. These results shed light on pathophysiological processes that draw the line between a virulent and a hypervirulent pathogen. PMID:18301765

  1. Defective innate cell response and lymph node infiltration specify Yersinia pestis infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinet, Françoise; Avé, Patrick; Jones, Louis; Huerre, Michel; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2008-02-27

    Since its recent emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Y. pestis, the plague agent, has acquired an intradermal (id) route of entry and an extreme virulence. To identify pathophysiological events associated with the Y. pestis high degree of pathogenicity, we compared disease progression and evolution in mice after id inoculation of the two Yersinia species. Mortality studies showed that the id portal was not in itself sufficient to provide Y. pseudotuberculosis with the high virulence power of its descendant. Surprisingly, Y. pseudotuberculosis multiplied even more efficiently than Y. pestis in the dermis, and generated comparable histological lesions. Likewise, Y. pseudotuberculosis translocated to the draining lymph node (DLN) and similar numbers of the two bacterial species were found at 24 h post infection (pi) in this organ. However, on day 2 pi, bacterial loads were higher in Y. pestis-infected than in Y. pseudotuberculosis-infected DLNs. Clustering and multiple correspondence analyses showed that the DLN pathologies induced by the two species were statistically significantly different and identified the most discriminating elementary lesions. Y. pseudotuberculosis infection was accompanied by abscess-type polymorphonuclear cell infiltrates containing the infection, while Y. pestis-infected DLNs exhibited an altered tissue density and a vascular congestion, and were typified by an invasion of the tissue by free floating bacteria. Therefore, Y. pestis exceptional virulence is not due to its recently acquired portal of entry into the host, but is associated with a distinct ability to massively infiltrate the DLN, without inducing in this organ an organized polymorphonuclear cell reaction. These results shed light on pathophysiological processes that draw the line between a virulent and a hypervirulent pathogen.

  2. Novel genetic tools for diaminopimelic acid selection in virulence studies of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bland, David M; Eisele, Nicholas A; Keleher, Lauren L; Anderson, Paul E; Anderson, Deborah M

    2011-03-02

    Molecular studies of bacterial virulence are enhanced by expression of recombinant DNA during infection to allow complementation of mutants and expression of reporter proteins in vivo. For highly pathogenic bacteria, such as Yersinia pestis, these studies are currently limited because deliberate introduction of antibiotic resistance is restricted to those few which are not human treatment options. In this work, we report the development of alternatives to antibiotics as tools for host-pathogen research during Yersinia pestis infections focusing on the diaminopimelic acid (DAP) pathway, a requirement for cell wall synthesis in eubacteria. We generated a mutation in the dapA-nlpB(dapX) operon of Yersinia pestis KIM D27 and CO92 which eliminated the expression of both genes. The resulting strains were auxotrophic for diaminopimelic acid and this phenotype was complemented in trans by expressing dapA in single and multi-copy. In vivo, we found that plasmids derived from the p15a replicon were cured without selection, while selection for DAP enhanced stability without detectable loss of any of the three resident virulence plasmids. The dapAX mutation rendered Y. pestis avirulent in mouse models of bubonic and septicemic plague which could be complemented when dapAX was inserted in single or multi-copy, restoring development of disease that was indistinguishable from the wild type parent strain. We further identified a high level, constitutive promoter in Y. pestis that could be used to drive expression of fluorescent reporters in dapAX strains that had minimal impact to virulence in mouse models while enabling sensitive detection of bacteria during infection. Thus, diaminopimelic acid selection for single or multi-copy genetic systems in Yersinia pestis offers an improved alternative to antibiotics for in vivo studies that causes minimal disruption to virulence.

  3. Early emergence of Yersinia pestis as a severe respiratory pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimbler, Daniel L; Schroeder, Jay A; Eddy, Justin L; Lathem, Wyndham W

    2015-06-30

    Yersinia pestis causes the fatal respiratory disease pneumonic plague. Y. pestis recently evolved from the gastrointestinal pathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis; however, it is not known at what point Y. pestis gained the ability to induce a fulminant pneumonia. Here we show that the acquisition of a single gene encoding the protease Pla was sufficient for the most ancestral, deeply rooted strains of Y. pestis to cause pneumonic plague, indicating that Y. pestis was primed to infect the lungs at a very early stage in its evolution. As Y. pestis further evolved, modern strains acquired a single amino-acid modification within Pla that optimizes protease activity. While this modification is unnecessary to cause pneumonic plague, the substitution is instead needed to efficiently induce the invasive infection associated with bubonic plague. These findings indicate that Y. pestis was capable of causing pneumonic plague before it evolved to optimally cause invasive infections in mammals.

  4. Regulation of Yersina pestis Virulence by AI-2 Mediated Quorum Sensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Segelke, B; Hok, S; Lao, V; Corzett, M; Garcia, E

    2010-03-29

    The proposed research was motivated by an interest in understanding Y. pestis virulence mechanisms and bacteria cell-cell communication. It is expected that a greater understanding of virulence mechanisms will ultimately lead to biothreat countermeasures and novel therapeutics. Y. pestis is the etiological agent of plague, the most devastating disease in human history. Y. pestis infection has a high mortality rate and a short incubation before mortality. There is no widely available and effective vaccine for Y. pestis and multi-drug resistant strains are emerging. Y. pestis is a recognized biothreat agent based on the wide distribution of the bacteria in research laboratories around the world and on the knowledge that methods exist to produce and aerosolize large amounts of bacteria. We hypothesized that cell-cell communication via signaling molecules, or quorum sensing, by Y. pestis is important for the regulation of virulence factor gene expression during host invasion, though a causative link had never been established. Quorum sensing is a mode of intercellular communication which enables orchestration of gene expression for many bacteria as a function of population density and available evidence suggests there may be a link between quorum sensing and regulation of Y. pesits virulence. Several pathogenic bacteria have been shown to regulate expression of virulence factor genes, including genes encoding type III secretion, via quorum sensing. The Y. pestis genome encodes several cell-cell signaling pathways and the interaction of at least three of these are thought to be involved in one or more modes of host invasion. Furthermore, Y. pestis gene expression array studies carried out at LLNL have established a correlation between expression of known virulence factors and genes involved in processing of the AI-2 quorum sensing signal. This was a basic research project that was intended to provide new insights into bacterial intercellular communication and how it is

  5. Imaging of bubonic plague dynamics by in vivo tracking of bioluminescent Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nham, Toan; Filali, Sofia; Danne, Camille; Derbise, Anne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis dissemination in a host is usually studied by enumerating bacteria in the tissues of animals sacrificed at different times. This laborious methodology gives only snapshots of the infection, as the infectious process is not synchronized. In this work we used in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to follow Y. pestis dissemination during bubonic plague. We first demonstrated that Y. pestis CO92 transformed with pGEN-luxCDABE stably emitted bioluminescence in vitro and in vivo, while retaining full virulence. The light produced from live animals allowed to delineate the infected organs and correlated with bacterial loads, thus validating the BLI tool. We then showed that the first step of the infectious process is a bacterial multiplication at the injection site (linea alba), followed by a colonization of the draining inguinal lymph node(s), and subsequently of the ipsilateral axillary lymph node through a direct connection between the two nodes. A mild bacteremia and an effective filtering of the blood stream by the liver and spleen probably accounted for the early bacterial blood clearance and the simultaneous development of bacterial foci within these organs. The saturation of the filtering capacity of the spleen and liver subsequently led to terminal septicemia. Our results also indicate that secondary lymphoid tissues are the main targets of Y. pestis multiplication and that colonization of other organs occurs essentially at the terminal phase of the disease. Finally, our analysis reveals that the high variability in the kinetics of infection is attributable to the time the bacteria remain confined at the injection site. However, once Y. pestis has reached the draining lymph nodes, the disease progresses extremely rapidly, leading to the invasion of the entire body within two days and to death of the animals. This highlights the extraordinary capacity of Y. pestis to annihilate the host innate immune response.

  6. Imaging of Bubonic Plague Dynamics by In Vivo Tracking of Bioluminescent Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nham, Toan; Filali, Sofia; Danne, Camille; Derbise, Anne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis dissemination in a host is usually studied by enumerating bacteria in the tissues of animals sacrificed at different times. This laborious methodology gives only snapshots of the infection, as the infectious process is not synchronized. In this work we used in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to follow Y. pestis dissemination during bubonic plague. We first demonstrated that Y. pestis CO92 transformed with pGEN-luxCDABE stably emitted bioluminescence in vitro and in vivo, while retaining full virulence. The light produced from live animals allowed to delineate the infected organs and correlated with bacterial loads, thus validating the BLI tool. We then showed that the first step of the infectious process is a bacterial multiplication at the injection site (linea alba), followed by a colonization of the draining inguinal lymph node(s), and subsequently of the ipsilateral axillary lymph node through a direct connection between the two nodes. A mild bacteremia and an effective filtering of the blood stream by the liver and spleen probably accounted for the early bacterial blood clearance and the simultaneous development of bacterial foci within these organs. The saturation of the filtering capacity of the spleen and liver subsequently led to terminal septicemia. Our results also indicate that secondary lymphoid tissues are the main targets of Y. pestis multiplication and that colonization of other organs occurs essentially at the terminal phase of the disease. Finally, our analysis reveals that the high variability in the kinetics of infection is attributable to the time the bacteria remain confined at the injection site. However, once Y. pestis has reached the draining lymph nodes, the disease progresses extremely rapidly, leading to the invasion of the entire body within two days and to death of the animals. This highlights the extraordinary capacity of Y. pestis to annihilate the host innate immune response. PMID:22496846

  7. Imaging of bubonic plague dynamics by in vivo tracking of bioluminescent Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toan Nham

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis dissemination in a host is usually studied by enumerating bacteria in the tissues of animals sacrificed at different times. This laborious methodology gives only snapshots of the infection, as the infectious process is not synchronized. In this work we used in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI to follow Y. pestis dissemination during bubonic plague. We first demonstrated that Y. pestis CO92 transformed with pGEN-luxCDABE stably emitted bioluminescence in vitro and in vivo, while retaining full virulence. The light produced from live animals allowed to delineate the infected organs and correlated with bacterial loads, thus validating the BLI tool. We then showed that the first step of the infectious process is a bacterial multiplication at the injection site (linea alba, followed by a colonization of the draining inguinal lymph node(s, and subsequently of the ipsilateral axillary lymph node through a direct connection between the two nodes. A mild bacteremia and an effective filtering of the blood stream by the liver and spleen probably accounted for the early bacterial blood clearance and the simultaneous development of bacterial foci within these organs. The saturation of the filtering capacity of the spleen and liver subsequently led to terminal septicemia. Our results also indicate that secondary lymphoid tissues are the main targets of Y. pestis multiplication and that colonization of other organs occurs essentially at the terminal phase of the disease. Finally, our analysis reveals that the high variability in the kinetics of infection is attributable to the time the bacteria remain confined at the injection site. However, once Y. pestis has reached the draining lymph nodes, the disease progresses extremely rapidly, leading to the invasion of the entire body within two days and to death of the animals. This highlights the extraordinary capacity of Y. pestis to annihilate the host innate immune response.

  8. Omics strategies for revealing Yersinia pestis virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin; Han, Yanping; Zhou, Lei; Song, Yajun; Zhou, Dongsheng; Cui, Yujun

    2012-01-01

    Omics has remarkably changed the way we investigate and understand life. Omics differs from traditional hypothesis-driven research because it is a discovery-driven approach. Mass datasets produced from omics-based studies require experts from different fields to reveal the salient features behind these data. In this review, we summarize omics-driven studies to reveal the virulence features of Yersinia pestis through genomics, trascriptomics, proteomics, interactomics, etc. These studies serve as foundations for further hypothesis-driven research and help us gain insight into Y. pestis pathogenesis. PMID:23248778

  9. Evolution and virulence contributions of the autotransporter proteins YapJ and YapK of Yersinia pestis CO92 and their homologs in Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenz, Jonathan D; Temple, Brenda R S; Miller, Virginia L

    2012-10-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, evolved from the gastrointestinal pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Both species have numerous type Va autotransporters, most of which appear to be highly conserved. In Y. pestis CO92, the autotransporter genes yapK and yapJ share a high level of sequence identity. By comparing yapK and yapJ to three homologous genes in Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953 (YPTB0365, YPTB3285, and YPTB3286), we show that yapK is conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis, while yapJ is unique to Y. pestis. All of these autotransporters exhibit >96% identity in the C terminus of the protein and identities ranging from 58 to 72% in their N termini. By extending this analysis to include homologous sequences from numerous Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains, we determined that these autotransporters cluster into a YapK (YPTB3285) class and a YapJ (YPTB3286) class. The YPTB3286-like gene of most Y. pestis strains appears to be inactivated, perhaps in favor of maintaining yapJ. Since autotransporters are important for virulence in many bacterial pathogens, including Y. pestis, any change in autotransporter content should be considered for its impact on virulence. Using established mouse models of Y. pestis infection, we demonstrated that despite the high level of sequence identity, yapK is distinct from yapJ in its contribution to disseminated Y. pestis infection. In addition, a mutant lacking both of these genes exhibits an additive attenuation, suggesting nonredundant roles for yapJ and yapK in systemic Y. pestis infection. However, the deletion of the homologous genes in Y. pseudotuberculosis does not seem to impact the virulence of this organism in orogastric or systemic infection models.

  10. Involvement of CD8+ T cell-mediated immune responses in LcrV DNA vaccine induced protection against lethal Yersinia pestis challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shixia; Goguen, Jon D; Li, Fusheng; Lu, Shan

    2011-09-09

    Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) is the causative pathogen of plague, a highly fatal disease for which an effective vaccine, especially against mucosal transmission, is still not available. Like many bacterial infections, antigen-specific antibody responses have been traditionally considered critical, if not solely responsible, for vaccine-induced protection against Y. pestis. Studies in recent years have suggested the importance of T cell immune responses against Y. pestis infection but information is still limited about the details of Y. pestis antigen-specific T cell immune responses. In current report, studies are conducted to identify the presence of CD8+ T cell epitopes in LcrV protein, the leading antigen of plague vaccine development. Furthermore, depletion of CD8+ T cells in LcrV DNA vaccinated Balb/C mice led to reduced protection against lethal intranasal challenge of Y. pestis. These findings establish that an LcrV DNA vaccine is able to elicit CD8+ T cell immune responses against specific epitopes of this key plague antigen and that a CD8+ T cell immune response is involved in LcrV DNA vaccine-elicited protection. Future studies in plague vaccine development will need to examine if the presence of detectable T cell immune responses, in particular CD8+ T-cell immune responses, will enhance the protection against Y. pestis in higher animal species or humans. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Global Expression Studies of Yersinia Pestis Pathogenicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, E; Motin, V; Brubaker, R; Fitch, P

    2002-10-15

    The aim of these studies continues to be the investigation into the molecular mechanisms that underlie the virulence process in Yersinia pestis. In particular, the focus of this work centers on the identification of novel genes and pathways responsible for the pathogenic properties of this organism. In spite of more than four decades of intense investigation in this field, the dilemma as to what makes Y. pestis such a virulent and lethal pathogen remains unanswered. The method being employed makes use microarray technology (DNA chip) that enables the examination of the global activities of the whole complement of genes in this pathogen. Two primary resources available to the investigators (one directly obtained from a separate CBNP-funded project) make these studies possible: (1) Whole genome comparisons of the genes in Y. pestis and its near neighbors with attenuated or non pathogenic characteristics, and (2) the ability to duplicate in vitro, conditions that mimic the infection process of this pathogen. This year we have extended our studies from the original work of characterizing the global transcriptional regulation in Y. pestis triggered during temperature transition from 26 C to 37 C (roughly conditions found in the flea vector and the mammalian host, respectively) to studies of regulation encountered during shift between growth from conditions of neutral pH to acidic pH (the latter conditions, those mimic the environment found inside macrophages, a likely environment found by these cells during infection.). For this work, DNA arrays containing some 5,000 genes (the entire genome of Y. pestis plus those genes found uniquely in the enteropathogen, and near neighbor, Y. pseudotuberculosis) are used to monitor the simultaneous expression levels of each gene of known and unknown function in Y. pestis. Those genes that are up-regulate under the experimental conditions represent genes potentially involved in the pathogenic process. The ultimate role in

  12. Cethromycin-mediated protection against the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis in a rat model of infection and comparison with levofloxacin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Jason A; Brackman, Sheri M; Kirtley, Michelle L; Sha, Jian; Erova, Tatiana E; Yeager, Linsey A; Peterson, Johnny W; Xu, Ze-Qi; Chopra, Ashok K

    2011-11-01

    The Gram-negative plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, has historically been regarded as one of the deadliest pathogens known to mankind, having caused three major pandemics. After being transmitted by the bite of an infected flea arthropod vector, Y. pestis can cause three forms of human plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic, with the latter two having very high mortality rates. With increased threats of bioterrorism, it is likely that a multidrug-resistant Y. pestis strain would be employed, and, as such, conventional antibiotics typically used to treat Y. pestis (e.g., streptomycin, tetracycline, and gentamicin) would be ineffective. In this study, cethromycin (a ketolide antibiotic which inhibits bacterial protein synthesis and is currently in clinical trials for respiratory tract infections) was evaluated for antiplague activity in a rat model of pneumonic infection and compared with levofloxacin, which operates via inhibition of bacterial topoisomerase and DNA gyrase. Following a respiratory challenge of 24 to 30 times the 50% lethal dose of the highly virulent Y. pestis CO92 strain, 70 mg of cethromycin per kg of body weight (orally administered twice daily 24 h postinfection for a period of 7 days) provided complete protection to animals against mortality without any toxic effects. Further, no detectable plague bacilli were cultured from infected animals' blood and spleens following cethromycin treatment. The antibiotic was most effective when administered to rats 24 h postinfection, as the animals succumbed to infection if treatment was further delayed. All cethromycin-treated survivors tolerated 2 subsequent exposures to even higher lethal Y. pestis doses without further antibiotic treatment, which was related, in part, to the development of specific antibodies to the capsular and low-calcium-response V antigens of Y. pestis. These data demonstrate that cethromycin is a potent antiplague drug that can be used to treat pneumonic plague.

  13. Fibrinolytic and coagulative activities of Yersinia pestis

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    Timo K. Korhonen

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The outer membrane protease Pla belongs to the omptin protease family spread by horizontal gene transfer into Gram-negative bacteria that infect animals or plants. Pla has adapted to support the life style of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. Pla has a -barrel fold with 10 membrane-spanning  strands and five surface loops, and the barrel surface contains bound lipopolysaccharide (LPS that is critical for the conformation and the activity of Pla. The biological activity of Pla is influenced by the structure of the surface loops around the active site groove and by temperature-induced LPS modifications. Several of the putative virulence-related functions documented for Pla in vitro address control of the human hemostatic system, i.e. coagulation and fibrinolysis. Pla activates human plasminogen to the serine protease plasmin and activates the physiological plasminogen activator urokinase. Pla also inactivates the protease inhibitors alpha-2-antiplasmin and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 and prevents the activation of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor. These functions enhance uncontrolled fibrinolysis which is thought to improve Y. pestis dissemination and survival in the mammalian host, and lowered fibrin(ogen deposition has indeed been observed in mice infected with Pla-positive Y. pestis. However, Pla also inactivates an anticoagulant, the tissue factor pathway inhibitor, which should increase fibrin formation and clotting. Thus Pla and Y. pestis have complex interactions with the hemostatic system. Y. pestis modifies its LPS upon transfer to the mammalian host and we hypothesize that the contrasting biological activities of Pla in coagulation and fibrinolysis are influenced by LPS changes during infection.

  14. Characterization of Yersinia pestis Interactions with Human Neutrophils In vitro

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    Sophia C. Dudte

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis is a gram-negative, zoonotic, bacterial pathogen, and the causative agent of plague. The bubonic form of plague occurs subsequent to deposition of bacteria in the skin by the bite of an infected flea. Neutrophils are recruited to the site of infection within the first few hours and interactions between neutrophils and Y. pestis have been demonstrated in vivo. In contrast to macrophages, neutrophils have been considered non-permissive to Y. pestis intracellular survival. Several studies have shown killing of the vast majority of Y. pestis ingested by human neutrophils. However, survival of 10–15% of Y. pestis after phagocytosis by neutrophils is consistently observed. Furthermore, these surviving bacteria eventually replicate within and escape from the neutrophils. We set out to further characterize the interactions between Y. pestis and human neutrophils by (1 determining the effects of known Y. pestis virulence factors on bacterial survival after uptake by neutrophils, (2 examining the mechanisms employed by the neutrophil to kill the majority of intracellular Y. pestis, (3 determining the activation phenotype of Y. pestis-infected neutrophils, and (4 characterizing the Y. pestis-containing phagosome in neutrophils. We infected human neutrophils in vitro with Y. pestis and assayed bacterial survival and uptake. Deletion of the caf1 gene responsible for F1 capsule production resulted in significantly increased uptake of Y. pestis. Surprisingly, while the two-component regulator PhoPQ system is important for survival of Y. pestis within neutrophils, pre-induction of this system prior to infection did not increase bacterial survival. We used an IPTG-inducible mCherry construct to distinguish viable from non-viable intracellular bacteria and determined the association of the Y. pestis-containing phagosome with neutrophil NADPH-oxidase and markers of primary, secondary and tertiary granules. Additionally, we show that inhibition of

  15. Different region analysis for genotyping Yersinia pestis isolates from China.

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    Yanjun Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: DFR (different region analysis has been developed for typing Yesinia pestis in our previous study, and in this study, we extended this method by using 23 DFRs to investigate 909 Chinese Y. pestis strains for validating DFR-based genotyping method and better understanding adaptive microevolution of Y. pestis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: On the basis of PCR and Bionumerics data analysis, 909 Y. pestis strains were genotyped into 32 genomovars according to their DFR profiles. New terms, Major genomovar and Minor genomovar, were coined for illustrating evolutionary relationship between Y. pestis strains from different plague foci and different hosts. In silico DFR profiling of the completed or draft genomes shed lights on the evolutionary scenario of Y. pestis from Y. pseudotuberculosis. Notably, several sequenced Y. pestis strains share the same DFR profiles with Chinese strains, providing data for revealing the global plague foci expansion. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Distribution of Y. pestis genomovars is plague focus-specific. Microevolution of biovar Orientalis was deduced according to DFR profiles. DFR analysis turns to be an efficient and inexpensive method to portrait the genome plasticity of Y. pestis based on horizontal gene transfer (HGT. DFR analysis can also be used as a tool in comparative and evolutionary genomic research for other bacteria with similar genome plasticity.

  16. Immunization of mice with YscF provides protection from Yersinia pestis infections

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    Bradley David S

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is a pathogen with a tremendous ability to cause harm and panic in populations. Due to the severity of plague and its potential for use as a bioweapon, better preventatives and therapeutics for plague are desirable. Subunit vaccines directed against the F1 capsular antigen and the V antigen (also known as LcrV of Y. pestis are under development. However, these new vaccine formulations have some possible limitations. The F1 antigen is not required for full virulence of Y. pestis and LcrV has a demonstrated immunosuppressive effect. These limitations could damper the ability of F1/LcrV based vaccines to protect against F1-minus Y. pestis strains and could lead to a high rate of undesired side effects in vaccinated populations. For these reasons, the use of other antigens in a plague vaccine formulation may be advantageous. Results Desired features in vaccine candidates would be antigens that are conserved, essential for virulence and accessible to circulating antibody. Several of the proteins required for the construction or function of the type III secretion system (TTSS complex could be ideal contenders to meet the desired features of a vaccine candidate. Accordingly, the TTSS needle complex protein, YscF, was selected to investigate its potential as a protective antigen. In this study we describe the overexpression, purification and use of YscF as a protective antigen. YscF immunization triggers a robust antibody response to YscF and that antibody response is able to afford significant protection to immunized mice following challenge with Y. pestis. Additionally, evidence is presented that suggests antibody to YscF is likely not protective by blocking the activity of the TTSS. Conclusion In this study we investigated YscF, a surface-expressed protein of the Yersinia pestis type III secretion complex, as a protective antigen against experimental plague infection. Immunization of

  17. The pgm locus and pigmentation phenotype in Yersinia pestis

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    Tereza Cristina Leal-Balbino

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The pigmentation (pgm locus is a large unstable area of the Yersinia pestis chromosome composed of a segment of iron acquisition (HPI linked to a pigmentation segment. In this work we examined the mobility of HPI and the pigmentation segment in three Y. pestis isolates using successive subcultures on Congo red agar (CRA plates. Strain P. CE 882 was shown to be highly stable while strains P. Exu 340 and P. Peru 375 dissociated into several phenotypes, PCR analysis showing evidence of changes in the pgm locus of the derived cultures. Strains P. Exu 340 and P. Peru 375 produced previously unreported cultures positive for the pesticin/yersiniabactin outer membrane receptor (psn+ but negative for the iron-regulated protein (irp2-, suggesting the occurrence of rearrangements in this chromosomal region and either a sequential loss or the loss of separated segments. These results provide evidence that besides deletion en bloc, specific rearrangements are also involved in the deletion events for that locus.

  18. Glutathionylation of Yersinia pestis LcrV and Its Effects on Plague Pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Anthony; Tam, Christina; Elli, Derek; Charlton, Thomas; Osei-Owusu, Patrick; Fazlollahi, Farbod; Faull, Kym F; Schneewind, Olaf

    2017-05-16

    Glutathionylation, the formation of reversible mixed disulfides between glutathione and protein cysteine residues, is a posttranslational modification previously observed for intracellular proteins of bacteria. Here we show that Yersinia pestis LcrV, a secreted protein capping the type III secretion machine, is glutathionylated at Cys(273) and that this modification promotes association with host ribosomal protein S3 (RPS3), moderates Y. pestis type III effector transport and killing of macrophages, and enhances bubonic plague pathogenesis in mice and rats. Secreted LcrV was purified and analyzed by mass spectrometry to reveal glutathionylation, a modification that is abolished by the codon substitution Cys(273)Ala in lcrV Moreover, the lcrVC273A mutation enhanced the survival of animals in models of bubonic plague. Investigating the molecular mechanism responsible for these virulence attributes, we identified macrophage RPS3 as a ligand of LcrV, an association that is perturbed by the Cys(273)Ala substitution. Furthermore, macrophages infected by the lcrVC273A variant displayed accelerated apoptotic death and diminished proinflammatory cytokine release. Deletion of gshB, which encodes glutathione synthetase of Y. pestis, resulted in undetectable levels of intracellular glutathione, and we used a Y. pestis ΔgshB mutant to characterize the biochemical pathway of LcrV glutathionylation, establishing that LcrV is modified after its transport to the type III needle via disulfide bond formation with extracellular oxidized glutathione.IMPORTANCEYersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, has killed large segments of the human population; however, the molecular bases for the extraordinary virulence attributes of this pathogen are not well understood. We show here that LcrV, the cap protein of bacterial type III secretion needles, is modified by host glutathione and that this modification contributes to the high virulence of Y. pestis in mouse and rat models for

  19. Humanized TLR4/MD-2 mice reveal LPS recognition differentially impacts susceptibility to Yersinia pestis and Salmonella enterica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajjar, Adeline M; Ernst, Robert K; Fortuno, Edgardo S; Brasfield, Alicia S; Yam, Cathy S; Newlon, Lindsay A; Kollmann, Tobias R; Miller, Samuel I; Wilson, Christopher B

    2012-01-01

    Although lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation through the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4/MD-2 receptor complex activates host defense against Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, how species-specific differences in LPS recognition impact host defense remains undefined. Herein, we establish how temperature dependent shifts in the lipid A of Yersinia pestis LPS that differentially impact recognition by mouse versus human TLR4/MD-2 dictate infection susceptibility. When grown at 37°C, Y. pestis LPS is hypo-acylated and less stimulatory to human compared with murine TLR4/MD-2. By contrast, when grown at reduced temperatures, Y. pestis LPS is more acylated, and stimulates cells equally via human and mouse TLR4/MD-2. To investigate how these temperature dependent shifts in LPS impact infection susceptibility, transgenic mice expressing human rather than mouse TLR4/MD-2 were generated. We found the increased susceptibility to Y. pestis for "humanized" TLR4/MD-2 mice directly paralleled blunted inflammatory cytokine production in response to stimulation with purified LPS. By contrast, for other Gram-negative pathogens with highly acylated lipid A including Salmonella enterica or Escherichia coli, infection susceptibility and the response after stimulation with LPS were indistinguishable between mice expressing human or mouse TLR4/MD-2. Thus, Y. pestis exploits temperature-dependent shifts in LPS acylation to selectively evade recognition by human TLR4/MD-2 uncovered with "humanized" TLR4/MD-2 transgenic mice.

  20. Humanized TLR4/MD-2 mice reveal LPS recognition differentially impacts susceptibility to Yersinia pestis and Salmonella enterica.

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    Adeline M Hajjar

    Full Text Available Although lipopolysaccharide (LPS stimulation through the Toll-like receptor (TLR-4/MD-2 receptor complex activates host defense against Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, how species-specific differences in LPS recognition impact host defense remains undefined. Herein, we establish how temperature dependent shifts in the lipid A of Yersinia pestis LPS that differentially impact recognition by mouse versus human TLR4/MD-2 dictate infection susceptibility. When grown at 37°C, Y. pestis LPS is hypo-acylated and less stimulatory to human compared with murine TLR4/MD-2. By contrast, when grown at reduced temperatures, Y. pestis LPS is more acylated, and stimulates cells equally via human and mouse TLR4/MD-2. To investigate how these temperature dependent shifts in LPS impact infection susceptibility, transgenic mice expressing human rather than mouse TLR4/MD-2 were generated. We found the increased susceptibility to Y. pestis for "humanized" TLR4/MD-2 mice directly paralleled blunted inflammatory cytokine production in response to stimulation with purified LPS. By contrast, for other Gram-negative pathogens with highly acylated lipid A including Salmonella enterica or Escherichia coli, infection susceptibility and the response after stimulation with LPS were indistinguishable between mice expressing human or mouse TLR4/MD-2. Thus, Y. pestis exploits temperature-dependent shifts in LPS acylation to selectively evade recognition by human TLR4/MD-2 uncovered with "humanized" TLR4/MD-2 transgenic mice.

  1. Antigenic profiling of Yersinia pestis infection in the Wyoming coyote (Canis latrans)

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    Vernati, G.; Edwards, W.H.; Rocke, T.E.; Little, S.F.; Andrews, G.P.

    2011-01-01

    Although Yersinia pestis is classified as a "high-virulence" pathogen, some host species are variably susceptible to disease. Coyotes (Canis latrans) exhibit mild, if any, symptoms during infection, but antibody production occurs postinfection. This immune response has been reported to be against the F1 capsule, although little subsequent characterization has been conducted. To further define the nature of coyote humoral immunity to plague, qualitative serology was conducted to assess the antiplague antibody repertoire. Humoral responses to six plasmid-encoded Y. pestis virulence factors were first examined. Of 20 individual immune coyotes, 90% were reactive to at least one other antigen in the panel other than F1. The frequency of reactivity to low calcium response plasmid (pLcr)-encoded Yersinia protein kinase A (YpkA) and Yersinia outer protein D (YopD) was significantly greater than that previously observed in a murine model for plague. Additionally, both V antigen and plasminogen activator were reactive with over half of the serum samples tested. Reactivity to F1 was markedly less frequent in coyotes (35%). Twenty previously tested antibody-negative samples were also examined. While the majority were negative across the panel, 15% were positive for 1-3 non-F1 antigens. In vivo-induced antigen technology employed to identify novel chromosomal genes of Y. pestis that are up-regulated during infection resulted in the identification of five proteins, including a flagellar component (FliP) that was uniquely reactive with the coyote serum compared with immune serum from two other host species. Collectively, these data suggest that humoral immunity to pLcr-encoded antigens and the pesticin plasmid (pPst)-encoded Pla antigen may be relevant to plague resistance in coyotes. The serologic profile of Y. pestis chromosomal antigens up-regulated in vivo specific to C. latrans may provide insight into the differences in the pathogen-host responses during Y. pestis infection.

  2. Human anti-plague monoclonal antibodies protect mice from Yersinia pestis in a bubonic plague model.

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    Xiaodong Xiao

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis is the etiologic agent of plague that has killed more than 200 million people throughout the recorded history of mankind. Antibiotics may provide little immediate relief to patients who have a high bacteremia or to patients infected with an antibiotic resistant strain of plague. Two virulent factors of Y. pestis are the capsid F1 protein and the low-calcium response (Lcr V-protein or V-antigen that have been proven to be the targets for both active and passive immunization. There are mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs against the F1- and V-antigens that can passively protect mice in a murine model of plague; however, there are no anti-Yersinia pestis monoclonal antibodies available for prophylactic or therapeutic treatment in humans. We identified one anti-F1-specific human mAb (m252 and two anti-V-specific human mAb (m253, m254 by panning a naïve phage-displayed Fab library against the F1- and V-antigens. The Fabs were converted to IgG1s and their binding and protective activities were evaluated. M252 bound weakly to peptides located at the F1 N-terminus where a protective mouse anti-F1 mAb also binds. M253 bound strongly to a V-antigen peptide indicating a linear epitope; m254 did not bind to any peptide from a panel of 53 peptides suggesting that its epitope may be conformational. M252 showed better protection than m253 and m254 against a Y, pestis challenge in a plague mouse model. A synergistic effect was observed when the three antibodies were combined. Incomplete to complete protection was achieved when m252 was given at different times post-challenge. These antibodies can be further studied to determine their potential as therapeutics or prophylactics in Y. pestis infection in humans.

  3. Determination of sRNA expressions by RNA-seq in Yersinia pestis grown in vitro and during infection.

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    Yanfeng Yan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs facilitate host-microbe interactions. They have a central function in the post-transcriptional regulation during pathogenic lifestyles. Hfq, an RNA-binding protein that many sRNAs act in conjunction with, is required for Y. pestis pathogenesis. However, information on how Yersinia pestis modulates the expression of sRNAs during infection is largely unknown. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used RNA-seq technology to identify the sRNA candidates expressed from Y. pestis grown in vitro and in the infected lungs of mice. A total of 104 sRNAs were found, including 26 previously annotated sRNAs, by searching against the Rfam database with 78 novel sRNA candidates. Approximately 89% (93/104 of these sRNAs from Y. pestis are shared with its ancestor Y. pseudotuberculosis. Ninety-seven percent of these sRNAs (101/104 are shared among more than 80 sequenced genomes of 135 Y. pestis strains. These 78 novel sRNAs include 62 intergenic and 16 antisense sRNAs. Fourteen sRNAs were selected for verification by independent Northern blot analysis. Results showed that nine selected sRNA transcripts were Hfq-dependent. Interestingly, three novel sRNAs were identified as new members of the transcription factor CRP regulon. Semi-quantitative analysis revealed that Y. pestis from the infected lungs induced the expressions of six sRNAs including RyhB1, RyhB2, CyaR/RyeE, 6S RNA, RybB and sR039 and repressed the expressions of four sRNAs, including CsrB, CsrC, 4.5S RNA and sR027. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: This study is the first attempt to subject RNA from Y. pestis-infected samples to direct high-throughput sequencing. Many novel sRNAs were identified and the expression patterns of relevant sRNAs in Y. pestis during in vitro growth and in vivo infection were revealed. The annotated sRNAs accounted for the most abundant sRNAs either expressed in bacteria grown in vitro or differentially expressed in the infected lungs

  4. Targeted enrichment of ancient pathogens yielding the pPCP1 plasmid of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuenemann, Verena J; Bos, Kirsten; DeWitte, Sharon; Schmedes, Sarah; Jamieson, Joslyn; Mittnik, Alissa; Forrest, Stephen; Coombes, Brian K; Wood, James W; Earn, David J D; White, William; Krause, Johannes; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2011-09-20

    Although investigations of medieval plague victims have identified Yersinia pestis as the putative etiologic agent of the pandemic, methodological limitations have prevented large-scale genomic investigations to evaluate changes in the pathogen's virulence over time. We screened over 100 skeletal remains from Black Death victims of the East Smithfield mass burial site (1348-1350, London, England). Recent methods of DNA enrichment coupled with high-throughput DNA sequencing subsequently permitted reconstruction of ten full human mitochondrial genomes (16 kb each) and the full pPCP1 (9.6 kb) virulence-associated plasmid at high coverage. Comparisons of molecular damage profiles between endogenous human and Y. pestis DNA confirmed its authenticity as an ancient pathogen, thus representing the longest contiguous genomic sequence for an ancient pathogen to date. Comparison of our reconstructed plasmid against modern Y. pestis shows identity with several isolates matching the Medievalis biovar; however, our chromosomal sequences indicate the victims were infected with a Y. pestis variant that has not been previously reported. Our data reveal that the Black Death in medieval Europe was caused by a variant of Y. pestis that may no longer exist, and genetic data carried on its pPCP1 plasmid were not responsible for the purported epidemiological differences between ancient and modern forms of Y. pestis infections.

  5. Homology analysis and cross-immunogenicity of OmpA from pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yuhuang; Duan, Ran; Li, Xu; Li, Kewei; Liang, Junrong; Liu, Chang; Qiu, Haiyan; Xiao, Yuchun; Jing, Huaiqi; Wang, Xin

    2015-12-01

    The outer membrane protein A (OmpA) is one of the intra-species conserved proteins with immunogenicity widely found in the family of Enterobacteriaceae. Here we first confirmed OmpA is conserved in the three pathogenic Yersinia: Yersinia pestis, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica, with high homology at the nucleotide level and at the amino acid sequence level. The identity of ompA sequences for 262 Y. pestis strains, 134 Y. pseudotuberculosis strains and 219 pathogenic Y. enterocolitica strains are 100%, 98.8% and 97.7% similar. The main pattern of OmpA of pathogenic Yersinia are 86.2% and 88.8% identical at the nucleotide and amino acid sequence levels, respectively. Immunological analysis showed the immunogenicity of each OmpA and cross-immunogenicity of OmpA for pathogenic Yersinia where OmpA may be a vaccine candidate for Y. pestis and other pathogenic Yersinia.

  6. Genotyping, Orientalis-like Yersinia pestis, and plague pandemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drancourt, Michel; Roux, Véronique; Dang, La Vu; Tran-Hung, Lam; Castex, Dominique; Chenal-Francisque, Viviane; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Fournier, Pierre-Edouard; Crubézy, Eric; Raoult, Didier

    2004-09-01

    Three pandemics have been attributed to plague in the last 1,500 years. Yersinia pestis caused the third, and its DNA was found in human remains from the second. The Antiqua biovar of Y. pestis may have caused the first pandemic; the other two biovars, Medievalis and Orientalis, may have caused the second and third pandemics, respectively. To test this hypothesis, we designed an original genotyping system based on intergenic spacer sequencing called multiple spacer typing (MST). We found that MST differentiated every biovar in a collection of 36 Y. pestis isolates representative of the three biovars. When MST was applied to dental pulp collected from remains of eight persons who likely died in the first and second pandemics, this system identified original sequences that matched those of Y. pestis Orientalis. These data indicate that Y. pestis caused cases of Justinian plague. The two historical plague pandemics were likely caused by Orientalis-like strains.

  7. Use of an in vitro pharmacodynamic model to derive a moxifloxacin regimen that optimizes kill of Yersinia pestis and prevents emergence of resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louie, A; Heine, H S; VanScoy, B; Eichas, A; Files, K; Fikes, S; Brown, D L; Liu, W; Kinzig-Schippers, M; Sörgel, F; Drusano, G L

    2011-02-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague, is classified as a CDC category A bioterrorism pathogen. Streptomycin and doxycycline are the "gold standards" for the treatment of plague. However, streptomycin is not available in many countries, and Y. pestis isolates resistant to streptomycin and doxycycline occur naturally and have been generated in laboratories. Moxifloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that demonstrates potent activity against Y. pestis in in vitro and animal infection models. However, the dose and frequency of administration of moxifloxacin that would be predicted to optimize treatment efficacy in humans while preventing the emergence of resistance are unknown. Therefore, dose range and dose fractionation studies for moxifloxacin were conducted for Y. pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model in which the half-lives of moxifloxacin in human serum were simulated so as to identify the lowest drug exposure and the schedule of administration that are linked with killing of Y. pestis and with the suppression of resistance. In the dose range studies, simulated moxifloxacin regimens of ≥175 mg/day killed drug-susceptible bacteria without resistance amplification. Dose fractionation studies demonstrated that the AUC (area under the concentration-time curve)/MIC ratio predicted kill of drug-susceptible Y. pestis, while the C(max) (maximum concentration of the drug in serum)/MIC ratio was linked to resistance prevention. Monte Carlo simulations predicted that moxifloxacin at 400 mg/day would successfully treat human infection due to Y. pestis in 99.8% of subjects and would prevent resistance amplification. We conclude that in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model, the clinically prescribed moxifloxacin regimen of 400 mg/day is predicted to be highly effective for the treatment of Y. pestis infections in humans. Studies of moxifloxacin in animal models of plague are warranted.

  8. Structural Insights into Ail-Mediated Adhesion in Yersinia pestis

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    Yamashita, Satoshi; Lukacik, Petra; Barnard, Travis J.; Noinaj, Nicholas; Felek, Suleyman; Tsang, Tiffany M.; Krukonis, Eric S.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Buchanan, Susan K. (Michigan); (NIH); (Michigan-Med)

    2012-01-30

    Ail is an outer membrane protein from Yersinia pestis that is highly expressed in a rodent model of bubonic plague, making it a good candidate for vaccine development. Ail is important for attaching to host cells and evading host immune responses, facilitating rapid progression of a plague infection. Binding to host cells is important for injection of cytotoxic Yersinia outer proteins. To learn more about how Ail mediates adhesion, we solved two high-resolution crystal structures of Ail, with no ligand bound and in complex with a heparin analog called sucrose octasulfate. We identified multiple adhesion targets, including laminin and heparin, and showed that a 40 kDa domain of laminin called LG4-5 specifically binds to Ail. We also evaluated the contribution of laminin to delivery of Yops to HEp-2 cells. This work constitutes a structural description of how a bacterial outer membrane protein uses a multivalent approach to bind host cells.

  9. Complete Genome Sequence of Pigmentation Negative Yersinia Pestis strain Cadman Running head: Complete Genome Sequence of Y. pestis strain Cadman

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-27

    coding regions, 19 ribosomal RNAs, 68 tRNAs, 12 ncRNAs, and 2 CRISPR arrays. 64 Gene content was compared to Y. pestis CO92 (NC_003131, NC_003132...264. 89 3. Burrows TW, Jackson S. 1956. The virulence- enhancing effect of iron on 90 nonpigmented mutants of virulent strains of Pasteurella pestis

  10. Comparative Ability of Oropsylla montana and Xenopsylla cheopis Fleas to Transmit Yersinia pestis by Two Different Mechanisms.

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    B Joseph Hinnebusch

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Transmission of Yersinia pestis by flea bite can occur by two mechanisms. After taking a blood meal from a bacteremic mammal, fleas have the potential to transmit the very next time they feed. This early-phase transmission resembles mechanical transmission in some respects, but the mechanism is unknown. Thereafter, transmission occurs after Yersinia pestis forms a biofilm in the proventricular valve in the flea foregut. The biofilm can impede and sometimes completely block the ingestion of blood, resulting in regurgitative transmission of bacteria into the bite site. In this study, we compared the relative efficiency of the two modes of transmission for Xenopsylla cheopis, a flea known to become completely blocked at a high rate, and Oropsylla montana, a flea that has been considered to rarely develop proventricular blockage.Fleas that took an infectious blood meal containing Y. pestis were maintained and monitored for four weeks for infection and proventricular blockage. The number of Y. pestis transmitted by groups of fleas by the two modes of transmission was also determined. O. montana readily developed complete proventricular blockage, and large numbers of Y. pestis were transmitted by that mechanism both by it and by X. cheopis, a flea known to block at a high rate. In contrast, few bacteria were transmitted in the early phase by either species.A model system incorporating standardized experimental conditions and viability controls was developed to more reliably compare the infection, proventricular blockage and transmission dynamics of different flea vectors, and was used to resolve a long-standing uncertainty concerning the vector competence of O. montana. Both X. cheopis and O. montana are fully capable of transmitting Y. pestis by the proventricular biofilm-dependent mechanism.

  11. Vaccination of mice with a Yop translocon complex elicits antibodies that are protective against infection with F1- Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Maya I; Noel, Betty L; Rampersaud, Ryan; Mena, Patricio; Benach, Jorge L; Bliska, James B

    2008-11-01

    Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of plague, secretes several proteins important for pathogenesis or host protection. The F1 protein forms a capsule on the bacterial cell surface and is a well-characterized protective antigen but is not essential for virulence. A type III secretion system that is essential for virulence exports Yop proteins, which function as antiphagocytic or anti-inflammatory factors. Yop effectors (e.g., YopE) are delivered across the host cell plasma membrane by a translocon, composed of YopB and YopD. Complexes of YopB, YopD, and YopE (BDE) secreted by Yersinia pseudotuberculosis were purified by affinity chromatography and used as immunogens to determine if antibodies to the translocon could provide protection against Y. pestis in mice. Mice vaccinated with BDE generated high-titer immunoglobulin G antibodies specific for BDE, as shown by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting, and were protected against lethal intravenous challenge with F1(-) but not F1(+) Y. pestis. Mice passively immunized with anti-BDE serum were protected from lethal challenge with F1(-) Y. pestis. The YopB protein or a complex of YopB and YopD (BD) was purified and determined by vaccination to be immunogenic in mice. Mice actively vaccinated with BD or passively vaccinated with anti-BD serum were protected against lethal challenge with F1(-) Y. pestis. These results indicate that anti-translocon antibodies can be used as immunotherapy to treat infections by F1(-) Y. pestis.

  12. Characterization of Residual Medium Peptides from Yersinia pestis Cultures

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    Clowers, Brian H.; Wunschel, David S.; Kreuzer, Helen W.; Engelmann, Heather E.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2013-04-03

    Using a range of common microbial medium formulations (TSB, BHI, LB, and G-media), two attenuated strains of Y. pestis (KIM D27 (pgm-) and KIMD1 lcr-) were cultivated in triplicate. These cellular suspensions were used to develop a method of extracting residual medium peptides from the final microbial preparation to assess their relative abundance and identity. Across the conditions examined, which included additional cellular washing and different forms of microbial inactivation, residual medium peptides were detected. Despite the range of growth medium sources used and the associated manufacturing processes used in their production, a high degree of peptide similarity was observed for a given medium recipe. These results demonstrate that residual medium peptides are retained using traditional microbial cultivation techniques and may be used to inform forensic investigations with respect to production deduction.

  13. Proteomic Characterization of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chromy, B; Murphy, G; Gonzales, A; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S L

    2005-01-05

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, functions via the Type III secretion mechanism whereby virulence factors are induced upon interactions with a mammalian host. Here, the Y. pestis proteome was studied by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) under physiologically relevant growth conditions mimicking the calcium concentrations and temperatures that the pathogen would encounter in the flea vector and upon interaction with the mammalian host. Over 4100 individual protein spots were detected of which hundreds were differentially expressed in the entire comparative experiment. A total of 43 proteins that were differentially expressed between the vector and host growth conditions were identified by mass spectrometry. Expected differences in expression were observed for several known virulence factors including catalase-peroxidase (KatY), murine toxin (Ymt), plasminogen activator (Pla), and F1 capsule antigen (Caf1), as well as putative virulence factors. Chaperone proteins and signaling molecules hypothesized to be involved in virulence due to their role in Type III secretion were also identified. Other differentially expressed proteins not previously reported to contribute to virulence are candidates for more detailed mechanistic studies, representing potential new virulence determinants. For example, several sugar metabolism proteins were differentially regulated in response to lower calcium and higher temperature, suggesting these proteins, while not directly connected to virulence, either represent a metabolic switch for survival in the host environment or may facilitate production of virulence factors. Results presented here contribute to a more thorough understanding of the virulence mechanism of Y. pestis through proteomic characterization of the pathogen under induced virulence.

  14. Yersinia pestis infection in cats: ABCD guidelines on prevention and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennisi, Maria Grazia; Egberink, Herman; Hartmann, Katrin; Lloret, Albert; Addie, Diane; Belák, Sándor; Boucraut-Baralon, Corine; Frymus, Tadeusz; Gruffydd-Jones, Tim; Hosie, Margaret J; Lutz, Hans; Marsilio, Fulvio; Möstl, Karin; Radford, Alan D; Thiry, Etienne; Truyen, Uwe; Horzinek, Marian C

    2013-07-01

    Plague, the medieval 'Black Death', is caused by a Gram-negative coccobacillus, Yersinia pestis, which also infects cats. As in people, it is transmitted from rodents through flea bites; it occurs in Asia, Africa and the Americas in flea-infested regions, all year round, and where rodent reservoirs are abundant. A poor prognosis is associated with high fever, and the pulmonary and septicaemic forms. Antibiotic therapy, flea control and avoidance of rodent contacts have made this infection manageable.

  15. [PCR-derived technology in gene identification and typing of Yersinia pestis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mei; Tang, Xinyuan; Wang, Zuyun

    2015-01-01

    Application of the PCR-derived technology in gene identification and genotypes of different ecotype Yersinia pestis to make the high-throughput experimental results can reflect the epidemic history and compare the diversity in genome, pathogenicity, so that results from these experiments provide an important basis for clinical diagnosis, treatment and origin. But the experiment should be considered typing ability, practicality, budget and other experimental factors or conditions, because each PCR-derivative technology has advantages and disadvantages.

  16. Ecology of Yersinia pestis and the Epidemiology of Plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubyanskiy, Vladimir M; Yeszhanov, Aidyn B

    2016-01-01

    This chapter summarizes information about the natural foci of plague in the world. We describe the location, main hosts, and vectors of Yersinia pestis. The ecological features of the hosts and vectors of plague are listed, including predators - birds and mammals and their role in the epizootic. The epizootic process in plague and the factors affecting the dynamics of epizootic activity of natural foci of Y. pestis are described in detail. The mathematical models of the epizootic process in plague and predictive models are briefly described. The most comprehensive list of the hosts and vectors of Y. pestis in the world is presented as well.

  17. Pseudogene accumulation might promote the adaptive microevolution of Yersinia pestis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tong, Zongzhong; Zhou, Dongsheng; Song, Yajun

    2005-01-01

    Plague is a natural focus-based disease, and for better understanding of this disease it is crucial to determine the molecular mechanisms of its pathogen, Yersinia pestis, for adapting to different foci. Gene inactivation, loss and acquisition are the main mechanisms that contribute to a pathogen....... pestis from different natural plague foci in China based on pseudogene profiles. Twenty-four mutations that led to inactivation in the corresponding genes were analysed, and a PCR-based screening method was employed to investigate the distribution of these mutations among Y. pestis isolates from...

  18. Pseudogene accumulation might promote the adaptive microevolution of Yersinia pestis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tong, Zongzhong; Zhou, Dongsheng; Song, Yajun

    2005-01-01

    Plague is a natural focus-based disease, and for better understanding of this disease it is crucial to determine the molecular mechanisms of its pathogen, Yersinia pestis, for adapting to different foci. Gene inactivation, loss and acquisition are the main mechanisms that contribute to a pathogen....... pestis from different natural plague foci in China based on pseudogene profiles. Twenty-four mutations that led to inactivation in the corresponding genes were analysed, and a PCR-based screening method was employed to investigate the distribution of these mutations among Y. pestis isolates from...

  19. Early host cell targets of Yersinia pestis during primary pneumonic plague.

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    Roger D Pechous

    Full Text Available Inhalation of Yersinia pestis causes primary pneumonic plague, a highly lethal syndrome with mortality rates approaching 100%. Pneumonic plague progression is biphasic, with an initial pre-inflammatory phase facilitating bacterial growth in the absence of host inflammation, followed by a pro-inflammatory phase marked by extensive neutrophil influx, an inflammatory cytokine storm, and severe tissue destruction. Using a FRET-based probe to quantitate injection of effector proteins by the Y. pestis type III secretion system, we show that these bacteria target alveolar macrophages early during infection of mice, followed by a switch in host cell preference to neutrophils. We also demonstrate that neutrophil influx is unable to limit bacterial growth in the lung and is ultimately responsible for the severe inflammation during the lethal pro-inflammatory phase.

  20. The Yersinia pestis caf1M1A1 fimbrial capsule operon promotes transmission by flea bite in a mouse model of bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebbane, Florent; Jarrett, Clayton; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2009-03-01

    Plague is a zoonosis transmitted by fleas and caused by the gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis. During infection, the plasmidic caf1M1A1 operon that encodes the Y. pestis F1 protein capsule is highly expressed, and anti-F1 antibodies are protective. Surprisingly, the capsule is not required for virulence after injection of cultured bacteria, even though it is an antiphagocytic factor and capsule-deficient Y. pestis strains are rarely isolated. We found that a caf-negative Y. pestis mutant was not impaired in either flea colonization or virulence in mice after intradermal inoculation of cultured bacteria. In contrast, absence of the caf operon decreased bubonic plague incidence after a flea bite. Successful development of plague in mice infected by flea bite with the caf-negative mutant required a higher number of infective bites per challenge. In addition, the mutant displayed a highly autoaggregative phenotype in infected liver and spleen. The results suggest that acquisition of the caf locus via horizontal transfer by an ancestral Y. pestis strain increased transmissibility and the potential for epidemic spread. In addition, our data support a model in which atypical caf-negative strains could emerge during climatic conditions that favor a high flea burden. Human infection with such strains would not be diagnosed by the standard clinical tests that detect F1 antibody or antigen, suggesting that more comprehensive surveillance for atypical Y. pestis strains in plague foci may be necessary. The results also highlight the importance of studying Y. pestis pathogenesis in the natural context of arthropod-borne transmission.

  1. Yersinia pestis Yop secretion protein F: purification, characterization, and protective efficacy against bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swietnicki, Wieslaw; Powell, Bradford S; Goodin, Jeremy

    2005-07-01

    Yersinia pestis is a gram-negative human pathogen that uses a type III secretion system to deliver virulence factors into human hosts. The delivery is contact-dependent and it has been proposed that polymerization of Yop secretion protein F (YscF) is used to puncture mammalian cell membranes to facilitate delivery of Yersinia outer protein effectors into host cells. To evaluate the potential immunogenicity and protective efficacy of YscF against Y. pestis, we used a purified recombinant YscF protein as a potential vaccine candidate in a mouse subcutaneous infection model. YscF was expressed and purified from Escherichia coli by immobilized metal-ion affinity chromatography and protein identity was confirmed by ion trap mass spectrometry. The recombinant protein was highly alpha-helical and formed relatively stable aggregates under physiological conditions. The properties were consistent with behavior expected for the native YscF, suggesting that the antigen was properly folded. Ten mice were inoculated subcutaneously, administered booster injections after one month, and challenged with 130 LD(50) of wild type Y. pestis CO92. Six animals in the vaccinated group but none in the control group survived the challenge. The vaccinated animals produced high levels of specific antibodies against YscF as determined by Western blot. The data were statistically significant (P = 0.053 by two-tailed Fisher's test), suggesting that the YscF protein can provide a protective immune response against lethal plague challenge during subcutaneous plague infection.

  2. Comparative genomics of 2009 seasonal plague (Yersinia pestis in New Mexico.

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    Henry S Gibbons

    Full Text Available Plague disease caused by the gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis routinely affects animals and occasionally humans, in the western United States. The strains native to the North American continent are thought to be derived from a single introduction in the late 19(th century. The degree to which these isolates have diverged genetically since their introduction is not clear, and new genomic markers to assay the diversity of North American plague are highly desired. To assay genetic diversity of plague isolates within confined geographic areas, draft genome sequences were generated by 454 pyrosequencing from nine environmental and clinical plague isolates. In silico assemblies of Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR loci were compared to laboratory-generated profiles for seven markers. High-confidence SNPs and small Insertion/Deletions (Indels were compared to previously sequenced Y. pestis isolates. The resulting panel of mutations allowed clustering of the strains and tracing of the most likely evolutionary trajectory of the plague strains. The sequences also allowed the identification of new putative SNPs that differentiate the 2009 isolates from previously sequenced plague strains and from each other. In addition, new insertion points for the abundant insertion sequences (IS of Y. pestis are present that allow additional discrimination of strains; several of these new insertions potentially inactivate genes implicated in virulence. These sequences enable whole-genome phylogenetic analysis and allow the unbiased comparison of closely related isolates of a genetically monomorphic pathogen.

  3. Cethromycin-Mediated Protection against the Plague Pathogen Yersinia pestis in a Rat Model of Infection and Comparison with Levofloxacin ▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Jason A.; Brackman, Sheri M.; Kirtley, Michelle L.; Sha, Jian; Erova, Tatiana E.; Yeager, Linsey A.; Peterson, Johnny W.; Xu, Ze-Qi; Chopra, Ashok K.

    2011-01-01

    The Gram-negative plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, has historically been regarded as one of the deadliest pathogens known to mankind, having caused three major pandemics. After being transmitted by the bite of an infected flea arthropod vector, Y. pestis can cause three forms of human plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic, with the latter two having very high mortality rates. With increased threats of bioterrorism, it is likely that a multidrug-resistant Y. pestis strain would be employed, and, as such, conventional antibiotics typically used to treat Y. pestis (e.g., streptomycin, tetracycline, and gentamicin) would be ineffective. In this study, cethromycin (a ketolide antibiotic which inhibits bacterial protein synthesis and is currently in clinical trials for respiratory tract infections) was evaluated for antiplague activity in a rat model of pneumonic infection and compared with levofloxacin, which operates via inhibition of bacterial topoisomerase and DNA gyrase. Following a respiratory challenge of 24 to 30 times the 50% lethal dose of the highly virulent Y. pestis CO92 strain, 70 mg of cethromycin per kg of body weight (orally administered twice daily 24 h postinfection for a period of 7 days) provided complete protection to animals against mortality without any toxic effects. Further, no detectable plague bacilli were cultured from infected animals' blood and spleens following cethromycin treatment. The antibiotic was most effective when administered to rats 24 h postinfection, as the animals succumbed to infection if treatment was further delayed. All cethromycin-treated survivors tolerated 2 subsequent exposures to even higher lethal Y. pestis doses without further antibiotic treatment, which was related, in part, to the development of specific antibodies to the capsular and low-calcium-response V antigens of Y. pestis. These data demonstrate that cethromycin is a potent antiplague drug that can be used to treat pneumonic plague. PMID:21859946

  4. Rapid detection and simultaneous antibiotic susceptibility analysis of Yersinia pestis directly from clinical specimens by use of reporter phage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandamm, J P; Rajanna, C; Sharp, N J; Molineux, I J; Schofield, D A

    2014-08-01

    Yersinia pestis is a tier 1 agent due to its contagious pneumopathogenicity, extremely rapid progression, and high mortality rate. As the disease is usually fatal without appropriate therapy, rapid detection from clinical matrices is critical to patient outcomes. We previously engineered the diagnostic phage ΦA1122 with luxAB to create a "light-tagged" reporter phage. ΦA1122::luxAB rapidly detects Y. pestis in pure culture and human serum by transducing a bioluminescent signal response. In this report, we assessed the analytical specificity of the reporter phage and investigated diagnostic utility (detection and antibiotic susceptibility analysis) directly from spiked whole blood. The bioreporter displayed 100% (n = 59) inclusivity for Y. pestis and consistent intraspecific signal transduction levels. False positives were not obtained from species typically associated with bacteremia or those relevant to plague diagnosis. However, some non-pestis Yersinia strains and Enterobacteriaceae did elicit signals, albeit at highly attenuated transduction levels. Diagnostic performance was assayed in simple broth-enriched blood samples and standard aerobic culture bottles. In blood, antibiotics facilitated simultaneous antimicrobial susceptibility profiling. Consequently, the reporter phage demonstrated rapid detection and antibiotic susceptibility profiling directly from clinical samples, features that may improve patient prognosis during plague outbreaks.

  5. Purification and characterization of Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pestis LcrV-cholera toxin A(2)/B chimeras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinker, Juliette K; Davis, Chadwick T; Arlian, Britni M

    2010-11-01

    Yersinia pestis is a virulent human pathogen and potential biological weapon. Despite a long history of research on this organism, there is no licensed vaccine to protect against pneumonic forms of Y. pestis disease. In the present study, plasmids were constructed to express cholera toxin A(2)/B chimeric molecules containing the LcrV protective antigen from Yersinia enterocolitica and Y. pestis. These chimeras were expressed and purified to high yields from the supernatant of transformed Escherichia coli. Western and GM(1) ELISA assays were used to characterize the composition, receptor-binding and relative stability of the LcrV-CTA(2)/B chimera in comparison to cholera toxin. In addition, we investigated the ability of the Y. pestis LcrV-CTA(2)/B chimera to bind to and internalize into cultured epithelial cells and macrophages by confocal microscopy. These studies indicate that the uptake and trafficking of the LcrV antigen from the chimera is comparable to the trafficking of native toxin. Together these findings report that stable, receptor-binding, non-toxic LcrV-cholera toxin A(2)/B chimeras can be expressed at high levels in E. coli and purified from the supernatant. In addition, the internalization of antigen in vitro reported here supports the development of these molecules as novel mucosal vaccine candidates. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. RovA, a global regulator of Yersinia pestis, specifically required for bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cathelyn, Jason S; Crosby, Seth D; Lathem, Wyndham W; Goldman, William E; Miller, Virginia L

    2006-09-05

    The pathogenic species of Yersinia contain the transcriptional regulator RovA. In Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica, RovA regulates expression of the invasion factor invasin (inv), which mediates translocation across the intestinal epithelium. A Y. enterocolitica rovA mutant has a significant decrease in virulence by LD(50) analysis and an altered rate of dissemination compared with either wild type or an inv mutant, suggesting that RovA regulates multiple virulence factors. Here, we show the involvement of RovA in the virulence of Yersinia pestis, which naturally lacks a functional inv gene. A Y. pestis DeltarovA mutant is attenuated approximately 80-fold by LD(50) and is defective in dissemination/colonization of spleens and lungs after s.c. inoculation. However, the DeltarovA mutant is only slightly attenuated when given via an intranasal or i.p. route, indicating a more important role for RovA in bubonic plague than pneumonic plague or systemic infection. Microarray analysis was used to define the RovA regulon. The psa locus was among the most highly down-regulated loci in the DeltarovA mutant. A DeltapsaA mutant had a significant dissemination defect after s.c. infection but only slight attenuation by the pneumonic-disease model, closely mimicking the virulence defect seen with the DeltarovA mutant. DNA-binding studies revealed that RovA specifically interacts with the psaE and psaA promoter regions, indicating a direct role for RovA in regulating this locus. Thus, RovA appears to be a global transcription factor in Y. pestis and, through its regulatory influence on genes such as psaEFABC, contributes to the virulence of Y. pestis.

