WorldWideScience

Sample records for host specific virulence

  1. Mixed infections reveal virulence differences between host-specific bee pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinger, Ellen G; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Welker, Dennis L; James, Rosalind R

    2015-07-01

    Dynamics of host-pathogen interactions are complex, often influencing the ecology, evolution and behavior of both the host and pathogen. In the natural world, infections with multiple pathogens are common, yet due to their complexity, interactions can be difficult to predict and study. Mathematical models help facilitate our understanding of these evolutionary processes, but empirical data are needed to test model assumptions and predictions. We used two common theoretical models regarding mixed infections (superinfection and co-infection) to determine which model assumptions best described a group of fungal pathogens closely associated with bees. We tested three fungal species, Ascosphaera apis, Ascosphaera aggregata and Ascosphaera larvis, in two bee hosts (Apis mellifera and Megachile rotundata). Bee survival was not significantly different in mixed infections vs. solo infections with the most virulent pathogen for either host, but fungal growth within the host was significantly altered by mixed infections. In the host A. mellifera, only the most virulent pathogen was present in the host post-infection (indicating superinfective properties). In M. rotundata, the most virulent pathogen co-existed with the lesser-virulent one (indicating co-infective properties). We demonstrated that the competitive outcomes of mixed infections were host-specific, indicating strong host specificity among these fungal bee pathogens. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Host specific glycans are correlated with susceptibility to infection by lagoviruses, but not with their virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Ana M; Breiman, Adrien; Lora, Mónica; Le Moullac-Vaidye, Béatrice; Galanina, Oxana; Nyström, Kristina; Marchandeau, Stephane; Le Gall-Reculé, Ghislaine; Strive, Tanja; Neimanis, Aleksija; Bovin, Nicolai V; Ruvoën-Clouet, Nathalie; Esteves, Pedro J; Abrantes, Joana; Le Pendu, Jacques

    2017-11-29

    The rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) and the European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) are two lagoviruses from the family Caliciviridae that cause fatal diseases in two leporid genera, Oryctolagus and Lepus , respectively. In the last few years, several examples of host jumps of lagoviruses among leporids were recorded. In addition, a new pathogenic genotype of RHDV emerged and many non-pathogenic strains of lagoviruses have been described. The molecular mechanisms behind host shifts and the emergence of virulence are unknown. Since RHDV uses glycans of the histo-blood group antigen type as attachment factors to initiate infection, we studied if glycan specificities of the new pathogenic RHDV genotype, non-pathogenic lagoviruses and EBHSV potentially play a role in determining host range and virulence of lagoviruses. We observed binding to A, B or H antigens of the histo-blood group family for all strains known to primarily infect European rabbits ( Oryctolagus cuniculus ), that have recently been classified as GI strains. Yet, we could not explain the emergence of virulence since similar glycan specificities were found between several pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains. By contrast, EBHSV, recently classified as GII.1, bound to terminal β-linked N-acetylglucosamine residues of O-glycans. Expression of these attachment factors in the upper respiratory and digestive tracts in three lagomorph species ( Oryctolagus cuniculus, Lepus europaeus and Sylvilagus floridanus ) showed species-specific patterns regarding the susceptibility to infection by these viruses, indicating that species-specific glycan expression is likely a major contributor to lagoviruses host specificity and range. IMPORTANCE Lagoviruses constitute a genus of the Caliciviridae family, comprising highly pathogenic viruses, RHDV and EBHSV, which infect rabbits and hares, respectively. Recently, non-pathogenic strains were discovered and new pathogenic strains have emerged. In addition, host

  3. 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

  4. An Aphid Effector Targets Trafficking Protein VPS52 in a Host-Specific Manner to Promote Virulence1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Plant- and animal-feeding insects secrete saliva inside their hosts, containing effectors, which may promote nutrient release and suppress immunity. Although for plant pathogenic microbes it is well established that effectors target host proteins to modulate host cell processes and promote disease, the host cell targets of herbivorous insects remain elusive. Here, we show that the existing plant pathogenic microbe effector paradigm can be extended to herbivorous insects in that effector-target interactions inside host cells modify critical host processes to promote plant susceptibility. We showed that the effector Mp1 from Myzus persicae associates with the host Vacuolar Protein Sorting Associated Protein52 (VPS52). Using natural variants, we provide a strong link between effector virulence activity and association with VPS52, and show that the association is highly specific to M. persicae-host interactions. Also, coexpression of Mp1, but not Mp1-like variants, specifically with host VPS52s resulted in effector relocalization to vesicle-like structures that associate with prevacuolar compartments. We show that high VPS52 levels negatively impact virulence, and that aphids are able to reduce VPS52 levels during infestation, indicating that VPS52 is an important virulence target. Our work is an important step forward in understanding, at the molecular level, how a major agricultural pest promotes susceptibility during infestation of crop plants. We give evidence that an herbivorous insect employs effectors that interact with host proteins as part of an effective virulence strategy, and that these effectors likely function in a species-specific manner. PMID:28100451

  5. An Aphid Effector Targets Trafficking Protein VPS52 in a Host-Specific Manner to Promote Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Patricia A; Escudero-Martinez, Carmen; Bos, Jorunn I B

    2017-03-01

    Plant- and animal-feeding insects secrete saliva inside their hosts, containing effectors, which may promote nutrient release and suppress immunity. Although for plant pathogenic microbes it is well established that effectors target host proteins to modulate host cell processes and promote disease, the host cell targets of herbivorous insects remain elusive. Here, we show that the existing plant pathogenic microbe effector paradigm can be extended to herbivorous insects in that effector-target interactions inside host cells modify critical host processes to promote plant susceptibility. We showed that the effector Mp1 from Myzus persicae associates with the host Vacuolar Protein Sorting Associated Protein52 (VPS52). Using natural variants, we provide a strong link between effector virulence activity and association with VPS52, and show that the association is highly specific to M persicae -host interactions. Also, coexpression of Mp1, but not Mp1-like variants, specifically with host VPS52s resulted in effector relocalization to vesicle-like structures that associate with prevacuolar compartments. We show that high VPS52 levels negatively impact virulence, and that aphids are able to reduce VPS52 levels during infestation, indicating that VPS52 is an important virulence target. Our work is an important step forward in understanding, at the molecular level, how a major agricultural pest promotes susceptibility during infestation of crop plants. We give evidence that an herbivorous insect employs effectors that interact with host proteins as part of an effective virulence strategy, and that these effectors likely function in a species-specific manner. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  6. 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).

  7. Host age modulates parasite infectivity, virulence and reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izhar, Rony; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-07-01

    Host age is one of the most striking differences among hosts within most populations, but there is very little data on how age-dependent effects impact ecological and evolutionary dynamics of both the host and the parasite. Here, we examined the influence of host age (juveniles, young and old adults) at parasite exposure on host susceptibility, fecundity and survival as well as parasite transmission, using two clones of the water flea Daphnia magna and two clones of its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa. Younger D. magna were more susceptible to infection than older ones, regardless of host or parasite clone. Also, younger-infected D. magna became castrated faster than older hosts, but host and parasite clone effects contributed to this trait as well. Furthermore, the early-infected D. magna produced considerably more parasite transmission stages than late-infected ones, while host age at exposure did not affect virulence as it is defined in models (host mortality). When virulence is defined more broadly as the negative effects of infection on host fitness, by integrating the parasitic effects on host fecundity and mortality, then host age at exposure seems to slide along a negative relationship between host and parasite fitness. Thus, the virulence-transmission trade-off differs strongly among age classes, which in turn affects predictions of optimal virulence. Age-dependent effects on host susceptibility, virulence and parasite transmission could pose an important challenge for experimental and theoretical studies of infectious disease dynamics and disease ecology. Our results present a call for a more explicit stage-structured theory for disease, which will incorporate age-dependent epidemiological parameters. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  8. The expression and evolution of virulence in multiple infections: the role of specificity, relative virulence and relative dose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Ami, Frida; Routtu, Jarkko

    2013-05-03

    Multiple infections of the same host by different strains of the same microparasite species are believed to play a crucial role during the evolution of parasite virulence. We investigated the role of specificity, relative virulence and relative dose in determining the competitive outcome of multiple infections in the Daphnia magna-Pasteuria ramosa host-parasite system. We found that infections by P. ramosa clones (single genotype) were less virulent and produced more spores than infections by P. ramosa isolates (possibly containing multiple genotypes). We also found that two similarly virulent isolates of P. ramosa differed considerably in their within-host competitiveness and their effects on host offspring production when faced with coinfecting P. ramosa isolates and clones. Although the relative virulence of a P. ramosa isolate/clone appears to be a good indicator of its competitiveness during multiple infections, the relative dose may alter the competitive outcome. Moreover, spore counts on day 20 post-infection indicate that the competitive outcome is largely decided early in the parasite's growth phase, possibly mediated by direct interference or apparent competition. Our results emphasize the importance of epidemiology as well as of various parasite traits in determining the outcome of within-host competition. Incorporating realistic epidemiological and ecological conditions when testing theoretical models of multiple infections, as well as using a wider range of host and parasite genotypes, will enable us to better understand the course of virulence evolution.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Genome-Wide Transposon Mutagenesis Indicates that Mycobacterium marinum Customizes Its Virulence Mechanisms for Survival and Replication in Different Hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Weerdenburg, Eveline M.; Abdallah, Abdallah; Rangkuti, Farania; Abd El Ghany, Moataz; Otto, Thomas D.; Adroub, Sabir; Molenaar, Douwe; Ummels, Roy; ter Veen, Kars; van Stempvoort, Gunny; van der Sar, Astrid M.; Ali, Shahjahan; Langridge, Gemma C.; Thomson, Nicholas R.; Pain, Arnab; Bitter, Wilbert

    2015-01-01

    the type VII protein secretion system ESX-1, biosynthesis of polyketide lipids, and utilization of sterols. However, we were also able to show that M. marinum contains an even larger set of host-specific virulence determinants, including proteins involved

  12. Comparative genomics using microarrays reveals divergence and loss of virulence-associated genes in host-specific strains of the insect pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Sibao; Leclerque, Andreas; Pava-Ripoll, Monica; Fang, Weiguo; St Leger, Raymond J

    2009-06-01

    Many strains of Metarhizium anisopliae have broad host ranges, but others are specialists and adapted to particular hosts. Patterns of gene duplication, divergence, and deletion in three generalist and three specialist strains were investigated by heterologous hybridization of genomic DNA to genes from the generalist strain Ma2575. As expected, major life processes are highly conserved, presumably due to purifying selection. However, up to 7% of Ma2575 genes were highly divergent or absent in specialist strains. Many of these sequences are conserved in other fungal species, suggesting that there has been rapid evolution and loss in specialist Metarhizium genomes. Some poorly hybridizing genes in specialists were functionally coordinated, indicative of reductive evolution. These included several involved in toxin biosynthesis and sugar metabolism in root exudates, suggesting that specialists are losing genes required to live in alternative hosts or as saprophytes. Several components of mobile genetic elements were also highly divergent or lost in specialists. Exceptionally, the genome of the specialist cricket pathogen Ma443 contained extra insertion elements that might play a role in generating evolutionary novelty. This study throws light on the abundance of orphans in genomes, as 15% of orphan sequences were found to be rapidly evolving in the Ma2575 lineage.

  13. Coregulation of host-adapted metabolism and virulence by pathogenic yersiniae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann Kathrin eHeroven

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Deciphering the principles how pathogenic bacteria adapt their metabolism to a specific host microenvironment is critical for understanding bacterial pathogenesis. The enteric pathogenic Yersinia species Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica and the causative agent of plague, Y. pestis, are able to survive in a large variety of environmental reservoirs (e.g. soil, plants, insects as well as warm-blooded animals (e.g. rodents, pigs, humans with a particular preference for lymphatic tissues. In order to manage rapidly changing environmental conditions and inter-bacterial competition, Yersinia senses the nutritional composition during the course of an infection by special molecular devices, integrates this information and adapts its metabolism accordingly. In addition, nutrient availability has an impact on expression of virulence genes in response to C-sources, demonstrating a tight link between the pathogenicity of yersiniae and utilization of nutrients. Recent studies revealed that global regulatory factors such as the cAMP receptor protein (Crp and the carbon storage regulator (Csr system are part of a large network of transcriptional and posttranscriptional control strategies adjusting metabolic changes and virulence in response to temperature, ion and nutrient availability. Gained knowledge about the specific metabolic requirements and the correlation between metabolic and virulence gene expression that enable efficient host colonization led to the identification of new potential antimicrobial targets.

  14. Coregulation of host-adapted metabolism and virulence by pathogenic yersiniae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heroven, Ann Kathrin; Dersch, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Deciphering the principles how pathogenic bacteria adapt their metabolism to a specific host microenvironment is critical for understanding bacterial pathogenesis. The enteric pathogenic Yersinia species Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica and the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis, are able to survive in a large variety of environmental reservoirs (e.g., soil, plants, insects) as well as warm-blooded animals (e.g., rodents, pigs, humans) with a particular preference for lymphatic tissues. In order to manage rapidly changing environmental conditions and interbacterial competition, Yersinia senses the nutritional composition during the course of an infection by special molecular devices, integrates this information and adapts its metabolism accordingly. In addition, nutrient availability has an impact on expression of virulence genes in response to C-sources, demonstrating a tight link between the pathogenicity of yersiniae and utilization of nutrients. Recent studies revealed that global regulatory factors such as the cAMP receptor protein (Crp) and the carbon storage regulator (Csr) system are part of a large network of transcriptional and posttranscriptional control strategies adjusting metabolic changes and virulence in response to temperature, ion and nutrient availability. Gained knowledge about the specific metabolic requirements and the correlation between metabolic and virulence gene expression that enable efficient host colonization led to the identification of new potential antimicrobial targets. PMID:25368845

  15. Cystic fibrosis-niche adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa reduces virulence in multiple infection hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Ivan Lorè

    Full Text Available The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is able to thrive in diverse ecological niches and to cause serious human infection. P. aeruginosa environmental strains are producing various virulence factors that are required for establishing acute infections in several host organisms; however, the P. aeruginosa phenotypic variants favour long-term persistence in the cystic fibrosis (CF airways. Whether P. aeruginosa strains, which have adapted to the CF-niche, have lost their competitive fitness in the other environment remains to be investigated. In this paper, three P. aeruginosa clonal lineages, including early strains isolated at the onset of infection, and late strains, isolated after several years of chronic lung infection from patients with CF, were analysed in multi-host model systems of acute infection. P. aeruginosa early isolates caused lethality in the three non-mammalian hosts, namely Caenorhabditis elegans, Galleria mellonella, and Drosophila melanogaster, while late adapted clonal isolates were attenuated in acute virulence. When two different mouse genetic background strains, namely C57Bl/6NCrl and Balb/cAnNCrl, were used as acute infection models, early P. aeruginosa CF isolates were lethal, while late isolates exhibited reduced or abolished acute virulence. Severe histopathological lesions, including high leukocytes recruitment and bacterial load, were detected in the lungs of mice infected with P. aeruginosa CF early isolates, while late isolates were progressively cleared. In addition, systemic bacterial spread and invasion of epithelial cells, which were detected for P. aeruginosa CF early strains, were not observed with late strains. Our findings indicate that niche-specific selection in P. aeruginosa reduced its ability to cause acute infections across a broad range of hosts while maintaining the capacity for chronic infection in the CF host.

  16. The host-encoded Heme Regulated Inhibitor (HRI facilitates virulence-associated activities of bacterial pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niraj Shrestha

    Full Text Available Here we show that cells lacking the heme-regulated inhibitor (HRI are highly resistant to infection by bacterial pathogens. By examining the infection process in wild-type and HRI null cells, we found that HRI is required for pathogens to execute their virulence-associated cellular activities. Specifically, unlike wild-type cells, HRI null cells infected with the gram-negative bacterial pathogen Yersinia are essentially impervious to the cytoskeleton-damaging effects of the Yop virulence factors. This effect is due to reduced functioning of the Yersinia type 3 secretion (T3S system which injects virulence factors directly into the host cell cytosol. Reduced T3S activity is also observed in HRI null cells infected with the bacterial pathogen Chlamydia which results in a dramatic reduction in its intracellular proliferation. We go on to show that a HRI-mediated process plays a central role in the cellular infection cycle of the Gram-positive pathogen Listeria. For this pathogen, HRI is required for the post-invasion trafficking of the bacterium to the infected host cytosol. Thus by depriving Listeria of its intracellular niche, there is a highly reduced proliferation of Listeria in HRI null cells. We provide evidence that these infection-associated functions of HRI (an eIF2α kinase are independent of its activity as a regulator of protein synthesis. This is the first report of a host factor whose absence interferes with the function of T3S secretion and cytosolic access by pathogens and makes HRI an excellent target for inhibitors due to its broad virulence-associated activities.

  17. Identification and Structural Basis of Binding to Host Lung Glycogen by Streptococcal Virulence Factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lammerts van Bueren,A.; Higgins, M.; Wang, D.; Burke, R.; Boraston, A.

    2007-01-01

    The ability of pathogenic bacteria to recognize host glycans is often essential to their virulence. Here we report structure-function studies of previously uncharacterized glycogen-binding modules in the surface-anchored pullulanases from Streptococcus pneumoniae (SpuA) and Streptococcus pyogenes (PulA). Multivalent binding to glycogen leads to a strong interaction with alveolar type II cells in mouse lung tissue. X-ray crystal structures of the binding modules reveal a novel fusion of tandem modules into single, bivalent functional domains. In addition to indicating a structural basis for multivalent attachment, the structure of the SpuA modules in complex with carbohydrate provides insight into the molecular basis for glycogen specificity. This report provides the first evidence that intracellular lung glycogen may be a novel target of pathogenic streptococci and thus provides a rationale for the identification of the streptococcal {alpha}-glucan-metabolizing machinery as virulence factors.

  18. 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.

  19. Virulence on the fly: Drosophila melanogaster as a model genetic organism to decipher host-pathogen interactions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Limmer, S.; Quintin, J.; Hetru, C.; Ferrandon, D.

    2011-01-01

    To gain an in-depth grasp of infectious processes one has to know the specific interactions between the virulence factors of the pathogen and the host defense mechanisms. A thorough understanding is crucial for identifying potential new drug targets and designing drugs against which the pathogens

  20. Comparative Genomics of Rhodococcus equi Virulence Plasmids Indicates Host-Driven Evolution of the vap Pathogenicity Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacArthur, Iain; Anastasi, Elisa; Alvarez, Sonsiray; Scortti, Mariela; Vázquez-Boland, José A

    2017-05-01

    The conjugative virulence plasmid is a key component of the Rhodococcus equi accessory genome essential for pathogenesis. Three host-associated virulence plasmid types have been identified the equine pVAPA and porcine pVAPB circular variants, and the linear pVAPN found in bovine (ruminant) isolates. We recently characterized the R. equi pangenome (Anastasi E, et al. 2016. Pangenome and phylogenomic analysis of the pathogenic actinobacterium Rhodococcus equi. Genome Biol Evol. 8:3140-3148.) and we report here the comparative analysis of the virulence plasmid genomes. Plasmids within each host-associated type were highly similar despite their diverse origins. Variation was accounted for by scattered single nucleotide polymorphisms and short nucleotide indels, while larger indels-mostly in the plasticity region near the vap pathogencity island (PAI)-defined plasmid genomic subtypes. Only one of the plasmids analyzed, of pVAPN type, was exceptionally divergent due to accumulation of indels in the housekeeping backbone. Each host-associated plasmid type carried a unique PAI differing in vap gene complement, suggesting animal host-specific evolution of the vap multigene family. Complete conservation of the vap PAI was observed within each host-associated plasmid type. Both diversity of host-associated plasmid types and clonality of specific chromosomal-plasmid genomic type combinations were observed within the same R. equi phylogenomic subclade. Our data indicate that the overall strong conservation of the R. equi host-associated virulence plasmids is the combined result of host-driven selection, lateral transfer between strains, and geographical spread due to international livestock exchanges. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  1. Host-Nonspecific Iron Acquisition Systems and Virulence in the Zoonotic Serovar of Vibrio vulnificus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajuelo, David; Lee, Chung-Te; Roig, Francisco J.; Lemos, Manuel L.; Hor, Lien-I

    2014-01-01

    The zoonotic serovar of Vibrio vulnificus (known as biotype 2 serovar E) is the etiological agent of human and fish vibriosis. The aim of the present work was to discover the role of the vulnibactin- and hemin-dependent iron acquisition systems in the pathogenicity of this zoonotic serovar under the hypothesis that both are host-nonspecific virulence factors. To this end, we selected three genes for three outer membrane receptors (vuuA, a receptor for ferric vulnibactin, and hupA and hutR, two hemin receptors), obtained single and multiple mutants as well as complemented strains, and tested them in a series of in vitro and in vivo assays, using eels and mice as animal models. The overall results confirm that hupA and vuuA, but not hutR, are host-nonspecific virulence genes and suggest that a third undescribed host-specific plasmid-encoded system could also be used by the zoonotic serovar in fish. hupA and vuuA were expressed in the internal organs of the animals in the first 24 h of infection, suggesting that they may be needed to achieve the population size required to trigger fatal septicemia. vuuA and hupA were sequenced in strains representative of the genetic diversity of this species, and their phylogenies were reconstructed by multilocus sequence analysis of selected housekeeping and virulence genes as a reference. Given the overall results, we suggest that both genes might form part of the core genes essential not only for disease development but also for the survival of this species in its natural reservoir, the aquatic environment. PMID:24478087

  2. Fitness and virulence of a bacterial endoparasite in an environmentally stressed crustacean host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coors, Anja; De Meester, Luc

    2011-01-01

    Host-parasite interactions are shaped by the co-evolutionary arms race of parasite virulence, transmission success as well as host resistance and recovery. The virulence and fitness of parasites may depend on host condition, which is mediated, for instance, by host energy constraints. Here, we investigated to what extent stress imposed by predation threat and environmental pollutants influences host-parasite interactions. We challenged the crustacean host Daphnia magna with the sterilizing bacterial endoparasite Pasteuria ramosa and simultaneously exposed the host to fish kairomones, the pesticide carbaryl or both stressors. While parasite virulence, measured as impact on host mortality and sterilization, increased markedly after short-term pesticide exposure, it was not influenced by predation threat. Parasite fitness, measured in terms of produced transmission stages, decreased both in fish and pesticide treatments. This effect was much stronger under predation threat than carbaryl exposure, and was attributable to reduced somatic growth of the host, presumably resulting in fewer resources for parasite development. While the indirect impact of both stressors on spore loads provides evidence for host condition-dependent parasite fitness, the finding of increased virulence only under carbaryl exposure indicates a stronger physiological impact of the neurotoxic chemical compared with the effect of a non-toxic fish kairomone.

  3. Genome-Wide Transposon Mutagenesis Indicates that Mycobacterium marinum Customizes Its Virulence Mechanisms for Survival and Replication in Different Hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Weerdenburg, Eveline M.

    2015-02-17

    The interaction of environmental bacteria with unicellular eukaryotes is generally considered a major driving force for the evolution of intracellular pathogens, allowing them to survive and replicate in phagocytic cells of vertebrate hosts. To test this hypothesis on a genome-wide level, we determined for the intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium marinum whether it uses conserved strategies to exploit host cells from both protozoan and vertebrate origin. Using transposon-directed insertion site sequencing (TraDIS), we determined differences in genetic requirements for survival and replication in phagocytic cells of organisms from different kingdoms. In line with the general hypothesis, we identified a number of general virulence mechanisms, including the type VII protein secretion system ESX-1, biosynthesis of polyketide lipids, and utilization of sterols. However, we were also able to show that M. marinum contains an even larger set of host-specific virulence determinants, including proteins involved in the modification of surface glycolipids and, surprisingly, the auxiliary proteins of the ESX-1 system. Several of these factors were in fact counterproductive in other hosts. Therefore, M. marinum contains different sets of virulence factors that are tailored for specific hosts. Our data imply that although amoebae could function as a training ground for intracellular pathogens, they do not fully prepare pathogens for crossing species barriers.

  4. Host specificity in Fusarium oxysporum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dam, P.

    2017-01-01

    Fusarium oxysporum is a fungal pathogen that can cause severe wilt disease and root rot in various plant species. Every individual strain is restricted to causing disease in only one or a few plant species. In this thesis, we focused on identifying novel virulence factors (‘effectors’) secreted by

  5. Differential virulence mechanisms of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) include host entry and virus replication kinetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penaranda, M.M.D.; Purcell, M.K.; Kurath, G.

    2009-01-01

    Host specificity is a phenomenon exhibited by all viruses. For the fish rhabdovirus infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV), differential specificity of virus strains from the U and M genogroups has been established both in the field and in experimental challenges. In rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), M IHNV strains are consistently more prevalent and more virulent than U IHNV. The basis of the differential ability of these two IHNV genogroups to cause disease in rainbow trout was investigated in live infection challenges with representative U and M IHNV strains. When IHNV was delivered by intraperitoneal injection, the mortality caused by U IHNV increased, indicating that the low virulence of U IHNV is partly due to inefficiency in entering the trout host. Analyses of in vivo replication showed that U IHNV consistently had lower prevalence and lower viral load than M IHNV during the course of infection. In analyses of the host immune response, M IHNV-infected fish consistently had higher and longer expression of innate immune-related genes such as Mx-1. This suggests that the higher virulence of M IHNV is not due to suppression of the immune response in rainbow trout. Taken together, the results support a kinetics hypothesis wherein faster replication enables M IHNV to rapidly achieve a threshold level of virus necessary to override the strong host innate immune response. ?? 2009 SGM.

  6. Development and Validation of a Microtiter Plate-Based Assay for Determination of Bacteriophage Host Range and Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yicheng Xie

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Bacteriophages, which are the natural predators of bacteria, have re-emerged as an attractive alternative to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria. Phages are highly specific at the species and strain level and measurement of the phage host range plays an important role in utilizing the phage as antimicrobials. The most common method for phage host range determination has been to spot phage lysates on soft agar overlays and observe plaque formation. In this study, a liquid culture-based assay was developed in a 96-well microtiter plate format to measure the phage host range and virulence for a collection of 15 Salmonella phages against a panel of 20 Salmonella strains representing 11 serovars. This method was compared to a traditional spot method. The majority of the host range results from two methods were in agreement including in cases where a bacterial strain was insensitive to the phage. Each method produced a false-negative result in 19/300 (6% of the measured phage-host combinations when compared to the other method. The spot method tended to indicate greater phage sensitivity than the microtiter assay even though direct comparisons of the response magnitude between the two methods is difficult since they operate on different mechanisms. The microtiter plate assay was able to provide data on both the phage host range and virulence in greater resolution in a high-throughput format.

  7. Development and Validation of a Microtiter Plate-Based Assay for Determination of Bacteriophage Host Range and Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Yicheng; Wahab, Laith; Gill, Jason J

    2018-04-12

    Bacteriophages, which are the natural predators of bacteria, have re-emerged as an attractive alternative to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria. Phages are highly specific at the species and strain level and measurement of the phage host range plays an important role in utilizing the phage as antimicrobials. The most common method for phage host range determination has been to spot phage lysates on soft agar overlays and observe plaque formation. In this study, a liquid culture-based assay was developed in a 96-well microtiter plate format to measure the phage host range and virulence for a collection of 15 Salmonella phages against a panel of 20 Salmonella strains representing 11 serovars. This method was compared to a traditional spot method. The majority of the host range results from two methods were in agreement including in cases where a bacterial strain was insensitive to the phage. Each method produced a false-negative result in 19/300 (6%) of the measured phage-host combinations when compared to the other method. The spot method tended to indicate greater phage sensitivity than the microtiter assay even though direct comparisons of the response magnitude between the two methods is difficult since they operate on different mechanisms. The microtiter plate assay was able to provide data on both the phage host range and virulence in greater resolution in a high-throughput format.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Yersinia virulence factors - a sophisticated arsenal for combating host defences [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve Atkinson

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The human pathogens Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica cause enterocolitis, while Yersinia pestis is responsible for pneumonic, bubonic, and septicaemic plague. All three share an infection strategy that relies on a virulence factor arsenal to enable them to enter, adhere to, and colonise the host while evading host defences to avoid untimely clearance. Their arsenal includes a number of adhesins that allow the invading pathogens to establish a foothold in the host and to adhere to specific tissues later during infection. When the host innate immune system has been activated, all three pathogens produce a structure analogous to a hypodermic needle. In conjunction with the translocon, which forms a pore in the host membrane, the channel that is formed enables the transfer of six ‘effector’ proteins into the host cell cytoplasm. These proteins mimic host cell proteins but are more efficient than their native counterparts at modifying the host cell cytoskeleton, triggering the host cell suicide response. Such a sophisticated arsenal ensures that yersiniae maintain the upper hand despite the best efforts of the host to counteract the infecting pathogen.

  11. Inhibitors of Mycobacterium marinum virulence identified in a Dictyostelium discoideum host model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hajer Ouertatani-Sakouhi

    Full Text Available Tuberculosis remains one of the major threats to public health worldwide. Given the prevalence of multi drug resistance (MDR in Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, there is a strong need to develop new anti-mycobacterial drugs with modes of action distinct from classical antibiotics. Inhibitors of mycobacterial virulence might target new molecular processes and may represent a potential new therapeutic alternative. In this study, we used a Dictyostelium discoideum host model to assess virulence of Mycobacterium marinum and to identify compounds inhibiting mycobacterial virulence. Among 9995 chemical compounds, we selected 12 inhibitors of mycobacterial virulence that do not inhibit mycobacterial growth in synthetic medium. Further analyses revealed that 8 of them perturbed functions requiring an intact mycobacterial cell wall such as sliding motility, bacterial aggregation or cell wall permeability. Chemical analogs of two compounds were analyzed. Chemical modifications altered concomitantly their effect on sliding motility and on mycobacterial virulence, suggesting that the alteration of the mycobacterial cell wall caused the loss of virulence. We characterized further one of the selected compounds and found that it inhibited the ability of mycobacteria to replicate in infected cells. Together these results identify new antimycobacterial compounds that represent new tools to unravel the molecular mechanisms controlling mycobacterial pathogenicity. The isolation of compounds with anti-virulence activity is the first step towards developing new antibacterial treatments.

  12. Within-host competition does not select for virulence in malaria parasites; studies with Plasmodium yoelii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Pythium species from rice roots differ in virulence, host colonization and nutritional profile

    OpenAIRE

    Van Buyten, Evelien; Höfte, Monica

    2013-01-01

    Background: Progressive yield decline in Philippine aerobic rice fields has been recently associated with three closely related Pythium spp., P. arrhenomanes, P. graminicola and P. inflatum. To understand their differential virulence towards rice seedlings, we conducted a comparative survey in which three isolates each of P. arrhenomanes, P. graminicola and P. inflatum were selected to investigate host colonization, host responses and carbon utilization profiles using histopathological analys...

  14. Genetics of Pathogen Fitness: Correlations with Virulence and Effects of Host Genotype

    Science.gov (United States)

    In plant pathology, a large body of work has focused on changes in virulence, the traits allowing infection of otherwise resistant hosts, while relatively few studies have examined changes in quantitative fitness traits, those affecting the reproductive success of the pathogen after infection has oc...

  15. Niche-Specific Requirement for Hyphal Wall protein 1 in Virulence of Candida albicans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staab, Janet F.; Datta, Kausik; Rhee, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Specialized Candida albicans cell surface proteins called adhesins mediate binding of the fungus to host cells. The mammalian transglutaminase (TG) substrate and adhesin, Hyphal wall protein 1 (Hwp1), is expressed on the hyphal form of C. albicans where it mediates fungal adhesion to epithelial cells. Hwp1 is also required for biofilm formation and mating thus the protein functions in both fungal-host and self-interactions. Hwp1 is required for full virulence of C. albicans in murine models of disseminated candidiasis and of esophageal candidiasis. Previous studies correlated TG activity on the surface of oral epithelial cells, produced by epithelial TG (TG1), with tight binding of C. albicans via Hwp1 to the host cell surfaces. However, the contribution of other Tgs, specifically tissue TG (TG2), to disseminated candidiasis mediated by Hwp1 was not known. A newly created hwp1 null strain in the wild type SC5314 background was as virulent as the parental strain in C57BL/6 mice, and virulence was retained in C57BL/6 mice deleted for Tgm2 (TG2). Further, the hwp1 null strains displayed modestly reduced virulence in BALB/c mice as did strain DD27-U1, an independently created hwp1Δ/Δ in CAI4 corrected for its ura3Δ defect at the URA3 locus. Hwp1 was still needed to produce wild type biofilms, and persist on murine tongues in an oral model of oropharyngeal candidiasis consistent with previous studies by us and others. Finally, lack of Hwp1 affected the translocation of C. albicans from the mouse intestine into the bloodstream of mice. Together, Hwp1 appears to have a minor role in disseminated candidiasis, independent of tissue TG, but a key function in host- and self-association to the surface of oral mucosa. PMID:24260489

  16. Mycobacterium tuberculosis nuoG is a virulence gene that inhibits apoptosis of infected host cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamalakannan Velmurugan

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The survival and persistence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis depends on its capacity to manipulate multiple host defense pathways, including the ability to actively inhibit the death by apoptosis of infected host cells. The genetic basis for this anti-apoptotic activity and its implication for mycobacterial virulence have not been demonstrated or elucidated. Using a novel gain-of-function genetic screen, we demonstrated that inhibition of infection-induced apoptosis of macrophages is controlled by multiple genetic loci in M. tuberculosis. Characterization of one of these loci in detail revealed that the anti-apoptosis activity was attributable to the type I NADH-dehydrogenase of M. tuberculosis, and was mainly due to the subunit of this multicomponent complex encoded by the nuoG gene. Expression of M. tuberculosis nuoG in nonpathogenic mycobacteria endowed them with the ability to inhibit apoptosis of infected human or mouse macrophages, and increased their virulence in a SCID mouse model. Conversely, deletion of nuoG in M. tuberculosis ablated its ability to inhibit macrophage apoptosis and significantly reduced its virulence in mice. These results identify a key component of the genetic basis for an important virulence trait of M. tuberculosis and support a direct causal relationship between virulence of pathogenic mycobacteria and their ability to inhibit macrophage apoptosis.

  17. 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.

  18. Mucin-like protein, a saliva component involved in brown planthopper virulence and host adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hai-Jian; Liu, Cheng-Wen; Xu, Hai-Jun; Bao, Yan-Yuan; Zhang, Chuan-Xi

    2017-04-01

    The rice brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens, can rapidly adapt to new resistant rice varieties within several generations, rendering its management burdensome. However, the molecular mechanism underlying its adaptability remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the potential role of mucin-like protein (NlMul) in N. lugens virulence and adaptation to host resistance. NlMul is an important glycoprotein that constitutes both gelling and watery saliva, and specifically expressed in the salivary glands at all developmental stages except the egg period. Knocking down the expression of NlMul resulted in the secretion of short and single-branched salivary sheaths. NlMul might help BPH deal with plant resistance, and altered gene expression was observed when BPHs were transferred from a susceptible rice variety to a resistant one. The NlMul-deficient BPHs showed disordered developmental duration and a portion of these insects reared on resistant rice exhibited lethal effects. Our results uncover a saliva-mediated interaction between insect and host plant, and provide useful information in rice breeding and planthopper management. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Mechanistic Insight into the Host Transcription Inhibition Function of Rift Valley Fever Virus NSs and Its Importance in Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terasaki, Kaori; Ramirez, Sydney I; Makino, Shinji

    2016-10-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a member of the genus Phlebovirus within the family Bunyaviridae, causes periodic outbreaks in livestocks and humans in countries of the African continent and Middle East. RVFV NSs protein, a nonstructural protein, is a major virulence factor that exhibits several important biological properties. These include suppression of general transcription, inhibition of IFN-β promoter induction and degradation of double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase R. Although each of these biological functions of NSs are considered important for countering the antiviral response in the host, the individual contributions of these functions towards RVFV virulence remains unclear. To examine this, we generated two RVFV MP-12 strain-derived mutant viruses. Each carried mutations in NSs that specifically targeted its general transcription inhibition function without affecting its ability to degrade PKR and inhibit IFN-β promoter induction, through its interaction with Sin3-associated protein 30, a part of the repressor complex at the IFN-β promoter. Using these mutant viruses, we have dissected the transcription inhibition function of NSs and examined its importance in RVFV virulence. Both NSs mutant viruses exhibited a differentially impaired ability to inhibit host transcription when compared with MP-12. It has been reported that NSs suppresses general transcription by interfering with the formation of the transcription factor IIH complex, through the degradation of the p62 subunit and sequestration of the p44 subunit. Our study results lead us to suggest that the ability of NSs to induce p62 degradation is the major contributor to its general transcription inhibition property, whereas its interaction with p44 may not play a significant role in this function. Importantly, RVFV MP-12-NSs mutant viruses with an impaired general transcription inhibition function showed a reduced cytotoxicity in cell culture and attenuated virulence in young mice

  20. Virulence Genotyping of Pasteurella multocida Isolated from Multiple Hosts from India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Coronavirus gene 7 counteracts host defenses and modulates virus virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jazmina L G Cruz

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV genome contains three accessory genes: 3a, 3b and 7. Gene 7 is only present in members of coronavirus genus a1, and encodes a hydrophobic protein of 78 aa. To study gene 7 function, a recombinant TGEV virus lacking gene 7 was engineered (rTGEV-Δ7. Both the mutant and the parental (rTGEV-wt viruses showed the same growth and viral RNA accumulation kinetics in tissue cultures. Nevertheless, cells infected with rTGEV-Δ7 virus showed an increased cytopathic effect caused by an enhanced apoptosis mediated by caspase activation. Macromolecular synthesis analysis showed that rTGEV-Δ7 virus infection led to host translational shut-off and increased cellular RNA degradation compared with rTGEV-wt infection. An increase of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α phosphorylation and an enhanced nuclease, most likely RNase L, activity were observed in rTGEV-Δ7 virus infected cells. These results suggested that the removal of gene 7 promoted an intensified dsRNA-activated host antiviral response. In protein 7 a conserved sequence motif that potentially mediates binding to protein phosphatase 1 catalytic subunit (PP1c, a key regulator of the cell antiviral defenses, was identified. We postulated that TGEV protein 7 may counteract host antiviral response by its association with PP1c. In fact, pull-down assays demonstrated the interaction between TGEV protein 7, but not a protein 7 mutant lacking PP1c binding motif, with PP1. Moreover, the interaction between protein 7 and PP1 was required, during the infection, for eIF2α dephosphorylation and inhibition of cell RNA degradation. Inoculation of newborn piglets with rTGEV-Δ7 and rTGEV-wt viruses showed that rTGEV-Δ7 virus presented accelerated growth kinetics and pathology compared with the parental virus. Overall, the results indicated that gene 7 counteracted host cell defenses, and modified TGEV persistence increasing TGEV survival. Therefore, the

  3. Proteolysis of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 by Yersinia pestis remodulates the host environment to promote virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eddy, J L; Schroeder, J A; Zimbler, D L; Caulfield, A J; Lathem, W W

    2016-09-01

    Essentials Effect of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 on plague and its Y. pestis cleavage is unknown. An intranasal mouse model of infection was used to determine the role of PAI-1 in pneumonic plague. PAI-1 is cleaved and inactivated by the Pla protease of Y. pestis in the lung airspace. PAI-1 impacts both bacterial outgrowth and the immune response to respiratory Y. pestis infection. Click to hear Dr Bock discuss pathogen activators of plasminogen. Background The hemostatic regulator plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) inactivates endogenous plasminogen activators and aids in the immune response to bacterial infection. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, produces the Pla protease, a virulence factor that is required during plague. However, the specific hemostatic proteins cleaved by Pla in vivo that contribute to pathogenesis have not yet been fully elucidated. Objectives To determine whether PAI-1 is cleaved by the Pla protease during pneumonic plague, and to define the impact of PAI-1 on Y. pestis respiratory infection in the presence or absence of Pla. Methods An intranasal mouse model of pneumonic plague was used to assess the levels of total and active PAI-1 in the lung airspace, and the impact of PAI-1 deficiency on bacterial pathogenesis, the host immune response and plasmin generation following infection with wild-type or ∆pla Y. pestis. Results We found that Y. pestis cleaves and inactivates PAI-1 in the lungs in a Pla-dependent manner. The loss of PAI-1 enhances Y. pestis outgrowth in the absence of Pla, and is associated with increased conversion of plasminogen to plasmin. Furthermore, we found that PAI-1 regulates immune cell recruitment, cytokine production and tissue permeability during pneumonic plague. Conclusions Our data demonstrate that PAI-1 is an in vivo target of the Pla protease in the lungs, and that PAI-1 is a key regulator of the pulmonary innate immune response. We conclude that the inactivation of PAI-1 by Y

  4. The expression of virulence during double infections by different parasites with conflicting host exploitation and transmission strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Ami, F; Rigaud, T; Ebert, D

    2011-06-01

    In many natural populations, hosts are found to be infected by more than one parasite species. When these parasites have different host exploitation strategies and transmission modes, a conflict among them may arise. Such a conflict may reduce the success of both parasites, but could work to the benefit of the host. For example, the less-virulent parasite may protect the host against the more-virulent competitor. We examine this conflict using the waterflea Daphnia magna and two of its sympatric parasites: the blood-infecting bacterium Pasteuria ramosa that transmits horizontally and the intracellular microsporidium Octosporea bayeri that can concurrently transmit horizontally and vertically after infecting ovaries and fat tissues of the host. We quantified host and parasite fitness after exposing Daphnia to one or both parasites, both simultaneously and sequentially. Under conditions of strict horizontal transmission, Pasteuria competitively excluded Octosporea in both simultaneous and sequential double infections, regardless of the order of exposure. Host lifespan, host reproduction and parasite spore production in double infections resembled those of single infection by Pasteuria. When hosts became first vertically (transovarilly) infected with O. bayeri, Octosporea was able to withstand competition with P. ramosa to some degree, but both parasites produced less transmission stages than they did in single infections. At the same time, the host suffered from reduced fecundity and longevity. Our study demonstrates that even when competing parasite species utilize different host tissues to proliferate, double infections lead to the expression of higher virulence and ultimately may select for higher virulence. Furthermore, we found no evidence that the less-virulent and vertically transmitting O. bayeri protects its host against the highly virulent P. ramosa. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  5. Population structure and virulence gene profiles of Streptococcus agalactiae collected from different hosts worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morach, Marina; Stephan, Roger; Schmitt, Sarah; Ewers, Christa; Zschöck, Michael; Reyes-Velez, Julian; Gilli, Urs; Del Pilar Crespo-Ortiz, María; Crumlish, Margaret; Gunturu, Revathi; Daubenberger, Claudia A; Ip, Margaret; Regli, Walter; Johler, Sophia

    2018-03-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among neonates and causes severe infections in pregnant women and nonpregnant predisposed adults, in addition to various animal species worldwide. Still, information on the population structure of S. agalactiae and the geographical distribution of different clones is limited. Further data are urgently needed to identify particularly successful clones and obtain insights into possible routes of transmission within one host species and across species borders. We aimed to determine the population structure and virulence gene profiles of S. agalactiae strains from a diverse set of sources and geographical origins. To this end, 373 S. agalactiae isolates obtained from humans and animals from five different continents were typed by DNA microarray profiling. A total of 242 different S. agalactiae strains were identified and further analyzed. Particularly successful clonal lineages, hybridization patterns, and strains were identified that were spread across different continents and/or were present in more than one host species. In particular, several strains were detected in both humans and cattle, and several canine strains were also detected in samples from human, bovine, and porcine hosts. The findings of our study suggest that although S. agalactiae is well adapted to various hosts including humans, cattle, dogs, rodents, and fish, interspecies transmission is possible and occurs between humans and cows, dogs, and rabbits. The virulence and resistance gene profiles presented enable new insights into interspecies transmission and make a crucial contribution to the identification of suitable targets for therapeutic agents and vaccines.

  6. Yersinia Virulence Depends on Mimicry of Host Rho-Family Nucleotide Dissociation Inhibitors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prehna,G.; Ivanov, M.; Blisha, J.; Stebbins, C.

    2006-01-01

    Yersinia spp. cause gastroenteritis and the plague, representing historically devastating pathogens that are currently an important biodefense and antibiotic resistance concern. A critical virulence determinant is the Yersinia protein kinase A, or YpkA, a multidomain protein that disrupts the eukaryotic actin cytoskeleton. Here we solve the crystal structure of a YpkA-Rac1 complex and find that YpkA possesses a Rac1 binding domain that mimics host guanidine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors (GDIs) of the Rho GTPases. YpkA inhibits nucleotide exchange in Rac1 and RhoA, and mutations that disrupt the YpkA-GTPase interface abolish this activity in vitro and impair in vivo YpkA-induced cytoskeletal disruption. In cell culture experiments, the kinase and the GDI domains of YpkA act synergistically to promote cytoskeletal disruption, and a Y. pseudotuberculosis mutant lacking YpkA GDI activity shows attenuated virulence in a mouse infection assay. We conclude that virulence in Yersinia depends strongly upon mimicry of host GDI proteins by YpkA.

  7. Host range, growth property, and virulence of the smallpox vaccine: Vaccinia virus Tian Tan strain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang Qing; Yang Lin; Zhu Weijun; Liu Li; Wang Haibo; Yu Wenbo; Xiao Genfu; Tien Po; Zhang Linqi; Chen Zhiwei

    2005-01-01

    Vaccinia Tian Tan (VTT) was used as a vaccine against smallpox in China for millions of people before 1980, yet the biological characteristics of the virus remain unclear. We have characterized VTT with respect to its host cell range, growth properties in vitro, and virulence in vivo. We found that 11 of the 12 mammalian cell lines studied are permissive to VTT infection whereas one, CHO-K1, is non-permissive. Using electron microscopy and sequence analysis, we found that the restriction of VTT replication in CHO-K1 is at a step before viral maturation probably due to the loss of the V025 gene. Moreover, VTT is significantly less virulent than vaccinia WR but remains neurovirulent in mice and causes significant body weight loss after intranasal inoculation. Our data demonstrate the need for further attenuation of VTT to serve either as a safer smallpox vaccine or as a live vaccine vector for other pathogens

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah D Crane

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

  10. Host Range Specificity in Verticillium dahliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, R G; Subbarao, K V

    1999-12-01

    ABSTRACT Verticillium dahliae isolates from artichoke, bell pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, chili pepper, cotton, eggplant, lettuce, mint, potato, strawberry, tomato, and watermelon and V. albo-atrum from alfalfa were evaluated for their pathogenicity on all 14 hosts. One-month-old seedlings were inoculated with a spore suspension of about 10(7) conidia per ml using a root-dip technique and incubated in the greenhouse. Disease incidence and severity, plant height, and root and shoot dry weights were recorded 6 weeks after inoculation. Bell pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, cotton, eggplant, and mint isolates exhibited host specificity and differential pathogenicity on other hosts, whereas isolates from artichoke, lettuce, potato, strawberry, tomato, and watermelon did not. Bell pepper was resistant to all Verticillium isolates except isolates from bell pepper and eggplant. Thus, host specificity exists in some isolates of V. dahliae. The same isolates were characterized for vegetative compatibility groups (VCGs) through complementation of nitrate nonutilizing (nit) mutants. Cabbage and cauliflower isolates did not produce nit mutants. The isolate from cotton belonged to VCG 1; isolates from bell pepper, eggplant, potato, and tomato, to VCG 4; and the remaining isolates, to VCG 2. These isolates were also analyzed using the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) method. Forty random primers were screened, and eighteen of them amplified DNA from Verticillium. Based on RAPD banding patterns, cabbage and cauliflower isolates formed a unique group, distinct from other V. dahliae and V. albo-atrum groups. Minor genetic variations were observed among V. dahliae isolates from other hosts, regardless of whether they were host specific or not. There was no correlation among pathogenicity, VCGs, and RAPD banding patterns. Even though the isolates belonged to different VCGs, they shared similar RAPD profiles. These results suggest that management of Verticillium wilt in some crops

  11. Helicobacter pylori virulence genes and microevolution in host and the clinical outcome: review article

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyedeh Zahra Bakhti

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori is the causative agent in development of gastroduode-nal diseases, such as chronic atrophic gastritis, peptic ulcers, mucosa associated lym-phoid tissue (MALT lymphoma, and gastric cancer. H. pylori has been associated with inflammation in cardia, showing the fact that infection with this bacterium could also be a risk factor for gastric cardia cancer. Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cancer worldwide. This is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and ap-proximately 700,000 people succumb each year to gastric adenocarcinoma. It has been estimated that 69% of the Iranian population currently harbor H. pylori infection. The prevalence of duodenal ulcer and gastric cancer is high in Iranian populations. However, this has been largely influenced by geographic and/or ethnic origin. Epidemi-ology studies have shown that host, environmental, and bacterial factors determine the outcome of H. pylori infection. The bacterium contains allelic diversity and high genet-ic variability into core- and virulence-genes and that this diversity is geographically and ethnically structured. The genetic diversity within H. pylori is greater than within most other bacteria, and its diversity is more than 50-fold higher than that of human DNA. The maintenance of high diversification makes this bacterium to cope with particular challenges in individual hosts. It has been reported that the recombination contributed to the creation of new genes and gene family. Furthermore, the microevolution in cagA and vacA genes is a common event, leading to a change in the virulence phenotype. These factors contribute to the bacterial survival in acidic conditions in stomach and protect it from host immune system, causing tissue damage and clinical disease. In this review article, we discussed the correlation between H. pylori virulence factors and clin-ical outcomes, microevolution of H. pylori virulence genes in a single host

  12. Phytophthora ramorum is a generalist plant pathogen with differences in virulence between isolates from infectious and dead-end hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Huberli; M. Garbelotto

    2011-01-01

    Variation in virulence was examined among isolates of Phytophthora ramorum from epidemiologically important or infectious (non-oak) and transmissive dead-end (oak) hosts from North America. Twelve isolates representative of the genetic, geographic and host range of P. ramorum in the western United States were inoculated on...

  13. Time resolved bovine host reponse to virulence factors mapped in milk by selected reaction monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bislev, Stine Lønnerup; Kusebauch, Ulrike; Codrea, Marius Cosmin

    . In this study, we present a sensitive selected reaction monitoring (SRM) proteomics approach, targeting proteins suggested to play key roles in the bovine host response to mastitis. 17 biomarker candidates related to inflammatory response and mastitis were selected. The 17 candidate proteins were quantified......TIME RESOLVED BOVINE HOST RESPONSE TO VIRULENCE FACTORS, MAPPED IN MILK BY SELECTED REACTION MONITORING S.L. Bislev1, U. Kusebauch2, M.C. Codrea1, R. Moritz2, C.M. Røntved1, E. Bendixen1 1 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark; 2...... Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, Washington, USA Mastitis is beyond doubt the largest health problem in modern milk production. Many different pathogens can cause infections in the mammary gland, and give rise to severe toll on animal welfare, economic gain as well as on excessive use of antibiotics...

  14. Specific selection for virulent urinary tract infectious Escherichia coli strains during catheter-associated biofilm formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ferrieres, Lionel; Hancock, Viktoria; Klemm, Per

    2007-01-01

    microorganisms can attach. Urinary tract infectious (UTI) Escherichia coli range in pathogenicity and the damage they cause - from benign asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) strains, which inflict no or few problems to the host, to uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) strains, which are virulent and often cause severe...... for and promote biofilm formation of the most virulent group of UTI E. coli strains, hardly a desirable situation for the catheterized patient....

  15. Spaceflight Causes Increased Virulence of Serratia Marcescens on a Drosophila Melanogaster Host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Wade, William; Clemens-Grisham, Rachel; Hosamani, Ravikumar; Bhardwaj, Shilpa R.; Lera, Matthew P.; Gresser, Amy L.

    2015-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster, or the fruit fly, has long been an important organism for Earth-based research, and is now increasingly utilized as a model system to understand the biological effects of spaceflight. Studies in Drosophila melanogaster have shown altered immune responses in 3rd instar larvae and adult males following spaceflight, changes similar to those observed in astronauts. In addition, spaceflight has also been shown to affect bacterial physiology, as evidenced by studies describing altered virulence of Salmonella typhimurium following spaceflight and variation in biofilm growth patterns for the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa during flight. We recently sent Serratia marcescens Db11, a Drosophila pathogen and an opportunistic human pathogen, to the ISS on SpaceX-5 (Fruit Fly Lab-01). S. marcescens samples were stored at 4degC for 24 days on-orbit and then allowed to grow for 120 hours at ambient station temperature before being returned to Earth. Upon return, bacteria were isolated and preserved in 50% glycerol or RNAlater. Storage, growth, and isolation for ground control samples were performed using the same procedures. Spaceflight and ground samples stored in 50% glycerol were diluted and injected into 5-7-day-old ground-born adult D. melanogaster. Lethality was significantly greater in flies injected with the spaceflight samples compared to those injected with ground bacterial samples. These results indicate a shift in the virulence profile of the spaceflight S. marcescens Db11 and will be further assessed with molecular biological analyses. Our findings strengthen the conclusion that spaceflight impacts the virulence of bacterial pathogens on model host organisms such as the fruit fly. This research was supported by NASA's ISS Program Office (ISSPO) and Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications (SLPSRA).

