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Sample records for highly virulent cryptococcus

  1. Galleria mellonella model identifies highly virulent strains among all major molecular types of Cryptococcus gattii.

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    Carolina Firacative

    Full Text Available Cryptococcosis is mainly caused by Cryptococcus neoformans. However, the number of cases due to C. gattii is increasing, affecting mainly immunocompetent hosts. C. gattii is divided into four major molecular types, VGI to VGIV, which differ in their host range, epidemiology, antifungal susceptibility and geographic distribution. Besides studies on the Vancouver Island outbreak strains, which showed that the subtype VGIIa is highly virulent compared to the subtype VGIIb, little is known about the virulence of the other major molecular types. To elucidate the virulence potential of the major molecular types of C. gattii, Galleria mellonella larvae were inoculated with ten globally selected strains per molecular type. Survival rates were recorded and known virulence factors were studied. One VGII, one VGIII and one VGIV strain were more virulent (p 0.05, 21 (five VGI, five VGII, four VGIII and seven VGIV were less virulent (p <0.05 while one strain of each molecular type were avirulent. Cell and capsule size of all strains increased markedly during larvae infection (p <0.001. No differences in growth rate at 37°C were observed. Melanin synthesis was directly related with the level of virulence: more virulent strains produced more melanin than less virulent strains (p <0.05. The results indicate that all C. gattii major molecular types exhibit a range of virulence, with some strains having the potential to be more virulent. The study highlights the necessity to further investigate the genetic background of more and less virulent strains in order to recognize critical features, other than the known virulence factors (capsule, melanin and growth at mammalian body temperature, that maybe crucial for the development and progression of cryptococcosis.

  2. The link between morphotype transition and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Linqi Wang

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitous human fungal pathogen. This pathogen can undergo morphotype transition between the yeast and the filamentous form and such morphological transition has been implicated in virulence for decades. Morphotype transition is typically observed during mating, which is governed by pheromone signaling. Paradoxically, components specific to the pheromone signaling pathways play no or minimal direct roles in virulence. Thus, the link between morphotype transition and virulence and the underlying molecular mechanism remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that filamentation can occur independent of pheromone signaling and mating, and both mating-dependent and mating-independent morphotype transition require the transcription factor Znf2. High expression of Znf2 is necessary and sufficient to initiate and maintain sex-independent filamentous growth under host-relevant conditions in vitro and during infection. Importantly, ZNF2 overexpression abolishes fungal virulence in murine models of cryptococcosis. Thus, Znf2 bridges the sex-independent morphotype transition and fungal pathogenicity. The impacts of Znf2 on morphological switch and pathogenicity are at least partly mediated through its effects on cell adhesion property. Cfl1, a Znf2 downstream factor, regulates morphogenesis, cell adhesion, biofilm formation, and virulence. Cfl1 is the first adhesin discovered in the phylum Basidiomycota of the Kingdom Fungi. Together with previous findings in other eukaryotic pathogens, our findings support a convergent evolution of plasticity in morphology and its impact on cell adhesion as a critical adaptive trait for pathogenesis.

  3. Modulation of Replicative Lifespan in Cryptococcus neoformans: Implications for Virulence

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    Bouklas, Tejas; Jain, Neena; Fries, Bettina C.

    2017-01-01

    The fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans, has been shown to undergo replicative aging. Old cells are characterized by advanced generational age and phenotypic changes that appear to mediate enhanced resistance to host and antifungal-based killing. As a consequence of this age-associated resilience, old cells accumulate during chronic infection. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that shifting the generational age of a pathogenic yeast population would alter its vulnerability to the host and affect its virulence. SIR2 is a well-conserved histone deacetylase, and a pivotal target for the development of anti-aging drugs. We tested its effect on C. neoformans’ replicative lifespan (RLS). First, a mutant C. neoformans strain (sir2Δ) was generated, and confirmed a predicted shortened RLS in sir2Δ cells consistent with its known role in aging. Next, RLS analysis showed that treatment of C. neoformans with Sir2p-agonists resulted in a significantly prolonged RLS, whereas treatment with a Sir2p-antagonist shortened RLS. RLS modulating effects were dependent on SIR2 and not observed in sir2Δ cells. Because SIR2 loss resulted in a slightly impaired fitness, effects of genetic RLS modulation on virulence could not be compared with wild type cells. Instead we chose to chemically modulate RLS, and investigated the effect of Sir2p modulating drugs on C. neoformans cells in a Galleria mellonella infection model. Consistent with our hypothesis that shifts in the generational age of the infecting yeast population alters its vulnerability to host cells, we observed decreased virulence of C. neoformans in the Galleria host when RLS was prolonged by treatment with Sir2p agonists. In contrast, treatment with a Sir2p antagonist, which shortens RLS enhanced virulence in Galleria. In addition, combination of Sir2p agonists with antifungal therapy enhanced the antifungal’s effect. Importantly, no difference in virulence was observed with drug treatment when sir2Δ cells

  4. Genotypic and Phenotypic Diversity of Cryptococcus gattii VGII Clinical Isolates and Its Impact on Virulence

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    Vanessa A. Barcellos

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The Cryptococcus gattii species complex harbors the main etiological agents of cryptococcosis in immunocompetent patients. C. gattii molecular type VGII predominates in the north and northeastern regions of Brazil, leading to high morbidity and mortality rates. C. gattii VGII isolates have a strong clinical relevance and phenotypic variations. These phenotypic variations among C. gattii species complex isolates suggest that some strains are more virulent than others, but little information is available related to the pathogenic properties of those strains. In this study, we analyzed some virulence determinants of C. gattii VGII strains (CG01, CG02, and CG03 isolated from patients in the state of Piauí, Brazil. The C. gattii R265 VGIIa strain, which was isolated from the Vancouver outbreak, differed from C. gattii CG01, CG02 and CG03 isolates (also classified as VGII when analyzed the capsular dimensions, melanin production, urease activity, as well as the glucuronoxylomannan (GXM secretion. Those differences directly reflected in their virulence potential. In addition, CG02 displayed higher virulence compared to R265 (VGIIa strain in a cryptococcal murine model of infection. Lastly, we examined the genotypic diversity of these strains through Multilocus Sequence Type (MLST and one new subtype was described for the CG02 isolate. This study confirms the presence and the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of highly virulent strains in the Northeast region of Brazil.

  5. Impact of Resistance to Fluconazole on Virulence and Morphological Aspects of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii Isolates.

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    Suélen Andreia eRossi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus spp. are responsible for around one million cases of meningitis every year. Fluconazole (FLU is commonly used in the treatment of cryptococcosis, mainly in immunocompromised patients and the resistance is usually reported after long periods of treatment. In this study, the morphological characterization and virulence profile of FLU-susceptible and FLU-resistant clinical and environmental isolates of C. neoformans and C. gattii were performed both in vitro and in vivo using the Galleria mellonella model. FLU-susceptible isolates from C. neoformans were significantly more virulent than the FLU-resistant isolates. FLU-susceptible C. gattii isolates showed a different virulence profile from C. neoformans isolates where only the environmental isolate, CL, was more virulent compared with the resistant isolates. Cell morphology and capsule size were analyzed and the FLU-resistant isolates did not change significantly compared with the most sensitive isolates. Growth at 37°C was also evaluated and in both species, the resistant isolates showed a reduced growth at this temperature, indicating that FLU resistance can affect their growth. Based on the results obtained is possible suggest that FLU resistance can influence the morphology of the isolates and consequently changed the virulence profiles. The most evident results were observed for C. neoformans showing that the adaptation of isolates to antifungal selective pressure influenced the loss of virulence.

  6. Nitrogen Metabolite Repression of Metabolism and Virulence in the Human Fungal Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans

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    Lee, I. Russel; Chow, Eve W. L.; Morrow, Carl A.; Djordjevic, Julianne T.; Fraser, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Proper regulation of metabolism is essential to maximizing fitness of organisms in their chosen environmental niche. Nitrogen metabolite repression is an example of a regulatory mechanism in fungi that enables preferential utilization of easily assimilated nitrogen sources, such as ammonium, to conserve resources. Here we provide genetic, transcriptional, and phenotypic evidence of nitrogen metabolite repression in the human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. In addition to loss of transcriptional activation of catabolic enzyme-encoding genes of the uric acid and proline assimilation pathways in the presence of ammonium, nitrogen metabolite repression also regulates the production of the virulence determinants capsule and melanin. Since GATA transcription factors are known to play a key role in nitrogen metabolite repression, bioinformatic analyses of the C. neoformans genome were undertaken and seven predicted GATA-type genes were identified. A screen of these deletion mutants revealed GAT1, encoding the only global transcription factor essential for utilization of a wide range of nitrogen sources, including uric acid, urea, and creatinine—three predominant nitrogen constituents found in the C. neoformans ecological niche. In addition to its evolutionarily conserved role in mediating nitrogen metabolite repression and controlling the expression of catabolic enzyme and permease-encoding genes, Gat1 also negatively regulates virulence traits, including infectious basidiospore production, melanin formation, and growth at high body temperature (39°–40°). Conversely, Gat1 positively regulates capsule production. A murine inhalation model of cryptococcosis revealed that the gat1Δ mutant is slightly more virulent than wild type, indicating that Gat1 plays a complex regulatory role during infection. PMID:21441208

  7. Amino Acid Permeases and Virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Kevin Felipe Cruz Martho

    Full Text Available Fungal opportunistic pathogens colonize various environments, from plants and wood to human and animal tissue. Regarding human pathogens, one great challenge during contrasting niche occupation is the adaptation to different conditions, such as temperature, osmolarity, salinity, pressure, oxidative stress and nutritional availability, which may constitute sources of stress that need to be tolerated and overcome. As an opportunistic pathogen, C. neoformans faces exactly these situations during the transition from the environment to the human host, encountering nutritional constraints. Our previous and current research on amino acid biosynthetic pathways indicates that amino acid permeases are regulated by the presence of the amino acids, nitrogen and temperature. Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans have twenty-four and twenty-seven genes encoding amino acid permeases, respectively; conversely, they are scarce in number in Basidiomycetes (C. neoformans, Coprinopsis cinerea and Ustilago maydis, where nine to ten permease genes can be found depending on the species. In this study, we have demonstrated that two amino acid permeases are essential for virulence in C. neoformans. Our data showed that C. neoformans uses two global and redundant amino acid permeases, Aap4 and Aap5 to respond correctly to thermal and oxidative stress. Double deletion of these permeases causes growth arrest in C. neoformans at 37°C and in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The inability to uptake amino acid at a higher temperature and under oxidative stress also led to virulence attenuation in vivo. Our data showed that thermosensitivity caused by the lack of permeases Aap4 and Aap5 can be remedied by alkaline conditions (higher pH and salinity. Permeases Aap4 and Aap5 are also required during fluconazole stress and they are the target of the plant secondary metabolite eugenol, a potent antifungal inhibitor that targets amino acid permeases. In summary, our work

  8. Iron regulation of the major virulence factors in the AIDS-associated pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Won Hee Jung

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Iron overload is known to exacerbate many infectious diseases, and conversely, iron withholding is an important defense strategy for mammalian hosts. Iron is a critical cue for Cryptococcus neoformans because the fungus senses iron to regulate elaboration of the polysaccharide capsule that is the major virulence factor during infection. Excess iron exacerbates experimental cryptococcosis and the prevalence of this disease in Sub-Saharan Africa has been associated with nutritional and genetic aspects of iron loading in the background of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We demonstrate that the iron-responsive transcription factor Cir1 in Cr. neoformans controls the regulon of genes for iron acquisition such that cir1 mutants are "blind" to changes in external iron levels. Cir1 also controls the known major virulence factors of the pathogen including the capsule, the formation of the anti-oxidant melanin in the cell wall, and the ability to grow at host body temperature. Thus, the fungus is remarkably tuned to perceive iron as part of the disease process, as confirmed by the avirulence of the cir1 mutant; this characteristic of the pathogen may provide opportunities for antifungal treatment.

  9. Repression of Proteases and Hsp90 Chaperone Expression Induced by an Antiretroviral in Virulent Environmental Strains of Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Serafin, Cleber Fernando; Paris, Ana Paula; Paula, Claudete Rodrigues; Simão, Rita Cássia Garcia; Gandra, Rinaldo Ferreira

    2017-04-01

    This study evaluated the effect of the antiretroviral ritonavir on protease secretion in different strains of Cryptococcus neoformans isolated from the environment and investigated the expression of heat shock protein (Hsp90), classically described virulence factors in other yeast in the presence of the same antiretroviral. The presence of the enzyme was detected by the formation of a degradation of the halo around the colonies. The results were classified as follows: level 1 (without proteases), level 2 (positive for proteases), and level 3 (strongly positive for proteases). Total protein extract isolated from the cell walls of the 12 strains incubated in the absence and presence of ritonavir (0.3125 mg mL -1 ) were resolved by SDS-PAGE and analyzed by Western blot assays using an antiserum against Hsp90 from Blastocladiella emersonii. All strains tested showed inhibition of proteinase activity in the presence of ritonavir at 0.3125 to 1.25 mg mL -1 . High levels of Hsp90 were observed in the absence of ritonavir (0.3125 mg mL -1 ), except for the non-virulent control cells. In contrast, in the presence of the antiretroviral, a drastic reduction in the expression of the chaperone was observed. The data suggest that ritonavir, in addition to containing viral replication, could inhibit the expression of virulence factors in opportunistic yeast, as proteases and Hsp90. According to our current knowledge, this is the first time that the inhibition of Hsp90 by an antiretroviral was reported for environmental isolates of C. neoformans.

  10. Identification of a major IP5 kinase in Cryptococcus neoformans confirms that PP-IP5/IP7, not IP6, is essential for virulence

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    Li, Cecilia; Lev, Sophie; Saiardi, Adolfo; Desmarini, Desmarini; Sorrell, Tania C.; Djordjevic, Julianne T.

    2016-01-01

    Fungal inositol polyphosphate (IP) kinases catalyse phosphorylation of IP3 to inositol pyrophosphate, PP-IP5/IP7, which is essential for virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans. Cryptococcal Kcs1 converts IP6 to PP-IP5/IP7, but the kinase converting IP5 to IP6 is unknown. Deletion of a putative IP5 kinase-encoding gene (IPK1) alone (ipk1?), and in combination with KCS1 (ipk1?kcs1?), profoundly reduced virulence in mice. However, deletion of KCS1 and IPK1 had a greater impact on virulence attenua...

  11. Cryptococcus gattii urease as a virulence factor and the relevance of enzymatic activity in cryptococcosis pathogenesis.

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    Feder, Vanessa; Kmetzsch, Lívia; Staats, Charley Christian; Vidal-Figueiredo, Natalia; Ligabue-Braun, Rodrigo; Carlini, Célia Regina; Vainstein, Marilene Henning

    2015-04-01

    Ureases (EC 3.5.1.5) are Ni(2+) -dependent metalloenzymes produced by plants, fungi and bacteria that hydrolyze urea to produce ammonia and CO2 . The insertion of nickel atoms into the apo-urease is better characterized in bacteria, and requires at least three accessory proteins: UreD, UreF, and UreG. Our group has demonstrated that ureases possess ureolytic activity-independent biological properties that could contribute to the pathogenicity of urease-producing microorganisms. The presence of urease in pathogenic bacteria strongly correlates with pathogenesis in some human diseases. Some medically important fungi also produce urease, including Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. C. gattii is an etiological agent of cryptococcosis, most often affecting immunocompetent individuals. The cryptococcal urease might play an important role in pathogenesis. It has been proposed that ammonia produced via urease action might damage the host endothelium, which would enable yeast transmigration towards the central nervous system. To analyze the role of urease as a virulence factor in C. gattii, we constructed knockout mutants for the structural urease-coding gene URE1 and for genes that code the accessory proteins Ure4 and Ure6. All knockout mutants showed reduced multiplication within macrophages. In intranasally infected mice, the ure1Δ (lacking urease protein) and ure4Δ (enzymatically inactive apo-urease) mutants caused reduced blood burdens and a delayed time of death, whereas the ure6Δ (enzymatically inactive apo-urease) mutant showed time and dose dependency with regard to fungal burden. Our results suggest that C. gattii urease plays an important role in virulence, in part possibly through enzyme activity-independent mechanism(s). © 2015 FEBS.

  12. A Unique Fungal Two-Component System Regulates Stress Responses, Drug Sensitivity, Sexual Development, and Virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans

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    Bahn, Yong-Sun; Kojima, Kaihei; Cox, Gary M.

    2006-01-01

    The stress-activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is widely used by eukaryotic organisms as a central conduit via which cellular responses to the environment effect growth and differentiation. The basidiomycetous human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans uniquely uses the stress-activated Pbs2-Hog1 MAPK system to govern a plethora of cellular events, including stress responses, drug sensitivity, sexual reproduction, and virulence. Here, we characterized a fungal “two-component” system that controls these fundamental cellular functions via the Pbs2-Hog1 MAPK cascade. A typical response regulator, Ssk1, modulated all Hog1-dependent phenotypes by controlling Hog1 phosphorylation, indicating that Ssk1 is the major upstream signaling component of the Pbs2-Hog1 pathway. A second response regulator, Skn7, governs sensitivity to Na+ ions and the antifungal agent fludioxonil, negatively controls melanin production, and functions independently of Hog1 regulation. To control these response regulators, C. neoformans uses multiple sensor kinases, including two-component–like (Tco) 1 and Tco2. Tco1 and Tco2 play shared and distinct roles in stress responses and drug sensitivity through the Hog1 MAPK system. Furthermore, each sensor kinase mediates unique cellular functions for virulence and morphological differentiation. Our findings highlight unique adaptations of this global two-component MAPK signaling cascade in a ubiquitous human fungal pathogen. PMID:16672377

  13. [Preservation of high risk fungal cultures of Histoplasma and Cryptococcus].

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    Fernández Andreu, C Carlos Manuel; Díaz Suárez, Luis Alberto; Ilnait Zaragozi, María Teresa; Aragonés López, Carlos; Martínez Machín, Gerardo; Perurena Lancha, Mayda R

    2012-01-01

    culture collections are responsible for providing the microbial resources for development of biological sciences. Storage in distilled water is one of the easiest and least expensive method for long-term fungal preservation. to evaluate the usefulness of this preservation method in fungal culture of Histoplasma and Cryptococcus. the preservation condition of the highest biological risk species from Histoplasma y Cryptococcus genera, included in the fungal culture collection of "Pedro Kouri" Institute of Tropical Medicine in Havana, was evaluated in this study. One hundred and two strains stored in distilled water, 92% of which had been preserved for more than 10 years, were analyzed. the percentages of recovered strains from H. capsulatum, C. neoformans and C. gattii were 64.3%; 79.1% and 100% respectively. This method of preservation proved to be satisfactory for fungal culture in labs with limited financial resources. A web-based database with interesting information about the collection was made. The importance of strict compliance with the biosafety measures in these collections, particularly with high risk pathogens. preservation of fungal cultures in distilled water is a very useful method for laboratories with limited resources. Culture collections should be assumed as an essential activity in order to solve increasing challenges in the development of biomedical sciences.

  14. Two cation transporters Ena1 and Nha1 cooperatively modulate ion homeostasis, antifungal drug resistance, and virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans via the HOG pathway

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    Jung, Kwang-Woo; Strain, Anna K; Nielsen, Kirsten; Jung, Kwang-Hwan; Bahn, Yong-Sun

    2012-01-01

    Maintenance of cation homeostasis is essential for survival of all living organisms in their biological niches. It is also important for the survival of human pathogenic fungi in the host, where cation concentrations and pH will vary depending on different anatomical sites. However, the exact role of diverse cation transporters and ion channels in virulence of fungal pathogens remains elusive. In this study we functionally characterized ENA1 and NHA1, encoding a putative Na+/ATPase and Na+/H+ antiporter, respectively, in Cryptococcus neoformans, a basidiomycete fungal pathogen which causes fatal meningoencephalitis. Expression of NHA1 and ENA1 is induced in response to salt and osmotic shock mainly in a Hog1-dependent manner. Phenotypic analysis of the ena1, nha1, and ena1 nha1 mutants revealed that Ena1 controls cellular levels of toxic cations, such as Na+ and Li+ whereas both Ena1 and Nha1 are important for controlling less toxic K+ ions. Under alkaline conditions, Ena1 was highly induced and required for growth in the presence of low levels of Na+ or K+ salt and Nha1 played a role in survival under K+ stress. In contrast, Nha1, but not Ena1, was essential for survival at acidic conditions (pH 4.5) under high K+ stress. In addition, Ena1 and Nha1 were required for maintenance of plasma membrane potential and stability, which appeared to modulate antifungal drug susceptibility. Perturbation of ENA1 and NHA1 enhanced capsule production and melanin synthesis. However, Nha1 was dispensable for virulence of C. neoformans although Ena1 was essential. In conclusion, Ena1 and Nha1 play redundant and discrete roles in cation homeostasis, pH regulation, membrane potential, and virulence in C. neoformans, suggesting that these transporters could be novel antifungal drug targets for treatment of cryptococcosis. PMID:22343280

  15. Factors Required for Activation of Urease as a Virulence Determinant in Cryptococcus neoformans

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    Singh, Arpita; Panting, Robert J.; Varma, Ashok; Saijo, Tomomi; Waldron, Kevin J.; Jong, Ambrose; Ngamskulrungroj, Popchai; Chang, Yun C.; Rutherford, Julian C.; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J.

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Urease in Cryptococcus neoformans plays an important role in fungal dissemination to the brain and causing meningoencephalitis. Although urea is not required for synthesis of apourease encoded by URE1, the available nitrogen source affected the expression of URE1 as well as the level of the enzyme activity. Activation of the apoenzyme requires three accessory proteins, Ure4, Ure6, and Ure7, which are homologs of the bacterial urease accessory proteins UreD, UreF, and UreG, respectively. A yeast two-hybrid assay showed positive interaction of Ure1 with the three accessory proteins encoded by URE4, URE6, and URE7. Metalloproteomic analysis of cryptococcal lysates using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and a biochemical assay of urease activity showed that, as in many other organisms, urease is a metallocentric enzyme that requires nickel transported by Nic1 for its catalytic activity. The Ure7 accessory protein (bacterial UreG homolog) binds nickel likely via its conserved histidine-rich domain and appears to be responsible for the incorporation of Ni2+ into the apourease. Although the cryptococcal genome lacks the bacterial UreE homolog, Ure7 appears to combine the functions of bacterial UreE and UreG, thus making this pathogen more similar to that seen with the plant system. Brain invasion by the ure1, ure7, and nic1 mutant strains that lack urease activity was significantly less effective in a mouse model. This indicated that an activated urease and not the Ure1 protein was responsible for enhancement of brain invasion and that the factors required for urease activation in C. neoformans resemble those of plants more than those of bacteria. PMID:23653445

  16. A link between virulence and homeostatic responses to hypoxia during infection by the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Cheryl D Chun

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Fungal pathogens of humans require molecular oxygen for several essential biochemical reactions, yet virtually nothing is known about how they adapt to the relatively hypoxic environment of infected tissues. We isolated mutants defective in growth under hypoxic conditions, but normal for growth in normoxic conditions, in Cryptococcus neoformans, the most common cause of fungal meningitis. Two regulatory pathways were identified: one homologous to the mammalian sterol-response element binding protein (SREBP cholesterol biosynthesis regulatory pathway, and the other a two-component-like pathway involving a fungal-specific hybrid histidine kinase family member, Tco1. We show that cleavage of the SREBP precursor homolog Sre1-which is predicted to release its DNA-binding domain from the membrane-occurs in response to hypoxia, and that Sre1 is required for hypoxic induction of genes encoding for oxygen-dependent enzymes involved in ergosterol synthesis. Importantly, mutants in either the SREBP pathway or the Tco1 pathway display defects in their ability to proliferate in host tissues and to cause disease in infected mice, linking for the first time to our knowledge hypoxic adaptation and pathogenesis by a eukaryotic aerobe. SREBP pathway mutants were found to be a hundred times more sensitive than wild-type to fluconazole, a widely used antifungal agent that inhibits ergosterol synthesis, suggesting that inhibitors of SREBP processing could substantially enhance the potency of current therapies.

  17. Antifungal Activity of the Volatiles of High Potency Cannabis sativa L. Against Cryptococcus neoformans

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    Amira S. Wanas

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The n-hexane extracted volatile fraction of high potency Cannabis sativa L (Cannabaceae . was assessed in vitro for antifungal, antibacterial and antileishmanial activities. The oil exhibited selective albeit modest, antifungal activity against Cryptococcus neoformans with an IC 50 value of 33.1 µg/mL. Biologically-guided fractionation of the volatile fraction resulted in the isolation of three major compounds (1-3 using various chromatographic techniques. The chemical structures of the isolated compounds were identified as α-humulene (1, b -caryophyllene (2 and caryophyllene oxide (3 using GC/FID, GC/MS, 1D- and 2D-NMR analyses, respectively. Compound 1 showed potent and selective antifungal activity against Cryptococcus neoformans with IC 50 and MIC values of 1.18 m g/mL and 5.0 m g/mL respectively. Whereas compound 2 showed weak activity (IC 50 19.4 µg/mL, while compound 3 was inactive against C. neoformans.

  18. Population Genetic Analysis Reveals a High Genetic Diversity in the Brazilian Cryptococcus gattii VGII Population and Shifts the Global Origin from the Amazon Rainforest to the Semi-arid Desert in the Northeast of Brazil.

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    Souto, Ana C P; Bonfietti, Lucas X; Ferreira-Paim, Kennio; Trilles, Luciana; Martins, Marilena; Ribeiro-Alves, Marcelo; Pham, Cau D; Martins, Liline; Dos Santos, Wallace; Chang, Marilene; Brito-Santos, Fabio; Santos, Dayane C S; Fortes, Silvana; Lockhart, Shawn R; Wanke, Bodo; Melhem, Márcia S C; Lazéra, Márcia S; Meyer, Wieland

    2016-08-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are responsible globally for almost one million cryptococcosis cases yearly, mostly in immunocompromised patients, such as those living with HIV. Infections due to C. gattii have mainly been described in tropical and subtropical regions, but its adaptation to temperate regions was crucial in the species evolution and highlighted the importance of this pathogenic yeast in the context of disease. Cryptococcus gattii molecular type VGII has come to the forefront in connection with an on-going emergence in the Pacific North West of North America. Taking into account that previous work pointed towards South America as an origin of this species, the present work aimed to assess the genetic diversity within the Brazilian C. gattii VGII population in order to gain new insights into its origin and global dispersal from the South American continent using the ISHAM consensus MLST typing scheme. Our results corroborate the finding that the Brazilian C. gattii VGII population is highly diverse. The diversity is likely due to recombination generated from sexual reproduction, as evidenced by the presence of both mating types in clinical and environmental samples. The data presented herein strongly supports the emergence of highly virulent strains from ancestors in the Northern regions of Brazil, Amazonia and the Northeast. Numerous genotypes represent a link between Brazil and other parts of the world reinforcing South America as the most likely origin of the C. gattii VGII subtypes and their subsequent global spread, including their dispersal into North America, where they caused a major emergence.

  19. Polymorphism in Mitochondrial Group I Introns among Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii Genotypes and Its Association with Drug Susceptibility

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    Felipe E. E. S. Gomes

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcosis, one of the most important systemic mycosis in the world, is caused by different genotypes of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii, which differ in their ecology, epidemiology, and antifungal susceptibility. Therefore, the search for new molecular markers for genotyping, pathogenicity and drug susceptibility is necessary. Group I introns fulfill the requisites for such task because (i they are polymorphic sequences; (ii their self-splicing is inhibited by some drugs; and (iii their correct splicing under parasitic conditions is indispensable for pathogen survival. Here, we investigated the presence of group I introns in the mitochondrial LSU rRNA gene in 77 Cryptococcus isolates and its possible relation to drug susceptibility. Sequencing revealed two new introns in the LSU rRNA gene. All the introns showed high sequence similarity to other mitochondrial introns from distinct fungi, supporting the hypothesis of an ancient non-allelic invasion. Intron presence was statistically associated with those genotypes reported to be less pathogenic (p < 0.001. Further virulence assays are needed to confirm this finding. In addition, in vitro antifungal tests indicated that the presence of LSU rRNA introns may influence the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC of amphotericin B and 5-fluorocytosine. These findings point to group I introns in the mitochondrial genome of Cryptococcus as potential molecular markers for antifungal resistance, as well as therapeutic targets.

  20. Pleiotropic effects of deubiquitinating enzyme Ubp5 on growth and pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Wei Fang

    Full Text Available Ubiquitination is a reversible protein modification that influences various cellular processes in eukaryotic cells. Deubiquitinating enzymes remove ubiquitin, maintain ubiquitin homeostasis and regulate protein degradation via the ubiquitination pathway. Cryptococcus neoformans is an important basidiomycete pathogen that causes life-threatening meningoencephalitis primarily in the immunocompromised population. In order to understand the possible influence deubiquitinases have on growth and virulence of the model pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, we generated deletion mutants of seven putative deubiquitinase genes. Compared to other deubiquitinating enzyme mutants, a ubp5Δ mutant exhibited severely attenuated virulence and many distinct phenotypes, including decreased capsule formation, hypomelanization, defective sporulation, and elevated sensitivity to several external stressors (such as high temperature, oxidative and nitrosative stresses, high salts, and antifungal agents. Ubp5 is likely the major deubiquitinating enzyme for stress responses in C. neoformans, which further delineates the evolutionary divergence of Cryptococcus from the model yeast S. cerevisiae, and provides an important paradigm for understanding the potential role of deubiquitination in virulence by other pathogenic fungi. Other putative deubiquitinase mutants (doa4Δ and ubp13Δ share some phenotypes with the ubp5Δ mutant, illustrating functional overlap among deubiquitinating enzymes in C. neoformans. Therefore, deubiquitinating enzymes (especially Ubp5 are essential for the virulence composite of C. neoformans and provide an additional yeast survival and propagation advantage in the host.

  1. Fundamental niche prediction of the pathogenicyeasts Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cogliati, M.; Puccianti, E.; Montagna, M.T.; De Donno, A.; Susever, S.; Ergin, C.; Velegraki, A.; Ellabib, M.S.; Nardoni, S.; Macci, C.; Trovato, L.; Dipineto, L.; Rickerts, V.; Akcaglar, S.; Mlinaric-Missoni, E.; Bertout, S.; Venca, A.C.F.; Sampaio, A.C.; Criseo, G.; Ranque, S.; Cerikcioglu, N.; Marchese, A.; Vezzulli, L.; Ilkit, M.; Desnos-Ollivier, M.; Pasquale, V.; Polacheck, I.; Scopa, A.; Meyer, W.; Ferreira-Paim, K.; Hagen, F.; Boekhout, T.; Dromer, F.; Varma, A.; Kwon-Chung, K.J.; Inacio, J.; Colom, M.F.

    2017-01-01

    Fundamental niche prediction of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii in Europe is an important tool to understand where these pathogenic yeasts have a high probability to survive in the environment and therefore to identify the areas with high risk of infection. In this study, occurrence

  2. Reconstructing the highly virulent Classical Swine Fever Virus strain Koslov

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fahnøe, Ulrik; Pedersen, Anders Gorm; Nielsen, Jens

    -prone nature of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase resulting in the majority of circulating forms being non-functional. However, since any infectious virus particle should necessarily be the offspring of a functional virus, we hypothesized that it should be possible to synthesize a highly virulent form...

  3. Cryptococcus neoformans hyperfilamentous strain is hypervirulent in a murine model of cryptococcal meningoencephalitis.

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    Marianna Feretzaki

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is a human fungal pathogen that causes lethal infections of the lung and central nervous system in immunocompromised individuals. C. neoformans has a defined bipolar sexual life cycle with a and α mating types. During the sexual cycle, which can occur between cells of opposite mating types (bisexual reproduction or cells of one mating type (unisexual reproduction, a dimorphic transition from yeast to hyphal growth occurs. Hyphal development and meiosis generate abundant spores that, following inhalation, penetrate deep into the lung to enter the alveoli, germinate, and establish a pulmonary infection growing as budding yeast cells. Unisexual reproduction has been directly observed only in the Cryptococcus var. neoformans (serotype D lineage under laboratory conditions. However, hyphal development has been previously associated with reduced virulence and the serotype D lineage exhibits limited pathogenicity in the murine model. In this study we show that the serotype D hyperfilamentous strain XL280α is hypervirulent in an animal model. It can grow inside the lung of the host, establish a pulmonary infection, and then disseminate to the brain to cause cryptococcal meningoencephalitis. Surprisingly, this hyperfilamentous strain triggers an immune response polarized towards Th2-type immunity, which is usually observed in the highly virulent sibling species C. gattii, responsible for the Pacific Northwest outbreak. These studies provide a technological advance that will facilitate analysis of virulence genes and attributes in C. neoformans var. neoformans, and reveal the virulence potential of serotype D as broader and more dynamic than previously appreciated.

  4. Unisexual reproduction of Cryptococcus gattii.

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    Sujal S Phadke

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus gattii is a basidiomycetous human fungal pathogen that typically causes infection in tropical and subtropical regions and is responsible for an ongoing outbreak in immunocompetent individuals on Vancouver Island and in the Pacific Northwest of the US. Pathogenesis of this species may be linked to its sexual cycle that generates infectious propagules called basidiospores. A marked predominance of only one mating type (α in clinical and environmental isolates suggests that a-α opposite-sex reproduction may be infrequent or geographically restricted, raising the possibility of an alternative unisexual cycle involving cells of only α mating type, as discovered previously in the related pathogenic species Cryptococcus neoformans. Here we report observation of hallmark features of unisexual reproduction in a clinical isolate of C. gattii (isolate 97/433 and describe genetic and environmental factors conducive to this sexual cycle. Our results are consistent with population genetic evidence of recombination in the largely unisexual populations of C. gattii and provide a useful genetic model for understanding how novel modes of sexual reproduction may contribute to evolution and virulence in this species.

  5. A novel xylosylphosphotransferase activity discovered in Cryptococcus neoformans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reilly, Morgann C; Levery, Steven B; Castle, Sherry A

    2009-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that causes serious disease in immunocompromised individuals. The organism produces a distinctive polysaccharide capsule that is necessary for its virulence, a predominantly polysaccharide cell wall, and a variety of protein- and lipid-linked glycans...

  6. Immunopathology of highly virulent pathogens: insights from Ebola virus.

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    Zampieri, Carisa A; Sullivan, Nancy J; Nabel, Gary J

    2007-11-01

    Ebola virus is a highly virulent pathogen capable of inducing a frequently lethal hemorrhagic fever syndrome. Accumulating evidence indicates that the virus actively subverts both innate and adaptive immune responses and triggers harmful inflammatory responses as it inflicts direct tissue damage. The host immune system is ultimately overwhelmed by a combination of inflammatory factors and virus-induced cell damage, particularly in the liver and vasculature, often leading to death from septic shock. We summarize the mechanisms of immune dysregulation and virus-mediated cell damage in Ebola virus-infected patients. Future approaches to prevention and treatment of infection will be guided by answers to unresolved questions about interspecies transmission, molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, and protective adaptive and innate immune responses to Ebola virus.

  7. Characterization of the antigenicity of Cpl1, a surface protein of Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Jian-Piao; Liu, Ling-Li; To, Kelvin K W; Lau, Candy C Y; Woo, Patrick C Y; Lau, Susanna K P; Guo, Yong-Hui; Ngan, Antonio H Y; Che, Xiao-Yan; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2015-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans is an important fungal pathogen. The capsule is a well established virulence factor and a target site for diagnostic tests. The CPL1 gene is required for capsular formation and virulence. The protein product Cpl1 has been proposed to be a secreted protein, but the characteristics of this protein have not been reported. Here we sought to characterize Cpl1. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Cpl1 of C. neoformans var. neoformans and the Cpl1 orthologs identified in C. neoformans var. grubii and C. gattii formed a distinct cluster among related fungi; while the putative ortholog found in Trichosporon asahii was distantly related to the Cryptococcus cluster. We expressed Cpl1 abundantly as a secreted His-tagged protein in Pichia pastoris. The protein was used to immunize guinea pigs and rabbits for high titer mono-specific polyclonal antibody that was shown to be highly specific against the cell wall of C. neoformans var. neoformans and did not cross react with C. gattii, T. asahii, Aspergillus spp., Candida spp. and Penicillium spp. Using the anti-Cpl1 antibody, we detected Cpl1 protein in the fresh culture supernatant of C. neoformans var. neoformans and we showed by immunostaining that the Cpl1 protein was located on the surface. The Cpl1 protein is a specific surface protein of C. neoformans var. neoformans. © 2015 by The Mycological Society of America.

  8. Toward an integrated model of capsule regulation in Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Brian C Haynes

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that causes serious human disease in immunocompromised populations. Its polysaccharide capsule is a key virulence factor which is regulated in response to growth conditions, becoming enlarged in the context of infection. We used microarray analysis of cells stimulated to form capsule over a range of growth conditions to identify a transcriptional signature associated with capsule enlargement. The signature contains 880 genes, is enriched for genes encoding known capsule regulators, and includes many uncharacterized sequences. One uncharacterized sequence encodes a novel regulator of capsule and of fungal virulence. This factor is a homolog of the yeast protein Ada2, a member of the Spt-Ada-Gcn5 Acetyltransferase (SAGA complex that regulates transcription of stress response genes via histone acetylation. Consistent with this homology, the C. neoformans null mutant exhibits reduced histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation. It is also defective in response to a variety of stress conditions, demonstrating phenotypes that overlap with, but are not identical to, those of other fungi with altered SAGA complexes. The mutant also exhibits significant defects in sexual development and virulence. To establish the role of Ada2 in the broader network of capsule regulation we performed RNA-Seq on strains lacking either Ada2 or one of two other capsule regulators: Cir1 and Nrg1. Analysis of the results suggested that Ada2 functions downstream of both Cir1 and Nrg1 via components of the high osmolarity glycerol (HOG pathway. To identify direct targets of Ada2, we performed ChIP-Seq analysis of histone acetylation in the Ada2 null mutant. These studies supported the role of Ada2 in the direct regulation of capsule and mating responses and suggested that it may also play a direct role in regulating capsule-independent antiphagocytic virulence factors. These results validate our experimental approach to dissecting

  9. Comparison of acute infection of calves exposed to a high-virulence or low-virulence bovine viral diarrhea virus or a HoBi-like virus

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    The objective of this research was to compare clinical presentation following acute infection of cattle with either a high virulence (HV) BVDV or a low virulence (LV) BVDV to clinical presentation following infection with a viral strain that belongs to an emerging species of pestivirus. The viral st...

  10. Diversity of the Cryptococcus neoformans-Cryptococcus gattii species complex.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bovers, M.; Hagen, F.; Boekhout, T.

    2008-01-01

    More than 110 years of study of the Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii species complex has resulted in an enormous accumulation of fundamental and applied biological and clinical knowledge. Recent developments in our understanding of the diversity within the species complex are

  11. Cryptococcus gattii and Cryptococcus neoformans - Cosmopolitans on the move

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagen, F.

    2011-01-01

    The fungal pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are the leading cause of fungal meningitis worldwide. Until three decades ago both pathogenic yeast species were, however, rarely encountered. The onset of the HIV-pandemic during the early 1980s showed the deadly potential of the

  12. Plants promote mating and dispersal of the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus.

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    Deborah J Springer

    Full Text Available Infections due to Cryptococcus are a leading cause of fungal infections worldwide and are acquired as a result of environmental exposure to desiccated yeast or spores. The ability of Cryptococcus to grow, mate, and produce infectious propagules in association with plants is important for the maintenance of the genetic diversity and virulence factors important for infection of animals and humans. In the Western United States and Canada, Cryptococcus has been associated with conifers and tree species other than Eucalyptus; however, to date Cryptococcus has only been studied on live Arabidopsis thaliana, Eucalyptus sp., and Terminalia catappa (almond seedlings. Previous research has demonstrated the ability of Cryptococcus to colonize live plants, leaves, and vasculature. We investigated the ability of Cryptococcus to grow on live seedlings of the angiosperms, A. thaliana, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Colophospermum mopane, and the gymnosperms, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir, and Tsuga heterophylla (Western hemlock. We observed a broad-range ability of Cryptococcus to colonize both traditional infection models as well as newly tested conifer species. Furthermore, C. neoformans, C. deneoformans, C. gattii (VGI, C. deuterogattii (VGII and C. bacillisporus (VGIII were able to colonize live plant leaves and needles but also undergo filamentation and mating on agar seeded with plant materials or in saprobic association with dead plant materials. The ability of Cryptococcus to grow and undergo filamentation and reproduction in saprobic association with both angiosperms and gymnosperms highlights an important role of plant debris in the sexual cycle and exposure to infectious propagules. This study highlights the broad importance of plants (and plant debris as the ecological niche and reservoirs of infectious propagules of Cryptococcus in the environment.

  13. High virulence of Wolbachia after host switching: when autophagy hurts.

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    Winka Le Clec'h

    Full Text Available Wolbachia are widespread endosymbionts found in a large variety of arthropods. While these bacteria are generally transmitted vertically and exhibit weak virulence in their native hosts, a growing number of studies suggests that horizontal transfers of Wolbachia to new host species also occur frequently in nature. In transfer situations, virulence variations can be predicted since hosts and symbionts are not adapted to each other. Here, we describe a situation where a Wolbachia strain (wVulC becomes a pathogen when transfected from its native terrestrial isopod host species (Armadillidium vulgare to another species (Porcellio d. dilatatus. Such transfer of wVulC kills all recipient animals within 75 days. Before death, animals suffer symptoms such as growth slowdown and nervous system disorders. Neither those symptoms nor mortalities were observed after injection of wVulC into its native host A. vulgare. Analyses of wVulC's densities in main organs including Central Nervous System (CNS of both naturally infected A. vulgare and transfected P. d. dilatatus and A. vulgare individuals revealed a similar pattern of host colonization suggesting an overall similar resistance of both host species towards this bacterium. However, for only P. d. dilatatus, we observed drastic accumulations of autophagic vesicles and vacuoles in the nerve cells and adipocytes of the CNS from individuals infected by wVulC. The symptoms and mortalities could therefore be explained by this huge autophagic response against wVulC in P. d. dilatatus cells that is not triggered in A. vulgare. Our results show that Wolbachia (wVulC can lead to a pathogenic interaction when transferred horizontally into species that are phylogenetically close to their native hosts. This change in virulence likely results from the autophagic response of the host, strongly altering its tolerance to the symbiont and turning it into a deadly pathogen.

  14. Hydroxyurea treatment inhibits proliferation of Cryptococcus neoformans in mice

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    Kaushlendra eTripathi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn is a serious threat to immunocompromised individuals, especially for HIV patients who develop meningoencephalitis. For effective cryptococcal treatment, novel antifungal drugs or innovative combination therapies are needed. Recently, sphingolipids have emerged as important bioactive molecules in the regulation of microbial pathogenesis. Previously we reported that the sphingolipid pathway gene, ISC1, which is responsible for ceramide production, is a major virulence factor in Cn infection. Here we report our studies of the role of ISC1 during genotoxic stress induced by the antineoplastic hydroxyurea (HU and methylmethane sulfonate (MMS, which affect DNA replication and genome integrity. We observed that Cn cells lacking ISC1 are highly sensitive to HU and MMS in a rich culture medium. HU affected cell division of Cn cells lacking the ISC1 gene, resulting in cell clusters. Cn ISC1, when expressed in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Sc strain lacking its own ISC1 gene, restored HU resistance. In macrophage-like cells, although HU affected the proliferation of WT Cn cells by 50% at the concentration tested, HU completely inhibited Cn isc1-delta cell proliferation. Interestingly, our preliminary data show that mice infected with WT or Cn isc1-delta cells and subsequently treated with HU had longer lifespans than untreated, infected control mice. Our work suggests that the sphingolipid pathway gene, ISC1, is a likely target for combination therapy with traditional drugs such as HU.

  15. The highly virulent variola and monkeypox viruses express secreted inhibitors of type I interferon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández de Marco, María del Mar; Alejo, Alí; Hudson, Paul; Damon, Inger K.; Alcami, Antonio

    2010-01-01

    Variola virus (VARV) caused smallpox, one of the most devastating human diseases and the first to be eradicated, but its deliberate release represents a dangerous threat. Virulent orthopoxviruses infecting humans, such as monkeypox virus (MPXV), could fill the niche left by smallpox eradication and the cessation of vaccination. However, immunomodulatory activities and virulence determinants of VARV and MPXV remain largely unexplored. We report the molecular characterization of the VARV- and MPXV-secreted type I interferon-binding proteins, which interact with the cell surface after secretion and prevent type I interferon responses. The proteins expressed in the baculovirus system have been purified, and their interferon-binding properties characterized by surface plasmon resonance. The ability of these proteins to inhibit a broad range of interferons was investigated to identify potential adaptation to the human immune system. Furthermore, we demonstrate by Western blot and activity assays the expression of the type I interferon inhibitor during VARV and MPXV infections. These findings are relevant for the design of new vaccines and therapeutics to smallpox and emergent virulent orthopoxviruses because the type I interferon-binding protein is a major virulence factor in animal models, vaccination with this protein induces protective immunity, and its neutralization prevents disease progression.—Fernández de Marco, M. M., Alejo, A., Hudson, P., Damon, I. K., Alcami, A. The highly virulent variola and monkeypox viruses express secreted inhibitors of type I interferon. PMID:20019241

  16. Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates in Ready-to-Eat Foods: Detection of S. aureus Contamination and a High Prevalence of Virulence Genes

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    Suat Moi Puah

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Its pathogenicity results from the possession of virulence genes that produce different toxins which result in self-limiting to severe illness often requiring hospitalization. In this study of 200 sushi and sashimi samples, S. aureus contamination was confirmed in 26% of the food samples. The S. aureus isolates were further characterized for virulence genes and antibiotic susceptibility. A high incidence of virulence genes was identified in 96.2% of the isolates and 20 different virulence gene profiles were confirmed. DNA amplification showed that 30.8% (16/52 of the S. aureus carried at least one SE gene which causes staphylococcal food poisoning. The most common enterotoxin gene was seg (11.5% and the egc cluster was detected in 5.8% of the isolates. A combination of hla and hld was the most prevalent coexistence virulence genes and accounted for 59.6% of all isolates. Antibiotic resistance studies showed tetracycline resistance to be the most common at 28.8% while multi-drug resistance was found to be low at 3.8%. In conclusion, the high rate of S. aureus in the sampled sushi and sashimi indicates the need for food safety guidelines.

  17. Continental Drift and Speciation of the Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii Species Complexes

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    Arturo Casadevall

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Genomic analysis has placed the origins of two human-pathogenic fungi, the Cryptococcus gattii species complex and the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex, in South America and Africa, respectively. Molecular clock calculations suggest that the two species separated ~80 to 100 million years ago. This time closely approximates the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea, which gave rise to South America and Africa. On the basis of the geographic distribution of these two species complexes and the coincidence of the evolutionary divergence and Pangea breakup times, we propose that a spatial separation caused by continental drift resulted in the emergence of the C. gattii and C. neoformans species complexes from a Pangean ancestor. We note that, despite the spatial and temporal separation that occurred approximately 100 million years ago, these two species complexes are morphologically similar, share virulence factors, and cause very similar diseases. Continuation of these phenotypic characteristics despite ancient separation suggests the maintenance of similar selection pressures throughout geologic ages.

  18. Hunger for iron: the alternative siderophore iron scavenging systems in highly virulent Yersinia.

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    Alexander eRakin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Low molecular weight siderophores are used by many living organisms to scavenge scarcely available ferric iron. Presence of at least a single siderophore-based iron acquisition system is usually acknowledged as a virulence-associated trait and a prerequisite to become an efficient and successful pathogen. Currently it is assumed that yersiniabactin (Ybt is the solely functional endogenous siderophore iron uptake system in highly virulent Yersinia (Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica biotype 1B. Genes responsible for biosynthesis, transport and regulation of the yersiniabactin (ybt production are clustered on a mobile genetic element, the High Pathogenicity Island (HPI that is responsible for broad dissemination of the ybt genes in Enterobacteriaceae. However, the ybt gene cluster is absent from nearly half of Y. pseudotuberculosis O3 isolates and epidemic Y. pseudotuberculosis O1 isolates responsible for the Far East Scarlet-like Fever. Several potential siderophore-mediated iron uptake gene clusters are documented in Yersinia genomes, however neither of them have been proven to be functional. It has been suggested that at least two siderophores alternative to Ybt may operate in the highly virulent Yersinia pestis / Y. pseudotuberculosis group, and are referred to as pseudochelin (Pch and yersiniachelin (Ych. Furthermore, most sporadic Y. pseudotuberculosis O1 strains possess gene clusters encoding all three iron scavenging systems. Thus, the Ybt system appears not to be the sole endogenous siderophore iron uptake system in the highly virulent yersiniae and may be efficiently substituted and / or supplemented by alternative iron scavenging systems.

  19. Immunotherapy of Cryptococcus infections.

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    Antachopoulos, C; Walsh, T J

    2012-02-01

    Despite appropriate antifungal treatment, the management of cryptococcal disease remains challenging, especially in immunocompromised patients, such as human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals and solid organ transplant recipients. During the past two decades, our knowledge of host immune responses against Cryptococcus spp. has been greatly advanced, and the role of immunomodulation in augmenting the response to infection has been investigated. In particular, the role of 'protective' Th1 (tumour necrosis factor-α, interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-12, and IL-18) and Th17 (IL-23 and IL-17) and 'non-protective' Th2 (IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13) cytokines has been extensively studied in vitro and in animal models of cryptococcal infection. Immunomodulation with monoclonal antibodies against the capsular polysaccharide glucuronoxylomannan, glucosylceramides, melanin and β-glucan and, lately, with radioimmunotherapy has also yielded promising results in animal models. As a balance between sufficiently protective Th1 responses and excessive inflammation is important for optimal outcome, the effect of immunotherapy may range from beneficial to deleterious, depending on factors related to the host, the infecting organism, and the immunomodulatory regimen. Clinical evidence supporting immunomodulation in patients with cryptococcal infection remains too limited to allow firm recommendations. Limited human data suggest a role for IFN-γ. Identification of surrogate markers characterizing patients' immunological status could possibly suggest candidate patients for immunotherapy and the type of immunomodulation to be administered. © 2011 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2011 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

  20. The production of monokaryotic hyphae by Cryptococcus neoformans can be induced by high temperature arrest of the cell cycle and is independent of same-sex mating.

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    Fu, Jianmin; Morris, Ian R; Wickes, Brian L

    2013-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a heterothallic fungal pathogen of humans and animals. Although the fungus grows primarily as a yeast, hyphae are produced during the sexual phase and during a process called monokaryotic fruiting, which is also believed to involve sexual reproduction, but between cells of the same mating type. Here we report a novel monokaryotic fruiting mechanism that is dependent on the cell cycle and occurs in haploid cells in the absence of sexual reproduction. Cells grown at 37°C were found to rapidly produce hyphae (∼4 hrs) and at high frequency (∼40% of the population) after inoculation onto hyphae-inducing agar. Microscopic examination of the 37°C seed culture revealed a mixture of normal-sized and enlarged cells. Micromanipulation of single cells demonstrated that only enlarged cells were able to produce hyphae and genetic analysis confirmed that hyphae did not arise from α-α mating or endoduplication. Cell cycle analysis revealed that cells grown at 37°C had an increased population of cells in G2 arrest, with the proportion correlated with the frequency of monokaryotic fruiting. Cell sorting experiments demonstrated that enlarged cells were only found in the G2-arrested population and only this population contained cells able to produce hyphae. Treatment of cells at low temperature with the G2 cell cycle arrest agent, nocodazole, induced hyphal growth, confirming the role of the cell cycle in this process. Taken together, these results reveal a mating-independent mechanism for monokaryotic fruiting, which is dependent on the cell cycle for induction of hyphal competency.

  1. A prospective descriptive study of cryptococcal meningitis in HIV uninfected patients in Vietnam - high prevalence of Cryptococcus neoformans var grubii in the absence of underlying disease

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    Baker Stephen

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most cases of cryptococcal meningitis occur in patients with HIV infection: the course and outcome of disease in the apparently immunocompetent is much more poorly understood. We describe a cohort of HIV uninfected Vietnamese patients with cryptococcal meningitis in whom underlying disease is uncommon, and relate presenting features of patients and the characteristics of the infecting species to outcome. Methods A prospective descriptive study of HIV negative patients with cryptococcal meningitis based at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City. All patients had comprehensive clinical assessment at baseline, were cared for by a dedicated study team, and were followed up for 2 years. Clinical presentation was compared by infecting isolate and outcome. Results 57 patients were studied. Cryptococcus neoformans var grubii molecular type VN1 caused 70% of infections; C. gattii accounted for the rest. Most patients did not have underlying disease (81%, and the rate of underlying disease did not differ by infecting species. 11 patients died while in-patients (19.3%. Independent predictors of death were age ≥ 60 years and a history of convulsions (odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals 8.7 (1 - 76, and 16.1 (1.6 - 161 respectively. Residual visual impairment was common, affecting 25 of 46 survivors (54.3%. Infecting species did not influence clinical phenotype or outcome. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of flucytosine and amphotericin B were significantly higher for C. neoformans var grubii compared with C. gattii (p Conclusion In HIV uninfected individuals in Vietnam, cryptococcal meningitis occurs predominantly in people with no clear predisposing factor and is most commonly due to C. neoformans var grubii. The rates of mortality and visual loss are high and independent of infecting species. There are detectable differences in susceptibility to commonly used antifungal drugs between species, but the clinical

  2. Interplay among Resistance Profiles, High-Risk Clones, and Virulence in the Caenorhabditis elegans Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection Model.

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    Sánchez-Diener, Irina; Zamorano, Laura; López-Causapé, Carla; Cabot, Gabriel; Mulet, Xavier; Peña, Carmen; Del Campo, Rosa; Cantón, Rafael; Doménech-Sánchez, Antonio; Martínez-Martínez, Luis; Arcos, Susana C; Navas, Alfonso; Oliver, Antonio

    2017-12-01

    The increasing prevalence of nosocomial infections produced by multidrug-resistant (MDR) or extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa is frequently linked to widespread international strains designated high-risk clones. In this work, we attempted to decipher the interplay between resistance profiles, high-risk clones, and virulence, testing a large ( n = 140) collection of well-characterized P. aeruginosa isolates from different sources (bloodstream infections, nosocomial outbreaks, cystic fibrosis, and the environment) in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model. Consistent with previous data, we documented a clear inverse correlation between antimicrobial resistance and virulence in the C. elegans model. Indeed, the lowest virulence was linked to XDR profiles, which were typically linked to defined high-risk clones. However, virulence varied broadly depending on the involved high-risk clone; it was high for sequence type 111 (ST111) and ST235 but very low for ST175. The highest virulence of ST235 could be attributed to its exoU + type III secretion system (TTSS) genotype, which was found to be linked with higher virulence in our C. elegans model. Other markers, such as motility or pigment production, were not essential for virulence in the C. elegans model but seemed to be related with the higher values of the statistical normalized data. In contrast to ST235, the ST175 high-risk clone, which is widespread in Spain and France, seems to be associated with a particularly low virulence in the C. elegans model. Moreover, the previously described G154R AmpR mutation, prevalent in ST175, was found to contribute to the reduced virulence, although it was not the only factor involved. Altogether, our results provide a major step forward for understanding the interplay between P. aeruginosa resistance profiles, high-risk clones, and virulence. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  3. Accessory genes confer a high replication rate to virulent feline immunodeficiency virus.

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    Troyer, Ryan M; Thompson, Jesse; Elder, John H; VandeWoude, Sue

    2013-07-01

    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus that causes AIDS in domestic cats, similar to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS in humans. The FIV accessory protein Vif abrogates the inhibition of infection by cat APOBEC3 restriction factors. FIV also encodes a multifunctional OrfA accessory protein that has characteristics similar to HIV Tat, Vpu, Vpr, and Nef. To examine the role of vif and orfA accessory genes in FIV replication and pathogenicity, we generated chimeras between two FIV molecular clones with divergent disease potentials: a highly pathogenic isolate that replicates rapidly in vitro and is associated with significant immunopathology in vivo, FIV-C36 (referred to here as high-virulence FIV [HV-FIV]), and a less-pathogenic strain, FIV-PPR (referred to here as low-virulence FIV [LV-FIV]). Using PCR-driven overlap extension, we produced viruses in which vif, orfA, or both genes from virulent HV-FIV replaced equivalent genes in LV-FIV. The generation of these chimeras is more straightforward in FIV than in primate lentiviruses, since FIV accessory gene open reading frames have very little overlap with other genes. All three chimeric viruses exhibited increased replication kinetics in vitro compared to the replication kinetics of LV-FIV. Chimeras containing HV-Vif or Vif/OrfA had replication rates equivalent to those of the virulent HV-FIV parental virus. Furthermore, small interfering RNA knockdown of feline APOBEC3 genes resulted in equalization of replication rates between LV-FIV and LV-FIV encoding HV-FIV Vif. These findings demonstrate that Vif-APOBEC interactions play a key role in controlling the replication and pathogenicity of this immunodeficiency-inducing virus in its native host species and that accessory genes act as mediators of lentiviral strain-specific virulence.

  4. Genome-Wide Transcription Study of Cryptococcus neoformans H99 Clinical Strain versus Environmental Strains.

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    Elaheh Movahed

    Full Text Available The infection of Cryptococcus neoformans is acquired through the inhalation of desiccated yeast cells and basidiospores originated from the environment, particularly from bird's droppings and decaying wood. Three environmental strains of C. neoformans originated from bird droppings (H4, S48B and S68B and C. neoformans reference clinical strain (H99 were used for intranasal infection in C57BL/6 mice. We showed that the H99 strain demonstrated higher virulence compared to H4, S48B and S68B strains. To examine if gene expression contributed to the different degree of virulence among these strains, a genome-wide microarray study was performed to inspect the transcriptomic profiles of all four strains. Our results revealed that out of 7,419 genes (22,257 probes examined, 65 genes were significantly up-or down-regulated in H99 versus H4, S48B and S68B strains. The up-regulated genes in H99 strain include Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase (MVA1, Mitochondrial matrix factor 1 (MMF1, Bud-site-selection protein 8 (BUD8, High affinity glucose transporter 3 (SNF3 and Rho GTPase-activating protein 2 (RGA2. Pathway annotation using DAVID bioinformatics resource showed that metal ion binding and sugar transmembrane transporter activity pathways were highly expressed in the H99 strain. We suggest that the genes and pathways identified may possibly play crucial roles in the fungal pathogenesis.

  5. Antifungal susceptibilities of Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Archibald, Lennox K; Tuohy, Marion J; Wilson, Deborah A; Nwanyanwu, Okey; Kazembe, Peter N; Tansuphasawadikul, Somsit; Eampokalap, Boonchuay; Chaovavanich, Achara; Reller, L Barth; Jarvis, William R; Hall, Gerri S; Procop, Gary W

    2004-01-01

    Susceptibility profiles of medically important fungi in less-developed countries remain uncharacterized. We measured the MICs of amphotericin B, 5-flucytosine, fluconazole, itraconazole, and ketoconazole for Cryptococcus neoformans clinical isolates from Thailand, Malawi, and the United States and found no evidence of resistance or MIC profile differences among the countries.

  6. Comparison of high and low virulence serotypes of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae by quantitative real-time PCR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schou, Kirstine Klitgaard; Angen, Øystein; Boye, Mette

    PCR data. Preliminary results showed that in both serotype 2 and serotype 6, the toxin producing gene apxIV was the most highly expressed of the investigated genes. The major difference observed between the two serotypes was that apfA, involved in type IV vili production, was significantly upregulated...... of high virulence while serotype 6 strains are normally found to be less pathogenic. To gain an understanding of the differential virulence of serotype 2 and 6, the expression of a panel of Ap genes during infection of porcine epithelial lung cells (SJPL) were examined by quantitative real-time PCR (q...... to be important for early establishment of the bacteria in the host were examined by qPCR. The genes examined were apfA, coding for a subunit of Type IV pili, kdsB coding for a gene involved in lippopolysacceride biosynthesis, and pgaB which is involved in biofilm formation, all three believed to be important...

  7. Low diversity Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii multilocus sequence types from Thailand are consistent with an ancestral African origin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sitali P Simwami

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The global burden of HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis is estimated at nearly one million cases per year, causing up to a third of all AIDS-related deaths. Molecular epidemiology constitutes the main methodology for understanding the factors underpinning the emergence of this understudied, yet increasingly important, group of pathogenic fungi. Cryptococcus species are notable in the degree that virulence differs amongst lineages, and highly-virulent emerging lineages are changing patterns of human disease both temporally and spatially. Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii (Cng, serotype A constitutes the most ubiquitous cause of cryptococcal meningitis worldwide, however patterns of molecular diversity are understudied across some regions experiencing significant burdens of disease. We compared 183 clinical and environmental isolates of Cng from one such region, Thailand, Southeast Asia, against a global MLST database of 77 Cng isolates. Population genetic analyses showed that Thailand isolates from 11 provinces were highly homogenous, consisting of the same genetic background (globally known as VNI and exhibiting only ten nearly identical sequence types (STs, with three (STs 44, 45 and 46 dominating our sample. This population contains significantly less diversity when compared against the global population of Cng, specifically Africa. Genetic diversity in Cng was significantly subdivided at the continental level with nearly half (47% of the global STs unique to a genetically diverse and recombining population in Botswana. These patterns of diversity, when combined with evidence from haplotypic networks and coalescent analyses of global populations, are highly suggestive of an expansion of the Cng VNI clade out of Africa, leading to a limited number of genotypes founding the Asian populations. Divergence time testing estimates the time to the most common ancestor between the African and Asian populations to be 6,920 years ago (95% HPD

  8. DNA mutations mediate microevolution between host-adapted forms of the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise A Magditch

    Full Text Available The disease cryptococcosis, caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, is acquired directly from environmental exposure rather than transmitted person-to-person. One explanation for the pathogenicity of this species is that interactions with environmental predators select for virulence. However, co-incubation of C. neoformans with amoeba can cause a "switch" from the normal yeast morphology to a pseudohyphal form, enabling fungi to survive exposure to amoeba, yet conversely reducing virulence in mammalian models of cryptococcosis. Like other human pathogenic fungi, C. neoformans is capable of microevolutionary changes that influence the biology of the organism and outcome of the host-pathogen interaction. A yeast-pseudohyphal phenotypic switch also happens under in vitro conditions. Here, we demonstrate that this morphological switch, rather than being under epigenetic control, is controlled by DNA mutation since all pseudohyphal strains bear mutations within genes encoding components of the RAM pathway. High rates of isolation of pseudohyphal strains can be explained by the physical size of RAM pathway genes and a hypermutator phenotype of the strain used in phenotypic switching studies. Reversion to wild type yeast morphology in vitro or within a mammalian host can occur through different mechanisms, with one being counter-acting mutations. Infection of mice with RAM mutants reveals several outcomes: clearance of the infection, asymptomatic maintenance of the strains, or reversion to wild type forms and progression of disease. These findings demonstrate a key role of mutation events in microevolution to modulate the ability of a fungal pathogen to cause disease.

  9. Imaging mass spectrometry and genome mining reveal highly antifungal virulence factor of mushroom soft rot pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graupner, Katharina; Scherlach, Kirstin; Bretschneider, Tom; Lackner, Gerald; Roth, Martin; Gross, Harald; Hertweck, Christian

    2012-12-21

    Caught in the act: imaging mass spectrometry of a button mushroom infected with the soft rot pathogen Janthinobacterium agaricidamnosum in conjunction with genome mining revealed jagaricin as a highly antifungal virulence factor that is not produced under standard cultivation conditions. The structure of jagaricin was rigorously elucidated by a combination of physicochemical analyses, chemical derivatization, and bioinformatics. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Microstructure of Cell Wall-Associated Melanin in the Human Pathogenic Fungus cryptococcus neoformans

    OpenAIRE

    Eisenman, H.C.; Nosanchuk, J.D.; Webber, J. Beau W.; Emerson, T.A.; Casadevall, A.

    2005-01-01

    Melanin is a virulence factor for many pathogenic fungal species,including Cryptococcus neoformans. Melanin is deposited in the cell wall, and melanin isolated from this fungus retains the shape of the cells, resulting in hollow spheres called ``ghosts''. In this study, atomic force, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that melanin ghosts are covered with roughly spherical granular particles approximately 40-130 nm in diameter, and that the melanin is arranged in ...

  11. Creatinine metabolism in Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus bacillisporus.

    OpenAIRE

    Polacheck, I; Kwon-Chung, K J

    1980-01-01

    The pathogenic species of Cryptococcus, C. neoformans and C. bacillisporus, utilized creatinine as a source of nitrogen but not of carbon. Chromatographic and autoradiographic studies suggest that creatinine metabolism in both species involves a single step resulting in the production of methylhydantoin and ammonia. The enzyme responsible for this step, creatinine deiminase, was produced by the cells only in the presence of creatinine in both species. The synthesis of creatinine deiminase was...

  12. A highly conserved metalloprotease effector enhances virulence in the maize anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum graminicola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz-Martín, José M; Pacheco-Arjona, José Ramón; Bello-Rico, Víctor; Vargas, Walter A; Monod, Michel; Díaz-Mínguez, José M; Thon, Michael R; Sukno, Serenella A

    2016-09-01

    Colletotrichum graminicola causes maize anthracnose, an agronomically important disease with a worldwide distribution. We have identified a fungalysin metalloprotease (Cgfl) with a role in virulence. Transcriptional profiling experiments and live cell imaging show that Cgfl is specifically expressed during the biotrophic stage of infection. To determine whether Cgfl has a role in virulence, we obtained null mutants lacking Cgfl and performed pathogenicity and live microscopy assays. The appressorium morphology of the null mutants is normal, but they exhibit delayed development during the infection process on maize leaves and roots, showing that Cgfl has a role in virulence. In vitro chitinase activity assays of leaves infected with wild-type and null mutant strains show that, in the absence of Cgfl, maize leaves exhibit increased chitinase activity. Phylogenetic analyses show that Cgfl is highly conserved in fungi. Similarity searches, phylogenetic analysis and transcriptional profiling show that C. graminicola encodes two LysM domain-containing homologues of Ecp6, suggesting that this fungus employs both Cgfl-mediated and LysM protein-mediated strategies to control chitin signalling. © 2015 BSPP and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. IPNV with high and low virulence: host immune responses and viral mutations during infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skjesol Astrid

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV is an aquatic member of the Birnaviridae family that causes widespread disease in salmonids. IPNV is represented by multiple strains with markedly different virulence. Comparison of isolates reveals hyper variable regions (HVR, which are presumably associated with pathogenicity. However little is known about the rates and modes of sequence divergence and molecular mechanisms that determine virulence. Also how the host response may influence IPNV virulence is poorly described. Methods In this study we compared two field isolates of IPNV (NFH-Ar and NFH-El. The sequence changes, replication and mortality were assessed following experimental challenge of Atlantic salmon. Gene expression analyses with qPCR and microarray were applied to examine the immune responses in head kidney. Results Significant differences in mortality were observed between the two isolates, and viral load in the pancreas at 13 days post infection (d p.i. was more than 4 orders of magnitude greater for NFH-Ar in comparison with NFH-El. Sequence comparison of five viral genes from the IPNV isolates revealed different mutation rates and Ka/Ks ratios. A strong tendency towards non-synonymous mutations was found in the HRV of VP2 and in VP3. All mutations in VP5 produced precocious stop codons. Prior to the challenge, NFH-Ar and NFH-El possessed high and low virulence motifs in VP2, respectively. Nucleotide substitutions were noticed already during passage of viruses in CHSE-214 cells and their accumulation continued in the challenged fish. The sequence changes were notably directed towards low virulence. Co-ordinated activation of anti-viral genes with diverse functions (IFN-a1 and c, sensors - Rig-I, MDA-5, TLR8 and 9, signal transducers - Srk2, MyD88, effectors - Mx, galectin 9, galectin binding protein, antigen presentation - b2-microglobulin was observed at 13 d p.i. (NFH-Ar and 29 d p.i. (both isolates

  14. Tracing genomic variations in two highly virulent Yersinia enterocolitica strains with unequal ability to compete for host colonization

    OpenAIRE

    Garzetti, Debora; Bouabe, Hicham; Heesemann, Juergen; Rakin, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Yersinia enterocolitica is a gastrointestinal foodborne pathogen found worldwide and which especially affects infants and young children. While different bioserotypes have been associated with varying pathogenicity, research on Y. enterocolitica is mainly conducted on the highly virulent mouse-lethal strains of biotype 1B and serotype O:8. We demonstrate here that two Y. enterocolitica bioserotype 1B/O:8 strains, 8081 and WA-314, display different virulence and fitness pro...

  15. HapX positively and negatively regulates the transcriptional response to iron deprivation in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Won Hee Jung

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans is a major cause of illness in immunocompromised individuals such as AIDS patients. The ability of the fungus to acquire nutrients during proliferation in host tissue and the ability to elaborate a polysaccharide capsule are critical determinants of disease outcome. We previously showed that the GATA factor, Cir1, is a major regulator both of the iron uptake functions needed for growth in host tissue and the key virulence factors such as capsule, melanin and growth at 37°C. We are interested in further defining the mechanisms of iron acquisition from inorganic and host-derived iron sources with the goal of understanding the nutritional adaptation of C. neoformans to the host environment. In this study, we investigated the roles of the HAP3 and HAPX genes in iron utilization and virulence. As in other fungi, the C. neoformans Hap proteins negatively influence the expression of genes encoding respiratory and TCA cycle functions under low-iron conditions. However, we also found that HapX plays both positive and negative roles in the regulation of gene expression, including a positive regulatory role in siderophore transporter expression. In addition, HapX also positively regulated the expression of the CIR1 transcript. This situation is in contrast to the negative regulation by HapX of genes encoding GATA iron regulatory factors in Aspergillus nidulans and Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Although both hapX and hap3 mutants were defective in heme utilization in culture, only HapX made a contribution to virulence, and loss of HapX in a strain lacking the high-affinity iron uptake system did not cause further attenuation of disease. Therefore, HapX appears to have a minimal role during infection of mammalian hosts and instead may be an important regulator of environmental iron uptake functions. Overall, these results indicated that C. neoformans employs multiple strategies for iron acquisition during infection.