  7. Strategy for sensitive and specific detection of Yersinia pestis in skeletons of the black death pandemic.

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    Lisa Seifert

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis has been identified as the causative agent of the Black Death pandemic in the 14(th century. However, retrospective diagnostics in human skeletons after more than 600 years are critical. We describe a strategy following a modern diagnostic algorithm and working under strict ancient DNA regime for the identification of medieval human plague victims. An initial screening and DNA quantification assay detected the Y. pestis specific pla gene of the high copy number plasmid pPCP1. Results were confirmed by conventional PCR and sequence analysis targeting both Y. pestis specific virulence plasmids pPCP1 and pMT1. All assays were meticulously validated according to human clinical diagnostics requirements (ISO 15189 regarding efficiency, sensitivity, specificity, and limit of detection (LOD. Assay specificity was 100% tested on 41 clinically relevant bacteria and 29 Y. pseudotuberculosis strains as well as for DNA of 22 Y. pestis strains and 30 previously confirmed clinical human plague samples. The optimized LOD was down to 4 gene copies. 29 individuals from three different multiple inhumations were initially assessed as possible victims of the Black Death pandemic. 7 samples (24% were positive in the pPCP1 specific screening assay. Confirmation through second target pMT1 specific PCR was successful for 4 of the positive individuals (14%. A maximum of 700 and 560 copies per µl aDNA were quantified in two of the samples. Those were positive in all assays including all repetitions, and are candidates for future continuative investigations such as whole genome sequencing. We discuss that all precautions taken here for the work with aDNA are sufficient to prevent external sample contamination and fulfill the criteria of authenticity. With regard to retrospective diagnostics of a human pathogen and the uniqueness of ancient material we strongly recommend using a careful strategy and validated assays as presented in our study.

  8. Strategy for sensitive and specific detection of Yersinia pestis in skeletons of the black death pandemic.

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    Seifert, Lisa; Harbeck, Michaela; Thomas, Astrid; Hoke, Nadja; Zöller, Lothar; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Grupe, Gisela; Scholz, Holger C; Riehm, Julia M

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis has been identified as the causative agent of the Black Death pandemic in the 14(th) century. However, retrospective diagnostics in human skeletons after more than 600 years are critical. We describe a strategy following a modern diagnostic algorithm and working under strict ancient DNA regime for the identification of medieval human plague victims. An initial screening and DNA quantification assay detected the Y. pestis specific pla gene of the high copy number plasmid pPCP1. Results were confirmed by conventional PCR and sequence analysis targeting both Y. pestis specific virulence plasmids pPCP1 and pMT1. All assays were meticulously validated according to human clinical diagnostics requirements (ISO 15189) regarding efficiency, sensitivity, specificity, and limit of detection (LOD). Assay specificity was 100% tested on 41 clinically relevant bacteria and 29 Y. pseudotuberculosis strains as well as for DNA of 22 Y. pestis strains and 30 previously confirmed clinical human plague samples. The optimized LOD was down to 4 gene copies. 29 individuals from three different multiple inhumations were initially assessed as possible victims of the Black Death pandemic. 7 samples (24%) were positive in the pPCP1 specific screening assay. Confirmation through second target pMT1 specific PCR was successful for 4 of the positive individuals (14%). A maximum of 700 and 560 copies per µl aDNA were quantified in two of the samples. Those were positive in all assays including all repetitions, and are candidates for future continuative investigations such as whole genome sequencing. We discuss that all precautions taken here for the work with aDNA are sufficient to prevent external sample contamination and fulfill the criteria of authenticity. With regard to retrospective diagnostics of a human pathogen and the uniqueness of ancient material we strongly recommend using a careful strategy and validated assays as presented in our study.

  9. Development of Yersinia pestis F1 antigen-loaded microspheres vaccine against plague

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    Huang SS

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Shih-shiung Huang,1 I-Hsun Li,2,3 Po-da Hong,1 Ming-kung Yeh1,2,41Biomedical Engineering Program, Graduate Institute of Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China; 2School of Pharmacy, 3Department of Pharmacy Practice, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China; 4Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of ChinaAbstract: Yersinia pestis F1 antigen-loaded poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide/polyethylene glycol (PEG (PLGA/PEG microspheres were produced using a water-in-oil-in-water emulsion/solvent extraction technique and assayed for their percent yield, entrapment efficiency, surface morphology, particle size, zeta potential, in vitro release properties, and in vivo animal protect efficacy. The Y. pestis F1 antigen-loaded microspheres (mean particle size 3.8 µm exhibited a high loading capacity (4.5% w/w, yield (85.2%, and entrapment efficiency (38.1%, and presented a controlled in vitro release profile with a low initial burst (18.5%, then continued to release Y. pestis F1 antigen over 70 days. The distribution (% of Y. pestis F1 on the microspheres surface, outer layer, and core was 3.1%, 28.9%, and 60.7%, respectively. A steady release rate was noticed to be 0.55 µg Y. pestis F1 antigen/mg microspheres/day of Y. pestis F1 antigen release maintained for 42 days. The cumulative release amount at the 1st, 28th, and 42nd days was 8.2, 26.7, and 31.0 µg Y. pestis F1 antigen/mg microspheres, respectively. The 100 times median lethal dose 50% (LD50 of Y. pestis Yokohama-R strain by intraperitoneal injection challenge in mice test, in which mice received one dose of 40 µg F1 antigen content of PLGA/PEG microspheres, F1 antigen in Al(OH3, and in comparison with F1 antigen in Al(OH3 vaccine in two doses, was evaluated after given by subcutaneous

  10. Plague vaccines and the molecular basis of immunity against Yersinia pestis.

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    Quenee, Lauriane E; Schneewind, Olaf

    2009-12-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague, human diseases with high mortality. Due to the microbe's ability to spread rapidly, plague epidemics present a serious public health threat. A search for prophylactic measures was initially based on historical reports of bubonic plague survivors and their apparent immunity. Due to safety and efficacy concerns, killed whole-cell preparations or live-attenuated plague vaccines are no longer considered in the United States. Vaccine developers have focused on specific subunits of plague bacteria. LcrV, a protein at the tip of type III secretion needles, and F1, the capsular pilus antigen, are both recognized as plague protective antigens. Antibodies against LcrV and F1 interfere with Y. pestis type III injection of host cells. While LcrV is absolutely essential for Y. pestis virulence, expression of F1 is dispensable for plague pathogenesis in small animals, non-human primates and presumably also in humans. Several subunit vaccines, for example rF1+rV (rYP002), rF1V or rV10, are being developed to generate plague protection in humans. Efficacy testing and licensure for human use requires the establishment of correlates for plague immunity.

  11. Decontamination of a hospital room using gaseous chlorine dioxide: Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

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    Lowe, John J; Gibbs, Shawn G; Iwen, Peter C; Smith, Philip W; Hewlett, Angela L

    2013-01-01

    This study assessed the efficacy of gaseous chlorine dioxide for inactivation of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis in a hospital patient care suite. Spore and vegetative cells of Bacillus anthracis Sterne 34F2, spores of Bacillus atrophaeus ATCC 9372 and vegetative cells of both Francisella tularensis ATCC 6223 and Yersinia pestis A1122 were exposed to gaseous chlorine dioxide in a patient care suite. Organism inactivation was then assessed by log reduction in viable organisms postexposure to chlorine dioxide gas compared to non-exposed control organism. Hospital room decontamination protocols utilizing chlorine dioxide gas concentrations of 377 to 385 ppm maintained to exposures of 767 ppm-hours with 65% relative humidity consistently achieved complete inactivation of B. anthracis and B. atrophaeus spores, as well as vegetative cells of B. anthracis, F. tularensis, and Y. pestis. Decrease in exposure (ppm-hours) and relative humidity (8 log reductions in organisms. Up to 10-log reductions were achieved in a hospital room with limited impact on adjacent areas, indicating chlorine dioxide concentrations needed for decontamination of highly concentrated (>6 logs) organisms can be achieved throughout a hospital room. This study translates laboratory chlorine dioxide fumigation studies applied in a complex clinical environment.

  12. Fieldable genotyping of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis based on 25-loci Multi Locus VNTR Analysis

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    Carattoli Alessandra

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anthrax and plague are diseases caused by Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis respectively. These bacteria are etiological agents for worldwide zoonotic diseases and are considered among the most feared potential bioterror agents. Strain differentiation is difficult for these microorganisms because of their high intraspecies genome homogeneity. Moreover, fast strain identification and comparison with known genotypes may be crucial for naturally occurring outbreaks versus bioterrorist events discrimination. Results Thirty-nine B. anthracis and ten Y. pestis strains, representative of the species genetic diversity, were genotyped by Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer using previously described Multiple Locus VNTR Analysis assays (MLVA. Results were compared to previous data obtained by standard genotyping system (capillary electrophoresis on automatic sequencer and, when necessary, direct amplicon sequencing. A reference comparison table containing actual fragment sizes, sequencer sizes and Agilent sizes was produced. Conclusion In this report an automated DNA electrophoresis apparatus which provides a cheaper alternative compared to capillary electrophoresis approaches was applied for genotyping of B. anthracis and Y. pestis. This equipment, uses pre-cast gels and provides easy transportation, low maintenance and overall general logistic requirements and costs, is easy to set up and provides rapid analysis. This platform is a candidate for on-site MLVA genotyping of biothreat agents as well as other bacterial pathogens. It is an alternative to the more expensive and demanding capillary electrophoresis methods, and to the less expensive but more time-consuming classical gel electrophoresis approach.

  13. Protein markers for identification of Yersinia pestis and their variation related to culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wunschel, David S. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Engelmann, Heather E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Victry, Kristin D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Clowers, Brian H. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Sorensen, Christina M. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Valentine, Nancy B. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Mahoney Fahey, Christine M. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Wietsma, Thomas W. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Wahl, Karen L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2013-12-11

    The detection of high consequence pathogens, such as Yersinia pestis, is well established in biodefense laboratories for bioterror situations. Laboratory protocols are well established using specified culture media and a growth temperature of 37 °C for expression of specific antigens. Direct detection of Y. pestis protein markers, without prior culture, depends on their expression. Unfortunately protein expression can be impacted by the culture medium which cannot be predicted ahead of time. Furthermore, higher biomass yields are obtained at the optimal growth temperature (i.e. 28 °C–30 °C) and therefore are more likely to be used for bulk production. Analysis of Y. pestis grown on several types of media at 30 °C showed that several protein markers were found to be differentially detected in different media. Analysis of the identified proteins against a comprehensive database provided an additional level of organism identification. Peptides corresponding to variable regions of some proteins could separate large groups of strains and aid in organism identification. This work illustrates the need to understand variability of protein expression for detection targets. The potential for relating expression changes of known proteins to specific media factors, even in nutrient rich and chemically complex culture medium, may provide the opportunity to draw forensic information from protein profiles.

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

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    Matthew D Dyer

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

  15. Genome-wide mutant fitness profiling identifies nutritional requirements for optimal growth of Yersinia pestis in deep tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palace, Samantha G; Proulx, Megan K; Lu, Shan; Baker, Richard E; Goguen, Jon D

    2014-08-19

    Rapid growth in deep tissue is essential to the high virulence of Yersinia pestis, causative agent of plague. To better understand the mechanisms underlying this unusual ability, we used transposon mutagenesis and high-throughput sequencing (Tn-seq) to systematically probe the Y. pestis genome for elements contributing to fitness during infection. More than a million independent insertion mutants representing nearly 200,000 unique genotypes were generated in fully virulent Y. pestis. Each mutant in the library was assayed for its ability to proliferate in vitro on rich medium and in mice following intravenous injection. Virtually all genes previously established to contribute to virulence following intravenous infection showed significant fitness defects, with the exception of genes for yersiniabactin biosynthesis, which were masked by strong intercellular complementation effects. We also identified more than 30 genes with roles in nutrient acquisition and metabolism as experiencing strong selection during infection. Many of these genes had not previously been implicated in Y. pestis virulence. We further examined the fitness defects of strains carrying mutations in two such genes-encoding a branched-chain amino acid importer (brnQ) and a glucose importer (ptsG)-both in vivo and in a novel defined synthetic growth medium with nutrient concentrations matching those in serum. Our findings suggest that diverse nutrient limitations in deep tissue play a more important role in controlling bacterial infection than has heretofore been appreciated. Because much is known about Y. pestis pathogenesis, this study also serves as a test case that assesses the ability of Tn-seq to detect virulence genes. Our understanding of the functions required by bacteria to grow in deep tissues is limited, in part because most growth studies of pathogenic bacteria are conducted on laboratory media that do not reflect conditions prevailing in infected animal tissues. Improving our

  16. Na+/H+ antiport is essential for Yersinia pestis virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minato, Yusuke; Ghosh, Amit; Faulkner, Wyatt J; Lind, Erin J; Schesser Bartra, Sara; Plano, Gregory V; Jarrett, Clayton O; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Winogrodzki, Judith; Dibrov, Pavel; Häse, Claudia C

    2013-09-01

    Na(+)/H(+) antiporters are ubiquitous membrane proteins that play a central role in the ion homeostasis of cells. In this study, we examined the possible role of Na(+)/H(+) antiport in Yersinia pestis virulence and found that Y. pestis strains lacking the major Na(+)/H(+) antiporters, NhaA and NhaB, are completely attenuated in an in vivo model of plague. The Y. pestis derivative strain lacking the nhaA and nhaB genes showed markedly decreased survival in blood and blood serum ex vivo. Complementation of either nhaA or nhaB in trans restored the survival of the Y. pestis nhaA nhaB double deletion mutant in blood. The nhaA nhaB double deletion mutant also showed inhibited growth in an artificial serum medium, Opti-MEM, and a rich LB-based medium with Na(+) levels and pH values similar to those for blood. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that intact Na(+)/H(+) antiport is indispensable for the survival of Y. pestis in the bloodstreams of infected animals and thus might be regarded as a promising noncanonical drug target for infections caused by Y. pestis and possibly for those caused by other blood-borne bacterial pathogens.

  17. Typing methods for the plague pathogen, Yersinia pestis.

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    Lindler, Luther E

    2009-01-01

    Phenotypic and genotypic methodologies have been used to differentiate the etiological agent of plague, Yersinia pestis. Historically, phenotypic methods were used to place isolates into one of three biovars based on nitrate reduction and glycerol fermentation. Classification of Y. pestis into genetic subtypes is problematic due to the relative monomorphic nature of the pathogen. Resolution into groups is dependent on the number and types of loci used in the analysis. The last 5-10 years of research and analysis in the field of Y. pestis genotyping have resulted in a recognition by Western scientists that two basic types of Y. pestis exist. One type, considered to be classic strains that are able to cause human plague transmitted by the normal flea vector, is termed epidemic strains. The other type does not typically cause human infections by normal routes of infection, but is virulent for rodents and is termed endemic strains. Previous classification schemes used outside the Western hemisphere referred to these latter strains as Pestoides varieties of Y. pestis. Recent molecular analysis has definitely shown that both endemic and epidemic strains arose independently from a common Yersinia pseudotuberculosis ancestor. Currently, 11 major groups of Y. pestis are defined globally.

  18. Yersinia pestis insecticidal-like toxin complex (Tc family proteins: characterization of expression, subcellular localization, and potential role in infection of the flea vector

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    Spinner Justin L

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Toxin complex (Tc family proteins were first identified as insecticidal toxins in Photorhabdus luminescens and have since been found in a wide range of bacteria. The genome of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague, contains a locus that encodes the Tc protein homologues YitA, YitB, YitC, and YipA and YipB. Previous microarray data indicate that the Tc genes are highly upregulated by Y. pestis while in the flea vector; however, their role in the infection of fleas and pathogenesis in the mammalian host is unclear. Results We show that the Tc proteins YitA and YipA are highly produced by Y. pestis while in the flea but not during growth in brain heart infusion (BHI broth at the same temperature. Over-production of the LysR-type regulator YitR from an exogenous plasmid increased YitA and YipA synthesis in broth culture. The increase in production of YitA and YipA correlated with the yitR copy number and was temperature-dependent. Although highly synthesized in fleas, deletion of the Tc proteins did not alter survival of Y. pestis in the flea or prevent blockage of the proventriculus. Furthermore, YipA was found to undergo post-translational processing and YipA and YitA are localized to the outer membrane of Y. pestis. YitA was also detected by immunofluorescence microscopy on the surface of Y. pestis. Both YitA and YipA are produced maximally at low temperature but persist for several hours after transfer to 37°C. Conclusions Y. pestis Tc proteins are highly expressed in the flea but are not essential for Y. pestis to stably infect or produce a transmissible infection in the flea. However, YitA and YipA localize to the outer membrane and YitA is exposed on the surface, indicating that at least YitA is present on the surface when Y. pestis is transmitted into the mammalian host from the flea.

  19. Differential Regulation of c-di-GMP Metabolic Enzymes by Environmental Signals Modulates Biofilm Formation in Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Gai-Xian; Fan, Sai; Guo, Xiao-Peng; Chen, Shiyun; Sun, Yi-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) is essential for Yersinia pestis biofilm formation, which is important for flea-borne blockage-dependent plague transmission. Two diguanylate cyclases (DGCs), HmsT and HmsD and one phosphodiesterase (PDE), HmsP are responsible for the synthesis and degradation of c-di-GMP in Y. pestis. Here, we systematically analyzed the effect of various environmental signals on regulation of the biofilm phenotype, the c-di-GMP levels, and expression of HmsT, HmsD, and HmsP in Y. pestis. Biofilm formation was higher in the presence of non-lethal high concentration of CaCl2, MgCl2, CuSO4, sucrose, sodium dodecyl sulfate, or dithiothreitol, and was lower in the presence of FeCl2 or NaCl. In addition, we found that HmsD plays a major role in biofilm formation in acidic or redox environments. These environmental signals differentially regulated expression of HmsT, HmsP and HmsD, resulting in changes in the intracellular levels of c-di-GMP in Y. pestis. Our results suggest that bacteria can sense various environmental signals, and differentially regulate activity of DGCs and PDEs to coordinately regulate and adapt metabolism of c-di-GMP and biofilm formation to changing environments.

  20. Differential Regulation of c-di-GMP Metabolic Enzymes by Environmental Signals Modulates Biofilm Formation in Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Gai-Xian; Fan, Sai; Guo, Xiao-Peng; Chen, Shiyun; Sun, Yi-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) is essential for Yersinia pestis biofilm formation, which is important for flea-borne blockage-dependent plague transmission. Two diguanylate cyclases (DGCs), HmsT and HmsD and one phosphodiesterase (PDE), HmsP are responsible for the synthesis and degradation of c-di-GMP in Y. pestis. Here, we systematically analyzed the effect of various environmental signals on regulation of the biofilm phenotype, the c-di-GMP levels, and expression of HmsT, HmsD, and HmsP in Y. pestis. Biofilm formation was higher in the presence of non-lethal high concentration of CaCl2, MgCl2, CuSO4, sucrose, sodium dodecyl sulfate, or dithiothreitol, and was lower in the presence of FeCl2 or NaCl. In addition, we found that HmsD plays a major role in biofilm formation in acidic or redox environments. These environmental signals differentially regulated expression of HmsT, HmsP and HmsD, resulting in changes in the intracellular levels of c-di-GMP in Y. pestis. Our results suggest that bacteria can sense various environmental signals, and differentially regulate activity of DGCs and PDEs to coordinately regulate and adapt metabolism of c-di-GMP and biofilm formation to changing environments. PMID:27375563

  1. Differential regulation of c-di-GMP metabolic enzymes by environmental signals modulates biofilm formation in Yersinia pestis

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    Gai-Xian eRen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP is essential for Yersinia pestis biofilm formation, which is important for flea-borne blockage-dependent plague transmission. Two diguanylate cyclases (DGCs, HmsT and HmsD and one phosphodiesterase (PDE, HmsP are responsible for the synthesis and degradation of c-di-GMP in Y. pestis. Here, we systematically analyzed the effect of various environmental signals on regulation of the biofilm phenotype, the c-di-GMP levels, and expression of HmsT, HmsD and HmsP in Y. pestis. Biofilm formation was higher in the presence of nonlethal high concentration of CaCl2, MgCl2, CuSO4, sucrose, sodium dodecyl sulfonate, or dithiothreitol, and was lower in the presence of FeCl2 or NaCl. In addition, we found that HmsD plays a major role in biofilm formation in acidic or redox environments. These environmental signals differentially regulated expression of HmsT, HmsP and HmsD, resulting in changes in the intracellular levels of c-di-GMP in Y. pestis. Our results suggest that bacteria can sense various environmental signals, and differentially regulates their DGCs and PDEs to coordinately regulate and adapt metabolism of c-di-GMP and biofilm formation to changing environments.

  2. Comparative Global Gene Expression Profiles of Wild-Type Yersinia pestis CO92 and Its Braun Lipoprotein Mutant at Flea and Human Body Temperatures

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    Cristi L. Galindo

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Braun/murein lipoprotein (Lpp is involved in inflammatory responses and septic shock. We previously characterized a Δlpp mutant of Yersinia pestis CO92 and found that this mutant was defective in surviving in macrophages and was attenuated in a mouse inhalation model of plague when compared to the highly virulent wild-type (WT bacterium. We performed global transcriptional profiling of WT Y. pestis and its Δlpp mutant using microarrays. The organisms were cultured at 26 and 37 degrees Celsius to simulate the flea vector and mammalian host environments, respectively. Our data revealed vastly different effects of lpp mutation on the transcriptomes of Y. pestis grown at 37 versus 26C. While the absence of Lpp resulted mainly in the downregulation of metabolic genes at 26C, the Y. pestis Δlpp mutant cultured at 37C exhibited profound alterations in stress response and virulence genes, compared to WT bacteria. We investigated one of the stress-related genes (htrA downregulated in the Δlpp mutant relative to WT Y. pestis. Indeed, complementation of the Δlpp mutant with the htrA gene restored intracellular survival of the Y. pestis Δlpp mutant. Our results support a role for Lpp in Y. pestis adaptation to the host environment, possibly via transcriptional activation of htrA.

  3. Characterization of Zur-dependent genes and direct Zur targets in Yersinia pestis

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    Wang Xiaoyi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The zinc uptake regulator Zur is a Zn2+-sensing metalloregulatory protein involved in the maintenance of bacterial zinc homeostasis. Up to now, regulation of zinc homeostasis by Zur is poorly understood in Y. pestis. Results We constructed a zur null mutant of Y. pestis biovar microtus strain 201. Microarray expression analysis disclosed a set of 154 Zur-dependent genes of Y. pestis upon exposure to zinc rich condition. Real-time reverse transcription (RT-PCR was subsequently used to validate the microarray data. Based on the 154 Zur-dependent genes, predicted regulatory Zur motifs were used to screen for potential direct Zur targets including three putative operons znuA, znuCB and ykgM-RpmJ2. The LacZ reporter fusion analysis verified that Zur greatly repressed the promoter activity of the above three operons. The subsequent electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA demonstrated that a purified Zur protein was able to bind to the promoter regions of the above three operons. The DNase I footprinting was used to identify the Zur binding sites for the above three operons, verifying the Zur box sequence as predicted previously in γ-Proteobacteria. The primer extension assay was further used to determine the transcription start sites for the above three operons and to localize the -10 and -35 elements. Zur binding sites overlapped the -10 sequence of its target promoters, which was consistent with the previous observation that Zur binding would block the entry of the RNA polymerase to repress the transcription of its target genes. Conclusion Zur as a repressor directly controls the transcription of znuA, znuCB and ykgM-RpmJ2 in Y. pestis by employing a conserved mechanism of Zur-promoter DNA association as observed in γ-Proteobacteria. Zur contributes to zinc homeostasis in Y. pestis likely through transcriptional repression of the high-affinity zinc uptake system ZnuACB and two alternative ribosomal proteins YkgM and RpmJ2.

  4. Rapid Detection of Yersinia Pestis Antigen from Decomposed Rodent Viscera Using An Up-Converting Phosphor Technology-Based Lateral-Flow Assay

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    Pingping Zhang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Dear Editor, Plague, a seriously infectious zoonotic disease caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis, has claimed millions of lives during three major historic pandemics. Y. pestis, with a minimum infectious dose for mammals of less than 100 organisms (even less than 10 by the subcutaneous route, can proliferate in mammalian macrophages and migrate to internal organs within days. To date, with rodents as reservoirs and fleas as vectors, Y. pestis is widely and persistently distributed in natural foci on most continents (except Australia and poses a high risk to humans. Therefore, surveillance and control of local plague hosts, including decomposed ones, are important in plague-endemic regions. Furthermore, inexpensive, convenient, and reliable point-of-care testing (POCT is essential in resource-limited areas.

  5. Pneumonic Plague: The Darker Side of Yersinia pestis.

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    Pechous, Roger D; Sivaraman, Vijay; Stasulli, Nikolas M; Goldman, William E

    2016-03-01

    Inhalation of the bacterium Yersinia pestis results in primary pneumonic plague. Pneumonic plague is the most severe manifestation of plague, with mortality rates approaching 100% in the absence of treatment. Its rapid disease progression, lethality, and ability to be transmitted via aerosol have compounded fears of the intentional release of Y. pestis as a biological weapon. Importantly, recent epidemics of plague have highlighted a significant role for pneumonic plague during outbreaks of Y. pestis infections. In this review we describe the characteristics of pneumonic plague, focusing on its disease progression and pathogenesis. The rapid time-course, severity, and difficulty of treating pneumonic plague highlight how differences in the route of disease transmission can enhance the lethality of an already deadly pathogen. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Analysis of the three Yersinia pestis CRISPR loci provides new tools for phylogenetic studies and possibly for the investigation of ancient DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergnaud, Gilles; Li, Yanjun; Gorgé, Olivier; Cui, Yujun; Song, Yajun; Zhou, Dongsheng; Grissa, Ibtissem; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V; Platonov, Mikhail E; Rakin, Alexander; Balakhonov, Sergey V; Neubauer, Heinrich; Pourcel, Christine; Anisimov, Andrey P; Yang, Ruifu

    2007-01-01

    The precise nature of the pathogen having caused early plague pandemics is uncertain. Although Yersinia pestis is a likely candidate for all three plague pandemics, the very rare direct evidence that can be deduced from ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis is controversial. Moreover, which of the three biovars, Antiqua, Medievalis or Orientalis, was associated with these pandemics is still debated. There is a need for phylogenetic analysis performed on Y. pestis strains isolated from countries from which plague probably arose and is still endemic. In addition there exist technical difficulties inherent to aDNA investigations and a lack of appropriate genetic targets. The recently described CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) may represent such a target. CRISPR loci consist of a succession of highly conserved regions separated by specific "spacers" usually of viral origin. To be of use, data describing the mechanisms of evolution and diversity of CRISPRs in Y. pestis, its closest neighbors, and other species which might contaminate ancient DNA, are necessary. The investigation of closely related Y. pestis isolates has revealed recent mutation events in which elements constituting CRISPRs were acquired or lost, providing essential insight on their evolution. Rules deduced represent the basis for subsequent interpretation. In the present study, the CRISPR loci from representative Y. pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strains were investigated by PCR amplification and sequence analysis. The investigation of this wider panel of strains, including other subspecies or ecotypes within Y. pestis and also Y. pseudotuberculosis strains provides a database of the existing CRISPR spacers and helps predict the expected CRISPR structure of the Y. pestis ancestor. This knowledge will open the way to the development of a spoligotyping assay, in which spacers can be amplified even from highly degraded DNA samples. The data obtained show that CRISPR

  7. Detection of a Yersinia pestis gene homologue in rodent samples

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    Timothy A. Giles

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A homologue to a widely used genetic marker, pla, for Yersinia pestis has been identified in tissue samples of two species of rat (Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus and of mice (Mus musculus and Apodemus sylvaticus using a microarray based platform to screen for zoonotic pathogens of interest. Samples were from urban locations in the UK (Liverpool and Canada (Vancouver. The results indicate the presence of an unknown bacterium that shares a homologue for the pla gene of Yersinia pestis, so caution should be taken when using this gene as a diagnostic marker.

  8. Multiple antigens of Yersinia pestis delivered by live recombinant attenuated Salmonella vaccine strains elicit protective immunity against plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanapala, Shilpa; Rahav, Hannah; Patel, Hetal; Sun, Wei; Curtiss, Roy

    2016-05-05

    Based on our improved novel Salmonella vaccine delivery platform, we optimized the recombinant attenuated Salmonella typhimurium vaccine (RASV) χ12094 to deliver multiple Yersinia pestis antigens. These included LcrV196 (amino acids, 131-326), Psn encoded on pYA5383 and F1 encoded in the chromosome, their synthesis did not cause adverse effects on bacterial growth. Oral immunization with χ12094(pYA5383) simultaneously stimulated high antibody titers to LcrV, Psn and F1 in mice and presented complete protection against both subcutaneous (s.c.) and intranasal (i.n.) challenges with high lethal doses of Y. pestis CO92. Moreover, no deaths or other disease symptoms were observed in SCID mice orally immunized with χ12094(pYA5383) over a 60-day period. Therefore, the trivalent S. typhimurium-based live vaccine shows promise for a next-generation plague vaccine. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Identification of outer membrane proteins of Yersinia pestis through biotinylation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smither, S.J.; Hill, J.; Baar, B.L.M. van; Hulst, A.G.; Jong, A.L. de; Titball, R.W.

    2007-01-01

    The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria contains proteins that might be good targets for vaccines, antimicrobials or detection systems. The identification of surface located proteins using traditional methods is often difficult. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, was labelled with

  10. Identification of outer membrane proteins of Yersinia pestis through biotinylation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smither, S.J.; Hill, J.; Baar, B.L.M. van; Hulst, A.G.; Jong, A.L. de; Titball, R.W.

    2007-01-01

    The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria contains proteins that might be good targets for vaccines, antimicrobials or detection systems. The identification of surface located proteins using traditional methods is often difficult. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, was labelled with

  11. Delineation and analysis of chromosomal regions specifying Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derbise, Anne; Chenal-Francisque, Viviane; Huon, Christèle; Fayolle, Corinne; Demeure, Christian E; Chane-Woon-Ming, Béatrice; Médigue, Claudine; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2010-09-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, has recently diverged from the less virulent enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Its emergence has been characterized by massive genetic loss and inactivation and limited gene acquisition. The acquired genes include two plasmids, a filamentous phage, and a few chromosomal loci. The aim of this study was to characterize the chromosomal regions acquired by Y. pestis. Following in silico comparative analysis and PCR screening of 98 strains of Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis, we found that eight chromosomal loci (six regions [R1pe to R6pe] and two coding sequences [CDS1pe and CDS2pe]) specified Y. pestis. Signatures of integration by site specific or homologous recombination were identified for most of them. These acquisitions and the loss of ancestral DNA sequences were concentrated in a chromosomal region opposite to the origin of replication. The specific regions were acquired very early during Y. pestis evolution and were retained during its microevolution, suggesting that they might bring some selective advantages. Only one region (R3pe), predicted to carry a lambdoid prophage, is most likely no longer functional because of mutations. With the exception of R1pe and R2pe, which have the potential to encode a restriction/modification and a sugar transport system, respectively, no functions could be predicted for the other Y. pestis-specific loci. To determine the role of the eight chromosomal loci in the physiology and pathogenicity of the plague bacillus, each of them was individually deleted from the bacterial chromosome. None of the deletants exhibited defects during growth in vitro. Using the Xenopsylla cheopis flea model, all deletants retained the capacity to produce a stable and persistent infection and to block fleas. Similarly, none of the deletants caused any acute flea toxicity. In the mouse model of infection, all deletants were fully virulent upon subcutaneous or aerosol infections. Therefore

  12. Detection of Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia typhi, Bartonella Species and Yersinia pestis in Fleas (Siphonaptera from Africa.

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    Hamza Leulmi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the presence/absence and prevalence of Rickettsia spp, Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis in domestic and urban flea populations in tropical and subtropical African countries.Fleas collected in Benin, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were investigated for the presence and identity of Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis using two qPCR systems or qPCR and standard PCR. In Xenopsylla cheopis fleas collected from Cotonou (Benin, Rickettsia typhi was detected in 1% (2/199, and an uncultured Bartonella sp. was detected in 34.7% (69/199. In the Lushoto district (United Republic of Tanzania, R. typhi DNA was detected in 10% (2/20 of Xenopsylla brasiliensis, and Rickettsia felis was detected in 65% (13/20 of Ctenocephalides felis strongylus, 71.4% (5/7 of Ctenocephalides canis and 25% (5/20 of Ctenophthalmus calceatus calceatus. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, R. felis was detected in 56.5% (13/23 of Ct. f. felis from Kinshasa, in 26.3% (10/38 of Ct. f. felis and 9% (1/11 of Leptopsylla aethiopica aethiopica from Ituri district and in 19.2% (5/26 of Ct. f. strongylus and 4.7% (1/21 of Echidnophaga gallinacea. Bartonella sp. was also detected in 36.3% (4/11 of L. a. aethiopica. Finally, in Ituri, Y. pestis DNA was detected in 3.8% (1/26 of Ct. f. strongylus and 10% (3/30 of Pulex irritans from the villages of Wanyale and Zaa.Most flea-borne infections are neglected diseases which should be monitored systematically in domestic rural and urban human populations to assess their epidemiological and clinical relevance. Finally, the presence of Y. pestis DNA in fleas captured in households was unexpected and raises a series of questions regarding the role of free fleas in the transmission of plague in rural Africa, especially in remote areas where the flea density in houses is high.

  13. Detection of Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia typhi, Bartonella Species and Yersinia pestis in Fleas (Siphonaptera) from Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leulmi, Hamza; Socolovschi, Cristina; Laudisoit, Anne; Houemenou, Gualbert; Davoust, Bernard; Bitam, Idir; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Little is known about the presence/absence and prevalence of Rickettsia spp, Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis in domestic and urban flea populations in tropical and subtropical African countries. Fleas collected in Benin, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were investigated for the presence and identity of Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis using two qPCR systems or qPCR and standard PCR. In Xenopsylla cheopis fleas collected from Cotonou (Benin), Rickettsia typhi was detected in 1% (2/199), and an uncultured Bartonella sp. was detected in 34.7% (69/199). In the Lushoto district (United Republic of Tanzania), R. typhi DNA was detected in 10% (2/20) of Xenopsylla brasiliensis, and Rickettsia felis was detected in 65% (13/20) of Ctenocephalides felis strongylus, 71.4% (5/7) of Ctenocephalides canis and 25% (5/20) of Ctenophthalmus calceatus calceatus. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, R. felis was detected in 56.5% (13/23) of Ct. f. felis from Kinshasa, in 26.3% (10/38) of Ct. f. felis and 9% (1/11) of Leptopsylla aethiopica aethiopica from Ituri district and in 19.2% (5/26) of Ct. f. strongylus and 4.7% (1/21) of Echidnophaga gallinacea. Bartonella sp. was also detected in 36.3% (4/11) of L. a. aethiopica. Finally, in Ituri, Y. pestis DNA was detected in 3.8% (1/26) of Ct. f. strongylus and 10% (3/30) of Pulex irritans from the villages of Wanyale and Zaa. Most flea-borne infections are neglected diseases which should be monitored systematically in domestic rural and urban human populations to assess their epidemiological and clinical relevance. Finally, the presence of Y. pestis DNA in fleas captured in households was unexpected and raises a series of questions regarding the role of free fleas in the transmission of plague in rural Africa, especially in remote areas where the flea density in houses is high.

  14. [Standard algorithm of molecular typing of Yersinia pestis strains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eroshenko, G A; Odinokov, G N; Kukleva, L M; Pavlova, A I; Krasnov, Ia M; Shavina, N Iu; Guseva, N P; Vinogradova, N A; Kutyrev, V V

    2012-01-01

    Development of the standard algorithm of molecular typing of Yersinia pestis that ensures establishing of subspecies, biovar and focus membership of the studied isolate. Determination of the characteristic strain genotypes of plague infectious agent of main and nonmain subspecies from various natural foci of plague of the Russian Federation and the near abroad. Genotyping of 192 natural Y. pestis strains of main and nonmain subspecies was performed by using PCR methods, multilocus sequencing and multilocus analysis of variable tandem repeat number. A standard algorithm of molecular typing of plague infectious agent including several stages of Yersinia pestis differentiation by membership: in main and nonmain subspecies, various biovars of the main subspecies, specific subspecies; natural foci and geographic territories was developed. The algorithm is based on 3 typing methods--PCR, multilocus sequence typing and multilocus analysis of variable tandem repeat number using standard DNA targets--life support genes (terC, ilvN, inv, glpD, napA, rhaS and araC) and 7 loci of variable tandem repeats (ms01, ms04, ms06, ms07, ms46, ms62, ms70). The effectiveness of the developed algorithm is shown on the large number of natural Y. pestis strains. Characteristic sequence types of Y. pestis strains of various subspecies and biovars as well as MLVA7 genotypes of strains from natural foci of plague of the Russian Federation and the near abroad were established. The application of the developed algorithm will increase the effectiveness of epidemiologic monitoring of plague infectious agent, and analysis of epidemics and outbreaks of plague with establishing the source of origin of the strain and routes of introduction of the infection.

  15. Kinetic analysis of Yersinia pestis DNA adenine methyltransferase activity using a hemimethylated molecular break light oligonucleotide.

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    Robert J Wood

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: DNA adenine methylation plays an important role in several critical bacterial processes including mismatch repair, the timing of DNA replication and the transcriptional control of gene expression. The dependence of bacterial virulence on DNA adenine methyltransferase (Dam has led to the proposal that selective Dam inhibitors might function as broad spectrum antibiotics. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Herein we report the expression and purification of Yersinia pestis Dam and the development of a continuous fluorescence based assay for DNA adenine methyltransferase activity that is suitable for determining the kinetic parameters of the enzyme and for high throughput screening against potential Dam inhibitors. The assay utilised a hemimethylated break light oligonucleotide substrate containing a GATC methylation site. When this substrate was fully methylated by Dam, it became a substrate for the restriction enzyme DpnI, resulting in separation of fluorophore (fluorescein and quencher (dabcyl and therefore an increase in fluorescence. The assays were monitored in real time using a fluorescence microplate reader in 96 well format and were used for the kinetic characterisation of Yersinia pestis Dam, its substrates and the known Dam inhibitor, S-adenosylhomocysteine. The assay has been validated for high throughput screening, giving a Z-factor of 0.71+/-0.07 indicating that it is a sensitive assay for the identification of inhibitors. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The assay is therefore suitable for high throughput screening for inhibitors of DNA adenine methyltransferases and the kinetic characterisation of the inhibition.

  16. Neutralization of Yersinia pestis-mediated macrophage cytotoxicity by anti-LcrV antibodies and its correlation with protective immunity in a mouse model of bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zauberman, Ayelet; Cohen, Sara; Levy, Yinon; Halperin, Gideon; Lazar, Shirley; Velan, Baruch; Shafferman, Avigdor; Flashner, Yehuda; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2008-03-20

    Plague is a life-threatening disease caused by Yersinia pestis, for which effective-licensed vaccines and reliable predictors of in vivo immunity are lacking. V antigen (LcrV) is a major Y. pestis virulence factor that mediates translocation of the cytotoxic Yersinia protein effectors (Yops). It is a well-established protective antigen and a part of currently tested plague subunit vaccines. We have developed a highly sensitive in vitro macrophage cytotoxicity neutralization assay which is mediated by anti-LcrV antibodies; and studied the potential use of these neutralizing antibodies as an in vitro correlate of plague immunity in mice. The assay is based on a Y. pestis strain with enhanced cytotoxicity to macrophages in which endogenous yopJ was replaced by the more effectively translocated yopP of Y. enterocolitica O:8. Mice passively immunized with rabbit anti-LcrV IgG or actively immunized with recombinant LcrV were protected against lethal doses of a virulent Y. pestis strain, in a mouse model of bubonic plague. This protection significantly correlated with the in vitro neutralizing activity of the antisera but not with their corresponding ELISA titers. In actively immunized mice, a cutoff value for serum neutralizing activity, above which survival was assured with high degree of confidence, could be established for different vaccination regimes. The impact of overall findings on the potential use of serum neutralizing activity as a correlate of protective immunity is discussed.

  17. 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.

  18. Absence of Yersinia pestis-specific DNA in human teeth from five European excavations of putative plague victims.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, M Thomas P; Cuccui, Jon; White, William; Lynnerup, Niels; Titball, Richard W; Cooper, Alan; Prentice, Michael B

    2004-02-01

    This study reports the results of a collaborative study undertaken by two independent research groups to (a) confirm recent PCR-based detection of Yersinia pestis DNA in human teeth from medieval plague victims in France, and (b) to extend these observations over five different European burial sites believed to contain plague victims dating from the late 13th to 17th centuries. Several different sets of primers were used, including those previously documented to yield positive results on ancient DNA extracts. No Y. pestis DNA could be amplified from DNA extracted from 108 teeth belonging to 61 individuals, despite the amplification of numerous other bacterial DNA sequences. Several methods of extracting dentine prior to the DNA extraction were also compared. PCR for bacterial 16S rDNA indicated the presence of multiple bacterial species in 23 out of 27 teeth DNA extracts where dentine was extracted using previously described methods. In comparison, positive results were obtained from only five out of 44 teeth DNA extracts for which a novel contamination-minimizing embedding technique was used. Therefore, high levels of environmental bacterial DNA are present in DNA extracts where previously described methods of tooth manipulation are used. To conclude, the absence of Y. pestis-specific DNA in an exhaustive search using specimens from multiple putative European plague burial sites does not allow us to confirm the identification of Y. pestis as the aetiological agent of the Black Death and subsequent plagues. In addition, the utility of the published tooth-based ancient DNA technique used to diagnose fatal bacteraemias in historical epidemics still awaits independent corroboration.

  19. yadBC of Yersinia pestis, a new virulence determinant for bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forman, Stanislav; Wulff, Christine R; Myers-Morales, Tanya; Cowan, Clarissa; Perry, Robert D; Straley, Susan C

    2008-02-01

    In all Yersinia pestis strains examined, the adhesin/invasin yadA gene is a pseudogene, yet Y. pestis is invasive for epithelial cells. To identify potential surface proteins that are structurally and functionally similar to YadA, we searched the Y. pestis genome for open reading frames with homology to yadA and found three: the bicistronic operon yadBC (YPO1387 and YPO1388 of Y. pestis CO92; y2786 and y2785 of Y. pestis KIM5), which encodes two putative surface proteins, and YPO0902, which lacks a signal sequence and likely is nonfunctional. In this study we characterized yadBC regulation and tested the importance of this operon for Y. pestis adherence, invasion, and virulence. We found that loss of yadBC caused a modest loss of invasiveness for epithelioid cells and a large decrease in virulence for bubonic plague but not for pneumonic plague in mice.

  20. Cultural and morphological properties of the vaccine strain Yersinia pestis EV NIIEG bacteria after photodynamic inactivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulianova, Onega V.; Lyapina, Anna M.; Khizhnyakova, Mariya A.; Laskavy, Vladislav N.; Feodorova, Valentina A.; Ulyanov, Sergey S.

    2015-03-01

    New method of photoinactivation of plague microbes (bacteria Yersinia pestis) has been suggested. Rate of growth of colonies of Y. pestis EV NIIEG at specific regimes of photo processing have been analyzed. Dependence of growth on exposure time and concentrations of photosensitizer (methylene blue) has been studied. Number of colony forming units of Y. pestis EV NIIEG bacteria as a function of intensity of light and concentration of methylene blue has been scrutinized.

  1. Znu is the predominant zinc importer in Yersinia pestis during in vitro growth but is not essential for virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desrosiers, Daniel C; Bearden, Scott W; Mier, Ildefonso; Abney, Jennifer; Paulley, James T; Fetherston, Jacqueline D; Salazar, Juan C; Radolf, Justin D; Perry, Robert D

    2010-12-01

    Little is known about Zn homeostasis in Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus. The Znu ABC transporter is essential for zinc (Zn) uptake and virulence in a number of bacterial pathogens. Bioinformatics analysis identified ZnuABC as the only apparent high-affinity Zn uptake system in Y. pestis. Mutation of znuACB caused a growth defect in Chelex-100-treated PMH2 growth medium, which was alleviated by supplementation with submicromolar concentrations of Zn. Use of transcriptional reporters confirmed that Zur mediated Zn-dependent repression and that it can repress gene expression in response to Zn even in the absence of Znu. Virulence testing in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague found only a modest increase in survival in low-dose infections by the znuACB mutant. Previous studies of cluster 9 (C9) transporters suggested that Yfe, a well-characterized C9 importer for manganese (Mn) and iron in Y. pestis, might function as a second, high-affinity Zn uptake system. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that YfeA, the solute-binding protein component of Yfe, binds Mn and Zn with comparably high affinities (dissociation constants of 17.8 ± 4.4 nM and 6.6 ± 1.2 nM, respectively), although the complete Yfe transporter could not compensate for the loss of Znu in in vitro growth studies. Unexpectedly, overexpression of Yfe interfered with the znu mutant's ability to grow in low concentrations of Zn, while excess Zn interfered with the ability of Yfe to import iron at low concentrations; these results suggest that YfeA can bind Zn in the bacterial cell but that Yfe is incompetent for transport of the metal. In addition to Yfe, we have now eliminated MntH, FetMP, Efe, Feo, a substrate-binding protein, and a putative nickel transporter as the unidentified, secondary Zn transporter in Y. pestis. Unlike other bacterial pathogens, Y. pestis does not require Znu for high-level infectivity and virulence; instead, it appears to possess a novel class of transporter

  2. Biomarker Candidate Identification in Yersinia Pestis Using Organism-Wide Semiquantitative Proteomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hixson, Kim K.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Baker, Scott E.; Moore, Ronald J.; Smith, Richard D.; McCutchen-Maloney, Sandra L.; Lipton, Mary S.

    2006-11-03

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is listed by the CDC as a level A select pathogen. To better enable detection, intervention and treatment of Y. pestis infections, it is necessary to understand its protein expression under conditions that promote or inhibit virulence. To this end, we have utilized a novel combination of the accurate mass and time tag methodology of mass spectrometry and clustering analysis using OmniViz™ to compare the protein abundance changes of 992 identified proteins under four growth conditions. Temperature and Ca2+ concentration were used to trigger virulence associated protein expression fundamental to the low calcium response. High-resolution liquid chromatography and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry were utilized to determine protein identity and abundance on the genome-wide level. The cluster analyses revealed, in a rapid visual platform, the reproducibility of the current method as well as relevant protein abundance changes of expected and novel proteins relating to a specific growth condition and sub-cellular location. Using this method, 89 proteins were identified as having a similar abundance change profile to 29 known virulence associated proteins, providing additional biomarker candidates for future detection and vaccine development strategies.

  3. SELECTION OF PHYLOGENETICALLY CLOSELY-RELATED YERSINIA PESTIS STRAINS DIFFERING IN THEIR VIRULENCE FOR GUINEA PIGS

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    N. V. Anisimov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Genomic, transcriptome or (and proteomic comparison of closely related virulent and avirulent microbial strains underlies the search for new pathogenicity factors, potential molecular targets for etiotropic therapy, vaccine prevention and immunotherapy of infectious diseases. This investigation was aimed in testing the ability of method of testicular animalization to select phylogenetically close pairs of Y. pestis strains, which dramatically differ in their pathogenicity for guinea pigs, from the populations of as a rule subcutaneously avirulent for guinea pigs “vole” strains of the plague pathogen. Animalization of Y. pestis cultures were performed on guinea pig males by fourfold testicular passage with reducing infective dose. There was no correlation between the ability to cause generalized infectious process (death after testicular and subcutaneous infection of guinea pigs, but testicular passages made it possible to enrich bacterial culture with a portion of microbes displaying high virulence after subcutaneous infection of this animal species. The methodical approach under study can be successfully applied for selection of pairs of phylogenetically closely related bacterial strains, dramatically differing in their degrees of selective virulence. 

  4. Proteomic Characterization of Host Response to Yersinia pestis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chromy, B; Perkins, J; Heidbrink, J; Gonzales, A; Murhpy, G; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S

    2004-05-11

    Host-pathogen interactions result in protein expression changes within both the host and the pathogen. Here, results from proteomic characterization of host response following exposure to Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, and to two near neighbors, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica, are reported. Human monocyte-like cells were chosen as a model for macrophage immune response to pathogen exposure. Two-dimensional electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry was used to identify host proteins with differential expression following exposure to these three closely related Yersinia species. This comparative proteomic characterization of host response clearly shows that host protein expression patterns are distinct for the different pathogen exposures, and contributes to further understanding of Y. pestis virulence and host defense mechanisms. This work also lays the foundation for future studies aimed at defining biomarkers for presymptomatic detection of plague.

  5. A LysR-Type Transcriptional Regulator, RovM, Senses Nutritional Cues Suggesting that It Is Involved in Metabolic Adaptation of Yersinia pestis to the Flea Gut.

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    Viveka Vadyvaloo

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis has evolved as a clonal variant of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis to cause flea-borne biofilm-mediated transmission of the bubonic plague. The LysR-type transcriptional regulator, RovM, is highly induced only during Y. pestis infection of the flea host. RovM homologs in other pathogens regulate biofilm formation, nutrient sensing, and virulence; including in Y. pseudotuberculosis, where RovM represses the major virulence factor, RovA. Here the role that RovM plays during flea infection was investigated using a Y. pestis KIM6+ strain deleted of rovM, ΔrovM. The ΔrovM mutant strain was not affected in characteristic biofilm gut blockage, growth, or survival during single infection of fleas. Nonetheless, during a co-infection of fleas, the ΔrovM mutant exhibited a significant competitive fitness defect relative to the wild type strain. This competitive fitness defect was restored as a fitness advantage relative to the wild type in a ΔrovM mutant complemented in trans to over-express rovM. Consistent with this, Y. pestis strains, producing elevated transcriptional levels of rovM, displayed higher growth rates, and differential ability to form biofilm in response to specific nutrients in comparison to the wild type. In addition, we demonstrated that rovA was not repressed by RovM in fleas, but that elevated transcriptional levels of rovM in vitro correlated with repression of rovA under specific nutritional conditions. Collectively, these findings suggest that RovM likely senses specific nutrient cues in the flea gut environment, and accordingly directs metabolic adaptation to enhance flea gut colonization by Y. pestis.

  6. Dermal neutrophil, macrophage and dendritic cell responses to Yersinia pestis transmitted by fleas.

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    Jeffrey G Shannon

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is typically transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. Many aspects of mammalian innate immune response early after Y. pestis infection remain poorly understood. A previous study by our lab showed that neutrophils are the most prominent cell type recruited to the injection site after intradermal needle inoculation of Y. pestis, suggesting that neutrophil interactions with Y. pestis may be important in bubonic plague pathogenesis. In the present study, we developed new tools allowing for intravital microscopy of Y. pestis in the dermis of an infected mouse after transmission by its natural route of infection, the bite of an infected flea. We found that uninfected flea bites typically induced minimal neutrophil recruitment. The magnitude of neutrophil response to flea-transmitted Y. pestis varied considerably and appeared to correspond to the number of bacteria deposited at the bite site. Macrophages migrated towards flea bite sites and interacted with small numbers of flea-transmitted bacteria. Consistent with a previous study, we observed minimal interaction between Y. pestis and dendritic cells; however, dendritic cells did consistently migrate towards flea bite sites containing Y. pestis. Interestingly, we often recovered viable Y. pestis from the draining lymph node (dLN 1 h after flea feeding, indicating that the migration of bacteria from the dermis to the dLN may be more rapid than previously reported. Overall, the innate cellular host responses to flea-transmitted Y. pestis differed from and were more variable than responses to needle-inoculated bacteria. This work highlights the importance of studying the interactions between fleas, Y. pestis and the mammalian host to gain a better understanding of the early events in plague pathogenesis.

  7. Fur is a repressor of biofilm formation in Yersinia pestis.

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    Fengjun Sun

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Yersinia pestis synthesizes the attached biofilms in the flea proventriculus, which is important for the transmission of this pathogen by fleas. The hmsHFRS operons is responsible for the synthesis of exopolysaccharide (the major component of biofilm matrix, which is activated by the signaling molecule 3', 5'-cyclic diguanylic acid (c-di-GMP synthesized by the only two diguanylate cyclases HmsT, and YPO0449 (located in a putative operonYPO0450-0448. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The phenotypic assays indicated that the transcriptional regulator Fur inhibited the Y. pestis biofilm production in vitro and on nematode. Two distinct Fur box-like sequences were predicted within the promoter-proximal region of hmsT, suggesting that hmsT might be a direct Fur target. The subsequent primer extension, LacZ fusion, electrophoretic mobility shift, and DNase I footprinting assays disclosed that Fur specifically bound to the hmsT promoter-proximal region for repressing the hmsT transcription. In contrast, Fur had no regulatory effect on hmsHFRS and YPO0450-0448 at the transcriptional level. The detection of intracellular c-di-GMP levels revealed that Fur inhibited the c-di-GMP production. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Y. pestis Fur inhibits the c-di-GMP production through directly repressing the transcription of hmsT, and thus it acts as a repressor of biofilm formation. Since the relevant genetic contents for fur, hmsT, hmsHFRS, and YPO0450-0448 are extremely conserved between Y. pestis and typical Y. pseudotuberculosis, the above regulatory mechanisms can be applied to Y. pseudotuberculosis.

  8. Analysis of Autoinducer-2 Quorum Sensing in Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jing; Madsen, Melissa L.; Carruthers, Michael D.; Phillips, Gregory J.; Kavanaugh, Jeffrey S.; Boyd, Jeff M.; Horswill, Alexander R.

    2013-01-01

    The autoinducer-2 (AI-2) quorum-sensing system has been linked to diverse phenotypes and regulatory changes in pathogenic bacteria. In the present study, we performed a molecular and biochemical characterization of the AI-2 system in Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. In strain CO92, the AI-2 signal is produced in a luxS-dependent manner, reaching maximal levels of 2.5 μM in the late logarithmic growth phase, and both wild-type and pigmentation (pgm) mutant strains made equivalent levels of AI-2. Strain CO92 possesses a chromosomal lsr locus encoding factors involved in the binding and import of AI-2, and confirming this assignment, an lsr deletion mutant increased extracellular pools of AI-2. To assess the functional role of AI-2 sensing in Y. pestis, microarray studies were conducted by comparing Δpgm strain R88 to a Δpgm ΔluxS mutant or a quorum-sensing-null Δpgm ΔypeIR ΔyspIR ΔluxS mutant at 37°C. Our data suggest that AI-2 quorum sensing is associated with metabolic activities and oxidative stress genes that may help Y. pestis survive at the host temperature. This was confirmed by observing that the luxS mutant was more sensitive to killing by hydrogen peroxide, suggesting a potential requirement for AI-2 in evasion of oxidative damage. We also show that a large number of membrane protein genes are controlled by LuxS, suggesting a role for quorum sensing in membrane modeling. Altogether, this study provides the first global analysis of AI-2 signaling in Y. pestis and identifies potential roles for the system in controlling genes important to disease. PMID:23959719

  9. Effect of fat in ground beef on the growth and virulence plasmid (pYV) stability in Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowledge of the behavior of Yersinia pestis in food may be useful in the event Y. pestis is used in a bioterrorism attack on the food supply. However, there are no reports on the growth of plasmid-bearing (pYV) virulent Y. pestis in food. The growth of a conditionally virulent pYV-bearing Yersini...

  10. Microevolution and history of the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achtman, Mark; Morelli, Giovanna; Zhu, Peixuan; Wirth, Thierry; Diehl, Ines; Kusecek, Barica; Vogler, Amy J; Wagner, David M; Allender, Christopher J; Easterday, W Ryan; Chenal-Francisque, Viviane; Worsham, Patricia; Thomson, Nicholas R; Parkhill, Julian; Lindler, Luther E; Carniel, Elisabeth; Keim, Paul

    2004-12-21

    The association of historical plague pandemics with Yersinia pestis remains controversial, partly because the evolutionary history of this largely monomorphic bacterium was unknown. The microevolution of Y. pestis was therefore investigated by three different multilocus molecular methods, targeting genomewide synonymous SNPs, variation in number of tandem repeats, and insertion of IS100 insertion elements. Eight populations were recognized by the three methods, and we propose an evolutionary tree for these populations, rooted on Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The tree invokes microevolution over millennia, during which enzootic pestoides isolates evolved. This initial phase was followed by a binary split 6,500 years ago, which led to populations that are more frequently associated with human disease. These populations do not correspond directly to classical biovars that are based on phenotypic properties. Thus, we recommend that henceforth groupings should be based on molecular signatures. The age of Y. pestis inferred here is compatible with the dates of historical pandemic plague. However, it is premature to infer an association between any modern molecular grouping and a particular pandemic wave that occurred before the 20th century.

  11. Research concerning Yersinia pestis and its significance in military medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui-fu YANG

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available As the military medicine progresses, the scope of protective medicine against biological threats should be extended to any facets that can cause biological threats, including biowarfare, bioterrorisms, invasion of alien organisms, loss of biological resources, genetically modified organisms, and emerging infectious diseases. Yersinia pestis is the pathogen for a typical zoonotic disease, plague, and it is also one of important biowarfare or bioterrorism agents. In history, this pathogen once caused three pandemics, and it was employed several times in war causing infection of military personnels many times. Currently, plague is distributed in Asia, former Soviet Union region, Africa and America. In China, there are 12 kinds of natural plague foci at present, distributing in 19 provinces (regions and covering about 15% of our land area. Plague surveillance demonstrated that animal plague is active in some natural foci, area of plague foci is increasing gradually and extending to the border of cities, indicating that we have faced a great challenge for plague prevention and control. After 9/11 terrorist attack in U. S. A., studies on Y. pestis grew very rapidly and the progress has laid a solid foundation for researches on other bioterrorism-associated pathogens. Source-tracing database for microbial forensics analysis of Y. pestis and the rapid no-site detection method for this pathogen are also excellent experience for establishing other bioterrorism agents.

  12. Gr1(+) Cells Control Growth of YopM-Negative Yersinia pestis during Systemic Plague

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ye, Z.; Kerschen, E.J.; Cohen, D.; Kaplan, A.M.; Rooijen, van N.; Straley, S.C.

    2009-01-01

    YopM, a protein toxin of Yersinia pestis, is necessary for virulence in a mouse model of systemic plague. We previously reported YopM-dependent natural killer (NK) cell depletion from blood and spleen samples of infected mice. However, in this study we found that infection with Y. pestis KIM5

  13. Inactivation of avirulent Yersinia pestis in beef bologna by gamma irradiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yersinia pestis, a psychrotrophic pathogen capable of growth at refrigeration temperatures, can cause pharyngeal and gastrointestinal plague in humans as a result of eating contaminated foods. Because Y. pestis is listed as a select agent for food safety and defense, evaluation of food safety interv...

  14. Inactivation of avirulent pgm+ and delta pgm Yersinia pestis by ultraviolet light (UV-C)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of bubonic plague. Though not considered a foodborne pathogen, Y. pestis can survive, and even grow, in some foods, and the foodborne route of transmission is not without precedent. As such, concerns exist over the possible intentional contamination of foods wi...

  15. Inactivation of avirulent Yersinia pestis on food and food contact surfaces by ultraviolet light and freezing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, can occasionally be contracted as a naso-pharangeal or gastrointestinal illness through consumption of contaminated meat. In this study, the use of 254 nm ultraviolet light (UV-C) to inactivate a multi-isolate cocktail of avirulent Y. pestis on food an...

  16. Gr1(+) Cells Control Growth of YopM-Negative Yersinia pestis during Systemic Plague

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ye, Z.; Kerschen, E.J.; Cohen, D.; Kaplan, A.M.; Rooijen, van N.; Straley, S.C.

    2009-01-01

    YopM, a protein toxin of Yersinia pestis, is necessary for virulence in a mouse model of systemic plague. We previously reported YopM-dependent natural killer (NK) cell depletion from blood and spleen samples of infected mice. However, in this study we found that infection with Y. pestis KIM5 (YopM(

  17. Gr1(+) Cells Control Growth of YopM-Negative Yersinia pestis during Systemic Plague

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ye, Z.; Kerschen, E.J.; Cohen, D.; Kaplan, A.M.; Rooijen, van N.; Straley, S.C.