  16. Aspergillus fumigatus melanins: Interference with the host endocytosis pathway and impact on virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thorsten eHeinekamp

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus produces at least two types of melanin, namely pyomelanin and dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN melanin. Pyomelanin is produced during tyrosine catabolism via accumulation of homogentisic acid. Although pyomelanin protects the fungus against reactive oxygen species and acts as a defense compound in response to cell wall stress, mutants deficient for pyomelanin biosynthesis do not differ in virulence when tested in a murine infection model for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. DHN melanin is responsible for the characteristic grey-greenish color of A. fumigatus conidia. Mutants lacking a functional polyketide synthase PksP, the enzyme responsible for the initial step in DHN-melanin formation, i.e., the synthesis of naphthopyrone, produce white spores and are attenuated in virulence. The activity of PksP was found to be essential not only for inhibition of apoptosis of phagocytes by interfering with the host PI3K/Akt signaling cascade but also for effective inhibition of acidification of conidia-containing phagolysosomes. These features allow A. fumigatus to survive in phagocytes and thereby to escape from human immune effector cells and to become a successful pathogen.

  17. Nutrition and Helicobacter pylori: Host Diet and Nutritional Immunity Influence Bacterial Virulence and Disease Outcome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn P. Haley

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori colonizes the stomachs of greater than 50% of the world’s human population making it arguably one of the most successful bacterial pathogens. Chronic H. pylori colonization results in gastritis in nearly all patients; however in a subset of people, persistent infection with H. pylori is associated with an increased risk for more severe disease outcomes including B-cell lymphoma of mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT lymphoma and invasive adenocarcinoma. Research aimed at elucidating determinants that mediate disease progression has revealed genetic differences in both humans and H. pylori which increase the risk for developing gastric cancer. Furthermore, host diet and nutrition status have been shown to influence H. pylori-associated disease outcomes. In this review we will discuss how H. pylori is able to create a replicative niche within the hostile host environment by subverting and modifying the host-generated immune response as well as successfully competing for limited nutrients such as transition metals by deploying an arsenal of metal acquisition proteins and virulence factors. Lastly, we will discuss how micronutrient availability or alterations in the gastric microbiome may exacerbate negative disease outcomes associated with H. pylori colonization.

  18. Effects of shortened host life span on the evolution of parasite life history and virulence in a microbial host-parasite system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koella Jacob C

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecological factors play an important role in the evolution of parasite exploitation strategies. A common prediction is that, as shorter host life span reduces future opportunities of transmission, parasites compensate with an evolutionary shift towards earlier transmission. They may grow more rapidly within the host, have a shorter latency time and, consequently, be more virulent. Thus, increased extrinsic (i.e., not caused by the parasite host mortality leads to the evolution of more virulent parasites. To test these predictions, we performed a serial transfer experiment, using the protozoan Paramecium caudatum and its bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. We simulated variation in host life span by killing hosts after 11 (early killing or 14 (late killing days post inoculation; after killing, parasite transmission stages were collected and used for a new infection cycle. Results After 13 cycles (≈ 300 generations, parasites from the early-killing treatment were less infectious, but had shorter latency time and higher virulence than those from the late-killing treatment. Overall, shorter latency time was associated with higher parasite loads and thus presumably with more rapid within-host replication. Conclusion The analysis of the means of the two treatments is thus consistent with theory, and suggests that evolution is constrained by trade-offs between virulence, transmission and within-host growth. In contrast, we found little evidence for such trade-offs across parasite selection lines within treatments; thus, to some extent, these traits may evolve independently. This study illustrates how environmental variation (experienced by the host can lead to the evolution of distinct parasite strategies.

  19. Comparative genomics reveals cotton-specific virulence factors in flexible genomic regions in Verticillium dahliae and evidence of horizontal gene transfer from Fusarium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jie-Yin; Liu, Chun; Gui, Yue-Jing; Si, Kai-Wei; Zhang, Dan-Dan; Wang, Jie; Short, Dylan P G; Huang, Jin-Qun; Li, Nan-Yang; Liang, Yong; Zhang, Wen-Qi; Yang, Lin; Ma, Xue-Feng; Li, Ting-Gang; Zhou, Lei; Wang, Bao-Li; Bao, Yu-Ming; Subbarao, Krishna V; Zhang, Geng-Yun; Dai, Xiao-Feng

    2018-01-01

    Verticillium dahliae isolates are most virulent on the host from which they were originally isolated. Mechanisms underlying these dominant host adaptations are currently unknown. We sequenced the genome of V. dahliae Vd991, which is highly virulent on its original host, cotton, and performed comparisons with the reference genomes of JR2 (from tomato) and VdLs.17 (from lettuce). Pathogenicity-related factor prediction, orthology and multigene family classification, transcriptome analyses, phylogenetic analyses, and pathogenicity experiments were performed. The Vd991 genome harbored several exclusive, lineage-specific (LS) genes within LS regions (LSRs). Deletion mutants of the seven genes within one LSR (G-LSR2) in Vd991 were less virulent only on cotton. Integration of G-LSR2 genes individually into JR2 and VdLs.17 resulted in significantly enhanced virulence on cotton but did not affect virulence on tomato or lettuce. Transcription levels of the seven LS genes in Vd991 were higher during the early stages of cotton infection, as compared with other hosts. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that G-LSR2 was acquired from Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum through horizontal gene transfer. Our results provide evidence that horizontal gene transfer from Fusarium to Vd991 contributed significantly to its adaptation to cotton and may represent a significant mechanism in the evolution of an asexual plant pathogen. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. The Trw type IV secretion system of Bartonella mediates host-specific adhesion to erythrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muriel Vayssier-Taussat

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial pathogens typically infect only a limited range of hosts; however, the genetic mechanisms governing host-specificity are poorly understood. The alpha-proteobacterial genus Bartonella comprises 21 species that cause host-specific intraerythrocytic bacteremia as hallmark of infection in their respective mammalian reservoirs, including the human-specific pathogens Bartonella quintana and Bartonella bacilliformis that cause trench fever and Oroya fever, respectively. Here, we have identified bacterial factors that mediate host-specific erythrocyte colonization in the mammalian reservoirs. Using mouse-specific Bartonella birtlesii, human-specific Bartonella quintana, cat-specific Bartonella henselae and rat-specific Bartonella tribocorum, we established in vitro adhesion and invasion assays with isolated erythrocytes that fully reproduce the host-specificity of erythrocyte infection as observed in vivo. By signature-tagged mutagenesis of B. birtlesii and mutant selection in a mouse infection model we identified mutants impaired in establishing intraerythrocytic bacteremia. Among 45 abacteremic mutants, five failed to adhere to and invade mouse erythrocytes in vitro. The corresponding genes encode components of the type IV secretion system (T4SS Trw, demonstrating that this virulence factor laterally acquired by the Bartonella lineage is directly involved in adherence to erythrocytes. Strikingly, ectopic expression of Trw of rat-specific B. tribocorum in cat-specific B. henselae or human-specific B. quintana expanded their host range for erythrocyte infection to rat, demonstrating that Trw mediates host-specific erythrocyte infection. A molecular evolutionary analysis of the trw locus further indicated that the variable, surface-located TrwL and TrwJ might represent the T4SS components that determine host-specificity of erythrocyte parasitism. In conclusion, we show that the laterally acquired Trw T4SS diversified in the Bartonella lineage

  1. Characterization of novel virulent broad-host-range phages of Xylella fastidiosa and Xanthomonas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahern, Stephen J; Das, Mayukh; Bhowmick, Tushar Suvra; Young, Ry; Gonzalez, Carlos F

    2014-01-01

    The xylem-limited bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is the causal agent of several plant diseases, most notably Pierce's disease of grape and citrus variegated chlorosis. We report the isolation and characterization of the first virulent phages for X. fastidiosa, siphophages Sano and Salvo and podophages Prado and Paz, with a host range that includes Xanthomonas spp. Phages propagated on homologous hosts had observed adsorption rate constants of ~4 × 10(-12) ml cell(-1) min(-1) for X. fastidiosa strain Temecula 1 and ~5 × 10(-10) to 7 × 10(-10) ml cell(-1) min(-1) for Xanthomonas strain EC-12. Sano and Salvo exhibit >80% nucleotide identity to each other in aligned regions and are syntenic to phage BcepNazgul. We propose that phage BcepNazgul is the founding member of a novel phage type, to which Sano and Salvo belong. The lysis genes of the Nazgul-like phage type include a gene that encodes an outer membrane lipoprotein endolysin and also spanin gene families that provide insight into the evolution of the lysis pathway for phages of Gram-negative hosts. Prado and Paz, although exhibiting no significant DNA homology to each other, are new members of the phiKMV-like phage type, based on the position of the single-subunit RNA polymerase gene. The four phages are type IV pilus dependent for infection of both X. fastidiosa and Xanthomonas. The phages may be useful as agents for an effective and environmentally responsible strategy for the control of diseases caused by X. fastidiosa.

  2. Host Specificity of Salmonella typhimurium Deoxyribonucleic Acid Restriction and Modification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slocum, Harvey; Boyer, Herbert W.

    1973-01-01

    The restriction and modification genes of Salmonella typhimurium which lie near the thr locus were transferred to a restrictionless mutant of Escherichia coli. These genes were found to be allelic to the E. coli K, B, and A restriction and modification genes. E. coli recombinants with the restriction and modification host specificity of S. typhimurium restricted phage λ that had been modified by each of the seven known host specificities of E. coli at efficiency of plating levels of about 10−2. Phage λ modified with the S. typhimurium host specificity was restricted by six of the seven E. coli host specificities but not by the RII (fi− R-factor controlled) host specificity. It is proposed that the restriction and modification enzymes of this S. typhimurium host specificity have two substrates, one of which is a substrate for the RII host specificity enzymes. PMID:4570605

  3. Host Specificity in the Parasitic Plant Cytinus hypocistis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thorogood, C.J.; Hiscock, S.J.

    2007-01-01

    Host specificity in the parasitic plant Cytinus hypocistis was quantified at four sites in the Algarve region of Portugal from 2002 to 2007. The parasite was found to be locally host specific, and only two hosts were consistently infected: Halimium halimifolium and Cistus monspeliensis. C. hypocistis did not infect hosts in proportion to their abundance; at three sites, 100% of parasites occurred on H. halimifolium which represented just 42.4%, 3% and 19.7% of potential hosts available, respectively. At the remaining site, where H. halimifolium was absent, 100% of parasites occurred on C. monspeliensis which represented 81.1% of potential hosts available. Other species of potential host were consistently uninfected irrespective of their abundance. Ecological niche divergence of host plants H. halimifolium and C. monspeliensis may isolate host-specific races of C. hypocistis, thereby potentially driving allopatric divergence in this parasitic plant.

  4. Host specificity in bat ectoparasites: a natural experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seneviratne, Sampath S; Fernando, H Chandrika; Udagama-Randeniya, Preethi V

    2009-07-15

    We undertook a field study to determine patterns of specialisation of ectoparasites in cave-dwelling bats in Sri Lanka. The hypothesis tested was that strict host specificity (monoxeny) could evolve through the development of differential species preferences through association with the different host groups. Three species of cave-dwelling bats were chosen to represent a wide range of host-parasite associations (monoxeny to polyxeny), and both sympatric and allopatric roosting assemblages. Of the eight caves selected, six caves were "allopatric" roosts where two of each housed only one of the three host species examined: Rousettus leschenaulti (Pteropodidae), Rhinolophus rouxi and Hipposideros speoris (Rhinolophidae). The remaining two caves were "sympatric" roosts and housed all three host species. Thirty bats of each species were examined for ectoparasites in each cave, which resulted in a collection of nycteribiid and streblid flies, an ischnopsyllid bat flea, argasid and ixodid ticks, and mites belonging to three families. The host specificity of bat parasites showed a trend to monoxeny in which 70% of the 30 species reported were monoxenous. Odds ratios derived from chi(2)-tests revealed two levels of host preferences in less-specific parasites (i) the parasite was found on two host species under conditions of both host sympatry and host allopatry, with a preference for a single host in the case of host sympatry and (ii) the preference for a single host was very high, hence under conditions of host sympatry, it was confined to the preferred host only. However, under conditions of host allopatry, it utilized both hosts. There appears to be an increasing prevalence in host preferences of the parasites toward confinement to a single host species. The ecological isolation of the bat hosts and a long history of host-parasite co-existence could have contributed to an overall tendency of bat ectoparasites to become specialists, here reflected in the high percentage

  5. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Workshop Characterization of Pathogenicity, Virulence and Host-Pathogen Interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krishnan, A

    2006-08-30

    The threats of bio-terrorism and newly emerging infectious diseases pose serious challenges to the national security infrastructure. Rapid detection and diagnosis of infectious disease in human populations, as well as characterizing pathogen biology, are critical for reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with such threats. One of the key challenges in managing an infectious disease outbreak, whether through natural causes or acts of overt terrorism, is detection early enough to initiate effective countermeasures. Much recent attention has been directed towards the utility of biomarkers or molecular signatures that result from the interaction of the pathogen with the host for improving our ability to diagnose and mitigate the impact of a developing infection during the time window when effective countermeasures can be instituted. Host responses may provide early signals in blood even from localized infections. Multiple innate and adaptive immune molecules, in combination with other biochemical markers, may provide disease-specific information and new targets for countermeasures. The presence of pathogen specific markers and an understanding of the molecular capabilities and adaptations of the pathogen when it interacts with its host may likewise assist in early detection and provide opportunities for targeting countermeasures. An important question that needs to be addressed is whether these molecular-based approaches will prove useful for early diagnosis, complement current methods of direct agent detection, and aid development and use of countermeasures. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will host a workshop to explore the utility of host- and pathogen-based molecular diagnostics, prioritize key research issues, and determine the critical steps needed to transition host-pathogen research to tools that can be applied towards a more effective national bio-defense strategy. The workshop will bring together leading researchers/scientists in the

  6. The co-evolved Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer: trinity of bacterial virulence, host susceptibility and lifestyle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devi S Manjulata

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Helicobacter pylori is an important yet unproven etiological agent of gastric cancer. H. pylori infection is more prevalent in developing Asian countries like India and it is usually acquired at an early age. It has been two decades since Marshall and Warren (1984 first described curved bacilli in the stomach of ulcer and gastritis patients. This discovery has won them the Nobel Prize recently, but the debate whether H. pylori is a pathogen or a commensal organism is still hot. Associations with disease-specific factors remain illusive years after the genome sequences were made available. Cytotoxin-associated antigen A (CagA and the so-called plasticity region cluster genes are implicated in pathogenesis of the carcinoma of stomach. Another virulence factor VacA whose role is still debatable, has recently been projected in pathology of gastric cancer. Studies of the evolution through genetic variation in H. pylori populations have provided a window into the history of human population migrations and a possible co-evolution of this pathogen with its human host. Possible symbiotic relationships were seriously debated since the discovery of this pathogen. The debate has been further intensified as some studies proposed H. pylori infection to be beneficial in some humans. In this commentary, we attempt to briefly discuss about H. pylori as a human pathogen, and some of the important issues linked to its pathophysiology in different hosts. 'We dance around in a ring and suppose, the secret sits in the middle and knows' – Robert Frost

  7. A virulence-associated filamentous bacteriophage of Neisseria meningitidis increases host-cell colonisation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuelle Bille

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Neisseria meningitidis is a commensal of human nasopharynx. In some circumstances, this bacteria can invade the bloodstream and, after crossing the blood brain barrier, the meninges. A filamentous phage, designated MDAΦ for Meningococcal Disease Associated, has been associated with invasive disease. In this work we show that the prophage is not associated with a higher virulence during the bloodstream phase of the disease. However, looking at the interaction of N. meningitidis with epithelial cells, a step essential for colonization of the nasopharynx, we demonstrate that the presence of the prophage, via the production of viruses, increases colonization of encapsulated meningococci onto monolayers of epithelial cells. The analysis of the biomass covering the epithelial cells revealed that meningococci are bound to the apical surface of host cells by few layers of heavily piliated bacteria, whereas, in the upper layers, bacteria are non-piliated but surrounded by phage particles which (i form bundles of filaments, and/or (ii are in some places associated with bacteria. The latter are likely to correspond to growing bacteriophages during their extrusion through the outer membrane. These data suggest that, as the biomass increases, the loss of piliation in the upper layers of the biomass does not allow type IV pilus bacterial aggregation, but is compensated by a large production of phage particles that promote bacterial aggregation via the formation of bundles of phage filaments linked to the bacterial cell walls. We propose that MDAΦ by increasing bacterial colonization in the mucosa at the site-of-entry, increase the occurrence of diseases.

  8. Expression of parasite genetic variation changes over the course of infection: implications of within-host dynamics for the evolution of virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerc, Melanie; Ebert, Dieter; Hall, Matthew D

    2015-04-07

    How infectious disease agents interact with their host changes during the course of infection and can alter the expression of disease-related traits. Yet by measuring parasite life-history traits at one or few moments during infection, studies have overlooked the impact of variable parasite growth trajectories on disease evolution. Here we show that infection-age-specific estimates of host and parasite fitness components can reveal new insight into the evolution of parasites. We do so by characterizing the within-host dynamics over an entire infection period for five genotypes of the castrating bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa infecting the crustacean Daphnia magna. Our results reveal that genetic variation for parasite-induced gigantism, host castration and parasite spore loads increases with the age of infection. Driving these patterns appears to be variation in how well the parasite maintains control of host reproduction late in the infection process. We discuss the evolutionary consequences of this finding with regard to natural selection acting on different ages of infection and the mechanism underlying the maintenance of castration efficiency. Our results highlight how elucidating within-host dynamics can shed light on the selective forces that shape infection strategies and the evolution of virulence. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Identification of Burkholderia cenocepacia strain H111 virulence factors using nonmammalian infection hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwager, Stephan; Agnoli, Kirsty; Köthe, Manuela

    2013-01-01

    Burkholderia cenocepacia H111, a strain isolated from a cystic fibrosis patient, has been shown to effectively kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used the C. elegans model of infection to screen a mini-Tn5 mutant library of B. cenocepacia H111 for attenuated virulence....... Of the approximately 5,500 B. cenocepacia H111 random mini-Tn5 insertion mutants that were screened, 22 showed attenuated virulence in C. elegans. Except for the quorum-sensing regulator cepR, none of the mutated genes coded for the biosynthesis of classical virulence factors such as extracellular proteases...... or siderophores. Instead, the mutants contained insertions in metabolic and regulatory genes. Mutants attenuated in virulence in the C. elegans infection model were also tested in the Drosophila melanogaster pricking model, and those also attenuated in this model were further tested in Galleria mellonella. Six...

  10. Genetic and virulence variability among Erwinia tracheiphila strains recovered from different cucurbit hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, E Saalau; Dixon, P M; Batzer, J C; Gleason, M L

    2013-09-01

    The causal agent of cucurbit bacterial wilt, Erwinia tracheiphila, has a wide host range in the family Cucurbitaceae, including economically important crops such as muskmelon (Cucumis melo), cucumber (C. sativus), and squash (Cucurbita spp.). Genetic variability of 69 E. tracheiphila strains was investigated by repetitive-element polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR) using BOXA1R and ERIC1-2 primers. Fingerprint profiles revealed significant variability associated with crop host; strains isolated from Cucumis spp. were clearly distinguishable from Cucurbita spp.-isolated strains regardless of geographic origin. Twelve E. tracheiphila strains isolated from muskmelon, cucumber, or summer squash were inoculated onto muskmelon and summer squash seedlings, followed by incubation in a growth chamber. Wilt symptoms were assessed over 3 weeks, strains were reisolated, and rep-PCR profiles were compared with the inoculated strains. Wilting occurred significantly faster when seedlings were inoculated with strains that originated from the same crop host genus (P<0.001). In the first run of the experiment, cucumber and muskmelon strains caused wilting on muskmelon seedlings at a median of 7.8 and 5.6 days after inoculation (dai), respectively. Summer squash seedlings wilted 18.0, 15.7, and 5.7 dai when inoculated with muskmelon-, cucumber-, and squash-origin strains, respectively. In a second run of the experiment, cucumber and muskmelon strains caused wilting on muskmelon at 7.0 and 6.9 dai, respectively, whereas summer squash seedlings wilted at 23.6, 29.0 and 9.0 dai when inoculated with muskmelon-, cucumber-, and squash-origin strains, respectively. Our results provide the first evidence of genetic diversity within E. tracheiphila and suggest that strain specificity is associated with plant host. This advance is a first step toward understanding the genetic and population structure of E. tracheiphila.

  11. Predictors of Host Specificity among Behavior-Manipulating Parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredensborg, B. L.

    2014-01-01

    specifically, hosts’ behavioral modification that involves interaction with the central nervous system presumably restricts parasites to more closely related hosts than does manipulation of the host’s behavior via debilitation of the host’s physiology. The results of the analysis suggest that phylogenetic......-specialist that has a restricted ecological niche that it masters. Parasites that manipulate hosts’ behavior are often thought to represent resource-specialists based on a few spectacular examples of manipulation of the host’s behavior. However, the determinants of which, and how many, hosts a manipulating parasite...... of parasites and hosts. Using individual and multivariate analyses, I examined the effect of the host’s and parasite’s taxonomy, location of the parasite in the host, type of behavioral change, and the effect of debilitation on host-specificity, measured as the mean taxonomic relatedness of hosts...

  12. Alternative paths to success in a parasite community: within-host competition can favor higher virulence or direct interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashey, Farrah; Hawlena, Hadas; Lively, Curtis M

    2013-03-01

    Selection imposed by coinfection may vary with the mechanism of within-host competition between parasites. Exploitative competition is predicted to favor more virulent parasites, whereas interference competition may result in lower virulence. Here, we examine whether exploitative or interference competition determines the outcome of competition between two nematode species (Steinernema spp.), which in combination with their bacterial symbionts (Xenorhabdus spp.), infect and kill insect hosts. Multiple isolates of each nematode species, carrying their naturally associated bacteria, were characterized by (1) the rate at which they killed insect hosts, and by (2) the ability of their bacteria to interfere with each other's growth via bacteriocidal toxins called "bacteriocins." We found that both exploitative and interference abilities were important in predicting which species had a selective advantage in pairwise competition experiments. When nematodes carried bacteria that did not interact via bacteriocins, the faster killing isolate had a competitive advantage. Alternatively, nematodes could gain a competitive advantage when they carried bacteria able to inhibit the bacteria of their competitor. Thus, the combination of nematode/bacterial traits that led to competitive success depended on which isolates were paired, suggesting that variation in competitive interactions may be important for maintaining species diversity in this community. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Human and Animal Isolates of Yersinia enterocolitica Show Significant Serotype-Specific Colonization and Host-Specific Immune Defense Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaake, Julia; Kronshage, Malte; Uliczka, Frank; Rohde, Manfred; Knuuti, Tobias; Strauch, Eckhard; Fruth, Angelika; Wos-Oxley, Melissa

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia enterocolitica is a human pathogen that is ubiquitous in livestock, especially pigs. The bacteria are able to colonize the intestinal tract of a variety of mammalian hosts, but the severity of induced gut-associated diseases (yersiniosis) differs significantly between hosts. To gain more information about the individual virulence determinants that contribute to colonization and induction of immune responses in different hosts, we analyzed and compared the interactions of different human- and animal-derived isolates of serotypes O:3, O:5,27, O:8, and O:9 with murine, porcine, and human intestinal cells and macrophages. The examined strains exhibited significant serotype-specific cell binding and entry characteristics, but adhesion and uptake into different host cells were not host specific and were independent of the source of the isolate. In contrast, survival and replication within macrophages and the induced proinflammatory response differed between murine, porcine, and human macrophages, suggesting a host-specific immune response. In fact, similar levels of the proinflammatory cytokine macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2) were secreted by murine bone marrow-derived macrophages with all tested isolates, but the equivalent interleukin-8 (IL-8) response of porcine bone marrow-derived macrophages was strongly serotype specific and considerably lower in O:3 than in O:8 strains. In addition, all tested Y. enterocolitica strains caused a considerably higher level of secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 by porcine than by murine macrophages. This could contribute to limiting the severity of the infection (in particular of serotype O:3 strains) in pigs, which are the primary reservoir of Y. enterocolitica strains pathogenic to humans. PMID:23959720

  14. Specific developmental pathways underlie host specificity in the parasitic plant Orobanche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiscock, Simon

    2010-01-01

    Parasitic angiosperms are an ecologically and economically important group of plants. However our understanding of the basis for host specificity in these plants is embryonic. Recently we investigated host specificity in the parasitic angiosperm Orobanche minor, and demonstrated that this host generalist parasite comprises genetically defined races that are physiologically adapted to specific hosts. Populations occurring naturally on red clover (Trifolium pratense) and sea carrot (Daucus carota subsp. gummifer) respectively, showed distinct patterns of host specificity at various developmental stages, and a higher fitness on their natural hosts, suggesting these races are locally adapted. Here we discuss the implications of our findings from a broader perspective. We suggest that differences in signal responsiveness and perception by the parasite, as well as qualitative differences in signal production by the host, may elicit host specificity in this parasitic plant. Together with our earlier demonstration that these O. minor races are genetically distinct based on molecular markers, our recent data provide a snapshot of speciation in action, driven by host specificity. Indeed, host specificity may be an underestimated catalyst for speciation in parasitic plants generally. We propose that identifying host specific races using physiological techniques will complement conventional molecular marker-based approaches to provide a framework for delineating evolutionary relationships among cryptic host-specific parasitic plants. PMID:20081361

  15. Zinc Detoxification Is Required for Full Virulence and Modification of the Host Leaf Ionome by Xylella fastidiosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Fernando; De La Fuente, Leonardo

    2015-04-01

    Zinc (Zn) is an essential element for all forms of life because it is a structural or catalytic cofactor of many proteins, but it can have toxic effects at high concentrations; thus, microorganisms must tightly regulate its levels. Here, we evaluated the role of Zn homeostasis proteins in the virulence of the xylem-limited bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, causal agent of Pierce's disease of grapevine, among other diseases. Two mutants of X. fastidiosa 'Temecula' affected in genes which regulate Zn homeostasis (zur) and Zn detoxification (czcD) were constructed. Both knockouts showed increased sensitivity to Zn at physiologically relevant concentrations and increased intracellular accumulation of this metal compared with the wild type. Increased Zn sensitivity was correlated with decreased growth in grapevine xylem sap, reduced twitching motility, and downregulation of exopolysaccharide biosynthetic genes. Tobacco plants inoculated with either knockout mutant showed reduced foliar symptoms and a much reduced (czcD) or absent (zur) modification of the leaf ionome (i.e., the mineral nutrient and trace element composition), as well as reduced bacterial populations. The results show that detoxification of Zn is crucial for the virulence of X. fastidiosa and verifies our previous findings that modification of the host leaf ionome correlates with bacterial virulence.

  16. Unique virulence properties of Yersinia enterocolitica O:3--an emerging zoonotic pathogen using pigs as preferred reservoir host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentin-Weigand, Peter; Heesemann, Jürgen; Dersch, Petra

    2014-10-01

    Enteropathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica bioserotype 4/O:3 are the most frequent cause of human yersiniosis worldwide with symptoms ranging from mild diarrhea to severe complications of mesenteric lymphadenitis, liver abscesses and postinfectious extraintestinal sequelae. The main reservoir host of 4/O:3 strains are pigs, which represent a substantial disease-causing potential for humans, as they are usually asymptomatic carriers. Y. enterocolitica O:3 initiates infections by tight attachment to the intestinal mucosa. Colonization of the digestive tract is frequently followed by invasion of the intestinal layer primarily at the follicle-associated epithelium, allowing the bacteria to propagate in the lamina propria and disseminate into deeper tissues. Molecular characterization of Y. enterocolitica O:3 isolates led to the identification of (i) alternative virulence and fitness factors and (ii) small genetic variations which cause profound changes in their virulence gene expression pattern (e.g. constitutive expression of the primary invasion factor InvA). These changes provoke a major difference in the virulence properties, i.e. reduced colonization of intestinal tissues in mice, but improved long-term colonization in the pig intestine. Y. enterocolitica O:3 strains cause also a considerably lower level of proinflammatory cytokine IL-8 and higher levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in porcine primary macrophages, as compared to murine macrophages, which could contribute to limiting inflammation, immunopathology and severity of the infection in pigs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. Salmonella Typhimurium metabolism affects virulence in the host – A mini-review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herrero-fresno, Ana; Olsen, John Elmerdhahl

    2018-01-01

    Salmonella enterica remains an important food borne pathogen in all regions of the world with S. Typhimurium as one of the most frequent serovars causing food borne disease. Since the majority of human cases are caused by food of animal origin, there has been a high interest in understanding how S....... Typhimurium interacts with the animal host, mostly focusing on factors that allow it to breach host barriers and to manipulate host cells to the benefit of itself. Up to recently, such studies have ignored the metabolic factors that allow the bacteria to multiply in the host, but this is changing rapidly...

  18. Modulation of Host Immunity by Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Virulence Factors: A Synergic Inhibition of Both Innate and Adaptive Immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisela Canedo-Marroquín

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (hRSV is a major cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections (ARTIs and high rates of hospitalizations in children and in the elderly worldwide. Symptoms of hRSV infection include bronchiolitis and pneumonia. The lung pathology observed during hRSV infection is due in part to an exacerbated host immune response, characterized by immune cell infiltration to the lungs. HRSV is an enveloped virus, a member of the Pneumoviridae family, with a non-segmented genome and negative polarity-single RNA that contains 10 genes encoding for 11 proteins. These include the Fusion protein (F, the Glycoprotein (G, and the Small Hydrophobic (SH protein, which are located on the virus surface. In addition, the Nucleoprotein (N, Phosphoprotein (P large polymerase protein (L part of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex, the M2-1 protein as a transcription elongation factor, the M2-2 protein as a regulator of viral transcription and (M protein all of which locate inside the virion. Apart from the structural proteins, the hRSV genome encodes for the non-structural 1 and 2 proteins (NS1 and NS2. HRSV has developed different strategies to evade the host immunity by means of the function of some of these proteins that work as virulence factors to improve the infection in the lung tissue. Also, hRSV NS-1 and NS-2 proteins have been shown to inhibit the activation of the type I interferon response. Furthermore, the hRSV nucleoprotein has been shown to inhibit the immunological synapsis between the dendritic cells and T cells during infection, resulting in an inefficient T cell activation. Here, we discuss the hRSV virulence factors and the host immunological features raised during infection with this virus.

  19. Proteome Analysis of the Plant Pathogenic Fungus Monilinia laxa Showing Host Specificity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olja Bregar

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Brown rot fungus Monilinia laxa (Aderh. & Ruhl. Honey is an important plant pathogen in stone and pome fruits in Europe. We applied a proteomic approach in a study of M. laxa isolates obtained from apples and apricots in order to show the host specifity of the isolates and to analyse differentially expressed proteins in terms of host specifity, fungal pathogenicity and identification of candidate proteins for diagnostic marker development. Extracted mycelium proteins were separated by 2-D electrophoresis (2-DE and visualized by Coomassie staining in a non-linear pH range of 3–11 and Mr of 14–116 kDa. We set up a 2-DE reference map of M. laxa, resolving up to 800 protein spots, and used it for image analysis. The average technical coefficient of variance (13 % demonstrated a high reproducibility of protein extraction and 2-D polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE PAGE, and the average biological coefficient of variance (23 % enabled differential proteomic analysis of the isolates. Multivariate statistical analysis (principal component analysis discriminated isolates from two different hosts, providing new data that support the existence of a M. laxa specialized form f. sp. mali, which infects only apples. A total of 50 differentially expressed proteins were further analyzed by LC-MS/MS, yielding 41 positive identifications. The identified mycelial proteins were functionally classified into 6 groups: amino acid and protein metabolism, energy production, carbohydrate metabolism, stress response, fatty acid metabolism and other proteins. Some proteins expressed only in apple isolates have been described as virulence factors in other fungi. The acetolactate synthase was almost 11-fold more abundant in apple-specific isolates than in apricot isolates and it might be implicated in M. laxa host specificity. Ten proteins identified only in apple isolates are potential candidates for the development of M. laxa host-specific diagnostic markers.

  20. In Vitro Analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence Using Conditions That Mimic the Environment at Specific Infection Sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colmer-Hamood, J A; Dzvova, N; Kruczek, C; Hamood, A N

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that causes chronic lung infection in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and acute systemic infections in severely burned patients and immunocompromised patients including cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and HIV infected individuals. In response to the environmental conditions at specific infection sites, P. aeruginosa expresses certain sets of cell-associated and extracellular virulence factors that produce tissue damage. Analyzing the mechanisms that govern the production of these virulence factors in vitro requires media that closely mimic the environmental conditions within the infection sites. In this chapter, we review studies based on media that closely resemble three in vivo conditions, the thick mucus accumulated within the lung alveoli of CF patients, the serum-rich wound bed and the bloodstream. Media resembling the CF alveolar mucus include standard laboratory media supplemented with sputum obtained from CF patients as well as prepared synthetic mucus media formulated to contain the individual components of CF sputum. Media supplemented with serum or individual serum components have served as surrogates for the soluble host components of wound infections, while whole blood has been used to investigate the adaptation of pathogens to the bloodstream. Studies using these media have provided valuable information regarding P. aeruginosa gene expression in different host environments as varying sets of genes were differentially regulated during growth in each medium. The unique effects observed indicate the essential role of these in vitro media that closely mimic the in vivo conditions in providing accurate information regarding the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa infections. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Porphyromonas gingivalis Uses Specific Domain Rearrangements and Allelic Exchange to Generate Diversity in Surface Virulence Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dashper, Stuart G; Mitchell, Helen L; Seers, Christine A; Gladman, Simon L; Seemann, Torsten; Bulach, Dieter M; Chandry, P Scott; Cross, Keith J; Cleal, Steven M; Reynolds, Eric C

    2017-01-01

    Porphyromonas gingivalis is a keystone pathogen of chronic periodontitis. The virulence of P. gingivalis is reported to be strain related and there are currently a number of strain typing schemes based on variation in capsular polysaccharide, the major and minor fimbriae and adhesin domains of Lys-gingipain (Kgp), amongst other surface proteins. P. gingivalis can exchange chromosomal DNA between strains by natural competence and conjugation. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic variability of P. gingivalis strains sourced from international locations over a 25-year period and to determine if variability in surface virulence factors has a phylogenetic basis. Whole genome sequencing was performed on 13 strains and comparison made to 10 previously sequenced strains. A single nucleotide polymorphism-based phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a shallow tri-lobed phylogeny. There was a high level of reticulation in the phylogenetic network, demonstrating extensive horizontal gene transfer between the strains. Two highly conserved variants of the catalytic domain of the major virulence factor the Kgp proteinase (Kgp cat I and Kgp cat II) were found. There were three variants of the fourth Kgp C-terminal cleaved adhesin domain. Specific variants of the cell surface proteins FimA, FimCDE, MfaI, RagAB, Tpr, and PrtT were also identified. The occurrence of all these variants in the P. gingivalis strains formed a mosaic that was not related to the SNP-based phylogeny. In conclusion P. gingivalis uses domain rearrangements and genetic exchange to generate diversity in specific surface virulence factors.

  3. Characterization of a broad host-spectrum virulent Salmonella bacteriophage fmb-p1 and its application on duck meat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Changbao; Chen, Qiming; Zhang, Chong; Yang, Jie; Lu, Zhaoxin; Lu, Fengxia; Bie, Xiaomei

    2017-05-15

    The aim of this study was to find a virulent bacteriophage for the biocontrol of Salmonella in duck meat. A broad host-spectrum virulent phage, fmb-p1, was isolated and purified from an duck farm, and its host range was determined to include S. Typhimurium, S. Enteritidis, S. Saintpaul, S. Agona, S. Miami, S. Anatum, S. Heidelberg and S. Paratyphi-C. Electron microscopy and genome sequencing showed that fmb-p1 belongs to the family Siphoviridae. The genome of fmb-p1 is composed of a 43,327-bp double-stranded DNA molecule with 60 open reading frames and a total G+C content of 46.09%. There are no deleterious sequences or genes encoding known harmful products in the phage fmb-p1 genome. Phage fmb-p1 was stable under different temperature (40-75°C), pH (4-10) and NaCl solutions (1-11%). The phage treatment (9.9×10 9 PFU/cm 2 ) caused a peak reduction in S. Typhimurium of 4.52 log CFU/cm 2 in ready-to-eat (RTE) duck meat, whereas potassium sorbate treatment (PS, 2mg/cm 2 ) resulted in a 0.05-0.12 log reduction. Compared to PS treatment, there was significant difference in the S. Typhimurium reduction (P˂0.05) by phage treatment at both 4°C and 25°C. The results suggested that phage could be applied to reduce Salmonella, on commercial poultry products. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Ralstonia solanacearum uses inorganic nitrogen metabolism for virulence, ATP production, and detoxification in the oxygen-limited host xylem environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalsing, Beth L; Truchon, Alicia N; Gonzalez-Orta, Enid T; Milling, Annett S; Allen, Caitilyn

    2015-03-17

    Genomic data predict that, in addition to oxygen, the bacterial plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum can use nitrate (NO3(-)), nitrite (NO2(-)), nitric oxide (NO), and nitrous oxide (N2O) as terminal electron acceptors (TEAs). Genes encoding inorganic nitrogen reduction were highly expressed during tomato bacterial wilt disease, when the pathogen grows in xylem vessels. Direct measurements found that tomato xylem fluid was low in oxygen, especially in plants infected by R. solanacearum. Xylem fluid contained ~25 mM NO3(-), corresponding to R. solanacearum's optimal NO3(-) concentration for anaerobic growth in vitro. We tested the hypothesis that R. solanacearum uses inorganic nitrogen species to respire and grow during pathogenesis by making deletion mutants that each lacked a step in nitrate respiration (ΔnarG), denitrification (ΔaniA, ΔnorB, and ΔnosZ), or NO detoxification (ΔhmpX). The ΔnarG, ΔaniA, and ΔnorB mutants grew poorly on NO3(-) compared to the wild type, and they had reduced adenylate energy charge levels under anaerobiosis. While NarG-dependent NO3(-) respiration directly enhanced growth, AniA-dependent NO2(-) reduction did not. NO2(-) and NO inhibited growth in culture, and their removal depended on denitrification and NO detoxification. Thus, NO3(-) acts as a TEA, but the resulting NO2(-) and NO likely do not. None of the mutants grew as well as the wild type in planta, and strains lacking AniA (NO2(-) reductase) or HmpX (NO detoxification) had reduced virulence on tomato. Thus, R. solanacearum exploits host NO3(-) to respire, grow, and cause disease. Degradation of NO2(-) and NO is also important for successful infection and depends on denitrification and NO detoxification systems. The plant-pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum causes bacterial wilt, one of the world's most destructive crop diseases. This pathogen's explosive growth in plant vascular xylem is poorly understood. We used biochemical and genetic approaches to show

  5. Visualization of the role of host heme on the virulence of the heme auxotroph Streptococcus agalactiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joubert, Laetitia; Dagieu, Jean-Baptiste; Fernandez, Annabelle; Derré-Bobillot, Aurélie; Borezée-Durant, Elise; Fleurot, Isabelle; Gruss, Alexandra; Lechardeur, Delphine

    2017-01-16

    Heme is essential for several cellular key functions but is also toxic. Whereas most bacterial pathogens utilize heme as a metabolic cofactor and iron source, the impact of host heme during bacterial infection remains elusive. The opportunist pathogen Streptococcus agalactiae does not synthesize heme but still uses it to activate a respiration metabolism. Concomitantly, heme toxicity is mainly controlled by the HrtBA efflux transporter. Here we investigate how S. agalactiae manages heme toxicity versus benefits in the living host. Using bioluminescent bacteria and heme-responsive reporters for in vivo imaging, we show that the capacity of S. agalactiae to overcome heme toxicity is required for successful infection, particularly in blood-rich organs. Host heme is simultaneously required, as visualized by a generalized infection defect of a respiration-negative mutant. In S. agalactiae, HrtBA expression responds to an intracellular heme signal via activation of the two-component system HssRS. A hssRS promoter-driven intracellular luminescent heme sensor was designed to identify host compartments that supply S. agalactiae with heme. S. agalactiae acquires heme in heart, kidneys, and liver, but not in the brain. We conclude that S. agalactiae response to heme is organ-dependent, and its efflux may be particularly relevant in late stages of infection.

  6. Host-Pathogen Interactions: I. A Correlation Between α-Galactosidase Production and Virulence 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Patricia D.; Albersheim, Peter

    1969-01-01

    Resistance or susceptibility of Red Kidney, Pinto and Small White beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) to the alpha, beta, and gamma strains of Colletotrichum lindemuthianum was either confirmed or established. These fungal strains secrete α-galactosidase, β-galactosidase and β-xylosidase when grown on cell walls isolated from the hypocotyls of any of the above bean varieties. These enzymes effectively degrade cell walls isolated from susceptible 5-day old hypocotyls but degrade only slightly the walls isolated from resistant 18-day old hypocotyls. The amounts of the β-galactosidase and β-xylosidase secreted by the 3 fungal strains are relatively low and are approximately equivalent. The secretion of these 2 enzymes is not dependent upon the bean variety from which the hypocotyl cell walls used as a carbon source were isolated. However, the fungal strains secrete greater amounts of α-galactosidase when grown on hypocotyl cell walls isolated from susceptible plants than when grown on walls from resistant plants. Virulent isolates of the fungus, when grown on hypocotyl cell walls isolated from a susceptible plant, secrete more α-galactosidase than do attenuated (avirulent) isolates of the same fungal strain grown under the same conditions. The α-galactosidase secreted by each of the fungal strains is capable of removing galactose from the hypocotyl cell walls of each bean variety tested. Galactose is removed from the cell walls of each variety at the same rate regardless of whether the cell walls were isolated from a susceptible or resistant plant. PMID:16657049

  7. Controlled branched-chain amino acids auxotrophy in Listeria monocytogenes allows isoleucine to serve as a host signal and virulence effector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenner, Moran; Lobel, Lior; Borovok, Ilya; Sigal, Nadejda; Herskovits, Anat A

    2018-03-01

    Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is a saprophyte and intracellular pathogen. Transition to the pathogenic state relies on sensing of host-derived metabolites, yet it remains unclear how these are recognized and how they mediate virulence gene regulation. We previously found that low availability of isoleucine signals Lm to activate the virulent state. This response is dependent on CodY, a global regulator and isoleucine sensor. Isoleucine-bound CodY represses metabolic pathways including branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) biosynthesis, however under BCAA depletion, as occurs during infection, BCAA biosynthesis is upregulated and isoleucine-unbound CodY activates virulence genes. While isoleucine was revealed as an important input signal, it was not identified how internal levels are controlled during infection. Here we show that Lm regulates BCAA biosynthesis via CodY and via a riboregulator located upstream to the BCAA biosynthesis genes, named Rli60. rli60 is transcribed when BCAA levels drop, forming a ribosome-mediated attenuator that cis-regulates the downstream genes according to BCAA supply. Notably, we found that Rli60 restricts BCAA production, essentially starving Lm, a mechanism that is directly linked to virulence, as it controls the internal isoleucine pool and thereby CodY activity. This controlled BCAA auxotrophy likely evolved to enable isoleucine to serve as a host signal and virulence effector.

  8. Controlled branched-chain amino acids auxotrophy in Listeria monocytogenes allows isoleucine to serve as a host signal and virulence effector.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moran Brenner

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Listeria monocytogenes (Lm is a saprophyte and intracellular pathogen. Transition to the pathogenic state relies on sensing of host-derived metabolites, yet it remains unclear how these are recognized and how they mediate virulence gene regulation. We previously found that low availability of isoleucine signals Lm to activate the virulent state. This response is dependent on CodY, a global regulator and isoleucine sensor. Isoleucine-bound CodY represses metabolic pathways including branched-chain amino acids (BCAA biosynthesis, however under BCAA depletion, as occurs during infection, BCAA biosynthesis is upregulated and isoleucine-unbound CodY activates virulence genes. While isoleucine was revealed as an important input signal, it was not identified how internal levels are controlled during infection. Here we show that Lm regulates BCAA biosynthesis via CodY and via a riboregulator located upstream to the BCAA biosynthesis genes, named Rli60. rli60 is transcribed when BCAA levels drop, forming a ribosome-mediated attenuator that cis-regulates the downstream genes according to BCAA supply. Notably, we found that Rli60 restricts BCAA production, essentially starving Lm, a mechanism that is directly linked to virulence, as it controls the internal isoleucine pool and thereby CodY activity. This controlled BCAA auxotrophy likely evolved to enable isoleucine to serve as a host signal and virulence effector.

  9. Host Specificity in the Honeybee Parasitic Mite, Varroa spp. in Apis mellifera and Apis cerana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexis L Beaurepaire

    Full Text Available The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is a major global threat to the Western honeybee Apis mellifera. This mite was originally a parasite of A. cerana in Asia but managed to spill over into colonies of A. mellifera which had been introduced to this continent for honey production. To date, only two almost clonal types of V. destructor from Korea and Japan have been detected in A. mellifera colonies. However, since both A. mellifera and A. cerana colonies are kept in close proximity throughout Asia, not only new spill overs but also spill backs of highly virulent types may be possible, with unpredictable consequences for both honeybee species. We studied the dispersal and hybridisation potential of Varroa from sympatric colonies of the two hosts in Northern Vietnam and the Philippines using mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA markers. We found a very distinct mtDNA haplotype equally invading both A. mellifera and A. cerana in the Philippines. In contrast, we observed a complete reproductive isolation of various Vietnamese Varroa populations in A. mellifera and A. cerana colonies even if kept in the same apiaries. In light of this variance in host specificity, the adaptation of the mite to its hosts seems to have generated much more genetic diversity than previously recognised and the Varroa species complex may include substantial cryptic speciation.

  10. Use of Comparative Genomics-Based Markers for Discrimination of Host Specificity in Fusarium oxysporum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, Peter; de Sain, Mara; Ter Horst, Anneliek; van der Gragt, Michelle; Rep, Martijn

    2018-01-01

    their host range, which is normally restricted to only one or a few plant species. However, horizontal gene transfer between strains in the species complex has resulted in a polyphyletic origin of host specificity in many of these formae speciales This hinders accurate and rapid pathogen detection through molecular methods. In our research, we compared the genomes of 88 strains of F. oxysporum with each other, specifically targeting virulence-related genes that are typically highly similar within each forma specialis Using this approach, we identified marker sequences that allow the discrimination of F. oxysporum strains affecting various cucurbit plant species through different PCR-based methods. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  11. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia virulence and specific variations in trace elements during acute lung infection: implications in cystic fibrosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arianna Pompilio

    Full Text Available Metal ions are necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system, and, therefore, they might have a significant influence on the interaction between bacteria and host. Ionic dyshomeostasis has been recently observed also in cystic fibrosis (CF patients, whose respiratory tract is frequently colonized by Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. For the first time, here we used an inductively mass spectrometry method to perform a spatial and temporal analysis of the pattern of changes in a broad range of major trace elements in response to pulmonary infection by S. maltophilia. To this, DBA/2 mouse lungs were comparatively infected by a CF strain and by an environmental one. Our results showed that pulmonary ionomic profile was significantly affected during infection. Infected mice showed increased lung levels of Mg, P, S, K, Zn, Se, and Rb. To the contrary, Mn, Fe, Co, and Cu levels resulted significantly decreased. Changes of element concentrations were correlated with pulmonary bacterial load and markers of inflammation, and occurred mostly on day 3 post-exposure, when severity of infection culminated. Interestingly, CF strain - significantly more virulent than the environmental one in our murine model - provoked a more significant impact in perturbing pulmonary metal homeostasis. Particularly, exposure to CF strain exclusively increased P and K levels, while decreased Fe and Mn ones. Overall, our data clearly indicate that S. maltophilia modulates pulmonary metal balance in a concerted and virulence-dependent manner highlighting the potential role of the element dyshomeostasis during the progression of S. maltophilia infection, probably exacerbating the harmful effects of the loss of CF transmembrane conductance regulator function. Further investigations are required to understand the biological significance of these alterations and to confirm they are specifically caused by S. maltophilia.

  12. Agrobacterium-delivered virulence protein VirE2 is trafficked inside host cells via a myosin XI-K-powered ER/actin network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qinghua; Li, Xiaoyang; Tu, Haitao; Pan, Shen Q

    2017-03-14

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens causes crown gall tumors on various plants by delivering transferred DNA (T-DNA) and virulence proteins into host plant cells. Under laboratory conditions, the bacterium is widely used as a vector to genetically modify a wide range of organisms, including plants, yeasts, fungi, and algae. Various studies suggest that T-DNA is protected inside host cells by VirE2, one of the virulence proteins. However, it is not clear how Agrobacterium -delivered factors are trafficked through the cytoplasm. In this study, we monitored the movement of Agrobacterium -delivered VirE2 inside plant cells by using a split-GFP approach in real time. Agrobacterium -delivered VirE2 trafficked via the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and F-actin network inside plant cells. During this process, VirE2 was aggregated as filamentous structures and was present on the cytosolic side of the ER. VirE2 movement was powered by myosin XI-K. Thus, exogenously produced and delivered VirE2 protein can use the endogenous host ER/actin network for movement inside host cells. The A. tumefaciens pathogen hijacks the conserved host infrastructure for virulence trafficking. Well-conserved infrastructure may be useful for Agrobacterium to target a wide range of recipient cells and achieve a high efficiency of transformation.