  16. Reduced Set of Virulence Genes Allows High Accuracy Prediction of Bacterial Pathogenicity in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iraola, Gregorio; Vazquez, Gustavo; Spangenberg, Lucía; Naya, Hugo

    2012-01-01

    Although there have been great advances in understanding bacterial pathogenesis, there is still a lack of integrative information about what makes a bacterium a human pathogen. The advent of high-throughput sequencing technologies has dramatically increased the amount of completed bacterial genomes, for both known human pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains; this information is now available to investigate genetic features that determine pathogenic phenotypes in bacteria. In this work we determined presence/absence patterns of different virulence-related genes among more than finished bacterial genomes from both human pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains, belonging to different taxonomic groups (i.e: Actinobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, etc.). An accuracy of 95% using a cross-fold validation scheme with in-fold feature selection is obtained when classifying human pathogens and non-pathogens. A reduced subset of highly informative genes () is presented and applied to an external validation set. The statistical model was implemented in the BacFier v1.0 software (freely available at ), that displays not only the prediction (pathogen/non-pathogen) and an associated probability for pathogenicity, but also the presence/absence vector for the analyzed genes, so it is possible to decipher the subset of virulence genes responsible for the classification on the analyzed genome. Furthermore, we discuss the biological relevance for bacterial pathogenesis of the core set of genes, corresponding to eight functional categories, all with evident and documented association with the phenotypes of interest. Also, we analyze which functional categories of virulence genes were more distinctive for pathogenicity in each taxonomic group, which seems to be a completely new kind of information and could lead to important evolutionary conclusions. PMID:22916122

  17. Virulence Factors IN Fungi OF Systemic Mycoses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KUROKAWA Cilmery Suemi

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Pathogenic fungi that cause systemic mycoses retain several factors which allow their growth in adverse conditions provided by the host, leading to the establishment of the parasitic relationship and contributing to disease development. These factors are known as virulence factors which favor the infection process and the pathogenesis of the mycoses. The present study evaluates the virulence factors of pathogenic fungi such as Blastomyces dermatitidis, Coccidioides immitis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis in terms of thermotolerance, dimorphism, capsule or cell wall components as well as enzyme production. Virulence factors favor fungal adhesion, colonization, dissemination and the ability to survive in hostile environments and elude the immune response mechanisms of the host. Both the virulence factors presented by different fungi and the defense mechanisms provided by the host require action and interaction of complex processes whose knowledge allows a better understanding of the pathogenesis of systemic mycoses.

  18. Fundamental niche prediction of the pathogenic yeasts Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogliati, Massimo; Puccianti, Erika; Montagna, Maria T; De Donno, Antonella; Susever, Serdar; Ergin, Cagri; Velegraki, Aristea; Ellabib, Mohamed S; Nardoni, Simona; Macci, Cristina; Trovato, Laura; Dipineto, Ludovico; Rickerts, Volker; Akcaglar, Sevim; Mlinaric-Missoni, Emilija; Bertout, Sebastien; Vencà, Ana C F; Sampaio, Ana C; Criseo, Giuseppe; Ranque, Stéphane; Çerikçioğlu, Nilgün; Marchese, Anna; Vezzulli, Luigi; Ilkit, Macit; Desnos-Ollivier, Marie; Pasquale, Vincenzo; Polacheck, Itzhack; Scopa, Antonio; Meyer, Wieland; Ferreira-Paim, Kennio; Hagen, Ferry; Boekhout, Teun; Dromer, Françoise; Varma, Ashok; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J; Inácio, Joäo; Colom, Maria F

    2017-10-01

    Fundamental niche prediction of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii in Europe is an important tool to understand where these pathogenic yeasts have a high probability to survive in the environment and therefore to identify the areas with high risk of infection. In this study, occurrence data for C. neoformans and C. gattii were compared by MaxEnt software with several bioclimatic conditions as well as with soil characteristics and land use. The results showed that C. gattii distribution can be predicted with high probability along the Mediterranean coast. The analysis of variables showed that its distribution is limited by low temperatures during the coldest season, and by heavy precipitations in the driest season. C. neoformans var. grubii is able to colonize the same areas of C. gattii but is more tolerant to cold winter temperatures and summer precipitations. In contrast, the C. neoformans var. neoformans map was completely different. The best conditions for its survival were displayed in sub-continental areas and not along the Mediterranean coasts. In conclusion, we produced for the first time detailed prediction maps of the species and varieties of the C. neoformans and C. gattii species complex in Europe and Mediterranean area. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Virulence comparisons of high-temperature-adapted Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Steinernema feltiae and S. carpocapsae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susurluk I. A.

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs are environmentally safe alternative control agents. Nematodes in the Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae families are widely used in biological control frameworks, especially for soil-inhabiting insect pests. In this experiment, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Poinar, 1976, Steinernema feltiae (Filipjev, 1934 and S. carpocapsae (Weiser, 1955 adapted at high temperature were assessed in order to detect differences in virulence between adapted and non-adapted populations. All species were exposed to 38 °C for 2 h. After this treatment, live infective juveniles (IJs were used to infect to last instar Galleria mellonella (Linnaeus, 1758. larvae at the following doses: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 IJs/larva. The LD50 and LD90 were obtained for these species. Non-adapted populations of the nematode species were used as controls for this experiment. The results indicated that differences in S. feltiae and S. carpocapsae virulence between the adapted and non-adapted populations were significant; no significant difference was observed between the adapted and non-adapted H. bacteriophora populations.

  20. Identification of genes preferentially expressed by highly virulent piscine Streptococcus agalactiae upon interaction with macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang-Ming Guo

    Full Text Available Streptococcus agalactiae, long recognized as a mammalian pathogen, is an emerging concern with regard to fish. In this study, we used a mouse model and in vitro cell infection to evaluate the pathogenetic characteristics of S. agalactiae GD201008-001, isolated from tilapia in China. This bacterium was found to be highly virulent and capable of inducing brain damage by migrating into the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB. The phagocytosis assays indicated that this bacterium could be internalized by murine macrophages and survive intracellularly for more than 24 h, inducing injury to macrophages. Further, selective capture of transcribed sequences (SCOTS was used to investigate microbial gene expression associated with intracellular survival. This positive cDNA selection technique identified 60 distinct genes that could be characterized into 6 functional categories. More than 50% of the differentially expressed genes were involved in metabolic adaptation. Some genes have previously been described as associated with virulence in other bacteria, and four showed no significant similarities to any other previously described genes. This study constitutes the first step in further gene expression analyses that will lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms used by S. agalactiae to survive in macrophages and to cross the BBB.

  1. Identification of Genes Preferentially Expressed by Highly Virulent Piscine Streptococcus agalactiae upon Interaction with Macrophages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Chang-Ming; Chen, Rong-Rong; Kalhoro, Dildar Hussain; Wang, Zhao-Fei; Liu, Guang-Jin; Lu, Cheng-Ping; Liu, Yong-Jie

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae, long recognized as a mammalian pathogen, is an emerging concern with regard to fish. In this study, we used a mouse model and in vitro cell infection to evaluate the pathogenetic characteristics of S. agalactiae GD201008-001, isolated from tilapia in China. This bacterium was found to be highly virulent and capable of inducing brain damage by migrating into the brain by crossing the blood–brain barrier (BBB). The phagocytosis assays indicated that this bacterium could be internalized by murine macrophages and survive intracellularly for more than 24 h, inducing injury to macrophages. Further, selective capture of transcribed sequences (SCOTS) was used to investigate microbial gene expression associated with intracellular survival. This positive cDNA selection technique identified 60 distinct genes that could be characterized into 6 functional categories. More than 50% of the differentially expressed genes were involved in metabolic adaptation. Some genes have previously been described as associated with virulence in other bacteria, and four showed no significant similarities to any other previously described genes. This study constitutes the first step in further gene expression analyses that will lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms used by S. agalactiae to survive in macrophages and to cross the BBB. PMID:24498419

  2. Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii isolated from the excreta of psittaciformes in a southern Brazilian zoological garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abegg, Maxwel Adriano; Cella, Fabiana Lucila; Faganello, Josiane; Valente, Patrícia; Schrank, Augusto; Vainstein, Marilene Henning

    2006-02-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans, a major pathogen in immunocompromised patients, is a ubiquitous free-living fungus that can be isolated from soils, avian excreta and plant material. To further study potential saprophytic sources of this yeast in the Southern Brazilian State Rio Grande do Sul, we analyzed fecal samples from 59 species of captive birds kept in cages at a local Zoological Garden, belonging to 12 different orders. Thirty-eight environmental isolates of C. neoformans were obtained only from Psittaciformes (Psittacidae, Cacatuidae and Psittacula). Their variety and serotype were determined, and the genetic structure of the isolates was analyzed by use of the simple repetitive microsatellite specific primer M13 and the minisatellite specific primer (GACA)(4) as single primers in the PCR. The varieties were confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Thirty-three isolates (87%) were from the var. grubii, serotype A, molecular type VNI and five (13%) were Cryptococcus gattii, serotype B, molecular type VGI. All the isolates were mating type alpha. Isolates were screened for some potential virulence factors. Quantitative urease production by the environmental isolates belonging to the C. gattii was similar to the values usually obtained for clinical ones.

  3. Vacuolar zinc transporter Zrc1 is required for detoxification of excess intracellular zinc in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Minsu; Hu, Guanggan; Caza, Mélissa; Horianopoulos, Linda C; Kronstad, James W; Jung, Won Hee

    2018-01-01

    Zinc is an important transition metal in all living organisms and is required for numerous biological processes. However, excess zinc can also be toxic to cells and cause cellular stress. In the model fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a vacuolar zinc transporter, Zrc1, plays important roles in the storage and detoxification of excess intracellular zinc to protect the cell. In this study, we identified an ortholog of the S. cerevisiae ZRC1 gene in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Zrc1 was localized in the vacuolar membrane in C. neoformans, and a mutant lacking ZRC1 showed significant growth defects under high-zinc conditions. These results suggested a role for Zrc1 in zinc detoxification. However, contrary to our expectation, the expression of Zrc1 was induced in cells grown in zinc-limited conditions and decreased upon the addition of zinc. These expression patterns were similar to those of Zip1, the high-affinity zinc transporter in the plasma membrane of C. neoformans. Furthermore, we used the zrc1 mutant in a murine model of cryptococcosis to examine whether a mammalian host could inhibit the survival of C. neoformans using zinc toxicity. We found that the mutant showed no difference in virulence compared with the wildtype strain. This result suggests that Zrc1-mediated zinc detoxification is not required for the virulence of C. neoformans, and imply that zinc toxicity may not be an important aspect of the host immune response to the fungus.

  4. Adaptive Immunity to Cryptococcus neoformans Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliane Mukaremera

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii species complex is a group of fungal pathogens with different phenotypic and genotypic diversity that cause disease in immunocompromised patients as well as in healthy individuals. The immune response resulting from the interaction between Cryptococcus and the host immune system is a key determinant of the disease outcome. The species C. neoformans causes the majority of human infections, and therefore almost all immunological studies focused on C. neoformans infections. Thus, this review presents current understanding on the role of adaptive immunity during C. neoformans infections both in humans and in animal models of disease.

  5. Ancient dispersal of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii from the Amazon rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Ferry; Ceresini, Paulo C; Polacheck, Itzhack; Ma, Hansong; van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Gabaldón, Toni; Kagan, Sarah; Pursall, E Rhiannon; Hoogveld, Hans L; van Iersel, Leo J J; Klau, Gunnar W; Kelk, Steven M; Stougie, Leen; Bartlett, Karen H; Voelz, Kerstin; Pryszcz, Leszek P; Castañeda, Elizabeth; Lazera, Marcia; Meyer, Wieland; Deforce, Dieter; Meis, Jacques F; May, Robin C; Klaassen, Corné H W; Boekhout, Teun

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, several fungal outbreaks have occurred, including the high-profile 'Vancouver Island' and 'Pacific Northwest' outbreaks, caused by Cryptococcus gattii, which has affected hundreds of otherwise healthy humans and animals. Over the same time period, C. gattii was the cause of several additional case clusters at localities outside of the tropical and subtropical climate zones where the species normally occurs. In every case, the causative agent belongs to a previously rare genotype of C. gattii called AFLP6/VGII, but the origin of the outbreak clades remains enigmatic. Here we used phylogenetic and recombination analyses, based on AFLP and multiple MLST datasets, and coalescence gene genealogy to demonstrate that these outbreaks have arisen from a highly-recombining C. gattii population in the native rainforest of Northern Brazil. Thus the modern virulent C. gattii AFLP6/VGII outbreak lineages derived from mating events in South America and then dispersed to temperate regions where they cause serious infections in humans and animals.

  6. isolation and characterisation of cryptococcus neoformans

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2014-08-01

    Aug 1, 2014 ... and Cryptococcus gattii from several environmental sites in Nairobi, Kenya .This could probably ... Globally, the risk of cryptococcal meningitis in HIV/. AIDS is estimated ..... gattii from the Amazon rainforest. PLoS One. 2013 ...

  7. Cryptococcus sp abdominal infection in a patient with acquired immunodeficiency under secondary prophylaxis with fluconazole; Infeccao abdominal por Cryptococcus sp em paciente com imunodeficiencia adquirida em uso de profilaxia secundaria com fluconazol

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coutinho, Rosane Luiza; Zarehdinne, Monica [Infectologia do Hospital Eduardo de Menezes Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Peixoto, Arley; Tardieu Junior, Jose [Medicina da Faculdade de Saude e Ecologia Humana - FASEH, Vespasiano, MG (Brazil); Pedroso, Enio Roberto Pietra [Departamento de Clinica Medica da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - UFMG, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil)

    2011-10-15

    This paper reports on a Cryptococcus sp infection relapse in a patient with acquired immunodeficiency three years after the first episode, when her T CD4+ lymphocyte count was high and she was making regular use of antiretroviral drugs. (author)

  8. Newcastle Disease Viruses Causing Recent Outbreaks Worldwide Show Unexpectedly High Genetic Similarity to Historical Virulent Isolates from the 1940s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrov, Kiril M.; Lee, Dong-Hun; Williams-Coplin, Dawn; Olivier, Timothy L.; Miller, Patti J.

    2016-01-01

    Virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) cause Newcastle disease (ND), a devastating disease of poultry and wild birds. Phylogenetic analyses clearly distinguish historical isolates (obtained prior to 1960) from currently circulating viruses of class II genotypes V, VI, VII, and XII through XVIII. Here, partial and complete genomic sequences of recent virulent isolates of genotypes II and IX from China, Egypt, and India were found to be nearly identical to those of historical viruses isolated in the 1940s. Phylogenetic analysis, nucleotide distances, and rates of change demonstrate that these recent isolates have not evolved significantly from the most closely related ancestors from the 1940s. The low rates of change for these virulent viruses (7.05 × 10−5 and 2.05 × 10−5 per year, respectively) and the minimal genetic distances existing between these and historical viruses (0.3 to 1.2%) of the same genotypes indicate an unnatural origin. As with any other RNA virus, Newcastle disease virus is expected to evolve naturally; thus, these findings suggest that some recent field isolates should be excluded from evolutionary studies. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses show that these recent virulent isolates are more closely related to virulent strains isolated during the 1940s, which have been and continue to be used in laboratory and experimental challenge studies. Since the preservation of viable viruses in the environment for over 6 decades is highly unlikely, it is possible that the source of some of the recent virulent viruses isolated from poultry and wild birds might be laboratory viruses. PMID:26888902

  9. Cryptococcus

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Vikas Yadav

    The Molecular Mycology Laboratory. CSIR, DBT, SERB,. CEFIPRA (Indo-French), IJSPS (Indo-Japan). JNCASR (intramural). TATA innovation Fellowship. Rahul Siddharthan. DD Dubey. German Larriba. Joseph Heitman.

  10. Differentiation of highly virulent strains of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 according to glutamate dehydrogenase electrophoretic and sequence type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutz, Russell; Okwumabua, Ogi

    2008-10-01

    The glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) enzymes of 19 Streptococcus suis serotype 2 strains, consisting of 18 swine isolates and 1 human clinical isolate from a geographically varied collection, were analyzed by activity staining on a nondenaturing gel. All seven (100%) of the highly virulent strains tested produced an electrophoretic type (ET) distinct from those of moderately virulent and nonvirulent strains. By PCR and nucleotide sequence determination, the gdh genes of the 19 strains and of 2 highly virulent strains involved in recent Chinese outbreaks yielded a 1,820-bp fragment containing an open reading frame of 1,344 nucleotides, which encodes a protein of 448 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular mass of approximately 49 kDa. The nucleotide sequences contained base pair differences, but most were silent. Cluster analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences separated the isolates into three groups. Group I (ETI) consisted of the seven highly virulent isolates and the two Chinese outbreak strains, containing Ala(299)-to-Ser, Glu(305)-to-Lys, and Glu(330)-to-Lys amino acid substitutions compared with groups II and III (ETII). Groups II and III consisted of moderately virulent and nonvirulent strains, which are separated from each other by Tyr(72)-to-Asp and Thr(296)-to-Ala substitutions. Gene exchange studies resulted in the change of ETI to ETII and vice versa. A spectrophotometric activity assay for GDH did not show significant differences between the groups. These results suggest that the GDH ETs and sequence types may serve as useful markers in predicting the pathogenic behavior of strains of this serotype and that the molecular basis for the observed differences in the ETs was amino acid substitutions and not deletion, insertion, or processing uniqueness.

  11. Characterization of a highly virulent and antimicrobial-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strain isolated from diseased chicks in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dong; Liu, Zeng-Shan; Hu, Pan; Hui, Qi; Fu, Bao-Quan; Lu, Shi-Ying; Li, Yan-Song; Zou, De-Ying; Li, Zhao-Hui; Yan, Dong-Ming; Ding, Yan-Xia; Zhang, Yuan-Yuan; Zhou, Yu; Liu, Nan-Nan; Ren, Hong-Lin

    2016-08-01

    Poultry husbandry is a very important aspect of the agricultural economy in China. However, chicks are often susceptible to infectious disease microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses and parasites, causing large economic losses in recent years. In the present study, we isolated an Acinetobacter baumannii strain, CCGGD201101, from diseased chicks in the Jilin Province of China. Regression analyses of virulence and LD50 tests conducted using healthy chicks confirmed that A. baumannii CCGGD201101, with an LD50 of 1.81 (±0.11) × 10(4) CFU, was more virulent than A. baumannii ATCC17978, with an LD50 of 1.73 (±0.13) × 10(7) CFU. Moreover, TEM examination showed that the pili of A. baumannii CCGGD201101 were different from those of ATCC17978. Antibiotic sensitivity analyses showed that A. baumannii CCGGD201101 was sensitive to rifampicin but resistant to most other antibiotics. These results imply that A. baumannii strain CCGGD201101 had both virulence enhancement and antibiotic resistance characteristics, which are beneficial for A. baumannii survival under adverse conditions and enhance fitness and invasiveness in the host. A. baumannii CCGGD20101, with its high virulence and antimicrobial resistance, may be one of the pathogens causing death of diseased chicks. © 2016 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  12. The Role of Ceramide Synthases in the Pathogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munshi, Mansa A; Gardin, Justin M; Singh, Ashutosh; Luberto, Chiara; Rieger, Robert; Bouklas, Tejas; Fries, Bettina C; Del Poeta, Maurizio

    2018-02-06

    Cryptococcus neoformans (C. neoformans) is estimated to cause about 220,000 new cases every year in patients with AIDS, despite advances in antifungal treatments. C. neoformans possesses a remarkable ability to disseminate through an immunocompromised host, making treatment difficult. Here, we examine the mechanism of survival of C. neoformans under varying host conditions and find a role for ceramide synthase in C. neoformans virulence. This study also provides a detailed lipidomics resource for the fungal lipid research community in addition to discovering a potential target for antifungal therapy. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The Genome of the Basidiomycetous Yeast and Human Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loftus, Brendan J.; Fung, Eula; Roncaglia, Paola; Rowley, Don; Amedeo, Paolo; Bruno, Dan; Vamathevan, Jessica; Miranda, Molly; Anderson, Iain J.; Fraser, James A.; Allen, Jonathan E.; Bosdet, Ian E.; Brent, Michael R.; Chiu, Readman; Doering, Tamara L.; Donlin, Maureen J.; D’Souza, Cletus A.; Fox, Deborah S.; Grinberg, Viktoriya; Fu, Jianmin; Fukushima, Marilyn; Haas, Brian J.; Huang, James C.; Janbon, Guilhem; Jones, Steven J. M.; Koo, Hean L.; Krzywinski, Martin I.; Kwon-Chung, June K.; Lengeler, Klaus B.; Maiti, Rama; Marra, Marco A.; Marra, Robert E.; Mathewson, Carrie A.; Mitchell, Thomas G.; Pertea, Mihaela; Riggs, Florenta R.; Salzberg, Steven L.; Schein, Jacqueline E.; Shvartsbeyn, Alla; Shin, Heesun; Shumway, Martin; Specht, Charles A.; Suh, Bernard B.; Tenney, Aaron; Utterback, Terry R.; Wickes, Brian L.; Wortman, Jennifer R.; Wye, Natasja H.; Kronstad, James W.; Lodge, Jennifer K.; Heitman, Joseph; Davis, Ronald W.; Fraser, Claire M.; Hyman, Richard W.

    2012-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a basidiomycetous yeast ubiquitous in the environment, a model for fungal pathogenesis, and an opportunistic human pathogen of global importance. We have sequenced its ~20-megabase genome, which contains ~6500 intron-rich gene structures and encodes a transcriptome abundant in alternatively spliced and antisense messages. The genome is rich in transposons, many of which cluster at candidate centromeric regions. The presence of these transposons may drive karyotype instability and phenotypic variation. C. neoformans encodes unique genes that may contribute to its unusual virulence properties, and comparison of two phenotypically distinct strains reveals variation in gene content in addition to sequence polymorphisms between the genomes. PMID:15653466

  14. Discovery of a modified tetrapolar sexual cycle in Cryptococcus amylolentus and the evolution of MAT in the Cryptococcus species complex.

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    Keisha Findley

    Full Text Available Sexual reproduction in fungi is governed by a specialized genomic region called the mating-type locus (MAT. The human fungal pathogenic and basidiomycetous yeast Cryptococcus neoformans has evolved a bipolar mating system (a, α in which the MAT locus is unusually large (>100 kb and encodes >20 genes including homeodomain (HD and pheromone/receptor (P/R genes. To understand how this unique bipolar mating system evolved, we investigated MAT in the closely related species Tsuchiyaea wingfieldii and Cryptococcus amylolentus and discovered two physically unlinked loci encoding the HD and P/R genes. Interestingly, the HD (B locus sex-specific region is restricted (∼2 kb and encodes two linked and divergently oriented homeodomain genes in contrast to the solo HD genes (SXI1α, SXI2a of C. neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. The P/R (A locus contains the pheromone and pheromone receptor genes but has expanded considerably compared to other outgroup species (Cryptococcus heveanensis and is linked to many of the genes also found in the MAT locus of the pathogenic Cryptococcus species. Our discovery of a heterothallic sexual cycle for C. amylolentus allowed us to establish the biological roles of the sex-determining regions. Matings between two strains of opposite mating-types (A1B1×A2B2 produced dikaryotic hyphae with fused clamp connections, basidia, and basidiospores. Genotyping progeny using markers linked and unlinked to MAT revealed that meiosis and uniparental mitochondrial inheritance occur during the sexual cycle of C. amylolentus. The sexual cycle is tetrapolar and produces fertile progeny of four mating-types (A1B1, A1B2, A2B1, and A2B2, but a high proportion of progeny are infertile, and fertility is biased towards one parental mating-type (A1B1. Our studies reveal insights into the plasticity and transitions in both mechanisms of sex determination (bipolar versus tetrapolar and sexual reproduction (outcrossing versus inbreeding with

  15. Transient virulence of emerging pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolker, Benjamin M; Nanda, Arjun; Shah, Dharmini

    2010-05-06

    Should emerging pathogens be unusually virulent? If so, why? Existing theories of virulence evolution based on a tradeoff between high transmission rates and long infectious periods imply that epidemic growth conditions will select for higher virulence, possibly leading to a transient peak in virulence near the beginning of an epidemic. This transient selection could lead to high virulence in emerging pathogens. Using a simple model of the epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of emerging pathogens, along with rough estimates of parameters for pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, West Nile virus and myxomatosis, we estimated the potential magnitude and timing of such transient virulence peaks. Pathogens that are moderately evolvable, highly transmissible, and highly virulent at equilibrium could briefly double their virulence during an epidemic; thus, epidemic-phase selection could contribute significantly to the virulence of emerging pathogens. In order to further assess the potential significance of this mechanism, we bring together data from the literature for the shapes of tradeoff curves for several pathogens (myxomatosis, HIV, and a parasite of Daphnia) and the level of genetic variation for virulence for one (myxomatosis). We discuss the need for better data on tradeoff curves and genetic variance in order to evaluate the plausibility of various scenarios of virulence evolution.

  16. Dissemination of a highly virulent pathogen: tracking the early events that define infection.

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    Rodrigo J Gonzalez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The series of events that occurs immediately after pathogen entrance into the body is largely speculative. Key aspects of these events are pathogen dissemination and pathogen interactions with the immune response as the invader moves into deeper tissues. We sought to define major events that occur early during infection of a highly virulent pathogen. To this end, we tracked early dissemination of Yersinia pestis, a highly pathogenic bacterium that causes bubonic plague in mammals. Specifically, we addressed two fundamental questions: (1 do the bacteria encounter barriers in disseminating to draining lymph nodes (LN, and (2 what mechanism does this nonmotile bacterium use to reach the LN compartment, as the prevailing model predicts trafficking in association with host cells. Infection was followed through microscopy imaging in addition to assessing bacterial population dynamics during dissemination from the skin. We found and characterized an unexpected bottleneck that severely restricts bacterial dissemination to LNs. The bacteria that do not pass through this bottleneck are confined to the skin, where large numbers of neutrophils arrive and efficiently control bacterial proliferation. Notably, bottleneck formation is route dependent, as it is abrogated after subcutaneous inoculation. Using a combination of approaches, including microscopy imaging, we tested the prevailing model of bacterial dissemination from the skin into LNs and found no evidence of involvement of migrating phagocytes in dissemination. Thus, early stages of infection are defined by a bottleneck that restricts bacterial dissemination and by neutrophil-dependent control of bacterial proliferation in the skin. Furthermore, and as opposed to current models, our data indicate an intracellular stage is not required by Y. pestis to disseminate from the skin to draining LNs. Because our findings address events that occur during early encounters of pathogen with the immune response

  17. Paramecium species ingest and kill the cells of the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frager, Shalom Z; Chrisman, Cara J; Shakked, Rachel; Casadevall, Arturo

    2010-08-01

    A fundamental question in the field of medical mycology is the origin of virulence in those fungal pathogens acquired directly from the environment. In recent years, it was proposed that the virulence of certain environmental animal-pathogenic microbes, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, originated from selection pressures caused by species-specific predation. In this study, we analyzed the interaction of C. neoformans with three Paramecium spp., all of which are ciliated mobile protists. In contrast to the interaction with amoebae, some Paramecium spp. rapidly ingested C. neoformans and killed the fungus. This study establishes yet another type of protist-fungal interaction supporting the notion that animal-pathogenic fungi in the environment are under constant selection by predation.

  18. Myxomatosis: the virulence of field strains of myxoma virus in a population of wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.) with high resistance to myxomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmonds, J W; Nolan, I F; Shepherd, R C; Gocs, A

    1975-06-01

    The virulence of field strains of myxoma virus is increasing in the Mallee region of Victoria where the resistance of the rabbit to myxomatosis is high. This suggests that the climax association will be a moderately severe disease.

  19. Cryptococcus spp isolated from dust microhabitat in Brazilian libraries

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    Leite Diniz P

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Cryptococcus spp is currently composed of encapsulated yeasts of cosmopolitan distribution, including the etiological agents of cryptococcosis. The fungus are found mainly in substrates of animal and plant origin. Human infection occurs through inhalation of spores present in the environment. Methods Eighty-four swab collections were performed on dust found on books in three libraries in the city of Cuiabá, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The material was seeded in Sabouraud agar and then observed for characteristics compatible with colonies with a creamy to mucous aspect; the material was then isolated in birdseed (Niger agar and cultivated at a temperature of 37°C for 5 to 7 days. Identification of isolated colonies was performed by microscopic observation in fresh preparations dyed with India ink, additional tests performed on CGB (L-canavanine glycine bromothymol blue, urea broth, and carbohydrate assimilation tests (auxanogram. Results Of the 84 samples collected from book dust, 18 (21.4% were positive for Cryptococcus spp totalizing 41 UFC’s. The most frequently isolated species was C. gattii 15 (36.6%; followed by C. terreus, 12 (29.3%; C. luteolus 4 (9.8%; C. neoformans, and C. uniguttulatus 3 (7.3%, and C. albidus and C. humiculus with 2 (4.6% of the isolates. Conclusion The high biodiversity of the yeasts of the Cryptococcus genus, isolated from different environmental sources in urban areas of Brazil suggests the possibility of individuals whose immune systems have been compromised or even healthy individuals coming into sources of fungal propagules on a daily bases throughout their lives. This study demonstrates the acquisition possible of cryptococcosis infection from dust in libraries.

  20. Cryptococcus spp isolated from dust microhabitat in Brazilian libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, Diniz P; Amadio, Janaina V R S; Martins, Evelin R; Simões, Sara A A; Yamamoto, Ana Caroline A; Leal-Santos, Fábio A; Takahara, Doracilde T; Hahn, Rosane C

    2012-06-08

    The Cryptococcus spp is currently composed of encapsulated yeasts of cosmopolitan distribution, including the etiological agents of cryptococcosis. The fungus are found mainly in substrates of animal and plant origin. Human infection occurs through inhalation of spores present in the environment. Eighty-four swab collections were performed on dust found on books in three libraries in the city of Cuiabá, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The material was seeded in Sabouraud agar and then observed for characteristics compatible with colonies with a creamy to mucous aspect; the material was then isolated in birdseed (Niger) agar and cultivated at a temperature of 37°C for 5 to 7 days. Identification of isolated colonies was performed by microscopic observation in fresh preparations dyed with India ink, additional tests performed on CGB (L-canavanine glycine bromothymol blue), urea broth, and carbohydrate assimilation tests (auxanogram). Of the 84 samples collected from book dust, 18 (21.4%) were positive for Cryptococcus spp totalizing 41 UFC's. The most frequently isolated species was C. gattii 15 (36.6%); followed by C. terreus, 12 (29.3%); C. luteolus 4 (9.8%); C. neoformans, and C. uniguttulatus 3 (7.3%), and C. albidus and C. humiculus with 2 (4.6%) of the isolates. The high biodiversity of the yeasts of the Cryptococcus genus, isolated from different environmental sources in urban areas of Brazil suggests the possibility of individuals whose immune systems have been compromised or even healthy individuals coming into sources of fungal propagules on a daily bases throughout their lives. This study demonstrates the acquisition possible of cryptococcosis infection from dust in libraries.

  1. Ancient dispersal of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii from the Amazon rainforest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagen, F.; Ceresini, P.C.; Polacheck, I.; Ma, H.; van Nieuwerburgh, F.; Gabaldon, T.; Kagan, S.; Pursall, E.R.; Hoogveld, H.L.; van Iersel, L.J.; Klau, G.W.; Kelk, S.M.; Stougie, L.; Bartlett, K.H.; Voelz, K.; Pryszcz, L.P.; Castaneda, E.; Lazera, M.; Meyer, W.; Deforce, D.; Meis, J.F.G.M.; May, R.C.; Klaassen, C.H.W.; Boekhout, T.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, several fungal outbreaks have occurred, including the high-profile 'Vancouver Island' and 'Pacific Northwest' outbreaks, caused by Cryptococcus gattii, which has affected hundreds of otherwise healthy humans and animals. Over the same time period, C. gattii was the cause

  2. Ancient dispersal of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii from the Amazon rainforest.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagen, F.; Ceresini, P.C.; Polacheck, I.; Ma, H.; Nieuwerburgh, F. van; Gabaldón, T.; Kagan, S.; Pursall, E.R.; Hoogveld, H.L.; Iersel, L.J. van; Klau, G.W.; Kelk, S.M.; Stougie, L.; Bartlett, K.H.; Voelz, K.; Pryszcz, L.P.; Castañeda, E.; Lazera, M.; Meyer, W.; Deforce, D.; Meis, J.F.G.M.; May, R.C.; Klaassen, C.H.; Boekhout, T.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, several fungal outbreaks have occurred, including the high-profile 'Vancouver Island' and 'Pacific Northwest' outbreaks, caused by Cryptococcus gattii, which has affected hundreds of otherwise healthy humans and animals. Over the same time period, C. gattii was the cause

  3. Surface localization of glucosylceramide during Cryptococcus neoformans infection allows targeting as a potential antifungal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan Rhome

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn is a significant human pathogen that, despite current treatments, continues to have a high morbidity rate especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The need for more tolerable and specific therapies has been clearly shown. In the search for novel drug targets, the gene for glucosylceramide synthase (GCS1 was deleted in Cn, resulting in a strain (Δgcs1 that does not produce glucosylceramide (GlcCer and is avirulent in mouse models of infection. To understand the biology behind the connection between virulence and GlcCer, the production and localization of GlcCer must be characterized in conditions that are prohibitive to the growth of Δgcs1 (neutral pH and high CO(2. These prohibitive conditions are physiologically similar to those found in the extracellular spaces of the lung during infection. Here, using immunofluorescence, we have shown that GlcCer localization to the cell surface is significantly increased during growth in these conditions and during infection. We further seek to exploit this localization by treatment with Cerezyme (Cz, a recombinant enzyme that metabolizes GlcCer, as a potential treatment for Cn. Cz treatment was found to reduce the amount of GlcCer in vitro, in cultures, and in Cn cells inhabiting the mouse lung. Treatment with Cz induced a membrane integrity defect in wild type Cn cells similar to Δgcs1. Cz treatment also reduced the in vitro growth of Cn in a dose and condition dependent manner. Finally, Cz treatment was shown to have a protective effect on survival in mice infected with Cn. Taken together, these studies have established the legitimacy of targeting the GlcCer and other related sphingolipid systems in the development of novel therapeutics.

  4. Pigment Production on L-Tryptophan Medium by Cryptococcus gattii and Cryptococcus neoformans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaskes, Stuart; Cammer, Michael; Nieves, Edward; Casadevall, Arturo

    2014-01-01

    In recent years strains previously grouped within Cryptococcus neoformans have been divided into two species C. neoformans and C. gattii, with Cryptococcus neoformans comprising serotypes A, D, and AD and C. gattii comprising serotypes B and C. Cryptococcus neoformans have also been subdivided into two varieties C. neoformans var. grubii, serotype A, and C. neoformans var. neoformans, serotype D. We analyzed the growth and pigment production characteristics of 139 strains of Cryptococcus spp. in L-tryptophan containing media. Nearly all strains of Cryptococcus, including each variety and serotype tested produced a pink water-soluble pigment (molecular weight of 535.2 Da) from L-tryptophan. Consequently, the partial separation of the species was based on whether the pink pigment was secreted into the medium (extracellular) or retained as an intracellular pigment. On L-tryptophan medium C. neoformans var. grubii and serotype AD produced a pink extracellular pigment. In contrast, for C. gattii, the pink pigment was localized intracellularly and masked by heavy production of brown pigments. Pigment production by C. neoformans var. neoformans was variable with some strains producing the pink extracellular pigment and others retained the pink pigment intracellularly. The pink intracellular pigment produced by strains of C. neoformans var. neoformans was masked by production of brown pigments. Cryptococcus laccase mutants failed to produce pigments from L-tryptophan. This is the first report that the enzyme laccase is involved in tryptophan metabolism. Prior to this report Cryptococcus laccase produced melanin or melanin like-pigments from heterocyclic compounds that contained ortho or para diphenols, diaminobenzenes and aminophenol compounds. The pigments produced from L-tryptophan were not melanin. PMID:24736553

  5. Pigment production on L-tryptophan medium by Cryptococcus gattii and Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaskes, Stuart; Cammer, Michael; Nieves, Edward; Casadevall, Arturo

    2014-01-01

    In recent years strains previously grouped within Cryptococcus neoformans have been divided into two species C. neoformans and C. gattii, with Cryptococcus neoformans comprising serotypes A, D, and AD and C. gattii comprising serotypes B and C. Cryptococcus neoformans have also been subdivided into two varieties C. neoformans var. grubii, serotype A, and C. neoformans var. neoformans, serotype D. We analyzed the growth and pigment production characteristics of 139 strains of Cryptococcus spp. in L-tryptophan containing media. Nearly all strains of Cryptococcus, including each variety and serotype tested produced a pink water-soluble pigment (molecular weight of 535.2 Da) from L-tryptophan. Consequently, the partial separation of the species was based on whether the pink pigment was secreted into the medium (extracellular) or retained as an intracellular pigment. On L-tryptophan medium C. neoformans var. grubii and serotype AD produced a pink extracellular pigment. In contrast, for C. gattii, the pink pigment was localized intracellularly and masked by heavy production of brown pigments. Pigment production by C. neoformans var. neoformans was variable with some strains producing the pink extracellular pigment and others retained the pink pigment intracellularly. The pink intracellular pigment produced by strains of C. neoformans var. neoformans was masked by production of brown pigments. Cryptococcus laccase mutants failed to produce pigments from L-tryptophan. This is the first report that the enzyme laccase is involved in tryptophan metabolism. Prior to this report Cryptococcus laccase produced melanin or melanin like-pigments from heterocyclic compounds that contained ortho or para diphenols, diaminobenzenes and aminophenol compounds. The pigments produced from L-tryptophan were not melanin.

  6. Pigment production on L-tryptophan medium by Cryptococcus gattii and Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart Chaskes

    Full Text Available In recent years strains previously grouped within Cryptococcus neoformans have been divided into two species C. neoformans and C. gattii, with Cryptococcus neoformans comprising serotypes A, D, and AD and C. gattii comprising serotypes B and C. Cryptococcus neoformans have also been subdivided into two varieties C. neoformans var. grubii, serotype A, and C. neoformans var. neoformans, serotype D. We analyzed the growth and pigment production characteristics of 139 strains of Cryptococcus spp. in L-tryptophan containing media. Nearly all strains of Cryptococcus, including each variety and serotype tested produced a pink water-soluble pigment (molecular weight of 535.2 Da from L-tryptophan. Consequently, the partial separation of the species was based on whether the pink pigment was secreted into the medium (extracellular or retained as an intracellular pigment. On L-tryptophan medium C. neoformans var. grubii and serotype AD produced a pink extracellular pigment. In contrast, for C. gattii, the pink pigment was localized intracellularly and masked by heavy production of brown pigments. Pigment production by C. neoformans var. neoformans was variable with some strains producing the pink extracellular pigment and others retained the pink pigment intracellularly. The pink intracellular pigment produced by strains of C. neoformans var. neoformans was masked by production of brown pigments. Cryptococcus laccase mutants failed to produce pigments from L-tryptophan. This is the first report that the enzyme laccase is involved in tryptophan metabolism. Prior to this report Cryptococcus laccase produced melanin or melanin like-pigments from heterocyclic compounds that contained ortho or para diphenols, diaminobenzenes and aminophenol compounds. The pigments produced from L-tryptophan were not melanin.

  7. Interaction of Cryptococcus neoformans Rim101 and protein kinase A regulates capsule.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa R O'Meara

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is a prevalent human fungal pathogen that must survive within various tissues in order to establish a human infection. We have identified the C. neoformans Rim101 transcription factor, a highly conserved pH-response regulator in many fungal species. The rim101 multiply sign in circle mutant strain displays growth defects similar to other fungal species in the presence of alkaline pH, increased salt concentrations, and iron limitation. However, the rim101 multiply sign in circle strain is also characterized by a striking defect in capsule, an important virulence-associated phenotype. This capsular defect is likely due to alterations in polysaccharide attachment to the cell surface, not in polysaccharide biosynthesis. In contrast to many other C. neoformans capsule-defective strains, the rim101 multiply sign in circle mutant is hypervirulent in animal models of cryptococcosis. Whereas Rim101 activation in other fungal species occurs through the conserved Rim pathway, we demonstrate that C. neoformans Rim101 is also activated by the cAMP/PKA pathway. We report here that C. neoformans uses PKA and the Rim pathway to regulate the localization, activation, and processing of the Rim101 transcription factor. We also demonstrate specific host-relevant activating conditions for Rim101 cleavage, showing that C. neoformans has co-opted conserved signaling pathways to respond to the specific niche within the infected host. These results establish a novel mechanism for Rim101 activation and the integration of two conserved signaling cascades in response to host environmental conditions.

  8. First environmental isolation of Cryptococcus gattii serotype B, from Cúcuta, Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firacative, Carolina; Torres, Germán; Rodríguez, María Claudia; Escandón, Patricia

    2011-03-01

    In Cúcuta, Cryptococcus gattii serotype B is commonly recovered from immunocompetent patients with cryptococcosis, but it has not been recovered from the environment in spite of its high incidence which is 77% out of reported cases. The aim of this work was to carry out an extensive environmental sampling in Cúcuta, in an attempt to isolate C. gattii serotype B and to expand our knowledge about the ecology and epidemiology of this important yeast. Samples associated with 3,634 trees from 40 zones of Cúcuta were collected and processed with 28 samples collected near the houses of four patients with cryptococcosis caused by C. gattii serotype B. The serotype of the recovered isolates was done using multiplex PCR, molecular patterns were determined by RFLP of the URA5 gene and mating type was determined using the primers MfαU, MfαL, MFa2U and MFa2L. In total, 4,389 samples were processed and one isolate of C. gattii serotype B (VGI/a), two isolates of C. gattii serotype C (VGIII/α) and three isolates of C. neoformans var. grubii, serotype A (VNI/α), were recovered. The density of the recovered isolates varied from 50 to 350 cfu/g of soil. This is the first report on the environmental isolation of C. gattii serotype B from Cúcuta. However, because of the low rate of recovery of isolates from soil only, the environmental niche of C. gattii has not been established and further environmental studies in Cúcuta are necessary, owing that this serotype is not only causing cryptococcosis but also has shown a higher virulence after the Vancouver outbreak.

  9. Surface-associated plasminogen binding of Cryptococcus neoformans promotes extracellular matrix invasion.

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    Jamal Stie

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans is a leading cause of illness and death in persons with predisposing factors, including: malignancies, solid organ transplants, and corticosteroid use. C. neoformans is ubiquitous in the environment and enters into the lungs via inhalation, where it can disseminate through the bloodstream and penetrate the central nervous system (CNS, resulting in a difficult to treat and often-fatal infection of the brain, called meningoencephalitis. Plasminogen is a highly abundant protein found in the plasma component of blood and is necessary for the degradation of fibrin, collagen, and other structural components of tissues. This fibrinolytic system is utilized by cancer cells during metastasis and several pathogenic species of bacteria have been found to manipulate the host plasminogen system to facilitate invasion of tissues during infection by modifying the activation of this process through the binding of plasminogen at their surface.The invasion of the brain and the central nervous system by penetration of the protective blood-brain barrier is a prerequisite to the establishment of meningoencephalitis by the opportunistic fungal pathogen C. neoformans. In this study, we examined the ability of C. neoformans to subvert the host plasminogen system to facilitate tissue barrier invasion. Through a combination of biochemical, cell biology, and proteomic approaches, we have shown that C. neoformans utilizes the host plasminogen system to cross tissue barriers, providing support for the hypothesis that plasminogen-binding may contribute to the invasion of the blood-brain barrier by penetration of the brain endothelial cells and underlying matrix. In addition, we have identified the cell wall-associated proteins that serve as plasminogen receptors and characterized both the plasminogen-binding and plasmin-activation potential for this significant human pathogen.The results of this study provide evidence for the

  10. Microbial lipid production by oleaginous yeast Cryptococcus sp. in the batch cultures using corncob hydrolysate as carbon source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, Yi-Huang; Chang, Ku-Shang; Lee, Ching-Fu; Hsu, Chuan-Liang; Huang, Cheng-Wei; Jang, Hung-Der

    2015-01-01

    To realize the feasibility of biodiesel production from high-lipid cell culture, microbial lipid production by the oleaginous yeasts was studied using glucose and sucrose as carbon source. Among the tested strains, Cryptococcus sp. SM5S05 accumulated the highest levels of intracellular lipids. The crude lipid contents of Cryptococcus sp. cultured in yeast malt agar reached 30% on a dry weight basis. The accumulation of lipids strongly depended on carbon/nitrogen ratio and nitrogen concentration. The highest content of lipids, measured at a carbon/nitrogen ratio of 60–90 and at a nitrogen concentration of 0.2%, was 60–57% lipids in the dry biomass. Batch cultures using corncob hydrolysate demonstrated that there was minimal inhibitory effect with a reducing sugar concentration of 60 g l −1 or higher. Batch cultures of Cryptococcus sp. SM5S05 in the corncob hydrolysate medium with 60 g l −1 glucose resulted in a dry biomass, lipid yields, and content of 12.6 g l −1 , 7.6 g l −1 , and 60.2%, respectively. The lipids contained mainly long-chain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids with 16 and 18 carbon atoms. The fatty acid profile of Cryptococcus oils was quite similar to that of conventional vegetable oil. The cost of lipid production could be further reduced with corncob hydrolysate being utilized as the raw material for the oleaginous yeast. The results showed that the microbial lipid from Cryptococcus sp. was a potential alternative resource for biodiesel production. - Highlights: • Microbial oil production from oleaginous yeast Cryptococcus sp. was studied. • Accumulation of lipid strongly depended on C/N ratio and nitrogen concentration. • Cultures in hydrolysate medium with 60 g/l glucose resulted in maximum lipid yields. • Maximal lipid content in the Cryptococcus sp. were 60.2% on dried weight basis

  11. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

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    Mariana Santos de Jesus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus.

  12. Equine nasopharyngeal cryptococcoma due to Cryptococcus gattii

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    Raquel Aparecida Sales da Cruz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Cryptococcus gattii is often associated with pulmonary and systemic infections in humans and animals. In this research we report a case of nasopharyngeal cryptococoma caused by C. gatti in an equine. A 10-year-old mare presented a mass obstructing the oropharynx. Macroscopically the mass was asymmetric, and was attached to the ethmoidal sinuses and obstructed the oropharynx. Histopathological examination of the mass revealed multiple yeast cells ranging from spherical to oval, 4-8μm in diameter, with some of them showing narrow base polar budding. Cryptococcus gattii growth in mycological culture (Sabouraud Dextrose Agar and was L-canavanine-glycine-bromothymol blue Agar positive. The molecular identification confirmed the isolate as C. gattii by means of the amplification of universal primers. C. gattii is considered an emerging fungal agent, as it affects human and animals and does not respond efficiently to commonly established treatments.

  13. Proteomic analysis of swine serum following highly virulent classical swine fever virus infection

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    Guo Huan-cheng

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Classical swine fever virus (CSFV belongs to the genus Pestivirus within the family Flaviviridae. Virulent strains of classical swine fever virus (CSFV cause severe disease in pigs characterized by immunosuppression, thrombocytopenia and disseminated intravascular coagulation, which causes significant economic losses to the pig industry worldwide. Methods To reveal proteomic changes in swine serum during the acute stage of lethal CSFV infection, 5 of 10 pigs were inoculated with the virulent CSFV Shimen strain, the remainder serving as uninfected controls. A serum sample was taken at 3 days post-infection from each swine, at a stage when there were no clinical symptoms other than increased rectal temperatures (≥40°C. The samples were treated to remove serum albumin and immunoglobulin (IgG, and then subjected to two-dimension differential gel electrophoresis. Results Quantitative intensity analysis revealed 17 protein spots showing at least 1.5-fold quantitative alteration in expression. Ten spots were successfully identified by MALDI-TOF MS or LTQ MS. Expression of 4 proteins was increased and 6 decreased in CSFV-infected pigs. Functions of these proteins included blood coagulation, anti-inflammatory activity and angiogenesis. Conclusion These proteins with altered expression may have important implications in the pathogenesis of classical swine fever and provide a clue for identification of biomarkers for classical swine fever early diagnosis.

  14. Genomic characterization of Haemophilus parasuis SH0165, a highly virulent strain of serovar 5 prevalent in China.

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    Zhuofei Xu

    Full Text Available Haemophilus parasuis can be either a commensal bacterium of the porcine respiratory tract or an opportunistic pathogen causing Glässer's disease, a severe systemic disease that has led to significant economical losses in the pig industry worldwide. We determined the complete genomic sequence of H. parasuis SH0165, a highly virulent strain of serovar 5, which was isolated from a hog pen in North China. The single circular chromosome was 2,269,156 base pairs in length and contained 2,031 protein-coding genes. Together with the full spectrum of genes detected by the analysis of metabolic pathways, we confirmed that H. parasuis generates ATP via both fermentation and respiration, and possesses an intact TCA cycle for anabolism. In addition to possessing the complete pathway essential for the biosynthesis of heme, this pathogen was also found to be well-equipped with different iron acquisition systems, such as the TonB system and ABC-type transport complexes, to overcome iron limitation during infection and persistence. We identified a number of genes encoding potential virulence factors, such as type IV fimbriae and surface polysaccharides. Analysis of the genome confirmed that H. parasuis is naturally competent, as genes related to DNA uptake are present. A nine-mer DNA uptake signal sequence (ACAAGCGGT, identical to that found in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and Mannheimia haemolytica, followed by similar downstream motifs, was identified in the SH0165 genome. Genomic and phylogenetic comparisons with other Pasteurellaceae species further indicated that H. parasuis was closely related to another swine pathogenic bacteria A. pleuropneumoniae. The comprehensive genetic analysis presented here provides a foundation for future research on the metabolism, natural competence and virulence of H. parasuis.

  15. TAL effectors: highly adaptable phytobacterial virulence factors and readily engineered DNA targeting proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Erin L.; Stoddard, Barry L.; Voytas, Daniel F.; Bogdanove, Adam J.

    2013-01-01

    Transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors are transcription factors injected into plant cells by pathogenic bacteria in the genus Xanthomonas. They function as virulence factors by activating host genes important for disease, or as avirulence factors by turning on genes that provide resistance. DNA binding specificity is encoded by polymorphic repeats in each protein that correspond one-to-one with different nucleotides. This code has facilitated target identification and opened new avenues for engineering disease resistance. It has also enabled TAL effector customization for targeted gene control, genome editing, and other applications. This article reviews the structural basis for TAL effector-DNA specificity, the impact of the TAL effector-DNA code on plant pathology and engineered resistance, and recent accomplishments and future challenges in TAL effector-based DNA targeting. PMID:23707478

  16. Staphylococcus aureus virulence factors identified by using a high-throughput Caenorhabditis elegans-killing model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begun, Jakob; Sifri, Costi D; Goldman, Samuel; Calderwood, Stephen B; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen that is also able to kill the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We constructed a 2,950-member Tn917 transposon insertion library in S. aureus strain NCTC 8325. Twenty-one of these insertions exhibited attenuated C. elegans killing, and of these, 12 contained insertions in different genes or chromosomal locations. Ten of these 12 insertions showed attenuated killing phenotypes when transduced into two different S. aureus strains, and 5 of the 10 mutants correspond to genes that have not been previously identified in signature-tagged mutagenesis studies. These latter five mutants were tested in a murine renal abscess model, and one mutant harboring an insertion in nagD exhibited attenuated virulence. Interestingly, Tn917 was shown to have a very strong bias for insertions near the terminus of DNA replication.

  17. Cryptococcus gattii : A dilemma in diagnosis and treatment in sub ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sub-Saharan Africa contributes at least 70% of the global cryptococcal meningoencephalitis cases each year and the majority of cases are caused by the Cryptococcus neoformans species. We present a case of meningoencephalitis due to Cryptococcus gattii in an 18 year old apparently immunocompetent male patient ...

  18. A novel high-affinity sucrose transporter is required for virulence of the plant pathogen Ustilago maydis.

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    Ramon Wahl

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant pathogenic fungi cause massive yield losses and affect both quality and safety of food and feed produced from infected plants. The main objective of plant pathogenic fungi is to get access to the organic carbon sources of their carbon-autotrophic hosts. However, the chemical nature of the carbon source(s and the mode of uptake are largely unknown. Here, we present a novel, plasma membrane-localized sucrose transporter (Srt1 from the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis and its characterization as a fungal virulence factor. Srt1 has an unusually high substrate affinity, is absolutely sucrose specific, and allows the direct utilization of sucrose at the plant/fungal interface without extracellular hydrolysis and, thus, without the production of extracellular monosaccharides known to elicit plant immune responses. srt1 is expressed exclusively during infection, and its deletion strongly reduces fungal virulence. This emphasizes the central role of this protein both for efficient carbon supply and for avoidance of apoplastic signals potentially recognized by the host.

  19. A nonluminescent and highly virulent Vibrio harveyi strain is associated with "bacterial white tail disease" of Litopenaeus vannamei shrimp.

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    Junfang Zhou

    Full Text Available Recurrent outbreaks of a disease in pond-cultured juvenile and subadult Litopenaeus vannamei shrimp in several districts in China remain an important problem in recent years. The disease was characterized by "white tail" and generally accompanied by mass mortalities. Based on data from the microscopical analyses, PCR detection and 16S rRNA sequencing, a new Vibrio harveyi strain (designated as strain HLB0905 was identified as the etiologic pathogen. The bacterial isolation and challenge tests demonstrated that the HLB0905 strain was nonluminescent but highly virulent. It could cause mass mortality in affected shrimp during a short time period with a low dose of infection. Meanwhile, the histopathological and electron microscopical analysis both showed that the HLB0905 strain could cause severe fiber cell damages and striated muscle necrosis by accumulating in the tail muscle of L. vannamei shrimp, which led the affected shrimp to exhibit white or opaque lesions in the tail. The typical sign was closely similar to that caused by infectious myonecrosis (IMN, white tail disease (WTD or penaeid white tail disease (PWTD. To differentiate from such diseases as with a sign of "white tail" but of non-bacterial origin, the present disease was named as "bacterial white tail disease (BWTD". Present study revealed that, just like IMN and WTD, BWTD could also cause mass mortalities in pond-cultured shrimp. These results suggested that some bacterial strains are changing themselves from secondary to primary pathogens by enhancing their virulence in current shrimp aquaculture system.

  20. Inhibition of IRF-3 activation by VP35 is critical for the high level of virulence of ebola virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Amy L; Bird, Brian H; Towner, Jonathan S; Antoniadou, Zoi-Anna; Zaki, Sherif R; Nichol, Stuart T

    2008-03-01

    Zaire ebolavirus causes a rapidly progressing hemorrhagic disease with high mortality. Identification of the viral virulence factors that contribute to the severity of disease induced by Ebola virus is critical for the design of therapeutics and vaccines against the disease. Given the rapidity of disease progression, virus interaction with the innate immune system early in the course of infection likely plays an important role in determining the outcome of the disease. The Ebola virus VP35 protein inhibits the activation of IRF-3, a critical transcription factor for the induction of early antiviral immunity. Previous studies revealed that a single amino acid change (R312A) in VP35 renders the protein unable to inhibit IRF-3 activation. A reverse-genetics-generated, mouse-adapted, recombinant Ebola virus that encodes the R312A mutation in VP35 was produced. We found that relative to the case for wild-type virus containing the authentic VP35 sequence, this single amino acid change in VP35 renders the virus completely attenuated in mice. Given that these viruses differ by only a single amino acid in the IRF-3 inhibitory domain of VP35, the level of alteration of virulence is remarkable and highlights the importance of VP35 for the pathogenesis of Ebola virus.

  1. High-throughput identification of chemical inhibitors of E. coli Group 2 capsule biogenesis as anti-virulence agents.

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    Carlos C Goller

    Full Text Available Rising antibiotic resistance among Escherichia coli, the leading cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs, has placed a new focus on molecular pathogenesis studies, aiming to identify new therapeutic targets. Anti-virulence agents are attractive as chemotherapeutics to attenuate an organism during disease but not necessarily during benign commensalism, thus decreasing the stress on beneficial microbial communities and lessening the emergence of resistance. We and others have demonstrated that the K antigen capsule of E. coli is a preeminent virulence determinant during UTI and more invasive diseases. Components of assembly and export are highly conserved among the major K antigen capsular types associated with UTI-causing E. coli and are distinct from the capsule biogenesis machinery of many commensal E. coli, making these attractive therapeutic targets. We conducted a screen for anti-capsular small molecules and identified an agent designated "C7" that blocks the production of K1 and K5 capsules, unrelated polysaccharide types among the Group 2-3 capsules. Herein lies proof-of-concept that this screen may be implemented with larger chemical libraries to identify second-generation small-molecule inhibitors of capsule biogenesis. These inhibitors will lead to a better understanding of capsule biogenesis and may represent a new class of therapeutics.

  2. Distribution of Helicobacter pylori virulence markers in patients with gastroduodenal diseases in a region at high risk of gastric cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ming-yi; Chen, Cheng; Gao, Xiao-zhong; Li, Jie; Yue, Jing; Ling, Feng; Wang, Xiao-chun; Shao, Shi-he

    2013-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a major human pathogen that is responsible for various gastroduodenal diseases. We investigated the prevalence of H. pylori virulence markers in a region at high risk of gastric cancer. One hundred and sixteen H. pylori strains were isolated from patients with gastroduodenal diseases. cagA, the cagA 3' variable region, cagPAI genes, vacA, and dupA genotypes were determined by PCR, and some amplicons of the cagA 3' variable region, cagPAI genes and dupA were sequenced. cagA was detected in all strains. The cagA 3' variable region of 85 strains (73.3%) was amplified, and the sequences of 24 strains were obtained including 22 strains possessing the East Asian-type. The partial cagPAI presented at a higher frequency in chronic gastritis (44.4%) than that of the severe clinical outcomes (9.7%, p dupA and sequencing of dupA revealed an ORF of 2449-bp. The prevalence of dupA was significantly higher in strains from patients with the severe clinical outcomes (40.3%) than that from chronic gastritis (20.4%, p = 0.02). The high rate of East Asian-type cagA, intact cagPAI, virulent vacA genotypes, and the intact long-type dupA may underlie the high risk of gastric cancer in the region. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Interspecies differences in the enantioselectivity of epoxide hydrolases in Cryptococcus laurentii (Kufferath) C.E. Skinner and Cryptococcus podzolicus (Bab'jeva & Reshetova) Golubev

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Botes, AL

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Isolates representing Cryptococcus laurentii and Cryptococcus podzolicus, originating from soil of a heath land indigenous to South Africa, were screened for the presence of enantioselective epoxide hydrolases for 2, 2-disubstituted epoxides...

  4. Carbon dioxide is a powerful inducer of monokaryotic hyphae and spore development in Cryptococcus gattii and carbonic anhydrase activity is dispensable in this dimorphic transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Ping; Chaturvedi, Vishnu; Chaturvedi, Sudha

    2014-01-01

    Cryptococcus gattii is unique among human pathogenic fungi with specialized ecological niche on trees. Since leaves concentrate CO2, we investigated the role of this gaseous molecule in C. gattii biology and virulence. We focused on the genetic analyses of β-carbonic anhydrase (β-CA) encoded by C. gattii CAN1 and CAN2 as later is critical for CO2 sensing in a closely related pathogen C. neoformans. High CO2 conditions induced robust development of monokaryotic hyphae and spores in C. gattii. Conversely, high CO2 completely repressed hyphae development in sexual mating. Both CAN1 and CAN2 were dispensable for CO2 induced morphogenetic transitions. However, C. gattii CAN2 was essential for growth in ambient air similar to its reported role in C. neoformans. Both can1 and can2 mutants retained full pathogenic potential in vitro and in vivo. These results provide insight into C. gattii adaptation for arboreal growth and production of infectious propagules by β-CA independent mechanism(s).

  5. The mating type locus (MAT and sexual reproduction of Cryptococcus heveanensis: insights into the evolution of sex and sex-determining chromosomal regions in fungi.

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    Banu Metin

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Mating in basidiomycetous fungi is often controlled by two unlinked, multiallelic loci encoding homeodomain transcription factors or pheromones/pheromone receptors. In contrast to this tetrapolar organization, Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii have a bipolar mating system, and a single biallelic locus governs sexual reproduction. The C. neoformans MAT locus is unusually large (>100 kb, contains >20 genes, and enhances virulence. Previous comparative genomic studies provided insights into how this unusual MAT locus might have evolved involving gene acquisitions into two unlinked loci and fusion into one contiguous locus, converting an ancestral tetrapolar system to a bipolar one. Here we tested this model by studying Cryptococcus heveanensis, a sister species to the pathogenic Cryptococcus species complex. An extant sexual cycle was discovered; co-incubating fertile isolates results in the teleomorph (Kwoniella heveanensis with dikaryotic hyphae, clamp connections, septate basidia, and basidiospores. To characterize the C. heveanensis MAT locus, a fosmid library was screened with C. neoformans/C. gattii MAT genes. Positive fosmids were sequenced and assembled to generate two large probably unlinked MAT gene clusters: one corresponding to the homeodomain locus and the other to the pheromone/receptor locus. Strikingly, two divergent homeodomain genes (SXI1, SXI2 are present, similar to the bE/bW Ustilago maydis paradigm, suggesting one or the other homeodomain gene was recently lost in C. neoformans/C. gattii. Sequencing MAT genes from other C. heveanensis isolates revealed a multiallelic homeodomain locus and at least a biallelic pheromone/receptor locus, similar to known tetrapolar species. Taken together, these studies reveal an extant C. heveanensis sexual cycle, define the structure of its MAT locus consistent with tetrapolar mating, and support the proposed evolutionary model for the bipolar Cryptococcus MAT locus revealing

  6. First reported case of Cryptococcus gattii in the Southeastern USA: implications for travel-associated acquisition of an emerging pathogen.

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    Edmond J Byrnes

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available In 2007, the first confirmed case of Cryptococcus gattii was reported in the state of North Carolina, USA. An otherwise healthy HIV negative male patient presented with a large upper thigh cryptococcoma in February, which was surgically removed and the patient was started on long-term high-dose fluconazole treatment. In May of 2007, the patient presented to the Duke University hospital emergency room with seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed two large CNS lesions found to be cryptococcomas based on brain biopsy. Prior chest CT imaging had revealed small lung nodules indicating that C. gattii spores or desiccated yeast were likely inhaled into the lungs and dissemination occurred to both the leg and CNS. The patient's travel history included a visit throughout the San Francisco, CA region in September through October of 2006, consistent with acquisition during this time period. Cultures from both the leg and brain biopsies were subjected to analysis. Based on phenotypic and molecular methods, both isolates were C. gattii, VGI molecular type, and distinct from the Vancouver Island outbreak isolates. Based on multilocus sequence typing of coding and noncoding regions and virulence in a heterologous host model, the leg and brain isolates are identical, but the two differed in mating fertility. Two clinical isolates, one from a transplant recipient in San Francisco and the other from Australia, were identical to the North Carolina clinical isolate at all markers tested. Closely related isolates that differ at only one or a few noncoding markers are present in the Australian environment. Taken together, these findings support a model in which C. gattii VGI was transferred from Australia to California, possibly though an association with its common host plant E. camaldulensis, and the patient was exposed in San Francisco and returned to present with disease in North Carolina.

  7. Repurposing of Aspirin and Ibuprofen as Candidate Anti-Cryptococcus Drugs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogundeji, Adepemi O.; Pohl, Carolina H.

    2016-01-01

    The usage of fluconazole and amphotericin B in clinical settings is often limited by, among other things, drug resistance development and undesired side effects. Thus, there is a constant need to find new drugs to better manage fungal infections. Toward this end, the study described in this paper considered the repurposing of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and ibuprofen as alternative drugs to control the growth of cryptococcal cells. In vitro susceptibility tests, including a checkerboard assay, were performed to assess the response of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii to the above-mentioned anti-inflammatory drugs. Next, the capacity of these two drugs to induce stress as well as their mode of action in the killing of cryptococcal cells was determined. The studied fungal strains revealed a response to both aspirin and ibuprofen that was dose dependent, with ibuprofen exerting greater antimicrobial action. More importantly, the MICs of these drugs did not negatively (i) affect growth or (ii) impair the functioning of macrophages; rather, they enhanced the ability of these immune cells to phagocytose cryptococcal cells. Ibuprofen was also shown to act in synergy with fluconazole and amphotericin B. The treatment of cryptococcal cells with aspirin or ibuprofen led to stress induction via activation of the high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway, and cell death was eventually achieved through reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated membrane damage. The presented data highlight the potential clinical application of aspirin and ibuprofen as candidate anti-Cryptococcus drugs. PMID:27246782

  8. N-acetylglucosamine affects Cryptococcus neoformans cell-wall composition and melanin architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Emma; Chrissian, Christine; Cordero, Radames J B; Liporagi-Lopes, Livia; Stark, Ruth E; Casadevall, Arturo

    2017-11-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is an environmental fungus that belongs to the phylum Basidiomycetes and is a major pathogen in immunocompromised patients. The ability of C. neoformans to produce melanin pigments represents its second most important virulence factor, after the presence of a polysaccharide capsule. Both the capsule and melanin are closely associated with the fungal cell wall, a complex structure that is essential for maintaining cell morphology and viability under conditions of stress. The amino sugar N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is a key constituent of the cell-wall chitin and is used for both N-linked glycosylation and GPI anchor synthesis. Recent studies have suggested additional roles for GlcNAc as an activator and mediator of cellular signalling in fungal and plant cells. Furthermore, chitin and chitosan polysaccharides interact with melanin pigments in the cell wall and have been found to be essential for melanization. Despite the importance of melanin, its molecular structure remains unresolved; however, we previously obtained critical insights using advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and imaging techniques. In this study, we investigated the effect of GlcNAc supplementation on cryptococcal cell-wall composition and melanization. C. neoformans was able to metabolize GlcNAc as a sole source of carbon and nitrogen, indicating a capacity to use a component of a highly abundant polymer in the biospherenutritionally. C. neoformans cells grown with GlcNAc manifested changes in the chitosan cell-wall content, cell-wall thickness and capsule size. Supplementing cultures with isotopically 15 N-labelled GlcNAc demonstrated that the exogenous monomer serves as a building block for chitin/chitosan and is incorporated into the cell wall. The altered chitin-to-chitosan ratio had no negative effects on the mother-daughter cell separation; growth with GlcNAc affected the fungal cell-wall scaffold, resulting in increased melanin deposition and assembly. In

  9. Application of Chemical Genomics to Plant-Bacteria Communication: A High-Throughput System to Identify Novel Molecules Modulating the Induction of Bacterial Virulence Genes by Plant Signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandelle, Elodie; Puttilli, Maria Rita; Chini, Andrea; Devescovi, Giulia; Venturi, Vittorio; Polverari, Annalisa

    2017-01-01

    The life cycle of bacterial phytopathogens consists of a benign epiphytic phase, during which the bacteria grow in the soil or on the plant surface, and a virulent endophytic phase involving the penetration of host defenses and the colonization of plant tissues. Innovative strategies are urgently required to integrate copper treatments that control the epiphytic phase with complementary tools that control the virulent endophytic phase, thus reducing the quantity of chemicals applied to economically and ecologically acceptable levels. Such strategies include targeted treatments that weaken bacterial pathogens, particularly those inhibiting early infection steps rather than tackling established infections. This chapter describes a reporter gene-based chemical genomic high-throughput screen for the induction of bacterial virulence by plant molecules. Specifically, we describe a chemical genomic screening method to identify agonist and antagonist molecules for the induction of targeted bacterial virulence genes by plant extracts, focusing on the experimental controls required to avoid false positives and thus ensuring the results are reliable and reproducible.

  10. Masking of the contribution of V protein to sendai virus pathogenesis in an infection model with a highly virulent field isolate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakaguchi, Takemasa; Kiyotani, Katsuhiro; Watanabe, Hitoshi; Huang Cheng; Fukuhara, Noriko; Fujii, Yutaka; Shimazu, Yukie; Sugahara, Fumihiro; Nagai, Yoshiyuki; Yoshida, Tetsuya

    2003-01-01

    Sendai virus V protein is not essential for virus replication in cultured cells but is essential for efficient virus replication and pathogenesis in mice, indicating that the V protein has a luxury function to facilitate virus propagation in mice. This was discovered in the Z strain, an egg-adapted avirulent laboratory strain. In the present study, we reexamined the function of Sendai virus V protein by generating a V-knockout Sendai virus derived from the Hamamatsu strain, a virulent field isolate, which is an appropriate model for studying the natural course of Sendai virus infection in mice. We unexpectedly found that the V-knockout virus propagated efficiently in mice and was as virulent as the wild-type virus. Switching of the functionally important V unique region demonstrated that this region of the Hamamatsu strain was also functional in a Z strain background. It thus appears that the V protein is nonsense in a field isolate of Sendai virus. However, the V protein was required for virus growth and pathogenesis of the Hamamatsu strain in mice when the virulence of the virus was attenuated by introducing mutations that had been found in an egg-adapted, avirulent virus. The V protein therefore seems to be potentially functional in the highly virulent Hamamatsu strain and to be prominent if virus replication is restricted

  11. Native trees of the Northeast Argentine: natural hosts of the Cryptococcus neoformans-Cryptococcus gattii species complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattana, Maria Emilia; Sosa, María de Los Ángeles; Fernández, Mariana; Rojas, Florencia; Mangiaterra, Magdalena; Giusiano, Gustavo

    2014-01-01

    In Argentina, information about epidemiology and environmental distribution of Cryptococcus is scarce. The city of Resistencia borders with Brazil and Paraguay where this fungus is endemic. All these supported the need to investigate the ecology of the genus and the epidemiology of cryptococcosis in this area. The aim was to investigate the presence of species of Cryptococcus neoformans-Cryptococcus gattii complex and their genotypes in trees of the city of Resistencia. One hundred and five trees were sampled by swabbing technique. The isolates were identified using conventional and commercial methods and genotyped by PCR-RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism). Cryptococcus was found in 7 out of the total trees. 6 out of 7 Cryptococcus isolates were identified as C. neoformans and one as C. gattii. C. gattii was isolated from Grevillea robusta. C. neoformans strains were isolated from Tabebuia avellanedae and Peltophorum dubium. Genotyping showed that all C. neoformans belonged to the VNI type and C. gattii belonged to the VGI type. This represents the first study on the ecology of Cryptococcus spp. associated to trees from northeastern Argentina, and the first report describing Grevillea robusta as a host of members of this fungal genus. Another finding is the isolation of C. neoformans from Tabebuia avellanedae and Peltophorum dubium, both tree species native to northeastern Argentina. Copyright © 2012 Revista Iberoamericana de Micología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  12. Rice-Infecting Pseudomonas Genomes Are Highly Accessorized and Harbor Multiple Putative Virulence Mechanisms to Cause Sheath Brown Rot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quibod, Ian Lorenzo; Grande, Genelou; Oreiro, Eula Gems; Borja, Frances Nikki; Dossa, Gerbert Sylvestre; Mauleon, Ramil; Cruz, Casiana Vera; Oliva, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Sheath rot complex and seed discoloration in rice involve a number of pathogenic bacteria that cannot be associated with distinctive symptoms. These pathogens can easily travel on asymptomatic seeds and therefore represent a threat to rice cropping systems. Among the rice-infecting Pseudomonas, P. fuscovaginae has been associated with sheath brown rot disease in several rice growing areas around the world. The appearance of a similar Pseudomonas population, which here we named P. fuscovaginae-like, represents a perfect opportunity to understand common genomic features that can explain the infection mechanism in rice. We showed that the novel population is indeed closely related to P. fuscovaginae. A comparative genomics approach on eight rice-infecting Pseudomonas revealed heterogeneous genomes and a high number of strain-specific genes. The genomes of P. fuscovaginae-like harbor four secretion systems (Type I, II, III, and VI) and other important pathogenicity machinery that could probably facilitate rice colonization. We identified 123 core secreted proteins, most of which have strong signatures of positive selection suggesting functional adaptation. Transcript accumulation of putative pathogenicity-related genes during rice colonization revealed a concerted virulence mechanism. The study suggests that rice-infecting Pseudomonas causing sheath brown rot are intrinsically diverse and maintain a variable set of metabolic capabilities as a potential strategy to occupy a range of environments. PMID:26422147

  13. A proposed emergency management program for acute care facilities in response to a highly virulent infectious disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petinaux, Bruno; Ferguson, Brandy; Walker, Milena; Lee, Yeo-Jin; Little, Gary; Parenti, David; Simon, Gary

    2016-01-01

    To address the organizational complexities associated with a highly virulent infectious disease (HVID) hazard, such as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), an acute care facility should institute an emergency management program rooted in the fundamentals of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. This program must address all known facets of the care of a patient with HVID, from unannounced arrival to discharge. The implementation of such a program not only serves to mitigate the risks from an unrecognized exposure but also serves to prepare the organization and its staff to provide for a safe response, and ensure a full recovery. Much of this program is based on education, training, and infection control measures along with resourcing for appropriate personal protective equipment which is instrumental in ensuring an organized and safe response of the acute care facility in the service to the community. This emergency management program approach can serve as a model in the care of not only current HVIDs such as EVD but also future presentations in our healthcare setting.