    2009-01-01

    YopM, a protein toxin of Yersinia pestis, is necessary for virulence in a mouse model of systemic plague. We previously reported YopM-dependent natural killer (NK) cell depletion from blood and spleen samples of infected mice. However, in this study we found that infection with Y. pestis KIM5 (YopM(

  18. Dynamics of CRISPR Loci in Microevolutionary Process of Yersinia pestis Strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Maria Paloma S.; França, Camila T.; Lins, Rosanny Holanda F. B.; Santos, Milena Danda V.; Silva, Ednaldo J.; Oliveira, Maria Betânia M.; Silveira-Filho, Vladimir M.; Rezende, Antônio M.; Balbino, Valdir Q.; Leal-Balbino, Tereza Cristina

    2014-01-01

    The potential use of CRISPR loci genotyping to elucidate population dynamics and microevolution of 146 Yersinia pestis strains from different biovars and locations was investigated in this work. The majority of strains from the Orientalis biovar presented specific spacer arrays, allowing for the establishment of a CRISPR signature for their respective isolates. Twenty-one new spacers were found in the Y. pestis strains from plague foci in Brazil. Ninety-three (64%) strains were grouped in the G1 genotype, whereas the others were distributed in 35 genotypes. This study allowed observing a microevolutionary process in a group of Y. pestis isolated from Brazil. We also identified specific genotypes of Y. pestis that were important for the establishment of the bacteria in plague foci in Brazil. The data have provided supporting evidence for the diversity and dynamics of CRISPR loci present in the genome of Y. pestis strains from plague foci in Brazil. PMID:25265542

  19. Extraction of Aerosol-Deposited Yersinia pestis from Indoor Surfaces To Determine Bacterial Environmental Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Ryan A.; Yeager, John J.; Leroux, Brian; Ratnesar-Shumate, Shanna; Dabisch, Paul

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Public health and decontamination decisions following an event that causes indoor contamination with a biological agent require knowledge of the environmental persistence of the agent. The goals of this study were to develop methods for experimentally depositing bacteria onto indoor surfaces via aerosol, evaluate methods for sampling and enumerating the agent on surfaces, and use these methods to determine bacterial surface decay. A specialized aerosol deposition chamber was constructed, and methods were established for reproducible and uniform aerosol deposition of bacteria onto four coupon types. The deposition chamber facilitated the control of relative humidity (RH; 10 to 70%) following particle deposition to mimic the conditions of indoor environments, as RH is not controlled by standard heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Extraction and culture-based enumeration methods to quantify the viable bacteria on coupons were shown to be highly sensitive and reproducible. To demonstrate the usefulness of the system for decay studies, Yersinia pestis persistence as a function of surface type at 21°C and 40% RH was determined to be >40%/min for all surfaces. Based upon these results, at typical indoor temperature and RH, a 6-log reduction in titer would expected to be achieved within 1 h as the result of environmental decay on surfaces without active decontamination. The developed approach will facilitate future persistence and decontamination studies with a broad range of biological agents and surfaces, providing agent decay data to inform both assessments of risk to personnel entering a contaminated site and decontamination decisions following biological contamination of an indoor environment. IMPORTANCE Public health and decontamination decisions following contamination of an indoor environment with a biological agent require knowledge of the environmental persistence of the agent. Previous studies on Y. pestis persistence have

  20. Integral and peripheral association of proteins and protein complexes with Yersinia pestis inner and outer membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bunai Christine L

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Yersinia pestis proteins were sequentially extracted from crude membranes with a high salt buffer (2.5 M NaBr, an alkaline solution (180 mM Na2CO3, pH 11.3 and membrane denaturants (8 M urea, 2 M thiourea and 1% amidosulfobetaine-14. Separation of proteins by 2D gel electrophoresis was followed by identification of more than 600 gene products by MS. Data from differential 2D gel display experiments, comparing protein abundances in cytoplasmic, periplasmic and all three membrane fractions, were used to assign proteins found in the membrane fractions to three protein categories: (i integral membrane proteins and peripheral membrane proteins with low solubility in aqueous solutions (220 entries; (ii peripheral membrane proteins with moderate to high solubility in aqueous solutions (127 entries; (iii cytoplasmic or ribosomal membrane-contaminating proteins (80 entries. Thirty-one proteins were experimentally associated with the outer membrane (OM. Circa 50 proteins thought to be part of membrane-localized, multi-subunit complexes were identified in high Mr fractions of membrane extracts via size exclusion chromatography. This data supported biologically meaningful assignments of many proteins to the membrane periphery. Since only 32 inner membrane (IM proteins with two or more predicted transmembrane domains (TMDs were profiled in 2D gels, we resorted to a proteomic analysis by 2D-LC-MS/MS. Ninety-four additional IM proteins with two or more TMDs were identified. The total number of proteins associated with Y. pestis membranes increased to 456 and included representatives of all six β-barrel OM protein families and 25 distinct IM transporter families.

  1. An Active Site Water Network in the Plasminogen Activator Pla from Yersinia pestis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eren, Elif; Murphy, Megan; Goguen, Jon; van den Berg, Bert (UMASS, MED)

    2010-08-13

    The plasminogen activator Pla from Yersinia pestis is an outer membrane protease (omptin) that is important for the virulence of plague. Here, we present the high-resolution crystal structure of wild-type, enzymatically active Pla at 1.9 {angstrom}. The structure shows a water molecule located between active site residues D84 and H208, which likely corresponds to the nucleophilic water. A number of other water molecules are present in the active site, linking residues important for enzymatic activity. The R211 sidechain in loop L4 is close to the nucleophilic water and possibly involved in the stabilization of the oxyanion intermediate. Subtle conformational changes of H208 result from the binding of lipopolysaccharide to the outside of the barrel, explaining the unusual dependence of omptins on lipopolysaccharide for activity. The Pla structure suggests a model for the interaction with plasminogen substrate and provides a more detailed understanding of the catalytic mechanism of omptin proteases.

  2. [Development and testing of an enzyme immunoassay-based monoclonal test system for the detection of the Yersinia pestis V antigen].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivashchenko, T A; Belova, E V; Dentovskaia, S V; Bel'kova, S A; Balakhonov, S V; Ignatov, S G; Shemiakin, I G

    2014-01-01

    An enzyme immunoassay-based test system for Y. pestis V antigen detection was developed. The specificity and sensitivity of this system met the requirements for medical immunobiological preparations for the identification of causative agents of highly fatal diseases. The sensitivity of the test system was assessed, and its high specificity was also demonstrated: the test system did not detect bacterial cells of closely related (four Y. pseudotuberculosis strains) and heterologous microorganism strains. The test system developed was able to detect the V antigen at concentrations as low as 2.0 ng/mL in cells of nine experimental Y. pestis cultures. The obtained preparation can be recommended for use in laboratory diagnostics of plaque.

  3. A bibliography of literature pertaining to plague (Yersinia pestis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Laura E.; Frank, Megan K. Eberhardt

    2011-01-01

    Plague is an acute and often fatal zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mainly cycles between small mammals and their fleas; however, it has the potential to infect humans and frequently causes fatalities if left untreated. It is often considered a disease of the past; however, since the late 1800s, plagueis geographic range has expanded greatly, posing new threats in previously unaffected regions of the world, including the Western United States. A literature search was conducted using Internet resources and databases. The keywords chosen for the searches included plague, Yersinia pestis, management, control, wildlife, prairie dogs, fleas, North America, and mammals. Keywords were used alone or in combination with the other terms. Although this search pertains mostly to North America, citations were included from the international research community, as well. Databases and search engines used included Google (http://www.google.com), Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com), SciVerse Scopus (http://www.scopus.com), ISI Web of Knowledge (http://apps.isiknowledge.com), and the USGS Library's Digital Desktop (http://library.usgs.gov). The literature-cited sections of manuscripts obtained from keyword searches were cross-referenced to identify additional citations or gray literature that was missed by the Internet search engines. This Open-File Report, published as an Internet-accessible bibliography, is intended to be periodically updated with new citations or older references that may have been missed during this compilation. Hence, the authors would be grateful to receive notice of any new or old papers that the audience (users) think need to be included.

  4. Attenuated enzootic (pestoides) isolates of Yersinia pestis express active aspartase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bearden, Scott W; Sexton, Christopher; Pare, Joshua; Fowler, Janet M; Arvidson, Cindy G; Yerman, Lyudmyla; Viola, Ronald E; Brubaker, Robert R

    2009-01-01

    It is established that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague, recently evolved from enteropathogenic Yersinia pseudotuberculosis by undergoing chromosomal degeneration while acquiring two unique plasmids that facilitate tissue invasion (pPCP) and dissemination by fleabite (pMT). Thereafter, plague bacilli spread from central Asia to sylvatic foci throughout the world. These epidemic isolates exhibit a broad host range including man as opposed to enzootic (pestoides) variants that remain in ancient reservoirs where infection is limited to muroid rodents. Cells of Y. pseudotuberculosis are known to express glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (Zwf) and aspartase (AspA); these activities are not detectable in epidemic Y. pestis due to missense mutations (substitution of proline for serine at amino position 155 of Zwf and leucine for valine at position 363 of AspA). In this study, functional Zwf was found in pestoides strains E, F and G but not seven other enzootic isolates; enzymic activity was associated with retention of serine at amino acid position 155. Essentially, full AspA activity occurred in pestoides isolates where valine (pestoides A, B, C and D) or serine (pestoides E, F, G and I) occupied position 363. Reduced activity occurred in strains Angola and A16, which contained phenylalanine at this position. The kcat but not Km of purified AspA from strain Angola was significantly reduced. In this context, aspA of the recently described attenuated enzootic microtus biovar encodes active valine at position 363, further indicating that functional AspA is a biomarker for avirulence of Y. pestis in man.

  5. Structural Characterisation of FabG from Yersinia pestis, a Key Component of Bacterial Fatty Acid Synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nanson, Jeffrey D; Forwood, Jade K

    2015-01-01

    Ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein reductases (FabG) are ubiquitously expressed enzymes that catalyse the reduction of acyl carrier protein (ACP) linked thioesters within the bacterial type II fatty acid synthesis (FASII) pathway. The products of these enzymes, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, are essential components of the bacterial cell envelope. The FASII reductase enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI) has been the focus of numerous drug discovery efforts, some of which have led to clinical trials, yet few studies have focused on FabG. Like FabI, FabG appears to be essential for survival in many bacteria, similarly indicating the potential of this enzyme as a drug target. FabG enzymes are members of the short-chain alcohol dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) family, and like other SDRs, exhibit highly conserved secondary and tertiary structures, and contain a number of conserved sequence motifs. Here we describe the crystal structures of FabG from Yersinia pestis (YpFabG), the causative agent of bubonic, pneumonic, and septicaemic plague, and three human pandemics. Y. pestis remains endemic in many parts of North America, South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa, and a threat to human health. YpFabG shares a high degree of structural similarity with bacterial homologues, and the ketoreductase domain of the mammalian fatty acid synthase from both Homo sapiens and Sus scrofa. Structural characterisation of YpFabG, and comparison with other bacterial FabGs and the mammalian fatty acid synthase, provides a strong platform for virtual screening of potential inhibitors, rational drug design, and the development of new antimicrobial agents to combat Y. pestis infections.

  6. Structural Characterisation of FabG from Yersinia pestis, a Key Component of Bacterial Fatty Acid Synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey D Nanson

    Full Text Available Ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein reductases (FabG are ubiquitously expressed enzymes that catalyse the reduction of acyl carrier protein (ACP linked thioesters within the bacterial type II fatty acid synthesis (FASII pathway. The products of these enzymes, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, are essential components of the bacterial cell envelope. The FASII reductase enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI has been the focus of numerous drug discovery efforts, some of which have led to clinical trials, yet few studies have focused on FabG. Like FabI, FabG appears to be essential for survival in many bacteria, similarly indicating the potential of this enzyme as a drug target. FabG enzymes are members of the short-chain alcohol dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR family, and like other SDRs, exhibit highly conserved secondary and tertiary structures, and contain a number of conserved sequence motifs. Here we describe the crystal structures of FabG from Yersinia pestis (YpFabG, the causative agent of bubonic, pneumonic, and septicaemic plague, and three human pandemics. Y. pestis remains endemic in many parts of North America, South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa, and a threat to human health. YpFabG shares a high degree of structural similarity with bacterial homologues, and the ketoreductase domain of the mammalian fatty acid synthase from both Homo sapiens and Sus scrofa. Structural characterisation of YpFabG, and comparison with other bacterial FabGs and the mammalian fatty acid synthase, provides a strong platform for virtual screening of potential inhibitors, rational drug design, and the development of new antimicrobial agents to combat Y. pestis infections.

  7. Acquisition of omptin reveals cryptic virulence function of autotransporter YapE in Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, Jarrod; Miller, Virginia L.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Autotransporters, the largest family of secreted proteins in Gram negative bacteria, perform a variety of functions, including adherence, cytotoxicity, and immune evasion. In Yersinia pestis the autotransporter YapE has adhesive properties and contributes to bubonic infection of the mouse model. Here, we demonstrate that omptin cleavage of Y. pestis YapE is required to mediate bacterial aggregation and adherence to eukaryotic cells. We demonstrate that omptin cleavage is specific for the Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis YapE orthologs but is not conserved in the Y. enterocolitica protein. We also show that cleavage of YapE occurs in Y. pestis but not in the enteric Yersinia species, and requires the omptin Pla (plasminogen activator protease), which is encoded on the Y. pestis-specific plasmid pPCP1. Together, these data show that post-translation modification of YapE appears to be specific to Y. pestis, was acquired along with the acquisition of pPCP1 during the divergence of Y. pestis from Y. pseudotuberculosis, and are the first evidence of a novel mechanism to regulate bacterial adherence. PMID:23701256

  8. Estudio bacteriológico de la Pasteurella pestis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Héctor Colichón

    1942-10-01

    Full Text Available Un considerable número de cepas de P. pestis aisladas en el Perú han sido estudiadas bacteriológicamente y los resultados obtenidos pueden ser resumidos en la forma siguiente: 2 cepas entre 148 estudiadas en caldo produjeron franco enturbiamiento del medio. La liquefación de la gelatina, la producción de indol y acetil metilcarbinol fueron negativos para todas las cepas estudiadas. En las condiciones ordinarias puede haber débil producción de SH2 por muy pocas cepas; en cambio, en el agar-Martín-infusión-extracto hepático la producción de SH2 ocurre en el mayor número de cepas, y en un considerable número de ellas en forma notablemente intensa. La temperatura de incubación es decisiva en la producción de hidrógeno sulfurado. Salvo una excepción la reducción del azul de metileno fue negativa para las cepas estudiadas, en esta misma forma la reducción de nitratos a nitritos, la producción de ácido nitroso y reacción del rojo de metilo fueron positivas para las cepas de P. pestis probadas. Todas las cepas estudiadas dieron reacción de catalasas positiva y no desarrollaron en ácido úrico, ni en medio de Koser. La acción de la P. pestis sobre los carbohidratos fue dividida en los siguientes grupos: Carbohidratos atacados constantemente con producción de ácido, no gas; ellos son: glucosa, maltosa, manita, xilosa, salicina y leche tornasolada. Carbohidratos constantemente no atacados, como son: sacarosa, rafinosa, dulcita, inosita, glicerina y dextrina. Carbohidratos, inconstantemente atacados y son: rhamnosa, trehalosa, lactosa, sorbita y arabinosa. En condiciones adecuadas de cultivo, muchas cepas pueden desarrollar en papa, entre las que desarrollaron se observaron algunas que producen pigmentación amarillo-cepia o amarillo dorado. Las pruebas, del ácido nitroso, de la reducción del azul de metileno y de la rahmnosa tienen valor relativo para el Diagnóstico de la Peste, en cambio la glicerina, el indol, la sacarosa

  9. Pestoides F, and Atypical Yersinia pestis Strain from the Former Soviet Union

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, E; Worsham, P; Bearden, S; Malfatti, S; Lang, D; Larimer, F; Lindler, L; Chain, P

    2007-01-05

    Unlike the classical Yersinia pestis strains, members of an atypical group of Y. pestis from Central Asia, denominated Y. pestis subspecies caucasica (also known as one of several pestoides types), are distinguished by a number of characteristics including their ability to ferment rhamnose and melibiose, their lacking the small plasmid encoding the plasminogen activator (pla) and pesticin, and their exceptionally large variants of the virulence plasmid pMT (encoding murine toxin and capsular antigen). We have obtained the entire genome sequence of Y. pestis Pestoides F, an isolate from the former Soviet Union that has enabled us to carryout a comprehensive genome-wide comparison of this organism's genomic content against the six published sequences of Y. pestis and their Y. pseudotuberculosis ancestor. Based on classical glycerol fermentation (+ve) and nitrate reduction (+ve) Y. pestis Pestoides F is an isolate that belongs to the biovar antiqua. This strain is unusual in other characteristics such as the fact that it carries a non-consensus V antigen (lcrV) sequence, and that unlike other Pla{sup -} strains, Pestoides F retains virulence by the parenteral and aerosol routes. The chromosome of Pestoides F is 4,517,345 bp in size comprising some 3,936 predicted coding sequences, while its pCD and pMT plasmids are 71,507 bp and 137,010 bp in size respectively. Comparison of chromosome-associated genes in Pestoides F with those in the other sequenced Y. pestis strains, reveals a series of differences ranging from strain-specific rearrangements, insertions, deletions, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and a unique distribution of insertion sequences. There is a single {approx}7 kb unique region in the chromosome not found in any of the completed Y. pestis strains sequenced to date, but which is present in the Y. pseudotuberculosis ancestor. Taken together, these findings are consistent with Pestoides F being derived from the most ancient lineage of Y. pestis yet

  10. Role of Tellurite Resistance Operon in Filamentous Growth of Yersinia pestis in Macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Clinkenbeard, Kenneth D

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis initiates infection by parasitism of host macrophages. In response to macrophage infections, intracellular Y. pestis can assume a filamentous cellular morphology which may mediate resistance to host cell innate immune responses. We previously observed the expression of Y. pestis tellurite resistance proteins TerD and TerE from the terZABCDE operon during macrophage infections. Others have observed a filamentous response associated with expression of tellurite resistance operon in Escherichia coli exposed to tellurite. Therefore, in this study we examine the potential role of Y. pestis tellurite resistance operon in filamentous cellular morphology during macrophage infections. In vitro treatment of Y. pestis culture with sodium tellurite (Na2TeO3) caused the bacterial cells to assume a filamentous phenotype similar to the filamentous phenotype observed during macrophage infections. A deletion mutant for genes terZAB abolished the filamentous morphologic response to tellurite exposure or intracellular parasitism, but without affecting tellurite resistance. However, a terZABCDE deletion mutant abolished both filamentous morphologic response and tellurite resistance. Complementation of the terZABCDE deletion mutant with terCDE, but not terZAB, partially restored tellurite resistance. When the terZABCDE deletion mutant was complemented with terZAB or terCDE, Y. pestis exhibited filamentous morphology during macrophage infections as well as while these complemented genes were being expressed under an in vitro condition. Further in E. coli, expression of Y. pestis terZAB, but not terCDE, conferred a filamentous phenotype. These findings support the role of Y. pestis terZAB mediation of the filamentous response phenotype; whereas, terCDE confers tellurite resistance. Although the beneficial role of filamentous morphological responses by Y. pestis during macrophage infections is yet to be fully defined, it may be a bacterial adaptive strategy to macrophage

  11. Yersinia pestis subverts the dermal neutrophil response in a mouse model of bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Jeffrey G; Hasenkrug, Aaron M; Dorward, David W; Nair, Vinod; Carmody, Aaron B; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2013-08-27

    The majority of human Yersinia pestis infections result from introduction of bacteria into the skin by the bite of an infected flea. Once in the dermis, Y. pestis can evade the host's innate immune response and subsequently disseminate to the draining lymph node (dLN). There, the pathogen replicates to large numbers, causing the pathognomonic bubo of bubonic plague. In this study, several cytometric and microscopic techniques were used to characterize the early host response to intradermal (i.d.) Y. pestis infection. Mice were infected i.d. with fully virulent or attenuated strains of dsRed-expressing Y. pestis, and tissues were analyzed by flow cytometry. By 4 h postinfection, there were large numbers of neutrophils in the infected dermis and the majority of cell-associated bacteria were associated with neutrophils. We observed a significant effect of the virulence plasmid (pCD1) on bacterial survival and neutrophil activation in the dermis. Intravital microscopy of i.d. Y. pestis infection revealed dynamic interactions between recruited neutrophils and bacteria. In contrast, very few bacteria interacted with dendritic cells (DCs), indicating that this cell type may not play a major role early in Y. pestis infection. Experiments using neutrophil depletion and a CCR7 knockout mouse suggest that dissemination of Y. pestis from the dermis to the dLN is not dependent on neutrophils or DCs. Taken together, the results of this study show a very rapid, robust neutrophil response to Y. pestis in the dermis and that the virulence plasmid pCD1 is important for the evasion of this response. Yersinia pestis remains a public health concern today because of sporadic plague outbreaks that occur throughout the world and the potential for its illegitimate use as a bioterrorism weapon. Since bubonic plague pathogenesis is initiated by the introduction of Y. pestis into the skin, we sought to characterize the response of the host's innate immune cells to bacteria early after

  12. A tandem repeats database for bacterial genomes: application to the genotyping of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denoeud France

    2001-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Some pathogenic bacteria are genetically very homogeneous, making strain discrimination difficult. In the last few years, tandem repeats have been increasingly recognized as markers of choice for genotyping a number of pathogens. The rapid evolution of these structures appears to contribute to the phenotypic flexibility of pathogens. The availability of whole-genome sequences has opened the way to the systematic evaluation of tandem repeats diversity and application to epidemiological studies. Results This report presents a database (http://minisatellites.u-psud.fr of tandem repeats from publicly available bacterial genomes which facilitates the identification and selection of tandem repeats. We illustrate the use of this database by the characterization of minisatellites from two important human pathogens, Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis. In order to avoid simple sequence contingency loci which may be of limited value as epidemiological markers, and to provide genotyping tools amenable to ordinary agarose gel electrophoresis, only tandem repeats with repeat units at least 9 bp long were evaluated. Yersinia pestis contains 64 such minisatellites in which the unit is repeated at least 7 times. An additional collection of 12 loci with at least 6 units, and a high internal conservation were also evaluated. Forty-nine are polymorphic among five Yersinia strains (twenty-five among three Y. pestis strains. Bacillus anthracis contains 30 comparable structures in which the unit is repeated at least 10 times. Half of these tandem repeats show polymorphism among the strains tested. Conclusions Analysis of the currently available bacterial genome sequences classifies Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis as having an average (approximately 30 per Mb density of tandem repeat arrays longer than 100 bp when compared to the other bacterial genomes analysed to date. In both cases, testing a fraction of these sequences for

  13. VNTR diversity in Yersinia pestis isolates from an animal challenge study reveals the potential for in vitro mutations during laboratory cultivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogler, Amy J.; Nottingham, Roxanne; Busch, Joseph D.; Sahl, Jason W.; Shuey, Megan M.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Schupp, James M.; Smith, Susan; Rocke, Tonie E.; Klein, Paul; Wagner, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Underlying mutation rates and other evolutionary forces shape the population structure of bacteria in nature. Although easily overlooked, similar forces are at work in the laboratory and may influence observed mutations. Here, we investigated tissue samples and Yersinia pestis isolates from a rodent laboratory challenge with strain CO92 using whole genome sequencing and multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA). We identified six VNTR mutations that were found to have occurred in vitro during laboratory cultivation rather than in vivo during the rodent challenge. In contrast, no single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutations were observed, either in vivo or in vitro. These results were consistent with previously published mutation rates and the calculated number of Y. pestis generations that occurred during the in vitro versus the in vivo portions of the experiment. When genotyping disease outbreaks, the potential for in vitro mutations should be considered, particularly when highly variable genetic markers such as VNTRs are used.

  14. MOLECULAR AND EVOLUTIONARY INSIGHTS INTO YERSINIA PESTIS; HARBINGER OF PLAGUE

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    Stephen Anderson

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Plague has been the scourge of mankind for millennia; yet it was not until the late 18th Century that its causative agent was identified. Prokaryotic Y. pestis is responsible for plague; bacilli are consumed through arthropod feeding on infected rodential reservoirs. Arthropod uptake is essential for transmission as the bacilli proliferate within their gut before being refluxed into new mammalian hosts. Genomic analysis has elucidated the mechanisms facilitating this cycle along with the means by which bacilli acquire their characteristic virulence. Increasing our understanding of the evolution of Y. pestis provides putative avenues for future research. Whilst plague is considered a disease of the past by many, it interaction with humanity continues across various geographic foci. The rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria threatens to bring this ancient foe once again to the fore through the acquisition of drug resistance. This review will detail notable advances of the past decade enabling the elusive possibility of a universal vaccine for the three manifestations of plague. Development of suitable vaccines before drug resistant strains emerge is paramount. Researchers are pitted in an on-going race against bacterial evolution.

  15. Yersinia pestis targets neutrophils via complement receptor 3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, Peter M.; Nero, Thomas; Bohman, Lesley; Felek, Suleyman; Krukonis, Eric S.; Marketon, Melanie M.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia species display a tropism for lymphoid tissues during infection, and the bacteria select innate immune cells for delivery of cytotoxic effectors by the type III secretion system. Yet the mechanism for target cell selection remains a mystery. Here we investigate the interaction of Yersinia pestis with murine splenocytes to identify factors that participate in the targeting process. We find that interactions with primary immune cells rely on multiple factors. First, the bacterial adhesin Ail is required for efficient targeting of neutrophils in vivo. However, Ail does not appear to directly mediate binding to a specific cell type. Instead, we find that host serum factors direct Y. pestis to specific innate immune cells, particularly neutrophils. Importantly, specificity towards neutrophils was increased in the absence of bacterial adhesins due to reduced targeting of other cell types, but this phenotype was only visible in the presence of mouse serum. Addition of antibodies against complement receptor 3 and CD14 blocked target cell selection, suggesting that a combination of host factors participate in steering bacteria toward neutrophils during plague infection. PMID:25359083

  16. Caspase-12 and the inflammatory response to Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferwerda, Bart; McCall, Matthew B B; de Vries, Maaike C; Hopman, Joost; Maiga, Boubacar; Dolo, Amagana; Doumbo, Ogobara; Daou, Modibo; de Jong, Dirk; Joosten, Leo A B; Tissingh, Rudi A; Reubsaet, Frans A G; Sauerwein, Robert; van der Meer, Jos W M; van der Ven, André J A M; Netea, Mihai G

    2009-09-01

    Caspase-12 functions as an antiinflammatory enzyme inhibiting caspase-1 and the NOD2/RIP2 pathways. Due to increased susceptibility to sepsis in individuals with functional caspase-12, an early-stop mutation leading to the loss of caspase-12 has replaced the ancient genotype in Eurasia and a significant proportion of individuals from African populations. In African-Americans, it has been shown that caspase-12 inhibits the pro-inflammatory cytokine production. We assessed whether similar mechanisms are present in African individuals, and whether evolutionary pressures due to plague may have led to the present caspase-12 genotype population frequencies. No difference in cytokine induction through the caspase-1 and/or NOD2/RIP2 pathways was observed in two independent African populations, among individuals with either an intact or absent caspase-12. In addition, stimulations with Yersinia pestis and two other species of Yersinia were preformed to investigate whether caspase-12 modulates the inflammatory reaction induced by Yersinia. We found that caspase-12 did not modulate cytokine production induced by Yersinia spp. Our experiments demonstrate for the first time the involvement of the NOD2/RIP2 pathway for recognition of Yersinia. However, caspase-12 does not modulate innate host defense against Y. pestis and alternative explanations for the geographical distribution of caspase-12 should be sought.

  17. Whole genome multilocus sequence typing as an epidemiologic tool for Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingry, Luke C; Rowe, Lori A; Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B; Beard, Charles B; Schriefer, Martin E; Petersen, Jeannine M

    2016-04-01

    Human plague is a severe and often fatal zoonotic disease caused by Yersinia pestis. For public health investigations of human cases, nonintensive whole genome molecular typing tools, capable of defining epidemiologic relationships, are advantageous. Whole genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) is a recently developed methodology that simplifies genomic analyses by transforming millions of base pairs of sequence into character data for each gene. We sequenced 13 US Y. pestis isolates with known epidemiologic relationships. Sequences were assembled de novo, and multilocus sequence typing alleles were assigned by comparison against 3979 open reading frames from the reference strain CO92. Allele-based cluster analysis accurately grouped the 13 isolates, as well as 9 publicly available Y. pestis isolates, by their epidemiologic relationships. Our findings indicate wgMLST is a simplified, sensitive, and scalable tool for epidemiologic analysis of Y. pestis strains.

  18. Rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of Yersinia pestis using bioluminescent reporter phage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, David A.; Molineux, Ian J.; Westwater, Caroline

    2012-01-01

    The rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of Yersinia pestis is paramount for a positive prognosis. We previously engineered a Y. pestis-specific ‘bioluminescent’ reporter phage for the identification of Y. pestis. In this study, we generated an improved reporter phage and evaluated the ability of this phage to provide direct and rapid susceptibility testing. Compared to the first generation reporter, the second generation reporter exhibited a 100-fold increase in signal strength, leading to a 10-fold increase in assay sensitivity. Y. pestis antimicrobial testing in the presence of the reporter elicited bioluminescent signals that were drug concentration-dependent, and produced susceptibility profiles that mirrored the standard CLSI method. The phage-generated susceptibility profiles, however, were obtained within hours in contrast to days with the conventional method. PMID:22579583

  19. Rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of Yersinia pestis using bioluminescent reporter phage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, David A; Molineux, Ian J; Westwater, Caroline

    2012-08-01

    The rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of Yersinia pestis is paramount for a positive prognosis. We previously engineered a Y. pestis-specific 'bioluminescent' reporter phage for the identification of Y. pestis. In this study, we generated an improved reporter phage and evaluated the ability of this phage to provide direct and rapid susceptibility testing. Compared to the first generation reporter, the second generation reporter exhibited a 100-fold increase in signal strength, leading to a 10-fold increase in assay sensitivity. Y. pestis antimicrobial testing in the presence of the reporter elicited bioluminescent signals that were drug concentration-dependent, and produced susceptibility profiles that mirrored the standard CLSI method. The phage-generated susceptibility profiles, however, were obtained within hours in contrast to days with the conventional method.

  20. Thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor is degraded by Salmonella enterica and Yersinia pestis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seron, M. Valls; Haiko, J.; de Groot, P. G.; Korhonen, T. K.; Meijers, J. C. M.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Pathogenic bacteria modulate the host coagulation system to evade immune responses or to facilitate dissemination through extravascular tissues. In particular, the important bacterial pathogens Salmonella enterica and Yersinia pestis intervene with the plasminogen/fibrinolytic system. Th

  1. Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Simon; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Nielsen, Kasper; Orlando, Ludovic; Sikora, Martin; Sjögren, Karl-Göran; Pedersen, Anders Gorm; Schubert, Mikkel; Van Dam, Alex; Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen; Nielsen, Henrik Bjørn; Brunak, Søren; Avetisyan, Pavel; Epimakhov, Andrey; Khalyapin, Mikhail Viktorovich; Gnuni, Artak; Kriiska, Aivar; Lasak, Irena; Metspalu, Mait; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Gromov, Andrei; Pokutta, Dalia; Saag, Lehti; Varul, Liivi; Yepiskoposyan, Levon; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Foley, Robert A.; Lahr, Marta Mirazón; Nielsen, Rasmus; Kristiansen, Kristian; Willerslev, Eske

    2015-01-01

    Summary The bacteria Yersinia pestis is the etiological agent of plague and has caused human pandemics with millions of deaths in historic times. How and when it originated remains contentious. Here, we report the oldest direct evidence of Yersinia pestis identified by ancient DNA in human teeth from Asia and Europe dating from 2,800 to 5,000 years ago. By sequencing the genomes, we find that these ancient plague strains are basal to all known Yersinia pestis. We find the origins of the Yersinia pestis lineage to be at least two times older than previous estimates. We also identify a temporal sequence of genetic changes that lead to increased virulence and the emergence of the bubonic plague. Our results show that plague infection was endemic in the human populations of Eurasia at least 3,000 years before any historical recordings of pandemics. PMID:26496604

  2. Bacteriophage-resistant mutants in Yersinia pestis: identification of phage receptors and attenuation for mice.

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    Andrey A Filippov

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bacteriophages specific for Yersinia pestis are routinely used for plague diagnostics and could be an alternative to antibiotics in case of drug-resistant plague. A major concern of bacteriophage therapy is the emergence of phage-resistant mutants. The use of phage cocktails can overcome this problem but only if the phages exploit different receptors. Some phage-resistant mutants lose virulence and therefore should not complicate bacteriophage therapy. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The purpose of this work was to identify Y. pestis phage receptors using site-directed mutagenesis and trans-complementation and to determine potential attenuation of phage-resistant mutants for mice. Six receptors for eight phages were found in different parts of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS inner and outer core. The receptor for R phage was localized beyond the LPS core. Most spontaneous and defined phage-resistant mutants of Y. pestis were attenuated, showing increase in LD₅₀ and time to death. The loss of different LPS core biosynthesis enzymes resulted in the reduction of Y. pestis virulence and there was a correlation between the degree of core truncation and the impact on virulence. The yrbH and waaA mutants completely lost their virulence. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We identified Y. pestis receptors for eight bacteriophages. Nine phages together use at least seven different Y. pestis receptors that makes some of them promising for formulation of plague therapeutic cocktails. Most phage-resistant Y. pestis mutants become attenuated and thus should not pose a serious problem for bacteriophage therapy of plague. LPS is a critical virulence factor of Y. pestis.

  3. In Vitro Antibiotic Susceptibilities of Yersinia pestis Determined by Broth Microdilution following CLSI Methods

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    In vitro susceptibilities to 45 antibiotics were determined for 30 genetically and geographically diverse strains of Yersinia pestis by the broth microdilution method at two temperatures, 28°C and 35°C, following Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) methods. The Y. pestis strains demonstrated susceptibility to aminoglycosides, quinolones, tetracyclines, β-lactams, cephalosporins, and carbapenems. Only a 1-well shift was observed for the majority of antibiotics between the two te...

  4. Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus strain 201, an avirulent strain to humans, provides protection against bubonic plague in rhesus macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qingwen; Wang, Qiong; Tian, Guang; Qi, Zhizhen; Zhang, Xuecan; Wu, Xiaohong; Qiu, Yefeng; Bi, Yujing; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xin, Youquan; He, Jian; Zhou, Jiyuan; Zeng, Lin; Yang, Ruifu; Wang, Xiaoyi

    2014-01-01

    Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus is considered to be a virulent to larger mammals, including guinea pigs, rabbits and humans. It may be used as live attenuated plague vaccine candidates in terms of its low virulence. However, the Microtus strain's protection against plague has yet to be demonstrated in larger mammals. In this study, we evaluated the protective efficacy of the Microtus strain 201 as a live attenuated plague vaccine candidate. Our results show that this strain is highly attenuated by subcutaneous route, elicits an F1-specific antibody titer similar to the EV and provides a protective efficacy similar to the EV against bubonic plague in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques. The Microtus strain 201 could induce elevated secretion of both Th1-associated cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2 and TNF-α) and Th2-associated cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-6), as well as chemokines MCP-1 and IL-8. However, the protected animals developed skin ulcer at challenge site with different severity in most of the immunized and some of the EV-immunized monkeys. Generally, the Microtus strain 201 represented a good plague vaccine candidate based on its ability to generate strong humoral and cell-mediated immune responses as well as its good protection against high dose of subcutaneous virulent Y. pestis challenge.

  5. Isothiazolidinone (IZD) as a phosphoryl mimetic in inhibitors of the Yersinia pestis protein tyrosine phosphatase YopH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Sung-Eun; Bahta, Medhanit; Lountos, George T. [National Cancer Institute at Frederick, PO Box B, Frederick, MD 21702-1201 (United States); Ulrich, Robert G. [United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Frederick, MD 21702 (United States); Burke, Terrence R. Jr, E-mail: tburke@helix.nih.gov; Waugh, David S., E-mail: tburke@helix.nih.gov [National Cancer Institute at Frederick, PO Box B, Frederick, MD 21702-1201 (United States)

    2011-07-01

    The first X-ray crystal structure of the Y. pestis protein tyrosine phosphatase YopH in complex with an isothiazolidinone-based lead-fragment compound is reported. Isothiazolidinone (IZD) heterocycles can act as effective components of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) inhibitors by simultaneously replicating the binding interactions of both a phosphoryl group and a highly conserved water molecule, as exemplified by the structures of several PTP1B–inhibitor complexes. In the first unambiguous demonstration of IZD interactions with a PTP other than PTP1B, it is shown by X-ray crystallography that the IZD motif binds within the catalytic site of the Yersinia pestis PTP YopH by similarly displacing a highly conserved water molecule. It is also shown that IZD-based bidentate ligands can inhibit YopH in a nonpromiscuous fashion at low micromolar concentrations. Hence, the IZD moiety may represent a useful starting point for the development of YopH inhibitors.

  6. 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.

  7. Vaccination with F1-V fusion protein protects black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) against plague upon oral challenge with Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, T.E.; Smith, S.; Marinari, Paul E.; Kreeger, J.; Enama, J.T.; Powell, B.S.

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies have established that vaccination of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) with F1-V fusion protein by subcutaneous (SC) injection protects the animals against plague upon injection of the bacterium Yersinia pestis. This study demonstrates that the F1-V antigen can also protect ferrets against plague contracted via ingestion of a Y. pestis-infected mouse, a probable route for natural infection. Eight black-footed ferret kits were vaccinated with F1-V protein by SC injection at approximately 60 days-of-age. A booster vaccination was administered 3 mo later via SC injection. Four additional ferret kits received placebos. The animals were challenged 6 wk after the boost by feeding each one a Y. pestis-infected mouse. All eight vaccinates survived challenge, while the four controls succumbed to plague within 3 days after exposure. To determine the duration of antibody postvaccination, 18 additional black-footed ferret kits were vaccinated and boosted with F1-V by SC injection at 60 and 120 days-of-age. High titers to both F1 and V (mean reciprocal titers of 18,552 and 99,862, respectively) were found in all vaccinates up to 2 yr postvaccination, whereas seven control animals remained antibody negative throughout the same time period. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-27

    1 stig.jensen.fn@mail.mil In Vitro and In Vivo Activity of Omadacycline Against Two Biothreat Pathogens: Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis...vivo efficacy of omadacycline (OMC) were evaluated against the causative pathogen of anthrax and plague, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis...isolates each of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis. The in vivo efficacy of omadacycline was studied at a range of dosages in both a post exposure

  9. Real-time multiplex PCR assay for detection of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matero, Pirjo; Pasanen, Tanja; Laukkanen, Riikka; Tissari, Päivi; Tarkka, Eveliina; Vaara, Martti; Skurnik, Mikael

    2009-01-01

    A multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for the detection of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The assay includes four primer pairs, two of which are specific for Y. pestis, one for Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis and one for bacteriophage lambda; the latter was used as an internal amplification control. The Y. pestis-specific target genes in the assay were ypo2088, a gene coding for a putative methyltransferase, and the pla gene coding for the plasminogen activator. In addition, the wzz gene was used as a target to specifically identify both Y. pestis and the closely related Y. pseudotuberculosis group. The primer and probe sets described for the different genes can be used either in single or in multiplex PCR assays because the individual probes were designed with different fluorochromes. The assays were found to be both sensitive and specific; the lower limit of the detection was 10-100 fg of extracted Y. pestis or Y. pseudotuberculosis total DNA. The sensitivity of the tetraplex assay was determined to be 1 cfu for the ypo2088 and pla probe labelled with FAM and JOE fluorescent dyes, respectively.

  10. Survey of the irp2 gene among Yersinia pestis strains isolated during several plague outbreaks in northeast Brazil

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    Alzira M. P. de Almeida

    1994-03-01

    Full Text Available The irp2 gene codes for a 190 kDa protein (HMWP2 synthesidez when highly pathogenic Yersinia are grown under conditions of iron starvation. In this work, the presence of irp2 in strains of Y. pestis isolated from different hosts during several plague outbreaks in the foci of Northeast Brazil wasstudied. For this purpose, 53 strains were spotted onto nylon filters and their DNA was hybridized with the A13 probe which is a 1 kb fragment of the irp2 coding sequence. All strains except two hybridized with the probe. However, when the initial stock culture of these two strains were analyzed, they both proved to bepositive with the A13 probe, indicating that the locus was lost after subculturein vitro but was always present in vivo. To examine the degree of conservation of the chromosomal fragment carrying irp2 among Brazilian strains, the hybridization profiles of 15 strains from different outbreaks, different hosts and different foci were compared. The hybridization profiles of these strains were all identical when their DNA was digested with either EcoRI, EcorRV or AvaII, indicatingthat the restriction sites surrounding the irp2 locus are very well conserved among Northeast Brazilian strains of Y. pestis. Altogether, these results suggest that the irp2 chromosomal region should be of prime importance for the bacteria during their multiplication in the host.

  11. Two-step source tracing strategy of Yersinia pestis and its historical epidemiology in a specific region.

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    Yanfeng Yan

    Full Text Available Source tracing of pathogens is critical for the control and prevention of infectious diseases. Genome sequencing by high throughput technologies is currently feasible and popular, leading to the burst of deciphered bacterial genome sequences. Utilizing the flooding genomic data for source tracing of pathogens in outbreaks is promising, and challenging as well. Here, we employed Yersinia pestis genomes from a plague outbreak at Xinghai county of China in 2009 as an example, to develop a simple two-step strategy for rapid source tracing of the outbreak. The first step was to define the phylogenetic position of the outbreak strains in a whole species tree, and the next step was to provide a detailed relationship across the outbreak strains and their suspected relatives. Through this strategy, we observed that the Xinghai plague outbreak was caused by Y. pestis that circulated in the local plague focus, where the majority of historical plague epidemics in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau may originate from. The analytical strategy developed here will be of great help in fighting against the outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, by pinpointing the source of pathogens rapidly with genomic epidemiological data and microbial forensics information.

  12. Early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by unblocked fleas as a mechanism explaining rapidly spreading plague epizootics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Rebecca J.; Bearden, Scott W.; Wilder, Aryn P.; Montenieri, John A.; Antolin, Michael F.; Gage, Kenneth L.

    2006-01-01

    Plague is a highly virulent disease believed to have killed millions during three historic human pandemics. Worldwide, it remains a threat to humans and is a potential agent of bioterrorism. Dissemination of Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, by blocked fleas has been the accepted paradigm for flea-borne transmission. However, this mechanism, which requires a lengthy extrinsic incubation period before a short infectious window often followed by death of the flea, cannot sufficiently explain the rapid rate of spread that typifies plague epidemics and epizootics. Inconsistencies between the expected rate of spread by blocked rat fleas and that observed during the Black Death has even caused speculation that plague was not the cause of this medieval pandemic. We used the primary vector to humans in North America, Oropsylla montana, which rarely becomes blocked, as a model for studying alternative flea-borne transmission mechanisms. Our data revealed that, in contrast to the classical blocked flea model, O. montana is immediately infectious, transmits efficiently for at least 4 d postinfection (early phase) and may remain infectious for a long time because the fleas do not suffer block-induced mortality. These factors match the criteria required to drive plague epizootics as defined by recently published mathematical models. The scenario of efficient early-phase transmission by unblocked fleas described in our study calls for a paradigm shift in concepts of how Y. pestis is transmitted during rapidly spreading epizootics and epidemics, including, perhaps, the Black Death. PMID:17032761

  13. Early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by unblocked fleas as a mechanism explaining rapidly spreading plague epizootics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Bearden, Scott W; Wilder, Aryn P; Montenieri, John A; Antolin, Michael F; Gage, Kenneth L

    2006-10-17

    Plague is a highly virulent disease believed to have killed millions during three historic human pandemics. Worldwide, it remains a threat to humans and is a potential agent of bioterrorism. Dissemination of Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, by blocked fleas has been the accepted paradigm for flea-borne transmission. However, this mechanism, which requires a lengthy extrinsic incubation period before a short infectious window often followed by death of the flea, cannot sufficiently explain the rapid rate of spread that typifies plague epidemics and epizootics. Inconsistencies between the expected rate of spread by blocked rat fleas and that observed during the Black Death has even caused speculation that plague was not the cause of this medieval pandemic. We used the primary vector to humans in North America, Oropsylla montana, which rarely becomes blocked, as a model for studying alternative flea-borne transmission mechanisms. Our data revealed that, in contrast to the classical blocked flea model, O. montana is immediately infectious, transmits efficiently for at least 4 d postinfection (early phase) and may remain infectious for a long time because the fleas do not suffer block-induced mortality. These factors match the criteria required to drive plague epizootics as defined by recently published mathematical models. The scenario of efficient early-phase transmission by unblocked fleas described in our study calls for a paradigm shift in concepts of how Y. pestis is transmitted during rapidly spreading epizootics and epidemics, including, perhaps, the Black Death.

  14. The importance of the magnesium transporter MgtB for virulence of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Donna C; Joshua, George W P; Wren, Brendan W; Oyston, Petra C F

    2014-12-01

    Mg(2+) has been shown to be an important signal controlling gene regulation via the PhoPQ two-component regulatory system for a range of Gram-negative bacteria, including Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The magnesium ion transporter MgtB is part of the complex PhoPQ regulon, being upregulated in response to low Mg(2+). Despite the presence of other Mg(2+) transport systems in Yersinia, inactivation of mgtB had a significant effect on the ability of the bacteria to scavenge this crucial ion. Whereas inactivation of PhoPQ is reported to adversely affect intracellular survival, we show that Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis ΔmgtB mutants survived equally as well as the respective parent strain within macrophages, although they were more sensitive to killing in the Galleria model of infection. Surprisingly, despite MgtB being only one member of the Mg(2+) stimulon and PhoPQ controlling the expression levels of a range of genes including mgtB, the Yersinia ΔmgtB mutants were more highly attenuated than the equivalent Yersinia ΔphoP mutants in mouse models of infection. MgtB may be a suitable target for development of novel antimicrobials, and investigation of its role may help elucidate the contribution of this component of the PhoPQ regulon to pathogenesis. © 2014 British Crown Copyright 2014/DSTL.

  15. Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection: a regulatory RNA perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viveka eVadyvaloo

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, responsible for causing fulminant plague, has evolved clonally from the enteric pathogen, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which in contrast, causes a relatively benign enteric illness. An approximately 97% nucleotide identity over 75% of their shared protein coding genes is maintained between these two pathogens, leaving much conjecture regarding the molecular determinants responsible for producing these vastly different disease etiologies, host preferences and transmission routes. One idea is that coordinated production of distinct factors required for host adaptation and virulence in response to specific environmental cues could contribute to the distinct pathogenicity distinguishing these two species. Small non-coding RNAs that direct posttranscriptional regulation have recently been identified as key molecules that may provide such timeous expression of appropriate disease enabling factors. Here the burgeoning field of small non-coding regulatory RNAs in Yersinia pathogenesis is reviewed from the viewpoint of adaptive colonization, virulence and divergent evolution of these pathogens.

  16. Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection: a regulatory RNA perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Chavarría, Luary C.; Vadyvaloo, Viveka

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, responsible for causing fulminant plague, has evolved clonally from the enteric pathogen, Y. pseudotuberculosis, which in contrast, causes a relatively benign enteric illness. An ~97% nucleotide identity over 75% of their shared protein coding genes is maintained between these two pathogens, leaving much conjecture regarding the molecular determinants responsible for producing these vastly different disease etiologies, host preferences and transmission routes. One idea is that coordinated production of distinct factors required for host adaptation and virulence in response to specific environmental cues could contribute to the distinct pathogenicity distinguishing these two species. Small non-coding RNAs that direct posttranscriptional regulation have recently been identified as key molecules that may provide such timeous expression of appropriate disease enabling factors. Here the burgeoning field of small non-coding regulatory RNAs in Yersinia pathogenesis is reviewed from the viewpoint of adaptive colonization, virulence and divergent evolution of these pathogens. PMID:26441890

  17. Cell envelope components of Yersinia pestis grown in intraperitoneal diffusion chambers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita C. C. Ferreira

    1998-09-01

    Full Text Available The electrophoretic profiles of penicillin binding proteins (PBPs and outer membrane proteins (OMPs of Yersinia pestis EV 76 were determined following in vivo growth in diffusion chambers implanted in the peritoneal cavity of mice. In contrast to Y. pestis grown under in vitro conditions which activate the low calcium response (LCR regulon there was no significant qualitative or quantitative change of the PBP profile of Y. pestis cells during growth in diffusion chambers for up to 72 h following implantation in mice. Three OMPs, with molecular weight of 100, 60 and 58 kDa, were expressed in Y. pestis cells grown for 24 h, but not at 48 h or at 72 h, in diffusion chambers. These results indicate that growth of Y. pestis in intraperitoneal diffusion chambers activates genes which might be relevant to the growth in the mammal host.Os perfis eletroforéticos de proteínas ligadoras de penicilina (PLPs e proteínas de membrana externa (PMEs de Yersinia pestis EV 76 foram determinados após crescimento in vivo em câmaras de difusão implantadas na cavidade peritoneal de camundongos. Em contraste com o observado em amostras de Y. pestis crescidas in vitro em condições que ativem a resposta ao baixo nível de cálcio (RBC, não houve mudanças qualitativas ou quantitativas no perfil de PLPs de Y. pestis durante o crescimento em câmaras de difusão por até 72 h após a implantação em camundongos. Três PMEs, com peso molecular de 100, 60 e 58 kDa, foram expressas por células de Y. pestis em 24 h, mas não em 48 e 72 h, após a implantação das câmaras de difusão. Estes resultados indicam que o crescimento de células de Y. pestis em câmaras de difusão intraperitoniais podem resultar na ativação de genes relevantes para o crescimento no hospedeiro mamífero.

  18. A Toll/interleukin (IL)-1 receptor domain protein from Yersinia pestis interacts with mammalian IL-1/Toll-like receptor pathways but does not play a central role in the virulence of Y. pestis in a mouse model of bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spear, Abigail M; Rana, Rohini R; Jenner, Dominic C; Flick-Smith, Helen C; Oyston, Petra C F; Simpson, Peter; Matthews, Stephen J; Byrne, Bernadette; Atkins, Helen S

    2012-06-01

    The Toll/interleukin (IL)-1 receptor (TIR) domain is an essential component of eukaryotic innate immune signalling pathways. Interaction between TIR domains present in Toll-like receptors and associated adaptors initiates and propagates an immune signalling cascade. Proteins containing TIR domains have also been discovered in bacteria. Studies have subsequently shown that these proteins are able to modulate mammalian immune signalling pathways dependent on TIR interactions and that this may represent an evasion strategy for bacterial pathogens. Here, we investigate a TIR domain protein from the highly virulent bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. When overexpressed in vitro this protein is able to downregulate IL-1β- and LPS-dependent signalling to NFκB and to interact with the TIR adaptor protein MyD88. This interaction is dependent on a single proline residue. However, a Y. pestis knockout mutant lacking the TIR domain protein was not attenuated in virulence in a mouse model of bubonic plague. Minor alterations in the host cytokine response to the mutant were indicated, suggesting a potential subtle role in pathogenesis. The Y. pestis mutant also showed increased auto-aggregation and reduced survival in high-salinity conditions, phenotypes which may contribute to pathogenesis or survival.

  19. Environmental drivers of Yersinia pestis - a holistic perspective on Medieval Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buentgen, U.

    2009-09-01

    Recent studies have indicated some evidence for a link between climate variability and plague (Yersinia pestis) dynamics in Central Asia and during most of the 20th century. An intensification of plague outbreaks via population peaks in its host-species, the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) and its fleas (Xenopsylla spp) has been found to occur during periods of warmer spring and wetter summer climate. This is important, as human epidemics of plague ultimately originate in its wildlife reservoirs. Given the fact that Medieval Europe was strongly devastated by the Black Death - the second pandemic after the Justinian plague ~540AD, and that the worldwide highest quality and quantity of climate proxy data exist for Europe, we here present, for the first time, a holistic approach to enhance understanding of the mid-14th century Black Death. This is of primary importance not only for medical/epidemiological research, but also for other scientific communities, because the Black Death disease had a sustainable impact on the socio-economic development, culture, art, and religion of Medieval Europe. Palaeoclimatic records of annually resolved European temperature and drought variability are compiled, a high-resolution time-series of anthropogenic deforestation is utilized, documentary archives of socio-economic relevance are considered, and the animal-born plague bacterium is placed in the ecological web. Considering the European/North Atlantic sector and the last millennium, periods of high solar radiation and reduced volcanic activity shift the North Atlantic Oscillation into a generally positive mode, yielding towards warmer temperatures and an intensification of the hydrological cycle. We now argue that increased internal circulation resulted in an overall wetter and warmer climate ~1350AD, which most likely was able to promote the prevalence of existing and widespread Yersinia pestis bacillus. Resulting outbreaks of bubonic plague could have been also supported by the

  20. Phenotypic characterization of OmpX, an Ail homologue of Yersinia pestis KIM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolodziejek, Anna M; Sinclair, Dylan J; Seo, Keun S; Schnider, Darren R; Deobald, Claudia F; Rohde, Harold N; Viall, Austin K; Minnich, Scott S; Hovde, Carolyn J; Minnich, Scott A; Bohach, Gregory A

    2007-09-01

    The goal of this study was to characterize the Yersinia pestis KIM OmpX protein. Yersinia spp. provide a model for studying several virulence processes including attachment to, and internalization by, host cells. For Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Ail, YadA and Inv, have been implicated in these processes. In Y. pestis, YadA and Inv are inactivated. Genomic analysis of two Y. pestis strains revealed four loci with sequence homology to Ail. One of these genes, designated y1324 in the Y. pestis KIM database, encodes a protein designated OmpX. The mature protein has a predicted molecular mass of 17.47 kDa, shares approximately 70 % sequence identity with Y. enterocolitica Ail, and has an identical homologue, designated Ail, in the Y. pestis CO92 database. The present study compared the Y. pestis KIM6(+) parental strain with a mutant derivative having an engineered disruption of the OmpX structural gene. The parental strain (and a merodiploid control strain) expressed OmpX at 28 and 37 degrees C, and the protein was detectable throughout all phases of growth. OmpX was required for efficient adherence to, and internalization by, cultured HEp-2 cell monolayers and conferred resistance to the bactericidal effect of human serum. Deletion of ompX resulted in a significantly reduced autoaggregation phenotype and loss of pellicle formation in vitro. These results suggest that Y. pestis OmpX shares functional homology with Y. enterocolitica Ail in adherence, internalization into epithelial cells and serum resistance.

  1. Circumventing Y. pestis Virulence by Early Recruitment of Neutrophils to the Lungs during Pneumonic Plague.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaron Vagima

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Pneumonic plague is a fatal disease caused by Yersinia pestis that is associated with a delayed immune response in the lungs. Because neutrophils are the first immune cells recruited to sites of infection, we investigated the mechanisms responsible for their delayed homing to the lung. During the first 24 hr after pulmonary infection with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain, no significant changes were observed in the lungs in the levels of neutrophils infiltrate, expression of adhesion molecules, or the expression of the major neutrophil chemoattractants keratinocyte cell-derived chemokine (KC, macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2 and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF. In contrast, early induction of chemokines, rapid neutrophil infiltration and a reduced bacterial burden were observed in the lungs of mice infected with an avirulent Y. pestis strain. In vitro infection of lung-derived cell-lines with a YopJ mutant revealed the involvement of YopJ in the inhibition of chemoattractants expression. However, the recruitment of neutrophils to the lungs of mice infected with the mutant was still delayed and associated with rapid bacterial propagation and mortality. Interestingly, whereas KC, MIP-2 and G-CSF mRNA levels in the lungs were up-regulated early after infection with the mutant, their protein levels remained constant, suggesting that Y. pestis may employ additional mechanisms to suppress early chemoattractants induction in the lung. It therefore seems that prevention of the early influx of neutrophils to the lungs is of major importance for Y. pestis virulence. Indeed, pulmonary instillation of KC and MIP-2 to G-CSF-treated mice infected with Y. pestis led to rapid homing of neutrophils to the lung followed by a reduction in bacterial counts at 24 hr post-infection and improved survival rates. These observations shed new light on the virulence mechanisms of Y. pestis during pneumonic plague, and have implications for the

  2. Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Simon; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Nielsen, Kasper;

    2015-01-01

    The bacteria Yersinia pestis is the etiological agent of plague and has caused human pandemics with millions of deaths in historic times. How and when it originated remains contentious. Here, we report the oldest direct evidence of Yersinia pestis identified by ancient DNA in human teeth from Asi...

  3. A procedure for maintenance of the virulence plasmid (pYV) in Yersinia pestis under culture conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    The pathogenicity of Yersinia pestis depends on the presence of a virulence plasmid (pYV). The unstable nature of pYV in Y. pestis leads to the eventual outgrowth of pYV less cells due to its higher growth rate. Thus, it was necessary to develop procedures to monitor the presence of the plasmid du...

  4. A procedure for monitoring the presence of the virulence plasmid (pYV) in Yersinia pestis under culture conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    The pathogenicity of Yersinia pestis depends on the presence of a virulence plasmid (pYV). The unstable nature of pYV in Y. pestis leads to the eventual outgrowth of pYV less cells due its higher growth rate. Thus, it was necessary to develop procedures to monitor the presence of the plasmid durin...

  5. Inactivation of avirulent Yersinia pestis in Butterfield's phosphate buffer and frankfurters by UVC (254 nm) and gamma radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommers, Christopher H; Cooke, Peter H

    2009-04-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague. Although rare, pharyngeal plague in humans has been associated with consumption or handling of meat prepared from infected animals. The risks of contracting plague from consumption of deliberately contaminated food are currently unknown. Gamma radiation is a penetrating form of electromagnetic radiation, and UVC radiation is used for decontamination of liquids or food surfaces. Gamma radiation D10-values (the radiation dose needed to inactivate 1 log unit pathogen) were 0.23 (+/-0.01) and 0.31 (+/-0.03) kGy for avirulent Y. pestis inoculated into Butterfield's phosphate buffer and onto frankfurter surfaces, respectively, at 0 degree C. A UVC radiation dose of 0.25 J/cm2 inactivated avirulent Y. pestis suspended in Butterfield's phosphate buffer. UVC radiation doses of 0.5 to 4.0 J/cm2 inactivated 0.97 to 1.20 log units of the Y. pestis surface inoculated onto frankfurters. A low gamma radiation dose of 1.6 kGy could provide a 5-log reduction and a UVC radiation dose of 1 to 4 J/cm2 would provide a 1-log reduction of Y. pestis surface inoculated onto frankfurters. Y. pestis was capable of growth on frankfurters during refrigerated storage (10 degrees C). Gamma radiation of frankfurters inhibited the growth of Y. pestis during refrigerated storage, and UVC radiation delayed the growth of Y. pestis.

  6. Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Simon; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Nielsen, Kasper

    2015-01-01

    The bacteria Yersinia pestis is the etiological agent of plague and has caused human pandemics with millions of deaths in historic times. How and when it originated remains contentious. Here, we report the oldest direct evidence of Yersinia pestis identified by ancient DNA in human teeth from Asi...

  7. A comprehensive study on the role of the Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.E. Kaman (Wendy); S. Hawkey; D. van der Kleij (Desiree); M.P. Broekhuijsen; N.J. Silman; F.J. Bikker (Floris)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractWe determined the role of Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague. Eleven strains of Y. pestis were characterized using PCR assays to detect the presence of known virulence genes both encoded by the three plasmids as well as chromosomal markers. The

  8. A comprehensive study on the role of the Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaman, W.E.; Hawkey, S.; Kleij, D. van der; Broekhuijsen, M.P.; Silman, N.J.; Bikker, F.J.

    2011-01-01

    We determined the role of Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague. Eleven strains of Y. pestis were characterized using PCR assays to detect the presence of known virulence genes both encoded by the three plasmids as well as chromosomal markers. The virulence of all

  9. A comprehensive study on the role of the Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.E. Kaman (Wendy); S. Hawkey; D. van der Kleij (Desiree); M.P. Broekhuijsen; N.J. Silman; F.J. Bikker (Floris)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractWe determined the role of Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague. Eleven strains of Y. pestis were characterized using PCR assays to detect the presence of known virulence genes both encoded by the three plasmids as well as chromosomal markers. The virul

  10. A comprehensive study on the role of the Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaman, W.E.; Hawkey, S.; Kleij, D. van der; Broekhuijsen, M.P.; Silman, N.J.; Bikker, F.J.

    2011-01-01

    We determined the role of Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague. Eleven strains of Y. pestis were characterized using PCR assays to detect the presence of known virulence genes both encoded by the three plasmids as well as chromosomal markers. The virulence of all

  11. A comprehensive study on the role of the Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaman, W.E.; Hawkey, S.; van der Kleij, D.; Broekhuijsen, M.P.; Silman, N.J.; Bikker, F.J.

    2011-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the Gram-negative bacterial agent of plague, is a zoonotic pathogen that primarily infects wild rodents and is transmitted by fleas. Y. pestis is one of the most invasive and virulent bacterial pathogens and has caused devastating pandemics, including the Black Death of 14th century

  12. A comprehensive study on the role of the Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.E. Kaman (Wendy); S. Hawkey; D. van der Kleij (Desiree); M.P. Broekhuijsen; N.J. Silman; F.J. Bikker (Floris)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractWe determined the role of Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague. Eleven strains of Y. pestis were characterized using PCR assays to detect the presence of known virulence genes both encoded by the three plasmids as well as chromosomal markers. The virul

  13. Resistance to Innate Immunity Contributes to Colonization of the Insect Gut by Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun C Earl

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague, is typically a zoonotic vector-borne disease of wild rodents. Bacterial biofilm formation in the proventriculus of the flea contributes to chronic infection of fleas and facilitates efficient disease transmission. However prior to biofilm formation, ingested bacteria must survive within the flea midgut, and yet little is known about vector-pathogen interactions that are required for flea gut colonization. Here we establish a Drosophila melanogaster model system to gain insight into Y. pestis colonization of the insect vector. We show that Y. pestis establishes a stable infection in the anterior midgut of fly larvae, and we used this model system to study the roles of genes involved in biofilm production and/or resistance to gut immunity stressors. We find that PhoP and GmhA both contribute to colonization and resistance to antimicrobial peptides in flies, and furthermore, the data suggest biofilm formation may afford protection against antimicrobial peptides. Production of reactive oxygen species in the fly gut, as in fleas, also serves to limit bacterial infection, and OxyR mediates Y. pestis survival in both insect models. Overall, our data establish the fruit fly as an informative model to elucidate the relationship between Y. pestis and its flea vector.