  13. Comparative Genomics of the Sigatoka Disease Complex on Banana Suggests a Link between Parallel Evolutionary Changes in Pseudocercospora fijiensis and Pseudocercospora eumusae and Increased Virulence on the Banana Host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Ti-Cheng; Salvucci, Anthony; Crous, Pedro W; Stergiopoulos, Ioannis

    2016-08-01

    The Sigatoka disease complex, caused by the closely-related Dothideomycete fungi Pseudocercospora musae (yellow sigatoka), Pseudocercospora eumusae (eumusae leaf spot), and Pseudocercospora fijiensis (black sigatoka), is currently the most devastating disease on banana worldwide. The three species emerged on bananas from a recent common ancestor and show clear differences in virulence, with P. eumusae and P. fijiensis considered the most aggressive. In order to understand the genomic modifications associated with shifts in the species virulence spectra after speciation, and to identify their pathogenic core that can be exploited in disease management programs, we have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of P. eumusae and P. musae and compared them with the available genome sequence of P. fijiensis. Comparative analysis of genome architectures revealed significant differences in genome size, mainly due to different rates of LTR retrotransposon proliferation. Still, gene counts remained relatively equal and in the range of other Dothideomycetes. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on a set of 46 conserved single-copy genes strongly supported an earlier evolutionary radiation of P. fijiensis from P. musae and P. eumusae. However, pairwise analyses of gene content indicated that the more virulent P. eumusae and P. fijiensis share complementary patterns of expansions and contractions in core gene families related to metabolism and enzymatic degradation of plant cell walls, suggesting that the evolution of virulence in these two pathogens has, to some extent, been facilitated by convergent changes in metabolic pathways associated with nutrient acquisition and assimilation. In spite of their common ancestry and shared host-specificity, the three species retain fairly dissimilar repertoires of effector proteins, suggesting that they likely evolved different strategies for manipulating the host immune system. Finally, 234 gene families, including seven putative effectors, were

  14. Comparative Genomics of the Sigatoka Disease Complex on Banana Suggests a Link between Parallel Evolutionary Changes in Pseudocercospora fijiensis and Pseudocercospora eumusae and Increased Virulence on the Banana Host.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ti-Cheng Chang

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The Sigatoka disease complex, caused by the closely-related Dothideomycete fungi Pseudocercospora musae (yellow sigatoka, Pseudocercospora eumusae (eumusae leaf spot, and Pseudocercospora fijiensis (black sigatoka, is currently the most devastating disease on banana worldwide. The three species emerged on bananas from a recent common ancestor and show clear differences in virulence, with P. eumusae and P. fijiensis considered the most aggressive. In order to understand the genomic modifications associated with shifts in the species virulence spectra after speciation, and to identify their pathogenic core that can be exploited in disease management programs, we have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of P. eumusae and P. musae and compared them with the available genome sequence of P. fijiensis. Comparative analysis of genome architectures revealed significant differences in genome size, mainly due to different rates of LTR retrotransposon proliferation. Still, gene counts remained relatively equal and in the range of other Dothideomycetes. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on a set of 46 conserved single-copy genes strongly supported an earlier evolutionary radiation of P. fijiensis from P. musae and P. eumusae. However, pairwise analyses of gene content indicated that the more virulent P. eumusae and P. fijiensis share complementary patterns of expansions and contractions in core gene families related to metabolism and enzymatic degradation of plant cell walls, suggesting that the evolution of virulence in these two pathogens has, to some extent, been facilitated by convergent changes in metabolic pathways associated with nutrient acquisition and assimilation. In spite of their common ancestry and shared host-specificity, the three species retain fairly dissimilar repertoires of effector proteins, suggesting that they likely evolved different strategies for manipulating the host immune system. Finally, 234 gene families, including seven

  15. DIVERSITY AND HOST SPECIFICITY OF AZOLLA CYANOBIONTS(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papaefthimiou, Dimitra; Van Hove, Charles; Lejeune, André; Rasmussen, Ulla; Wilmotte, Annick

    2008-02-01

    A unique, hereditary symbiosis exists between the water fern Azolla and cyanobacteria that reside within a cavity in the dorsal leaf-lobe of the plant. This association has been studied extensively, and questions have frequently been raised regarding the number and diversity of cyanobionts (cyanobacterial symbionts) among the different Azolla strains and species. In this work, denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and a clone library based on the 16S rRNA gene were used to study the genetic diversity and host specificity of the cyanobionts in 35 Azolla strains covering a wide taxonomic and geographic range. DNA was extracted directly from the cyanobacterial packets, isolated after enzymatic digestion of the Azolla leaves. Our results indicated the existence of different cyanobiont strains among Azolla species, and diversity within a single Azolla species, independent of the geographic origin of the host. Furthermore, the cyanobiont exhibited host-species specificity and showed most divergence between the two sections of genus Azolla, Azolla and Rhizosperma. These findings are in agreement with the recent redefinition of the taxon Azolla cristata within the section Azolla. With regard to the taxonomic status of the cyanobiont, the genus Anabaena of the Nostocaceae family was identified as the closest relative by this work. © 2008 Phycological Society of America.

  16. Regulation of cuticle-degrading subtilisin proteases from the entomopathogenic fungi, Lecanicillium spp: implications for host specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bye, Natasha J; Charnley, A Keith

    2008-01-01

    The ability to produce cuticle-degrading proteases to facilitate host penetration does not distinguish per se entomopathogenic fungi from saprophytes. However, adapted pathogens may produce host-protein specific enzymes in response to cues. This possibility prompted an investigation of the regulation of isoforms of the subtilisin Pr1-like proteases from five aphid-pathogenic isolates of Lecanicillium spp. Significant differences were found in substrate specificity and regulation of Pr1-like proteases between isoforms of the same isolate and between different isolates. For example, the pI 8.6 isoform from KV71 was considerably more active against aphid than locust cuticle and was induced specifically by N-acetylglucosamine (NAG). Isoform pI 9.1 from the same isolate was only produced on insect cuticle while most other isoforms were more prominent on chitin containing substrates but not induced by NAG. The ability to regulate isoforms independently may allow production at critical points in host penetration. Appearance of proteases (not subtilisins) with pI 4.2 and 4.4 only on aphid cuticle was a possible link with host specificity of KV71. The absence of C or N metabolite repression in subtilisins from KV42 is unusual for pathogen proteases and may help to account for differences in virulence strategy between aphid-pathogenic isolates of Lecanicillium longisporum (unpublished data).

  17. Fluorescent nanodiamond-bacteriophage conjugates maintain host specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinh, Jimmy T; Alkahtani, Masfer H; Rampersaud, Isaac; Rampersaud, Arfaan; Scully, Marlan; Young, Ryland F; Hemmer, Philip; Zeng, Lanying

    2018-06-01

    Rapid identification of specific bacterial strains within clinical, environmental, and food samples can facilitate the prevention and treatment of disease. Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) are being developed as biomarkers in biology and medicine, due to their excellent imaging properties, ability to accept surface modifications, and lack of toxicity. Bacteriophages, the viruses of bacteria, can have exquisite specificity for certain hosts. We propose to exploit the properties of FNDs and phages to develop phages conjugated with FNDs as long-lived fluorescent diagnostic reagents. In this study, we develop a simple procedure to create such fluorescent probes by functionalizing the FNDs and phages with streptavidin and biotin, respectively. We find that the FND-phage conjugates retain the favorable characteristics of the individual components and can discern their proper host within a mixture. This technology may be further explored using different phage/bacteria systems, different FND color centers and alternate chemical labeling schemes for additional means of bacterial identification and new single-cell/virus studies. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Occurrence and host specificity of a neogregarine protozoan in four milkweed butterfly hosts (Danaus spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barriga, Paola A; Sternberg, Eleanore D; Lefèvre, Thierry; de Roode, Jacobus C; Altizer, Sonia

    2016-10-01

    Throughout their global range, wild monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are infected with the protozoan Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE). In monarchs, OE infection reduces pupal eclosion, adult lifespan, adult body size and flight ability. Infection of other butterfly hosts with OE is rare or unknown, and the only previously published records of OE infection were on monarch and queen butterflies (D. gilippus). Here we explored the occurrence and specificity of OE and OE-like parasites in four Danaus butterfly species. We surveyed wild D. eresimus (soldier), D. gilippus (queen), D. petilia (lesser wanderer), and D. plexippus (monarch) from five countries to determine the presence of infection. We conducted five cross-infection experiments, on monarchs and queen butterflies and their OE and OE-like parasites, to determine infection probability and the impact of infection on their hosts. Our field survey showed that OE-like parasites were present in D. gilippus, D. petilia, and D. plexippus, but were absent in D. eresimus. Infection probability varied geographically such that D. gilippus and D. plexippus populations in Puerto Rico and Trinidad were not infected or had low prevalence of infection, whereas D. plexippus from S. Florida and Australia had high prevalence. Cross-infection experiments showed evidence for host specificity, in that OE strains from monarchs were more effective at infecting monarchs than queens, and monarchs were less likely to be infected by OE-like strains from queens and lesser wanderers relative to their own natal strains. Our study showed that queens are less susceptible to OE and OE-like infection than monarchs, and that the reduction in adult lifespan following infection is more severe in monarchs than in queens. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Effects of host nutrition on virulence and fitness of entomopathogenic nematodes: Lipid- and protein-based supplements in Tenebrio molitor diets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro-Ilan, David; Rojas, M. Guadalupe; Morales-Ramos, Juan A.; Lewis, Edwin E.; Tedders, W. Louis

    2008-01-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes, Heterorhabditis indica and Steinernema riobrave, were tested for virulence and reproductive yield in Tenebrio molitor that were fed wheat bran diets with varying lipid- and protein-based supplements. Lipid supplements were based on 20% canola oil, peanut, pork or salmon, or a low lipid control (5% canola). Protein treatments consisted of basic supplement ingredients plus 0, 10, or 20% egg white; a bran-only control was also included. Some diet supplements had positive effects on nematode quality, whereas others had negative or neutral effects. All supplements with 20% lipids except canola oil caused increased T. molitor susceptibility to H. indica, whereas susceptibility to S. riobrave was not affected. Protein supplements did not affect host susceptibility, and neither lipid nor protein diet supplements affected reproductive capacity of either nematode species. Subsequently, we determined the pest control efficacy of progeny of nematodes that had been reared through T. molitor from different diets against Diaprepes abbreviatus and Otiorhynchus sulcatus. All nematode treatments reduced insect survival relative to the control (water only). Nematodes originating from T. molitor diets with the 0% or 20% protein exhibited lower efficacy versus D. abbreviatus than the intermediate level of protein (10%) or bran-only treatments. Nematodes originating from T. molitor lipid or control diets did not differ in virulence. Our research indicates that nutritional content of an insect host diet can affect host susceptibility to entomopathogenic nematodes and nematode fitness; therefore, host media could conceivably be optimized to increase in vivo nematode production efficiency. PMID:19259513

  20. Host community heterogeneity and the expression of host specificity in avian haemosporidia in the Western Cape, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Sharon M; Cumming, Graeme S; Peters, Jeffrey L

    2018-05-16

    Similar patterns of parasite prevalence in animal communities may be driven by a range of different mechanisms. The influences of host heterogeneity and host-parasite interactions in host community assemblages are poorly understood. We sampled birds at 27 wetlands in South Africa to compare four hypotheses explaining how host community heterogeneity influences host specificity in avian haemosporidia communities: the host-neutral hypothesis, the super-spreader hypothesis, the host specialist hypothesis and the heterogeneity hypothesis. A total of 289 birds (29%) were infected with Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and/or Leucocytozoon lineages. Leucocytozoon was the most diverse and generalist parasite genus, and Plasmodium the most conservative. The host-neutral and host specialist hypotheses received the most support in explaining prevalence by lineage (Leucocytozoon) and genus (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus), respectively. We observed that haemosporidian prevalence was potentially amplified or reduced with variation in host and/or parasitic taxonomic levels of analysis. Our results show that Leucocytozoon host abundance and diversity was influential to parasite prevalence at varying taxonomic levels, particularly within heterogeneous host communities. Furthermore, we note that prevalent mechanisms of infection can potentially act as distinct roots for shaping communities of avian haemosporidia.

  1. Silencing of the Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases (MAPK) Fus3 and Slt2 in Pseudocercospora fijiensis Reduces Growth and Virulence on Host Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onyilo, Francis; Tusiime, Geoffrey; Tripathi, Jaindra N; Chen, Li-Hung; Falk, Bryce; Stergiopoulos, Ioannis; Tushemereirwe, Wilberforce; Kubiriba, Jerome; Tripathi, Leena

    2018-01-01

    Pseudocercospora fijiensis , causal agent of the black Sigatoka disease (BSD) of Musa spp., has spread globally since its discovery in Fiji 1963 to all the banana and plantain growing areas across the globe. It is becoming the most damaging and economically important disease of this crop. The identification and characterization of genes that regulate infection processes and pathogenicity in P. fijiensis will provide important knowledge for the development of disease-resistant cultivars. In many fungal plant pathogens, the Fus3 and Slt2 are reported to be essential for pathogenicity. Fus3 regulates filamentous-invasion pathways including the formation of infection structures, sporulation, virulence, and invasive and filamentous growth, whereas Slt2 is involved in the cell-wall integrity pathway, virulence, invasive growth, and colonization in host tissues. Here, we used RNAi-mediated gene silencing to investigate the role of the Slt2 and Fus3 homologs in P. fijiensis in pathogen invasiveness, growth and pathogenicity. The PfSlt2 and PfFus3 silenced P. fijiensis transformants showed significantly lower gene expression and reduced virulence, invasive growth, and lower biomass in infected leaf tissues of East African Highland Banana (EAHB). This study suggests that Slt2 and Fus3 MAPK signaling pathways play important roles in plant infection and pathogenic growth of fungal pathogens. The silencing of these vital fungal genes through host-induced gene silencing (HIG) could be an alternative strategy for developing transgenic banana and plantain resistant to BSD.

  2. Silencing of the Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases (MAPK Fus3 and Slt2 in Pseudocercospora fijiensis Reduces Growth and Virulence on Host Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francis Onyilo

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Pseudocercospora fijiensis, causal agent of the black Sigatoka disease (BSD of Musa spp., has spread globally since its discovery in Fiji 1963 to all the banana and plantain growing areas across the globe. It is becoming the most damaging and economically important disease of this crop. The identification and characterization of genes that regulate infection processes and pathogenicity in P. fijiensis will provide important knowledge for the development of disease-resistant cultivars. In many fungal plant pathogens, the Fus3 and Slt2 are reported to be essential for pathogenicity. Fus3 regulates filamentous-invasion pathways including the formation of infection structures, sporulation, virulence, and invasive and filamentous growth, whereas Slt2 is involved in the cell-wall integrity pathway, virulence, invasive growth, and colonization in host tissues. Here, we used RNAi-mediated gene silencing to investigate the role of the Slt2 and Fus3 homologs in P. fijiensis in pathogen invasiveness, growth and pathogenicity. The PfSlt2 and PfFus3 silenced P. fijiensis transformants showed significantly lower gene expression and reduced virulence, invasive growth, and lower biomass in infected leaf tissues of East African Highland Banana (EAHB. This study suggests that Slt2 and Fus3 MAPK signaling pathways play important roles in plant infection and pathogenic growth of fungal pathogens. The silencing of these vital fungal genes through host-induced gene silencing (HIG could be an alternative strategy for developing transgenic banana and plantain resistant to BSD.

  3. A rhamnose-rich O-antigen mediates adhesion, virulence, and host colonization for the xylem-limited phytopathogen Xylella fastidiosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, Jennifer C; Rapicavoli, Jeannette N; Roper, M Caroline

    2013-06-01

    Xylella fastidiosa is a gram-negative, xylem-limited bacterium that causes a lethal disease of grapevine called Pierce's disease. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) composes approximately 75% of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria and, because it is largely displayed on the cell surface, it mediates interactions between the bacterial cell and its surrounding environment. LPS is composed of a conserved lipid A-core oligosaccharide component and a variable O-antigen portion. By targeting a key O-antigen biosynthetic gene, we demonstrate the contribution of the rhamnose-rich O-antigen to surface attachment, cell-cell aggregation, and biofilm maturation: critical steps for successful infection of the host xylem tissue. Moreover, we have demonstrated that a fully formed O-antigen moiety is an important virulence factor for Pierce's disease development in grape and that depletion of the O-antigen compromises its ability to colonize the host. It has long been speculated that cell-surface polysaccharides play a role in X. fastidiosa virulence and this study confirms that LPS is a major virulence factor for this important agricultural pathogen.

  4. 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...

  5. Directional Selection from Host Plants Is a Major Force Driving Host Specificity in Magnaporthe Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Zhenhui; Norvienyeku, Justice; Chen, Meilian; Bao, Jiandong; Lin, Lianyu; Chen, Liqiong; Lin, Yahong; Wu, Xiaoxian; Cai, Zena; Zhang, Qi; Lin, Xiaoye; Hong, Yonghe; Huang, Jun; Xu, Linghong; Zhang, Honghong; Chen, Long; Tang, Wei; Zheng, Huakun; Chen, Xiaofeng; Wang, Yanli; Lian, Bi; Zhang, Liangsheng; Tang, Haibao; Lu, Guodong; Ebbole, Daniel J; Wang, Baohua; Wang, Zonghua

    2016-05-06

    One major threat to global food security that requires immediate attention, is the increasing incidence of host shift and host expansion in growing number of pathogenic fungi and emergence of new pathogens. The threat is more alarming because, yield quality and quantity improvement efforts are encouraging the cultivation of uniform plants with low genetic diversity that are increasingly susceptible to emerging pathogens. However, the influence of host genome differentiation on pathogen genome differentiation and its contribution to emergence and adaptability is still obscure. Here, we compared genome sequence of 6 isolates of Magnaporthe species obtained from three different host plants. We demonstrated the evolutionary relationship between Magnaporthe species and the influence of host differentiation on pathogens. Phylogenetic analysis showed that evolution of pathogen directly corresponds with host divergence, suggesting that host-pathogen interaction has led to co-evolution. Furthermore, we identified an asymmetric selection pressure on Magnaporthe species. Oryza sativa-infecting isolates showed higher directional selection from host and subsequently tends to lower the genetic diversity in its genome. We concluded that, frequent gene loss or gain, new transposon acquisition and sequence divergence are host adaptability mechanisms for Magnaporthe species, and this coevolution processes is greatly driven by directional selection from host plants.

  6. Group X hybrid histidine kinase Chk1 is dispensable for stress adaptation, host-pathogen interactions and virulence in the opportunistic yeast Candida guilliermondii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Arias, María J; Dementhon, Karine; Defosse, Tatiana A; Foureau, Emilien; Courdavault, Vincent; Clastre, Marc; Le Gal, Solène; Nevez, Gilles; Le Govic, Yohann; Bouchara, Jean-Philippe; Giglioli-Guivarc'h, Nathalie; Noël, Thierry; Mora-Montes, Hector M; Papon, Nicolas

    2017-09-01

    Hybrid histidine kinases (HHKs) progressively emerge as prominent sensing proteins in the fungal kingdom and as ideal targets for future therapeutics. The group X HHK is of major interest, since it was demonstrated to play an important role in stress adaptation, host-pathogen interactions and virulence in some yeast and mold models, and particularly Chk1, that corresponds to the sole group X HHK in Candida albicans. In the present work, we investigated the role of Chk1 in the low-virulence species Candida guilliermondii, in order to gain insight into putative conservation of the role of group X HHK in opportunistic yeasts. We demonstrated that disruption of the corresponding gene CHK1 does not influence growth, stress tolerance, drug susceptibility, protein glycosylation or cell wall composition in C. guilliermondii. In addition, we showed that loss of CHK1 does not affect C. guilliermondii ability to interact with macrophages and to stimulate cytokine production by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Finally, the C. guilliermondii chk1 null mutant was found to be as virulent as the wild-type strain in the experimental model Galleria mellonella. Taken together, our results demonstrate that group X HHK function is not conserved in Candida species. Copyright © 2017 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Genotype-specific interactions and the trade-off between host and parasite fitness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shykoff Jacqui A

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolution of parasite traits is inextricably linked to their hosts. For instance one common definition of parasite virulence is the reduction in host fitness due to infection. Thus, traits of infection must be viewed in both protagonists and may be under shared genetic and physiological control. We investigated these questions on the oomycete Hyaloperonospora arabidopsis (= parasitica, a natural pathogen of the Brassicaceae Arabidopsis thaliana. Results We performed a controlled cross inoculation experiment confronting six lines of the host plant with seven strains of the parasite in order to evaluate genetic variation for phenotypic traits of infection among hosts, parasites, and distinct combinations. Parasite infection intensity and transmission were highly variable among parasite strains and host lines but depended also on the interaction between particular genotypes of the protagonists, and genetic variation for the infection phenotype of parasites from natural populations was found even at a small spatial scale within population. Furthermore, increased parasite fitness led to a significant decrease in host fitness only on a single host line (Gb, although a trade-off between these two traits was expected because host and parasite share the same resource pool for their respective reproduction. We propose that different levels of compatibility dependent on genotype by genotype interactions might lead to different amounts of resources available for host and parasite reproduction. This variation in compatibility could thus mask the expected negative relationship between host and parasite fitness, as the total resource pool would not be constant. Conclusion These results highlight the importance of host variation in the determination of parasite fitness traits. This kind of interaction may in turn decouple the relationship between parasite transmission and its negative effect on host fitness, altering theoretical predictions

  8. Host conservatism or host specialization? Patterns of fungal diversification are influenced by host specificity in Ophiognomonia (Gnomoniaceae, Diaporthales)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Species of Ophiognomonia (Gnomoniaceae) are perithecial fungi that occur as endophytes, pathogens, and latent saprobes on leaf and stem tissue of plants in the Betulaceae, Fagaceae, Juglandaceae, Lauraceae, Malvaceae, Platanaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, and Sapindaceae. In this study host plant patte...

  9. Evolution and host specificity in the ectomycorrhizal genus Leccinum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, den H.C.; Zuccarello, G.C.; Kuyper, T.W.; Noordeloos, M.E.

    2004-01-01

    Species of the ectomycorrhizal genus Leccinum are generally considered to be host specialists. We determined the phylogenetic relationships between species of Leccinum from Europe and North America based on second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase

  10. Host-specific races in the holoparasitic angiosperm Orobanche minor: implications for speciation in parasitic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorogood, C J; Rumsey, F J; Hiscock, S J

    2009-05-01

    Orobanche minor is a root-holoparasitic angiosperm that attacks a wide range of host species, including a number of commonly cultivated crops. The extent to which genetic divergence among natural populations of O. minor is influenced by host specificity has not been determined previously. Here, the host specificity of natural populations of O. minor is quantified for the first time, and evidence that this species may comprise distinct physiological races is provided. A tripartite approach was used to examine the physiological basis for the divergence of populations occurring on different hosts: (1) host-parasite interactions were cultivated in rhizotron bioassays in order to quantify the early stages of the infection and establishment processes; (2) using reciprocal-infection experiments, parasite races were cultivated on their natural and alien hosts, and their fitness determined in terms of biomass; and (3) the anatomy of the host-parasite interface was investigated using histochemical techniques, with a view to comparing the infection process on different hosts. Races occurring naturally on red clover (Trifolium pratense) and sea carrot (Daucus carota ssp. gummifer) showed distinct patterns of host specificity: parasites cultivated in cross-infection studies showed a higher fitness on their natural hosts, suggesting that races show local adaptation to specific hosts. In addition, histological evidence suggests that clover and carrot roots vary in their responses to infection. Different root anatomy and responses to infection may underpin a physiological basis for host specificity. It is speculated that host specificity may isolate races of Orobanche on different hosts, accelerating divergence and ultimately speciation in this genus. The rapid life cycle and broad host range of O. minor make this species an ideal model with which to study the interactions of parasitic plants with their host associates.

  11. Race-Specific Adult-Plant Resistance in Winter Wheat to Stripe Rust and Characterization of Pathogen Virulence Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milus, Eugene A; Moon, David E; Lee, Kevin D; Mason, R Esten

    2015-08-01

    Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, is an important disease of wheat in the Great Plains and southeastern United States. Growing resistant cultivars is the preferred means for managing stripe rust, but new virulence in the pathogen population overcomes some of the resistance. The objectives of this study were to characterize the stripe rust resistance in contemporary soft and hard red winter wheat cultivars, to characterize the virulence of P. striiformis f. sp. tritici isolates based on the resistances found in the cultivars, and to determine wheat breeders' perceptions on the importance and methods for achieving stripe rust resistance. Seedlings of cultivars were susceptible to recent isolates, indicating they lacked effective all-stage resistance. However, adult-plants were resistant or susceptible depending on the isolate, indicating they had race-specific adult-plant resistance. Using isolates collected from 1990 to 2013, six major virulence patterns were identified on adult plants of twelve cultivars that were selected as adult-plant differentials. Race-specific adult-plant resistance appears to be the only effective type of resistance protecting wheat from stripe rust in eastern United States. Among wheat breeders, the importance of incorporating stripe rust resistance into cultivars ranged from high to low depending on the frequency of epidemics in their region, and most sources of stripe rust resistance were either unknown or already overcome by virulence in the pathogen population. Breeders with a high priority for stripe rust resistance made most of their selections based on adult-plant reactions in the field, whereas breeders with a low priority for resistance based selections on molecular markers for major all-stage resistance genes.

  12. Purification and host specificity of predatory halobacteriovorax isolated from seawater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halobacteriovorax (formerly Bacteriovorax) are small predatory bacteria found in the marine environment and may serve as biocontrol agents against pathogens in fish and shellfish. Four strains of Halobacteriovorax originally isolated in Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6 host cells were separated from t...

  13. Crystal Structure of the LasA Virulence Factor from Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Substrate Specificity and Mechanism of M23 Metallopeptidases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spencer, James; Murphy, Loretta M.; Conners, Rebecca; Sessions, Richard B.; Gamblin, Steven J. (Wales); (Bristol Med Sci); (NIMR)

    2010-09-21

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunist Gram-negative bacterial pathogen responsible for a wide range of infections in immunocompromized individuals and is a leading cause of mortality in cystic fibrosis patients. A number of secreted virulence factors, including various proteolytic enzymes, contribute to the establishment and maintenance of Pseudomonas infection. One such is LasA, an M23 metallopeptidase related to autolytic glycylglycine endopeptidases such as Staphylococcus aureus lysostaphin and LytM, and to DD-endopeptidases involved in entry of bacteriophage to host bacteria. LasA is implicated in a range of processes related to Pseudomonas virulence, including stimulating ectodomain shedding of the cell surface heparan sulphate proteoglycan syndecan-1 and elastin degradation in connective tissue. Here we present crystal structures of active LasA as a complex with tartrate and in the uncomplexed form. While the overall fold resembles that of the other M23 family members, the LasA active site is less constricted and utilizes a different set of metal ligands. The active site of uncomplexed LasA contains a five-coordinate zinc ion with trigonal bipyramidal geometry and two metal-bound water molecules. Using these structures as a starting point, we propose a model for substrate binding by LasA that explains its activity against a wider range of substrates than those used by related lytic enzymes, and offer a catalytic mechanism for M23 metallopeptidases consistent with available structural and mutagenesis data. Our results highlight how LasA is a structurally distinct member of this endopeptidase family, consistent with its activity against a wider range of substrates and with its multiple roles in Pseudomonas virulence.

  14. In vitro investigations on host specificity of ralstonia solanacearum among solanaceous crops and its biological control in tomato

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasan, S.; Haq, M. I.; Naz, F.; Tahir, M. I.

    2016-01-01

    Ralstonia solanacearum, the causal organism of bacterial wilt of solanaceous crops is a major limitation on the production of solanaceous crops worldwide. The present studies were carried out to explore the prevalence, severity, virulence and host specificity range of R. solanacearum in chili, tomato, eggplant and potato plants while biocontrol of this pathogen was studied on tomato. The isolation and the initial identification of bacterium were done on TTC and 523 media. Out of 32 isolates, 30 showed positive hypersensitive reaction (HR) with variable response and were confirmed as R. solanacearum by performing biochemical tests i.e. Gram staining, KOH, catalase oxidation, Kovacs oxidation, levan production from sucrose, lipase activity on tween 80 agar, production of fluorescent pigment, and oxidation/fermentation of glucose. Race identification studies showed that all the isolates belonged to Race 3 while biovar confirmation tests revealed that 4, 3 and 23 isolates belonged to biovar 1, biovar 2 and biovar 3, respectively. The isolates belonging to distinct biovar class were tested for their wideness of host range by challenging them to chili, tomato, eggplant and potato plants. It was observed that biovar 3 is the most aggressive and has widest host range as compared to counterparts. Biocontrol studies through antagonistic rhizobacteria resulted four antagonistic isolates; PRB10, PAP5, PAT1 and PTR6 having the highest biocontrol activity with 98.75%, 97.5%, 93.75% and 91.25% respectively. (author)

  15. Geographical variation in host-ant specificity of the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Als, Thomas Damm; Nash, David Richard; Boomsma, J. J.

    2002-01-01

    1. Maculinea alcon uses three different species of Myrmica host ants along a north-south gradient in Europe. Based on this geographical variation in host ant use, Elmes et al. (1994) suggested that M. alcon might consist of three or more cryptic species or host races, each using a single...... and different host-ant species.2. Population-specific differences in allozyme genotypes of M. alcon in Denmark (Gadeberg Boomsma, 1997) have suggested that genetically differentiated forms may occur in a gradient across Denmark, possibly in relation to the use of different host ants.3. It was found that two...... host-ant species are indeed used as hosts in Denmark, but not in a clear-cut north-south gradient. Furthermore, specificity was not complete for many M. alcon populations. Of five populations investigated in detail, one used primarily M. rubra as a host, another exclusively used M. ruginodis, while...

  16. Borrelia host adaptation Regulator (BadR) regulates rpoS to modulate host adaptation and virulence factors in Borrelia burgdorferi

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Christine L.; Rajasekhar Karna, S. L.; Seshu, J.

    2013-01-01

    The RpoS transcription factor of Borrelia burgdorferi is a “gatekeeper” because it activates genes required for spirochetes to transition from tick to vertebrate hosts. However, it remains unknown how RpoS becomes repressed to allow the spirochetes to transition back from the vertebrate host to the tick vector. Here we show that a putative carbohydrate-responsive regulatory protein, designated BadR (Borrelia host adaptation Regulator), is a transcriptional repressor of rpoS. BadR levels are e...

  17. Genetic architecture of resistance in Daphnia hosts against two species of host-specific parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routtu, J; Ebert, D

    2015-02-01

    Understanding the genetic architecture of host resistance is key for understanding the evolution of host-parasite interactions. Evolutionary models often assume simple genetics based on few loci and strong epistasis. It is unknown, however, whether these assumptions apply to natural populations. Using a quantitative trait loci (QTL) approach, we explore the genetic architecture of resistance in the crustacean Daphnia magna to two of its natural parasites: the horizontally transmitted bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and the horizontally and vertically transmitted microsporidium Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis. These two systems have become models for studies on the evolution of host-parasite interactions. In the QTL panel used here, Daphnia's resistance to P. ramosa is controlled by a single major QTL (which explains 50% of the observed variation). Resistance to H. tvaerminnensis horizontal infections shows a signature of a quantitative trait based in multiple loci with weak epistatic interactions (together explaining 38% variation). Resistance to H. tvaerminnensis vertical infections, however, shows only one QTL (explaining 13.5% variance) that colocalizes with one of the QTLs for horizontal infections. QTLs for resistance to Pasteuria and Hamiltosporidium do not colocalize. We conclude that the genetics of resistance in D. magna are drastically different for these two parasites. Furthermore, we infer that based on these and earlier results, the mechanisms of coevolution differ strongly for the two host-parasite systems. Only the Pasteuria-Daphnia system is expected to follow the negative frequency-dependent selection (Red Queen) model. How coevolution works in the Hamiltosporidium-Daphnia system remains unclear.

  18. Effector-Triggered Immunity Determines Host Genotype-Specific Incompatibility in Legume-Rhizobium Symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuda, Michiko; Miwa, Hiroki; Masuda, Sachiko; Takebayashi, Yumiko; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; Okazaki, Shin

    2016-08-01

    Symbiosis between legumes and rhizobia leads to the formation of N2-fixing root nodules. In soybean, several host genes, referred to as Rj genes, control nodulation. Soybean cultivars carrying the Rj4 gene restrict nodulation by specific rhizobia such as Bradyrhizobium elkanii We previously reported that the restriction of nodulation was caused by B. elkanii possessing a functional type III secretion system (T3SS), which is known for its delivery of virulence factors by pathogenic bacteria. In the present study, we investigated the molecular basis for the T3SS-dependent nodulation restriction in Rj4 soybean. Inoculation tests revealed that soybean cultivar BARC-2 (Rj4/Rj4) restricted nodulation by B. elkanii USDA61, whereas its nearly isogenic line BARC-3 (rj4/rj4) formed nitrogen-fixing nodules with the same strain. Root-hair curling and infection threads were not observed in the roots of BARC-2 inoculated with USDA61, indicating that Rj4 blocked B. elkanii infection in the early stages. Accumulation of H2O2 and salicylic acid (SA) was observed in the roots of BARC-2 inoculated with USDA61. Transcriptome analyses revealed that inoculation of USDA61, but not its T3SS mutant in BARC-2, induced defense-related genes, including those coding for hypersensitive-induced responsive protein, which act in effector-triggered immunity (ETI) in Arabidopsis. These findings suggest that B. elkanii T3SS triggers the SA-mediated ETI-type response in Rj4 soybean, which consequently blocks symbiotic interactions. This study revealed a common molecular mechanism underlying both plant-pathogen and plant-symbiont interactions, and suggests that establishment of a root nodule symbiosis requires the evasion or suppression of plant immune responses triggered by rhizobial effectors. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Olive anthracnose: a yield- and oil quality-degrading disease caused by several species of Colletotrichum that differ in virulence, host preference and geographical distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talhinhas, Pedro; Loureiro, Andreia; Oliveira, Helena

    2018-03-08

    Olive anthracnose causes fruit rot leading to its drop or mummification, resulting in yield losses and the degradation of oil quality. The disease is caused by diverse species of Colletotrichum, mostly clustering in the C. acutatum species complex. Colletotrichum nymphaeae and C. godetiae are the prevalent species in the Northern Hemisphere, whereas C. acutatum sensu stricto is the most frequent species in the Southern Hemisphere, although it is recently and quickly emerging in the Northern Hemisphere. The disease has been reported from all continents, but it attains higher incidence and severity in the west of the Mediterranean Basin, where it is endemic in traditional orchards of susceptible cultivars. The pathogens are able to survive on vegetative organs. On the fruit surface, infections remain quiescent until fruit maturity, when typical anthracnose symptoms develop. Under severe epidemics, defoliation and death of branches can also occur. Pathogen species differ in virulence, although this depends on the cultivar. The selection of resistant cultivars depends strongly on pathogen diversity and environmental conditions, posing added difficulties to breeding efforts. Chemical disease control is normally achieved with copper-based fungicides, although this may be insufficient under highly favourable disease conditions and causes concern because of the presence of fungicide residues in the oil. In areas in which the incidence is high, farmers tend to anticipate harvest, with consequences in yield and oil characteristics. Olive production systems, harvest and post-harvest processing have experienced profound changes in recent years, namely new training systems using specific cultivars, new harvest and processing techniques and new organoleptic market requests. Changes are also occurring in both the geographical distribution of pathogen populations and the taxonomic framework. In addition, stricter rules concerning pesticide use are likely to have a strong impact

  20. Agent-based dynamic knowledge representation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence activation in the stressed gut: Towards characterizing host-pathogen interactions in gut-derived sepsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal, John B; Alverdy, John C; Zaborina, Olga; An, Gary

    2011-09-19

    There is a growing realization that alterations in host-pathogen interactions (HPI) can generate disease phenotypes without pathogen invasion. The gut represents a prime region where such HPI can arise and manifest. Under normal conditions intestinal microbial communities maintain a stable, mutually beneficial ecosystem. However, host stress can lead to changes in environmental conditions that shift the nature of the host-microbe dialogue, resulting in escalation of virulence expression, immune activation and ultimately systemic disease. Effective modulation of these dynamics requires the ability to characterize the complexity of the HPI, and dynamic computational modeling can aid in this task. Agent-based modeling is a computational method that is suited to representing spatially diverse, dynamical systems. We propose that dynamic knowledge representation of gut HPI with agent-based modeling will aid in the investigation of the pathogenesis of gut-derived sepsis. An agent-based model (ABM) of virulence regulation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa was developed by translating bacterial and host cell sense-and-response mechanisms into behavioral rules for computational agents and integrated into a virtual environment representing the host-microbe interface in the gut. The resulting gut milieu ABM (GMABM) was used to: 1) investigate a potential clinically relevant laboratory experimental condition not yet developed--i.e. non-lethal transient segmental intestinal ischemia, 2) examine the sufficiency of existing hypotheses to explain experimental data--i.e. lethality in a model of major surgical insult and stress, and 3) produce behavior to potentially guide future experimental design--i.e. suggested sample points for a potential laboratory model of non-lethal transient intestinal ischemia. Furthermore, hypotheses were generated to explain certain discrepancies between the behaviors of the GMABM and biological experiments, and new investigatory avenues proposed to test those

  1. Agent-based dynamic knowledge representation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence activation in the stressed gut: Towards characterizing host-pathogen interactions in gut-derived sepsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaborina Olga

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is a growing realization that alterations in host-pathogen interactions (HPI can generate disease phenotypes without pathogen invasion. The gut represents a prime region where such HPI can arise and manifest. Under normal conditions intestinal microbial communities maintain a stable, mutually beneficial ecosystem. However, host stress can lead to changes in environmental conditions that shift the nature of the host-microbe dialogue, resulting in escalation of virulence expression, immune activation and ultimately systemic disease. Effective modulation of these dynamics requires the ability to characterize the complexity of the HPI, and dynamic computational modeling can aid in this task. Agent-based modeling is a computational method that is suited to representing spatially diverse, dynamical systems. We propose that dynamic knowledge representation of gut HPI with agent-based modeling will aid in the investigation of the pathogenesis of gut-derived sepsis. Methodology/Principal Findings An agent-based model (ABM of virulence regulation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa was developed by translating bacterial and host cell sense-and-response mechanisms into behavioral rules for computational agents and integrated into a virtual environment representing the host-microbe interface in the gut. The resulting gut milieu ABM (GMABM was used to: 1 investigate a potential clinically relevant laboratory experimental condition not yet developed - i.e. non-lethal transient segmental intestinal ischemia, 2 examine the sufficiency of existing hypotheses to explain experimental data - i.e. lethality in a model of major surgical insult and stress, and 3 produce behavior to potentially guide future experimental design - i.e. suggested sample points for a potential laboratory model of non-lethal transient intestinal ischemia. Furthermore, hypotheses were generated to explain certain discrepancies between the behaviors of the GMABM and biological

  2. Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. dianthi virus 1 accumulation is correlated with changes in virulence and other phenotypic traits of its fungal host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemus-Minor, Carlos German; Cañizares-Nolasco, Carmen; García-Pedrajas, Maria D D; Pérez-Artés, Encarnación

    2018-03-08

    Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. dianthi virus 1 (FodV1) was detected in isolate Fod 116 (Fod 116V + ) of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. dianthi (Fod), reaching such a high accumulation level that it was clearly visible after agarose gel electrophoresis of total DNA extracts. FodV1 consists of four double-stranded RNA segments, that correspond to a new mycovirus in the Chrysoviridae family. We obtained an isolate of Fod 116 (Fod 116V - ) with only a residual level of FodV1 RNA accumulation by single-conidia selection. Compared to the Fod 116V - , isolate Fod 116V + showed significant phenotypic alterations in vegetative growth and virulence. The presence of a high titer of mycovirus FodV1 thus associated with a modified morphology and a reduced growth of the colonies on solid medium, and with a diminished conidiation in liquid medium. Inoculation of four susceptible carnation cultivars with either Fod 116V - or Fod 116V + showed that the presence of a high titer of FodV1 was also correlated with a significantly reduced virulence of its fungal host. All the results suggest that FodV1 could be associated with hypovirulence, identifying it as a potential biocontrol agent against Fusarium wilt of carnation. This is the first report of a mycovirus potentially associated to the induction of hypovirulence in the species Fusarium oxysporum.

  3. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duneau, David; Luijckx, Pepijn; Ruder, Ludwig F; Ebert, Dieter

    2012-12-18

    Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration), which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts.

  4. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duneau David

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. Results We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. Conclusions We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration, which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts.

  5. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. Results We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. Conclusions We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration), which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts. PMID:23249484

  6. Review - Host specificity of insect herbivores in tropical forests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Novotný, Vojtěch; Basset, Y.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 272, č. 1568 (2005), s. 1083-1090 ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6007106; GA ČR(CZ) GD206/03/H034; GA ČR(CZ) GA206/04/0725; GA MŠk(CZ) ME 646 Grant - others:US Nationals Science Foundation(US) DEB-02-11591; Darwin Initiative for the Survival of Species(US) 162/10/030 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : food web * herbivore guild * host plant range Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.510, year: 2005

  7. Geographically structured host specificity is caused by the range expansions and host shifts of a symbiotic fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Benjamin E; Pringle, Anne

    2012-04-01

    The inability to associate with local species may constrain the spread of mutualists arriving to new habitats, but the fates of introduced, microbial mutualists are largely unknown. The deadly poisonous ectomycorrhizal fungus Amanita phalloides (the death cap) is native to Europe and introduced to the East and West Coasts of North America. By cataloging host associations across the two continents, we record dramatic changes in specificity among the three ranges. On the East Coast, where the fungus is restricted in its distribution, it associates almost exclusively with pines, which are rarely hosts of A. phalloides in its native range. In California, where the fungus is widespread and locally abundant, it associates almost exclusively with oaks, mirroring the host associations observed in Europe. The most common host of the death cap in California is the endemic coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), and the current distribution of A. phalloides appears constrained within the distribution of Q. agrifolia. In California, host shifts to native plants are also associated with a near doubling in the resources allocated to sexual reproduction and a prolonged fruiting period; mushrooms are twice as large as they are elsewhere and mushrooms are found throughout the year. Host and niche shifts are likely to shape the continuing range expansion of A. phalloides and other ectomycorrhizal fungi introduced across the world.

  8. Experimental test of host specificity in a behaviour-modifying trematode

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hernandez, R.N.; Fredensborg, Brian Lund

    2015-01-01

    Host behavioural modification by parasites is a common and well-documented phenomenon. However, knowledge on the complexity and specificity of the underlying mechanisms is limited, and host specificity among manipulating parasites has rarely been experimentally verified. We tested the hypothesis...

  9. Host age modulates within-host parasite competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izhar, Rony; Routtu, Jarkko; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-05-01

    In many host populations, one of the most striking differences among hosts is their age. While parasite prevalence differences in relation to host age are well known, little is known on how host age impacts ecological and evolutionary dynamics of diseases. Using two clones of the water flea Daphnia magna and two clones of its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa, we examined how host age at exposure influences within-host parasite competition and virulence. We found that multiply-exposed hosts were more susceptible to infection and suffered higher mortality than singly-exposed hosts. Hosts oldest at exposure were least often infected and vice versa. Furthermore, we found that in young multiply-exposed hosts competition was weak, allowing coexistence and transmission of both parasite clones, whereas in older multiply-exposed hosts competitive exclusion was observed. Thus, age-dependent parasite exposure and host demography (age structure) could together play an important role in mediating parasite evolution. At the individual level, our results demonstrate a previously unnoticed interaction of the host's immune system with host age, suggesting that the specificity of immune function changes as hosts mature. Therefore, evolutionary models of parasite virulence might benefit from incorporating age-dependent epidemiological parameters. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Phytoalexin detoxification genes and gene products: Implication for the evolution of host specific traits for pathogenicity. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    VanEtten, H.

    1997-01-01

    The overall objectives of this research were to determine which differences among PDA genes were associated with different levels of virulence on pea and to clone and characterize a MAK gene. The authors also proposed to characterize the pisatin detoxifying system in pea pathogens in addition to N. haematococca to assess whether pathogens of a common host had evolved similar pathogenicity genes

  11. Phytoalexin detoxification genes and gene products: Implication for the evolution of host specific traits for pathogenicity. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    VanEtten, H.

    1997-06-01

    The overall objectives of this research were to determine which differences among PDA genes were associated with different levels of virulence on pea and to clone and characterize a MAK gene. The authors also proposed to characterize the pisatin detoxifying system in pea pathogens in addition to N. haematococca to assess whether pathogens of a common host had evolved similar pathogenicity genes.

  12. Characterization of Foodborne Strains of Staphylococcus aureus by Shotgun Proteomics: Functional Networks, Virulence Factors and Species-Specific Peptide Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrera, Mónica; Böhme, Karola; Gallardo, José M.; Barros-Velázquez, Jorge; Cañas, Benito; Calo-Mata, Pilar

    2017-01-01

    In the present work, we applied a shotgun proteomics approach for the fast and easy characterization of 20 different foodborne strains of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), one of the most recognized foodborne pathogenic bacteria. A total of 644 non-redundant proteins were identified and analyzed via an easy and rapid protein sample preparation procedure. The results allowed the differentiation of several proteome datasets from the different strains (common, accessory, and unique datasets), which were used to determine relevant functional pathways and differentiate the strains into different Euclidean hierarchical clusters. Moreover, a predicted protein-protein interaction network of the foodborne S. aureus strains was created. The whole confidence network contains 77 nodes and 769 interactions. Most of the identified proteins were surface-associated proteins that were related to pathways and networks of energy, lipid metabolism and virulence. Twenty-seven virulence factors were identified, and most of them corresponded to autolysins, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidases, phenol-soluble modulins, extracellular fibrinogen-binding proteins and virulence factor EsxA. Potential species-specific peptide biomarkers were screened. Twenty-one species-specific peptide biomarkers, belonging to eight different proteins (nickel-ABC transporter, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase, autolysin, clumping factor A, gram-positive signal peptide YSIRK, cysteine protease/staphopain, transcriptional regulator MarR, and transcriptional regulator Sar-A), were proposed to identify S. aureus. These results constitute the first major dataset of peptides and proteins of foodborne S. aureus strains. This repository may be useful for further studies, for the development of new therapeutic treatments for S. aureus food intoxications and for microbial source-tracking in foodstuffs. PMID:29312172

  13. Dual host specificity of phage SP6 is facilitated by tailspike rotation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tu, Jiagang [Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); Park, Taehyun [Center for Infectious Disease, Department of Molecular Biosciences, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Morado, Dustin R. [Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); Hughes, Kelly T. [Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Molineux, Ian J., E-mail: molineux@austin.utexas.edu [Center for Infectious Disease, Department of Molecular Biosciences, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Liu, Jun, E-mail: Jun.Liu.1@uth.tmc.edu [Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Houston, TX 77030 (United States)

    2017-07-15

    Bacteriophage SP6 exhibits dual-host adsorption specificity. The SP6 tailspikes are recognized as important in host range determination but the mechanisms underlying dual host specificity are unknown. Cryo-electron tomography and sub-tomogram classification were used to analyze the SP6 virion with a particular focus on the interaction of tailspikes with host membranes. The SP6 tail is surrounded by six V-shaped structures that interconnect in forming a hand-over-hand hexameric garland. Each V-shaped structure consists of two trimeric tailspike proteins: gp46 and gp47, connected through the adaptor protein gp37. SP6 infection of Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium and Newport results in distinguishable changes in tailspike orientation, providing the first direct demonstration how tailspikes can confer dual host adsorption specificity. SP6 also infects S. Typhimurium strains lacking O antigen; in these infections tailspikes have no apparent specific role and the phage tail must therefore interact with a distinct host receptor to allow infection. - Highlights: •Cryo-electron tomography reveals the structural basis for dual host specificity. •Sub-tomogram classification reveals distinct orientations of the tailspikes during infection of different hosts. •Tailspike-adaptor modules rotate as they bind different O antigens. •In the absence of any O antigen, tailspikes bind weakly and without specificity to LPS. •Interaction of the phage tail with LPS is essential for infection.

  14. Biosynthesis and regulation of coronatine, a non-host-specific phytotoxin produced by Pseudomonas syringae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, C L; Palmer, D A; Peñaloza-Vázquez, A; Rangaswamy, V; Ullrich, M

    1998-01-01

    Many P. syringae pathovars are known to produce low-molecular-weight, diffusible toxins in infected host plants. These phytotoxins reproduce some of the symptoms of the relevant bacterial disease and are effective at very low concentrations. Phytotoxins generally enhance the virulence of the P. syringae pathovar which produces them, but are not required for pathogenesis. Genes encoding phytotoxin production have been identified and cloned from several P. syringae pathovars. With the exception of coronatine, toxin biosynthetic gene clusters are generally chromosomally encoded. In several pathovars, the toxin biosynthetic gene cluster also contains a resistance gene which functions to protect the producing strain from the biocidal effects of the toxin. In the case of phaseolotoxin, a resistance gene (argK) has been utilized to engineer phaseolotoxin-resistant tobacco plants. Although P. syringae phytotoxins can induce very similar effects in plants (chlorosis and necrosis), their biosynthesis and mode of action can be quite different. Knowledge of the biosynthetic pathways to these toxins and the cloning of the structural genes for their biosynthesis has relevance to the development of new bioactive compounds with altered specificity. For example, polyketides constitute a huge family of structurally diverse natural products including antibiotics, chemotherapeutic compounds, and antiparasitics. Most of the research on polyketide synthesis in bacteria has focused on compounds synthesized by Streptomyces or other actinomycetes. It is also important to note that it is now possible to utilize a genetic rather than synthetic approach to biosynthesize novel polyketides with altered biological properties (Hutchinson and Fujii, 1995; Kao et al., 1994; Donadio et al., 1993; Katz and Donadio, 1993). Most of the reprogramming or engineering of novel polyketides has been done using actinomycete PKSs, but much of this technology could also be applied to polyketides synthesized by

  15. Long-distance delivery of bacterial virulence factors by Pseudomonas aeruginosa outer membrane vesicles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M Bomberger

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria use a variety of secreted virulence factors to manipulate host cells, thereby causing significant morbidity and mortality. We report a mechanism for the long-distance delivery of multiple bacterial virulence factors, simultaneously and directly into the host cell cytoplasm, thus obviating the need for direct interaction of the pathogen with the host cell to cause cytotoxicity. We show that outer membrane-derived vesicles (OMV secreted by the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa deliver multiple virulence factors, including beta-lactamase, alkaline phosphatase, hemolytic phospholipase C, and Cif, directly into the host cytoplasm via fusion of OMV with lipid rafts in the host plasma membrane. These virulence factors enter the cytoplasm of the host cell via N-WASP-mediated actin trafficking, where they rapidly distribute to specific subcellular locations to affect host cell biology. We propose that secreted virulence factors are not released individually as naked proteins into the surrounding milieu where they may randomly contact the surface of the host cell, but instead bacterial derived OMV deliver multiple virulence factors simultaneously and directly into the host cell cytoplasm in a coordinated manner.

  16. Using the Pathogen-Host Interactions database (PHI-base to investigate plant pathogen genomes and genes implicated in virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin eUrban

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available New pathogen-host interaction mechanisms can be revealed by integrating mutant phenotype data with genetic information. PHI-base is a multi-species manually curated database combining peer-reviewed published phenotype data from plant and animal pathogens and gene/protein information in a single database.

  17. Evidence for mating between isolates of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides with different host specificities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisar, C R; Spiegel, F W; TeBeest, D O; Trout, C

    1994-04-01

    Individual isolates of the ubiquitous plant pathogen Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (teleomorph Glomerella cingulata) can have very restricted host ranges. Isolates that share the same host range are considered to be genetically discrete units, and sexual compatibility has been reported to be limited to individuals that share the same host range. However, we have recently observed that some isolates of C. gloeosporioides that are specifically pathogenic to different, distantly-related hosts are sexually compatible. Ascospore progeny from one such cross were randomly isolated and outcrossing was verified by the reassortment of several RFLP markers among the progeny. In addition, the progeny were analyzed for pathogenicity to parental hosts. The implications of sexual compatibility between C. gloeosporioides isolates with different host specificities on the evolution of Colletotrichum species are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Zhang

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Ectomycorrhizal host specificity in a changing world: can legacy effects explain anomalous current associations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lofgren, Lotus; Nguyen, Nhu H; Kennedy, Peter G

    2018-02-07

    Despite the importance of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi in forest ecosystems, knowledge about the ecological and co-evolutionary mechanisms underlying ECM host associations remains limited. Using a widely distributed group of ECM fungi known to form tight associations with trees in the family Pinaceae, we characterized host specificity among three unique Suillus-host species pairs using a combination of field root tip sampling and experimental bioassays. We demonstrate that the ECM fungus S. subaureus can successfully colonize Quercus hosts in both field and glasshouse settings, making this species unique in an otherwise Pinaceae-specific clade. Importantly, however, we found that the colonization of Quercus by S. subaureus required co-planting with a Pinaceae host. While our experimental results indicate that gymnosperms are required for the establishment of new S. subaureus colonies, Pineaceae hosts are locally absent at both our field sites. Given the historical presence of Pineaceae hosts before human alteration, it appears the current S. subaureus-Quercus associations represent carryover from past host presence. Collectively, our results suggest that patterns of ECM specificity should be viewed not only in light of current forest community composition, but also as a legacy effect of host community change over time. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Bursal immunopathology responses of specific-pathogen-free chickens and red jungle fowl infected with very virulent infectious bursal disease virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farhanah, Mohd Isa; Yasmin, Abdul Rahaman; Khanh, Nguyen Phuc; Yeap, Swee Keong; Hair-Bejo, Mohd; Omar, Abdul Rahman

    2018-04-06

    Very virulent infectious bursal disease virus (vvIBDV) targets B lymphocytes in the bursa of Fabricius (BF), causing immunosuppression and increased mortality rates in young birds. There have been few studies on the host immune response following vvIBDV infection at different inoculum doses in chickens with different genetic backgrounds. In this study, we characterized the immune responses of specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens and Malaysian red jungle fowl following infection with vvIBDV strain UPM0081 at 10 3.8 and 10 6.8 times the 50% embryo infectious dose (EID 50 ). The viral burden, histopathological changes, immune cell populations, and expression of immune-related genes were measured and compared between infected and uninfected bursa at specific intervals. The populations of KUL1 + , CD3 + CD4 + and CD3 + CD8 + cells were significantly increased in both types of chickens at 3 dpi, and there was significant early depletion of IgM + B cells at 1 dpi in the red jungle fowl. vvIBDV infection also induced differential expression of genes that are involved in Th1 and pro-inflammatory responses, with groups receiving the higher dose (10 6.8 EID 50 ) showing earlier expression of IFNG, IL12B, IL15, IL6, CXCLi2, IL28B, and TLR3 at 1 dpi. Although both chicken types showed equal susceptibility to infection, the red jungle fowl were clinically healthier than the SPF chickens despite showing more depletion of IgM + B cells and failure to induce IFNB activation. In conclusion, high-dose vvIBDV infection caused an intense early host immune response in the infected bursa, with depletion of IgM + B cells, bursal lesions, and cytokine expression as a response to mitigate the severity of the infection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  2. Genomic evidence for the evolution of Streptococcus equi: host restriction, increased virulence, and genetic exchange with human pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew T G Holden

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The continued evolution of bacterial pathogens has major implications for both human and animal disease, but the exchange of genetic material between host-restricted pathogens is rarely considered. Streptococcus equi subspecies equi (S. equi is a host-restricted pathogen of horses that has evolved from the zoonotic pathogen Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (S. zooepidemicus. These pathogens share approximately 80% genome sequence identity with the important human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. We sequenced and compared the genomes of S. equi 4047 and S. zooepidemicus H70 and screened S. equi and S. zooepidemicus strains from around the world to uncover evidence of the genetic events that have shaped the evolution of the S. equi genome and led to its emergence as a host-restricted pathogen. Our analysis provides evidence of functional loss due to mutation and deletion, coupled with pathogenic specialization through the acquisition of bacteriophage encoding a phospholipase A(2 toxin, and four superantigens, and an integrative conjugative element carrying a novel iron acquisition system with similarity to the high pathogenicity island of Yersinia pestis. We also highlight that S. equi, S. zooepidemicus, and S. pyogenes share a common phage pool that enhances cross-species pathogen evolution. We conclude that the complex interplay of functional loss, pathogenic specialization, and genetic exchange between S. equi, S. zooepidemicus, and S. pyogenes continues to influence the evolution of these important streptococci.