  14. Genetic Variability of Beauveria bassiana and a DNA Marker for Environmental Monitoring of a Highly Virulent Isolate Against Cosmopolites sordidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, D V; Munhoz, C F; Neves, P M O; Ferracin, L M; Sartori, D; Vieira, M L C; Fungaro, M H P

    2012-12-01

    The banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus (Germar) is one of a number of pests that attack banana crops. The use of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana as a biological control agent for this pest may contribute towards reducing the application of chemical insecticides on banana crops. In this study, the genetic variability of a collection of Brazilian isolates of B. bassiana was evaluated. Samples were obtained from various geographic regions of Brazil, and from different hosts of the Curculionidae family. Based on the DNA fingerprints generated by RAPD and AFLP, we found that 92 and 88 % of the loci were polymorphic, respectively. The B. bassiana isolates were attributed to two genotypic clusters based on the RAPD data, and to three genotypic clusters, when analyzed with AFLP. The nucleotide sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA intergenic spacers confirmed that all isolates are in fact B. bassiana. Analysis of molecular variance showed that variability among the isolates was not correlated with geographic origin or hosts. A RAPD-specific marker for isolate CG 1024, which is highly virulent to C. sordidus, was cloned and sequenced. Based on the sequences obtained, specific PCR primers BbasCG1024F (5'-TGC GGC TGA GGA GGA CT-3') and BbasCG1024R (5'-TGC GGC TGA GTG TAG AAC-3') were designed for detecting and monitoring this isolate in the field.

  15. Treatment with interferon-alpha delays disease in swine infected with a highly virulent CSFV strain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Classical swine fever (CSF) is an economically significant, highly contagious swine disease. The etiological agent, CSF virus (CSFV), is an enveloped virus with a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA genome, classified as a member of the genus Pestivirus within the family Flaviviridae (Becher et al.,...

  16. The dominant Australian community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clone ST93-IV [2B] is highly virulent and genetically distinct.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyra Y L Chua

    Full Text Available Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA USA300 has spread rapidly across North America, and CA-MRSA is also increasing in Australia. However, the dominant Australian CA-MRSA strain, ST93-IV [2B] appears distantly related to USA300 despite strikingly similar clinical and epidemiological profiles. Here, we compared the virulence of a recent Australian ST93 isolate (JKD6159 to other MRSA, including USA300, and found that JKD6159 was the most virulent in a mouse skin infection model. We fully sequenced the genome of JKD6159 and confirmed that JKD6159 is a distinct clone with 7616 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs distinguishing this strain from all other S. aureus genomes. Despite its high virulence there were surprisingly few virulence determinants. However, genes encoding α-hemolysin, Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL and α-type phenol soluble modulins were present. Genome comparisons revealed 32 additional CDS in JKD6159 but none appeared to encode new virulence factors, suggesting that this clone's enhanced pathogenicity could lie within subtler genome changes, such as SNPs within regulatory genes. To investigate the role of accessory genome elements in CA-MRSA epidemiology, we next sequenced three additional Australian non-ST93 CA-MRSA strains and compared them with JKD6159, 19 completed S. aureus genomes and 59 additional S. aureus genomes for which unassembled genome sequence data was publicly available (82 genomes in total. These comparisons showed that despite its distinctive genotype, JKD6159 and other CA-MRSA clones (including USA300 share a conserved repertoire of three notable accessory elements (SSCmecIV, PVL prophage, and pMW2. This study demonstrates that the genetically distinct ST93 CA-MRSA from Australia is highly virulent. Our comparisons of geographically and genetically diverse CA-MRSA genomes suggest that apparent convergent evolution in CA-MRSA may be better explained by the rapid

  17. Pseudomonas aeruginosa inhibits the growth of Cryptococcus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rella, Antonella; Yang, Mo Wei; Gruber, Jordon; Montagna, Maria Teresa; Luberto, Chiara; Zhang, Yong-Mei; Del Poeta, Maurizio

    2012-06-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous and opportunistic bacterium that inhibits the growth of different microorganisms, including Gram-positive bacteria and fungi such as Candida spp. and Aspergillus fumigatus. In this study, we investigated the interaction between P. aeruginosa and Cryptococcus spp. We found that P. aeruginosa PA14 and, to a lesser extent, PAO1 significantly inhibited the growth of Cryptococcus spp. The inhibition of growth was observed on solid medium by the visualization of a zone of inhibition of yeast growth and in liquid culture by viable cell counting. Interestingly, such inhibition was only observed when P. aeruginosa and Cryptococcus were co-cultured. Minimal inhibition was observed when cell-cell contact was prevented using a separation membrane, suggesting that cell contact is required for inhibition. Using mutant strains of Pseudomonas quinoline signaling, we showed that P. aeruginosa inhibited the growth of Cryptococcus spp. by producing antifungal molecules pyocyanin, a redox-active phenazine, and 2-heptyl-3,4-dihydroxyquinoline (PQS), an extracellular quorum-sensing signal. Because both P. aeruginosa and Cryptococcus neoformans are commonly found in lung infections of immunocompromised patients, this study may have important implication for the interaction of these microbes in both an ecological and a clinical point of view.

  18. Vaccination reduces macrophage infiltration in bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue in pigs infected with a highly virulent Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae strain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vranckx Katleen

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is the causative agent of enzootic pneumonia and is responsible for significant economic losses to the pig industry. To better understand the mode of action of a commercial, adjuvanted, inactivated whole cell vaccine and the influence of diversity on the efficacy of vaccination, we investigated samples from vaccinated and non-vaccinated pigs experimentally infected with either a low (LV or a highly virulent (HV M. hyopneumoniae strain. Non-vaccinated and sham-infected control groups were included. Lung tissue samples collected at 4 and 8 weeks post infection (PI were immunohistochemically tested for the presence of T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes and macrophages in the bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT. The number of M. hyopneumoniae organisms in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL fluid was determined using quantitative PCR at 4 and 8 weeks PI. Serum antibodies against M. hyopneumoniae were determined at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks PI. Results The immunostaining revealed a lower density of macrophages in the BALT of the vaccinated groups compared to the non-vaccinated groups. The highest number of M. hyopneumoniae organisms in the BAL fluid was measured at 4 weeks PI for the HV strain and at 8 weeks PI for the LV strain. Vaccination reduced the number of organisms non-significantly, though for the HV strain the reduction was clinically more relevant than for the LV strain. At the level of the individual pigs, a higher lung lesion score was associated with more M. hyopneumoniae organisms in the lungs and a higher density of the investigated immune cells in the BALT. Conclusions In conclusion, the infiltration of macrophages after infection with M. hyopneumoniae is reduced by vaccination. The M. hyopneumoniae replication in the lungs is also reduced in vaccinated pigs, though the HV strain is inhibited more than the LV strain.

  19. Molecular characterization of Cryptococcus neoformans isolated from the environment in Beijing, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dou, Hongtao; Wang, Huizhu; Xie, Shaowei; Chen, Xinxin; Xu, Zhipeng; Xu, Yingchun

    2017-10-01

    The molecular type of environmental Cryptococcus neoformans in Beijing was not clear. Our study aims to reveal the molecular characterization of C. neoformans complex from environment in Beijing, China. A total of 435 samples of pigeon droppings from 11 different homes in Beijing were collected from August to November in 2015. Pigeon droppings were inoculated onto caffeic acid cornmeal agar (CACA) to screen C. neoformans complex. Bruker Biotyper matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was performed for species identification. Serotype and mating type was determined by specific primers. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms of URA5 (URA5-RFLP) were applied to genotype. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) was done for further identification and sequence type (ST) determination. Altogether, 81 isolates of C. neoformans AFLP1/VNI were recognized from 435 pigeon droppings in this study. The positive rate for C. neoformans AFLP1/VNI from pigeon droppings in different homes varied from 5.0% to 52.6%, the average was 20.2%. All of these cryptococcal strains were serotype A, MATα. They were genotyped as VNI by URA5-RFLP and were confirmed by MLST. No other molecular types of C. neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii isolates were isolated. Their STs were identified as ST 31 (n = 54, 66.7%), followed by ST 53 (n = 10), ST 191 (n = 8), ST 5 (n = 5), ST 57 (n = 3), and ST 38 (n = 1). We concluded that not only clinical but also environmental isolates of C. neoformans need to be investigated more deeply and more extensively. The virulence difference between ST 5 and ST 31 need to be explored in the future. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Methamphetamine enhances Cryptococcus neoformans pulmonary infection and dissemination to the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Dhavan; Desai, Gunjan M; Frases, Susana; Cordero, Radames J B; DeLeon-Rodriguez, Carlos M; Eugenin, Eliseo A; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Martinez, Luis R

    2013-07-30

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a major addictive drug of abuse in the United States and worldwide, and its use is linked to HIV acquisition. The encapsulated fungus Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common cause of fungal meningitis in patients with AIDS. In addition to functioning as a central nervous system stimulant, METH has diverse effects on host immunity. Using a systemic mouse model of infection and in vitro assays in order to critically assess the impact of METH on C. neoformans pathogenesis, we demonstrate that METH stimulates fungal adhesion, glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) release, and biofilm formation in the lungs. Interestingly, structural analysis of the capsular polysaccharide of METH-exposed cryptococci revealed that METH alters the carbohydrate composition of this virulence factor, an event of adaptation to external stimuli that can be advantageous to the fungus during pathogenesis. Additionally, we show that METH promotes C. neoformans dissemination from the respiratory tract into the brain parenchyma. Our findings provide novel evidence of the impact of METH abuse on host homeostasis and increased permissiveness to opportunistic microorganisms. Methamphetamine (METH) is a major health threat to our society, as it adversely changes people's behavior, as well as increases the risk for the acquisition of diverse infectious diseases, particularly those that enter through the respiratory tract or skin. This report investigates the effects of METH use on pulmonary infection by the AIDS-related fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. This drug of abuse stimulates colonization and biofilm formation in the lungs, followed by dissemination of the fungus to the central nervous system. Notably, C. neoformans modifies its capsular polysaccharide after METH exposure, highlighting the fungus's ability to adapt to environmental stimuli, a possible explanation for its pathogenesis. The findings may translate into new knowledge and development of therapeutic and public health

  1. Magnesium Ion Acts as a Signal for Capsule Induction in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathore, Sudarshan S; Raman, Thiagarajan; Ramakrishnan, Jayapradha

    2016-01-01

    Cryptococcal meningitis caused by Cryptococcus neoformans, is a common opportunistic neural infection in immunocompromised individuals. Cryptococcus meningitis is associated with fungal burden with larger capsule size in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). To understand the role of CSF constituents in capsule enlargement, we have evaluated the effect of artificial CSF on capsule induction in comparison with various other capsule inducing media. Two different strains of C. neoformans, an environmental and a clinical isolates were used in the present study. While comparing the various capsule inducing media for the two different strains of C. neoformans, it was observed that the capsule growth was significantly increased when grown in artificial CSF at pH 5.5, temperature 34°C for ATCC C. neoformans and 37°C for Clinical C. neoformans and with an incubation period of 72 h. In addition, artificial CSF supports biofilm formation in C. neoformans. While investigating the individual components of artificial CSF, we found that Mg(2+) ions influence the capsule growth in both environmental and clinical strains of C. neoformans. To confirm our results we studied the expression of four major CAP genes namely, CAP10, CAP59, CAP60, and CAP64 in various capsule inducing media and in different concentrations of Mg(2+) and Ca(2+). Our results on gene expression suggest that, Mg(2+) does have an effect on CAP gene expression, which are important for capsule biosynthesis and virulence. Our findings on the role of Mg(2+) ion as a signal for capsule induction will promote a way to elucidate the control mechanisms for capsule biosynthesis in C. neoformans.

  2. Long-term survival of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii in stored environmental samples from Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escandón, Patricia; Castañeda, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Both Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii have been isolated from a variety of environmental sources in Colombia. To determine the viability of C. neoformans/C. gattii isolates in stored soil samples, filtrates and bird droppings from which these yeasts were previously recovered. A total of 964 samples collected between 2003 and 2009, and kept at room temperature were processed. From them, 653 samples were from trees decaying wood, 274 from soil filtrates and 37 from bird droppings. When C. neoformans or C. gattii were recovered, the molecular type of each isolate was established by PCR fingerprinting using the single primer (GTG)5. Among the processed samples, 161 isolates were recovered. From those, 81 (50.3%) corresponded to C. gattii recovered from decaying wood of Eucalyptus spp., Corymbia ficifolia, Terminalia catappa and Ficus spp. trees, and 80 (49.7%) corresponded to C. neoformans recovered from Ficus spp. and eucalyptus trees, as well as from bird droppings. The most prevalent molecular type among the C. gattii and C. neoformans isolates was VGII and VNI, respectively. The re-isolation of C. neoformans/C. gattii from 10-year stored samples suggests that these yeasts are able to keep viable in naturally colonized samples. Copyright © 2013 Revista Iberoamericana de Micología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  3. Neurocriptococose por Cryptococcus neoformans não capsulado

    OpenAIRE

    Lacaz, C.S.; Heins-Vaccari, Elisabeth M.; Melo, Natalina T.; Moreno-Carvalho, O.A.; Sampaio, M.L.S.; Nogueira, L.S.; Badaró, R.J.S.; Livramento, J.A.

    1993-01-01

    Os autores registram um caso de neurocriptococose em paciente HIV-negativo, por Cryptococcus neoformans acapsulado ou deficiente em cápsula. O quadro neurológico era de meningoencefalite subaguda, compatível ao diagnóstico de neurotuberculose, pelo exame do líquido cefalorraqueano (LCR), Estruturas leveduriformes foram encontradas no interior de macrófagos, ao exame citomorfológico do LCR. Cultivo do sedimento do LCR revelou a presença de Cryptococcus neoformans não capsulado (identificação b...

  4. Cryptococcus laurentii fungaemia in a cervical cancer patient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rejane Pereira Neves

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Infections caused by emerging Cryptococcus non-neoformans species are being reported with increasingly frequency. Here, we present a case of fungaemia by Cryptococcus laurentii in a woman receiving aggressive immunosuppressive therapy for cervical neoplasia. Three venous blood samples were aseptically collected on consecutive days and C. laurentii was isolated and identified through phenotypic and molecular methods. After central venous catheter removal and appropriate antifungal therapy, the patient showed significant improvement and blood culture became negative. Thus, patients following immunosuppressive therapies and using invasive medical devices are at risk of C. laurentii blood infections.

  5. Endogenous Cryptococcus neoformans endophthalmitis with subretinal abscess in a HIV-infected man.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Joveeta; Sharma, Savitri; Narayanan, Raja

    2018-07-01

    To report a rare case of Cryptococcus neoformans endogenous endophthalmitis with subretinal abscess in a 36-year-old HIV-positive man, referred with progressive blurred vision in his right eye for the last 6 months. Vitreous biopsy followed by intravitreal ganciclovir did not result in significant improvement. Microbiology revealed the presence of C. neoformans, and intravitreal amphotericin B was then administered. The patient was treated aggressively with systemic and intravitreal antifungals but had a poor visual and anatomical outcome. A high degree of clinical suspicion combined with microbiological evaluation helped to arrive at an appropriate diagnosis.

  6. Diversity of DNA fingerprints in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varma, A; Swinne, D; Staib, F; Bennett, J E; Kwon-Chung, K J

    1995-07-01

    DNA fingerprint patterns of 156 Cryptococcus neoformans isolates (26 AIDS patients, 46 non-AIDS patients, and 40 environmental sources) from both varieties (126 C. neoformans var. neoformans and 30 C. neoformans var. gattii isolates) and from seven countries were analyzed by using the DNA probe UT-4p. Nine and twelve distinct DNA fingerprint patterns were observed for isolates of the C. neoformans var. neoformans and var. gattii, respectively. No pattern was unique to AIDS patients, non-AIDS patients, or the environment. Pattern II was observed more often in non-AIDS patients (8 of 23) than in AIDS patients (0 of 25). Pattern V was the most prevalent pattern (42 of 82) in clinical and environmental isolates. Isolates from three AIDS patients in Burundi and Zaire exhibited patterns identical to each other but different from those of isolates collected from their houses (i.e., dust of floors, walls, etc.) or a nearby pigeon coop. DNA fingerprint stability was determined for 53 isolates from nine non-AIDS patients at different time intervals during 5 to 128 weeks of antifungal therapy. For eight patients, the fingerprint pattern was stable while the ninth may have had a mixed infection. Pattern II was observed in 4 of 9 patients, which is similar to 4 of 14 in other non-AIDS patients as reported here. In spite of the extensive pattern heterogeneity among 15 C. neoformans var. gattii isolates in Australia, the patterns observed in seven California isolates were quite different from those in Australia. Among isolates of C. neoformans var. gattii, one fingerprint pattern (designated b) was observed in several countries of the Far East. The fingerprint patterns of two of three environmental isolates from Eucalyptus camaldulensis trees in Australia were identical to those of 2 of the 12 clinical isolates from the country.

  7. Cryptococcus neoformans modulates extracellular killing by neutrophils

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    Asfia eQureshi

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We recently established a key role for host sphingomyelin synthase (SMS in the regulation of the killing activity of neutrophils against Cryptococcus neoformans. In this work, we studied the effect of C. neoformans on the killing activity of neutrophils and whether SMS would still be a player against C. neoformans in immunocompromised mice lacking T and NK cells (Tgε26 mice. To this end, we analyzed whether C. neoformans would have any effect on neutrophil survival and killing in vitro and in vivo. We show that unlike C. albicans, neither the presence nor the capsule size of C. neoformans cells have any effect on neutrophil viability. Interestingly, melanized C. neoformans cells totally abrogated the killing activity of neutrophils. Next, we monitored how exposure of neutrophils to C. neoformans cells would interfere with any further killing activity of the medium and found that pre-incubation with live but not heat-killed fungal cells significantly inhibits further killing activity of the medium. We next studied whether activation of SMS at the site of C. neoformans infection is dependent on T and NK cells. Using matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization (MALDI tissue imaging in infected lung we found that similarly to previous observations in the isogenic wild type CBA/J mice, SM 16:0 levels are significantly elevated at the site of infection in mice lacking T and NK cells but only at early time points. This study highlights that C. neoformans may negatively regulate the killing activity of neutrophils and that SMS activation in neutrophils appears to be partially independent of T and/or NK cells.

  8. Clinical and microbiological characteristics of cryptococcosis in Singapore: predominance of Cryptococcus neoformans compared with Cryptococcus gattii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Monica; Lye, David; Win, Mar Kyaw; Chow, Angela; Barkham, Tim

    2014-09-01

    To describe the clinical features, treatments, outcomes, and subtype prevalence of cryptococcosis in Singapore. All patients with laboratory confirmed cryptococcal infections admitted from 1999 to 2007 to a teaching hospital in Singapore were reviewed retrospectively. Identification and molecular types of Cryptococcus neoformans variants and Cryptococcus gattii were determined by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Serotypes were inferred with a multiplex PCR method. Of 62 patients with cryptococcosis, C. neoformans var. grubii was the predominant subtype (in 95%), affecting mainly immunocompromised hosts (91%) with HIV infection (80%). Patients with HIV were younger (median age 36.5 vs. 49.5 years, p=0.006) and less likely to present with an altered mental status (14% vs. 50%, p=0.013). In contrast, delayed treatment (median 7 days vs. 2 days, p=0.03), pulmonary involvement (58% vs. 14%, p=0.03), and initial treatment with fluconazole (25% vs. 2%, p=0.02) were more common in HIV-negative patients. C. gattii was uncommon, affecting only three patients, all of whom were immunocompetent and had disseminated disease with pulmonary and neurological involvement. All C. gattii were RFLP type VG II, serotype B and all C. neoformans var. grubii were RFLP type VN I, serotype A, except for one that was RFLP type VN II. C. neoformans var. grubii, subtype VN I, was the predominant subtype in Singapore, infecting younger, mainly immunocompromised hosts with HIV. C. gattii was uncommon, causing pulmonary manifestations in older, immunocompetent patients and were RFLP type VG II. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Is Climate influencing Cryptococcus gattii on Vancouver Island?

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2016-03-24

    Dr. Christopher Uejio, Department of Geography and Program in Public Health, Florida State University, discusses Cryptococcus gattii on Vancouver Island.  Created: 3/24/2016 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 3/24/2016.

  10. MLST-Based Population Genetic Analysis in a Global Context Reveals Clonality amongst Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii VNI Isolates from HIV Patients in Southeastern Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferreira-Paim, Kennio; Andrade-Silva, Leonardo; Fonseca, Fernanda; Ferreira, Thatiana; Mora, Delio; Andrade-Silva, Juliana; Khan, Aziza; Dao, Aiken; C. Reis, Eduardo; Almeida, Margarete; Maltos, André; Rodrigues Jr, Virmondes; Trilles, Luciana; Rickerts, Volker; Chindamporn, Ariya; Sykes, Jane; Cogliati, Massimo; Nielsen, Kirsten; Boekhout, Teun; L. Silva-Vergara, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Cryptococcosis is an important fungal infection in immunocompromised individuals, especially those infected with HIV. In Brazil, despite the free availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the public health system, the mortality rate due to Cryptococcus neoformans meningitis is still high. To

  11. Characterization of the complete uric acid degradation pathway in the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Russel Lee

    Full Text Available Degradation of purines to uric acid is generally conserved among organisms, however, the end product of uric acid degradation varies from species to species depending on the presence of active catabolic enzymes. In humans, most higher primates and birds, the urate oxidase gene is non-functional and hence uric acid is not further broken down. Uric acid in human blood plasma serves as an antioxidant and an immune enhancer; conversely, excessive amounts cause the common affliction gout. In contrast, uric acid is completely degraded to ammonia in most fungi. Currently, relatively little is known about uric acid catabolism in the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans even though this yeast is commonly isolated from uric acid-rich pigeon guano. In addition, uric acid utilization enhances the production of the cryptococcal virulence factors capsule and urease, and may potentially modulate the host immune response during infection. Based on these important observations, we employed both Agrobacterium-mediated insertional mutagenesis and bioinformatics to predict all the uric acid catabolic enzyme-encoding genes in the H99 genome. The candidate C. neoformans uric acid catabolic genes identified were named: URO1 (urate oxidase, URO2 (HIU hydrolase, URO3 (OHCU decarboxylase, DAL1 (allantoinase, DAL2,3,3 (allantoicase-ureidoglycolate hydrolase fusion protein, and URE1 (urease. All six ORFs were then deleted via homologous recombination; assaying of the deletion mutants' ability to assimilate uric acid and its pathway intermediates as the sole nitrogen source validated their enzymatic functions. While Uro1, Uro2, Uro3, Dal1 and Dal2,3,3 were demonstrated to be dispensable for virulence, the significance of using a modified animal model system of cryptococcosis for improved mimicking of human pathogenicity is discussed.

  12. Molecules at the interface of Cryptococcus and the host that determine disease susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wozniak, Karen L; Olszewski, Michal A; Wormley, Floyd L

    2015-05-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii, the predominant etiological agents of cryptococcosis, are fungal pathogens that cause disease ranging from a mild pneumonia to life-threatening infections of the central nervous system (CNS). Resolution or exacerbation of Cryptococcus infection is determined following complex interactions of several host and pathogen derived factors. Alternatively, interactions between the host and pathogen may end in an impasse resulting in the establishment of a sub-clinical Cryptococcus infection. The current review addresses the delicate interaction between the host and Cryptococcus-derived molecules that determine resistance or susceptibility to infection. An emphasis will be placed on data highlighted at the recent 9th International Conference on Cryptococcus and Cryptococcosis (ICCC). Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Cryptococcus neoformans capsular enlargement and cellular gigantism during Galleria mellonella infection.

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    Rocío García-Rodas

    Full Text Available We have studied infection of Cryptococcus neoformans in the non-vertebrate host Galleria mellonella with particular interest in the morphological response of the yeast. Inoculation of C. neoformans in caterpillars induced a capsule-independent increase in haemocyte density 2 h after infection. C. neoformans manifested a significant increase in capsule size after inoculation into the caterpillar. The magnitude of capsule increase depended on the temperature, being more pronounced at 37°C than at 30°C, which correlated with an increased virulence of the fungus and reduced phagocytosis at 37°C. Capsule enlargement impaired phagocytosis by haemocytes. Incubation of the yeast in G. mellonella extracts also resulted in capsule enlargement, with the polar lipidic fraction having a prominent role in this effect. During infection, the capsule decreased in permeability. A low proportion of the cells (<5% recovered from caterpillars measured more than 30 µm and were considered giant cells. Giant cells recovered from mice were able to kill the caterpillars in a manner similar to regular cells obtained from in vivo or grown in vitro, establishing their capacity to cause disease. Our results indicate that the morphological transitions exhibited by C. neoformans in mammals also occur in a non-vertebrate host system. The similarities in morphological transitions observed in different animal hosts and in their triggers are consistent with the hypothesis that the cell body and capsular responses represent an adaptation of environmental survival strategies to pathogenesis.

  14. Cryptosporidium,Giardia, Cryptococcus, Pneumocystis genetic variability: cryptic biological species or clonal near-clades?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel Tibayrenc

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available An abundant literature dealing with the population genetics and taxonomy of Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp., Pneumocystis spp., and Cryptococcus spp., pathogens of high medical and veterinary relevance, has been produced in recent years. We have analyzed these data in the light of new population genetic concepts dealing with predominant clonal evolution (PCE recently proposed by us. In spite of the considerable phylogenetic diversity that exists among these pathogens, we have found striking similarities among them. The two main PCE features described by us, namely highly significant linkage disequilibrium and near-clading (stable phylogenetic clustering clouded by occasional recombination, are clearly observed in Cryptococcus and Giardia, and more limited indication of them is also present in Cryptosporidium and Pneumocystis. Moreover, in several cases, these features still obtain when the near-clades that subdivide the species are analyzed separately ("Russian doll pattern". Lastly, several sets of data undermine the notion that certain microbes form clonal lineages simply owing to a lack of opportunity to outcross due to low transmission rates leading to lack of multiclonal infections ("starving sex hypothesis". We propose that the divergent taxonomic and population genetic inferences advanced by various authors about these pathogens may not correspond to true evolutionary differences and could be, rather, the reflection of idiosyncratic practices among compartmentalized scientific communities. The PCE model provides an opportunity to revise the taxonomy and applied research dealing with these pathogens and others, such as viruses, bacteria, parasitic protozoa, and fungi.

  15. MLST and Whole-Genome-Based Population Analysis of Cryptococcus gattii VGIII Links Clinical, Veterinary and Environmental Strains, and Reveals Divergent Serotype Specific Sub-populations and Distant Ancestors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firacative, Carolina; Roe, Chandler C.; Malik, Richard; Ferreira-Paim, Kennio; Escandón, Patricia; Sykes, Jane E.; Castañón-Olivares, Laura Rocío; Contreras-Peres, Cudberto; Samayoa, Blanca; Sorrell, Tania C.; Castañeda, Elizabeth; Lockhart, Shawn R.; Engelthaler, David M.; Meyer, Wieland

    2016-01-01

    The emerging pathogen Cryptococcus gattii causes life-threatening disease in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. Of the four major molecular types (VGI-VGIV), the molecular type VGIII has recently emerged as cause of disease in otherwise healthy individuals, prompting a need to investigate its population genetic structure to understand if there are potential genotype-dependent characteristics in its epidemiology, environmental niche(s), host range and clinical features of disease. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of 122 clinical, environmental and veterinary C. gattii VGIII isolates from Australia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, USA and Venezuela, and whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 60 isolates representing all established MLST types identified four divergent sub-populations. The majority of the isolates belong to two main clades, corresponding either to serotype B or C, indicating an ongoing species evolution. Both major clades included clinical, environmental and veterinary isolates. The C. gattii VGIII population was genetically highly diverse, with minor differences between countries, isolation source, serotype and mating type. Little to no recombination was found between the two major groups, serotype B and C, at the whole and mitochondrial genome level. C. gattii VGIII is widespread in the Americas, with sporadic cases occurring elsewhere, WGS revealed Mexico and USA as a likely origin of the serotype B VGIII population and Colombia as a possible origin of the serotype C VGIII population. Serotype B isolates are more virulent than serotype C isolates in a murine model of infection, causing predominantly pulmonary cryptococcosis. No specific link between genotype and virulence was observed. Antifungal susceptibility testing against six antifungal drugs revealed that serotype B isolates are more susceptible to azoles than serotype C isolates, highlighting the importance of strain typing to guide effective treatment to improve the

  16. Retrospective Study of the Epidemiology and Clinical Manifestations of Cryptococcus gattii Infections in Colombia from 1997–2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lizarazo, Jairo; Escandón, Patricia; Agudelo, Clara Inés; Firacative, Carolina; Meyer, Wieland; Castañeda, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    considering its association with high virulence and the potential to evolve into outbreaks. PMID:25411779

  17. Interference competition and high temperatures reduce the virulence of fig wasps and stabilize a fig-wasp mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui-Wu Wang

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Fig trees are pollinated by fig wasps, which also oviposit in female flowers. The wasp larvae gall and eat developing seeds. Although fig trees benefit from allowing wasps to oviposit, because the wasp offspring disperse pollen, figs must prevent wasps from ovipositing in all flowers, or seed production would cease, and the mutualism would go extinct. In Ficus racemosa, we find that syconia ('figs' that have few foundresses (ovipositing wasps are underexploited in the summer (few seeds, few galls, many empty ovules and are overexploited in the winter (few seeds, many galls, few empty ovules. Conversely, syconia with many foundresses produce intermediate numbers of galls and seeds, regardless of season. We use experiments to explain these patterns, and thus, to explain how this mutualism is maintained. In the hot summer, wasps suffer short lifespans and therefore fail to oviposit in many flowers. In contrast, cooler temperatures in the winter permit longer wasp lifespans, which in turn allows most flowers to be exploited by the wasps. However, even in winter, only in syconia that happen to have few foundresses are most flowers turned into galls. In syconia with higher numbers of foundresses, interference competition reduces foundress lifespans, which reduces the proportion of flowers that are galled. We further show that syconia encourage the entry of multiple foundresses by delaying ostiole closure. Taken together, these factors allow fig trees to reduce galling in the wasp-benign winter and boost galling (and pollination in the wasp-stressing summer. Interference competition has been shown to reduce virulence in pathogenic bacteria. Our results show that interference also maintains cooperation in a classic, cooperative symbiosis, thus linking theories of virulence and mutualism. More generally, our results reveal how frequency-dependent population regulation can occur in the fig-wasp mutualism, and how a host species can 'set the rules of the

  18. Evidence that the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii may have evolved in Africa.

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    Anastasia P Litvintseva

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Most of the species of fungi that cause disease in mammals, including Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (serotype A, are exogenous and non-contagious. Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii is associated worldwide with avian and arboreal habitats. This airborne, opportunistic pathogen is profoundly neurotropic and the leading cause of fungal meningitis. Patients with HIV/AIDS have been ravaged by cryptococcosis--an estimated one million new cases occur each year, and mortality approaches 50%. Using phylogenetic and population genetic analyses, we present evidence that C. neoformans var. grubii may have evolved from a diverse population in southern Africa. Our ecological studies support the hypothesis that a few of these strains acquired a new environmental reservoir, the excreta of feral pigeons (Columba livia, and were globally dispersed by the migration of birds and humans. This investigation also discovered a novel arboreal reservoir for highly diverse strains of C. neoformans var. grubii that are restricted to southern Africa, the mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane. This finding may have significant public health implications because these primal strains have optimal potential for evolution and because mopane trees contribute to the local economy as a source of timber, folkloric remedies and the edible mopane worm.

  19. Comparative Genomic Characterization of the Highly Persistent and Potentially Virulent Cronobacter sakazakii ST83, CC65 Strain H322 and Other ST83 Strains

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    Hannah R. Chase

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Cronobacter (C. sakazakii is an opportunistic pathogen and has been associated with serious infections with high mortality rates predominantly in pre-term, low-birth weight and/or immune compromised neonates and infants. Infections have been epidemiologically linked to consumption of intrinsically and extrinsically contaminated lots of reconstituted powdered infant formula (PIF, thus contamination of such products is a challenging task for the PIF producing industry. We present the draft genome of C. sakazakii H322, a highly persistent sequence type (ST 83, clonal complex (CC 65, serotype O:7 strain obtained from a batch of non-released contaminated PIF product. The presence of this strain in the production environment was traced back more than 4 years. Whole genome sequencing (WGS of this strain together with four more ST83 strains (PIF production environment-associated confirmed a high degree of sequence homology among four of the five strains. Phylogenetic analysis using microarray (MA and WGS data showed that the ST83 strains were highly phylogenetically related and MA showed that between 5 and 38 genes differed from one another in these strains. All strains possessed the pESA3-like virulence plasmid and one strain possessed a pESA2-like plasmid. In addition, a pCS1-like plasmid was also found. In order to assess the potential in vivo pathogenicity of the ST83 strains, each strain was subjected to infection studies using the recently developed zebrafish embryo model. Our results showed a high (90–100% zebrafish mortality rate for all of these strains, suggesting a high risk for infections and illness in neonates potentially exposed to PIF contaminated with ST83 C. sakazakii strains. In summary, virulent ST83, CC65, serotype CsakO:7 strains, though rarely found intrinsically in PIF, can persist within a PIF manufacturing facility for years and potentially pose significant quality assurance challenges to the PIF manufacturing industry.

  20. DNA probe for strain typing of Cryptococcus neoformans.

    OpenAIRE

    Varma, A; Kwon-Chung, K J

    1992-01-01

    A 7-kb linear plasmid, harbored by a URA5 transformant, hybridized to all the chromosomes of Cryptococcus neoformans separated by contour-clamped homogeneous electric field electrophoresis. Its linear maintenance was determined to have been facilitated by the presence of telomere-like sequences at its free ends. Hybridization of this plasmid to AccI-digested genomic DNAs of 26 C. neoformans strains generated 21 unique DNA fingerprints. The DNA fingerprints of isolates within the same serotype...

  1. Identification of Cryptococcus neoformans isolates using Staib agar without creatinine

    OpenAIRE

    Nardelli, Vanessa; Pérez, Celina; Mata-Essayag, Sofía; Colella, María Teresa; Roselló, Arantza; Hartung de Capriles, Claudia; Landaeta, María Eugenia; Olaizola, Carolina; Magaldi, Sylvia

    2005-01-01

    In mycology, culture is the best way to demonstrate and identify pathogenic fungi. Many kinds of media have been developed and modified, using fungal biochemical properties to recognize them. The most common media are Sabouraud, Malt Agar, Cornmeal agar, Potato-dextrose agar, and Staib agar. Staib agar has been widely used for identification of yeasts from the genus Cryptococcus and other fungi. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the usefulness of Staib agar, and of a modified Staib med...

  2. Can smoking cause melanization of Cryptococcus neoformans in vivo?

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    Sabesan, G.

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Earlier studies have reported on the ability of Cryptococcus neoformans to synthesize melanin from tobacco extracts / nicotine incorporated in to the medium. However a study on the utilization of components in tobacco smoke by C. neoformans for melanin production was unreported. The present study reports on ability of C. neoformans for melanization using tobacco smoke and therefore substantiate the possible link between smoking and pathogenecity in clinical cryptococcal infections as reported by several researchers.

  3. Meningoradiculitis due to Cryptococcus neofermans in an immunocompetent patient Meningorradiculite lombossacra causada por Cryptococcus neoformans em paciente imunocompetente

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    Leonardo Deus-Silva

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available Meningoradiculitis refers to combined involvement of meninges and nerve roots. The most frequent location is the lumbosacral region. Etiology is diverse, including inflammatory, infectious and neoplastic disorders. Meningoradiculitis is a rare form of involvement in cryptococcal infection. We describe a case of subacute lower limbs flaccid paresis diagnosed as lumbosacral meningoradiculitis in view of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF inflammatory changes and typical enhancement on MRI of lumbar spine. Cryptococcus neoformans was isolated from CSF. Extensive screening yielded no immunodeficiencies.Meningorradiculite refere-se ao envolvimento simultâneo das meninges e das raízes dos nervos. O local mais freqüentemente acometido é a região lombossacra. Patologias inflamatórias, infecciosas e neoplásicas são as causas mais freqüentes. Meningorradiculite é manifestação rara de infecção por Cryptococcus neoformans. Descrevemos um caso de paresia flácida dos membros inferiores, com diagnóstico de meningorradiculite lombossacra baseado nos achados clínicos, de ressonância magnética da coluna lombar e em alterações inflamatórias do líquido cefalorraqueano (LCR. Avaliação microbiológica do LCR revelou a presença de Cryptococcus neoformans e extensa investigação clínica e laboratorial excluiu imunodeficiências primárias e adquiridas.

  4. In Vivo fitness associated with high virulence in a vertebrate virus is a complex trait regulated by host entry, replication, and shedding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wargo, Andrew R.; Kurath, Gael

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between pathogen fitness and virulence is typically examined by quantifying only one or two pathogen fitness traits. More specifically, it is regularly assumed that within-host replication, as a precursor to transmission, is the driving force behind virulence. In reality, many traits contribute to pathogen fitness, and each trait could drive the evolution of virulence in different ways. Here, we independently quantified four viral infection cycle traits, namely, host entry, within-host replication, within-host coinfection fitness, and shedding, in vivo, in the vertebrate virus Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV). We examined how each of these stages of the viral infection cycle contributes to the fitness of IHNV genotypes that differ in virulence in rainbow trout. This enabled us to determine how infection cycle fitness traits are independently associated with virulence. We found that viral fitness was independently regulated by each of the traits examined, with the largest impact on fitness being provided by within-host replication. Furthermore, the more virulent of the two genotypes of IHNV we used had advantages in all of the traits quantified. Our results are thus congruent with the assumption that virulence and within-host replication are correlated but suggest that infection cycle fitness is complex and that replication is not the only trait associated with virulence.

  5. Environmental isolation, biochemical identification, and antifungal drug susceptibility of Cryptococcus species

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    Valter Luis Iost Teodoro

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction The incidence of opportunistic fungal infections has increased in recent years and is considered an important public health problem. Among systemic and opportunistic mycoses, cryptococcosis is distinguished by its clinical importance due to the increased risk of infection in individuals infected by human immunodeficiency virus. Methods To determine the occurrence of pathogenic Cryptococcus in pigeon excrement in the City of Araraquara, samples were collected from nine environments, including state and municipal schools, abandoned buildings, parks, and a hospital. The isolates were identified using classical tests, and susceptibility testing for the antifungal drugs (fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, and amphotericin B independently was also performed. After collection, the excrement samples were plated on Niger agar and incubated at room temperature. Results A total of 87 bird dropping samples were collected, and 66.6% were positive for the genus Cryptococcus. The following species were identified: Cryptococcus neoformans (17.2%, Cryptococcus gattii (5.2%, Cryptococcus ater (3.5%, Cryptococcus laurentti (1.7%, and Cryptococcus luteolus (1.7%. A total of 70.7% of the isolates were not identified to the species level and are referred to as Cryptococcus spp. throughout the manuscript. Conclusions Although none of the isolates demonstrated resistance to antifungal drugs, the identification of infested areas, the proper control of birds, and the disinfection of these environments are essential for the epidemiological control of cryptococcosis.

  6. Epidemiologische trends in cryptokokkose : De Cryptococcus gattii-uitbraak in Canada

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagen, F; Boekhout, T

    2006-01-01

    Cryptococcosis is, when untreated, a fatal disease, which in the Netherlands is mainly caused by the basidiomycetous yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, and in more rare cases by Cryptococcus gattii. Infections with C. gattii occur almost only in immunocompetent individuals, while C. neoformans has a

  7. Susceptibility testing of Cryptococcus diffluens against amphotericin B, flucytosine, fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kantarcioglu, A.S.; Boekhout, T.; Yucel, A.; Altas, K.

    2009-01-01

    Cryptococcus diffluens is a recently re-established species that shares several phenotypic features with Cryptococcus neoformans. We evaluated the application of the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI, formerly NCCLS) macro- and microbroth dilution methods and the E-test agar diffusion

  8. A Nonluminescent and Highly Virulent Vibrio harveyi Strain Is Associated with “Bacterial White Tail Disease” of Litopenaeus vannamei Shrimp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Junfang; Fang, Wenhong; Yang, Xianle; Zhou, Shuai; Hu, Linlin; Li, Xincang; Qi, Xinyong; Su, Hang; Xie, Layue

    2012-01-01

    Recurrent outbreaks of a disease in pond-cultured juvenile and subadult Litopenaeus vannamei shrimp in several districts in China remain an important problem in recent years. The disease was characterized by “white tail” and generally accompanied by mass mortalities. Based on data from the microscopical analyses, PCR detection and 16S rRNA sequencing, a new Vibrio harveyi strain (designated as strain HLB0905) was identified as the etiologic pathogen. The bacterial isolation and challenge tests demonstrated that the HLB0905 strain was nonluminescent but highly virulent. It could cause mass mortality in affected shrimp during a short time period with a low dose of infection. Meanwhile, the histopathological and electron microscopical analysis both showed that the HLB0905 strain could cause severe fiber cell damages and striated muscle necrosis by accumulating in the tail muscle of L. vannamei shrimp, which led the affected shrimp to exhibit white or opaque lesions in the tail. The typical sign was closely similar to that caused by infectious myonecrosis (IMN), white tail disease (WTD) or penaeid white tail disease (PWTD). To differentiate from such diseases as with a sign of “white tail” but of non-bacterial origin, the present disease was named as “bacterial white tail disease (BWTD)”. Present study revealed that, just like IMN and WTD, BWTD could also cause mass mortalities in pond-cultured shrimp. These results suggested that some bacterial strains are changing themselves from secondary to primary pathogens by enhancing their virulence in current shrimp aquaculture system. PMID:22383954

  9. Vaccination with Recombinant Cryptococcus Proteins in Glucan Particles Protects Mice against Cryptococcosis in a Manner Dependent upon Mouse Strain and Cryptococcal Species

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    Charles A. Specht

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Development of a vaccine to protect against cryptococcosis is a priority given the enormous global burden of disease in at-risk individuals. Using glucan particles (GPs as a delivery system, we previously demonstrated that mice vaccinated with crude Cryptococcus-derived alkaline extracts were protected against lethal challenge with Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. The goal of the present study was to identify protective protein antigens that could be used in a subunit vaccine. Using biased and unbiased approaches, six candidate antigens (Cda1, Cda2, Cda3, Fpd1, MP88, and Sod1 were selected, recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli, purified, and loaded into GPs. Three mouse strains (C57BL/6, BALB/c, and DR4 were then vaccinated with the antigen-laden GPs, following which they received a pulmonary challenge with virulent C. neoformans and C. gattii strains. Four candidate vaccines (GP-Cda1, GP-Cda2, GP-Cda3, and GP-Sod1 afforded a significant survival advantage in at least one mouse model; some vaccine combinations provided added protection over that seen with either antigen alone. Vaccine-mediated protection against C. neoformans did not necessarily predict protection against C. gattii. Vaccinated mice developed pulmonary inflammatory responses that effectively contained the infection; many surviving mice developed sterilizing immunity. Predicted T helper cell epitopes differed between mouse strains and in the degree to which they matched epitopes predicted in humans. Thus, we have discovered cryptococcal proteins that make promising candidate vaccine antigens. Protection varied depending on the mouse strain and cryptococcal species, suggesting that a successful human subunit vaccine will need to contain multiple antigens, including ones that are species specific.

  10. SEC14 is a specific requirement for secretion of phospholipase B1 and pathogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chayakulkeeree, Methee; Johnston, Simon Andrew; Oei, Johanes Bijosono; Lev, Sophie; Williamson, Peter Richard; Wilson, Christabel Frewen; Zuo, Xiaoming; Leal, Ana Lusia; Vainstein, Marilene Henning; Meyer, Wieland; Sorrell, Tania Christine; May, Robin Charles; Djordjevic, Julianne Teresa

    2011-01-01

    Summary Secreted phospholipase B1 (CnPlb1) is essential for dissemination of Cryptococcus neoformans to the central nervous system (CNS) yet essential components of its secretion machinery remain to be elucidated. Using gene deletion analysis we demonstrate that CnPlb1 secretion is dependent on the CnSEC14 product, CnSec14-1p. CnSec14-1p is a homologue of the phosphatidylinositol transfer protein (PITP) ScSec14p, which is essential for secretion and viability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In contrast to CnPlb1, neither laccase 1 (Lac1)-induced melanization within the cell wall nor capsule induction were negatively impacted in CnSEC14-1 deletion mutants (CnΔsec14-1 and CnΔsec14-1CnΔsfh5). Similar to the CnPLB1 deletion mutant (CnΔplb1), CnΔsec14-1 was hypo-virulent in mice and did not disseminate to the CNS by day 14 post infection. Furthermore, macrophage expulsion of live CnΔsec14-1 and CnΔplb1 (vomocytosis) was reduced. Individual deletion of CnSEC14-2, a closely-related CnSEC14-1 homologue, and CnSFH5, a distantly-related SEC fourteen-like homologue, did not abrogate CnPlb1 secretion or virulence. However, reconstitution of CnΔsec14-1 with CnSEC14-1 or CnSEC14-2 restored both phenotypes, consistent with functional genetic redundancy. We conclude that CnPlb1 secretion is SEC14-dependent and that C. neoformans preferentially exports virulence determinants to the cell periphery via distinct pathways. We also demonstrate that CnPlb1 secretion is essential for vomocytosis. PMID:21453402

  11. 3-Bromopyruvate: a novel antifungal agent against the human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyląg, Mariusz; Lis, Paweł; Niedźwiecka, Katarzyna; Ko, Young H; Pedersen, Peter L; Goffeau, Andre; Ułaszewski, Stanisław

    2013-05-03

    We have investigated the antifungal activity of the pyruvic acid analogue: 3-bromopyruvate (3-BP). Growth inhibition by 3-BP of 110 strains of yeast-like and filamentous fungi was tested by standard spot tests or microdilution method. The human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans exhibited a low Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of 0.12-0.15 mM 3-BP. The high toxicity of 3-BP toward C. neoformans correlated with high intracellular accumulation of 3-BP and also with low levels of intracellular ATP and glutathione. Weak cytotoxicity towards mammalian cells and lack of resistance conferred by the PDR (Pleiotropic Drug Resistance) network in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are other properties of 3-BP that makes it a novel promising anticryptococcal drug. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Eucalyptus Tree: A Potential Source of Cryptococcus neoformans in Egyptian Environment

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    Mahmoud Elhariri

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In Egypt, the River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis is a well-known tree and is highly appreciated by the rural and urban dwellers. The role of Eucalyptus trees in the ecology of Cryptococcus neoformans is documented worldwide. The aim of this survey was to show the prevalence of C. neoformans during the flowering season of E. camaldulensis at the Delta region in Egypt. Three hundred and eleven samples out of two hundred Eucalyptus trees, including leaves, flowers, and woody trunks, were collected from four governorates in the Delta region. Thirteen isolates of C. neoformans were recovered from Eucalyptus tree samples (4.2%. Molecular identification of C. neoformans was done by capsular gene specific primer CAP64 and serotype identification was done depending on LAC1 gene. This study represents an update on the ecology of C. neoformans associated with Eucalyptus tree in Egyptian environment.

  13. Global transcriptome profile of Cryptococcus neoformans during exposure to hydrogen peroxide induced oxidative stress.

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    Rajendra Upadhya

    Full Text Available The ability of the opportunistic fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans to resist oxidative stress is one of its most important virulence related traits. To cope with the deleterious effect of cellular damage caused by the oxidative burst inside the macrophages, C. neoformans has developed multilayered redundant molecular responses to neutralize the stress, to repair the damage and to eventually grow inside the hostile environment of the phagosome. We used microarray analysis of cells treated with hydrogen peroxide (H(2O(2 at multiple time points in a nutrient defined medium to identify a transcriptional signature associated with oxidative stress. We discovered that the composition of the medium in which fungal cells were grown and treated had a profound effect on their capacity to degrade exogenous H(2O(2. We determined the kinetics of H(2O(2 breakdown by growing yeast cells under different conditions and accordingly selected an appropriate media composition and range of time points for isolating RNA for hybridization. Microarray analysis revealed a robust transient transcriptional response and the intensity of the global response was consistent with the kinetics of H(2O(2 breakdown by treated cells. Gene ontology analysis of differentially expressed genes related to oxidation-reduction, metabolic process and protein catabolic processes identified potential roles of mitochondrial function and protein ubiquitination in oxidative stress resistance. Interestingly, the metabolic pathway adaptation of C. neoformans to H(2O(2 treatment was remarkably distinct from the response of other fungal organisms to oxidative stress. We also identified the induction of an antifungal drug resistance response upon the treatment of C. neoformans with H(2O(2. These results highlight the complexity of the oxidative stress response and offer possible new avenues for improving our understanding of mechanisms of oxidative stress resistance in C. neoformans.

  14. Mechanisms of Pulmonary Escape and Dissemination by Cryptococcus neoformans

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    Steven T. Denham

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is a common environmental saprophyte and human fungal pathogen that primarily causes disease in immunocompromised individuals. Similar to many environmentally acquired human fungal pathogens, C. neoformans initiates infection in the lungs. However, the main driver of mortality is invasive cryptococcosis leading to fungal meningitis. After C. neoformans gains a foothold in the lungs, a critical early step in invasion is transversal of the respiratory epithelium. In this review, we summarize current knowledge relating to pulmonary escape. We focus on fungal factors that allow C. neoformans to disseminate from the lungs via intracellular and extracellular routes.

  15. Analysis of the Protein Kinase A-Regulated Proteome of Cryptococcus neoformans Identifies a Role for the Ubiquitin-Proteasome Pathway in Capsule Formation

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    J. M. H. Geddes

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The opportunistic fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans causes life-threatening meningitis in immunocompromised individuals. The expression of virulence factors, including capsule and melanin, is in part regulated by the cyclic-AMP/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA signal transduction pathway. In this study, we investigated the influence of PKA on the composition of the intracellular proteome to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the regulation that underpins virulence. Through quantitative proteomics, enrichment and bioinformatic analyses, and an interactome study, we uncovered a pattern of PKA regulation for proteins associated with translation, the proteasome, metabolism, amino acid biosynthesis, and virulence-related functions. PKA regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in C. neoformans showed a striking parallel with connections between PKA and protein degradation in chronic neurodegenerative disorders and other human diseases. Further investigation of proteasome function with the inhibitor bortezomib revealed an impact on capsule production as well as hypersusceptibility for strains with altered expression or activity of PKA. Parallel studies with tunicamycin also linked endoplasmic reticulum stress with capsule production and PKA. Taken together, the data suggest a model whereby expression of PKA regulatory and catalytic subunits and the activation of PKA influence proteostasis and the function of the endoplasmic reticulum to control the elaboration of the polysaccharide capsule. Overall, this study revealed both broad and conserved influences of the cAMP/PKA pathway on the proteome and identified proteostasis as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of cryptococcosis.

  16. Antifungal and Anti-Biofilm Activity of Essential Oil Active Components against Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus laurentii

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    Poonam Kumari

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcosis is an emerging and recalcitrant systemic infection occurring in immunocompromised patients. This invasive fungal infection is difficult to treat due to the ability of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus laurentii to form biofilms resistant to standard antifungal treatment. The toxicity concern of these drugs has stimulated the search for natural therapeutic alternatives. Essential oil and their active components (EO-ACs have shown to possess the variety of biological and pharmacological properties. In the present investigation the effect of six (EO-ACs sourced from Oregano oil (Carvacrol, Cinnamon oil (Cinnamaldehyde, Lemongrass oil (Citral, Clove oil (Eugenol, Peppermint oil (Menthol and Thyme oil (thymol against three infectious forms; planktonic cells, biofilm formation and preformed biofilm of C. neoformans and C. laurentii were evaluated as compared to standard drugs. Data showed that antibiofilm activity of the tested EO-ACs were in the order: thymol>carvacrol>citral>eugenol=cinnamaldehyde>menthol respectively. The three most potent EO-ACs, thymol, carvacrol, and citral showed excellent antibiofilm activity at a much lower concentration against C. laurentii in comparison to C. neoformans indicating the resistant nature of the latter. Effect of the potent EO-ACs on the biofilm morphology was visualized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM, which revealed the absence of extracellular polymeric matrix (EPM, reduction in cellular density and alteration in the surface morphology of biofilm cells. Further, to realize the efficacy of the EO-ACs in terms of human safety, cytotoxicity assays and co-culture model were evaluated. Thymol and carvacrol as compared to citral were the most efficient in terms of human safety in keratinocyte- Cryptococcus sp. co-culture infection model suggesting that these two can be further exploited as cost-effective and non-toxic anti

  17. Transmembrane transporter expression regulated by the glucosylceramide pathway in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Arpita; Rella, Antonella; Schwacke, John; Vacchi-Suzzi, Caterina; Luberto, Chiara; Del Poeta, Maurizio

    2015-11-16

    The sphingolipid glucosylceramide (GlcCer) and factors involved in the fungal GlcCer pathways were shown earlier to be an integral part of fungal virulence, especially in fungal replication at 37 °C, in neutral/alkaline pH and 5 % CO2 environments (e.g. alveolar spaces). Two mutants, ∆gcs 1 lacking glucosylceramide synthase 1 gene (GCS1) which catalyzes the formation of sphingolipid GlcCer from the C9-methyl ceramide and ∆smt1 lacking sphingolipid C9 methyltransferase gene (SMT1), which adds a methyl group to position nine of the sphingosine backbone of ceramide, of this pathway were attenuated in virulence and have a growth defect at the above-mentioned conditions. These mutants with either no or structurally modified GlcCer located on the cell-membrane have reduced membrane rigidity, which may have altered not only the physical location of membrane proteins but also their expression, as the pathogen's mode of adaptation to changing need. Importantly, pathogens are known to adapt themselves to the changing host environments by altering their patterns of gene expression. By transcriptional analysis of gene expression, we identified six genes whose expression was changed from their wild-type counterpart grown in the same conditions, i.e. they became either down regulated or up regulated in these two mutants. The microarray data was validated by real-time PCR, which confirmed their fold change in gene expression. All the six genes we identified, viz siderochrome-iron transporter (CNAG_02083), monosaccharide transporter (CNAG_05340), glucose transporter (CNAG_03772), membrane protein (CNAG_03912), membrane transport protein (CNAG_00539), and sugar transporter (CNAG_06963), are membrane-localized and have significantly altered gene expression levels. Therefore, we hypothesize that these genes function either independently or in tandem with a structurally modified cell wall/plasma membrane resulting from the modifications of the GlcCer pathway and thus possibly

  18. Cryptococcus neoformans infective endocarditis of native valves in an immunocompetent host

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    Moni Roy

    Full Text Available With the emergence of Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV and the resulting immunocompromised state, Cryptococcus neoformans infections have gained more importance in clinical practice. Cryptococcal infections in immunocompetent hosts continue to be uncommon. We present a rare case of Cryptococcus neoformans infective endocarditis (IE in a young immunocompetent male. As per our literature review, this is the first reported case of native valve Cryptococcus neoformans endocarditis in an immunocompetent host. All cases till date have been reported in patients with underlying immunocompromised state or prosthetic valve.

  19. Neurocriptococose por Cryptococcus neoformans não capsulado

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    C.S. Lacaz

    1993-09-01

    Full Text Available Os autores registram um caso de neurocriptococose em paciente HIV-negativo, por Cryptococcus neoformans acapsulado ou deficiente em cápsula. O quadro neurológico era de meningoencefalite subaguda, compatível ao diagnóstico de neurotuberculose, pelo exame do líquido cefalorraqueano (LCR, Estruturas leveduriformes foram encontradas no interior de macrófagos, ao exame citomorfológico do LCR. Cultivo do sedimento do LCR revelou a presença de Cryptococcus neoformans não capsulado (identificação bioquímica. A inoculação da amostra em camundongo, por via intraperitoneal, permitiu a produção de cápsula que desaparecia em cultivos. Foi estudada a micromorfologia do fungo à microscopia eletrônica de varredura. A evolução foi favorável com o emprego da anfotericina B associada a 5-fluorocitosina. Não foi caracterizada a variadade de Criptococcus neoformans agente do processo.

  20. Mitochondrial DNA inheritance in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zixuan; Wilson, Amanda; Xu, Jianping

    2015-02-01

    The inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is predominantly uniparental in most sexual eukaryotes. In this study, we examined the mitochondrial inheritance pattern of Cryptococcus gattii, a basidiomycetous yeast responsible for the recent and ongoing outbreak of cryptococcal infections in the US Pacific Northwest and British Columbia (especially Vancouver Island) in Canada. Using molecular markers, we analyzed the inheritance of mtDNA in 14 crosses between strains within and between divergent lineages in C. gattii. Consistent with results from recent studies, our analyses identified significant variations in mtDNA inheritance patterns among strains and crosses, ranging from strictly uniparental to biparental. For two of the crosses that showed uniparental mitochondrial inheritance in standard laboratory conditions, we further investigated the effects of the following environmental variables on mtDNA inheritance: UV exposure, temperature, and treatments with the methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and with the ubiquitination inhibitor ammonium chloride. Interestingly, one of these crosses showed no response to these environmental variables while the other exhibited diverse patterns ranging from complete uniparental inheritance of the MATa parent mtDNA, to biparental inheritance, and to a significant bias toward inheritance of the MATα parental mtDNA. Our results indicate that mtDNA inheritance in C. gattii differs from that in its closely related species Cryptococcus neoformans. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Brucella abortus mutants lacking ATP-binding cassette transporter proteins are highly attenuated in virulence and confer protective immunity against virulent B. abortus challenge in BALB/c mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong, Quang Lam; Cho, Youngjae; Park, Soyeon; Park, Bo-Kyoung; Hahn, Tae-Wook

    2016-06-01

    Brucella abortus RB51 is an attenuated vaccine strain that has been most frequently used for bovine brucellosis. Although it is known to provide good protection in cattle, it still has some drawbacks including resistance to rifampicin, residual virulence and pathogenicity in humans. Thus, there has been a continuous interest on new safe and effective bovine vaccine candidates. In the present study, we have constructed unmarked mutants by deleting singly cydD and cydC genes, which encode ATP-binding cassette transporter proteins, from the chromosome of the virulent Brucella abortus isolate from Korean cow (referred to as IVK15). Both IVK15ΔcydD and ΔcydC mutants showed increased sensitivity to metal ions, hydrogen peroxide and acidic pH, which are mimic to intracellular environment during host infection. Additionally, the mutants exhibited a significant growth defect in RAW264.7 cells and greatly attenuated in mice. Vaccination of mice with either IVK15ΔcydC or IVK15ΔcydD mutant could elicit an anti-Brucella specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG subclass responses as well as enhance the secretion of interferon-gamma, and provided better protection against challenge with B. abortus strain 2308 than with the commercial B. abortus strain RB51 vaccine. Collectively, these results suggest that both IVK15ΔcydC and IVK15ΔcydD mutants could be an attenuated vaccine candidate against B. abortus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Life Stage-specific Proteomes of Legionella pneumophila Reveal a Highly Differential Abundance of Virulence-associated Dot/Icm effectors*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aurass, Philipp; Gerlach, Thomas; Becher, Dörte; Voigt, Birgit; Karste, Susanne; Bernhardt, Jörg; Riedel, Katharina; Hecker, Michael; Flieger, Antje

    2016-01-01

    Major differences in the transcriptional program underlying the phenotypic switch between exponential and post-exponential growth of Legionella pneumophila were formerly described characterizing important alterations in infection capacity. Additionally, a third state is known where the bacteria transform in a viable but nonculturable state under stress, such as starvation. We here describe phase-related proteomic changes in exponential phase (E), postexponential phase (PE) bacteria, and unculturable microcosms (UNC) containing viable but nonculturable state cells, and identify phase-specific proteins. We present data on different bacterial subproteomes of E and PE, such as soluble whole cell proteins, outer membrane-associated proteins, and extracellular proteins. In total, 1368 different proteins were identified, 922 were quantified and 397 showed differential abundance in E/PE. The quantified subproteomes of soluble whole cell proteins, outer membrane-associated proteins, and extracellular proteins; 841, 55, and 77 proteins, respectively, were visualized in Voronoi treemaps. 95 proteins were quantified exclusively in E, such as cell division proteins MreC, FtsN, FtsA, and ZipA; 33 exclusively in PE, such as motility-related proteins of flagellum biogenesis FlgE, FlgK, and FliA; and 9 exclusively in unculturable microcosms soluble whole cell proteins, such as hypothetical, as well as transport/binding-, and metabolism-related proteins. A high frequency of differentially abundant or phase-exclusive proteins was observed among the 91 quantified effectors of the major virulence-associated protein secretion system Dot/Icm (> 60%). 24 were E-exclusive, such as LepA/B, YlfA, MavG, Lpg2271, and 13 were PE-exclusive, such as RalF, VipD, Lem10. The growth phase-related specific abundance of a subset of Dot/Icm virulence effectors was confirmed by means of Western blotting. We therefore conclude that many effectors are predominantly abundant at either E or PE which suggests

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Experimental co-infections of domestic ducks with a virulent Newcastle disease virus and low or highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantin-Jackwood, Mary J; Costa-Hurtado, Mar; Miller, Patti J; Afonso, Claudio L; Spackman, Erica; Kapczynski, Darrell R; Shepherd, Eric; Smith, Diane; Swayne, David E

    2015-05-15

    Infections with avian influenza viruses (AIV) of low and high pathogenicity (LP and HP) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) are commonly reported in domestic ducks in many parts of the world. However, it is not clear if co-infections with these viruses affect the severity of the diseases they produce, the amount of virus shed, and transmission of the viruses. In this study we infected domestic ducks with a virulent NDV virus (vNDV) and either a LPAIV or a HPAIV by giving the viruses individually, simultaneously, or sequentially two days apart. No clinical signs were observed in ducks infected or co-infected with vNDV and LPAIV, but co-infection decreased the number of ducks shedding vNDV and the amount of virus shed (Pducks inoculated with only LPAIV compared to ducks co-infected with vNDV. Ducks that received the HPAIV with the vNDV simultaneously survived fewer days (Pducks that received the vNDV two days before the HPAIV. Co-infection also reduced transmission of vNDV to naïve contact ducks housed with the inoculated ducks. In conclusion, domestic ducks can become co-infected with vNDV and LPAIV with no effect on clinical signs but with reduction of virus shedding and transmission. These findings indicate that infection with one virus can interfere with replication of another, modifying the pathogenesis and transmission of the viruses. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Virulence profiles and innate immune responses against highly lethal, multidrug-resistant nosocomial isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii from a tertiary care hospital in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayosso-Vázquez, Catalina; Fernández-Vázquez, José Luis; Jarillo-Quijada, Ma Dolores; Rivera-Benítez, César; Santos-Preciado, José Ignacio

    2017-01-01

    Virulence profiles and innate immune responses were studied in Acinetobacter baumannii from nosocomial infections collected over one year in a tertiary care hospital in Mexico. A. baumannii were identified by VITEK 2 System followed by susceptibility tests. Carbapenemase genes, active efflux mechanism to imipenem and meropenem and outer membrane proteins profile were analyzed to evaluate their role on the activity of carbapenem resistance. All isolates were genotyped by pulsed field gel electrophoresis. The ability to form biofilm was determined on a polystyrene surface. The resistance to complement was determined with a pooled human normal serum and TNFα release by infected macrophages was determined by ELISA. The 112 isolates from this study were associated with a 52% of mortality. All were resistance to β-lactams, fluoroquinolones, and trimethroprim-sulfamethoxal, 96 and 90% were resistant to meropenem and imipenem, respectively, but with high susceptibility to polymyxin B, colistin and tigecyclin. Isolates were classified in 11 different clones. Most isolates, 88% (99/112), were metallo-β-lactamases and carbapenemases producers, associated in 95% with the presence of blaOXA-72 gene. Only 4/99 and 1/99 of the carbapenem-resistant isolates were related to efflux mechanism to meropenem or imipenem resistance, respectively. The loss of expression of 22, 29, and/or 33-36-kDa proteins was detected in 8/11 of the clinical isolates with resistance to carbapenem. More than 96% (108/112) of the isolates were high producers of biofilms on biotic surfaces. Finally, all isolates showed variable resistance to normal human serum activity and were high inductors of TNFα release by macrophages. In summary, these results suggest that multidrug-resistant A. baumannii can persist in the hospital environment through its ability to form biofilms. The high mortality observed was due to their ability to survive normal human serum activity and capability to induce potent

  6. Identification of O-mannosylated virulence factors in Ustilago maydis.

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    Alfonso Fernández-Álvarez

    Full Text Available The O-mannosyltransferase Pmt4 has emerged as crucial for fungal virulence in the animal pathogens Candida albicans or Cryptococcus neoformans as well as in the phytopathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis. Pmt4 O-mannosylates specific target proteins at the Endoplasmic Reticulum. Therefore a deficient O-mannosylation of these target proteins must be responsible for the loss of pathogenicity in pmt4 mutants. Taking advantage of the characteristics described for Pmt4 substrates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we performed a proteome-wide bioinformatic approach to identify putative Pmt4 targets in the corn smut fungus U. maydis and validated Pmt4-mediated glycosylation of candidate proteins by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. We found that the signalling mucin Msb2, which regulates appressorium differentiation upstream of the pathogenicity-related MAP kinase cascade, is O-mannosylated by Pmt4. The epistatic relationship of pmt4 and msb2 showed that both are likely to act in the same pathway. Furthermore, constitutive activation of the MAP kinase cascade restored appressorium development in pmt4 mutants, suggesting that during the initial phase of infection the failure to O-mannosylate Msb2 is responsible for the virulence defect of pmt4 mutants. On the other hand we demonstrate that during later stages of pathogenic development Pmt4 affects virulence independently of Msb2, probably by modifying secreted effector proteins. Pit1, a protein required for fungal spreading inside the infected leaf, was also identified as a Pmt4 target. Thus, O-mannosylation of different target proteins affects various stages of pathogenic development in U. maydis.

  7. Limiting opportunities for cheating stabilizes virulence in insect parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro-Ilan, David; Raymond, Ben

    2016-03-01

    Cooperative secretion of virulence factors by pathogens can lead to social conflict when cheating mutants exploit collective secretion, but do not contribute to it. If cheats outcompete cooperators within hosts, this can cause loss of virulence. Insect parasitic nematodes are important biocontrol tools that secrete a range of significant virulence factors. Critically, effective nematodes are hard to maintain without live passage, which can lead to virulence attenuation. Using experimental evolution, we tested whether social cheating might explain unstable virulence in the nematode Heterorhabditis floridensis by manipulating relatedness via multiplicity of infection (MOI), and the scale of competition. Passage at high MOI, which should reduce relatedness, led to loss of fitness: virulence and reproductive rate declined together and all eight independent lines suffered premature extinction. As theory predicts, relatedness treatments had more impact under stronger global competition. In contrast, low MOI passage led to more stable virulence and increased reproduction. Moreover, low MOI lineages showed a trade-off between virulence and reproduction, particularly for lines under stronger between-host competition. Overall, this study indicates that evolution of virulence theory is valuable for the culture of biocontrol agents: effective nematodes can be improved and maintained if passage methods mitigate possible social conflicts.

  8. A novel eight amino acid insertion contributes to the hemagglutinin cleavability and the virulence of a highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H7N3) virus in mice

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    Sun, Xiangjie; Belser, Jessica A.; Tumpey, Terrence M., E-mail: tft9@cdc.gov

    2016-01-15

    In 2012, an avian influenza A H7N3 (A/Mexico/InDRE7218/2012; Mx/7218) virus was responsible for two confirmed cases of human infection and led to the death or culling of more than 22 million chickens in Jalisco, Mexico. Interestingly, this virus acquired an 8-amino acid (aa)-insertion (..PENPK-DRKSRHRR-TR/GLF) near the hemagglutinin (HA) cleavage site by nonhomologous recombination with host rRNA. It remains unclear which specific residues at the cleavage site contribute to the virulence of H7N3 viruses in mammals. Using loss-of-function approaches, we generated a series of cleavage site mutant viruses by reverse genetics and characterized the viruses in vitro and in vivo. We found that the 8-aa insertion and the arginine at position P4 of the Mx/7218 HA cleavage site are essential for intracellular HA cleavage in 293T cells, but have no effect on the pH of membrane fusion. However, we identified a role for the histidine residue at P5 position in viral fusion pH. In mice, the 8-aa insertion is required for Mx/7218 virus virulence; however, the basic residues upstream of the P4 position are dispensable for virulence. Overall, our study provides the first line of evidence that the insertion in the Mx/7218 virus HA cleavage site confers its intracellular cleavability, and consequently contributes to enhanced virulence in mice. - Highlights: • An avian influenza H7N3 virus acquired a unique 8-amino acid (aa) insertion. • The role of specific basic residues in the HA insertion in viral pathogenesis was determined. • In mice, the 8-aa insertion is required for H7N3 virus virulence. • The R residue at position P4 is essential for HA intracellular cleavage and virus virulence.

  9. A novel eight amino acid insertion contributes to the hemagglutinin cleavability and the virulence of a highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H7N3) virus in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, Xiangjie; Belser, Jessica A.; Tumpey, Terrence M.

    2016-01-01

    In 2012, an avian influenza A H7N3 (A/Mexico/InDRE7218/2012; Mx/7218) virus was responsible for two confirmed cases of human infection and led to the death or culling of more than 22 million chickens in Jalisco, Mexico. Interestingly, this virus acquired an 8-amino acid (aa)-insertion (..PENPK-DRKSRHRR-TR/GLF) near the hemagglutinin (HA) cleavage site by nonhomologous recombination with host rRNA. It remains unclear which specific residues at the cleavage site contribute to the virulence of H7N3 viruses in mammals. Using loss-of-function approaches, we generated a series of cleavage site mutant viruses by reverse genetics and characterized the viruses in vitro and in vivo. We found that the 8-aa insertion and the arginine at position P4 of the Mx/7218 HA cleavage site are essential for intracellular HA cleavage in 293T cells, but have no effect on the pH of membrane fusion. However, we identified a role for the histidine residue at P5 position in viral fusion pH. In mice, the 8-aa insertion is required for Mx/7218 virus virulence; however, the basic residues upstream of the P4 position are dispensable for virulence. Overall, our study provides the first line of evidence that the insertion in the Mx/7218 virus HA cleavage site confers its intracellular cleavability, and consequently contributes to enhanced virulence in mice. - Highlights: • An avian influenza H7N3 virus acquired a unique 8-amino acid (aa) insertion. • The role of specific basic residues in the HA insertion in viral pathogenesis was determined. • In mice, the 8-aa insertion is required for H7N3 virus virulence. • The R residue at position P4 is essential for HA intracellular cleavage and virus virulence.