  14. Transcriptomic and innate immune responses to Yersinia pestis in the lymph node during bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comer, Jason E; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Carmody, Aaron B; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Gardner, Donald; Long, Dan; Rosenke, Rebecca; Porcella, Stephen F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2010-12-01

    A delayed inflammatory response is a prominent feature of infection with Yersinia pestis, the agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Using a rat model of bubonic plague, we examined lymph node histopathology, transcriptome, and extracellular cytokine levels to broadly characterize the kinetics and extent of the host response to Y. pestis and how it is influenced by the Yersinia virulence plasmid (pYV). Remarkably, dissemination and multiplication of wild-type Y. pestis during the bubonic stage of disease did not induce any detectable gene expression or cytokine response by host lymph node cells in the developing bubo. Only after systemic spread had led to terminal septicemic plague was a transcriptomic response detected, which included upregulation of several cytokine, chemokine, and other immune response genes. Although an initial intracellular phase of Y. pestis infection has been postulated, a Th1-type cytokine response associated with classical activation of macrophages was not observed during the bubonic stage of disease. However, elevated levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17) were present in infected lymph nodes. In the absence of pYV, sustained recruitment to the lymph node of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN, or neutrophils), the major IL-17 effector cells, correlated with clearance of infection. Thus, the ability to counteract a PMN response in the lymph node appears to be a major in vivo function of the Y. pestis virulence plasmid.

  15. Transcriptomic and Innate Immune Responses to Yersinia pestis in the Lymph Node during Bubonic Plague▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comer, Jason E.; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Carmody, Aaron B.; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Gardner, Donald; Long, Dan; Rosenke, Rebecca; Porcella, Stephen F.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2010-01-01

    A delayed inflammatory response is a prominent feature of infection with Yersinia pestis, the agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Using a rat model of bubonic plague, we examined lymph node histopathology, transcriptome, and extracellular cytokine levels to broadly characterize the kinetics and extent of the host response to Y. pestis and how it is influenced by the Yersinia virulence plasmid (pYV). Remarkably, dissemination and multiplication of wild-type Y. pestis during the bubonic stage of disease did not induce any detectable gene expression or cytokine response by host lymph node cells in the developing bubo. Only after systemic spread had led to terminal septicemic plague was a transcriptomic response detected, which included upregulation of several cytokine, chemokine, and other immune response genes. Although an initial intracellular phase of Y. pestis infection has been postulated, a Th1-type cytokine response associated with classical activation of macrophages was not observed during the bubonic stage of disease. However, elevated levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17) were present in infected lymph nodes. In the absence of pYV, sustained recruitment to the lymph node of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN, or neutrophils), the major IL-17 effector cells, correlated with clearance of infection. Thus, the ability to counteract a PMN response in the lymph node appears to be a major in vivo function of the Y. pestis virulence plasmid. PMID:20876291

  16. Characterization of the rat pneumonic plague model: infection kinetics following aerosolization of Yersinia pestis CO92.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agar, Stacy L; Sha, Jian; Foltz, Sheri M; Erova, Tatiana E; Walberg, Kristin G; Baze, Wallace B; Suarez, Giovanni; Peterson, Johnny W; Chopra, Ashok K

    2009-02-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of human bubonic and pneumonic plague, is spread during natural infection by the fleas of rodents. Historically associated with infected rat fleas, studies on the kinetics of infection in rats are surprisingly few, and these reports have focused mainly on bubonic plague. Although the natural route of primary infection results in bubonic plague in humans, it is commonly thought that aerosolized Y. pestis will be utilized during a biowarfare attack. Accordingly, based on our previous characterization of the mouse model of pneumonic plague, we sought to examine the progression of infection in rats exposed in a whole-body Madison chamber to aerosolized Y. pestis CO92. Following an 8.6 LD(50) dose of Y. pestis, injury was apparent in the rat tissues based on histopathology, and chemokines and cytokines rose above control levels (1h post infection [p.i.]) in the sera and organ homogenates over a 72-h infection period. Bacteria disseminated from the lungs to peripheral organs, with the largest increases in the spleen, followed by the liver and blood at 72h p.i. compared to the 1h controls. Importantly, rats were as sensitive to pneumonic plague as mice, having a similar LD(50) dose by the intranasal and aerosolized routes. Further, we showed direct transmission of plague bacteria from infected to uninfected rats. Taken together, the data allowed us to characterize for the first time a rat pneumonic plague model following aerosolization of Y. pestis.

  17. Rapid Detection and Identification of Yersinia pestis from Food Using Immunomagnetic Separation and Pyrosequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kingsley K. Amoako

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Interest has recently been renewed in the possible use of Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague, as a biological weapon by terrorists. The vulnerability of food to intentional contamination coupled with reports of humans having acquired plague through eating infected animals that were not adequately cooked or handling of meat from infected animals makes the possible use of Y. pestis in a foodborne bioterrorism attack a reality. Rapid, efficient food sample preparation and detection systems that will help overcome the problem associated with the complexity of the different matrices and also remove any ambiguity in results will enable rapid informed decisions to be made regarding contamination of food with biothreat agents. We have developed a rapid detection assay that combines the use of immunomagnetic separation and pyrosequencing in generating results for the unambiguous identification of Y. pestis from milk (0.9 CFU/mL, bagged salad (1.6 CFU/g, and processed meat (10 CFU/g. The low detection limits demonstrated in this assay provide a novel tool for the rapid detection and confirmation of Y. pestis in food without the need for enrichment. The combined use of the iCropTheBug system and pyrosequencing for efficient capture and detection of Y. pestis is novel and has potential applications in food biodefence.

  18. An experimentally-supported genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction for Yersinia pestis CO92

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Motin Vladimir L

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Yersinia pestis is a gram-negative bacterium that causes plague, a disease linked historically to the Black Death in Europe during the Middle Ages and to several outbreaks during the modern era. Metabolism in Y. pestis displays remarkable flexibility and robustness, allowing the bacterium to proliferate in both warm-blooded mammalian hosts and cold-blooded insect vectors such as fleas. Results Here we report a genome-scale reconstruction and mathematical model of metabolism for Y. pestis CO92 and supporting experimental growth and metabolite measurements. The model contains 815 genes, 678 proteins, 963 unique metabolites and 1678 reactions, accurately simulates growth on a range of carbon sources both qualitatively and quantitatively, and identifies gaps in several key biosynthetic pathways and suggests how those gaps might be filled. Furthermore, our model presents hypotheses to explain certain known nutritional requirements characteristic of this strain. Conclusions Y. pestis continues to be a dangerous threat to human health during modern times. The Y. pestis genome-scale metabolic reconstruction presented here, which has been benchmarked against experimental data and correctly reproduces known phenotypes, provides an in silico platform with which to investigate the metabolism of this important human pathogen.

  19. Vulnerabilities in Yersinia pestis caf operon are unveiled by a Salmonella vector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Ling; Lim, Timothy; Jun, SangMu; Thornburg, Theresa; Avci, Recep; Yang, Xinghong

    2012-01-01

    During infection, Yersinia pestis uses its F1 capsule to enhance survival and cause virulence to mammalian host. Since F1 is produced in large quantities and secreted into the host tissues, it also serves as a major immune target. To hold this detrimental effect under proper control, Y. pestis expresses the caf operon (encoding the F1 capsule) in a temperature-dependent manner. However, additional properties of the caf operon limit its expression. By overexpressing the caf operon in wild-type Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium under a potent promoter, virulence of Salmonella was greatly attenuated both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, expression of the caf operon under the regulation of its native promoter exhibited negligible impairment of Salmonellae virulence. In-depth investigation revealed all individual genes in the caf operon attenuated Salmonella when overexpressed. The deleterious effects of caf operon and the caf individual genes were further confirmed when they were overexpressed in Y. pestis KIM6+. This study suggests that by using a weak inducible promoter, the detrimental effects of the caf operon are minimally manifested in Y. pestis. Thus, through tight regulation of the caf operon, Y. pestis precisely balances its capsular anti-phagocytic properties with the detrimental effects of caf during interaction with mammalian host.

  20. Yersinia pestis Requires Host Rab1b for Survival in Macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael G Connor

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes the disease known as plague. During infection of macrophages Y. pestis actively evades the normal phagosomal maturation pathway to establish a replicative niche within the cell. However, the mechanisms used by Y. pestis to subvert killing by the macrophage are unknown. Host Rab GTPases are central mediators of vesicular trafficking and are commonly targeted by bacterial pathogens to alter phagosome maturation and killing by macrophages. Here we demonstrate for the first time that host Rab1b is required for Y. pestis to effectively evade killing by macrophages. We also show that Rab1b is specifically recruited to the Yersinia containing vacuole (YCV and that Y. pestis is unable to subvert YCV acidification when Rab1b expression is knocked down in macrophages. Furthermore, Rab1b knockdown also altered the frequency of association between the YCV with the lysosomal marker Lamp1, suggesting that Rab1b recruitment to the YCV directly inhibits phagosome maturation. Finally, we show that Rab1b knockdown also impacts the pH of the Legionella pneumophila containing vacuole, another pathogen that recruits Rab1b to its vacuole. Together these data identify a novel role for Rab1b in the subversion of phagosome maturation by intracellular pathogens and suggest that recruitment of Rab1b to the pathogen containing vacuole may be a conserved mechanism to control vacuole pH.

  1. Vulnerabilities in Yersinia pestis caf operon are unveiled by a Salmonella vector.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Cao

    Full Text Available During infection, Yersinia pestis uses its F1 capsule to enhance survival and cause virulence to mammalian host. Since F1 is produced in large quantities and secreted into the host tissues, it also serves as a major immune target. To hold this detrimental effect under proper control, Y. pestis expresses the caf operon (encoding the F1 capsule in a temperature-dependent manner. However, additional properties of the caf operon limit its expression. By overexpressing the caf operon in wild-type Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium under a potent promoter, virulence of Salmonella was greatly attenuated both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, expression of the caf operon under the regulation of its native promoter exhibited negligible impairment of Salmonellae virulence. In-depth investigation revealed all individual genes in the caf operon attenuated Salmonella when overexpressed. The deleterious effects of caf operon and the caf individual genes were further confirmed when they were overexpressed in Y. pestis KIM6+. This study suggests that by using a weak inducible promoter, the detrimental effects of the caf operon are minimally manifested in Y. pestis. Thus, through tight regulation of the caf operon, Y. pestis precisely balances its capsular anti-phagocytic properties with the detrimental effects of caf during interaction with mammalian host.

  2. Yersinia pestis and host macrophages: immunodeficiency of mouse macrophages induced by YscW.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Yujing; Du, Zongmin; Han, Yanping; Guo, Zhaobiao; Tan, Yafang; Zhu, Ziwen; Yang, Ruifu

    2009-09-01

    The virulence of the pathogenic Yersinia species depends on a plasmid-encoded type III secretion system (T3SS) that transfers six Yersinia outer protein (Yop) effector proteins into the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, leading to disruption of host defence mechanisms. It is shown in this study that Yersinia pestis YscW, a protein of the T3SS injectisome, contributes to the induction of a deficiency in phagocytosis in host macrophages and a reduction in their antigen-presenting capacity. A Y. pestis strain lacking yscW had no effect on uptake by host macrophages. In mice infected with wild-type Y. pestis, the yscW mutant or a complement strain, immunodeficiency was observed in host macrophages compared with those from uninfected mice. However, the phagocytosis and antigen presenting capacities of macrophages infected by yscW mutant strain both in vivo and in vitro were significantly higher than those by wild type strain. Consistent with this finding, when YscW was expressed in the RAW264.7 macrophage cell line, phagocytosis and antigen-presenting capacities were significantly lower than those of the control groups. These results indicate that Y. pestis YscW may directly induce immunodeficiency in murine macrophages by crippling their phagocytosis and antigen-presenting capacities. These data provide evidences to Y. pestis pathogenesis that some proteins in T3SS injectisome, such as YscW protein, might play independent roles in disrupting host defense apart from their known functions.

  3. A draft genome of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Kirsten I; Schuenemann, Verena J; Golding, G Brian; Burbano, Hernán A; Waglechner, Nicholas; Coombes, Brian K; McPhee, Joseph B; DeWitte, Sharon N; Meyer, Matthias; Schmedes, Sarah; Wood, James; Earn, David J D; Herring, D Ann; Bauer, Peter; Poinar, Hendrik N; Krause, Johannes

    2011-10-12

    Technological advances in DNA recovery and sequencing have drastically expanded the scope of genetic analyses of ancient specimens to the extent that full genomic investigations are now feasible and are quickly becoming standard. This trend has important implications for infectious disease research because genomic data from ancient microbes may help to elucidate mechanisms of pathogen evolution and adaptation for emerging and re-emerging infections. Here we report a reconstructed ancient genome of Yersinia pestis at 30-fold average coverage from Black Death victims securely dated to episodes of pestilence-associated mortality in London, England, 1348-1350. Genetic architecture and phylogenetic analysis indicate that the ancient organism is ancestral to most extant strains and sits very close to the ancestral node of all Y. pestis commonly associated with human infection. Temporal estimates suggest that the Black Death of 1347-1351 was the main historical event responsible for the introduction and widespread dissemination of the ancestor to all currently circulating Y. pestis strains pathogenic to humans, and further indicates that contemporary Y. pestis epidemics have their origins in the medieval era. Comparisons against modern genomes reveal no unique derived positions in the medieval organism, indicating that the perceived increased virulence of the disease during the Black Death may not have been due to bacterial phenotype. These findings support the notion that factors other than microbial genetics, such as environment, vector dynamics and host susceptibility, should be at the forefront of epidemiological discussions regarding emerging Y. pestis infections.

  4. An Experimentally-Supported Genome-Scale Metabolic Network Reconstruction for Yersinia pestis CO92

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Charusanti, Pep; Chauhan, Sadhana; Mcateer, Kathleen; Lerman, Joshua A.; Hyduke, Daniel R.; Motin, Vladimir L.; Ansong, Charles; Adkins, Joshua N.; Palsson, Bernhard O.

    2011-10-13

    Yersinia pestis is a gram-negative bacterium that causes plague, a disease linked historically to the Black Death in Europe during the Middle Ages and to several outbreaks during the modern era. Metabolism in Y. pestis displays remarkable flexibility and robustness, allowing the bacterium to proliferate in both warm-blooded mammalian hosts and cold-blooded insect vectors such as fleas. Here we report a genome-scale reconstruction and mathematical model of metabolism for Y. pestis CO92 and supporting experimental growth and metabolite measurements. The model contains 815 genes, 678 proteins, 963 unique metabolites and 1678 reactions, accurately simulates growth on a range of carbon sources both qualitatively and quantitatively, and identifies gaps in several key biosynthetic pathways and suggests how those gaps might be filled. Furthermore, our model presents hypotheses to explain certain known nutritional requirements characteristic of this strain. Y. pestis continues to be a dangerous threat to human health during modern times. The Y. pestis genome-scale metabolic reconstruction presented here, which has been benchmarked against experimental data and correctly reproduces known phenotypes, thus provides an in silico platform with which to investigate the metabolism of this important human pathogen.

  5. Comparative efficacies of candidate antibiotics against Yersinia pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louie, Arnold; Vanscoy, Brian; Liu, Weiguo; Kulawy, Robert; Brown, David; Heine, Henry S; Drusano, George L

    2011-06-01

    Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, is a potential agent of bioterrorism. Streptomycin is the "gold standard" for the treatment of plague infections in humans, but the drug is not available in many countries, and resistance to this antibiotic occurs naturally and has been generated in the laboratory. Other antibiotics have been shown to be active against Y. pestis in vitro and in vivo. However, the relative efficacies of clinically prescribed regimens of these antibiotics with streptomycin and with each other for the killing of Yersinia pestis are unknown. The efficacies of simulated pharmacokinetic profiles for human 10-day clinical regimens of ampicillin, meropenem, moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and gentamicin were compared with the gold standard, streptomycin, for killing of Yersinia pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model. Resistance amplification with therapy was also assessed. Streptomycin killed the microbe in one trial but failed due to resistance amplification in the second trial. In two trials, the other antibiotics consistently reduced the bacterial densities within the pharmacodynamic systems from 10⁸ CFU/ml to undetectable levels (pestis and deserve further evaluation.

  6. Production of outer membrane vesicles by the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis.

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    Justin L Eddy

    Full Text Available Many Gram-negative bacteria produce outer membrane vesicles (OMVs during cell growth and division, and some bacterial pathogens deliver virulence factors to the host via the release of OMVs during infection. Here we show that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the disease plague, produces and releases native OMVs under physiological conditions. These OMVs, approximately 100 nm in diameter, contain multiple virulence-associated outer membrane proteins including the adhesin Ail, the F1 outer fimbrial antigen, and the protease Pla. We found that OMVs released by Y. pestis contain catalytically active Pla that is competent for plasminogen activation and α2-antiplasmin degradation. The abundance of OMV-associated proteins released by Y. pestis is significantly elevated at 37 °C compared to 26 °C and is increased in response to membrane stress and mutations in RseA, Hfq, and the major Braun lipoprotein (Lpp. In addition, we show that Y. pestis OMVs are able to bind to components of the extracellular matrix such as fibronectin and laminin. These data suggest that Y. pestis may produce OMVs during mammalian infection and we propose that dispersal of Pla via OMV release may influence the outcome of infection through interactions with Pla substrates such as plasminogen and Fas ligand.

  7. A multicopy suppressor screening approach as a means to identify antibiotic resistance determinant candidates in Yersinia pestis

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    Moy Richard L

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague and a potential agent of bioterrorism and biowarfare. The plague biothreat and the emergence of multidrug-resistant plague underscore the need to increase our understanding of the intrinsic potential of Y. pestis for developing antimicrobial resistance and to anticipate the mechanisms of resistance that may emerge in Y. pestis. Identification of Y. pestis genes that, when overexpressed, are capable of reducing antibiotic susceptibility is a useful strategy to expose genes that this pathogen may rely upon to evolve antibiotic resistance via a vertical modality. In this study, we explored the use of a multicopy suppressor, Escherichia coli host-based screening approach as a means to expose antibiotic resistance determinant candidates in Y. pestis. Results We constructed a multicopy plasmid-based, Y. pestis genome-wide expression library of nearly 16,000 clones in E. coli and screened the library for suppressors of the antimicrobial activity of ofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. The screen permitted the identification of a transcriptional regulator-encoding gene (robAYp that increased the MIC99 of ofloxacin by 23-fold when overexpressed from a multicopy plasmid in Y. pestis. Additionally, we found that robAYp overexpression in Y. pestis conferred low-level resistance to many other antibiotics and increased organic solvent tolerance. Overexpression of robAYp also upregulated the expression of several efflux pumps in Y. pestis. Conclusion Our study provides proof of principle for the use of multicopy suppressor screening based on the tractable and easy-to-manipulate E. coli host as a means to identify antibiotic resistance determinant candidates of Y. pestis.

  8. Fine-tuning synthesis of Yersinia pestis LcrV from runaway-like replication balanced-lethal plasmid in a Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium vaccine induces protection against a lethal Y. pestis challenge in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Escobar, Ascención; Juárez-Rodríguez, María Dolores; Gunn, Bronwyn M; Branger, Christine G; Tinge, Steven A; Curtiss, Roy

    2010-06-01

    A balanced-lethal plasmid expression system that switches from low-copy-number to runaway-like high-copy-number replication (pYA4534) was constructed for the regulated delayed in vivo synthesis of heterologous antigens by vaccine strains. This is an antibiotic resistance-free maintenance system containing the asdA gene (essential for peptidoglycan synthesis) as a selectable marker to complement the lethal chromosomal DeltaasdA allele in live recombinant attenuated Salmonella vaccines (RASVs) such as Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain chi9447. pYA4534 harbors two origins of replication, pSC101 and pUC (low and high copy numbers, respectively). The pUC replication origin is controlled by a genetic switch formed by the operator/promoter of the P22 cro gene (O/P(cro)) (P(R)), which is negatively regulated by an arabinose-inducible P22 c2 gene located on both the plasmid and the chromosome (araC P(BAD) c2). The absence of arabinose, which is unavailable in vivo, triggers replication to a high-copy-number plasmid state. To validate these vector attributes, the Yersinia pestis virulence antigen LcrV was used to develop a vaccine against plague. An lcrV sequence encoding amino acids 131 to 326 (LcrV196) was optimized for expression in Salmonella, flanked with nucleotide sequences encoding the signal peptide (SS) and the carboxy-terminal domain (CT) of beta-lactamase, and cloned into pYA4534 under the control of the P(trc) promoter to generate plasmid pYA4535. Our results indicate that the live Salmonella vaccine strain chi9447 harboring pYA4535 efficiently stimulated a mixed Th1/Th2 immune response that protected mice against lethal challenge with Y. pestis strain CO92 introduced through either the intranasal or subcutaneous route.

  9. Transcriptome analysis of acyl-homoserine lactone-based quorum sensing regulation in Yersinia pestis [corrected].

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaRock, Christopher N; Yu, Jing; Horswill, Alexander R; Parsek, Matthew R; Minion, F Chris

    2013-01-01

    The etiologic agent of bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, senses self-produced, secreted chemical signals in a process named quorum sensing. Though the closely related enteric pathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis uses quorum sensing system to regulate motility, the role of quorum sensing in Y. pestis has been unclear. In this study we performed transcriptional profiling experiments to identify Y. pestis quorum sensing regulated functions. Our analysis revealed that acyl-homoserine lactone-based quorum sensing controls the expression of several metabolic functions. Maltose fermentation and the glyoxylate bypass are induced by acyl-homoserine lactone signaling. This effect was observed at 30°C, indicating a potential role for quorum sensing regulation of metabolism at temperatures below the normal mammalian temperature. It is proposed that utilization of alternative carbon sources may enhance growth and/or survival during prolonged periods in natural habitats with limited nutrient sources, contributing to maintenance of plague in nature.

  10. Differences in the stability of the plasmids of Yersinia pestis cultures in vitro: impact on virulence

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    TC Leal-Balbino

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Plasmid and chromosomal genes encode determinants of virulence for Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. However, in vitro, Y. pestis genome is very plastic and several changes have been described. To evaluate the alterations in the plasmid content of the cultures in vitro and the impact of the alterations to their pathogenicity, three Y. pestis isolates were submitted to serial subculture, analysis of the plasmid content, and testing for the presence of characteristic genes in each plasmid of colonies selected after subculture. Different results were obtained with each strain. The plasmid content of one of them was shown to be stable; no apparent alteration was produced through 32 subcultures. In the other two strains, several alterations were observed. LD50 in mice of the parental strains and the derived cultures with different plasmid content were compared. No changes in the virulence plasmid content could be specifically correlated with changes in the LD50.

  11. Eighteenth century Yersinia pestis genomes reveal the long-term persistence of an historical plague focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Kirsten I; Herbig, Alexander; Sahl, Jason; Waglechner, Nicholas; Fourment, Mathieu; Forrest, Stephen A; Klunk, Jennifer; Schuenemann, Verena J; Poinar, Debi; Kuch, Melanie; Golding, G Brian; Dutour, Olivier; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Holmes, Edward C; Krause, Johannes; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2016-01-21

    The 14th-18th century pandemic of Yersinia pestis caused devastating disease outbreaks in Europe for almost 400 years. The reasons for plague's persistence and abrupt disappearance in Europe are poorly understood, but could have been due to either the presence of now-extinct plague foci in Europe itself, or successive disease introductions from other locations. Here we present five Y. pestis genomes from one of the last European outbreaks of plague, from 1722 in Marseille, France. The lineage identified has not been found in any extant Y. pestis foci sampled to date, and has its ancestry in strains obtained from victims of the 14th century Black Death. These data suggest the existence of a previously uncharacterized historical plague focus that persisted for at least three centuries. We propose that this disease source may have been responsible for the many resurgences of plague in Europe following the Black Death.

  12. Characterization of the Na⁺/H⁺ antiporter from Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganoth, Assaf; Alhadeff, Raphael; Kohen, Dovrat; Arkin, Isaiah T

    2011-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that historically accounts for the Black Death epidemics, has nowadays gained new attention as a possible biological warfare agent. In this study, its Na⁺/H⁺ antiporter is investigated for the first time, by a combination of experimental and computational methodologies. We determined the protein's substrate specificity and pH dependence by fluorescence measurements in everted membrane vesicles. Subsequently, we constructed a model of the protein's structure and validated the model using molecular dynamics simulations. Taken together, better understanding of the Yersinia pestis Na⁺/H⁺ antiporter's structure-function relationship may assist in studies on ion transport, mechanism of action and designing specific blockers of Na⁺/H⁺ antiporter to help in fighting Yersinia pestis -associated infections. We hope that our model will prove useful both from mechanistic and pharmaceutical perspectives.

  13. [Origin of the plague microbe Yersinia pestis: structure of the process of speciation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suntsov, V V

    2012-01-01

    The origin and evolution of the plague microbe Yersinia pestis are considered in the context of propositions of modern Darwinism. It was shown that the plague pathogen diverged from the pseudotuberculous microbe Yersinia pseudotuberculosis O:1b in the mountain steppe landscapes of Central Asia in the Sartan: 22000-15000 years ago. Speciation occurred in the tarbagan (Marmota sibirica)--flea (Oropsylla silantiewi) parasitic system. The structure of the speciation process included six stages: isolation, genetic drift, enhancement of intrapopulational polymorphism, the beginning of pesticin synthesis (genetic conflict and emergence of hiatus), specialization (stabilization of characteristics), and adaptive irradiation (transformation of the monotypic species Y. pestis tarbagani into a polytypic species). The scenario opens up wide prospects for construction of the molecular phylogeny of the plague microbe Y. pestis and for investigation of the biochemical and molecular-genetic aspects of "Darwinian" evolution of pathogens from many other nature-focal infections.

  14. In vitro antibiotic susceptibilities of Yersinia pestis determined by broth microdilution following CLSI methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heine, Henry S; Hershfield, Jeremy; Marchand, Charles; Miller, Lynda; Halasohoris, Stephanie; Purcell, Bret K; Worsham, Patricia L

    2015-04-01

    In vitro susceptibilities to 45 antibiotics were determined for 30 genetically and geographically diverse strains of Yersinia pestis by the broth microdilution method at two temperatures, 28°C and 35°C, following Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) methods. The Y. pestis strains demonstrated susceptibility to aminoglycosides, quinolones, tetracyclines, β-lactams, cephalosporins, and carbapenems. Only a 1-well shift was observed for the majority of antibiotics between the two temperatures. Establishing and comparing antibiotic susceptibilities of a diverse but specific set of Y. pestis strains by standardized methods and establishing population ranges and MIC50 and MIC90 values provide reference information for assessing new antibiotic agents and also provide a baseline for use in monitoring any future emergence of resistance.

  15. Transcriptome analysis of acyl-homoserine lactone-based quorum sensing regulation in Yersinia pestis [corrected].

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher N LaRock

    Full Text Available The etiologic agent of bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, senses self-produced, secreted chemical signals in a process named quorum sensing. Though the closely related enteric pathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis uses quorum sensing system to regulate motility, the role of quorum sensing in Y. pestis has been unclear. In this study we performed transcriptional profiling experiments to identify Y. pestis quorum sensing regulated functions. Our analysis revealed that acyl-homoserine lactone-based quorum sensing controls the expression of several metabolic functions. Maltose fermentation and the glyoxylate bypass are induced by acyl-homoserine lactone signaling. This effect was observed at 30°C, indicating a potential role for quorum sensing regulation of metabolism at temperatures below the normal mammalian temperature. It is proposed that utilization of alternative carbon sources may enhance growth and/or survival during prolonged periods in natural habitats with limited nutrient sources, contributing to maintenance of plague in nature.

  16. Susceptibility to Yersinia pestis experimental infection in wild Rattus rattus, reservoir of plague in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollenaere, C; Rahalison, L; Ranjalahy, M; Duplantier, J-M; Rahelinirina, S; Telfer, S; Brouat, C

    2010-06-01

    In Madagascar, the black rat, Rattus rattus, is the main reservoir of plague (Yersinia pestis infection), a disease still responsible for hundreds of cases each year in this country. This study used experimental plague challenge to assess susceptibility in wild-caught rats to better understand how R. rattus can act as a plague reservoir. An important difference in plague resistance between rat populations from the plague focus (central highlands) and those from the plague-free zone (low altitude area) was confirmed to be a widespread phenomenon. In rats from the plague focus, we observed that sex influenced plague susceptibility, with males slightly more resistant than females. Other individual factors investigated (weight and habitat of sampling) did not affect plague resistance. When infected at high bacterial dose (more than 10⁵ bacteria injected), rats from the plague focus died mainly within 3-5 days and produced specific antibodies, whereas after low-dose infection (plague resistance level and the course of infection in the black rat would contribute to a better understanding of plague circulation in Madagascar.

  17. Fibrinolytic and procoagulant activities of Yersinia pestis and Salmonella enterica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korhonen, T K

    2015-06-01

    Pla of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis and PgtE of the enteropathogen Salmonella enterica are surface-exposed, transmembrane β-barrel proteases of the omptin family that exhibit a complex array of interactions with the hemostatic systems in vitro, and both proteases are established virulence factors. Pla favors fibrinolysis by direct activation of plasminogen, inactivation of the serpins plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and α2-antiplasmin, inactivation of the thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor, and activation of single-chain urokinase. PgtE is structurally very similar but exhibits partially different functions and differ in expression control. PgtE proteolysis targets control aspects of fibrinolysis, and mimicry of matrix metalloproteinases enhances cell migration that should favor the intracellular spread of the bacterium. Enzymatic activity of both proteases is strongly influenced by the environment-induced variations in lipopolysaccharide that binds to the β-barrel. Both proteases cleave the tissue factor pathway inhibitor and thus also express procoagulant activity. © 2015 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

  18. Temporal phylogeography of Yersinia pestis in Madagascar: Insights into the long-term maintenance of plague.

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    Amy J Vogler

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis appears to be maintained in multiple, geographically separate, and phylogenetically distinct subpopulations within the highlands of Madagascar. However, the dynamics of these locally differentiated subpopulations through time are mostly unknown. To address that gap and further inform our understanding of plague epidemiology, we investigated the phylogeography of Y. pestis in Madagascar over an 18 year period.We generated whole genome sequences for 31 strains and discovered new SNPs that we used in conjunction with previously identified SNPs and variable-number tandem repeats (VNTRs to genotype 773 Malagasy Y. pestis samples from 1995 to 2012. We mapped the locations where samples were obtained on a fine geographic scale to examine phylogeographic patterns through time. We identified 18 geographically separate and phylogenetically distinct subpopulations that display spatial and temporal stability, persisting in the same locations over a period of almost two decades. We found that geographic areas with higher levels of topographical relief are associated with greater levels of phylogenetic diversity and that sampling frequency can vary considerably among subpopulations and from year to year. We also found evidence of various Y. pestis dispersal events, including over long distances, but no evidence that any dispersal events resulted in successful establishment of a transferred genotype in a new location during the examined time period.Our analysis suggests that persistent endemic cycles of Y. pestis transmission within local areas are responsible for the long term maintenance of plague in Madagascar, rather than repeated episodes of wide scale epidemic spread. Landscape likely plays a role in maintaining Y. pestis subpopulations in Madagascar, with increased topographical relief associated with increased levels of localized differentiation. Local ecological factors likely affect the dynamics of individual subpopulations and the

  19. Temporal phylogeography of Yersinia pestis in Madagascar: Insights into the long-term maintenance of plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogler, Amy J; Andrianaivoarimanana, Voahangy; Telfer, Sandra; Hall, Carina M; Sahl, Jason W; Hepp, Crystal M; Centner, Heather; Andersen, Genevieve; Birdsell, Dawn N; Rahalison, Lila; Nottingham, Roxanne; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Rajerison, Minoarisoa

    2017-09-01

    Yersinia pestis appears to be maintained in multiple, geographically separate, and phylogenetically distinct subpopulations within the highlands of Madagascar. However, the dynamics of these locally differentiated subpopulations through time are mostly unknown. To address that gap and further inform our understanding of plague epidemiology, we investigated the phylogeography of Y. pestis in Madagascar over an 18 year period. We generated whole genome sequences for 31 strains and discovered new SNPs that we used in conjunction with previously identified SNPs and variable-number tandem repeats (VNTRs) to genotype 773 Malagasy Y. pestis samples from 1995 to 2012. We mapped the locations where samples were obtained on a fine geographic scale to examine phylogeographic patterns through time. We identified 18 geographically separate and phylogenetically distinct subpopulations that display spatial and temporal stability, persisting in the same locations over a period of almost two decades. We found that geographic areas with higher levels of topographical relief are associated with greater levels of phylogenetic diversity and that sampling frequency can vary considerably among subpopulations and from year to year. We also found evidence of various Y. pestis dispersal events, including over long distances, but no evidence that any dispersal events resulted in successful establishment of a transferred genotype in a new location during the examined time period. Our analysis suggests that persistent endemic cycles of Y. pestis transmission within local areas are responsible for the long term maintenance of plague in Madagascar, rather than repeated episodes of wide scale epidemic spread. Landscape likely plays a role in maintaining Y. pestis subpopulations in Madagascar, with increased topographical relief associated with increased levels of localized differentiation. Local ecological factors likely affect the dynamics of individual subpopulations and the associated

  20. Fatal laboratory-acquired infection with an attenuated Yersinia pestis Strain--Chicago, Illinois, 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-25

    On September 18, 2009, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) was notified by a local hospital of a suspected case of fatal laboratory-acquired infection with Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. The patient, a researcher in a university laboratory, had been working along with other members of the laboratory group with a pigmentation-negative (pgm-) attenuated Y. pestis strain (KIM D27). The strain had not been known to have caused laboratory-acquired infections or human fatalities. Other researchers in a separate university laboratory facility in the same building had contact with a virulent Y. pestis strain (CO92) that is considered a select biologic agent; however, the pgm- attenuated KIM D27 is excluded from the National Select Agent Registry. The university, CDPH, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and CDC conducted an investigation to ascertain the cause of death. This report summarizes the results of that investigation, which determined that the cause of death likely was an unrecognized occupational exposure (route unknown) to Y. pestis, leading to septic shock. Y. pestis was isolated from premortem blood cultures. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) identified the clinical isolate as a pgm- strain of Y. pestis. Postmortem examination revealed no evidence of pneumonic plague. A postmortem diagnosis of hereditary hemochromatosis was made on the basis of histopathologic, laboratory, and genetic testing. One possible explanation for the unexpected fatal outcome in this patient is that hemochromatosis-induced iron overload might have provided the infecting KIM D27 strain, which is attenuated as a result of defects in its ability to acquire iron, with sufficient iron to overcome its iron-acquisition defects and become virulent. Researchers should adhere to recommended biosafety practices when handling any live bacterial cultures, even attenuated strains, and institutional biosafety committees should implement and maintain effective

  1. Genome-scale reconstruction of the metabolic network in Yersinia pestis, strain 91001

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navid, A; Almaas, E

    2009-01-13

    The gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis, the aetiological agent of bubonic plague, is one the deadliest pathogens known to man. Despite its historical reputation, plague is a modern disease which annually afflicts thousands of people. Public safety considerations greatly limit clinical experimentation on this organism and thus development of theoretical tools to analyze the capabilities of this pathogen is of utmost importance. Here, we report the first genome-scale metabolic model of Yersinia pestis biovar Mediaevalis based both on its recently annotated genome, and physiological and biochemical data from literature. Our model demonstrates excellent agreement with Y. pestis known metabolic needs and capabilities. Since Y. pestis is a meiotrophic organism, we have developed CryptFind, a systematic approach to identify all candidate cryptic genes responsible for known and theoretical meiotrophic phenomena. In addition to uncovering every known cryptic gene for Y. pestis, our analysis of the rhamnose fermentation pathway suggests that betB is the responsible cryptic gene. Despite all of our medical advances, we still do not have a vaccine for bubonic plague. Recent discoveries of antibiotic resistant strains of Yersinia pestis coupled with the threat of plague being used as a bioterrorism weapon compel us to develop new tools for studying the physiology of this deadly pathogen. Using our theoretical model, we can study the cell's phenotypic behavior under different circumstances and identify metabolic weaknesses which may be harnessed for the development of therapeutics. Additionally, the automatic identification of cryptic genes expands the usage of genomic data for pharmaceutical purposes.

  2. Biochemical, structural and molecular dynamics analyses of the potential virulence factor RipA from Yersinia pestis.

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    Rodrigo Torres

    Full Text Available Human diseases are attributed in part to the ability of pathogens to evade the eukaryotic immune systems. A subset of these pathogens has developed mechanisms to survive in human macrophages. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the bubonic plague, is a predominately extracellular pathogen with the ability to survive and replicate intracellularly. A previous study has shown that a novel rip (required for intracellular proliferation operon (ripA, ripB and ripC is essential for replication and survival of Y. pestis in postactivated macrophages, by playing a role in lowering macrophage-produced nitric oxide (NO levels. A bioinformatics analysis indicates that the rip operon is conserved among a distally related subset of macrophage-residing pathogens, including Burkholderia and Salmonella species, and suggests that this previously uncharacterized pathway is also required for intracellular survival of these pathogens. The focus of this study is ripA, which encodes for a protein highly homologous to 4-hydroxybutyrate-CoA transferase; however, biochemical analysis suggests that RipA functions as a butyryl-CoA transferase. The 1.9 Å X-ray crystal structure reveals that RipA belongs to the class of Family I CoA transferases and exhibits a unique tetrameric state. Molecular dynamics simulations are consistent with RipA tetramer formation and suggest a possible gating mechanism for CoA binding mediated by Val227. Together, our structural characterization and molecular dynamic simulations offer insights into acyl-CoA specificity within the active site binding pocket, and support biochemical results that RipA is a butyryl-CoA transferase. We hypothesize that the end product of the rip operon is butyrate, a known anti-inflammatory, which has been shown to lower NO levels in macrophages. Thus, the results of this molecular study of Y. pestis RipA provide a structural platform for rational inhibitor design, which may lead to a greater understanding of the

  3. Rapid identification of Yersinia pestis and Brucella melitensis by chip-based continuous flow PCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietzsch, Michael; Hlawatsch, Nadine; Melzer, Falk; Tomaso, Herbert; Gärtner, Claudia; Neubauer, Heinrich

    2012-06-01

    To combat the threat of biological agents like Yersinia pestis and Brucella melitensis in bioterroristic scenarios requires fast, easy-to-use and safe identification systems. In this study we describe a system for rapid amplification of specific genetic markers for the identification of Yersinia pestis and Brucella melitensis. Using chip based PCR and continuous flow technology we were able to amplify the targets simultaneously with a 2-step reaction profile within 20 minutes. The subsequent analysis of amplified fragments by standard gel electrophoresis requires another 45 minutes. We were able to detect both pathogens within 75 minutes being much faster than most other nucleic acid amplification technologies.

  4. [Plague in Algeria: about five strains of Yersinia pestis isolated during the outbreak of June 2003].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lounici, M; Lazri, M; Rahal, K

    2005-02-01

    In this study, we isolated and identified five strains of Yersinia pestis during an epidemic occurred in west of Algeria in June 2003. The bacteriological identification was confirmed by bacteriophage susceptibility. All these strains belonged to the biovar Orientalis (they did not ferment glycerol but did reduce nitrate to nitrite) which caused the current pandemic. The in vitro activities of antimicrobial agents used to treat plague and recommended for prophylaxis, showed that they are active against all strains. The comparison of these strains by plasmid profile analyse demonstrated that all isolates had three plasmids: 110, 70 and 9.5 kb, which are present in Y. pestis strains.

  5. Proteomic analysis of iron acquisition, metabolic and regulatory responses of Yersinia pestis to iron starvation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fleischmann Robert D

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of the bubonic plague. Efficient iron acquisition systems are critical to the ability of Y. pestis to infect, spread and grow in mammalian hosts, because iron is sequestered and is considered part of the innate host immune defence against invading pathogens. We used a proteomic approach to determine expression changes of iron uptake systems and intracellular consequences of iron deficiency in the Y. pestis strain KIM6+ at two physiologically relevant temperatures (26°C and 37°C. Results Differential protein display was performed for three Y. pestis subcellular fractions. Five characterized Y. pestis iron/siderophore acquisition systems (Ybt, Yfe, Yfu, Yiu and Hmu and a putative iron/chelate outer membrane receptor (Y0850 were increased in abundance in iron-starved cells. The iron-sulfur (Fe-S cluster assembly system Suf, adapted to oxidative stress and iron starvation in E. coli, was also more abundant, suggesting functional activity of Suf in Y. pestis under iron-limiting conditions. Metabolic and reactive oxygen-deactivating enzymes dependent on Fe-S clusters or other iron cofactors were decreased in abundance in iron-depleted cells. This data was consistent with lower activities of aconitase and catalase in iron-starved vs. iron-rich cells. In contrast, pyruvate oxidase B which metabolizes pyruvate via electron transfer to ubiquinone-8 for direct utilization in the respiratory chain was strongly increased in abundance and activity in iron-depleted cells. Conclusions Many protein abundance differences were indicative of the important regulatory role of the ferric uptake regulator Fur. Iron deficiency seems to result in a coordinated shift from iron-utilizing to iron-independent biochemical pathways in the cytoplasm of Y. pestis. With growth temperature as an additional variable in proteomic comparisons of the Y. pestis fractions (26°C and 37°C, there was

  6. 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

  7. Flow cytofluorometric assay of human whole blood leukocyte DNA degradation in response to Yersinia pestis and Staphylococcus aureus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kravtsov, Alexander L.; Grebenyukova, Tatyana P.; Bobyleva, Elena V.; Golovko, Elena M.; Malyukova, Tatyana A.; Lyapin, Mikhail N.; Kostyukova, Tatyana A.; Yezhov, Igor N.; Kuznetsov, Oleg S.

    2001-05-01

    Human leukocytes containing less than 2C DNA per cell (damaged or dead cells) were detected and quantified by flow cytometry and DNA-specific staining with ethidium bromide and mithramycin in whole blood infected with Staphylococcus aureus or Yersinia pestis. Addition of live S. aureus to the blood (100 microbe cells per one leukocyte) resulted in rapid degradation of leukocyte DNA within 3 to 6 hours of incubation at 37 degree(s)C. However, only about 50 percent cells were damaged and the leukocytes with the intact genetic apparatus could be found in the blood for a period up to 24 hours. The leukocyte injury was preceded by an increase of DNA per cell content (as compared to the normal one) that was likely to be connected with the active phagocytosis of S. aureus by granulocytes (2C DNA of diploid phagocytes plus the all bacterial DNA absorbed). In response to the same dose of actively growing (at 37 degree(s)C) virulent Y. pestis cells, no increase in DNA content per cell could be observed in the human blood leukocytes. The process of the leukocyte DNA degradation started after a 6-hour incubation, and between 18 to 24 hours of incubation about 90 percent leukocytes (phagocytes and lymphocytes) lost their specific DNA fluorescence. These results demonstrated a high potential of flow cytometry in comparative analysis in vitro of the leukocyte DNA degradation process in human blood in response to bacteria with various pathogenic properties. They agree with the modern idea of an apoptotic mechanism of immunosuppression in plague.

  8. Yersinia pestis TonB: Role in Iron, Heme, and Hemoprotein Utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Robert D.; Shah, Jessica; Bearden, Scott W.; Thompson, Jan M.; Fetherston, Jacqueline D.

    2003-01-01

    In Yersinia pestis, the siderophore-dependent yersiniabactin (Ybt) iron transport system and heme transport system (Hmu) have putative TonB-dependent outer membrane receptors. Here we demonstrate that hemin uptake and iron utilization from Ybt are TonB dependent. However, the Yfe iron and manganese transport system does not require TonB. PMID:12819108

  9. Analysis of temperature-dependent changes in the metabolism of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navid, Ali; Almaas, Eivind

    2008-03-01

    The gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis is the aetiological agent of bubonic plague, a zoonotic infection that occurs through the bite of a flea. It has long been known that Y. pestis has different metabolic needs upon transition from the flea gut environment (26 C) to that of a mammalian host (37 C). To study this and other outstanding questions about metabolic function of Y. pestis, we used the available genomic, biochemical and physiological data to develop a constraint-based flux balance model of metabolism in the avirulent 91001 strain (biovar Mediaevalis) of this organism. Utilizing two sets of whole-genome DNA microarray expression data, we examined the system level changes that occur when Y. pestis acclimatizes to temperature shifts. Our results point to fundamental changes in its oxidative metabolism of sugars and use of amino acids, in particular that of arginine. This behavior is indicative of an inefficient metabolism that could be caused by adaptation to life in a nutrient rich environment.

  10. Glutathionylation of Yersinia pestis LcrV and Its Effects on Plague Pathogenesis

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    Anthony Mitchell

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Glutathionylation, the formation of reversible mixed disulfides between glutathione and protein cysteine residues, is a posttranslational modification previously observed for intracellular proteins of bacteria. Here we show that Yersinia pestis LcrV, a secreted protein capping the type III secretion machine, is glutathionylated at Cys273 and that this modification promotes association with host ribosomal protein S3 (RPS3, moderates Y. pestis type III effector transport and killing of macrophages, and enhances bubonic plague pathogenesis in mice and rats. Secreted LcrV was purified and analyzed by mass spectrometry to reveal glutathionylation, a modification that is abolished by the codon substitution Cys273Ala in lcrV. Moreover, the lcrVC273A mutation enhanced the survival of animals in models of bubonic plague. Investigating the molecular mechanism responsible for these virulence attributes, we identified macrophage RPS3 as a ligand of LcrV, an association that is perturbed by the Cys273Ala substitution. Furthermore, macrophages infected by the lcrVC273A variant displayed accelerated apoptotic death and diminished proinflammatory cytokine release. Deletion of gshB, which encodes glutathione synthetase of Y. pestis, resulted in undetectable levels of intracellular glutathione, and we used a Y. pestis ΔgshB mutant to characterize the biochemical pathway of LcrV glutathionylation, establishing that LcrV is modified after its transport to the type III needle via disulfide bond formation with extracellular oxidized glutathione.

  11. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis ST42 (O:1) Strain Misidentified as Yersinia pestis by Mass Spectrometry Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gérôme, Patrick; Le Flèche, Philippe; Blouin, Yann; Scholz, Holger C; Thibault, François M; Raynaud, Françoise; Vergnaud, Gilles; Pourcel, Christine

    2014-06-12

    We report here the draft sequence of strain CEB14_0017, alias HIAD_DUP, recovered from a human patient and initially identified as Yersinia pestis by mass spectrometry analysis. Genotyping based on tandem repeat polymorphism assigned the strain to Yersinia pseudotuberculosis sequence type 42 (ST42). The total assembly length is 4,894,739 bp.

  12. Human Anti-Plague Monoclonal Antibodies Protect Mice from Yersinia pestis in a Bubonic Plague Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    risk. PLoS ONE 2: e309. 8. Heath DG, Anderson GW, Mauro JM, Welkos SL, Andrews GP, et al. (1998) Protection against experimental bubonic and pneumonic...Pasteurella pestis in mononuclear phagocytes in the pathogenesis of flea -borne plague. J Immunol 83: 348–363. 23. Du Y, Rosqvist, Forsberg A (2002

  13. Thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor is degraded by Salmonella enterica and Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valls Serón, M; Haiko, J; DE Groot, P G; Korhonen, T K; Meijers, J C M

    2010-10-01

     Pathogenic bacteria modulate the host coagulation system to evade immune responses or to facilitate dissemination through extravascular tissues. In particular, the important bacterial pathogens Salmonella enterica and Yersinia pestis intervene with the plasminogen/fibrinolytic system. Thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) has anti-fibrinolytic properties as the active enzyme (TAFIa) removes C-terminal lysine residues from fibrin, thereby attenuating accelerated plasmin formation.  Here, we demonstrate inactivation and cleavage of TAFI by homologous surface proteases, the omptins Pla of Y. pestis and PgtE of S. enterica. We show that omptin-expressing bacteria decrease TAFI activatability by thrombin-thrombomodulin and that the anti-fibrinolytic potential of TAFIa was reduced by recombinant Escherichia coli expressing Pla or PgtE. The functional impairment resulted from C-terminal cleavage of TAFI by the omptins.  Our results indicate that TAFI is degraded directly by the omptins PgtE of S. enterica and Pla of Y. pestis. This may contribute to the ability of PgtE and Pla to damage tissue barriers, such as fibrin, and thereby to enhance spread of S. enterica and Y. pestis during infection. © 2010 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

  14. Evidence of Yersinia pestis DNA from fleas in an endemic plague area of Zambia

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    Hang'ombe Bernard M

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Yersinia pestis is a bacterium that causes plague which infects a variety of mammals throughout the world. The disease is usually transmitted among wild rodents through a flea vector. The sources and routes of transmission of plague are poorly researched in Africa, yet remains a concern in several sub-Saharan countries. In Zambia, the disease has been reported on annual basis with up to 20 cases per year, without investigating animal reservoirs or vectors that may be responsible in the maintenance and propagation of the bacterium. In this study, we undertook plague surveillance by using PCR amplification of the plasminogen activator gene in fleas. Findings Xenopsylla species of fleas were collected from 83 rodents trapped in a plague endemic area of Zambia. Of these rodents 5 had fleas positive (6.02% for Y. pestis plasminogen activator gene. All the Y. pestis positive rodents were gerbils. Conclusions We conclude that fleas may be responsible in the transmission of Y. pestis and that PCR may provide means of plague surveillance in the endemic areas of Zambia.

  15. Yersinia pestis and the plague of Justinian 541-543 AD: a genomic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, David M; Klunk, Jennifer; Harbeck, Michaela; Devault, Alison; Waglechner, Nicholas; Sahl, Jason W; Enk, Jacob; Birdsell, Dawn N; Kuch, Melanie; Lumibao, Candice; Poinar, Debi; Pearson, Talima; Fourment, Mathieu; Golding, Brian; Riehm, Julia M; Earn, David J D; Dewitte, Sharon; Rouillard, Jean-Marie; Grupe, Gisela; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Bliska, James B; Keim, Paul S; Scholz, Holger C; Holmes, Edward C; Poinar, Hendrik

    2014-04-01

    Yersinia pestis has caused at least three human plague pandemics. The second (Black Death, 14-17th centuries) and third (19-20th centuries) have been genetically characterised, but there is only a limited understanding of the first pandemic, the Plague of Justinian (6-8th centuries). To address this gap, we sequenced and analysed draft genomes of Y pestis obtained from two individuals who died in the first pandemic. Teeth were removed from two individuals (known as A120 and A76) from the early medieval Aschheim-Bajuwarenring cemetery (Aschheim, Bavaria, Germany). We isolated DNA from the teeth using a modified phenol-chloroform method. We screened DNA extracts for the presence of the Y pestis-specific pla gene on the pPCP1 plasmid using primers and standards from an established assay, enriched the DNA, and then sequenced it. We reconstructed draft genomes of the infectious Y pestis strains, compared them with a database of genomes from 131 Y pestis strains from the second and third pandemics, and constructed a maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree. Radiocarbon dating of both individuals (A120 to 533 AD [plus or minus 98 years]; A76 to 504 AD [plus or minus 61 years]) places them in the timeframe of the first pandemic. Our phylogeny contains a novel branch (100% bootstrap at all relevant nodes) leading to the two Justinian samples. This branch has no known contemporary representatives, and thus is either extinct or unsampled in wild rodent reservoirs. The Justinian branch is interleaved between two extant groups, 0.ANT1 and 0.ANT2, and is distant from strains associated with the second and third pandemics. We conclude that the Y pestis lineages that caused the Plague of Justinian and the Black Death 800 years later were independent emergences from rodents into human beings. These results show that rodent species worldwide represent important reservoirs for the repeated emergence of diverse lineages of Y pestis into human populations. McMaster University, Northern

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Feeding Behavior Modulates Biofilm-Mediated Transmission of Yersinia pestis by the Cat Flea, Ctenocephalides felis.

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    David M Bland

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is prevalent worldwide, will parasitize animal reservoirs of plague, and is associated with human habitations in known plague foci. Despite its pervasiveness, limited information is available about the cat flea's competence as a vector for Yersinia pestis. It is generally considered to be a poor vector, based on studies examining early-phase transmission during the first week after infection, but transmission potential by the biofilm-dependent proventricular-blocking mechanism has never been systematically evaluated. In this study, we assessed the vector competence of cat fleas by both mechanisms. Because the feeding behavior of cat fleas differs markedly from important rat flea vectors, we also examined the influence of feeding behavior on transmission dynamics.Groups of cat fleas were infected with Y. pestis and subsequently provided access to sterile blood meals twice-weekly, 5 times per week, or daily for 4 weeks and monitored for infection, the development of proventricular biofilm and blockage, mortality, and the ability to transmit. In cat fleas allowed prolonged, daily access to blood meals, mimicking their natural feeding behavior, Y. pestis did not efficiently colonize the digestive tract and could only be transmitted during the first week after infection. In contrast, cat fleas that were fed intermittently, mimicking the feeding behavior of the efficient vector Xenopsylla cheopis, could become blocked and regularly transmitted Y. pestis for 3-4 weeks by the biofilm-mediated mechanism, but early-phase transmission was not detected.The normal feeding behavior of C. felis, more than an intrinsic resistance to infection or blockage by Y. pestis, limits its vector competence. Rapid turnover of midgut contents results in bacterial clearance and disruption of biofilm accumulation in the proventriculus. Anatomical features of the cat flea foregut may also restrict transmission by both early-phase and

  18. Identification and characterization of PhoP regulon members in Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus

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    Du Zongmin

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transcription regulator PhoP has been shown to be important for Y. pestis survival in macrophages and under various in vitro stresses. However, the mechanism by which PhoP promotes bacterial intracellular survival is not fully understood. Our previous microarray analysis suggested that PhoP governed a wide set of cellular pathways in Y. pestis. A series of biochemical experiments were done herein to study members of the PhoP regulon of Y. pestis biovar Microtus. Results By using gel mobility shift assay and quantitative RT-PCR, a total of 30 putative transcription units were characterized as direct PhoP targets. The primer extension assay was further used to determine the transcription start sites of 18 PhoP-dependent promoters and to localize the -10 and -35 elements. The DNase I footprinting was used to identify the PhoP-binding sites within 17 PhoP-dependent promoters, enabling the identification of PhoP box and matrix that both represented the conserved signals for PhoP recognition in Y. pestis. Data presented here providing a good basis for modeling PhoP-promoter DNA interactions that is crucial to the PhoP-mediated transcriptional regulation. Conclusion The proven direct PhoP targets include nine genes encoding regulators and 21 genes or operons with functions of detoxification, protection against DNA damages, resistance to antimicrobial peptides, and adaptation to magnesium limitation. We can presume that PhoP is a global regulator that controls a complex regulatory cascade by a mechanism of not only directly controlling the expression of specific genes, but also indirectly regulating various cellular pathways by acting on a set of dedicated regulators. These results help us gain insights into the PhoP-dependent mechanisms by which Y. pestis survives the antibacterial strategies employed by host macrophages.

  19. Histopathological observation of immunized rhesus macaques with plague vaccines after subcutaneous infection of Yersinia pestis.

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    Guang Tian

    Full Text Available In our previous study, complete protection was observed in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques immunized with SV1 (20 µg F1 and 10 µg rV270 and SV2 (200 µg F1 and 100 µg rV270 subunit vaccines and with EV76 live attenuated vaccine against subcutaneous challenge with 6×10(6 CFU of Y. pestis. In the present study, we investigated whether the vaccines can effectively protect immunized animals from any pathologic changes using histological and immunohistochemical techniques. In addition, the glomerular basement membranes (GBMs of the immunized animals and control animals were checked by electron microscopy. The results show no signs of histopathological lesions in the lungs, livers, kidneys, lymph nodes, spleens and hearts of the immunized animals at Day 14 after the challenge, whereas pathological alterations were seen in the corresponding tissues of the control animals. Giemsa staining, ultrastructural examination, and immunohistochemical staining revealed bacteria in some of the organs of the control animals, whereas no bacterium was observed among the immunized animals. Ultrastructural observation revealed that no glomerular immune deposits on the GBM. These observations suggest that the vaccines can effectively protect animals from any pathologic changes and eliminate Y. pestis from the immunized animals. The control animals died from multi-organ lesions specifically caused by the Y. pestis infection. We also found that subcutaneous infection of animals with Y. pestis results in bubonic plague, followed by pneumonic and septicemic plagues. The histopathologic features of plague in rhesus macaques closely resemble those of rodent and human plagues. Thus, Chinese-origin rhesus macaques serve as useful models in studying Y. pestis pathogenesis, host response and the efficacy of new medical countermeasures against plague.

  20. Amino acid and structural variability of Yersinia pestis LcrV protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anisimov, A P; Dentovskaya, S V; Panfertsev, E A; Svetoch, T E; Kopylov, P K; Segelke, B W; Zemla, A; Telepnev, M V; Motin, V L

    2009-11-09

    The LcrV protein is a multifunctional virulence factor and protective antigen of the plague bacterium which is generally conserved between the epidemic strains of Yersinia pestis. They investigated the diversity in the LcrV sequences among non-epidemic Y. pestis strains which have a limited virulence in selected animal models and for humans. Sequencing of lcrV genes from ten Y. pestis strains belonging to different phylogenetic groups (subspecies) showed that the LcrV proteins possess four major variable hotspots at positions 18, 72, 273, and 324-326. These major variations, together with other minor substitutions in amino acid sequences, allowed them to classify the LcrV alleles into five sequence types (A-E). They observed that the strains of different Y. pestis subspecies can have the same typ of LcrV, and different types of LcrV can exist within the same natural plague focus. The LcrV polymorphisms were structurally analyzed by comparing the modeled structures of LcrV from all available strains. All changes except one occurred either in flexible regions or on the surface of the protein, but local chemical properties (i.e. those of a hydrophobic, hydrophilic, amphipathic, or charged nature) were conserved across all of the strains. Polymorphisms in flexible and surface regions are likely subject to less selective pressure, and have a limited impact on the structure. In contrast, the substitution of tryptophan at position 113 with either glutamic acid or glycine likely has a serious influence on the regional structure of the protein, and these mutations might have an effect on the function of LcrV. The polymorphisms at positions 18, 72 and 273 were accountable for differences in oligomerization of LcrV. The importance of the latter property in emergence of epidemic strains of Y. pestis during evolution of this pathogen will need to be further investigated.

  1. Short report: Exposing laboratory-reared fleas to soil and wild flea feces increases transmission of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Ryan T; Vetter, Sara M; Gage, Kenneth L

    2013-10-01

    Laboratory-reared Oropsylla montana were exposed to soil and wild-caught Oropsylla montana feces for 1 week. Fleas from these two treatments and a control group of laboratory-reared fleas were infected with Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague. Fleas exposed to soil transmitted Y. pestis to mice at a significantly greater rate (50.0% of mice were infected) than control fleas (23.3% of mice were infected). Although the concentration of Y. pestis in fleas did not differ among treatments, the minimum transmission efficiency of fleas from the soil and wild flea feces treatments (6.9% and 7.6%, respectively) were more than three times higher than in control fleas (2.2%). Our results suggest that exposing laboratory-reared fleas to diverse microbes alters transmission of Y. pestis.

  2. Role of the Yersinia pestis yersiniabactin iron acquisition system in the incidence of flea-borne plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebbane, Florent; Jarrett, Clayton; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2010-12-17

    Plague is a flea-borne zoonosis caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mutants lacking the yersiniabactin (Ybt) siderophore-based iron transport system are avirulent when inoculated intradermally but fully virulent when inoculated intravenously in mice. Presumably, Ybt is required to provide sufficient iron at the peripheral injection site, suggesting that Ybt would be an essential virulence factor for flea-borne plague. Here, using a flea-to-mouse transmission model, we show that a Y. pestis strain lacking the Ybt system causes fatal plague at low incidence when transmitted by fleas. Bacteriology and histology analyses revealed that a Ybt-negative strain caused only primary septicemic plague and atypical bubonic plague instead of the typical bubonic form of disease. The results provide new evidence that primary septicemic plague is a distinct clinical entity and suggest that unusual forms of plague may be caused by atypical Y. pestis strains.

  3. Role of the Yersinia pestis yersiniabactin iron acquisition system in the incidence of flea-borne plague.

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    Florent Sebbane

    Full Text Available Plague is a flea-borne zoonosis caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mutants lacking the yersiniabactin (Ybt siderophore-based iron transport system are avirulent when inoculated intradermally but fully virulent when inoculated intravenously in mice. Presumably, Ybt is required to provide sufficient iron at the peripheral injection site, suggesting that Ybt would be an essential virulence factor for flea-borne plague. Here, using a flea-to-mouse transmission model, we show that a Y. pestis strain lacking the Ybt system causes fatal plague at low incidence when transmitted by fleas. Bacteriology and histology analyses revealed that a Ybt-negative strain caused only primary septicemic plague and atypical bubonic plague instead of the typical bubonic form of disease. The results provide new evidence that primary septicemic plague is a distinct clinical entity and suggest that unusual forms of plague may be caused by atypical Y. pestis strains.

  4. Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Simon; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Nielsen, Kasper

    2015-01-01

    The bacteria Yersinia pestis is the etiological agent of plague and has caused human pandemics with millions of deaths in historic times. How and when it originated remains contentious. Here, we report the oldest direct evidence of Yersinia pestis identified by ancient DNA in human teeth from Asia...... and Europe dating from 2,800 to 5,000 years ago. By sequencing the genomes, we find that these ancient plague strains are basal to all known Yersinia pestis. We find the origins of the Yersinia pestis lineage to be at least two times older than previous estimates. We also identify a temporal sequence of...... genetic changes that lead to increased virulence and the emergence of the bubonic plague. Our results show that plague infection was endemic in the human populations of Eurasia at least 3,000 years before any historical recordings of pandemics....