  3. Host specificity of turkey and chicken Eimeria: controlled cross-transmission studies and a phylogenetic view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrba, Vladimir; Pakandl, Michal

    2015-03-15

    Protozoan parasites of the Eimeria genus have undergone extensive speciation and are now represented by a myriad of species that are specialised to different hosts. These species are highly host-specific and usually parasitise single host species, with only few reported exceptions. Doubts regarding the strict host specificity were frequent in the original literature describing coccidia parasitising domestic turkeys. The availability of pure characterised lines of turkey and chicken Eimeria species along with the recently developed quantitative PCR identification of these species allowed to investigate the issue of host specificity using well-controlled cross-transmission experiments. Seven species of gallinaceous birds (Gallus gallus, Meleagris gallopavo, Alectoris rufa, Perdix perdix, Phasianus colchicus, Numida meleagris and Colinus virginianus) were inoculated with six species and strains of turkey Eimeria and six species of chicken coccidia and production of oocysts was monitored. Turkey Eimeria species E. dispersa, E. innocua and E. meleagridis could complete their development in the hosts from different genera or even different families. Comparison of phylogenetic positions of these Eimeria species according to 18S rDNA and COI showed that the phylogeny cannot explain the observed patterns of host specificity. These findings suggest that the adaptation of Eimeria parasites to foreign hosts is possible and might play a significant role in the evolution and diversification of this genus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Probing Genomic Aspects of the Multi-Host Pathogen Clostridium perfringens Reveals Significant Pangenome Diversity, and a Diverse Array of Virulence Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Kiu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of animal and human infections, however information about the genetic makeup of this pathogenic bacterium is currently limited. In this study, we sought to understand and characterise the genomic variation, pangenomic diversity, and key virulence traits of 56 C. perfringens strains which included 51 public, and 5 newly sequenced and annotated genomes using Whole Genome Sequencing. Our investigation revealed that C. perfringens has an “open” pangenome comprising 11667 genes and 12.6% of core genes, identified as the most divergent single-species Gram-positive bacterial pangenome currently reported. Our computational analyses also defined C. perfringens phylogeny (16S rRNA gene in relation to some 25 Clostridium species, with C. baratii and C. sardiniense determined to be the closest relatives. Profiling virulence-associated factors confirmed presence of well-characterised C. perfringens-associated exotoxins genes including α-toxin (plc, enterotoxin (cpe, and Perfringolysin O (pfo or pfoA, although interestingly there did not appear to be a close correlation with encoded toxin type and disease phenotype. Furthermore, genomic analysis indicated significant horizontal gene transfer events as defined by presence of prophage genomes, and notably absence of CRISPR defence systems in >70% (40/56 of the strains. In relation to antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, tetracycline resistance genes (tet and anti-defensins genes (mprF were consistently detected in silico (tet: 75%; mprF: 100%. However, pre-antibiotic era strain genomes did not encode for tet, thus implying antimicrobial selective pressures in C. perfringens evolutionary history over the past 80 years. This study provides new genomic understanding of this genetically divergent multi-host bacterium, and further expands our knowledge on this medically and veterinary important pathogen.

  5. Probing Genomic Aspects of the Multi-Host Pathogen Clostridium perfringens Reveals Significant Pangenome Diversity, and a Diverse Array of Virulence Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiu, Raymond; Caim, Shabhonam; Alexander, Sarah; Pachori, Purnima; Hall, Lindsay J

    2017-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of animal and human infections, however information about the genetic makeup of this pathogenic bacterium is currently limited. In this study, we sought to understand and characterise the genomic variation, pangenomic diversity, and key virulence traits of 56 C. perfringens strains which included 51 public, and 5 newly sequenced and annotated genomes using Whole Genome Sequencing. Our investigation revealed that C. perfringens has an "open" pangenome comprising 11667 genes and 12.6% of core genes, identified as the most divergent single-species Gram-positive bacterial pangenome currently reported. Our computational analyses also defined C. perfringens phylogeny (16S rRNA gene) in relation to some 25 Clostridium species, with C. baratii and C. sardiniense determined to be the closest relatives. Profiling virulence-associated factors confirmed presence of well-characterised C. perfringens -associated exotoxins genes including α-toxin ( plc ), enterotoxin ( cpe ), and Perfringolysin O ( pfo or pfoA ), although interestingly there did not appear to be a close correlation with encoded toxin type and disease phenotype. Furthermore, genomic analysis indicated significant horizontal gene transfer events as defined by presence of prophage genomes, and notably absence of CRISPR defence systems in >70% (40/56) of the strains. In relation to antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, tetracycline resistance genes ( tet ) and anti-defensins genes ( mprF ) were consistently detected in silico ( tet : 75%; mprF : 100%). However, pre-antibiotic era strain genomes did not encode for tet , thus implying antimicrobial selective pressures in C. perfringens evolutionary history over the past 80 years. This study provides new genomic understanding of this genetically divergent multi-host bacterium, and further expands our knowledge on this medically and veterinary important pathogen.

  6. Complete genome sequence of the N2-fixing broad host range endophyte Klebsiella pneumoniae 342 and virulence predictions verified in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derrick E Fouts

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available We report here the sequencing and analysis of the genome of the nitrogen-fixing endophyte, Klebsiella pneumoniae 342. Although K. pneumoniae 342 is a member of the enteric bacteria, it serves as a model for studies of endophytic, plant-bacterial associations due to its efficient colonization of plant tissues (including maize and wheat, two of the most important crops in the world, while maintaining a mutualistic relationship that encompasses supplying organic nitrogen to the host plant. Genomic analysis examined K. pneumoniae 342 for the presence of previously identified genes from other bacteria involved in colonization of, or growth in, plants. From this set, approximately one-third were identified in K. pneumoniae 342, suggesting additional factors most likely contribute to its endophytic lifestyle. Comparative genome analyses were used to provide new insights into this question. Results included the identification of metabolic pathways and other features devoted to processing plant-derived cellulosic and aromatic compounds, and a robust complement of transport genes (15.4%, one of the highest percentages in bacterial genomes sequenced. Although virulence and antibiotic resistance genes were predicted, experiments conducted using mouse models showed pathogenicity to be attenuated in this strain. Comparative genomic analyses with the presumed human pathogen K. pneumoniae MGH78578 revealed that MGH78578 apparently cannot fix nitrogen, and the distribution of genes essential to surface attachment, secretion, transport, and regulation and signaling varied between each genome, which may indicate critical divergences between the strains that influence their preferred host ranges and lifestyles (endophytic plant associations for K. pneumoniae 342 and presumably human pathogenesis for MGH78578. Little genome information is available concerning endophytic bacteria. The K. pneumoniae 342 genome will drive new research into this less-understood, but

  7. The plasmid-encoded Ipf and Klf fimbriae display different expression and varying roles in the virulence of Salmonella enterica serovar Infantis in mouse vs. avian hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gili Aviv

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Salmonella enterica serovar Infantis is one of the prevalent Salmonella serovars worldwide. Different emergent clones of S. Infantis were shown to acquire the pESI virulence-resistance megaplasmid affecting its ecology and pathogenicity. Here, we studied two previously uncharacterized pESI-encoded chaperone-usher fimbriae, named Ipf and Klf. While Ipf homologs are rare and were found only in S. enterica subspecies diarizonae and subspecies VII, Klf is related to the known K88-Fae fimbria and klf clusters were identified in seven S. enterica subspecies I serovars, harboring interchanging alleles of the fimbria major subunit, KlfG. Regulation studies showed that the klf genes expression is negatively and positively controlled by the pESI-encoded regulators KlfL and KlfB, respectively, and are activated by the ancestral leucine-responsive regulator (Lrp. ipf genes are negatively regulated by Fur and activated by OmpR. Furthermore, induced expression of both klf and ipf clusters occurs under microaerobic conditions and at 41°C compared to 37°C, in-vitro. Consistent with these results, we demonstrate higher expression of ipf and klf in chicks compared to mice, characterized by physiological temperature of 41.2°C and 37°C, respectively. Interestingly, while Klf was dispensable for S. Infantis colonization in the mouse, Ipf was required for maximal colonization in the murine ileum. In contrast to these phenotypes in mice, both Klf and Ipf contributed to a restrained infection in chicks, where the absence of these fimbriae has led to moderately higher bacterial burden in the avian host. Taken together, these data suggest that physiological differences between host species, such as the body temperature, can confer differences in fimbriome expression, affecting Salmonella colonization and other host-pathogen interplays.

  8. Staphylococcus aureus host cell invasion and virulence in sepsis is facilitated by the multiple repeats within FnBPA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew M Edwards

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Entry of Staphylococcus aureus into the bloodstream can lead to metastatic abscess formation and infective endocarditis. Crucial to the development of both these conditions is the interaction of S. aureus with endothelial cells. In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that the staphylococcal invasin FnBPA triggers bacterial invasion of endothelial cells via a process that involves fibronectin (Fn bridging to alpha(5beta(1 integrins. The Fn-binding region of FnBPA usually contains 11 non-identical repeats (FnBRs with differing affinities for Fn, which facilitate the binding of multiple Fn molecules and may promote integrin clustering. We thus hypothesized that multiple repeats are necessary to trigger the invasion of endothelial cells by S. aureus. To test this we constructed variants of fnbA containing various combinations of FnBRs. In vitro assays revealed that endothelial cell invasion can be facilitated by a single high-affinity, but not low-affinity FnBR. Studies using a nisin-inducible system that controlled surface expression of FnBPA revealed that variants encoding fewer FnBRs required higher levels of surface expression to mediate invasion. High expression levels of FnBPA bearing a single low affinity FnBR bound Fn but did not invade, suggesting that FnBPA affinity for Fn is crucial for triggering internalization. In addition, multiple FnBRs increased the speed of internalization, as did higher expression levels of FnBPA, without altering the uptake mechanism. The relevance of these findings to pathogenesis was demonstrated using a murine sepsis model, which showed that multiple FnBRs were required for virulence. In conclusion, multiple FnBRs within FnBPA facilitate efficient Fn adhesion, trigger rapid bacterial uptake and are required for pathogenesis.

  9. Using Bioinformatics to Develop and Test Hypotheses: E. coli-Specific Virulence Determinants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna R. Klein

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Bioinformatics, the use of computer resources to understand biological information, is an important tool in research, and can be easily integrated into the curriculum of undergraduate courses. Such an example is provided in this series of four activities that introduces students to the field of bioinformatics as they design PCR based tests for pathogenic E. coli strains. A variety of computer tools are used including BLAST searches at NCBI, bacterial genome searches at the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG database, protein analysis at Pfam and literature research at PubMed. In the process, students also learn about virulence factors, enzyme function and horizontal gene transfer. Some or all of the four activities can be incorporated into microbiology or general biology courses taken by students at a variety of levels, ranging from high school through college. The activities build on one another as they teach and reinforce knowledge and skills, promote critical thinking, and provide for student collaboration and presentation. The computer-based activities can be done either in class or outside of class, thus are appropriate for inclusion in online or blended learning formats. Assessment data showed that students learned general microbiology concepts related to pathogenesis and enzyme function, gained skills in using tools of bioinformatics and molecular biology, and successfully developed and tested a scientific hypothesis.

  10. 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 the development of gastric carcinoma that will provide further understanding of the biological interactions of H. pylori with the host.

  11. Virulence of luminescent and non-luminescent isogenic vibrios towards gnotobiotic Artemia franciscana larvae and specific pathogen-free Litopenaeus vannamei shrimp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phuoc, L H; Defoirdt, T; Sorgeloos, P; Bossier, P

    2009-04-01

    This study was conducted to test the virulence of luminescent (L) and non-luminescent (NL) isogenic strains of Vibrio campbellii LMG21363, Vibrio harveyi BB120 (wild type) and quorum-sensing mutant strains derived from the wild type such as Vibrio harveyi BB152, BB170, MM30 and BB886. The NL strains could be obtained by culturing rifampicin-resistant luminescent strains in the dark under static condition. The virulence of the L and NL strains was tested in gnotobiotic Artemia franciscana larvae challenged with 10(4) CFU ml(-1) of bacteria. All luminescent isogenic tested strains showed higher virulence compared to the NL strains. The virulence of L and NL V. campbellii and V. harveyi BB120 was also tested in specific pathogen-free juvenile shrimp upon intramuscular injection with 10(6) CFU of bacteria. In contrast with Artemia, there was no significant difference in mortality between the groups challenged with L and NL strains (P > 0.05). The non-luminescent strains were not able to revert back to the luminescent state and quorum sensing did not influence this phenotypic shift. Luminescent Vibrio strains can switch to a non-luminescent state by culturing them in static conditions. The NL strains become less virulent as verified in Artemia. The luminescent state of Vibrio cells in a culture needs to be verified in order to assure maintenance of virulence.

  12. Phylogeny of Cirsium spp. in North America: Host Specificity Does Not Follow Phylogeny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracey A. Bodo Slotta

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Weedy invasive Cirsium spp. are widespread in temperate regions of North America and some of their biological control agents have attacked native Cirsium spp. A phylogenetic tree was developed from DNA sequences for the internal transcribed spacer and external transcribed spacer regions from native and non-native Great Plains Cirsium spp. and other thistles to determine if host specificity follows phylogeny. The monophyly of Cirsium spp. and Carduus within the tribe Cardinae was confirmed with native North American and European lineages of the Cirsium spp. examined. We did not detect interspecific hybridization between the introduced invasive and the native North American Cirsium spp. Selected host-biological control agent interactions were mapped onto the phylogenic tree derived by maximum likelihood analysis to examine the co-occurrence of known hosts with biological control agents. Within Cirsium-Cardueae, the insect biological control agents do not associate with host phylogenetic lines. Thus, more comprehensive testing of species in host-specificity trials, rather than relying on a single representative of a given clade may be necessary; because the assumption that host-specificity follows phylogeny does not necessarily hold. Since the assumption does not always hold, it will also be important to evaluate ecological factors to provide better cues for host specificity.

  13. Cryptic host-specific diversity among western hemisphere broomrapes (Orobanche s.l., Orobanchaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Adam C; Colwell, Alison E L; Schneeweiss, Gerald M; Baldwin, Bruce G

    2016-11-01

    The broomrapes, Orobanche sensu lato (Orobanchaceae), are common root parasites found across Eurasia, Africa and the Americas. All species native to the western hemisphere, recognized as Orobanche sections Gymnocaulis and Nothaphyllon, form a clade that has a centre of diversity in western North America, but also includes four disjunct species in central and southern South America. The wide ecological distribution coupled with moderate taxonomic diversity make this clade a valuable model system for studying the role, if any, of host-switching in driving the diversification of plant parasites. Two spacer regions of ribosomal nuclear DNA (ITS + ETS), three plastid regions and one low-copy nuclear gene were sampled from 163 exemplars of Orobanche from across the native geographic range in order to infer a detailed phylogeny. Together with comprehensive data on the parasites' native host ranges, associations between phylogenetic lineages and host specificity are tested. Within the two currently recognized species of O. sect. Gymnocaulis, seven strongly supported clades were found. While commonly sympatric, members of these clades each had unique host associations. Strong support for cryptic host-specific diversity was also found in sect. Nothaphyllon, while other taxonomic species were well supported. We also find strong evidence for multiple amphitropical dispersals from central North America into South America. Host-switching is an important driver of diversification in western hemisphere broomrapes, where host specificity has been grossly underestimated. More broadly, host specificity and host-switching probably play fundamental roles in the speciation of parasitic plants. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Disruption of Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus ORF71 (Bm71) results in inefficient budded virus production and decreased virulence in host larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Min-Juan; Cheng, Ruo-Lin; Lou, Yi-Han; Ye, Wan-Lu; Zhang, Tao; Fan, Xiao-Ying; Fan, Hai-Wei; Zhang, Chuan-Xi

    2012-08-01

    The Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) is a baculovirus that selectively infects domestic silkworm. BmNPV ORF71 (Bm71) is not a core set gene in baculovirus and shares 92 % amino acid sequence identity with Autographa californica multinucleocapsid NPV ORF88 (Ac88/cg30). Previously, it has been reported that virus lacking Ac88 had no striking phenotypes in cell lines or host larvae. However, the exact role of Bm71 during BmNPV life cycle remains unknown. In the present study, we constructed a Bm71-disrupted (Bm71-D) virus and assessed the effect of the Bm71 disruption on viral replication and viral phenotype throughout the viral life cycle. Results showed that the Bm71-D bacmid could successfully transfect Bm5 cell lines and produce infectious budded virus (BV). But the BV titer was 10- to 100-fold lower than that of the wild-type (WT) virus during infection, and the decreased BV titer was rescued by Bm71 gene repair virus (Bm71-R). A larval bioassay showed that Bm71-D virus took 7.5 h longer than the WT to kill Bombyx mori larvae. Transmission electron microscopy analysis indicated that the Bm71-D virus-infected cells had typical virogenic stroma, bundles of nucleocapsids and polyhedra. Taken together, these results suggest that Bm71 has important implications for determining BV yield and virulence in viral life cycle even though it is not an essential gene for replication of BmNPV.

  15. Do host species evolve a specific response to slave-making ants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delattre Olivier

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Social parasitism is an important selective pressure for social insect species. It is particularly the case for the hosts of dulotic (so called slave-making ants, which pillage the brood of host colonies to increase the worker force of their own colony. Such raids can have an important impact on the fitness of the host nest. An arms race which can lead to geographic variation in host defenses is thus expected between hosts and parasites. In this study we tested whether the presence of a social parasite (the dulotic ant Myrmoxenus ravouxi within an ant community correlated with a specific behavioral defense strategy of local host or non-host populations of Temnothorax ants. Social recognition often leads to more or less pronounced agonistic interactions between non-nestmates ants. Here, we monitored agonistic behaviors to assess whether ants discriminate social parasites from other ants. It is now well-known that ants essentially rely on cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate nestmates from aliens. If host species have evolved a specific recognition mechanism for their parasite, we hypothesize that the differences in behavioral responses would not be fully explained simply by quantitative dissimilarity in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, but should also involve a qualitative response due to the detection of particular compounds. We scaled the behavioral results according to the quantitative chemical distance between host and parasite colonies to test this hypothesis. Results Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles were distinct between species, but host species did not show a clearly higher aggression rate towards the parasite than toward non-parasite intruders, unless the degree of response was scaled by the chemical distance between intruders and recipient colonies. By doing so, we show that workers of the host and of a non-host species in the parasitized site displayed more agonistic behaviors (bites and ejections towards parasite

  16. Malagasy bats shelter a considerable genetic diversity of pathogenic Leptospira suggesting notable host-specificity patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomard, Yann; Dietrich, Muriel; Wieseke, Nicolas; Ramasindrazana, Beza; Lagadec, Erwan; Goodman, Steven M; Dellagi, Koussay; Tortosa, Pablo

    2016-04-01

    Pathogenic Leptospira are the causative agents of leptospirosis, a disease of global concern with major impact in tropical regions. Despite the importance of this zoonosis for human health, the evolutionary and ecological drivers shaping bacterial communities in host reservoirs remain poorly investigated. Here, we describe Leptospira communities hosted by Malagasy bats, composed of mostly endemic species, in order to characterize host-pathogen associations and investigate their evolutionary histories. We screened 947 individual bats (representing 31 species, 18 genera and seven families) for Leptospira infection and subsequently genotyped positive samples using three different bacterial loci. Molecular identification showed that these Leptospira are notably diverse and include several distinct lineages mostly belonging to Leptospira borgpetersenii and L. kirschneri. The exploration of the most probable host-pathogen evolutionary scenarios suggests that bacterial genetic diversity results from a combination of events related to the ecology and the evolutionary history of their hosts. Importantly, based on the data set presented herein, the notable host-specificity we have uncovered, together with a lack of geographical structuration of bacterial genetic diversity, indicates that the Leptospira community at a given site depends on the co-occurring bat species assemblage. The implications of such tight host-specificity on the epidemiology of leptospirosis are discussed. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Fast and efficient three-step target-specific curing of a virulence plasmid in Salmonella enterica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Moraes, Marcos H; Teplitski, Max

    2015-12-01

    Virulence plasmids borne by serovars of Salmonella enterica carry genes involved in its pathogenicity, as well as other functions. Characterization of phenotypes associated with virulence plasmids requires a system for efficiently curing strains of their virulence plasmids. Here, we developed a 3-step protocol for targeted curing of virulence plasmids. The protocol involves insertion of an I-SecI restriction site linked to an antibiotic resistance gene into the target plasmid using λ-Red mutagenesis, followed by the transformation with a temperature-sensitive auxiliary plasmid which carries I-SecI nuclease expressed from a tetracycline-inducible promoter. Finally, the auxiliary plasmid is removed by incubation at 42 °C and the plasmid-less strains are verified on antibiotic-containing media. This method is fast and very efficient: over 90 % of recovered colonies lacked their virulence plasmid.

  18. Soilborne fungi have host affinity and host-specific effects on seed germination and survival in a lowland tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmiento, Carolina; Zalamea, Paul-Camilo; Dalling, James W; Davis, Adam S; Stump, Simon M; U'Ren, Jana M; Arnold, A Elizabeth

    2017-10-24

    The Janzen-Connell (JC) hypothesis provides a conceptual framework for explaining the maintenance of tree diversity in tropical forests. Its central tenet-that recruits experience high mortality near conspecifics and at high densities-assumes a degree of host specialization in interactions between plants and natural enemies. Studies confirming JC effects have focused primarily on spatial distributions of seedlings and saplings, leaving major knowledge gaps regarding the fate of seeds in soil and the specificity of the soilborne fungi that are their most important antagonists. Here we use a common garden experiment in a lowland tropical forest in Panama to show that communities of seed-infecting fungi are structured predominantly by plant species, with only minor influences of factors such as local soil type, forest characteristics, or time in soil (1-12 months). Inoculation experiments confirmed that fungi affected seed viability and germination in a host-specific manner and that effects on seed viability preceded seedling emergence. Seeds are critical components of reproduction for tropical trees, and the factors influencing their persistence, survival, and germination shape the populations of seedlings and saplings on which current perspectives regarding forest dynamics are based. Together these findings bring seed dynamics to light in the context of the JC hypothesis, implicating them directly in the processes that have emerged as critical for diversity maintenance in species-rich tropical forests.

  19. Strain-specific virulence phenotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae assessed using the Chinchilla laniger model of otitis media.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Forbes

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Streptococcus pneumoniae [Sp] infection is associated with local and systemic disease. Our current understanding of the differential contributions of genetic strain variation, serotype, and host response to disease phenotype is incomplete. Using the chinchilla model of otitis media [OM] we investigated the disease phenotype generated by the laboratory strain TIGR4 and each of thirteen clinical strains (BS68-75, BS290, BS291, BS293, BS436 and BS437; eleven of the thirteen strains have been genomically sequenced.For each strain 100 colony forming units were injected bilaterally into the tympanic bullae of 6 young adult chinchillas under general anesthesia. All animals were examined daily for local and systemic disease by a blinded observer. Pneumatic otoscopy was used to evaluate local disease, and behavioral assessments served as the measure of systemic disease. Virulence scoring was performed using a 4-point scale to assess four clinical parameters [severity and rapidity of local disease onset; and severity and rapidity of systemic disease onset] during a 10-day evaluation period. Highly significant variation was observed among the strains in their ability to cause disease and moribundity.As expected, there was a significant correlation between the rapidity of systemic disease onset and severity of systemic disease; however, there was little correlation between the severity of otoscopic changes and severity of systemic disease. Importantly, it was observed that different strains of the same serotype produced as broad an array of disease phenotypes as did strains of different serotypes. We attribute these phenotypic differences among the strains to the high degree of genomic plasticity that we have previously documented.

  20. Isolation and characterization of a virulent bacteriophage SPW specific for Staphylococcus aureus isolated from bovine mastitis of lactating dairy cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Longping; Zhang, Zhiying

    2014-09-01

    Mastitis in dairy cattle continues to be an economically important disease. However, control is complicated by a high prevalence of resistance to antibiotics. Phage therapy, therefore, is considered as an alternative way of controlling bacterial infections and contaminations. In this study, we have described isolation and characterization of a highly virulent phage SPW from wastewater of dairy farm, which possesses a strong lytic capability against mastitis-associated Staphylococcus aureus, the most important pathogen in bovine clinical and subclinical mastitis. The phage SPW produced large, round and clear plaques on bacterial culture plates. TEM showed phage SPW has an icosahedral head 62.5 nm in diameter and long tail of 106 nm, head and tail were held together by a connector of 18 ± 1.5 nm long and can be classified as a member of the Myoviridae family. Restriction analysis indicated that phage SPW was a dsDNA virus with an approximate genome size of 65-69 kb. One-step growth kinetics showed a short latency period of about 10-15 min and a rise period of 50 min and a relatively small burst size was 44 ± 3 phages particles/infected cell. Moreover, adsorption rates were not influenced by calcium ions and phage SPW was relatively stable in a wide range of temperature and pH values, and resistant to chloroform and isopropanol. The optimal multiplicity of infection (MOI) was 0.01. When phage SPW was used to infect five other clinically isolated pathogenic isolates, it showed relatively wide spectrum host range. Phage SPW was capable of eliciting efficient lysis of S. aureus, revealing it potentially as an effective approach to prophylaxis or treatment of S. aureus-associated mastitis in dairy cows.

  1. Site-specific programming of the host epithelial transcriptome by the gut microbiota

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommer, Felix; Nookaew, Intawat; Sommer, Nina

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The intestinal epithelium separates us from the microbiota but also interacts with it and thus affects host immune status and physiology. Previous studies investigated microbiota-induced responses in the gut using intact tissues or unfractionated epithelial cells, thereby limiting....... The microbial impact on host gene expression was highly site specific, as epithelial responses to the microbiota differed between cell fractions. Specific transcriptional regulators were enriched in each fraction. In general, the gut microbiota induced a more rapid response in the colon than in the ileum...

  2. Strain diversity and host specificity in a specialized gut symbiont of honeybees and bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Elijah; Ratnayeke, Nalin; Moran, Nancy A

    2016-09-01

    Host-restricted lineages of gut bacteria often include many closely related strains, but this fine-scale diversity is rarely investigated. The specialized gut symbiont Snodgrassella alvi has codiversified with honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus) for millions of years. Snodgrassella alvi strains are nearly identical for 16S rRNA gene sequences but have distinct gene repertoires potentially affecting host biology and community interactions. We examined S. alvi strain diversity within and between hosts using deep sequencing both of a single-copy coding gene (minD) and of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. We sampled workers from domestic and feral A. mellifera colonies and wild-caught Bombus representing 14 species. Conventional analyses of community profiles, based on the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene, failed to expose most strain variation. In contrast, the minD analysis revealed extensive strain variation within and between host species and individuals. Snodgrassella alvi strain diversity is significantly higher in A. mellifera than in Bombus, supporting the hypothesis that colony founding by swarms of workers enables retention of more diversity than colony founding by a single queen. Most Bombus individuals (72%) are dominated by a single S. alvi strain, whereas most A. mellifera (86%) possess multiple strains. No S. alvi strains are shared between A. mellifera and Bombus, indicating some host specificity. Among Bombus-restricted strains, some are restricted to a single host species or subgenus, while others occur in multiple subgenera. Findings demonstrate that strains diversify both within and between host species and can be highly specific or relatively generalized in their host associations. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Evolution of life cycle, colony morphology, and host specificity in the family Hydractiniidae (Hydrozoa, Cnidaria).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miglietta, Maria Pia; Cunningham, Clifford W

    2012-12-01

    Biased transitions are common throughout the tree of life. The class hydrozoa is no exception, having lost the feeding medusa stage at least 70 times. The family hydractiniidae includes one lineage with pelagic medusae (Podocoryna) and several without (e.g., Hydractinia). The benthic colony stage also varies widely in host specificity and in colony form. The five-gene phylogeny presented here requires multiple transitions between character states for medusae, host specificity, and colony phenotype. Significant phylogenetic correlations exist between medusoid form, colony morphology, and host specificity. Species with nonfeeding medusae are usually specialized on a single host type, and reticulate colonies are correlated with nonmotile hosts. The history of feeding medusae is less certain. Podocoryna is nested within five lineages lacking medusae. This requires either repeated losses of medusae, or the remarkable re-evolution of a feeding medusa after at least 150 million years. Traditional ancestral reconstruction favors medusa regain, but a likelihood framework testing biased transitions cannot distinguish between multiple losses versus regain. A hypothesis of multiple losses of feeding medusae requires transient selection pressure favoring such a loss. Populations of species with feeding medusae are always locally rare and lack of feeding medusae does not result in restricted species distribution around the world. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Comparative proteome analysis reveals conserved and specific adaptation patterns of Staphylococcus aureus after internalization by different types of human non-professional phagocytic host cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin eSurmann

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is a human pathogen that can cause a wide range of diseases. Although formerly regarded as extracellular pathogen, it has been shown that S. aureus can also be internalized by host cells and persist within these cells. In the present study, we comparatively analyzed survival and physiological adaptation of S. aureus HG001 after internalization by two human lung epithelial cell lines (S9 and A549, and human embryonic kidney cells (HEK 293. Combining enrichment of bacteria from host-pathogen assays by cell sorting and quantitation of the pathogen´s proteome by mass spectrometry we characterized S. aureus adaptation during the initial phase between 2.5 h and 6.5 h post-infection. Starting with about 2x106 bacteria, roughly 1,450 S. aureus proteins, including virulence factors and metabolic enzymes were identified by spectral comparison and classical database searches. Most of the bacterial adaptation reactions, such as decreases in levels of ribosomal proteins and metabolic enzymes or increases in amounts of proteins involved in arginine and lysine biosynthesis, coding for terminal oxidases and stress responsive genes or activation of the sigma factor SigB were observed after internalization into any of the three cell lines studied. However, differences were noted in central carbon metabolism including regulation of fermentation and threonine degradation. Since these differences coincided with different intracellular growth behavior, complementary profiling of the metabolome of the different non-infected host cell types was performed. This revealed similar levels of intracellular glucose but host cell specific differences in the amounts of amino acids such as glycine, threonine or glutamate. With this comparative study we provide an impression of the common and specific features of the adaptation of S. aureus HG001 to specific host cell environments as a starting point for follow-up studies with different strain isolates and

  5. Host-specificity among abundant and rare taxa in the sponge microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reveillaud, Julie; Maignien, Loïs; Murat Eren, A; Huber, Julie A; Apprill, Amy; Sogin, Mitchell L; Vanreusel, Ann

    2014-06-01

    Microbial communities have a key role in the physiology of the sponge host, and it is therefore essential to understand the stability and specificity of sponge-symbiont associations. Host-specific bacterial associations spanning large geographic distance are widely acknowledged in sponges. However, the full spectrum of specificity remains unclear. In particular, it is not known whether closely related sponges host similar or very different microbiota over wide bathymetric and geographic gradients, and whether specific associations extend to the rare members of the sponge microbiome. Using the ultra-deep Illumina sequencing technology, we conducted a comparison of sponge bacterial communities in seven closely related Hexadella species with a well-resolved host phylogeny, as well as of a distantly related sponge Mycale. These samples spanned unprecedentedly large bathymetric (15-960 m) gradients and varying European locations. In addition, this study included a bacterial community analysis of the local background seawater for both Mycale and the widespread deep-sea taxa Hexadella cf. dedritifera. We observed a striking diversity of microbes associated with the sponges, spanning 47 bacterial phyla. The data did not reveal any Hexadella microbiota co-speciation pattern, but confirmed sponge-specific and species-specific host-bacteria associations, even within extremely low abundant taxa. Oligotyping analysis also revealed differential enrichment preferences of closely related Nitrospira members in closely related sponges species. Overall, these results demonstrate highly diverse, remarkably specific and stable sponge-bacteria associations that extend to members of the rare biosphere at a very fine phylogenetic scale, over significant geographic and bathymetric gradients.

  6. 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.

  7. Brucella TIR-like protein TcpB/Btp1 specifically targets the host adaptor protein MAL/TIRAP to promote infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenna; Ke, Yuehua; Wang, Yufei; Yang, Mingjuan; Gao, Junguang; Zhan, Shaoxia; Xinying, Du; Huang, Liuyu; Li, Wenfeng; Chen, Zeliang; Li, Juan

    2016-08-26

    Brucella spp. are known to avoid host immune recognition and weaken the immune response to infection. Brucella like accomplish this by employing two clever strategies, called the stealth strategy and hijacking strategy. The TIR domain-containing protein (TcpB/Btp1) of Brucella melitensis is thought to be involved in inhibiting host NF-κB activation by binding to adaptors downstream of Toll-like receptors. However, of the five TIR domain-containing adaptors conserved in mammals, whether MyD88 or MAL, even other three adaptors, are specifically targeted by TcpB has not been identified. Here, we confirmed the effect of TcpB on B.melitensis virulence in mice and found that TcpB selectively targets MAL. By using siRNA against MAL, we found that TcpB from B.melitensis is involved in intracellular survival and that MAL affects intracellular replication of B.melitensis. Our results confirm that TcpB specifically targets MAL/TIRAP to disrupt downstream signaling pathways and promote intra-host survival of Brucella spp. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Does interspecies hybridization affect the host specificity of parasites in cyprinid fish?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šimková, A.; Dávidová, M.; Papoušek, Ivo; Vetešník, Lukáš

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 95 (2013), s. 95 ISSN 1756-3305 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/0375 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Cyprinid fish * Interspecies hybridization * Metazoan parasites * Monogenea * Host specificity Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.251, year: 2013

  9. COMPETITIVE METAGENOMIC DNA HYBRIDIZATION IDENTIFIES HOST-SPECIFIC MICROBIAL GENETIC MARKERS IN COW FECAL SAMPLES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Several PCR methods have recently been developed to identify fecal contamination in surface waters. In all cases, researchers have relied on one gene or one microorganism for selection of host specific markers. Here, we describe the application of a genome fragment enrichment met...

  10. Host specificity and coevolution of Flavobacteriaceae endosymbionts within the siphonous green seaweed Bryopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollants, Joke; Leliaert, Frederik; Verbruggen, Heroen; De Clerck, Olivier; Willems, Anne

    2013-06-01

    The siphonous green seaweed Bryopsis harbors complex intracellular bacterial communities. Previous studies demonstrated that certain species form close, obligate associations with Flavobacteriaceae. A predominant imprint of host evolutionary history on the presence of these bacteria suggests a highly specialized association. In this study we elaborate on previous results by expanding the taxon sampling and testing for host-symbiont coevolution Therefore, we optimized a PCR protocol to directly and specifically amplify Flavobacteriaceae endosymbiont 16S rRNA gene sequences, which allowed us to screen a large number of algal samples without the need for cultivation or surface sterilization. We analyzed 146 Bryopsis samples, and 92 additional samples belonging to the Bryopsidales and other orders within the class Ulvophyceae. Results indicate that the Flavobacteriaceae endosymbionts are restricted to Bryopsis, and only occur within specific, warm-temperate and tropical clades of the genus. Statistical analyses (AMOVA) demonstrate a significant non-random host-symbiont association. Comparison of bacterial 16S rRNA and Bryopsis rbcL phylogenies, however, reveal complex host-symbiont evolutionary associations, whereby closely related hosts predominantly harbor genetically similar endosymbionts. Bacterial genotypes are rarely confined to a single Bryopsis species and most Bryopsis species harbored several Flavobacteriaceae, obscuring a clear pattern of coevolution. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Polyphyletic Nature of Salmonella enterica Serotype Derby and Lineage-Specific Host-Association Revealed by Genome-Wide Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sévellec, Yann; Vignaud, Marie-Léone; Granier, Sophie A.; Lailler, Renaud; Feurer, Carole; Le Hello, Simon; Mistou, Michel-Yves; Cadel-Six, Sabrina

    2018-01-01

    In France, Salmonella Derby is one of the most prevalent serotypes in pork and poultry meat. Since 2006, it has ranked among the 10 most frequent Salmonella serotypes isolated in humans. In previous publications, Salmonella Derby isolates have been characterized by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles revealing the existence of different pulsotypes and AMR phenotypic groups. However, these results suffer from the low discriminatory power of these typing methods. In the present study, we built a collection of 140 strains of S. Derby collected in France from 2014 to 2015 representative of the pork and poultry food sectors. The whole collection was characterized using whole genome sequencing (WGS), providing a significant contribution to the knowledge of this underrepresented serotype, with few genomes available in public databases. The genetic diversity of the S. Derby strains was analyzed by single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). We also investigated AMR by both genome and phenotype, the main Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI) and the fimH gene sequences. Our results show that this S. Derby collection is spread across four different lineages genetically distant by an average of 15k SNPs. These lineages correspond to four multilocus sequence typing (MLST) types (ST39, ST40, ST71, and ST682), which were found to be associated with specific animal hosts: pork and poultry. While the ST71 and ST682 strains are pansusceptible, ST40 isolates are characterized by the multidrug resistant profile STR-SSS-TET. Considering virulence determinants, only ST39 and ST40 present the SPI-23, which has previously been associated with pork enterocyte invasion. Furthermore, the pork ST682 isolates were found to carry mutations in the fimH sequence that could participate in the host tropism of this group. Our phylogenetic analysis demonstrates the polyphyletic nature of the Salmonella serotype Derby and provides an opportunity to identify

  12. Polyphyletic Nature of Salmonella enterica Serotype Derby and Lineage-Specific Host-Association Revealed by Genome-Wide Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Sévellec

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In France, Salmonella Derby is one of the most prevalent serotypes in pork and poultry meat. Since 2006, it has ranked among the 10 most frequent Salmonella serotypes isolated in humans. In previous publications, Salmonella Derby isolates have been characterized by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE and antimicrobial resistance (AMR profiles revealing the existence of different pulsotypes and AMR phenotypic groups. However, these results suffer from the low discriminatory power of these typing methods. In the present study, we built a collection of 140 strains of S. Derby collected in France from 2014 to 2015 representative of the pork and poultry food sectors. The whole collection was characterized using whole genome sequencing (WGS, providing a significant contribution to the knowledge of this underrepresented serotype, with few genomes available in public databases. The genetic diversity of the S. Derby strains was analyzed by single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP. We also investigated AMR by both genome and phenotype, the main Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI and the fimH gene sequences. Our results show that this S. Derby collection is spread across four different lineages genetically distant by an average of 15k SNPs. These lineages correspond to four multilocus sequence typing (MLST types (ST39, ST40, ST71, and ST682, which were found to be associated with specific animal hosts: pork and poultry. While the ST71 and ST682 strains are pansusceptible, ST40 isolates are characterized by the multidrug resistant profile STR-SSS-TET. Considering virulence determinants, only ST39 and ST40 present the SPI-23, which has previously been associated with pork enterocyte invasion. Furthermore, the pork ST682 isolates were found to carry mutations in the fimH sequence that could participate in the host tropism of this group. Our phylogenetic analysis demonstrates the polyphyletic nature of the Salmonella serotype Derby and provides an opportunity

  13. Molecular characterization of host-specific biofilm formation in a vertebrate gut symbiont.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven A Frese

    Full Text Available Although vertebrates harbor bacterial communities in their gastrointestinal tract whose composition is host-specific, little is known about the mechanisms by which bacterial lineages become selected. The goal of this study was to characterize the ecological processes that mediate host-specificity of the vertebrate gut symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri, and to systematically identify the bacterial factors that are involved. Experiments with monoassociated mice revealed that the ability of L. reuteri to form epithelial biofilms in the mouse forestomach is strictly dependent on the strain's host origin. To unravel the molecular basis for this host-specific biofilm formation, we applied a combination of transcriptome analysis and comparative genomics and identified eleven genes of L. reuteri 100-23 that were predicted to play a role. We then determined expression and importance of these genes during in vivo biofilm formation in monoassociated mice. This analysis revealed that six of the genes were upregulated in vivo, and that genes encoding for proteins involved in epithelial adherence, specialized protein transport, cell aggregation, environmental sensing, and cell lysis contributed to biofilm formation. Inactivation of a serine-rich surface adhesin with a devoted transport system (the SecA2-SecY2 pathway completely abrogated biofilm formation, indicating that initial adhesion represented the most significant step in biofilm formation, likely conferring host specificity. In summary, this study established that the epithelial selection of bacterial symbionts in the vertebrate gut can be both specific and highly efficient, resulting in biofilms that are exclusively formed by the coevolved strains, and it allowed insight into the bacterial effectors of this process.

  14. Screening for spontaneous virulent mutants of barley powdery mildew (Erysiphe graminis DC)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torp, J.; Jensen, H.P.

    1989-01-01

    Full text: Seedlings of 4 barley lines possessing resistance genes M1-a6, M1-a12 or M1-g were inoculated with powdery mildew culture CR3, which is a-virulent to the 4 host lines. In total, 50 million conidia were screened for the occurrence of virulent mutants, 43 putative virulent mutants were found. They could be grouped into 5 genotypes according to the virulence spectrum. They might have originated by one of the following events: 1. admixture, 2. physiological events that allow a few conidia to establish colonies in spite of the presence of a functional gene for resistance, 3. mutation in a gene for specificity, 4. deletion or mutation in some kind of suppressing element in which case more than one virulence may be affected. Based upon the virulence spectra, mating type, biochemical tests and analysis of test crosses, 3 of the genotypes were clearly classified as not being of mutational origin. Of the two remaining genotypes one differed in 4 virulences, the other by two virulences and one avirulence. Based upon expectations from the gene-for-gene concept, it is concluded that both were not of mutational origin. If in fact there are derived from a mutation, the concept of gene-for-gene interactions would have to be revised. Assuming that no mutations for virulence were found in this experiment, the spontaneous mutation frequency from avirulence to virulence would be below 2x10 -8 . (author)

  15. Toxoplasma gondii infection specifically increases the levels of key host microRNAs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gusti M Zeiner

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii can infect and replicate in virtually any nucleated cell in many species of warm-blooded animals; thus, it has evolved the ability to exploit well-conserved biological processes common to its diverse hosts. Here we have investigated whether Toxoplasma modulates the levels of host microRNAs (miRNAs during infection.Using microarray profiling and a combination of conventional molecular approaches we report that Toxoplasma specifically modulates the expression of important host microRNAs during infection. We show that both the primary transcripts for miR-17 approximately 92 and miR-106b approximately 25 and the pivotal miRNAs that are derived from miR-17 approximately 92 display increased abundance in Toxoplasma-infected primary human cells; a Toxoplasma-dependent up-regulation of the miR-17 approximately 92 promoter is at least partly responsible for this increase. The abundance of mature miR-17 family members, which are derived from these two miRNA clusters, remains unchanged in host cells infected with the closely related apicomplexan Neospora caninum; thus, the Toxoplasma-induced increase in their abundance is a highly directed process rather than a general host response to infection.Altered levels of miR-17 approximately 92 and miR-106b approximately 25 are known to play crucial roles in mammalian cell regulation and have been implicated in numerous hyperproliferative diseases although the mechanisms driving their altered expression are unknown. Hence, in addition to the implications of these findings on the host-pathogen interaction, Toxoplasma may represent a powerful probe for understanding the normal mechanisms that regulate the levels of key host miRNAs.

  16. Temporal variation and lack of host specificity among bacterial endosymbionts of Osedax bone worms (Polychaeta: Siboglinidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salathé Rahel M

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Osedax worms use a proliferative root system to extract nutrients from the bones of sunken vertebrate carcasses. The roots contain bacterial endosymbionts that contribute to the nutrition of these mouthless and gutless worms. The worms acquire these essential endosymbionts locally from the environment in which their larvae settle. Here we report on the temporal dynamics of endosymbiont diversity hosted by nine Osedax species sampled during a three-year investigation of an experimental whale fall at 1820-m depth in the Monterey Bay, California. The host species were identified by their unique mitochondrial COI haplotypes. The endosymbionts were identified by ribotyping with PCR primers specifically designed to target Oceanospirillales. Results Thirty-two endosymbiont ribotypes associated with these worms clustered into two distinct bacterial ribospecies that together comprise a monophyletic group, mostly restricted to deep waters (>1000 m. Statistical analyses confirmed significant changes in the relative abundances of host species and the two dominant endosymbiont ribospecies during the three-year sampling period. Bone type (whale vs. cow also had a significant effect on host species, but not on the two dominant symbiont ribospecies. No statistically significant association existed between the host species and endosymbiont ribospecies. Conclusions Standard PCR and direct sequencing proved to be an efficient method for ribotyping the numerically dominant endosymbiont strains infecting a large sample of host individuals; however, this method did not adequately represent the frequency of mixed infections, which appears to be the rule rather than an exception for Osedax individuals. Through cloning and the use of experimental dilution series, we determined that minority ribotypes constituting less than 30% of a mixture would not likely be detected, leading to underestimates of the frequency of multiple infections in host

  17. Temporal variation and lack of host specificity among bacterial endosymbionts of Osedax bone worms (Polychaeta: Siboglinidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Osedax worms use a proliferative root system to extract nutrients from the bones of sunken vertebrate carcasses. The roots contain bacterial endosymbionts that contribute to the nutrition of these mouthless and gutless worms. The worms acquire these essential endosymbionts locally from the environment in which their larvae settle. Here we report on the temporal dynamics of endosymbiont diversity hosted by nine Osedax species sampled during a three-year investigation of an experimental whale fall at 1820-m depth in the Monterey Bay, California. The host species were identified by their unique mitochondrial COI haplotypes. The endosymbionts were identified by ribotyping with PCR primers specifically designed to target Oceanospirillales. Results Thirty-two endosymbiont ribotypes associated with these worms clustered into two distinct bacterial ribospecies that together comprise a monophyletic group, mostly restricted to deep waters (>1000 m). Statistical analyses confirmed significant changes in the relative abundances of host species and the two dominant endosymbiont ribospecies during the three-year sampling period. Bone type (whale vs. cow) also had a significant effect on host species, but not on the two dominant symbiont ribospecies. No statistically significant association existed between the host species and endosymbiont ribospecies. Conclusions Standard PCR and direct sequencing proved to be an efficient method for ribotyping the numerically dominant endosymbiont strains infecting a large sample of host individuals; however, this method did not adequately represent the frequency of mixed infections, which appears to be the rule rather than an exception for Osedax individuals. Through cloning and the use of experimental dilution series, we determined that minority ribotypes constituting less than 30% of a mixture would not likely be detected, leading to underestimates of the frequency of multiple infections in host individuals. PMID:23006795

  18. Mesophotic coral depth acclimatization is a function of host-specific symbiont physiology

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren

    2015-02-06

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems receive increasing attention owing to their potential as deep coral refuges in times of global environmental change. Here, the mechanisms of coral holobiont photoacclimatization over a 60 m depth gradient in the central Red Sea were examined for the four coral genera Porites, Leptoseris, Pachyseris, and Podabacia. General acclimatization strategies were common to all host-symbiont combinations, e.g., Symbiodinium cell densities and photoprotective (PP) to light-harvesting pigment ratios both significantly decreased with water depth. Porites harbored Symbiodinium type C15 over the whole 60 m depth range, while Pachyseris and Podabacia had limited vertical distributions and hosted mainly Symbiodinium type C1. Symbiodinium type C15 had generally higher xanthophyll de-epoxidation rates and lower maximum quantum yields than C1, and also exhibited a strong photoacclimatory signal over depth that relates to the large distribution range of Porites. Interestingly, the coral host had an effect on Symbiodinium pigment composition. When comparing Symbiodinium type C1 in Podabacia and Pachyseris, the ß-carotene chl a−1, the peridinin chl a−1, and diadinoxanthin chl a−1 ratios were significantly different between host species. Our data support a view that depth acclimatization of corals in the mesophotics is facilitated by Symbiodinium physiology, which in turn is host-specific.

  19. Mesophotic coral depth acclimatization is a function of host-specific symbiont physiology

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren; Roder, Cornelia; Bü chel, Claudia; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2015-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems receive increasing attention owing to their potential as deep coral refuges in times of global environmental change. Here, the mechanisms of coral holobiont photoacclimatization over a 60 m depth gradient in the central Red Sea were examined for the four coral genera Porites, Leptoseris, Pachyseris, and Podabacia. General acclimatization strategies were common to all host-symbiont combinations, e.g., Symbiodinium cell densities and photoprotective (PP) to light-harvesting pigment ratios both significantly decreased with water depth. Porites harbored Symbiodinium type C15 over the whole 60 m depth range, while Pachyseris and Podabacia had limited vertical distributions and hosted mainly Symbiodinium type C1. Symbiodinium type C15 had generally higher xanthophyll de-epoxidation rates and lower maximum quantum yields than C1, and also exhibited a strong photoacclimatory signal over depth that relates to the large distribution range of Porites. Interestingly, the coral host had an effect on Symbiodinium pigment composition. When comparing Symbiodinium type C1 in Podabacia and Pachyseris, the ß-carotene chl a−1, the peridinin chl a−1, and diadinoxanthin chl a−1 ratios were significantly different between host species. Our data support a view that depth acclimatization of corals in the mesophotics is facilitated by Symbiodinium physiology, which in turn is host-specific.

  20. Host specificity and growth of kelp gametophytes symbiotic with filamentous red algae (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Charlene B.; Garbary, David J.; Kim, Kwang Young; Chiasson, David M.

    2004-02-01

    Kelp gametophytes were previously observed in nature living endophytically in red algal cell walls. Here we examine the interactions of two kelp species and six red algae in culture. Gametophytes of Nereocystis luetkeana (Mertens) Postels et Ruprecht became endophytic in the cell walls of Griffithsia pacifica Kylin and Antithamnion defectum Kylin, and grew epiphytically in high abundance on G. japonica Okamura and Aglaothamnion oosumiense Itono. Alaria esculenta (Linnaeus) Greville from the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia became endophytic in Aglaothamnion oosumiense, Antithamnion defectum, Callithamnion sp., G. japonica, G. pacifica, and Pleonosporium abysicola Gardner, all from the Pacific Ocean. Some cultures were treated with phloroglucinol before infection to thicken the cell walls. The endophytic gametophytes were smaller and grew more slowly than gametophytes epiphytic on the same host. N. luetkeana failed to become endophytic in some of the potential hosts, and this may reflect host specificity, or culture artifacts. This work improves our understanding of the process of infection of red algae by kelp gametophytes, and broadens our knowledge of host specificity in endophytic symbioses.