  10. Cryptococcus neoformans var neoformans isolated from droppings of captive birds in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irokanulo, E O; Makinde, A A; Akuesgi, C O; Ekwonu, M

    1997-04-01

    The yeast, Cryptococcus neoformans, was found in apparently healthy birds at the Jos Wildlife Park and Zoo in Jos, Nigeria. Cryptococcus neoformans var neoformans was isolated from feces of four captive bird species. Five isolates belonged to serotype A while two were serotype D. Serotype A of C. neoformans was isolated from a white face duck (Dendrocygna viduata), eagle owl (Bubo africanus cinerascene) and peacock (Pavo cristatus). The other two (serotype D), were isolated from a spotted eagle owl.

  11. Isolation and molecular characterization of Cryptococcus species isolated from pigeon nests and Eucalyptus trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamari, A; Sepahvand, A; Mohammadi, R

    2017-06-01

    Cryptococcus species are pathogenic and non-pathogenic basidiomycete yeasts that are found widely in the environment. Based on phenotypic methods, this genus has many species; however, its taxonomy is presently being re-evaluated by modern techniques. The Cryptococcus species complex includes two sibling taxa of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii . We aimed to investigate the possible distribution of Cryptococcus species in pigeon nests and Eucalyptus trees in Ilam, Iran, using molecular techniques. Two hundred and seventy-four specimens were collected from pigeon nests and Eucalyptus trees during 2016-2017. All the specimens were sub-cultured on Sabouraud Glucose Agar with chloramphenicol and bird seed agar. For molecular identification, the ITS15.8SITS2 rDNA region was amplified using the first and fourth internal transcribed spacer (ITS1 and ITS4, respectively) primers. The purified products were applied for cycle sequencing reactions in forward direction with ITS1 primer. The obtained results were analyzed with Chromas 2.3. Thirty-three out of 186 cultures (17.7%) and 11 out of 88 cultures (12.5%) were positive among pigeon nest and Eucalyptus tree specimens, respectively. Cryptococcus albidus (17.2%), C. albidus var. kuetzingii (3.4%), C. adeliensis (3.4%), C. uzbekistanensis (3.4%), and C. neoformans var. grubii (3.4%) were isolated from pigeon nests, and Cryptococcus adeliensis (25%) was the only Cryptococcus species isolated from Eucalyptus trees. The presence of pigeons and Eucalyptus trees in the vicinity of some particular places such as rest homes and hospitals should be considered as a risk factor for the immunocompromised population.

  12. First report of urease activity in the novel systemic fungal pathogen Emergomyces africanus: a comparison with the neurotrope Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerm, Barbra; Kenyon, Chris; Schwartz, Ilan S; Kroukamp, Heinrich; de Witt, Riaan; Govender, Nelesh P; de Hoog, G Sybren; Botha, Alfred

    2017-11-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic pathogen responsible for the AIDS-defining illness, cryptococcal meningitis. During the disease process, entry of cryptococcal cells into the brain is facilitated by virulence factors that include urease enzyme activity. A novel species of an Emmonsia-like fungus, recently named Emergomyces africanus, was identified as a cause of disseminated mycosis in HIV-infected persons in South Africa. However, in contrast to C. neoformans, the enzymes produced by this fungus, some of which may be involved in pathogenesis, have not been described. Using a clinical isolate of C. neoformans as a reference, the study aim was to confirm, characterise and quantify urease activity in E. africanus clinical isolates. Urease activity was tested using Christensen's urea agar, after which the presence of a urease gene in the genome of E. africanus was confirmed using gene sequence analysis. Subsequent evaluation of colorimetric enzyme assay data, using Michaelis-Menten enzyme kinetics, revealed similarities between the substrate affinity of the urease enzyme produced by E. africanus (Km ca. 26.0 mM) and that of C. neoformans (Km ca. 20.6 mM). However, the addition of 2.5 g/l urea to the culture medium stimulated urease activity of E. africanus, whereas nutrient limitation notably increased cryptococcal urease activity. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Morphologic mimickers of Cryptococcus occurring within inflammatory infiltrates in the setting of neutrophilic dermatitis: a series of three cases highlighting clinical dilemmas associated with a novel histopathologic pitfall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Jennifer S; Fernandez, Anthony P; Anderson, Kyle A; Burdick, Laura M; Billings, Steven D; Procop, Gary W; McMahon, James T; Bergfeld, Wilma F; Piliang, Melissa P

    2013-01-01

    A neutrophil-predominant inflammatory infiltrate in a cutaneous biopsy can be associated with a broad spectrum of diseases. Here we describe three cases showing a neutrophil-predominant dermal infiltrate admixed with abundant acellular bodies surrounded by capsule-like vacuolated spaces, which strikingly mimicked Cryptococcus. Two cases occurred within the settings of underlying hematologic malignancies; the third case was associated with immune dysregulation. Two patients were acutely ill in the medical intensive care unit. Fungal work-up, including cultures and multiple stains were negative. Because of clinical deterioration in these patients, transmission electron microscopy was pursued to definitively rule out fungal infection. In both cases, characteristics most compatible with autolysing human cells, not Cryptococcus, were identified. Chemotherapy and high-dose steroids were given, but both patients eventually succumbed to their diseases. To the best of our knowledge, these represent the first reported cases of autolysing human cells mimicking Cryptococcus organisms within neutrophilic infiltrates. They highlight the therapeutic dilemmas arising with histopathologic mimics, as well as the importance of thorough investigation to distinguish mimickers from true infectious organisms. We believe recognition of this microscopic pitfall will be useful to dermatopathologists faced with similar findings in the future, and may prevent unnecessary delay of appropriate therapy in acutely ill patients. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  14. Calcineurin Targets Involved in Stress Survival and Fungal Virulence.

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    Hee-Soo Park

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Calcineurin governs stress survival, sexual differentiation, and virulence of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Calcineurin is activated by increased Ca2+ levels caused by stress, and transduces signals by dephosphorylating protein substrates. Herein, we identified and characterized calcineurin substrates in C. neoformans by employing phosphoproteomic TiO2 enrichment and quantitative mass spectrometry. The identified targets include the transactivator Crz1 as well as novel substrates whose functions are linked to P-bodies/stress granules (PBs/SGs and mRNA translation and decay, such as Pbp1 and Puf4. We show that Crz1 is a bona fide calcineurin substrate, and Crz1 localization and transcriptional activity are controlled by calcineurin. We previously demonstrated that thermal and other stresses trigger calcineurin localization to PBs/SGs. Several calcineurin targets localized to PBs/SGs, including Puf4 and Pbp1, contribute to stress resistance and virulence individually or in conjunction with Crz1. Moreover, Pbp1 is also required for sexual development. Genetic epistasis analysis revealed that Crz1 and the novel targets Lhp1, Puf4, and Pbp1 function in a branched calcineurin pathway that orchestrates stress survival and virulence. These findings support a model whereby calcineurin controls stress and virulence, at the transcriptional level via Crz1, and post-transcriptionally by localizing to PBs/SGs and acting on targets involved in mRNA metabolism. The calcineurin targets identified in this study share little overlap with known calcineurin substrates, with the exception of Crz1. In particular, the mRNA binding proteins and PBs/SGs residents comprise a cohort of novel calcineurin targets that have not been previously linked to calcineurin in mammals or in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This study suggests either extensive evolutionary rewiring of the calcineurin pathway, or alternatively that these novel calcineurin targets have yet

  15. Biofilm-Forming Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Survive in Kupffer Cells and Exhibit High Virulence in Mice

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    Takuto Oyama

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Although Staphylococcus aureus is part of the normal body flora, heavy usage of antibiotics has resulted in the emergence of methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA. MRSA can form biofilms and cause indwelling foreign body infections, bacteremia, soft tissue infections, endocarditis, and osteomyelitis. Using an in vitro assay, we screened 173 clinical blood isolates of MRSA and selected 20 high-biofilm formers (H-BF and low-biofilm formers (L-BF. These were intravenously administered to mice and the general condition of mice, the distribution of bacteria, and biofilm in the liver, lung, spleen, and kidney were investigated. MRSA count was the highest in the liver, especially within Kupffer cells, which were positive for acid polysaccharides that are associated with intracellular biofilm. After 24 h, the general condition of the mice worsened significantly in the H-BF group. In the liver, bacterial deposition and aggregation and the biofilm-forming spot number were all significantly greater for H-BF group than for L-BF. CFU analysis revealed that bacteria in the H-BF group survived for long periods in the liver. These results indicate that the biofilm-forming ability of MRSA is a crucial factor for intracellular persistence, which could lead to chronic infections.

  16. Identification of genes expressed by Cryptococcus gattii during iron deprivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daphine Ariadne Jesus de Paula

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii are pathogenic yeasts that cause life-threatening diseases in humans and animals. Iron is an essential nutrient for virtually every organism as it functions as a cofactor in numerous essential enzymatic reactions. In the literature, the competition for iron between microbes and mammalian hosts during infection is well documented. In this study, we used representational difference analysis (RDA in order to gain a better understanding of how C. gattii responds to iron starvation. A total of 15 and 29 genes were identified as having altered expression levels due to iron depletion after 3 h and 12 h, respectively. Of these, eight genes were identified in both libraries. The transcripts were related to many biological processes, such as cell cycle, ergosterol metabolism, cell wall organization, transportation, translation, cell respiration and the stress response. These data suggest a remodeling of C. gattii metabolism during conditions of iron deprivation.

  17. Two rapid pigmentation tests for identification of Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, C S; Merz, W G

    1982-01-01

    Two tests were developed for the rapid identification of Cryptococcus neoformans based on pigment produced by the organism's phenoloxidase activity. Caffeic acid was incorporated into cornmeal agar, a medium used routinely for yeast identification. When tested on this medium, only C. neoformans isolates produced brown pigment. All other yeasts maintained their normal morphology and did not produce the reaction product. A non-medium-based test was developed for same-day identification of C. neoformans isolates. Paper strips saturated with a buffered L-beta-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine-ferric citrate solution were inoculated with isolates and incubated at 37 degrees C. Pigment production occurred only with C. neoformans isolates, many within 60 to 90 min. All other yeasts remained negative. PMID:7040452

  18. The first reported case of canine subcutaneous Cryptococcus flavescens infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kano, Rui; Ishida, Rinei; Nakane, Shinsuke; Sekiguchi, Maiko; Hasegawa, Atsuhiko; Kamata, Hiroshi

    2012-03-01

    This report describes the first documented case of subcutaneous infection due to Cryptococcus flavescens in a dog. The chief symptoms of the patient dog were abscessed lesions on the dorsal muzzle, right eyelid, and lower jaw. Biopsy specimens from the lesions on the dorsal muzzle and lower jaw showed pyogranulomatous inflammation with numerous yeast cells. The patient dog was diagnosed with a subcutaneous fungal infection and orally received 5 mg/kg itraconazole once a day for 2 months, the abscesses disappeared. After 1 month at the end of treatment, the skin lesions did not redevelop. Isolates from the biopsy specimens were identified as C. flavescens by molecular analysis as well as morphologic and biochemical examination, indicating that C. flavescens is a potential canine pathogen.

  19. Biodiesel production from yeast Cryptococcus sp. using Jerusalem artichoke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Mina; Seo, Yeong Hwan; Han, Shin; Han, Jong-In

    2014-03-01

    Jerusalem artichoke was investigated as a cheap substrate for the heterotrophic production using a lab yeast strain Cryptococcus sp. Using Response Surface Method, 54.0% of fructose yield was achieved at 12% of dried Jerusalem artichoke powder, 0.57% of nitric acid concentration, 117°C of reaction temperature, and 49min of reaction time. At this optimal condition, nitric acid showed the best catalytic activity toward inulin hydrolysis and also the resulting fructose hydrolyte supported the highest microbial growth compared with other acids. In addition, lipid productivity of 1.73g/L/d was achieved, which is higher than a defined medium using pure fructose as a substrate. Lipid quality was also found to be generally satisfactory as a feedstock for fuel, demonstrating Jerusalem artichoke could indeed be a good and cheap option for the purpose of biodiesel production. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Fenoloxidasa Modificada: Clave para identificar cepas de Cryptococcus neoformans

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    Carlos Canelo D

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans es la única levadura patógena capaz de sintetizar pigmentos como la melanina mediante la actividad de su enzima llamada fenoloxidasa. El objetivo del presente estudio fue implementar y estandarizar la prueba de la fenoloxidasa, como técnica complementaria en la identificación de cepas de C. neoformans. Se estudiaron 21 cepas, identificadas previamente con métodos convencionales. La prueba de la fenoloxidasa fue modificada debido a que su empleo originaba 9,6% (2/21 de falsa negatividad. Esta prueba modificada se optimizó a 28°C a partir de un medio con baja concentración de glucosa. Ningún aislamiento falso negativo fue encontrado luego de repetir tres veces el ensayo, y el pigmento melanina fue detectado con mayor rapidez.

  1. Bioassay and Scanning Electron Microscopic Observations Reveal High Virulence of Entomopathogenic Fungus, Beauveria bassiana, on the Onion Maggot (Diptera: Anthomyiidae) Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui; Wu, Shengyong; Xing, Zhenlong; Wang, Xiaoqing; Lei, Zhongren

    2016-12-01

    When flies were dipped in 1 × 10 8 conidia/ml conidia suspensions and then kept in the incubator (22 ± 1 °C, 70 ± 5% RH), scanning electron microscope observations revealed that, at 2 h, the majority of adhering Beauveria bassiana conidia were attached to either the wing surface or the interstitial area between the macrochaetae on the thorax and abdomen of the onion maggot adults. Germ tubes were being produced and had oriented toward the cuticle by 18 h. Penetration of the insect cuticle had occurred by 36 h, and by 48 h, germ tubes had completely penetrated the cuticle. Fungal mycelia had emerged from the insect body and were proliferating after 72 h. The superficial area and structure of the wings and macrochaetae may facilitate the attachment of conidia and enable effective penetration. The susceptibility of adults to 12 isolates, at a concentration of 1 × 10 7 conidia/ml, was tested in laboratory experiments. Eight of the more potent strains caused in excess of 85% adult mortality 8 d post inoculation, while the median lethal time (LT 50 ) of these strains was bassiana strains are highly virulent to onion maggot adults and should be considered as potential biocontrol agents against the adult flies. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Impact of High-Level Daptomycin Resistance in the Streptococcus mitis Group on Virulence and Survivability during Daptomycin Treatment in Experimental Infective Endocarditis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-de-la-Maria, C.; Xiong, Y. Q.; Pericas, J. M.; Armero, Y.; Moreno, A.; Mishra, N. N.; Rybak, M. J.; Tran, T. T.; Arias, C. A.; Sullam, P. M.; Bayer, A. S.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Among the viridans group streptococci, the Streptococcus mitis group is the most common cause of infective endocarditis. These bacteria have a propensity to be β-lactam resistant, as well as to rapidly develop high-level and durable resistance to daptomycin (DAP). We compared a parental, daptomycin-susceptible (DAPs) S. mitis/S. oralis strain and its daptomycin-resistant (DAPr) variant in a model of experimental endocarditis in terms of (i) their relative fitness in multiple target organs in this model (vegetations, kidneys, spleen) when animals were challenged individually and in a coinfection strategy and (ii) their survivability during therapy with daptomycin-gentamicin (an in vitro combination synergistic against the parental strain). The DAPr variant was initially isolated from the cardiac vegetations of animals with experimental endocarditis caused by the parental DAPs strain following treatment with daptomycin. The parental strain and the DAPr variant were comparably virulent when animals were individually challenged. In contrast, in the coinfection model without daptomycin therapy, at both the 106- and 107-CFU/ml challenge inocula, the parental strain outcompeted the DAPr variant in all target organs, especially the kidneys and spleen. When the animals in the coinfection model of endocarditis were treated with DAP-gentamicin, the DAPs strain was completely eliminated, while the DAPr variant persisted in all target tissues. These data underscore that the acquisition of DAPr in S. mitis/S. oralis does come at an intrinsic fitness cost, although this resistance phenotype is completely protective against therapy with a potentially synergistic DAP regimen. PMID:28264848

  3. Molecular characterization and antifungal susceptibility of Cryptococcus neoformans strains collected from a single institution in Lima, Peru : Revista Iberoamericana De Micologia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bejar, V.; Tello, M.; Garcia, R.; Guevara, J. M.; Gonzales, S.; Vergaray, G.; Valencia, E.; Abanto, E.; Ortega-Loayza, A. G.; Hagen, F.; Gutierrez, E. L.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Cryptococcosis is a fungal infection with a worldwide distribution, mainly caused by Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Aims: To molecularly characterize the mating-types, serotypes, genotypes and antifungal susceptibility profiles of a set of retrospectively isolated C.

  4. Two Distinct Approaches for CRISPR-Cas9-Mediated Gene Editing in Cryptococcus neoformans and Related Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ping

    2018-06-27

    Cryptococcus neoformans and related species are encapsulated basidiomycetous fungi that cause meningoencephalitis in individuals with immune deficiency. This pathogen has a tractable genetic system; however, gene disruption via electroporation remains difficult, while biolistic transformation is often limited by lack of multiple genetic markers and the high initial cost of equipment. The approach using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) has become the technology of choice for gene editing in many organisms due to its simplicity, efficiency, and versatility. The technique has been successfully demonstrated in C. neoformans and Cryptococcus deneoformans in which two DNA plasmids expressing either the Streptococcus pyogenes CAS9 gene or the guide RNA (gRNA) were employed. However, potential adverse effects due to constitutive expression and the time-consuming process of constructing vectors to express each gRNA remain as a primary barrier for wide adaptation. This report describes the delivery of preassembled CRISPR-Cas9-gRNA ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) via electroporation that is able to generate edited mutant alleles. RNP-mediated CRISPR-Cas9 was used to replace the wild-type GIB2 gene encoding a Gβ-like/RACK1 Gib2 protein with a gib2 :: NAT allele via homologous recombination in both C. neoformans and C. deneoformans In addition, a DNA plasmid (pCnCas9:U6-gRNA) that expresses both Cas9 and gRNA, allowing for convenient yet low-cost DNA-mediated gene editing, is described. pCnCas9:U6-gRNA contains an endogenous U6 promoter for gRNA expression and restriction sites for one-step insertion of a gRNA. These approaches and resources provide new opportunities to accelerate genetic studies of Cryptococcus species. IMPORTANCE For genetic studies of the Cryptococcus genus, generation of mutant strains is often hampered by a limited number of selectable genetic markers, the tedious process of vector

  5. The effect of mutation on Rhodococcus equi virulence plasmid gene expression and mouse virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jun; Prescott, John F

    2004-11-15

    An 81 kb virulence plasmid containing a pathogenicity island (PI) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals but its specific function in virulence and regulation of plasmid-encoded virulence genes is unclear. Using a LacZ selection marker developed for R. equi in this study, in combination with an apramycin resistance gene, an efficient two-stage homologous recombination targeted gene mutation procedure was used to mutate three virulence plasmid genes, a LysR regulatory gene homologue (ORF4), a ResD-like two-component response regulator homologue (ORF8), and a gene (ORF10) of unknown function that is highly expressed by R. equi inside macrophages, as well as the chromosomal gene operon, phoPR. Virulence testing by liver clearance after intravenous injection in mice showed that the ORF4 and ORF8 mutants were fully attenuated, that the phoPR mutant was hypervirulent, and that virulence of the ORF10 mutant remained unchanged. A virulence plasmid DNA microarray was used to compare the plasmid gene expression profile of each of the four gene-targeted mutants against the parental R. equi strain. Changes were limited to PI genes and gene induction was observed for all mutants, suggesting that expression of virulence plasmid genes is dominated by a negative regulatory network. The finding of attenuation of ORF4 and ORF8 mutants despite enhanced transcription of vapA suggests that factors other than VapA are important for full expression of virulence. ORF1, a putative Lsr antigen gene, was strongly and similarly induced in all mutants, implying a common regulatory pathway affecting this gene for all four mutated genes. ORF8 is apparently the centre of this common pathway. Two distinct highly correlated gene induction patterns were observed, that of the ORF4 and ORF8 mutants, and that of the ORF10 and phoPR mutants. The gene induction pattern distinguishing these two groups paralleled their virulence in mice.

  6. Development of a High Resolution Virulence Allelic Profiling (HReVAP) Approach Based on the Accessory Genome of Escherichia coli to Characterize Shiga-Toxin Producing E. coli (STEC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelacci, Valeria; Orsini, Massimiliano; Knijn, Arnold; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Caprioli, Alfredo; Morabito, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains possess a large accessory genome composed of virulence genes existing in multiple allelic variants, which sometimes segregate with specific STEC subpopulations. We analyzed the allelic variability of 91 virulence genes of STEC by Real Time PCR followed by melting curves analysis in 713 E. coli strains including 358 STEC. The 91 genes investigated were located on the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), OI-57, and OI-122 pathogenicity islands and displayed a total of 476 alleles in the study population. The combinations of the 91 alleles of each strain were termed allelic signatures and used to perform cluster analyses. We termed such an approach High Resolution Virulence Allelic Profiling (HReVAP) and used it to investigate the phylogeny of STEC of multiple serogroups. The dendrograms obtained identified groups of STEC segregating approximately with the serogroups and allowed the identification of subpopulations within the single groups. The study of the allelic signatures provided further evidence of the coevolution of the LEE and OI-122, reflecting the occurrence of their acquisition through a single event. The HReVAP analysis represents a sensitive tool for studying the evolution of LEE-positive STEC. PMID:26941726

  7. Mechanisms of disease: Helicobacter pylori virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2010-11-01

    Helicobacter pylori plays an essential role in the development of various gastroduodenal diseases; however, only a small proportion of people infected with H. pylori develop these diseases. Some populations that have a high prevalence of H. pylori infection also have a high incidence of gastric cancer (for example, in East Asia), whereas others do not (for example, in Africa and South Asia). Even within East Asia, the incidence of gastric cancer varies (decreasing in the south). H. pylori is a highly heterogeneous bacterium and its virulence varies geographically. Geographic differences in the incidence of gastric cancer can be explained, at least in part, by the presence of different types of H. pylori virulence factor, especially CagA, VacA and OipA. However, it is still unclear why the pathogenicity of H. pylori increased as it migrated from Africa to East Asia during the course of evolution. H. pylori infection is also thought to be involved in the development of duodenal ulcer, which is at the opposite end of the disease spectrum to gastric cancer. This discrepancy can be explained in part by the presence of H. pylori virulence factor DupA. Despite advances in our understanding of the development of H. pylori-related diseases, further work is required to clarify the roles of H. pylori virulence factors.

  8. Transcriptional Analysis Allows Genome Reannotation and Reveals that Cryptococcus gattii VGII Undergoes Nutrient Restriction during Infection

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    Patrícia Aline Gröhs Ferrareze

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus gattii is a human and animal pathogen that infects healthy hosts and caused the Pacific Northwest outbreak of cryptococcosis. The inhalation of infectious propagules can lead to internalization of cryptococcal cells by alveolar macrophages, a niche in which C. gattii cells can survive and proliferate. Although the nutrient composition of macrophages is relatively unknown, the high induction of amino acid transporter genes inside the phagosome indicates a preference for amino acid uptake instead of synthesis. However, the presence of countable errors in the R265 genome annotation indicates significant inhibition of transcriptomic analysis in this hypervirulent strain. Thus, we analyzed RNA-Seq data from in vivo and in vitro cultures of C. gattii R265 to perform the reannotation of the genome. In addition, based on in vivo transcriptomic data, we identified highly expressed genes and pathways of amino acid metabolism that would enable C. gattii to survive and proliferate in vivo. Importantly, we identified high expression in three APC amino acid transporters as well as the GABA permease. The use of amino acids as carbon and nitrogen sources, releasing ammonium and generating carbohydrate metabolism intermediaries, also explains the high expression of components of several degradative pathways, since glucose starvation is an important host defense mechanism.

  9. Draft Genome Sequence of Highly Virulent Race 4/Biovar 3 of Ralstonia solanacearum CaRs_Mep Causing Bacterial Wilt in Zingiberaceae Plants in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Aundy; Munjal, Vibhuti; Sheoran, Neelam; Prameela, Thekkan Puthiyaveedu; Suseelabhai, Rajamma; Aggarwal, Rashmi; Jain, Rakesh Kumar; Eapen, Santhosh J

    2017-01-05

    The genome of Ralstonia solanacearum CaRs_Mep, a race 4/biovar 3/phylotype I bacterium causing wilt in small cardamom and other Zingiberaceae plants, was sequenced. Analysis of the 5.7-Mb genome sequence will aid in better understanding of the genetic determinants of host range, host jump, survival, pathogenicity, and virulence of race 4 of R. solanacearum. Copyright © 2017 Kumar et al.

  10. Cryptococcus haglerorum, sp. nov., an anamorphic basidiomycetous yeast isolated from nests of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middelhoven, W.J.; Fonseca, A.; Carreiro, S.C.; Pagnocca, F.C.; Bueno, O.C.

    2003-01-01

    A yeast strain (CBS 8902) was isolated from the nest of a leaf-cutting ant and was shown to be related to Cryptococcus humicola. Sequencing of the D1/D2 region of the 26S ribosomal DNA and physiological characterization revealed a separate taxonomic position. A novel species named Cryptococcus

  11. [A pediatric case of HIV who diagnosed by virtue of disseminated cryptococcus infection].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acar, Manolya; Sütçü, Murat; Aktürk, Hacer; Hançerli Törün, Selda; Karagöz, Nurinisa; Beka, Hayati; Yekeler, Ensar; Ağaçfidan, Ali; Salman, Nuran; Somer, Ayper

    2016-07-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is an important opportunistic pathogen that causes serious mortality and morbidity in AIDS patients. Although its incidence has decreased with proper antiretroviral treatment (ART), it is still a major concern in areas with low socioeconomic HIV endemic countries with poor sources of therapy. In our country, pediatric HIV infection and so, HIV-related opportunistic infections are very rare. In order to pay attention to this unusual collaboration; herein, we presented a pediatric case who was diagnosed with HIV and disseminated cryptococcus infection concomitantly. A 6.5-year-old previously healthy girl has admitted to our hospital with the complaints of prolonged fever, cough and hemoptysis. On her physical examination she had oral candidiasis, generalized lymphadenopathy and hepatosplenomegaly. Laboratory findings were as follows; white blood cell count: 3170 µL (neutrophil: 2720 µL, lymphocyte: 366 µL), hemoglobin level: 7.8 gr/dl, hematocrit: 25.5% platelets: 170.000 µL, CRP: 15.2 mg/L and serum IgG level: 1865 mg/dl. Her anti-HIV test yielde,d positive result and confirmed by Western blot assay, together with a high viral load (HIV-RNA: 3.442.000 copies/ml). She was started ART (lamivudine, zidovudine and lopinavir/ritonavir combination) with the diagnosis of stage 3 HIV infection (AIDS). Posteroanterior chest radiograph showed mediastinal extension and nodular parenchyma. Since the patient was suspected to have pulmonary tuberculosis based on the clinical and radiological findings, empirical antituberculosis therapy was started. Because of the insistance of fever, three different blood specimens, bone marrow and gastric aspirates were collected for culture, in which all of them yielded C.neoformans growth. She was then diagnosed as disseminated cryptococcosis and treated with liposomal amphotericin B and fluconazole successfully. Although pediatric HIV infection is usually diagnosed secondary to maternal disease, it can rarely be

  12. MALDI-TOF MS enables the rapid identification of the major molecular types within the Cryptococcus neoformans/C. gattii species complex.

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    Carolina Firacative

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Cryptococcus neoformans/C. gattii species complex comprises two sibling species that are divided into eight major molecular types, C. neoformans VNI to VNIV and C. gattii VGI to VGIV. These genotypes differ in host range, epidemiology, virulence, antifungal susceptibility and geographic distribution. The currently used phenotypic and molecular identification methods for the species/molecular types are time consuming and expensive. As Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS offers an effective alternative for the rapid identification of microorganisms, the objective of this study was to examine its potential for the identification of C. neoformans and C. gattii strains at the intra- and inter-species level. METHODOLOGY: Protein extracts obtained via the formic acid extraction method of 164 C. neoformans/C. gattii isolates, including four inter-species hybrids, were studied. RESULTS: The obtained mass spectra correctly identified 100% of all studied isolates, grouped each isolate according to the currently recognized species, C. neoformans and C. gattii, and detected potential hybrids. In addition, all isolates were clearly separated according to their major molecular type, generating greater spectral differences among the C. neoformans molecular types than the C. gattii molecular types, most likely reflecting a closer phylogenetic relationship between the latter. The number of colonies used and the incubation length did not affect the results. No spectra were obtained from intact yeast cells. An extended validated spectral library containing spectra of all eight major molecular types was established. CONCLUSIONS: MALDI-TOF MS is a rapid identification tool for the correct recognition of the two currently recognized human pathogenic Cryptococcus species and offers a simple method for the separation of the eight major molecular types and the detection of hybrid strains within this

  13. Virulence attributes and hyphal growth of C. neoformans are quantitative traits and the MATalpha allele enhances filamentation.

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    Xiaorong Lin

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal human pathogen with a bipolar mating system. It undergoes a dimorphic transition from a unicellular yeast to hyphal filamentous growth during mating and monokaryotic fruiting. The traditional sexual cycle that leads to the production of infectious basidiospores involves cells of both alpha and a mating type. Monokaryotic fruiting is a modified form of sexual reproduction that involves cells of the same mating type, most commonly alpha, which is the predominant mating type in both the environment and clinical isolates. However, some a isolates can also undergo monokaryotic fruiting. To determine whether mating type and other genetic loci contribute to the differences in fruiting observed between alpha and a cells, we applied quantitative trait loci (QTL mapping to an inbred population of F2 progeny. We discovered that variation in hyphal length produced during fruiting is a quantitative trait resulting from the combined effects of multiple genetic loci, including the mating type (MAT locus. Importantly, the alpha allele of the MAT locus enhanced hyphal growth compared with the a allele. Other virulence traits, including melanization and growth at 39 degrees C, also are quantitative traits that share a common QTL with hyphal growth. The Mac1 transcription factor, encoded in this common QTL, regulates copper homeostasis. MAC1 allelic differences contribute to phenotypic variation, and mac1Delta mutants exhibit defects in filamentation, melanin production, and high temperature growth. Further characterization of these QTL regions will reveal additional quantitative trait genes controlling biological processes central to fungal development and pathogenicity.

  14. Xylose donor transport is critical for fungal virulence.

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    Lucy X Li

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans, an AIDS-defining opportunistic pathogen, is the leading cause of fungal meningitis worldwide and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. Cryptococcal glycans are required for fungal survival in the host and for pathogenesis. Most glycans are made in the secretory pathway, although the activated precursors for their synthesis, nucleotide sugars, are made primarily in the cytosol. Nucleotide sugar transporters are membrane proteins that solve this topological problem, by exchanging nucleotide sugars for the corresponding nucleoside phosphates. The major virulence factor of C. neoformans is an anti-phagocytic polysaccharide capsule that is displayed on the cell surface; capsule polysaccharides are also shed from the cell and impede the host immune response. Xylose, a neutral monosaccharide that is absent from model yeast, is a significant capsule component. Here we show that Uxt1 and Uxt2 are both transporters specific for the xylose donor, UDP-xylose, although they exhibit distinct subcellular localization, expression patterns, and kinetic parameters. Both proteins also transport the galactofuranose donor, UDP-galactofuranose. We further show that Uxt1 and Uxt2 are required for xylose incorporation into capsule and protein; they are also necessary for C. neoformans to cause disease in mice, although surprisingly not for fungal viability in the context of infection. These findings provide a starting point for deciphering the substrate specificity of an important class of transporters, elucidate a synthetic pathway that may be productively targeted for therapy, and contribute to our understanding of fundamental glycobiology.

  15. Inositol Polyphosphate Kinases, Fungal Virulence and Drug Discovery

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    Cecilia Li

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Opportunistic fungi are a major cause of morbidity and mortality world-wide, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. Developing new treatments to combat invasive fungal disease is challenging given that fungal and mammalian host cells are eukaryotic, with similar organization and physiology. Even therapies targeting unique fungal cell features have limitations and drug resistance is emerging. New approaches to the development of antifungal drugs are therefore needed urgently. Cryptococcus neoformans, the commonest cause of fungal meningitis worldwide, is an accepted model for studying fungal pathogenicity and driving drug discovery. We recently characterized a phospholipase C (Plc1-dependent pathway in C. neoformans comprising of sequentially-acting inositol polyphosphate kinases (IPK, which are involved in synthesizing inositol polyphosphates (IP. We also showed that the pathway is essential for fungal cellular function and pathogenicity. The IP products of the pathway are structurally diverse, each consisting of an inositol ring, with phosphate (P and pyrophosphate (PP groups covalently attached at different positions. This review focuses on (1 the characterization of the Plc1/IPK pathway in C. neoformans; (2 the identification of PP-IP5 (IP7 as the most crucial IP species for fungal fitness and virulence in a mouse model of fungal infection; and (3 why IPK enzymes represent suitable candidates for drug development.

  16. Brucella, nitrogen and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronneau, Severin; Moussa, Simon; Barbier, Thibault; Conde-Álvarez, Raquel; Zuniga-Ripa, Amaia; Moriyon, Ignacio; Letesson, Jean-Jacques

    2016-08-01

    The brucellae are α-Proteobacteria causing brucellosis, an important zoonosis. Although multiplying in endoplasmic reticulum-derived vacuoles, they cause no cell death, suggesting subtle but efficient use of host resources. Brucellae are amino-acid prototrophs able to grow with ammonium or use glutamate as the sole carbon-nitrogen source in vitro. They contain more than twice amino acid/peptide/polyamine uptake genes than the amino-acid auxotroph Legionella pneumophila, which multiplies in a similar vacuole, suggesting a different nutritional strategy. During these two last decades, many mutants of key actors in nitrogen metabolism (transporters, enzymes, regulators, etc.) have been described to be essential for full virulence of brucellae. Here, we review the genomic and experimental data on Brucella nitrogen metabolism and its connection with virulence. An analysis of various aspects of this metabolism (transport, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism, respiration and regulation) has highlighted differences and similarities in nitrogen metabolism with other α-Proteobacteria. Together, these data suggest that, during their intracellular life cycle, the brucellae use various nitrogen sources for biosynthesis, catabolism and respiration following a strategy that requires prototrophy and a tight regulation of nitrogen use.

  17. Invasion thresholds and the evolution of nonequilibrium virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, James J; Ebert, Dieter

    2008-02-01

    The enterprise of virulence management attempts to predict how social practices and other factors affect the evolution of parasite virulence. These predictions are often based on parasite optima or evolutionary equilibria derived from models of host-parasite dynamics. Yet even when such models accurately capture the parasite optima, newly invading parasites will typically not be at their optima. Here we show that parasite invasion of a host population can occur despite highly nonoptimal virulence. Fitness improvements soon after invasion may proceed through many steps with wide changes in virulence, because fitness depends on transmission as well as virulence, and transmission improvements can overwhelm nonoptimal virulence. This process is highly sensitive to mutation supply and the strength of selection. Importantly, the same invasion principle applies to the evolution of established parasites, whenever mutants arise that overcome host immunity/resistance. A host population may consequently experience repeated invasions of new parasite variants and possible large shifts in virulence as it evolves in an arms race with the parasite. An experimental study of phage lysis time and examples of mammalian viruses matching some of these characteristics are reviewed.

  18. Terbinafine inhibits Cryptococcus neoformans growth and modulates fungal morphology

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    Caroline Rezende Guerra

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is an encapsulated fungus that causes cryptococcosis. Central nervous system infection is the most common clinical presentation followed by pulmonary, skin and eye manifestations. Cryptococcosis is primarily treated with amphotericin B (AMB, fluconazole (FLC and itraconazole (ITC. In the present work, we evaluated the in vitro effect of terbinafine (TRB, an antifungal not commonly used to treat cryptococcosis. We specifically examined the effects of TRB, either alone or in conjunction with AMB, FLC and ITC, on clinical C. neoformans isolates, including some isolates resistant to AMB and ITC. Broth microdilution assays showed that TRB was the most effective drug in vitro. Antifungal combinations demonstrated synergism of TRB with AMB, FLC and ITC. The drug concentrations used for the combination formulations were as much as 32 and 16-fold lower than the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC values of FLC and AMB alone, respectively. In addition, calcofluor white staining revealed the presence of true septa in hyphae structures that were generated after drug treatment. Ultrastructural analyses demonstrated several alterations in response to drug treatment, such as cell wall alterations, plasma membrane detachment, presence of several cytoplasmic vacuoles and mitochondrial swelling. Therefore, we believe that the use of TRB alone or in combination with AMB and azoles should be explored as an alternative treatment for cryptococcosis patients who do not respond to standard therapies.

  19. Extracellular glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored mannoproteins and proteases of Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eigenheer, Richard A; Jin Lee, Young; Blumwald, Eduardo; Phinney, Brett S; Gelli, Angie

    2007-06-01

    Extracellular proteins of Cryptococcus neoformans are involved in the pathogenesis of cryptococcosis, and some are immunoreactive antigens that may potentially serve as candidates for vaccine development. To further study the extracellular proteome of the human fungal pathogen Cry. neoformans, we conducted a proteomic analysis of secreted and cell wall-bound proteins with an acapsular strain of Cry. neoformans. Proteins were identified from both intact cells and cell walls. In both cases, extracellular proteins were removed with trypsin or beta-glucanase, and then all proteins/peptides were purified by solid-phase extraction, spin dialysis, and HPLC, and identified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. This study identified 29 extracellular proteins with a predicted N-terminal signal sequence and also a predicted glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor motif in more than half. Among the novel proteins identified were five glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins with extensive Ser/Thr-rich regions but no apparent functional domains, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored aspartic protease, and a metalloprotease with structural similarity to an elastinolytic metalloprotease of Aspergillus fumigatus. This study suggests that Cry. neoformans has the machinery required to target glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins to the cell wall, and it confirms the extracellular proteolytic ability of Cry. neoformans.

  20. Meningitis secondary to Cryptococcus gattii,an emerging pathogen affecting immunocompetent hosts

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Laura Cookman; Maria Hugi

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND:Meningitis continues to be one of the most important infections diagnosed and treated by emergency physicians.Despite the advent of anti-infective therapy,meningitis carries a mortality rate of 20%-40%.In this study,we describe the first reported emergency medicine case of meningitis associated with Cryptococcus gattii to alert providers of this insidious,emerging global pathogen infecting immunocompetent individuals.METHODS:We provided a case report and accompanying review of the literature.A MEDLINE search for the term Cryptoccocus gattii was performed to obtain background information on Cryptococcus gattii.RESULTS:After two months of hospitalization,the patient was eventually discharged neurologically intact except for a continued mild bilateral hearing deficit.CONCLUSION:Cryptococcus gattii is an emerging world pathogen,which affects otherwise healthy,immunocompetent patients and requires timely identification and treatment in order to prevent severe neurological sequelae.

  1. Asociacion de leveduras del genero Cryptococcus con especies de Eucalyptus en Santafe de Bogota Isolation of Cryptococcus sp. associated with Eucalyptus trees in Santafé de Bogota

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    A. Duarte

    1994-04-01

    Full Text Available El aislamiento de Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii, serotipo B, a partir del medio ambiente se estableció inicialmente en Australia en 1989, en asocio con el Eucalyptus camaldulensis y posteriormente con E. tereticornis. Con estos hallazgos se postuló que desde allí, el hongo se ha podido exportar, por medio de las semillas contaminadas, a otras regiones geográficas, incluyendo Colombia. El objetivo de éste estudio fue identificar las levaduras del género Cryptococcus asociadas con especies de Eucalyptus sp., como primera evaluación en la ecología de C. neoformans var. gattii en nuestro país. Se realizó en Santafé de Bogotá, con una población de 100 árboles ubicados al centro, nororiente, oriente y occidente de la ciudad, recolectando de cada uno de ellos flores, frutos, hojas, cortezas y detritos; el procesamiento de las muestras incluyó extracción del material con una solución salina con antibióticos, siembra en medios selectivos e identificación de las especies con base en las características morfológicas, macro y microscópicas y bioquímicas. Se aislaron 27 cepas de Cryptococcus pertenecientes a 9 especies de Cryptococcus, a partir de 21 árboles ubicados en 5 zonas diferentes de la ciudad. Se aisló C. neoformans y se identificó como C. neoformans var. neoformans serotipo A. Estos datos iniciales son importantes como primera evaluación de la asociación de Cryptococcus sp. con los Eucalyptus en nuestro país.Environmental isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii was first made in Australia in 1989 by ELLIS. He established a specific association with the tree species Eucalyptus camaldulensis and E. tereticornis. Based on his findings, ELLIS proposed that the fungus could be exported from Australia to others regions, including Colombia, by means of infected seeds. The purpose of this study was to isolate and identify Cryptococcus sp., associated with Eucalyptus trees; this is the first ecological evaluation

  2. Bioconversion of mixed volatile fatty acids into microbial lipids by Cryptococcus curvatus ATCC 20509.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jia; Yuan, Ming; Liu, Jia-Nan; Huang, Xiang-Feng

    2017-10-01

    The oleaginous yeast Cryptococcus curvatus ATCC 20509 can use 5-40g/L of acetic, propionic, or butyric acid as sole carbon source to produce lipids. High concentrations (30g/L) of mixed volatile fatty acids (VFAs) were used to cultivate C. curvatus to explore the effects of different ratios of mixed VFAs on lipid production and composition. When mixed VFAs (VFA ratio was 15:5:10) were used as carbon sources, the highest cell mass and lipid concentration were 8.68g/L and 4.93g/L, respectively, which were significantly higher than those when 30g/L of acetic acid was used as sole carbon source. The highest content and yield of odd-numbered fatty acids were 45.1% (VFA ratio was 0:15:15) and 1.62g/L (VFA ratio was 5:15:10), respectively. These results indicate that adjusting the composition ratios of mixed VFAs effectively improves microbial lipid synthesis and the yield of odd-numbered fatty acids. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Cryptococcus spp. isolation from excreta of pigeons (Columba livia) in and around Monterrey, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canónico-González, Yolanda; Adame-Rodríguez, Juan Manuel; Mercado-Hernández, Roberto; Aréchiga-Carvajal, Elva Teresa

    2013-01-01

    The presence of Cryptococcus spp. has been reported in Mexico's capital city; however, to our knowledge there are no reports of its presence in the state of Nuevo León located in northeast Mexico. This is presumed to be because the hot and dry climate in this region does not favor cryptococcal proliferation. This study confirmed the presence of C. neoformans and C. albidus in 20% (10/50) of randomly selected fecal samples of pigeons (Columba livia) in the Monterrey metropolitan area. The presence of this yeast in the state of Nuevo León is proof of its adaptation to the typically hot climate of the area and is consistent with recent reviews of cryptococcosis cases in several local hospitals. The two species were identified and characterized through microbiological tests and molecular identification by DNA extraction and PCR amplification of highly conserved 18S ribosomal DNA using ITS1 and ITS2 as target regions. The PCR products were sequenced and compared with those reported in GenBank.

  4. Optimization of lipids production by Cryptococcus laurentii 11 using cheese whey with molasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Fernandes Castanha

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed the optimization of culture condition and composition for production of Cryptococcus laurentii 11 biomass and lipids in cheese whey medium supplemented with sugarcane molasses. The optimization of pH, fermentation time, and molasses concentration according to a full factorial statistical experimental design was followed by a Plackett-Burman experimental design, which was used to determine whether the supplementation of the culture medium by yeast extract and inorganic salts could provide a further enhancement of lipids production. The following conditions and composition of the culture medium were found to optimize biomass and lipids production: 360 h fermentation, 6.5 pH and supplementation of (g L-1: 50 molasses, 0.5 yeast extract, 4 KH2PO4, 1 Na2HPO4, 0.75 MgSO4•7H2O and 0.002 ZnSO4•H2O. Additional supplementation with inorganic salts and yeast extract was essential to optimize the production, in terms of product concentration and productivity, of neutral lipids by C. laurentii 11. Under this optimized condition, the production of total lipids increased by 133% in relation to control experiment (from 1.27 to 2.96 g L-1. The total lipids indicated a predominant (86% presence of neutral lipids with high content of 16- and 18- carbon-chain saturated and monosaturated fatty acids. This class of lipids is considered especially suitable for the production of biodiesel.

  5. Cryptococcus neoformans-derived microvesicles enhance the pathogenesis of fungal brain infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng-He Huang

    Full Text Available Cryptococcal meningoencephalitis is the most common fungal disease in the central nervous system. The mechanisms by which Cryptococcus neoformans invades the brain are largely unknown. In this study, we found that C. neoformans-derived microvesicles (CnMVs can enhance the traversal of the blood-brain barrier (BBB by C. neoformans invitro. The immunofluorescence imaging demonstrates that CnMVs can fuse with human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs, the constituents of the BBB. This activity is presumably due to the ability of the CnMVs to activate HBMEC membrane rafts and induce cell fusogenic activity. CnMVs also enhanced C. neoformans infection of the brain, found in both infected brains and cerebrospinal fluid. In infected mouse brains, CnMVs are distributed inside and around C. neoformans-induced cystic lesions. GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes were found surrounding the cystic lesions, overlapping with the 14-3-3-GFP (14-3-3-green fluorescence protein fusion signals. Substantial changes could be observed in areas that have a high density of CnMV staining. This is the first demonstration that C. neoformans-derived microvesicles can facilitate cryptococcal traversal across the BBB and accumulate at lesion sites of C. neoformans-infected brains. Results of this study suggested that CnMVs play an important role in the pathogenesis of cryptococcal meningoencephalitis.

  6. Direct transesterification of wet Cryptococcus curvatus cells to biodiesel through use of microwave irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cui, Yi; Liang, Yanna

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Direct transesterfication of wet yeast cells using methanol and microwave irradiation is feasible. • Methanol to biomass ratio, stirring speed and KOH concentration were critical to biodiesel yield. • Under optimal conditions, the crude biodiesel contained 64% of FAMEs and was 92% of yeast lipids. - Abstract: Cryptococcus curvatus is a highly promising oleaginous yeast strain that can accumulate intracellular lipids when grown on renewable carbon sources. In order to convert yeast lipids to biodiesel in a simple but cost-effective way, we aim to react whole yeast cells with methanol to produce biodiesel eliminating the step of drying and lipid extraction while adopting microwave energy for heating and disrupting cell walls. Through use of a screening test followed by response surface methodology, optimal parameters leading to the highest yield of crude biodiesel and FAMEs were identified. Under optimal conditions of reaction time (2 min), methanol/biomass ratio (50/1, v/m), stirring speed (966 rpm), KOH concentration (5%), and water content (80%), the yield of crude biodiesel (% of total lipids) was 56.1% after the first round reaction. A second round reaction using the residual yeast cells increased the total yield to 92%. Among the crude biodiesel, 63.88% was FAMEs as revealed by GC analysis. Results from this study indicated that it is feasible to produce biodiesel from wet microbial biomass directly without the steps of drying and lipid extraction. With the assistance of microwave, this process can be accomplished in minutes with good process efficiency

  7. A Case of Cutaneous Plasmablastic Lymphoma in HIV/AIDS with Disseminated Cryptococcus

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    Jun Gong

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a case of a patient with HIV/AIDS who presented with a tender left lower extremity cutaneous mass over a site of previous cryptococcal infection and was found to have plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL. The incidence of PBL is estimated to account for less than 5% of all cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL in HIV-positive individuals. In fact, there were only two reports of extraoral PBL at the time of a 2003 review. PBL in HIV-positive individuals is an aggressive malignancy that tends to occur in middle-aged males with low CD4 counts, high viral loads, and chronic HIV infection. The definitive diagnosis can be made with biopsy which typically shows malignant lymphoid cells that stain positive for plasma cell markers and negative for B-cell markers. The most common treatment is chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP or CHOP-like regimens, but the overall survival rate is poor despite its relative responsiveness to chemotherapy. This case highlights the challenges that remain in improving clinical outcomes, the importance of antiretroviral therapy and HIV disease control, and a potential association between a chronic inflammatory state caused by disseminated Cryptococcus and tumorigenesis in individuals with PBL.

  8. Isolation of human fungi from soil and identification of two endemic areas of Cryptococcus neoformans and Coccidioides immitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Héctor Rubinstein

    1989-02-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out in two different areas of Province of Cordoba, Argentina, where there was a suspicious of endemic mycosis. The previous data were the presence of a clinical case of pulmonary cryptococcosis in one area (Alta Gracia and the previous findings of a high incidence of coccidioidin and cryptococcin reactors in the population of the second one (Villa Dolores. In both areas soil samples for fungi were studied and Cryptococcus neoformans was found in 2/25 samples from Alta Gracia. In Villa Dolores Coccidioides immitis was isolated in 2/40 samples, and C. neoformans in 1/40 samples. Delayed hypersensitivity test with cryptococcin was determined in the population from Alta Gracia and it was found to be 5.3%. Positive cutaneous tests with coccidioidin (33.8% and cryptococcin (31.9% in Villa Dolores were obtained. With these findings two endemic areas of systemic mycoses in Cordoba, Argentina were delimited.

  9. Binding of purified and radioiodinated capsular polysaccharides from Cryptococcus neoformans serotype A strains to capsule-free mutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Small, J.M.; Mitchell, T.G.

    1986-01-01

    Strains 6, 15, 98, 110, and 145 of Cryptococcus neoformans serotype A vary in capsule size, animal virulence, and susceptibility to in vitro phagocytosis. The isolated capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) differ in monosaccharide composition ratios and molecular size, as determined by gel filtration. The purpose of this investigation was to characterize the binding of CPSs to capsule-free mutants of C. neoformans and to examine CPSs from these strains for differences in their ability to bind, to determine whether such differences might explain the variation in the pathobiology of these strains. CPSs were partially periodate oxidized, tyraminated, iodinated with 125 I, and used in binding studies with two capsule-free mutants of C. neoformans, strain 602 and Cap59. Binding was specific for yeast species and for polysaccharide and was saturable, which is consistent with a receptor-mediated mechanism of attachment. Binding occurred rapidly and was only slowly reversible. Binding was also independent of pH from pH 5.5 to 8, of cation concentrations, and of competition by sugars up to 1.0 M concentrations. Only a portion of CPS was capable of binding, and strains varied in the extent to which their CPS bound. CPS-15-IV (peak IV was the major polysaccharide peak on DEAE-cellulose chromatography of CPS from strain 15) had the highest proportion of binding (40%), followed by CPS from strains 98, 6, 145, 110, and 15-III (peak III was an earlier eluting fraction of CPS from strain 15). The CPSs differed similarly in their ability to competitively inhibit binding. Treatment of CPS, but not yeast cells, with proteinase XIV abolished binding without altering the CPS gross structure. Treatment of yeast cells with proteases, heat, or formaldehyde did not alter binding, and both strain 602 and Cap59 bound CPS similarly. Binding to encapsulated yeast cells was minimal

  10. Solid-state NMR Reveals the Carbon-based Molecular Architecture of Cryptococcus neoformans Fungal Eumelanins in the Cell Wall*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Subhasish; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Itin, Boris; Casadevall, Arturo; Stark, Ruth E.

    2015-01-01

    Melanin pigments protect against both ionizing radiation and free radicals and have potential soil remediation capabilities. Eumelanins produced by pathogenic Cryptococcus neoformans fungi are virulence factors that render the fungal cells resistant to host defenses and certain antifungal drugs. Because of their insoluble and amorphous characteristics, neither the pigment bonding framework nor the cellular interactions underlying melanization of C. neoformans have yielded to comprehensive molecular-scale investigation. This study used the C. neoformans requirement of exogenous obligatory catecholamine precursors for melanization to produce isotopically enriched pigment “ghosts” and applied 2D 13C-13C correlation solid-state NMR to reveal the carbon-based architecture of intact natural eumelanin assemblies in fungal cells. We demonstrated that the aliphatic moieties of solid C. neoformans melanin ghosts include cell-wall components derived from polysaccharides and/or chitin that are associated proximally with lipid membrane constituents. Prior to development of the mature aromatic fungal pigment, these aliphatic moieties form a chemically resistant framework that could serve as the scaffold for melanin synthesis. The indole-based core aromatic moieties show interconnections that are consistent with proposed melanin structures consisting of stacked planar assemblies, which are associated spatially with the aliphatic scaffold. The pyrrole aromatic carbons of the pigments bind covalently to the aliphatic framework via glycoside or glyceride functional groups. These findings establish that the structure of the pigment assembly changes with time and provide the first biophysical information on the mechanism by which melanin is assembled in the fungal cell wall, offering vital insights that can advance the design of bioinspired conductive nanomaterials and novel therapeutics. PMID:25825492

  11. Solid-state NMR Reveals the Carbon-based Molecular Architecture of Cryptococcus neoformans Fungal Eumelanins in the Cell Wall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Subhasish; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Itin, Boris; Casadevall, Arturo; Stark, Ruth E

    2015-05-29

    Melanin pigments protect against both ionizing radiation and free radicals and have potential soil remediation capabilities. Eumelanins produced by pathogenic Cryptococcus neoformans fungi are virulence factors that render the fungal cells resistant to host defenses and certain antifungal drugs. Because of their insoluble and amorphous characteristics, neither the pigment bonding framework nor the cellular interactions underlying melanization of C. neoformans have yielded to comprehensive molecular-scale investigation. This study used the C. neoformans requirement of exogenous obligatory catecholamine precursors for melanization to produce isotopically enriched pigment "ghosts" and applied 2D (13)C-(13)C correlation solid-state NMR to reveal the carbon-based architecture of intact natural eumelanin assemblies in fungal cells. We demonstrated that the aliphatic moieties of solid C. neoformans melanin ghosts include cell-wall components derived from polysaccharides and/or chitin that are associated proximally with lipid membrane constituents. Prior to development of the mature aromatic fungal pigment, these aliphatic moieties form a chemically resistant framework that could serve as the scaffold for melanin synthesis. The indole-based core aromatic moieties show interconnections that are consistent with proposed melanin structures consisting of stacked planar assemblies, which are associated spatially with the aliphatic scaffold. The pyrrole aromatic carbons of the pigments bind covalently to the aliphatic framework via glycoside or glyceride functional groups. These findings establish that the structure of the pigment assembly changes with time and provide the first biophysical information on the mechanism by which melanin is assembled in the fungal cell wall, offering vital insights that can advance the design of bioinspired conductive nanomaterials and novel therapeutics. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  12. Antifungal activity of eicosanoic acids isolated from the endophytic fungus Mycosphaerella sp. against Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Cristiane Bigatti; Pereira de Sá, Nívea; Borelli, Beatriz Martins; Rosa, Carlos Augusto; Barbeira, Paulo Jorge Sanches; Cota, Betania Barros; Johann, Susana

    2016-11-01

    The antifungal effects of two eicosanoic acids, 2-amino-3,4-dihydroxy-2-25-(hydroxymethyl)-14-oxo-6,12-eicosenoic acid (compound 1) and myriocin (compound 2), isolated from Mycosphaerella sp. were evaluated against Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii. The compounds displayed antifungal activities against several isolates of C. neoformans and C. gattii, with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranging from 0.49 to 7.82 μM for compound 1 and 0.48-1.95 μM for compound 2. In the checkerboard microtiter test, both compounds exhibited synergistic activity with amphotericin B against C. gattii. Ultrastructural analysis revealed several signs of damage in C. gattii and C. neoformans cells treated with compounds 1 and 2, including deformities in cell shape, depressions on the surface, and withered cells. The cells of C. gattii treated with compounds 1 and 2 showed less loss of cellular material in comparison to those treated with amphotericin B. The difference in cellular material loss increased in a test compound concentration-dependent manner. Consistent with this observation, compounds 1 and 2 were able to internalize propidium iodide (PI) in C. gattii cells. In addition, compound 2 induced the formation of several pseudohyphae, suggesting that it could reduce virulence in C. gattii cells. The study results show that these natural products led to membrane damage; however, this may not be the main target of action. These compounds have potential antifungal activity and could be useful in further studies for developing more effective combination therapies with amphotericin B and reducing side effects in patients. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The MAPKK FgMkk1 of Fusarium graminearum regulates vegetative differentiation, multiple stress response, and virulence via the cell wall integrity and high-osmolarity glycerol signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Yingzi; Liu, Zunyong; Zhang, Jingze; Shim, Won-Bo; Chen, Yun; Ma, Zhonghua

    2014-07-01

    Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases play crucial roles in regulating fungal development, growth and pathogenicity, and in responses to the environment. In this study, we characterized a MAP kinase kinase FgMkk1 in Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of wheat head blight. Phenotypic analyses of the FgMKK1 mutant (ΔFgMKK1) showed that FgMkk1 is involved in the regulation of hyphal growth, pigmentation, conidiation, deoxynivalenol biosynthesis and virulence of F. graminearum. ΔFgMKK1 also showed increased sensitivity to cell wall-damaging agents, and to osmotic and oxidative stresses, but exhibited decreased sensitivity to the fungicides iprodione and fludioxonil. In addition, the mutant revealed increased sensitivity to a biocontrol agent, Trichoderma atroviride. Western blot assays revealed that FgMkk1 positively regulates phosphorylation of the MAP kinases Mgv1 and FgOs-2, the key component in the cell wall integrity (CWI) and high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) signalling pathway respectively. Yeast two-hybrid assay indicated that Mgv1 interacts with a transcription factor FgRlm1. The FgRLM1 mutant (ΔFgRLM1) showed increased sensitivity to cell wall-damaging agents and exhibited decreased virulence. Taken together, our data indicated that FgMkk1 is an upstream component of Mgv1, and regulates vegetative differentiation, multiple stress response and virulence via the CWI and HOG signalling pathways. FgRlm1 may be a downstream component of Mgv1 in the CWI pathway in F. graminearum. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. A glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor is required for membrane localization but dispensable for cell wall association of chitin deacetylase 2 in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Nicole M; Baker, Lorina G; Specht, Charles A; Lodge, Jennifer K

    2012-01-01

    Cell wall proteins (CWPs) mediate important cellular processes in fungi, including adhesion, invasion, biofilm formation, and flocculation. The current model of fungal cell wall organization includes a major class of CWPs covalently bound to β-1,6-glucan via a remnant of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. This model was established by studies of ascomycetes more than a decade ago, and relatively little work has been done with other fungi, although the presumption has been that proteins identified in the cell wall which contain a predicted GPI anchor are covalently linked to cell wall glucans. The pathogenic basidiomycete Cryptococcus neoformans encodes >50 putatively GPI-anchored proteins, some of which have been identified in the cell wall. One of these proteins is chitin deacetylase 2 (Cda2), an enzyme responsible for converting chitin to chitosan, a cell wall polymer recently established as a virulence factor for C. neoformans infection of mammalian hosts. Using a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics, we show that Cda2 is GPI anchored to membranes but noncovalently associated with the cell wall by means independent of both its GPI anchor and β-1,6-glucan. We also show that Cda2 produces chitosan when localized to the plasma membrane, but association with the cell wall is not essential for this process, thereby providing insight into the mechanism of chitosan biosynthesis. These results increase our understanding of the surface of C. neoformans and provide models of cell walls likely applicable to other undercharacterized basidiomycete pathogenic fungi. The surface of a pathogenic microbe is a major interface with its host. In fungi, the outer surface consists of a complex matrix known as the cell wall, which includes polysaccharides, proteins, and other molecules. The mammalian host recognizes many of these surface molecules and mounts appropriate responses to combat the microbial infection. Cryptococcus neoformans is a

  15. Brucella abortusΔcydCΔcydD and ΔcydCΔpurD double-mutants are highly attenuated and confer long-term protective immunity against virulent Brucella abortus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong, Quang Lam; Cho, Youngjae; Park, Soyeon; Kim, Kiju; Hahn, Tae-Wook

    2016-01-04

    We constructed double deletion (ΔcydCΔcydD and ΔcydCΔpurD) mutants from virulent Brucella abortus biovar 1 field isolate (BA15) by deleting the genes encoding an ATP-binding cassette-type transporter (cydC and cydD genes) and a phosphoribosylamine-glycine ligase (purD). Both BA15ΔcydCΔcydD and BA15ΔcydCΔpurD double-mutants exhibited significant attenuation of virulence when assayed in murine macrophages or in BALB/c mice. Both double-mutants were readily cleared from spleens by 4 weeks post-inoculation even when inoculated at the dose of 10(8) CFU per mouse. Moreover, the inoculated mice showed no splenomegaly, which indicates that the mutants are highly attenuated. Importantly, the attenuation of in vitro and in vivo growth did not impair the ability of these mutants to confer long-term protective immunity in mice against challenge with B. abortus strain 2308. Vaccination of mice with either mutant induced humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, and provided significantly better protection than commercial B. abortus strain RB51 vaccine. These results suggest that highly attenuated BA15ΔcydCΔcydD and BA15ΔcydCΔpurD mutants can be used effectively as potential live vaccine candidates against bovine brucellosis. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Ecological surveys of the Cryptococcus species complex in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, An-Sheng; Pan, Wei-Hua; Wu, Shao-Xi; Hideaki, Taguchi; Guo, Ning-Ru; Shen, Yong-Nian; Lu, Gui-Xia; Pan, Ru-Gui; Zhu, Miao-Chang; Chen, Min; Shi, Wei-Ming; Liao, Wan-Qing

    2012-02-01

    Despite recent reports on the molecular epidemiology of cryptococcal infections in China, clinical isolates have been mostly reported from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative patients, and environmental isolates from China have rarely been included. The aim of this study was to investigate the ecological profile of Cryptococcus (C.) neoformans and C. gattii in China. A survey was performed in 10 cities from 20°N (North latitude) to 50°N and in a Eucalyptus (E.) camaldulensis forestry farm at the Guixi forestry center, China. Six hundred and twenty samples of pigeon droppings from 10 cities and 819 E. camaldulensis tree samples were collected and inoculated on caffeic acid cornmeal agar (CACA). The brown-colored colonies were recultured to observe their morphology, growth on canavanine-glycine-bromothymol-blue (CGB) medium, phenol oxidase and urease activities, serotype and mating type. There were obvious differences in the positive sample rates of C. neoformans in pigeon droppings collected from the different cities, ranging from 50% in the cities located at latitudes from 30°N - 40°N, 29% at 20°N - 30°N and 13% at 40°N - 50°N. There were no differences in positive bevy rates (approximately 80%) among the three grouped cities. Mycological tests of 101 isolates purified from pigeon droppings revealed that they were C. neoformans var. grubii. We also observed variable capsular size around the C. neoformans cells in colonies with variable melanin production and the bio-adhesion of the natural C. neoformans cells with other microorganisms. One urease-negative C. neoformans isolate was isolated from pigeon droppings in Jinan city. No C. gattii was isolated in this study.

  17. Cryptococcus neoformans: Tripping on Acid in the phagolysosome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Miguel De Leon Rodriguez

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn is a basidiomycetous pathogenic yeast that is a frequent cause of meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals. Cn is a facultative intracellular pathogen in mammals, insects and amoeba. Cn infection occurs after inhalation of spores or desiccated cells from the environment. After inhalation Cn localizes to the lungs where it can be phagocytosed by alveolar macrophages. Cn is surrounded by a polysaccharide capsule that helps the fungus survive in vivo by interfering with phagocytosis, quenching free radical bursts and shedding polysaccharides that negatively modulates the immune system. After phagocytosis, Cn resides within the phagosome that matures to become a phagolysosome, a process that results in the acidification of the phagolysosomal lumen. Cn replicates at a higher rate inside macrophages than in the extracellular environment, possibly as a result that the phagosomal pH is near that optimal for growth. Cn increases the phagolysosomal pH and modulates the dynamics of Rab GTPases interaction with the phagolysosome. Chemical manipulation of the phagolysosomal pH with drugs can result in direct and indirect killing of Cn and reduced non-lytic exocytosis. Phagolysosomal membrane damage after Cn infection occurs both in vivo and in vitro, and is required for Cn growth and survival. Macrophage treatment with IFN-γ reduces the phagolysosomal damage and increases intracellular killing of Cn. Studies on mice and humans show that treatment with IFN-γ can improve host control of the disease. However the mechanism by which Cn mediates phagolysosomal membrane damage remains unknown but likely candidates are phospholipases and mechanical damage from an enlarging capsule. Here we review Cn intracellular interaction with a particular emphasis on phagosomal interactions and develop the notion that the extent of damage of the phagosomal membrane is a key determinant of the outcome of the Cn-macrophage interaction.

  18. Invasion thresholds and the evolution of nonequilibrium virulence

    OpenAIRE

    Bull, J. J.; Ebert, D.

    2008-01-01

    Abstract The enterprise of virulence management attempts to predict how social practices and other factors affect the evolution of parasite virulence. These predictions are often based on parasite optima or evolutionary equilibria derived from models of host-parasite dynamics. Yet even when such models accurately capture the parasite optima, newly invading parasites will typically not be at their optima. Here we show that parasite invasion of a host population can occur despite highly nonopti...

  19. Gene Network Polymorphism Illuminates Loss and Retention of Novel RNAi Silencing Components in the Cryptococcus Pathogenic Species Complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianna Feretzaki

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available RNAi is a ubiquitous pathway that serves central functions throughout eukaryotes, including maintenance of genome stability and repression of transposon expression and movement. However, a number of organisms have lost their RNAi pathways, including the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the maize pathogen Ustilago maydis, the human pathogen Cryptococcus deuterogattii, and some human parasite pathogens, suggesting there may be adaptive benefits associated with both retention and loss of RNAi. By comparing the RNAi-deficient genome of the Pacific Northwest Outbreak C. deuterogattii strain R265 with the RNAi-proficient genomes of the Cryptococcus pathogenic species complex, we identified a set of conserved genes that were lost in R265 and all other C. deuterogattii isolates examined. Genetic and molecular analyses reveal several of these lost genes play roles in RNAi pathways. Four novel components were examined further. Znf3 (a zinc finger protein and Qip1 (a homolog of N. crassa Qip were found to be essential for RNAi, while Cpr2 (a constitutive pheromone receptor and Fzc28 (a transcription factor are involved in sex-induced but not mitosis-induced silencing. Our results demonstrate that the mitotic and sex-induced RNAi pathways rely on the same core components, but sex-induced silencing may be a more specific, highly induced variant that involves additional specialized or regulatory components. Our studies further illustrate how gene network polymorphisms involving known components of key cellular pathways can inform identification of novel elements and suggest that RNAi loss may have been a core event in the speciation of C. deuterogattii and possibly contributed to its pathogenic trajectory.

  20. Rapid direct identification of Cryptococcus neoformans from pigeon droppings by nested PCR using CNLAC1 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chae, H S; Park, G N; Kim, S H; Jo, H J; Kim, J T; Jeoung, H Y; An, D J; Kim, N H; Shin, B W; Kang, Y I; Chang, K S

    2012-08-01

    Isolation and identification of Cryptococcus neoformans and pathogenic yeast-like fungi from pigeon droppings has been taken for a long time and requires various nutrients for its growth. In this study, we attempted to establish a rapid direct identification method of Cr. neoformans from pigeon dropping samples by nested-PCR using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) CAP64 and CNLAC1 genes, polysaccharide capsule gene and laccase-associated gene to produce melanin pigment, respectively, which are common genes of yeasts. The ITS and CAP64 genes were amplified in all pathogenic yeasts, but CNLAC1 was amplified only in Cr. neoformans. The ITS gene was useful for yeast genotyping depending on nucleotide sequence. Homology of CAP64 genes among the yeasts were very high. The specificity of PCR using CNLAC1 was demonstrated in Cr. neoformans environmental strains but not in other yeast-like fungi. The CNLAC1 gene was detected in 5 serotypes of Cr. neoformans. The nested-PCR amplified up to 10(-11) μg of the genomic DNA and showed high sensitivity. All pigeon droppings among 31 Cr. neoformans-positive samples were positive and all pigeon droppings among 348 Cr. neoformans-negative samples were negative by the direct nested-PCR. In addition, after primary enrichment of pigeon droppings in Sabouraud dextrose broth, all Cr. neoformans-negative samples were negative by the nested-PCR, which showed high specificity. The nested-PCR showed high sensitivity without culture of pigeon droppings. Nested-PCR using CNLAC1 provides a rapid and reliable molecular diagnostic method to overcome weak points such as long culture time of many conventional methods.

  1. A molecular beacon based on DNA-templated silver nanoclusters for the highly sensitive and selective multiplexed detection of virulence genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Dan; Wei, Chunying

    2018-05-01

    In this work, we develop a fluorescent molecular beacon based on the DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (DNA-Ag NCs). The skillfully designed molecular beacon can be conveniently used for detection of diverse virulence genes as long as the corresponding recognition sequences are embedded. Importantly, the constructed detection system allows simultaneous detection of multiple nucleic acids, which is attributed to non-overlapping emission spectra of the as-synthesized silver nanoclusters. Based on the target-induced fluorescence enhancement, three infectious disease-related genes HIV, H1N1, and H5N1 are detected, and the corresponding detection limits are 3.53, 0.12 and 3.95nM, respectively. This design allows specific, versatile and simultaneous detection of diverse targets with easy operation and low cost. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Virulence Factors of Streptococcus mutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-08-01

    763512/715242 Final Report U VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS MUTANS U Samuel Rosen Department of Oral Biology For the Period April 1, 1983 - June 30...00 FINAL REPORT VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS MUTANS Sam Rosen, Irving Shklair, E. X. Beck and F. M. Beck Ohio State University Columbus,Oh and...206-212. Johnson CP, Gorss S, Hillman JD (1978). Cariogenic properties of LDH deficient mutants of streptococcus mutans . J Dent Res 57, Special Issue

  3. PERIORBITAL NECROTIZING FASCIITIS DUE TO CRYPTOCOCCUS NEOFORMANS IN A HEALTHY-YOUNG MAN

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DOORENBOSBOT, ACC; HOOYMANS, JMM; BLANKSMA, LJ

    1990-01-01

    A case report is presented of a healthy 25-year-old man who developed a periorbital necrotising fasciitis after a trivial trauma with a wooden splinter. Necrotising fasciitis of the eyelids occurs rarely. Cryptococcus neoformans is not described as a causative factor of necrotizing fasciitis.