  5. Roles of chaperone/usher pathways of Yersinia pestis in a murine model of plague and adhesion to host cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatkoff, Matthew; Runco, Lisa M; Pujol, Celine; Jayatilaka, Indralatha; Furie, Martha B; Bliska, James B; Thanassi, David G

    2012-10-01

    Yersinia pestis and many other Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria use the chaperone/usher (CU) pathway to assemble virulence-associated surface fibers termed pili or fimbriae. Y. pestis has two well-characterized CU pathways: the caf genes coding for the F1 capsule and the psa genes coding for the pH 6 antigen. The Y. pestis genome contains additional CU pathways that are capable of assembling pilus fibers, but the roles of these pathways in the pathogenesis of plague are not understood. We constructed deletion mutations in the usher genes for six of the additional Y. pestis CU pathways. The wild-type (WT) and usher deletion strains were compared in the murine bubonic (subcutaneous) and pneumonic (intranasal) plague infection models. Y. pestis strains containing deletions in CU pathways y0348-0352, y1858-1862, and y1869-1873 were attenuated for virulence compared to the WT strain by the intranasal, but not subcutaneous, routes of infection, suggesting specific roles for these pathways during pneumonic plague. We examined binding of the Y. pestis WT and usher deletion strains to A549 human lung epithelial cells, HEp-2 human cervical epithelial cells, and primary human and murine macrophages. Y. pestis CU pathways y0348-0352 and y1858-1862 were found to contribute to adhesion to all host cells tested, whereas pathway y1869-1873 was specific for binding to macrophages. The correlation between the virulence attenuation and host cell binding phenotypes of the usher deletion mutants identifies three of the additional CU pathways of Y. pestis as mediating interactions with host cells that are important for the pathogenesis of plague.

  6. Duration of plague (Yersinia pestis) outbreaks in black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies of northern Colorado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Romain, Krista; Tripp, Daniel W; Salkeld, Daniel J; Antolin, Michael F

    2013-09-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, triggers die-offs in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), but the time-frame of plague activity is not well understood. We document plague activity in fleas from prairie dogs and their burrows on three prairie dog colonies that suffered die-offs. We demonstrate that Y. pestis transmission occurs over periods from several months to over a year in prairie dog populations before observed die-offs.

  7. Roles of Chaperone/Usher Pathways of Yersinia pestis in a Murine Model of Plague and Adhesion to Host Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatkoff, Matthew; Runco, Lisa M.; Pujol, Celine; Jayatilaka, Indralatha; Furie, Martha B.; Bliska, James B.

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis and many other Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria use the chaperone/usher (CU) pathway to assemble virulence-associated surface fibers termed pili or fimbriae. Y. pestis has two well-characterized CU pathways: the caf genes coding for the F1 capsule and the psa genes coding for the pH 6 antigen. The Y. pestis genome contains additional CU pathways that are capable of assembling pilus fibers, but the roles of these pathways in the pathogenesis of plague are not understood. We constructed deletion mutations in the usher genes for six of the additional Y. pestis CU pathways. The wild-type (WT) and usher deletion strains were compared in the murine bubonic (subcutaneous) and pneumonic (intranasal) plague infection models. Y. pestis strains containing deletions in CU pathways y0348-0352, y1858-1862, and y1869-1873 were attenuated for virulence compared to the WT strain by the intranasal, but not subcutaneous, routes of infection, suggesting specific roles for these pathways during pneumonic plague. We examined binding of the Y. pestis WT and usher deletion strains to A549 human lung epithelial cells, HEp-2 human cervical epithelial cells, and primary human and murine macrophages. Y. pestis CU pathways y0348-0352 and y1858-1862 were found to contribute to adhesion to all host cells tested, whereas pathway y1869-1873 was specific for binding to macrophages. The correlation between the virulence attenuation and host cell binding phenotypes of the usher deletion mutants identifies three of the additional CU pathways of Y. pestis as mediating interactions with host cells that are important for the pathogenesis of plague. PMID:22851745

  8. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of PsaA, the adhesive pilin subunit that forms the pH 6 antigen on the surface of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Rui; Esser, Lothar; Sadhukhan, Annapurna; Nair, Manoj K M; Schifferli, Dieter M; Xia, Di

    2012-10-01

    Yersinia pestis has been responsible for a number of high-mortality epidemics throughout human history. Like all other bacterial infections, the pathogenesis of Y. pestis begins with the attachment of bacteria to the surface of host cells. At least five surface proteins from Y. pestis have been shown to interact with host cells. Psa, the pH 6 antigen, is one of them and is deployed on the surface of bacteria as thin flexible fibrils that are the result of the polymerization of a single PsaA pilin subunit. Here, the crystallization of recombinant donor-strand complemented PsaA by the hanging-drop vapor-diffusion method is reported. X-ray diffraction data sets were collected to 1.9 Å resolution from a native crystal and to 1.5 Å resolution from a bromide-derivatized crystal. These crystals displayed the symmetry of the orthorhombic space group P222(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 26.3, b = 54.6, c = 102.1 Å. Initial phases were derived from single isomorphous replacement with anomalous scattering experiments, resulting in an electron-density map that showed a single molecule in the crystallographic asymmetric unit. Sequence assignment was aided by residues binding to bromide ions of the heavy-atom derivative.

  9. CRP-Mediated Carbon Catabolite Regulation of Yersinia pestis Biofilm Formation Is Enhanced by the Carbon Storage Regulator Protein, CsrA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willias, Stephan P; Chauhan, Sadhana; Lo, Chien-Chi; Chain, Patrick S G; Motin, Vladimir L

    2015-01-01

    The natural transmission of Yersinia pestis is reliant upon biofilm blockage of the flea vector. However, the environmentally-responsive adaptive regulators which facilitate Y. pestis biofilm production in accordance with the flea midgut milieu are not well understood. We seek to establish the impact of available carbon source metabolism and storage upon Y. pestis biofilm production. Our findings demonstrate that Y. pestis biofilm production is subject to carbon catabolite regulation in which the presence of glucose impairs biofilm production; whereas, the sole metabolism of alternate carbon sources promotes robust biofilm formation. This observation is facilitated by the cAMP receptor protein, CRP. In accordance with a stark growth defect, deletion of crp in both CO92 and KIM6+ Y. pestis strains significantly impaired biofilm production when solely utilizing alternate carbon sources. Media supplementation with cAMP, a small-molecule activator of CRP, did not significantly alter Y. pestis biofilm production. Furthermore, CRP did not alter mRNA abundance of previously-characterized hms biofilm synthesis and regulation factors. Therefore, our findings indicate CRP does not confer a direct stimulatory effect, but may indirectly promote Y. pestis biofilm production by facilitating the alternate carbon source expression profile. Additionally, we assessed the impact of the carbon storage regulator protein, CsrA, upon Y. pestis biofilm production. Contrary to what has been described for E. coli, Y. pestis biofilm formation was found to be enhanced by CsrA. Regardless of media composition and available carbon source, deletion of csrA significantly impaired Y. pestis biofilm production. CsrA was found to promote Y. pestis biofilm production independent of glycogen regulation. Loss of csrA did not significantly alter relative hmsH, hmsP, or hmsT mRNA abundance. However, deletion of hmsP in the csrA-deficient mutant enabled excessive biofilm production, suggesting Csr

  10. Discerning Viable from Nonviable Yersinia pestis pgm- and Bacillus anthracis Sterne using Propidium Monoazide in the Presence of White Powders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hess, Becky M.; Kaiser, Brooke LD; Sydor, Michael A.; Wunschel, David S.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-12-23

    ABSTRACT Aims To develop and optimize an assay to determine viability status of Bacillus anthracis Sterne and Yersinia pestis pgm- strains in the presence of white powders by coupling propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment with real-time PCR (qPCR) analysis. Methods and Results PMA selectively enters nonviable cells and binds DNA, thereby increasing qPCR assay cycle threshold (CT) values compared to untreated samples. Dye concentration, cell number and fitness, incubation time, inactivation methods, and assay buffer were optimized for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm-. Differences in CT values in nonviable cells compared to untreated samples were consistently > 9 for both B. anthracis Sterne vegetative cells and Y. pestis pgm- in the presence and absence of three different white powders. Our method eliminates the need for a DNA extraction step prior to detection by qPCR. Conclusions The developed assay enables simultaneous identification and viability assessment for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm- under laboratory conditions, even in the presence of white powders. Eliminating the DNA extraction step that is typically used reduces total assay time and labor requirements for sample analysis. Significance and Impact of the Study The method developed for simultaneous detection and viability assessment for B. anthracis and Y. pestis can be employed in forming decisions about the severity of a biothreat event or the safety of food. Keywords Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Propidium Monoazide, qPCR, White Powders, Rapid Viability Detection

  11. Silencing urease: a key evolutionary step that facilitated the adaptation of Yersinia pestis to the flea-borne transmission route.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chouikha, Iman; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2014-12-30

    The arthropod-borne transmission route of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of plague, is a recent evolutionary adaptation. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, the closely related food-and water-borne enteric species from which Y. pestis diverged less than 6,400 y ago, exhibits significant oral toxicity to the flea vectors of plague, whereas Y. pestis does not. In this study, we identify the Yersinia urease enzyme as the responsible oral toxin. All Y. pestis strains, including those phylogenetically closest to the Y. pseudotuberculosis progenitor, contain a mutated ureD allele that eliminated urease activity. Restoration of a functional ureD was sufficient to make Y. pestis orally toxic to fleas. Conversely, deletion of the urease operon in Y. pseudotuberculosis rendered it nontoxic. Enzymatic activity was required for toxicity. Because urease-related mortality eliminates 30-40% of infective flea vectors, ureD mutation early in the evolution of Y. pestis was likely subject to strong positive selection because it significantly increased transmission potential.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noriko Goji

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of microarrays as a multiple analytic system has generated increased interest and provided a powerful analytical tool for the simultaneous detection of pathogens in a single experiment. A wide array of applications for this technology has been reported. A low density oligonucleotide microarray was generated from the genetic sequences of Y. pestis and B. anthracis and used to fabricate a microarray chip. The new generation chip, consisting of 2,240 spots in 4 quadrants with the capability of stripping/rehybridization, was designated as “Y-PESTIS/B-ANTHRACIS 4x2K Array.” The chip was tested for specificity using DNA from a panel of bacteria that may be potentially present in food. In all, 37 unique Y. pestis-specific and 83 B. anthracis-specific probes were identified. The microarray assay distinguished Y. pestis and B. anthracis from the other bacterial species tested and correctly identified the Y. pestis-specific oligonucleotide probes using DNA extracted from experimentally inoculated milk samples. Using a whole genome amplification method, the assay was able to detect as low as 1 ng genomic DNA as the start sample. The results suggest that oligonucleotide microarray can specifically detect and identify Y. pestis and B. anthracis and may be a potentially useful diagnostic tool for detecting and confirming the organisms in food during a bioterrorism event.

  13. Silencing urease: A key evolutionary step that facilitated the adaptation of Yersinia pestis to the flea-borne transmission route

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chouikha, Iman; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2014-01-01

    The arthropod-borne transmission route of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of plague, is a recent evolutionary adaptation. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, the closely related food-and water-borne enteric species from which Y. pestis diverged less than 6,400 y ago, exhibits significant oral toxicity to the flea vectors of plague, whereas Y. pestis does not. In this study, we identify the Yersinia urease enzyme as the responsible oral toxin. All Y. pestis strains, including those phylogenetically closest to the Y. pseudotuberculosis progenitor, contain a mutated ureD allele that eliminated urease activity. Restoration of a functional ureD was sufficient to make Y. pestis orally toxic to fleas. Conversely, deletion of the urease operon in Y. pseudotuberculosis rendered it nontoxic. Enzymatic activity was required for toxicity. Because urease-related mortality eliminates 30–40% of infective flea vectors, ureD mutation early in the evolution of Y. pestis was likely subject to strong positive selection because it significantly increased transmission potential. PMID:25453069

  14. Replication of Yersinia pestis in interferon gamma-activated macrophages requires ripA, a gene encoded in the pigmentation locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pujol, Céline; Grabenstein, Jens P; Perry, Robert D; Bliska, James B

    2005-09-06

    Yersinia pestis is a facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen that can replicate in macrophages. Little is known about the mechanism by which Y. pestis replicates in macrophages, and macrophage defense mechanisms important for limiting intracellular survival of Y. pestis have not been characterized. In this work, we investigated the ability of Y. pestis to replicate in primary murine macrophages that were activated with IFN-gamma. Y. pestis was able to replicate in macrophages that were activated with IFN-gamma after infection (postactivated). A region of chromosomal DNA known as the pigmentation (pgm) locus was required for replication in postactivated macrophages, and this replication was associated with reduced nitric oxide (NO) levels but not with reduced inducible NO synthase (iNOS) expression. Y. pestis delta pgm replicated in iNOS-/- macrophages that were postactivated with IFN-gamma, suggesting that killing of delta pgm Y. pestis is NO-dependent. A specific genetic locus within pgm, which shares similarity to a pathogenicity island in Salmonella, was shown to be required for replication of Y. pestis and restriction of NO levels in postactivated macrophages. These data demonstrate that intracellular Y. pestis can evade killing by macrophages that are exposed to IFN-gamma and identify a potential virulence gene encoded in the pgm locus that is required for this activity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  16. Utilization of Nitrophenylphosphates and Oxime-Based Ligation for the Development of Nanomolar Affinity Inhibitors of the Yersinia pestis Outer Protein H (YopH) Phosphatase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bahta, Medhanit; Lountos, George T.; Dyas, Beverly; Kim, Sung-Eun; Ulrich, Robert G.; Waugh, David S.; Burke, Jr., Terrence R. (NIH); (USARL)

    2012-08-10

    Our current study reports the first K{sub M} optimization of a library of nitrophenylphosphate-containing substrates for generating an inhibitor lead against the Yersinia pestis outer protein phosphatase (YopH). A high activity substrate identified by this method (K{sub M} = 80 {micro}M) was converted from a substrate into an inhibitor by replacement of its phosphate group with difluoromethylphosphonic acid and by attachment of an aminooxy handle for further structural optimization by oxime ligation. A cocrystal structure of this aminooxy-containing platform in complex with YopH allowed the identification of a conserved water molecule proximal to the aminooxy group that was subsequently employed for the design of furanyl-based oxime derivatives. By this process, a potent (IC{sub 50} = 190 nM) and nonpromiscuous inhibitor was developed with good YopH selectivity relative to a panel of phosphatases. The inhibitor showed significant inhibition of intracellular Y. pestis replication at a noncytotoxic concentration. The current work presents general approaches to PTP inhibitor development that may be useful beyond YopH.

  17. A Yersinia pestis-specific, lytic phage preparation significantly reduces viable Y. pestis on various hard surfaces experimentally contaminated with the bacterium

    OpenAIRE

    Rashid, Mohammed H.; Revazishvili, Tamara; Dean, Timothy; Butani, Amy; Verratti, Kathleen; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A.; Sozhamannan, Shanmuga; Sulakvelidze, Alexander; Rajanna, Chythanya

    2012-01-01

    Five Y. pestis bacteriophages obtained from various sources were characterized to determine their biological properties, including their taxonomic classification, host range and genomic diversity. Four of the phages (YpP-G, Y, R and YpsP-G) belong to the Podoviridae family, and the fifth phage (YpsP-PST) belongs to the Myoviridae family, of the order Caudovirales comprising of double-stranded DNA phages. The genomes of the four Podoviridae phages were fully sequenced and found to be almost id...

  18. Further development of raccoon poxvirus-vectored vaccines against plague (Yersinia pestis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, T.E.; Iams, Keith P.; Dawe, S.; Smith, S.R.; Williamson, J.L.; Heisey, D.M.; Osorio, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    In previous studies, we demonstrated protection against plague in mice and prairie dogs using a raccoon pox (RCN) virus-vectored vaccine that expressed the F1 capsular antigen of Yersinia pestis. In order to improve vaccine efficacy, we have now constructed additional RCN-plague vaccines containing two different forms of the lcrV (V) gene, including full-length (Vfull) and a truncated form (V307). Mouse challenge studies with Y. pestis strain CO92 showed that vaccination with a combination of RCN-F1 and the truncated V construct (RCN-V307) provided the greatest improvement (P = 0.01) in protection against plague over vaccination with RCN-F1 alone. This effect was mediated primarily by anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies and both contributed independently to increased survival of vaccinated mice.

  19. Effect of MarA-like proteins on antibiotic resistance and virulence in Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lister, Ida M; Mecsas, Joan; Levy, Stuart B

    2010-01-01

    MarA, an AraC/XylS transcriptional regulator in Escherichia coli, affects drug susceptibility and virulence. Two MarA-like proteins have been found in Yersinia pestis: MarA47 and MarA48. Deletion or overexpression of these proteins in the attenuated KIM 1001 Deltapgm strain led to a change in multidrug susceptibility (including susceptibility to clinically relevant drugs). Additionally, lung colonization by the marA47 or marA48 deletion mutant was decreased about 10-fold in a pneumonic plague mouse model. Complementation of the deletions by replacing the deleted genes on the chromosome restored wild-type characteristics. These findings show that two MarA homologs in Y. pestis affect antibiotic susceptibility and virulence.

  20. Multiplexed Electrochemical Detection of Yersinia Pestis and Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B using an Antibody Microarray

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Wojciechowski

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The CombiMatrix antibody microarray is a versatile, sensitive detection platform based on the generation and transduction of electrochemical signals following antigen binding to surface antibodies. The sensor chip described herein is comprised of microelectrodes coupled to an adjacent bio-friendly matrix coated with antibodies to the biological pathogens Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis, and the bacterial toxin staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB. Using this system, we were able to detect SEB and inactivated Y. pestis individually as well as in two-plex assays at concentrations as low as 5 pg/mL and 106 CFU/mL, respectively. We also introduce super avidin-biotin system (SABS as a viable and effective means to enhance assay signal responses and lower detection limits. Together these technologies represent substantial advances in point-of-care and point-of-use detection applications.

  1. Stable reagent for the detection of antibody to the specific fraction I antigen of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rust, J H; Berman, S; Habig, W H; Marshall, J D; Cavanaugh, D C

    1972-04-01

    A stable hemagglutinating antigen for detection of fraction I (FR-I) antibody of Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis) is described. The antigen was prepared by sensitizing tanned, pyruvaldehyde-treated sheep erythrocytes (PAT SRBC) with FR-I antigen. Preliminary standardization by titration of each lot of FR-I was required to minimize the effect of molecular heterogeneity of specific FR-I antigen and to eliminate nonspecific reactions caused by the presence of a minor antigenic contaminant. In tests with sera from rabbits, dogs, and humans, FR-I PAT SRBC were as reactive as the previously employed standard antigen, FR-I-sensitized tanned erythrocytes. Fluid suspensions of FR-I PAT SRBC stored at 4 C for 3 months, or lyophilized preparations stored at ambient temperature for 6 months, showed no loss in antigenic activity.

  2. Investigation of Yersinia pestis Laboratory Adaptation through a Combined Genomics and Proteomics Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Owen P Leiser

    Full Text Available The bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague in humans and animals, normally has a sylvatic lifestyle, cycling between fleas and mammals. In contrast, laboratory-grown Y. pestis experiences a more constant environment and conditions that it would not normally encounter. The transition from the natural environment to the laboratory results in a vastly different set of selective pressures, and represents what could be considered domestication. Understanding the kinds of adaptations Y. pestis undergoes as it becomes domesticated will contribute to understanding the basic biology of this important pathogen. In this study, we performed a parallel serial passage experiment (PSPE to explore the mechanisms by which Y. pestis adapts to laboratory conditions, hypothesizing that cells would undergo significant changes in virulence and nutrient acquisition systems. Two wild strains were serially passaged in 12 independent populations each for ~750 generations, after which each population was analyzed using whole-genome sequencing, LC-MS/MS proteomic analysis, and GC/MS metabolomics. We observed considerable parallel evolution in the endpoint populations, detecting multiple independent mutations in ail, pepA, and zwf, suggesting that specific selective pressures are shaping evolutionary responses. Complementary LC-MS/MS proteomic data provide physiological context to the observed mutations, and reveal regulatory changes not necessarily associated with specific mutations, including changes in amino acid metabolism and cell envelope biogenesis. Proteomic data support hypotheses generated by genomic data in addition to suggesting future mechanistic studies, indicating that future whole-genome sequencing studies be designed to leverage proteomics as a critical complement.

  3. [Maldi-tof ms analysis for yersinia pestis, vibrio cholera, and francisella tularensis identification].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afanas'ev, M V; Mironova, L V; Balakhonov, S V

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies showed that a new technology for the clinical microbiology laboratories, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization--Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-ToF MS), allows fast, accurate, and effective identification of most clinically relevant microorganisms to be implemented. In the present review, we discuss applications of this approach for identification and typing of extremely dangerous pathogens--Yersinia pestis, Vibrio cholera, and Francisella tularensis, including the advantages and disadvantages of the method, sample preparation and biosafety problems.

  4. Susceptibility to Yersinia pestis experimental infection in wild Rattus rattus, reservoir of plague in Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Tollenaere, C., Pernechele, B., Mäkinen, H., Parratt, S., Nemeth, M., Kovacs, G., Levente, K. Tack, A.; Rahalison, L.; Ranjalahy, M.; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Rahelinirina, S.; Telfer, S.; Brouat, Carine

    2010-01-01

    In Madagascar, the black rat, Rattus rattus, is the main reservoir of plague (Yersinia pestis infection), a disease still responsible for hundreds of cases each year in this country. This study used experimental plague challenge to assess susceptibility in wild-caught rats to better understand how R. rattus can act as a plague reservoir. An important difference in plague resistance between rat populations from the plague focus (central highlands) and those from the plague-free zone (low altit...

  5. Characterization of chromosomal regions conserved in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and lost by Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pouillot, Flavie; Fayolle, Corinne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2008-10-01

    The transformation of the enteropathogenic bacterium Yersinia pseudotuberculosis into the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis, has been accompanied by extensive genetic loss. This study focused on chromosomal regions conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis and lost during its transformation into Y. pestis. An extensive PCR screening of 78 strains of the two species identified five regions (R1 to R5) and four open reading frames (ORFs; orf1 to orf4) that were conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis and absent from Y. pestis. Their conservation in Y. pseudotuberculosis suggests a positive selective pressure and a role during the life cycle of this species. Attempts to delete two ORFs (orf3 and orf4) from the chromosome of strain IP32953 were unsuccessful, indicating that they are essential for its viability. The seven remaining loci were individually deleted from the IP32953 chromosome, and the ability of each mutant to grow in vitro and to kill mice upon intragastric infection was evaluated. Four loci (orf1, R2, R4, and R5) were not required for optimal growth or virulence of Y. pseudotuberculosis. In contrast, orf2, encoding a putative pseudouridylate synthase involved in RNA stability, was necessary for the optimal growth of IP32953 at 37 degrees C in a chemically defined medium (M63S). Deletion of R1, a region predicted to encode the methionine salvage pathway, altered the mutant pathogenicity, suggesting that the availability of free methionine is severely restricted in vivo. R3, a region composed mostly of genes of unknown functions, was necessary for both optimal growth of Y. pseudotuberculosis at 37 degrees C in M63S and for virulence. Therefore, despite their loss in Y. pestis, five of the nine Y. pseudotuberculosis-specific chromosomal loci studied play a role in the survival, growth, or virulence of this species.

  6. Molecular Survey of Bartonella Species and Yersinia pestis in Rodent Fleas (Siphonaptera) From Chihuahua, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-González, Adriana M; Kosoy, Michael Y; Rubio, André V; Graham, Christine B; Montenieri, John A; Osikowicz, Lynn M; Bai, Ying; Acosta-Gutiérrez, Roxana; Ávila-Flores, Rafael; Gage, Kenneth L; Suzán, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    Rodent fleas from northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico, were analyzed for the presence of Bartonella and Yersinia pestis. In total, 760 fleas belonging to 10 species were tested with multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis targeting the gltA (338-bp) and pla genes (478-bp) of Bartonella and Y. pestis, respectively. Although none was positive for Y. pestis, 307 fleas were infected with Bartonella spp., resulting in an overall prevalence of 40.4%. A logistic regression analysis indicated that the presence of Bartonella is more likely to occur in some flea species. From a subset of Bartonella-positive fleas, phylogenetic analyses of gltA gene sequences revealed 13 genetic variants clustering in five phylogroups (I–V), two of which were matched with known pathogenic Bartonella species (Bartonella vinsonii subsp. arupensis and Bartonella washoensis) and two that were not related with any previously described species or subspecies of Bartonella. Variants in phylogroup V, which were mainly obtained from Meringis spp. fleas, were identical to those reported recently in their specific rodent hosts (Dipodomys spp.) in the same region, suggesting that kangaroo rats and their fleas harbor other Bartonella species not reported previously. Considering the Bartonella prevalence and the flea genotypes associated with known pathogenic Bartonella species, we suggest that analysis of rodent and flea communities in the region should continue for their potential implications for human health. Given that nearby locations in the United States have reported Y. pestis in wild animals and their fleas, we suggest conducting larger-scale studies to increase our knowledge of this bacterium.

  7. Mutated and Bacteriophage T4 Nanoparticle Arrayed F1-V Immunogens from Yersinia pestis as Next Generation Plague Vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Kirtley, Michelle L.; van Lier, Christina J.; Sha, Jian; Yeager, Linsey A.; Chopra, Ashok K.; Rao, Venigalla B.

    2013-01-01

    Pneumonic plague is a highly virulent infectious disease with 100% mortality rate, and its causative organism Yersinia pestis poses a serious threat for deliberate use as a bioterror agent. Currently, there is no FDA approved vaccine against plague. The polymeric bacterial capsular protein F1, a key component of the currently tested bivalent subunit vaccine consisting, in addition, of low calcium response V antigen, has high propensity to aggregate, thus affecting its purification and vaccine efficacy. We used two basic approaches, structure-based immunogen design and phage T4 nanoparticle delivery, to construct new plague vaccines that provided complete protection against pneumonic plague. The NH2-terminal β-strand of F1 was transplanted to the COOH-terminus and the sequence flanking the β-strand was duplicated to eliminate polymerization but to retain the T cell epitopes. The mutated F1 was fused to the V antigen, a key virulence factor that forms the tip of the type three secretion system (T3SS). The F1mut-V protein showed a dramatic switch in solubility, producing a completely soluble monomer. The F1mut-V was then arrayed on phage T4 nanoparticle via the small outer capsid protein, Soc. The F1mut-V monomer was robustly immunogenic and the T4-decorated F1mut-V without any adjuvant induced balanced TH1 and TH2 responses in mice. Inclusion of an oligomerization-deficient YscF, another component of the T3SS, showed a slight enhancement in the potency of F1-V vaccine, while deletion of the putative immunomodulatory sequence of the V antigen did not improve the vaccine efficacy. Both the soluble (purified F1mut-V mixed with alhydrogel) and T4 decorated F1mut-V (no adjuvant) provided 100% protection to mice and rats against pneumonic plague evoked by high doses of Y. pestis CO92. These novel platforms might lead to efficacious and easily manufacturable next generation plague vaccines. PMID:23853602

  8. The NlpD lipoprotein is a novel Yersinia pestis virulence factor essential for the development of plague.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avital Tidhar

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague. Previously we have isolated an attenuated Y. pestis transposon insertion mutant in which the pcm gene was disrupted. In the present study, we investigated the expression and the role of pcm locus genes in Y. pestis pathogenesis using a set of isogenic surE, pcm, nlpD and rpoS mutants of the fully virulent Kimberley53 strain. We show that in Y. pestis, nlpD expression is controlled from elements residing within the upstream genes surE and pcm. The NlpD lipoprotein is the only factor encoded from the pcm locus that is essential for Y. pestis virulence. A chromosomal deletion of the nlpD gene sequence resulted in a drastic reduction in virulence to an LD(50 of at least 10(7 cfu for subcutaneous and airway routes of infection. The mutant was unable to colonize mouse organs following infection. The filamented morphology of the nlpD mutant indicates that NlpD is involved in cell separation; however, deletion of nlpD did not affect in vitro growth rate. Trans-complementation experiments with the Y. pestis nlpD gene restored virulence and all other phenotypic defects. Finally, we demonstrated that subcutaneous administration of the nlpD mutant could protect animals against bubonic and primary pneumonic plague. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Y. pestis NlpD is a novel virulence factor essential for the development of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Further, the nlpD mutant is superior to the EV76 prototype live vaccine strain in immunogenicity and in conferring effective protective immunity. Thus it could serve as a basis for a very potent live vaccine against bubonic and pneumonic plague.

  9. New Insights into How Yersinia pestis Adapts to Its Mammalian Host during Bubonic Plague

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradel, Elizabeth; Lemaître, Nadine; Merchez, Maud; Ricard, Isabelle; Reboul, Angéline; Dewitte, Amélie; Sebbane, Florent

    2014-01-01

    Bubonic plague (a fatal, flea-transmitted disease) remains an international public health concern. Although our understanding of the pathogenesis of bubonic plague has improved significantly over the last few decades, researchers have still not been able to define the complete set of Y. pestis genes needed for disease or to characterize the mechanisms that enable infection. Here, we generated a library of Y. pestis mutants, each lacking one or more of the genes previously identified as being up-regulated in vivo. We then screened the library for attenuated virulence in rodent models of bubonic plague. Importantly, we tested mutants both individually and using a novel, “per-pool” screening method that we have developed. Our data showed that in addition to genes involved in physiological adaption and resistance to the stress generated by the host, several previously uncharacterized genes are required for virulence. One of these genes (ympt1.66c, which encodes a putative helicase) has been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Deletion of ympt1.66c reduced Y. pestis' ability to spread to the lymph nodes draining the dermal inoculation site – probably because loss of this gene decreased the bacteria's ability to survive inside macrophages. Our results suggest that (i) intracellular survival during the early stage of infection is important for plague and (ii) horizontal gene transfer was crucial in the acquisition of this ability. PMID:24675805

  10. New insights into how Yersinia pestis adapts to its mammalian host during bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradel, Elizabeth; Lemaître, Nadine; Merchez, Maud; Ricard, Isabelle; Reboul, Angéline; Dewitte, Amélie; Sebbane, Florent

    2014-03-01

    Bubonic plague (a fatal, flea-transmitted disease) remains an international public health concern. Although our understanding of the pathogenesis of bubonic plague has improved significantly over the last few decades, researchers have still not been able to define the complete set of Y. pestis genes needed for disease or to characterize the mechanisms that enable infection. Here, we generated a library of Y. pestis mutants, each lacking one or more of the genes previously identified as being up-regulated in vivo. We then screened the library for attenuated virulence in rodent models of bubonic plague. Importantly, we tested mutants both individually and using a novel, "per-pool" screening method that we have developed. Our data showed that in addition to genes involved in physiological adaptation and resistance to the stress generated by the host, several previously uncharacterized genes are required for virulence. One of these genes (ympt1.66c, which encodes a putative helicase) has been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Deletion of ympt1.66c reduced Y. pestis' ability to spread to the lymph nodes draining the dermal inoculation site--probably because loss of this gene decreased the bacteria's ability to survive inside macrophages. Our results suggest that (i) intracellular survival during the early stage of infection is important for plague and (ii) horizontal gene transfer was crucial in the acquisition of this ability.

  11. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Valdez, Yolanda E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Shou, Yulin [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Yoshida, Thomas M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Marrone, Babetta L [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dunbar, John [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  12. THE SURVIVAL OF PASTEURELLA PESTIS IN MATERIALS PRESERVED BY SOLID CARBON DIOXIDE (DRY-ICE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    GOLDENBERG, M I; QUAN, S F; PRINCE, F M

    1964-01-01

    In the investigation of outbreaks of plague it is frequently more satisfactory to send specimens of suspected material collected in the field to a central laboratory, where usually better facilities for their more detailed examination are available. In the present study the authors have investigated the suitability of solid CO(2) (dry-ice) for the preservation of such material during transit. Three types of preparation were tested: broth suspensions of Pasteurella pestis, the livers and spleens of guinea-pigs dying after being infected with two different strains of P. pestis, and whole carcasses of mice and ground-squirrels infected with the organism. An additional test to ascertain the rate at which animal specimens became frozen and thawed was also carried out.These studies showed that (1) organisms in the various tissues frozen in dry-ice were not adversely affected by such treatment; (2) the survival of P. pestis cells did not depend on the number of organisms present in broth cultures or tissue suspensions, small numbers surviving equally well as large; and (3) plague bacilli contained in whole carcasses, even when present in small numbers, were also successfully preserved. It is concluded from these results, and also from the authors' practical use of the method over several years, that for the transport of plague-suspect materials from the field to the laboratory freezing with dry-ice can be confidently recommended.

  13. Retracing the evolutionary path that led to flea-borne transmission of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yi-Cheng; Jarrett, Clayton O; Bosio, Christopher F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2014-05-14

    Yersinia pestis is an arthropod-borne bacterial pathogen that evolved recently from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, an enteric pathogen transmitted via the fecal-oral route. This radical ecological transition can be attributed to a few discrete genetic changes from a still-extant recent ancestor, thus providing a tractable case study in pathogen evolution and emergence. Here, we determined the genetic and mechanistic basis of the evolutionary adaptation of Y. pestis to flea-borne transmission. Remarkably, only four minor changes in the bacterial progenitor, representing one gene gain and three gene losses, enabled transmission by flea vectors. All three loss-of-function mutations enhanced cyclic-di-GMP-mediated bacterial biofilm formation in the flea foregut, which greatly increased transmissibility. Our results suggest a step-wise evolutionary model in which Y. pestis emerged as a flea-borne clone, with each genetic change incrementally reinforcing the transmission cycle. The model conforms well to the ecological theory of adaptive radiation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. HmsC Controls Yersinia pestis Biofilm Formation in Response to Redox Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gai-Xian Ren

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis biofilm formation, controlled by intracellular levels of the second messenger molecule cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP, is important for blockage-dependent plague transmission from fleas to mammals. HmsCDE is a tripartite signaling system that modulates intracellular c-di-GMP levels to regulate biofilm formation in Y. pestis. Previously, we found that Y. pestis biofilm formation is stimulated in reducing environments in an hmsCDE-dependent manner. However, the mechanism by which HmsCDE senses the redox state remains elusive. Using a dsbA mutant and the addition of Cu2+ to simulate reducing and oxidizing periplasmic environments, we found that HmsC protein levels are decreased and the HmsC-HmsD protein-protein interaction is weakened in a reducing environment. In addition, we revealed that intraprotein disulphide bonds are critical for HmsC since breakage lowers protein stability and diminishes the interaction with HmsD. Our results suggest that HmsC might play a major role in sensing the environmental changes.

  15. New insights into how Yersinia pestis adapts to its mammalian host during bubonic plague.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Pradel

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Bubonic plague (a fatal, flea-transmitted disease remains an international public health concern. Although our understanding of the pathogenesis of bubonic plague has improved significantly over the last few decades, researchers have still not been able to define the complete set of Y. pestis genes needed for disease or to characterize the mechanisms that enable infection. Here, we generated a library of Y. pestis mutants, each lacking one or more of the genes previously identified as being up-regulated in vivo. We then screened the library for attenuated virulence in rodent models of bubonic plague. Importantly, we tested mutants both individually and using a novel, "per-pool" screening method that we have developed. Our data showed that in addition to genes involved in physiological adaptation and resistance to the stress generated by the host, several previously uncharacterized genes are required for virulence. One of these genes (ympt1.66c, which encodes a putative helicase has been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Deletion of ympt1.66c reduced Y. pestis' ability to spread to the lymph nodes draining the dermal inoculation site--probably because loss of this gene decreased the bacteria's ability to survive inside macrophages. Our results suggest that (i intracellular survival during the early stage of infection is important for plague and (ii horizontal gene transfer was crucial in the acquisition of this ability.

  16. VALIDATION OF COOKING TIMES AND TEMPERATURES FOR THERMAL INACTIVATION OF YERSINIA PESTIS STRAINS KIM5 AND CDC-A1112 IN GROUND BEEF

    Science.gov (United States)

    The thermal stability of Yersinia pestis inoculated into retail ground beef (25 per cent fat) and heated in a temperature-controlled water bath or cooked on commercial grills was evaluated. Irradiated ground beef (3-g portions) was inoculated with ca. 6.7 log10 CFU/g of Y. pestis strain KIM5 and hea...

  17. Structures of OppA and PstS from Yersinia pestis indicate variability of interactions with transmembrane domains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tanabe, Mikio; Mirza, Osman; Bertrand, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    -infective development. Here, the crystallization of five proteins (OppA, PstS, PiuA, YrbD and CysP) from Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, are reported that diffracted to resolution limits ranging from 1.6 to 5 A. The first crystal structures of ABC system components from Y. pestis, OppA and Pst...

  18. Characterization of late acyltransferase genes of Yersinia pestis and their role in temperature-dependent lipid A variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebeil, Roberto; Ernst, Robert K; Jarrett, Clayton O; Adams, Kristin N; Miller, Samuel I; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2006-02-01

    Yersinia pestis is an important human pathogen that is maintained in flea-rodent enzootic cycles in many parts of the world. During its life cycle, Y. pestis senses host-specific environmental cues such as temperature and regulates gene expression appropriately to adapt to the insect or mammalian host. For example, Y. pestis synthesizes different forms of lipid A when grown at temperatures corresponding to the in vivo environments of the mammalian host and the flea vector. At 37 degrees C, tetra-acylated lipid A is the major form; but at 26 degrees C or below, hexa-acylated lipid A predominates. In this study, we show that the Y. pestis msbB (lpxM) and lpxP homologs encode the acyltransferases that add C12 and C(16:1) groups, respectively, to lipid IV(A) to generate the hexa-acylated form, and that their expression is upregulated at 21 degrees C in vitro and in the flea midgut. A Y. pestis deltamsbB deltalpxP double mutant that did not produce hexa-acylated lipid A was more sensitive to cecropin A, but not to polymyxin B. This mutant was able to infect and block fleas as well as the parental wild-type strain, indicating that the low-temperature-dependent change to hexa-acylated lipid A synthesis is not required for survival in the flea gut.

  19. Detection of Yersinia pestis in environmental and food samples by intact cell immunocapture and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Simon, Stéphanie; Filali, Sofia; Volland, Hervé; Junot, Christophe; Carniel, Elisabeth; Becher, François

    2014-06-17

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. In addition to the risk of natural exposure to plague, there is also the threat of a bioterrorist act, leading to the deliberate spread of the bacteria in the environment or food. We report here an immuno-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (immuno-LC-MS/MS) method for the direct (i.e., without prior culture), sensitive, and specific detection of Y. pestis in such complex samples. In the first step, a bottom-up proteomics approach highlighted three relevant protein markers encoded by the Y. pestis-specific plasmids pFra (murine toxin) and pPla (plasminogen activator and pesticin). Suitable proteotypic peptides were thoroughly selected to monitor the three protein markers by targeted MS using the selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode. Immunocapture conditions were optimized for the isolation and concentration of intact bacterial cells from complex samples. The immuno-LC-SRM assay has a limit of detection of 2 × 10(4) CFU/mL in milk or tap water, which compares well with those of state-of-the-art immunoassays. Moreover, we report the first direct detection of Y. pestis in soil, which could be extremely useful in confirming Y. pestis persistence in the ground.

  20. Effect of serotonin on the expression of antigens and DNA levels in Yersinia pestis cells with different plasmid content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klueva, Svetlana N.; Korsukov, Vladimir N.; Schukovskaya, Tatyana N.; Kravtsov, Alexander L.

    2004-08-01

    Using flow cytometry (FCM) the influence of exogenous serotonin on culture growth, DNA content and fluorescence intensity of cells binding FITC-labelled plague polyclonal immunoglobulins was studied in Yersinia pestis EV (pFra+, pCad+, pPst+), Yersinia pestis KM218 (pFra-, pCad-, pPst-), Yersinia pestis KM 216 (pFra-, pCad-, pPst+). The results have been obtained by FCM showed serotonin accelerated Yersinia pestis EV (pFra+, pCad+, pPst+), Yersinia pestis KM218 (pFra-, pCad-, pPst-) culture growth during cultivation in Hottinger broth pH 7.2 at 28°C at concentration of 10-5 M. The presence of 10-5 M serotonin in nutrient broth could modulate DNA content in 37°C growing population of plague microbe independently of their plasmid content. Serotonin have been an impact on the distribution pattern of the cells according to their phenotypical characteristics, which was reflected in the levels of population heterogeneity in the intensity of specific immunofluorescence determined by FMC.

  1. Monitoring biothreat agents (Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis) with a portable real-time PCR instrument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mölsä, Markos; Hemmilä, Heidi; Katz, Anna; Niemimaa, Jukka; Forbes, Kristian M; Huitu, Otso; Stuart, Peter; Henttonen, Heikki; Nikkari, Simo

    2015-08-01

    In the event of suspected releases or natural outbreaks of contagious pathogens, rapid identification of the infectious agent is essential for appropriate medical intervention and disease containment. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of a novel portable real-time PCR thermocycler, PikoReal™, to the standard real-time PCR thermocycler, Applied Biosystems® 7300 (ABI 7300), for the detection of three high-risk biothreat bacterial pathogens: Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. In addition, a novel confirmatory real-time PCR assay for the detection of F. tularensis is presented and validated. The results show that sensitivity of the assays, based on a dilution series, for the three infectious agents ranged from 1 to 100 fg of target DNA with both instruments. No cross-reactivity was revealed in specificity testing. Duration of the assays with the PikoReal and ABI 7300 systems were 50 and 100 min, respectively. In field testing for F. tularensis, results were obtained with the PikoReal system in 95 min, as the pre-PCR preparation, including DNA extraction, required an additional 45 min. We conclude that the PikoReal system enables highly sensitive and rapid on-site detection of biothreat agents under field conditions, and may be a more efficient alternative to conventional diagnostic methods.

  2. Historical Y. pestis Genomes Reveal the European Black Death as the Source of Ancient and Modern Plague Pandemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spyrou, Maria A; Tukhbatova, Rezeda I; Feldman, Michal; Drath, Joanna; Kacki, Sacha; Beltrán de Heredia, Julia; Arnold, Susanne; Sitdikov, Airat G; Castex, Dominique; Wahl, Joachim; Gazimzyanov, Ilgizar R; Nurgaliev, Danis K; Herbig, Alexander; Bos, Kirsten I; Krause, Johannes

    2016-06-08

    Ancient DNA analysis has revealed an involvement of the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis in several historical pandemics, including the second plague pandemic (Europe, mid-14(th) century Black Death until the mid-18(th) century AD). Here we present reconstructed Y. pestis genomes from plague victims of the Black Death and two subsequent historical outbreaks spanning Europe and its vicinity, namely Barcelona, Spain (1300-1420 cal AD), Bolgar City, Russia (1362-1400 AD), and Ellwangen, Germany (1485-1627 cal AD). Our results provide support for (1) a single entry of Y. pestis in Europe during the Black Death, (2) a wave of plague that traveled toward Asia to later become the source population for contemporary worldwide epidemics, and (3) the presence of an historical European plague focus involved in post-Black Death outbreaks that is now likely extinct. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Strain specific variation of outer membrane proteins of wild Yersinia pestis strains subjected to different growth temperatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico Guilherme Coutinho Abath

    1990-03-01

    Full Text Available Three Yersinia pestis strains isolated from humans and one laboratory strain (EV76 were grown in rich media at 28§C and 37§C and their outer membrane protein composition compared by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-Page. Several proteins with molecular weights ranging from 34 kDa to 7 kDa were observed to change in relative abundance in samples grown at different temperatures. At least seven Y. pestis outer membrane proteins showed a temperature-dependent and strain-specific behaviour. Some differences between the outer membrane proteins of full-pathogenic wild isolates and the EV76 strain could aldso be detected and the relevance of this finding on the use of laboratory strains as a reference to the study of Y. pestis biological properties is discuted.

  4. Variability of the protein sequences of lcrV between epidemic and atypical rhamnose-positive strains of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisimov, Andrey P; Panfertsev, Evgeniy A; Svetoch, Tat'yana E; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V

    2007-01-01

    Sequencing of lcrV genes and comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences from ten Y. pestis strains belonging mostly to the group of atypical rhamnose-positive isolates (non-pestis subspecies or pestoides group) showed that the LcrV proteins analyzed could be classified into five sequence types. This classification was based on major amino acid polymorphisms among LcrV proteins in the four "hot points" of the protein sequences. Some additional minor polymorphisms were found throughout these sequence types. The "hot points" corresponded to amino acids 18 (Lys --> Asn), 72 (Lys --> Arg), 273 (Cys --> Ser), and 324-326 (Ser-Gly-Lys --> Arg) in the LcrV sequence of the reference Y. pestis strain CO92. One possible explanation for polymorphism in amino acid sequences of LcrV among different strains is that strain-specific variation resulted from adaptation of the plague pathogen to different rodent and lagomorph hosts.

  5. Growth Curve Models for the Analysis of Phenotype Arrays for a Systems Biology Overview of Yersinia pestis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fodor, I K; Holtz-Morris, A E; McCutchen-Maloney, S L

    2005-09-08

    The Phenotype MicroArray technology of Biolog, Inc. (Hayward, CA) measures the respiration of cells as a function of time in thousands of microwells simultaneously, and thus provides a high-throughput means of studying cellular phenotypes. The microwells contain compounds involved in a number of biochemical pathways, as well as chemicals that test the sensitivity of cells against antibiotics and stress. While the PM experimental workflow is completely automated, statistical methods to analyze and interpret the data are lagging behind. To take full advantage of the technology, it is essential to develop efficient analytical methods to quantify the information in the complex datasets resulting from PM experiments. We propose the use of statistical growth-curve models to rigorously quantify observed differences in PM experiments, in the context of the growth and metabolism of Yersinia pestis cells grown under different physiological conditions. The information from PM experiments complement genomic and proteomic results and can be used to identify gene function and in drug development. Successful coupling of phenomics results with genomics and proteomics will lead to an unprecedented ability to characterize bacterial function at a systems biology level.

  6. Recombinant F1-V fusion protein protects black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) against virulent Yersinia pestis infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, T.E.; Mencher, J.; Smith, S.R.; Friedlander, A.M.; Andrews, G.P.; Baeten, L.A.

    2004-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are highly susceptible to sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and this disease has severely hampered efforts to restore ferrets to their historic range. A study was conducted to assess the efficacy of vaccination of black-footed ferrets against plague using a recombinant protein vaccine, designated F1-V, developed by personnel at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Seven postreproductive black-footed ferrets were immunized with the vaccine, followed by two booster immunizations on days 23 and 154; three control black-footed ferrets received a placebo. After the second immunization, antibody titers to both F1 and V antigen were found to be significantly higher in vaccinates than controls. On challenge with 7,800 colony-forming units of virulent plague by s.c. injection, the three control animals died within 3 days, but six of seven vaccinates survived with no ill effects. The seventh vaccinate died on day 8. These results indicate that black-footed ferrets can be immunized against plague induced by the s.c. route, similar to fleabite injection.

  7. The Role of Transition Metal Transporters for Iron, Zinc, Manganese, and Copper in the Pathogenesis of Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Robert D.; Bobrov, Alexander G.; Fetherston, Jacqueline D.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic plague, encodes a multitude of Fe transport systems. Some of these are defective due to frameshift or IS element insertions, while others are functional in vitro but have no established role in causing infections. Indeed only 3 Fe transporters (Ybt, Yfe and Feo) have been shown to be important in at least one form of plague. The yersiniabactin (Ybt) system is essential in the early dermal/lymphatic stages of bubonic plague, irrelevant in the septicemic stage, and critical in pneumonic plague. Two Mn transporters have been characterized (Yfe and MntH). These two systems play a role in bubonic plague but the double yfe mntH mutant is fully virulent in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. The same in vivo phenotype occurs with a mutant lacking two (Yfe and Feo) of four ferrous transporters. A role for the Ybt siderophore in Zn acquisition has been revealed. Ybt-dependent Zn acquisition uses a transport system completely independent of the Fe-Ybt uptake system. Together Ybt components and ZnuABC play a critical role in Zn acquisition in vivo. Single mutants in either system retain high virulence in a mouse model of septicemic plague while the double mutant is completely avirulent. PMID:25891079

  8. The role of transition metal transporters for iron, zinc, manganese, and copper in the pathogenesis of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Robert D; Bobrov, Alexander G; Fetherston, Jacqueline D

    2015-06-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic plague, encodes a multitude of Fe transport systems. Some of these are defective due to frameshift or IS element insertions, while others are functional in vitro but have no established role in causing infections. Indeed only 3 Fe transporters (Ybt, Yfe and Feo) have been shown to be important in at least one form of plague. The yersiniabactin (Ybt) system is essential in the early dermal/lymphatic stages of bubonic plague, irrelevant in the septicemic stage, and critical in pneumonic plague. Two Mn transporters have been characterized (Yfe and MntH). These two systems play a role in bubonic plague but the double yfe mntH mutant is fully virulent in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. The same in vivo phenotype occurs with a mutant lacking two (Yfe and Feo) of four ferrous transporters. A role for the Ybt siderophore in Zn acquisition has been revealed. Ybt-dependent Zn acquisition uses a transport system completely independent of the Fe-Ybt uptake system. Together Ybt components and ZnuABC play a critical role in Zn acquisition in vivo. Single mutants in either system retain high virulence in a mouse model of septicemic plague while the double mutant is completely avirulent.

  9. Protection against lethal subcutaneous challenge of virulent Y. pestis strain 141 using an F1-V subunit vaccine

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we designed and engineered a two-component recombinant fusion protein antigen as a vaccine candidate against the possible biological threat of Yersinia pestis. The recombinant F1-V protein was formulated with Alhydrogel. A four-time injection with a dosage of 10, 20 and 50 μg/mouse in about two months was adopted for vaccination. Serum antibodies and subclass of T helper cells were measured and analyzed. After the final vaccination, the mice were challenged by 141 strain with 25―600 LD50. In conclusion, the recombinant vaccine was capable of inducing protective immunity against subcutaneous challenge. The level of serum IgG was supposed to be a main factor that affected the final protection of challenge. 20 μg recombinant protein could induce an endpoint titre of serum IgG as high as 51200, which was enough to afford 100% protection against 400 LD50 virulent 141 challenge. The antibody isotype analysis showed that the vaccine induced predominantly an IgG1 rather than IgG2a response. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that Alhydrogel significantly helped induce a stronger humoral immunity instead of CTL cellular response. These findings suggested that the plague F1-V subunit vaccine is promising for the next plague vaccine.

  10. Effect of deletion of the lpxM gene on virulence and vaccine potential of Yersinia pestis in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisimov, Andrey P; Shaikhutdinova, Rima Z; Pan'kina, Lyudmila N; Feodorova, Valentina A; Savostina, Elena P; Bystrova, Ol'ga V; Lindner, Buko; Mokrievich, Aleksandr N; Bakhteeva, Irina V; Titareva, Galina M; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V; Kocharova, Nina A; Senchenkova, Sof'ya N; Holst, Otto; Devdariani, Zurab L; Popov, Yuriy A; Pier, Gerald B; Knirel, Yuriy A

    2007-04-01

    Yersinia pestis undergoes an obligate flea-rodent-flea enzootic life cycle. The rapidly fatal properties of Y. pestis are responsible for the organism's sustained survival in natural plague foci. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) plays several roles in Y. pestis pathogenesis, prominent among them being resistance to host immune effectors and induction of a septic-shock state during the terminal phases of infection. LPS is acylated with 4-6 fatty acids, the number varying with growth temperature and affecting the molecule's toxic properties. Y. pestis mutants were constructed with a deletion insertion in the lpxM gene in both virulent and attenuated strains, preventing the organisms from synthesizing the most toxic hexa-acylated lipid A molecule when grown at 25 degrees C. The virulence and/or protective potency of pathogenic and attenuated Y. pestis DeltalpxM mutants were then examined in a mouse model. The DeltalpxM mutation in a virulent strain led to no change in the LD(50) value compared to that of the parental strain, while the DeltalpxM mutation in attenuated strains led to a modest 2.5-16-fold reduction in virulence. LPS preparations containing fully hexa-acylated lipid A were ten times more toxic in actinomycin D-treated mice then preparations lacking this lipid A isoform, although this was not significant (P>0.05). The DeltalpxM mutation in vaccine strain EV caused a significant increase in its protective potency. These studies suggest there is little impact from lipid A modifications on the virulence of Y. pestis strains but there are potential improvements in the protective properties in attenuated vaccine strains.

  11. Inhibition of expression of virulence genes of Yersinia pestis in Escherichia coli by external guide sequences and RNase P.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Jae-hyeong; Izadjoo, Mina; Altman, Sidney

    2008-08-01

    External guide sequences (EGSs) targeting virulence genes from Yersinia pestis were designed and tested in vitro and in vivo in Escherichia coli. Linear EGSs and M1 RNA-linked EGSs were designed for the yscN and yscS genes that are involved in type III secretion in Y. pestis. RNase P from E. coli cleaves the messages of yscN and yscS in vitro with the cognate EGSs, and the expression of the EGSs resulted in the reduction of the levels of these messages of the virulence genes when those genes were expressed in E. coli.

  12. Reciprocal regulation of Yersinia pestis biofilm formation and virulence by RovM and RovA

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Lei; Fang, Haihong; Yang, Huiying; Zhang, Yiquan; Han, Yanping; Zhou, Dongsheng; Yang, Ruifu

    2016-01-01

    RovA is known to enhance Yersinia pestis virulence by directly upregulating the psa loci. This work presents a complex gene regulatory paradigm involving the reciprocal regulatory action of RovM and RovA on the expression of biofilm and virulence genes as well as on their own genes. RovM and RovA enhance and inhibit Y. pestis biofilm production, respectively, whereas RovM represses virulence in mice. RovM directly stimulates the transcription of hmsT, hmsCDE and rovM, while indirectly enhanci...

  13. Transmission efficiency of the plague pathogen (Y. pestis) by the flea, Xenopsylla skrjabini, to mice and great gerbils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yujiang; Dai, Xiang; Wang, Qiguo; Chen, Hongjian; Meng, Weiwei; Wu, Kemei; Luo, Tao; Wang, Xinhui; Rehemu, Azhati; Guo, Rong; Yu, Xiaotao; Yang, Ruifu; Cao, Hanli; Song, Yajun

    2015-05-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by Yersinia pestis, is characterized by its ability to persist in the plague natural foci. Junggar Basin plague focus was recently identified in China, with Rhombomys opimus (great gerbils) and Xenopsylla skrjabini as the main reservoir and vector for plague. No transmission efficiency data of X. skrjabini for Y. pestis is available till now. In this study, we estimated the median infectious dose (ID50) and the blockage rates of X. skrjabini with Y. pestis, by using artificial feeders. We then evaluated the flea transmission ability of Y. pestis to the mice and great gerbils via artificial bloodmeal feeding. Finally, we investigated the transmission of Y. pestis to mice with fleas fed by infected great gerbils. ID50 of Y. pestis to X. skrjabini was estimated as 2.04 × 10(5) CFU (95% CI, 1.45 × 10(5) - 3.18 × 10(5) CFU), around 40 times higher than that of X. cheopis. Although fleas fed by higher bacteremia bloodmeal had higher infection rates for Y. pestis, they lived significantly shorter than their counterparts. X. skrjabini could get fully blocked as early as day 3 post of infection (7.1%, 3/42 fleas), and the overall blockage rate of X. cheopis was estimated as 14.9% (82/550 fleas) during the 14 days of investigation. For the fleas infected by artificial feeders, they seemed to transmit plague more efficiently to great gerbils than mice. Our single flea transmission experiments also revealed that, the transmission capacity of naturally infected fleas (fed by infected great gerbils) was significantly higher than that of artificially infected ones (fed by artificial feeders). Our results indicated that ID50 of Y. pestis to X. skrjabini was higher than other fleas like X. cheopis, and its transmission efficiency to mice might be lower than other flea vectors in the artificial feeding modes. We also found different transmission potentials in the artificially infected fleas and the naturally infected ones. Further studies are

  14. Zinc transporters YbtX and ZnuABC are required for the virulence of Yersinia pestis in bubonic and pneumonic plague in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobrov, Alexander G; Kirillina, Olga; Fosso, Marina Y; Fetherston, Jacqueline D; Miller, M Clarke; VanCleave, Tiva T; Burlison, Joseph A; Arnold, William K; Lawrenz, Matthew B; Garneau-Tsodikova, Sylvie; Perry, Robert D

    2017-06-21

    A number of bacterial pathogens require the ZnuABC Zinc (Zn(2+)) transporter and/or a second Zn(2+) transport system to overcome Zn(2+) sequestration by mammalian hosts. Previously we have shown that in addition to ZnuABC, Yersinia pestis possesses a second Zn(2+) transporter that involves components of the yersiniabactin (Ybt), siderophore-dependent iron transport system. Synthesis of the Ybt siderophore and YbtX, a member of the major facilitator superfamily, are both critical components of the second Zn(2+) transport system. Here we demonstrate that a ybtX znu double mutant is essentially avirulent in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague while a ybtX mutant retains high virulence in both plague models. While sequestration of host Zn is a key nutritional immunity factor, excess Zn appears to have a significant antimicrobial role in controlling intracellular bacterial survival. Here, we demonstrate that ZntA, a Zn(2+) exporter, plays a role in resistance to Zn toxicity in vitro, but that a zntA zur double mutant retains high virulence in both pneumonic and bubonic plague models and survival in macrophages. We also confirm that Ybt does not directly bind Zn(2+)in vitro under the conditions tested. However, we detect a significant increase in Zn(2+)-binding ability of filtered supernatants from a Ybt(+) strain compared to those from a strain unable to produce the siderophore, supporting our previously published data that Ybt biosynthetic genes are involved in the production of a secreted Zn-binding molecule (zincophore). Our data suggest that Ybt or a modified Ybt participate in or promote Zn-binding activity in culture supernatants and is involved in Zn acquisition in Y. pestis.

  15. Temporal Global Changes in Gene Expression during Temperature Transition in Yersinia pestis

    OpenAIRE

    Motin, Vladimir L; Georgescu, Anca M.; Fitch, Joseph P.; Gu, Pauline P.; Nelson, David O.; Mabery, Shalini L.; Garnham, Janine B.; Sokhansanj, Bahrad A.; Ott, Linda L.; Matthew A Coleman; Elliott, Jeffrey M.; Kegelmeyer, Laura M.; Wyrobek, Andrew J.; Slezak, Thomas R.; Brubaker, Robert R.

    2004-01-01

    DNA microarrays encompassing the entire genome of Yersinia pestis were used to characterize global regulatory changes during steady-state vegetative growth occurring after shift from 26 to 37°C in the presence and absence of Ca2+. Transcriptional profiles revealed that 51, 4, and 13 respective genes and open reading frames (ORFs) on pCD, pPCP, and pMT were thermoinduced and that the majority of these genes carried by pCD were downregulated by Ca2+. In contrast, Ca2+ had little effect on chrom...

  16. TEKNIK ISOLASI - IDENTIFIKASI Yersinia pestis SEBAGAI PENYEBAB PENYAKIT PES (HASIL PELATIHAN DI BALAI BESAR VETERINER BOGOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dewi Marbawati

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Teknik isolasi dan identifikasi Y. pestis mempunyai prinsip- prinsip umum pertumbuhan yaitu terdiri dari tiga tahap yaitu: tahap pengkayaan, seleksi pada media agar dan uji biokimia. Tahap pengkayaan dilakukan dengan cara menimbang sebanyak 10-25 gram spesimen kemudian dimasukkan dalam blender atau plastik steril dan ditambah 90-225 ml media pengkayaan (dapat menggunakan Buffered Peptone Water (BPW, Brain Heart Infusion (BHI atau menggunakan Nutrient Broth. Setelah itu dibuat suspensi spesimen 10%, kemudian dilakukan homogenisasi selama ± 2 menit dan diinkubasikan pada suhu 37 derajat Celcius selama 24 jam.

  17. Genome-scale reconstruction of the metabolic network in Yersinia pestis CO92

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navid, Ali; Almaas, Eivind

    2007-03-01

    The gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of bubonic plague. Using publicly available genomic, biochemical and physiological data, we have developed a constraint-based flux balance model of metabolism in the CO92 strain (biovar Orientalis) of this organism. The metabolic reactions were appropriately compartmentalized, and the model accounts for the exchange of metabolites, as well as the import of nutrients and export of waste products. We have characterized the metabolic capabilities and phenotypes of this organism, after comparing the model predictions with available experimental observations to evaluate accuracy and completeness. We have also begun preliminary studies into how cellular metabolism affects virulence.

  18. The Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis toxin complex is active against cultured mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hares, Michelle C; Hinchliffe, Stewart J; Strong, Philippa C R; Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Dowling, Andrea J; ffrench-Constant, Richard H; Waterfield, Nick

    2008-11-01

    The toxin complex (Tc) genes were first identified in the insect pathogen Photorhabdus luminescens and encode approximately 1 MDa protein complexes which are toxic to insect pests. Subsequent genome sequencing projects have revealed the presence of tc orthologues in a range of bacterial pathogens known to be associated with insects. Interestingly, members of the mammalian-pathogenic yersiniae have also been shown to encode Tc orthologues. Studies in Yersinia enterocolitica have shown that divergent tc loci either encode insect-active toxins or play a role in colonization of the gut in gastroenteritis models of rats. So far little is known about the activity of the Tc proteins in the other mammalian-pathogenic yersiniae. Here we present work to suggest that Tc proteins in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis are not insecticidal toxins but have evolved for mammalian pathogenicity. We show that Tc is secreted by Y. pseudotuberculosis strain IP32953 during growth in media at 28 degrees C and 37 degrees C. We also demonstrate that oral toxicity of strain IP32953 to Manduca sexta larvae is not due to Tc expression and that lysates of Escherichia coli BL21 expressing the Yersinia Tc proteins are not toxic to Sf9 insect cells but are toxic to cultured mammalian cell lines. Cell lysates of E. coli BL21 expressing the Y. pseudotuberculosis Tc proteins caused actin ruffles, vacuoles and multi-nucleation in cultured human gut cells (Caco-2); similar morphology was observed after application of a lysate of E. coli BL21 expressing the Y. pestis Tc proteins to mouse fibroblast NIH3T3 cells, but not Caco-2 cells. Finally, transient expression of the individual Tc proteins in Caco-2 and NIH3T3 cell lines reproduced the actin and nuclear rearrangement observed with the topical applications. Together these results add weight to the growing hypothesis that the Tc proteins in Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis have been adapted for mammalian pathogenicity. We further

  19. Deletion of Braun lipoprotein and plasminogen-activating protease-encoding genes attenuates Yersinia pestis in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lier, Christina J; Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; Cao, Anthony; Tiner, Bethany L; Erova, Tatiana E; Cong, Yingzi; Kozlova, Elena V; Popov, Vsevolod L; Baze, Wallace B; Chopra, Ashok K

    2014-06-01

    Currently, there is no FDA-approved vaccine against Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Since both humoral immunity and cell-mediated immunity are essential in providing the host with protection against plague, we developed a live-attenuated vaccine strain by deleting the Braun lipoprotein (lpp) and plasminogen-activating protease (pla) genes from Y. pestis CO92. The Δlpp Δpla double isogenic mutant was highly attenuated in evoking both bubonic and pneumonic plague in a mouse model. Further, animals immunized with the mutant by either the intranasal or the subcutaneous route were significantly protected from developing subsequent pneumonic plague. In mice, the mutant poorly disseminated to peripheral organs and the production of proinflammatory cytokines concurrently decreased. Histopathologically, reduced damage to the lungs and livers of mice infected with the Δlpp Δpla double mutant compared to the level of damage in wild-type (WT) CO92-challenged animals was observed. The Δlpp Δpla mutant-immunized mice elicited a humoral immune response to the WT bacterium, as well as to CO92-specific antigens. Moreover, T cells from mutant-immunized animals exhibited significantly higher proliferative responses, when stimulated ex vivo with heat-killed WT CO92 antigens, than mice immunized with the same sublethal dose of WT CO92. Likewise, T cells from the mutant-immunized mice produced more gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4. These animals had an increasing number of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells than WT CO92-infected mice. These data emphasize the role of TNF-α and IFN-γ in protecting mice against pneumonic plague. Overall, our studies provide evidence that deletion of the lpp and pla genes acts synergistically in protecting animals against pneumonic plague, and we have demonstrated an immunological basis for this protection.