  1. Gut Immune Maturation Depends on Colonization with a Host-Specific Microbiota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Hachung; Pamp, Sünje J.; Hill, Jonathan A.; Surana, Neeraj K.; Edelman, Sanna M.; Troy, Erin B.; Reading, Nicola C.; Villablanca, Eduardo J.; Wang, Sen; Mora, Jorge R.; Umesaki, Yoshinori; Mathis, Diane; Benoist, Christophe; Relman, David A.; Kasper, Dennis L.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Gut microbial induction of host immune maturation exemplifies host-microbe mutualism. We colonized germ-free (GF) mice with mouse microbiota (MMb) or human microbiota (HMb) to determine whether small intestinal immune maturation depends on a coevolved host-specific microbiota. Gut bacterial numbers and phylum abundance were similar in MMb and HMb mice, but bacterial species differed, especially the Firmicutes. HMb mouse intestines had low levels of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, few proliferating T cells, few dendritic cells, and low antimicrobial peptide expression–all characteristics of GF mice. Rat microbiota also failed to fully expand intestinal T cell numbers in mice. Colonizing GF or HMb mice with mouse-segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) partially restored T cell numbers, suggesting that SFB and other MMb organisms are required for full immune maturation in mice. Importantly, MMb conferred better protection against Salmonella infection than HMb. A host-specific microbiota appears to be critical for a healthy immune system. PMID:22726443

  2. Patterns of Abundance and Host Specificity of Bat Ectoparasites in the Central Balkans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burazerovic, J; Orlova, M; Obradovic, M; Cirovic, D; Tomanovic, S

    2018-01-10

    Bats are hosts to a number of ectoparasites-acarines (ticks, chiggers, other mites), bat flies, and fleas. Bat ectoparasites might have significant ecological and public health importance as they may be potential vectors of zoonotic agents. It is important to identify their distribution, diversity, and host-parasite associations. Bat ectoparasites in the central Balkans have been largely understudied. The present research was conducted in 45 localities at the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. In total, 1,143 individuals of 18 species of bats have been examined for the presence and abundance of ectoparasite species during 3 yr of research. In total, 21 ectoparasite species have been identified: three species of ticks, seven species of mites (including one species of chigger), eight species of bat flies, and three species of fleas. In total, 80 host-parasite associations have been identified. The largest number of ectoparasites parasitized primarily only one host species. The highest total number of hosts was identified for ectoparasite species Ixodes vespertilionis Koch, Nycteribia schmidlii Schiner, and Spinturnix myoti Kolenati. The spinturnicid mite Spinturnix psi Kolenati was the most abundant ectoparasite species and together with Penicilidia dufouri Westwood the most widely distributed species of bat ectoparasite, being present at 21 localities in the central Balkans. The presented data include the first systematic records of patterns of prevalence, mean intensity, mean abundance, and host specificity for bat ectoparasites in the central Balkans. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Growing diversity of trypanosomatid parasites of flies (Diptera: Brachycera): Frequent cosmopolitism and moderate host specificity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Týč, Jiří; Votýpka, Jan; Klepetková, H.; Šuláková, H.; Jirků, Milan; Lukeš, Julius

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 1 (2013), s. 255-264 ISSN 1055-7903 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD206/09/H026 Grant - others:GA AV ČR(CZ) M200961204 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Host specificity * Geographic distribution * Diversity * Phylogeny * Trypanosomatida * Leishmania Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.018, year: 2013

  4. Evidence of host specificity and congruence between phylogenies of bitterling and freshwater mussels

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Liu, H.-Z.; Zhu, Y.-R.; Smith, C.; Reichard, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 3 (2006), s. 428-434 ISSN 1021-5506 Grant - others:NSFC(CN) 30470237; NSFC(CN) 40432003; Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(CN) KZCX3-SW-126 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : bitterling * host specificity * coevolution * phylogeny Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.943, year: 2006 http://zoolstud.sinica.edu.tw/Journals/45.3/428.pdf

  5. Virulence Characterization of Salmonella enterica by a New Microarray: Detection and Evaluation of the Cytolethal Distending Toxin Gene Activity in the Unusual Host S. Typhimurium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Figueiredo

    Full Text Available Salmonella enterica is a zoonotic foodborne pathogen that causes acute gastroenteritis in humans. We assessed the virulence potential of one-hundred and six Salmonella strains isolated from food animals and products. A high through-put virulence genes microarray demonstrated Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands (SPI and adherence genes were highly conserved, while prophages and virulence plasmid genes were variably present. Isolates were grouped by serotype, and virulence plasmids separated S. Typhimurium in two clusters. Atypical microarray results lead to whole genome sequencing (WGS of S. Infantis Sal147, which identified deletion of thirty-eight SPI-1 genes. Sal147 was unable to invade HeLa cells and showed reduced mortality in Galleria mellonella infection model, in comparison to a SPI-1 harbouring S. Infantis. Microarray and WGS of S. Typhimurium Sal199, established for the first time in S. Typhimurium presence of cdtB and other Typhi-related genes. Characterization of Sal199 showed cdtB genes were upstream of transposase IS911, and co-expressed with other Typhi-related genes. Cell cycle arrest, cytoplasmic distension, and nuclear enlargement were detected in HeLa cells infected by Sal199, but not with S. Typhimurium LT2. Increased mortality of Galleria was detected on infection with Sal199 compared to LT2. Thus, Salmonella isolates were rapidly characterized using a high through-put microarray; helping to identify unusual virulence features which were corroborated by further characterisation. This work demonstrates that the use of suitable screening methods for Salmonella virulence can help assess the potential risk associated with certain Salmonella to humans. Incorporation of such methodology into surveillance could help reduce the risk of emergence of epidemic Salmonella strains.

  6. Host-ant specificity of endangered large blue butterflies (Phengaris spp., Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Shouhei; Komatsu, Takashi; Itino, Takao; Arai, Ryusuke; Sakamoto, Hironori

    2016-11-03

    Large blue butterflies, Phengaris (Maculinea), are an important focus of endangered-species conservation in Eurasia. Later-instar Phengaris caterpillars live in Myrmica ant nests and exploit the ant colony's resources, and they are specialized to specific host-ant species. For example, local extinction of P. arion in the U. K. is thought to have been due to the replacement of its host-ant species with a less-suitable congener, as a result of changes in habitat. In Japan, Myrmica kotokui hosts P. teleius and P. arionides caterpillars. We recently showed, however, that the morphological species M. kotokui actually comprises four genetic clades. Therefore, to determine to which group of ants the hosts of these two Japanese Phengaris species belong, we used mitochondrial COI-barcoding of M. kotokui specimens from colonies in the habitats of P. teleius and P. arionides to identify the ant clade actually parasitized by the caterpillars of each species. We found that these two butterfly species parasitize different ant clades within M. kotokui.

  7. Prevalence and differential host-specificity of two avian blood parasite genera in the Australo-Papuan region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beadell, J.S.; Gering, E.; Austin, J.; Dumbacher, J.P.; Peirce, M.A.; Pratt, T.K.; Atkinson, C.T.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2004-01-01

    The degree to which widespread avian blood parasites in the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus pose a threat to novel hosts depends in part on the degree to which they are constrained to a particular host or host family. We examined the host distribution and host-specificity of these parasites in birds from two relatively understudied and isolated locations: Australia and Papua New Guinea. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we detected infection in 69 of 105 species, representing 44% of individuals surveyed (n = 428). Across host families, prevalence of Haemoproteus ranged from 13% (Acanthizidae) to 56% (Petroicidae) while prevalence of Plasmodium ranged from 3% (Petroicidae) to 47% (Ptilonorhynchidae). We recovered 78 unique mitochondrial lineages from 155 sequences. Related lineages of Haemoproteus were more likely to derive from the same host family than predicted by chance at shallow (average LogDet genetic distance = 0, n = 12, P = 0.001) and greater depths (average distance = 0.014, n = 11, P parasite phylogeny. Within two major Haemoproteus subclades identified in a maximum likelihood phylogeny, host-specificity was evident up to parasite genetic distances of 0.029 and 0.007 based on logistic regression. We found no significant host relationship among lineages of Plasmodium by any method of analysis. These results support previous evidence of strong host-family specificity in Haemoproteus and suggest that lineages of Plasmodium are more likely to form evolutionarily-stable associations with novel hosts.

  8. Host-Specific and Segment-Specific Evolutionary Dynamics of Avian and Human Influenza A Viruses: A Systematic Review

    KAUST Repository

    Kim, Kiyeon

    2016-01-13

    Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of influenza viruses is essential to control both avian and human influenza. Here, we analyze host-specific and segment-specific Tajima’s D trends of influenza A virus through a systematic review using viral sequences registered in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. To avoid bias from viral population subdivision, viral sequences were stratified according to their sampling locations and sampling years. As a result, we obtained a total of 580 datasets each of which consists of nucleotide sequences of influenza A viruses isolated from a single population of hosts at a single sampling site within a single year. By analyzing nucleotide sequences in the datasets, we found that Tajima’s D values of viral sequences were different depending on hosts and gene segments. Tajima’s D values of viruses isolated from chicken and human samples showed negative, suggesting purifying selection or a rapid population growth of the viruses. The negative Tajima’s D values in rapidly growing viral population were also observed in computer simulations. Tajima’s D values of PB2, PB1, PA, NP, and M genes of the viruses circulating in wild mallards were close to zero, suggesting that these genes have undergone neutral selection in constant-sized population. On the other hand, Tajima’s D values of HA and NA genes of these viruses were positive, indicating HA and NA have undergone balancing selection in wild mallards. Taken together, these results indicated the existence of unknown factors that maintain viral subtypes in wild mallards.

  9. Host-Specific and Segment-Specific Evolutionary Dynamics of Avian and Human Influenza A Viruses: A Systematic Review

    KAUST Repository

    Kim, Kiyeon; Omori, Ryosuke; Ueno, Keisuke; Iida, Sayaka; Ito, Kimihito

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of influenza viruses is essential to control both avian and human influenza. Here, we analyze host-specific and segment-specific Tajima’s D trends of influenza A virus through a systematic review using viral sequences registered in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. To avoid bias from viral population subdivision, viral sequences were stratified according to their sampling locations and sampling years. As a result, we obtained a total of 580 datasets each of which consists of nucleotide sequences of influenza A viruses isolated from a single population of hosts at a single sampling site within a single year. By analyzing nucleotide sequences in the datasets, we found that Tajima’s D values of viral sequences were different depending on hosts and gene segments. Tajima’s D values of viruses isolated from chicken and human samples showed negative, suggesting purifying selection or a rapid population growth of the viruses. The negative Tajima’s D values in rapidly growing viral population were also observed in computer simulations. Tajima’s D values of PB2, PB1, PA, NP, and M genes of the viruses circulating in wild mallards were close to zero, suggesting that these genes have undergone neutral selection in constant-sized population. On the other hand, Tajima’s D values of HA and NA genes of these viruses were positive, indicating HA and NA have undergone balancing selection in wild mallards. Taken together, these results indicated the existence of unknown factors that maintain viral subtypes in wild mallards.

  10. Specificity of salt marsh diazotrophs for vegetation zones and plant hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debra Aline Davis

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Salt marshes located on the east coast of temperate North America are highly productive, typically nitrogen-limited, and support diverse assemblages of nitrogen fixing (diazotrophic bacteria. The distributions of these diazotrophs are strongly influenced by plant host and abiotic environmental parameters. Crab Haul Creek Basin, North Inlet, SC, USA is a tidally dominated marsh that displays discrete plant zones distributed along an elevation gradient from the tidal creek bank to the terrestrial forest. These zones are defined by gradients of abiotic environmental variables, particularly salinity and sulfide. DGGE fingerprinting and phylogenetic analyses of recovered sequences demonstrated that the distributions of some diazotrophs indicate plant host specificity and that diazotroph assemblages across the marsh gradient are heavily influenced by edaphic conditions. Broadly distributed diazotrophs capable of maintaining populations in all environmental conditions across the gradient are also present in these assemblages. Parsimony test results confirm that diazotroph assemblages in different plant zones are significantly (p<0.01 different across the marsh landscape. Results also indicated that diazotroph assemblages associated with different plant hosts growing in the same area of the marsh were structurally similar confirming the influence of edaphic parameters on these assemblages. Principal Component Analysis of DGGE gel banding patterns confirmed these results. This article reviews and analyzes data from North Inlet Estuary, addressing diazotroph assemblage structure and the influence of plant host and environmental conditions. New data demonstrate the heterogeneity of salt marsh rhizosphere microenvironments, and corroborate previous findings from different plant hosts growing at several locations within this estuary. These data support the hypothesis that the biogeography of microorganisms is non-random and is partially driven by

  11. Aspartic protease activities of schistosomes cleave mammalian hemoglobins in a host-specific manner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey W Koehler

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available We examined the efficiency of digestion of hemoglobin from four mammalian species, human, cow, sheep, and horse by acidic extracts of mixed sex adults of Schistosoma japonicum and S. mansoni. Activity ascribable to aspartic protease(s from S. japonicum and S. mansoni cleaved human hemoglobin. In addition, aspartic protease activities from S. japonicum cleaved hemoglobin from bovine, sheep, and horse blood more efficiently than did the activity from extracts of S. mansoni. These findings support the hypothesis that substrate specificity of hemoglobin-degrading proteases employed by blood feeding helminth parasites influences parasite host species range; differences in amino acid sequences in key sites of the parasite proteases interact less or more efficiently with the hemoglobins of permissive or non-permissive hosts.

  12. Redundancy, resilience, and host specificity of the ruminal microbiota: implications for engineering improved ruminal fermentations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weimer, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    The ruminal microbial community is remarkably diverse, containing 100s of different bacterial and archaeal species, plus many species of fungi and protozoa. Molecular studies have identified a “core microbiome” dominated by phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, but also containing many other taxa. The rumen provides an ideal laboratory for studies on microbial ecology and the demonstration of ecological principles. In particular, the microbial community demonstrates both redundancy (overlap of function among multiple species) and resilience (resistance to, and capacity to recover from, perturbation). These twin properties provide remarkable stability that maintains digestive function for the host across a range of feeding and management conditions, but they also provide a challenge to engineering the rumen for improved function (e.g., improved fiber utilization or decreased methane production). Direct ruminal dosing or feeding of probiotic strains often fails to establish the added strains, due to intensive competition and amensalism from the indigenous residents that are well-adapted to the historical conditions within each rumen. Known exceptions include introduced strains that can fill otherwise unoccupied niches, as in the case of specialist bacteria that degrade phytotoxins such as mimosine or fluoroacetate. An additional complicating factor in manipulating the ruminal fermentation is the individuality or host specificity of the microbiota, in which individual animals contain a particular community whose species composition is capable of reconstituting itself, even following a near-total exchange of ruminal contents from another herd mate maintained on the same diet. Elucidation of the interactions between the microbial community and the individual host that establish and maintain this specificity may provide insights into why individual hosts vary in production metrics (e.g., feed efficiency or milk fat synthesis), and how to improve herd performance. PMID

  13. Enemy-free space and habitat-specific host specialization in a butterfly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiklund, Christer; Friberg, Magne

    2008-08-01

    The majority of herbivorous insects have relatively specialized food habits. This suggests that specialization has some advantage(s) over generalization. Traditionally, feeding specialization has been thought to be linked to digestive or other food-related physiological advantages, but recent theory suggests that generalist natural enemies of herbivorous insects can also provide a major selective pressure for restricted host plant range. The European swallowtail butterfly Papilio machaon utilizes various plants in the Apiaceae family as hosts, but is an ecological specialist being monophagous on Angelica archangelica in southern Sweden. This perennial monocarp grows in three seaside habitat types: (1) on the barren rocky shore in the absence of any surrounding vegetation, (2) on the rocky shore with some surrounding vegetation, and (3) on species-rich meadows. The rocky shore habitat harbors few invertebrate generalist predators, whereas a number of invertebrate predators abound in the meadowland habitat. Here, we test the importance of enemy-free space for feeding specialization in Papilio machaon by assessing survival of larvae placed by hand on A. archangelica in each of the three habitat types, and by assessing the habitat-specificity of adult female egg-laying behavior by recording the distribution of eggs laid by free-flying adult females among the three habitat types. Larval survival was substantially higher in the rocky shore habitat than in the meadowland and significantly higher on host plants without surrounding vegetation on the rocky shore. Eggs laid by free-flying females were found in all three habitat types, but were significantly more frequent in the rocky shore habitat, suggesting that females prefer to lay eggs in the habitat type where offspring survival is highest. These results show that larval survivorship on the same host plant species can be strongly habitat-specific, and suggest that enemy-free space is an underlying factor that drives

  14. Restriction of Rift Valley Fever Virus Virulence in Mosquito Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja R. Gerrard

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Arboviruses are maintained in a natural cycle that requires blood-sucking arthropod and vertebrate hosts. Arboviruses are believed to persistently infect their arthropod host without overt pathology and cause acute infection with viremia in their vertebrate host. We have focused on elucidating how a specific arbovirus, Rift Valley fever (RVF virus, causes cytopathic effect in cells derived from vertebrates and non-cytopathic infection in cells derived from arthropods. We demonstrate that the vertebrate virulence factor, NSs, is functional in arthropod cells but is expressed at significantly lower levels in infected arthropod versus infected vertebrate cells.

  15. SOLiD sequencing of four Vibrio vulnificus genomes enables comparative genomic analysis and identification of candidate clade-specific virulence genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Telonis-Scott Marina

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Vibrio vulnificus is the leading cause of reported death from consumption of seafood in the United States. Despite several decades of research on molecular pathogenesis, much remains to be learned about the mechanisms of virulence of this opportunistic bacterial pathogen. The two complete and annotated genomic DNA sequences of V. vulnificus belong to strains of clade 2, which is the predominant clade among clinical strains. Clade 2 strains generally possess higher virulence potential in animal models of disease compared with clade 1, which predominates among environmental strains. SOLiD sequencing of four V. vulnificus strains representing different clades (1 and 2 and biotypes (1 and 2 was used for comparative genomic analysis. Results Greater than 4,100,000 bases were sequenced of each strain, yielding approximately 100-fold coverage for each of the four genomes. Although the read lengths of SOLiD genomic sequencing were only 35 nt, we were able to make significant conclusions about the unique and shared sequences among the genomes, including identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms. Comparative analysis of the newly sequenced genomes to the existing reference genomes enabled the identification of 3,459 core V. vulnificus genes shared among all six strains and 80 clade 2-specific genes. We identified 523,161 SNPs among the six genomes. Conclusions We were able to glean much information about the genomic content of each strain using next generation sequencing. Flp pili, GGDEF proteins, and genomic island XII were identified as possible virulence factors because of their presence in virulent sequenced strains. Genomic comparisons also point toward the involvement of sialic acid catabolism in pathogenesis.

  16. 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.

  17. Soilborne fungi have host affinity and host-specific effects on seed germination and survival in a lowland tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Janzen-Connell (JC) hypothesis provides a powerful framework for explaining the maintenance of tree diversity in tropical forests. Its central tenet -- that recruits experience high mortality near conspecifics and at high densities -- assumes a degree of host specialization in interactions betwe...

  18. Trypanosoma cruzi Evades the Complement System as an Efficient Strategy to Survive in the Mammalian Host: The Specific Roles of Host/Parasite Molecules and Trypanosoma cruzi Calreticulin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galia Ramírez-Toloza

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available American Trypanosomiasis is an important neglected reemerging tropical parasitism, infecting about 8 million people worldwide. Its agent, Trypanosoma cruzi, exhibits multiple mechanisms to evade the host immune response and infect host cells. An important immune evasion strategy of T. cruzi infective stages is its capacity to inhibit the complement system activation on the parasite surface, avoiding opsonizing, immune stimulating and lytic effects. Epimastigotes, the non-infective form of the parasite, present in triatomine arthropod vectors, are highly susceptible to complement-mediated lysis while trypomastigotes, the infective form, present in host bloodstream, are resistant. Thus T. cruzi susceptibility to complement varies depending on the parasite stage (amastigote, trypomastigotes or epimastigote and on the T. cruzi strain. To avoid complement-mediated lysis, T. cruzi trypomastigotes express on the parasite surface a variety of complement regulatory proteins, such as glycoprotein 58/68 (gp58/68, T. cruzi complement regulatory protein (TcCRP, trypomastigote decay-accelerating factor (T-DAF, C2 receptor inhibitor trispanning (CRIT and T. cruzi calreticulin (TcCRT. Alternatively, or concomitantly, the parasite captures components with complement regulatory activity from the host bloodstream, such as factor H (FH and plasma membrane-derived vesicles (PMVs. All these proteins inhibit different steps of the classical (CP, alternative (AP or lectin pathways (LP. Thus, TcCRP inhibits the CP C3 convertase assembling, gp58/68 inhibits the AP C3 convertase, T-DAF interferes with the CP and AP convertases assembling, TcCRT inhibits the CP and LP, CRIT confers ability to resist the CP and LP, FH is used by trypomastigotes to inhibit the AP convertases and PMVs inhibit the CP and LP C3 convertases. Many of these proteins have similar molecular inhibitory mechanisms. Our laboratory has contributed to elucidate the role of TcCRT in the host

  19. Effects of juvenile host density and food availability on adult immune response, parasite resistance and virulence in a Daphnia-parasite system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corine N Schoebel

    Full Text Available Host density can increase infection rates and reduce host fitness as increasing population density enhances the risk of becoming infected either through increased encounter rate or because host condition may decline. Conceivably, potential hosts could take high host density as a cue to up-regulate their defence systems. However, as host density usually covaries with food availability, it is difficult to examine the importance of host density in isolation. Thus, we performed two full-factorial experiments that varied juvenile densities of Daphnia magna (a freshwater crustacean and food availability independently. We also included a simulated high-density treatment, where juvenile experimental animals were kept in filtered media that previously maintained Daphnia at high-density. Upon reaching adulthood, we exposed the Daphnia to their sterilizing bacterial parasite, Pasteuria ramosa, and examined how the juvenile treatments influenced the likelihood and severity of infection (Experiment I and host immune investment (Experiment II. Neither juvenile density nor food treatments affected the likelihood of infection; however, well-fed hosts that were well-fed as juveniles produced more offspring prior to sterilization than their less well-fed counterparts. By contrast, parasite growth was independent of host juvenile resources or host density. Parasite-exposed hosts had a greater number of circulating haemocytes than controls (i.e., there was a cellular immune response, but the magnitude of immune response was not mediated by food availability or host density. These results suggest that density dependent effects on disease arise primarily through correlated changes in food availability: low food could limit parasitism and potentially curtail epidemics by reducing both the host's and parasite's reproduction as both depend on the same food.

  20. Plants of the fynbos biome harbour host species-specific bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyambo, Tsakani; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Cowan, Don A; Valverde, Angel

    2016-08-01

    The fynbos biome in South Africa is globally recognised as a plant biodiversity hotspot. However, very little is known about the bacterial communities associated with fynbos plants, despite interactions between primary producers and bacteria having an impact on the physiology of both partners and shaping ecosystem diversity. This study reports on the structure, phylogenetic composition and potential roles of the endophytic bacterial communities located in the stems of three fynbos plants (Erepsia anceps, Phaenocoma prolifera and Leucadendron laureolum). Using Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA sequencing we found that different subpopulations of Deinococcus-Thermus, Alphaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Firmicutes dominated the endophytic bacterial communities. Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria were prevalent in P. prolifera, whereas Deinococcus-Thermus dominated in L. laureolum, revealing species-specific host-bacteria associations. Although a high degree of variability in the endophytic bacterial communities within hosts was observed, we also detected a core microbiome across the stems of the three plant species, which accounted for 72% of the sequences. Altogether, it seems that both deterministic and stochastic processes shaped microbial communities. Endophytic bacterial communities harboured putative plant growth-promoting bacteria, thus having the potential to influence host health and growth. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Host Range Specificity of Scymnus camptodromus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), A Predator of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Hemiptera: Adelgidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limbu, Samita; Cassidy, Katie; Keena, Melody; Tobin, Patrick; Hoover, Kelli

    2016-02-01

    Scymnus (Neopullus) camptodromus Yu and Liu (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) was brought to the United States from China as a potential biological control agent for hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (Hemiptera: Adelgidae). Scymnus camptodromus phenology is closely synchronized with that of A. tsugae and has several characteristics of a promising biological control agent. As a prerequisite to field release, S. camptodromus was evaluated for potential nontarget impacts. In host range studies, the predator was given the choice of sympatric adelgid and nonadelgid prey items. Nontarget testing showed that S. camptodromus will feed to some degree on other adelgid species, but highly prefers A. tsugae. We also evaluated larval development of S. camptodromus on pine bark adelgid (Pineus strobi (Hartig)) (Hemiptera: Adelgidae) and larch adelgid (Adelges laricis Vallot) (Hemiptera: Adelgidae); a small proportion of predator larvae was able to develop to adulthood on P. strobi or A. laricis alone. Scymnus camptodromus showed no interest in feeding on woolly alder aphid (Paraprociphilus tessellatus Fitch) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) or woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum (Hausmann)) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and minimal interest in cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii Glover) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in choice and no-choice experiments. Scymnus camptodromus females did not oviposit on any host material other than A. tsugae-infested hemlock. Under the circumstances of the study, S. camptodromus appears to be a specific predator of A. tsugae, with minimal risk to nontarget species. Although the predator can develop on P. strobi, the likelihood that S. camptodromus would oviposit on pine hosts of this adelgid is small.

  2. Introduced ascidians harbor highly diverse and host-specific symbiotic microbial assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, James S; Erwin, Patrick M; Shenkar, Noa; López-Legentil, Susanna

    2017-09-08

    Many ascidian species have experienced worldwide introductions, exhibiting remarkable success in crossing geographic borders and adapting to local environmental conditions. To investigate the potential role of microbial symbionts in these introductions, we examined the microbial communities of three ascidian species common in North Carolina harbors. Replicate samples of the globally introduced species Distaplia bermudensis, Polyandrocarpa anguinea, and P. zorritensis (n = 5), and ambient seawater (n = 4), were collected in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Microbial communities were characterized by next-generation (Illumina) sequencing of partial (V4) 16S rRNA gene sequences. Ascidians hosted diverse symbiont communities, consisting of 5,696 unique microbial OTUs (at 97% sequenced identity) from 47 bacterial and three archaeal phyla. Permutational multivariate analyses of variance revealed clear differentiation of ascidian symbionts compared to seawater bacterioplankton, and distinct microbial communities inhabiting each ascidian species. 103 universal core OTUs (present in all ascidian replicates) were identified, including taxa previously described in marine invertebrate microbiomes with possible links to ammonia-oxidization, denitrification, pathogenesis, and heavy-metal processing. These results suggest ascidian microbial symbionts exhibit a high degree of host-specificity, forming intimate associations that may contribute to host adaptation to new environments via expanded tolerance thresholds and enhanced holobiont function.

  3. PCR assay with host specific internal control forStaphylococcus aureus from bovine milk samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zafer Cantekin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is considered as one of the most important and common pathogens of bovine mastitis. Polymerase Chain Reaction is frequently proposed in the diagnosis of S. aureus directly from milk samples instead of classical culture. However, false-negative results may occur in the polymerase chain reaction analysis performed directly from clinical material. For the purpose of disclosing the false negative results, the use of internal amplification controls can be beneficial. Therefore, in this study a new polymerase chain reaction technique with host specific internal amplification control was developed by optimizing S. aureus-specific primers in combination with bovine specific primers. The effectiveness of the developed technique in this study was attempted in milk samples from bovine subclinical mastitis. This technique has the potential to detect S. aureus from bovine milk samples or dairy products.

  4. Non-specific manipulation of gammarid behaviour by P. minutus parasite enhances their predation by definitive bird hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacquin, Lisa; Mori, Quentin; Pause, Mickaël; Steffen, Mélanie; Medoc, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Trophically-transmitted parasites often change the phenotype of their intermediate hosts in ways that increase their vulnerability to definitive hosts, hence favouring transmission. As a "collateral damage", manipulated hosts can also become easy prey for non-host predators that are dead ends for the parasite, and which are supposed to play no role in transmission strategies. Interestingly, infection with the acanthocephalan parasite Polymorphus minutus has been shown to reduce the vulnerability of its gammarid intermediate hosts to non-host predators, whose presence triggered the behavioural alterations expected to favour trophic transmission to bird definitive hosts. Whilst the behavioural response of infected gammarids to the presence of definitive hosts remains to be investigated, this suggests that trophic transmission might be promoted by non-host predation risk. We conducted microcosm experiments to test whether the behaviour of P. minutus-infected gammarids was specific to the type of predator (i.e. mallard as definitive host and fish as non-host), and mesocosm experiments to test whether trophic transmission to bird hosts was influenced by non-host predation risk. Based on the behaviours we investigated (predator avoidance, activity, geotaxis, conspecific attraction), we found no evidence for a specific fine-tuned response in infected gammarids, which behaved similarly whatever the type of predator (mallard or fish). During predation tests, fish predation risk did not influence the differential predation of mallards that over-consumed infected gammarids compared to uninfected individuals. Overall, our results bring support for a less sophisticated scenario of manipulation than previously expected, combining chronic behavioural alterations with phasic behavioural alterations triggered by the chemical and physical cues coming from any type of predator. Given the wide dispersal range of waterbirds (the definitive hosts of P. minutus), such a manipulation

  5. Non-specific manipulation of gammarid behaviour by P. minutus parasite enhances their predation by definitive bird hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Jacquin

    Full Text Available Trophically-transmitted parasites often change the phenotype of their intermediate hosts in ways that increase their vulnerability to definitive hosts, hence favouring transmission. As a "collateral damage", manipulated hosts can also become easy prey for non-host predators that are dead ends for the parasite, and which are supposed to play no role in transmission strategies. Interestingly, infection with the acanthocephalan parasite Polymorphus minutus has been shown to reduce the vulnerability of its gammarid intermediate hosts to non-host predators, whose presence triggered the behavioural alterations expected to favour trophic transmission to bird definitive hosts. Whilst the behavioural response of infected gammarids to the presence of definitive hosts remains to be investigated, this suggests that trophic transmission might be promoted by non-host predation risk. We conducted microcosm experiments to test whether the behaviour of P. minutus-infected gammarids was specific to the type of predator (i.e. mallard as definitive host and fish as non-host, and mesocosm experiments to test whether trophic transmission to bird hosts was influenced by non-host predation risk. Based on the behaviours we investigated (predator avoidance, activity, geotaxis, conspecific attraction, we found no evidence for a specific fine-tuned response in infected gammarids, which behaved similarly whatever the type of predator (mallard or fish. During predation tests, fish predation risk did not influence the differential predation of mallards that over-consumed infected gammarids compared to uninfected individuals. Overall, our results bring support for a less sophisticated scenario of manipulation than previously expected, combining chronic behavioural alterations with phasic behavioural alterations triggered by the chemical and physical cues coming from any type of predator. Given the wide dispersal range of waterbirds (the definitive hosts of P. minutus, such a

  6. Along for the ride or missing it altogether: exploring the host specificity and diversity of haemogregarines in the Canary Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Beatriz; Pereira, Ana; Jorge, Fátima; Carretero, Miguel A; Harris, D James; Perera, Ana

    2018-03-19

    Host-parasite relationships are expected to be strongly shaped by host specificity, a crucial factor in parasite adaptability and diversification. Because whole host communities have to be considered to assess host specificity, oceanic islands are ideal study systems given their simplified biotic assemblages. Previous studies on insular parasites suggest host range broadening during colonization. Here, we investigate the association between one parasite group (haemogregarines) and multiple sympatric hosts (of three lizard genera: Gallotia, Chalcides and Tarentola) in the Canary Islands. Given haemogregarine characteristics and insular conditions, we hypothesized low host specificity and/or occurrence of host-switching events. A total of 825 samples were collected from the three host taxa inhabiting the seven main islands of the Canarian Archipelago, including locations where the different lizards occurred in sympatry. Blood slides were screened to assess prevalence and parasitaemia, while parasite genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships were inferred from 18S rRNA gene sequences. Infection levels and diversity of haplotypes varied geographically and across host groups. Infections were found in all species of Gallotia across the seven islands, in Tarentola from Tenerife, La Gomera and La Palma, and in Chalcides from Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro. Gallotia lizards presented the highest parasite prevalence, parasitaemia and diversity (seven haplotypes), while the other two host groups (Chalcides and Tarentola) harbored one haplotype each, with low prevalence and parasitaemia levels, and very restricted geographical ranges. Host-sharing of the same haemogregarine haplotype was only detected twice, but these rare instances likely represent occasional cross-infections. Our results suggest that: (i) Canarian haemogregarine haplotypes are highly host-specific, which might have restricted parasite host expansion; (ii) haemogregarines most probably reached the

  7. Antibiotics and Host Responses in the Pathogenesis of Staphylococcus Aureus Infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.W. Swierstra (Jasper)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractThe primary aim of the research described in this thesis was to gain more insight into host pathogen interaction between Staphylococcus aureus and the human host by specifically studying the IgG (subclass specific) humoral response against staphylococcal virulence factors in humans

  8. Maculosin, a host-specific phytotoxin for spotted knapweed from Alternaria alternata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stierle, Andrea C.; Cardellina, John H.; Strobel, Gary A.

    1988-01-01

    Several diketopiperazines have been isolated from liquid cultures of Alternaria alternata, the causal agent of black leaf blight of spotted knapweed, Centaurea maculosa Lam. One of these compounds, maculosin [the diketopiperazine cyclo(-L-Pro-L-Tyr-)], was active in the nicked-leaf bioassay at 10-5 M; synthetic maculosin possessed chemical and biological activities identical to those of the natural product. Other diketopiperazines isolated from the fungus possessed either less activity or none at all. In tests against 19 plant species, maculosin was phytotoxic only to spotted knapweed. Thus maculosin is a host-specific phytotoxin from a weed pathogen. PMID:16593989

  9. Comparative host specificity of human- and pig- associated Staphylococcus aureus clonal lineages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arshnee Moodley

    Full Text Available Bacterial adhesion is a crucial step in colonization of the skin. In this study, we investigated the differential adherence to human and pig corneocytes of six Staphylococcus aureus strains belonging to three human-associated [ST8 (CC8, ST22 (CC22 and ST36(CC30] and two pig-associated [ST398 (CC398 and ST433(CC30] clonal lineages, and their colonization potential in the pig host was assessed by in vivo competition experiments. Corneocytes were collected from 11 humans and 21 pigs using D-squame® adhesive discs, and bacterial adherence to corneocytes was quantified by a standardized light microscopy assay. A previously described porcine colonization model was used to assess the potential of the six strains to colonize the pig host. Three pregnant, S. aureus-free sows were inoculated intravaginally shortly before farrowing with different strain mixes [mix 1 human and porcine ST398; mix 2 human ST36 and porcine ST433; and mix 3 human ST8, ST22, ST36 and porcine ST398] and the ability of individual strains to colonize the nasal cavity of newborn piglets was evaluated for 28 days after birth by strain-specific antibiotic selective culture. In the corneocyte assay, the pig-associated ST433 strain and the human-associated ST22 and ST36 strains showed significantly greater adhesion to porcine and human corneocytes, respectively (p<0.0001. In contrast, ST8 and ST398 did not display preferential host binding patterns. In the in vivo competition experiment, ST8 was a better colonizer compared to ST22, ST36, and ST433 prevailed over ST36 in colonizing the newborn piglets. These results are partly in agreement with previous genetic and epidemiological studies indicating the host specificity of ST22, ST36 and ST433 and the broad-host range of ST398. However, our in vitro and in vivo experiments revealed an unexpected ability of ST8 to adhere to porcine corneocytes and persist in the nasal cavity of pigs.

  10. Host cell interactions of outer membrane vesicle-associated virulence factors of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157: Intracellular delivery, trafficking and mechanisms of cell injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greune, Lilo; Jarosch, Kevin-André; Steil, Daniel; Zhang, Wenlan; He, Xiaohua; Lloubes, Roland; Fruth, Angelika; Kim, Kwang Sik; Schmidt, M. Alexander; Dobrindt, Ulrich; Mellmann, Alexander; Karch, Helge

    2017-01-01

    Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are important tools in bacterial virulence but their role in the pathogenesis of infections caused by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157, the leading cause of life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome, is poorly understood. Using proteomics, electron and confocal laser scanning microscopy, immunoblotting, and bioassays, we investigated OMVs secreted by EHEC O157 clinical isolates for virulence factors cargoes, interactions with pathogenetically relevant human cells, and mechanisms of cell injury. We demonstrate that O157 OMVs carry a cocktail of key virulence factors of EHEC O157 including Shiga toxin 2a (Stx2a), cytolethal distending toxin V (CdtV), EHEC hemolysin, and flagellin. The toxins are internalized by cells via dynamin-dependent endocytosis of OMVs and differentially separate from vesicles during intracellular trafficking. Stx2a and CdtV-B, the DNase-like CdtV subunit, separate from OMVs in early endosomes. Stx2a is trafficked, in association with its receptor globotriaosylceramide within detergent-resistant membranes, to the Golgi complex and the endoplasmic reticulum from where the catalytic Stx2a A1 fragment is translocated to the cytosol. CdtV-B is, after its retrograde transport to the endoplasmic reticulum, translocated to the nucleus to reach DNA. CdtV-A and CdtV-C subunits remain OMV-associated and are sorted with OMVs to lysosomes. EHEC hemolysin separates from OMVs in lysosomes and targets mitochondria. The OMV-delivered CdtV-B causes cellular DNA damage, which activates DNA damage responses leading to G2 cell cycle arrest. The arrested cells ultimately die of apoptosis induced by Stx2a and CdtV via caspase-9 activation. By demonstrating that naturally secreted EHEC O157 OMVs carry and deliver into cells a cocktail of biologically active virulence factors, thereby causing cell death, and by performing first comprehensive analysis of intracellular trafficking of OMVs and OMV-delivered virulence factors

  11. Persistence of functional protein domains in mycoplasma species and their role in host specificity and synthetic minimal life

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamminga, Tjerko; Koehorst, Jasper J.; Vermeij, Paul; Slagman, Simen Jan; Santos, dos Vitor A.P.M.; Bijlsma, Jetta J.E.; Schaap, Peter J.

    2017-01-01

    Mycoplasmas are the smallest self-replicating organisms and obligate parasites of a specific vertebrate host. An in-depth analysis of the functional capabilities of mycoplasma species is fundamental to understand how some of simplest forms of life on Earth succeeded in subverting complex hosts with

  12. The role of host specificity in explaining the invasion success of the freshwater mussel Anodonta woodiana in Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Douda, K.; Vrtílek, Milan; Slavík, O.; Reichard, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 14, č. 1 (2012), s. 127-137 ISSN 1387-3547 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB600930802 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : aquatic habitat * Bivalvia * host-parasite relationship * host specificity * Mollusca Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.509, year: 2012

  13. Infection, specificity and host manipulation of Australapatemon sp (Trematoda, Strigeidae) in two sympatric species of leeches (Hirudinea)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Karvonen, A.; Faltýnková, Anna; Choo, J. M.; Valtonen, E. T.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 144, č. 10 (2017), s. 1346-1355 ISSN 0031-1820 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : complex life cycle * Digenea * host manipulation * host-parasite relationship * spatiotemporal variation * specificity * Trematoda Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Zoology Impact factor: 2.713, year: 2016

  14. Strain-Specific Features of Extracellular Polysaccharides and Their Impact on Lactobacillus plantarum-Host Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, I-Chiao; Caggianiello, Graziano; van Swam, Iris I; Taverne, Nico; Meijerink, Marjolein; Bron, Peter A; Spano, Giuseppe; Kleerebezem, Michiel

    2016-07-01

    Lactobacilli are found in diverse environments and are widely applied as probiotic, health-promoting food supplements. Polysaccharides are ubiquitously present on the cell surface of lactobacilli and are considered to contribute to the species- and strain-specific probiotic effects that are typically observed. Two Lactobacillus plantarum strains, SF2A35B and Lp90, have an obvious ropy phenotype, implying high extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production levels. In this work, we set out to identify the genes involved in EPS production in these L. plantarum strains and to demonstrate their role in EPS production by gene deletion analysis. A model L. plantarum strain, WCFS1, and its previously constructed derivative that produced reduced levels of EPS were included as reference strains. The constructed EPS-reduced derivatives were analyzed for the abundance and sugar compositions of their EPS, revealing cps2-like gene clusters in SF2A35B and Lp90 responsible for major EPS production. Moreover, these mutant strains were tested for phenotypic characteristics that are of relevance for their capacity to interact with the host epithelium in the intestinal tract, including bacterial surface properties as well as survival under the stress conditions encountered in the gastrointestinal tract (acid and bile stress). In addition, the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) signaling and immunomodulatory capacities of the EPS-negative derivatives and their respective wild-type strains were compared, revealing strain-specific impacts of EPS on the immunomodulatory properties. Taken together, these experiments illustrate the importance of EPS in L. plantarum strains as a strain-specific determinant in host interaction. This study evaluates the role of extracellular polysaccharides that are produced by different strains of Lactobacillus plantarum in the determination of the cell surface properties of these bacteria and their capacity to interact with their environment, including their

  15. RNAi screen reveals host cell kinases specifically involved in Listeria monocytogenes spread from cell to cell.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan Chong

    Full Text Available Intracellular bacterial pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Rickettsia conorii display actin-based motility in the cytosol of infected cells and spread from cell to cell through the formation of membrane protrusions at the cell cortex. Whereas the mechanisms supporting cytosolic actin-based motility are fairly well understood, it is unclear whether specific host factors may be required for supporting the formation and resolution of membrane protrusions. To address this gap in knowledge, we have developed high-throughput fluorescence microscopy and computer-assisted image analysis procedures to quantify pathogen spread in human epithelial cells. We used the approach to screen a siRNA library covering the human kinome and identified 7 candidate kinases whose depletion led to severe spreading defects in cells infected with L. monocytogenes. We conducted systematic validation procedures with redundant silencing reagents and confirmed the involvement of the serine/threonine kinases, CSNK1A1 and CSNK2B. We conducted secondary assays showing that, in contrast with the situation observed in CSNK2B-depleted cells, L. monocytogenes formed wild-type cytosolic tails and displayed wild-type actin-based motility in the cytosol of CSNK1A1-depleted cells. Furthermore, we developed a protrusion formation assay and showed that the spreading defect observed in CSNK1A1-depleted cells correlated with the formation of protrusion that did not resolve into double-membrane vacuoles. Moreover, we developed sending and receiving cell-specific RNAi procedures and showed that CSNK1A was required in the sending cells, but was dispensable in the receiving cells, for protrusion resolution. Finally, we showed that the observed defects were specific to Listeria monocytogenes, as Rickettsia conorii displayed wild-type cell-to-cell spread in CSNK1A1- and CSNK2B-depleted cells. We conclude that, in addition to the specific host factors supporting cytosolic actin

  16. The metabolic regulator CodY links L. monocytogenes metabolism to virulence by directly activating the virulence regulatory gene, prfA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobel, Lior; Sigal, Nadejda; Borovok, Ilya; Belitsky, Boris R.; Sonenshein, Abraham L.; Herskovits, Anat A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Metabolic adaptations are critical to the ability of bacterial pathogens to grow within host cells and are normally preceded by sensing of host-specific metabolic signals, which in turn can influence the pathogen's virulence state. Previously, we reported that the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes responds to low availability of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) within mammalian cells by up-regulating both BCAA biosynthesis and virulence genes. The induction of virulence genes required the BCAA-responsive transcription regulator, CodY, but the molecular mechanism governing this mode of regulation was unclear. In this report, we demonstrate that CodY directly binds the coding sequence of the L. monocytogenes master virulence activator gene, prfA, 15 nt downstream of its start codon, and that this binding results in up-regulation of prfA transcription specifically under low concentrations of BCAA. Mutating this site abolished CodY binding and reduced prfA transcription in macrophages, and attenuated bacterial virulence in mice. Notably, the mutated binding site did not alter prfA transcription or PrfA activity under other conditions that are known to activate PrfA, such as during growth in the presence of glucose-1-phosphate. This study highlights the tight crosstalk between L. monocytogenes metabolism and virulence' while revealing novel features of CodY-mediated regulation. PMID:25430920

  17. Bacterial Serine/Threonine Protein Kinases in Host-Pathogen Interactions*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canova, Marc J.; Molle, Virginie

    2014-01-01

    In bacterial pathogenesis, monitoring and adapting to the dynamically changing environment in the host and an ability to disrupt host immune responses are critical. The virulence determinants of pathogenic bacteria include the sensor/signaling proteins of the serine/threonine protein kinase (STPK) family that have a dual role of sensing the environment and subverting specific host defense processes. STPKs can sense a wide range of signals and coordinate multiple cellular processes to mount an appropriate response. Here, we review some of the well studied bacterial STPKs that are essential virulence factors and that modify global host responses during infection. PMID:24554701

  18. Bacterial serine/threonine protein kinases in host-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canova, Marc J; Molle, Virginie

    2014-04-04

    In bacterial pathogenesis, monitoring and adapting to the dynamically changing environment in the host and an ability to disrupt host immune responses are critical. The virulence determinants of pathogenic bacteria include the sensor/signaling proteins of the serine/threonine protein kinase (STPK) family that have a dual role of sensing the environment and subverting specific host defense processes. STPKs can sense a wide range of signals and coordinate multiple cellular processes to mount an appropriate response. Here, we review some of the well studied bacterial STPKs that are essential virulence factors and that modify global host responses during infection.

  19. Temporal Assessment of the Impact of Exposure to Cow Feces in Two Watersheds by Multiple Host-Specific PCR Assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exposure to feces in two watersheds with different management histories was assessed by tracking cattle feces bacterial populations using multiple host-specific PCR assays. In addition, environmental factors affecting the occurrence of these markers were identified. Each assay wa...

  20. Host-Specific Parvovirus Evolution in Nature Is Recapitulated by In Vitro Adaptation to Different Carnivore Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, Andrew B.; Kohler, Dennis J.; Ortega, Alicia; Hoover, Elizabeth A.; Grove, Daniel M.; Holmes, Edward C.; Parrish, Colin R.

    2014-01-01

    Canine parvovirus (CPV) emerged as a new pandemic pathogen of dogs in the 1970s and is closely related to feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), a parvovirus of cats and related carnivores. Although both viruses have wide host ranges, analysis of viral sequences recovered from different wild carnivore species, as shown here, demonstrated that >95% were derived from CPV-like viruses, suggesting that CPV is dominant in sylvatic cycles. Many viral sequences showed host-specific mutations in their capsid proteins, which were often close to sites known to control binding to the transferrin receptor (TfR), the host receptor for these carnivore parvoviruses, and which exhibited frequent parallel evolution. To further examine the process of host adaptation, we passaged parvoviruses with alternative backgrounds in cells from different carnivore hosts. Specific mutations were selected in several viruses and these differed depending on both the background of the virus and the host cells in which they were passaged. Strikingly, these in vitro mutations recapitulated many specific changes seen in viruses from natural populations, strongly suggesting they are host adaptive, and which were shown to result in fitness advantages over their parental virus. Comparison of the sequences of the transferrin receptors of the different carnivore species demonstrated that many mutations occurred in and around the apical domain where the virus binds, indicating that viral variants were likely selected through their fit to receptor structures. Some of the viruses accumulated high levels of variation upon passage in alternative hosts, while others could infect multiple different hosts with no or only a few additional mutations. Overall, these studies demonstrate that the evolutionary history of a virus, including how long it has been circulating and in which hosts, as well as its phylogenetic background, has a profound effect on determining viral host range. PMID:25375184

  1. Host-specific parvovirus evolution in nature is recapitulated by in vitro adaptation to different carnivore species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew B Allison

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Canine parvovirus (CPV emerged as a new pandemic pathogen of dogs in the 1970s and is closely related to feline panleukopenia virus (FPV, a parvovirus of cats and related carnivores. Although both viruses have wide host ranges, analysis of viral sequences recovered from different wild carnivore species, as shown here, demonstrated that>95% were derived from CPV-like viruses, suggesting that CPV is dominant in sylvatic cycles. Many viral sequences showed host-specific mutations in their capsid proteins, which were often close to sites known to control binding to the transferrin receptor (TfR, the host receptor for these carnivore parvoviruses, and which exhibited frequent parallel evolution. To further examine the process of host adaptation, we passaged parvoviruses with alternative backgrounds in cells from different carnivore hosts. Specific mutations were selected in several viruses and these differed depending on both the background of the virus and the host cells in which they were passaged. Strikingly, these in vitro mutations recapitulated many specific changes seen in viruses from natural populations, strongly suggesting they are host adaptive, and which were shown to result in fitness advantages over their parental virus. Comparison of the sequences of the transferrin receptors of the different carnivore species demonstrated that many mutations occurred in and around the apical domain where the virus binds, indicating that viral variants were likely selected through their fit to receptor structures. Some of the viruses accumulated high levels of variation upon passage in alternative hosts, while others could infect multiple different hosts with no or only a few additional mutations. Overall, these studies demonstrate that the evolutionary history of a virus, including how long it has been circulating and in which hosts, as well as its phylogenetic background, has a profound effect on determining viral host range.

  2. Invasive mold infections : virulence and pathogenesis of mucorales

    OpenAIRE

    Morace, G.; Borghi, E.

    2012-01-01

    Mucorales have been increasingly reported as cause of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised subjects, particularly in patients with haematological malignancies or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and in those under deferoxamine treatment or undergoing dialysis. The disease often leads to a fatal outcome, but the pathogenesis of the infection is still poorly understood as well as the role of specific virulence determinants and the interaction with the host immune system. Members of the...

  3. Inter-species protein trafficking endows dodder (Cuscuta pentagona) with a host-specific herbicide-tolerant trait.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Linjian; Qu, Feng; Li, Zhaohu; Doohan, Douglas

    2013-06-01

    · Besides photosynthates, dodder (Cuscuta spp.) acquires phloem-mobile proteins from host; however, whether this could mediate inter-species phenotype transfer was not demonstrated. Specifically, we test whether phosphinothricin acetyl transferase (PAT) that confers host plant glufosinate herbicide tolerance traffics and functions inter-specifically. · Dodder tendrils excised from hosts can grow in vitro for weeks or resume in vivo by parasitizing new hosts. The level of PAT in in vivo and in vitro dodder tendrils was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The glufosinate sensitivity was examined by dipping the distal end of in vivo and in vitro tendrils, growing on or excised from LibertyLink (LL; PAT-transgenic and glufosinate tolerant) and conventional (CN; glufosinate sensitive) soybean hosts, into glufosinate solutions for 5 s. After in vitro tendrils excised from LL hosts reparasitized new CN and LL hosts, the PAT level and the glufosinate sensitivity were also examined. · When growing on LL host, dodder tolerated glufosinate and contained PAT at a level of 0.3% of that encountered in LL soybean leaf. After PAT was largely degraded in dodders, they became glufosinate sensitive. PAT mRNA was not detected by reverse transcription PCR in dodders. · In conclusion, the results indicated that PAT inter-species trafficking confers dodder glufosinate tolerance. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Pathogenomic inference of virulence-associated genes in Leptospira interrogans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason S Lehmann

    Full Text Available Leptospirosis is a globally important, neglected zoonotic infection caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. Since genetic transformation remains technically limited for pathogenic Leptospira, a systems biology pathogenomic approach was used to infer leptospiral virulence genes by whole genome comparison of culture-attenuated Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai with its virulent, isogenic parent. Among the 11 pathogen-specific protein-coding genes in which non-synonymous mutations were found, a putative soluble adenylate cyclase with host cell cAMP-elevating activity, and two members of a previously unstudied ∼15 member paralogous gene family of unknown function were identified. This gene family was also uniquely found in the alpha-proteobacteria Bartonella bacilliformis and Bartonella australis that are geographically restricted to the Andes and Australia, respectively. How the pathogenic Leptospira and these two Bartonella species came to share this expanded gene family remains an evolutionary mystery. In vivo expression analyses demonstrated up-regulation of 10/11 Leptospira genes identified in the attenuation screen, and profound in vivo, tissue-specific up-regulation by members of the paralogous gene family, suggesting a direct role in virulence and host-pathogen interactions. The pathogenomic experimental design here is generalizable as a functional systems biology approach to studying bacterial pathogenesis and virulence and should encourage similar experimental studies of other pathogens.

  5. Pathogenomic inference of virulence-associated genes in Leptospira interrogans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, Jason S; Fouts, Derrick E; Haft, Daniel H; Cannella, Anthony P; Ricaldi, Jessica N; Brinkac, Lauren; Harkins, Derek; Durkin, Scott; Sanka, Ravi; Sutton, Granger; Moreno, Angelo; Vinetz, Joseph M; Matthias, Michael A

    2013-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a globally important, neglected zoonotic infection caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. Since genetic transformation remains technically limited for pathogenic Leptospira, a systems biology pathogenomic approach was used to infer leptospiral virulence genes by whole genome comparison of culture-attenuated Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai with its virulent, isogenic parent. Among the 11 pathogen-specific protein-coding genes in which non-synonymous mutations were found, a putative soluble adenylate cyclase with host cell cAMP-elevating activity, and two members of a previously unstudied ∼15 member paralogous gene family of unknown function were identified. This gene family was also uniquely found in the alpha-proteobacteria Bartonella bacilliformis and Bartonella australis that are geographically restricted to the Andes and Australia, respectively. How the pathogenic Leptospira and these two Bartonella species came to share this expanded gene family remains an evolutionary mystery. In vivo expression analyses demonstrated up-regulation of 10/11 Leptospira genes identified in the attenuation screen, and profound in vivo, tissue-specific up-regulation by members of the paralogous gene family, suggesting a direct role in virulence and host-pathogen interactions. The pathogenomic experimental design here is generalizable as a functional systems biology approach to studying bacterial pathogenesis and virulence and should encourage similar experimental studies of other pathogens.