  4. Environmental distribution of Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii around the Mediterranean basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cogliati, Massimo; D'Amicis, Roberta; Zani, Alberto; Montagna, Maria Teresa; Caggiano, Giuseppina; De Giglio, Osvalda; Balbino, Stella; De Donno, Antonella; Serio, Francesca; Susever, Serdar; Ergin, Cagri; Velegraki, Aristea; Ellabib, Mohamed S; Nardoni, Simona; Macci, Cristina; Oliveri, Salvatore; Trovato, Laura; Dipineto, Ludovico; Rickerts, Volker; McCormick-Smith, Ilka; Akcaglar, Sevim; Tore, Okan; Mlinaric-Missoni, Emilija; Bertout, Sebastien; Mallié, Michele; Martins, Maria da Luz; Vencà, Ana C F; Vieira, Maria L; Sampaio, Ana C; Pereira, Cheila; Griseo, Giuseppe; Romeo, Orazio; Ranque, Stéphane; Al-Yasiri, Mohammed H Y; Kaya, Meltem; Cerikcioglu, Nilgun; Marchese, Anna; Vezzulli, Luigi; Ilkit, Macit; Desnos-Ollivier, Marie; Pasquale, Vincenzo; Korem, Maya; Polacheck, Itzhack; Scopa, Antonio; Meyer, Wieland; Ferreira-Paim, Kennio; Hagen, Ferry; Theelen, Bart; Boekhout, Teun; Lockhart, Shawn R; Tintelnot, Kathrin; Tortorano, Anna Maria; Dromer, Françoise; Varma, Ashok; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J; Inácio, Joäo; Alonso, Beatriz; Colom, Maria F

    In order to elucidate the distribution of Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii in the Mediterranean basin, an extensive environmental survey was carried out during 2012-2015. A total of 302 sites located in 12 countries were sampled, 6436 samples from 3765 trees were collected and 5% of trees were

  5. Isolation of Cryptococcus gattii from a Castanopsis argyrophylla tree hollow (Mai-Kaw), Chiang Mai, Thailand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khayhan, Kantarawee; Hagen, Ferry; Norkaew, Treepradab; Puengchan, Tanpalang; Boekhout, Teun; Sriburee, Pojana

    2017-01-01

    The pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus gattii was isolated from a tree hollow of a Castanopsis argyrophylla King ex Hook.f. (Fagaceae) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Molecular characterization with amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis and multi-locus sequence typing showed that this isolate belonged

  6. Wood and bark anatomy of young beech in relation to Cryptococcus attack

    Science.gov (United States)

    David. Lonsdale

    1983-01-01

    Within a sample of European beech, partial resistance to attack by the beech scale, Cryptococcus fagisuga, was associated with a smooth bark which had a regular, vertical pattern in its surface 'growth lines'. Such bark contained relatively little lignified outer parenchyma, and the main stone cell layer was strongly developed. The '...

  7. Cryptococcus: isolamento ambiental e caracterização bioquímica

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    E.C. Araújo Júnior

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available O gênero Cryptococcus caracteriza-se por ser uma levedura responsável por infecção sistêmica, causada pelas espécies Cryptococcus neoformans e Cryptococcus gattii. O fungo é encontrado em substratos de origem animal e vegetal, e a infecção ocorre com a inalação de basidiósporos ou leveduras desidratadas infectantes presentes no ambiente. O presente trabalho teve por objetivo pesquisar a existência de microfocos de Cryptococcussp.em amostras ambientais da cidade de Araçatuba, São Paulo, com a finalidade de minimizar os riscos de contaminação do homem e dos animais, buscando o conhecimento da ecoepidemiologia do Cryptococcus. Foram colhidas 50 amostras oriundas de ocos e troncos de árvores (Cassiasp., Ficussp., Caesalpinea peltophorides de 10 locais representativos do perímetro urbano, as quais foram encaminhadas ao Laboratório de Bacteriologia e Micologia da Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária de Araçatuba-Unesp, onde foram processadas e semeadas em placas de Petri contendo ágar semente de Níger e Sabouraud dextrose com clorafenicol e incubadas à temperatura de 30ºC, por um período não inferior a cinco dias. Posteriormente, foram submetidas às provas bioquímicas: produção de urease, termotolerância a 37ºC e quimiotipagem em ágar CGB (L-canavanina-glicina-azul de bromotimol. A análise dos resultados revelaram que 17 (34% dos cultivos foram positivos para o gênero Cryptococcus, sendo nove (18% para Cryptococcus gattiie oito (16% para Cryptococcus neoformans. Outras leveduras correlacionadas, como Rhodotorula sp. e Candida sp., também foram isoladas. Conclui-se que os basidiósporos de Cryptococcusencontram-se dispersos na natureza, constituindo microfocos ambientais, não vinculados necessariamente a um único hospedeiro.

  8. 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

  9. Rift valley fever virus lacking the NSs and NSm genes is highly attenuated, confers protective immunity from virulent virus challenge, and allows for differential identification of infected and vaccinated animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, Brian H; Albariño, César G; Hartman, Amy L; Erickson, Bobbie Rae; Ksiazek, Thomas G; Nichol, Stuart T

    2008-03-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus is a mosquito-borne human and veterinary pathogen associated with large outbreaks of severe disease throughout Africa and more recently the Arabian peninsula. Infection of livestock can result in sweeping "abortion storms" and high mortality among young animals. Human infection results in self-limiting febrile disease that in approximately 1 to 2% of patients progresses to more serious complications including hepatitis, encephalitis, and retinitis or a hemorrhagic syndrome with high fatality. The virus S segment-encoded NSs and the M segment-encoded NSm proteins are important virulence factors. The development of safe, effective vaccines and tools to screen and evaluate antiviral compounds is critical for future control strategies. Here, we report the successful reverse genetics generation of multiple recombinant enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged RVF viruses containing either the full-length, complete virus genome or precise deletions of the NSs gene alone or the NSs/NSm genes in combination, thus creating attenuating deletions on multiple virus genome segments. These viruses were highly attenuated, with no detectable viremia or clinical illness observed with high challenge dosages (1.0 x 10(4) PFU) in the rat lethal disease model. A single-dose immunization regimen induced robust anti-RVF virus immunoglobulin G antibodies (titer, approximately 1:6,400) by day 26 postvaccination. All vaccinated animals that were subsequently challenged with a high dose of virulent RVF virus survived infection and could be serologically differentiated from naïve, experimentally infected animals by the lack of NSs antibodies. These rationally designed marker RVF vaccine viruses will be useful tools for in vitro screening of therapeutic compounds and will provide a basis for further development of RVF virus marker vaccines for use in endemic regions or following the natural or intentional introduction of the virus into previously unaffected areas.

  10. Expression of chicken interleukin-2 by a highly virulent strain of Newcastle disease virus leads to decreased systemic viral load but does not significantly affect mortality in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susta, Leonardo; Diel, Diego G; Courtney, Sean; Cardenas-Garcia, Stivalis; Sundick, Roy S; Miller, Patti J; Brown, Corrie C; Afonso, Claudio L

    2015-08-08

    In mammals, interleukin 2 (IL-2) has been shown to decrease replication or attenuate pathogenicity of numerous viral pathogens (herpes simplex virus, vaccinia virus, human respiratory syncytial virus, human immunodeficiency virus) by activating natural killer cells (NK), cytotoxic T lymphocytes and expanding subsets of memory cells. In chickens, IL-2 has been shown to activate T cells, and as such it might have the potential to affect replication and pathogenesis of Newcastle disease virus (NDV). To assess the effect of IL-2 during NDV infection in chickens, we produced a recombinant virulent NDV strain expressing chicken IL-2 (rZJ1-IL2). The effects of IL-2 expression were investigated in vivo using the intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) in day-old chicks and pathogenesis experiments in 4-week-old chickens. In these studies, rZJ1-IL2 was compared to a control virus expressing the green fluorescent protein (rZJ1-GFP). Assessed parameters included survival curves, detailed histological and immunohistochemical grading of lesions in multiple organs, and virus isolation in blood, spleen and mucosal secretions of infected birds. At the site of infection (eyelid), expression of IL-2 was demonstrated in areas of rZJ-IL2 replication, confirming IL-2 production in vivo. Compared to rZJ1-GFP strain, rZJ1-IL2 caused milder lesions and displayed decreased viral load in blood, spleen and mucosal secretions of infected birds. In the rZJ1-IL2-infected group, virus level in the blood peaked at day 4 post-infection (pi) (10(3.46) EID50 /0.1 ml) and drastically decreased at day 5 pi (10(0.9) EID50/0.1 ml), while in the rZJ1-GFP-infected group virus levels in the blood reached 10(5.35) EID50/0.1 ml at day 5. However, rZJ1-IL2-infected groups presented survival curves similar to control birds infected with rZJ1-GFP, with comparable clinical signs and 100 % mortality. Further, expression of IL-2 did not significantly affect the ICPI scores, compared to rZJ1-GFP strain. Increased

  11. Cryptococcus gattii VGIII isolates causing infections in HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California: identification of the local environmental source as arboreal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah J Springer

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Ongoing Cryptococcus gattii outbreaks in the Western United States and Canada illustrate the impact of environmental reservoirs and both clonal and recombining propagation in driving emergence and expansion of microbial pathogens. C. gattii comprises four distinct molecular types: VGI, VGII, VGIII, and VGIV, with no evidence of nuclear genetic exchange, indicating these represent distinct species. C. gattii VGII isolates are causing the Pacific Northwest outbreak, whereas VGIII isolates frequently infect HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California. VGI, VGII, and VGIII have been isolated from patients and animals in the Western US, suggesting these molecular types occur in the environment. However, only two environmental isolates of C. gattii have ever been reported from California: CBS7750 (VGII and WM161 (VGIII. The incongruence of frequent clinical presence and uncommon environmental isolation suggests an unknown C. gattii reservoir in California. Here we report frequent isolation of C. gattii VGIII MATα and MATa isolates and infrequent isolation of VGI MATα from environmental sources in Southern California. VGIII isolates were obtained from soil debris associated with tree species not previously reported as hosts from sites near residences of infected patients. These isolates are fertile under laboratory conditions, produce abundant spores, and are part of both locally and more distantly recombining populations. MLST and whole genome sequence analysis provide compelling evidence that these environmental isolates are the source of human infections. Isolates displayed wide-ranging virulence in macrophage and animal models. When clinical and environmental isolates with indistinguishable MLST profiles were compared, environmental isolates were less virulent. Taken together, our studies reveal an environmental source and risk of C. gattii to HIV/AIDS patients with implications for the >1,000,000 cryptococcal infections occurring annually for which

  12. Dynamic protein S-palmitoylation mediates parasite life cycle progression and diverse mechanisms of virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert W B; Sharma, Aabha I; Engman, David M

    2017-04-01

    Eukaryotic parasites possess complex life cycles and utilize an assortment of molecular mechanisms to overcome physical barriers, suppress and/or bypass the host immune response, including invading host cells where they can replicate in a protected intracellular niche. Protein S-palmitoylation is a dynamic post-translational modification in which the fatty acid palmitate is covalently linked to cysteine residues on proteins by the enzyme palmitoyl acyltransferase (PAT) and can be removed by lysosomal palmitoyl-protein thioesterase (PPT) or cytosolic acyl-protein thioesterase (APT). In addition to anchoring proteins to intracellular membranes, functions of dynamic palmitoylation include - targeting proteins to specific intracellular compartments via trafficking pathways, regulating the cycling of proteins between membranes, modulating protein function and regulating protein stability. Recent studies in the eukaryotic parasites - Plasmodium falciparum, Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma brucei, Cryptococcus neoformans and Giardia lamblia - have identified large families of PATs and palmitoylated proteins. Many palmitoylated proteins are important for diverse aspects of pathogenesis, including differentiation into infective life cycle stages, biogenesis and tethering of secretory organelles, assembling the machinery powering motility and targeting virulence factors to the plasma membrane. This review aims to summarize our current knowledge of palmitoylation in eukaryotic parasites, highlighting five exemplary mechanisms of parasite virulence dependent on palmitoylation.

  13. Protein Composition of Infectious Spores Reveals Novel Sexual Development and Germination Factors in Cryptococcus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingwei Huang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Spores are an essential cell type required for long-term survival across diverse organisms in the tree of life and are a hallmark of fungal reproduction, persistence, and dispersal. Among human fungal pathogens, spores are presumed infectious particles, but relatively little is known about this robust cell type. Here we used the meningitis-causing fungus Cryptococcus neoformans to determine the roles of spore-resident proteins in spore biology. Using highly sensitive nanoscale liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, we compared the proteomes of spores and vegetative cells (yeast and identified eighteen proteins specifically enriched in spores. The genes encoding these proteins were deleted, and the resulting strains were evaluated for discernable phenotypes. We hypothesized that spore-enriched proteins would be preferentially involved in spore-specific processes such as dormancy, stress resistance, and germination. Surprisingly, however, the majority of the mutants harbored defects in sexual development, the process by which spores are formed. One mutant in the cohort was defective in the spore-specific process of germination, showing a delay specifically in the initiation of vegetative growth. Thus, by using this in-depth proteomics approach as a screening tool for cell type-specific proteins and combining it with molecular genetics, we successfully identified the first germination factor in C. neoformans. We also identified numerous proteins with previously unknown functions in both sexual development and spore composition. Our findings provide the first insights into the basic protein components of infectious spores and reveal unexpected molecular connections between infectious particle production and spore composition in a pathogenic eukaryote.

  14. The highly virulent 2006 Norwegian EHEC O103:H25 outbreak strain is related to the 2011 German O104:H4 outbreak strain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trine M L'Abée-Lund

    Full Text Available In 2006, a severe foodborne EHEC outbreak occured in Norway. Seventeen cases were recorded and the HUS frequency was 60%. The causative strain, Esherichia coli O103:H25, is considered to be particularly virulent. Sequencing of the outbreak strain revealed resemblance to the 2011 German outbreak strain E. coli O104:H4, both in genome and Shiga toxin 2-encoding (Stx2 phage sequence. The nucleotide identity between the Stx2 phages from the Norwegian and German outbreak strains was 90%. During the 2006 outbreak, stx(2-positive O103:H25 E. coli was isolated from two patients. All the other outbreak associated isolates, including all food isolates, were stx-negative, and carried a different phage replacing the Stx2 phage. This phage was of similar size to the Stx2 phage, but had a distinctive early phage region and no stx gene. The sequence of the early region of this phage was not retrieved from the bacterial host genome, and the origin of the phage is unknown. The contaminated food most likely contained a mixture of E. coli O103:H25 cells with either one of the phages.

  15. [Analysis of virulence factors of Porphyromonas endodontalis based on comparative proteomics technique].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H; Ji, H; Wu, S S; Hou, B X

    2016-12-09

    Objective: To analyze the protein expression profile and the potential virulence factors of Porphyromonas endodontalis (Pe) via comparison with that of two strains of Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) with high and low virulences, respectively. Methods: Whole cell comparative proteomics of Pe ATCC35406 was examined and compared with that of high virulent strain Pg W83 andlow virulent strain Pg ATCC33277, respectively. Isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) combined with nano liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (Nano-LC-MS/MS) were adopted to identify and quantitate the proteins of Pe and two strains of Pg with various virulences by using the methods of isotopically labeled peptides, mass spectrometric detection and bioinformatics analysis. The biological functions of similar proteins expressed by Pe ATCC35406 and two strains of Pg were quantified and analyzed. Results: Totally 1 210 proteins were identified while Pe compared with Pg W83. There were 130 proteins (10.74% of the total proteins) expressed similarly, including 89 known functional proteins and 41 proteins of unknown functions. Totally 1 223 proteins were identified when Pe compared with Pg ATCC33277. There were 110 proteins (8.99% of the total proteins) expressed similarly, including 72 known functional proteins and 38 proteins of unknown functions. The similarly expressed proteins in Pe and Pg strains with various virulences mainly focused on catalytic activity and binding function, including recombination activation gene (RagA), lipoprotein, chaperonin Dnak, Clp family proteins (ClpC and ClpX) and various iron-binding proteins. They were involved in metabolism and cellular processes. In addition, the type and number of similar virulence proteins between Pe and high virulence Pg were higher than those between Pe and low virulence Pg. Conclusions: Lipoprotein, oxygen resistance protein, iron binding protein were probably the potential virulence factors of Pe ATCC35406. It was

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Harbouring public good mutants within a pathogen population can increase both fitness and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Richard J; Kershaw, Michael J; Pawlowska, Bogna J; Talbot, Nicholas J; Gudelj, Ivana

    2016-12-28

    Existing theory, empirical, clinical and field research all predict that reducing the virulence of individuals within a pathogen population will reduce the overall virulence, rendering disease less severe. Here, we show that this seemingly successful disease management strategy can fail with devastating consequences for infected hosts. We deploy cooperation theory and a novel synthetic system involving the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae . In vivo infections of rice demonstrate that M. oryzae virulence is enhanced, quite paradoxically, when a public good mutant is present in a population of high-virulence pathogens. We reason that during infection, the fungus engages in multiple cooperative acts to exploit host resources. We establish a multi-trait cooperation model which suggests that the observed failure of the virulence reduction strategy is caused by the interference between different social traits. Multi-trait cooperative interactions are widespread, so we caution against the indiscriminant application of anti-virulence therapy as a disease-management strategy.

  18. Susceptibilidad "in vitro" de cepas de Cryptococcus a 5 drogas antifungicas "In vitro" susceptibility of Cryptococcus strains to 5 antifungal drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Bava

    1989-10-01

    Full Text Available Se estudió la susceptibilidad "in vitro" de 24 cepas de 3 especies del género Cryptococcus a 5 drogas antifúngicas (anfotericina B, 5 fluorocitosina, ketoconazol, itraconazol y miconazol. Las mismas se agruparon según su especie, variedad y origen de aislamiento. Para determinar la concentración inhibitoria mínima (C.I.M. de cada droga se empleó el método de dilución en agar con el medio básico nitrogenado para levaduras, adicionado de glucosa. Se obtuvo además la media geométrica de estos valores para cada grupo y se comparó cada uno de ellos. Los resultados obtenidos fueron homogéneos con la sola excepción de las cepas de Cryptococcus sp (no neoformans, en las cuales se detectaron elevados valores de C.I.M. para la 5 fluorocitosina.A comparative study of the "in vitro" susceptibility of 24 Cryptococcus strains to 5 antifungal drugs (amphotericin B, 5 fluorocytosine, miconazole, itraconazole and ketoconazole, was carried out. These strains were grouped according to species, varieties and isolation's origins. The minimum inhibitory concentration (M.I.C. was determinated by the agar dilution technique in yeast nitrogen base agar with dextrose. The mean geometrical of the M.I.C. values of each group was compared with the others. The results obtained were homogeneous with the only exception of the "non neoformans" strains, in which, higher M.I.C. to 5 fluorocytosine values were detected.

  19. Life History Responses and Gene Expression Profiles of the Nematode Pristionchus pacificus Cultured on Cryptococcus Yeasts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaurav V Sanghvi

    Full Text Available Nematodes, the earth's most abundant metazoa are found in all ecosystems. In order to survive in diverse environments, they have evolved distinct feeding strategies and they can use different food sources. While some nematodes are specialists, including parasites of plants and animals, others such as Pristionchus pacificus are omnivorous feeders, which can live on a diet of bacteria, protozoans, fungi or yeast. In the wild, P. pacificus is often found in a necromenic association with beetles and is known to be able to feed on a variety of microbes as well as on nematode prey. However, in laboratory studies Escherichia coli OP50 has been used as standard food source, similar to investigations in Caenorhabditis elegans and it is unclear to what extent this biases the obtained results and how relevant findings are in real nature. To gain first insight into the variation in traits induced by a non-bacterial food source, we study Pristionchus-fungi interactions under laboratory conditions. After screening different yeast strains, we were able to maintain P. pacificus for at least 50-60 generations on Cryptococcus albidus and Cryptococcus curvatus. We describe life history traits of P. pacificus on both yeast strains, including developmental timing, survival and brood size. Despite a slight developmental delay and problems to digest yeast cells, which are both reflected at a transcriptomic level, all analyses support the potential of Cryptococcus strains as food source for P. pacificus. In summary, our work establishes two Cryptococcus strains as alternative food source for P. pacificus and shows change in various developmental, physiological and morphological traits, including the transcriptomic profiles.

  20. Detection of Cryptococcus neoformans DNA in Tissue Samples by Nested and Real-Time PCR Assays

    OpenAIRE

    Bialek, Ralf; Weiss, Michael; Bekure-Nemariam, Kubrom; Najvar, Laura K.; Alberdi, Maria B.; Graybill, John R.; Reischl, Udo

    2002-01-01

    Two PCR protocols targeting the 18S rRNA gene of Cryptococcus neoformans were established, compared, and evaluated in murine cryptococcal meningitis. One protocol was designed as a nested PCR to be performed in conventional block thermal cyclers. The other protocol was designed as a quantitative single-round PCR adapted to LightCycler technology. One hundred brain homogenates and dilutions originating from 20 ICR mice treated with different azoles were examined. A fungal burden of 3 × 101 to ...

  1. Synergy and antagonism between iron chelators and antifungal drugs in Cryptococcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Yu-Wen; Campbell, Leona T; Wilkins, Marc R; Pang, Chi Nam Ignatius; Chen, Sharon; Carter, Dee A

    2016-10-01

    Fungal infections remain very difficult to treat, and developing new antifungal drugs is difficult and expensive. Recent approaches therefore seek to augment existing antifungals with synergistic agents that can lower the therapeutic dose, increase efficacy and prevent resistance from developing. Iron limitation can inhibit microbial growth, and iron chelators have been employed to treat fungal infections. In this study, chequerboard testing was used to explore combinations of iron chelators with antifungal agents against pathogenic Cryptococcus spp. with the aim of determining how disruption to iron homeostasis affects antifungal susceptibility. The iron chelators ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), deferoxamine (DFO), deferiprone (DFP), deferasirox (DSX), ciclopirox olamine and lactoferrin (LF) were paired with the antifungal agents amphotericin B (AmB), fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole and caspofungin. All chelators except for DFO increased the efficacy of AmB, and significant synergy was seen between AmB and LF for all Cryptococcus strains. Addition of exogenous iron rescued cells from the antifungal effect of LF alone but could not prevent inhibition by AmB + LF, indicating that synergy was not due primarily to iron chelation but to other properties of LF that were potentiated in the presence of AmB. Significant synergy was not seen consistently for other antifungal-chelator combinations, and EDTA, DSX and DFP antagonised the activity of azole drugs in strains of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii. This study highlights the range of interactions that can be induced by chelators and indicates that most antifungal drugs are not enhanced by iron limitation in Cryptococcus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

  2. Isolation of Cryptococcus gattii from a Castanopsis argyrophylla tree hollow (Mai-Kaw), Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khayhan, Kantarawee; Hagen, Ferry; Norkaew, Treepradab; Puengchan, Tanpalang; Boekhout, Teun; Sriburee, Pojana

    2017-04-01

    The pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus gattii was isolated from a tree hollow of a Castanopsis argyrophylla King ex Hook.f. (Fagaceae) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Molecular characterization with amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis and multi-locus sequence typing showed that this isolate belonged to genotype AFLP4/VGI representing C. gattii sensu stricto. Subsequent comparison of the environmental isolate with those from clinical samples from Thailand showed that they grouped closely together in a single cluster.

  3. The Genome of the Basidiomycetous Yeast and Human Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans

    OpenAIRE

    Loftus, Brendan J.; Fung, Eula; Roncaglia, Paola; Rowley, Don; Amedeo, Paolo; Bruno, Dan; Vamathevan, Jessica; Miranda, Molly; Anderson, Iain J.; Fraser, James A.; Allen, Jonathan E.; Bosdet, Ian E.; Brent, Michael R.; Chiu, Readman; Doering, Tamara L.

    2005-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a basidiomycetous yeast ubiquitous in the environment, a model for fungal pathogenesis, and an opportunistic human pathogen of global importance. We have sequenced its ~20-megabase genome, which contains ~6500 intron-rich gene structures and encodes a transcriptome abundant in alternatively spliced and antisense messages. The genome is rich in transposons, many of which cluster at candidate centromeric regions. The presence of these transposons may drive karyotype i...

  4. Aureusimines in Staphylococcus aureus are not involved in virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Fei; Cho, Hoonsik; Jeong, Do-Won; Li, Chunling; He, Chuan; Bae, Taeok

    2010-12-29

    Recently, dipeptide aureusimines were reported to activate expression of staphylococcal virulence genes, such as alpha-hemolysin, and increase S. aureus virulence. Surprisingly, most of the virulence genes affected by aureusimines form part of the regulon of the SaeRS two component system (TCS), raising the possibility that SaeRS might be directly or indirectly involved in the aureusimine-dependent signaling process. Using HPLC analyses, we confirmed that a transposon mutant of ausA, the gene encoding the aureusimine dipeptide synthesis enzyme, does not produce dipeptides. However, the transposon mutant showed normal hemolysis activity and alpha-hemolysin/SaeP production. Furthermore, the P1 promoter of the sae operon, one of the targets of the SaeRS TCS, showed normal transcription activity. Moreover, in contrast to the original report, the ausA transposon mutant did not exhibit attenuated virulence in an animal infection model. DNA sequencing revealed that the ausA deletion mutant used in the original study has an 83 nt-duplication in saeS. Hemolysis activity of the original mutant was restored by a plasmid carrying the sae operon. A mutant of the sae operon showed elevated resistance to chloramphenicol and erythromycin, two antibiotics widely used during staphylococcal mutagenesis. At 43°C in the presence of erythromycin and aeration, the conditions typically employed for staphylococcal mutagenesis, an saeR transposon mutant grew much faster than a control mutant and the saeR mutant was highly enriched in a mixed culture experiment. Our results show that the previously reported roles of aureusimines in staphylococcal gene regulation and virulence were due to an unintended mutation in saeS, which was likely selected due to elevated resistance of the mutant to environmental stresses. Thus, there is no evidence indicating that the dipeptide aureusimines play a role in sae-mediated virulence factor production or contribute to staphylococcal virulence.

  5. Aureusimines in Staphylococcus aureus are not involved in virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Sun

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Recently, dipeptide aureusimines were reported to activate expression of staphylococcal virulence genes, such as alpha-hemolysin, and increase S. aureus virulence. Surprisingly, most of the virulence genes affected by aureusimines form part of the regulon of the SaeRS two component system (TCS, raising the possibility that SaeRS might be directly or indirectly involved in the aureusimine-dependent signaling process.Using HPLC analyses, we confirmed that a transposon mutant of ausA, the gene encoding the aureusimine dipeptide synthesis enzyme, does not produce dipeptides. However, the transposon mutant showed normal hemolysis activity and alpha-hemolysin/SaeP production. Furthermore, the P1 promoter of the sae operon, one of the targets of the SaeRS TCS, showed normal transcription activity. Moreover, in contrast to the original report, the ausA transposon mutant did not exhibit attenuated virulence in an animal infection model. DNA sequencing revealed that the ausA deletion mutant used in the original study has an 83 nt-duplication in saeS. Hemolysis activity of the original mutant was restored by a plasmid carrying the sae operon. A mutant of the sae operon showed elevated resistance to chloramphenicol and erythromycin, two antibiotics widely used during staphylococcal mutagenesis. At 43°C in the presence of erythromycin and aeration, the conditions typically employed for staphylococcal mutagenesis, an saeR transposon mutant grew much faster than a control mutant and the saeR mutant was highly enriched in a mixed culture experiment.Our results show that the previously reported roles of aureusimines in staphylococcal gene regulation and virulence were due to an unintended mutation in saeS, which was likely selected due to elevated resistance of the mutant to environmental stresses. Thus, there is no evidence indicating that the dipeptide aureusimines play a role in sae-mediated virulence factor production or contribute to staphylococcal

  6. Molecular determinants of Ebola virus virulence in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideki Ebihara

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV causes severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates, with fatality rates in humans of up to 90%. The molecular basis for the extreme virulence of ZEBOV remains elusive. While adult mice resist ZEBOV infection, the Mayinga strain of the virus has been adapted to cause lethal infection in these animals. To understand the pathogenesis underlying the extreme virulence of Ebola virus (EBOV, here we identified the mutations responsible for the acquisition of the high virulence of the adapted Mayinga strain in mice, by using reverse genetics. We found that mutations in viral protein 24 and in the nucleoprotein were primarily responsible for the acquisition of high virulence. Moreover, the role of these proteins in virulence correlated with their ability to evade type I interferon-stimulated antiviral responses. These findings suggest a critical role for overcoming the interferon-induced antiviral state in the pathogenicity of EBOV and offer new insights into the pathogenesis of EBOV infection.

  7. Evaluation of SOC for the presumptive identification of Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, W H; Knezek, K L; Dorn, G L

    1987-01-01

    SOC, a fungal growth medium composed of Solryth, oxgall, and caffeic acid, was evaluated as a medium to provide rapid, differential identification of Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans. Using a variety of common isolation media to produce the yeast inocula, the germ tube methods tested ranked in the following order of decreasing sensitivity: SOC (97% +/- 1), serum (92% +/- 5), rabbit coagulase plasma with EDTA in combination with tryptic soy broth (89% +/- 5), TOC (89% +/- 6), and rabbit coagulase plasma with EDTA (83% +/- 4). In chlamydospore production, SOC also proved to be the most sensitive after 24 h incubation: SOC (96% +/- 2), TOC (80% +/- 2), and cornmeal-Tween 80 agar (14% +/- 3). Other medically important yeasts showed normal patterns of growth within 24 h on SOC, thus assisting in their identification. Eighty strains of Cryptococcus neoformans showed characteristic brown pigmentation on SOC and TOC within 18 h, while all other species of the genus Cryptococcus and 229 Candida isolates did not show a change in pigmentation.

  8. Molecular identity and prevalence of Cryptococcus spp. nasal carriage in asymptomatic feral cats in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danesi, Patrizia; Furnari, Carmelo; Granato, Anna; Schivo, Alice; Otranto, Domenico; Capelli, Gioia; Cafarchia, Claudia

    2014-10-01

    Cryptococcosis is a life-threatening fungal disease that infects humans and animals worldwide. Inhalation of fungal particles from an environmental source can cause primary infection of the respiratory system. As animals can be considered a sentinel for human diseases, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and molecular identity of Cryptococcus spp. in the nasal cavity of feral cats. Cats from 162 urban and rural feral cat colonies were sampled over 3 years. Of 766 cats from which nasal swabs were obtained, Cryptococcus spp. were recovered from 95 (12.6%), including 37 C. magnus (4.8%), 16 C. albidus (2.0%), 15 C. carnescens (1.9%), 12 C. neoformans (1.6%), as well as C. oeirensis (n = 3), C. victoriae (n = 3), C. albidosimilis (n = 2), Filobasidium globisporum (n = 2), C. adeliensis (n = 1), C. flavescens (n = 1), C. dimnae (n = 1), C. saitoi (n = 1), and C. wieringae (n = 1) with prevalence feral cats may carry C. neoformans and other Cryptococcus species in their sinonasal cavity. Genotyping of the specific cryptococcal isolates provides a better understanding of the epidemiology of these yeasts. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. A theoretical model of the evolution of virulence in sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS

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    FAB Coutinho

    1999-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The evolution of virulence in host-parasite relationships has been the subject of several publications. In the case of HIV virulence, some authors suggest that the evolution of HIV virulence correlates with the rate of acquisition of new sexual partners. In contrast some other authors argue that the level of HIV virulence is independent of the sexual activity of the host population. METHODS: Provide a mathematical model for the study of the potential influence of human sexual behaviour on the evolution of virulence of HIV is provided. RESULTS: The results indicated that, when the probability of acquisition of infection is a function both of the sexual activity and of the virulence level of HIV strains, the evolution of HIV virulence correlates positively with the rate of acquisition of new sexual partners. CONCLUSION: It is concluded that in the case of a host population with a low (high rate of exchange of sexual partners the evolution of HIV virulence is such that the less (more virulent strain prevails.

  10. A theoretical model of the evolution of virulence in sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coutinho FAB

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The evolution of virulence in host-parasite relationships has been the subject of several publications. In the case of HIV virulence, some authors suggest that the evolution of HIV virulence correlates with the rate of acquisition of new sexual partners. In contrast some other authors argue that the level of HIV virulence is independent of the sexual activity of the host population. METHODS: Provide a mathematical model for the study of the potential influence of human sexual behaviour on the evolution of virulence of HIV is provided. RESULTS: The results indicated that, when the probability of acquisition of infection is a function both of the sexual activity and of the virulence level of HIV strains, the evolution of HIV virulence correlates positively with the rate of acquisition of new sexual partners. CONCLUSION: It is concluded that in the case of a host population with a low (high rate of exchange of sexual partners the evolution of HIV virulence is such that the less (more virulent strain prevails.

  11. Diversities in virulence, antifungal activity, pigmentation and DNA fingerprint among strains of Burkholderia glumae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karki, Hari S; Shrestha, Bishnu K; Han, Jae Woo; Groth, Donald E; Barphagha, Inderjit K; Rush, Milton C; Melanson, Rebecca A; Kim, Beom Seok; Ham, Jong Hyun

    2012-01-01

    Burkholderia glumae is the primary causal agent of bacterial panicle blight of rice. In this study, 11 naturally avirulent and nine virulent strains of B. glumae native to the southern United States were characterized in terms of virulence in rice and onion, toxofalvin production, antifungal activity, pigmentation and genomic structure. Virulence of B. glumae strains on rice panicles was highly correlated to virulence on onion bulb scales, suggesting that onion bulb can be a convenient alternative host system to efficiently determine the virulence of B. glumae strains. Production of toxoflavin, the phytotoxin that functions as a major virulence factor, was closely associated with the virulence phenotypes of B. glumae strains in rice. Some strains of B. glumae showed various levels of antifungal activity against Rhizoctonia solani, the causal agent of sheath blight, and pigmentation phenotypes on casamino acid-peptone-glucose (CPG) agar plates regardless of their virulence traits. Purple and yellow-green pigments were partially purified from a pigmenting strain of B. glumae, 411gr-6, and the purple pigment fraction showed a strong antifungal activity against Collectotrichum orbiculare. Genetic variations were detected among the B. glumae strains from DNA fingerprinting analyses by repetitive element sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR) for BOX-A1R-based repetitive extragenic palindromic (BOX) or enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) sequences of bacteria; and close genetic relatedness among virulent but pigment-deficient strains were revealed by clustering analyses of DNA fingerprints from BOX-and ERIC-PCR.

  12. Systems analysis of multiple regulator perturbations allows discovery of virulence factors in Salmonella

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Hyunjin; Ansong, Charles; McDermott, Jason E.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Smith, Richard D.; Heffron, Fred; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2011-06-28

    Background: Systemic bacterial infections are highly regulated and complex processes that are orchestrated by numerous virulence factors. Genes that are coordinately controlled by the set of regulators required for systemic infection are potentially required for pathogenicity. Results: In this study we present a systems biology approach in which sample-matched multi-omic measurements of fourteen virulence-essential regulator mutants were coupled with computational network analysis to efficiently identify Salmonella virulence factors. Immunoblot experiments verified network-predicted virulence factors and a subset was determined to be secreted into the host cytoplasm, suggesting that they are virulence factors directly interacting with host cellular components. Two of these, SrfN and PagK2, were required for full mouse virulence and were shown to be translocated independent of either of the type III secretion systems in Salmonella or the type III injectisome-related flagellar mechanism. Conclusions: Integrating multi-omic datasets from Salmonella mutants lacking virulence regulators not only identified novel virulence factors but also defined a new class of translocated effectors involved in pathogenesis. The success of this strategy at discovery of known and novel virulence factors suggests that the approach may have applicability for other bacterial pathogens.

  13. Bacterial Prostatitis: Bacterial Virulence, Clinical Outcomes, and New Directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krieger, John N; Thumbikat, Praveen

    2016-02-01

    Four prostatitis syndromes are recognized clinically: acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and asymptomatic prostatitis. Because Escherichia coli represents the most common cause of bacterial prostatitis, we investigated the importance of bacterial virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance in E. coli strains causing prostatitis and the potential association of these characteristics with clinical outcomes. A structured literature review revealed that we have limited understanding of the virulence-associated characteristics of E. coli causing acute prostatitis. Therefore, we completed a comprehensive microbiological and molecular investigation of a unique strain collection isolated from healthy young men. We also considered new data from an animal model system suggesting certain E. coli might prove important in the etiology of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Our human data suggest that E. coli needs multiple pathogenicity-associated traits to overcome anatomic and immune responses in healthy young men without urological risk factors. The phylogenetic background and accumulation of an exceptional repertoire of extraintestinal pathogenic virulence-associated genes indicate that these E. coli strains belong to a highly virulent subset of uropathogenic variants. In contrast, antibiotic resistance confers little added advantage to E. coli strains in these healthy outpatients. Our animal model data also suggest that certain pathogenic E. coli may be important in the etiology of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome through mechanisms that are dependent on the host genetic background and the virulence of the bacterial strain.

  14. Role of dupA in virulence of Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talebi Bezmin Abadi, Amin; Perez-Perez, Guillermo

    2016-12-14

    Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori ) is a gastric human pathogen associated with acute and chronic gastritis, 70% of all gastric ulcers, 85% of all duodenal ulcers, and both forms of stomach cancer, mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma and adenocarcinoma. Recently, attention has focused on possible relationship between presence of certain virulence factor and H. pylori -associated diseases. Some contradictory data between this bacterium and related disorders has been observed since not all the colonized individuals develop to severe disease. The reported diseases plausibility related to H. pylori specific virulence factors became an interesting story about this organism. Although a number of putative virulence factors have been identified including cytotoxin-associated gene a ( cagA ) and vacA , there are conflicting data about their actual participation as specific risk factor for H. pylori -related diseases. Duodenal ulcer promoting gene a ( dupA ) is a virulence factor of H. pylori that is highly associated with duodenal ulcer development and reduced risk of gastric cancer. The prevalence of dupA in H. pylori strains isolated from western countries is relatively higher than in H. pylori strains from Asian countries. Current confusing epidemiological reports will continue unless future sophisticated and molecular studies provide data on functional and complete dupA cluster in H. pylori infected individuals. This paper elucidates available knowledge concerning role of dupA in virulence of H. pylori after a decade of its discovery.

  15. [Presumptive identification of Cryptococcus gattii isolated from Terminalia catappa in Montería city, Córdoba, Colombia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras Martínez, Orfa Inés; Aycardi Morinelli, María Paulina; Alarcón Furnieles, Jany Luz; Jaraba Ramos, Aparicio Manuel

    2011-01-01

    the members of the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex are responsible for cryptococcosis in animals and humans. Human infection is thought to be acquired by inhalation of airborne propagules from an environmental source; therefore it is greatly important to study their habitat. to determine the ecological relationship of Cryptococcus gattii with Terminalia catappa trees present in urban areas of Montería city in Colombia. a total of 163 Terminalia catappa trees were selected; some samples were taken from the bark, the leaves, the flowers, the fruits of these trees and from the surrounding soil. The yeast was isolated using the Guizotia abyssinica seed agar medium; it was identified thanks to biochemical and morphologic tests whereas the right variety was determined by L-canavanine-glycine-bromothymol blue (CGB), D-proline and D-tryptophan tests. there was obtained 9.050 CFU/g isolate of Cryptococcus spp., 5.795 CFU/g of which were presumptively identified as Cryptococcus gattii. The highest percentage of isolates was found in flowers, followed by bark and fruits, presenting small cellular and capsular sizes. These isolates were more frequent in the south of the city, followed by the center zone and the lowest percentage in the northern zone. these findings confirmed the close relationship of Cryptococcus gattii and Terminalia catappa, being this the first study conducted in Monteria city. These results give us meaningful information for understanding and analyzing the epidemiology of cryptococcosis in Monteria city, Colombia.

  16. Cryptococcus neoformans Is Internalized by Receptor-Mediated or ‘Triggered’ Phagocytosis, Dependent on Actin Recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, Caroline Rezende; Seabra, Sergio Henrique; de Souza, Wanderley; Rozental, Sonia

    2014-01-01

    Cryptococcosis by the encapsulated yeast Cryptococcus neoformans affects mostly immunocompromised individuals and is a frequent neurological complication in AIDS patients. Recent studies support the idea that intracellular survival of Cryptococcus yeast cells is important for the pathogenesis of cryptococcosis. However, the initial steps of Cryptococcus internalization by host cells remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate the mechanism of Cryptococcus neoformans phagocytosis by peritoneal macrophages using confocal and electron microscopy techniques, as well as flow cytometry quantification, evaluating the importance of fungal capsule production and of host cell cytoskeletal elements for fungal phagocytosis. Electron microscopy analyses revealed that capsular and acapsular strains of C. neoformans are internalized by macrophages via both ‘zipper’ (receptor-mediated) and ‘trigger’ (membrane ruffle-dependent) phagocytosis mechanisms. Actin filaments surrounded phagosomes of capsular and acapsular yeasts, and the actin depolymerizing drugs cytochalasin D and latrunculin B inhibited yeast internalization and actin recruitment to the phagosome area. In contrast, nocodazole and paclitaxel, inhibitors of microtubule dynamics decreased internalization but did not prevent actin recruitment to the site of phagocytosis. Our results show that different uptake mechanisms, dependent on both actin and tubulin dynamics occur during yeast internalization by macrophages, and that capsule production does not affect the mode of Cryptococcus uptake by host cells. PMID:24586631

  17. Viability and Virulence of Entomopathogenic Nematodes Exposed to Ultraviolet Radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro-Ilan, David I; Hazir, Selcuk; Lete, Luis

    2015-09-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) can be highly effective biocontrol agents, but their efficacy can be reduced due to exposure to environmental stress such as from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Our objectives were to 1) compare UV tolerance among a broad array of EPN species, and 2) investigate the relationship between reduced nematode viability (after exposure to UV) and virulence. Nematodes exposed to a UV radiation (254 nm) for 10 or 20 min were assessed separately for viability (survival) and virulence to Galleria mellonella. We compared 9 different EPN species and 15 strains: Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Baine, fl11, Oswego, and Vs strains), H. floridensis (332), H. georgiana (Kesha), H. indica (HOM1), H. megidis (UK211), Steinernema carpocapsae (All, Cxrd, DD136, and Sal strains), S. feltiae (SN), S. rarum (17C&E), and S. riobrave (355). In viability assessments, steinernematids, particularly strains of S. carpocapsae, generally exhibited superior UV tolerance compared with the heterorhabditids. However, some heterorhabditids tended to be more tolerant than others, e.g., H. megidis and H. bacteriophora (Baine) were most susceptible and H. bacteriophora (Vs) was the only heterorhabditid that did not exhibit a significant effect after 10 min of exposure. All heterorhabditids experienced reduced viability after 20 min exposure though several S. carpocapsae strains did not. In total, after 10 or 20 min exposure, the viability of seven nematode strains did not differ from their non-UV exposed controls. In virulence assays, steinernematids (particularly S. carpocapsae strains) also tended to exhibit higher UV tolerance. However, in contrast to the viability measurements, all nematodes experienced a reduction in virulence relative to their controls. Correlation analysis revealed that viability among nematode strains is not necessarily related to virulence. In conclusion, our results indicate that the impact of UV varies substantially among EPNs, and viability alone

  18. Salmonella-secreted Virulence Factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heffron, Fred; Niemann, George; Yoon, Hyunjin; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Brown, Roslyn N.; McDermott, Jason E.; Smith, Richard D.; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2011-05-01

    In this short review we discuss secreted virulence factors of Salmonella, which directly affect Salmonella interaction with its host. Salmonella secretes protein to subvert host defenses but also, as discussed, to reduce virulence thereby permitting the bacteria to persist longer and more successfully disperse. The type III secretion system (TTSS) is the best known and well studied of the mechanisms that enable secretion from the bacterial cytoplasm to the host cell cytoplasm. Other secretion systems include outer membrane vesicles, which are present in all Gram-negative bacteria examined to date, two-partner secretion, and type VI secretion will also be addressed. Excellent reviews of Salmonella secreted effectors have focused on themes such as actin rearrangements, vesicular trafficking, ubiquitination, and the activities of the virulence factors themselves. This short review is based on S. Typhimurium infection of mice because it is a model of typhoid like disease in humans. We have organized effectors in terms of events that happen during the infection cycle and how secreted effectors may be involved.

  19. Dimerization Is Not a Determining Factor for Functional High Affinity Human Plasminogen Binding by the Group A Streptococcal Virulence Factor PAM and Is Mediated by Specific Residues within the PAM a1a2 Domain*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Sarbani; Liang, Zhong; Quek, Adam J.; Ploplis, Victoria A.; Law, Ruby; Castellino, Francis J.

    2014-01-01

    A emm53 subclass of Group A Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) interacts tightly with human plasma plasminogen (hPg) and plasmin (hPm) via the kringle 2 (K2hPg) domain of hPg/hPm and the N-terminal a1a2 regions of a GAS coiled-coil M-like protein (PAM). Previous studies have shown that a monomeric PAM fragment, VEK30 (residues 97–125 + Tyr), interacted specifically with isolated K2hPg. However, the binding strength of VEK30 (KD = 56 nm) was ∼60-fold weaker than that of full-length dimeric PAM (KD = 1 nm). To assess whether this attenuated binding was due to the inability of VEK30 to dimerize, we defined the minimal length of PAM required to dimerize using a series of peptides with additional PAM residues placed at the NH2 and COOH termini of VEK30. VEK64 (PAM residues 83–145 + Tyr) was found to be the smallest peptide that adopted an α-helical dimer, and was bound to K2hPg with nearly the same affinity as PAM (KD = 1–2 nm). However, addition of two PAM residues (Arg126-His127) to the COOH terminus of VEK30 (VEK32) maintained a monomeric peptidic structure, but exhibited similar K2hPg binding affinity as full-length dimeric PAM. We identified five residues in a1a2 (Arg113, His114, Glu116, Arg126, His127), mutation of which reduced PAM binding affinity for K2hPg by ∼1000-fold. Replacement of these critical residues by Ala in the GAS genome resulted in reduced virulence, similar to the effects of inactivating the PAM gene entirely. We conclude that rather than dimerization of PAM, the five key residues in the binding domain of PAM are essential to mediate the high affinity interaction with hPg, leading to increased GAS virulence. PMID:24962580

  20. Dimerization is not a determining factor for functional high affinity human plasminogen binding by the group A streptococcal virulence factor PAM and is mediated by specific residues within the PAM a1a2 domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Sarbani; Liang, Zhong; Quek, Adam J; Ploplis, Victoria A; Law, Ruby; Castellino, Francis J

    2014-08-01

    A emm53 subclass of Group A Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) interacts tightly with human plasma plasminogen (hPg) and plasmin (hPm) via the kringle 2 (K2hPg) domain of hPg/hPm and the N-terminal a1a2 regions of a GAS coiled-coil M-like protein (PAM). Previous studies have shown that a monomeric PAM fragment, VEK30 (residues 97-125 + Tyr), interacted specifically with isolated K2hPg. However, the binding strength of VEK30 (KD = 56 nm) was ∼60-fold weaker than that of full-length dimeric PAM (KD = 1 nm). To assess whether this attenuated binding was due to the inability of VEK30 to dimerize, we defined the minimal length of PAM required to dimerize using a series of peptides with additional PAM residues placed at the NH2 and COOH termini of VEK30. VEK64 (PAM residues 83-145 + Tyr) was found to be the smallest peptide that adopted an α-helical dimer, and was bound to K2hPg with nearly the same affinity as PAM (KD = 1-2 nm). However, addition of two PAM residues (Arg(126)-His(127)) to the COOH terminus of VEK30 (VEK32) maintained a monomeric peptidic structure, but exhibited similar K2hPg binding affinity as full-length dimeric PAM. We identified five residues in a1a2 (Arg(113), His(114), Glu(116), Arg(126), His(127)), mutation of which reduced PAM binding affinity for K2hPg by ∼ 1000-fold. Replacement of these critical residues by Ala in the GAS genome resulted in reduced virulence, similar to the effects of inactivating the PAM gene entirely. We conclude that rather than dimerization of PAM, the five key residues in the binding domain of PAM are essential to mediate the high affinity interaction with hPg, leading to increased GAS virulence. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  1. Microsatellite typing of clinical and environmental Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii isolates from Cuba shows multiple genetic lineages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria-Teresa Illnait-Zaragozi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Human cryptococcal infections have been associated with bird droppings as a likely source of infection. Studies toward the local and global epidemiology of Cryptococcus spp. have been hampered by the lack of rapid, discriminatory, and exchangeable molecular typing methods. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We selected nine microsatellite markers for high-resolution fingerprinting from the genome of C. neoformans var. grubii. This panel of markers was applied to a collection of clinical (n = 122 and environmental (n = 68; from pigeon guano C. neoformans var. grubii isolates from Cuba. All markers proved to be polymorphic. The average number of alleles per marker was 9 (range 5-51. A total of 104 genotypes could be distinguished. The discriminatory power of this panel of markers was 0.993. Multiple clusters of related genotypes could be discriminated that differed in only one or two microsatellite markers. These clusters were assigned as microsatellite complexes. The majority of environmental isolates (>70% fell into 1 microsatellite complex containing only few clinical isolates (49 environmental versus 2 clinical. Clinical isolates were segregated over multiple microsatellite complexes. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A large genotypic variation exists in C. neoformans var. grubii. The genotypic segregation between clinical and environmental isolates from pigeon guano suggests additional source(s of human cryptococcal infections. The selected panel of microsatellite markers is an excellent tool to study the epidemiology of C. neoformans var. grubii.

  2. Bacterial proteases and virulence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frees, Dorte; Brøndsted, Lone; Ingmer, Hanne

    2013-01-01

    signalling to short-circuit host cell processes. Common to both intra- and extracellular proteases is the tight control of their proteolytic activities. In general, substrate recognition by the intracellular proteases is highly selective which is, in part, attributed to the chaperone activity associated...... tolerance to adverse conditions such as those experienced in the host. In the membrane, HtrA performs similar functions whereas the extracellular proteases, in close contact with host components, pave the way for spreading infections by degrading host matrix components or interfering with host cell...... with the proteases either encoded within the same polypeptide or on separate subunits. In contrast, substrate recognition by extracellular proteases is less selective and therefore these enzymes are generally expressed as zymogens to prevent premature proteolytic activity that would be detrimental to the cell...

  3. Helicobacter pylori virulence and cancer pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaoka, Yoshio; Graham, David Y

    2014-06-01

    Helicobacter pylori is human gastric pathogen that causes chronic and progressive gastric mucosal inflammation and is responsible for the gastric inflammation-associated diseases, gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease. Specific outcomes reflect the interplay between host-, environmental- and bacterial-specific factors. Progress in understanding putative virulence factors in disease pathogenesis has been limited and many false leads have consumed scarce resources. Few in vitro-in vivo correlations or translational applications have proved clinically relevant. Reported virulence factor-related outcomes reflect differences in relative risk of disease rather than specificity for any specific outcome. Studies of individual virulence factor associations have provided conflicting results. Since virulence factors are linked, studies of groups of putative virulence factors are needed to provide clinically useful information. Here, the authors discuss the progress made in understanding the role of H. pylori virulence factors CagA, vacuolating cytotoxin, OipA and DupA in disease pathogenesis and provide suggestions for future studies.

  4. Cryptococcus Neoformans: The First Reported Case of Isolation in Pigeon Excreta in the City of Votuporanga-São Paulo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cátia Rezende

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcocus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are closely related pathogenic fungi that cause pneumonia and meningitis in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts. Both species are found in the environment, and are acquired via inhalation, leading to an initial pulmonary infection. We evaluated 48 air samples and 32 samples of pigeon excreta from June to August, 2007. The presence of capsule was examined with Indian ink preparation. They were also tested for urease and phenoloxidase enzymes. Cryptococcus neoformans was recovered from pigeon excreta in 3.1%. The results suggest that climatic conditions can affect the occurrence of the yeast in different environmental sources.

  5. Mesenteric cryptococcal granuloma in a dog caused by Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigues-Hoffmann A

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Jennifer R Cook, Karen E Russell, Kristin B Eden, Aline Rodrigues-HoffmannDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USAAbstract: Although cryptococcosis is usually associated with respiratory and neurologic signs in domestic species (such as sneeze, cough, nasal discharge, seizures, ataxia, clinical manifestations of the disease may be more subtle and nonspecific. A 3-year-old male castrated Boxer dog presented with a history of chronic vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lethargy. At no time had respiratory or neurologic signs been noted by the owners or the primary care veterinarian. Palpation of an abdominal mass revealed an atypical lesion location: a large (16 × 9 × 7 cm mass at the root of the mesentery. Diagnosis was achieved through cytology of this mass and a positive serologic Cryptococcus capsular antigen titer; polymerase chain reaction was utilized for speciation of the abdominal isolate as Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii. The animal was euthanized due to poor prognosis. After necropsy and histopathologic analysis, the mesenteric mass and associated lymph nodes were identified as large fungal granulomas. This is a rare manifestation of cryptococcosis, involving several visceral organs, with no remaining evidence of the route of entry of the organism. As prompt diagnosis of mycotic illness is paramount to successful management, this case indicates that cryptococcal infection should be considered as a differential diagnosis in dogs with gastrointestinal signs and lymphadenopathy. The protean nature of cryptococcosis is discussed within the context of a brief review of emerging and unresolved issues in pathogenesis.Keywords: Cryptococcus gattii, granuloma, lymphadenitis

  6. Effects of contact structure on the transient evolution of HIV virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Woo Park

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Early in an epidemic, high densities of susceptible hosts select for relatively high parasite virulence; later in the epidemic, lower susceptible densities select for lower virulence. Thus over the course of a typical epidemic the average virulence of parasite strains increases initially, peaks partway through the epidemic, then declines again. However, precise quantitative outcomes, such as the peak virulence reached and its timing, may depend sensitively on epidemiological details. Fraser et al. proposed a model for the eco-evolutionary dynamics of HIV that incorporates the tradeoffs between transmission and virulence (mediated by set-point viral load, SPVL and their heritability between hosts. Their model used implicit equations to capture the effects of partnership dynamics that are at the core of epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases. Our models combine HIV virulence tradeoffs with a range of contact models, explicitly modeling partnership formation and dissolution and allowing for individuals to transmit disease outside of partnerships. We assess summary statistics such as the peak virulence (corresponding to the maximum value of population mean log10 SPVL achieved throughout the epidemic across models for a range of parameters applicable to the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Although virulence trajectories are broadly similar across models, the timing and magnitude of the virulence peak vary considerably. Previously developed implicit models predicted lower virulence and slower progression at the peak (a maximum of 3.5 log10 SPVL compared both to more realistic models and to simple random-mixing models with no partnership structure at all (both with a maximum of ≈ 4.7 log10 SPVL. In this range of models, the simplest random-mixing structure best approximates the most realistic model; this surprising outcome occurs because the dominance of extra-pair contact in the realistic model swamps the effects of partnership structure.

  7. Genome sequence of a microbial lipid producing fungus Cryptococcus albidus NT2002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, Xiaoyu; Yan, Zhiying; Xu, Lin; Zhou, Jun; Wu, Xiayuan; Wu, Yuandong; Li, Yang; Chen, Zugeng; Zhou, Hua; Wei, Ping; Jia, Honghua

    2016-04-10

    Cryptococcus albidus NT2002, isolated from the soil in Xinjiang, China, appeared to have the ability to accumulate microbial lipid by utilizing various carbon sources. The predominant properties make it as a potential bio-platform for biodiesel production. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of C. albidus NT2002, which might provide a basis for further elucidation of the genetic background of this promising strain for developing metabolic engineering strategies to produce biodiesel in a green and sustainable manner. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Sterol composition of Cryptococcus neoformans in the presence and absence of fluconazole.

    OpenAIRE

    Ghannoum, M A; Spellberg, B J; Ibrahim, A S; Ritchie, J A; Currie, B; Spitzer, E D; Edwards, J E; Casadevall, A

    1994-01-01

    Analysis of the sterol compositions of 13 clinical isolates of the pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans obtained from five patients with recurring cryptococcal meningitis showed that, unlike Candida albicans, the major sterols synthesized by this yeast were obtusifoliol (range, 21.1 to 68.2%) and ergosterol (range, 0.0 to 46.5%). There was considerable variation in the sterol contents among the 13 isolates, with total sterol contents ranging from 0.31 to 5.9% of dry weight. The isolates f...

  9. Contemplating the murine test tube: lessons from natural killer cells and Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marr, Kaleb J; Jones, Gareth J; Mody, Christopher H

    2006-06-01

    Murine experimentation has provided many useful tools, including the ability to knockout or over-express genes and to perform experiments that are limited by ethical considerations. Over the past century, mice have imparted valuable insights into the biology of many systems, including human immunity. However, although there are many similarities between the immune response of humans and mice, there are also many differences; none is more prominent than when examining natural killer cell biology. These differences include tissue distribution, effector molecules, receptor repertoire, and cytokine responses, all of which have important implications when extrapolating the studies to the human immune responses to Cryptococcus neoformans.

  10. Secondary infection with Streptococcus suis serotype 7 increases the virulence of highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Min; Wang, Shujie; Li, Linxi; Lei, Liancheng; Liu, Yonggang; Shi, Wenda; Wu, Jiabin; Li, Liqin; Rong, Fulong; Xu, Mingming; Sun, Guangli; Xiang, Hua; Cai, Xuehui

    2010-08-09

    Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and Streptococcus suis are common pathogens in pigs. In samples collected during the porcine high fever syndrome (PHFS) outbreak in many parts of China, PRRSV and S. suis serotype 7 (SS7) have always been isolated together. To determine whether PRRSV-SS7 coinfection was the cause of the PHFS outbreak, we evaluated the pathogenicity of PRRSV and/or SS7 in a pig model of single and mixed infection. Respiratory disease, diarrhea, and anorexia were observed in all infected pigs. Signs of central nervous system (CNS) disease were observed in the highly pathogenic PRRSV (HP-PRRSV)-infected pigs (4/12) and the coinfected pigs (8/10); however, the symptoms of the coinfected pigs were clearly more severe than those of the HP-PRRSV-infected pigs. The mortality rate was significantly higher in the coinfected pigs (8/10) than in the HP-PRRSV- (2/12) and SS7-infected pigs (0/10). The deceased pigs of the coinfected group had symptoms typical of PHFS, such as high fever, anorexia, and red coloration of the ears and the body. The isolation rates of HP-PRRSV and SS7 were higher and the lesion severity was greater in the coinfected pigs than in monoinfected pigs. HP-PRRSV infection increased susceptibility to SS7 infection, and coinfection of HP-PRRSV with SS7 significantly increased the pathogenicity of SS7 to pigs.

  11. Secondary infection with Streptococcus suis serotype 7 increases the virulence of highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in pigs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Min

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV and Streptococcus suis are common pathogens in pigs. In samples collected during the porcine high fever syndrome (PHFS outbreak in many parts of China, PRRSV and S. suis serotype 7 (SS7 have always been isolated together. To determine whether PRRSV-SS7 coinfection was the cause of the PHFS outbreak, we evaluated the pathogenicity of PRRSV and/or SS7 in a pig model of single and mixed infection. Results Respiratory disease, diarrhea, and anorexia were observed in all infected pigs. Signs of central nervous system (CNS disease were observed in the highly pathogenic PRRSV (HP-PRRSV-infected pigs (4/12 and the coinfected pigs (8/10; however, the symptoms of the coinfected pigs were clearly more severe than those of the HP-PRRSV-infected pigs. The mortality rate was significantly higher in the coinfected pigs (8/10 than in the HP-PRRSV- (2/12 and SS7-infected pigs (0/10. The deceased pigs of the coinfected group had symptoms typical of PHFS, such as high fever, anorexia, and red coloration of the ears and the body. The isolation rates of HP-PRRSV and SS7 were higher and the lesion severity was greater in the coinfected pigs than in monoinfected pigs. Conclusion HP-PRRSV infection increased susceptibility to SS7 infection, and coinfection of HP-PRRSV with SS7 significantly increased the pathogenicity of SS7 to pigs.

  12. Chimeric avian paramyxovirus-based vector immunization against highly pathogenic avian influenza followed by conventional Newcastle disease vaccination eliminates lack of protection from virulent ND virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Steglich

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, we described a chimeric, hemagglutinin of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV H5 expressing Newcastle disease virus (NDV-based vector vaccine (chNDVFHNPMV8H5 in which NDV envelope glycoproteins were replaced by those of avian paramyxovirus-8 (APMV-8. This chimeric vaccine induced solid protection against lethal HPAIV H5N1 even in chickens with maternal antibodies against NDV (MDA+. However, due to the absence of the major NDV immunogens it failed to induce protection against Newcastle disease (ND. Here, we report on protection of MDA+ chickens against HPAI H5N1 and ND, by vaccination with chNDVFHNPMV8H5 either on day 1 or day seven after hatch, and subsequent immunization with live attenuated NDV seven days later. Vaccination was well tolerated and three weeks after immunization, challenge infections with highly pathogenic NDV as well as HPAIV H5N1 were carried out. All animals remained healthy without exhibiting any clinical signs, whereas non-vaccinated animals showed morbidity and mortality. Therefore, vaccination with chNDVFHNPMV8H5 can be followed by NDV vaccination to protect chickens from HPAIV as well as NDV, indicating that the antibody response against chNDVFHNPMV8H5 does not interfere with live ND vaccination.

  13. Anaerobiosis induced virulence of Salmonella typhi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kapoor, Sarika; Singh, R D; Sharma, P C

    2002-01-01

    , we examined the effect of anaerobiosis on the virulence of Salmonella Typhi, a Gram negative bacteria which invades through the gut mucosa and is responsible for typhoid fever. METHODS: Salmonella Typhi (ty2) was cultured in aerobic and anaerobic conditions to compare its virulence by rabbit ileal...

  14. Evolution of viral virulence: empirical studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurath, Gael; Wargo, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

    The concept of virulence as a pathogen trait that can evolve in response to selection has led to a large body of virulence evolution theory developed in the 1980-1990s. Various aspects of this theory predict increased or decreased virulence in response to a complex array of selection pressures including mode of transmission, changes in host, mixed infection, vector-borne transmission, environmental changes, host vaccination, host resistance, and co-evolution of virus and host. A fundamental concept is prediction of trade-offs between the costs and benefits associated with higher virulence, leading to selection of optimal virulence levels. Through a combination of observational and experimental studies, including experimental evolution of viruses during serial passage, many of these predictions have now been explored in systems ranging from bacteriophage to viruses of plants, invertebrates, and vertebrate hosts. This chapter summarizes empirical studies of viral virulence evolution in numerous diverse systems, including the classic models myxomavirus in rabbits, Marek's disease virus in chickens, and HIV in humans. Collectively these studies support some aspects of virulence evolution theory, suggest modifications for other aspects, and show that predictions may apply in some virus:host interactions but not in others. Finally, we consider how virulence evolution theory applies to disease management in the field.

  15. Virulence, serotype and phylogenetic groups of diarrhoeagenic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr DADIE Thomas

    2014-02-17

    Feb 17, 2014 ... The virulence, serotype and phylogenetic traits of diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli were detected in 502 strains isolated during digestive infections. Molecular detection of the target virulence genes, rfb gene of operon O and phylogenetic grouping genes Chua, yjaA and TSPE4.C2 was performed.

  16. Antifungal Activity of Thapsia villosa Essential Oil against Candida, Cryptococcus, Malassezia, Aspergillus and Dermatophyte Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugénia Pinto

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The composition of the essential oil (EO of Thapsia villosa (Apiaceae, isolated by hydrodistillation from the plant’s aerial parts, was analysed by GC and GC-MS. Antifungal activity of the EO and its main components, limonene (57.5% and methyleugenol (35.9%, were evaluated against clinically relevant yeasts (Candida spp., Cryptococcus neoformans and Malassezia furfur and moulds (Aspergillus spp. and dermatophytes. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs were measured according to the broth macrodilution protocols by Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI. The EO, limonene and methyleugenol displayed low MIC and MFC (minimum fungicidal concentration values against Candida spp., Cryptococcus neoformans, dermatophytes, and Aspergillus spp. Regarding Candida species, an inhibition of yeast–mycelium transition was demonstrated at sub-inhibitory concentrations of the EO (MIC/128; 0.01 μL/mL and their major compounds in Candida albicans. Fluconazole does not show this activity, and the combination with low concentrations of EO could associate a supplementary target for the antifungal activity. The association of fluconazole with T. villosa oil does not show antagonism, but the combination limonene/fluconazole displays synergism. The fungistatic and fungicidal activities revealed by T. villosa EO and its main compounds, associated with their low haemolytic activity, confirm their potential antimicrobial interest against fungal species often associated with human mycoses.

  17. Multilocus sequence typing analysis reveals that Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans is a recombinant population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogliati, Massimo; Zani, Alberto; Rickerts, Volker; McCormick, Ilka; Desnos-Ollivier, Marie; Velegraki, Aristea; Escandon, Patricia; Ichikawa, Tomoe; Ikeda, Reiko; Bienvenu, Anne-Lise; Tintelnot, Kathrin; Tore, Okan; Akcaglar, Sevim; Lockhart, Shawn; Tortorano, Anna Maria; Varma, Ashok

    2016-02-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans (serotype D) represents about 30% of the clinical isolates in Europe and is present less frequently in the other continents. It is the prevalent etiological agent in primary cutaneous cryptococcosis as well as in cryptococcal skin lesions of disseminated cryptococcosis. Very little is known about the genotypic diversity of this Cryptococcus subtype. The aim of this study was to investigate the genotypic diversity among a set of clinical and environmental C. neoformans var. neoformans isolates and to evaluate the relationship between genotypes, geographical origin and clinical manifestations. A total of 83 globally collected C. neoformans var. neoformans isolates from Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Thailand, Japan, Colombia, and the USA, recovered from different sources (primary and secondary cutaneous cryptococcosis, disseminated cryptococcosis, the environment, and animals), were included in the study. All isolates were confirmed to belong to genotype VNIV by molecular typing and they were further investigated by MLST analysis. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic as well as network analysis strongly suggested the existence of a recombinant rather than a clonal population structure. Geographical origin and source of isolation were not correlated with a specific MLST genotype. The comparison with a set of outgroup C. neoformans var. grubii isolates provided clear evidence that the two varieties have different population structures. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Different culture media containing methyldopa for melanin production by Cryptococcus species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralciane de Paula Menezes

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Melanin production by species of Cryptococcus is widely used to characterize C. neoformans complex in mycology laboratories. This study aims to test the efficacy of methyldopa from pharmaceutical tablet as a substrate for melanin production, to compare the production of melanin using different agar base added with methyldopa, and to compare the melanin produced in those media with that produced in Niger seed agar and sunflower seed agar by C. neoformans, C. laurentii, and C. albidus. Two isolates of each species, C. neoformans, C. laurentii, and C. albidus, and one of Candida albicans were used to experimentally detect conditions for melanin production. METHODS: The following media were tested: Mueller-Hinton agar (MHA, brain and heart infusion agar (BHIA, blood agar base (BAB, and minimal medium agar (MMA, all added with methyldopa, and the media Niger seed agar (NSA and sunflower seed agar (SSA. RESULTS: All isolates grew in most of the culture media after 24h. Strains planted on media BAB and BHIA showed growth only after 48h. All isolates produced melanin in MMA, MHA, SSA, and NSA media. CONCLUSIONS: Methyldopa in the form pharmaceutical tablet can be used as a substrate for melanin production by Cryptococcus species; minimal medium plus methyldopa was more efficient than the BAB, MHA, and BHIA in the melanin production; and NSA and SSA, followed by MMA added with methyldopa, were more efficient than other media studied for melanin production by all strains studied.

  19. Clonality and α-a recombination in the Australian Cryptococcus gattii VGII population - an emerging outbreak in Australia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carriconde, Fabian; Gilgado, Félix; Arthur, Ian; Ellis, David; Malik, Richard; van de Wiele, Nathalie; Robert, Vincent; Currie, Bart J.; Meyer, Wieland

    2011-01-01

    Cryptococcus gattii is a basidiomycetous yeast that causes life-threatening disease in humans and animals. Within C. gattii, four molecular types are recognized (VGI to VGIV). The Australian VGII population has been in the spotlight since 2005, when it was suggested as the possible origin for the

  20. Scalp Lesions in a Pediatric Patient with Hyper IgM Syndrome: Clinical and Histologic Mimicry of Cryptococcus neoformans Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acker, Karen P; Fetch, Audrey; Schnell, Stephanie A; Hammond, Jennifer; Herrera, Christina; Niedt, George; Ratner, Adam J; Lauren, Christine T

    2018-01-01

    We report a case of cutaneous cryptococcosis due to Cryptococcus neoformans in a pediatric patient with hyper IgM syndrome with scalp lesions that resembled tinea capitis on gross examination and mimicked juvenile xanthogranuloma on histologic examination. This case highlights the importance of considering cutaneous cryptococcosis in patients with hyper IgM syndrome. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Targeting the Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii Cell Wall Using Lectins: Study of the Carbohydrate-Binding Domain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamella de Brito Ximenes

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii is considered to be the major cause of cryptococcosis in immunosuppressed patients. Understanding cell wall glycoproteins using lectins is of medical interest and can contribute to specific therapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the carbohydrates on the cell wall of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii clinical isolates, using a fluorescein isothiocyanate-lectin binding protocol. Thirty yeast strains stocked in the culture collection were cultivated for 2 days at 30 °C with shaking. Cells were obtained by centrifugation, washed in phosphate-buffered saline, and a suspension of 107 cells/mL was obtained. To determine the binding profile of lectins, concanavalin A (Con A, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA, Ulex europaeus agglutinin I (UEA-I, and peanut agglutinin (PNA conjugated to fluorescein were used. All the tested clinical isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii were intensely stained by WGA, moderately stained by Con A, and weakly stained by PNA and UEA-I. Thus, Cryptococcus can be detected in clinical specimens such as blood and cerebrospinal fluid using the fluorescent lectin WGA, which may be considered as an option for detection in cases of suspected cryptococcosis with low laboratory sensitivity. Future applications may be developed using this basic tool.

  2. Targeting the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain of Cryptococcus through Antifungal Chemosensitization: A Model for Control of Non-Fermentative Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen L. Chan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Enhanced control of species of Cryptococcus, non-fermentative yeast pathogens, was achieved by chemosensitization through co-application of certain compounds with a conventional antimicrobial drug. The species of Cryptococcus tested showed higher sensitivity to mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC inhibition compared to species of Candida. This higher sensitivity results from the inability of Cryptococcus to generate cellular energy through fermentation. To heighten disruption of cellular MRC, octyl gallate (OG or 2,3-dihydroxybenzaldehyde (2,3-DHBA, phenolic compounds inhibiting mitochondrial functions, were selected as chemosensitizers to pyraclostrobin (PCS; an inhibitor of complex III of MRC. The cryptococci were more susceptible to the chemosensitization (i.e., PCS + OG or 2,3-DHBA than the Candida with all Cryptococcus strains tested being sensitive to this chemosensitization. Alternatively, only few of the Candida strains showed sensitivity. OG possessed higher chemosensitizing potency than 2,3-DHBA, where the concentration of OG required with the drug to achieve chemosensitizing synergism was much lower than that required of 2,3-DHBA. Bioassays with gene deletion mutants of the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed that OG or 2,3-DHBA affect different cellular targets. These assays revealed mitochondrial superoxide dismutase or glutathione homeostasis plays a relatively greater role in fungal tolerance to 2,3-DHBA or OG, respectively. These findings show that application of chemosensitizing compounds that augment MRC debilitation is a promising strategy to antifungal control against yeast pathogens.

  3. Preshipment testing success: resolution of a nasal sinus granuloma in a captive koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) caused by Cryptococcus gattii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wynne, Janna; Klause, Stephen; Stadler, Cynthia K; Pye, Geoffrey W; Meyer, Wieland; Sykes, Jane E

    2012-12-01

    A 3-yr-old female koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) was diagnosed with a nasal sinus granuloma caused by Cryptococcus gattii after a pre-shipment examination revealed a latex cryptococcal agglutination titer of 1:512. Successful medical and surgical treatment of the granuloma was monitored using serial latex cryptococcal agglutination titers, serum levels of antifungal drugs, and advanced imaging.