  20. CRP-Mediated Carbon Catabolite Regulation of Yersinia pestis Biofilm Formation Is Enhanced by the Carbon Storage Regulator Protein, CsrA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan P Willias

    Full Text Available The natural transmission of Yersinia pestis is reliant upon biofilm blockage of the flea vector. However, the environmentally-responsive adaptive regulators which facilitate Y. pestis biofilm production in accordance with the flea midgut milieu are not well understood. We seek to establish the impact of available carbon source metabolism and storage upon Y. pestis biofilm production. Our findings demonstrate that Y. pestis biofilm production is subject to carbon catabolite regulation in which the presence of glucose impairs biofilm production; whereas, the sole metabolism of alternate carbon sources promotes robust biofilm formation. This observation is facilitated by the cAMP receptor protein, CRP. In accordance with a stark growth defect, deletion of crp in both CO92 and KIM6+ Y. pestis strains significantly impaired biofilm production when solely utilizing alternate carbon sources. Media supplementation with cAMP, a small-molecule activator of CRP, did not significantly alter Y. pestis biofilm production. Furthermore, CRP did not alter mRNA abundance of previously-characterized hms biofilm synthesis and regulation factors. Therefore, our findings indicate CRP does not confer a direct stimulatory effect, but may indirectly promote Y. pestis biofilm production by facilitating the alternate carbon source expression profile. Additionally, we assessed the impact of the carbon storage regulator protein, CsrA, upon Y. pestis biofilm production. Contrary to what has been described for E. coli, Y. pestis biofilm formation was found to be enhanced by CsrA. Regardless of media composition and available carbon source, deletion of csrA significantly impaired Y. pestis biofilm production. CsrA was found to promote Y. pestis biofilm production independent of glycogen regulation. Loss of csrA did not significantly alter relative hmsH, hmsP, or hmsT mRNA abundance. However, deletion of hmsP in the csrA-deficient mutant enabled excessive biofilm production

  1. Characterization of pPCP1 Plasmids in Yersinia pestis Strains Isolated from the Former Soviet Union

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chythanya Rajanna

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Complete sequences of 9.5-kb pPCP1 plasmids in three Yersinia pestis strains from the former Soviet Union (FSU were determined and compared with those of pPCP1 plasmids in three well-characterized, non-FSU Y. pestis strains (KIM, CO92, and 91001. Two of the FSU plasmids were from strains C2614 and C2944, isolated from plague foci in Russia, and one plasmid was from strain C790 from Kyrgyzstan. Sequence analyses identified four sequence types among the six plasmids. The pPCP1 plasmids in the FSU strains were most genetically related to the pPCP1 plasmid in the KIM strain and least related to the pPCP1 plasmid in Y. pestis 91001. The FSU strains generally had larger pPCP1 plasmid copy numbers compared to strain CO92. Expression of the plasmid's pla gene was significantly (P≤.05 higher in strain C2944 than in strain CO92. Given pla's role in Y. pestis virulence, this difference may have important implications for the strain's virulence.

  2. Growth of a plasmid-bearing (pYV) Yersinia pestis KIM5 in retail raw ground pork

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yersinia pestis can cause oro-pharyngeal plague as a result of consumption or handling of meat from infected animals. Thus, food naturally or intentionally contaminated can have a role in the dissemination of human plague. The growth of a conditionally virulent plasmid (pYV)-bearing rifampicin-res...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Zhu, Jingen; Moayeri, Mahtab; Kirtley, Michelle L.; Fitts, Eric C.; Andersson, Jourdan A.; Lawrence, William S.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Chopra, Ashok K.; Rao, Venigalla B.

    2017-01-01

    Bioterrorism remains as one of the biggest challenges to global security and public health. Since the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001 in the United States, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, the causative agents of anthrax and plague, respectively, gained notoriety and were listed by the CDC as Tier-1 biothreat agents. Currently, there is no Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine against either of these threats for mass vaccination to protect general public, let alone a bivalent vaccine. Here, we report the development of a single recombinant vaccine, a triple antigen consisting of all three target antigens, F1 and V from Y. pestis and PA from B. anthracis, in a structurally stable context. Properly folded and soluble, the triple antigen retained the functional and immunogenicity properties of all three antigens. Remarkably, two doses of this immunogen adjuvanted with Alhydrogel® elicited robust antibody responses in mice, rats, and rabbits and conferred complete protection against inhalational anthrax and pneumonic plague. No significant antigenic interference was observed. Furthermore, we report, for the first time, complete protection of animals against simultaneous challenge with Y. pestis and the lethal toxin of B. anthracis, demonstrating that a single biodefense vaccine can protect against a bioterror attack with weaponized B. anthracis and/or Y. pestis. This bivalent anthrax–plague vaccine is, therefore, a strong candidate for stockpiling, after demonstration of its safety and immunogenicity in human clinical trials, as part of national preparedness against two of the deadliest bioterror threats. PMID:28694806

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pan Tao

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Zhu, Jingen; Moayeri, Mahtab; Kirtley, Michelle L; Fitts, Eric C; Andersson, Jourdan A; Lawrence, William S; Leppla, Stephen H; Chopra, Ashok K; Rao, Venigalla B

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Genomic comparison of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis by combination of suppression subtractive hybridization and DNA microarray

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Xiaoyi; Zhou, Dongsheng; Qin, Long

    2006-01-01

    a combination of suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) and comparative genomic hybridization with DNAs from a diverse panel of Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains. SSH followed by BLAST analysis revealed 112 SSH fragments specific to strain ATCC29833, compared to the genomic sequence data of Y...

  7. Molecular identification by "suicide PCR" of Yersinia pestis as the agent of medieval black death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raoult, D; Aboudharam, G; Crubézy, E; Larrouy, G; Ludes, B; Drancourt, M

    2000-11-07

    Medieval Black Death is believed to have killed up to one-third of the Western European population during the 14th century. It was identified as plague at this time, but recently the causative organism was debated because no definitive evidence has been obtained to confirm the role of Yersinia pestis as the agent of plague. We obtained the teeth of a child and two adults from a 14th century grave in France, disrupted them to obtain the pulp, and applied the new "suicide PCR" protocol in which the primers are used only once. There were no positive controls: Neither Yersinia nor Yersinia DNA were introduced in the laboratory. A negative result is followed by a new test using other primers; a positive result is followed by sequencing. The second and third primer pair used, coding for a part of the pla gene, generated amplicons whose sequence confirmed that it was Y. pestis in 1 tooth from the child and 19/19 teeth from the adults. Negative controls were negative. Attempts to detect the putative alternative etiologic agents Bacillus anthracis and Rickettsia prowazekii failed. Suicide PCR avoids any risk of contamination as it uses a single-shot primer-its specificity is absolute. We believe that we can end the controversy: Medieval Black Death was plague.

  8. Forensic Signature Detection of Yersinia Pestis Culturing Practices Across Institutions Using a Bayesian Network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Corley, Courtney D.; McCue, Lee Ann; Clowers, Brian H.; Dowling, Chase P.; Wahl, Karen L.; Wunschel, David S.; Kreuzer, Helen W.

    2014-03-21

    The field of bioforensics is focused on the analysis of evidence from a biocrime. Existing laboratory analyses can identify the specific strain of an organism in the evidence, as well signatures of the specific culture batch of organisms, such as low-frequency contaminants or indicators of growth and processing methods. To link these disparate types of physical data to potential suspects, investigators may need to identify institutions or individuals whose access to strains and culturing practices match those identified from the evidence. In this work we present a Bayesian statistical network to fuse different types of analytical measurements that predict the production environment of a Yersinia pestis sample under investigation with automated test processing of scientific publications to identify institutions with a history of growing Y. pestis under similar conditions. Furthermore, the textual and experimental signatures were evaluated recursively to determine the overall sensitivity of the network across all levels of false positives. We illustrate that institutions associated with several specific culturing practices can be accurately selected based on the experimental signature from only a few analytical measurements. These findings demonstrate that similar Bayesian networks can be generated generically for many organisms of interest and their deployment is not prohibitive due to either computational or experimental factors.

  9. Panoramic view of the occurrence of Yersinia species other than Y. pestis in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. P. Falcão

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available

    Data on the occurrence of Yersinia species. other than Y. pestis in Brazil are presented. Over the past 40 years, 767 Yersinia strains have been identified and typed by the National Reference Center on Yersinia spp. Other than Y. pestis, using the classical biochemical tests for species characterization. The strains were further classified into biotypes, serotypes and phagetypes when pertinent. These tests led to the identification of Yersinia cultures belonging to the species Y. enterocolitica, Y. pseudotuberculosis, Y. intermedia, Y. frederiksenii and Y. kristensenii. Six isolates could not be classified in any of the known Yersinia species and for this reason were defined as Non-typable (NT. The bio-sero-phagetypes of these strains were diverse. The following species of Yersinia were not identified among the Brazilian strains by the classical phenotypic or biochemical tests: Y. aldovae, Y. rhodei, Y. mollaretti, Y. bercovieri and Y. ruckeri. The Yersinia strains were isolated from clinical material taken from sick and/or healthy humans and animals, from various types of food and from the environment, by investigators of various Institutions localized in different cities and regions of Brazil. Keywords: Yersinia spp.; occurrence; Brazil

  10. Diverse Genotypes of Yersinia pestis Caused Plague in Madagascar in 2007.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riehm, Julia M; Projahn, Michaela; Vogler, Amy J; Rajerison, Minoaerisoa; Andersen, Genevieve; Hall, Carina M; Zimmermann, Thomas; Soanandrasana, Rahelinirina; Andrianaivoarimanana, Voahangy; Straubinger, Reinhard K; Nottingham, Roxanne; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Scholz, Holger C

    2015-06-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of human plague and is endemic in various African, Asian and American countries. In Madagascar, the disease represents a significant public health problem with hundreds of human cases a year. Unfortunately, poor infrastructure makes outbreak investigations challenging. DNA was extracted directly from 93 clinical samples from patients with a clinical diagnosis of plague in Madagascar in 2007. The extracted DNAs were then genotyped using three molecular genotyping methods, including, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing, multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) analysis. These methods provided increasing resolution, respectively. The results of these analyses revealed that, in 2007, ten molecular groups, two newly described here and eight previously identified, were responsible for causing human plague in geographically distinct areas of Madagascar. Plague in Madagascar is caused by numerous distinct types of Y. pestis. Genotyping method choice should be based upon the discriminatory power needed, expense, and available data for any desired comparisons. We conclude that genotyping should be a standard tool used in epidemiological investigations of plague outbreaks.

  11. [Determination of genetic bases of auxotrophy in Yersinia pestis ssp. caucasica strains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odinokov, G N; Eroshenko, G A; Kukleva, L M; Shavina, N Iu; Krasnov, Ia M; Kutyrev, V V

    2012-04-01

    Based on the results of computer analysis of nucleotide sequences in strains Yersinia pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis recorded in the files of NCBI GenBank database, differences between genes argA, aroG, aroF, thiH, and thiG of strain Pestoides F (subspecies caucasica) were found, compared to other strains of plaque agent and pseudotuberculosis microbe. Using PCR with calculated primers and the method of sequence analysis, the structure of variable regions of these genes was studied in 96 natural Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains. It was shown that all examined strains of subspecies caucasica, unlike strains of plague-causing agent of other subspecies and pseudotubercolosis microbe, had identical mutations in genes argA (integration of the insertion sequence IS100), aroG (insertion of ten nucleotides), aroF (inserion of IS100), thiH (insertion of nucleotide T), and thiG (deletion of 13 nucleotides). These mutations are the reason for the absence in strains belonging to this subspecies of the ability to synthesize arginine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and vitamin B1 (thiamine), and cause their auxotrophy for these growth factors.

  12. Effects of temperature on the transmission of Yersinia Pestis by the flea, Xenopsylla Cheopis, in the late phase period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schotthoefer, Anna M; Bearden, Scott W; Holmes, Jennifer L; Vetter, Sara M; Montenieri, John A; Williams, Shanna K; Graham, Christine B; Woods, Michael E; Eisen, Rebecca J; Gage, Kenneth L

    2011-09-29

    Traditionally, efficient flea-borne transmission of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, was thought to be dependent on a process referred to as blockage in which biofilm-mediated growth of the bacteria physically blocks the flea gut, leading to the regurgitation of contaminated blood into the host. This process was previously shown to be temperature-regulated, with blockage failing at temperatures approaching 30°C; however, the abilities of fleas to transmit infections at different temperatures had not been adequately assessed. We infected colony-reared fleas of Xenopsylla cheopis with a wild type strain of Y. pestis and maintained them at 10, 23, 27, or 30°C. Naïve mice were exposed to groups of infected fleas beginning on day 7 post-infection (p.i.), and every 3-4 days thereafter until day 14 p.i. for fleas held at 10°C, or 28 days p.i. for fleas held at 23-30°C. Transmission was confirmed using Y. pestis-specific antigen or antibody detection assays on mouse tissues. Although no statistically significant differences in per flea transmission efficiencies were detected between 23 and 30°C, efficiencies were highest for fleas maintained at 23°C and they began to decline at 27 and 30°C by day 21 p.i. These declines coincided with declining median bacterial loads in fleas at 27 and 30°C. Survival and feeding rates of fleas also varied by temperature to suggest fleas at 27 and 30°C would be less likely to sustain transmission than fleas maintained at 23°C. Fleas held at 10°C transmitted Y. pestis infections, although flea survival was significantly reduced compared to that of uninfected fleas at this temperature. Median bacterial loads were significantly higher at 10°C than at the other temperatures. Our results suggest that temperature does not significantly effect the per flea efficiency of Y. pestis transmission by X. cheopis, but that temperature is likely to influence the dynamics of Y. pestis flea-borne transmission, perhaps by affecting

  13. Oral vaccination with salmonella simultaneously expressing Yersinia pestis F1 and V antigens protects against bubonic and pneumonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xinghong; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Trunkle, Theresa; Bosio, Catharine M; Suo, Zhiyong; Tighe, Mike; Harmsen, Ann; Becker, Todd; Crist, Kathryn; Walters, Nancy; Avci, Recep; Pascual, David W

    2007-01-15

    The gut provides a large area for immunization enabling the development of mucosal and systemic Ab responses. To test whether the protective Ags to Yersinia pestis can be orally delivered, the Y. pestis caf1 operon, encoding the F1-Ag and virulence Ag (V-Ag) were cloned into attenuated Salmonella vaccine vectors. F1-Ag expression was controlled under a promoter from the caf1 operon; two different promoters (P), PtetA in pV3, PphoP in pV4, as well as a chimera of the two in pV55 were tested. F1-Ag was amply expressed; the chimera in the pV55 showed the best V-Ag expression. Oral immunization with Salmonella-F1 elicited elevated secretory (S)-IgA and serum IgG titers, and Salmonella-V-Ag(pV55) elicited much greater S-IgA and serum IgG Ab titers than Salmonella-V-Ag(pV3) or Salmonella-V-Ag(pV4). Hence, a new Salmonella vaccine, Salmonella-(F1+V)Ags, made with a single plasmid containing the caf1 operon and the chimeric promoter for V-Ag allowed the simultaneous expression of F1 capsule and V-Ag. Salmonella-(F1+V)Ags elicited elevated Ab titers similar to their monotypic derivatives. For bubonic plague, mice dosed with Salmonella-(F1+V)Ags and Salmonella-F1-Ag showed similar efficacy (>83% survival) against approximately 1000 LD(50) Y. pestis. For pneumonic plague, immunized mice required immunity to both F1- and V-Ags because the mice vaccinated with Salmonella-(F1+V)Ags protected against 100 LD(50) Y. pestis. These results show that a single Salmonella vaccine can deliver both F1- and V-Ags to effect both systemic and mucosal immune protection against Y. pestis.

  14. The Yfe and Feo transporters are involved in microaerobic growth and virulence of Yersinia pestis in bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fetherston, Jacqueline D; Mier, Ildefonso; Truszczynska, Helena; Perry, Robert D

    2012-11-01

    The Yfe/Sit and Feo transport systems are important for the growth of a variety of bacteria. In Yersinia pestis, single mutations in either yfe or feo result in reduced growth under static (limited aeration), iron-chelated conditions, while a yfe feo double mutant has a more severe growth defect. These growth defects were not observed when bacteria were grown under aerobic conditions or in strains capable of producing the siderophore yersiniabactin (Ybt) and the putative ferrous transporter FetMP. Both fetP and a downstream locus (flp for fet linked phenotype) were required for growth of a yfe feo ybt mutant under static, iron-limiting conditions. An feoB mutation alone had no effect on the virulence of Y. pestis in either bubonic or pneumonic plague models. An feo yfe double mutant was still fully virulent in a pneumonic plague model but had an ∼90-fold increase in the 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) relative to the Yfe(+) Feo(+) parent strain in a bubonic plague model. Thus, Yfe and Feo, in addition to Ybt, play an important role in the progression of bubonic plague. Finally, we examined the factors affecting the expression of the feo operon in Y. pestis. Under static growth conditions, the Y. pestis feo::lacZ fusion was repressed by iron in a Fur-dependent manner but not in cells grown aerobically. Mutations in feoC, fnr, arcA, oxyR, or rstAB had no significant effect on transcription of the Y. pestis feo promoter. Thus, the factor(s) that prevents repression by Fur under aerobic growth conditions remains to be identified.

  15. TyrR, the regulator of aromatic amino acid metabolism, is required for mice infection of Yersinia pestis

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    Zhongliang eDeng

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, poses a serious health threat to rodents and human beings. TyrR is a transcriptional regulator that controls the metabolism of aromatic amino acids in Escherichia coli. In this paper, TyrR played an important role in Y. pestis virulence. Inactivation of tyrR did not seem to affect the in vitro growth of this organism, but resulted in at least 10,000-fold attenuation compared with the wild-type (WT strain upon subcutaneous infection to mice. In addition, loads of tyrR mutant within mice livers and spleens significantly decreased compared with the WT strain. Transcriptome analysis revealed that TyrR, directly or indirectly, regulated 29 genes encoded on Y. pestis chromosome or plasmids under in vitro growth condition. Similar to the regulatory function of this protein in E. coli, five aromatic-pathway genes (aroF-tyrA, aroP, aroL, and tyrP were significantly reduced upon deletion of the tyrR gene. Two genes (glnL and glnG that encode sensory histidine kinase and regulator in a two-component regulatory system involved in nitrogen assimilation were downregulated in the tyrR mutant. Several genes encoding type III secretion proteins were transcribed by 2.0- to 4.2-fold in a tyrR mutant relative to the WT strain. Interestingly, the acid-stressed genes, hdeB and hdeD, were downregulated, and such downregulation partly accounted for the decrease in tolerance of the tyrR mutant under acidic conditions. In conclusion, regulation of TyrR in Y. pestis is similar to, but distinct from, that in E. coli. TyrR is a metabolic virulence determinant in Y. pestis that is important for extracellular survival and/or proliferation.

  16. Real-Time Characterization of Virulence Factor Expression in Yersinia pestis Using a Green Fluorescent Protein Reporter System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forde, C; Rocco, J; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S

    2004-06-09

    A real-time reporter system was developed to monitor the thermal induction of virulence factors in Yersinia pestis. The reporter system consists of a plasmid in Y. pestis in which the expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) is under the control of the promoters for six virulence factors, yopE, sycE, yopK, yopT, yscN, and lcrE/yopN, which are all components of the Type III secretion virulence mechanism of Y. pestis. Induction of the expression of these genes in vivo was determined by the increase in fluorescence intensity of GFP in real time. Basal expression levels observed for the Y. pestis promoters, expressed as percentages of the positive control with GFP under the control of the lac promoter, were: yopE (15%), sycE (15%), yopK (13%), yopT (4%), lcrE (3.3%) and yscN (0.8%). The yopE reporter showed the strongest gene induction following temperature transition from 26 C to 37 C. The induction levels of the other virulence factors, expressed as percentages of yopE induction, were: yopK (57%), sycE (9%), yscN (3%), lcrE (3%), and yopT (2%). The thermal induction of each of these promoter fusions was repressed by calcium, and the ratios of the initial rates of thermal induction without calcium supplementation compared to the rate with calcium supplementation were: yopE (11 fold), yscN (7 fold), yopK (6 fold), lcrE (3 fold), yopT (2 fold), and sycE (2 fold). This work demonstrates a novel approach to quantify gene induction and provides a method to rapidly determine the effects of external stimuli on expression of Y. pestis virulence factors in real time, in living cells.

  17. Entry of Yersinia pestis into the viable but nonculturable state in a low-temperature tap water microcosm.

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    David R Pawlowski

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, has caused several pandemics throughout history and remains endemic in the rodent populations of the western United States. More recently, Y. pestis is one of several bacterial pathogens considered to be a potential agent of bioterrorism. Thus, elucidating potential mechanisms of survival and persistence in the environment would be important in the event of an intentional release of the organism. One such mechanism is entry into the viable but non-culturable (VBNC state, as has been demonstrated for several other bacterial pathogens. In this study, we showed that Y. pestis became nonculturable by normal laboratory methods after 21 days in a low-temperature tap water microcosm. We further show evidence that, after the loss of culturability, the cells remained viable by using a variety of criteria, including cellular membrane integrity, uptake and incorporation of radiolabeled amino acids, and protection of genomic DNA from DNase I digestion. Additionally, we identified morphological and ultrastructural characteristics of Y. pestis VBNC cells, such as cell rounding and large periplasmic spaces, by electron microscopy, which are consistent with entry into the VBNC state in other bacteria. Finally, we demonstrated resuscitation of a small number of the non-culturable cells. This study provides compelling evidence that Y. pestis persists in a low-temperature tap water microcosm in a viable state yet is unable to be cultured under normal laboratory conditions, which may prove useful in risk assessment and remediation efforts, particularly in the event of an intentional release of this organism.

  18. Subcellular proteomic analysis of host-pathogen interactions using human monocytes exposed to Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, C G; Gonzales, A D; Choi, M W; Chromy, B A; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S L

    2004-05-20

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is of concern to human health both from an infectious disease and a civilian biodefense perspective. While Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis share more than 90% DNA homology, they have significantly different clinical manifestations. Plague is often fatal if untreated, yet Y. pseudotuberculosis causes severe intestinal distress and is rarely fatal. A better understanding of host response to these closely related pathogens may help explain the different mechanisms of virulence and pathogenesis that result in such different clinical outcomes. The aim of this study was to characterize host protein expression changes in human monocyte-like U937 cells after exposure to Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. In order to gain global proteomic coverage of host response, proteins from cytoplasmic, nuclear and membrane fractions of host cells were studied by 2-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) and relative protein expression differences were quantitated. Differentially expressed proteins, with at least 1.5 fold expression changes and p values of 0.01 or less, were identified by MALDI-MS or LC/MS/MS. With these criteria, differential expression was detected in 16 human proteins after Y. pestis exposure and 13 human proteins after Y. pseudotuberculosis exposure, of which only two of the differentially expressed proteins identified were shared between the two exposures. Proteins identified in this study are reported to be involved in a wide spectrum of cellular functions and host defense mechanisms including apoptosis, cytoskeletal rearrangement, protein synthesis and degradation, DNA replication and transcription, metabolism, protein folding, and cell signaling. Notably, the differential expression patterns observed can distinguish the two pathogen exposures from each other and from unexposed host cells. The functions of the differentially expressed proteins identified provide insight on the different

  19. Complete Genome Sequence of Yersinis pestis Strains Antiqua and Nepa1516: Evidence of Gene Reduction in an Emerging Pathogen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chain, Patrick S [ORNL; Hu, Ping [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); Malfatti, Stephanie [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL); Radnedge, Lyndsay [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL); Larimer, Frank W [ORNL; Vergez, Lisa [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL); Worsham, Patricia [U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases; Chu, May C [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Anderson, Gary L [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

    2006-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plagues, has undergone detailed study at the molecular level. To further investigate the genomic diversity among this group and to help characterize lineages of the plague organism that have no sequenced members, we present here the genomes of two isolates of the ''classical'' antiqua biovar, strains Antiqua and Nepal516. The genomes of Antiqua and Nepal516 are 4.7 Mb and 4.5 Mb and encode 4,138 and 3,956 open reading frames, respectively. Though both strains belong to one of the three classical biovars, they represent separate lineages defined by recent phylogenetic studies. We compare all five currently sequenced Y. pestis genomes and the corresponding features in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. There are strain-specific rearrangements, insertions, deletions, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and a unique distribution of insertion sequences. We found 453 single nucleotide polymorphisms in protein-coding regions, which were used to assess the evolutionary relationships of these Y. pestis strains. Gene reduction analysis revealed that the gene deletion processes are under selective pressure, and many of the inactivations are probably related to the organism's interaction with its host environment. The results presented here clearly demonstrate the differences between the two biovar antiqua lineages and support the notion that grouping Y. pestis strains based strictly on the classical definition of biovars (predicated upon two biochemical assays) does not accurately reflect the phylogenetic relationships within this species. A comparison of four virulent Y. pestis strains with the human-avirulent strain 91001 provides further insight into the genetic basis of virulence to humans.

  20. Misidentification of Yersinia pestis by automated systems, resulting in delayed diagnoses of human plague infections--Oregon and New Mexico, 2010-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tourdjman, Mathieu; Ibraheem, Mam; Brett, Meghan; Debess, Emilio; Progulske, Barbara; Ettestad, Paul; McGivern, Teresa; Petersen, Jeannine; Mead, Paul

    2012-10-01

    One human plague case was reported in Oregon in September 2010 and another in New Mexico in May 2011. Misidentification of Yersinia pestis by automated identification systems contributed to delayed diagnoses for both cases.

  1. Histopatologia da infecção por Yersinia pestis em roedores de focos de peste do Nordeste brasileiro Histopathology of Yersinia pestis infection in rodents from plague foci of Brazilian Northeast

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    Eridan M. Coutinho

    1982-06-01

    foreign strains of Yersinia pestis have been studied. All the rodents, except the group of cavidae, had a bubosepticemic plague. From all the lesions described, liver multifocal coagulative necrosis, diffuse acute interstitial pneumonia and lymphoid atrophy of the spleen were the most frequent and so can be considered, for practical purposes, as histological indicators of plague infection, although they are not exclusively found in plague. The variety and intensiveness of lesions found in Zigodontomys L. pixuna, may explain the high mortality of this species of rodents, making easier the dissemination of plague in the natural foci of northeast Brazil. Similar histological lesions were detected in cricetidae and muridae. The resistance of cavidae to plague infection has become evident, since they survived to the acute phase of infection and developped an intensive histiocytic granulomatous reaction surrounding necrotic areas (abscesses. It is suggested thad these chronic lesions may harbour virulent bacilli and so explain periodic plague infection in local fleas, leading to reactivation of epizootics.

  2. Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms Reveal Spatial Diversity Among Clones of Yersinia pestis During Plague Outbreaks in Colorado and the Western United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowell, Jennifer L; Antolin, Michael F; Andersen, Gary L; Hu, Ping; Stokowski, Renee P; Gage, Kenneth L

    2015-05-01

    In western North America, plague epizootics caused by Yersinia pestis appear to sweep across landscapes, primarily infecting and killing rodents, especially ground squirrels and prairie dogs. During these epizootics, the risk of Y. pestis transmission to humans is highest. While empirical models that include climatic conditions and densities of rodent hosts and fleas can predict when epizootics are triggered, bacterial transmission patterns across landscapes, and the scale at which Y. pestis is maintained in nature during inter-epizootic periods, are poorly defined. Elucidating the spatial extent of Y. pestis clones during epizootics can determine whether bacteria are propagated across landscapes or arise independently from local inter-epizootic maintenance reservoirs. We used DNA microarray technology to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 34 Y. pestis isolates collected in the western United States from 1980 to 2006, 21 of which were collected during plague epizootics in Colorado. Phylogenetic comparisons were used to elucidate the hypothesized spread of Y. pestis between the mountainous Front Range and the eastern plains of northern Colorado during epizootics. Isolates collected from across the western United States were included for regional comparisons. By identifying SNPs that mark individual clones, our results strongly suggest that Y. pestis is maintained locally and that widespread epizootic activity is caused by multiple clones arising independently at small geographic scales. This is in contrast to propagation of individual clones being transported widely across landscapes. Regionally, our data are consistent with the notion that Y. pestis diversifies at relatively local scales following long-range translocation events. We recommend that surveillance and prediction by public health and wildlife management professionals focus more on models of local or regional weather patterns and ecological factors that may increase risk of widespread

  3. Distinct CCR2(+) Gr1(+) cells control growth of the Yersinia pestis ΔyopM mutant in liver and spleen during systemic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Zhan; Uittenbogaard, Annette M; Cohen, Donald A; Kaplan, Alan M; Ambati, Jayakrishna; Straley, Susan C

    2011-02-01

    We are using a systemic plague model to identify the cells and pathways that are undermined by the virulence protein YopM of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. In this study, we pursued previous findings that Gr1(+) cells are required to selectively limit growth of ΔyopM Y. pestis and that CD11b(+) cells other than polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) are selectively lost in spleens infected with parent Y. pestis. When PMNs were ablated from mice, ΔyopM Y. pestis grew as well as the parent strain in liver but not in spleen, showing that these cells are critical for controlling growth of the mutant in liver but not spleen. In mice lacking expression of the chemokine receptor CCR2, wild-type growth was restored to ΔyopM Y. pestis in both organs. In spleen, the Gr1(+) cells differentially recruited by parent and ΔyopM Y. pestis infections were CCR2(+) Gr1(+) CD11b(+) CD11c(Lo-Int) MAC3(+) iNOS(+) (inducible nitric oxide synthase-positive) inflammatory dendritic cells (iDCs), and their recruitment to spleen from blood was blocked when YopM was present in the infecting strain. Consistent with influx of iDCs being affected by YopM in spleen, the growth defect of the ΔyopM mutant was relieved by the parent Y. pestis strain in a coinfection assay in which the parent strain could affect the fate of the mutant in trans. In a mouse model of bubonic plague, CCR2 also was shown to be required for ΔyopM Y. pestis to show wild-type growth in skin. The data imply that YopM's pathogenic effect indirectly undermines signaling through CCR2. We propose a model for how YopM exerts its different effects in liver and spleen.

  4. Application of the flow cytometry for determination of the amount of DNA in Yersinia pestis cells under the influence of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korsukov, Vladimir N.; Shchukovskaya, Tatyana N.; Kravtsov, Alexander L.; Popov, Youri A.

    2002-07-01

    Using flow cytometry a low DNA content in inoculated Yersinia pestis EV cells have been shown at the beginning of culture in Hottinger broth pH 7.2. The dependence serotonin action of its concentration on DNA content have been demonstrated. Serotonin accelerated Yersinia pestis culture growth during cultivation in Hottinger broth pH 7.2 both at 28 degrees C and 37 degrees C at concentration of 10-5 M.

  5. Pilot Study on the Use of DNA Priming Immunization to Enhance Y. pestis LcrV-Specific B Cell Responses Elicited by a Recombinant LcrV Protein Vaccine

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    Wei Li

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies indicate that DNA immunization is powerful in eliciting antigen-specific antibody responses in both animal and human studies. However, there is limited information on the mechanism of this effect. In particular, it is not known whether DNA immunization can also enhance the development of antigen-specific B cell development. In this report, a pilot study was conducted using plague LcrV immunogen as a model system to determine whether DNA immunization is able to enhance LcrV-specific B cell development in mice. Plague is an acute and often fatal infectious disease caused by Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis. Humoral immune responses provide critical protective immunity against plague. Previously, we demonstrated that a DNA vaccine expressing LcrV antigen can protect mice from lethal mucosal challenge. In the current study, we further evaluated whether the use of a DNA priming immunization is able to enhance the immunogenicity of a recombinant LcrV protein vaccine, and in particular, the development of LcrV-specific B cells. Our data indicate that DNA immunization was able to elicit high-level LcrV antibody responses when used alone or as part of a prime-boost immunization approach. Most significantly, DNA immunization was also able to increase the levels of LcrV-specific B cell development. The finding that DNA immunization can enhance antigen-specific B cell responses is highly significant and will help guide similar studies in other model antigen systems.

  6. Structural and functional significance of the FGL sequence of the periplasmic chaperone Caf1M of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, D A; Zavialov, A V; Chernovskaya, T V; Karlyshev, A V; Zav'yalova, G A; Vasiliev, A M; Dudich, I V; Abramov, V M; Zav'yalov, V P; MacIntyre, S

    1999-04-01

    The periplasmic molecular chaperone Caf1M of Yersinia pestis is a typical representative of a subfamily of specific chaperones involved in assembly of surface adhesins with a very simple structure. One characteristic feature of this Caf1M-like subfamily is possession of an extended, variable sequence (termed FGL) between the F1 and subunit binding G1 beta-strands. In contrast, FGS subfamily members, characterized by PapD, have a short F1-G1 loop and are involved in assembly of complex pili. To elucidate the structural and functional significance of the FGL sequence, a mutant Caf1M molecule (dCaf1M), in which the 27 amino acid residues between the F1 and G1 beta-strands had been deleted, was constructed. Expression of the mutated caf1M in Escherichia coli resulted in accumulation of high levels of dCaf1M. The far-UV circular dichroism spectra of the mutant and wild-type proteins were indistinguishable and exhibited practically the same temperature and pH dependencies. Thus, the FGL sequence of Caf1M clearly does not contribute significantly to the stability of the protein conformation. Preferential cleavage of Caf1M by trypsin at Lys-119 confirmed surface exposure of this part of the FGL sequence in the isolated chaperone and periplasmic chaperone-subunit complex. There was no evidence of surface-localized Caf1 subunit in the presence of the Caf1A outer membrane protein and dCaf1M. In contrast to Caf1M, dCaf1M was not able to form a stable complex with Caf1 nor could it protect the subunit from proteolytic degradation in vivo. This demonstration that the FGL sequence is required for stable chaperone-subunit interaction, but not for folding of a stable chaperone, provides a sound basis for future detailed molecular analyses of the FGL subfamily of chaperones.

  7. Oropsylla hirsuta (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae) can support plague epizootics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) by early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Aryn P; Eisen, Rebecca J; Bearden, Scott W; Montenieri, John A; Gage, Kenneth L; Antolin, Michael F

    2008-06-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, often leads to rapid decimation of black-tailed prairie dog colonies. Flea-borne transmission of Y. pestis has been thought to occur primarily via blocked fleas, and therefore studies of vector efficiency have focused on the period when blockage is expected to occur (> or =5 days post-infection [p.i.]). Oropsylla hirsuta, a prairie dog flea, rarely blocks and transmission is inefficient > or =5 days p.i.; thus, this flea has been considered incapable of explaining rapid dissemination of Y. pestis among prairie dogs. By infecting wild-caught fleas with Y. pestis and exposing naïve mice to groups of fleas at 24, 48, 72, and 96 h p.i., we examined the early-phase (1-4 days p.i.) efficiency of O. hirsuta to transmit Y. pestis to hosts and showed that O. hirsuta is a considerably more efficient vector at this largely overlooked stage (5.19% of fleas transmit Y. pestis at 24 h p.i.) than at later stages. Using a model of vectorial capacity, we suggest that this level of transmission can support plague at an enzootic level in a population when flea loads are within the average observed for black-tailed prairie dogs in nature. Shared burrows and sociality of prairie dogs could lead to accumulation of fleas when host population is reduced as a result of the disease, enabling epizootic spread of plague among prairie dogs.

  8. Toward a molecular pathogenic pathway for Yersinia pestis YopM

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    Annette M. Uittenbogaard

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available YopM is one of the six effector Yops of the human-pathogenic Yersinia, but its mechanism has not been defined. After delivery to J774A.1 monocyte-like cells, YopM can rapidly bind and activate the serine/threonine kinases RSK1 and PRK2. However, in infected mice, effects of Y. pestis YopM have been seen only after 24 to 48 h post infection (p.i.. To identify potential direct effects of YopM in vivo we tested for effects of YopM at 1h and 16-18h p.i. in mice infected systemically with 106 bacteria. At 16 h p.i., there was a robust host response to both parent and yopM-1 Y. pestis KIM5. Compared to cells from non-infected mice, CD11b+ cells from spleens of infected mice produced more than 100-fold greater IFN. In the corresponding sera there were more than 100-fold greater amounts of IFN, G-CSF, and CXCL9, as well as more than 10-fold greater amounts of IL-6, CXCL10, and CXCL1. The only YopM-related differences were slightly lower CXCL10 and IL-6 in sera from mice infected 16 h with parent compared to yopM-1 Y. pestis. Microarray analysis of the CD11b+ cells did not identify consistent transcriptional differences of > 4 fold at 18 h p.i. However, at 1 h p.i. mRNA for early growth response transcription factor 1 (Egr1 was decreased when YopM was present. Bone marrow-derived macrophages infected for 1 h also expressed lower Egr1 message when YopM was present. Infected J774A.1 cells showed greater expression of Egr1 at 1 h p.i. when YopM was present, but this pattern reversed at 3 h. At 6 h p.i., Cxcl10 mRNA was lower in parent-strain infected cells. We conclude that decreased Egr1 expression is a very early transcriptional effect of YopM and speculate that a pathway may exist from RSK1 through Egr1. These studies revealed novel early transcriptional effects of YopM but point to a time after 18 h of infection when critical transitional events lead to later major effects on cytokine gene transcription.

  9. Pesti Des Petits ruminants virus infection in animals

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    Chauhan H.C.

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available For centuries morbillivirus infections have had a huge impact on both human beings and animals. Morbilliviruses are highly contagious pathogens that cause some of the most devastating viral diseases of humans and animals world wide. They include measles virus (MV, canine distemper virus (CDV, rinderpest virus (RPV and peste des petits ruminants (PPRV virus. Furthermore, new emerging infectious diseases of morbilliviruses with significant ecological consequences of marine mammals have been discovered in the past decades. Phocid distemper virus (PDV in seals and the cetacean morbillivirus (CMV have been found in dolphins, whales and porpoises. Peste des petits ruminants (PPR is a highly contagious ,infectious , an acute or sub acute viral disease of domestic and wild small ruminants characterized by fever, oculonasal discharges, stomatitis, conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. Goats are more severely affected than sheep. It is also known as pseudorinderpest of small ruminants, pest of small ruminants, pest of sheep and goats, kata, stomatitis- pneumoentritis syndrome, contagious pustular stomatitis and pneumoentritis complex. It is one of the major notifiable diseases of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE. [Vet. World 2009; 2(4.000: 150-155

  10. Diagnosis of plague and identification of virulence markers in Yersinia pestis by multiplex-PCR

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    LEAL Nilma C.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available We have developed a procedure for the rapid diagnosis of plague that also allows the identification of prominent virulence markers of Y. pestis strains. This procedure is based upon the use of a single polymerase chain reaction with multiple pairs of primers directed at genes present in the three virulence plasmids as well as in the chromosomal pathogenicity island of the bacterium. The technique allowed the discrimination of strains which lacked one or more of the known pathogenic loci, using as template total DNA obtained from bacterial cultures and from simulated blood cultures containing diluted concentration of bacteria. It also proved effective in confirming the disease in a blood culture from a plague suspected patient. As the results are obtained in a few hours this technique will be useful in the methodology of the Plague Control Program.

  11. Temporal global changes in gene expression during temperature transition in Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motin, Vladimir L; Georgescu, Anca M; Fitch, Joseph P; Gu, Pauline P; Nelson, David O; Mabery, Shalini L; Garnham, Janine B; Sokhansanj, Bahrad A; Ott, Linda L; Coleman, Matthew A; Elliott, Jeffrey M; Kegelmeyer, Laura M; Wyrobek, Andrew J; Slezak, Thomas R; Brubaker, Robert R; Garcia, Emilio

    2004-09-01

    DNA microarrays encompassing the entire genome of Yersinia pestis were used to characterize global regulatory changes during steady-state vegetative growth occurring after shift from 26 to 37 degrees C in the presence and absence of Ca2+. Transcriptional profiles revealed that 51, 4, and 13 respective genes and open reading frames (ORFs) on pCD, pPCP, and pMT were thermoinduced and that the majority of these genes carried by pCD were downregulated by Ca2+. In contrast, Ca2+ had little effect on chromosomal genes and ORFs, of which 235 were thermally upregulated and 274 were thermally downregulated. The primary consequence of these regulatory events is profligate catabolism of numerous metabolites available in the mammalian host.

  12. Lipopolysaccharides from Yersinia pestis. Studies on lipid A of lipopolysaccharides I and II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalla Venezia, N; Minka, S; Bruneteau, M; Mayer, H; Michel, G

    1985-09-01

    The chemical structure of the lipid A of lipopolysaccharide I and II from Yersinia pestis, strain EV 40, was studied. It consists of a (1 ---- 6), beta-linked D-glucosamine disaccharide which carries two phosphate groups; one phosphate is linked glycosidically with a glucosamine unit, the other one is linked to the non-reducing glucosamine. Various degradation methods combined with 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed that the ester-bound phosphate group is linked to a 4-aminoarabinosyl residue and the glycosidically linked phosphate group is linked to a D-arabinofuranosyl residue in lipopolysaccharide II and to the phosphorylethanolamine in lipopolysaccharide I. The hydroxyl groups of the disaccharide are acylated by dodecanoic, hexadecenoic, 3-hydroxytetradecanoic and 3-dodecanoyloxytetradecanoic acids. The amino groups of the disaccharide carry 3-hydroxytetradecanoic and 3-dodecanoyloxytetradecanoic acids. In addition smaller amounts of 3-tetradecanoyloxyltetradecanoic and 3-hexadecanoyloxytetradecanoic acids are present in ester linkage.

  13. No evidence of deer mouse involvement in plague (Yersinia pestis) epizootics in prairie dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Stapp, Paul

    2008-06-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, can have devastating impacts on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. One suggested mechanism behind sporadic prairie dog die-offs involves an alternative mammal host, such as the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), which often inhabits prairie dog colonies. We examined the flea populations of deer mice to investigate the potential of flea-borne transmission of plague between deer mice and prairie dogs in northern Colorado, where plague is active in prairie dog colonies. Deer mice were predominantly infested with the flea Aetheca wagneri, and were rarely infested with prairie dog fleas, Oropsylla hirsuta. Likelihood of flea infestation increased with average monthly temperature, and flea loads were higher in reproductive animals. These results suggest that the deer mouse is an unlikely maintenance host of plague in this region.

  14. Using a bacteriocin structure to engineer a phage lysin that targets Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukacik, Petra; Barnard, Travis J; Buchanan, Susan K

    2012-12-01

    Purified phage lysins present an alternative to traditional antibiotics and work by hydrolysing peptidoglycan. Phage lysins have been developed against Gram-positive pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis and Streptococcus pneumoniae, where the peptidoglycan layer is exposed on the cell surface. Addition of the lysin to a bacterial culture results in rapid death of the organism. Gram-negative bacteria are resistant to phage lysins because they contain an outer membrane that protects the peptidoglycan from degradation. We solved crystal structures of a Yersinia pestis outer-membrane protein and the bacteriocin that targets it, which informed engineering of a bacterial-phage hybrid lysin that can be transported across the outer membrane to kill specific Gram-negative bacteria. This work provides a template for engineering phage lysins against a wide variety of bacterial pathogens.

  15. Seroprevalence of hantavirus and Yersinia pestis antibodies in professionals from the Plague Control Program

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    Erika de Cassia Vieira da Costa

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Professionals who handle rodents in the field and in the laboratory are at risk of infection by the microorganisms harbored by these animals. Methods Serum samples from professionals involved in rodent and Yersinia pestis handling in field or laboratory work were analyzed to determine hantavirus and plague seroprevalence and to establish a relationship between these activities and reports of illnesses. Results Two individuals had antibodies against hantavirus, and two harbored antibodies against the plague; none of the individuals had experienced an illness related to their duties. Conclusions These results confirm the risks of hantavirus- and plague-related field and laboratory activities and the importance of protective measures for such work.

  16. Host stress and immune responses during aerosol challenge of Brown Norway rats with Yersinia pestis

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    Susan T Gater

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Inhalation exposure models are becoming the preferred method for the comparative study of respiratory infectious diseases due to their resemblance to the natural route of infection. To enable precise delivery of pathogen to the lower respiratory tract in a manner that imposes minimal biosafety risk, nose-only exposure systems have been developed. Early inhalation exposure technology for infectious disease research grew out of technology used in asthma research where predominantly the Collison nebulizer is used to generate an aerosol by beating a liquid sample against glass. Although infectious aerosol droplets of 1-5µm in size can be generated, the Collison often causes loss of viability. In this work, we evaluate a gentler method for aerosolization of living cells and describe the use of the Sparging Liquid Aerosol Generator (SLAG in a rat pneumonic plague model. The SLAG creates aerosols by continuous dripping of liquid sample on a porous metal disc. We show the generation of 0.5 to 1µm Y. pestis aerosol particles using the SLAG with spray factors typically ranging from 10-7 to 10-8 with no detectable loss of bacterial viability. Delivery of these infectious particles via nose-only exposure led to the rapid development of lethal pneumonic plague. Further, we evaluated the effect of restraint-stress imposed by the nose-only exposure chamber on early inflammatory responses and bacterial deposition. Elevated serum corticosterone which peaked at 2 hrs post-procedure indicated the animals experienced stress as a result of restraint in the nose-only chamber. However, we observed no correlation between elevated corticosterone and the amount of bacterial deposition or inflammation in the lungs. Together these data demonstrate the utility of the SLAG and the nose-only chamber for aerosol challenge of rodents by Y. pestis.

  17. In vitro intracellular trafficking of virulence antigen during infection by Yersinia pestis.

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    Tracy L DiMezzo

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, encodes several essential virulence factors on a 70 kb plasmid, including the Yersinia outer proteins (Yops and a multifunctional virulence antigen (V. V is uniquely able to inhibit the host immune response; aid in the expression, secretion, and injection of the cytotoxic Yops via a type III secretion system (T3SS-dependent mechanism; be secreted extracellularly; and enter the host cell by a T3SS-independent mechanism, where its activity is unknown. To elucidate the intracellular trafficking and target(s of V, time-course experiments were performed with macrophages (MPhis infected with Y. pestis or Y. pseudotuberculosis at intervals from 5 min to 6 h. The trafficking pattern was discerned from results of parallel microscopy, immunoblotting, and flow cytometry experiments. The MPhis were incubated with fluorescent or gold conjugated primary or secondary anti-V (antibodies [Abs] in conjunction with organelle-associated Abs or dyes. The samples were observed for co-localization by immuno-fluorescence and electron microscopy. For fractionation studies, uninfected and infected MPhis were lysed and subjected to density gradient centrifugation coupled with immunoblotting with Abs to V or to organelles. Samples were also analyzed by flow cytometry after lysis and dual-staining with anti-V and anti-organelle Abs. Our findings indicate a co-localization of V with (1 endosomal proteins between 10-45 min of infection, (2 lysosomal protein(s between 1-2 h of infection, (3 mitochondrial proteins between 2.5-3 h infection, and (4 Golgi protein(s between 4-6 h of infection. Further studies are being performed to determine the specific intracellular interactions and role in pathogenesis of intracellularly localized V.

  18. Susceptibilité de Rattus norvegicus et Rattus rattus frugivurus de la ville de Recife à la Pasteurella pestis

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    Dalva A. de Mello

    1968-06-01

    Full Text Available L'auíeur a vérifié la susceptibilité de deux espèces de rongeurs domestiques de la ville de Recife. Etat du Pernambuco, R. norvegicus et Rattus rattus frugivurus, les comparant aux souris albinos de la souche "Swiss" avec deux souches de P. pestis dont une était isolée au municipe d'Exu, Etat du Pernambuco âenommée PEXU 19 et Vautre provenante du Venezuela dite RANGEL. Les deux espèces de rongeurs ont montré une resistence modérée par rapport aux deux souches de P. pestis tandis que les souris ont révélé d'être hautement susceptibles.

  19. A Yersinia pestis lpxM-mutant live vaccine induces enhanced immunity against bubonic plague in mice and guinea pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feodorova, V A; Pan'kina, L N; Savostina, E P; Sayapina, L V; Motin, V L; Dentovskaya, S V; Shaikhutdinova, R Z; Ivanov, S A; Lindner, B; Kondakova, A N; Bystrova, O V; Kocharova, N A; Senchenkova, S N; Holst, O; Pier, G B; Knirel, Y A; Anisimov, A P

    2007-11-01

    The lpxM mutant of the live vaccine Yersinia pestis EV NIIEG strain synthesising a less toxic penta-acylated lipopolysaccharide was found to be avirulent in mice and guinea pigs, notably showing no measurable virulence in Balb/c mice which do retain some susceptibility to the parental strain itself. Twenty-one days after a single injection of the lpxM-mutant, 85-100% protection was achieved in outbred mice and guinea pigs, whereas a 43% protection rate was achieved in Balb/c mice given single low doses (10(3) to 2.5 x 10(4) CFU) of this vaccine. A subcutaneous challenge with 2000 median lethal doses (equal to 20,000 CFU) of fully virulent Y. pestis 231 strain, is a 6-10-fold higher dose than that which the EV NIIEG itself can protect against.

  20. Prevalence and abundance of fleas in black-tailed prairie dog burrows: implications for the transmission of plague (Yersinia pestis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salkeld, Dan J; Stapp, Paul

    2008-06-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, can have devastating impacts on North American wildlife. Epizootics, or die-offs, in prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) occur sporadically and fleas (Siphonaptera) are probably important in the disease's transmission and possibly as maintenance hosts of Y. pestis between epizootics. We monitored changes in flea abundance in prairie dog burrows in response to precipitation, temperature, and plague activity in shortgrass steppe in northern Colorado. Oropsylla hirsuta was the most commonly found flea, and it increased in abundance with temperature. In contrast, Oropsylla tuberculata cynomuris declined with rising temperature. During plague epizootics, flea abundance in burrows increased and then subsequently declined after the extirpation of their prairie dog hosts.

  1. Stable Reagent for the Detection of Antibody to the Specific Fraction I Antigen of Yersinia pestis1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rust, James H.; Berman, Sanford; Habig, William H.; Marshall, John D.; Cavanaugh, Dan C.

    1972-01-01

    A stable hemagglutinating antigen for detection of fraction I (FR-I) antibody of Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis) is described. The antigen was prepared by sensitizing tanned, pyruvaldehyde-treated sheep erythrocytes (PAT SRBC) with FR-I antigen. Preliminary standardization by titration of each lot of FR-I was required to minimize the effect of molecular heterogeneity of specific FR-I antigen and to eliminate nonspecific reactions caused by the presence of a minor antigenic contaminant. In tests with sera from rabbits, dogs, and humans, FR-I PAT SRBC were as reactive as the previously employed standard antigen, FR-I-sensitized tanned erythrocytes. Fluid suspensions of FR-I PAT SRBC stored at 4 C for 3 months, or lyophilized preparations stored at ambient temperature for 6 months, showed no loss in antigenic activity. PMID:5062977

  2. Entry of Yersinia Pestis into the Viable but Nonculturable State in a Low-Temperature Tap Water Microcosm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-16

    to enter the VBNC state [17,18,19,20]. In addition, many other bacterial pathogens, including Francisella tularensis, Vibrio cholerae , and Escherichia... Vibrio cholerae , and Escherichia coli enter the VBNC state [12,21]. In addition, the two closest pathogenic relatives of Y. pestis, namely Y...2001) Viability of the Nonculturable Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 24: 331–341. 38. Jang KI, Kim MG, Ha SD, Kim KS

  3. 鼠疫噬菌体研究概述%Overview of research on Yersinia pestis bacteriophage

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王梅

    2011-01-01

    鼠疫噬菌体是一种特异性很强的鼠疫耶尔森菌(Yersinia pestis,鼠疫菌)的细菌病毒,一直被用来进行鼠疫病原体的鉴定.鼠疫噬菌体的早期研究主要以如何在自然界分离、生物学特性、诊断和治疗鼠疫,近年来,随着微生物基因组和蛋白质组学技术的发展,揭示了鼠疫噬菌体在鼠疫菌进化过程中所发生的作用.现就鼠疫噬菌体的研究进展,尤其是基因组的结构、与宿主菌在致病和免疫相关研究做一些介绍,为研发新型分子生物学技术和鼠疫治疗药物提供帮助.%Yersinia pestis bacteriophage, a strongly specific bacterial virus, is commonly used for identification of the plague pathogen. Early research on this bacteriophage has focused mainly on the natural isolation, biological characteristics, and diagnostic or therapeutic applications. In recent years, advances in microbial genomics and proteomics have shed light on the role of this bacteriophage in the evolution of Y. pestis. This paper summarizes recent progress in Y. pestis bacteriophage research regarding genome structure and related pathogenicity and immunology, for the development of new molecular-based diagnostic modalities and medicines.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pan Tao; Marthandan Mahalingam; Jingen Zhu; Mahtab Moayeri; Kirtley, Michelle L.; Fitts, Eric C.; Andersson, Jourdan A.; Lawrence, William S.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Chopra, Ashok K.; Rao, Venigalla B.

    2017-01-01

    Bioterrorism remains as one of the biggest challenges to global security and public health. Since the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001 in the United States, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, the causative agents of anthrax and plague, respectively, gained notoriety and were listed by the CDC as Tier-1 biothreat agents. Currently, there is no Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine against either of these threats for mass vaccination to protect general public, let alone a bivalent va...

  5. Differential control of Yersinia pestis biofilm formation in vitro and in the flea vector by two c-di-GMP diguanylate cyclases.

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    Yi-Cheng Sun

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis forms a biofilm in the foregut of its flea vector that promotes transmission by flea bite. As in many bacteria, biofilm formation in Y. pestis is controlled by intracellular levels of the bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP. Two Y. pestis diguanylate cyclase (DGC enzymes, encoded by hmsT and y3730, and one phosphodiesterase (PDE, encoded by hmsP, have been shown to control biofilm production in vitro via their opposing c-di-GMP synthesis and degradation activities, respectively. In this study, we provide further evidence that hmsT, hmsP, and y3730 are the only three genes involved in c-di-GMP metabolism in Y. pestis and evaluated the two DGCs for their comparative roles in biofilm formation in vitro and in the flea vector. As with HmsT, the DGC activity of Y3730 depended on a catalytic GGDEF domain, but the relative contribution of the two enzymes to the biofilm phenotype was influenced strongly by the environmental niche. Deletion of y3730 had a very minor effect on in vitro biofilm formation, but resulted in greatly reduced biofilm formation in the flea. In contrast, the predominant effect of hmsT was on in vitro biofilm formation. DGC activity was also required for the Hms-independent autoaggregation phenotype of Y. pestis, but was not required for virulence in a mouse model of bubonic plague. Our results confirm that only one PDE (HmsP and two DGCs (HmsT and Y3730 control c-di-GMP levels in Y. pestis, indicate that hmsT and y3730 are regulated post-transcriptionally to differentially control biofilm formation in vitro and in the flea vector, and identify a second c-di-GMP-regulated phenotype in Y. pestis.

  6. Detection of Yersinia pestis using real-time PCR in patients with suspected bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riehm, Julia M; Rahalison, Lila; Scholz, Holger C; Thoma, Bryan; Pfeffer, Martin; Razanakoto, Léa Mamiharisoa; Al Dahouk, Sascha; Neubauer, Heinrich; Tomaso, Herbert

    2011-02-01

    Yersinia (Y.) pestis, the causative agent of plague, is endemic in natural foci of Asia, Africa, and America. Real-time PCR assays have been described as rapid diagnostic tools, but so far none has been validated for its clinical use. In a retrospective clinical study we evaluated three real-time PCR assays in two different assay formats, 5'-nuclease and hybridization probes assays. Lymph node aspirates from 149 patients from Madagascar with the clinical diagnosis of bubonic plague were investigated for the detection of Y. pestis DNA. Results of real-time PCR assays targeting the virulence plasmids pPCP1 (pla gene), and pMT1 (caf1, Ymt genes) were compared with an F1-antigen immunochromatographic test (ICT) and cultivation of the organism. Out of the 149 samples an infection with Y. pestis was confirmed by culture in 47 patients while ICT was positive in 88 including all culture proven cases. The best real-time PCR assay was the 5'-nuclease assay targeting pla which was positive in 120 cases. In conclusion, the 5'-nuclease assay targeting pla can be recommended as diagnostic tool for establishing a presumptive diagnosis when bubonic plague is clinically suspected. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Homology analysis of pathogenic Yersinia species Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and Yersinia pestis based on multilocus sequence typing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Ran; Liang, Junrong; Shi, Guoxiang; Cui, Zhigang; Hai, Rong; Wang, Peng; Xiao, Yuchun; Li, Kewei; Qiu, Haiyan; Gu, Wenpeng; Du, Xiaoli; Jing, Huaiqi; Wang, Xin

    2014-01-01

    We developed a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme and used it to study the population structure and evolutionary relationships of three pathogenic Yersinia species. MLST of these three Yersinia species showed a complex of two clusters, one composed of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis and the other composed of Yersinia enterocolitica. Within the first cluster, the predominant Y. pestis sequence type 90 (ST90) was linked to Y. pseudotuberculosis ST43 by one locus difference, and 81.25% of the ST43 strains were from serotype O:1b, supporting the hypothesis that Y. pestis descended from the O:1b serotype of Y. pseudotuberculosis. We also found that the worldwide-prevalent serotypes O:1a, O:1b, and O:3 were predominated by specific STs. The second cluster consisted of pathogenic and nonpathogenic Y. enterocolitica strains, two of which may not have identical STs. The pathogenic Y. enterocolitica strains formed a relatively conserved group; most strains clustered within ST186 and ST187. Serotypes O:3, O:8, and O:9 were separated into three distinct blocks. Nonpathogenic Y. enterocolitica STs were more heterogeneous, reflecting genetic diversity through evolution. By providing a better and effective MLST procedure for use with the Yersinia community, valuable information and insights into the genetic evolutionary differences of these pathogens were obtained.

  8. A refrigeration temperature of 4 degrees C does not prevent static growth of Yersinia pestis in heart infusion broth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torosian, Stephen D; Regan, Patrick M; Doran, Tara; Taylor, Michael A; Margolin, Aaron

    2009-09-01

    Multiple barriers such as inspections, testing, and proper storage conditions are used to minimize the risk of contaminated food. Knowledge of which barriers, such as refrigeration, are effective in preventing pathogen growth and persistence, can help direct the focus of efforts during food sampling. In this study, the doubling times were evaluated for 10 strains of Yersinia pestis of different genetic background cultured in heart infusion broth (HIB) kept at 4 degrees C +/- 1 degrees C under static conditions. Nine out of the 10 strains were able to grow at 4 degrees C +/- 1 degrees C. Apparent doubling times for 7 of the strains ranged from 41 to 50 h. Strain Harbin and strain D1 had apparent doubling times of 65 and 35 h, respectively, and strain O19 Ca-6 did not grow at all. Analysis of variance showed that the averaged growth data (colony forming units per mL) between strains that grew were not significantly different. The data presented here demonstrate that refrigeration alone is not an effective barrier to prevent static growth of Y. pestis in HIB. These findings provide the preliminary impetus to investigate Y. pestis growth in a variety of food matrices that may provide a similar environment as HIB.

  9. Isolamento da Yersinia pestis nos focos pestosos do Nordeste do Brasil no período de 1966 a 1982

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    Alzira Maria Paiva de Almeida

    1985-08-01

    Full Text Available No período de 1966 a 1982 foram isoladas 861 cepas de Yersinia pestis sendo 471 originadas de material de roedores e outros pequenos mamíferos, 236 de lotes de pulgas, 2 de lotes de Ornithodorus e 152 de seres humanos dos focos pestosos do Nordeste do Brasil. Entre os roedores, a espécie que concorreu para o maior número de isolamentos foi o Zygodontomys lasiurus pixuna que, também, forneceu o maior número de lotes de pulgas naturalmente infectados, principalmente do gênero Polygenis. O isolamento da Yersinia pestis de material proveniente de 13 Municípios do Estado de Pernambuco, 7 do Ceará, 3 da Paraíba, 1 do Piauí e 1 da Bahia, evidencia que o problema da peste nos focos brasileiros é bastante atual e merecedor de atenção. O maior número de cepas isoladas e de localidades afetadas, registradas no Estado de Pernambuco não significa maior incidência da peste no mesmo, mas é conseqüência da pesquisa mais intensa da Yersinia pestis e da existência de laboratórios melhor preparados para o seu diagnóstico neste Estado.