  6. Animal salmonelloses: a brief review of “host adaptation and host specificity” of Salmonella spp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grammato Evangelopoulou

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Salmonella enterica, the most pathogenic species of the genusSalmonella, includes more than 2,500 serovars, many of which are of great veterinary and medical significance. The emergence of food-borne pathogens, such as Salmonella spp., has increased knowledge about the mechanisms helping microorganisms to persist and spread within new host populations. It has also increased information about the properties they acquire for adapting in the biological environment of a new host. Thedifferences observed between serovars in their host preference and clinical manifestations are referred to as “serovar-host specificity” or “serovar-host adaptation”. The genus Salmonella, highly adaptive to vertebrate hosts, has many pathogenic serovars showing host specificity. Serovar Salmonella Typhi, causing disease to man and higher primates, is a good example of host specificity. Thus, understanding the mechanisms that Salmonella serovars use to overcome animal species' barriers or adapt to new hosts is also important for understanding the origins of any other infectious diseases or the emergence of new pathogens. In addition, molecular methods used to study the virulence determinants of Salmonella serovars, could also be used to model ways of studying the virulence determinants used by bacteria in general, when causing disease to a specific animal species

  7. Detection and Serogrouping of Dichelobacter nodosus Infection by Use of Direct PCR from Lesion Swabs To Support Outbreak-Specific Vaccination for Virulent Footrot in Sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, Andrew S; Dhungyel, Om P; Whittington, Richard J

    2018-04-01

    Virulent footrot is an economically significant disease in most sheep-rearing countries. The disease can be controlled with vaccine targeting the fimbriae of virulent strains of the essential causative agent, Dichelobacter nodosus However, the bacterium is immunologically heterogeneous, and 10 distinct fimbrial serogroups have been identified. Ideally, in each outbreak the infecting strains would be cultured and serogrouped so that the appropriate serogroup-specific mono- or bivalent vaccine could be administered, because multivalent vaccines lack efficacy due to antigenic competition. If clinical disease expression is suspected to be incomplete, culture-based virulence tests are required to confirm the diagnosis, because control of benign footrot is economically unjustifiable. Both diagnosis and vaccination are conducted at the flock level. The aims of this study were to develop a PCR-based procedure for detecting and serogrouping D. nodosus directly from foot swabs and to determine whether this could be done accurately from the same cultured swab. A total of 269 swabs from the active margins of foot lesions of 261 sheep in 12 Merino sheep flocks in southeastern Australia were evaluated. DNA extracts taken from putative pure cultures of D. nodosus and directly from the swabs were evaluated in PCR assays for the 16S rRNA and fimA genes of D. nodosus Pure cultures were tested also by the slide agglutination test. Direct PCR using extracts from swabs was more sensitive than culture for detecting and serogrouping D. nodosus strains. Using the most sensitive sample collection method of the use of swabs in lysis buffer, D. nodosus was more likely to be detected by PCR in active than in inactive lesions, and in lesions with low levels of fecal contamination, but lesion score was not a significant factor. PCR conducted on extracts from swabs in modified Stuart's transport medium that had already been used to inoculate culture plates had lower sensitivity. Therefore, if

  8. Hepatitis E virus and fulminant hepatitis--a virus or host-specific pathology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Donald B; Simmonds, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Fulminant hepatitis is a rare outcome of infection with hepatitis E virus. Several recent reports suggest that virus variation is an important determinant of disease progression. To critically examine the evidence that virus-specific factors underlie the development of fulminant hepatitis following hepatitis E virus infection. Published sequence information of hepatitis E virus isolates from patients with and without fulminant hepatitis was collected and analysed using statistical tests to identify associations between virus polymorphisms and disease outcome. Fulminant hepatitis has been reported following infection with all four hepatitis E virus genotypes that infect humans comprising multiple phylogenetic lineages within genotypes 1, 3 and 4. Analysis of virus sequences from individuals infected by a common source did not detect any common substitutions associated with progression to fulminant hepatitis. Re-analysis of previously reported associations between virus substitutions and fulminant hepatitis suggests that these were probably the result of sampling biases. Host-specific factors rather than virus genotype, variants or specific substitutions appear to be responsible for the development of fulminant hepatitis. © 2014 The Authors. Liver International Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Cleavage of host cytokeratin-6 by lysine-specific gingipain induces gingival inflammation in periodontitis patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salunya Tancharoen

    Full Text Available Lysine-specific gingipain (Kgp is a virulence factor secreted from Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis, a major etiological bacterium of periodontal disease. Keratin intermediate filaments maintain the structural integrity of gingival epithelial cells, but are targeted by Kgp to produce a novel cytokeratin 6 fragment (K6F. We investigated the release of K6F and its induction of cytokine secretion.K6F present in the gingival crevicular fluid of periodontal disease patients and in gingipain-treated rat gingival epithelial cell culture supernatants was measured by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer-based rapid quantitative peptide analysis using BLOTCHIP. K6F in gingival tissues was immunostained, and cytokeratin 6 protein was analyzed by immunofluorescence staining and flow cytometry. Activation of MAPK in gingival epithelial cells was evaluated by immunoblotting. ELISA was used to measure K6F and the cytokines release induced by K6F. Human gingival fibroblast migration was assessed using a Matrigel invasion chamber assay.We identified K6F, corresponding to the C-terminus region of human cytokeratin 6 (amino acids 359-378, in the gingival crevicular fluid of periodontal disease patients and in the supernatant from gingival epithelial cells cultured with Kgp. K6F antigen was distributed from the basal to the spinous epithelial layers in gingivae from periodontal disease patients. Cytokeratin 6 on gingival epithelial cells was degraded by Kgp, but not by Arg-gingipain, P. gingivalis lipopolysaccharide or Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans lipopolysaccharide. K6F, but not a scrambled K6F peptide, induced human gingival fibroblast migration and secretion of interleukin (IL-6, IL-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. These effects of K6F were mediated by activation of p38 MAPK and Jun N-terminal kinase, but not p42/44 MAPK or p-Akt.Kgp degrades gingival epithelial cell cytokeratin 6 to K6F that, on

  10. Horizontal Transfer of the Salmonella enterica Serovar Infantis Resistance and Virulence Plasmid pESI to the Gut Microbiota of Warm-Blooded Hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gili Aviv

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Salmonella enterica serovar Infantis is one of the prevalent salmonellae worldwide. Recently, we showed that the emergence of S. Infantis in Israel was facilitated by the acquisition of a unique megaplasmid (pESI conferring multidrug resistance and increased virulence phenotypes. Here we elucidate the ecology, transmission properties, and regulation of pESI. We show that despite its large size (~280 kb, pESI does not impose a significant metabolic burden in vitro and that it has been recently fixed in the domestic S. Infantis population. pESI conjugation and the transcription of its pilus (pil genes are inhibited at the ambient temperature (27°C and by ≥1% bile but increased under temperatures of 37 to 41°C, oxidative stress, moderate osmolarity, and the microaerobic conditions characterizing the intestinal environment of warm-blooded animals. The pESI-encoded protein TraB and the oxygen homeostasis regulator Fnr were identified as transcriptional regulators of pESI conjugation. Using the mouse model, we show that following S. Infantis infection, pESI can be horizontally transferred to the gut microbiota, including to commensal Escherichia coli strains. Possible transfer, but not persistence, of pESI was also observed into Gram-positive mouse microbiota species, especially Lactobacillus reuteri. Moreover, pESI was demonstrated to further disseminate from gut microbiota to S. enterica serovar Typhimurium, in the context of gastrointestinal infection. These findings exhibit the ability of a selfish clinically relevant megaplasmid to distribute to and from the microbiota and suggest an overlooked role of the microbiota as a reservoir of mobile genetic elements and intermediator in the spread of resistance and virulence genes between commensals and pathogenic bacteria.

  11. Host-specific interactions with environmental factors shape the distribution of symbiodinium across the Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Tonk

    Full Text Available The endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium within coral reef invertebrates are critical to the survival of the holobiont. The genetic variability of Symbiodinium may contribute to the tolerance of the symbiotic association to elevated sea surface temperatures (SST. To assess the importance of factors such as the local environment, host identity and biogeography in driving Symbiodinium distributions on reef-wide scales, data from studies on reef invertebrate-Symbiodinium associations from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR were compiled.The resulting database consisted of 3717 entries from 26 studies. It was used to explore ecological patterns such as host-specificity and environmental drivers structuring community complexity using a multi-scalar approach. The data was analyzed in several ways: (i frequently sampled host species were analyzed independently to investigate the influence of the environment on symbiont distributions, thereby excluding the influence of host specificity, (ii host species distributions across sites were added as an environmental variable to determine the contribution of host identity on symbiont distribution, and (iii data were pooled based on clade (broad genetic groups dividing the genus Symbiodinium to investigate factors driving Symbiodinium distributions using lower taxonomic resolution. The results indicated that host species identity plays a dominant role in determining the distribution of Symbiodinium and environmental variables shape distributions on a host species-specific level. SST derived variables (especially SSTstdev most often contributed to the selection of the best model. Clade level comparisons decreased the power of the predictive model indicating that it fails to incorporate the main drivers behind Symbiodinium distributions.Including the influence of different host species on Symbiodinium distributional patterns improves our understanding of the drivers behind the complexity of Symbiodinium

  12. Density-dependent sex ratio and sex-specific preference for host traits in parasitic bat flies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szentiványi, Tamara; Vincze, Orsolya; Estók, Péter

    2017-08-29

    Deviation of sex ratios from unity in wild animal populations has recently been demonstrated to be far more prevalent than previously thought. Ectoparasites are prominent examples of this bias, given that their sex ratios vary from strongly female- to strongly male-biased both among hosts and at the metapopulation level. To date our knowledge is very limited on how and why these biased sex ratios develop. It was suggested that sex ratio and sex-specific aggregation of ectoparasites might be shaped by the ecology, behaviour and physiology of both hosts and their parasites. Here we investigate a highly specialised, hematophagous bat fly species with strong potential to move between hosts, arguably limited inbreeding effects, off-host developmental stages and extended parental care. We collected a total of 796 Nycteribia kolenatii bat flies from 147 individual bats using fumigation and subsequently determined their sex. We report a balanced sex ratio at the metapopulation level and a highly variable sex ratio among infrapopulations ranging from 100% male to 100% female. We show that infrapopulation sex ratio is not random and is highly correlated with infrapopulation size. Sex ratio is highly male biased in small and highly female biased in large infrapopulations. We show that this pattern is most probably the result of sex-specific preference in bat flies for host traits, most likely combined with a higher mobility of males. We demonstrate that female bat flies exert a strong preference for high host body condition and female hosts, while the distribution of males is more even. Our results suggest that locally biased sex ratios can develop due to sex-specific habitat preference of parasites. Moreover, it is apparent that the sex of both hosts and parasites need to be accounted for when a better understanding of host-parasite systems is targeted.

  13. The Cacti microbiome: interplay between habitat-filtering and host specificity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Citlali eFonseca-Garcia

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Cactaceae represents one of the most species-rich families of succulent plants native to arid and semi-arid ecosystems, yet the associations Cacti establish with microorganisms and the rules governing microbial community assembly remain poorly understood. We analyzed the composition, diversity and factors influencing above- and below-ground bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities associated with two native and sympatric Cacti species: Myrtillocactus geometrizans and Opuntia robusta. Phylogenetic profiling showed that the composition and assembly of microbial communities associated with Cacti were primarily influenced by the plant compartment; plant species, site and season played only a minor role. Remarkably, bacterial and archaeal diversity was higher in the phyllosphere than in the rhizosphere of Cacti, while the opposite was true for fungi. Semi-arid soils exhibited the highest levels of microbial diversity whereas the stem endosphere the lowest. Despite their taxonomic distance, M. geometrizans and O. robusta shared most microbial taxa in all analyzed compartments. Influence of the plant host did only play a larger role in the fungal communities of the stem endosphere. These results suggest that fungi establish specific interactions with their host plant inside the stem, whereas microbial communities in the other plant compartments may play similar functional roles in these two species.Biochemical and molecular characterization of seed-borne bacteria of Cacti supports the idea that these microbial symbionts may be vertically inherited and could promote plant growth and drought tolerance for the fitness of the Cacti holobiont. We envision this knowledge will help improve and sustain agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions of the world.

  14. Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta are natural hosts of specific Staphylococcus aureus lineages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanne van den Berg

    Full Text Available Currently, there is no animal model known that mimics natural nasal colonization by Staphylococcus aureus in humans. We investigated whether rhesus macaques are natural nasal carriers of S. aureus. Nasal swabs were taken from 731 macaques. S. aureus isolates were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE, spa repeat sequencing and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST, and compared with human strains. Furthermore, the isolates were characterized by several PCRs. Thirty-nine percent of 731 macaques were positive for S. aureus. In general, the macaque S. aureus isolates differed from human strains as they formed separate PFGE clusters, 50% of the isolates were untypeable by agr genotyping, 17 new spa types were identified, which all belonged to new sequence types (STs. Furthermore, 66% of macaque isolates were negative for all superantigen genes. To determine S. aureus nasal colonization, three nasal swabs from 48 duo-housed macaques were taken during a 5 month period. In addition, sera were analyzed for immunoglobulin G and A levels directed against 40 staphylococcal proteins using a bead-based flow cytometry technique. Nineteen percent of the animals were negative for S. aureus, and 17% were three times positive. S. aureus strains were easily exchanged between macaques. The antibody response was less pronounced in macaques compared to humans, and nasal carrier status was not associated with differences in serum anti-staphylococcal antibody levels. In conclusion, rhesus macaques are natural hosts of S. aureus, carrying host-specific lineages. Our data indicate that rhesus macaques are useful as an autologous model for studying S. aureus nasal colonization and infection prevention.

  15. The specificity of host-bat fly interaction networks across vegetation and seasonal variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarazúa-Carbajal, Mariana; Saldaña-Vázquez, Romeo A; Sandoval-Ruiz, César A; Stoner, Kathryn E; Benitez-Malvido, Julieta

    2016-10-01

    Vegetation type and seasonality promote changes in the species composition and abundance of parasite hosts. However, it is poorly known how these variables affect host-parasite interaction networks. This information is important to understand the dynamics of parasite-host relationships according to biotic and abiotic changes. We compared the specialization of host-bat fly interaction networks, as well as bat fly and host species composition between upland dry forest and riparian forest and between dry and rainy seasons in a tropical dry forest in Jalisco, Mexico. Bat flies were surveyed by direct collection from bats. Our results showed that host-bat fly interaction networks were more specialized in upland dry forest compared to riparian forest. Bat fly species composition was different between the dry and rainy seasons, while host species composition was different between upland dry forest and riparian forest. The higher specialization in upland dry forest could be related to the differences in bat host species composition and their respective roosting habits. Variation in the composition of bat fly species between dry and rainy seasons coincides with the seasonal shifts in their species richness. Our study confirms the high specialization of host-bat fly interactions and shows the importance of biotic and abiotic factors to understand the dynamics of parasite-host interactions.

  16. Host-specific adaptation of HIV-1 subtype B in the Japanese population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikata, Takayuki; Carlson, Jonathan M; Tamura, Yoshiko; Borghan, Mohamed Ali; Naruto, Takuya; Hashimoto, Masao; Murakoshi, Hayato; Le, Anh Q; Mallal, Simon; John, Mina; Gatanaga, Hiroyuki; Oka, Shinichi; Brumme, Zabrina L; Takiguchi, Masafumi

    2014-05-01

    The extent to which HIV-1 clade B strains exhibit population-specific adaptations to host HLA alleles remains incompletely known, in part due to incomplete characterization of HLA-associated HIV-1 polymorphisms (HLA-APs) in different global populations. Moreover, it remains unknown to what extent the same HLA alleles may drive significantly different escape pathways across populations. As the Japanese population exhibits distinctive HLA class I allele distributions, comparative analysis of HLA-APs between HIV-1 clade B-infected Japanese and non-Asian cohorts could shed light on these questions. However, HLA-APs remain incompletely mapped in Japan. In a cohort of 430 treatment-naive Japanese with chronic HIV-1 clade B infection, we identified 284 HLA-APs in Gag, Pol, and Nef using phylogenetically corrected methods. The number of HLA-associated substitutions in Pol, notably those restricted by HLA-B*52:01, was weakly inversely correlated with the plasma viral load (pVL), suggesting that the transmission and persistence of B*52:01-driven Pol mutations could modulate the pVL. Differential selection of HLA-APs between HLA subtype members, including those differing only with respect to substitutions outside the peptide-binding groove, was observed, meriting further investigation as to their mechanisms of selection. Notably, two-thirds of HLA-APs identified in Japan had not been reported in previous studies of predominantly Caucasian cohorts and were attributable to HLA alleles unique to, or enriched in, Japan. We also identified 71 cases where the same HLA allele drove significantly different escape pathways in Japan versus predominantly Caucasian cohorts. Our results underscore the distinct global evolution of HIV-1 clade B as a result of host population-specific cellular immune pressures. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) escape mutations in HIV-1 are broadly predictable based on the HLA class I alleles expressed by the host. Because HLA allele distributions differ among

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Modulation of nonessential amino acid biosynthetic pathways in virulent Hessian fly larvae (Mayetiola destructor), feeding on susceptible host wheat (Triticum aestivum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor), an obligate plant-parasitic gall midge, is an important dipteran pest of wheat (Triticum aestivum). The insect employs an effector-based feeding strategy to reprogram the host plant to be nutritionally beneficial for the developing larva by inducing formation of p...

  19. Context-dependent protein folding of a virulence peptide in the bacterial and host environments: structure of an SycH–YopH chaperone–effector complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vujanac, Milos; Stebbins, C. Erec

    2013-01-01

    The structure of a SycH–YopH chaperone–effector complex from Yersinia reveals the bacterial state of a protein that adopts different folds in the host and pathogen environments. Yersinia pestis injects numerous bacterial proteins into host cells through an organic nanomachine called the type 3 secretion system. One such substrate is the tyrosine phosphatase YopH, which requires an interaction with a cognate chaperone in order to be effectively injected. Here, the first crystal structure of a SycH–YopH complex is reported, determined to 1.9 Å resolution. The structure reveals the presence of (i) a nonglobular polypeptide in YopH, (ii) a so-called β-motif in YopH and (iii) a conserved hydrophobic patch in SycH that recognizes the β-motif. Biochemical studies establish that the β-motif is critical to the stability of this complex. Finally, since previous work has shown that the N-terminal portion of YopH adopts a globular fold that is functional in the host cell, aspects of how this polypeptide adopts radically different folds in the host and in the bacterial environments are analysed

  20. Cell Density Control of Staphylococcal Virulence Mediated by an Octapeptide Pheromone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Guangyong; Beavis, Ronald C.; Novick, Richard P.

    1995-12-01

    Some bacterial pathogens elaborate and secrete virulence factors in response to environmental signals, others in response to a specific host product, and still others in response to no discernible cue. In this study, we have demonstrated that the synthesis of Staphylococcus aureus virulence factors is controlled by a density-sensing system that utilizes an octapeptide produced by the organism itself. The octapeptide activates expression of the agr locus, a global regulator of the virulence response. This response involves the reciprocal regulation of genes encoding surface proteins and those encoding secreted virulence factors. As cells enter the postexponential phase, surface protein genes are repressed by agr and secretory protein genes are subsequently activated. The intracellular agr effector is a regulatory RNA, RNAIII, whose transcription is activated by an agr-encoded signal transduction system for which the octapeptide is the ligand.

  1. Inter- and intra-specific host discrimination in gregarious and solitary endoparasitoid wasps

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Magdaraog, P.M.; Tanaka, T.; Harvey, J.A.

    2013-01-01

    In nature, most species of Lepidoptera are attacked by parasitoids, and some species may be hosts for several parasitoid species. When hosts are parasitized by more than one female of the same species (=superparasitism) or females of different species (=multiparasitism), then intrinsic competition

  2. Cellular protein receptors of maculosin, a host specific phytotoxin of spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, S H; Strobel, G A

    1994-01-05

    Maculosin (the diketopiperazine, cyclo (L-Pro-L-Tyr)) is a host specific phytotoxin produced by Alternaria alternata on spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa L.). Receptors for this phytotoxin have been isolated from spotted knapweed. Knapweed leaves possess most of the maculosin-binding activity in the cytosolic fraction. However, activity was also observed in the whole membrane fraction of the leaf. The binding component of the cytosolic fraction was identified as a protein(s) because of its heat-lability and sensitivity to proteases. A 16-fold purification of a toxin-binding protein was carried out by ammonium sulfate fractionation, and Sephadex G-200, and maculosin-affinity column chromatography. The affinity column was prepared with epoxy activated Sepharose 6B to which the phenolic group of maculosin was attached. The receptor was estimated to contain more than one binding protein by native and SDS-PAGE. At least one of the maculosin-binding proteins was identified as ribulose-1,5-biphosphate carboxylase (RuBPcase).

  3. A novel Capsicum gene inhibits host-specific disease resistance to Phytophthora capsici.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Gregory; Monroy-Barbosa, Ariadna; Bosland, Paul W

    2013-05-01

    A novel disease resistance inhibitor gene (inhibitor of P. capsici resistance [Ipcr]), found in the chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) variety 'New Mexico Capsicum Accession 10399' (NMCA10399), inhibits resistance to Phytophthora capsici but not to other species of Phytophthora. When a highly P. capsici-resistant variety was hybridized with NMCA10399, the resultant F1 populations, when screened, were completely susceptible to P. capsici for root rot and foliar blight disease syndromes, despite the dominance inheritance of P. capsici resistance in chile pepper. The F2 population displayed a 3:13 resistant-to-susceptible (R:S) ratio. The testcross population displayed a 1:1 R:S ratio, and a backcross population to NMCA10399 displayed complete susceptibility. These results demonstrate the presence of a single dominant inhibitor gene affecting P. capsici resistance in chile pepper. Moreover, when lines carrying the Ipcr gene were challenged against six Phytophthora spp., the nonhost resistance was not overcome. Therefore, the Ipcr gene is interfering with host-specific resistance but not the pathogen- or microbe-associated molecular pattern nonhost responses.

  4. 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.

  5. Host-pathogen interplay of Haemophilus ducreyi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janowicz, Diane M; Li, Wei; Bauer, Margaret E

    2010-02-01

    Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted infection chancroid, is primarily a pathogen of human skin. During infection, H. ducreyi thrives extracellularly in a milieu of professional phagocytes and other antibacterial components of the innate and adaptive immune responses. This review summarizes our understanding of the interplay between this pathogen and its host that leads to development and persistence of disease. H. ducreyi expresses key virulence mechanisms to resist host defenses. The secreted LspA proteins are tyrosine-phosphorylated by host kinases, which may contribute to their antiphagocytic effector function. The serum resistance and adherence functions of DsrA map to separate domains of this multifunctional virulence factor. An influx transporter protects H. ducreyi from killing by the antimicrobial peptide LL37. Regulatory genes have been identified that may coordinate virulence factor expression during disease. Dendritic cells and natural killer cells respond to H. ducreyi and may be involved in determining the differential outcomes of infection observed in humans. A human model of H. ducreyi infection has provided insights into virulence mechanisms that allow this human-specific pathogen to survive immune pressures. Components of the human innate immune system may also determine the ultimate fate of H. ducreyi infection by driving either clearance of the organism or an ineffective response that allows disease progression.

  6. Mesoniviruses are mosquito-specific viruses with extensive geographic distribution and host range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilakis, Nikos; Guzman, Hilda; Firth, Cadhla; Forrester, Naomi L; Widen, Steven G; Wood, Thomas G; Rossi, Shannan L; Ghedin, Elodie; Popov, Vsevolov; Blasdell, Kim R; Walker, Peter J; Tesh, Robert B

    2014-05-20

    The family Mesoniviridae (order Nidovirales) comprises of a group of positive-sense, single-stranded RNA ([+]ssRNA) viruses isolated from mosquitoes. Thirteen novel insect-specific virus isolates were obtained from mosquitoes collected in Indonesia, Thailand and the USA. By electron microscopy, the virions appeared as spherical particles with a diameter of ~50 nm. Their 20,129 nt to 20,777 nt genomes consist of positive-sense, single-stranded RNA with a poly-A tail. Four isolates from Houston, Texas, and one isolate from Java, Indonesia, were identified as variants of the species Alphamesonivirus-1 which also includes Nam Dinh virus (NDiV) from Vietnam and Cavally virus (CavV) from Côte d'Ivoire. The eight other isolates were identified as variants of three new mesoniviruses, based on genome organization and pairwise evolutionary distances: Karang Sari virus (KSaV) from Java, Bontag Baru virus (BBaV) from Java and Kalimantan, and Kamphaeng Phet virus (KPhV) from Thailand. In comparison with NDiV, the three new mesoniviruses each contained a long insertion (180 - 588 nt) of unknown function in the 5' region of ORF1a, which accounted for much of the difference in genome size. The insertions contained various short imperfect repeats and may have arisen by recombination or sequence duplication. In summary, based on their genome organizations and phylogenetic relationships, thirteen new viruses were identified as members of the family Mesoniviridae, order Nidovirales. Species demarcation criteria employed previously for mesoniviruses would place five of these isolates in the same species as NDiV and CavV (Alphamesonivirus-1) and the other eight isolates would represent three new mesonivirus species (Alphamesonivirus-5, Alphamesonivirus-6 and Alphamesonivirus-7). The observed spatiotemporal distribution over widespread geographic regions and broad species host range in mosquitoes suggests that mesoniviruses may be common in mosquito populations worldwide.

  7. Host-Specificity and Dynamics in Bacterial Communities Associated with Bloom-Forming Freshwater Phytoplankton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagatini, Inessa Lacativa; Eiler, Alexander; Bertilsson, Stefan; Klaveness, Dag; Tessarolli, Letícia Piton; Vieira, Armando Augusto Henriques

    2014-01-01

    Many freshwater phytoplankton species have the potential to form transient nuisance blooms that affect water quality and other aquatic biota. Heterotrophic bacteria can influence such blooms via nutrient regeneration but also via antagonism and other biotic interactions. We studied the composition of bacterial communities associated with three bloom-forming freshwater phytoplankton species, the diatom Aulacoseira granulata and the cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii. Experimental cultures incubated with and without lake bacteria were sampled in three different growth phases and bacterial community composition was assessed by 454-Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Betaproteobacteria were dominant in all cultures inoculated with lake bacteria, but decreased during the experiment. In contrast, Alphaproteobacteria, which made up the second most abundant class of bacteria, increased overall during the course of the experiment. Other bacterial classes responded in contrasting ways to the experimental incubations causing significantly different bacterial communities to develop in response to host phytoplankton species, growth phase and between attached and free-living fractions. Differences in bacterial community composition between cyanobacteria and diatom cultures were greater than between the two cyanobacteria. Despite the significance, major differences between phytoplankton cultures were in the proportion of the OTUs rather than in the absence or presence of specific taxa. Different phytoplankton species favoring different bacterial communities may have important consequences for the fate of organic matter in systems where these bloom forming species occur. The dynamics and development of transient blooms may also be affected as bacterial communities seem to influence phytoplankton species growth in contrasting ways. PMID:24465807

  8. 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

  9. Host-specific phenotypic plasticity of the turtle barnacle Chelonibia testudinaria: a widespread generalist rather than a specialist.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi Chiu Cheang

    Full Text Available Turtle barnacles are common epibionts on marine organisms. Chelonibia testudinaria is specific on marine turtles whereas C. patula is a host generalist, but rarely found on turtles. It has been questioned why C. patula, being abundant on a variety of live substrata, is almost absent from turtles. We evaluated the genetic (mitochondrial COI, 16S and 12S rRNA, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP and morphological differentiation of C. testudinaia and C. patula from different hosts, to determine the mode of adaptation exhibited by Chelonibia species on different hosts. The two taxa demonstrate clear differences in shell morphology and length of 4-6(th cirri, but very similar in arthropodal characters. Moreover, we detected no genetic differentiation in mitochondrial DNA and AFLP analyses. Outlier detection infers insignificant selection across loci investigated. Based on combined morphological and molecular evidence, we proposed that C. testudinaria and C. patula are conspecific, and the two morphs with contrasting shell morphologies and cirral length found on different host are predominantly shaped by developmental plasticity in response to environmental setting on different hosts. Chelonibia testudinaria is, thus, a successful general epibiotic fouler and the phenotypic responses postulated can increase the fitness of the animals when they attach on hosts with contrasting life-styles.

  10. Assessing the diversity, host-specificity and infection patterns of apicomplexan parasites in reptiles from Oman, Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maia, João P; Harris, D James; Carranza, Salvador; Goméz-Díaz, Elena

    2016-11-01

    Understanding the processes that shape parasite diversification, their distribution and abundance provides valuable information on the dynamics and evolution of disease. In this study, we assessed the diversity, distribution, host-specificity and infection patterns of apicomplexan parasites in amphibians and reptiles from Oman, Arabia. Using a quantitative PCR approach we detected three apicomplexan parasites (haemogregarines, lankesterellids and sarcocystids). A total of 13 haemogregarine haplotypes were identified, which fell into four main clades in a phylogenetic framework. Phylogenetic analysis of six new lankesterellid haplotypes revealed that these parasites were distinct from, but phylogenetically related to, known Lankesterella species and might represent new taxa. The percentage of infected hosts (prevalence) and the number of haemogregarines in the blood (parasitaemia) varied significantly between gecko species. We also found significant differences in parasitaemia between haemogregarine parasite lineages (defined by phylogenetic clustering of haplotypes), suggesting differences in host-parasite compatibility between these lineages. For Pristurus rupestris, we found significant differences in haemogregarine prevalence between geographical areas. Our results suggest that host ecology and host relatedness may influence haemogregarine distributions and, more generally, highlight the importance of screening wild hosts from remote regions to provide new insights into parasite diversity.

  11. Testing GxG interactions between coinfecting microbial parasite genotypes within hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca D Schulte

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Host-parasite interactions represent one of the strongest selection pressures in nature. They are often governed by genotype-specific (GxG interactions resulting in host genotypes that differ in resistance and parasite genotypes that differ in virulence depending on the antagonist’s genotype. Another type of GxG interactions, which is often neglected but which certainly influences host-parasite interactions, are those between coinfecting parasite genotypes. Mechanistically, within-host parasite interactions may range from competition for limited host resources to cooperation for more efficient host exploitation. The exact type of interaction, i.e. whether competitive or cooperative, is known to affect life-history traits such as virulence. However, the latter has been shown for chosen genotype combinations only, not considering whether the specific genotype combination per se may influence the interaction (i.e. GxG interactions. Here, we want to test for the presence of GxG interactions between coinfections of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis infecting the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by combining two non-pathogenic and five pathogenic strains in all possible ways. Furthermore, we evaluate whether the type of interaction, reflected by the direction of virulence change of multiple compared to single infections, is genotype-specific. Generally, we found no indication for GxG interactions between non-pathogenic and pathogenic bacterial strains, indicating that virulence of pathogenic strains is equally affected by both non-pathogenic strains. Specific genotype combinations, however, differ in the strength of virulence change, indicating that the interaction type between coinfecting parasite strains and thus the virulence mechanism is specific for different genotype combinations. Such interactions are expected to influence host-parasite interactions and to have strong implications for coevolution.

  12. Host-specificity of monoxenous trypanosomatids: statistical analysis of the distribution and transmission patterns of the parasites from Neotropical Heteroptera

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kozminsky, E.; Kraeva, N.; Ishemgulova, A.; Dobáková, Eva; Lukeš, Julius; Kment, P.; Yurchenko, V.; Votýpka, J.; Maslov, D. A.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 166, č. 5 (2015), s. 551-568 ISSN 1434-4610 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-23986S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Trypanosomatids * Heteroptera * host-parasite specificity * biodiversity * Spliced Leader RNA Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.898, year: 2015

  13. Host specificity and genealogy of Polyplax serrata on Apodemus species: a case of parasite duplication or colonisation?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Štefka, Jan; Hypša, Václav

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 38, č. 6 (2008), s. 731-741 ISSN 0020-7519 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : parasite duplication * host specificity * genealogy * speciation * Polyplax * Apodemus Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.752, year: 2008

  14. Lack of host specificity leads to independent assortment of dipterocarps and ectomycorrhizal fungi across a soil fertility gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peay, Kabir G; Russo, Sabrina E; McGuire, Krista L; Lim, Zhenyu; Chan, Ju Ping; Tan, Sylvester; Davies, Stuart J

    2015-08-01

    Plants interact with a diversity of microorganisms, and there is often concordance in their community structures. Because most community-level studies are observational, it is unclear if such concordance arises because of host specificity, in which microorganisms or plants limit each other's occurrence. Using a reciprocal transplant experiment, we tested the hypothesis that host specificity between trees and ectomycorrhizal fungi determines patterns of tree and fungal soil specialisation. Seedlings of 13 dipterocarp species with contrasting soil specialisations were seeded into plots crossing soil type and canopy openness. Ectomycorrhizal colonists were identified by DNA sequencing. After 2.5 years, we found no evidence of host specificity. Rather, soil environment was the primary determinant of ectomycorrhizal diversity and composition on seedlings. Despite their close symbiosis, our results show that ectomycorrhizal fungi and tree communities in this Bornean rain forest assemble independently of host-specific interactions, raising questions about how mutualism shapes the realised niche. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Host specificity of the ruminal bacterial community in the dairy cow followng near-total exchange of ruminal contents

    Science.gov (United States)

    The purpose of this study was to examine the stability and host specificity of a cow’s ruminal bacterial community following massive challenge with the ruminal microflora from another cow. In each of two experiments, one pair of cows was selected on the basis of differences in ruminal bacterial comm...

  16. The Bacteriome of Bat Flies (Nycteribiidae) from the Malagasy Region: a Community Shaped by Host Ecology, Bacterial Transmission Mode, and Host-Vector Specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, David A; Duron, Olivier; Cordonin, Colette; Gomard, Yann; Ramasindrazana, Beza; Mavingui, Patrick; Goodman, Steven M; Tortosa, Pablo

    2016-01-08

    The Nycteribiidae are obligate blood-sucking Diptera (Hippoboscoidea) flies that parasitize bats. Depending on species, these wingless flies exhibit either high specialism or generalism toward their hosts, which may in turn have important consequences in terms of their associated microbial community structure. Bats have been hypothesized to be reservoirs of numerous infectious agents, some of which have recently emerged in human populations. Thus, bat flies may be important in the epidemiology and transmission of some of these bat-borne infectious diseases, acting either directly as arthropod vectors or indirectly by shaping pathogen communities among bat populations. In addition, bat flies commonly have associations with heritable bacterial endosymbionts that inhabit insect cells and depend on maternal transmission through egg cytoplasm to ensure their transmission. Some of these heritable bacteria are likely obligate mutualists required to support bat fly development, but others are facultative symbionts with unknown effects. Here, we present bacterial community profiles that were obtained from seven bat fly species, representing five genera, parasitizing bats from the Malagasy region. The observed bacterial diversity includes Rickettsia, Wolbachia, and several Arsenophonus-like organisms, as well as other members of the Enterobacteriales and a widespread association of Bartonella bacteria from bat flies of all five genera. Using the well-described host specificity of these flies and data on community structure from selected bacterial taxa with either vertical or horizontal transmission, we show that host/vector specificity and transmission mode are important drivers of bacterial community structure. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  17. Bmh1p (14-3-3) mediates pathways associated with virulence in Candida albicans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Michelle N; Johnston, Douglas A; Peel, Bethany A; Morgan, Timothy W; Palmer, Glen E; Sturtevant, Joy E

    2009-05-01

    The ability of the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans to cause disease requires rapid adaptation to changes in the host environment and to an evolving host immune response. The identification of 'virulence factors' using in vitro characterization of mutant strains has traditionally relied on a common set of phenotypic and biochemical assays (most often performed at 30 degrees C) and the subsequent correlation with their corresponding virulence in mouse models of disease. Utilizing a panel of isogenic mutants for the multifunctional signal-modulating 14-3-3 protein (Bmh1p), we have found that specific mutations affect a variety of different pathways currently associated with virulence, including those involved with the formation of filaments, as well as interaction with host immune cells. Surprisingly, our studies revealed that deficiencies in many of these pathways do not always correlate with virulence in a mouse model of disseminated infection. Mutations within the binding pocket of Bmh1p that affect the ability of the protein to efficiently bind ligand had varying effects on the results of a number of in vitro and in vivo assays. The capability, in vitro, to filament in embedment conditions, and to filament and form chlamydospores under microaerophilic conditions on cornmeal agar, does not correlate with virulence. It is likely that only a subset of hyphal signalling pathways is actually required for the establishment of infection in the disseminated mouse model. Most importantly, our results suggest that the delayed onset of log-phase [corrected] growth in vitro at 37 degrees C, and not at 30 degrees C, results in an inability of these mutants to rapidly adjust to environmental changes in vivo and may be responsible for their increased clearance and reduced virulence. It is critical, therefore, that future in vitro studies of putative virulence factors in C. albicans include careful characterization at physiological temperatures.

  18. Development of a Swine-Specific Fecal Pollution Marker Based on Host Differences in Methanogen mcrA Genes▿

    OpenAIRE

    Ufnar, Jennifer A.; Ufnar, David F.; Wang, Shiao Y.; Ellender, R. D.

    2007-01-01

    The goal of this study was to evaluate methanogen diversity in animal hosts to develop a swine-specific archaeal molecular marker for fecal source tracking in surface waters. Phylogenetic analysis of swine mcrA sequences compared to mcrA sequences from the feces of five animals (cow, deer, sheep, horse, and chicken) and sewage showed four distinct swine clusters, with three swine-specific clades. From this analysis, six sequences were chosen for molecular marker development and initial testin...

  19. Myxozoan infections of caecilians demonstrate broad host specificity and indicate a link with human activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartigan, Ashlie; Wilkinson, Mark; Gower, David J; Streicher, Jeffrey W; Holzer, Astrid S; Okamura, Beth

    2016-05-01

    Myxozoans are parasitic cnidarians that infect a wide variety of hosts. Vertebrates typically serve as intermediate hosts whereas definitive hosts are invertebrates, including annelids and bryozoans. Myxozoans are known to exploit species in two of the three extant amphibian orders (Anura: frogs and toads; Caudata: newts and salamanders). Here we use museum collections to determine, to our knowledge for the first time, whether myxozoans also exploit the third amphibian order (Gymnophiona: caecilians). Caecilians are a poorly known group of limbless amphibians, the ecologies of which range from aquatic to fully terrestrial. We examined 12 caecilian species in seven families (148 individuals total) characterised by a diversity of ecologies and life histories. Using morphological and molecular surveys, we discovered the presence of the myxozoan Cystodiscus axonis in two South American species (one of seven examined families) of aquatic caecilians - Typhlonectes natans and Typhlonectes compressicauda. All infected caecilians had been maintained in captivity in the United Kingdom prior to their preservation. Cystodiscus axonis is known from several Australian frog species and its presence in caecilians indicates a capacity for infecting highly divergent amphibian hosts. This first known report of myxozoan infections in caecilians provides evidence of a broad geographic and host range. However, the source of these infections remains unknown and could be related to exposure in South America, the U.K. or to conditions in captivity. Copyright © 2016 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Representational difference analysis of Neisseria meningitidis identifies sequences that are specific for the hyper-virulent lineage III clone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bart, A.; Dankert, J.; van der Ende, A.

    2000-01-01

    Neisseria meningitidis may cause meningitis and septicemia. Since the early 1980s, an increased incidence of meningococcal disease has been caused by the lineage III clone in many countries in Europe and in New Zealand. We hypothesized that lineage III meningococci have specific DNA sequences,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Observations on burrowing rates and comments on host specificity in the endangered mussel Lampsilis higginsi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvester, J.R.; Holland, L.E.; Kamer, T.K.

    1984-01-01

    In preliminary laboratory studies, the endangered mussel Lampsilis higginsi was unable to burrow into rocky substrates, but did burrow into substrates comprised of silt, clay, sand, and/or pebble-gravel. Burrowing times were shortest in silt and longest in pebble-gravel. As judged by longevity of glochidial infection, walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) may be suitable hosts for the parasitic stage. When glochidia were placed in water without host fish, half had died after 48 hours, and all had died after 72 hours. (DBO).

  3. Comparative transcriptomics reveal host-specific nucleotide variation in entomophthoralean fungi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Eilenberg, Jørgen

    2017-01-01

    of toxins that interfere with the host immune response. Phylogenetic comparison with the nonobligate generalist insect-pathogenic fungus Conidiobolus coronatus revealed a gene-family expansion of trehalase enzymes in E. muscae. The main sugar in insect haemolymph is trehalose, and efficient sugar...

  4. Host specificity and the structure of helminth parasite communities of fishes in a Neotropical river in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo; Novelo-Turcotte, María Teresa; Caspeta-Mandujano, Juan Manuel; Vazquez-Hurtado, Gabriela; Quiroz-Martínez, Benjamin; Mercado-Silva, Norman; Favila, Mario

    2016-01-01

    In a tropical locality of Río La Antigua, Veracruz, Mexico, 11 fish species, represented by 244 individual fish from six freshwater fish families living sympatrically and synchronically, were examined for helminth parasites. A total of 36 taxa of helminths were recorded, 24 autogenic and 12 allogenic forms, including 6 monogeneans, 14 trematodes, 1 cestode, and 15 nematodes. Most helminth taxa were recovered for 10/11 of the component communities we analyzed. The results contribute empirical evidence that host specificity is an important force in the development of helminth communities of freshwater fishes. Each fish family has their own set of parasites, host species belonging to the same taxon share parasite species. High component community similarity among related host species was recorded, demonstrated by high prevalence and abundance, as well as dominance, of autogenic specialist species in each component community. Most autogenic helminth species are numerically and reproductively successful in relatively few host species. Autogenic helminths common in one host species are not common in others. Our findings give empirical support to the idea that low levels of sharing of parasites favor animal coexistence and high species richness, because large phylogenetic differences allow potentially competing animals to consume the same resources without being sensitive of another’s parasites. PMID:28004635

  5. Strain-specific impact of PsaR of Streptococcus pneumoniae on global gene expression and virulence

    OpenAIRE

    Hendriksen, Wouter T.; Bootsma, Hester J.; van Diepen, Angela; Estevao, Silvia; Kuipers, Oscar P.; de Groot, Ronald; Hermans, Peter W. M.

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies have indicated that PsaR of Streptococcus pneumoniae is a manganese-dependent regulator, negatively affecting the expression of at least seven genes. Here, we extended these observations by transcriptome and proteome analysis of psaR mutants in strains D39 and TIGR4. The microarray analysis identified three shared PsaR targets: the psa operon, pcpA and prtA. In addition, we found 31 genes to be regulated by PsaR in D39 only, most strikingly a cellobiose-specific phosphotrains...

  6. A Phosphorylation Switch on Lon Protease Regulates Bacterial Type III Secretion System in Host

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofeng Zhou

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Most pathogenic bacteria deliver virulence factors into host cytosol through type III secretion systems (T3SS to perturb host immune responses. The expression of T3SS is often repressed in rich medium but is specifically induced in the host environment. The molecular mechanisms underlying host-specific induction of T3SS expression is not completely understood. Here we demonstrate in Xanthomonas citri that host-induced phosphorylation of the ATP-dependent protease Lon stabilizes HrpG, the master regulator of T3SS, conferring bacterial virulence. Ser/Thr/Tyr phosphoproteome analysis revealed that phosphorylation of Lon at serine 654 occurs in the citrus host. In rich medium, Lon represses T3SS by degradation of HrpG via recognition of its N terminus. Genetic and biochemical data indicate that phosphorylation at serine 654 deactivates Lon proteolytic activity and attenuates HrpG proteolysis. Substitution of alanine for Lon serine 654 resulted in repression of T3SS gene expression in the citrus host through robust degradation of HrpG and reduced bacterial virulence. Our work reveals a novel mechanism for distinct regulation of bacterial T3SS in different environments. Additionally, our data provide new insight into the role of protein posttranslational modification in the regulation of bacterial virulence.

  7. Assessing host-parasite specificity through coprological analysis: a case study with species of Corynosoma (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) from marine mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aznar, F J; Hernández-Orts, J; Suárez, A A; García-Varela, M; Raga, J A; Cappozzo, H L

    2012-06-01

    In this paper we report an investigation of the utility of coprological analysis as an alternative technique to study parasite specificity whenever host sampling is problematic; acanthocephalans from marine mammals were used as a model. A total of 252 scats from the South American sea lion, Otaria flavescens, and rectal faeces from 43 franciscanas, Pontoporia blainvillei, from Buenos Aires Province, were examined for acanthocephalans. Specimens of two species, i.e. Corynosoma australe and C. cetaceum, were collected from both host species. In sea lions, 78 out of 145 (37.9%) females of C. australe were gravid and the sex ratio was strongly female-biased. However, none of the 168 females of C. cetaceum collected was gravid and the sex ratio was not female-biased. Conversely, in franciscanas, 14 out of 17 (82.4%) females of C. cetaceum were gravid, but none of 139 females of C. australe was, and the sex ratio of C. cetaceum, but not that of C. australe, was female-biased. In putative non-hosts, the size of worms was similar to that from specimens collected from prey. Results suggest that both acanthocephalans contact sea lions and franciscanas regularly. However, C. australe and C. cetaceum cannot apparently reproduce, nor even grow, in franciscanas and sea lions, respectively. Coprological analysis may represent a useful supplementary method to investigate parasite specificity, particularly when host carcasses are difficult to obtain.

  8. Staphylorchis cymatodes (Gorgoderidae: Anaporrhutinae) from carcharhiniform, orectolobiform and myliobatiform elasmobranchs of Australasia: low host specificity, wide distribution and morphological plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutmore, Scott C; Bennett, Michael B; Cribb, Thomas H

    2010-12-01

    Anaporrhutine gorgoderids (Digenea: Gorgoderidae: Anaporrhutinae) found in the body cavity of six species of elasmobranchs from the orders Carcharhiniformes, Myliobatiformes and Orectolobiformes from Australian waters were found to belong to the genus Staphylorchis. Although these specimens were morphologically variable, sequences of ITS2 and 28S ribosomal DNA from specimens from three host families and two host orders were identical. Based on morphological and molecular data these specimens were identified as the type-species of the genus, Staphylorchis cymatodes. New measurements are provided for S. cymatodes, and for the first time genetic data are presented for this species. In addition to providing new morphological and molecular data for S. cymatodes, the previously described species S. gigas, S. parisi and S. scoliodonii, are here synonymised with S. cymatodes. This implies that S. cymatodes, as conceived here, has remarkably low host-specificity, being recorded from eight elasmobranch species from four families and three orders, has a wide geographical distribution in the Indo-west Pacific from off India, in the Bay of Bengal, to Moreton Bay in the Coral Sea, and is morphologically plastic, with body size, size of specific organs and body shape differing dramatically between specimens from different host species. The genus Staphylorchis now contains only two valid species, S. cymatodes and S. pacifica. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Salmonella enterica: Survival, Colonization, and Virulence Differences among Serovars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andino, A.; Hanning, I.

    2015-01-01

    Data indicate that prevalence of specific serovars of Salmonella enterica in human foodborne illness is not correlated with their prevalence in feed. Given that feed is a suboptimal environment for S. enterica, it appears that survival in poultry feed may be an independent factor unrelated to virulence of specific serovars of Salmonella. Additionally, S. enterica serovars appear to have different host specificity and the ability to cause disease in those hosts is also serovar dependent. These differences among the serovars may be related to gene presence or absence and expression levels of those genes. With a better understanding of serovar specificity, mitigation methods can be implemented to control Salmonella at preharvest and postharvest levels. PMID:25664339

  10. Salmonella enterica: Survival, Colonization, and Virulence Differences among Serovars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Andino

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Data indicate that prevalence of specific serovars of Salmonella enterica in human foodborne illness is not correlated with their prevalence in feed. Given that feed is a suboptimal environment for S. enterica, it appears that survival in poultry feed may be an independent factor unrelated to virulence of specific serovars of Salmonella. Additionally, S. enterica serovars appear to have different host specificity and the ability to cause disease in those hosts is also serovar dependent. These differences among the serovars may be related to gene presence or absence and expression levels of those genes. With a better understanding of serovar specificity, mitigation methods can be implemented to control Salmonella at preharvest and postharvest levels.

  11. Type VI Secretion is a Major Virulence Determinant in Burkholderia Mallei

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schell, Mark A; Ulrich, Ricky L; Ribot, Wilson J; Brueggemann, Ernst E; Hines, Harry B; Chen, Dan; Lipscomb, Lyla; Kim, H. S; Mrazek, Jan; Nierman, William C; DeShazer, David

    2007-01-01

    Burkholderia mallei is a host-adapted pathogen and a category B biothreat agent. Although the B. mallei VirAG two-component regulatory system is required for virulence in hamsters, the virulence genes it regulates are unknown...

  12. Catabolite and Oxygen Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly M. Carlson-Banning

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The biogeography of the gut is diverse in its longitudinal axis, as well as within specific microenvironments. Differential oxygenation and nutrient composition drive the membership of microbial communities in these habitats. Moreover, enteric pathogens can orchestrate further modifications to gain a competitive advantage toward host colonization. These pathogens are versatile and adept when exploiting the human colon. They expertly navigate complex environmental cues and interkingdom signaling to colonize and infect their hosts. Here we demonstrate how enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC uses three sugar-sensing transcription factors, Cra, KdpE, and FusR, to exquisitely regulate the expression of virulence factors associated with its type III secretion system (T3SS when exposed to various oxygen concentrations. We also explored the effect of mucin-derived nonpreferred carbon sources on EHEC growth and expression of virulence genes. Taken together, the results show that EHEC represses the expression of its T3SS when oxygen is absent, mimicking the largely anaerobic lumen, and activates its T3SS when oxygen is available through Cra. In addition, when EHEC senses mucin-derived sugars heavily present in the O-linked and N-linked glycans of the large intestine, virulence gene expression is initiated. Sugars derived from pectin, a complex plant polysaccharide digested in the large intestine, also increased virulence gene expression. Not only does EHEC sense host- and microbiota-derived interkingdom signals, it also uses oxygen availability and mucin-derived sugars liberated by the microbiota to stimulate expression of the T3SS. This precision in gene regulation allows EHEC to be an efficient pathogen with an extremely low infectious dose.

  13. Towards identifying host cell-type specific response patterns to bacterial endosymbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gavrilovic, Srdjan

    The establishment of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation (SNF) is a complex process. It requires highly sophisticated signal exchanges between host plant and bacteria in order to fine-tune the molecular mechanisms necessary for optimal performance of the symbiosis, which ultimately determines the evoluti......The establishment of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation (SNF) is a complex process. It requires highly sophisticated signal exchanges between host plant and bacteria in order to fine-tune the molecular mechanisms necessary for optimal performance of the symbiosis, which ultimately determines......, and whole plant transformants were regenerated. These will form a basis for isolating transcriptionally active mRNA fractions associated with ribosomes and 21 nt long small RNAs from targeted cell populations....

  14. Specific allogeneic unresponsiveness in the adult host: present-day experimental models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rapaport, F.T.; Bachvaroff, R.J.; Cronkite, E.; Chanana, A.; Sato, T.; Asari, H.; Waltzer, W.C.

    1982-01-01

    As part of a long-term intensive effort to apply the induction of adult allogensic unresponsiveness to the transplantation problem, two techniques to control the variability in the persistence of immunologically competent postthymic cells iin the treated host and/or the inoculum of autologous marrow returned to the host after irradiation are described. The first consisted of exposing the peripheral blood of prospective recipients to a 5-week course of extra-corporeal irradiation (ECIB), the other of exposing the stored autologous marrow scheduled to repopulate a given recipient to methyl-prednisolone (MPd) and DNase prior to renifusion into the recipient. Serial analysis of bone marrow cell samples at various intervals before and after treatment was undertaken. The significance of the disappearance of a particular population of nonnuclear cells from the samples, and the association of such disappearance with increased success in the induction of allogeneic unresponsiveness is discussed

  15. Host specificity and coevolution of Flavobacteriaceae endosymbionts within the siphonous green seaweed Bryopsis

    OpenAIRE

    Hollants, J.; Leliaert, F.; Verbruggen, H.; De Clerck, O.; Willems, A.