  4. Techniques for the detection of pathogenic Cryptococcus species in wood decay substrata and the evaluation of viability in stored samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Alvarez

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we evaluated several techniques for the detection of the yeast form of Cryptococcus in decaying wood and measured the viability of these fungi in environmental samples stored in the laboratory. Samples were collected from a tree known to be positive for Cryptococcus and were each inoculated on 10 Niger seed agar (NSA plates. The conventional technique (CT yielded a greater number of positive samples and indicated a higher fungal density [in colony forming units per gram of wood (CFU.g-1] compared to the humid swab technique (ST. However, the difference in positive and false negative results between the CT-ST was not significant. The threshold of detection for the CT was 0.05.10³ CFU.g-1, while the threshold for the ST was greater than 0.1.10³ CFU-1. No colonies were recovered using the dry swab technique. We also determined the viability of Cryptococcus in wood samples stored for 45 days at 25ºC using the CT and ST and found that samples not only continued to yield a positive response, but also exhibited an increase in CFU.g-1, suggesting that Cryptococcus is able to grow in stored environmental samples. The ST.1, in which samples collected with swabs were immediately plated on NSA medium, was more efficient and less laborious than either the CT or ST and required approximately 10 min to perform; however, additional studies are needed to validate this technique.

  5. Production Of Some Virulence Factors Under Different Growth ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Production Of Some Virulence Factors Under Different Growth Conditions And Antibiotic Susceptibility Pattern Of ... Animal Research International ... Keywords: Virulence, Haemolytic activity, Susceptibility, Antibiotics, Aeromonas hydrophila

  6. How Listeria monocytogenes organizes its surface for virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Filipe; Sousa, Sandra; Cabanes, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive pathogen responsible for the manifestation of human listeriosis, an opportunistic foodborne disease with an associated high mortality rate. The key to the pathogenesis of listeriosis is the capacity of this bacterium to trigger its internalization by non-phagocytic cells and to survive and even replicate within phagocytes. The arsenal of virulence proteins deployed by L. monocytogenes to successfully promote the invasion and infection of host cells has been progressively unveiled over the past decades. A large majority of them is located at the cell envelope, which provides an interface for the establishment of close interactions between these bacterial factors and their host targets. Along the multistep pathways carrying these virulence proteins from the inner side of the cytoplasmic membrane to their cell envelope destination, a multiplicity of auxiliary proteins must act on the immature polypeptides to ensure that they not only maturate into fully functional effectors but also are placed or guided to their correct position in the bacterial surface. As the major scaffold for surface proteins, the cell wall and its metabolism are critical elements in listerial virulence. Conversely, the crucial physical support and protection provided by this structure make it an ideal target for the host immune system. Therefore, mechanisms involving fine modifications of cell envelope components are activated by L. monocytogenes to render it less recognizable by the innate immunity sensors or more resistant to the activity of antimicrobial effectors. This review provides a state-of-the-art compilation of the mechanisms used by L. monocytogenes to organize its surface for virulence, with special focus on those proteins that work “behind the frontline”, either supporting virulence effectors or ensuring the survival of the bacterium within its host. PMID:24809022

  7. Virulence Gene Pool Detected in Bovine Group C Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. dysgalactiae Isolates by Use of a Group A S. pyogenes Virulence Microarray ▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rato, Márcia G.; Nerlich, Andreas; Bergmann, René; Bexiga, Ricardo; Nunes, Sandro F.; Vilela, Cristina L.; Santos-Sanches, Ilda; Chhatwal, Gursharan S.

    2011-01-01

    A custom-designed microarray containing 220 virulence genes of Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus [GAS]) was used to test group C Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. dysgalactiae (GCS) field strains causing bovine mastitis and group C or group G Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (GCS/GGS) isolates from human infections, with the latter being used for comparative purposes, for the presence of virulence genes. All bovine and all human isolates carried a fraction of the 220 genes (23% and 39%, respectively). The virulence genes encoding streptolysin S, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, the plasminogen-binding M-like protein PAM, and the collagen-like protein SclB were detected in the majority of both bovine and human isolates (94 to 100%). Virulence factors, usually carried by human beta-hemolytic streptococcal pathogens, such as streptokinase, laminin-binding protein, and the C5a peptidase precursor, were detected in all human isolates but not in bovine isolates. Additionally, GAS bacteriophage-associated virulence genes encoding superantigens, DNase, and/or streptodornase were detected in bovine isolates (72%) but not in the human isolates. Determinants located in non-bacteriophage-related mobile elements, such as the gene encoding R28, were detected in all bovine and human isolates. Several virulence genes, including genes of bacteriophage origin, were shown to be expressed by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). Phylogenetic analysis of superantigen gene sequences revealed a high level (>98%) of identity among genes of bovine GCS, of the horse pathogen Streptococcus equi subsp. equi, and of the human pathogen GAS. Our findings indicate that alpha-hemolytic bovine GCS, an important mastitis pathogen and considered to be a nonhuman pathogen, carries important virulence factors responsible for virulence and pathogenesis in humans. PMID:21525223

  8. In silico approaches in the identification of Cryptococcus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    taylorsadmin

    2012-06-07

    Jun 7, 2012 ... alignment was performed using the Clustal W software. exigua and Spodoptera litura based on the knowledge of highly conserved chemoreceptors in Drosophila melanogaster. Their research group employed bioinformatics approaches to identify the desired sequences and web-based TMHMM software to.

  9. A theoretical model of the evolution of virulence in sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS Modelo teórico da evolucão da virulência do HIV/AIDS transmitido sexualmente

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FAB Coutinho

    1999-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The evolution of virulence in host-parasite relationships has been the subject of several publications. In the case of HIV virulence, some authors suggest that the evolution of HIV virulence correlates with the rate of acquisition of new sexual partners. In contrast some other authors argue that the level of HIV virulence is independent of the sexual activity of the host population. METHODS: Provide a mathematical model for the study of the potential influence of human sexual behaviour on the evolution of virulence of HIV is provided. RESULTS: The results indicated that, when the probability of acquisition of infection is a function both of the sexual activity and of the virulence level of HIV strains, the evolution of HIV virulence correlates positively with the rate of acquisition of new sexual partners. CONCLUSION: It is concluded that in the case of a host population with a low (high rate of exchange of sexual partners the evolution of HIV virulence is such that the less (more virulent strain prevails.INTRODUÇÃO: A evolução da virulência na relação hospedeiro-parasita tem sido objeto de várias publicações. No caso do HIV, alguns autores sugerem que a evolução da virulência do HIV correlaciona-se com a taxa de aquisição de novos parceiros sexuais. Por outro lado, outros autores argumentam que o nível de virulência do HIV é independente da atividade sexual da população hospedeira. MÉTODOS: Propõe-se um modelo matemático para estudar a influência potencial que o comportamento sexual humano possa ter na evolução da virulência do HIV. RESULTADOS: Os resultados indicam que, quando a probabilidade de aquisição da infecção pelo HIV é uma função tanto da atividade sexual da população humana quanto da virulência das cepas de HIV, a evolução da virulência do HIV correlaciona-se positivamente com a taxa de aquisição de novos parceiros sexuais. CONCLUSÃO: Concluiu-se que no caso de uma popula

  10. Protection of melanized Cryptococcus neoformans from lethal dose gamma irradiation involves changes in melanin's chemical structure and paramagnetism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelahad Khajo

    Full Text Available Certain fungi thrive in highly radioactive environments including the defunct Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Cryptococcus neoformans (C. neoformans, which uses L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA to produce melanin, was used here to investigate how gamma radiation under aqueous aerobic conditions affects the properties of melanin, with the aim of gaining insight into its radioprotective role. Exposure of melanized fungal cell in aqueous suspensions to doses of γ-radiation capable of killing 50 to 80% of the cells did not lead to a detectable loss of melanin integrity according to EPR spectra of melanin radicals. Moreover, upon UV-visible (Xe-lamp illumination of melanized cells, the increase in radical population was unchanged after γ-irradiation. Gamma-irradiation of frozen cell suspensions and storage of samples for several days at 77 K however, produced melanin modification noted by a reduced radical population and reduced photoresponse. More direct evidence for structural modification of melanin came from the detection of soluble products with absorbance maxima near 260 nm in supernatants collected after γ-irradiation of cells and cell-free melanin. These products, which include thiobarbituric acid (TBA-reactive aldehydes, were also generated by Fenton reagent treatment of cells and cell-free melanin. In an assay of melanin integrity based on the metal (Bi(+3 binding capacity of cells, no detectable loss in binding was detected after γ-irradiation. Our results show that melanin in C. neoformans cells is susceptible to some damage by hydroxyl radical formed in lethal radioactive aqueous environments and serves a protective role in melanized fungi that involves sacrificial breakdown.

  11. Virulence regulation in Staphylococcus aureus: the need for in vivo analysis of virulence factor regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pragman, Alexa A; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2004-10-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogenic microorganism that is responsible for a wide variety of clinical infections. These infections can be relatively mild, but serious, life-threatening infections may result from the expression of staphylococcal virulence factors that are coordinated by virulence regulators. Much work has been done to characterize the actions of staphylococcal virulence regulators in broth culture. Recently, several laboratories showed that transcriptional analyses of virulence regulators in in vivo animal models or in human infection did not correlate with transcriptional analyses accomplished in vitro. In describing the differences between in vitro and in vivo transcription of staphylococcal virulence regulators, we hope to encourage investigators to study virulence regulators using infection models whenever possible.

  12. Virulence determinants within the E2 glycoprotein of Classical Swine Fever Virus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johnston, Camille Melissa; Fahnøe, Ulrik; Lohse, Louise

    Classical Swine Fever is a highly contagious disease of pigs caused by Classical Swine Fever Virus (CSFV), a member of the pestivirus genus within the family Flaviviridae. The E2 glycoprotein of CSFV has been shown to be an important factor for the virulence of the virus. In a recent study, we have......Kos (with the SL motif). The results indicate that the E2 residues 763-64 play an important role in CSFV virulence....

  13. Comparative genomics of Beauveria bassiana: uncovering signatures of virulence against mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valero-Jiménez, Claudio A; Faino, Luigi; Spring In't Veld, Daphne; Smit, Sandra; Zwaan, Bas J; van Kan, Jan A L

    2016-12-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi such as Beauveria bassiana are promising biological agents for control of malaria mosquitoes. Indeed, infection with B. bassiana reduces the lifespan of mosquitoes in the laboratory and in the field. Natural isolates of B. bassiana show up to 10-fold differences in virulence between the most and the least virulent isolate. In this study, we sequenced the genomes of five isolates representing the extremes of low/high virulence and three RNA libraries, and applied a genome comparison approach to uncover genetic mechanisms underpinning virulence. A high-quality, near-complete genome assembly was achieved for the highly virulent isolate Bb8028, which was compared to the assemblies of the four other isolates. Whole genome analysis showed a high level of genetic diversity between the five isolates (2.85-16.8 SNPs/kb), which grouped into two distinct phylogenetic clusters. Mating type gene analysis revealed the presence of either the MAT1-1-1 or the MAT1-2-1 gene. Moreover, a putative new MAT gene (MAT1-2-8) was detected in the MAT1-2 locus. Comparative genome analysis revealed that Bb8028 contains 163 genes exclusive for this isolate. These unique genes have a tendency to cluster in the genome and to be often located near the telomeres. Among the genes unique to Bb8028 are a Non-Ribosomal Peptide Synthetase (NRPS) secondary metabolite gene cluster, a polyketide synthase (PKS) gene, and five genes with homology to bacterial toxins. A survey of candidate virulence genes for B. bassiana is presented. Our results indicate several genes and molecular processes that may underpin virulence towards mosquitoes. Thus, the genome sequences of five isolates of B. bassiana provide a better understanding of the natural variation in virulence and will offer a major resource for future research on this important biological control agent.

  14. Perfect state of Cryptococcus neoformans, Filobasidiella neoformans, on pigeon manure filtrate agar

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Staib, F.

    1981-02-01

    To enable studies of the dependence of Cryptococcus neoformans and its perfect and imperfect states upon bird manure as a habitat of this pathogen, a nutrient medium closely resembling natural conditions was prepared. As sole nutrient, the water soluble ingredients of manure from pigeons (Columbia livia) were used. There was no heat sterilization of the manure filtrate. Using a standard pair of C. neoformans strains for mating, it could be demonstrated that the perfect state of the fungus developed on this so called pigeon manure filtrate agar within 48 h at 26 degrees C. This medium is supposed to help in the elucidation of the epidemiological significance of the perfect and imperfect states of this pathogen.

  15. PENAPISAN KHAMIR SELULOLITIK CRYPTOCOCCUS SP. YANG DIISOLASI DARI TANAH KEBUN BIOLOGI WAMENA, JAYA WIJAYA, PROPINSI PAPUA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atit Kanti

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus sp. was isolated from Kebun Biologi Wamena, Papua. The isolate was able to grow in media with carboxymethyl cellulose as a sole carbon source implying that isolate produced 1-3 ? endo-glucanase. To study the effect of glucose and osmotic pressure, 0.1 % glucose and 0.1 % NaCl were amended into the medium containing CMC. Glucose significantly affected cellulolytic activity and biomass synthesis. At the beginning of cell cultivation glucose augmentation appear to slightly inhibit enzyme activity. Sodium chloride also significantly affected cellulolytic activity. Profile of pH varied dependent on cultivation media. Maximum growth of biomass was achieved after glucose addition, indicating that glucose stimulated cell growth.

  16. Antagonistic Activity of Probiotic Organism Against Vibrio cholerae and Cryptococcus neoformans

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    Vidya, R.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The microbes are useful in many ways in the modern world. Probiotics one of them, which refers to, acid adherence bacteria in the intestinal cells, are able to survive at low pH and produce large amount of lactic acid. The present investigation deals with the antagonistic activity of Lactobacillus acidophilus organism against pathogens. The organism was isolated from the curd sample. Identification of bacteria was done by various biochemical testing. The present study revealed that L. acidophilus inhibits Vibrio cholerae more efficiently than Streptococcus pneumoniae and Shigella dysentriae. When L. acidophilus and V. cholerae were grown together, L. acidophilus dominated the growth and competitively inhibited the growth of V. cholerae. L. acidophilus was also found to inhibit Cryptococcus neoformans.

  17. Isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans from bird droppings, fruits and vegetables in Mexico City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Martínez, R; Castañón-Olivares, L R

    1995-01-01

    The presence of Cryptococcus neoformans in various natural sources, such as bird droppings, fruits and vegetables, was investigated. A total of 711 samples were analyzed; C. neoformans var. neoformans was isolated from seven out of 74 bird droppings (9.5%), with parrots as one of the most significant sources. Fruits were positive in 9.5% of the 169 samples studied, specially citrus fruits, particularly grapefruit, in which the highest frequency was found. From the 468 vegetable samples, only 20 were positive (4.2%). It is emphasized that five of the positive vegetables species are autochthonous to Mexico: avocado (Nectandra salicifolia), beet (Beta vulgaris var. quinopodiace), chayote (Sechium edule), stringbean (Cassia sp), and nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica).

  18. Exploring potential virulence regulators in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis isolates of varying virulence through quantitative proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castilho, Daniele G; Chaves, Alison F A; Xander, Patricia; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S; Serrano, Solange M T; Tashima, Alexandre K; Batista, Wagner L

    2014-10-03

    Few virulence factors have been identified for Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, the agent of paracoccidioidomycosis. In this study, we quantitatively evaluated the protein composition of P. brasiliensis in the yeast phase using minimal and rich media to obtain a better understanding of its virulence and to gain new insights into pathogen adaptation strategies. This analysis was performed on two isolates of the Pb18 strain showing distinct infection profiles in B10.A mice. Using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis, we identified and quantified 316 proteins in minimal medium, 29 of which were overexpressed in virulent Pb18. In rich medium, 29 out of 295 proteins were overexpressed in the virulent fungus. Three proteins were found to be up-regulated in both media, suggesting the potential roles of these proteins in virulence regulation in P. brasiliensis. Moreover, genes up-regulated in virulent Pb18 showed an increase in its expression after the recovery of virulence of attenuated Pb18. Proteins up-regulated in both isolates were grouped according to their functional categories. Virulent Pb18 undergoes metabolic reorganization and increased expression of proteins involved in fermentative respiration. This approach allowed us to identify potential virulence regulators and provided a foundation for achieving a molecular understanding of how Paracoccidioides modulates the host-pathogen interaction to its advantage.

  19. [Virulence and its relationship to antibiotic resistance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly-Guillou, M L

    1998-12-01

    PATHOGENIC ISLANDS: Certain DNA blocks inserted into the chromosome of most Gram negative bacteria originated in pathogens found in plants. VIRULENCE-ANTIBIOTIC INTERACTIONS: During the invasive phase, the bacterial cell covers itself with adhesins which facilitate its adherence to tissues. The bacterial cell produces a fibronectin which protects its defense systems. Antibiotics favor bacterial resistance by increasing the expression of surface adhesins and fibronectin production. PENICILLIN RESISTANT PNEUMOCOCCI: Experimental models have demonstrated that mortality in mice and host resistance to pneumococcal infection are related to the type of capsule and not to antibiotic resistance. QUORUM SENSING: The bacterial inoculum regulates the production of virulence factors in vivo via quorum sensing. This regulation can play an important role in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. ACINETOBACTER BAUMANNI VIRULENCE: Long poorly understood, factors favoring A. baumanni virulence appear to result from bacterial production of IROMPs in the extracellular growth medium in response to iron depletion during the exponential growth phase.

  20. The Role of Cryptococcus in the Immune System of Pulmonary Cryptococcosis Patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinlin Wang

    Full Text Available To investigate the role of Cryptococcus in the immune system of immunocompetent patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis (PC by analysing the dynamic changes of patients' immune status before and after antifungal therapy.The level of the serum interferon-γ (IFN-γ and interleukin (IL-2, -4, -10 and -12 was measured before and after 6-months of treatment. Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 30 immunocompetent PC patients and 30 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs were isolated and incubated with recombinant human IL-12 (rhIL-12 for 48 h. Then the concentrations of IFN-γ and IL-4 in the supernatant were analysed.Baseline serum IFN-γ level was significantly lower in the PC patients as compared with the control group (P < 0.001. The serum IL-2 and IFN-γ of PC patients were significantly increased after appropriate treatments (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001 when compared to their baseline levels. The productions of IFN-γ in the culture supernatant of PBMCs showed no significant difference between the control and PC patients both before and after antifungal treatments. RhIL-12 is a potent stimulus for IFN-γ production. Culture PBMCs collected from PC patients before treatments had a smaller increase of IFN-γ production in the present of rhIL-12 than the control (P < 0.01; PBMCs from PC patients completing 6-months of treatment showed a comparable increase of IFN-γ production by rhIL-12 stimulation to the control group.In apparently immunocompetent patients with PC, a normalization of serum IFN-γ was achieved after recovery from infection. This suggests that Cryptococcus infection per se can suppress the immune system and its elimination contributes to the reestablishment of an immune equilibrium.

  1. The Role of Amino Acid Permeases and Tryptophan Biosynthesis in Cryptococcus neoformans Survival.

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    João Daniel Santos Fernandes

    Full Text Available Metabolic diversity is an important factor during microbial adaptation to different environments. Among metabolic processes, amino acid biosynthesis has been demonstrated to be relevant for survival for many microbial pathogens, whereas the association between pathogenesis and amino acid uptake and recycling are less well-established. Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen with many habitats. As a result, it faces frequent metabolic shifts and challenges during its life cycle. Here we studied the C. neoformans tryptophan biosynthetic pathway and found that the pathway is essential. RNAi indicated that interruptions in the biosynthetic pathway render strains inviable. However, auxotroph complementation can be partially achieved by tryptophan uptake when a non preferred nitrogen source and lower growth temperature are applied, suggesting that amino acid permeases may be the target of nitrogen catabolism repression (NCR. We used bioinformatics to search for amino acid permeases in the C. neoformans and found eight potential global permeases (AAP1 to AAP8. The transcriptional profile of them revealed that they are subjected to regulatory mechanisms which are known to respond to nutritional status in other fungi, such as (i quality of nitrogen (Nitrogen Catabolism Repression, NCR and carbon sources (Carbon Catabolism Repression, CCR, (ii amino acid availability in the extracellular environment (SPS-sensing and (iii nutritional deprivation (Global Amino Acid Control, GAAC. This study shows that C. neoformans has fewer amino acid permeases than other model yeasts, and that these proteins may be subjected to complex regulatory mechanisms. Our data suggest that the C. neoformans tryptophan biosynthetic pathway is an excellent pharmacological target. Furthermore, inhibitors of this pathway cause Cryptococcus growth arrest in vitro.

  2. Yersinia enterocolitica: Mode of Transmission, Molecular Insights of Virulence, and Pathogenesis of Infection

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    Yeasmin Sabina

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Although Yersinia enterocolitica is usually transmitted through contaminated food and untreated water, occasional transmission such as human-to-human, animal-to-human and blood transfusion associated transmission have also identified in human disease. Of the six Y. enterocolitica biotypes, the virulence of the pathogenic biotypes, namely, 1B and 2–5 is attributed to the presence of a highly conserved 70-kb virulence plasmid, termed pYV/pCD and certain chromosomal genes. Some biotype 1A strains, despite lacking virulence plasmid (pYV and traditional chromosomal virulence genes, are isolated frequently from humans with gastrointestinal diseases similar to that produced by isolates belonging known pathogenic biotypes. Y. enterocolitica pathogenic biotypes have evolved two major properties: the ability to penetrate the intestinal wall, which is thought to be controlled by plasmid genes, and the production of heat-stable enterotoxin, which is controlled by chromosomal genes.

  3. Wide distribution of virulence genes among Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis clinical isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soheili, Sara; Ghafourian, Sobhan; Sekawi, Zamberi; Neela, Vasanthakumari; Sadeghifard, Nourkhoda; Ramli, Ramliza; Hamat, Rukman Awang

    2014-01-01

    Enterococcus, a Gram-positive facultative anaerobic cocci belonging to the lactic acid bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes, is known to be able to resist a wide range of hostile conditions such as different pH levels, high concentration of NaCl (6.5%), and the extended temperatures between 5(°)C and 65(°)C. Despite being the third most common nosocomial pathogen, our understanding on its virulence factors is still poorly understood. The current study was aimed to determine the prevalence of different virulence genes in Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. For this purpose, 79 clinical isolates of Malaysian enterococci were evaluated for the presence of virulence genes. pilB, fms8, efaAfm, and sgrA genes are prevalent in all clinical isolates. In conclusion, the pathogenicity of E. faecalis and E. faecium could be associated with different virulence factors and these genes are widely distributed among the enterococcal species.

  4. Bacterial Human Virulence Genes across Diverse Habitats As Assessed by In silico Analysis of Environmental Metagenomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søborg, Ditte A; Hendriksen, Niels B; Kilian, Mogens

    2016-01-01

    of natural environments in the evolution of bacterial virulence. Twenty four bacterial virulence genes were analyzed in 46 diverse environmental metagenomic datasets, representing various soils, seawater, freshwater, marine sediments, hot springs, the deep-sea, hypersaline mats, microbialites, gutless worms......The occurrence and distribution of clinically relevant bacterial virulence genes across natural (non-human) environments is not well understood. We aimed to investigate the occurrence of homologs to bacterial human virulence genes in a variety of ecological niches to better understand the role...... in non-human environments point to an important ecological role of the genes for the activity and survival of environmental bacteria. Furthermore, the high degree of sequence conservation between several of the environmental and clinical genes suggests common ancestral origins....

  5. Virulence Factors of Helicobacter pylori

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Sinclair

    1991-01-01

    environment with respect to pH. The spiral shape of the cells and their flagellar motility allow them to wind themselves into the mucous layer of the stomach. Some evidence exists for the production of strong proteolytic activity, hence degrading the mucous barrier and increasing permeability for the organism. Cyroroxin excreted by the bacteria may have some effect on the surrounding cells, with the possible lysis and release of bacterial growth factors. There is evidence that a chemotactic response is present due to these growth factors and their higher concentration in the intracellular spaces. The presence of specific and nonspecific adhesion has also been demonstrated, thus allowing the bacterium, once at the epithelial cell surface, to attach and avoid being washed off by movement within the stomach. Although treatment with antimicrobials eradicates the organism and improves symptoms of peptic ulcer patients, there is no indication that the same occurs in nonulcer dyspepsia patients. Further work is essential to describe the virulence mechanisms of H pylori and the possible pathogenic role of the organism.

  6. Exploring virulence and immunogenicity in the emerging pathogen Sporothrix brasiliensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della Terra, Paula Portella; Rodrigues, Anderson Messias; Fernandes, Geisa Ferreira; Nishikaku, Angela Satie; Burger, Eva; de Camargo, Zoilo Pires

    2017-08-01

    Sporotrichosis is a polymorphic chronic infection of humans and animals classically acquired after traumatic inoculation with soil and plant material contaminated with Sporothrix spp. propagules. An alternative and successful route of transmission is bites and scratches from diseased cats, through which Sporothrix yeasts are inoculated into mammalian tissue. The development of a murine model of subcutaneous sporotrichosis mimicking the alternative route of transmission is essential to understanding disease pathogenesis and the development of novel therapeutic strategies. To explore the impact of horizontal transmission in animals (e.g., cat-cat) and zoonotic transmission on Sporothrix fitness, the left hind footpads of BALB/c mice were inoculated with 5×106 yeasts (n = 11 S. brasiliensis, n = 2 S. schenckii, or n = 1 S. globosa). Twenty days post-infection, our model reproduced both the pathophysiology and symptomology of sporotrichosis with suppurating subcutaneous nodules that progressed proximally along lymphatic channels. Across the main pathogenic members of the S. schenckii clade, S. brasiliensis was usually more virulent than S. schenckii and S. globosa. However, the virulence in S. brasiliensis was strain-dependent, and we demonstrated that highly virulent isolates disseminate from the left hind footpad to the liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain of infected animals, inducing significant and chronic weight loss (losing up to 15% of their body weight). The weight loss correlated with host death between 2 and 16 weeks post-infection. Histopathological features included necrosis, suppurative inflammation, and polymorphonuclear and mononuclear inflammatory infiltrates. Immunoblot using specific antisera and homologous exoantigen investigated the humoral response. Antigenic profiles were isolate-specific, supporting the hypothesis that different Sporothrix species can elicit a heterogeneous humoral response over time, but cross reaction was observed

  7. Critical role of LuxS in the virulence of Campylobacter jejuni in a guinea pig model of abortion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plummer, Paul; Sahin, Orhan; Burrough, Eric; Sippy, Rachel; Mou, Kathy; Rabenold, Jessica; Yaeger, Mike; Zhang, Qijing

    2012-02-01

    Previous studies on Campylobacter jejuni have demonstrated the role of LuxS in motility, cytolethal distending toxin production, agglutination, and intestinal colonization; however, its direct involvement in virulence has not been reported. In this study, we demonstrate a direct role of luxS in the virulence of C. jejuni in two different animal hosts. The IA3902 strain, a highly virulent sheep abortion strain recently described by our laboratory, along with its isogenic luxS mutant and luxS complement strains, was inoculated by the oral route into both a pregnant guinea pig virulence model and a chicken colonization model. In both cases, the IA3902 luxS mutant demonstrated a complete loss of ability to colonize the intestinal tract. In the pregnant model, the mutant also failed to induce abortion, while the wild-type strain was highly abortifacient. Genetic complementation of the luxS gene fully restored the virulent phenotype in both models. Interestingly, when the organism was inoculated into guinea pigs by the intraperitoneal route, no difference in virulence (abortion induction) was observed between the luxS mutant and the wild-type strain, suggesting that the defect in virulence following oral inoculation is likely associated with a defect in colonization and/or translocation of the organism out of the intestine. These studies provide the first direct evidence that LuxS plays an important role in the virulence of C. jejuni using an in vivo model of natural disease.

  8. Genotipificación de aislamientos clínicos del complejo Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii obtenidos en el Hospital «Dr. Julio C. Perrando», de la ciudad de Resistencia (Chaco, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria E Cattana

    Full Text Available La criptococosis es una infección fúngica causada por levaduras del género Cryptococcus, particularmente las del complejo Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii. El conocimiento sobre la casuística de la criptococosis en el nordeste argentino es exiguo y no se tiene información sobre los tipos moleculares circulantes. El objetivo de este estudio fue realizar la caracterización genética de los aislamientos pertenecientes al complejo C. neoformans/C. gattii obtenidos en el Hospital «Dr. Julio C. Perrando» de la ciudad de Resistencia (Chaco, Argentina, con el fin de determinar especie, variedad y genotipo. Durante dos años y un mes se estudiaron 26 aislamientos clínicos. Mediante métodos convencionales y moleculares, un aislamiento fue identificado como C. gattii genotipo VGI y los 25 restantes como C. neoformans var.grubii, 23 de los cuales correspondieron al genotipo VNI y dos al genotipo VNII. Estos datos son una contribución al conocimiento de la epidemiología de la criptococosis en la Argentina y el primer informe sobre genotipos del complejo C. neoformans/C. gattii de origen clínico en el nordeste argentino.

  9. A new F-actin structure in fungi: actin ring formation around the cell nucleus of Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopecká, Marie; Kawamoto, Susumu; Yamaguchi, Masashi

    2013-04-01

    The F-actin cytoskeleton of Cryptococcus neoformans is known to comprise actin cables, cortical patches and cytokinetic ring. Here, we describe a new F-actin structure in fungi, a perinuclear F-actin collar ring around the cell nucleus, by fluorescent microscopic imaging of rhodamine phalloidin-stained F-actin. Perinuclear F-actin rings form in Cryptococcus neoformans treated with the microtubule inhibitor Nocodazole or with the drug solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or grown in yeast extract peptone dextrose (YEPD) medium, but they are absent in cells treated with Latrunculin A. Perinuclear F-actin rings may function as 'funicular cabin' for the cell nucleus, and actin cables as intracellular 'funicular' suspending nucleus in the central position in the cell and moving nucleus along the polarity axis along actin cables.

  10. Cryptococcus neoformans en el contenido gástrico de un paciente con SIDA Cryptococcus neoformans in the gastric contents of an AIDS patient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Garro

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Se comunica la observación microscópica y el aislamiento de Cryptococcus neoformans de contenido gástrico de un paciente con SIDA, obtenido por aspiración con sonda nasogástrica y enviado para su estudio parasitológico. En el examen en fresco del concentrado del material, llamaron la atención escasas levaduras redondas. El agregado de tinta china reveló la cápsula característica de C. neoformans. El cultivo de la muestra en agar extracto de semillas de girasol incubado a 37 °C durante 7 días permitió el aislamiento de colonias pardas de C. neoformans. Los hemocultivos para hongos fueron negativos y ante la imposibilidad de obtener LCR, por negativa del paciente, se determinó el antígeno polisacarídico capsular de C. neoformans en sangre, que fue positivo hasta la dilución 1:100. Luego del hallazgo de C. neoformans en el contenido gástrico y del resultado positivo de la antigenemia, el paciente -sospechado inicialmente como portador de diarrea por Cryptosporidium sp.-, fue medicado con fluconazol por vía oral, a razón de 800 mg/día, tras negarse a recibir medicación endovenosa. La presente comunicación da cuenta del hallazgo de C. neoformans en un material clínico donde su presencia es infrecuente y destaca su valor en el diagnóstico de la criptococosis.The microscopic observation and isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans from the gastric contents of an AIDS patient, obtained by aspiration with a nasogastric catheter and parasitologically studied, is communicated. Because of the limited number of round yeasts visualized by wet mount of the sample concentrate, India ink was added: the typical capsules of C. neoformans were then observed. Dark brown colonies of C. neoformans were isolated from the clinical sample cultured on sunflower-seed-extract agar, incubated at 37 °C for 7 days. Bloodcultures for fungi were negative; it was impossible to obtain CSF due to the patient&'s refusal, then the capsular polysaccharide antigen

  11. Cyt toxin expression reveals an inverse regulation of insect and plant virulence factors of Dickeya dadantii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costechareyre, Denis; Dridi, Bedis; Rahbé, Yvan; Condemine, Guy

    2010-12-01

    The plant pathogenic bacteria Dickeya dadantii is also a pathogen of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. The genome of the bacteria contains four cyt genes, encoding homologues of Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt toxins, which are involved in its pathogenicity to insects. We show here that these genes are transcribed as an operon, and we determined the conditions necessary for their expression. Their expression is induced at high temperature and at an osmolarity equivalent to that found in the plant phloem sap. The regulators of cyt genes have also been identified: their expression is repressed by H-NS and VfmE and activated by PecS. These genes are already known to regulate plant virulence factors, but in an opposite way. When tested in a virulence assay by ingestion, the pecS mutant was almost non-pathogenic while hns and vfmE mutants behaved in the same way as the wild-type strain. Mutants of other regulators of plant virulence, GacA, OmpR and PhoP, that do not control Cyt toxin production, also showed reduced pathogenicity. In an assay by injection of bacteria, the gacA strain was less pathogenic but, surprisingly, the pecS mutant was slightly more virulent. These results show that Cyt toxins are not the only virulence factors required to kill aphids, and that these factors act at different stages of the infection. Moreover, their production is controlled by general virulence regulators known for their role in plant virulence. This integration could indicate that virulence towards insects is a normal mode of life for D. dadantii. © 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. cipC is important for Aspergillus fumigatus virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canela, Heliara Maria Spina; Takami, Luciano Akira; da Silva Ferreira, Márcia Eliana

    2017-02-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main causative agent of invasive aspergillosis, a disease that affects immunocompromised patients and has a high mortality rate. We previously observed that the transcription of a cipC-like gene was increased when A. fumigatus encountered an increased CO 2 concentration, as occurs during the infection process. CipC is a protein of unknown function that might be associated with fungal pathogenicity. In this study, the cipC gene was disrupted in A. fumigatus to evaluate its importance for fungal pathogenicity. The gene was replaced, and the germination, growth phenotype, stress responses, and virulence of the resultant mutant were assessed. Although cipC was not essential, its deletion attenuated A. fumigatus virulence in a low-dose murine infection model, suggesting the involvement of the cipC gene in the virulence of this fungus. This study is the first to disrupt the cipC gene in A. fumigatus. © 2017 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Virulence and genomic feature of multidrug resistant Campylobacter jejuni isolated from broiler chicken

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haihong Hao

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to reveal the molecular mechanism involved in multidrug resistance and virulence of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from broiler chickens. The virulence of six multidrug resistant C. jejuni was determined by in vitro and in vivo methods. The de novo whole genome sequencing technology and molecular biology methods were used to analyze the genomic features associated with the multidrug resistance and virulence of a selected isolate (C. jejuni 1655. The comparative genomic analyses revealed a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms, deletions, rearrangements, and inversions in C. jejuni 1655 compared to reference C. jejuni genomes. The co-emergence of Thr-86-Ile mutation in gyrA gene, A2075G mutation in 23S rRNA gene, tetO, aphA and aadE genes and pTet plasmid in C. jejuni 1655 contributed its multidrug resistance to fluoroquinolones, macrolides, tetracycline and aminoglycosides. The combination of multiple virulence genes may work together to confer the relative higher virulence in C. jejuni 1655. The co-existence of mobile gene elements (e.g. pTet and CRISPR-Cas system in C. jejuni 1655 may play an important role in the gene transfer and immune defense. The present study provides basic information of phenotypic and genomic features of C. jejuni 1655, a strain recently isolated from a chicken displaying multidrug resistance and relatively high level of virulence.

  15. Comparison of virulence factors and capsular types of Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from human and bovine infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emaneini, Mohammad; Khoramian, Babak; Jabalameli, Fereshteh; Abani, Samira; Dabiri, Hossein; Beigverdi, Reza

    2016-02-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae is a leading cause of human and bovine infections. A total of 194 S. agalactiae isolates, 55 isolates from bovines and 139 from humans, were analyzed for capsular types, virulence genes (scpB, hly, rib, bca and bac) and mobile genetic elements (IS1548 and GBSi1) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and multiplex PCR. Capsular type III was predominant (61%), followed by types V, II, Ib, and IV. The scpB, hly, bca and bac virulence genes were only found among human isolates. Twelve and 2 distinct virulence gene profiles were identified among human and bovine isolates respectively. The virulence gene profiles scpB- hly- IS1548- rib-bca (51%) and scpB- hly- IS1548- bca (19%) were only predominant among human isolates. The rib gene was the most common virulence gene in both human and bovine isolates. The study showed a high prevalence of virulence genes in S. agalactiae strains isolated from human infections, these result can support the idea that S. agalactiae isolated from humans and bovines are generally unrelated and probably belonged to separate populations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. A polymerase chain reaction assay for detection of virulent and attenuated strains of duck plague virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Liji; Xie, Zhixun; Huang, Li; Wang, Sheng; Huang, Jiaoling; Zhang, Yanfang; Zeng, Tingting; Luo, Sisi

    2017-11-01

    Sequence analysis of duck plague virus (DPV) revealed that there was a 528bp (B fragment) deletion within the UL2 gene of DPV attenuated vaccine strain in comparison with field virulent strains. The finding of gene deletion provides a potential differentiation test between DPV virulent strain and attenuated strain based on their UL2 gene sizes. Thus we developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting to the DPV UL2 gene for simultaneous detection of DPV virulent strain and attenuated strain, 827bp for virulent strain and 299bp for attenuated strain. This newly developed PCR for DPV was highly sensitive and specific. It detected as low as 100fg of DNA on both DPV virulent and attenuated strains, no same size bands were amplified from other duck viruses including duck paramyxovirus, duck tembusu virus, duck circovirus, Muscovy duck parvovirus, duck hepatitis virus type I, avian influenza virus and gosling plague virus. Therefore, this PCR assay can be used for the rapid, sensitive and specific detection of DPV virulent and attenuated strains affecting ducks. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Integrated Activity and Genetic Profiling of Secreted Peptidases in Cryptococcus neoformans Reveals an Aspartyl Peptidase Required for Low pH Survival and Virulence

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Clarke, S. C.; Dumesic, P. A.; Homer, C. M.; O'Donoghue, A.J.; La Greca, F.; Pallová, Lenka; Majer, Pavel; Madhani, H. D.; Craik, C. S.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 12 (2016), č. článku e1006051. ISSN 1553-7366 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : protease inhibitors * Candida albicans * parasitic protozoa Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 6.608, year: 2016 http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1006051&type=printable

  18. Metabolic Genetic Screens Reveal Multidimensional Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression in Listeria monocytogenes and an Aminopeptidase That Is Critical for PrfA Protein Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Sivan; Linsky, Marika; Lobel, Lior; Rabinovich, Lev; Sigal, Nadejda; Herskovits, Anat A

    2017-06-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and intracellular bacterial pathogen. Upon invading mammalian cells, the bacterium senses abrupt changes in its metabolic environment, which are rapidly transduced to regulation of virulence gene expression. To explore the relationship between L. monocytogenes metabolism and virulence, we monitored virulence gene expression dynamics across a library of genetic mutants grown under two metabolic conditions known to activate the virulent state: charcoal-treated rich medium containing glucose-1-phosphate and minimal defined medium containing limiting concentrations of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). We identified over 100 distinct mutants that exhibit aberrant virulence gene expression profiles, the majority of which mapped to nonessential metabolic genes. Mutants displayed enhanced, decreased, and early and late virulence gene expression profiles, as well as persistent levels, demonstrating a high plasticity in virulence gene regulation. Among the mutants, one was noteworthy for its particularly low virulence gene expression level and mapped to an X-prolyl aminopeptidase (PepP). We show that this peptidase plays a role in posttranslational activation of the major virulence regulator, PrfA. Specifically, PepP mediates recruitment of PrfA to the cytoplasmic membrane, a step identified as critical for PrfA protein activation. This study establishes a novel step in the complex mechanism of PrfA activation and further highlights the cross regulation of metabolism and virulence. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  19. Functional genomic characterization of virulence factors from necrotizing fasciitis-causing strains of Aeromonas hydrophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grim, Christopher J; Kozlova, Elena V; Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Fitts, Eric C; Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Tiner, Bethany L; Erova, Tatiana E; Joseph, Sandeep J; Read, Timothy D; Shak, Joshua R; Joseph, Sam W; Singletary, Ed; Felland, Tracy; Baze, Wallace B; Horneman, Amy J; Chopra, Ashok K

    2014-07-01

    The genomes of 10 Aeromonas isolates identified and designated Aeromonas hydrophila WI, Riv3, and NF1 to NF4; A. dhakensis SSU; A. jandaei Riv2; and A. caviae NM22 and NM33 were sequenced and annotated. Isolates NF1 to NF4 were from a patient with necrotizing fasciitis (NF). Two environmental isolates (Riv2 and -3) were from the river water from which the NF patient acquired the infection. While isolates NF2 to NF4 were clonal, NF1 was genetically distinct. Outside the conserved core genomes of these 10 isolates, several unique genomic features were identified. The most virulent strains possessed one of the following four virulence factors or a combination of them: cytotoxic enterotoxin, exotoxin A, and type 3 and 6 secretion system effectors AexU and Hcp. In a septicemic-mouse model, SSU, NF1, and Riv2 were the most virulent, while NF2 was moderately virulent. These data correlated with high motility and biofilm formation by the former three isolates. Conversely, in a mouse model of intramuscular infection, NF2 was much more virulent than NF1. Isolates NF2, SSU, and Riv2 disseminated in high numbers from the muscular tissue to the visceral organs of mice, while NF1 reached the liver and spleen in relatively lower numbers on the basis of colony counting and tracking of bioluminescent strains in real time by in vivo imaging. Histopathologically, degeneration of myofibers with significant infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells due to the highly virulent strains was noted. Functional genomic analysis provided data that allowed us to correlate the highly infectious nature of Aeromonas pathotypes belonging to several different species with virulence signatures and their potential ability to cause NF. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  20. Potential drivers of virulence evolution in aquaculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, David A.; Kurath, Gael; Brito, Ilana L.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Read, Andrew F.; Winton, James R.; Wargo, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

    Infectious diseases are economically detrimental to aquaculture, and with continued expansion and intensification of aquaculture, the importance of managing infectious diseases will likely increase in the future. Here, we use evolution of virulence theory, along with examples, to identify aquaculture practices that might lead to the evolution of increased pathogen virulence. We identify eight practices common in aquaculture that theory predicts may favor evolution toward higher pathogen virulence. Four are related to intensive aquaculture operations, and four others are related specifically to infectious disease control. Our intention is to make aquaculture managers aware of these risks, such that with increased vigilance, they might be able to detect and prevent the emergence and spread of increasingly troublesome pathogen strains in the future.

  1. Virulence factors of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrellad, Marina A.; Klepp, Laura I.; Gioffré, Andrea; Sabio y García, Julia; Morbidoni, Hector R.; Santangelo, María de la Paz; Cataldi, Angel A.; Bigi, Fabiana

    2013-01-01

    The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) consists of closely related species that cause tuberculosis in both humans and animals. This illness, still today, remains to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. The mycobacteria enter the host by air, and, once in the lungs, are phagocytated by macrophages. This may lead to the rapid elimination of the bacillus or to the triggering of an active tuberculosis infection. A large number of different virulence factors have evolved in MTBC members as a response to the host immune reaction. The aim of this review is to describe the bacterial genes/proteins that are essential for the virulence of MTBC species, and that have been demonstrated in an in vivo model of infection. Knowledge of MTBC virulence factors is essential for the development of new vaccines and drugs to help manage the disease toward an increasingly more tuberculosis-free world. PMID:23076359

  2. Transcriptional control of drug resistance, virulence and immune system evasion in pathogenic fungi: a cross-species comparison.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Pais

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Transcription factors are key players in the control of the activation or repression of gene expression programs in response to environmental stimuli. The study of regulatory networks taking place in fungal pathogens is a promising research topic that can help in the fight against these pathogens by targeting specific fungal pathways as a whole, instead of targeting more specific effectors of virulence or drug resistance. This review is focused on the analysis of regulatory networks playing a central role in the referred mechanisms in the human fungal pathogens Aspergillus fumigatus, Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis and Candida tropicalis. Current knowledge on the activity of the transcription factors characterized in each of these pathogenic fungal species will be addressed. Particular focus is given to their mechanisms of activation, regulatory targets and phenotypic outcome. The review further provides an evaluation on the conservation of transcriptional circuits among different fungal pathogens, highlighting the pathways that translate common or divergent traits among these species in what concerns their drug resistance, virulence and host immune evasion features. It becomes evident that the regulation of transcriptional networks is complex and presents significant variations among different fungal pathogens. Only the oxidative stress regulators Yap1 and Skn7 are conserved among all studied species; while some transcription factors, involved in nutrient homeostasis, pH adaptation, drug resistance and morphological switching are present in several, though not all species. Interestingly, in some cases not very homologous transcription factors display orthologous functions, whereas some homologous proteins have diverged in terms of their function in different species. A few cases of species specific transcription factors are also observed.

  3. Transcriptional Control of Drug Resistance, Virulence and Immune System Evasion in Pathogenic Fungi: A Cross-Species Comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pais, Pedro; Costa, Catarina; Cavalheiro, Mafalda; Romão, Daniela; Teixeira, Miguel C

    2016-01-01

    Transcription factors are key players in the control of the activation or repression of gene expression programs in response to environmental stimuli. The study of regulatory networks taking place in fungal pathogens is a promising research topic that can help in the fight against these pathogens by targeting specific fungal pathways as a whole, instead of targeting more specific effectors of virulence or drug resistance. This review is focused on the analysis of regulatory networks playing a central role in the referred mechanisms in the human fungal pathogens Aspergillus fumigatus, Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis , and Candida tropicalis . Current knowledge on the activity of the transcription factors characterized in each of these pathogenic fungal species will be addressed. Particular focus is given to their mechanisms of activation, regulatory targets and phenotypic outcome. The review further provides an evaluation on the conservation of transcriptional circuits among different fungal pathogens, highlighting the pathways that translate common or divergent traits among these species in what concerns their drug resistance, virulence and host immune evasion features. It becomes evident that the regulation of transcriptional networks is complex and presents significant variations among different fungal pathogens. Only the oxidative stress regulators Yap1 and Skn7 are conserved among all studied species; while some transcription factors, involved in nutrient homeostasis, pH adaptation, drug resistance and morphological switching are present in several, though not all species. Interestingly, in some cases not very homologous transcription factors display orthologous functions, whereas some homologous proteins have diverged in terms of their function in different species. A few cases of species specific transcription factors are also observed.

  4. Glucose starvation boosts Entamoeba histolytica virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayala Tovy

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The unicellular parasite, Entamoeba histolytica, is exposed to numerous adverse conditions, such as nutrient deprivation, during its life cycle stages in the human host. In the present study, we examined whether the parasite virulence could be influenced by glucose starvation (GS. The migratory behaviour of the parasite and its capability to kill mammalian cells and to lyse erythrocytes is strongly enhanced following GS. In order to gain insights into the mechanism underlying the GS boosting effects on virulence, we analyzed differences in protein expression levels in control and glucose-starved trophozoites, by quantitative proteomic analysis. We observed that upstream regulatory element 3-binding protein (URE3-BP, a transcription factor that modulates E.histolytica virulence, and the lysine-rich protein 1 (KRiP1 which is induced during liver abscess development, are upregulated by GS. We also analyzed E. histolytica membrane fractions and noticed that the Gal/GalNAc lectin light subunit LgL1 is up-regulated by GS. Surprisingly, amoebapore A (Ap-A and cysteine proteinase A5 (CP-A5, two important E. histolytica virulence factors, were strongly down-regulated by GS. While the boosting effect of GS on E. histolytica virulence was conserved in strains silenced for Ap-A and CP-A5, it was lost in LgL1 and in KRiP1 down-regulated strains. These data emphasize the unexpected role of GS in the modulation of E.histolytica virulence and the involvement of KRiP1 and Lgl1 in this phenomenon.

  5. Differential protein accumulations in isolates of the strawberry wilt pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. fragariae differing in virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Xiangling; Barbetti, Martin J

    2014-08-28

    This study was conducted to define differences in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. fragariae (Fof) isolates with different virulence efficiency to strawberry at the proteome level, in combination with their differences in mycelial growth, conidial production and germination. Comparative proteome analyses revealed substantial differences in mycelial proteomes between Fof isolates, where the 54 differentially accumulated protein spots were consistently over-accumulated or exclusively in the highly virulent isolate. These protein spots were identified through MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry analyses, and the identified proteins were mainly related to primary and protein metabolism, antioxidation, electron transport, cell cycle and transcription based on their putative functions. Proteins of great potential as Fof virulence factors were those involved in ubiquitin/proteasome-mediated protein degradation and reactive oxygen species detoxification; the hydrolysis-related protein haloacid dehalogenase superfamily hydrolase; 3,4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate synthase associated with riboflavin biosynthesis; and those exclusive to the highly virulent isolate. In addition, post-translational modifications may also make an important contribution to Fof virulence. F. oxysporum f. sp. fragariae (Fof), the causal agent of Fusarium wilt in strawberry, is a serious threat to commercial strawberry production worldwide. However, factors and mechanisms contributing to Fof virulence remained unknown. This study provides knowledge of the molecular basis for the differential expression of virulence in Fof, allowing new possibilities towards developing alternative and more effective strategies to manage Fusarium wilt. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Plasmid transferability of KPC into a virulent K2 serotype Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siu, Leung-Kei Kristopher; Huang, David B; Chiang, Tom

    2014-03-31

    KPC-producing carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) infections are associated with high mortality; however, their virulence determinants are not well defined. We investigated the virulence and plasmid transferability among KPC-containing K. pneumoniae isolates. KPC-2 and -3 were successfully conjugated and retained by a virulent K2 K. pneumoniae recipient isolate. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed KPC-2 and -3 donor strains were resistant to more than four classes of antibiotics while the K2 isolate was only initially resistant to ampicillin. After conjugation of KPC-2 and -3, the K2 K. pneumoniae transconjugants became resistant to all beta-lactams. Additionally, the KPC K2 K. pneumoniae transconjugants continued to retain its high serum resistance and murine lethality. Conjugation and retainment of KPC by virulent K2 K. pneumoniae and the ability of the tranconjugants to maintain its high serum resistance and murine lethality after conjugation was demonstrated in this study. These findings are concerning for the potential of KPC-like genes to disseminate among virulent K. pneumoniae isolates.

  7. Secondary cell wall formation in Cryptococcus neoformans as a rescue mechanism against acid-induced autolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farkas, Vladimír; Takeo, Kanji; Maceková, Danka; Ohkusu, Misako; Yoshida, Soichi; Sipiczki, Matthias

    2009-03-01

    Growth of the opportunistic yeast pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans in a synthetic medium containing yeast nitrogen base and 1.0-3.0% glucose is accompanied by spontaneous acidification of the medium, with its pH decreasing from the initial 5.5 to around 2.5 in the stationary phase. During the transition from the late exponential to the stationary phase of growth, many cells died as a consequence of autolytic erosion of their cell walls. Simultaneously, there was an increase in an ecto-glucanase active towards beta-1,3-glucan and having a pH optimum between pH 3.0 and 3.5. As a response to cell wall degradation, some cells developed an unusual survival strategy by forming 'secondary' cell walls underneath the original ones. Electron microscopy revealed that the secondary cell walls were thicker than the primary ones, exposing bundles of polysaccharide microfibrils only partially masked by an amorphous cell wall matrix on their surfaces. The cells bearing secondary cell walls had a three to five times higher content of the alkali-insoluble cell wall polysaccharides glucan and chitin, and their chitin/glucan ratio was about twofold higher than in cells from the logarithmic phase of growth. The cell lysis and the formation of the secondary cell walls could be suppressed by buffering the growth medium between pH 4.5 and 6.5.

  8. A vanillin derivative causes mitochondrial dysfunction and triggers oxidative stress in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jin Hyo; Lee, Han-Ok; Cho, Yong-Joon; Kim, Jeongmi; Chun, Jongsik; Choi, Jaehyuk; Lee, Younghoon; Jung, Won Hee

    2014-01-01

    Vanillin is a well-known food and cosmetic additive and has antioxidant and antimutagenic properties. It has also been suggested to have antifungal activity against major human pathogenic fungi, although it is not very effective. In this study, the antifungal activities of vanillin and 33 vanillin derivatives against the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, the main pathogen of cryptococcal meningitis in immunocompromised patients, were investigated. We found a structural correlation between the vanillin derivatives and antifungal activity, showing that the hydroxyl or alkoxy group is more advantageous than the halogenated or nitrated group in benzaldehyde. Among the vanillin derivatives with a hydroxyl or alkoxy group, o-vanillin and o-ethyl vanillin showed the highest antifungal activity against C. neoformans. o-Vanillin was further studied to understand the mechanism of antifungal action. We compared the transcriptome of C. neoformans cells untreated or treated with o-vanillin by using RNA sequencing and found that the compound caused mitochondrial dysfunction and triggered oxidative stress. These antifungal mechanisms of o-vanillin were experimentally confirmed by the significantly reduced growth of the mutants lacking the genes involved in mitochondrial functions and oxidative stress response.

  9. Isolation of Cryptococcus gattii molecular type VGIII, from Corymbia ficifolia detritus in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escandón, P; Sánchez, A; Firacative, C; Castañeda, E

    2010-06-01

    An environmental sampling survey was carried out in different areas of Bogotá, Colombia, to obtain isolates of members of the Cryptococcus neoformans/C. gattii species complex from Corymbia ficifolia trees. During a 6-month period in 2007, 128 samples consisting of bark, soil around trunk bases, detritus, seeds and flowers were collected from 91 trees and processed according to standard procedures. The molecular type was determined using URA5 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and the mating type was established by PCR using specific primers for Mfalpha and Mfa C. gattii was isolated from 15 of the 128 (11.7%) samples, of which three (20%) were recovered from the red flower extract and the remaining 12 from C. ficifolia detritus. URA5 RFLP analysis revealed that all 15 isolates belonged to the molecular type VGIII and mating type specific PCR revealed that all were mating type a. The isolation of C. gattii from C. ficifolia represents an important finding since this is the first report revealing C. ficifolia as a habitat for C. gattii and adds additional information to the ever growing spectrum of tree species from which C. gattii can be recovered.

  10. Modulation of Zinc Homeostasis in Acanthamoeba castellanii as a Possible Antifungal Strategy against Cryptococcus gattii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole S. Ribeiro

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus gattii is a basidiomycetous yeast that can be found in the environment and is one of the agents of cryptococcosis, a life-threatening disease. During its life cycle, cryptococcal cells take hold inside environmental predators such as amoebae. Despite their evolutionary distance, macrophages and amoebae share conserved similar steps of phagocytosis and microbial killing. To evaluate whether amoebae also share other antifungal strategies developed by macrophages, we investigated nutritional immunity against cryptococcal cells. We focused on zinc homeostasis modulation in Acanthamoeba castellanii infected with C. gattii. The intracellular proliferation rate (IPR in amoebae was determined using C. gattii R265 and mutants for the ZIP1 gene, which displays defects of growth in zinc-limiting conditions. We detected a reduced IPR in cells lacking the ZIP1 gene compared to wild-type strains, suggesting that amoebae produce a low zinc environment to engulfed cells. Furthermore, flow cytometry analysis employing the zinc probe Zinpyr-1 confirmed the reduced concentration of zinc in cryptococcal-infected amoebae. qRT-PCR analysis of zinc transporter-coding genes suggests that zinc export by members of the ZnT family would be involved in the reduced intracellular zinc concentration. These results indicate that amoebae may use nutritional immunity to reduce fungal cell proliferation by reducing zinc availability for the pathogen.

  11. Differences in Sirtuin Regulation in Response to Calorie Restriction in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouklas, Tejas; Masone, Lindsey; Fries, Bettina C

    2018-02-18

    Cryptococcus neoformans successfully replicates in low glucose in infected patients. In the serotype A strain, H99, growth in this condition prolongs lifespan regulated by SIR2, and can be modulated with SIR2-specific drugs. Previous studies show that lifespan modulation of a cryptococcal population affects its sensitivity to antifungals, and survival in an infection model. Sirtuins and their role in longevity are conserved among fungi; however, the effect of glucose starvation is not confirmed even in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Lifespan analysis of C. neoformans strains in low glucose showed that 37.5% exhibited pro-longevity, and lifespan of a serotype D strain, RC2, was shortened. Transcriptome comparison of H99 and RC2 under calorie restriction demonstrated differences, confirmed by real-time PCR showing that SIR2 , TOR1 , SCH9 , and PKA1 expression correlated with lifespan response to calorie restriction. As expected, RC2 -sir2 Δ cells exhibited a shortened lifespan, which was reconstituted. However, shortened lifespan from calorie restriction was independent of SIR2 . In contrast to H99 but consistent with altered SIR2 regulation, SIR2 -specific drugs did not affect outcome of RC2 infection. These data suggest that SIR2 regulation and response to calorie restriction varies in C. neoformans, which should be considered when Sirtuins are investigated as potential therapy targets for fungal infections.

  12. Cryptococcus neoformans sexual reproduction is controlled by a quorum sensing peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Xiuyun; He, Guang-Jun; Hu, Pengjie; Chen, Lei; Tao, Changyu; Cui, Ying-Lu; Shen, Lan; Ke, Weixin; Xu, Haijiao; Zhao, Youbao; Xu, Qijiang; Bai, Fengyan; Wu, Bian; Yang, Ence; Lin, Xiaorong; Wang, Linqi

    2018-06-01

    Bacterial quorum sensing is a well-characterized communication system that governs a large variety of collective behaviours. By comparison, quorum sensing regulation in eukaryotic microbes remains poorly understood, especially its functional role in eukaryote-specific behaviours, such as sexual reproduction. Cryptococcus neoformans is a prevalent fungal pathogen that has two defined sexual cycles (bisexual and unisexual) and is a model organism for studying sexual reproduction in fungi. Here, we show that the quorum sensing peptide Qsp1 serves as an important signalling molecule for both forms of sexual reproduction. Qsp1 orchestrates various differentiation and molecular processes, including meiosis, the hallmark of sexual reproduction. It activates bisexual mating, at least in part through the control of pheromone, a signal necessary for bisexual activation. Notably, Qsp1 also plays a major role in the intercellular regulation of unisexual initiation and coordination, in which pheromone is not strictly required. Through a multi-layered genetic screening approach, we identified the atypical zinc finger regulator Cqs2 as an important component of the Qsp1 signalling cascade during both bisexual and unisexual reproduction. The absence of Cqs2 eliminates the Qsp1-stimulated mating response. Together, these findings extend the range of behaviours governed by quorum sensing to sexual development and meiosis.

  13. Vaccine-mediated immune responses to experimental pulmonary Cryptococcus gattii infection in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashok K Chaturvedi

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus gattii is a fungal pathogen that can cause life-threatening respiratory and disseminated infections in immune-competent and immune-suppressed individuals. Currently, there are no standardized vaccines against cryptococcosis in humans, underlying an urgent need for effective therapies and/or vaccines. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of intranasal immunization with C. gattii cell wall associated (CW and/or cytoplasmic (CP protein preparations to induce protection against experimental pulmonary C. gattii infection in mice. BALB/c mice immunized with C. gattii CW and/or CP protein preparations exhibited a significant reduction in pulmonary fungal burden and prolonged survival following pulmonary challenge with C. gattii. Protection was associated with significantly increased pro-inflammatory and Th1-type cytokine recall responses, in vitro and increased C. gattii-specific antibody production in immunized mice challenged with C. gattii. A number of immunodominant proteins were identified following immunoblot analysis of C. gattii CW and CP protein preparations using sera from immunized mice. Immunization with a combined CW and CP protein preparation resulted in an early increase in pulmonary T cell infiltrates following challenge with C. gattii. Overall, our studies show that C. gattii CW and CP protein preparations contain antigens that may be included in a subunit vaccine to induce prolonged protection against pulmonary C. gattii infection.

  14. Cryptococcus gattii: Emergence in Western North America: Exploitation of a Novel Ecological Niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kausik Datta

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The relatively uncommon fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii recently emerged as a significant cause of cryptococcal disease in human and animals in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Although genetic studies indicated its possible presence in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years, C. gattii as an etiological agent was largely unknown in this region prior to 1999. The recent emergence may have been encouraged by changing conditions of climate or land use and/or host susceptibility, and predictive ecological niche modeling indicates a potentially wider spread. C. gattii can survive wide climatic variations and colonize the environment in tropical, subtropical, temperate, and dry climates. Long-term climate changes, such as the significantly elevated global temperature in the last 100 years, influence patterns of disease among plants and animals and create niche microclimates habitable by emerging pathogens. C. gattii may have exploited such a hitherto unrecognized but clement environment in the Pacific Northwest to provide a wider exposure and risk of infection to human and animal populations.

  15. Isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans and other opportunistic fungi from pigeon droppings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltani, Maryam; Bayat, Mansour; Hashemi, Seyed J; Zia, Mohammadali; Pestechian, Nader

    2013-01-01

    Invasive fungal infections cause considerable morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised hosts. Pigeon droppings could especially be a potential carrier in the spread of pathogenic yeasts and mold fungi into the environment. The objective of this study was to isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans and other opportunistic fungi from pigeon droppings. One hundred twenty samples of pigeon droppings were suspended 1:10 in saline solution and then cultured. Identification of C. neoformans was performed on bird seed agar, presence of a capsule on India ink preparation, urease production on urea agar medium and RapID yeast plus system. The identification of candida species was based on micro-morphological analysis on corn meal-Tween 80 agar, RapID yeast plus system and growth in CHROMagar candida. The identification of other fungi was based on macromorphologic, microscopic, biochemical and physiological characteristics. The highest frequency of yeasts and mold fungi were observed in Candida albicans 6.6% and Penicillium spp. 25%. The frequency rate of C. neoformans isolation was 2.5%. Several types of fungi are present in pigeon droppings that can spread in environment and transmit to children and elderly as well as immunocompromised patients who are at increased risk of contracting opportunistic diseases.

  16. Isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans and other opportunistic fungi from pigeon droppings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam Soltani

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Invasive fungal infections cause considerable morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised hosts. Pigeon droppings could especially be a potential carrier in the spread of pathogenic yeasts and mold fungi into the environment. The objective of this study was to isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans and other opportunistic fungi from pigeon droppings. Materials and Methods: One hundred twenty samples of pigeon droppings were suspended 1:10 in saline solution and then cultured. Identification of C. neoformans was performed on bird seed agar, presence of a capsule on India ink preparation, urease production on urea agar medium and RapID yeast plus system. The identification of candida species was based on micro-morphological analysis on corn meal-Tween 80 agar, RapID yeast plus system and growth in CHROMagar candida. The identification of other fungi was based on macromorphologic, microscopic, biochemical and physiological characteristics. Results: The highest frequency of yeasts and mold fungi were observed in Candida albicans 6.6% and Penicillium spp. 25%. The frequency rate of C. neoformans isolation was 2.5%. Conclusion: Several types of fungi are present in pigeon droppings that can spread in environment and transmit to children and elderly as well as immunocompromised patients who are at increased risk of contracting opportunistic diseases.

  17. Simulated in situ competitive ability and survival of a representative soil yeast, Cryptococcus albidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vishniac, H S

    1995-11-01

    Microcosms containing an air-dried autoclaved loamy sand (Eufala A) with low salt and organic content were inoculated with a representative (obligately aerobic, encapsulated) soil yeast, Cryptococcus albidus var. albidus (T) ATCC 10666, singly (for growth rate and survival determinations) and together with the bacterial biota native to Eufala A. The yeast competed successfully with the more rapidly growing bacteria in the presence of added water from 1% (5.7% of field capacity) to 14% (80% of field capacity) but grew for shorter times than when grown alone; times correlated with the lag phase of the bacterial biota. When well-watered (10 and 14%) competition cultures were allowed to dry and used as inoculum for subcultures, the yeast made significant growth only at 1% added water but survived at the higher moisture concentrations. The competitive ability of Cr. albidus confirms the previously reported advantages of the cryptococcal capsule in hydration and desiccation and, together with lengthy survival, suggests that the importance of such yeasts in the biogeochemistry of arid soils has been seriously underestimated.

  18. Caracterización fenotípica de aislamientos ambientales de Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Sandra Huérfano

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available La criptococosis es causada por las tres variedades de Cryptococcus neoformans, las cuales presentan diferencias fisiológicas y de virulencia, algunas de las cuales se han estudiado para reconocer aspectos de su biología. Este trabajo evaluó las características fenotípicas de aislamientos ambientales de las variedades grubii y gattii, con el fin de establecer diferencias asociadas con el ciclo de vida y la virulencia. Se estudiaron 28 aislamientos serotipo A y 31 serotipo C. Se evaluaron la morfología macroscópica y microscópica de blastoconidias cultivadas en agar Sabouraud y suelos, el crecimiento a 37 °C, la producción de 22 enzimas extracelulares, la frecuencia del fenómeno de fructificación haploide, la pareja sexual, el patrón de sensibilidad a toxinas asesinas (killer y la virulencia en ratones Balb/c. No se observaron diferencias entre las dos variedades en la morfología macroscópica, la microscópica, ni en el crecimiento a 37 °C (p>0,05; sin embargo, se observó disminución del tamaño celular y capsular de blastoconidias cultivadas en suelo comparado con el tamaño en Sabouraud (p

  19. E-NTPDase and E-ADA activities in rats experimental infected by Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Azevedo, Maria Isabel; Ferreiro, Laerte; Da Silva, Aleksandro S; Tonin, Alexandre A; Ruchel, Jader B; Rezer, João F P; França, Raqueli T; Zimmermann, Carine E P; Leal, Daniela B R; Duarte, Marta M M F; Lopes, Sonia T A; Flores, Mariana M; Fighera, Rafael; Santurio, Janio M

    2014-11-07

    Cryptococcus neoformans, the etiological agent of cryptococcosis, is an opportunistic fungal pathogen of immunocompromised individuals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the activities of E-NTPDase and E-ADA in rats experimentally infected by C. neoformans var. grubii. Adult rats (35) were divided in two groups: 18 for the control group (uninfected) (A), and 17 for the infected group (B). Each group was separated into three sub-groups (A1, A2, A3-B1, B2, B3), and samples were collected on 10, 20, and 30 days post-infection (PI). Leukocyte counts, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IgM, IgG levels, and E-NTPDase and E-ADA activities were analyzed. It was possible to observe that IgG and IgM seric levels of infected rats were significantly elevated (PADA activity had a significant reduction (PADA activity in lymphocytes increased significantly (PADA), concomitantly with an inflammatory response (increased levels of cytokines and immunoglobulins) associated with inflammatory infiltrates and histological lesions in the lung. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. High virulence differences among phylogenetically distinct isolates of the fish rhabdovirus viral hemorrhagic septicaemia virus are not explained by variability of the surface glycoprotein G or the non-virion protein Nv

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Einer-Jensen, Katja; Harmache, Abdallah; Biacchesi, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    -related novirhabdovirus [infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV)], four chimaeric IHNV–VHSV recombinant viruses were generated. These chimaeric viruses included substitution of the IHNV glyco- (G) or non-structural (Nv) protein with their counterparts from either a trout-derived or a marine VHSV strain....... Comparative challenge experiments in rainbow trout fingerlings revealed similar levels of survival induced by the recombinant (r)IHNV–VHSV chimaeric viruses regardless of whether the G or Nv genes originated from VHSV isolated from a marine fish species or from rainbow trout. Interestingly, recombinant IHNV...... gained higher virulence following substitution of the G gene with those of the VHSV strains, whilst the opposite was the case following substitution of the Nv genes....

  1. High diversity of genetic lineages and virulence genes in nasal Staphylococcus aureus isolates from donkeys destined to food consumption in Tunisia with predominance of the ruminant associated CC133 lineage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gharsa Haythem

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The objective of this study was to determine the genetic lineages and the incidence of antibiotic resistance and virulence determinants of nasal Staphylococcus aureus isolates of healthy donkeys destined to food consumption in Tunisia. Results Nasal swabs of 100 donkeys obtained in a large slaughterhouse in 2010 were inoculated in specific media for S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA recovery. S. aureus was obtained in 50% of the samples, being all of isolates methicillin-susceptible (MSSA. Genetic lineages, toxin gene profile, and antibiotic resistance mechanisms were determined in recovered isolates. Twenty-five different spa-types were detected among the 50 MSSA with 9 novel spa-types. S. aureus isolates were ascribed to agr type I (37 isolates, III (7, II (4, and IV (2. Sixteen different sequence-types (STs were revealed by MLST, with seven new ones. STs belonging to clonal clomplex CC133 were majority. The gene tst was detected in 6 isolates and the gene etb in one isolate. Different combinations of enterotoxin, leukocidin and haemolysin genes were identified among S. aureus isolates. The egc-cluster-like and an incomplete egc-cluster-like were detected. Isolates resistant to penicillin, erythromycin, fusidic acid, streptomycin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, tetracycline, or chloramphenicol were found and the genes blaZ, erm(A, erm(C, tet(M, fusC were identified. Conclusions The nares of donkeys frequently harbor MSSA. They could be reservoirs of the ruminant-associated CC133 lineage and of toxin genes encoding TSST-1 and other virulence traits with potential implications in public health. CC133 seems to have a broader host distribution than expected.

  2. The Toxin and Virulence Database: A Resource for Signature Development and Analysis of Virulence

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wolinsky, Murray A

    2004-01-01

    In this joint effort with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Walter Reed, MITRE and USAMRIID, we are developing a comprehensive database for microbial toxins and virulence factors (www.tvfac.lanl.gov...

  3. Are secondary metabolites dispensable for virulence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    The production of toxins by conidial fungal pathogens and their association with virulence has been assumed to occur in vivo and is widely accepted as dogma, but this association has yet to be definitively proven by either genetic or chemical means. Several studies from our labs have used targeted g...

  4. Efflux inhibitor suppresses Streptococcus mutans virulence properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Huihui; Liu, Jia; Ling, Junqi

    2017-04-01

    It is well established that efflux pumps play important roles in bacterial pathogenicity and efflux inhibitors (EIs) have been proved to be effective in suppressing bacterial virulence properties. However, little is known regarding the EI of Streptococcus mutans, a well-known caries-inducing bacterium. In this study, we identified the EI of S. mutans through ethidium bromide efflux assay and investigated how EI affected S. mutans virulence regarding the cariogenicity and stress response. Results indicated that reserpine, the identified EI, suppressed acid tolerance, mutacin production and transformation efficiency of S. mutans, and modified biofilm architecture and extracellular polysaccharide distribution. Suppressed glycosyltransferase activity was also noted after reserpine exposure. The data from quantitative real-time-PCR demonstrated that reserpine significantly altered the expression profile of quorum-sensing and virulence-associated genes. These findings suggest that reserpine represents a promising adjunct anticariogenic agent in that it suppresses virulence properties of S. mutans. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Microbial virulence and interactions with metals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    German, N.; Lüthje, Freja Lea; Hao, X.

    2016-01-01

    Transition metals, such as iron, copper, zinc, and manganese play an important role in many bacterial biological processes that add to an overall evolutional fitness of bacteria. They are often involved in regulation of bacterial virulence as a mechanism of host invasion. However, the same transi...

  6. NEW VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS PNEUMONIAE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermans, Peter Wilhelmus Maria; Bootsma, Jeanette Hester; Burghout, Pieter Jan; Kuipers, Oscar; Bijlsma, Johanna Jacoba Elisabeth; Kloosterman, Tomas Gerrit; Andersen, Christian O.