  10. Genetic variations of live attenuated plague vaccine strains (Yersinia pestis EV76 lineage) during laboratory passages in different countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Yujun; Yang, Xianwei; Xiao, Xiao; Anisimov, Andrey P; Li, Dongfang; Yan, Yanfeng; Zhou, Dongsheng; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Carniel, Elisabeth; Achtman, Mark; Yang, Ruifu; Song, Yajun

    2014-08-01

    Plague, one of the most devastating infectious diseases in human history, is caused by the bacterial species Yersinia pestis. A live attenuated Y. pestis strain (EV76) has been widely used as a plague vaccine in various countries around the world. Here we compared the whole genome sequence of an EV76 strain used in China (EV76-CN) with the genomes of Y. pestis wild isolates to identify genetic variations specific to the EV76 lineage. We identified 6 SNPs and 6 Indels (insertions and deletions) differentiating EV76-CN from its counterparts. Then, we screened these polymorphic sites in 28 other strains of EV76 lineage that were stored in different countries. Based on the profiles of SNPs and Indels, we reconstructed the parsimonious dissemination history of EV76 lineage. This analysis revealed that there have been at least three independent imports of EV76 strains into China. Additionally, we observed that the pyrE gene is a mutation hotspot in EV76 lineages. The fine comparison results based on whole genome sequence in this study provide better understanding of the effects of laboratory passages on the accumulation of genetic polymorphisms in plague vaccine strains. These variations identified here will also be helpful in discriminating different EV76 derivatives. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. [Comparison of efficacy of tests for differentiation of typical and atypical strains of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arsen'eva, T E; Lebedeva, S A; Trukhachev, A L; Vasil'eva, E A; Ivanova, V S; Bozhko, N V

    2010-01-01

    To characterize species specificity of officially recommended tests for differentiation of Yersiniapestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and propose additional tests allowing for more accurate identification. Natural, laboratory and typical strains oftwo Yersinia species were studied using microbiological, molecular and biochemical methods. For PCR species-specific primers complementary to certain fragments of chromosomal DNA of each species as well as to several plasmid genes of Y. pestis were used. It was shown that such attributes of Y. pestis as form of colonies, fermentation ofrhamnose, melibiose and urea, susceptibility to diagnostic phages, nutritional requirements could be lost in pestis bacterial species or detected in pseudotuberculosis species. Such attribute as mobility as well as positive result of CoA-reaction on fraction V antigen are more reliable. Guaranteed differentiation of typical and changed according to differential tests strains is provided only by PCR-analysis with primers vlml2for/ISrev216 and JS respectively, which are homologous to certain chromosome fragments of one of two Yersinia species.

  12. Differential impact of lipopolysaccharide defects caused by loss of RfaH in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Jared M; Sullivan, Shea; Wu, Erin; Wilson, Eric; Erickson, David L

    2017-09-07

    RfaH enhances transcription of a select group of operons controlling bacterial surface features such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Previous studies have suggested that rfaH may be required for Yersinia pseudotuberculosis resistance to antimicrobial chemokines and survival during mouse infections. In order to further investigate the role of RfaH in LPS synthesis, resistance to host defense peptides, and virulence of Yersinia, we constructed ΔrfaH mutants of Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953 and Y. pestis KIM6+. Loss of rfaH affected LPS synthesis in both species, resulting in a shorter core oligosaccharide. Susceptibility to polymyxin and the antimicrobial chemokine CCL28 was increased by loss of rfaH in Y. pseudotuberculosis but not in Y. pestis. Transcription of genes in the ddhD-wzz O-antigen gene cluster, but not core oligosaccharide genes, was reduced in ΔrfaH mutants. In addition, mutants with disruptions in specific ddhD-wzz O-antigen cluster genes produced LPS that was indistinguishable from the ΔrfaH mutant. This suggests that both Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis produce an oligosaccharide core with a single O-antigen unit attached in an RfaH-dependent fashion. Despite enhanced sensitivity to host defense peptides, the Y. pseudotuberculosis ΔrfaH strain was not attenuated in mice, suggesting that rfaH is not required for acute infection.

  13. Evaluation of the murine immune response to Xenopsylla cheopis flea saliva and its effect on transmission of Yersinia pestis.

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    Christopher F Bosio

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Arthropod-borne pathogens are transmitted into a unique intradermal microenvironment that includes the saliva of their vectors. Immunomodulatory factors in the saliva can enhance infectivity; however, in some cases the immune response that develops to saliva from prior uninfected bites can inhibit infectivity. Most rodent reservoirs of Yersinia pestis experience fleabites regularly, but the effect this has on the dynamics of flea-borne transmission of plague has never been investigated. We examined the innate and acquired immune response of mice to bites of Xenopsylla cheopis and its effects on Y. pestis transmission and disease progression in both naïve mice and mice chronically exposed to flea bites.The immune response of C57BL/6 mice to uninfected flea bites was characterized by flow cytometry, histology, and antibody detection methods. In naïve mice, flea bites induced mild inflammation with limited recruitment of neutrophils and macrophages to the bite site. Infectivity and host response in naïve mice exposed to flea bites followed immediately by intradermal injection of Y. pestis did not differ from that of mice infected with Y. pestis without prior flea feeding. With prolonged exposure, an IgG1 antibody response primarily directed to the predominant component of flea saliva, a family of 36-45 kDa phosphatase-like proteins, occurred in both laboratory mice and wild rats naturally exposed to X. cheopis, but a hypersensitivity response never developed. The incidence and progression of terminal plague following challenge by infective blocked fleas were equivalent in naïve mice and mice sensitized to flea saliva by repeated exposure to flea bites over a 10-week period.Unlike what is observed with many other blood-feeding arthropods, the murine immune response to X. cheopis saliva is mild and continued exposure to flea bites leads more to tolerance than to hypersensitivity. The immune response to flea saliva had no detectable effect on Y

  14. Validation of inverse seasonal peak mortality in medieval plagues, including the Black Death, in comparison to modern Yersinia pestis-variant diseases.

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    Mark R Welford

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent studies have noted myriad qualitative and quantitative inconsistencies between the medieval Black Death (and subsequent "plagues" and modern empirical Y. pestis plague data, most of which is derived from the Indian and Chinese plague outbreaks of A.D. 1900+/-15 years. Previous works have noted apparent differences in seasonal mortality peaks during Black Death outbreaks versus peaks of bubonic and pneumonic plagues attributed to Y. pestis infection, but have not provided spatiotemporal statistical support. Our objective here was to validate individual observations of this seasonal discrepancy in peak mortality between historical epidemics and modern empirical data. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compiled and aggregated multiple daily, weekly and monthly datasets of both Y. pestis plague epidemics and suspected Black Death epidemics to compare seasonal differences in mortality peaks at a monthly resolution. Statistical and time series analyses of the epidemic data indicate that a seasonal inversion in peak mortality does exist between known Y. pestis plague and suspected Black Death epidemics. We provide possible explanations for this seasonal inversion. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results add further evidence of inconsistency between historical plagues, including the Black Death, and our current understanding of Y. pestis-variant disease. We expect that the line of inquiry into the disputed cause of the greatest recorded epidemic will continue to intensify. Given the rapid pace of environmental change in the modern world, it is crucial that we understand past lethal outbreaks as fully as possible in order to prepare for future deadly pandemics.

  15. Proteolytic processing of the Yersinia pestis YapG autotransporter by the omptin protease Pla and the contribution of YapG to murine plague pathogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, M. Chelsea; Lenz, Jonathan D.

    2013-01-01

    Autotransporter protein secretion represents one of the simplest forms of secretion across Gram-negative bacterial membranes. Once secreted, autotransporter proteins either remain tethered to the bacterial surface or are released following proteolytic cleavage. Autotransporters possess a diverse array of virulence-associated functions such as motility, cytotoxicity, adherence and autoaggregation. To better understand the role of autotransporters in disease, our research focused on the autotransporters of Yersinia pestis, the aetiological agent of plague. Y. pestis strain CO92 has nine functional conventional autotransporters, referred to as Yaps for Yersinia autotransporter proteins. Three Yaps have been directly implicated in virulence using established mouse models of plague infection (YapE, YapJ and YapK). Whilst previous studies from our laboratory have shown that most of the CO92 Yaps are cell associated, YapE and YapG are processed and released by the omptin protease Pla. In this study, we identified the Pla cleavage sites in YapG that result in many released forms of YapG in Y. pestis, but not in the evolutionarily related gastrointestinal pathogen, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which lacks Pla. Furthermore, we showed that YapG does not contribute to Y. pestis virulence in established mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic infection. As Y. pestis has a complex life cycle involving a wide range of mammalian hosts and a flea vector for transmission, it remains to be elucidated whether YapG has a measurable role in any other stage of plague disease. PMID:23657527

  16. Validation of inverse seasonal peak mortality in medieval plagues, including the Black Death, in comparison to modern Yersinia pestis-variant diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welford, Mark R; Bossak, Brian H

    2009-12-22

    Recent studies have noted myriad qualitative and quantitative inconsistencies between the medieval Black Death (and subsequent "plagues") and modern empirical Y. pestis plague data, most of which is derived from the Indian and Chinese plague outbreaks of A.D. 1900+/-15 years. Previous works have noted apparent differences in seasonal mortality peaks during Black Death outbreaks versus peaks of bubonic and pneumonic plagues attributed to Y. pestis infection, but have not provided spatiotemporal statistical support. Our objective here was to validate individual observations of this seasonal discrepancy in peak mortality between historical epidemics and modern empirical data. We compiled and aggregated multiple daily, weekly and monthly datasets of both Y. pestis plague epidemics and suspected Black Death epidemics to compare seasonal differences in mortality peaks at a monthly resolution. Statistical and time series analyses of the epidemic data indicate that a seasonal inversion in peak mortality does exist between known Y. pestis plague and suspected Black Death epidemics. We provide possible explanations for this seasonal inversion. These results add further evidence of inconsistency between historical plagues, including the Black Death, and our current understanding of Y. pestis-variant disease. We expect that the line of inquiry into the disputed cause of the greatest recorded epidemic will continue to intensify. Given the rapid pace of environmental change in the modern world, it is crucial that we understand past lethal outbreaks as fully as possible in order to prepare for future deadly pandemics.

  17. Validation of Inverse Seasonal Peak Mortality in Medieval Plagues, Including the Black Death, in Comparison to Modern Yersinia pestis-Variant Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welford, Mark R.; Bossak, Brian H.

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent studies have noted myriad qualitative and quantitative inconsistencies between the medieval Black Death (and subsequent “plagues”) and modern empirical Y. pestis plague data, most of which is derived from the Indian and Chinese plague outbreaks of A.D. 1900±15 years. Previous works have noted apparent differences in seasonal mortality peaks during Black Death outbreaks versus peaks of bubonic and pneumonic plagues attributed to Y. pestis infection, but have not provided spatiotemporal statistical support. Our objective here was to validate individual observations of this seasonal discrepancy in peak mortality between historical epidemics and modern empirical data. Methodology/Principal Findings We compiled and aggregated multiple daily, weekly and monthly datasets of both Y. pestis plague epidemics and suspected Black Death epidemics to compare seasonal differences in mortality peaks at a monthly resolution. Statistical and time series analyses of the epidemic data indicate that a seasonal inversion in peak mortality does exist between known Y. pestis plague and suspected Black Death epidemics. We provide possible explanations for this seasonal inversion. Conclusions/Significance These results add further evidence of inconsistency between historical plagues, including the Black Death, and our current understanding of Y. pestis-variant disease. We expect that the line of inquiry into the disputed cause of the greatest recorded epidemic will continue to intensify. Given the rapid pace of environmental change in the modern world, it is crucial that we understand past lethal outbreaks as fully as possible in order to prepare for future deadly pandemics. PMID:20027294

  18. Plasmid composition and virulence-associated factors of Yersinia pestis isolates from a plague outbreak at the Paraíba State, Brazil Composição plasmidial e fatores associados à virulência em cepas de Yersinia pestis de um surto de peste no Estado da Paraíba, Brasil

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    Nilma Cintra Leal

    1989-10-01

    Full Text Available Pathogenic Yersinia pestis isolates were collected during a plague outbreak at the Paraiba State in 1986. The Y. pestis isolates were investigated for the presence of virulence-associated factors and plasmid content. All strains analysed were proficient in the expression of the VW and fraction 1 antigens, pigment adsorption and pesticin-fibronolysin-coagulase production. A similar plasmid profile composed by four plasmid with molecular weight of 60, 44, 14.9, and 6.4 Megadaltons (MD was found in all strains. DNA cleavage with EcoRI restriction enzyme further demonstrated the uniform plasmid content of the Y. pestis isolates. Seven additional Y. pestis strains, previously isolated in the same region but in an endemic state, showed the same plasmid fingerprint. The lack of any detectable difference between epidemic and endemic isolates as well as the value of plasmid fingerprints in epidemiology of Y. pestis is discussed.Cepas patogênicas de Yersinia pestis foram coletadas durante um surto de peste no Estado da Paraíba em 1986. Os isolados de Y. pestis foram analisados quanto a presença de fatores associados à virulência e conteúdo plasmidial. Todas as linhagens analisadas foram proficientes na expressão dos antígenos VW e fração 1, além de possuírem capacidade de adsorção de pigmentos e produção de pesticina-fibrinolisina-coagulase. Um perfil plasmidial semelhante composto por quatro plasmídeos com peso molecular de 60, 44, 14.9, e 6.4 MD foi encontrado em todas as linhagens. A clivagem do DNA plasmidial com a enzima de restrição EcoRI demonstrou o conteúdo plasmidial uniforme dos isolados de Y. pestis. Sete outras linhagens de Y. pestis, isoladas previamente no mesmo local mas em condição endêmica, mostraram o mesmo perfil plasmidial. A falta de diferenças entre os isolados epidêmicos e endêmicos assim como o uso do perfil plasmidial na epidemiologic de Y. pestis e discutida.

  19. [Isolation and chemical characterization of type R lipopolysaccharides of a hypovirulent strain of Yersinia pestis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minka, S; Bruneteau, M

    1998-05-01

    The lipopolysaccharides LPS I and LPS II, isolated from the hypovirulent EV40 strain of Yersinia pestis, are composed only of type R lipopolysaccharides. This type consists of two forms a and b, depending on their solubility pattern in a solvent mixture containing varying proportions of chloroform, methanol, hexane, and hydrochloric acid. LPS I consists of one subtype, RIb, while LPS II consists of two subtypes, RIIa and RIIb. Analysis by gel electrophoresis shows that the mass of these lipopolysaccharide forms are in the vicinity of 2000-3000 Da. The RIb and RIIb subtypes, which are found in the majority of lipopolysaccharide I and II fractions, are composed of ketoses and amines that are similar to those occurring in LPS I and LPS II. In contrast, the two subtypes RIIa and RIIb are different both in terms of the composition of lipid A and the extent of its substitution. Certain fractions of RIIa contain only lipid A and 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid (KDO), while other fractions of RIIb possess a lipid A, which is not substituted by arabinose. The whole set of these R-type lipopolysaccharide forms are excellent models for the study of the role of the primary structure of the polysaccharide region, and for the effect of lipid A substitution on the biological activity of bacterial lipopolysaccharides.

  20. LcrG secretion is not required for blocking of Yops secretion in Yersinia pestis

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    Matson Jyl S

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background LcrG, a negative regulator of the Yersinia type III secretion apparatus has been shown to be primarily a cytoplasmic protein, but is secreted at least in Y. pestis. LcrG secretion has not been functionally analyzed and the relevance of LcrG secretion on LcrG function is unknown. Results An LcrG-GAL4AD chimera, originally constructed for two-hybrid analyses to analyze LcrG protein interactions, appeared to be not secreted but the LcrG-GAL4AD chimera retained the ability to regulate Yops secretion. This result led to further investigation to determine the significance of LcrG secretion on LcrG function. Additional analyses including deletion and substitution mutations of amino acids 2–6 in the N-terminus of LcrG were constructed to analyze LcrG secretion and LcrG's ability to control secretion. Some changes to the N-terminus of LcrG were found to not affect LcrG's secretion or LcrG's secretion-controlling activity. However, substitution of poly-isoleucine in the N-terminus of LcrG did eliminate LcrG secretion but did not affect LcrG's secretion controlling activity. Conclusion These results indicate that secretion of LcrG, while observable and T3SS mediated, is not relevant for LcrG's ability to control secretion.

  1. Evaluation of protective potential of Yersinia pestis outer membrane protein antigens as possible candidates for a new-generation recombinant plague vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erova, Tatiana E; Rosenzweig, Jason A; Sha, Jian; Suarez, Giovanni; Sierra, Johanna C; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Telepnev, Maxim V; Motin, Vladimir L; Chopra, Ashok K

    2013-02-01

    Plague caused by Yersinia pestis manifests itself in bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic forms. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved levofloxacin, there is no approved human vaccine against plague. The capsular antigen F1 and the low-calcium-response V antigen (LcrV) of Y. pestis represent excellent vaccine candidates; however, the inability of the immune responses to F1 and LcrV to provide protection against Y. pestis F1(-) strains or those which harbor variants of LcrV is a significant concern. Here, we show that the passive transfer of hyperimmune sera from rats infected with the plague bacterium and rescued by levofloxacin protected naive animals against pneumonic plague. Furthermore, 10 to 12 protein bands from wild-type (WT) Y. pestis CO92 reacted with the aforementioned hyperimmune sera upon Western blot analysis. Based on mass spectrometric analysis, four of these proteins were identified as attachment invasion locus (Ail/OmpX), plasminogen-activating protease (Pla), outer membrane protein A (OmpA), and F1. The genes encoding these proteins were cloned, and the recombinant proteins purified from Escherichia coli for immunization purposes before challenging mice and rats with either the F1(-) mutant or WT CO92 in bubonic and pneumonic plague models. Although antibodies to Ail and OmpA protected mice against bubonic plague when challenged with the F1(-) CO92 strain, Pla antibodies were protective against pneumonic plague. In the rat model, antibodies to Ail provided protection only against pneumonic plague after WT CO92 challenge. Together, the addition of Y. pestis outer membrane proteins to a new-generation recombinant vaccine could provide protection against a wide variety of Y. pestis strains.

  2. Genome sequence of the deep-rooted Yersinia pestis strain Angola reveals new insights into the evolution and pangenome of the plague bacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppinger, Mark; Worsham, Patricia L; Nikolich, Mikeljon P; Riley, David R; Sebastian, Yinong; Mou, Sherry; Achtman, Mark; Lindler, Luther E; Ravel, Jacques

    2010-03-01

    To gain insights into the origin and genome evolution of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis, we have sequenced the deep-rooted strain Angola, a virulent Pestoides isolate. Its ancient nature makes this atypical isolate of particular importance in understanding the evolution of plague pathogenicity. Its chromosome features a unique genetic make-up intermediate between modern Y. pestis isolates and its evolutionary ancestor, Y. pseudotuberculosis. Our genotypic and phenotypic analyses led us to conclude that Angola belongs to one of the most ancient Y. pestis lineages thus far sequenced. The mobilome carries the first reported chimeric plasmid combining the two species-specific virulence plasmids. Genomic findings were validated in virulence assays demonstrating that its pathogenic potential is distinct from modern Y. pestis isolates. Human infection with this particular isolate would not be diagnosed by the standard clinical tests, as Angola lacks the plasmid-borne capsule, and a possible emergence of this genotype raises major public health concerns. To assess the genomic plasticity in Y. pestis, we investigated the global gene reservoir and estimated the pangenome at 4,844 unique protein-coding genes. As shown by the genomic analysis of this evolutionary key isolate, we found that the genomic plasticity within Y. pestis clearly was not as limited as previously thought, which is strengthened by the detection of the largest number of isolate-specific single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) currently reported in the species. This study identified numerous novel genetic signatures, some of which seem to be intimately associated with plague virulence. These markers are valuable in the development of a robust typing system critical for forensic, diagnostic, and epidemiological studies.

  3. Evaluation of Protective Potential of Yersinia pestis Outer Membrane Protein Antigens as Possible Candidates for a New-Generation Recombinant Plague Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erova, Tatiana E.; Rosenzweig, Jason A.; Sha, Jian; Suarez, Giovanni; Sierra, Johanna C.; Kirtley, Michelle L.; van Lier, Christina J.; Telepnev, Maxim V.; Motin, Vladimir L.

    2013-01-01

    Plague caused by Yersinia pestis manifests itself in bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic forms. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved levofloxacin, there is no approved human vaccine against plague. The capsular antigen F1 and the low-calcium-response V antigen (LcrV) of Y. pestis represent excellent vaccine candidates; however, the inability of the immune responses to F1 and LcrV to provide protection against Y. pestis F1− strains or those which harbor variants of LcrV is a significant concern. Here, we show that the passive transfer of hyperimmune sera from rats infected with the plague bacterium and rescued by levofloxacin protected naive animals against pneumonic plague. Furthermore, 10 to 12 protein bands from wild-type (WT) Y. pestis CO92 reacted with the aforementioned hyperimmune sera upon Western blot analysis. Based on mass spectrometric analysis, four of these proteins were identified as attachment invasion locus (Ail/OmpX), plasminogen-activating protease (Pla), outer membrane protein A (OmpA), and F1. The genes encoding these proteins were cloned, and the recombinant proteins purified from Escherichia coli for immunization purposes before challenging mice and rats with either the F1− mutant or WT CO92 in bubonic and pneumonic plague models. Although antibodies to Ail and OmpA protected mice against bubonic plague when challenged with the F1− CO92 strain, Pla antibodies were protective against pneumonic plague. In the rat model, antibodies to Ail provided protection only against pneumonic plague after WT CO92 challenge. Together, the addition of Y. pestis outer membrane proteins to a new-generation recombinant vaccine could provide protection against a wide variety of Y. pestis strains. PMID:23239803

  4. The cyclic AMP receptor protein, CRP, is required for both virulence and expression of the minimal CRP regulon in Yersinia pestis biovar microtus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Lingjun; Han, Yanping; Yang, Lei; Geng, Jing; Li, Yingli; Gao, He; Guo, Zhaobiao; Fan, Wei; Li, Gang; Zhang, Lianfeng; Qin, Chuan; Zhou, Dongsheng; Yang, Ruifu

    2008-11-01

    The cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) is a bacterial regulator that controls more than 100 promoters, including those involved in catabolite repression. In the present study, a null deletion of the crp gene was constructed for Yersinia pestis bv. microtus strain 201. Microarray expression analysis disclosed that at least 6% of Y. pestis genes were affected by this mutation. Further reverse transcription-PCR and electrophoretic mobility shift assay analyses disclosed a set of 37 genes or putative operons to be the direct targets of CRP, and thus they constitute the minimal CRP regulon in Y. pestis. Subsequent primer extension and DNase I footprinting assays mapped transcriptional start sites, core promoter elements, and CRP binding sites within the DNA regions upstream of pla and pst, revealing positive and direct control of these two laterally acquired plasmid genes by CRP. The crp disruption affected both in vitro and in vivo growth of the mutant and led to a >15,000-fold loss of virulence after subcutaneous infection but a pestis and, particularly, is more important for infection by subcutaneous inoculation. It can further be concluded that the reduced in vivo growth phenotype of the crp mutant should contribute, at least partially, to its attenuation of virulence by both routes of infection. Consistent with a previous study of Y. pestis bv. medievalis, lacZ reporter fusion analysis indicated that the crp deletion resulted in the almost absolute loss of pla promoter activity. The plasminogen activator encoded by pla was previously shown to specifically promote Y. pestis dissemination from peripheral infection routes (subcutaneous infection [flea bite] or inhalation). The above evidence supports the notion that in addition to the reduced in vivo growth phenotype, the defect of pla expression in the crp mutant will greatly contribute to the huge loss of virulence of this mutant strain in subcutaneous infection.

  5. Structural Characterisation of the Beta-Ketoacyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Synthases, FabF and FabH, of Yersinia pestis

    OpenAIRE

    Jeffrey D. Nanson; Himiari, Zainab; Swarbrick, Crystall M. D.; Forwood, Jade K.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic, pneumonic, and septicaemic plague, remains a major public health threat, with outbreaks of disease occurring in China, Madagascar, and Peru in the last five years. The existence of multidrug resistant Y. pestis and the potential of this bacterium as a bioterrorism agent illustrates the need for new antimicrobials. The β-ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein synthases, FabB, FabF, and FabH, catalyse the elongation of fatty acids as part of the type II f...

  6. Application of r-PFE hyperimmune sera for concurrent detection of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and staphylococcal enterotoxin B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balakrishna, K; Tuteja, U; Murali, H S; Batra, H V

    2014-06-01

    To evaluate the potential of an intergeneric multidomain recombinant chimeric protein for the simultaneous detection of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B. Truncated portions of protective antigen (pag) of B. anthracis, fraction 1 capsular antigen (F1) of Y. pestis and enterotoxin B (entB) of Staphylococcus aureus were PCR amplified and linked each other using ligation-dependent cloning. The fusion gene was codon-optimized for expression in Escherichia coli and encoded a 55 kDa recombinant PFE protein (rPFE). Hyperimmune antiserum raised against rPFE specifically reacted individually with the native PA of B. anthracis, F1 antigen of Y. pestis and SEB of S. aureus on Western blot analysis as well as in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). For simultaneous detection of these three antigens from culture supernatants, common media consisting of BHI broth supplemented with 0·2% xylose were used. To assess the detection capability, a known number of these organisms (10(8) -10(2) CFU ml(-1)) were experimentally spiked on to the meat and blood samples, the polyclonal antibodies were again clearly able to identify all three target proteins up to a dilution of 10(5) CFU ml(-1). This recombinant chimeric protein-based immunodetection approach may eventually provide advantages over PCR formats during onsite investigations of biological emergencies or even during routine testing by laboratories. The trivalent recombinant PFE protein could be a novel intervention for possible diagnosis/detection of potential biological agents simultaneously in environmental and clinical samples to reduce the responding time and minimize the impact of the bioattack. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  7. Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of Yersinia pestis Type III secretion system YscN ATPase.

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    Wieslaw Swietnicki

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis is a gram negative zoonotic pathogen responsible for causing bubonic and pneumonic plague in humans. The pathogen uses a type III secretion system (T3SS to deliver virulence factors directly from bacterium into host mammalian cells. The system contains a single ATPase, YscN, necessary for delivery of virulence factors. In this work, we show that deletion of the catalytic domain of the yscN gene in Y. pestis CO92 attenuated the strain over three million-fold in the Swiss-Webster mouse model of bubonic plague. The result validates the YscN protein as a therapeutic target for plague. The catalytic domain of the YscN protein was made using recombinant methods and its ATPase activity was characterized in vitro. To identify candidate therapeutics, we tested computationally selected small molecules for inhibition of YscN ATPase activity. The best inhibitors had measured IC(50 values below 20 µM in an in vitro ATPase assay and were also found to inhibit the homologous BsaS protein from Burkholderia mallei animal-like T3SS at similar concentrations. Moreover, the compounds fully inhibited YopE secretion by attenuated Y. pestis in a bacterial cell culture and mammalian cells at µM concentrations. The data demonstrate the feasibility of targeting and inhibiting a critical protein transport ATPase of a bacterial virulence system. It is likely the same strategy could be applied to many other common human pathogens using type III secretion system, including enteropathogenic E. coli, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella typhimurium, and Burkholderia mallei/pseudomallei species.

  8. Detection and Identification of Ciprofloxacin-Resistant Yersinia pestis Denaturing High-Performance Liquid Chromatography

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-07-01

    Listeria monocytogenes lineage group classification by MAMA -PCR of the listeriolysin gene. Curr. Microbiol. 43:129–133. 17. Klein, B., G. Weirich...and H. Brauch. 2001. DHPLC-based germline muta- tion screening in the analysis of the VHL tumor suppressor gene: usefulness and limitations. Hum. Genet...108:376–384. 18. Kleymenova, E., and C. L. Walker. 2001. Determination of loss of heterozy- gosity in frozen and paraffin embedded tumors by

  9. Protein Abundances can Distinguish Between Naturally-occurring and Laboratory Strains of Yersinia pestis, the Causative Agent of Plague

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merkley, Eric D.; Sego, Landon H.; Lin, Andy; Leiser, Owen P.; Kaiser, Brooke LD; Adkins, Joshua N.; Keim, Paul S.; Wagner, David M.; Kreuzer, Helen W.

    2017-08-30

    Adaptive processes in bacterial species can occur rapidly in laboratory culture, leading to genetic divergence between naturally occurring and laboratory-adapted strains. Differentiating wild and closely-related laboratory strains is clearly important for biodefense and bioforensics; however, DNA sequence data alone has thus far not provided a clear signature, perhaps due to lack of understanding of how diverse genome changes lead to adapted phenotypes. Protein abundance profiles from mass spectrometry-based proteomics analyses are a molecular measure of phenotype. Proteomics data contains sufficient information that powerful statistical methods can uncover signatures that distinguish wild strains of Yersinia pestis from laboratory-adapted strains.

  10. pH6 antigen (PsaA protein) of Yersinia pestis, a novel bacterial Fc-receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zav'yalov, V P; Abramov, V M; Cherepanov, P G; Spirina, G V; Chernovskaya, T V; Vasiliev, A M; Zav'yalova, G A

    1996-05-01

    It was found that recombinant pH6 antigen (rPsaA protein) forming virulence-associated fimbriae on the surface of Yersinia pestis at pH 6.7 in host macrophage phagolysosomes or extracellularly in abscesses such as buboes, is a novel bacterial Fc-receptor. rPsaA protein displays reactivity with human IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3 subclasses but does not react with rabbit, mouse and sheep IgG.

  11. The Effects of Low-Shear Mechanical Stress on Yersinia pestis Virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawal, Abidat; Jejelowo, Olufisayo A.; Rosenzweig, Jason A.

    2010-11-01

    Manned space exploration has created a need to evaluate the effects of spacelike stress on pathogenic and opportunistic microbes astronauts could carry with them to the International Space Station and beyond. Yersinia pestis (YP) causes bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague and is capable of killing infected patients within 3-7 days. In this study, low-shear modeled microgravity (LSMMG), a spacelike stress, was used to physically stress YP; and its effects on proliferation, cold growth, and type III secretion system (T3SS) function were evaluated. YP was grown to saturation in either LSMMG or normal gravity (NG) conditions prior to being used for RAW 246.7 cell infections, HeLa cell infections, and Yop secretion assays. A mutant strain of YP (ΔyopB) that lacks the ability to inject Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops) into the host cell was used as a negative control in cell infection experiments. Our experimental results indicate that YP cultivated under LSMMG resulted in reduced YopM production and secretion compared to its NG-grown counterpart. Similarly, NG-grown YP induced more cell rounding in HeLa cells than did the LSMMG-grown YP, which suggests that LSMMG somehow impairs T3SS optimum function. Also, LSMMG-grown YP used to infect cultured RAW 246.7 cells showed a similar pattern of dysfunction in that it proliferated less than did its NG-grown counterpart during an 8-hour infection period. This study suggests that LSMMG can attenuate bacterial virulence contrary to previously published data that have demonstrated LSMMG-induced hypervirulence of other Gram-negative enterics.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingping Zhang

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

  13. Yersinia pestis requires the 2-component regulatory system OmpR-EnvZ to resist innate immunity during the early and late stages of plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reboul, Angéline; Lemaître, Nadine; Titecat, Marie; Merchez, Maud; Deloison, Gaspard; Ricard, Isabelle; Pradel, Elizabeth; Marceau, Michaël; Sebbane, Florent

    2014-11-01

    Plague is transmitted by fleas or contaminated aerosols. To successfully produce disease, the causal agent (Yersinia pestis) must rapidly sense and respond to rapid variations in its environment. Here, we investigated the role of 2-component regulatory systems (2CSs) in plague because the latter are known to be key players in bacterial adaptation to environmental change. Along with the previously studied PhoP-PhoQ system, OmpR-EnvZ was the only one of Y. pestis' 23 other 2CSs required for production of bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. In vitro, OmpR-EnvZ was needed to counter serum complement and leukocytes but was not required for the secretion of antiphagocyte exotoxins. In vivo, Y. pestis lacking OmpR-EnvZ did not induce an early immune response in the skin and was fully virulent in neutropenic mice. We conclude that, throughout the course of Y. pestis infection, OmpR-EnvZ is required to counter toxic effectors secreted by polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the tissues.

  14. Prevalence of Yersinia pestis in rodents and fleas associated with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) at Thunder Basin National Grassland, Wyoming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiagarajan, Bala; Bai, Ying; Gage, Kenneth L; Cully, Jack F

    2008-07-01

    Rodents (and their fleas) that are associated with prairie dogs are considered important for the maintenance and transmission of the bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that causes plague. Our goal was to identify rodent and flea species that were potentially involved in a plague epizootic in black-tailed prairie dogs at Thunder Basin National Grassland. We collected blood samples and ectoparasites from rodents trapped at off- and on-colony grids at Thunder Basin National Grassland between 2002 and 2004. Blood samples were tested for antibodies to Y. pestis F-1 antigen by a passive hemagglutination assay, and fleas were tested by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction, for the presence of the plague bacterium. Only one of 1,421 fleas, an Oropsylla hirsuta collected in 2002 from a deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, tested positive for Y. pestis. Blood samples collected in summer 2004 from two northern grasshopper mice, Onychomys leucogaster, tested positive for Y. pestis antibodies. All three positive samples were collected from on-colony grids shortly after a plague epizootic occurred. This study confirms that plague is difficult to detect in rodents and fleas associated with prairie dog colonies, unless samples are collected immediately after a prairie dog die-off.

  15. Rapid identification and typing of Yersinia pestis and other Yersinia species by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayyadurai, Saravanan; Flaudrops, Christophe; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2010-11-12

    Accurate identification is necessary to discriminate harmless environmental Yersinia species from the food-borne pathogens Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and from the group A bioterrorism plague agent Yersinia pestis. In order to circumvent the limitations of current phenotypic and PCR-based identification methods, we aimed to assess the usefulness of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) protein profiling for accurate and rapid identification of Yersinia species. As a first step, we built a database of 39 different Yersinia strains representing 12 different Yersinia species, including 13 Y. pestis isolates representative of the Antiqua, Medievalis and Orientalis biotypes. The organisms were deposited on the MALDI-TOF plate after appropriate ethanol-based inactivation, and a protein profile was obtained within 6 minutes for each of the Yersinia species. When compared with a 3,025-profile database, every Yersinia species yielded a unique protein profile and was unambiguously identified. In the second step of analysis, environmental and clinical isolates of Y. pestis (n = 2) and Y. enterocolitica (n = 11) were compared to the database and correctly identified. In particular, Y. pestis was unambiguously identified at the species level, and MALDI-TOF was able to successfully differentiate the three biotypes. These data indicate that MALDI-TOF can be used as a rapid and accurate first-line method for the identification of Yersinia isolates.

  16. Prevalence of Yersinia pestis in rodents and fleas associated with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) at Thunder Basin National Grassland, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiagarajan, B.; Bal, Y.; Gage, K.L.; Cully, J.F.

    2008-01-01

    Rodents (and their fleas) that are associated with prairie dogs are considered important for the maintenance and transmission of the bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that causes plague. Our goal was to identify rodent and flea species that were potentially involved in a plague epizootic in black-tailed prairie dogs at Thunder Basin National Grassland. We collected blood samples and ectoparasites from rodents trapped at off- and on-colony grids at Thunder Basin National Grassland between 2002 and 2004. Blood samples were tested for antibodies to Y. pestis F-1 antigen by a passive hemagglutination assay, and fleas were tested by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction, for the presence of the plague bacterium. Only one of 1,421 fleas, an Oropsylla hirsuta collected in 2002 from a deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, tested positive for Y. pestis. Blood samples collected in summer 2004 from two northern grasshopper mice, Onychomys leucogaster, tested positive for Y. pestis antibodies. All three positive samples were collected from on-colony grids shortly after a plague epizootic occurred. This study confirms that plague is difficult to detect in rodents and fleas associated with prairie dog colonies, unless samples are collected immediately after a prairie dog die-off. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

  17. Surveillance of Egyptian fleas for agents of public health significance: Anaplasma, Bartonella, Coxiella, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loftis, Amanda D; Reeves, Will K; Szumlas, Daniel E; Abbassy, Magda M; Helmy, Ibrahim M; Moriarity, John R; Dasch, Gregory A

    2006-07-01

    Serologic surveys in Egypt have documented human and animal exposure to vector-borne bacterial pathogens, but the presence and distribution of these agents in arthropods has not been determined. Between July 2002 and July 2003, fleas were collected from 221 mammals trapped in 17 cities throughout Egypt. A total of 987 fleas were collected, representing four species (Ctenocephalides felis, Echidnophaga gallinacea, Leptopsylla segnis, and Xenopsylla cheopis); 899 of these fleas were X. cheopis from rats (Rattus spp.). Fleas were tested for DNA from Anaplasma spp., Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, Ehrlichia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Yersinia pestis. Rickettsia typhi, the agent of murine typhus, was detected in X. cheopis and L. segnis from rats from nine cities. A spotted-fever group Rickettsia sp. similar to "RF2125" was detected in E. gallinacea, and two unidentified spotted fever group Rickettsia were detected in two X. cheopis. Novel Bartonella genotypes were detected in X. cheopis and L. segnis from three cities. Coxiella burnetii was detected in two fleas. Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Y. pestis were not detected.

  18. A recombinant raccoon poxvirus vaccine expressing both Yersinia pestis F1 and truncated V antigens protects animals against lethal plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Kingstad-Bakke, B; Berlier, W; Osorio, J.E.

    2014-01-01

    In previous studies, we demonstrated in mice and prairie dogs that simultaneous administration of two recombinant raccoon poxviruses (rRCN) expressing Yersinia pestis antigens (F1 and V307-a truncated version of the V protein) provided superior protection against plague challenge compared to individual single antigen constructs. To reduce costs of vaccine production and facilitate implementation of a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) control program for prairie dogs, a dual antigen construct is more desirable. Here we report the construction and characterization of a novel RCN-vectored vaccine that simultaneously expresses both F1 and V307 antigens. This dual antigen vaccine provided similar levels of protection against plague in both mice and prairie dogs as compared to simultaneous administration of the two single antigen constructs and was also shown to protect mice against an F1 negative strain of Y. pestis.. The equivalent safety, immunogenicity and efficacy profile of the dual RCN-F1/V307 construct warrants further evaluation in field efficacy studies in sylvatic plague endemic areas.

  19. Molecular identification by “suicide PCR” of Yersinia pestis as the agent of Medieval Black Death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raoult, Didier; Aboudharam, Gérard; Crubézy, Eric; Larrouy, Georges; Ludes, Bertrand; Drancourt, Michel

    2000-01-01

    Medieval Black Death is believed to have killed up to one-third of the Western European population during the 14th century. It was identified as plague at this time, but recently the causative organism was debated because no definitive evidence has been obtained to confirm the role of Yersinia pestis as the agent of plague. We obtained the teeth of a child and two adults from a 14th century grave in France, disrupted them to obtain the pulp, and applied the new “suicide PCR” protocol in which the primers are used only once. There were no positive controls: Neither Yersinia nor Yersinia DNA were introduced in the laboratory. A negative result is followed by a new test using other primers; a positive result is followed by sequencing. The second and third primer pair used, coding for a part of the pla gene, generated amplicons whose sequence confirmed that it was Y. pestis in 1 tooth from the child and 19/19 teeth from the adults. Negative controls were negative. Attempts to detect the putative alternative etiologic agents Bacillus anthracis and Rickettsia prowazekii failed. Suicide PCR avoids any risk of contamination as it uses a single-shot primer—its specificity is absolute. We believe that we can end the controversy: Medieval Black Death was plague. PMID:11058154

  20. Complete Genome Sequence of Yersinia pestis Strains Antiqua andNepal516: Evidence of Gene Reduction in an Emerging Pathogen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chain, Patrick S.G.; Hu, Ping; Malfatti, Stephanie A.; Radnedge,Lyndsay; Larimer, Frank; Vergez, Lisa M.; Worsham, Patricia; Chu, May C.; Andersen, Gary L.

    2006-01-16

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic andpneumonicplague, has undergone detailed study at the molecular level. Tofurther investigate the genomic diversity among this group and to helpcharacterize lineages of the plague organism that have no sequencedmembers, we present here the genomes of two isolates of the "classical"Antiqua biovar, strains Antiqua and Nepal516. The genomes of Antiqua andNepal516 are 4.7 Mb and 4.5 Mb and encode 4,138 and 3,956 open readingframes respectively. Though both strains belong to one of the threeclassical biovars, they represent separate lineages defined by recentphylogenetic studies. We compare all five currently sequenced Y. pestisgenomes and the corresponding features in Y. pseudotuberculosis. Thereare strain-specific rearrangements, insertions, deletions, singlenucleotide polymorphisms and a unique distribution of insertionsequences. We found 453 single nucleotide polymorphisms in protein codingregions, which were used to assess evolutionary relationships of these Y.pestis strains. Gene reduction analysis revealed that the gene deletionprocesses are under selective pressure and many of the inactivations areprobably related to the organism s interaction with its host environment.The results presented here clearly demonstrate the differences betweenthe two Antiqua lineages and support the notion that grouping Y. pestisstrains based strictly on the classical definition of biovars (predicatedupon two biochemical assays) does not accurately reflect the phylogeneticrelationships within this species. Comparison of four virulent Y. pestisstrains with the human-avirulent strain 91001 provides further insightinto the genetic basis of virulence to humans.

  1. Identification of chromosomal genes in Yersinia pestis that influence type III secretion and delivery of Yops into target cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew S Houppert

    Full Text Available Pathogenic Yersinia species possess a type III secretion system, which is required for the delivery of effector Yop proteins into target cells during infection. Genes encoding the type III secretion machinery, its substrates, and several regulatory proteins all reside on a 70-Kb virulence plasmid. Genes encoded in the chromosome of yersiniae are thought to play important roles in bacterial perception of host environments and in the coordinated activation of the type III secretion pathway. Here, we investigate the contribution of chromosomal genes to the complex regulatory process controlling type III secretion in Yersinia pestis. Using transposon mutagenesis, we identified five chromosomal genes required for expression or secretion of Yops in laboratory media. Four out of the five chromosomal mutants were defective to various extents at injecting Yops into tissue culture cells. Interestingly, we found one mutant that was not able to secrete in vitro but was fully competent for injecting Yops into host cells, suggesting independent mechanisms for activation of the secretion apparatus. When tested in a mouse model of plague disease, three mutants were avirulent, whereas two strains were severely attenuated. Together these results demonstrate the importance of Y. pestis chromosomal genes in the proper function of type III secretion and in the pathogenesis of plague.

  2. Identification of novel protein-protein interactions of Yersinia pestis type III secretion system by yeast two hybrid system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huiying Yang

    Full Text Available Type III secretion system (T3SS of the plague bacterium Y. pestis encodes a syringe-like structure consisting of more than 20 proteins, which can inject virulence effectors into host cells to modulate the cellular functions. Here in this report, interactions among the possible components in T3SS of Yersinia pestis were identified using yeast mating technique. A total of 57 genes, including all the pCD1-encoded genes except those involved in plasmid replication and partition, pseudogenes, and the putative transposase genes, were subjected to yeast mating analysis. 21 pairs of interaction proteins were identified, among which 9 pairs had been previously reported and 12 novel pairs were identified in this study. Six of them were tested by GST pull down assay, and interaction pairs of YscG-SycD, YscG-TyeA, YscI-YscF, and YopN-YpCD1.09c were successfully validated, suggesting that these interactions might play potential roles in function of Yersinia T3SS. Several potential new interactions among T3SS components could help to understand the assembly and regulation of Yersinia T3SS.

  3. Hijacking of the pleiotropic cytokine interferon-γ by the type III secretion system of Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Gendrin

    Full Text Available Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague, employs its type III secretion system to inject toxins into target cells, a crucial step in infection establishment. LcrV is an essential component of the T3SS of Yersinia spp, and is able to associate at the tip of the secretion needle and take part in the translocation of anti-host effector proteins into the eukaryotic cell cytoplasm. Upon cell contact, LcrV is also released into the surrounding medium where it has been shown to block the normal inflammatory response, although details of this mechanism have remained elusive. In this work, we reveal a key aspect of the immunomodulatory function of LcrV by showing that it interacts directly and with nanomolar affinity with the inflammatory cytokine IFNγ. In addition, we generate specific IFNγ mutants that show decreased interaction capabilities towards LcrV, enabling us to map the interaction region to two basic C-terminal clusters of IFNγ. Lastly, we show that the LcrV-IFNγ interaction can be disrupted by a number of inhibitors, some of which display nanomolar affinity. This study thus not only identifies novel potential inhibitors that could be developed for the control of Yersinia-induced infection, but also highlights the diversity of the strategies used by Y. pestis to evade the immune system, with the hijacking of pleiotropic cytokines being a long-range mechanism that potentially plays a key role in the severity of plague.

  4. Recent findings regarding maintenance of enzootic variants of Yersinia pestis in sylvatic reservoirs and their significance in the evolution of epidemic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bearden, Scott W; Brubaker, Robert R

    2010-01-01

    Despite the widespread presence of bubonic plague in sylvatic reservoirs throughout the world, the causative agent (Yersinia pestis) evolved in its present form within the last 20,000 years from enteropathogenic Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Comparison of the genomes from the two species revealed that Y. pestis possesses only a few unique plasmid-encoded genes that contribute to acute disease, whereas this organism has lost about 13% of the chromosomal genes that remain active in Y. pseudotuberculosis. These losses reflect readily detectable additions, deletions, transpositions, inversions, and acquisition of about 70 insertion sequence (IS) inserts, none of which are likely to promote increased virulence. In contrast, major enzymes of intermediary metabolism, including glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (Zwf ) and aspartase, are present but not catalytically functional due to the presence of missense mutations. The latter are generally not detectable by the technology of bioinformatics and, in the case of Y. pestis, result in radical changes in the metabolic flow of carbon. As an important consequence, plague bacilli exhibit a stringent low-calcium response characterized by conversion of L-glutamate (and metabolically related amino acids) to L-aspartate with secretion of the latter into supernatant fluid at 37 degrees C in culture media containing Na(+) but lacking added Ca(2+). This phenomenon also occurs in vivo and likely adversely affects the bioenergetics of host amino acid pools. Curiously, aspartase is functional in all tested enzootic (pestoides) strains of Y. pestis. These isolates are typically restricted to the ancient plague reservoirs of Central Asia and Africa and are fully virulent in members of the rodent Superfamily Muroidea but avirulent in guinea pigs and man. The implications of these findings for the distribution and ecology of Y. pestis could be significant.

  5. Structural snapshots along the reaction pathway of Yersinia pestis RipA, a putative butyryl-CoA transferase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torres, Rodrigo; Lan, Benson; Latif, Yama; Chim, Nicholas [UC Irvine, 2212 Natural Sciences I, Irvine, CA 92697 (United States); Goulding, Celia W., E-mail: celia.goulding@uci.edu [UC Irvine, 2212 Natural Sciences I, Irvine, CA 92697 (United States); UC Irvine, 2302 Natural Sciences I, Irvine, CA 92697 (United States)

    2014-04-01

    The crystal structures of Y. pestis RipA mutants were determined to provide insights into the CoA transferase reaction pathway. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague, is able to survive in both extracellular and intracellular environments within the human host, although its intracellular survival within macrophages is poorly understood. A novel Y. pestis three-gene rip (required for intracellular proliferation) operon, and in particular ripA, has been shown to be essential for survival and replication in interferon γ-induced macrophages. RipA was previously characterized as a putative butyryl-CoA transferase proposed to yield butyrate, a known anti-inflammatory shown to lower macrophage-produced NO levels. RipA belongs to the family I CoA transferases, which share structural homology, a conserved catalytic glutamate which forms a covalent CoA-thioester intermediate and a flexible loop adjacent to the active site known as the G(V/I)G loop. Here, functional and structural analyses of several RipA mutants are presented in an effort to dissect the CoA transferase mechanism of RipA. In particular, E61V, M31G and F60M RipA mutants show increased butyryl-CoA transferase activities when compared with wild-type RipA. Furthermore, the X-ray crystal structures of E61V, M31G and F60M RipA mutants, when compared with the wild-type RipA structure, reveal important conformational changes orchestrated by a conserved acyl-group binding-pocket phenylalanine, Phe85, and the G(V/I)G loop. Binary structures of M31G RipA and F60M RipA with two distinct CoA substrate conformations are also presented. Taken together, these data provide CoA transferase reaction snapshots of an open apo RipA, a closed glutamyl-anhydride intermediate and an open CoA-thioester intermediate. Furthermore, biochemical analyses support essential roles for both the catalytic glutamate and the flexible G(V/I)G loop along the reaction pathway, although further research is required to fully

  6. Solid-state NMR of the Yersinia pestis outer membrane protein Ail in lipid bilayer nanodiscs sedimented by ultracentrifugation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ding, Yi; Fujimoto, L. Miya; Yao, Yong; Marassi, Francesca M., E-mail: fmarassi@sbmri.org [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (United States)

    2015-04-15

    Solid-state NMR studies of sedimented soluble proteins has been developed recently as an attractive approach for overcoming the size limitations of solution NMR spectroscopy while bypassing the need for sample crystallization or precipitation (Bertini et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108(26):10396–10399, 2011). Inspired by the potential benefits of this method, we have investigated the ability to sediment lipid bilayer nanodiscs reconstituted with a membrane protein. In this study, we show that nanodiscs containing the outer membrane protein Ail from Yersinia pestis can be sedimented for solid-state NMR structural studies, without the need for precipitation or lyophilization. Optimized preparations of Ail in phospholipid nanodiscs support both the structure and the fibronectin binding activity of the protein. The same sample can be used for solution NMR, solid-state NMR and activity assays, facilitating structure–activity correlation experiments across a wide range of timescales.

  7. A Noise Trimming and Positional Significance of Transposon Insertion System to Identify Essential Genes in Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zheng Rong; Bullifent, Helen L; Moore, Karen; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Saint, Richard J; Southern, Stephanie J; Champion, Olivia L; Senior, Nicola J; Sarkar-Tyson, Mitali; Oyston, Petra C F; Atkins, Timothy P; Titball, Richard W

    2017-02-06

    Massively parallel sequencing technology coupled with saturation mutagenesis has provided new and global insights into gene functions and roles. At a simplistic level, the frequency of mutations within genes can indicate the degree of essentiality. However, this approach neglects to take account of the positional significance of mutations - the function of a gene is less likely to be disrupted by a mutation close to the distal ends. Therefore, a systematic bioinformatics approach to improve the reliability of essential gene identification is desirable. We report here a parametric model which introduces a novel mutation feature together with a noise trimming approach to predict the biological significance of Tn5 mutations. We show improved performance of essential gene prediction in the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. This method would have broad applicability to other organisms and to the identification of genes which are essential for competitiveness or survival under a broad range of stresses.

  8. Backbone structure of Yersinia pestis Ail determined in micelles by NMR-restrained simulated annealing with implicit membrane solvation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marassi, Francesca M., E-mail: fmarassi@sbmri.org; Ding, Yi [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (United States); Schwieters, Charles D. [National Institutes of Health, Division of Computational Bioscience, Center for Information Technology (United States); Tian, Ye; Yao, Yong [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (United States)

    2015-09-15

    The outer membrane protein Ail (attachment invasion locus) is a virulence factor of Yersinia pestis that mediates cell invasion, cell attachment and complement resistance. Here we describe its three-dimensional backbone structure determined in decyl-phosphocholine (DePC) micelles by NMR spectroscopy. The NMR structure was calculated using the membrane function of the implicit solvation potential, eefxPot, which we have developed to facilitate NMR structure calculations in a physically realistic environment. We show that the eefxPot force field guides the protein towards its native fold. The resulting structures provide information about the membrane-embedded global position of Ail, and have higher accuracy, higher precision and improved conformational properties, compared to the structures calculated with the standard repulsive potential.

  9. A Noise Trimming and Positional Significance of Transposon Insertion System to Identify Essential Genes in Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zheng Rong; Bullifent, Helen L.; Moore, Karen; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Saint, Richard J.; Southern, Stephanie J.; Champion, Olivia L.; Senior, Nicola J.; Sarkar-Tyson, Mitali; Oyston, Petra C. F.; Atkins, Timothy P.; Titball, Richard W.

    2017-02-01

    Massively parallel sequencing technology coupled with saturation mutagenesis has provided new and global insights into gene functions and roles. At a simplistic level, the frequency of mutations within genes can indicate the degree of essentiality. However, this approach neglects to take account of the positional significance of mutations - the function of a gene is less likely to be disrupted by a mutation close to the distal ends. Therefore, a systematic bioinformatics approach to improve the reliability of essential gene identification is desirable. We report here a parametric model which introduces a novel mutation feature together with a noise trimming approach to predict the biological significance of Tn5 mutations. We show improved performance of essential gene prediction in the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. This method would have broad applicability to other organisms and to the identification of genes which are essential for competitiveness or survival under a broad range of stresses.

  10. A Noise Trimming and Positional Significance of Transposon Insertion System to Identify Essential Genes in Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zheng Rong; Bullifent, Helen L.; Moore, Karen; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Saint, Richard J.; Southern, Stephanie J.; Champion, Olivia L.; Senior, Nicola J.; Sarkar-Tyson, Mitali; Oyston, Petra C. F.; Atkins, Timothy P.; Titball, Richard W.

    2017-01-01

    Massively parallel sequencing technology coupled with saturation mutagenesis has provided new and global insights into gene functions and roles. At a simplistic level, the frequency of mutations within genes can indicate the degree of essentiality. However, this approach neglects to take account of the positional significance of mutations - the function of a gene is less likely to be disrupted by a mutation close to the distal ends. Therefore, a systematic bioinformatics approach to improve the reliability of essential gene identification is desirable. We report here a parametric model which introduces a novel mutation feature together with a noise trimming approach to predict the biological significance of Tn5 mutations. We show improved performance of essential gene prediction in the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. This method would have broad applicability to other organisms and to the identification of genes which are essential for competitiveness or survival under a broad range of stresses. PMID:28165493

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-04-29

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

  12. Structure of the cytoplasmic domain of Yersinia pestis YscD, an essential component of the type III secretion system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lountos, George T.; Tropea, Joseph E.; Waugh, David S. (SAIC); (NCI)

    2012-09-17

    The Yersinia pestis YscD protein is an essential component of the type III secretion system. YscD consists of an N-terminal cytoplasmic domain (residues 1-121), a transmembrane linker (122-142) and a large periplasmic domain (143-419). Both the cytoplasmic and the periplasmic domains are required for the assembly of the type III secretion system. Here, the structure of the YscD cytoplasmic domain solved by SAD phasing is presented. Although the three-dimensional structure is similar to those of forkhead-associated (FHA) domains, comparison with the structures of canonical FHA domains revealed that the cytoplasmic domain of YscD lacks the conserved residues that are required for binding phosphothreonine and is therefore unlikely to function as a true FHA domain.

  13. [Macro- and microevolution as related to the problem of origin and global expansion of the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suntsov, V V; Suntsova, N I

    2008-01-01

    The ratio of macro- and microevolutionary processes is considered with reference to the ecological scenario of the origin of the plague pathogen and its subsequent natural and anthropogenic global expansion. The macroevolutionary transformation of the ancestral pseudotuberculosis microbe clone into the initial plague microbe Yersinia pestis tarbagani occurred in Central Asia at the end of the Late Pleistocene by a "vertical" Darwinian way in an inadaptive heterothermal continual intermediate environment--the Mongolian marmot Marmota sibirica-flea Oropsylla silantiewi system--via a sequence of unstable and currently extinct intermediate forms. Its natural geographic expansion on the "oil spot" principle in the postglacial time led to the microevolutionary formation of 20-30 hostal subspecies circulating in populations of the background species of burrowing rodents and pikas in arid areas of Eurasia. The intercontinental spread of the "marmot" and "rat" pathogen subspecies in the past few centuries has been exclusively anthropogenic, with the involvement of synanthropic (ship) rats.

  14. Inactivation of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, as a surrogate for Yersinia pestis, by liquid biocides in the presence of food residue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilgren, J; Swanson, K M J; Diez-Gonzalez, F; Cords, B

    2009-02-01

    The efficacy of liquid biocides is influenced by surface cleanliness, treatment time, and temperature. Experiments were completed to measure the impact of these variables on the ability of commercial biocides to inactivate Yersinia pseudotuberculosis ATCC 29910, as a surrogate for Yersinia pestis, in the presence of food residues. The test organism was mixed with water, milk, flour, or egg yolk and then dried onto stainless steel coupons. Coupons were then exposed to sodium hypochlorite, acidified sodium chlorite, a quaternary ammonium compound, an iodophor, hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic acid, or a peroxy-fatty acid mixture, for 10 or 30 min at 10, 20, or 30 degrees C. For all biocides except the iodophor, manufacturer-recommended disinfection levels applied for 10 min at 20 degrees C resulted in 5-log reductions of the test organism dried alone or with flour. However, in the presence of whole milk or egg yolk residue, markedly higher sodium hypochlorite, peroxyacetic acid, peroxy-fatty acid mixture, quaternary ammonium compound, and iodophor concentrations were needed to achieve the 5-log reductions. Further, the quaternary ammonium compound was incapable of achieving 5-log reductions in 10 min in the presence of milk and egg yolk residues. Hydrogen peroxide and acidified sodium chlorite disinfection levels (7.5% and 2500 ppm, respectively) achieved 5-log reductions under all test conditions. These results suggest that commercial disinfectants can adequately decontaminate clean surfaces contaminated with Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis. These results also provide guidance on the feasibility of overcoming the negative influence of food residues on disinfection by adjusting biocide exposure time, temperature, and concentration.

  15. Klebsiella pneumoniae multiresistance plasmid pMET1: similarity with the Yersinia pestis plasmid pCRY and integrative conjugative elements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso J C Soler Bistué

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes has become an important public health and biodefense threat. Plasmids are important contributors to the rapid acquisition of antibiotic resistance by pathogenic bacteria. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The nucleotide sequence of the Klebsiella pneumoniae multiresistance plasmid pMET1 comprises 41,723 bp and includes Tn1331.2, a transposon that carries the bla(TEM-1 gene and a perfect duplication of a 3-kbp region including the aac(6'-Ib, aadA1, and bla(OXA-9 genes. The replication region of pMET1 has been identified. Replication is independent of DNA polymerase I, and the replication region is highly related to that of the cryptic Yersinia pestis 91001 plasmid pCRY. The potential partition region has the general organization known as the parFG locus. The self-transmissible pMET1 plasmid includes a type IV secretion system consisting of proteins that make up the mating pair formation complex (Mpf and the DNA transfer (Dtr system. The Mpf is highly related to those in the plasmid pCRY, the mobilizable high-pathogenicity island from E. coli ECOR31 (HPI(ECOR31, which has been proposed to be an integrative conjugative element (ICE progenitor of high-pathogenicity islands in other Enterobacteriaceae including Yersinia species, and ICE(Kp1, an ICE found in a K. pneumoniae strain causing primary liver abscess. The Dtr MobB and MobC proteins are highly related to those of pCRY, but the endonuclease is related to that of plasmid pK245 and has no significant homology with the protein of similar function in pCRY. The region upstream of mobB includes the putative oriT and shares 90% identity with the same region in the HPI(ECOR31. CONCLUSIONS: The comparative analyses of pMET1 with pCRY, HPI(ECOR31, and ICE(Kp1 show a very active rate of genetic exchanges between Enterobacteriaceae including Yersinia species, which represents a high public health and biodefense threat due to transfer of multiple resistance

  16. The search for early markers of plague: evidence for accumulation of soluble Yersinia pestis LcrV in bubonic and pneumonic mouse models of disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flashner, Yehuda; Fisher, Morly; Tidhar, Avital; Mechaly, Adva; Gur, David; Halperin, Gideon; Zahavy, Eran; Mamroud, Emanuelle; Cohen, Sara

    2010-07-01

    Markers of the early stages of plague, a rapidly progressing deadly disease, are crucial for enabling the onset of an effective treatment. Here, we show that V-antigen protein (LcrV) is accumulated in the serum of Yersinia pestis-infected mice before bacterial colonization of the spleen and dissemination to blood, in a model of bubonic plague. LcrV accumulation is detected earlier than that of F1 capsular antigen, an established marker of disease. In a mouse model of pneumonic plague, LcrV can be determined in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid somewhat later than F1, but before dissemination of Y. pestis to the blood. Thus, determination of soluble LcrV is suggested as a potential useful tool for monitoring disease progression in both bubonic and pneumonic plague. Moreover, it may be of particular advantage in cases of infections with F1 nonproducing strains.

  17. Purificación y control de calidad de la fracción antigénica F1 de Yersinia pestis

    OpenAIRE

    S Seraylán; L. Vargas

    1999-01-01

    Se ha desarrollado la extracción y purificación de la fracción antigénica F1 de Yersinia pestis que se utilizará en la producción de un kit para el diagnóstico de peste. El proceso se realizó a partir de biomasa de una cepa patógena de Yersinia pestis, aislada en Chiclayo (1999), cuyos factores de virulencia fueron comprobados con la finalidad de determinar la presencia del antígeno en mención. La biomasa bacteriana fue inactivada con acetona fría, y la purificación parcial del antígeno se re...