    2013-01-01

    The siphonous green seaweed Bryopsis harbors complex intracellular bacterial communities. Previous studies demonstrated that certain species form close, obligate associations with Flavobacteriaceae. A predominant imprint of host evolutionary history on the presence of these bacteria suggests a highly specialized association. In this study we elaborate on previous results by expanding the taxon sampling and testing for host–symbiont coevolution Therefore, we optimized a PCR protocol to directl...

  16. Caribbean corals house shared and host-specific microbial symbionts over time and space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Nathaniel D; Vollmer, Steven V

    2016-08-01

    The rise of coral diseases has triggered a surge of interest in coral microbial communities. But to fully understand how the coral microbiome may cause or respond to disease, we must first understand structure and variation in the healthy coral microbiome. We used 16S rRNA sequencing to characterize the microbiomes of 100 healthy coral colonies from six Caribbean coral species (Acropora cervicornis, A. palmata, Diploria labyrinthiformis, Diploria strigosa, Porites astreoides and P. furcata) across four reefs and three time points over 1 year. We found host species to be the strongest driver of coral microbiome structure across site and time. Analysis of the core microbiome revealed remarkable similarity in the bacterial taxa represented across coral hosts and many bacterial phylotypes shared across all corals sampled. Some of these widespread bacterial taxa have been identified in Pacific corals, indicating that a core coral microbiome may extend across oceans. Core bacterial phylotypes that were unique to each coral were taxonomically diverse, suggesting that different coral hosts provide persistent, divergent niches for bacteria. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. 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.

  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. Interplay of host specificity and biogeography in the population structure of a cosmopolitan endoparasite: microsatellite study of Ligula intestinalis (Cestoda)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Štefka, Jan; Hypša, Václav; Scholz, Tomáš

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 6 (2009), s. 1187-1206 ISSN 0962-1083 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR GA524/08/0885; GA MŠk LC522 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : cryptic speciation * geographical isolation * host specificity * microsatellites * parasite * population structure Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 5.960, year: 2009

  20. A Carbohydrate Moiety of Secreted Stage-Specific Glycoprotein 4 Participates in Host Cell Invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi Extracellular Amastigotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar T. V. Florentino

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas’ disease. It is known that amastigotes derived from trypomastigotes in the extracellular milieu are infective in vitro and in vivo. Extracellular amastigotes (EAs have a stage-specific surface antigen called Ssp-4, a GPI-anchored glycoprotein that is secreted by the parasites. By immunoprecipitation with the Ssp-4-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb 2C2 and 1D9, we isolated the glycoprotein from EAs. By mass spectrometry, we identified the core protein of Ssp-4 and evaluated mRNA expression and the presence of Ssp-4 carbohydrate epitopes recognized by mAb1D9. We demonstrated that the carbohydrate epitope recognized by mAb1D9 could promote host cell invasion by EAs. Although infectious EAs express lower amounts of Ssp-4 compared with less-infectious EAs (at the mRNA and protein levels, it is the glycosylation of Ssp-4 (identified by mAb1D9 staining only in infectious strains and recognized by galectin-3 on host cells that is the determinant of EA invasion of host cells. Furthermore, Ssp-4 is secreted by EAs, either free or associated with parasite vesicles, and can participate in host-cell interactions. The results presented here describe the possible role of a carbohydrate moiety of T. cruzi surface glycoproteins in host cell invasion by EA forms, highlighting the potential of these moieties as therapeutic and vaccine targets for the treatment of Chagas’ disease.

  1. A Carbohydrate Moiety of Secreted Stage-Specific Glycoprotein 4 Participates in Host Cell Invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi Extracellular Amastigotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florentino, Pilar T. V.; Real, Fernando; Orikaza, Cristina M.; da Cunha, Julia P. C.; Vitorino, Francisca N. L.; Cordero, Esteban M.; Sobreira, Tiago J. P.; Mortara, Renato A.

    2018-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas’ disease. It is known that amastigotes derived from trypomastigotes in the extracellular milieu are infective in vitro and in vivo. Extracellular amastigotes (EAs) have a stage-specific surface antigen called Ssp-4, a GPI-anchored glycoprotein that is secreted by the parasites. By immunoprecipitation with the Ssp-4-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) 2C2 and 1D9, we isolated the glycoprotein from EAs. By mass spectrometry, we identified the core protein of Ssp-4 and evaluated mRNA expression and the presence of Ssp-4 carbohydrate epitopes recognized by mAb1D9. We demonstrated that the carbohydrate epitope recognized by mAb1D9 could promote host cell invasion by EAs. Although infectious EAs express lower amounts of Ssp-4 compared with less-infectious EAs (at the mRNA and protein levels), it is the glycosylation of Ssp-4 (identified by mAb1D9 staining only in infectious strains and recognized by galectin-3 on host cells) that is the determinant of EA invasion of host cells. Furthermore, Ssp-4 is secreted by EAs, either free or associated with parasite vesicles, and can participate in host-cell interactions. The results presented here describe the possible role of a carbohydrate moiety of T. cruzi surface glycoproteins in host cell invasion by EA forms, highlighting the potential of these moieties as therapeutic and vaccine targets for the treatment of Chagas’ disease. PMID:29692765

  2. Invasive mold infections: virulence and pathogenesis of mucorales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morace, Giulia; Borghi, Elisa

    2012-01-01

    Mucorales have been increasingly reported as cause of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised subjects, particularly in patients with haematological malignancies or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and in those under deferoxamine treatment or undergoing dialysis. The disease often leads to a fatal outcome, but the pathogenesis of the infection is still poorly understood as well as the role of specific virulence determinants and the interaction with the host immune system. Members of the order Mucorales are responsible of almost all cases of invasive mucormycoses, the majority of the etiological agents belonging to the Mucoraceae family. Mucorales are able to produce various proteins and metabolic products toxic to animals and humans, but the pathogenic role of these potential virulence factors is unknown. The availability of free iron in plasma and tissues is believed to be crucial for the pathogenesis of these mycoses. Vascular invasion and neurotropism are considered common pathogenic features of invasive mucormycoses.

  3. Invasive Mold Infections: Virulence and Pathogenesis of Mucorales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Morace

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Mucorales have been increasingly reported as cause of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised subjects, particularly in patients with haematological malignancies or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and in those under deferoxamine treatment or undergoing dialysis. The disease often leads to a fatal outcome, but the pathogenesis of the infection is still poorly understood as well as the role of specific virulence determinants and the interaction with the host immune system. Members of the order Mucorales are responsible of almost all cases of invasive mucormycoses, the majority of the etiological agents belonging to the Mucoraceae family. Mucorales are able to produce various proteins and metabolic products toxic to animals and humans, but the pathogenic role of these potential virulence factors is unknown. The availability of free iron in plasma and tissues is believed to be crucial for the pathogenesis of these mycoses. Vascular invasion and neurotropism are considered common pathogenic features of invasive mucormycoses.

  4. Comparative genome analysis of 24 bovine-associated Staphylococcus isolates with special focus on the putative virulence genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Åvall-Jääskeläinen, Silja; Paulin, Lars; Blom, Jochen

    2018-01-01

    Non-aureus staphylococci (NAS) are most commonly isolated from subclinical mastitis. Different NAS species may, however, have diverse effects on the inflammatory response in the udder. We determined the genome sequences of 20 staphylococcal isolates from clinical or subclinical bovine mastitis, belonging to the NAS species Staphylococcus agnetis, S. chromogenes, and S. simulans, and focused on the putative virulence factor genes present in the genomes. For comparison we used our previously published genome sequences of four S. aureus isolates from bovine mastitis. The pan-genome and core genomes of the non-aureus isolates were characterized. After that, putative virulence factor orthologues were searched in silico. We compared the presence of putative virulence factors in the NAS species and S. aureus and evaluated the potential association between bacterial genotype and type of mastitis (clinical vs. subclinical). The NAS isolates had much less virulence gene orthologues than the S. aureus isolates. One third of the virulence genes were detected only in S. aureus. About 100 virulence genes were present in all S. aureus isolates, compared to about 40 to 50 in each NAS isolate. S. simulans differed the most. Several of the virulence genes detected among NAS were harbored only by S. simulans, but it also lacked a number of genes present both in S. agnetis and S. chromogenes. The type of mastitis was not associated with any specific virulence gene profile. It seems that the virulence gene profiles or cumulative number of different virulence genes are not directly associated with the type of mastitis (clinical or subclinical), indicating that host derived factors such as the immune status play a pivotal role in the manifestation of mastitis. PMID:29610707

  5. Comparative genome analysis of 24 bovine-associated Staphylococcus isolates with special focus on the putative virulence genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silja Åvall-Jääskeläinen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Non-aureus staphylococci (NAS are most commonly isolated from subclinical mastitis. Different NAS species may, however, have diverse effects on the inflammatory response in the udder. We determined the genome sequences of 20 staphylococcal isolates from clinical or subclinical bovine mastitis, belonging to the NAS species Staphylococcus agnetis, S. chromogenes, and S. simulans, and focused on the putative virulence factor genes present in the genomes. For comparison we used our previously published genome sequences of four S. aureus isolates from bovine mastitis. The pan-genome and core genomes of the non-aureus isolates were characterized. After that, putative virulence factor orthologues were searched in silico. We compared the presence of putative virulence factors in the NAS species and S. aureus and evaluated the potential association between bacterial genotype and type of mastitis (clinical vs. subclinical. The NAS isolates had much less virulence gene orthologues than the S. aureus isolates. One third of the virulence genes were detected only in S. aureus. About 100 virulence genes were present in all S. aureus isolates, compared to about 40 to 50 in each NAS isolate. S. simulans differed the most. Several of the virulence genes detected among NAS were harbored only by S. simulans, but it also lacked a number of genes present both in S. agnetis and S. chromogenes. The type of mastitis was not associated with any specific virulence gene profile. It seems that the virulence gene profiles or cumulative number of different virulence genes are not directly associated with the type of mastitis (clinical or subclinical, indicating that host derived factors such as the immune status play a pivotal role in the manifestation of mastitis.

  6. Wolbachia age-sex-specific density in Aedes albopictus: a host evolutionary response to cytoplasmic incompatibility?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Tortosa

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Wolbachia bacteria have invaded many arthropod species by inducing Cytoplasmic Incompatibility (CI. These symbionts represent fascinating objects of study for evolutionary biologists, but also powerful potential biocontrol agents. Here, we assess the density dynamics of Wolbachia infections in males and females of the mosquito Aedes albopitcus, an important vector of human pathogens, and interpret the results within an evolutionary framework.Wolbachia densities were measured in natural populations and in age controlled mosquitoes using quantitative PCR. We show that the density dynamics of the wAlbA Wolbachia strain infecting Aedes albopictus drastically differ between males and females, with a very rapid decay of infection in males only.Theory predicts that Wolbachia and its hosts should cooperate to improve the transmission of infection to offspring, because only infected eggs are protected from the effects of CI. However, incompatible matings effectively lower the fertility of infected males, so that selection acting on the host genome should tend to reduce the expression of CI in males, for example, by reducing infection density in males before sexual maturation. The rapid decay of one Wolbachia infection in Aedes albopictus males, but not in females, is consistent with this prediction. We suggest that the commonly observed reduction in CI intensity with male age reflects a similar evolutionary process. Our results also highlight the importance of monitoring infection density dynamics in both males and females to assess the efficiency of Wolbachia-based control strategies.

  7. Evaluation of the host specificity of Spathius galinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a larval parasitoid of the emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in Northeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Host-specificity determination prior to the introduction of non-native natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) is a critical component of the risk assessment for modern classical biological control programs. In the present study, we assessed the host specificity of a newly described parasitoid,...

  8. Genome-Wide Comparison of Magnaporthe Species Reveals a Host-Specific Pattern of Secretory Proteins and Transposable Elements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghana Deepak Shirke

    Full Text Available Blast disease caused by the Magnaporthe species is a major factor affecting the productivity of rice, wheat and millets. This study was aimed at generating genomic information for rice and non-rice Magnaporthe isolates to understand the extent of genetic variation. We have sequenced the whole genome of the Magnaporthe isolates, infecting rice (leaf and neck, finger millet (leaf and neck, foxtail millet (leaf and buffel grass (leaf. Rice and finger millet isolates infecting both leaf and neck tissues were sequenced, since the damage and yield loss caused due to neck blast is much higher as compared to leaf blast. The genome-wide comparison was carried out to study the variability in gene content, candidate effectors, repeat element distribution, genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and SNPs. The analysis of repeat element footprints revealed some genes such as naringenin, 2-oxoglutarate 3-dioxygenase being targeted by Pot2 and Occan, in isolates from different host species. Some repeat insertions were host-specific while other insertions were randomly shared between isolates. The distributions of repeat elements, secretory proteins, CAZymes and SNPs showed significant variation across host-specific lineages of Magnaporthe indicating an independent genome evolution orchestrated by multiple genomic factors.

  9. Isolation and characterization of Bacteroides host strain HB-73 used to detect sewage specific phages in Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayavel, Kannappan; Fujioka, Roger; Ebdon, James; Taylor, Huw

    2010-06-01

    Previous studies have shown that Escherichia coli and enterococci are unreliable indicators of fecal contamination in Hawaii because of their ability to multiply in environmental soils. In this study, the method of detecting Bacteroides phages as specific markers of sewage contamination in Hawaii's recreational waters was evaluated because these sewage specific phages cannot multiply under environmental conditions. Bacteroides hosts (GB-124, GA-17), were recovered from sewage samples in Europe and were reported to be effective in detecting phages from sewage samples obtained in certain geographical areas. However, GB-124 and GA-17 hosts were ineffective in detecting phages from sewage samples obtained in Hawaii. Bacteroides host HB-73 was isolated from a sewage sample in Hawaii, confirmed as a Bacteroides sp. and shown to recover phages from multiple sources of sewage produced in Hawaii at high concentrations (5.2-7.3 x 10(5) PFU/100 mL). These Bacteroides phages were considered as potential markers of sewage because they also survived for three days in fresh stream water and two days in marine water. Water samples from Hawaii's coastal swimming beaches and harbors, which were known to be contaminated with discharges from streams, were shown to contain moderate (20-187 CFU/100 mL) to elevated (173-816 CFU/100 mL) concentrations of enterococci. These same samples contained undetectable levels (Hawaii and the most likely source of these enterococci is from environmental soil rather than from sewage. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Host specificity and genealogy of the louse Polyplax serrata on field mice, Apodemus species: a case of parasite duplication or colonisation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefka, Jan; Hypsa, Václav

    2008-05-01

    The genealogy, population structure and population dynamics of the sucking louse Polyplax serrata were analysed across four host species of the genus Apodemus. An analysis of 126 sequences of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I using phylogenetic approaches and haplotype networking revealed a clear structure of European samples, forming three distinct and genetically distant clades with different host specificities. Although a clear connection was detected between the host and parasite genealogies/phylogenies, a uniform pattern of co-speciation was not found. For example, a dramatic shift in the degree of host specificity was demonstrated for two related louse lineages living in sympatry and sharing one of their host species. While one of the louse lineages frequently parasitised two different host taxa (Apodemus sylvaticus and Apodemus flavicollis), the other louse lineage was strictly specific to A. flavicollis. The estimate of divergence time between the two louse lineages indicates that they may have arisen due to parasite duplication on A. flavicollis.

  11. Mitochondrial COI and morphological specificity of the mealy aphids (Hyalopterus ssp. collected from different hosts in Europe (Hemiptera, Aphididae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rimantas Rakauskas

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Forty three European population samples of mealy aphids from various winter and summer host plants were attributed to respective species of Hyalopterus by means of their partial sequences of mitochondrial COI gene. Used Hyalopterus samples emerged as monophyletic relative to outgroup and formed three major clades representing three host specific mealy aphid species in the Neighbor joining, Maximum parsimony, Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference trees. H. pruni and H. persikonus emerged as a sister species, whilst H. amygdali was located basally. Samples representing different clades in the molecular trees were used for canonical discrimination analysis based on twenty two morphological characters. Length of the median dorsal head hair enabled a 97.3 % separation of H. amygdali from the remaining two species. No single character enabled satisfactory discrimination between apterous viviparous females of H. pruni and H. persikonus. A modified key for the morphological identification of Hyalopterus species is suggested and their taxonomic status discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. Molecular characterization of Babesia peircei and Babesia ugwidiensis provides insight into the evolution and host specificity of avian piroplasmids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Yabsley

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available There are 16 recognized species of avian-infecting Babesia spp. (Piroplasmida: Babesiidae. While the classification of piroplasmids has been historically based on morphological differences, geographic isolation and presumed host and/or vector specificities, recent studies employing gene sequence analysis have provided insight into their phylogenetic relationships and host distribution and specificity. In this study, we analyzed the sequences of the 18S rRNA gene and ITS-1 and ITS-2 regions of two Babesia species from South African seabirds: Babesia peircei from African penguins (Spheniscus demersus and Babesia ugwidiensis from Bank and Cape cormorants (Phalacrocorax neglectus and P. capensis, respectively. Our results show that avian Babesia spp. are not monophyletic, with at least three distinct phylogenetic groups. B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis are closely related, and fall within the same phylogenetic group as B. ardeae (from herons Ardea cinerea, B. poelea (from boobies Sula spp. and B. uriae (from murres Uria aalge. The validity of B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis as separate species is corroborated by both morphological and genetic evidence. On the other hand, our results indicate that B. poelea might be a synonym of B. peircei, which in turn would be a host generalist that infects seabirds from multiple orders. Further studies combining morphological and molecular methods are warranted to clarify the taxonomy, phylogeny and host distribution of avian piroplasmids. Keywords: Africa, Babesia, Piroplasmida, Phalacrocoracidae, Spheniscidae, Tick-borne pathogen

  14. Phylogenetic diversity, host-specificity and community profiling of sponge-associated bacteria in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erwin, Patrick M; Olson, Julie B; Thacker, Robert W

    2011-01-01

    Marine sponges can associate with abundant and diverse consortia of microbial symbionts. However, associated bacteria remain unexamined for the majority of host sponges and few studies use phylogenetic metrics to quantify symbiont community diversity. DNA fingerprinting techniques, such as terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP), might provide rapid profiling of these communities, but have not been explicitly compared to traditional methods. We investigated the bacterial communities associated with the marine sponges Hymeniacidon heliophila and Haliclona tubifera, a sympatric tunicate, Didemnum sp., and ambient seawater from the northern Gulf of Mexico by combining replicated clone libraries with T-RFLP analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences. Clone libraries revealed that bacterial communities associated with the two sponges exhibited lower species richness and lower species diversity than seawater and tunicate assemblages, with differences in species composition among all four source groups. T-RFLP profiles clustered microbial communities by source; individual T-RFs were matched to the majority (80.6%) of clone library sequences, indicating that T-RFLP analysis can be used to rapidly profile these communities. Phylogenetic metrics of community diversity indicated that the two sponge-associated bacterial communities include dominant and host-specific bacterial lineages that are distinct from bacteria recovered from seawater, tunicates, and unrelated sponge hosts. In addition, a large proportion of the symbionts associated with H. heliophila were shared with distant, conspecific host populations in the southwestern Atlantic (Brazil). The low diversity and species-specific nature of bacterial communities associated with H. heliophila and H. tubifera represent a distinctly different pattern from other, reportedly universal, sponge-associated bacterial communities. Our replicated sampling strategy, which included samples that reflect the ambient

  15. Phylogenetic diversity, host-specificity and community profiling of sponge-associated bacteria in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M Erwin

    Full Text Available Marine sponges can associate with abundant and diverse consortia of microbial symbionts. However, associated bacteria remain unexamined for the majority of host sponges and few studies use phylogenetic metrics to quantify symbiont community diversity. DNA fingerprinting techniques, such as terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP, might provide rapid profiling of these communities, but have not been explicitly compared to traditional methods.We investigated the bacterial communities associated with the marine sponges Hymeniacidon heliophila and Haliclona tubifera, a sympatric tunicate, Didemnum sp., and ambient seawater from the northern Gulf of Mexico by combining replicated clone libraries with T-RFLP analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences. Clone libraries revealed that bacterial communities associated with the two sponges exhibited lower species richness and lower species diversity than seawater and tunicate assemblages, with differences in species composition among all four source groups. T-RFLP profiles clustered microbial communities by source; individual T-RFs were matched to the majority (80.6% of clone library sequences, indicating that T-RFLP analysis can be used to rapidly profile these communities. Phylogenetic metrics of community diversity indicated that the two sponge-associated bacterial communities include dominant and host-specific bacterial lineages that are distinct from bacteria recovered from seawater, tunicates, and unrelated sponge hosts. In addition, a large proportion of the symbionts associated with H. heliophila were shared with distant, conspecific host populations in the southwestern Atlantic (Brazil.The low diversity and species-specific nature of bacterial communities associated with H. heliophila and H. tubifera represent a distinctly different pattern from other, reportedly universal, sponge-associated bacterial communities. Our replicated sampling strategy, which included samples that reflect the

  16. Mosquito-specific and mosquito-borne viruses: evolution, infection, and host defense

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Halbach, R.; Junglen, S.; Rij, R.P. van

    2017-01-01

    Recent virus discovery programs have identified an extensive reservoir of viruses in arthropods. It is thought that arthropod viruses, including mosquito-specific viruses, are ancestral to vertebrate-pathogenic arboviruses. Mosquito-specific viruses are restricted in vertebrate cells at multiple

  17. Variation in genotype and higher virulence of a strain of Sporothrix schenckii causing disseminated cutaneous sporotrichosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhenying; Liu, Xiaoming; Lv, Xuelian; Lin, Jingrong

    2011-12-01

    Sporotrichosis is usually a localized, lymphocutaneous disease, but its disseminated type was rarely reported. The main objective of this study was to identify specific DNA sequence variation and virulence of a strain of Sporothrix schenckii isolated from the lesion of disseminated cutaneous sporotrichosis. We confirmed this strain to be S. schenckii by(®) tubulin and chitin synthase gene sequence analysis in addition to the routine mycological and partial ITS and NTS sequencing. We found a 10-bp deletion in the ribosomal NTS region of this strain, in reference to the sequence of control strains isolated from fixed cutaneous sporotrichosis. After inoculated into immunosuppressed mice, this strain caused more extensive system involvement and showed stronger virulence than the control strain isolated from a fixed cutaneous sporotrichosis. Our study thus suggests that different clinical manifestation of sporotrichosis may be associated with variation in genotype and virulence of the strain, independent of effects due to the immune status of the host.

  18. Association of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) elements with specific serotypes and virulence potential of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toro, Magaly; Cao, Guojie; Ju, Wenting; Allard, Marc; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Zhao, Shaohua; Brown, Eric; Meng, Jianghong

    2014-02-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains (n = 194) representing 43 serotypes and E. coli K-12 were examined for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays to study genetic relatedness among STEC serotypes. A subset of the strains (n = 81) was further analyzed for subtype I-E cas and virulence genes to determine a possible association of CRISPR elements with potential virulence. Four types of CRISPR arrays were identified. CRISPR1 and CRISPR2 were present in all strains tested; 1 strain also had both CRISPR3 and CRISPR4, whereas 193 strains displayed a short, combined array, CRISPR3-4. A total of 3,353 spacers were identified, representing 528 distinct spacers. The average length of a spacer was 32 bp. Approximately one-half of the spacers (54%) were unique and found mostly in strains of less common serotypes. Overall, CRISPR spacer contents correlated well with STEC serotypes, and identical arrays were shared between strains with the same H type (O26:H11, O103:H11, and O111:H11). There was no association identified between the presence of subtype I-E cas and virulence genes, but the total number of spacers had a negative correlation with potential pathogenicity (P CRISPR-cas system and potential virulence needs to be determined on a broader scale, and the biological link will need to be established.

  19. Specific chlamydial inclusion membrane proteins associate with active Src family kinases in microdomains that interact with the host microtubule network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mital, Jeffrey; Miller, Natalie J; Fischer, Elizabeth R; Hackstadt, Ted

    2010-09-01

    Chlamydiae are Gram-negative obligate intracellular bacteria that cause diseases with significant medical and economic impact. Chlamydia trachomatis replicates within a vacuole termed an inclusion, which is extensively modified by the insertion of a number of bacterial effector proteins known as inclusion membrane proteins (Incs). Once modified, the inclusion is trafficked in a dynein-dependent manner to the microtubule-organizing centre (MTOC), where it associates with host centrosomes. Here we describe a novel structure on the inclusion membrane comprised of both host and bacterial proteins. Members of the Src family of kinases are recruited to the chlamydial inclusion in an active form. These kinases display a distinct, localized punctate microdomain-like staining pattern on the inclusion membrane that colocalizes with four chlamydial inclusion membrane proteins (Incs) and is enriched in cholesterol. Biochemical studies show that at least two of these Incs stably interact with one another. Furthermore, host centrosomes associate with these microdomain proteins in C. trachomatis-infected cells and in uninfected cells exogenously expressing one of the chlamydial effectors. Together, the data suggest that a specific structure on the C. trachomatis inclusion membrane may be responsible for the known interactions of chlamydiae with the microtubule network and resultant effects on centrosome stability.

  20. Symbiodinium diversity among host clionaid sponges from Caribbean and Pacific reefs: Evidence of heteroplasmy and putative host-specific symbiont lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Malcolm; Allenby, Ashley; Ramsby, Blake; Schönberg, Christine; Hill, April

    2011-04-01

    Among the Porifera, symbiosis with Symbiodinium spp. (i.e., zooxanthellae) is largely restricted to members of the family Clionaidae. We surveyed the diversity of zooxanthellae associated with sponges from the Caribbean and greater Indo-Pacific regions using chloroplast large subunit (cp23S) domain V sequences. We provide the first report of Clade C Symbiodinium harbored by a sponge (Cliona caesia), and the first report of Clade A Symbiodinium from an Indo-Pacific sponge (C. jullieni). Clade A zooxanthellae were also identified in sponges from the Caribbean, which has been reported previously. Sponges that we examined from the Florida Keys all harbored Clade G Symbiodinium as did C. orientalis from the Indo-Pacific, which also supports earlier work with sponges. Two distinct Clade G lineages were identified in our phylogenetic analysis; Symbiodinium extracted from clionaid sponges formed a monophyletic group sister to Symbiodinium found in foraminiferans. Truncated and 'normal' length variants of 23S rDNA sequences were detected simultaneously in all three morphotypes of C. varians providing the first evidence of chloroplast-based heteroplasmy in a sponge. None of the other sponge species examined showed evidence of heteroplasmy. As in previous work, length variation in cp23S domain V sequences was found to correspond in a highly precise manner to finer resolution of phylogenetic topology among Symbiodinium clades. On a global scale, existing data indicate that members of the family Clionaidae that host zooxanthellae can form symbiotic associations with at least four Symbiodinium clades. The majority of sponge hosts appear to harbor only one cladal type of symbiont, but some species can harbor more than one clade of zooxanthellae concurrently. The observed differences in the number of partners harbored by sponges raise important questions about the degree of coevolutionary integration and specificity of these symbioses. Although our sample sizes are small, we

  1. Comparative host specificity of human- and pig-associated Staphylococcus aureus clonal lineages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moodley, Arshnee; Espinosa-Gongora, Carmen; Nielsen, Søren Saxmose

    2012-01-01

    microscopy assay. A previously described porcine colonization model was used to assess the potential of the six strains to colonize the pig host. Three pregnant, S. aureus-free sows were inoculated intravaginally shortly before farrowing with different strain mixes [mix 1) human and porcine ST398; mix 2......) human ST36 and porcine ST433; and mix 3) human ST8, ST22, ST36 and porcine ST398] and the ability of individual strains to colonize the nasal cavity of newborn piglets was evaluated for 28 days after birth by strain-specific antibiotic selective culture. In the corneocyte assay, the pig-associated ST433...

  2. 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...

  3. [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.

  4. Experimental evaluation of the relationship between lethal or non-lethal virulence and transmission success in malaria parasite infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nithiuthai S

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary theory suggests that the selection pressure on parasites to maximize their transmission determines their optimal host exploitation strategies and thus their virulence. Establishing the adaptive basis to parasite life history traits has important consequences for predicting parasite responses to public health interventions. In this study we examine the extent to which malaria parasites conform to the predicted adaptive trade-off between transmission and virulence, as defined by mortality. The majority of natural infections, however, result in sub-lethal virulent effects (e.g. anaemia and are often composed of many strains. Both sub-lethal effects and pathogen population structure have been theoretically shown to have important consequences for virulence evolution. Thus, we additionally examine the relationship between anaemia and transmission in single and mixed clone infections. Results Whereas there was a trade-off between transmission success and virulence as defined by host mortality, contradictory clone-specific patterns occurred when defining virulence by anaemia. A negative relationship between anaemia and transmission success was found for one of the parasite clones, whereas there was no relationship for the other. Notably the two parasite clones also differed in a transmission phenotype (gametocyte sex ratio that has previously been shown to respond adaptively to a changing blood environment. In addition, as predicted by evolutionary theory, mixed infections resulted in increased anaemia. The increased anaemia was, however, not correlated with any discernable parasite trait (e.g. parasite density or with increased transmission. Conclusions We found some evidence supporting the hypothesis that there is an adaptive basis correlating virulence (as defined by host mortality and transmission success in malaria parasites. This confirms the validity of applying evolutionary virulence theory to biomedical

  5. The animal model determines the results of Aeromonas virulence factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Romero

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The selection of an experimental animal model is of great importance in the study of bacterial virulence factors. Here, a bath infection of zebrafish larvae is proposed as an alternative model to study the virulence factors of A. hydrophila. Intraperitoneal infections in mice and trout were compared with bath infections in zebrafish larvae using specific mutants. The great advantage of this model is that bath immersion mimics the natural route of infection, and injury to the tail also provides a natural portal of entry for the bacteria. The implication of T3SS in the virulence of A. hydrophila was analysed using the AH-1::aopB mutant. This mutant was less virulent than the wild-type strain when inoculated into zebrafish larvae, as described in other vertebrates. However, the zebrafish model exhibited slight differences in mortality kinetics only observed using invertebrate models. Infections using the mutant AH-1∆vapA lacking the gene coding for the surface S-layer suggested that this protein was not totally necessary to the bacteria once it was inside the host, but it contributed to the inflammatory response. Only when healthy zebrafish larvae were infected did the mutant produce less mortality than the wild type. Variations between models were evidenced using the AH-1∆rmlB, which lacks the O-antigen lipopolysaccharide (LPS, and the AH-1∆wahD, which lacks the O-antigen LPS and part of the LPS outer-core. Both mutants showed decreased mortality in all of the animal models, but the differences between them were only observed in injured zebrafish larvae, suggesting that residues from the LPS outer core must be important for virulence. The greatest differences were observed using the AH-1ΔFlaB-J (lacking polar flagella and unable to swim and the AH-1::motX (non-motile but producing flagella. They were as pathogenic as the wild-type strain when injected into mice and trout, but no mortalities were registered in zebrafish larvae. This study

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Host-pathogen interactions in specific pathogen-free chickens following aerogenous infection with Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia abortus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalmar, Isabelle; Berndt, Angela; Yin, Lizi; Chiers, Koen; Sachse, Konrad; Vanrompay, Daisy

    2015-03-15

    Although Chlamydia (C.) psittaci infections are recognized as an important factor causing economic losses and impairing animal welfare in poultry production, the specific mechanisms leading to severe clinical outcomes are poorly understood. In the present study, we comparatively investigated pathology and host immune response, as well as systemic dissemination and expression of essential chlamydial genes in the course of experimental aerogeneous infection with C. psittaci and the closely related C. abortus, respectively, in specific pathogen-free chicks. Clinical signs appeared sooner and were more severe in the C. psittaci-infected group. Compared to C. abortus infection, more intense systemic dissemination of C. psittaci correlated with higher and faster infiltration of immune cells, as well as more macroscopic lesions and epithelial pathology, such as hyperplasia and erosion. In thoracic air sac tissue, mRNA expression of immunologically relevant factors, such as IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-17, IL-22, LITAF and iNOS was significantly stronger up-regulated in C. psittaci- than in C. abortus-infected birds between 3 and 14 days post-infection. Likewise, transcription rates of the chlamydial genes groEL, cpaf and ftsW were consistently higher in C. psittaci during the acute phase. These findings illustrate that the stronger replication of C. psittaci in its natural host also evoked a more intense immune response than in the case of C. abortus infection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Vitronectin Binds to a Specific Stretch within the Head Region of Yersinia Adhesin A and Thereby Modulates Yersinia enterocolitica Host Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mühlenkamp, Melanie C; Hallström, Teresia; Autenrieth, Ingo B; Bohn, Erwin; Linke, Dirk; Rinker, Janina; Riesbeck, Kristian; Singh, Birendra; Leo, Jack C; Hammerschmidt, Sven; Zipfel, Peter F; Schütz, Monika S

    2017-01-01

    Complement resistance is an important virulence trait of Yersinia enterocolitica (Ye). The predominant virulence factor expressed by Ye is Yersinia adhesin A (YadA), which enables bacterial attachment to host cells and extracellular matrix and additionally allows the acquisition of soluble serum factors. The serum glycoprotein vitronectin (Vn) acts as an inhibitory regulator of the terminal complement complex by inhibiting the lytic pore formation. Here, we show YadA-mediated direct interaction of Ye with Vn and investigated the role of this Vn binding during mouse infection in vivo. Using different Yersinia strains, we identified a short stretch in the YadA head domain of Ye O:9 E40, similar to the 'uptake region' of Y. pseudotuberculosis YPIII YadA, as crucial for efficient Vn binding. Using recombinant fragments of Vn, we found the C-terminal part of Vn, including heparin-binding domain 3, to be responsible for binding to YadA. Moreover, we found that Vn bound to the bacterial surface is still functionally active and thus inhibits C5b-9 formation. In a mouse infection model, we demonstrate that Vn reduces complement-mediated killing of Ye O:9 E40 and, thus, improved bacterial survival. Taken together, these findings show that YadA-mediated Vn binding influences Ye pathogenesis. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. Archaeal and Bacterial Communities Associated with the Surface Mucus of Caribbean Corals Differ in Their Degree of Host Specificity and Community Turnover Over Reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frade, P.R.; Roll, K.; Bergauer, K.; Herndl, G.

    2016-01-01

    Comparative studies on the distribution of archaeal versus bacterial communities associatedwith the surface mucus layer of corals have rarely taken place. It has thereforeremained enigmatic whether mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities exhibita similar specificity towards coral hosts

  14. The length of a lantibiotic hinge region has profound influence on antimicrobial activity and host specificity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang eZhou

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Lantibiotics are ribosomally synthesized (methyllanthionine containing peptides which can efficiently inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria. As lantibiotics kill bacteria efficiently and resistance to them is difficult to be obtained, they have the potential to be used in many applications, e.g. in pharmaceutical industry or food industry. Nisin can inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria by binding to lipid II and by making pores in their membrane. The C-terminal part of nisin is known to play an important role during translocation over the membrane and forming pore complexes. However, as the thickness of bacterial membranes varies between different species and environmental conditions, this property could have an influence on the pore forming activity of nisin. To investigate this, the so-called hinge region of nisin (residues NMK was engineered to vary from one to six amino acid residues and specific activity against different indicators was compared. Antimicrobial activity in liquid culture assays showed that wild type nisin is most active, while truncation of the hinge region dramatically reduced the activity of the peptide. However, one or two amino acids extensions showed only slightly reduced activity against most indicator strains. Notably, some variants (+2, +1, -1, -2 exhibited higher antimicrobial activity than nisin in agar well diffusion assays against Lactococcus lactis MG1363, Listeria monocytogenes, Enterococcus faecalis VE14089, Bacillus sporothermodurans IC4 and Bacillus cereus 4153 at certain temperatures.

  15. Genetic diversity, virulence and fitness evolution in an obligate fungal parasite of bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evison, S E F; Foley, K; Jensen, A B; Hughes, W O H

    2015-01-01

    Within-host competition is predicted to drive the evolution of virulence in parasites, but the precise outcomes of such interactions are often unpredictable due to many factors including the biology of the host and the parasite, stochastic events and co-evolutionary interactions. Here, we use a serial passage experiment (SPE) with three strains of a heterothallic fungal parasite (Ascosphaera apis) of the Honey bee (Apis mellifera) to assess how evolving under increasing competitive pressure affects parasite virulence and fitness evolution. The results show an increase in virulence after successive generations of selection and consequently faster production of spores. This faster sporulation, however, did not translate into more spores being produced during this longer window of sporulation; rather, it appeared to induce a loss of fitness in terms of total spore production. There was no evidence to suggest that a greater diversity of competing strains was a driver of this increased virulence and subsequent fitness cost, but rather that strain-specific competitive interactions influenced the evolutionary outcomes of mixed infections. It is possible that the parasite may have evolved to avoid competition with multiple strains because of its heterothallic mode of reproduction, which highlights the importance of understanding parasite biology when predicting disease dynamics. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  16. Evolution and Virulence of Influenza A Virus Protein PB1-F2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ram P. Kamal

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available PB1-F2 is an accessory protein of most human, avian, swine, equine, and canine influenza A viruses (IAVs. Although it is dispensable for virus replication and growth, it plays significant roles in pathogenesis by interfering with the host innate immune response, inducing death in immune and epithelial cells, altering inflammatory responses, and promoting secondary bacterial pneumonia. The effects of PB1-F2 differ between virus strains and host species. This can at least partially be explained by the presence of multiple PB1-F2 sequence variants, including premature stop codons that lead to the expression of truncated PB1-F2 proteins of different lengths and specific virulence-associated residues that enhance susceptibility to bacterial superinfection. Although there has been a tendency for human seasonal IAV to gradually reduce the number of virulence-associated residues, zoonotic IAVs contain a reservoir of PB1-F2 proteins with full length, virulence-associated sequences. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms by which PB1-F2 may affect influenza virulence, and factors associated with the evolution and selection of this protein.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Stage-Specific Changes in Plasmodium Metabolism Required for Differentiation and Adaptation to Different Host and Vector Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Anubhav; Philip, Nisha; Hughes, Katie R; Georgiou, Konstantina; MacRae, James I; Barrett, Michael P; Creek, Darren J; McConville, Malcolm J; Waters, Andrew P

    2016-12-01

    Malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) encounter markedly different (nutritional) environments during their complex life cycles in the mosquito and human hosts. Adaptation to these different host niches is associated with a dramatic rewiring of metabolism, from a highly glycolytic metabolism in the asexual blood stages to increased dependence on tricarboxylic acid (TCA) metabolism in mosquito stages. Here we have used stable isotope labelling, targeted metabolomics and reverse genetics to map stage-specific changes in Plasmodium berghei carbon metabolism and determine the functional significance of these changes on parasite survival in the blood and mosquito stages. We show that glutamine serves as the predominant input into TCA metabolism in both asexual and sexual blood stages and is important for complete male gametogenesis. Glutamine catabolism, as well as key reactions in intermediary metabolism and CoA synthesis are also essential for ookinete to oocyst transition in the mosquito. These data extend our knowledge of Plasmodium metabolism and point towards possible targets for transmission-blocking intervention strategies. Furthermore, they highlight significant metabolic differences between Plasmodium species which are not easily anticipated based on genomics or transcriptomics studies and underline the importance of integration of metabolomics data with other platforms in order to better inform drug discovery and design.

  20. Elucidation of biocontrol mechanisms of Trichoderma harzianum against different plant fungal pathogens: Universal yet host specific response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Vivek; Salwan, Richa; Sharma, Prem N; Kanwar, S S

    2017-02-01

    In the present study, different transcripts of Trichoderma harzianum ThHP-3 were evaluated for their response against four fungal pathogens Fusarium oxysporum, Colletotrichum capsici, Colletotrichum truncatum and Gloesercospora sorghi using RT-qPCR. The time course study of T. harzianum transcripts related to signal transduction, lytic enzymes, secondary metabolites and various transporters revealed variation in expression against four fungal pathogens. In a broader term, the transcripts were upregulated at various time intervals but the optimum expression of cyp3, abc, nrp, tga1, pmk, ech42 and glh20 varied with respect to host fungi. Additionally, the expression of transcripts related to transporters/cytochromes was also observed against Fusarium oxysporum after 96h whereas transcripts related to secondary metabolites and lytic enzymes showed significant difference in expression against Colletotrichum spp. from 72 to 96h. This is first study on transcriptomic response of T. harzianum against pathogenic fungi which shows their host specific response. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Stage-Specific Changes in Plasmodium Metabolism Required for Differentiation and Adaptation to Different Host and Vector Environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anubhav Srivastava

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp. encounter markedly different (nutritional environments during their complex life cycles in the mosquito and human hosts. Adaptation to these different host niches is associated with a dramatic rewiring of metabolism, from a highly glycolytic metabolism in the asexual blood stages to increased dependence on tricarboxylic acid (TCA metabolism in mosquito stages. Here we have used stable isotope labelling, targeted metabolomics and reverse genetics to map stage-specific changes in Plasmodium berghei carbon metabolism and determine the functional significance of these changes on parasite survival in the blood and mosquito stages. We show that glutamine serves as the predominant input into TCA metabolism in both asexual and sexual blood stages and is important for complete male gametogenesis. Glutamine catabolism, as well as key reactions in intermediary metabolism and CoA synthesis are also essential for ookinete to oocyst transition in the mosquito. These data extend our knowledge of Plasmodium metabolism and point towards possible targets for transmission-blocking intervention strategies. Furthermore, they highlight significant metabolic differences between Plasmodium species which are not easily anticipated based on genomics or transcriptomics studies and underline the importance of integration of metabolomics data with other platforms in order to better inform drug discovery and design.

  2. Vertebrate host specificity and experimental vectors of Plasmodium (Novyella) kempi sp. n. from the eastern wild turkey in Iowa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, B M; Barnes, H J; Rowley, W A

    1983-07-01

    Vertebrate host specificity, experimental laboratory vectors, and a description of Plasmodium (Novyella) kempi sp. n. from eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris Vieillot) in Iowa are presented. Plasmodium kempi is infective for domestic turkeys, bobwhites (Colinus virginianus), chukars (Alectoris graeca), guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), peacocks (Pavo cristatus), and canaries (Serinus canaria), produces a transient infection in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and domestic geese (Anser anser), but will not infect ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus), pigeons (Columba livia), Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix), leghorn white chickens (Gallus gallus), or starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Oocysts and (or) sporozoites were recovered from 68% (84/124) and 98% (60/61) of the Culex pipiens pipiens and C. tarsalis examined, respectively. Oocysts developed faster and sporozoites invaded the salivary glands sooner in C. tarsalis (6 days) than in C. p. pipiens (7 days). Culex tarsalis transmitted P. kempi more effectively than C. p. pipiens, although both species were capable of transmitting the parasite by natural feeding. Oocysts developed and sporozoites also were produced in C. restuans, but its ability to transmit the parasite was not determined. Aedes aegypti (Rockefeller strain) and A. triseriatus were refractive to P. kempi. Plasmodium kempi produces trophozoites with large refractile globules and fine cytoplasmic extensions, mature schizonts in the form of a condensed fan containing four to eight nuclei (usually 5), and elongate gametocytes with irregular borders. All stages are confined almost exclusively to mature erythrocytes, with no effect on host cell size or position of host cell nucleus. Plasmodium kempi is most similar morphologically to P. (Novyella) hexamerium and P. (Novyella) vaughani. It differs from P. hexamerium in having large refractile globules in trophozoites and immature schizonts, an inability to infect starlings, an absence of

  3. Identification of cognate host targets and specific ubiquitylation sites on the Salmonella SPI-1 effector SopB/SigD

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rogers, Lindsay D; Kristensen, Anders R; Boyle, Erin C

    2008-01-01

    Salmonella enterica is a bacterial pathogen responsible for enteritis and typhoid fever. Virulence is linked to two Salmonella pathogenicity islands (SPI-1 and SPI-2) on the bacterial chromosome, each of which encodes a type III secretion system. While both the SPI-1 and SPI-2 systems secrete...

  4. 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.

  5. The Endo-Arabinanase BcAra1 Is a Novel Host-Specific Virulence Factor of the Necrotic Fungal Phytopathogen Botrytis cinerea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nafisi, Majse; Stranne, Maria; Zhang, Lisha

    2014-01-01

    The plant cell wall is one of the first physical interfaces encountered by plant pathogens and consists of polysaccharides, of which arabinan is an important constituent. During infection, the necrotrophic plant pathogen Botrytis cinerea secretes a cocktail of plant cell-wall-degrading enzymes...

  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. Host-specific effects of soil microbial filtrates prevail over those of arbuscular mycorrhizae in a fragmented landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizano, Camila; Mangan, Scott A; Graham, James H; Kitajima, Kaoru

    2017-09-01

    Plant-soil interactions have been shown to determine plant community composition in a wide range of environments. However, how plants distinctly interact with beneficial and detrimental organisms across mosaic landscapes containing fragmented habitats is still poorly understood. We experimentally tested feedback responses between plants and soil microbial communities from adjacent habitats across a disturbance gradient within a human-modified tropical montane landscape. In a greenhouse experiment, two components of soil microbial communities were amplified; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and a filtrate excluding AMF spores from the soils of pastures (high disturbance), coffee plantations (intermediate disturbance), and forest fragments (low disturbance), using potted seedlings of 11 plant species common in these habitats (pasture grass, coffee, and nine native species). We then examined their effects on growth of these same 11 host species with reciprocal habitat inoculation. Most plant species received a similar benefit from AMF, but differed in their response to the filtrates from the three habitats. Soil filtrate from pastures had a net negative effect on plant growth, while filtrates from coffee plantations and forests had a net positive effect on plant growth. Pasture grass, coffee, and five pioneer tree species performed better with the filtrate from "away" (where these species rarely occur) compared to "home" (where these species typically occur) habitat soils, while four shade-tolerant tree species grew similarly with filtrates from different habitats. These results suggest that pastures accumulate species-specific soil enemies, while coffee plantations and forests accumulate beneficial soil microbes that benefit pioneer native plants and coffee, respectively. Thus, compared to AMF, soil filtrates exerted stronger habitat and host-specific effects on plants, being more important mediators of plant-soil feedbacks across contrasting habitats. © 2017 by

  8. Multiplex-PCR-Based Screening and Computational Modeling of Virulence Factors and T-Cell Mediated Immunity in Helicobacter pylori Infections for Accurate Clinical Diagnosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sinem Oktem-Okullu

    Full Text Available The outcome of H. pylori infection is closely related with bacteria's virulence factors and host immune response. The association between T cells and H. pylori infection has been identified, but the effects of the nine major H. pylori specific virulence factors; cagA, vacA, oipA, babA, hpaA, napA, dupA, ureA, ureB on T cell response in H. pylori infected patients have not been fully elucidated. We developed a multiplex- PCR assay to detect nine H. pylori virulence genes with in a three PCR reactions. Also, the expression levels of Th1, Th17 and Treg cell specific cytokines and transcription factors were detected by using qRT-PCR assays. Furthermore, a novel expert derived model is developed to identify set of factors and rules that can distinguish the ulcer patients from gastritis patients. Within all virulence factors that we tested, we identified a correlation between the presence of napA virulence gene and ulcer disease as a first data. Additionally, a positive correlation between the H. pylori dupA virulence factor and IFN-γ, and H. pylori babA virulence factor and IL-17 was detected in gastritis and ulcer patients respectively. By using computer-based models, clinical outcomes of a patients infected with H. pylori can be predicted by screening the patient's H. pylori vacA m1/m2, ureA and cagA status and IFN-γ (Th1, IL-17 (Th17, and FOXP3 (Treg expression levels. Herein, we report, for the first time, the relationship between H. pylori virulence factors and host immune responses for diagnostic prediction of gastric diseases using computer-based models.

  9. Multiplex-PCR-Based Screening and Computational Modeling of Virulence Factors and T-Cell Mediated Immunity in Helicobacter pylori Infections for Accurate Clinical Diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oktem-Okullu, Sinem; Tiftikci, Arzu; Saruc, Murat; Cicek, Bahattin; Vardareli, Eser; Tozun, Nurdan; Kocagoz, Tanil; Sezerman, Ugur; Yavuz, Ahmet Sinan; Sayi-Yazgan, Ayca

    2015-01-01

    The outcome of H. pylori infection is closely related with bacteria's virulence factors and host immune response. The association between T cells and H. pylori infection has been identified, but the effects of the nine major H. pylori specific virulence factors; cagA, vacA, oipA, babA, hpaA, napA, dupA, ureA, ureB on T cell response in H. pylori infected patients have not been fully elucidated. We developed a multiplex- PCR assay to detect nine H. pylori virulence genes with in a three PCR reactions. Also, the expression levels of Th1, Th17 and Treg cell specific cytokines and transcription factors were detected by using qRT-PCR assays. Furthermore, a novel expert derived model is developed to identify set of factors and rules that can distinguish the ulcer patients from gastritis patients. Within all virulence factors that we tested, we identified a correlation between the presence of napA virulence gene and ulcer disease as a first data. Additionally, a positive correlation between the H. pylori dupA virulence factor and IFN-γ, and H. pylori babA virulence factor and IL-17 was detected in gastritis and ulcer patients respectively. By using computer-based models, clinical outcomes of a patients infected with H. pylori can be predicted by screening the patient's H. pylori vacA m1/m2, ureA and cagA status and IFN-γ (Th1), IL-17 (Th17), and FOXP3 (Treg) expression levels. Herein, we report, for the first time, the relationship between H. pylori virulence factors and host immune responses for diagnostic prediction of gastric diseases using computer-based models.

  10. Comparative Genomics of the Sigatoka Disease Complex on Banana Suggests a Link between Parallel Evolutionary Changes in Pseudocercospora fijiensis and Pseudocercospora eumusae and Increased Virulence on the Banana Host

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chang, Ti-Cheng; Salvucci, Anthony; Crous, Pedro W.; Stergiopoulos, Ioannis

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the evolutionary and genomic changes involved in the emergence of new pathogens and shifts in virulence spectra is vital for deciphering the biological process of disease emergence and for designing new and effective disease control methods. In this study, we employed comparative

  11. Development of a swine-specific fecal pollution marker based on host differences in methanogen mcrA genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ufnar, Jennifer A; Ufnar, David F; Wang, Shiao Y; Ellender, R D

    2007-08-01

    The goal of this study was to evaluate methanogen diversity in animal hosts to develop a swine-specific archaeal molecular marker for fecal source tracking in surface waters. Phylogenetic analysis of swine mcrA sequences compared to mcrA sequences from the feces of five animals (cow, deer, sheep, horse, and chicken) and sewage showed four distinct swine clusters, with three swine-specific clades. From this analysis, six sequences were chosen for molecular marker development and initial testing. Only one mcrA sequence (P23-2) showed specificity for swine and therefore was used for environmental testing. PCR primers for the P23-2 clone mcrA sequence were developed and evaluated for swine specificity. The P23-2 primers amplified products in P23-2 plasmid DNA (100%), pig feces (84%), and swine waste lagoon surface water samples (100%) but did not amplify a product in 47 bacterial and archaeal stock cultures and 477 environmental bacterial isolates and sewage and water samples from a bovine waste lagoon and a polluted creek. Amplification was observed in only one sheep sample out of 260 human and nonswine animal fecal samples. Sequencing of PCR products from pig feces demonstrated 100% similarity to pig mcrA sequence from clone P23-2. The minimal amount of DNA required for the detection was 1 pg for P23-2 plasmid, 1 ng for pig feces, 50 ng for swine waste lagoon surface water, 1 ng for sow waste influent, and 10 ng for lagoon sludge samples. Lower detection limits of 10(-6) g of wet pig feces in 500 ml of phosphate-buffered saline and 10(-4) g of lagoon waste in estuarine water were established for the P23-2 marker. This study was the first to utilize methanogens for the development of a swine-specific fecal contamination marker.