    2011-01-01

    The present invention provides proteins/genes, which are essential for survival, and consequently, for virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae in vivo, and thus are ideal vaccine candidates for a vaccine preparation against pneumococcal infection. Further, also antibodies against said protein(s) are

  7. Feeding behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans is an indicator of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn Lewenza

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is commonly used as an infection model for pathogenesis studies in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The standard virulence assays rely on the slow and fast killing or paralysis of nematodes but here we developed a behaviour assay to monitor the preferred bacterial food sources of C. elegans. We monitored the food preferences of nematodes fed the wild type PAO1 and mutants in the type III secretion (T3S system, which is a conserved mechanism to inject secreted effectors into the host cell cytosol. A ΔexsEΔpscD mutant defective for type III secretion served as a preferred food source, while an ΔexsE mutant that overexpresses the T3S effectors was avoided. Both food sources were ingested and observed in the gastrointestinal tract. Using the slow killing assay, we showed that the ΔexsEΔpscD had reduced virulence and thus confirmed that preferred food sources are less virulent than the wild type. Next we developed a high throughput feeding behaviour assay with 48 possible food colonies in order to screen a transposon mutant library and identify potential virulence genes. C. elegans identified and consumed preferred food colonies from a grid of 48 choices. The mutants identified as preferred food sources included known virulence genes, as well as novel genes not identified in previous C. elegans infection studies. Slow killing assays were performed and confirmed that several preferred food sources also showed reduced virulence. We propose that C. elegans feeding behaviour can be used as a sensitive indicator of virulence for P. aeruginosa PAO1.

  8. Technologies and Approaches to Elucidate and Model the Virulence Program of Salmonella.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McDermott, Jason E.; Yoon, Hyunjin; Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; Metz, Thomas O.; Hyduke, Daniel R.; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Palsson, Bernhard O.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Heffron, Fred

    2011-04-01

    Salmonella is a primary cause of enteric diseases in a variety of animals. During its evolution into a pathogenic bacterium, Salmonella acquired an elaborate regulatory network that responds to multiple environmental stimuli within host animals and integrates them resulting in fine regulation of the virulence program. The coordinated action by this regulatory network involves numerous virulence regulators, necessitating genome-wide profiling analysis to assess and combine efforts from multiple regulons. In this review we discuss recent high-throughput analytic approaches to understand the regulatory network of Salmonella that controls virulence processes. Application of high-throughput analyses have generated a large amount of data and driven development of computational approaches required for data integration. Therefore, we also cover computer-aided network analyses to infer regulatory networks, and demonstrate how genome-scale data can be used to construct regulatory and metabolic systems models of Salmonella pathogenesis. Genes that are coordinately controlled by multiple virulence regulators under infectious conditions are more likely to be important for pathogenesis. Thus, reconstructing the global regulatory network during infection or, at the very least, under conditions that mimic the host cellular environment not only provides a bird’s eye view of Salmonella survival strategy in response to hostile host environments but also serves as an efficient means to identify novel virulence factors that are essential for Salmonella to accomplish systemic infection in the host.

  9. Staphylococcus aureus requires less virulence to establish an infection in diabetic hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuchscherr, Lorena; Korpos, Èva; van de Vyver, Hélène; Findeisen, Clais; Kherkheulidze, Salome; Siegmund, Anke; Deinhardt-Emmer, Stefanie; Bach, Olaf; Rindert, Martin; Mellmann, Alexander; Sunderkötter, Cord; Peters, Georg; Sorokin, Lydia; Löffler, Bettina

    2018-05-22

    Staphylococcus aureus is the most frequent pathogen causing diabetic foot infections. Here, we investigated the degree of bacterial virulence required to establish invasive tissue infections in diabetic organisms. Staphylococcal isolates from diabetic and non-diabetic foot ulcers were tested for their virulence in in vitro functional assays of host cell invasion and cytotoxicity. Isolates from diabetes mellitus type I/II patients exhibited less virulence than isolates from non-diabetic patients, but were nevertheless able to establish severe infections. In some cases, non-invasive isolates were detected deep within diabetic wounds, even though the strains were non-pathogenic in cell culture models. Testing of defined isolates in murine footpad injection models revealed that both low- and high-virulent bacterial strains persisted in higher numbers in diabetic compared to non-diabetic hosts, suggesting that hyperglycemia favors bacterial survival. Additionally, the bacterial load was higher in NOD mice, which have a compromised immune system, compared to C57Bl/6 mice. Our results reveal that high as well as low-virulent staphylococcal strains are able to cause soft tissue infections and to persist in diabetic humans and mice, suggesting a reason for the frequent and endangering infections in patients with diabetes. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Evaluación de varias técnicas de extracción de ADN de Cryptococcus spp. a partir de muestras ambientales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Castañeda

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available El género Cryptococcus comprende, al menos, 38 especies, pero sólo 3 se han informado como patógenas para el hombre y los animales: Cryptococcus laurentii, Cryptococcus albidus y Cryptococcus neoformans; esta última es la más frecuente. La infección se adquiere por la inhalación de los propágulos infectantes del medio ambiente. Los estudios del hábitat se han realizado con técnicas de extracción con soluciones tampón y cultivos en medios selectivos. El objetivo del trabajo fue evaluar varias técnicas de extracción del ADN de Cryptococcus spp. a partir de muestras ambientales. Como controles se emplearon aislamientos de C. neoformans, C. albidus, C. laurentii y Paracoccidiodes brasiliensis. Se emplearon vermiculitas, suelos contaminados en el laboratorio con 10 a 106 blastoconidias/g y muestras naturalmente colonizadas con C. neoformans. El ADN se extrajo con métodos físicos, químicos y con un estuche comercial, y se purificó usando bloques de agarosa y columnas de sílica. Para la amplificación con PCR se emplearon los iniciadores CN4-CN5 específicos para C. neoformans. Sólo el estuche comercial permitió extraer y purificar el ADN de las muestras de suelos contaminados hasta una concentración de 10 blastoconidias/g de suelo y de una de las muestras naturalmente colonizadas. Con este trabajo se logró la extracción y amplificación de ADN de Cryptococcus spp. a partir de muestras ambientales lo cual constituye una herramienta importante para delimitar las áreas ecológicas de C. neoformans en nuestro país.

  11. High-Resolution Genetics Identifies the Lipid Transfer Protein Sec14p as Target for Antifungal Ergolines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ireos Filipuzzi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Invasive infections by fungal pathogens cause more deaths than malaria worldwide. We found the ergoline compound NGx04 in an antifungal screen, with selectivity over mammalian cells. High-resolution chemogenomics identified the lipid transfer protein Sec14p as the target of NGx04 and compound-resistant mutations in Sec14p define compound-target interactions in the substrate binding pocket of the protein. Beyond its essential lipid transfer function in a variety of pathogenic fungi, Sec14p is also involved in secretion of virulence determinants essential for the pathogenicity of fungi such as Cryptococcus neoformans, making Sec14p an attractive antifungal target. Consistent with this dual function, we demonstrate that NGx04 inhibits the growth of two clinical isolates of C. neoformans and that NGx04-related compounds have equal and even higher potency against C. neoformans. Furthermore NGx04 analogues showed fungicidal activity against a fluconazole resistant C. neoformans strain. In summary, we present genetic evidence that NGx04 inhibits fungal Sec14p and initial data supporting NGx04 as a novel antifungal starting point.

  12. Stress tolerant virulent strains of Cronobacter sakazakii from food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md Fakruddin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cronobacter sakazakii is considered as an emerging foodborne pathogen. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize virulent strains of Cronobacter sakazakii from food samples of Bangladesh. RESULT: Six (6 Cronobacter sakazakii was isolated and identified from 54 food samples on the basis of biochemical characteristics, sugar fermentation, SDS-PAGE of whole cell protein, plasmid profile and PCR of Cronobacter spp. specific genes (esak, gluA, zpx, ompA, ERIC, BOX-AIR and sequencing. These strains were found to have moderately high antibiotic resistance against common antibiotics and some are ESBL producer. Most of the C. sakazakii isolates were capable of producing biofilm (strong biofilm producer, extracellular protease and siderophores, curli expression, haemolysin, haemagglutinin, mannose resistant haemagglutinin, had high cell surface hydrophobicity, significant resistance to human serum, can tolerate high concentration of salt, bile and DNase production. Most of them produced enterotoxins of different molecular weight. The isolates pose significant serological cross-reactivity with other gram negative pathogens such as serotypes of Salmonella spp., Shigella boydii, Shigella sonnei, Shigella flexneri and Vibrio cholerae. They had significant tolerance to high temperature, low pH, dryness and osmotic stress. CONCLUSION: Special attention should be given in ensuring hygiene in production and post-processing to prevent contamination of food with such stress-tolerant virulent Cronobacter sakazakii.

  13. Identification of immunogenic and virulence-associated Campylobacter jejuni proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Lene Nørby; Luijkx, Thomas A.; Vegge, Christina Skovgaard

    2012-01-01

    With the aim of identifying proteins important for host interaction and virulence, we have screened an expression library of NCTC 11168 Campylobacter jejuni genes for highly immunogenic proteins. A commercial C. jejuni open reading frame (ORF) library consisting of more than 1,600 genes was trans......With the aim of identifying proteins important for host interaction and virulence, we have screened an expression library of NCTC 11168 Campylobacter jejuni genes for highly immunogenic proteins. A commercial C. jejuni open reading frame (ORF) library consisting of more than 1,600 genes...

  14. 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.

  15. Virulence of oral Candida isolated from HIV-positive women with oral candidiasis and asymptomatic carriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owotade, Foluso J; Patel, Mrudula

    2014-10-01

    This study compared the virulence of oral Candida species isolated from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive women with and without oral candidiasis. Candida species were isolated from 197 women, and their virulence attributes were measured. Of the 197 women, 117 (59.4%) carried Candida. Of these, 15 (12.8%) had symptoms of oral candidiasis. Among highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-naive patients, 33% were diagnosed with oral candidiasis, whereas 5.9% were asymptomatic carriers (P oral candidiasis had higher levels of Candida (P = .02) than asymptomatic carriers. There was no difference in the CD4 counts and the virulence attributes of Candida from both the groups. This study indicates that oral candidiasis is mainly caused by high counts of C. albicans and suggests the importance of therapies targeting Candida counts in the oral cavity even in patients on HAART to reduce the development of infections. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Short-sighted evolution of virulence in parasitic honeybee workers ( Apis mellifera capensis Esch.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Hepburn, H. Randall; Neumann, Peter

    2008-06-01

    The short-sighted selection hypothesis for parasite virulence predicts that winners of within-host competition are poorer at transmission to new hosts. Social parasitism by self-replicating, female-producing workers occurs in the Cape honeybee Apis mellifera capensis, and colonies of other honeybee subspecies are susceptible hosts. We found high within-host virulence but low transmission rates in a clone of social parasitic A. m. capensis workers invading the neighbouring subspecies A. m. scutellata. In contrast, parasitic workers from the endemic range of A. m. capensis showed low within-host virulence but high transmission rates. This suggests a short-sighted selection scenario for the host-parasite co-evolution in the invasive range of the Cape honeybee, probably facilitated by beekeeping-assisted parasite transmission in apiaries.

  17. Candida albicans isolated from urine: Phenotypic and molecular identification, virulence factors and antifungal susceptibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Wiebusch

    2017-07-01

    Conclusions: C. albicans isolates from urine have a high capacity for virulence and can be associated with infectious processes. Furthermore, the high percentage of isolates resistant to itraconazole is important because this antifungal agent is commonly used to treat fungal infections in the hospital environment.

  18. Molecular characterization and antifungal susceptibility of Cryptococcus neoformans strains collected from a single institution in Lima, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejar, Vilma; Tello, Mercedes; García, Ruth; Guevara, José M; Gonzales, Sofia; Vergaray, German; Valencia, Esther; Abanto, Enma; Ortega-Loayza, Alex G; Hagen, Ferry; Gutierrez, Ericson L

    2015-01-01

    Cryptococcosis is a fungal infection with a worldwide distribution, mainly caused by Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. To molecularly characterize the mating-types, serotypes, genotypes and antifungal susceptibility profiles of a set of retrospectively isolated C. neoformans strains from Lima, Peru. A set of 32 Cryptococcus spp. strains from the Institute of Tropical Medicine of the National University of San Marcos, Lima, Peru, were included in this retrospective study. Twenty-four strains were isolated from patients, while the remaining 8 were isolated from the environment. Using conventional PCR, 27 (84.4%) of the isolates were identified as C. neoformans var. grubii mating-type alpha and serotype A. Using the AFLP fingerprinting, it was shown that 16 (50%) of the C. neoformans strains were genotype AFLP1, 13 (40.6%) were genotype AFLP1B, 2 (6.3%) were genotype AFLP2, and 1 (3.1%) was found to be a hybrid between both C. neoformans varieties (genotype AFLP3). The antifungal susceptibility profiles for amphotericin B, fluconazole and voriconazole showed that all the 32 C. neoformans are sensitive to these antifungal compounds. In this study we observed that C. neoformans var. grubii (AFLP1 and AFLP1B) and C. neoformans var. neoformans (AFLP2) were the only cryptococcal varieties involved. All strains were found to be sensitive to the antifungals tested, results that are consistent with those found in the international literature. Copyright © 2013 Revista Iberoamericana de Micología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  19. The effects of multiple infections on the expression and evolution of virulence in a Daphnia-endoparasite system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Ami, Frida; Mouton, Laurence; Ebert, Dieter

    2008-07-01

    Multiple infections of a host by different strains of the same microparasite are common in nature. Although numerous models have been developed in an attempt to predict the evolutionary effects of intrahost competition, tests of the assumptions of these models are rare and the outcome is diverse. In the present study we examined the outcome of mixed-isolate infections in individual hosts, using a single clone of the waterflea Daphnia magna and three isolates of its semelparous endoparasite Pasteuria ramosa. We exposed individual Daphnia to single- and mixed-isolate infection treatments, both simultaneously and sequentially. Virulence was assessed by monitoring host mortality and fecundity, and parasite spore production was used as a measure of parasite fitness. Consistent with most assumptions, in multiply infected hosts we found that the virulence of mixed infections resembled that of the more virulent competitor, both in simultaneous multiple infections and in sequential multiple infections in which the virulent isolate was first to infect. The more virulent competitor also produced the vast majority of transmission stages. Only when the less virulent isolate was first to infect, the intrahost contest resembled scramble competition, whereby both isolates suffered by producing fewer transmission stages. Surprisingly, mixed-isolate infections resulted in lower fecundity-costs for the hosts, suggesting that parasite competition comes with an advantage for the host relative to single infections. Finally, spore production correlated positively with time-to-host-death. Thus, early-killing of more competitive isolates produces less transmission stages than less virulent, inferior isolates. Our results are consistent with the idea that less virulent parasite lines may be replaced by more virulent strains under conditions with high rates of multiple infections.

  20. Conversion of beet molasses and cheese whey into fatty acid methyl esters by the yeast Cryptococcus curvatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takakuwa, Naoya; Saito, Katsuichi

    2010-01-01

    Eighty-one yeast isolates from raw milk were surveyed for the production of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). Only one species, identified as Cryptococcus curvatus, produced FAME at a detectable level. Cr. curvatus TYC-19 produced more FAME from beet molasses and cheese whey medium than other strains of the same species. In both media, the major FAME produced were linoleic and oleic acid methyl esters. Sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA indicated that TYC-19 diverged from the same species.

  1. Passive immunization against Cryptococcus neoformans with an isotype-switch family of monoclonal antibodies reactive with cryptococcal polysaccharide.

    OpenAIRE

    Sanford, J E; Lupan, D M; Schlageter, A M; Kozel, T R

    1990-01-01

    The in vivo properties of an immunoglobulin isotype-switch family of monoclonal antibodies specific for the polysaccharide capsule of Cryptococcus neoformans were examined in a murine model of cryptococcosis. Subclass-switch variants were isolated by sequential sublining of an immunoglobulin G subclass 1 (IgG1)-secreting cell line. Antibodies of the IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b isotypes with identical reactivities with cryptococcal polysaccharide were prepared. The antibodies had the distinct biolo...

  2. ATYPICAL PRESENTATION OF CRYPTOCOCCUS NEOFORMANS IN A KOALA (PHASCOLARCTOS CINEREUS): A MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING AND COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY STUDY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Nevado, Eva; Alonso-Alegre, Elisa González; Martínez, M Ángeles Jiménez; Rodríguez-Álvaro, Alfonso; de Merlo, Elena Martínez; García, Juncal García; Real, Isabel García

    2017-03-01

    Cryptococcosis is a worldwide and potentially fatal mycosis documented in wild and captive koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus ) caused by Cryptococcus neoformans . Though mainly a subclinical disease, when the nasal cavity is affected, epistaxis, mucopurulent nasal discharge, dyspnea, and facial distortion may occur. This report describes a case of cryptococcosis in a koala where unilateral exophthalmos was the only evident clinical sign and magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography findings are described. Both advanced imaging techniques should be considered as standard and complementary techniques for nasal cavity evaluation in koalas.

  3. Virulence factor genes possessing Enterococcus faecalis strains from rabbits and their sensitivity to enterocins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Pogány Simonová

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Information concerning the virulence factor genes and antibiotic resistance of rabbit enterococci is limited, so in this study we tested the virulence factor genes in Enterococcus faecalis strains from rabbits. Moreover, their resistance/sensitivity to antibiotics and sensitivity to enterocins was also tested, with the aim of contributing to our enterocin spectra study and to indicate the possibility of enterocin application in prevention or contaminant elimination in rabbit husbandry. A total of 144 rabbit samples were treated using a standard microbiological method. Thirty-one pure colonies of the species Enterococcus faecalis were identified, using the MALDI-TOF identification system and confirmed using phenotyping, among which 15 strains were virulence factor gene absent. The gelE gene was the most detected (42%; however, the expression of gelatinase phenotype did not always correlate with the detection of gelE. Strains did not show ß-haemolysis and were mostly resistant to tested antibiotics, but sensitive to enterocins (Ent, mainly to Ents EK13=A (P, 2019 and Ent M. Rabbit E. faecalis strains displayed antibiotic resistant traits and the presence of expressed and silent virulence genes, but they showed high levels of sensitivity to natural antimicrobials-enterocins, which indicates the possible prevention of multidrug and virulent enterococcal contaminants by enterocins.

  4. Microarray Evaluation of Antimicrobial Resistance and Virulence of Escherichia coli Isolates from Portuguese Poultry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuno Mendonça

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The presence of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors of 174 Escherichia coli strains isolated from healthy Portuguese Gallus gallus was evaluated. Resistance profiles were determined against 33 antimicrobials by microbroth dilution. Resistance was prevalent for tetracycline (70% and ampicillin (63%. Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL phenotype was observed in 18% of the isolates. Multidrug resistance was found in 56% of isolates. A subset of 74 isolates were screened by DNA microarrays for the carriage of 88 antibiotic resistance genes and 62 virulence genes. Overall, 37 different resistance genes were detected. The most common were tet(A (72%, blaTEM (68%, and sul1 (47%, while 21% isolates harbored an ESBL gene (blaCTX-M group 1, group 2, or group 9. Of these, 96% carried the increased serum survival (iss virulence gene, while 89% presented the enterobactin siderophore receptor protein (iroN, 70% the temperature-sensitive hemagglutinin (tsh, and 68% the long polar fimbriae (lpfA virulence genes associated with extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli. In conclusion, prevalence of antibiotic resistant E. coli from the microbiota of Portuguese chickens was high, including to extended spectrum cephalosporins. The majority of isolates seems to have the potential to trigger extraintestinal human infection due to the presence of some virulence genes. However, the absence of genes specific for enteropathogenic E. coli reduces the risk for human intestinal infection.

  5. The significance of virulence factors in Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiota, Seiji; Suzuki, Rumiko; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2013-07-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is linked to various gastroduodenal diseases; however, only a small fraction of these patients develop associated diseases. Despite the high prevalence of H. pylori infection in Africa and South Asia, the incidence of gastric cancer in these areas is much lower than those in other countries. The incidence of gastric cancer tends to decrease from north to south in East Asia. Such geographical differences in the pathology can be explained, at least in part, by the presence of different types of H. pylori virulence factors in addition to host and environmental factors. Virulence factors of H. pylori, such as CagA, VacA, DupA, IceA, OipA and BabA, have been demonstrated to be the predictors of severe clinical outcomes. Interestingly, a meta-analysis showed that CagA seropositivity was associated with gastric cancer compared with gastritis, even in East Asian countries where almost the strains possess cagA. Another meta-analysis also confirmed the significance of vacA, dupA and iceA. However, it is possible that additional important pathogenic genes may exist because H. pylori consists of approximately 1600 genes. Despite the advances in our understanding of the development of H. pylori infection-related diseases, further work is required to clarify the roles of H. pylori virulence factors. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Digestive Diseases © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and Chinese Medical Association Shanghai Branch, Chinese Society of Gastroenterology, Renji Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine.

  6. A Precise Temperature-Responsive Bistable Switch Controlling Yersinia Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuss, Aaron Mischa; Schuster, Franziska; Roselius, Louisa; Klein, Johannes; Bücker, René; Herbst, Katharina; Heroven, Ann Kathrin; Pisano, Fabio; Wittmann, Christoph; Münch, Richard; Müller, Johannes; Jahn, Dieter; Dersch, Petra

    2016-12-01

    Different biomolecules have been identified in bacterial pathogens that sense changes in temperature and trigger expression of virulence programs upon host entry. However, the dynamics and quantitative outcome of this response in individual cells of a population, and how this influences pathogenicity are unknown. Here, we address these questions using a thermosensing virulence regulator of an intestinal pathogen (RovA of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis) as a model. We reveal that this regulator is part of a novel thermoresponsive bistable switch, which leads to high- and low-invasive subpopulations within a narrow temperature range. The temperature range in which bistability is observed is defined by the degradation and synthesis rate of the regulator, and is further adjustable via a nutrient-responsive regulator. The thermoresponsive switch is also characterized by a hysteretic behavior in which activation and deactivation occurred on vastly different time scales. Mathematical modeling accurately mirrored the experimental behavior and predicted that the thermoresponsiveness of this sophisticated bistable switch is mainly determined by the thermo-triggered increase of RovA proteolysis. We further observed RovA ON and OFF subpopulations of Y. pseudotuberculosis in the Peyer's patches and caecum of infected mice, and that changes in the RovA ON/OFF cell ratio reduce tissue colonization and overall virulence. This points to a bet-hedging strategy in which the thermoresponsive bistable switch plays a key role in adapting the bacteria to the fluctuating conditions encountered as they pass through the host's intestinal epithelium and suggests novel strategies for the development of antimicrobial therapies.

  7. A Precise Temperature-Responsive Bistable Switch Controlling Yersinia Virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Mischa Nuss

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Different biomolecules have been identified in bacterial pathogens that sense changes in temperature and trigger expression of virulence programs upon host entry. However, the dynamics and quantitative outcome of this response in individual cells of a population, and how this influences pathogenicity are unknown. Here, we address these questions using a thermosensing virulence regulator of an intestinal pathogen (RovA of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model. We reveal that this regulator is part of a novel thermoresponsive bistable switch, which leads to high- and low-invasive subpopulations within a narrow temperature range. The temperature range in which bistability is observed is defined by the degradation and synthesis rate of the regulator, and is further adjustable via a nutrient-responsive regulator. The thermoresponsive switch is also characterized by a hysteretic behavior in which activation and deactivation occurred on vastly different time scales. Mathematical modeling accurately mirrored the experimental behavior and predicted that the thermoresponsiveness of this sophisticated bistable switch is mainly determined by the thermo-triggered increase of RovA proteolysis. We further observed RovA ON and OFF subpopulations of Y. pseudotuberculosis in the Peyer's patches and caecum of infected mice, and that changes in the RovA ON/OFF cell ratio reduce tissue colonization and overall virulence. This points to a bet-hedging strategy in which the thermoresponsive bistable switch plays a key role in adapting the bacteria to the fluctuating conditions encountered as they pass through the host's intestinal epithelium and suggests novel strategies for the development of antimicrobial therapies.

  8. Antibiotic modulation of capsular exopolysaccharide and virulence in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Geisinger

    2015-02-01

    between states of low and high virulence potential, which may contribute to the opportunistic nature of the pathogen.

  9. Unisexual reproduction drives meiotic recombination and phenotypic and karyotypic plasticity in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng Sun

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In fungi, unisexual reproduction, where sexual development is initiated without the presence of two compatible mating type alleles, has been observed in several species that can also undergo traditional bisexual reproduction, including the important human fungal pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans. While unisexual reproduction has been well characterized qualitatively, detailed quantifications are still lacking for aspects of this process, such as the frequency of recombination during unisexual reproduction, and how this compares with bisexual reproduction. Here, we analyzed meiotic recombination during α-α unisexual and a-α bisexual reproduction of C. neoformans. We found that meiotic recombination operates in a similar fashion during both modes of sexual reproduction. Specifically, we observed that in α-α unisexual reproduction, the numbers of crossovers along the chromosomes during meiosis, recombination frequencies at specific chromosomal regions, as well as meiotic recombination hot and cold spots, are all similar to those observed during a-α bisexual reproduction. The similarity in meiosis is also reflected by the fact that phenotypic segregation among progeny collected from the two modes of sexual reproduction is also similar, with transgressive segregation being observed in both. Additionally, we found diploid meiotic progeny were also produced at similar frequencies in the two modes of sexual reproduction, and transient chromosomal loss and duplication likely occurs frequently and results in aneuploidy and loss of heterozygosity that can span entire chromosomes. Furthermore, in both α-α unisexual and a-α bisexual reproduction, we observed biased allele inheritance in regions on chromosome 4, suggesting the presence of fragile chromosomal regions that might be vulnerable to mitotic recombination. Interestingly, we also observed a crossover event that occurred within the MAT locus during α-α unisexual

  10. Allelic exchange of pheromones and their receptors reprograms sexual identity in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brynne C Stanton

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Cell type specification is a fundamental process that all cells must carry out to ensure appropriate behaviors in response to environmental stimuli. In fungi, cell identity is critical for defining "sexes" known as mating types and is controlled by components of mating type (MAT loci. MAT-encoded genes function to define sexes via two distinct paradigms: 1 by controlling transcription of components common to both sexes, or 2 by expressing specially encoded factors (pheromones and their receptors that differ between mating types. The human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans has two mating types (a and alpha that are specified by an extremely unusual MAT locus. The complex architecture of this locus makes it impossible to predict which paradigm governs mating type. To identify the mechanism by which the C. neoformans sexes are determined, we created strains in which the pheromone and pheromone receptor from one mating type (a replaced the pheromone and pheromone receptor of the other (alpha. We discovered that these "alpha(a" cells effectively adopt a new mating type (that of a cells; they sense and respond to alpha factor, they elicit a mating response from alpha cells, and they fuse with alpha cells. In addition, alpha(a cells lose the alpha cell type-specific response to pheromone and do not form germ tubes, instead remaining spherical like a cells. Finally, we discovered that exogenous expression of the diploid/dikaryon-specific transcription factor Sxi2a could then promote complete sexual development in crosses between alpha and alpha(a strains. These data reveal that cell identity in C. neoformans is controlled fully by three kinds of MAT-encoded proteins: pheromones, pheromone receptors, and homeodomain proteins. Our findings establish the mechanisms for maintenance of distinct cell types and subsequent developmental behaviors in this unusual human fungal pathogen.

  11. Unisexual Reproduction Drives Meiotic Recombination and Phenotypic and Karyotypic Plasticity in Cryptococcus neoformans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Sheng; Billmyre, R. Blake; Mieczkowski, Piotr A.; Heitman, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    In fungi, unisexual reproduction, where sexual development is initiated without the presence of two compatible mating type alleles, has been observed in several species that can also undergo traditional bisexual reproduction, including the important human fungal pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans. While unisexual reproduction has been well characterized qualitatively, detailed quantifications are still lacking for aspects of this process, such as the frequency of recombination during unisexual reproduction, and how this compares with bisexual reproduction. Here, we analyzed meiotic recombination during α-α unisexual and a-α bisexual reproduction of C. neoformans. We found that meiotic recombination operates in a similar fashion during both modes of sexual reproduction. Specifically, we observed that in α-α unisexual reproduction, the numbers of crossovers along the chromosomes during meiosis, recombination frequencies at specific chromosomal regions, as well as meiotic recombination hot and cold spots, are all similar to those observed during a-α bisexual reproduction. The similarity in meiosis is also reflected by the fact that phenotypic segregation among progeny collected from the two modes of sexual reproduction is also similar, with transgressive segregation being observed in both. Additionally, we found diploid meiotic progeny were also produced at similar frequencies in the two modes of sexual reproduction, and transient chromosomal loss and duplication likely occurs frequently and results in aneuploidy and loss of heterozygosity that can span entire chromosomes. Furthermore, in both α-α unisexual and a-α bisexual reproduction, we observed biased allele inheritance in regions on chromosome 4, suggesting the presence of fragile chromosomal regions that might be vulnerable to mitotic recombination. Interestingly, we also observed a crossover event that occurred within the MAT locus during α-α unisexual reproduction. Our results

  12. Allelic exchange of pheromones and their receptors reprograms sexual identity in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Brynne C; Giles, Steven S; Staudt, Mark W; Kruzel, Emilia K; Hull, Christina M

    2010-02-26

    Cell type specification is a fundamental process that all cells must carry out to ensure appropriate behaviors in response to environmental stimuli. In fungi, cell identity is critical for defining "sexes" known as mating types and is controlled by components of mating type (MAT) loci. MAT-encoded genes function to define sexes via two distinct paradigms: 1) by controlling transcription of components common to both sexes, or 2) by expressing specially encoded factors (pheromones and their receptors) that differ between mating types. The human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans has two mating types (a and alpha) that are specified by an extremely unusual MAT locus. The complex architecture of this locus makes it impossible to predict which paradigm governs mating type. To identify the mechanism by which the C. neoformans sexes are determined, we created strains in which the pheromone and pheromone receptor from one mating type (a) replaced the pheromone and pheromone receptor of the other (alpha). We discovered that these "alpha(a)" cells effectively adopt a new mating type (that of a cells); they sense and respond to alpha factor, they elicit a mating response from alpha cells, and they fuse with alpha cells. In addition, alpha(a) cells lose the alpha cell type-specific response to pheromone and do not form germ tubes, instead remaining spherical like a cells. Finally, we discovered that exogenous expression of the diploid/dikaryon-specific transcription factor Sxi2a could then promote complete sexual development in crosses between alpha and alpha(a) strains. These data reveal that cell identity in C. neoformans is controlled fully by three kinds of MAT-encoded proteins: pheromones, pheromone receptors, and homeodomain proteins. Our findings establish the mechanisms for maintenance of distinct cell types and subsequent developmental behaviors in this unusual human fungal pathogen.

  13. Effects of radiation type and delivery mode on a radioresistant eukaryote Cryptococcus neoformans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shuryak, Igor; Bryan, Ruth A.; Broitman, Jack; Marino, Stephen A.; Morgenstern, Alfred; Apostolidis, Christos; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Most research on radioresistant fungi, particularly on human pathogens such as Cryptococcus neoformans, involves sparsely-ionizing radiation. Consequently, fungal responses to densely-ionizing radiation, which can be harnessed to treat life-threatening fungal infections, remain incompletely understood. Methods: We addressed this issue by quantifying and comparing the effects of densely-ionizing α-particles (delivered either by external beam or by 213 Bi-labeled monoclonal antibodies), and sparsely-ionizing 137 Cs γ-rays, on Cryptococus neoformans. Results: The best-fit linear-quadratic parameters for clonogenic survival were the following: α = 0.24 × 10 −2 Gy −1 for γ-rays and 1.07 × 10 −2 Gy −1 for external-beam α-particles, and β = 1.44 × 10 −5 Gy −2 for both radiation types. Fungal cell killing by radiolabeled antibodies was consistent with predictions based on the α-particle dose to the cell nucleus and the linear-quadratic parameters for external-beam α-particles. The estimated RBE (for α-particles vs. γ-rays) at low doses was 4.47 for the initial portion of the α-particle track, and 7.66 for the Bragg peak. Non-radiological antibody effects accounted for up to 23% of cell death. Conclusions: These results quantify the degree of C. neoformans resistance to densely-ionizing radiations, and show how this resistance can be overcome with fungus-specific radiolabeled antibodies

  14. Cryptococcal transmigration across a model brain blood-barrier: evidence of the Trojan horse mechanism and differences between Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii strain H99 and Cryptococcus gattii strain R265.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorrell, Tania C; Juillard, Pierre-Georges; Djordjevic, Julianne T; Kaufman-Francis, Keren; Dietmann, Anelia; Milonig, Alban; Combes, Valery; Grau, Georges E R

    2016-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn) and Cryptococcus gattii (Cg) cause neurological disease and cross the BBB as free cells or in mononuclear phagocytes via the Trojan horse mechanism, although evidence for the latter is indirect. There is emerging evidence that Cn and the North American outbreak Cg strain (R265) more commonly cause neurological and lung disease, respectively. We have employed a widely validated in vitro model of the BBB, which utilizes the hCMEC/D3 cell line derived from human brain endothelial cells (HBEC) and the human macrophage-like cell line, THP-1, to investigate whether transport of dual fluorescence-labelled Cn and Cg across the BBB occurs within macrophages. We showed that phagocytosis of Cn by non-interferon (IFN)-γ stimulated THP-1 cells was higher than that of Cg. Although Cn and Cg-loaded THP-1 bound similarly to TNF-activated HBECs under shear stress, more Cn-loaded macrophages were transported across an intact HBEC monolayer, consistent with the predilection of Cn for CNS infection. Furthermore, Cn exhibited a higher rate of expulsion from transmigrated THP-1 compared with Cg. Our results therefore provide further evidence for transmigration of both Cn and Cg via the Trojan horse mechanism and a potential explanation for the predilection of Cn to cause CNS infection. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. Influence of sublethal concentrations of common disinfectants on expression of virulence genes in Listeria monocytogenes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kastbjerg, Vicky Gaedt; Larsen, M. H.; Gram, Lone

    2010-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne human pathogen that causes listeriosis, a relatively rare infection with a high fatality rate. The regulation of virulence gene expression is influenced by several environmental factors, and the aim of the present study was to determine how disinfectants use......, such as antibiotic resistance....... by Northern blot analysis. Eleven disinfectants representing four different groups of active components were evaluated in this study. Disinfectants with the same active ingredients had a similar effect on gene expression. Peroxy and chlorine compounds reduced the expression of the virulence genes...

  16. Copper tolerance and virulence in bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladomersky, Erik; Petris, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element for all aerobic organisms. It functions as a cofactor in enzymes that catalyze a wide variety of redox reactions due to its ability to cycle between two oxidation states, Cu(I) and Cu(II). This same redox property of copper has the potential to cause toxicity if copper homeostasis is not maintained. Studies suggest that the toxic properties of copper are harnessed by the innate immune system of the host to kill bacteria. To counter such defenses, bacteria rely on copper tolerance genes for virulence within the host. These discoveries suggest bacterial copper intoxication is a component of host nutritional immunity, thus expanding our knowledge of the roles of copper in biology. This review summarizes our current understanding of copper tolerance in bacteria, and the extent to which these pathways contribute to bacterial virulence within the host. PMID:25652326

  17. Riboregulators: Fine-Tuning Virulence in Shigella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fris, Megan E; Murphy, Erin R

    2016-01-01

    Within the past several years, RNA-mediated regulation (ribo-regulation) has become increasingly recognized for its importance in controlling critical bacterial processes. Regulatory RNA molecules, or riboregulators, are perpetually responsive to changes within the micro-environment of a bacterium. Notably, several characterized riboregulators control virulence in pathogenic bacteria, as is the case for each riboregulator characterized to date in Shigella. The timing of virulence gene expression and the ability of the pathogen to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions is critical to the establishment and progression of infection by Shigella species; ribo-regulators mediate each of these important processes. This mini review will present the current state of knowledge regarding RNA-mediated regulation in Shigella by detailing the characterization and function of each identified riboregulator in these pathogens.

  18. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Núria Piqué

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Erwinia amylovora, a Gram negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is the causal agent of fire blight, a devastating plant disease affecting a wide range of host species within Rosaceae and a major global threat to commercial apple and pear production. Among the limited number of control options currently available, prophylactic application of antibiotics during the bloom period appears the most effective. Pathogen cells enter plants through the nectarthodes of flowers and other natural openings, such as wounds, and are capable of rapid movement within plants and the establishment of systemic infections. Many virulence determinants of E. amylovora have been characterized, including the Type III secretion system (T3SS, the exopolysaccharide (EPS amylovoran, biofilm formation, and motility. To successfully establish an infection, E. amylovora uses a complex regulatory network to sense the relevant environmental signals and coordinate the expression of early and late stage virulence factors involving two component signal transduction systems, bis-(3′-5′-cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP and quorum sensing. The LPS biosynthetic gene cluster is one of the relatively few genetic differences observed between Rubus- and Spiraeoideae-infecting genotypes of E. amylovora. Other differential factors, such as the presence and composition of an integrative conjugative element associated with the Hrp T3SS (hrp genes encoding the T3SS apparatus, have been recently described. In the present review, we present the recent findings on virulence factors research, focusing on their role in bacterial pathogenesis and indicating other virulence factors that deserve future research to characterize them.

  19. Temperate and virulent Lactobacillus delbrueckii bacteriophages: comparison of their thermal and chemical resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrecht, Ana C; Guglielmotti, Daniela M; Tremmel, Gustavo; Reinheimer, Jorge A; Suárez, Viviana B

    2010-06-01

    The aim of this work was to study the efficiency of diverse chemical and thermal treatments usually used in dairy industries to control the number of virulent and temperate Lactobacillus delbrueckii bacteriophages. Two temperate (Cb1/204 and Cb1/342) and three virulent (BYM, YAB and Ib3) phages were studied. The thermal treatments applied were: 63 degrees C for 30 min (low temperature--long time, LTLT), 72 degrees C for 15 s (high temperature--short time, HTST), 82 degrees C for 5 min (milk destined to yogurt elaboration) and 90 degrees C for 15 min (FIL-IDF). The chemical agents studied were: sodium hypochlorite, ethanol, isopropanol, peracetic acid, biocides A (quaternary ammonium chloride), B (hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid and peroctanoic acid), C (alkaline chloride foam), D (p-toluensulfonchloroamide, sodium salt) and E (ethoxylated nonylphenol and phosphoric acid). The kinetics of inactivation were drew and T(99) (time necessary to eliminate the 99% of phage particles) calculated. Results obtained showed that temperate phages revealed lower resistance than the virulent ones to the treatment temperatures. Biocides A, C, E and peracetic acid showed a notable efficiency to inactivate high concentrations of temperate and virulent L. delbrueckii phages. Biocide B evidenced, in general, a good capacity to eliminate the phage particles. Particularly for this biocide virulent phage Ib3 showed the highest resistance in comparison to the rest of temperate and virulent ones. On the contrary, biocide D and isopropanol presented a very low capacity to inactivate all phages studied. The efficiency of ethanol and hypochlorite was variable depending to the phages considered. These results allow a better knowledge and give useful information to outline more effective treatments to reduce the phage infections in dairy plants. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Evaluating Different Virulence Traits of Klebsiella pneumoniae Using Dictyostelium discoideum and Zebrafish Larvae as Host Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés E. Marcoleta

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Multiresistant and invasive hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae strains have become one of the most urgent bacterial pathogen threats. Recent analyses revealed a high genomic plasticity of this species, harboring a variety of mobile genetic elements associated with virulent strains, encoding proteins of unknown function whose possible role in pathogenesis have not been addressed. K. pneumoniae virulence has been studied mainly in animal models such as mice and pigs, however, practical, financial, ethical and methodological issues limit the use of mammal hosts. Consequently, the development of simple and cost-effective experimental approaches with alternative host models is needed. In this work we described the use of both, the social amoeba and professional phagocyte Dictyostelium discoideum and the fish Danio rerio (zebrafish as surrogate host models to study K. pneumoniae virulence. We compared three K. pneumoniae clinical isolates evaluating their resistance to phagocytosis, intracellular survival, lethality, intestinal colonization, and innate immune cells recruitment. Optical transparency of both host models permitted studying the infective process in vivo, following the Klebsiella-host interactions through live-cell imaging. We demonstrated that K. pneumoniae RYC492, but not the multiresistant strains 700603 and BAA-1705, is virulent to both host models and elicits a strong immune response. Moreover, this strain showed a high resistance to phagocytosis by D. discoideum, an increased ability to form biofilms and a more prominent and irregular capsule. Besides, the strain 700603 showed the unique ability to replicate inside amoeba cells. Genomic comparison of the K. pneumoniae strains showed that the RYC492 strain has a higher overall content of virulence factors although no specific genes could be linked to its phagocytosis resistance, nor to the intracellular survival observed for the 700603 strain. Our results indicate that both zebrafish

  1. alpha AD alpha hybrids of Cryptococcus neoformans: evidence of same-sex mating in nature and hybrid fitness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaorong Lin

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitous human fungal pathogen that causes meningoencephalitis in predominantly immunocompromised hosts. The fungus is typically haploid, and sexual reproduction involves two individuals with opposite mating types/sexes, alpha and a. However, the overwhelming predominance of mating type (MAT alpha over a in C. neoformans populations limits alpha-a mating in nature. Recently it was discovered that C. neoformans can undergo same-sex mating under laboratory conditions, especially between alpha isolates. Whether same-sex mating occurs in nature and contributes to the current population structure was unknown. In this study, natural alpha AD alpha hybrids that arose by fusion between two alpha cells of different serotypes (A and D were identified and characterized, providing definitive evidence that same-sex mating occurs naturally. A novel truncated allele of the mating-type-specific cell identity determinant SXI1 alpha was also identified as a genetic factor likely involved in this process. In addition, laboratory-constructed alpha AD alpha strains exhibited hybrid vigor both in vitro and in vivo, providing a plausible explanation for their relative abundance in nature despite the fact that AD hybrids are inefficient in meiosis/sporulation and are trapped in the diploid state. These findings provide insights on the origins, genetic mechanisms, and fitness impact of unisexual hybridization in the Cryptococcus population.

  2. Role of Sterylglucosidase 1 (Sgl1) on the pathogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans: potential applications for vaccine development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rella, Antonella; Mor, Visesato; Farnoud, Amir M; Singh, Ashutosh; Shamseddine, Achraf A; Ivanova, Elitza; Carpino, Nicholas; Montagna, Maria T; Luberto, Chiara; Del Poeta, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Cryptococcosis caused by Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii affects a large population and is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality. Despite its public health burden, there are currently no vaccines against cryptococcosis and new strategies against such infections are needed. In this study, we demonstrate that C. neoformans has the biochemical ability to metabolize sterylglucosides (SGs), a class of immunomodulatory glycolipids. Genetic manipulations that eliminate cryptococccal sterylglucosidase lead to the accumulation of SGs and generate a mutant strain (Δsgl1) that is non-pathogenic in the mouse models of cryptococcosis. Interestingly, this mutant strain acts as a vaccine strain and protects mice against cryptococcosis following infection with C. neoformans or C. gattii. The immunity induced by the Δsgl1 strain is not CD4(+) T-cells dependent. Immunocompromised mice, which lack CD4(+) T-cells, are able to control the infection by Δsgl1 and acquire immunity against the challenge by wild-type C. neoformans following vaccination with the Δsgl1 strain. These findings are particularly important in the context of HIV/AIDS immune deficiency and suggest that the Δsgl1 strain might provide a potential vaccination strategy against cryptococcosis.

  3. Intestinal Lesion in a Dog Due to Cryptococcus gattii Type VGII and Review of Published Cases of Canine Gastrointestinal Cryptococcosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Abreu, Daniel Paiva Barros; Machado, Carlos Henrique; Makita, Mário Tatsuo; Botelho, Camila Flávia Magalhães; Oliveira, Fernanda Gomes; da Veiga, Cristiano Chaves Pessoa; Martins, Marilena Dos Anjos; Baroni, Francisco de Assis

    2017-06-01

    Cryptococcosis is a mycosis caused by yeasts of genus Cryptococcus, mainly the species C. neoformans and C. gattii that can affect humans and animals. These yeasts are widely distributed in the environment and are typically associated with avian droppings and decaying wood. Most infections are related to the respiratory tract, but the central nervous system and cutaneous lesions are also reported in the literature. The present report is a case of cryptococcosis in an 18-month-old unspayed female English Bulldog with the main complaint of weight loss and diarrhea. The presence of two large masses observed in an ultrasound examination leads us to perform an exploratory laparotomy. Considering the size of the lesion and the impossibility of owner to provide intensive care, the consent for euthanasia was requested. The postmortem diagnosis of cryptococcosis was revealed by cytological evaluation, and the involvement of C. gattii VGII was confirmed by isolation and identification tests as well as by the detection of the URA5 gene restriction fragment length polymorphism PCR analysis. Reports in the literature of the involvement of Cryptococcus in gastrointestinal lesions are rare in both human and veterinary medicine. Data about different forms of cryptococcosis are important to provide more knowledge of uncommon clinical presentations of this yeast and therefore improve the diagnoses and decisions for the best therapy.

  4. Ultrastructural and chemotaxonomic analysis of a xylanolytic strain of Cryptococcus adeliensis isolated from sheep droppings in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velázquez, Encarna; del Villar, María; Grondona, Isabel; Monte, Enrique; González-Villa, Tomás

    2006-09-01

    Cryptococcus adeliensis was initially described as a psycrophilic species containing a single strain CBS 8351(T) isolated from decayed algae in Terre Adelie (Antartida). Later, a second strain of this species was isolated from an immunosuppressed patient affected by leukaemia in Germany and recently several strains from this species have been found in human patients and pigeon droppings of the same country. In this study, we isolated from sheep droppings in Spain a xylanolytic strain named LEVX01 that was phenotypically related to the strain CBS 8351(T) and showed a 100% similarity in the D1/D2 domain and 5.8S-ITS region sequences with respect to the remaining described strains of C. adeliensis. These findings suggest that this species has a wide geographical distribution and that the animal faeces are a common habitat for C. adeliensis. The chemotaxonomic analyses showed the absence of detectable amounts of xylose in the cell walls of the strains LEVX01 and CBS8351(T) in contrast to other Cryptococcus species. Interestingly, the ultrastructural study showed the presence of fimbriae in these two strains that could be involved in the attachment to the host cells and, as occurs in Candida albicans, they could also be a pathogenicity factor for the man.

  5. Classification of Cryptococcus neoformans and yeast-like fungus isolates from pigeon droppings by colony phenotyping and ITS genotyping and their seasonal variations in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chae, H S; Jang, G E; Kim, N H; Son, H R; Lee, J H; Kim, S H; Park, G N; Jo, H J; Kim, J T; Chang, K S

    2012-03-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans (C neoformans) is a frequent cause of invasive fungal disease in immunocompromised human hosts. Ninety-eight samples of pigeon droppings were collected from the pigeon shelters in Seoul, and cultured on birdseed agar (BSA) and Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA). One hundred yeast-like colonies were selected and identified via phenotype characteristics, such as colony morphology and biochemical characteristics. This was then followed with genotyping via sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The colonies were classified into four kinds of colony color types: brown type (BrT), beige type (BeT), pink type (PT), and white type (WT). Numbers of isolated BrT, BeT, PT, and WT colonies were 22 (22%), 30 (30%), 19 (19%), and 39 (39%), respectively. All BrT colonies were identified as C neoformans. BeT were identified as 19 isolates of Cryptococcus laurentii, 10 isolates of Malassezia furfur, and 1 isolate of Cryptococcus uniguttulatus. PT was divided into two colony color types: light-PT (l-PT) and deep-PT (d-PT). Eighteen of l-PT and one of d-PT were identified as Rhodotorula glutinis and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, respectively. WT were identified as 34 isolates of Cryptococcus guilliermondii, 3 isolates of Cryptococcus zeylanoides, 1 isolate of Cryptococcus sake, and 1 isolate of Stephanoascus ciferrii. Most strains were classified identically with the use of either phenotype or genotyping techniques, but C uniguttulatus and C sake classified by phenotyping were Pseudozyma aphidis and Cryptococcus famata by genotyping. This rapid screening technique of pathogenic yeast-like fungi by only colony characteristics is also expected to be very useful for primary yeast screening. Additionally, we investigated the seasonal variations of C neoformans and other yeast-like fungi from 379 pigeon-dropping samples that were collected from February 2011 to March 2011. We isolated 685 yeast-like fungi from the samples. Almost all C neoformans and

  6. Application of a new approach for study of virulence variation in cucurbit powdery mildew populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucurbit powdery mildew (CPM) is caused by two obligate ectoparasites, Golovinomyces orontii s.l. (Go) and Podosphaera xanthii (Px), that are highly variable in virulence. Various systems of CPM race determination and denomination were used (Lebeda et al. 2011). We developed new tools to enhance res...

  7. Virulence of Fusarium oxysporum and F. commune to Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) seedlings

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. E. Stewart; Z. Abdo; R. K. Dumroese; N. B. Klopfenstein; M. -S. Kim

    2012-01-01

    Fusarium species can cause damping-off and root rot of young conifer seedlings, resulting in severe crop and economic losses in forest nurseries. Disease control within tree nurseries is difficult because of the inability to characterize and quantify Fusarium spp. populations with regard to disease potential because of high variability in isolate virulence. Fusarium...

  8. Report for Detection of Biothreat Agents and Environmental Samples using the LLNL Virulence Array for DHS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaing, Crystal [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Gardner, Shea [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); McLoughlin, Kevin [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Thissen, James [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Jackson, Paul [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2011-04-18

    The objective of this project is to provide DHS a comprehensive evaluation of the current genomic technologies including genotyping, Taqman PCR, multiple locus variable tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), microarray and high-throughput DNA sequencing in the analysis of biothreat agents from complex environmental samples. This report focuses on the design, testing and results of samples on the Virulence Array.

  9. Presence of virulent Newcastle disease virus in vaccinated chickens in farms in Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    The sites where virulent Newcastle disease virus persists in endemic countries are unknown. Evidence presented here shows that the same strain that caused a previous outbreak was present in both apparently healthy and sick vaccinated birds from multiple farms that had high average specific antibody...

  10. Brucella abortus: pathogenicity and gene regulation of virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Rivas-Solano

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Brucella abortus is a zoonotic intracellular facultative pathogen belonging to the subdivision α2 of class Proteobacteria. It causes a worldwide distributed zoonotic disease called brucellosis. The main symptoms are abortion and sterility in cattle, as well as an undulant febrile condition in humans. In endemic regions like Central America, brucellosis has a high socioeconomic impact. A basic research project was recently conducted at the ITCR with the purpose of studying gene regulation of virulence, structure and immunogenicity in B. abortus. The present review was written as part of this project. B. abortus virulence seems to be determined by its ability to invade, survive and replicate inside professional and non-professional phagocytes. It reaches its intracellular replicative niche without the activation of host antimicrobial mechanisms of innate immunity. It also has gene regulation mechanisms for a rapid adaptation to an intracellular environment such as the two-component signal transduction system BvrR/BvrS and the quorum sensing regulator called Vjbr, as well as other transcription factors. All of them integrate a complex gene regulation network.

  11. Vaginal versus Obstetric Infection Escherichia coli Isolates among Pregnant Women: Antimicrobial Resistance and Genetic Virulence Profile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Sáez-López

    Full Text Available Vaginal Escherichia coli colonization is related to obstetric infections and the consequent development of infections in newborns. Ampicillin resistance among E. coli strains is increasing, which is the main choice for treating empirically many obstetric and neonatal infections. Vaginal E. coli strains are very similar to extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli with regards to the virulence factors and the belonging to phylogroup B2. We studied the antimicrobial resistance and the genetic virulence profile of 82 E. coli isolates from 638 vaginal samples and 63 isolated from endometrial aspirate, placental and amniotic fluid samples from pregnant women with obstetric infections. The prevalence of E. coli in the vaginal samples was 13%, which was significant among women with associated risk factors during pregnancy, especially premature preterm rupture of membranes (p<0.0001. Sixty-five percent of the strains were ampicillin-resistant. The E. coli isolates causing obstetric infections showed higher resistance levels than vaginal isolates, particularly for gentamicin (p = 0.001. The most prevalent virulence factor genes were those related to the iron uptake systems revealing clear targets for interventions. More than 50% of the isolates belonged to the virulent B2 group possessing the highest number of virulence factor genes. The ampicillin-resistant isolates had high number of virulence factors primarily related to pathogenicity islands, and the remarkable gentamicin resistance in E. coli isolates from women presenting obstetric infections, the choice of the most appropriate empiric treatment and clinical management of pregnant women and neonates should be carefully made. Taking into account host-susceptibility, the heterogeneity of E. coli due to evolution over time and the geographical area, characterization of E. coli isolates colonizing the vagina and causing obstetric infections in different regions may help to develop interventions and avoid the

  12. Novel cyclic di-GMP effectors of the YajQ protein family control bacterial virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-qi An

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Bis-(3',5' cyclic di-guanylate (cyclic di-GMP is a key bacterial second messenger that is implicated in the regulation of many critical processes that include motility, biofilm formation and virulence. Cyclic di-GMP influences diverse functions through interaction with a range of effectors. Our knowledge of these effectors and their different regulatory actions is far from complete, however. Here we have used an affinity pull-down assay using cyclic di-GMP-coupled magnetic beads to identify cyclic di-GMP binding proteins in the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc. This analysis identified XC_3703, a protein of the YajQ family, as a potential cyclic di-GMP receptor. Isothermal titration calorimetry showed that the purified XC_3703 protein bound cyclic di-GMP with a high affinity (K(d∼2 µM. Mutation of XC_3703 led to reduced virulence of Xcc to plants and alteration in biofilm formation. Yeast two-hybrid and far-western analyses showed that XC_3703 was able to interact with XC_2801, a transcription factor of the LysR family. Mutation of XC_2801 and XC_3703 had partially overlapping effects on the transcriptome of Xcc, and both affected virulence. Electromobility shift assays showed that XC_3703 positively affected the binding of XC_2801 to the promoters of target virulence genes, an effect that was reversed by cyclic di-GMP. Genetic and functional analysis of YajQ family members from the human pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia showed that they also specifically bound cyclic di-GMP and contributed to virulence in model systems. The findings thus identify a new class of cyclic di-GMP effector that regulates bacterial virulence.

  13. Catheter-related infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa: virulence factors involved and their relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olejnickova, Katerina; Hola, Veronika; Ruzicka, Filip

    2014-11-01

    The nosocomial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is equipped with a large arsenal of cell-associated and secreted virulence factors which enhance its invasive potential. The complex relationships among virulence determinants have hitherto not been fully elucidated. In the present study, 175 catheter-related isolates were observed for the presence of selected virulence factors, namely extracellular enzymes and siderophore production, biofilm formation, resistance to antibiotics, and motility. A high percentage of the strains produced most of the tested virulence factors. A positive correlation was identified between the production of several exoproducts, and also between the formation of both types of biofilm. An opposite trend was observed between the two types of biofilm and the production of siderophores. Whereas the relationship between the submerged biofilm production (i.e. the biofilm formed on the solid surface below the water level) and the siderophore secretion was negative, the production of air-liquid interface (A-L) biofilm (i.e. the biofilm floating on the surface of the cultivation medium) and the siderophore secretion were positively correlated. All correlations were statistically significant at the level P = 0.05 with the correlation coefficient γ ≥ 0.50. Our results suggest that: (1) the co-production of the lytic enzymes and siderophores can play an important role in the pathogenesis of the catheter-related infections and should be taken into account when the virulence potential is assessed; (2) biofilm-positive strains are capable of forming both submerged and non-attached A-L biofilms; and (3) the different micro-environment in the submerged biofilm and A-L biofilm layers have opposite consequences for the production of other virulence factors. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Vaginal versus Obstetric Infection Escherichia coli Isolates among Pregnant Women: Antimicrobial Resistance and Genetic Virulence Profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez-López, Emma; Guiral, Elisabet; Fernández-Orth, Dietmar; Villanueva, Sonia; Goncé, Anna; López, Marta; Teixidó, Irene; Pericot, Anna; Figueras, Francesc; Palacio, Montse; Cobo, Teresa; Bosch, Jordi; Soto, Sara M

    2016-01-01

    Vaginal Escherichia coli colonization is related to obstetric infections and the consequent development of infections in newborns. Ampicillin resistance among E. coli strains is increasing, which is the main choice for treating empirically many obstetric and neonatal infections. Vaginal E. coli strains are very similar to extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli with regards to the virulence factors and the belonging to phylogroup B2. We studied the antimicrobial resistance and the genetic virulence profile of 82 E. coli isolates from 638 vaginal samples and 63 isolated from endometrial aspirate, placental and amniotic fluid samples from pregnant women with obstetric infections. The prevalence of E. coli in the vaginal samples was 13%, which was significant among women with associated risk factors during pregnancy, especially premature preterm rupture of membranes (pinfections showed higher resistance levels than vaginal isolates, particularly for gentamicin (p = 0.001). The most prevalent virulence factor genes were those related to the iron uptake systems revealing clear targets for interventions. More than 50% of the isolates belonged to the virulent B2 group possessing the highest number of virulence factor genes. The ampicillin-resistant isolates had high number of virulence factors primarily related to pathogenicity islands, and the remarkable gentamicin resistance in E. coli isolates from women presenting obstetric infections, the choice of the most appropriate empiric treatment and clinical management of pregnant women and neonates should be carefully made. Taking into account host-susceptibility, the heterogeneity of E. coli due to evolution over time and the geographical area, characterization of E. coli isolates colonizing the vagina and causing obstetric infections in different regions may help to develop interventions and avoid the aetiological link between maternal carriage and obstetric and subsequent puerperal infections.

  15. Ecological fitness and virulence features of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in estuarine environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovell, Charles R

    2017-03-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a commonly encountered and highly successful organism in marine ecosystems. It is a fast-growing, extremely versatile copiotroph that is active over a very broad range of conditions. It frequently occurs suspended in the water column (often attached to particles or zooplankton), and is a proficient colonist of submerged surfaces. This organism is an important pathogen of animals ranging from microcrustaceans to humans and is a causative agent of seafood-associated food poisoning. This review examines specific ecological adaptations of V. parahaemolyticus, including its broad tolerances to temperature and salinity, its utilization of a wide variety of organic carbon and energy sources, and its pervasive colonization of suspended and stationary materials that contribute to its success and ubiquity in temperate and tropical estuarine ecosystems. Several virulence-related features are examined, in particular the thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH), the TDH-related hemolysin (TRH), and the type 3 secretion system, and the possible importance of these features in V. parahaemolyticus pathogenicity is explored. The impact of new and much more effective PCR primers on V. parahaemolyticus detection and our views of virulent strain abundance are also described. It is clear that strains carrying the canonical virulence genes are far more common than previously thought, which opens questions regarding the role of these genes in pathogenesis. It is also clear that virulence is an evolving feature of V. parahaemolyticus and that novel combinations of virulence factors can lead to emergent virulence in which a strain that is markedly more pathogenic evolves and propagates to produce an outbreak. The effects of global climate change on the frequency of epidemic disease, the geographic distribution of outbreaks, and the human impacts of V. parahaemolyticus are increasing and this review provides information on why this ubiquitous human pathogen has

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna C Llewellyn

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

  17. Patterns of variation at Ustilago maydis virulence clusters 2A and 19A largely reflect the demographic history of its populations.

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    Ronny Kellner

    Full Text Available The maintenance of an intimate interaction between plant-biotrophic fungi and their hosts over evolutionary times involves strong selection and adaptative evolution of virulence-related genes. The highly specialised maize pathogen Ustilago maydis is assigned with a high evolutionary capability to overcome host resistances due to its high rates of sexual recombination, large population sizes and long distance dispersal. Unlike most studied fungus-plant interactions, the U. maydis - Zea mays pathosystem lacks a typical gene-for-gene interaction. It exerts a large set of secreted fungal virulence factors that are mostly organised in gene clusters. Their contribution to virulence has been experimentally demonstrated but their genetic diversity within U. maydis remains poorly understood. Here, we report on the intraspecific diversity of 34 potential virulence factor genes of U. maydis. We analysed their sequence polymorphisms in 17 isolates of U. maydis from Europe, North and Latin America. We focused on gene cluster 2A, associated with virulence attenuation, cluster 19A that is crucial for virulence, and the cluster-independent effector gene pep1. Although higher compared to four house-keeping genes, the overall levels of intraspecific genetic variation of virulence clusters 2A and 19A, and pep1 are remarkably low and commensurate to the levels of 14 studied non-virulence genes. In addition, each gene is present in all studied isolates and synteny in cluster 2A is conserved. Furthermore, 7 out of 34 virulence genes contain either no polymorphisms or only synonymous substitutions among all isolates. However, genetic variation of clusters 2A and 19A each resolve the large scale population structure of U. maydis indicating subpopulations with decreased gene flow. Hence, the genetic diversity of these virulence-related genes largely reflect the demographic history of U. maydis populations.

  18. Comparative genomic analysis of Brucella abortus vaccine strain 104M reveals a set of candidate genes associated with its virulence attenuation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Dong; Hui, Yiming; Zai, Xiaodong; Xu, Junjie; Liang, Long; Wang, Bingxiang; Yue, Junjie; Li, Shanhu

    2015-01-01

    The Brucella abortus strain 104M, a spontaneously attenuated strain, has been used as a vaccine strain in humans against brucellosis for 6 decades in China. Despite many studies, the molecular mechanisms that cause the attenuation are still unclear. Here, we determined the whole-genome sequence of 104M and conducted a comprehensive comparative analysis against the whole genome sequences of the virulent strain, A13334, and other reference strains. This analysis revealed a highly similar genome structure between 104M and A13334. The further comparative genomic analysis between 104M and A13334 revealed a set of genes missing in 104M. Some of these genes were identified to be directly or indirectly associated with virulence. Similarly, a set of mutations in the virulence-related genes was also identified, which may be related to virulence alteration. This study provides a set of candidate genes associated with virulence attenuation in B.abortus vaccine strain 104M.

  19. Phenotypic Characteristics Associated with Virulence of Clinical Isolates from the Sporothrix Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; de Oliveira, Luã Cardoso; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Gutierrez-Galhardo, Maria Clara; Nosanchuk, Joshua Daniel; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2015-01-01

    The Sporothrix complex members cause sporotrichosis, a subcutaneous mycosis with a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. Several specific phenotypic characteristics are associated with virulence in many fungi, but studies in this field involving the Sporothrix complex species are scarce. Melanization, thermotolerance, and production of proteases, catalase, and urease were investigated in 61 S. brasiliensis, one S. globosa, and 10 S. schenckii strains. The S. brasiliensis strains showed a higher expression of melanin and urease compared with S. schenckii. These two species, however, presented similar thermotolerances. Our S. globosa strain had low expression of all studied virulence factors. The relationship between these phenotypes and clinical aspects of sporotrichosis was also evaluated. Strains isolated from patients with spontaneous regression of infection were heavily melanized and produced high urease levels. Melanin was also related to dissemination of internal organs and protease production was associated with HIV-coinfection. A murine sporotrichosis model showed that a S. brasiliensis strain with high expression of virulence factors was able to disseminate and yield a high fungal burden in comparison with a control S. schenckii strain. Our results show that virulence-related phenotypes are variably expressed within the Sporothrix complex species and might be involved in clinical aspects of sporotrichosis. PMID:25961005

  20. Virulence of Rhodococcus equi Isolated from Cats and Dogs

    OpenAIRE

    Takai, Shinji; Martens, Ronald J.; Julian, Alan; Garcia Ribeiro, Márcio; Rodrigues de Farias, Marconi; Sasaki, Yukako; Inuzuka, Kazuho; Kakuda, Tsutomu; Tsubaki, Shiro; Prescott, John F.

    2003-01-01

    Nine cat isolates and nine dog isolates of Rhodococcus equi from clinical material were investigated for the presence of the virulence-associated antigens (VapA and VapB) and virulence plasmids. Five of the cat isolates and one dog isolate were VapA positive and contained an 85-kb type I or an 87-kb type I plasmid. The remaining 12 isolates were avirulent R. equi strains and contained no virulence plasmids.

  1. Genome-wide identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence-related genes using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhonda L Feinbaum

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700 were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes.

  2. Genome-wide identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence-related genes using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinbaum, Rhonda L; Urbach, Jonathan M; Liberati, Nicole T; Djonovic, Slavica; Adonizio, Allison; Carvunis, Anne-Ruxandra; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes) necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700) were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes.

  3. The Sit-and-Wait Hypothesis in Bacterial Pathogens: A Theoretical Study of Durability and Virulence

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    Liang Wang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The intriguing sit-and-wait hypothesis predicts that bacterial durability in the external environment is positively correlated with their virulence. Since its first proposal in 1987, the hypothesis has been spurring debates in terms of its validity in the field of bacterial virulence. As a special case of the vector-borne transmission versus virulence tradeoff, where vector is now replaced by environmental longevity, there are only sporadic studies over the last three decades showing that environmental durability is possibly linked with virulence. However, no systematic study of these works is currently available and epidemiological analysis has not been updated for the sit-and-wait hypothesis since the publication of Walther and Ewald’s (2004 review. In this article, we put experimental evidence, epidemiological data and theoretical analysis together to support the sit-and-wait hypothesis. According to the epidemiological data in terms of gain and loss of virulence (+/- and durability (+/- phenotypes, we classify bacteria into four groups, which are: sit-and-wait pathogens (++, vector-borne pathogens (+-, obligate-intracellular bacteria (--, and free-living bacteria (-+. After that, we dive into the abundant bacterial proteomic data with the assistance of bioinformatics techniques in order to investigate the two factors at molecular level thanks to the fast development of high-throughput sequencing technology. Sequences of durability-related genes sourced from Gene Ontology and UniProt databases and virulence factors collected from Virulence Factor Database are used to search 20 corresponding bacterial proteomes in batch mode for homologous sequences via the HMMER software package. Statistical analysis only identified a modest, and not statistically significant correlation between mortality and survival time for eight non-vector-borne bacteria with sit-and-wait potentials. Meanwhile, through between-group comparisons, bacteria with higher

  4. Mutations induced by ultraviolet radiation affecting virulence in Puccinia striiformis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shang Hongsheng; Jing Jinxue; Li Zhenqi

    1994-01-01

    Uredospores of parent culture, cy 29-1, were treated by ultraviolet radiation and mutations to virulent were tested on resistant wheat cultivars inoculated with treated spores. 7 mutant cultures virulent to the test cultivars were developed with estimated mutation rate 10~6~10~4. The virulence of mutant cultures was different from the all known races of stripe rust. Resistance segregation to mutant cultures was detected in two test cultivars. The results suggested that mutation was important mechanism of virulence variation operative in asexual population of rust fungi

  5. Sequence Analysis of Hypothetical Proteins from 26695 to Identify Potential Virulence Factors

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    Ahmad Abu Turab Naqvi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative bacteria that is responsible for gastritis in human. Its spiral flagellated body helps in locomotion and colonization in the host environment. It is capable of living in the highly acidic environment of the stomach with the help of acid adaptive genes. The genome of H. pylori 26695 strain contains 1,555 coding genes that encode 1,445 proteins. Out of these, 340 proteins are characterized as hypothetical proteins (HP. This study involves extensive analysis of the HPs using an established pipeline which comprises various bioinformatics tools and databases to find out probable functions of the HPs and identification of virulence factors. After extensive analysis of all the 340 HPs, we found that 104 HPs are showing characteristic similarities with the proteins with known functions. Thus, on the basis of such similarities, we assigned probable functions to 104 HPs with high confidence and precision. All the predicted HPs contain representative members of diverse functional classes of proteins such as enzymes, transporters, binding proteins, regulatory proteins, proteins involved in cellular processes and other proteins with miscellaneous functions. Therefore, we classified 104 HPs into aforementioned functional groups. During the virulence factors analysis of the HPs, we found 11 HPs are showing significant virulence. The identification of virulence proteins with the help their predicted functions may pave the way for drug target estimation and development of effective drug to counter the activity of that protein.

  6. Virulence Genotyping of Pasteurella multocida Isolated from Multiple Hosts from India

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    Laxmi Narayan Sarangi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, 108 P. multocida isolates recovered from various host animals such as cattle, buffalo, swine, poultry (chicken, duck, and emu and rabbits were screened for carriage of 8 virulence associated genes. The results revealed some unique information on the prevalence of virulence associated genes among Indian isolates. With the exception of toxA gene, all other virulence associated genes were found to be regularly distributed among host species. Association study between capsule type and virulence genes suggested that pfhA, nanB, and nanH genes were regularly distributed among all serotypes with the exception of CapD, whereas toxA gene was found to be positively associated with CapD and CapA. The frequency of hgbA and nanH genes among swine isolates of Indian origin was found to be less in comparison to its equivalents around the globe. Interestingly, very high prevalence of tbpA gene was observed among poultry, swine, and rabbit isolates. Likewise, very high prevalence of pfhA gene (95.3% was observed among Indian isolates, irrespective of host species origin.

  7. Virulence genotyping of Pasteurella multocida isolated from multiple hosts from India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarangi, Laxmi Narayan; Priyadarshini, Adyasha; Kumar, Santosh; Thomas, Prasad; Gupta, Santosh Kumar; Nagaleekar, Viswas Konasagara; Singh, Vijendra Pal

    2014-01-01

    In this study, 108 P. multocida isolates recovered from various host animals such as cattle, buffalo, swine, poultry (chicken, duck, and emu) and rabbits were screened for carriage of 8 virulence associated genes. The results revealed some unique information on the prevalence of virulence associated genes among Indian isolates. With the exception of toxA gene, all other virulence associated genes were found to be regularly distributed among host species. Association study between capsule type and virulence genes suggested that pfhA, nanB, and nanH genes were regularly distributed among all serotypes with the exception of CapD, whereas toxA gene was found to be positively associated with CapD and CapA. The frequency of hgbA and nanH genes among swine isolates of Indian origin was found to be less in comparison to its equivalents around the globe. Interestingly, very high prevalence of tbpA gene was observed among poultry, swine, and rabbit isolates. Likewise, very high prevalence of pfhA gene (95.3%) was observed among Indian isolates, irrespective of host species origin.

  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. Virulence determinants of pandemic influenza viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tscherne, Donna M.; García-Sastre, Adolfo

    2011-01-01

    Influenza A viruses cause recurrent, seasonal epidemics and occasional global pandemics with devastating levels of morbidity and mortality. The ability of influenza A viruses to adapt to various hosts and undergo reassortment events ensures constant generation of new strains with unpredictable degrees of pathogenicity, transmissibility, and pandemic potential. Currently, the combination of factors that drives the emergence of pandemic influenza is unclear, making it impossible to foresee the details of a future outbreak. Identification and characterization of influenza A virus virulence determinants may provide insight into genotypic signatures of pathogenicity as well as a more thorough understanding of the factors that give rise to pandemics. PMID:21206092

  10. Metal acquisition and virulence in Brucella

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roop, R. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Similar to other bacteria, Brucella strains require several biologically essential metals for their survival in vitro and in vivo. Acquiring sufficient levels of some of these metals, particularly iron, manganese and zinc, is especially challenging in the mammalian host, where sequestration of these micronutrients is a well-documented component of both the innate and acquired immune responses. This review describes the Brucella metal transporters that have been shown to play critical roles in the virulence of these bacteria in experimental and natural hosts. PMID:22632611

  11. Genome-Wide Identification of circRNAs in Pathogenic Basidiomycetous Yeast Cryptococcus neoformans Suggests Conserved circRNA Host Genes over Kingdoms

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    Liang Huo

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Circular RNAs (circRNAs, a novel class of ubiquitous and intriguing noncoding RNA, have been found in a number of eukaryotes but not yet basidiomycetes. In this study, we identified 73 circRNAs from 39.28 million filtered RNA reads from the basidiomycete Cryptococcus neoformans JEC21 using next-generation sequencing (NGS and the bioinformatics tool circular RNA identification (CIRI. Furthermore, mapping of newly found circRNAs to the genome showed that 73.97% of the circRNAs originated from exonic regions, whereas 20.55% were from intergenic regions and 5.48% were from intronic regions. Enrichment analysis of circRNA host genes was conducted based on the Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway databases. The results reveal that host genes are mainly responsible for primary metabolism and, interestingly, ribosomal protein production. Furthermore, we uncovered a high-level circRNA that was a transcript from the guanosine triphosphate (GTPase gene CNM01190 (gene ID: 3255052 in our yeast. Coincidentally, YPT5, CNM01190′s ortholog of the GTPase in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, protists, and humans, has already been proven to generate circRNAs. Additionally, overexpression of RNA debranching enzyme DBR1 had varied influence on the expression of circRNAs, indicating that multiple circRNA biosynthesis pathways exist in C. neoformans. Our study provides evidence for the existence of stable circRNAs in the opportunistic human pathogen C. neoformans and raises a question regarding their role related to pathogenesis in this yeast.