  18. The subcutaneous inoculation of pH 6 antigen mutants of Yersinia pestis does not affect virulence and immune response in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisimov, Andrey P; Bakhteeva, Irina V; Panfertsev, Evgeniy A; Svetoch, Tat'yana E; Kravchenko, Tat'yana B; Platonov, Mikhail E; Titareva, Galina M; Kombarova, Tat'yana I; Ivanov, Sergey A; Rakin, Alexander V; Amoako, Kingsley K; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V

    2009-01-01

    Two isogenic sets of Yersinia pestis strains were generated, composed of wild-type strains 231 and I-1996, their non-polar pH 6(-) mutants with deletions in the psaA gene that codes for its structural subunit or the whole operon, as well as strains with restored ability for temperature- and pH-dependent synthesis of adhesion pili or constitutive production of pH 6 antigen. The mutants were generated by site-directed mutagenesis of the psa operon and subsequent complementation in trans. It was shown that the loss of synthesis or constitutive production of pH 6 antigen did not influence Y. pestis virulence or the average survival time of subcutaneously inoculated BALB/c naïve mice or animals immunized with this antigen.

  19. 地高辛标记的Northern blot检测鼠疫菌sRNA%Detection of Yersinia pestis sRNA by digoxigenin-labeled Northern blot

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邓仲良; 苏山春; 孟祥荣; 吴移谋; 杨瑞馥; 韩延平

    2013-01-01

    [目的]随着高通量测序方法的应用,越来越多的sRNA (small non-coding RNA,sRNA)需验证.本研究建立用地高辛标记Northern blot检测鼠疫菌sRNA的技术,为细菌sRNA验证提供一种灵敏、特异的方法.[方法]在低铁条件下,提取鼠疫菌总RNA,10% dPAGE分离后电转到尼龙膜上并用紫外线交联RNA.膜经地高辛标记RyhB1或RyhB2寡核苷酸RNA探针过夜杂交后洗脱、封闭和免疫检测,最后曝光显影.[结果]地高辛标记的Northern blot曝光时间为20 s-3 min,RyhB1或RyhB2检测灵敏度分别为0.005 μg和0.05 μg.RyhB1或RyhB2探针特异性好,相互间无交叉反应.带正电或中性的尼龙膜都适用于杂交反应.RNA探针在42℃-65℃内杂交均可,提高温度可减少非特异性反应;而DNA探针杂交温度需摸索.[结论]本研究成功构建一种地高辛标记Northern blot检测鼠疫菌sRNA技术,具有特异性好、灵敏度高、探针易保存、曝光时间短等优点,为细菌sRNA验证和功能研究提供有利工具.%[Objective] With the application of high-throughput sequencing methods, more and more sRNAs are required to be verified.In this study, we developed the digoxigenin-labeled Northern blot method for detection of Yersinia pestis sRNA.[Methods] Total RNAs extracted from Yersinia.pestis grown under low-iron conditions were loaded onto 10% denaturing urea polyacrylamide gel (dPAGE) , electrophoresed and transferred to nylon membranes.Northern blots were fixed to the membrane by UV cross-linking and subjected to hybridization with 3 ' -end digoxigenin-labeled oligonucleotides RNA probe for RyhBl and RyhB2 overnight and followed by washing, blocking, immunological detection and finally exposed to film.[Results] Exposure time of digoxigenin-labelled Northern blot was 20s-3min.The detection sensitivity of RyhBl and RyhB2 was 0.005μg and 0.05 μg, respectively.RyhBl and RyhB2 probe specificity was high and no cross reaction with each other was found

  20. Evaluation of the Role of the opgGH Operon in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Its Deletion during the Emergence of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintard, Kévin; Dewitte, Amélie; Reboul, Angéline; Madec, Edwige; Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Dondeyne, Jacqueline; Marceau, Michaël; Simonet, Michel; Lacroix, Jean-Marie; Sebbane, Florent

    2015-09-01

    The opgGH operon encodes glucosyltransferases that synthesize osmoregulated periplasmic glucans (OPGs) from UDP-glucose, using acyl carrier protein (ACP) as a cofactor. OPGs are required for motility, biofilm formation, and virulence in various bacteria. OpgH also sequesters FtsZ in order to regulate cell size according to nutrient availability. Yersinia pestis (the agent of flea-borne plague) lost the opgGH operon during its emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. When expressed in OPG-negative strains of Escherichia coli and Dickeya dadantii, opgGH from Y. pseudotuberculosis restored OPGs synthesis, motility, and virulence. However, Y. pseudotuberculosis did not produce OPGs (i) under various growth conditions or (ii) when overexpressing its opgGH operon, its galUF operon (governing UDP-glucose), or the opgGH operon or Acp from E. coli. A ΔopgGH Y. pseudotuberculosis strain showed normal motility, biofilm formation, resistance to polymyxin and macrophages, and virulence but was smaller. Consistently, Y. pestis was smaller than Y. pseudotuberculosis when cultured at ≥ 37°C, except when the plague bacillus expressed opgGH. Y. pestis expressing opgGH grew normally in serum and within macrophages and was fully virulent in mice, suggesting that small cell size was not advantageous in the mammalian host. Lastly, Y. pestis expressing opgGH was able to infect Xenopsylla cheopis fleas normally. Our results suggest an evolutionary scenario whereby an ancestral Yersinia strain lost a factor required for OPG biosynthesis but kept opgGH (to regulate cell size). The opgGH operon was presumably then lost because OpgH-dependent cell size control became unnecessary.

  1. Evaluation of the Role of the opgGH Operon in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Its Deletion during the Emergence of Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintard, Kévin; Dewitte, Amélie; Reboul, Angéline; Madec, Edwige; Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Dondeyne, Jacqueline; Marceau, Michaël; Simonet, Michel

    2015-01-01

    The opgGH operon encodes glucosyltransferases that synthesize osmoregulated periplasmic glucans (OPGs) from UDP-glucose, using acyl carrier protein (ACP) as a cofactor. OPGs are required for motility, biofilm formation, and virulence in various bacteria. OpgH also sequesters FtsZ in order to regulate cell size according to nutrient availability. Yersinia pestis (the agent of flea-borne plague) lost the opgGH operon during its emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. When expressed in OPG-negative strains of Escherichia coli and Dickeya dadantii, opgGH from Y. pseudotuberculosis restored OPGs synthesis, motility, and virulence. However, Y. pseudotuberculosis did not produce OPGs (i) under various growth conditions or (ii) when overexpressing its opgGH operon, its galUF operon (governing UDP-glucose), or the opgGH operon or Acp from E. coli. A ΔopgGH Y. pseudotuberculosis strain showed normal motility, biofilm formation, resistance to polymyxin and macrophages, and virulence but was smaller. Consistently, Y. pestis was smaller than Y. pseudotuberculosis when cultured at ≥37°C, except when the plague bacillus expressed opgGH. Y. pestis expressing opgGH grew normally in serum and within macrophages and was fully virulent in mice, suggesting that small cell size was not advantageous in the mammalian host. Lastly, Y. pestis expressing opgGH was able to infect Xenopsylla cheopis fleas normally. Our results suggest an evolutionary scenario whereby an ancestral Yersinia strain lost a factor required for OPG biosynthesis but kept opgGH (to regulate cell size). The opgGH operon was presumably then lost because OpgH-dependent cell size control became unnecessary. PMID:26150539

  2. TNFα and IFNγ but not perforin are critical for CD8 T cell-mediated protection against pulmonary Yersinia pestis infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szaba, Frank M; Kummer, Lawrence W; Duso, Debra K; Koroleva, Ekaterina P; Tumanov, Alexei V; Cooper, Andrea M; Bliska, James B; Smiley, Stephen T; Lin, Jr-Shiuan

    2014-05-01

    Septic pneumonias resulting from bacterial infections of the lung are a leading cause of human death worldwide. Little is known about the capacity of CD8 T cell-mediated immunity to combat these infections and the types of effector functions that may be most effective. Pneumonic plague is an acutely lethal septic pneumonia caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis. We recently identified a dominant and protective Y. pestis antigen, YopE69-77, recognized by CD8 T cells in C57BL/6 mice. Here, we use gene-deficient mice, Ab-mediated depletion, cell transfers, and bone marrow chimeric mice to investigate the effector functions of YopE69-77-specific CD8 T cells and their relative contributions during pulmonary Y. pestis infection. We demonstrate that YopE69-77-specific CD8 T cells exhibit perforin-dependent cytotoxicity in vivo; however, perforin is dispensable for YopE69-77-mediated protection. In contrast, YopE69-77-mediated protection is severely impaired when production of TNFα and IFNγ by CD8 T cells is simultaneously ablated. Interestingly, TNFα is absolutely required at the time of challenge infection and can be provided by either T cells or non-T cells, whereas IFNγ provided by T cells prior to challenge appears to facilitate the differentiation of optimally protective CD8 T cells. We conclude that cytokine production, not cytotoxicity, is essential for CD8 T cell-mediated control of pulmonary Y. pestis infection and we suggest that assays detecting Ag-specific TNFα production in addition to antibody titers may be useful correlates of vaccine efficacy against plague and other acutely lethal septic bacterial pneumonias.

  3. Role of the Yersinia pestis plasminogen activator in the incidence of distinct septicemic and bubonic forms of flea-borne plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebbane, Florent; Jarrett, Clayton O; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2006-04-04

    Yersinia pestis is transmitted by fleas and causes bubonic plague, characterized by severe local lymphadenitis that progresses rapidly to systemic infection and life-threatening septicemia. Here, we show that although flea-borne transmission usually leads to bubonic plague in mice, it can also lead to primary septicemic plague. However, intradermal injection of Y. pestis, commonly used to mimic transmission by fleabite, leads only to bubonic plague. A Y. pestis strain lacking the plasmid-encoded cell-surface plasminogen activator, which is avirulent by intradermal or s.c. injection, was able to cause fatal primary septicemic plague at low incidence, but not bubonic plague, when transmitted by fleas. The results clarify a long-standing uncertainty about the etiology of primary septicemic plague and support an evolutionary scenario in which plague first emerged as a flea-borne septicemic disease of limited transmissibility. Subsequent acquisition of the plasminogen activator gene by horizontal transfer enabled the bubonic form of disease and increased the potential for epidemic spread.

  4. Systematic identification of a suspicious Yersinia pestis isolate%对1株疑似鼠疫耶尔森氏菌的系统鉴定

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    何建; 杨瑞馥; 宋亚军; 李艳君; 祁芝珍; 崔玉军; 任玲玲; 代瑞霞; 王效义; 崔百忠; 张青雯

    2011-01-01

    目的 对1株可疑菌株进行系列验证实验,以确定其是否为鼠疫耶尔森氏菌(以下简称鼠疫菌).方法 用鼠疫细菌学常规方法和分子生物学手段确定其生物学表型特征、特异性基因及基因组特征.结果 该菌株具备鼠疫菌的典型形态特征;能被鼠疫噬菌体完全裂解;主要生化特性为阿胶糖(+)、鼠李糖(-)、麦芽糖(+)、蜜二糖(-)、甘油(+)、脱氮(+),与典型鼠疫菌一致.毒力因子检查结果为均为阴性;对实验动物小白鼠完全无致死能力.全基因组芯片杂交实验和PCR扩增表明55023菌株没有鼠疫菌的三个质粒;也不具鼠疫标识基因;pgm位点代表性基因YPO1954扩增阳性,YPO1908扩增阴性,表明其pgm位点不完整;差异片段(DFR)分型结果表明该菌株缺失了14个DFR,不符合鼠疫菌的特征;多位点序列分型(MLST)分析结果表明该菌株与鼠疫存在16个碱基的差异,而与血清III型假结核耶尔森氏菌仅相差两个碱基.结论 尽管55023菌株具备鼠疫菌的一些表型特征,但基因组特征表明其不是鼠疫菌,而可能是血清III型的假结核耶尔森氏菌;噬菌体裂解结果等表型不能作为鼠疫菌鉴定的最终标准.%A handful of traditional and molecular assays were applied to decipher the phenotypic and genomic characteristics of a suspicious Yersinia pestis strain 55023.Strain 55023 showed typical colony morphism and microscopic features of Y.pestis.It can be lysed by the diagnostic phage of Y.pestis at 22℃, 28℃ and 37℃, which resembles typical Y.pestis isolates.Strain 55023 was positive for utilizing arabinose, glucosylglucose, glycerine and denitrification, while negative for rhamnose and melibiose, which was also identical to reference Y.pestis strains.Known virulence factors for Y.pestis (F1 antigen, VW antigen, pgm and Pst 1) were all absent from strain 55023, and all mice survived even challenged by 17.5 billion CFU of 55023.Both microarray and PCR verified

  5. Inheritance of the lysozyme inhibitor Ivy was an important evolutionary step by Yersinia pestis to avoid the host innate immune response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derbise, Anne; Pierre, François; Merchez, Maud; Pradel, Elizabeth; Laouami, Sabrina; Ricard, Isabelle; Sirard, Jean-Claude; Fritz, Jill; Lemaître, Nadine; Akinbi, Henry; Boneca, Ivo G; Sebbane, Florent

    2013-05-15

    Yersinia pestis (the plague bacillus) and its ancestor, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis (which causes self-limited bowel disease), encode putative homologues of the periplasmic lysozyme inhibitor Ivy and the membrane-bound lysozyme inhibitor MliC. The involvement of both inhibitors in virulence remains subject to debate. Mutants lacking ivy and/or mliC were generated. We evaluated the mutants' ability to counter lysozyme, grow in serum, and/or counter leukocytes; to produce disease in wild-type, neutropenic, or lysozyme-deficient rodents; and to induce host inflammation. MliC was not required for lysozyme resistance and the development of plague. Deletion of ivy decreased Y. pestis' ability to counter lysozyme and polymorphonuclear neutrophils, but it did not affect the bacterium's ability to grow in serum or resist macrophages. Y. pestis lacking Ivy had attenuated virulence, unless animals were neutropenic or lysozyme deficient. The Ivy mutant induced inflammation to a degree similar to that of the parental strain. Last, Y. pseudotuberculosis did not require Ivy to counter lysozyme and for virulence. Ivy is required to counter lysozyme during infection, but its role as a virulence factor is species dependent. Our study also shows that a gene that is not necessary for the virulence of an ancestral bacterium may become essential in the emergence of a new pathogen.

  6. Comparative Analyses of Transcriptional Profiles in Mouse Organs Using a Pneumonic Plague Model after Infection with Wild-Type Yersinia pestis CO92 and Its Braun Lipoprotein Mutant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristi L. Galindo

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We employed Murine GeneChips to delineate the global transcriptional profiles of the livers, lungs, and spleens in a mouse pneumonic plague infection model with wild-type (WT Y. pestis CO92 and its Braun lipoprotein (Δlpp mutant with reduced virulence. These organs showed differential transcriptional responses to infection with WT Y. pestis, but the overall host functional processes affected were similar across all three tissues. Gene expression alterations were found in inflammation, cytokine signaling, and apoptotic cell death-associated genes. Comparison of WT and Δlpp mutant-infected mice indicated significant overlap in lipopolysaccharide- (LPS- associated gene expression, but the absence of Lpp perturbed host cell signaling at critical regulatory junctions resulting in altered immune response and possibly host cell apoptosis. We generated a putative signaling pathway including major inflammatory components that could account for the synergistic action of LPS and Lpp and provided the mechanistic basis of attenuation caused by deletion of the lpp gene from Y. pestis in a mouse model of pneumonic plague.

  7. STUDIES ON THE BACTERIOPHAGE OF D'HERELLE : VI. ON THE VIRULENCE OF THE OVERGROWTH IN THE LYSED CULTURES OF BACILLUS PESTIS CAVIAE (M. T. II).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronfenbrenner, J; Muckenfuss, R S; Korb, C

    1926-10-31

    Resistants isolated from the overgrowth of cultures of B. pestis caviae (M. T. II) lysed by various strains of specific bacteriophage proved to be avirulent when administered to mice by feeding, or by intraperitoneal injection. These cultures remained resistant to the action of bacteriophage so long as they were carried on agar. When transferred to broth, however, one group of resistants, namely, those isolated by means of "weak" phages, became susceptible to lysis after five to seven daily passages. The other group of resistants, isolated from the cultures lysed by one of the "strong" phages, failed to become susceptible to lysis even after nearly 200 passages in broth. Simultaneously with the recovery of susceptibility, the cultures of the first group regained a degree of virulence comparable to that of the parent culture of B. pestis caviae. The cultures of the second group of resistants have failed thus far to recover virulence (10 months after isolation). The latter cultures, apart from lack of both virulence and susceptibility to lysis, are identical with the parent culture of B. pestis caviae, as indicated by biochemical and antigenic properties. Our findings offer evidence in favor of the view that resistant strains result from selection among variants already existing in the parent culture and do not arise through the inheritance of specific immunity properties produced by the action of phage.

  8. [Experimental observation on the histopathological and ultrastructural pathology of Great Gerbils (Rhombomys opimus) in the Junggar Basin by subcutaneous injecting of Yersinia pestis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, B; Azhati, Rehemu; Meng, W W; Luo, T; Li, B; Abulimiti, Maituohuti; Wang, X H; Dai, X; Zhang, Y J

    2017-02-06

    Objective: To understand the histopathological and ultrastructural pathology changes of great gerbils in the Junggar Basin to Yersinia pestis infection. Methods: Forty captured great gerbils from the Junggar Basin that tested negative for anti-F1 antibodies were infected. The Y. pestis strain 2504, isolated from a live great gerbil in the natural plague foci of the Junggar Basin in 2005 with a median lethal dose (LD(50)) of CFU/ml, was used in this study. Forty great gerbils were divided into seven infection groups and were subcutaneously infected with 7.4×10(5), 7.4×10(6), 7.4×10(7), 7.4×10(8), 7.4×10(9), 7.4×10(10), or 3.0×10(11) CFU/ml of 2504. One milliliter of physiological saline was injected in the noninfected group as a control. We collected the liver, spleen, heart, and lung from all animals for histopathologic and ultrastructural pathology examination. Results: Great gerbils in the 7.4×10(8)-3.0×10(11) CFU/ml groups did not survive and exhibited pathological changes and altered ultrastructural pathology. The liver tissue of infected great gerbils showed spotty necrosis and fatty degeneration, intranuclear canaliculi with increased hepatocytes, and uneven distribution of organelles. Additionally, reactive proliferation of lymphoid tissue in the spleen, blood sinusoid lacunae with neutrophil infiltration, and phagocytosed bacteria in phagocyte cells were observed. Myocardial fiber hypertrophy and interstitial indistinction, nuclear matrices decreased in cardiac myocytes, and loose arrangement of myogenic fibers in myocardial cells were also observed. Angiectasia, capillary congestion, and tissue necrosis were found in the lung. No significant difference in histopathological and ultrastructural pathology in the parenchymal organ was observed between the 7.4×10(5)-7.4×10(7) CFU/ml groups and the 7.4×10(8)-3.0×10(11) CFU/ml groups, and no specific death caused by Y. pestis infection was apparent in the 7.4×10(5)-7.4×10(7) CFU/ml groups

  9. Virulence Plasmid (pYV-Associated Expression of Phenotypic Virulent Determinants in Pathogenic Yersinia Species: A Convenient Method for Monitoring the Presence of pYV under Culture Conditions and Its Application for Isolation/Detection of Yersinia pestis in Food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saumya Bhaduri

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica, phenotypic expression of virulence plasmid (pYV: 70-kb-associated genetic determinants may include low-calcium response (Lcr, pinpoint colony, size = 0.36 mm, colony morphology (size = 1.13 mm, crystal violet (CV binding (dark-violet colony, Congo Red (CR uptake (red pinpoint colony, size = 0.36 mm, autoagglutination (AA = cells agglutinate, and hydrophobicity (HP = clumping of cells. Y. pseudotuberculosis is chromosomally closely related to Y. pestis; whereas, Y. enterocolitica is chromosomally more distantly related to Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. All three species demonstrate Lcr, CV binding, and CR uptake. The colony morphology/size, AA, and HP characteristics are expressed in both Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica but not in Y. pestis. Congo red uptake in Y. pestis was demonstrated only on calcium-deficient CR magnesium oxalate tryptic soy agar (CR-MOX, whereas this phenotype was expressed on both CR-MOX and low-calcium agarose media in Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica. These phenotypes were detectable at 37°C within 24 h in Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis but did not appear until 48 h in Y. pestis due to its slower growth rate at 37°C. The pYV is unstable (i.e., easily lost under a variety of culture conditions in all three species but is more unstable in Y. pestis. The specific CR uptake by Y. pestis in CR-MOX and the delayed time interval to express Lcr and CR uptake provide a means to differentiate Y. pestis from Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. These differences in pYV expression in Y. pestis can be used for its isolation and detection in food.

  10. Seasonal fluctuations of small mammal and flea communities in a Ugandan plague focus: evidence to implicate Arvicanthis niloticus and Crocidura spp. as key hosts in Yersinia pestis transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Sean M; Monaghan, Andrew; Borchert, Jeff N; Mpanga, Joseph T; Atiku, Linda A; Boegler, Karen A; Montenieri, John; MacMillan, Katherine; Gage, Kenneth L; Eisen, Rebecca J

    2015-01-08

    The distribution of human plague risk is strongly associated with rainfall in the tropical plague foci of East Africa, but little is known about how the plague bacterium is maintained during periods between outbreaks or whether environmental drivers trigger these outbreaks. We collected small mammals and fleas over a two year period in the West Nile region of Uganda to examine how the ecological community varies seasonally in a region with areas of both high and low risk of human plague cases. Seasonal changes in the small mammal and flea communities were examined along an elevation gradient to determine whether small mammal and flea populations exhibit differences in their response to seasonal fluctuations in precipitation, temperature, and crop harvests in areas within (above 1300 m) and outside (below 1300 m) of a model-defined plague focus. The abundance of two potential enzootic host species (Arvicanthis niloticus and Crocidura spp.) increased during the plague season within the plague focus, but did not show the same increase at lower elevations outside this focus. In contrast, the abundance of the domestic rat population (Rattus rattus) did not show significant seasonal fluctuations regardless of locality. Arvicanthis niloticus abundance was negatively associated with monthly precipitation at a six month lag and positively associated with current monthly temperatures, and Crocidura spp. abundance was positively associated with precipitation at a three month lag and negatively associated with current monthly temperatures. The abundance of A. niloticus and Crocidura spp. were both positively correlated with the harvest of millet and maize. The association between the abundance of several small mammal species and rainfall is consistent with previous models of the timing of human plague cases in relation to precipitation in the West Nile region. The seasonal increase in the abundance of key potential host species within the plague focus, but not outside of

  11. β-Hydroxyacyl-acyl Carrier Protein Dehydratase (FabZ) from Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis : Structure Determination, Enzymatic Characterization, and Cross-Inhibition Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGillick, Brian E.; Kumaran, Desigan; Vieni, Casey; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2016-02-23

    The bacterial system for fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS) contains several enzymes whose sequence and structure are highly conserved across a vast array of pathogens. This, coupled with their low homology and difference in organization compared to the equivalent system in humans, makes the FAS pathway an excellent target for antimicrobial drug development. To this end, we have cloned, expressed, and purified the β-hydroxyacyl-acyl carrier protein dehydratase (FabZ) from both Francisella tularensis (FtFabZ) and Yersinia pestis (YpFabZ). We also solved the crystal structures and performed an enzymatic characterization of both enzymes and several mutant forms of YpFabZ. Additionally, we have discovered two novel inhibitors of FabZ, mangostin and stictic acid, which show similar potencies against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. Lastly, we selected several compounds from the literature that have been shown to be active against single homologues of FabZ and tested them against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. These results have revealed clues as to which scaffolds are likely to lead to broad-spectrum antimicrobials targeted against FabZ as well as modifications to existing FabZ inhibitors that may improve potency.

  12. PCR衍生技术在鼠疫耶尔森菌基因鉴定和分型中的应用%PCR-derived technology in gene identification and typing of Yersinia pestis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王梅; 唐新元; 王祖郧

    2015-01-01

    Application of the PCR-derived technology in gene identification and genotypes of different ecotype Yersinia pestis to make the high-throughput experimental resuhs can reflect the epidemic history and compare the diversity in genome,pathogenicity,so that results from these experiments provide an important basis for clinical diagnosis,treatment and origin.But the experiment should be considered typing ability,practicality,budget and other experimental factors or conditions,because each PCR-derivative technology has advantages and disadvantages.%运用PCR衍生技术对不同生态型的鼠疫耶尔森菌(简称鼠疫菌)进行基因鉴定和分型,使高通量实验结果能反映鼠疫流行历史,易于比较其基因组、致病力等方面的差异,为鼠疫菌的临床诊断、治疗和溯源提供重要依据.但每种PCR衍生技术各有优缺点,实验需综合考虑分型的能力、可操作性、经费预算等因素和实验条件.

  13. Structure of D-alanine-D-alanine ligase from Yersinia pestis: nucleotide phosphate recognition by the serine loop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Huyen Thi; Hong, Myoung Ki; Ngo, Ho Phuong Thuy; Huynh, Kim Hung; Ahn, Yeh Jin; Wang, Zhong; Kang, Lin Woo

    2016-01-01

    D-Alanyl-D-alanine is an essential precursor of bacterial peptidoglycan and is synthesized by D-alanine-D-alanine ligase (DDL) with hydrolysis of ATP; this reaction makes DDL an important drug target for the development of antibacterial agents. Five crystal structures of DDL from Yersinia pestis (YpDDL) were determined at 1.7-2.5 Å resolution: apo, AMP-bound, ADP-bound, adenosine 5'-(β,γ-imido)triphosphate-bound, and D-alanyl-D-alanine- and ADP-bound structures. YpDDL consists of three domains, in which four loops, loop 1, loop 2 (the serine loop), loop 3 (the ω-loop) and loop 4, constitute the binding sites for two D-alanine molecules and one ATP molecule. Some of them, especially the serine loop and the ω-loop, show flexible conformations, and the serine loop is mainly responsible for the conformational change in substrate nucleotide phosphates. Enzyme-kinetics assays were carried out for both the D-alanine and ATP substrates and a substrate-binding mechanism was proposed for YpDDL involving conformational changes of the loops.

  14. A Yersinia pestis YscN ATPase mutant functions as a live attenuated vaccine against bubonic plague in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozue, Joel; Cote, Christopher K; Webster, Wendy; Bassett, Anthony; Tobery, Steven; Little, Stephen; Swietnicki, Wieslaw

    2012-07-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent responsible for bubonic and pneumonic plague. The bacterium uses the pLcr plasmid-encoded type III secretion system to deliver virulence factors into host cells. Delivery requires ATP hydrolysis by the YscN ATPase encoded by the yscN gene also on pLcr. A yscN mutant was constructed in the fully virulent CO92 strain containing a nonpolar, in-frame internal deletion within the gene. We demonstrate that CO92 with a yscN mutation was not able to secrete the LcrV protein (V-Antigen) and attenuated in a subcutaneous model of plague demonstrating that the YscN ATPase was essential for virulence. However, if the yscN mutant was complemented with a functional yscN gene in trans, virulence was restored. To evaluate the mutant as a live vaccine, Swiss-Webster mice were vaccinated twice with the ΔyscN mutant at varying doses and were protected against bubonic plague in a dose-dependent manner. Antibodies to F1 capsule but not to LcrV were detected in sera from the vaccinated mice. These preliminary results suggest a proof-of-concept for an attenuated, genetically engineered, live vaccine effective against bubonic plague. Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  15. Evaluation of Yersinia pestis transmission pathways for sylvatic plague in prairie dog populations in the western U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Bron, Gebbiena; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2016-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is periodically responsible for large die-offs in rodent populations that can spillover and cause human mortalities. In the western US, prairie dog populations experience nearly 100% mortality during plague outbreaks, suggesting that multiple transmission pathways combine to amplify plague dynamics. Several alternate pathways in addition to flea vectors have been proposed, such as transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, consumption of carcasses, and environmental sources of plague bacteria, such as contaminated soil. However, evidence supporting the ability of these proposed alternate pathways to trigger large-scale epizootics remains elusive. Here we present a short review of potential plague transmission pathways and use an ordinary differential equation model to assess the contribution of each pathway to resulting plague dynamics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta). Using our model, we found little evidence to suggest that soil contamination was capable of producing plague epizootics in prairie dogs. However, in the absence of flea transmission, direct transmission, i.e., contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, could produce enzootic dynamics, and transmission via contact with or consumption of carcasses could produce epizootics. This suggests that these pathways warrant further investigation.

  16. Evaluation of Yersinia pestis Transmission Pathways for Sylvatic Plague in Prairie Dog Populations in the Western U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richgels, Katherine L D; Russell, Robin E; Bron, Gebbiena M; Rocke, Tonie E

    2016-06-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is periodically responsible for large die-offs in rodent populations that can spillover and cause human mortalities. In the western US, prairie dog populations experience nearly 100% mortality during plague outbreaks, suggesting that multiple transmission pathways combine to amplify plague dynamics. Several alternate pathways in addition to flea vectors have been proposed, such as transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, consumption of carcasses, and environmental sources of plague bacteria, such as contaminated soil. However, evidence supporting the ability of these proposed alternate pathways to trigger large-scale epizootics remains elusive. Here we present a short review of potential plague transmission pathways and use an ordinary differential equation model to assess the contribution of each pathway to resulting plague dynamics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta). Using our model, we found little evidence to suggest that soil contamination was capable of producing plague epizootics in prairie dogs. However, in the absence of flea transmission, direct transmission, i.e., contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, could produce enzootic dynamics, and transmission via contact with or consumption of carcasses could produce epizootics. This suggests that these pathways warrant further investigation.

  17. Rapid Degradation of Hfq-Free RyhB in Yersinia pestis by PNPase Independent of Putative Ribonucleolytic Complexes

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    Zhongliang Deng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The RNA chaperone Hfq in bacteria stabilizes sRNAs by protecting them from the attack of ribonucleases. Upon release from Hfq, sRNAs are preferably degraded by PNPase. PNPase usually forms multienzyme ribonucleolytic complexes with endoribonuclease E and/or RNA helicase RhlB to facilitate the degradation of the structured RNA. However, whether PNPase activity on Hfq-free sRNAs is associated with the assembly of RNase E or RhlB has yet to be determined. Here we examined the roles of the main endoribonucleases, exoribonucleases, and ancillary RNA-modifying enzymes in the degradation of Y. pestis RyhB in the absence of Hfq. Expectedly, the transcript levels of both RyhB1 and RyhB2 increase only after inactivating PNPase, which confirms the importance of PNPase in sRNA degradation. By contrast, the signal of RyhB becomes barely perceptible after inactivating of RNase III, which may be explained by the increase in PNPase levels resulting from the exemption of pnp mRNA from RNase III processing. No significant changes are observed in RyhB stability after deletion of either the PNPase-binding domain of RNase E or rhlB. Therefore, PNPase acts as a major enzyme of RyhB degradation independent of PNPase-containing RNase E and RhlB assembly in the absence of Hfq.

  18. Pesquisa de Yersinia pestis em roedores e outros pequenos mamíferos nos focos pestosos do Nordeste do Brasil no período 1966 a 1982 Detection of Yersinia pestis in rodents and other small mammals in the northeast of Brazil during the period from 1966 to 1982

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    Alzira Maria Paiva de Almeida

    1987-06-01

    Full Text Available Foi feita análise da metodologia empregada e dos resultados alcançados em pesquisa de Yersinia pestis, em material de 24.703 roedores e outros pequenos mamíferos oriundos dos focos pestosos do Nordeste do Brasil, no período de 1966 a 1982. Concluiu-se ser necessário haver maior rapidez na realização dos exames para que os dados obtidos sejam convenientemente aplicados nas atividades de vigilância e controle da peste.The analysis of the methods employed and the results obtained in the research into Yersinia pestis in 24.703 rodents and other small mammals from plague foci in the Northeast of Brazil during the period from 1966 to 1982, shows that the examinations should be carried out more guickly, to make prompter use of the data obtained in the activities of plague surveillance and control possible.

  19. Genetic variability of Yersinia pestis isolates as predicted by PCR-based IS100 genotyping and analysis of structural genes encoding glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (glpD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motin, Vladimir L; Georgescu, Anca M; Elliott, Jeffrey M; Hu, Ping; Worsham, Patricia L; Ott, Linda L; Slezak, Tomas R; Sokhansanj, Bahrad A; Regala, Warren M; Brubaker, Robert R; Garcia, Emilio

    2002-02-01

    A PCR-based genotyping system that detects divergence of IS100 locations within the Yersinia pestis genome was used to characterize a large collection of isolates of different biovars and geographical origins. Using sequences derived from the glycerol-negative biovar orientalis strain CO92, a set of 27 locus-specific primers was designed to amplify fragments between the end of IS100 and its neighboring gene. Geographically diverse members of the orientalis biovar formed a homogeneous group with identical genotype with the exception of strains isolated in Indochina. In contrast, strains belonging to the glycerol-positive biovar antiqua showed a variety of fingerprinting profiles. Moreover, strains of the biovar medievalis (also glycerol positive) clustered together with the antiqua isolates originated from Southeast Asia, suggesting their close phylogenetic relationships. Interestingly, a Manchurian biovar antiqua strain Nicholisk 51 displayed a genotyping pattern typical of biovar orientalis isolates. Analysis of the glycerol pathway in Y. pestis suggested that a 93-bp deletion within the glpD gene encoding aerobic glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase might account for the glycerol-negative phenotype of the orientalis biovar. The glpD gene of strain Nicholisk 51 did not possess this deletion, although it contained two nucleotide substitutions characteristic of the glpD version found exclusively in biovar orientalis strains. To account for this close relationship between biovar orientalis strains and the antiqua Nicholisk 51 isolate, we postulate that the latter represents a variant of this biovar with restored ability to ferment glycerol. The fact that such a genetic lesion might be repaired as part of the natural evolutionary process suggests the existence of genetic exchange between different Yersinia strains in nature. The relevance of this observation on the emergence of epidemic Y. pestis strains is discussed.

  20. Manipulation of Interleukin-1β and Interleukin-18 Production by Yersinia pestis Effectors YopJ and YopM and Redundant Impact on Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratner, Dmitry; Orning, M Pontus A; Starheim, Kristian K; Marty-Roix, Robyn; Proulx, Megan K; Goguen, Jon D; Lien, Egil

    2016-05-06

    Innate immunity plays a central role in resolving infections by pathogens. Host survival during plague, caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis, is favored by a robust early innate immune response initiated by IL-1β and IL-18. These cytokines are produced by a two-step mechanism involving NF-κB-mediated pro-cytokine production and inflammasome-driven maturation into bioactive inflammatory mediators. Because of the anti-microbial effects induced by IL-1β/IL-18, it may be desirable for pathogens to manipulate their production. Y. pestis type III secretion system effectors YopJ and YopM can interfere with different parts of this process. Both effectors have been reported to influence inflammasome caspase-1 activity; YopJ promotes caspase-8-dependent cell death and caspase-1 cleavage, whereas YopM inhibits caspase-1 activity via an incompletely understood mechanism. However, neither effector appears essential for full virulence in vivo Here we report that the sum of influences by YopJ and YopM on IL-1β/IL-18 release is suppressive. In the absence of YopM, YopJ minimally affects caspase-1 cleavage but suppresses IL-1β, IL-18, and other cytokines and chemokines. Importantly, we find that Y. pestis containing combined deletions of YopJ and YopM induces elevated levels of IL-1β/IL-18 in vitro and in vivo and is significantly attenuated in a mouse model of bubonic plague. The reduced virulence of the YopJ-YopM mutant is dependent on the presence of IL-1β, IL-18, and caspase-1. Thus, we conclude that Y. pestis YopJ and YopM can both exert a tight control of host IL-1β/IL-18 production to benefit the bacteria, resulting in a redundant impact on virulence. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  1. Yersinia pestis YopJ suppresses tumor necrosis factor alpha induction and contributes to apoptosis of immune cells in the lymph node but is not required for virulence in a rat model of bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemaître, Nadine; Sebbane, Florent; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2006-09-01

    The virulence of the pathogenic Yersinia species depends on a plasmid-encoded type III secretion system that transfers six Yop effector proteins into host cells. One of these proteins, YopJ, has been shown to disrupt host cell signaling pathways involved in proinflammatory cytokine production and to induce macrophage apoptosis in vitro. YopJ-dependent apoptosis in mesenteric lymph nodes has also been demonstrated in a mouse model of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection. These results suggest that YopJ attenuates the host innate and adaptive immune response during infection, but the role of YopJ during bubonic plague has not been completely established. We evaluated the role of Yersinia pestis YopJ in a rat model of bubonic plague following intradermal infection with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain and an isogenic yopJ mutant. Deletion of yopJ resulted in a twofold decrease in the number of apoptotic immune cells in the bubo and a threefold increase in serum tumor necrosis factor alpha levels but did not result in decreased virulence, systemic spread, or colonization levels in the spleen and blood. Our results indicate that YopJ is not essential for bubonic plague pathogenesis, even after peripheral inoculation of low doses of Y. pestis. Instead, the effects of YopJ appear to overlap and augment the immunomodulatory effects of other Y. pestis virulence factors.

  2. Evaluation of Psn, HmuR and a modified LcrV protein delivered to mice by live attenuated Salmonella as a vaccine against bubonic and pneumonic Yersinia pestis challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branger, Christine G; Sun, Wei; Torres-Escobar, Ascención; Perry, Robert; Roland, Kenneth L; Fetherston, Jacqueline; Curtiss, Roy

    2010-12-16

    We evaluated the ability of Yersinia pestis antigens HmuR, Psn and modified forms of LcrV delivered by live attenuated Salmonella strains to stimulate a protective immune response against subcutaneous or intranasal challenge with Y. pestis CO92. LcrV196 is a previously described truncated protein that includes aa 131-326 of LcrV and LcrV5214 has been modified to replace five key amino acids required for interaction with the TLR2 receptor. Psn is the outer membrane receptor for the siderophore, yersiniabactin, and the bacteriocin, pesticin. Mice immunized with Salmonella synthesizing Psn, LcrV196 or LcrV5214 developed serum IgG responses to the respective Yersinia antigen and were protected against pneumonic challenge with Y. pestis. Immunization with Salmonella synthesizing Psn or LcrV196 was sufficient to afford nearly full protection against bubonic challenge, while immunization with the strain synthesizing LcrV5214 was not protective. Immunization with Salmonella synthesizing HmuR, an outer membrane protein involved in heme acquisition in Y. pestis, was poorly immunogenic and did not elicit a protective response against either challenge route. These findings indicate that both Psn and LcrV196 delivered by Salmonella provide protection against both bubonic and pneumonic plague. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Multiple Roles of Myd88 in the Immune Response to the Plague F1-V Vaccine and in Protection against an Aerosol Challenge of Yersinia pestis CO92 in Mice

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    Jennifer L. Dankmeyer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The current candidate vaccine against Yersinia pestis infection consists of two subunit proteins: the capsule protein or F1 protein and the low calcium response V protein or V-antigen. Little is known of the recognition of the vaccine by the host’s innate immune system and how it affects the acquired immune response to the vaccine. Thus, we vaccinated Toll-like receptor (Tlr 2, 4, and 2/4-double deficient, as well as signal adaptor protein Myd88-deficient mice. We found that Tlr4 and Myd88 appeared to be required for an optimal immune response to the F1-V vaccine but not Tlr2 when compared to wild-type mice. However, there was a difference between the requirement for Tlr4 and MyD88 in vaccinated animals. When F1-V vaccinated Tlr4 mutant (lipopolysaccharide tolerant and Myd88-deficient mice were challenged by aerosol with Y. pestis CO92, all but one Tlr4 mutant mice survived the challenge, but no vaccinated Myd88-deficient mice survived the challenge. Spleens from these latter nonsurviving mice showed that Y. pestis was not cleared from the infected mice. Our results suggest that MyD88 appears to be important for both an optimal immune response to F1-V and in protection against a lethal challenge of Y. pestis CO92 in F1-V vaccinated mice.

  4. Mele Pesti soovitab : Jõulujazz / Mele Pesti

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Pesti, Mele, 1979-

    2003-01-01

    Aafrika laulja Malia kontserdist Sakala keskuses; taani kitarristi Pierre Dorge kontserdist Tallinna kunstihoones; Hedvig Hansoni ja Andre Maakeri kontserdist Niguliste kirikus 11. dets. festivali Jõulujazz raames

  5. Mele Pesti soovitab : Jõulujazz / Mele Pesti

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Pesti, Mele, 1979-

    2003-01-01

    Aafrika laulja Malia kontserdist Sakala keskuses; taani kitarristi Pierre Dorge kontserdist Tallinna kunstihoones; Hedvig Hansoni ja Andre Maakeri kontserdist Niguliste kirikus 11. dets. festivali Jõulujazz raames

  6. A live attenuated strain of Yersinia pestis ΔyscB provides protection against bubonic and pneumonic plagues in mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xuecan; Qi, Zhizhen; Du, Zongmin; Bi, Yujing; Zhang, Qingwen; Tan, Yafang; Yang, Huiying; Xin, Youquan; Yang, Ruifu; Wang, Xiaoyi

    2013-05-24

    To develop a safe and effective live plague vaccine, the ΔyscB mutant was constructed based on Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus strain 201 that is avirulent to humans, but virulent to mice. The virulence, immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the ΔyscB mutant were evaluated in this study. The results showed that the ΔyscB mutant was severely attenuated, elicited a higher F1-specific antibody titer and provided protective efficacy against bubonic and pneumonic plague in mouse model. The ΔyscB mutant could induce the secretion of both Th1-associated cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2 and TNF-α) and Th2-associated cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10). Taken together, the ΔyscB mutant represented a potential vaccine candidate based on its ability to generate strong humoral and cell-mediated immune responses and to provide good protection against both subcutaneous and intranasal Y. pestis challenge. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Purificación y Control de Calidad de la Fracción Antigénica F1 de Yersinia pestis

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    S Seraylán

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Se ha desarrollado la extracción y purificación de la fracción antigénica F1 de Yersinia pestis que se utilizará en la producción de un kit para el diagnóstico de peste. El proceso se realizó a partir de biomasa de una cepa patógena de Yersinia pestis, aislada en Chiclayo (1999, cuyos factores de virulencia fueron comprobados con la finalidad de determinar la presencia del antígeno en mención. La biomasa bacteriana fue inactivada con acetona fría, y la purificación parcial del antígeno se realizó mediante procesos de precipitación con sales y diálisis. Para confirmar la pureza del antígeno, éste se sometió a una electroforesis en gel de poliacrilamida (SDS-PAGE al 15% y se evidenció la presencia de una banda de 17 kDa. Se sensibilizó glóbulos rojos de carnero, con la fracción antigénica F1, para la titulación de un suero Anti-F1 por hemaglutinación pasiva e inhibición de la hemaglutinación.

  8. Pesquisa da infecção natural por Yersinia pestis, em pulicídeos provenientes de focos pestosos do nordeste do Brasil

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    Darci Pascoal Brasil

    1989-12-01

    Full Text Available Foram avaliados três processos de acondicionamento e transporte de pulgas, objetivando análise bacteriológica para isolamento da Yersinia pestis. As três abordagens testadas foram: pulgas vivas em tubos de ensaio com tiras dobradas de papel de filtro; pulgas em solução salina; macerados de pulgas em meio de Cary-Blair. Os dois últimos métodos foram quase iguais e superiores ao primeiro. Foram analisadas pelas três técnicas, um total de 29.512 "pools" de pulicideos provenientes de focos de peste do Nordeste do Brasil no período de 1966 a 1982. Deste total, 236 (0,80% dos "pools" foram positivos por cultura e/ou inoculação em animais sensíveis.Three different containment transport processes of fleas were evaluated as an approach to the bacteriologic isolation of Yersinia pestis. The three methods employed were: live fleas in glass tubes containing pieces of wrapped filter paper; dead fleas in saline solution; and maceratedfleas in Cary-Blair culture medium. The two latter methods were almost equal and superior to the first method. A total of 29512 flea pools, from plague foci in Northeast Brazil collected during 1966 to 1982 were evaluated by the three methods. Among these samples, 236 (0.80% flea pools were positive with regard to bacteriological cultivation and/or infection of susceptible animals.

  9. The absence of concordant population genetic structure in the black-tailed prairie dog and the flea, Oropsylla hirsuta, with implications for the spread of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Philip H; Britten, Hugh B

    2010-05-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a keystone species on the mid- and short-grass prairies of North America. The species has suffered extensive colony extirpations and isolation as a result of human activity including the introduction of an exotic pathogen, Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of sylvatic plague. The prairie dog flea, Oropsylla hirsuta, is the most common flea on our study colonies in north-central Montana and it has been shown to carry Y. pestis. We used microsatellite markers to estimate the level of population genetic concordance between black-tailed prairie dogs and O. hirsuta in order to determine the extent to which prairie dogs are responsible for dispersing this potential plague vector among prairie dog colonies. We sampled fleas and prairie dogs from six prairie dog colonies in two regions separated by about 46 km. These colonies were extirpated by a plague epizootic that began months after our sampling was completed in 2005. Prairie dogs showed significant isolation-by-distance and a tendency toward genetic structure on the regional scale that the fleas did not. Fleas exhibited higher estimated rates of gene flow among prairie dog colonies than the prairie dogs sampled from the same colonies. While the findings suggested black-tailed prairie dogs may have contributed to flea dispersal, we attributed the lack of concordance between the population genetic structures of host and ectoparasite to additional flea dispersal that was mediated by mammals other than prairie dogs that were present in the prairie system.

  10. Host transcriptomic responses to pneumonic plague reveal that Yersinia pestis inhibits both the initial adaptive and innate immune responses in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Huiying; Wang, Tong; Tian, Guang; Zhang, Qingwen; Wu, Xiaohong; Xin, Youqian; Yan, Yanfeng; Tan, Yafang; Cao, Shiyang; Liu, Wanbing; Cui, Yujun; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2017-01-01

    Pneumonic plague is the most deadly form of infection caused by Yersinia pestis and can progress extremely fast. However, our understanding on the host transcriptomic response to pneumonic plague is insufficient. Here, we used RNA-sequencing technology to analyze transcriptomic responses in mice infected with fully virulent strain 201 or EV76, a live attenuated vaccine strain lacking the pigmentation locus. Approximately 600 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected in lungs from both 201- and EV76-infected mice at 12h post-infection (hpi). DEGs in lungs of 201-infected mice exceeded 2000 at 48hpi, accompanied by sustained large numbers of DEGs in the liver and spleen; however, limited numbers of DEGs were detected in those organs of EV-infected mice. Remarkably, DEGs in lungs were significantly enriched in critical immune responses pathways in EV76-infected but not 201-infected mice, including antigen processing and presentation, T cell receptor signaling among others. Pathological and bacterial load analyses confirmed the rapid systemic dissemination of 201-infection and the confined EV76-infection in lungs. Our results suggest that fully virulent Y. pestis inhibits both the innate and adaptive immune responses that are substantially stimulated in a self-limited infection, which update our holistic views on the transcriptomic response to pneumonic plague. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. Protection Conferred by recombinant Yersinia pestis Antigens Produced by a Rapid and Highly Scalable Plant Expression System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-24

    signal; CT, synthetic chloroplast targeting sequence; PhiC31, integrase; 6% HIS, histidine tag; MP, movement protein. Fig. 2. Coomassie-stained gels...The level of F1 targeted to chloroplasts was lower, but still detectable on a Coomassie-stained gel (Fig. 2A). We con- Fig. 1. Constructs used in the...apoplastic targeting (lanes 5), chloroplast -targeted antigens (lanes 6), cytosolic-targeted translational fusions with GFP (lanes 7), cytosolic- targeted

  12. The role of the phoPQ operon in the pathogenesis of the fully virulent CO92 strain of Yersinia pestis and the IP32953 strain of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozue, Joel; Mou, Sherry; Moody, Krishna L; Cote, Christopher K; Trevino, Sylvia; Fritz, David; Worsham, Patricia

    2011-06-01

    At the genomic level, Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are nearly identical but cause very different diseases. Y. pestis is the etiologic agent of plague; whereas Y. pseudotuberculosis causes a gastrointestinal infection primarily after the consumption of contaminated food. In many gram-negative pathogenic bacteria, PhoP is part of a two-component global regulatory system in which PhoQ serves as the sensor kinase, and PhoP is the response regulator. PhoP is known to activate a number of genes in many bacteria related to virulence. To determine the role of the PhoPQ proteins in Yersinia infections, primarily using aerosol challenge models, the phoP gene was deleted from the chromosome of the CO92 strain of Y. pestis and the IP32953 strain of Y. pseudotuberculosis, leading to a polar mutation of the phoPQ operon. We demonstrated that loss of phoPQ from both strains leads to a defect in intracellular growth and/or survival within macrophages. These in vitro data would suggest that the phoPQ mutants would be attenuated in vivo. However, the LD(50) for the Y. pestis mutant did not differ from the calculated LD(50) for the wild-type CO92 strain for either the bubonic or pneumonic murine models of infection. In contrast, mice challenged by aerosol with the Y. pseudotuberculosis mutant had a LD(50) value 40× higher than the wild-type strain. These results demonstrate that phoPQ are necessary for full virulence by aerosol infection with the IP32953 strain of Y. pseudotuberculosis. However, the PhoPQ proteins do not play a significant role in infection with a fully virulent strain of Y. pestis. Published by Elsevier India Pvt Ltd.

  13. High throughput, multiplexed pathogen detection authenticates plague waves in medieval Venice, Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Thi-Nguyen-Ny; Signoli, Michel; Fozzati, Luigi; Aboudharam, Gérard; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2011-03-10

    Historical records suggest that multiple burial sites from the 14th-16th centuries in Venice, Italy, were used during the Black Death and subsequent plague epidemics. High throughput, multiplexed real-time PCR detected DNA of seven highly transmissible pathogens in 173 dental pulp specimens collected from 46 graves. Bartonella quintana DNA was identified in five (2.9%) samples, including three from the 16th century and two from the 15th century, and Yersinia pestis DNA was detected in three (1.7%) samples, including two from the 14th century and one from the 16th century. Partial glpD gene sequencing indicated that the detected Y. pestis was the Orientalis biotype. These data document for the first time successive plague epidemics in the medieval European city where quarantine was first instituted in the 14th century.

  14. High throughput, multiplexed pathogen detection authenticates plague waves in medieval Venice, Italy.

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    Thi-Nguyen-Ny Tran

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Historical records suggest that multiple burial sites from the 14th-16th centuries in Venice, Italy, were used during the Black Death and subsequent plague epidemics. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: High throughput, multiplexed real-time PCR detected DNA of seven highly transmissible pathogens in 173 dental pulp specimens collected from 46 graves. Bartonella quintana DNA was identified in five (2.9% samples, including three from the 16th century and two from the 15th century, and Yersinia pestis DNA was detected in three (1.7% samples, including two from the 14th century and one from the 16th century. Partial glpD gene sequencing indicated that the detected Y. pestis was the Orientalis biotype. CONCLUSIONS: These data document for the first time successive plague epidemics in the medieval European city where quarantine was first instituted in the 14th century.

  15. A Recombinant Trivalent Fusion Protein F1-LcrV-HSP70(II) Augments Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses and Imparts Full Protection against Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Shailendra K; Batra, Lalit; Tuteja, Urmil

    2016-01-01

    Plague is one of the most dangerous infections in humans caused by Yersinia pestis, a Gram-negative bacterium. Despite of an overwhelming research success, no ideal vaccine against plague is available yet. It is well established that F1/LcrV based vaccine requires a strong cellular immune response for complete protection against plague. In our earlier study, we demonstrated that HSP70(II) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis modulates the humoral and cellular immunity of F1/LcrV vaccine candidates individually as well as in combinations in a mouse model. Here, we made two recombinant constructs caf1-lcrV and caf1-lcrV-hsp70(II). The caf1 and lcrV genes of Y. pestis and hsp70 domain II of M. tuberculosis were amplified by polymerase chain reaction. Both the recombinant constructs caf1-lcrV and caf1-lcrV-hsp70(II) were cloned in pET28a vector and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant fusion proteins F1-LcrV and F1-LcrV-HSP70(II) were purified using Ni-NTA columns and formulated with alum to evaluate the humoral and cell mediated immune responses in mice. The protective efficacies of F1-LcrV and F1-LcrV-HSP70(II) were determined following challenge of immunized mice with 100 LD50 of Y. pestis through intraperitoneal route. Significant differences were noticed in the titers of IgG and it's isotypes, i.e., IgG1, IgG2b, and IgG3 in anti- F1-LcrV-HSP70(II) sera in comparison to anti-F1-LcrV sera. Similarly, significant differences were also noticed in the expression levels of IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α in splenocytes of F1-LcrV-HSP(II) immunized mice in comparison to F1-LcrV. Both F1-LcrV and F1-LcrV-HSP70(II) provided 100% protection. Our research findings suggest that F1-LcrV fused with HSP70 domain II of M. tuberculosis significantly enhanced the humoral and cellular immune responses in mouse model.

  16. The Hemophore HasA from Yersinia pestis (HasAyp) Coordinates Hemin with a Single Residue, Tyr75, and with Minimal Conformational Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Ritesh; Lovell, Scott; Matsumura, Hirotoshi; Battaile, Kevin P.; Moënne-Loccoz, Pierre; Rivera, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Hemophores from Serratia marcescens (HasAsm) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (HasAp) bind hemin between two loops, which harbor the axial ligands H32 and Y75. Hemin binding to the Y75 loop triggers closing of the H32 loop and enables binding of H32. Because Yersinia pestis HasA (HasAyp) presents a Gln at position 32, we determined the structures of apo-and holo-HasAyp. Surprisingly, the Q32 loop in apo-HasAyp is already in the closed conformation but no residue from the Q32 loop binds hemin in holo-HasAyp. In agreement with the minimal reorganization between the apo-and holo-structures, the hemin on-rate is too fast to detect by conventional stopped-flow measurements. PMID:23578210

  17. Recombinant expression and functional analysis of proteases from Streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus anthracis, and Yersinia pestis

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    Pieper Rembert

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Uncharacterized proteases naturally expressed by bacterial pathogens represents important topic in infectious disease research, because these enzymes may have critical roles in pathogenicity and cell physiology. It has been observed that cloning, expression and purification of proteases often fail due to their catalytic functions which, in turn, cause toxicity in the E. coli heterologous host. Results In order to address this problem systematically, a modified pipeline of our high-throughput protein expression and purification platform was developed. This included the use of a specific E. coli strain, BL21(DE3 pLysS to tightly control the expression of recombinant proteins and various expression vectors encoding fusion proteins to enhance recombinant protein solubility. Proteases fused to large fusion protein domains, maltosebinding protein (MBP, SP-MBP which contains signal peptide at the N-terminus of MBP, disulfide oxidoreductase (DsbA and Glutathione S-transferase (GST improved expression and solubility of proteases. Overall, 86.1% of selected protease genes including hypothetical proteins were expressed and purified using a combination of five different expression vectors. To detect novel proteolytic activities, zymography and fluorescence-based assays were performed and the protease activities of more than 46% of purified proteases and 40% of hypothetical proteins that were predicted to be proteases were confirmed. Conclusions Multiple expression vectors, employing distinct fusion tags in a high throughput pipeline increased overall success rates in expression, solubility and purification of proteases. The combinatorial functional analysis of the purified proteases using fluorescence assays and zymography confirmed their function.

  18. A Yersinia pestis tat mutant is attenuated in bubonic and small-aerosol pneumonic challenge models of infection but not as attenuated by intranasal challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozue, Joel; Cote, Christopher K; Chance, Taylor; Kugelman, Jeffrey; Kern, Steven J; Kijek, Todd K; Jenkins, Amy; Mou, Sherry; Moody, Krishna; Fritz, David; Robinson, Camenzind G; Bell, Todd; Worsham, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial proteins destined for the Tat pathway are folded before crossing the inner membrane and are typically identified by an N-terminal signal peptide containing a twin arginine motif. Translocation by the Tat pathway is dependent on the products of genes which encode proteins possessing the binding site of the signal peptide and mediating the actual translocation event. In the fully virulent CO92 strain of Yersinia pestis, the tatA gene was deleted. The mutant was assayed for loss of virulence through various in vitro and in vivo assays. Deletion of the tatA gene resulted in several consequences for the mutant as compared to wild-type. Cell morphology of the mutant bacteria was altered and demonstrated a more elongated form. In addition, while cultures of the mutant strain were able to produce a biofilm, we observed a loss of adhesion of the mutant biofilm structure compared to the biofilm produced by the wild-type strain. Immuno-electron microscopy revealed a partial disruption of the F1 antigen on the surface of the mutant. The virulence of the ΔtatA mutant was assessed in various murine models of plague. The mutant was severely attenuated in the bubonic model with full virulence restored by complementation with the native gene. After small-particle aerosol challenge in a pneumonic model of infection, the mutant was also shown to be attenuated. In contrast, when mice were challenged intranasally with the mutant, very little difference in the LD50 was observed between wild-type and mutant strains. However, an increased time-to-death and delay in bacterial dissemination was observed in mice infected with the ΔtatA mutant as compared to the parent strain. Collectively, these findings demonstrate an essential role for the Tat pathway in the virulence of Y. pestis in bubonic and small-aerosol pneumonic infection but less important role for intranasal challenge.

  19. A Yersinia pestis tat mutant is attenuated in bubonic and small-aerosol pneumonic challenge models of infection but not as attenuated by intranasal challenge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel Bozue

    Full Text Available Bacterial proteins destined for the Tat pathway are folded before crossing the inner membrane and are typically identified by an N-terminal signal peptide containing a twin arginine motif. Translocation by the Tat pathway is dependent on the products of genes which encode proteins possessing the binding site of the signal peptide and mediating the actual translocation event. In the fully virulent CO92 strain of Yersinia pestis, the tatA gene was deleted. The mutant was assayed for loss of virulence through various in vitro and in vivo assays. Deletion of the tatA gene resulted in several consequences for the mutant as compared to wild-type. Cell morphology of the mutant bacteria was altered and demonstrated a more elongated form. In addition, while cultures of the mutant strain were able to produce a biofilm, we observed a loss of adhesion of the mutant biofilm structure compared to the biofilm produced by the wild-type strain. Immuno-electron microscopy revealed a partial disruption of the F1 antigen on the surface of the mutant. The virulence of the ΔtatA mutant was assessed in various murine models of plague. The mutant was severely attenuated in the bubonic model with full virulence restored by complementation with the native gene. After small-particle aerosol challenge in a pneumonic model of infection, the mutant was also shown to be attenuated. In contrast, when mice were challenged intranasally with the mutant, very little difference in the LD50 was observed between wild-type and mutant strains. However, an increased time-to-death and delay in bacterial dissemination was observed in mice infected with the ΔtatA mutant as compared to the parent strain. Collectively, these findings demonstrate an essential role for the Tat pathway in the virulence of Y. pestis in bubonic and small-aerosol pneumonic infection but less important role for intranasal challenge.

  20. Characterization of an F1 Deletion Mutant of Yersinia pestis CO92, Pathogenic Role of F1 Antigen in Bubonic and Pneumonic Plague, and Evaluation of Sensitivity and Specificity of F1 Antigen Capture-Based Dipsticks▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sha, Jian; Endsley, Janice J.; Kirtley, Michelle L.; Foltz, Sheri M.; Huante, Matthew B.; Erova, Tatiana E.; Kozlova, Elena V.; Popov, Vsevolod L.; Yeager, Linsey A.; Zudina, Irina V.; Motin, Vladimir L.; Peterson, Johnny W.; DeBord, Kristin L.; Chopra, Ashok K.

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated two commercial F1 antigen capture-based immunochromatographic dipsticks, Yersinia Pestis (F1) Smart II and Plague BioThreat Alert test strips, in detecting plague bacilli by using whole-blood samples from mice experimentally infected with Yersinia pestis CO92. To assess the specificities of these dipsticks, an in-frame F1-deficient mutant of CO92 (Δcaf) was generated by homologous recombination and used as a negative control. Based on genetic, antigenic/immunologic, and electron microscopic analyses, the Δcaf mutant was devoid of a capsule. The growth rate of the Δcaf mutant generally was similar to that of the wild-type (WT) bacterium at both 26 and 37°C, although the mutant's growth dropped slightly during the late phase at 37°C. The Δcaf mutant was as virulent as WT CO92 in the pneumonic plague mouse model; however, it was attenuated in developing bubonic plague. Both dipsticks had similar sensitivities, requiring a minimum of 0.5 μg/ml of purified F1 antigen or 1 × 105 to 5 × 105 CFU/ml of WT CO92 for positive results, while the blood samples were negative for up to 1 × 108 CFU/ml of the Δcaf mutant. Our studies demonstrated the diagnostic potential of two plague dipsticks in detecting capsular-positive strains of Y. pestis in bubonic and pneumonic plague. PMID:21367990

  1. Kiiksuga kangelased / Mele Pesti

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Pesti, Mele, 1979-

    2006-01-01

    USA roadmovie tüüpi sisukad mängufilmid "Väike Miss Päikesepaiste" ("Little Miss Sunshine"; režissöörid Jonathan Dayton ja Valerie Faris, peaosas 10-aastane Abigail Breslin) ja "Transamerica" ( režissöör Duncan Tucker, peaosas Felicity Huffman)

  2. Normaalsuse uuringud / Madli Pesti

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Pesti, Madli, 1980-

    2010-01-01

    24.-27. septembrini Slovakkias Nitras toimunud rahvusvahelisest teatrifestivalist "Divadelna Nitra 2010". Pikemalt Dmitri Krõmovi lavastusest "Oopus nr 7", tantsulavastusest "Out of Context: For Pina" ("Kontekstist väljas, Pinale") koreograaf Alain Plateli trupi Les Ballets C de la B esituses ja Christoph Willibald Glucki ooperist "Orpheus ja Eurydike" Mariusz Trelinski lavastuses

  3. Normaalsuse uuringud / Madli Pesti

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Pesti, Madli, 1980-

    2010-01-01

    24.-27. septembrini Slovakkias Nitras toimunud rahvusvahelisest teatrifestivalist "Divadelna Nitra 2010". Pikemalt Dmitri Krõmovi lavastusest "Oopus nr 7", tantsulavastusest "Out of Context: For Pina" ("Kontekstist väljas, Pinale") koreograaf Alain Plateli trupi Les Ballets C de la B esituses ja Christoph Willibald Glucki ooperist "Orpheus ja Eurydike" Mariusz Trelinski lavastuses