  12. Is dolphin morbillivirus virulent for white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Elk, C E; van de Bildt, M W G; Jauniaux, T; Hiemstra, S; van Run, P R W A; Foster, G; Meerbeek, J; Osterhaus, A D M E; Kuiken, T

    2014-11-01

    The virulence of morbilliviruses for toothed whales (odontocetes) appears to differ according to host species. In 4 species of odontocetes, morbilliviruses are highly virulent, causing large-scale epizootics with high mortality. In 8 other species of odontocetes, including white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), morbilliviruses have been found as an incidental infection. In these species, the virulence of morbilliviruses is not clear. Therefore, the admission of 2 white-beaked dolphins with morbillivirus infection into a rehabilitation center provided a unique opportunity to investigate the virulence of morbillivirus in this species. By phylogenetic analysis, the morbilliviruses in both animals were identified as a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) most closely related to that detected in a white-beaked dolphin in Germany in 2007. Both animals were examined clinically and pathologically. Case No. 1 had a chronic neural DMV infection, characterized by polioencephalitis in the cerebrum and morbillivirus antigen expression limited to neurons and glial cells. Surprisingly, no nervous signs were observed in this animal during the 6 months before death. Case No. 2 had a subacute systemic DMV infection, characterized by interstitial pneumonia, leucopenia, lymphoid depletion, and DMV antigen expression in mononuclear cells and syncytia in the lung and in mononuclear cells in multiple lymphoid organs. Cause of death was not attributed to DMV infection in either animal. DMV was not detected in 2 contemporaneously stranded white-beaked dolphins. Stranding rate did not increase in the region. These results suggest that DMV is not highly virulent for white-beaked dolphins. © The Author(s) 2013.

  13. Genetic diversity and virulence genes in Streptococcus uberis strains isolated from bovine mastitis

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    Rafael Ambrósio Loures

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Mastitis is one of the most common and costly infectious diseases in dairy cattle worldwide. This is a multifactorial illness caused by different microorganisms, including virus, yeasts, algae, parasites, and several species of bacteria. Among these bacteria, Streptococcus uberis is an important environmental pathogen that is responsible for a large range of clinical and subclinical mammary infections, especially in intensively managed herds. Despite the increasing importance of this pathogen in the etiology of bovine mastitis, data on its virulence and diversity in Brazilian dairy herds are scarce. The aims of the present study were to investigate the virulence characteristics of S. uberis isolated from bovine mastitis and to assess the molecular epidemiology of the Brazilian isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE. In this work, 46 strains of S. uberis isolated from bovine mastitis from 26 Brazilian dairy herds were evaluated regarding their genetic diversity by PFGE using with the SmaI enzyme. Additionally, the presence of the virulence genes skc and pauA, which encode plasminogen activators, and the gene sua, which encodes an adhesion molecule in mammary epithelial cells, were assessed by PCR. Our results showed a high genetic diversity in the population, displaying many different patterns in the PFGE analysis. A high proportion of strains was positive for virulence genes in the sampled population (sua [100%], pauA [91%], and skc [91%]. The high frequency of skc, pauA, and sua genes among the studied strains suggests the importance of these virulence factors, possibly helping S. uberis in the colonization of the bovine mammary gland. Surveys of the genetic and molecular characteristics of this pathogen can improve our knowledge of bacterial activity and identify molecules that have roles in the establishment of the infection. This might help in the development of more effective measures to control and prevent bovine mastitis.

  14. Virulence-associated gene profiling of Streptococcus suis isolates by PCR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silva, L.M.G.; Baums, C.G.; Rehm, T.; Wisselink, H.J.; Goethe, R.; Valentin-Weigand, P.

    2006-01-01

    Definition of virulent Streptococcus suis strains is controversial. One successful approach for identification of virulent European strains is differentiation of capsular serotypes (or the corresponding cps types) and subsequent detection of virulence-associated factors, namely the extracellular

  15. [Virulence of Sporothrix globosa in murine models].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz Choappa, Rodrigo; Pérez Gaete, Salomón; Rodríguez Badilla, Valentina; Vieille Oyarzo, Peggy; Opazo Sanchez, Héctor

    The sporothricosis disease is an infection caused by species included in Sporothrix schenkii complex. Verify the virulence of a strain of S. globosa using two different concentrations of inoculum by intraperitoneally and subcutaneously, into a mouse model. Nonrandomized pilot study, in murine inoculated with a strain of S. globosa (CBS 14.076M) by intraperitoneally and subcutaneously with inoculum concentrations of 0.5 and 4 McFarland. For this purpose 18 rodents CF-1 (ISP, Santiago, Chile) were used. The studied strain did not induce illness or injury on animals, they all survived and neither the tissue culture nor the histopathological analysis showed fungal growth or suggestive infection by organ abnormalities. The S. globosa strain did not present any virulence enough to cause disease at 0.5 and 4.0 McFarland concentration inoculum when inoculated in both intraperitoneally and subcutaneously, in murine models. Copyright © 2016 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  16. Porphyromonas gingivalis : Its virulence and vaccine

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    Nymphea Pandit

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The microbial florae in adult periodontitis lesions are comprised of anaerobic rods with Porphyromonas gingivalis as one of the major components (Slots 1976; Slots 1979; and Tanner et al., 1979. P. gingivalis is a black-pigmented gram-negative anaerobic rod and a secondary colonizer of dental plaque requiring antecedent organisms. The presence of this organism either alone or as a mixed infection with other bacteria and with the absence of beneficial species appears to be essential for disease activity. It is a predominant member of the subgingival microbiota in disease. It possesses and "excretes" numerous potentially toxic virulence factors. Aim of this study is to perform a systematic review of studies on P. gingivalis and its virulence factors with a special focus on its vaccine. Materials and Methods: An electronic and manual search based on agreed search phrases between the primary investigator and a secondary investigator was performed for the literature review till January 2014. The articles that were identified by this systematic review (total of 190 were analyzed in detail, which included the study of inference and conclusion. Conclusions: Within the limits of this systematic review, it can be concluded that P. gingivalis induce immune inflammatory response in periodontitis subjects. Therapeutic vaccines need to be developed and studied for their efficacy in controlling periodontitis.

  17. Metabolism and virulence in Neisseria meningitidis

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    Christoph eSchoen

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A longstanding question in infection biology addresses the genetic basis for invasive behaviour in commensal pathogens. A prime example for such a pathogen is Neisseria meningitidis. On the one hand it is a harmless commensal bacterium exquisitely adapted to humans, and on the other hand it sometimes behaves like a ferocious pathogen causing potentially lethal disease such as sepsis and acute bacterial meningitis. Despite the lack of a classical repertoire of virulence genes in N. meningitidis separating commensal from invasive strains, molecular epidemiology suggests that carriage and invasive strains belong to genetically distinct populations. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that metabolic adaptation enables meningococci to exploit host resources, supporting the concept of nutritional virulence as a crucial determinant of invasive capability. Here, we discuss the contribution of core metabolic pathways in the context of colonization and invasion with special emphasis on results from genome-wide surveys. The metabolism of lactate, the oxidative stress response, and, in particular, glutathione metabolism as well as the denitrification pathway provide examples of how meningococcal metabolism is intimately linked to pathogenesis. We further discuss evidence from genome-wide approaches regarding potential metabolic differences between strains from hyperinvasive and carriage lineages and present new data assessing in vitro growth differences of strains from these two populations. We hypothesize that strains from carriage and hyperinvasive lineages differ in the expression of regulatory genes involved particularly in stress responses and amino acid metabolism under infection conditions.

  18. Assessing Pseudomonas virulence with a nonmammalian host: Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haller, Samantha; Limmer, Stefanie; Ferrandon, Dominique

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster flies represent an interesting model to study host-pathogen interactions as: (1) they are cheap and easy to raise rapidly and do not bring up ethical issues, (2) available genetic tools are highly sophisticated, for instance allowing tissue-specific alteration of gene expression, e.g., of immune genes, (3) they have a relatively complex organization, with distinct digestive tract and body cavity in which local or systemic infections, respectively, take place, (4) a medium throughput can be achieved in genetic screens, for instance looking for Pseudomonas aeruginosa mutants with altered virulence. We present here the techniques used to investigate host-pathogen relationships, namely the two major models of infections as well as the relevant parameters used to monitor the infection (survival, bacterial titer, induction of host immune response).

  19. The Crucial Role of Biofilms in Cryptococcus neoformans Survival within Macrophages and Colonization of the Central Nervous System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilit Aslanyan

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is an encapsulated yeast-like fungus capable of causing life threatening meningoencephalitis in patients with impaired immunity. This microbe primarily infects the host via inhalation but has the ability to disseminate to the central nervous system (CNS either as a single cell or inside of macrophages. Upon traversing the blood brain barrier, C. neoformans has the capacity to form biofilm-like structures known as cryptococcomas. Hence, we will discuss the C. neoformans elements contributing to biofilm formation including the fungus’ ability to survive in the acidic environment of a macrophage phagosome and inside of the CNS. The purpose of this mini-review is to instill fresh interest in understanding the importance of biofilms on fungal pathogenesis.

  20. CRYPTOCOCCUS NEOFORMANS VAR. GRUBII-ASSOCIATED RENAL AMYLOIDOSIS CAUSING PROTEIN-LOSING NEPHROPATHY IN A RED KANGAROO (MACROPUS RUFUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Mary Irene; Gjeltema, Jenessa; Sheley, Matthew; Wack, Ray F

    2017-09-01

    A 10-year-old male castrated red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) presented with mandibular swelling. Examination findings included pitting edema with no dental disease evident on examination or radiographs. The results of blood work were moderate azotemia, hypoalbuminemia, and severely elevated urine protein:creatinine ratio (9.9). Radiographs showed an interstitial pattern of the caudal right lung, and an abdominal ultrasound demonstrated scant effusion. Symptomatic and empirical therapy with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor did not resolve clinical signs. Due to poor prognosis and declining quality of life, euthanasia was elected. Necropsy revealed chronic granulomatous pneumonia of the caudal right lung lobe with intralesional Cryptococcus, identified as C. neoformans var. grubii by DNA sequencing. Severe bilateral glomerular and tubulointerstitial amyloidosis induced protein-losing nephropathy, leading to tri-cavitary effusion, subcutaneous edema, and cachexia. The authors speculate that renal amyloidosis was associated with chronic cryptococcal pneumonia in this red kangaroo.

  1. Production of an antimicrobial substance against Cryptococcus neoformans by Paenibacillus brasilensis Sa3 isolated from the rhizosphere of Kalanchoe brasiliensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortes, Tiago Oliveira; Alviano, Daniela Sales; Tupinambá, Gleiser; Padrón, Thaís Souto; Antoniolli, Angelo Roberto; Alviano, Celuta Sales; Seldin, Lucy

    2008-01-01

    An antifungal substance produced by Paenibacillus brasilensis strain Sa3 was preliminary characterized and showed to be stable after treatment with different enzymes and organic solvents and at a wide range of pH, and presented a molecular weight between 3 and 10 kDa. In vitro antagonism of this strain towards Cryptococcus neoformans was investigated by optical and electronic microscopic analyses and a fungicidal effect on C. neoformans was observed. Ultrastructural analysis showed intense changes on the fungus when it was paired cultured with strain Sa3, mainly the detachment of the capsule from the cell wall and the presence of altered organelles in the cytoplasm. This novel antifungal substance produced by P. brasilensis Sa3 may represent a new insight in antifungal therapy mainly against emergent fungi. Also, prospective studies on rhizobacteria of plants as Kalanchoe brasiliensis may offer a potential source for the discovery of bioactive compounds with medical value.

  2. Utilization of fish meal and fish oil for production of Cryptococcus sp. MTCC 5455 lipase and hydrolysis of polyurethane thereof

    OpenAIRE

    Thirunavukarasu, K.; Purushothaman, S.; Gowthaman, M. K.; Nakajima-Kambe, T.; Rose, C.; Kamini, N. R.

    2015-01-01

    Fish meal has been used as an additional nitrogen source and fish oil as inducer for the growth and production of lipase from Cryptococcus sp. MTCC 5455. A response surface design illustrated that the optimum factors influencing lipase production were fish meal, 1.5 %, w/v, Na2HPO4, 0.2 %, w/v, yeast extract, 0.25 %, w/v and sardine oil, 2.0 %, w/v with an activity of 71.23 U/mL at 96 h and 25 °C, which was 48.39 % higher than the conventional one-factor-at-a-time method. The crude concentrat...

  3. Cryptococcus gattii in an Immunocompetent Patient in the Southeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John W. Amburgy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcal infections are seen throughout the United States in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent patients. The most common form is C. neoformans. In the Northwestern United States, C. gattii has received considerable attention secondary to increased virulence resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. There are no cases in the extant literature describing a patient with C. gattii requiring neurosurgical intervention in Alabama. A middle-aged immunocompetent male with no recent travel or identifiable exposure presented with meningitis secondary to C. gattii. The patient underwent 12 lumbar punctures and a ventriculoperitoneal shunt and required 83 days of inpatient therapy with 5-flucytosine and amphotericin B. The patient was found to have multiple intracranial lesions and a large intramedullary spinal cryptococcoma within his conus. Following an almost 3-month hospitalization the patient required treatment with oral voriconazole for one year. In the United States meningitis caused by C. gattii infection is not isolated to the Northwestern region.

  4. Wide Distribution of Virulence Genes among Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis Clinical Isolates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Soheili

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Enterococcus, a Gram-positive facultative anaerobic cocci belonging to the lactic acid bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes, is known to be able to resist a wide range of hostile conditions such as different pH levels, high concentration of NaCl (6.5%, and the extended temperatures between 5°C and 65°C. Despite being the third most common nosocomial pathogen, our understanding on its virulence factors is still poorly understood. The current study was aimed to determine the prevalence of different virulence genes in Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. For this purpose, 79 clinical isolates of Malaysian enterococci were evaluated for the presence of virulence genes. pilB, fms8, efaAfm, and sgrA genes are prevalent in all clinical isolates. In conclusion, the pathogenicity of E. faecalis and E. faecium could be associated with different virulence factors and these genes are widely distributed among the enterococcal species.

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

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    Hannah M. Rowe

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Distribution Patterns of Polyphosphate Metabolism Pathway and Its Relationships With Bacterial Durability and Virulence

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    Liang Wang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP is a linear polymer of orthophosphate residues. It is reported to be present in all life forms. Experimental studies showed that polyP plays important roles in bacterial durability and virulence. Here we investigated the relationships of polyP with bacterial durability and virulence theoretically. Bacterial lifestyle, environmental persistence, virulence factors (VFs, and species evolution are all included in the analysis. The presence of seven genes involved in polyP metabolism (ppk1, ppk2, pap, surE, gppA, ppnK, and ppgK and 2595 core VFs were verified in 944 bacterial reference proteomes for distribution patterns via HMMER. Proteome size and VFs were compared in terms of gain and loss of polyP pathway. Literature mining and phylogenetic analysis were recruited to support the study. Our analyzes revealed that the presence of polyP metabolism is positively correlated with bacterial proteome size and the number of virulence genes. A potential relationship of polyP in bacterial lifestyle and environmental durability is suggested. Evolutionary analysis shows that polyP genes are randomly lost along the phylogenetic tree. In sum, based on our theoretical analysis, we confirmed that bacteria with polyP metabolism are associated with high environmental durability and more VFs.

  7. Evolutionary mechanisms involved in the virulence of infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV), a piscine orthomyxovirus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markussen, Turhan; Jonassen, Christine Monceyron; Numanovic, Sanela; Braaen, Stine; Hjortaas, Monika; Nilsen, Hanne; Mjaaland, Siri

    2008-01-01

    Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is an orthomyxovirus causing a multisystemic, emerging disease in Atlantic salmon. Here we present, for the first time, detailed sequence analyses of the full-genome sequence of a presumed avirulent isolate displaying a full-length hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) gene (HPR0), and compare this with full-genome sequences of 11 Norwegian ISAV isolates from clinically diseased fish. These analyses revealed the presence of a virulence marker right upstream of the putative cleavage site R 267 in the fusion (F) protein, suggesting a Q 266 → L 266 substitution to be a prerequisite for virulence. To gain virulence in isolates lacking this substitution, a sequence insertion near the cleavage site seems to be required. This strongly suggests the involvement of a protease recognition pattern at the cleavage site of the fusion protein as a determinant of virulence, as seen in highly pathogenic influenza A virus H5 or H7 and the paramyxovirus Newcastle disease virus

  8. Expression of virulence factors by Staphylococcus aureus grown in serum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oogai, Yuichi; Matsuo, Miki; Hashimoto, Masahito; Kato, Fuminori; Sugai, Motoyuki; Komatsuzawa, Hitoshi

    2011-11-01

    Staphylococcus aureus produces many virulence factors, including toxins, immune-modulatory factors, and exoenzymes. Previous studies involving the analysis of virulence expression were mainly performed by in vitro experiments using bacterial medium. However, when S. aureus infects a host, the bacterial growth conditions are quite different from those in a medium, which may be related to the different expression of virulence factors in the host. In this study, we investigated the expression of virulence factors in S. aureus grown in calf serum. The expression of many virulence factors, including hemolysins, enterotoxins, proteases, and iron acquisition factors, was significantly increased compared with that in bacterial medium. In addition, the expression of RNA III, a global regulon for virulence expression, was significantly increased. This effect was partially restored by the addition of 300 μM FeCl₃ into serum, suggesting that iron depletion is associated with the increased expression of virulence factors in serum. In chemically defined medium without iron, a similar effect was observed. In a mutant with agr inactivated grown in serum, the expression of RNA III, psm, and sec4 was not increased, while other factors were still induced in the mutant, suggesting that another regulatory factor(s) is involved. In addition, we found that serum albumin is a major factor for the capture of free iron to prevent the supply of iron to bacteria grown in serum. These results indicate that S. aureus expresses virulence factors in adaptation to the host environment.

  9. Detection of virulence-associated genes in Brucella melitensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ibrahim Eldaghayes

    2018-03-20

    Mar 20, 2018 ... isolated from goats. This discrepancies may indicate that B. melitensis field strains prevailing in Egypt are more virulent than the strains of B. melitensis isolated from caprines in Iran. As, it was emphasized that the. T4SS of Brucella encoded by the virB operon is a major virulence factor (Delrue et al., 2005).

  10. Limiting opportunities for cheating stabilizes virulence in insect parasitic nematodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooperative secretion of virulence factors by pathogens can often lead to social conflict as cheating mutants that benefit from collective action, but do not contribute to it, can arise and locally outcompete cooperators within hosts, leading to loss of virulence. There is a wide range of in vivo st...

  11. Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Properties in Escherichia coli ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study determined E. coli resistance to commonly used antibiotics together with their virulence properties in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. A total of 137 E. coli isolates from cases of urinary tract infection were tested for their sensitivity to commonly used antibiotics and possession of virulence factors using standard methods.

  12. Correlation between virulence markers of Helicobacter pylori in the oral cavity and gastric biopsies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myriam Lucrecia MEDINA

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The clinical outcome of Helicobacter pylori infection has been associated with virulence factors. The presence of these factors is useful as molecular markers in the identification of the high risk for developing severe gastric pathologies. OBJECTIVE: To correlate the presence of virulence markers cagA and bab2A of H. pylori in oral and gastric biopsy samples. METHODS: An observational, prospective, descriptive, and cross-sectional study was carried out between September 2011 and September 2012. Patients suffering dyspepsia with indication for upper gastrointestinal video endoscopy who attended the Gastroenterology Service of the Hospital Dr. Julio C. Perrando were included. Epidemiological investigation was completed. To detect the bacteria and their virulence genes, samples of saliva, dental plaque and gastric biopsy were taken and processed by PCR. RESULTS: Sixty-one patients were selected for this study (30 women and 31 men. H. pylori was detected in 31 gastric biopsies and 31 oral samples. Significant difference between oral and gastric samples was found in cagA genotype. Agreement between oral and gastric genotypes was found in 38.7% of samples from the same patient. CONCLUSION: This study is the first in provide information about the genotypes of the Argentinean Northeast H. pylori strains. Despite the high prevalence of H. pylori infection, the most of patients had less virulent genotypes in oral cavity and gastric tissue. The cagA / babA2 combination was not frequent in the samples studied. There was not a statistical correlation between the virulence genes and gastroduodenal or oral diseases. Although in some patients the same genotype was found both in oral and gastric samples, it cannot be ensure that they corresponding to the same strain because a DNA sequencing was not performed.

  13. Disruption of tetR type regulator adeN by mobile genetic element confers elevated virulence in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saranathan, Rajagopalan; Pagal, Sudhakar; Sawant, Ajit R; Tomar, Archana; Madhangi, M; Sah, Suresh; Satti, Annapurna; Arunkumar, K P; Prashanth, K

    2017-10-03

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an important human pathogen and considered as a major threat due to its extreme drug resistance. In this study, the genome of a hyper-virulent MDR strain PKAB07 of A. baumannii isolated from an Indian patient was sequenced and analyzed to understand its mechanisms of virulence, resistance and evolution. Comparative genome analysis of PKAB07 revealed virulence and resistance related genes scattered throughout the genome, instead of being organized as an island, indicating the highly mosaic nature of the genome. Many intermittent horizontal gene transfer events, insertion sequence (IS) element insertions identified were augmenting resistance machinery and elevating the SNP densities in A. baumannii eventually aiding in their swift evolution. ISAba1, the most widely distributed insertion sequence in A. baumannii was found in multiple sites in PKAB07. Out of many ISAba1 insertions, we identified novel insertions in 9 different genes wherein insertional inactivation of adeN (tetR type regulator) was significant. To assess the significance of this disruption in A. baumannii, adeN mutant and complement strains were constructed in A. baumannii ATCC 17978 strain and studied. Biofilm levels were abrogated in the adeN knockout when compared with the wild type and complemented strain of adeN knockout. Virulence of the adeN knockout mutant strain was observed to be high, which was validated by in vitro experiments and Galleria mellonella infection model. The overexpression of adeJ, a major component of AdeIJK efflux pump observed in adeN knockout strain could be the possible reason for the elevated virulence in adeN mutant and PKB07 strain. Knocking out of adeN in ATCC strain led to increased resistance and virulence at par with the PKAB07. Disruption of tetR type regulator adeN by ISAba1 consequently has led to elevated virulence in this pathogen.

  14. Molecular investigation of virulence factors of Brucella melitensis and Brucella abortus strains isolated from clinical and non-clinical samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirnejad, Reza; Jazi, Faramarz Masjedian; Mostafaei, Shayan; Sedighi, Mansour

    2017-08-01

    Brucella is zoonotic pathogen that induces abortion and sterility in domestic mammals and chronic infections in humans called Malta fever. It is a facultative intracellular potential pathogen with high infectivity. The virulence of Brucella is dependent upon its potential virulence factors such as enzymes and cell envelope associated virulence genes. The aim of this study was to investigate the Brucella virulence factors among strains isolated from humans and animals in different parts of Iran. Seventy eight strains of Brucella species isolated from suspected human and animal cases from several provinces of Iran during 2015-2016 and identified by phenotypic and molecular methods. The multiplex-PCR (M-PCR) assay was performed in order to detect the ure, wbkA, omp19, mviN, manA and perA genes by using gene specific primers. Out of 78 isolates of Brucella spp., 57 (73%) and 21 (27%) isolates were detected as B. melitensis and B. abortus, respectively, by molecular method. The relative frequency of virulence genes ure, wbkA, omp19, mviN, manA and perA were 74.4%, 89.7%, 93.6%, 94.9%, 100% and 92.3%, respectively. Our results indicate that the most of Brucella strains isolated from this region possess high percent of virulence factor genes (ure, wbkA, omp19, mviN, manA and perA) in their genome. So, each step of infection can be mediated by a number of virulence factors and each strain may have a unique combination of these factors that affected the rate of bacterial pathogenesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Host adaptation of Chlamydia pecorum towards low virulence evident in co-evolution of the ompA, incA, and ORF663 Loci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamad, Khalil Yousef; Kaltenboeck, Bernhard; Rahman, Kh Shamsur; Magnino, Simone; Sachse, Konrad; Rodolakis, Annie

    2014-01-01

    Chlamydia (C.) pecorum, an obligate intracellular bacterium, may cause severe diseases in ruminants, swine and koalas, although asymptomatic infections are the norm. Recently, we identified genetic polymorphisms in the ompA, incA and ORF663 genes that potentially differentiate between high-virulence C. pecorum isolates from diseased animals and low-virulence isolates from asymptomatic animals. Here, we expand these findings by including additional ruminant, swine, and koala strains. Coding tandem repeats (CTRs) at the incA locus encoded a variable number of repeats of APA or AGA amino acid motifs. Addition of any non-APA/AGA repeat motif, such as APEVPA, APAVPA, APE, or APAPE, associated with low virulence (PincA CTRs (P = 0.0028). In ORF663, high numbers of 15-mer CTRs correlated with low virulence (P = 0.0001). Correction for ompA phylogram position in ORF663 and incA abolished the correlation between genetic changes and virulence, demonstrating co-evolution of ompA, incA, and ORF663 towards low virulence. Pairwise divergence of ompA, incA, and ORF663 among isolates from healthy animals was significantly higher than among strains isolated from diseased animals (P≤10-5), confirming the longer evolutionary path traversed by low-virulence strains. All three markers combined identified 43 unique strains and 4 pairs of identical strains among all 57 isolates tested, demonstrating the suitability of these markers for epidemiological investigations.

  16. Scanning electron microscopy of the interaction between Cryptococcus magnus and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides on papaya fruit = Microscopia eletrônica de varredura da interação entre Cryptococcus magnus e Colletotrichum gloeosporioides em frutos de mamão

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Capdeville, G.; Souza, M.T.; Santos, J.R.P.; Miranda, S.P.; Caetano, A.R.; Falcao, R.; Gomes, A.C.M.M.

    2007-01-01

    The objective of this work was to investigate possible modes of action of the yeast Cryptococcus magnus in controlling anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) on post harvested papaya fruits. Scanning electron microscopy was used to analyze the effect of the yeast on inoculations done after

  17. The Central Metabolism Regulator EIIAGlc Switches Salmonella from Growth Arrest to Acute Virulence through Activation of Virulence Factor Secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Mazé

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The ability of Salmonella to cause disease depends on metabolic activities and virulence factors. Here, we show that a key metabolic protein, EIIAGlc, is absolutely essential for acute infection, but not for Salmonella survival, in a mouse typhoid fever model. Surprisingly, phosphorylation-dependent EIIAGlc functions, including carbohydrate transport and activation of adenylate cyclase for global regulation, do not explain this virulence phenotype. Instead, biochemical studies, in vitro secretion and translocation assays, and in vivo genetic epistasis experiments suggest that EIIAGlc binds to the type three secretion system 2 (TTSS-2 involved in systemic virulence, stabilizes its cytoplasmic part including the crucial TTSS-2 ATPase, and activates virulence factor secretion. This unexpected role of EIIAGlc reveals a striking direct link between central Salmonella metabolism and a crucial virulence mechanism.

  18. Structure of the virulence-associated protein VapD from the intracellular pathogen Rhodococcus equi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whittingham, Jean L.; Blagova, Elena V.; Finn, Ciaran E.; Luo, Haixia; Miranda-CasoLuengo, Raúl; Turkenburg, Johan P.; Leech, Andrew P.; Walton, Paul H.; Murzin, Alexey G.; Meijer, Wim G.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    VapD is one of a set of highly homologous virulence-associated proteins from the multi-host pathogen Rhodococcus equi. The crystal structure reveals an eight-stranded β-barrel with a novel fold and a glycine rich ‘bald’ surface. Rhodococcus equi is a multi-host pathogen that infects a range of animals as well as immune-compromised humans. Equine and porcine isolates harbour a virulence plasmid encoding a homologous family of virulence-associated proteins associated with the capacity of R. equi to divert the normal processes of endosomal maturation, enabling bacterial survival and proliferation in alveolar macrophages. To provide a basis for probing the function of the Vap proteins in virulence, the crystal structure of VapD was determined. VapD is a monomer as determined by multi-angle laser light scattering. The structure reveals an elliptical, compact eight-stranded β-barrel with a novel strand topology and pseudo-twofold symmetry, suggesting evolution from an ancestral dimer. Surface-associated octyl-β-d-glucoside molecules may provide clues to function. Circular-dichroism spectroscopic analysis suggests that the β-barrel structure is preceded by a natively disordered region at the N-terminus. Sequence comparisons indicate that the core folds of the other plasmid-encoded virulence-associated proteins from R. equi strains are similar to that of VapD. It is further shown that sequences encoding putative R. equi Vap-like proteins occur in diverse bacterial species. Finally, the functional implications of the structure are discussed in the light of the unique structural features of VapD and its partial structural similarity to other β-barrel proteins

  19. Structure of the virulence-associated protein VapD from the intracellular pathogen Rhodococcus equi

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    Whittingham, Jean L.; Blagova, Elena V. [University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom); Finn, Ciaran E.; Luo, Haixia; Miranda-CasoLuengo, Raúl [University College Dublin, Dublin (Ireland); Turkenburg, Johan P.; Leech, Andrew P.; Walton, Paul H. [University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom); Murzin, Alexey G. [MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0QH (United Kingdom); Meijer, Wim G. [University College Dublin, Dublin (Ireland); Wilkinson, Anthony J., E-mail: tony.wilkinson@york.ac.uk [University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2014-08-01

    VapD is one of a set of highly homologous virulence-associated proteins from the multi-host pathogen Rhodococcus equi. The crystal structure reveals an eight-stranded β-barrel with a novel fold and a glycine rich ‘bald’ surface. Rhodococcus equi is a multi-host pathogen that infects a range of animals as well as immune-compromised humans. Equine and porcine isolates harbour a virulence plasmid encoding a homologous family of virulence-associated proteins associated with the capacity of R. equi to divert the normal processes of endosomal maturation, enabling bacterial survival and proliferation in alveolar macrophages. To provide a basis for probing the function of the Vap proteins in virulence, the crystal structure of VapD was determined. VapD is a monomer as determined by multi-angle laser light scattering. The structure reveals an elliptical, compact eight-stranded β-barrel with a novel strand topology and pseudo-twofold symmetry, suggesting evolution from an ancestral dimer. Surface-associated octyl-β-d-glucoside molecules may provide clues to function. Circular-dichroism spectroscopic analysis suggests that the β-barrel structure is preceded by a natively disordered region at the N-terminus. Sequence comparisons indicate that the core folds of the other plasmid-encoded virulence-associated proteins from R. equi strains are similar to that of VapD. It is further shown that sequences encoding putative R. equi Vap-like proteins occur in diverse bacterial species. Finally, the functional implications of the structure are discussed in the light of the unique structural features of VapD and its partial structural similarity to other β-barrel proteins.

  20. A combination of independent transcriptional regulators shapes bacterial virulence gene expression during infection.

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    Samuel A Shelburne

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Transcriptional regulatory networks are fundamental to how microbes alter gene expression in response to environmental stimuli, thereby playing a critical role in bacterial pathogenesis. However, understanding how bacterial transcriptional regulatory networks function during host-pathogen interaction is limited. Recent studies in group A Streptococcus (GAS suggested that the transcriptional regulator catabolite control protein A (CcpA influences many of the same genes as the control of virulence (CovRS two-component gene regulatory system. To provide new information about the CcpA and CovRS networks, we compared the CcpA and CovR transcriptomes in a serotype M1 GAS strain. The transcript levels of several of the same genes encoding virulence factors and proteins involved in basic metabolic processes were affected in both DeltaccpA and DeltacovR isogenic mutant strains. Recombinant CcpA and CovR bound with high-affinity to the promoter regions of several co-regulated genes, including those encoding proteins involved in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Compared to the wild-type parental strain, DeltaccpA and DeltacovRDeltaccpA isogenic mutant strains were significantly less virulent in a mouse myositis model. Inactivation of CcpA and CovR alone and in combination led to significant alterations in the transcript levels of several key GAS virulence factor encoding genes during infection. Importantly, the transcript level alterations in the DeltaccpA and DeltacovRDeltaccpA isogenic mutant strains observed during infection were distinct from those occurring during growth in laboratory medium. These data provide new knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms by which pathogenic bacteria respond to environmental signals to regulate virulence factor production and basic metabolic processes during infection.

  1. Virulence evolution of the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis by recombination in the core and accessory genome.

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    Biju Joseph

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neisseria meningitidis is a naturally transformable, facultative pathogen colonizing the human nasopharynx. Here, we analyze on a genome-wide level the impact of recombination on gene-complement diversity and virulence evolution in N. meningitidis. We combined comparative genome hybridization using microarrays (mCGH and multilocus sequence typing (MLST of 29 meningococcal isolates with computational comparison of a subset of seven meningococcal genome sequences. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that lateral gene transfer of minimal mobile elements as well as prophages are major forces shaping meningococcal population structure. Extensive gene content comparison revealed novel associations of virulence with genetic elements besides the recently discovered meningococcal disease associated (MDA island. In particular, we identified an association of virulence with a recently described canonical genomic island termed IHT-E and a differential distribution of genes encoding RTX toxin- and two-partner secretion systems among hyperinvasive and non-hyperinvasive lineages. By computationally screening also the core genome for signs of recombination, we provided evidence that about 40% of the meningococcal core genes are affected by recombination primarily within metabolic genes as well as genes involved in DNA replication and repair. By comparison with the results of previous mCGH studies, our data indicated that genetic structuring as revealed by mCGH is stable over time and highly similar for isolates from different geographic origins. CONCLUSIONS: Recombination comprising lateral transfer of entire genes as well as homologous intragenic recombination has a profound impact on meningococcal population structure and genome composition. Our data support the hypothesis that meningococcal virulence is polygenic in nature and that differences in metabolism might contribute to virulence.

  2. Vibrio campbellii hmgA-mediated pyomelanization impairs quorum sensing, virulence and cellular fitness

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    Zheng eWang

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Melanization due to the inactivation of the homogentisate-1,2-dioxygenase gene (hmgA has been demonstrated to increase stress resistance, persistence and virulence in some bacterial species but such pigmented mutants have not been observed in pathogenic members of the Vibrio Harveyi clade. In this study, we used Vibrio campbellii ATCC BAA-1116 as model organism to understand how melanization affected cellular phenotype, metabolism and virulence. An in-frame deletion of the hmgA gene resulted in the overproduction of a pigment in cell culture supernatants and cellular membranes that was identified as pyomelanin. Unlike previous demonstrations in Vibrio cholerae, Burkholderia cepacia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the pigmented V. campbellii mutant did not show increased UV resistance and was found to be ~2.7 times less virulent than the wild type strain in Penaeus monodon shrimp virulence assays. However, the extracted pyomelanin pigment did confer a higher resistance to oxidative stress when incubated with wild type cells. Microarray-based transcriptomic analyses revealed that the hmgA gene deletion and subsequent pyomelanin production negatively effected the expression of 129 genes primarily involved in energy production, amino acid and lipid metabolism, and protein translation and turnover. This transcriptional response was mediated in part by an impairment of the quorum sensing regulon as transcripts of the quorum sensing high cell density master regulator LuxR and other operonic members of this regulon were significantly repressed in the hmgA mutant. Taken together, the results suggest that the pyomelanization of V. campbellii sufficiently impairs the metabolic activities of this organism and renders it less fit and virulent than its isogenic wild type strain.

  3. Vibrio campbellii hmgA-mediated pyomelanization impairs quorum sensing, virulence, and cellular fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zheng; Lin, Baochuan; Mostaghim, Anahita; Rubin, Robert A; Glaser, Evan R; Mittraparp-Arthorn, Pimonsri; Thompson, Janelle R; Vuddhakul, Varaporn; Vora, Gary J

    2013-01-01

    Melanization due to the inactivation of the homogentisate-1,2-dioxygenase gene (hmgA) has been demonstrated to increase stress resistance, persistence, and virulence in some bacterial species but such pigmented mutants have not been observed in pathogenic members of the Vibrio Harveyi clade. In this study, we used Vibrio campbellii ATCC BAA-1116 as model organism to understand how melanization affected cellular phenotype, metabolism, and virulence. An in-frame deletion of the hmgA gene resulted in the overproduction of a pigment in cell culture supernatants and cellular membranes that was identified as pyomelanin. Unlike previous demonstrations in Vibrio cholerae, Burkholderia cepacia, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the pigmented V. campbellii mutant did not show increased UV resistance and was found to be ~2.7 times less virulent than the wild type strain in Penaeus monodon shrimp virulence assays. However, the extracted pyomelanin pigment did confer a higher resistance to oxidative stress when incubated with wild type cells. Microarray-based transcriptomic analyses revealed that the hmgA gene deletion and subsequent pyomelanin production negatively effected the expression of 129 genes primarily involved in energy production, amino acid, and lipid metabolism, and protein translation and turnover. This transcriptional response was mediated in part by an impairment of the quorum sensing regulon as transcripts of the quorum sensing high cell density master regulator LuxR and other operonic members of this regulon were significantly less abundant in the hmgA mutant. Taken together, the results suggest that the pyomelanization of V. campbellii sufficiently impairs the metabolic activities of this organism and renders it less fit and virulent than its isogenic wild type strain.

  4. Within-host competition does not select for virulence in malaria parasites; studies with Plasmodium yoelii.

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    Hussein M Abkallo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In endemic areas with high transmission intensities, malaria infections are very often composed of multiple genetically distinct strains of malaria parasites. It has been hypothesised that this leads to intra-host competition, in which parasite strains compete for resources such as space and nutrients. This competition may have repercussions for the host, the parasite, and the vector in terms of disease severity, vector fitness, and parasite transmission potential and fitness. It has also been argued that within-host competition could lead to selection for more virulent parasites. Here we use the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii to assess the consequences of mixed strain infections on disease severity and parasite fitness. Three isogenic strains with dramatically different growth rates (and hence virulence were maintained in mice in single infections or in mixed strain infections with a genetically distinct strain. We compared the virulence (defined as harm to the mammalian host of mixed strain infections with that of single infections, and assessed whether competition impacted on parasite fitness, assessed by transmission potential. We found that mixed infections were associated with a higher degree of disease severity and a prolonged infection time. In the mixed infections, the strain with the slower growth rate was often responsible for the competitive exclusion of the faster growing strain, presumably through host immune-mediated mechanisms. Importantly, and in contrast to previous work conducted with Plasmodium chabaudi, we found no correlation between parasite virulence and transmission potential to mosquitoes, suggesting that within-host competition would not drive the evolution of parasite virulence in P. yoelii.

  5. Natural variation in virulence of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana against malaria mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valero-Jiménez, Claudio A; Debets, Alfons J M; van Kan, Jan A L; Schoustra, Sijmen E; Takken, Willem; Zwaan, Bas J; Koenraadt, Constantianus J M

    2014-12-06

    Insecticide resistance is greatly hampering current efforts to control malaria and therefore alternative methods are needed. Entomopathogenic fungi have been proposed as an alternative with a special focus on the cosmopolitan species Beauveria bassiana. However, few studies have analysed the effects of natural variation within fungal isolates on mosquito survival, and the implications and possible exploitation for malaria control. Laboratory bioassays were performed on adult female mosquitoes (Anopheles coluzzii) with spores from 29 isolates of B. bassiana, originating from different parts of the world. In addition, phenotypic characteristics of the fungal isolates such as sporulation, spore size and growth rate were studied to explore their relationship with virulence. All tested isolates of B. bassiana killed An. coluzzii mosquitoes, and the rate at which this happened differed significantly among the isolates. The risk of mosquitoes dying was around ten times higher when they were exposed to the most virulent as compared to the least virulent isolate. There was significant variation among isolates in spore size, growth rate and sporulation, but none of these morphological characteristics were correlated, and thus predictive, for the ability of the fungal isolate to kill malaria mosquitoes. This study shows that there is a wide natural variation in virulence of isolates of B. bassiana, and that selecting an appropriate fungal isolate is highly relevant in killing and thus controlling malaria mosquitoes, particularly if used as part of an integrated vector management strategy. Also, the wide variation observed in virulence offers the opportunity to better understand the molecular and genetic mechanisms that drive this variation and thus to address the potential development of resistance against entomopathogenic fungi.

  6. Genome-wide mapping of virulence in brown planthopper identifies loci that break down host plant resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Shengli; Zhang, Lei; Ma, Yinhua; Liu, Bingfang; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Hangjin; Zhou, Xi; Qin, Rui; Zhu, Lili; He, Guangcun

    2014-01-01

    Insects and plants have coexisted for over 350 million years and their interactions have affected ecosystems and agricultural practices worldwide. Variation in herbivorous insects' virulence to circumvent host resistance has been extensively documented. However, despite decades of investigation, the genetic foundations of virulence are currently unknown. The brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) is the most destructive rice (Oryza sativa) pest in the world. The identification of the resistance gene Bph1 and its introduction in commercial rice varieties prompted the emergence of a new virulent brown planthopper biotype that was able to break the resistance conferred by Bph1. In this study, we aimed to construct a high density linkage map for the brown planthopper and identify the loci responsible for its virulence in order to determine their genetic architecture. Based on genotyping data for hundreds of molecular markers in three mapping populations, we constructed the most comprehensive linkage map available for this species, covering 96.6% of its genome. Fifteen chromosomes were anchored with 124 gene-specific markers. Using genome-wide scanning and interval mapping, the Qhp7 locus that governs preference for Bph1 plants was mapped to a 0.1 cM region of chromosome 7. In addition, two major QTLs that govern the rate of insect growth on resistant rice plants were identified on chromosomes 5 (Qgr5) and 14 (Qgr14). This is the first study to successfully locate virulence in the genome of this important agricultural insect by marker-based genetic mapping. Our results show that the virulence which overcomes the resistance conferred by Bph1 is controlled by a few major genes and that the components of virulence originate from independent genetic characters. The isolation of these loci will enable the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the rice-brown planthopper interaction and facilitate the development of durable approaches for controlling this most

  7. Genome-wide mapping of virulence in brown planthopper identifies loci that break down host plant resistance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengli Jing

    Full Text Available Insects and plants have coexisted for over 350 million years and their interactions have affected ecosystems and agricultural practices worldwide. Variation in herbivorous insects' virulence to circumvent host resistance has been extensively documented. However, despite decades of investigation, the genetic foundations of virulence are currently unknown. The brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens is the most destructive rice (Oryza sativa pest in the world. The identification of the resistance gene Bph1 and its introduction in commercial rice varieties prompted the emergence of a new virulent brown planthopper biotype that was able to break the resistance conferred by Bph1. In this study, we aimed to construct a high density linkage map for the brown planthopper and identify the loci responsible for its virulence in order to determine their genetic architecture. Based on genotyping data for hundreds of molecular markers in three mapping populations, we constructed the most comprehensive linkage map available for this species, covering 96.6% of its genome. Fifteen chromosomes were anchored with 124 gene-specific markers. Using genome-wide scanning and interval mapping, the Qhp7 locus that governs preference for Bph1 plants was mapped to a 0.1 cM region of chromosome 7. In addition, two major QTLs that govern the rate of insect growth on resistant rice plants were identified on chromosomes 5 (Qgr5 and 14 (Qgr14. This is the first study to successfully locate virulence in the genome of this important agricultural insect by marker-based genetic mapping. Our results show that the virulence which overcomes the resistance conferred by Bph1 is controlled by a few major genes and that the components of virulence originate from independent genetic characters. The isolation of these loci will enable the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the rice-brown planthopper interaction and facilitate the development of durable approaches for

  8. Differences in Virulence Between Legionella pneumophila Isolates From Human and Non-human Sources Determined in Galleria mellonella Infection Model

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    Patrícia S. Sousa

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Legionella pneumophila is a ubiquitous bacterium in freshwater environments and in many man-made water systems capable of inducing pneumonia in humans. Despite its ubiquitous character most studies on L. pneumophila virulence focused on clinical strains and isolates from man-made environments, so little is known about the nature and extent of virulence variation in strains isolated from natural environments. It has been established that clinical isolates are less diverse than man-made and natural environmental strains, suggesting that only a subset of environmental isolates is specially adapted to infect humans. In this work we intended to determine if unrelated L. pneumophila strains, isolated from different environments and with distinct virulence-related genetic backgrounds, displayed differences in virulence, using the Wax Moth Galleria mellonella infection model. We found that all tested strains were pathogenic in G. mellonella, regardless of their origin. Indeed, a panoply of virulence-related phenotypes was observed sustaining the existence of significant differences on the ability of L. pneumophila strains to induce disease. Taken together our results suggest that the occurrence of human infection is not related with the increased capability of some strains to induce disease since we also found a concentration threshold above which L. pneumophila strains are equally able to cause disease. In addition, no link could be established between the sequence-type (ST and L. pneumophila pathogenicity. We envision that in man-made water distribution systems environmental filtering selection and biotic competition acts structuring L. pneumophila populations by selecting more resilient and adapted strains that can rise to high concentration if no control measures are implemented. Therefore, public health strategies based on the sequence based typing (STB scheme analysis should take into account that the major disease-associated clones of L

  9. Intraspecific bovine herpesvirus 1 recombinants carrying glycoprotein E deletion as a vaccine marker are virulent in cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muylkens, Benoît; Meurens, François; Schynts, Frédéric; Farnir, Frédéric; Pourchet, Aldo; Bardiau, Marjorie; Gogev, Sacha; Thiry, Julien; Cuisenaire, Adeline; Vanderplasschen, Alain; Thiry, Etienne

    2006-08-01

    Vaccines used in control programmes of Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) utilize highly attenuated BoHV-1 strains marked by a deletion of the glycoprotein E (gE) gene. Since BoHV-1 recombinants are obtained at high frequency in experimentally coinfected cattle, the consequences of recombination on the virulence of gE-negative BoHV-1 were investigated. Thus, gE-negative BoHV-1 recombinants were generated in vitro from several virulent BoHV-1 and one mutant BoHV-1 deleted in the gC and gE genes. Four gE-negative recombinants were tested in the natural host. All the recombinants were more virulent than the gE-negative BoHV-1 vaccine and the gC- and gE-negative parental BoHV-1. The gE-negative recombinant isolated from a BoHV-1 field strain induced the highest severe clinical score. Latency and reactivation studies showed that three of the recombinants were reexcreted. Recombination can therefore restore virulence of gE-negative BoHV-1 by introducing the gE deletion into a different virulence background.

  10. Caracterização bioquímica e molecular de Cryptococcus spp. isolados de excretas ambientais de pombos (Columba livia domestica

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    G. Colombo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Os pombos possuem uma rica diversidade de microrganismo, entre eles fungos sapróbios, como do gênero Cryptococcus, que podem atuar como agentes patogênicos para o homem e animais. Objetivou-se o isolamento, a caracterização bioquímica e a molecular de amostras de Cryptococcus spp. de excretas ambientas de pombos. Foram colhidas 100 amostras ambientais de pontos equidistantes e representativos da área da cidade de Araçatuba, São Paulo. As amostras foram rasteladas do solo de vias públicas, armazenadas em frasco coletor e encaminhadas para o Laboratório de Bacteriologia e Micologia da FMVA, onde foram processadas e cultivadas em duplicata, em placas de Petri contendo ágar Sabouraud dextrose a 4% e Niger. Em seguida, foram incubadas à temperatura ambiente e a 30ºC, respectivamente, por um período não inferior a 15 dias. Após a observação diária, as colônias sugestivas para levedura foram reisoladas em ágar Niger e submetidas a testes bioquímicos para posterior caracterização molecular pela técnica da PCR. Como resultado, a caracterização bioquímica e a molecular isolaram 32 colônias leveduriformes, sendo 8% dos cultivos positivos para Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans, 17% para Rhodotorula rubidae e 7% Candida albicans. Pelo exposto, concluiu-se que excretas ambientais de pombos constituem um microfoco para Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans e outras leveduras com potencial patogênico, representando um risco à saúde pública, sendo necessárias medidas preventivas, como a higienização com a correta remoção das excretas, a fim de minimizar os riscos de exposição ambiental.

  11. Cryptococcus lacticolor sp. nov. and Rhodotorula oligophaga sp. nov., novel yeasts isolated from the nasal smear microbiota of Queensland koalas kept in Japanese zoological parks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Kazuo; Maeda, Mari; Umeda, Yoshiko; Sugamata, Miho; Makimura, Koichi

    2013-07-01

    A total of 515 yeast strains were isolated from the nasal smears of Queensland koalas and their breeding environments in Japanese zoological parks between 2005 and 2012. The most frequent species in the basidiomycetous yeast biota isolated from koala nasal passages was Cryptococcus neoformans, followed by Rhodotorula minuta. R. minuta was the most frequent species in the breeding environments, while C. neoformans was rare. Seven strains representing two novel yeast species were identified. Analyses of the 26S rDNA (LSU) D1/D2 domain and nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer region sequences indicated that these strains represent new species with close phylogenetic relationships to Cryptococcus and Rhodotorula. A sexual state was not found for either of these two novel yeasts. Key phenotypic characters confirmed that these strains could be placed in Cryptococcus and Rhodotorula. The names Cryptococcus lacticolor sp. nov. (type strain TIMM 10013(T) = JCM 15449(T) = CBS 10915(T) = DSM 21093(T), DDBJ/EMBL/Genbank Accession No.; AB375774 (ITS) and AB375775 (26S rDNA D1/D2 region), MycoBank ID; MB 802688, Fungal Barcoding Database ID; 3174), and Rhodotorula oligophaga sp. nov. (type strain TIMM 10017(T) = JCM 18398(T) = CBS 12623(T) = DSM 25814(T), DDBJ/EMBL/Genbank Accession No.; AB702967 (ITS) and AB702967 (26S rDNA D1/D2 region), MycoBank ID; MB 802689, Fungal Barcoding Database ID; 3175) are proposed for these new species.

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

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    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

  13. Cryptococcus Neoformans en excretas de palomas, suelo y aire de los palomares del perímetro Urbano de Ica, 2002

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    Maria Curo

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Objetivos: Aislar e identificar las variedades de Cryptococcus neoformans que existen en excretas de palomas, suelo y ambientes aéreos del perímetro urbano de la ciudad de Ica, Perú. Materiales y métodos: Se colectaron muestras de excretas de palomas, suelo contaminado y aire de palomares entre mayo y julio del año 2002. Para el aislamiento primario se usó agar Sabouraud dextrosa con cloramfenicol. Para la identificación por especie se usaron pruebas convencionales y la determinación de la variedad se evaluó sobre el medio de cultivo agar canavanina glicina azul de bromotimol sódico. Resultados: Se obtuvieron 124 muestras procedentes de palomares de la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga de Ica, capilla del Hospital Socorro, Los viñedos de Santa María, La Victoria y San Joaquín. Se aislaron 26 cepas del género Cryptococcus de las cuales nueve cepas correspondieron a C. neoformans var. neoformans y 17 a Cryptococcus spp. La mayor frecuencia se encontró en la zona del palomar de la Facultad de Medicina. Conclusión: C. neoformans var. neoformans se encuentra en excreta y suelo de las áreas protegidas de los palomares estudiados.

  14. FIRST REPORT ON Cryptococcus neoformans IN PIGEON EXCRETA FROM PUBLIC AND RESIDENTIAL LOCATIONS IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF CUIABÁ, STATE OF MATO GROSSO, BRAZIL

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    Doracilde Terumi Takahara

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available SUMMARY Cryptococcosis is a severe systemic mycosis caused by two species of Cryptococcus that affect humans and animals: C. neoformans and C. gattii. Cosmopolitan and emergent, the mycosis results from the interaction between a susceptible host and the environment. The occurrence of C. neoformans was evaluated in 122 samples of dried pigeon excreta collected in 49 locations in the City of Cuiabá, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, including public squares (n = 5, churches (n = 4, educational institutions (n = 3, health units (n = 8, open areas covered with asbestos (n = 4, residences (n = 23, factory (n = 1 and a prison (n = 1. Samples collected from July to December of 2010 were seeded on Niger seed agar (NSA. Dark brown colonies were identified by urease test, carbon source assimilation tests and canavanine-glycine-bromothymol blue medium. Polymerase chain reaction primer pairs specific for C. neoformans were also used for identification. Cryptococcus neoformans associated to pigeon excreta was isolated from eight (6.6% samples corresponding to six (12.2% locations. Cryptococcus neoformans was isolated from urban areas, predominantly in residences, constituting a risk of acquiring the disease by immunocompromised and immunocompetent individuals.

  15. First report on Cryptococcus neoformans in pigeon excreta from public and residential locations in the metropolitan area of Cuiabá, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahara, Doracilde Terumi; Lazéra, Márcia dos Santos; Wanke, Bodo; Trilles, Luciana; Dutra, Valéria; Paula, Daphine Ariadne Jesus de; Nakazato, Luciano; Anzai, Mariana Caselli; Leite Júnior, Diniz Pereira; Paula, Claudete Rodrigues; Hahn, Rosane Christine

    2013-01-01

    Cryptococcosis is a severe systemic mycosis caused by two species of Cryptococcus that affect humans and animals: C. neoformans and C. gattii. Cosmopolitan and emergent, the mycosis results from the interaction between a susceptible host and the environment. The occurrence of C. neoformans was evaluated in 122 samples of dried pigeon excreta collected in 49 locations in the City of Cuiabá, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, including public squares (n = 5), churches (n = 4), educational institutions (n = 3), health units (n = 8), open areas covered with asbestos (n = 4), residences (n = 23), factory (n = 1) and a prison (n = 1). Samples collected from July to December of 2010 were seeded on Niger seed agar (NSA). Dark brown colonies were identified by urease test, carbon source assimilation tests and canavanine-glycine-bromothymol blue medium. Polymerase chain reaction primer pairs specific for C. neoformans were also used for identification. Cryptococcus neoformans associated to pigeon excreta was isolated from eight (6.6%) samples corresponding to six (12.2%) locations. Cryptococcus neoformans was isolated from urban areas, predominantly in residences, constituting a risk of acquiring the disease by immunocompromised and immunocompetent individuals.

  16. Cryptococcus neoformans granuloma in the lung and spinal cord of a free-ranging cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). A clinical report and literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millward, I R; Williams, M C

    2005-12-01

    A 6-year-old, male, wild-born, free-ranging cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) was evaluated for acute onset of progressive lameness in the right hind limb. Survey radiographs were unrewarding and myelography indicated an intramedullary compressive mass at the L3-L4 region. A fine needle aspirate of the lesion indicated the presence of Cryptococcus organisms. Necropsy confirmed the presence of granulomas (cryptococcoma) in the lung and the spinal cord (meningomyelitis) caused by Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii. Cryptococcus neoformans is a yeast-like organism that is a potential pathogen to many species. Initial infection is thought to be of respiratory origin and then it commonly disseminates systemically from the nasal cavity or lungs to the skin, eyes and central nervous system in particular. The cheetah tested negative for both feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), as have all the previously reported cheetah cases. C. neoformans is a non-contagious, opportunistic organism and is the most common systemic mycoses in domestic cats and the cheetah.

  17. Cryptococcus neoformans granuloma in the lung and spinal cord of a free-ranging cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus. A clinical report and literature review : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.R. Millward

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available A 6-year-old, male, wild-born, free-ranging cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus was evaluated for acute onset of progressive lameness in the right hind limb. Survey radiographs were unrewarding and myelography indicated an intramedullary compressive mass at the L3-L4 region. A fine needle aspirate of the lesion indicated the presence of Cryptococcus organisms. Necropsy confirmed the presence of granulomas (cryptococcoma in the lung and the spinal cord (meningomyelitis caused by Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii. Cryptococcus neoformans is a yeast-like organism that is a potential pathogen to many species. Initial infection is thought to be of respiratory origin and then it commonly disseminates systemically from the nasal cavity or lungs to the skin, eyes and central nervous system in particular. The cheetah tested negative for both feline leukaemia virus (FeLV and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV, as have all the previously reported cheetah cases. C. neoformans is a non-contagious, opportunistic organism and is the most common systemic mycoses in domestic cats and the cheetah.

  18. Virulence evolution at the front line of spreading epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griette, Quentin; Raoul, Gaël; Gandon, Sylvain

    2015-11-01

    Understanding and predicting the spatial spread of emerging pathogens is a major challenge for the public health management of infectious diseases. Theoretical epidemiology shows that the speed of an epidemic is governed by the life-history characteristics of the pathogen and its ability to disperse. Rapid evolution of these traits during the invasion may thus affect the speed of epidemics. Here we study the influence of virulence evolution on the spatial spread of an epidemic. At the edge of the invasion front, we show that more virulent and transmissible genotypes are expected to win the competition with other pathogens. Behind the front line, however, more prudent exploitation strategies outcompete virulent pathogens. Crucially, even when the presence of the virulent mutant is limited to the edge of the front, the invasion speed can be dramatically altered by pathogen evolution. We support our analysis with individual-based simulations and we discuss the additional effects of demographic stochasticity taking place at the front line on virulence evolution. We confirm that an increase of virulence can occur at the front, but only if the carrying capacity of the invading pathogen is large enough. These results are discussed in the light of recent empirical studies examining virulence evolution at the edge of spreading epidemics. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  19. Toxin-independent virulence of Bacillus anthracis in rabbits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Levy

    Full Text Available The accepted paradigm states that anthrax is both an invasive and toxinogenic disease and that the toxins play a major role in pathogenicity. In the guinea pig (GP model we have previously shown that deletion of all three toxin components results in a relatively moderate attenuation in virulence, indicating that B. anthracis possesses an additional toxin-independent virulence mechanism. To characterize this toxin-independent mechanism in anthrax disease, we developed a new rabbit model by intravenous injection (IV of B. anthracis encapsulated vegetative cells, artificially creating bacteremia. Using this model we were able to demonstrate that also in rabbits, B. anthracis mutants lacking the toxins are capable of killing the host within 24 hours. This virulent trait depends on the activity of AtxA in the presence of pXO2, as, in the absence of the toxin genes, deletion of either component abolishes virulence. Furthermore, this IV virulence depends mainly on AtxA rather than the whole pXO1. A similar pattern was shown in the GP model using subcutaneous (SC administration of spores of the mutant strains, demonstrating the generality of the phenomenon. The virulent strains showed higher bacteremia levels and more efficient tissue dissemination; however our interpretation is that tissue dissemination per se is not the main determinant of virulence whose exact nature requires further elucidation.

  20. A virulent parent with probiotic progeny: comparative genomics of Escherichia coli strains CFT073, Nissle 1917 and ABU 83972

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vejborg, Rebecca Munk; Friis, Carsten; Hancock, Viktoria

    2010-01-01

    Escherichia coli is a highly versatile species encompassing a diverse spectrum of strains, i.e. from highly virulent isolates causing serious infectious diseases to commensals and probiotic strains. Although much is known about bacterial pathogenicity in E. coli, the understanding of which geneti...

  1. Polyamines Are Required for Virulence in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jelsbak, Lotte; Thomsen, Line Elnif; Wallrodt, Inke

    2012-01-01

    for studying typhoid fever. Central to its virulence are two major virulence loci Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1 and 2 (SPI1 and SPI2). SPI1 promotes invasion of epithelial cells, whereas SPI2 enables S. Typhimurium to survive and proliferate within specialized compartments inside host cells. In this study......, we show that an S. Typhimurium polyamine mutant is defective for invasion, intracellular survival, killing of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and systemic infection of the mouse model of typhoid fever. Virulence of the mutant could be restored by genetic complementation, and invasion...

  2. Distribution of virulence determinants among antimicrobial-resistant and antimicrobial-susceptible Escherichia coli implicated in urinary tract infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Sam; Brown, P D

    2016-01-01

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) rely on the correlation of virulence expression with antimicrobial resistance to persist and cause severe urinary tract infections (UTIs). We assessed the virulence pattern and prevalence among UPEC strains susceptible and resistant to multiple antimicrobial classes. A total of 174 non-duplicate UPEC strains from patients with clinically significant UTIs were analysed for susceptibility to aminoglycoside, antifolate, cephalosporin, nitrofuran and quinolone antibiotics for the production of extended-spectrum β-lactamases and for the presence of six virulence determinants encoding adhesins (afimbrial, Type 1 fimbriae, P and S-fimbriae) and toxins (cytotoxic necrotising factor and haemolysin). Relatively high resistance rates to nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, cephalothin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (82%, 78%, 62% and 59%, respectively) were observed. Fourteen distinct patterns were identified for the virulence determinants such as afaBC, cnfI, fimH, hylA, papEF and sfaDE. The toxin gene, cnfI (75.3%), was the second most prevalent marker to the adhesin, fimH (97.1%). The significant association of sfaDE/hylA (P < 0.01) among antimicrobial resistant and susceptible strains was also observed notwithstanding an overall greater occurrence of virulence factors among the latter. This study provides a snapshot of UPEC complexity in Jamaica and highlights the significant clonal heterogeneity among strains. Such outcomes emphasise the need for evidence-based strategies in the effective management and control of UTIs.

  3. CK2 Secreted by Leishmania braziliensis Mediates Macrophage Association Invasion: A Comparative Study between Virulent and Avirulent Promastigotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Madeira Brito Zylbersztejn

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available CK2 is a protein kinase distributed in different compartments of Leishmania braziliensis: an externally oriented ecto-CK2, an intracellular CK2, and a secreted CK2. This latter form is constitutively secreted from the parasite (CsCK2, but such secretion may be highly enhanced by the association of specific molecules, including enzyme substrates, which lead to a higher enzymatic activity, called inductively secreted CK2 (IsCK2. Here, we examined the influence of secreted CK2 (sCK2 activity on the infectivity of a virulent L. braziliensis strain. The virulent strain presented 121-fold higher total CK2 activity than those found in an avirulent strain. The use of specific CK2 inhibitors (TBB, DRB, or heparin inhibited virulent parasite growth, whereas no effect was observed in the avirulent parasites. When these inhibitors were added to the interaction assays between the virulent L. braziliensis strain and macrophages, association index was drastically inhibited. Polyamines enhanced sCK2 activity and increased the association index between parasites and macrophages. Finally, sCK2 and the supernatant of the virulent strain increased the association index between the avirulent strain and macrophages, which was inhibited by TBB. Thus, the kinase enzyme CK2 seems to be important to invasion mechanisms of L. braziliensis.

  4. Virulence Studies of Different Sequence Types and Geographical Origins of Streptococcus suis Serotype 2 in a Mouse Model of Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Philippe Auger

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Multilocus sequence typing previously identified three predominant sequence types (STs of Streptococcus suis serotype 2: ST1 strains predominate in Eurasia while North American (NA strains are generally ST25 and ST28. However, ST25/ST28 and ST1 strains have also been isolated in Asia and NA, respectively. Using a well-standardized mouse model of infection, the virulence of strains belonging to different STs and different geographical origins was evaluated. Results demonstrated that although a certain tendency may be observed, S. suis serotype 2 virulence is difficult to predict based on ST and geographical origin alone; strains belonging to the same ST presented important differences of virulence and did not always correlate with origin. The only exception appears to be NA ST28 strains, which were generally less virulent in both systemic and central nervous system (CNS infection models. Persistent and high levels of bacteremia accompanied by elevated CNS inflammation are required to cause meningitis. Although widely used, in vitro tests such as phagocytosis and killing assays require further standardization in order to be used as predictive tests for evaluating virulence of strains. The use of strains other than archetypal strains has increased our knowledge and understanding of the S. suis serotype 2 population dynamics.

  5. Prevalência de Cryptococcus neoformans nos pombos urbanos da cidade de Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul Prevalence of Cryptococcus neoformans in urban pigeons of Porto Alegre (RS, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Reolon

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans, levedura encapsulada, é o agente etiológico da criptococose em humanos e animais. A variedade neoformans, encontrada em fontes ambientais, incluindo fezes de pombos, é importante causa de mortalidade em indivíduos imunodeprimidos em todo o mundo. Contudo, ainda não há estudos sobre sua ecologia na cidade de Porto Alegre, onde se tem registro da ocorrência de casos humanos dessa micose. Para pesquisar fontes saprofíticas de C. neoformans na cidade de Porto Alegre, foram coletadas 88 amostras de excretas de pombos em distintas praças da cidade. Suspensões das amostras em salina estéril foram semeadas em placas com meio ágar Sabouraud e incubadas em estufa a temperaturas entre 29 e 30,5°C. Após cinco dias, colônias mucóides foram subcultivadas para identificação através de provas morfofisiológicas. O fungo C. neoformans foi isolado em 88 (100% das amostras avaliadas, confirmando sua ocorrência nos pombos que habitam as praças da cidade.Cryptococcus neoformans is an encapsulated yeast, causing cryptococcosis in human beings and animals. The variety neoformans, found in environmental sources, including pigeon excrements, is an important cause of mortality in immunocompromised individuals in the whole world. However, there are still no studies on its ecology in the city of Porto Alegre, where register of the occurrence of human cases of this mycosis is found. To study the saprophitic sources of C. neoformans in the city of Porto Alegre, 88 samples of avian excreta have been collected in distinct squares. Suspension of the samples in sterile saline solution had been planted in plates with Sabouraud agar and incubated in stove at 29-30.5°C. After five days mucoid colonies were subcultived for identification through morphologic and physiologic tests. C. neoformans was isolated in 88 (100% of the samples, proving its occurrence in the pigeons that inhabit the squares of that city.

  6. Novel Burkholderia mallei Virulence Factors Linked to Specific Host-Pathogen Protein Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-23

    equine hosts. Thus, the genes retained in B. mallei share a high sequence similarity to genes common to B. pseudomallei (3), and many virulence...oppor- tunistic infections in mammalian hosts. Even for the equine - adapted and, thus, more genetically constrained, B. mallei pathogen, we cannot...BioDrugs: Clin. Immunotherapeut., Biopharmaceut. Gene Therapy 17, 413–424 88. Anderson, D. M., and Frank, D. W. (2012) Five mechanisms of manipula

  7. C. elegans as a virulence model for E. coli strain 042

    OpenAIRE

    Kjærbo, Rasmus E. R.; Godballe, Troels; Hansen, Klaus G.; Petersen, Pernille D.; Tikander, Emil

    2010-01-01

    During the last decade the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been used to model the pathogenesis of several bacterial species. The emerging pathogen enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is a considerable cause of both acute and persistent diarrhea worldwide. Travellers to developing countries, immunocompromised people and young children are high-risk groups prone to infection. Virulence models using C. elegans might provide valuable information about the host-pathogen interactions whic...

  8. Elements in the canine distemper virus M 3' UTR contribute to control of replication efficiency and virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle E Anderson

    Full Text Available Canine distemper virus (CDV is a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA virus within the genus Morbillivirus and the family Paramyxoviridae. The Morbillivirus genome is composed of six transcriptional units that are separated by untranslated regions (UTRs, which are relatively uniform in length, with the exception of the UTR between the matrix (M and fusion (F genes. This UTR is at least three times longer and in the case of CDV also highly variable. Exchange of the M-F region between different CDV strains did not affect virulence or disease phenotype, demonstrating that this region is functionally interchangeable. Viruses carrying the deletions in the M 3' UTR replicated more efficiently, which correlated with a reduction of virulence, suggesting that overall length as well as specific sequence motifs distributed throughout the region contribute to virulence.

  9. Exploiting amoeboid and non-vertebrate animal model systems to study the virulence of human pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Casadevall, Arturo; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2007-07-27

    Experiments with insects, protozoa, nematodes, and slime molds have recently come to the forefront in the study of host-fungal interactions. Many of the virulence factors required for pathogenicity in mammals are also important for fungal survival during interactions with non-vertebrate hosts, suggesting that fungal virulence may have evolved, and been maintained, as a countermeasure to environmental predation by amoebae and nematodes and other small non-vertebrates that feed on microorganisms. Host innate immune responses are also broadly conserved across many phyla. The study of the interaction between invertebrate model hosts and pathogenic fungi therefore provides insights into the mechanisms underlying pathogen virulence and host immunity, and complements the use of mammalian models by enabling whole-animal high throughput infection assays. This review aims to assist researchers in identifying appropriate invertebrate systems for the study of particular aspects of fungal pathogenesis.

  10. Exploiting amoeboid and non-vertebrate animal model systems to study the virulence of human pathogenic fungi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleftherios Mylonakis

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Experiments with insects, protozoa, nematodes, and slime molds have recently come to the forefront in the study of host-fungal interactions. Many of the virulence factors required for pathogenicity in mammals are also important for fungal survival during interactions with non-vertebrate hosts, suggesting that fungal virulence may have evolved, and been maintained, as a countermeasure to environmental predation by amoebae and nematodes and other small non-vertebrates that feed on microorganisms. Host innate immune responses are also broadly conserved across many phyla. The study of the interaction between invertebrate model hosts and pathogenic fungi therefore provides insights into the mechanisms underlying pathogen virulence and host immunity, and complements the use of mammalian models by enabling whole-animal high throughput infection assays. This review aims to assist researchers in identifying appropriate invertebrate systems for the study of particular aspects of fungal pathogenesis.

  11. A novel pAA virulence plasmid encoding toxins and two distinct variants of the fimbriae of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jønsson, Rie; Struve, Carsten; Boll, Erik J.

    2017-01-01

    phylogenetically distinct, strains harboring the major pilin subunits from both AAF/III and AAF/V. Whole-genome and plasmid sequencing revealed that in these six strains the agg3A and agg5A genes were located on a novel pAA plasmid variant. Moreover, the plasmid also encoded several other virulence genes including...... some not previously found on pAA plasmids. Thus, this plasmid endows the host strains with a remarkably high number of EAEC associated virulence genes hereby likely promoting strain pathogenicity....

  12. Caenorhabditis elegans reveals novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utari, Putri Dwi; Quax, Wim J.

    The susceptibility of Caenorhabditis elegans to different virulent phenotypes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa makes the worms an excellent model for studying host-pathogen interactions. Including the recently described liquid killing, five different killing assays are now available offering superb

  13. Helicobacter pylori virulence factors in development of gastric carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ming-Yi; Liu, Xiao-Fei; Gao, Xiao-Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of gastric carcinoma. However, only a relatively small proportion of individuals infected with H. pylori develop gastric carcinoma. Differences in the incidence of gastric carcinoma among infected individuals can be explained, at least partly, by the different genotypes of H. pylori virulence factors. Thus far, many virulence factors of H. pylori, such as Cag PAI, VacA, OMPs and DupA, have been reported to be involved in the development of gastric cancer. The risk of developing gastric cancer during H. pylori infection is affected by specific host-microbe interactions that are independent of H. pylori virulence factors. In this review, we discuss virulence factors of H. pylori and their role in