  12. Genome-wide analysis of gene expression and protein secretion of Babesia canis during virulent infection identifies potential pathogenicity factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichenberger, Ramon M; Ramakrishnan, Chandra; Russo, Giancarlo; Deplazes, Peter; Hehl, Adrian B

    2017-06-13

    Infections of dogs with virulent strains of Babesia canis are characterized by rapid onset and high mortality, comparable to complicated human malaria. As in other apicomplexan parasites, most Babesia virulence factors responsible for survival and pathogenicity are secreted to the host cell surface and beyond where they remodel and biochemically modify the infected cell interacting with host proteins in a very specific manner. Here, we investigated factors secreted by B. canis during acute infections in dogs and report on in silico predictions and experimental analysis of the parasite's exportome. As a backdrop, we generated a fully annotated B. canis genome sequence of a virulent Hungarian field isolate (strain BcH-CHIPZ) underpinned by extensive genome-wide RNA-seq analysis. We find evidence for conserved factors in apicomplexan hemoparasites involved in immune-evasion (e.g. VESA-protein family), proteins secreted across the iRBC membrane into the host bloodstream (e.g. SA- and Bc28 protein families), potential moonlighting proteins (e.g. profilin and histones), and uncharacterized antigens present during acute crisis in dogs. The combined data provides a first predicted and partially validated set of potential virulence factors exported during fatal infections, which can be exploited for urgently needed innovative intervention strategies aimed at facilitating diagnosis and management of canine babesiosis.

  13. Expression of Virulence Factors by Staphylococcus aureus Grown in Serum▿†

    OpenAIRE

    Oogai, Yuichi; Matsuo, Miki; Hashimoto, Masahito; Kato, Fuminori; Sugai, Motoyuki; Komatsuzawa, Hitoshi

    2011-01-01

    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...

  14. The Acinetobacter baumannii Two-Component System AdeRS Regulates Genes Required for Multidrug Efflux, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence in a Strain-Specific Manner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grace E. Richmond

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The opportunistic pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii is able to persist in the environment and is often multidrug resistant (MDR, causing difficulties in the treatment of infections. Here, we show that the two-component system AdeRS, which regulates the production of the AdeABC multidrug resistance efflux pump, is required for the formation of a protective biofilm in an ex vivo porcine mucosal model, which mimics a natural infection of the human epithelium. Interestingly, deletion of adeB impacted only on the ability of strain AYE to form a biofilm on plastic and only on the virulence of strain Singapore 1 for Galleria mellonella. RNA-Seq revealed that loss of AdeRS or AdeB significantly altered the transcriptional landscape, resulting in the changed expression of many genes, notably those associated with antimicrobial resistance and virulence interactions. For example, A. baumannii lacking AdeRS displayed decreased expression of adeABC, pil genes, com genes, and a pgaC-like gene, whereas loss of AdeB resulted in increased expression of pil and com genes and decreased expression of ferric acinetobactin transport system genes. These data define the scope of AdeRS-mediated regulation, show that changes in the production of AdeABC mediate important phenotypes controlled by AdeRS, and suggest that AdeABC is a viable target for antimicrobial drug and antibiofilm discovery.

  15. HY-Specific Induced Regulatory T Cells Display High Specificity and Efficacy in the Prevention of Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Heinrichs, Jessica; Haarberg, Kelley; Semple, Kenrick; Veerapathran, Anandharaman; Liu, Chen; Anasetti, Claudio; Yu, Xue-Zhong

    2015-07-15

    Naturally derived regulatory T cells (Tregs) may prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) while preserving graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) activity. However, clinical application of naturally derived regulatory T cells has been severely hampered by their scarce availability and nonselectivity. To overcome these limitations, we took alternative approaches to generate Ag-specific induced Tregs (iTregs) and tested their efficacy and selectivity in the prevention of GVHD in preclinical models of bone marrow transplantation. We selected HY as a target Ag because it is a naturally processed, ubiquitously expressed minor histocompatibility Ag (miHAg) with a proven role in GVHD and GVL effect. We generated HY-specific iTregs (HY-iTregs) from resting CD4 T cells derived from TCR transgenic mice, in which CD4 cells specifically recognize HY peptide. We found that HY-iTregs were highly effective in preventing GVHD in male (HY(+)) but not female (HY(-)) recipients using MHC II-mismatched, parent→F1, and miHAg-mismatched murine bone marrow transplantation models. Interestingly, the expression of target Ag (HY) on the hematopoietic or nonhematopoietic compartment alone was sufficient for iTregs to prevent GVHD. Furthermore, treatment with HY-iTregs still preserved the GVL effect even against pre-established leukemia. We found that HY-iTregs were more stable in male than in female recipients. Furthermore, HY-iTregs expanded extensively in male but not female recipients, which in turn significantly reduced donor effector T cell expansion, activation, and migration into GVHD target organs, resulting in effective prevention of GVHD. This study demonstrates that iTregs specific for HY miHAgs are highly effective in controlling GVHD in an Ag-dependent manner while sparing the GVL effect. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  16. Brugia malayi excreted/secreted proteins at the host/parasite interface: stage- and gender-specific proteomic profiling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasisekhar Bennuru

    Full Text Available Relatively little is known about the filarial proteins that interact with the human host. Although the filarial genome has recently been completed, protein profiles have been limited to only a few recombinants or purified proteins of interest. Here, we describe a large-scale proteomic analysis using microcapillary reverse-phase liquid chromatography-tandem-mass spectrometry to identify the excretory-secretory (ES products of the L3, L3 to L4 molting ES, adult male, adult female, and microfilarial stages of the filarial parasite Brugia malayi. The analysis of the ES products from adult male, adult female, microfilariae (Mf, L3, and molting L3 larvae identified 852 proteins. Annotation suggests that the functional and component distribution was very similar across each of the stages studied; however, the Mf contributed a higher proportion to the total number of identified proteins than the other stages. Of the 852 proteins identified in the ES, only 229 had previous confirmatory expressed sequence tags (ESTs in the available databases. Moreover, this analysis was able to confirm the presence of 274 "hypothetical" proteins inferred from gene prediction algorithms applied to the B. malayi (Bm genome. Not surprisingly, the majority (160/274 of these "hypothetical" proteins were predicted to be secreted by Signal IP and/or SecretomeP 2.0 analysis. Of major interest is the abundance of previously characterized immunomodulatory proteins such as ES-62 (leucyl aminopeptidase, MIF-1, SERPIN, glutathione peroxidase, and galectin in the ES of microfilariae (and Mf-containing adult females compared to the adult males. In addition, searching the ES protein spectra against the Wolbachia database resulted in the identification of 90 Wolbachia-specific proteins, most of which were metabolic enzymes that have not been shown to be immunogenic. This proteomic analysis extends our knowledge of the ES and provides insight into the host-parasite interaction.

  17. Cotton plants export microRNAs to inhibit virulence gene expression in a fungal pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Zhao, Yun-Long; Zhao, Jian-Hua; Wang, Sheng; Jin, Yun; Chen, Zhong-Qi; Fang, Yuan-Yuan; Hua, Chen-Lei; Ding, Shou-Wei; Guo, Hui-Shan

    2016-09-26

    Plant pathogenic fungi represent the largest group of disease-causing agents on crop plants, and are a constant and major threat to agriculture worldwide. Recent studies have shown that engineered production of RNA interference (RNAi)-inducing dsRNA in host plants can trigger specific fungal gene silencing and confer resistance to fungal pathogens 1-7 . Although these findings illustrate efficient uptake of host RNAi triggers by pathogenic fungi, it is unknown whether or not such an uptake mechanism has been evolved for a natural biological function in fungus-host interactions. Here, we show that in response to infection with Verticillium dahliae (a vascular fungal pathogen responsible for devastating wilt diseases in many crops) cotton plants increase production of microRNA 166 (miR166) and miR159 and export both to the fungal hyphae for specific silencing. We found that two V. dahliae genes encoding a Ca 2+ -dependent cysteine protease (Clp-1) and an isotrichodermin C-15 hydroxylase (HiC-15), and targeted by miR166 and miR159, respectively, are both essential for fungal virulence. Notably, V. dahliae strains expressing either Clp-1 or HiC-15 rendered resistant to the respective miRNA exhibited drastically enhanced virulence in cotton plants. Together, our findings identify a novel defence strategy of host plants by exporting specific miRNAs to induce cross-kingdom gene silencing in pathogenic fungi and confer disease resistance.

  18. Commensal Bacteroides species induce colitis in host-genotype-specific fashion in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloom, Seth M; Bijanki, Vinieth N; Nava, Gerardo M; Sun, Lulu; Malvin, Nicole P; Donermeyer, David L; Dunne, W Michael; Allen, Paul M; Stappenbeck, Thaddeus S

    2011-05-19

    The intestinal microbiota is important for induction of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is associated with complex shifts in microbiota composition, but it is unclear whether specific bacterial subsets induce IBD and, if so, whether their proportions in the microbiota are altered during disease. Here, we fulfilled Koch's postulates in host-genotype-specific fashion using a mouse model of IBD with human-relevant disease-susceptibility mutations. From screening experiments we isolated common commensal Bacteroides species, introduced them into antibiotic-pretreated mice, and quantitatively reisolated them in culture. The bacteria colonized IBD-susceptible and -nonsusceptible mice equivalently, but induced disease exclusively in susceptible animals. Conversely, commensal Enterobacteriaceae were >100-fold enriched during spontaneous disease, but an Enterobacteriaceae isolate failed to induce disease in antibiotic-pretreated mice despite robust colonization. We thus demonstrate that IBD-associated microbiota alterations do not necessarily reflect underlying disease etiology. These findings establish important experimental criteria and a conceptual framework for understanding microbial contributions to IBD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Non-oncogenic Acute Viral Infections Disrupt Anti-cancer Responses and Lead to Accelerated Cancer-Specific Host Death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederick J. Kohlhapp

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In light of increased cancer prevalence and cancer-specific deaths in patients with infections, we investigated whether infections alter anti-tumor immune responses. We report that acute influenza infection of the lung promotes distal melanoma growth in the dermis and leads to accelerated cancer-specific host death. Furthermore, we show that during influenza infection, anti-melanoma CD8+ T cells are shunted from the tumor to the infection site, where they express high levels of the inhibitory receptor programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1. Immunotherapy to block PD-1 reverses this loss of anti-tumor CD8+ T cells from the tumor and decreases infection-induced tumor growth. Our findings show that acute non-oncogenic infection can promote cancer growth, raising concerns regarding acute viral illness sequelae. They also suggest an unexpected role for PD-1 blockade in cancer immunotherapy and provide insight into the immune response when faced with concomitant challenges.

  20. Commensal Bacteroides species induce colitis in host-genotype-specific fashion in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloom, Seth M.; Bijanki, Vinieth N.; Nava, Gerardo M.; Sun, Lulu; Malvin, Nicole P.; Donermeyer, David L.; Dunne, W. Michael; Allen, Paul M.; Stappenbeck, Thaddeus S.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY The intestinal microbiota is important for induction of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is associated with complex shifts in microbiota composition, but it is unclear whether specific bacterial subsets induce IBD and, if so, whether their proportions in the microbiota are altered during disease. Here we fulfilled Koch’s postulates in host-genotype-specific fashion using a mouse model of IBD with human-relevant disease-susceptibility mutations. From screening experiments we isolated common commensal Bacteroides species, introduced them into antibiotic-pretreated mice, and quantitatively re-isolated them in culture. The bacteria colonized IBD-susceptible and non-susceptible mice equivalently, but induced disease exclusively in susceptible animals. Conversely, commensal Enterobacteriaceae were >100-fold enriched during spontaneous disease but an Enterobacteriaceae isolate failed to induce disease in antibiotic-pretreated mice despite robust colonization. We thus demonstrate that IBD-associated microbiota alterations do not necessarily reflect underlying disease etiology. These findings establish important experimental criteria and a conceptual framework for understanding microbial contributions to IBD. PMID:21575910

  1. The influenza fingerprints: NS1 and M1 proteins contribute to specific host cell ultrastructure signatures upon infection by different influenza A viruses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terrier, Olivier; Moules, Vincent; Carron, Coralie; Cartet, Gaeelle [Equipe VirCell, Laboratoire de Virologie et Pathologie Humaine, VirPath EMR 4610, Universite de Lyon, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Faculte de medecine RTH Laennec, rue Guillaume Paradin, F-69008 Lyon (France); Frobert, Emilie [Laboratoire de Virologie, Centre de Biologie et de Pathologie Est, Hospices Civils de Lyon, 59 boulevard Pinel, F-69677 Bron Cedex, Lyon (France); Yver, Matthieu; Traversier, Aurelien [Equipe VirCell, Laboratoire de Virologie et Pathologie Humaine, VirPath EMR 4610, Universite de Lyon, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Faculte de medecine RTH Laennec, rue Guillaume Paradin, F-69008 Lyon (France); Wolff, Thorsten [Division of Influenza/Respiratory Viruses, Robert Koch Institute, Nordufer 20, D-13353 Berlin (Germany); Riteau, Beatrice [Laboratoire de Virologie et Pathologie Humaine, VirPath EMR 4610, Universite de Lyon, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Faculte de medecine RTH Laennec, rue Guillaume Paradin, F-69008 Lyon (France); Naffakh, Nadia [Institut Pasteur, Unite de Genetique Moleculaire des Virus Respiratoires, URA CNRS 3015, EA302 Universite Paris Diderot, Paris (France); and others

    2012-10-10

    Influenza A are nuclear replicating viruses which hijack host machineries in order to achieve optimal infection. Numerous functional virus-host interactions have now been characterized, but little information has been gathered concerning their link to the virally induced remodeling of the host cellular architecture. In this study, we infected cells with several human and avian influenza viruses and we have analyzed their ultrastructural modifications by using electron and confocal microscopy. We discovered that infections lead to a major and systematic disruption of nucleoli and the formation of a large number of diverse viral structures showing specificity that depended on the subtype origin and genomic composition of viruses. We identified NS1 and M1 proteins as the main actors in the remodeling of the host ultra-structure and our results suggest that each influenza A virus strain could be associated with a specific cellular fingerprint, possibly correlated to the functional properties of their viral components.

  2. The influenza fingerprints: NS1 and M1 proteins contribute to specific host cell ultrastructure signatures upon infection by different influenza A viruses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terrier, Olivier; Moules, Vincent; Carron, Coralie; Cartet, Gaëlle; Frobert, Emilie; Yver, Matthieu; Traversier, Aurelien; Wolff, Thorsten; Riteau, Beatrice; Naffakh, Nadia

    2012-01-01

    Influenza A are nuclear replicating viruses which hijack host machineries in order to achieve optimal infection. Numerous functional virus–host interactions have now been characterized, but little information has been gathered concerning their link to the virally induced remodeling of the host cellular architecture. In this study, we infected cells with several human and avian influenza viruses and we have analyzed their ultrastructural modifications by using electron and confocal microscopy. We discovered that infections lead to a major and systematic disruption of nucleoli and the formation of a large number of diverse viral structures showing specificity that depended on the subtype origin and genomic composition of viruses. We identified NS1 and M1 proteins as the main actors in the remodeling of the host ultra-structure and our results suggest that each influenza A virus strain could be associated with a specific cellular fingerprint, possibly correlated to the functional properties of their viral components.

  3. Empirical support for optimal virulence in a castrating parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knut Helge Jensen

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The trade-off hypothesis for the evolution of virulence predicts that parasite transmission stage production and host exploitation are balanced such that lifetime transmission success (LTS is maximised. However, the experimental evidence for this prediction is weak, mainly because LTS, which indicates parasite fitness, has been difficult to measure. For castrating parasites, this simple model has been modified to take into account that parasites convert host reproductive resources into transmission stages. Parasites that kill the host too early will hardly benefit from these resources, while postponing the killing of the host results in diminished returns. As predicted from optimality models, a parasite inducing castration should therefore castrate early, but show intermediate levels of virulence, where virulence is measured as time to host killing. We studied virulence in an experimental system where a bacterial parasite castrates its host and produces spores that are not released until after host death. This permits estimating the LTS of the parasite, which can then be related to its virulence. We exposed replicate individual Daphnia magna (Crustacea of one host clone to the same amount of bacterial spores and followed individuals until their death. We found that the parasite shows strong variation in the time to kill its host and that transmission stage production peaks at an intermediate level of virulence. A further experiment tested for the genetic basis of variation in virulence by comparing survival curves of daphniids infected with parasite spores obtained from early killing versus late killing infections. Hosts infected with early killer spores had a significantly higher death rate as compared to those infected with late killers, indicating that variation in time to death was at least in part caused by genetic differences among parasites. We speculate that the clear peak in lifetime reproductive success at intermediate killing times

  4. Diverse amino acid changes at specific positions in the N-terminal region of the coat protein allow Plum pox virus to adapt to new hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonell, Alberto; Maliogka, Varvara I; Pérez, José de Jesús; Salvador, Beatriz; León, David San; García, Juan Antonio; Simón-Mateo, Carmen

    2013-10-01

    Plum pox virus (PPV)-D and PPV-R are two isolates from strain D of PPV that differ in host specificity. Previous analyses of chimeras originating from PPV-R and PPV-D suggested that the N terminus of the coat protein (CP) includes host-specific pathogenicity determinants. Here, these determinants were mapped precisely by analyzing the infectivity in herbaceous and woody species of chimeras containing a fragment of the 3' region of PPV-D (including the region coding for the CP) in a PPV-R backbone. These chimeras were not infectious in Prunus persica, but systemically infected Nicotiana clevelandii and N. benthamiana when specific amino acids were modified or deleted in a short 30-amino-acid region of the N terminus of the CP. Most of these mutations did not reduce PPV fitness in Prunus spp. although others impaired systemic infection in this host. We propose a model in which the N terminus of the CP, highly relevant for virus systemic movement, is targeted by a host defense mechanism in Nicotiana spp. Mutations in this short region allow PPV to overcome the defense response in this host but can compromise the efficiency of PPV systemic movement in other hosts such as Prunus spp.

  5. Host specificity, phenotype matching and the evolution of reproductive isolation in a coevolved plant-pollinator mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himler, Anna G; Machado, Carlos A

    2009-12-01

    Coevolutionary interactions between plants and their associated pollinators and seed dispersers are thought to have promoted the diversification of flowering plants (Raven 1977; Regal 1977; Stebbins 1981). The actual mechanisms by which pollinators could drive species diversification in plants are not fully understood. However, it is thought that pollinator host specialization can influence the evolution of reproductive isolation among plant populations because the pollinator's choice of host is what determines patterns of gene flow in its host plant, and host choice may also have important consequences on pollinator and host fitness (Grant 1949; Bawa 1992). In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Smith et al. (2009) present a very interesting study that addresses how host specialization affects pollinator fitness and patterns of gene flow in a plant host. Several aspects of this study match elements of a seminal mathematical model of plant-pollinator codivergence (Kiester et al. 1984) suggesting that reciprocal selection for matched plant and pollinator reproductive traits may lead to speciation in the host and its pollinator when there is strong host specialization and a pattern of geographic subdivision. Smith et al.'s study represents an important step to fill the gap in our understanding of how reciprocal selection may lead to speciation in coevolved plant-pollinator mutualisms.

  6. 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

  7. Genetic diversity and host specificity varies across three genera of blood parasites in ducks of the Pacific Americas Flyway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Andrew B.; Smith, Matthew M.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Ramey, Andrew M.

    2015-01-01

    Birds of the order Anseriformes, commonly referred to as waterfowl, are frequently infected by Haemosporidia of the genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon via dipteran vectors. We analyzed nucleotide sequences of the Cytochrome b (Cytb) gene from parasites of these genera detected in six species of ducks from Alaska and California, USA to characterize the genetic diversity of Haemosporidia infecting waterfowl at two ends of the Pacific Americas Flyway. In addition, parasite Cytb sequences were compared to those available on a public database to investigate specificity of genetic lineages to hosts of the order Anseriformes. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity of Haemoproteus Cytb sequences was lower than was detected for Plasmodium and Leucocytozoon parasites. Although waterfowl are presumed to be infected by only a single species of Leucocytozoon, L. simondi, diversity indices were highest for haplotypes from this genus and sequences formed five distinct clades separated by genetic distances of 4.9%–7.6%, suggesting potential cryptic speciation. All Haemoproteus andLeucocytozoon haplotypes derived from waterfowl samples formed monophyletic clades in phylogenetic analyses and were unique to the order Anseriformes with few exceptions. In contrast, waterfowl-origin Plasmodium haplotypes were identical or closely related to lineages found in other avian orders. Our results suggest a more generalist strategy for Plasmodiumparasites infecting North American waterfowl as compared to those of the generaHaemoproteus and Leucocytozoon.

  8. Repeatedly evolved host-specific ectosymbioses between sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and amphipods living in a cave ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Bauermeister

    Full Text Available Ectosymbioses between invertebrates and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria are widespread in sulfidic marine environments and have evolved independently in several invertebrate phyla. The first example from a freshwater habitat, involving Niphargus ictus amphipods and filamentous Thiothrix ectosymbionts, was recently reported from the sulfide-rich Frasassi caves in Italy. Subsequently, two new Niphargus species, N. frasassianus and N. montanarius, were discovered within Frasassi and found to co-occur with N. ictus. Using a variety of microscopic and molecular techniques, we found that all three Frasassi-dwelling Niphargus species harbor Thiothrix ectosymbionts, which belong to three distinct phylogenetic clades (named T1, T2, and T3. T1 and T3 Thiothrix dominate the N. frasassianus ectosymbiont community, whereas T2 and T3 are prevalent on N. ictus and N. montanarius. Relative distribution patterns of the three ectosymbionts are host species-specific and consistent over different sampling locations and collection years. Free-living counterparts of T1-T3 are rare or absent in Frasassi cave microbial mats, suggesting that ectosymbiont transmission among Niphargus occurs primarily through inter- or intraspecific inoculations. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the Niphargus-Thiothrix association has evolved independently at least two times. While ectosymbioses with T1 and T2 may have been established within Frasassi, T3 ectosymbionts seem to have been introduced to the cave system by Niphargus.

  9. Host specific diversity in Lactobacillus johnsonii as evidenced by a major chromosomal inversion and phage resistance mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinane, Caitriona M; Kent, Robert M; Norberg, Sarah; Hill, Colin; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; Stanton, Catherine; Ross, R Paul

    2011-04-20

    Genetic diversity and genomic rearrangements are a driving force in bacterial evolution and niche adaptation. We sequenced and annotated the genome of Lactobacillus johnsonii DPC6026, a strain isolated from the porcine intestinal tract. Although the genome of DPC6026 is similar in size (1.97 mbp) and GC content (34.8%) to the sequenced human isolate L. johnsonii NCC 533, a large symmetrical inversion of approximately 750 kb differentiated the two strains. Comparative analysis among 12 other strains of L. johnsonii including 8 porcine, 3 human and 1 poultry isolate indicated that the genome architecture found in DPC6026 is more common within the species than that of NCC 533. Furthermore a number of unique features were annotated in DPC6026, some of which are likely to have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and contribute to protection against phage infection. A putative type III restriction-modification system was identified, as were novel Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) elements. Interestingly, these particular elements are not widely distributed among L. johnsonii strains. Taken together these data suggest intra-species genomic rearrangements and significant genetic diversity within the L. johnsonii species and indicate towards a host-specific divergence of L. johnsonii strains with respect to genome inversion and phage exposure.

  10. Host specific diversity in Lactobacillus johnsonii as evidenced by a major chromosomal inversion and phage resistance mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitriona M Guinane

    Full Text Available Genetic diversity and genomic rearrangements are a driving force in bacterial evolution and niche adaptation. We sequenced and annotated the genome of Lactobacillus johnsonii DPC6026, a strain isolated from the porcine intestinal tract. Although the genome of DPC6026 is similar in size (1.97 mbp and GC content (34.8% to the sequenced human isolate L. johnsonii NCC 533, a large symmetrical inversion of approximately 750 kb differentiated the two strains. Comparative analysis among 12 other strains of L. johnsonii including 8 porcine, 3 human and 1 poultry isolate indicated that the genome architecture found in DPC6026 is more common within the species than that of NCC 533. Furthermore a number of unique features were annotated in DPC6026, some of which are likely to have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer (HGT and contribute to protection against phage infection. A putative type III restriction-modification system was identified, as were novel Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR elements. Interestingly, these particular elements are not widely distributed among L. johnsonii strains. Taken together these data suggest intra-species genomic rearrangements and significant genetic diversity within the L. johnsonii species and indicate towards a host-specific divergence of L. johnsonii strains with respect to genome inversion and phage exposure.

  11. Differential recognition and hydrolysis of host carbohydrate antigens by Streptococcus pneumoniae family 98 glycoside hydrolases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Melanie A; Whitworth, Garrett E; El Warry, Nahida; Randriantsoa, Mialy; Samain, Eric; Burke, Robert D; Vocadlo, David J; Boraston, Alisdair B

    2009-09-18

    The presence of a fucose utilization operon in the Streptococcus pneumoniae genome and its established importance in virulence indicates a reliance of this bacterium on the harvesting of host fucose-containing glycans. The identities of these glycans, however, and how they are harvested is presently unknown. The biochemical and high resolution x-ray crystallographic analysis of two family 98 glycoside hydrolases (GH98s) from distinctive forms of the fucose utilization operon that originate from different S. pneumoniae strains reveal that one enzyme, the predominant type among pneumococcal isolates, has a unique endo-beta-galactosidase activity on the LewisY antigen. Altered active site topography in the other species of GH98 enzyme tune its endo-beta-galactosidase activity to the blood group A and B antigens. Despite their different specificities, these enzymes, and by extension all family 98 glycoside hydrolases, use an inverting catalytic mechanism. Many bacterial and viral pathogens exploit host carbohydrate antigens for adherence as a precursor to colonization or infection. However, this is the first evidence of bacterial endoglycosidase enzymes that are known to play a role in virulence and are specific for distinct host carbohydrate antigens. The strain-specific distribution of two distinct types of GH98 enzymes further suggests that S. pneumoniae strains may specialize to exploit host-specific antigens that vary from host to host, a factor that may feature in whether a strain is capable of colonizing a host or establishing an invasive infection.

  12. Gene expression of a green fluorescent protein homolog as a host-specific biomarker of heat stress within a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Keune, C; Dove, S

    2008-01-01

    Recent incidences of mass coral bleaching indicate that major reef building corals are increasingly suffering thermal stress associated with climate-related temperature increases. The development of pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry has enabled rapid detection of the onset of thermal stress within coral algal symbionts, but sensitive biomarkers of thermal stress specific to the host coral have been slower to emerge. Differential display reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (DDRT-PCR) was used to produce fingerprints of gene expression for the reef-building coral Acropora millepora exposed to 33 degrees C. Changes in the expression of 23 out of 399 putative genes occurred within 144 h. Down-regulation of one host-specific gene (AmA1a) occurred within just 6 h. Full-length sequencing revealed the product of this gene to be an all-protein chromatophore (green fluorescent protein [GFP]-homolog). RT-PCR revealed consistent down-regulation of this GFP-homolog for three replicate colonies within 6 h at both 32 degrees C and 33 degrees C but not at lower temperatures. Down-regulation of this host gene preceded significant decreases in the photosynthetic activity of photosystem II (dark-adapted F (v)/F (m)) of algal symbionts as measured by PAM fluorometry. Gene expression of host-specific genes such as GFP-homologs may therefore prove to be highly sensitive indicators for the onset of thermal stress within host coral cells.

  13. Wheat streak mosaic virus coat protein is a host-specific long-distance transport determinant in oat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viral determinants involved in systemic infection of hosts by monocot-infecting plant viruses are poorly understood. Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV, genus Tritimovirus, family Potyviridae) exclusively infects monocotyledonous crops such as wheat, oat, barley, maize, triticale, and rye. Previously, ...

  14. Quantitative analysis of commensal Escherichia coli populations reveals host-specific enterotypes at the intra-species level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smati, Mounira; Clermont, Olivier; Bleibtreu, Alexandre; Fourreau, Frédéric; David, Anthony; Daubié, Anne-Sophie; Hignard, Cécile; Loison, Odile; Picard, Bertrand; Denamur, Erick

    2015-08-01

    The primary habitat of the Escherichia coli species is the gut of warm-blooded vertebrates. The E. coli species is structured into four main phylogenetic groups A, B1, B2, and D. We estimated the relative proportions of these phylogroups in the feces of 137 wild and domesticated animals with various diets living in the Ile de France (Paris) region by real-time PCR. We distinguished three main clusters characterized by a particular abundance of two or more phylogroups within the E. coli animal commensal populations, which we called "enterocolitypes" by analogy with the enterotypes defined in the human gut microbiota at the genus level. These enterocolitypes were characterized by a dominant (>50%) B2, B1, or A phylogroup and were associated with different host species, diets, and habitats: wild and herbivorous species (wild rabbits and deer), domesticated herbivorous species (domesticated rabbits, horses, sheep, and cows), and omnivorous species (boar, pigs, and chickens), respectively. By analyzing retrospectively the data obtained using the same approach from 98 healthy humans living in Ile de France (Smati et al. 2013, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79, 5005-5012), we identified a specific human enterocolitype characterized by the dominant and/or exclusive (>90%) presence of phylogroup B2. We then compared B2 strains isolated from animals and humans, and revealed that human and animal strains differ regarding O-type and B2 subgroup. Moreover, two genes, sfa/foc and clbQ, were associated with the exclusive character of strains, observed only in humans. In conclusion, a complex network of interactions exists at several levels (genus and intra-species) within the intestinal microbiota. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Genome-wide screen of Pseudomonas aeruginosa In Saccharomyces cerevisiae identifies new virulence factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafat eZrieq

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a human opportunistic pathogen that causes mortality in cystic fibrosis and immunocompromised patients. While many virulence factors of this pathogen have already been identified, several remain to be discovered. In this respect we set an unprecedented genome-wide screen of a P. aeruginosa expression library based on a yeast growth phenotype. 51 candidates were selected in a three-round screening process. The robustness of the screen was validated by the selection of three well known secreted proteins including one demonstrated virulence factor, the protease LepA. Further in silico sorting of the 51 candidates highlighted three potential new Pseudomonas effector candidates (Pec. By testing the cytotoxicity of wild type P. aeruginosa vs pec mutants towards macrophages and the virulence in the Caenorhabditis elegans model, we demonstrated that the three selected Pecs are novel virulence factors of P. aeruginosa. Additional cellular localization experiments in the host revealed specific localization for Pec1 and Pec2 that could inform about their respective functions.

  16. A preliminary survey of M. hyopneumoniae virulence factors based on comparative genomic analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrique Bunselmeyer Ferreira

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is the etiological agent of porcine enzootic pneumonia (PEP, a major problem for the pig industry. The mechanisms of M. hyopneumoniae pathogenicity allow to predict the existence of several classes of virulence factors, whose study has been essentially restricted to the characterization of adhesion-related and major antigenic proteins. The now available complete sequences of the genomes of two pathogenic and one non-pathogenic strain of M. hyopneumoniae allowed to use a comparative genomics approach to putatively identify virulence genes. In this preliminary survey, we were able to identify 118 CDSs encoding putative virulence factors, based on specific criteria ranging from predicted cell surface location or variation between strains to previous functional studies showing antigenicity or involvement in host-pathogen interaction. This survey is expected to serve as a first step towards the functional characterization of new virulence genes/proteins that will be important not only for a better comprehension of M. hyopneumoniae biology, but also for the development of new and improved protocols for PEP vaccination, diagnosis and treatment.

  17. 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...

  18. Site-specific deletions of chromosomally located DNA segments with the multimer resolution system of broad-host-range plasmid RP4

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sternberg, Claus; Eberl, Leo; Sanchezromero, Juan M.

    1995-01-01

    The multimer resolution system (mrs) of the broad-host-range plasmid RP4 has been exploited to develop a general method that permits the precise excision of chromosomal segments in a variety of gram-negative bacteria. The procedure is based on the site-specific recombination between two directly ...

  19. DNA Fingerprinting To Improve Data Collection Efficiency and Yield in a Host-Specificity Test of a Weed Biological Control Candidate

    Science.gov (United States)

    An open-field test was conducted in southern France to assess the host-specificity of Ceratapion basicorne, a candidate for biological control of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis; YST). Test plants were infested by naturally occurring populations of C. basicorne but were also exposed to s...

  20. The Mouse Intestinal Bacterial Collection (miBC) provides host-specific insight into cultured diversity and functional potential of the gut microbiota

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lagkouvardos, Ilias; Pukall, Rüdiger; Abt, Birte

    2016-01-01

    species are specific to the mouse intestine and that a minimal consortium of 18 strains covered 50-75% of the known functional potential of metagenomes. The present work will sustain future research on microbiota-host interactions in health and disease, as it will facilitate targeted colonization...

  1. Analysis of multilocus sequence typing and virulence characterization of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from Chinese retail ready-to-eat food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi eWu

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Eighty Listeria monocytogenes isolates were obtained from Chinese retail ready-to-eat (RTE food and were previously characterized with serotyping and antibiotic susceptibility tests. The aim of this study was to characterize the subtype and virulence potential of these L. monocytogenes isolates by multilocus sequence typing (MLST, virulence-associate genes, epidemic clones (ECs and sequence analysis of the important virulence factor: internalin A (inlA. The result of MLST revealed that these L. monocytogenes isolates belonged to 14 different sequence types (STs. With the exception of four new STs (ST804, ST805, ST806 and ST807, all other STs observed in this study have been associated with human listeriosis and outbreaks to varying extents. Six virulence-associate genes (inlA, inlB, inlC, inlJ, hly and llsX were selected and their presence was investigated using PCR. All strains carried inlA, inlB, inlC, inlJ, and hly, whereas 38.8% (31/80 of strains harbored the listeriolysin S genes (llsX. A multiplex PCR assay was used to evaluate the presence of markers specific to epidemic clones of L. monocytogenes and identified 26.3% (21/80 of ECI in the 4b-4d-4e strains. Further study of inlA sequencing revealed that most strains contained the full-length InlA required for host cell invasion, whereas three mutations lead to premature stop codons (PMSC within a novel PMSCs at position 326 (GAA→TAA. MLST and inlA sequence analysis results were concordant, and different virulence potentials within isolates were observed. These findings suggest that L. monocytogenes isolates from RTE food in China could be virulent and be capable of causing human illness. Furthermore, the STs and virulence profiles of L. monocytogenes isolates have significant implications for epidemiological and public health studies of this pathogen.

  2. Analysis of Multilocus Sequence Typing and Virulence Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes Isolates from Chinese Retail Ready-to-Eat Food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shi; Wu, Qingping; Zhang, Jumei; Chen, Moutong; Guo, Weipeng

    2016-01-01

    Eighty Listeria monocytogenes isolates were obtained from Chinese retail ready-to-eat (RTE) food and were previously characterized with serotyping and antibiotic susceptibility tests. The aim of this study was to characterize the subtype and virulence potential of these L. monocytogenes isolates by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), virulence-associate genes, epidemic clones (ECs), and sequence analysis of the important virulence factor: internalin A (inlA). The result of MLST revealed that these L. monocytogenes isolates belonged to 14 different sequence types (STs). With the exception of four new STs (ST804, ST805, ST806, and ST807), all other STs observed in this study have been associated with human listeriosis and outbreaks to varying extents. Six virulence-associate genes (inlA, inlB, inlC, inlJ, hly, and llsX) were selected and their presence was investigated using PCR. All strains carried inlA, inlB, inlC, inlJ, and hly, whereas 38.8% (31/80) of strains harbored the listeriolysin S genes (llsX). A multiplex PCR assay was used to evaluate the presence of markers specific to epidemic clones of L. monocytogenes and identified 26.3% (21/80) of ECI in the 4b-4d-4e strains. Further study of inlA sequencing revealed that most strains contained the full-length InlA required for host cell invasion, whereas three mutations lead to premature stop codons (PMSC) within a novel PMSCs at position 326 (GAA → TAA). MLST and inlA sequence analysis results were concordant, and different virulence potentials within isolates were observed. These findings suggest that L. monocytogenes isolates from RTE food in China could be virulent and be capable of causing human illness. Furthermore, the STs and virulence profiles of L. monocytogenes isolates have significant implications for epidemiological and public health studies of this pathogen.

  3. The Importance of the KR-Rich Region of the Coat Protein of Ourmia melon virus for Host Specificity, Tissue Tropism, and Interference With Antiviral Defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Marika; Vallino, Marta; Abbà, Simona; Ciuffo, Marina; Balestrini, Raffaella; Genre, Andrea; Turina, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    The N-terminal region of the Ourmia melon virus (OuMV) coat protein (CP) contains a short lysine/arginine-rich (KR) region. By alanine scanning mutagenesis, we showed that the KR region influences pathogenicity and virulence of OuMV without altering viral particle assembly. A mutant, called OuMV6710, with three basic residue substitutions in the KR region, was impaired in the ability to maintain the initial systemic infection in Nicotiana benthamiana and to infect both cucumber and melon plants systemically. The integrity of this protein region was also crucial for encapsidation of viral genomic RNA; in fact, certain mutations within the KR region partially compromised the RNA encapsidation efficiency of the CP. In Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0, OuMV6710 was impaired in particle accumulation; however, this phenotype was abolished in dcl2/dcl4 and dcl2/dcl3/dcl4 Arabidopsis mutants defective for antiviral silencing. Moreover, in contrast to CPwt, in situ immunolocalization experiments indicated that CP6710 accumulates efficiently in the spongy mesophyll tissue of infected N. benthamiana and A. thaliana leaves but only occasionally infects palisade tissues. These results provided strong evidence of a crucial role for OuMV CP during viral infection and highlighted the relevance of the KR region in determining tissue tropism, host range, pathogenicity, and RNA affinity, which may be all correlated with a possible CP silencing-suppression activity.

  4. 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

  5. Lack of population genetic structure and host specificity in the bat fly, Cyclopodia horsfieldi, across species of Pteropus bats in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olival, Kevin J; Dick, Carl W; Simmons, Nancy B; Morales, Juan Carlos; Melnick, Don J; Dittmar, Katharina; Perkins, Susan L; Daszak, Peter; Desalle, Rob

    2013-08-08

    Population-level studies of parasites have the potential to elucidate patterns of host movement and cross-species interactions that are not evident from host genealogy alone. Bat flies are obligate and generally host-specific blood-feeding parasites of bats. Old-World flies in the family Nycteribiidae are entirely wingless and depend on their hosts for long-distance dispersal; their population genetics has been unstudied to date. We collected a total of 125 bat flies from three Pteropus species (Pteropus vampyrus, P. hypomelanus, and P. lylei) from eight localities in Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam. We identified specimens morphologically and then sequenced three mitochondrial DNA gene fragments (CoI, CoII, cytB; 1744 basepairs total) from a subset of 45 bat flies. We measured genetic diversity, molecular variance, and population genetic subdivision (FST), and used phylogenetic and haplotype network analyses to quantify parasite genetic structure across host species and localities. All flies were identified as Cyclopodia horsfieldi with the exception of two individuals of Eucampsipoda sundaica. Low levels of population genetic structure were detected between populations of Cyclopodia horsfieldi from across a wide geographic range (~1000 km), and tests for isolation by distance were rejected. AMOVA results support a lack of geographic and host-specific population structure, with molecular variance primarily partitioned within populations. Pairwise FST values from flies collected from island populations of Pteropus hypomelanus in East and West Peninsular Malaysia supported predictions based on previous studies of host genetic structure. The lack of population genetic structure and morphological variation observed in Cyclopodia horsfieldi is most likely due to frequent contact between flying fox species and subsequent high levels of parasite gene flow. Specifically, we suggest that Pteropus vampyrus may facilitate movement of bat flies between the three Pteropus

  6. Plasmid-Mediated Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence in Gram-negatives: the Klebsiella pneumoniae Paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Maria S; Traglia, German M; Lin, David L; Tran, Tung; Tolmasky, Marcelo E

    Plasmids harbor genes coding for specific functions including virulence factors and antibiotic resistance that permit bacteria to survive the hostile environment found in the host and resist treatment. Together with other genetic elements such as integrons and transposons, and using a variety of mechanisms, plasmids participate in the dissemination of these traits resulting in the virtual elimination of barriers among different kinds of bacteria. In this article we review the current information about physiology and role in virulence and antibiotic resistance of plasmids from the gram-negative opportunistic pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae . This bacterium has acquired multidrug resistance and is the causative agent of serious communityand hospital-acquired infections. It is also included in the recently defined ESKAPE group of bacteria that cause most of US hospital infections.

  7. Proteomic Analysis of Rhizoctonia solani Identifies Infection-specific, Redox Associated Proteins and Insight into Adaptation to Different Plant Hosts*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jonathan P.; Hane, James K.; Stoll, Thomas; Pain, Nicholas; Hastie, Marcus L.; Kaur, Parwinder; Hoogland, Christine; Gorman, Jeffrey J.; Singh, Karam B.

    2016-01-01

    Rhizoctonia solani is an important root infecting pathogen of a range of food staples worldwide including wheat, rice, maize, soybean, potato and others. Conventional resistance breeding strategies are hindered by the absence of tractable genetic resistance in any crop host. Understanding the biology and pathogenicity mechanisms of this fungus is important for addressing these disease issues, however, little is known about how R. solani causes disease. This study capitalizes on recent genomic studies by applying mass spectrometry based proteomics to identify soluble, membrane-bound and culture filtrate proteins produced under wheat infection and vegetative growth conditions. Many of the proteins found in the culture filtrate had predicted functions relating to modification of the plant cell wall, a major activity required for pathogenesis on the plant host, including a number found only under infection conditions. Other infection related proteins included a high proportion of proteins with redox associated functions and many novel proteins without functional classification. The majority of infection only proteins tested were confirmed to show transcript up-regulation during infection including a thaumatin which increased susceptibility to R. solani when expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. In addition, analysis of expression during infection of different plant hosts highlighted how the infection strategy of this broad host range pathogen can be adapted to the particular host being encountered. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002806. PMID:26811357

  8. Pathogenesis of virulent and attenuated foot-and-mouth disease virus in cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arzt, Jonathan; Pacheco, Juan M; Stenfeldt, Carolina; Rodriguez, Luis L

    2017-05-02

    of the mutant is more responsible for attenuation than differences in host immunological factors. These results complement previous studies by providing data of high-granularity describing tissue-specific tropism of FMDV and by demonstrating microscopic localization of virulent and attenuated clones of the same field-strain FMDV.

  9. Age-specific interaction between the parasitoid, Encarsia formosa and its host, the silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Strain B

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing S. Hu

    2003-08-01

    Full Text Available The effect of hostage, the instar of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius parasitized, on the growth and development of Encarsia formosa (Gahan was studied. E. formosa was able to parasitize and complete its life cycle no matter which instar of B. tabaci (Strain B, [also identified as B. argentifolii (Bellows and Perring], was provided for oviposition, but parasitoid development was significantly slower when 1st or 2nd instar B. tabaci rather than 3rd or 4th instars were parasitized. Host age influenced the day on which E. formosa nymphs hatching from eggs was first observed. Mean embryonic development was significantly longer when 1st (5.4 days rather than 2nd, 3rd or 4th instars (4.1, 3.4 and 3.5 days, respectively were parasitized. The duration of the 1st instar parasitoid and the pupa, but not the 2nd or 3rd instar parasitoid, were also significantly greater when 1st instars were parasitized than when older host instars were parasitized. Interestingly, no matter which instar was parasitized, the parasitoid did not molt to the 3rd instar until the 4th instar host had reached a depth of about 0.23 mm (Stage 4-5 and had initiated the nymphal-adult molt and adult development. Histological studies revealed that whitefly eye and wing structures had either disintegrated or were adult in nature whenever a 3rd instar parasitoid was present. It appears, then, that the molt of the parasitoid to its last instar is associated with the host whitefly's nymphal-adult molt. However, the initiation of the host's final molt, while a prerequisite for the parasitoid's 2nd-3rd instar molt, did not necessarily trigger this molt. In contrast to its significant effect on various aspects of parasitoid development, host instar did not significantly influence the mean size of the parasitoid larva, pupa, or adult. Larval and pupal length and adult head width were similar for all parasitoids, regardless of which host instar was parasitized as was adult longevity. Adult parasitoid

  10. 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.

  11. Coordinated Regulation of Virulence during Systemic Infection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Hyunjin; McDermott, Jason E.; Porwollik, Steffen; Mcclelland, Michael; Heffron, Fred

    2009-02-20

    Salmonella must respond to a myriad of environmental cues during infection of a mouse and express specific subsets of genes in a temporal and spatial manner to subvert the host defense mechanisms but these regulatory pathways are poorly established. To unravel how micro-environmental signals are processed and integrated into coordinated action, we constructed in-frame non-polar deletions of 84 regulators inferred to play a role in Salmonella typhimurium virulence and tested them in three virulence assays (intraperitoneal (i.p.), and intragastric (i.g.) infection in BALB/c mice, and persistence in SvJ129 mice). Overall 36 regulators were identified that were less virulent in at least one assay, and of those, 15 regulators were required for systemic mouse infection in an acute infection model. As a first step towards understanding the interplay between a pathogen and its host from a systems biology standpoint we focused on these 15 genes. Transcriptional profiles were obtained for each of these 15 regulators from strains grown under four different environmental conditions. These results as well as publicly available transcriptional profiles were analyzed using both network inference and cluster analysis algorithms. The analysis predicts a regulatory network in which all 15 regulators control a specific set of genes necessary for Salmonella to cause systemic infection. We tested the regulatory model by expressing a subset of the regulators in trans and monitoring transcription of 7 known virulence factors located within Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2). These experiments validated the regulatory model and showed that, for these 7 genes, the response regulator SsrB and the marR type regulator SlyA co-regulate in a regulatory cascade by integrating multiple signals.

  12. Staphylococcal Immune Evasion Proteins: Structure, Function, and Host Adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koymans, Kirsten J; Vrieling, Manouk; Gorham, Ronald D; van Strijp, Jos A G

    2017-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a successful human and animal pathogen. Its pathogenicity is linked to its ability to secrete a large amount of virulence factors. These secreted proteins interfere with many critical components of the immune system, both innate and adaptive, and hamper proper immune functioning. In recent years, numerous studies have been conducted in order to understand the molecular mechanism underlying the interaction of evasion molecules with the host immune system. Structural studies have fundamentally contributed to our understanding of the mechanisms of action of the individual factors. Furthermore, such studies revealed one of the most striking characteristics of the secreted immune evasion molecules: their conserved structure. Despite high-sequence variability, most immune evasion molecules belong to a small number of structural categories. Another remarkable characteristic is that S. aureus carries most of these virulence factors on mobile genetic elements (MGE) or ex-MGE in its accessory genome. Coevolution of pathogen and host has resulted in immune evasion molecules with a highly host-specific function and prevalence. In this review, we explore how these shared structures and genomic locations relate to function and host specificity. This is discussed in the context of therapeutic options for these immune evasion molecules in infectious as well as in inflammatory diseases.

  13. Association between virulence and triazole tolerance in the phytopathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Yang

    Full Text Available Host resistance and synthetic antimicrobials such as fungicides are two of the main approaches used to control plant diseases in conventional agriculture. Although pathogens often evolve to overcome host resistance and antimicrobials, the majority of reports have involved qualitative host - pathogen interactions or antimicrobials targeting a single pathogen protein or metabolic pathway. Studies that consider jointly the evolution of virulence, defined as the degree of damage caused to a host by parasite infection, and antimicrobial resistance are rare. Here we compared virulence and fungicide tolerance in the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola sampled from wheat fields across three continents and found a positive correlation between virulence and tolerance to a triazole fungicide. We also found that quantitative host resistance selected for higher pathogen virulence. The possible mechanisms responsible for these observations and their consequences for sustainable disease management are discussed.

  14. The EG95 Antigen of Echinococcus spp. Contains Positively Selected Amino Acids, which May Influence Host Specificity and Vaccine Efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haag, Karen Luisa; Gottstein, Bruno; Ayala, Francisco Jose

    2009-01-01

    Echinococcosis is a worldwide zoonotic parasitic disease of humans and various herbivorous domestic animals (intermediate hosts) transmitted by the contact with wild and domestic carnivores (definitive hosts), mainly foxes and dogs. Recently, a vaccine was developed showing high levels of protection against one parasite haplotype (G1) of Echinococcus granulosus, and its potential efficacy against distinct parasite variants or species is still unclear. Interestingly, the EG95 vaccine antigen is a secreted glycosylphosphatydilinositol (GPI)-anchored protein containing a fibronectin type III domain, which is ubiquitous in modular proteins involved in cell adhesion. EG95 is highly expressed in oncospheres, the parasite life cycle stage which actively invades the intermediate hosts. After amplifying and sequencing the complete CDS of 57 Echinococcus isolates belonging to 7 distinct species, we uncovered a large amount of genetic variability, which may influence protein folding. Two positively selected sites are outside the vaccine epitopes, but are predicted to alter protein conformation. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses indicate that EG95 isoform evolution is convergent with regard to the number of beta-sheets and alpha-helices. We conclude that having a variety of EG95 isoforms is adaptive for Echinococcus parasites, in terms of their ability to invade different hosts, and we propose that a mixture of isoforms could possibly maximize vaccine efficacy. PMID:19401778

  15. The Cucumber vein yellowing virus silencing suppressor P1b can functionally replace HCPro in Plum pox virus infection in a host-specific manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonell, Alberto; Dujovny, Gabriela; García, Juan Antonio; Valli, Adrian

    2012-02-01

    Plant viruses of the genera Potyvirus and Ipomovirus (Potyviridae family) use unrelated RNA silencing suppressors (RSS) to counteract antiviral RNA silencing responses. HCPro is the RSS of Potyvirus spp., and its activity is enhanced by the upstream P1 protein. Distinctively, the ipomovirus Cucumber vein yellowing virus (CVYV) lacks HCPro but contains two P1 copies in tandem (P1aP1b), the second of which functions as RSS. Using chimeras based on the potyvirus Plum pox virus (PPV), we found that P1b can functionally replace HCPro in potyviral infections of Nicotiana plants. Interestingly, P1a, the CVYV protein homologous to potyviral P1, disrupted the silencing suppression activity of P1b and reduced the infection efficiency of PPV in Nicotiana benthamiana. Testing the influence of RSS in host specificity, we found that a P1b-expressing chimera poorly infected PPV's natural host, Prunus persica. Conversely, P1b conferred on PPV chimeras the ability to replicate locally in cucumber, CVYV's natural host. The deleterious effect of P1a on PPV infection is host dependent, because the P1aP1b-expressing PPV chimera accumulated in cucumber to higher levels than PPV expressing P1b alone. These results demonstrate that a potyvirus can use different RSS, and that particular RSS and upstream P1-like proteins contribute to defining the virus host range.

  16. 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.

  17. Deconstructing host-pathogen interactions in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ethan Bier

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Many of the cellular mechanisms underlying host responses to pathogens have been well conserved during evolution. As a result, Drosophila can be used to deconstruct many of the key events in host-pathogen interactions by using a wealth of well-developed molecular and genetic tools. In this review, we aim to emphasize the great leverage provided by the suite of genomic and classical genetic approaches available in flies for decoding details of host-pathogen interactions; these findings can then be applied to studies in higher organisms. We first briefly summarize the general strategies by which Drosophila resists and responds to pathogens. We then focus on how recently developed genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi screens conducted in cells and flies, combined with classical genetic methods, have provided molecular insight into host-pathogen interactions, covering examples of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Finally, we discuss novel strategies for how flies can be used as a tool to examine how specific isolated virulence factors act on an intact host.

  18. 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.

  19. A tool based on Ligation Detection Reaction-Universal Array (LDR-UA) for the characterization of VTEC by identification of virulence-associated and serogroup-specific genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauri, Andrea; Castiglioni, Bianca; Morabito, Stefano; Tozzoli, Rosangela; Consolandi, Clarissa; Mariani, Paola

    2011-02-01

    Verocytoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) are zoonotic pathogens whose natural reservoir is represented by ruminants, particularly cattle. Infections are mainly acquired by consumption of undercooked contaminated food of animal origin, contact with infected animals and contaminated environment. VTEC O157 is the most frequently isolated serogroup from cases of human disease, however, other VTEC serogroups, such as O26, O111, O145 and O103, are increasingly reported as causing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) worldwide. The identification of VTEC is troublesome, hindering the development of effective prevention strategies. In fact, VTEC are morphologically indistinguishable from harmless E. coli and their pathogenic potential is not strictly dependent on the serogroup, but relies on the presence of a collection of virulence genes. We developed a diagnostic tool for VTEC based on the Ligation Detection Reaction coupled to Universal Array (LDR-UA) for the simultaneous identification of virulence factors and serogroup-associated genes. The method includes the investigation of 40 sites located in 13 fragments from 12 genes (sodCF1/F2, adfO, terB, ehxA, eae, vtx1, vtx2, ihp1, wzx, wbdI, rfbE, dnaK) and was evaluated by performing a trial on a collection of 67 E. coli strains, both VTEC and VT-negative E. coli, as well as on 25 isolates belonging to other related species. Results of this study showed that the LDR-UA technique was specific in identifying the target microorganism. Moreover, due to its higher throughput, the LDR-UA can be a valid and cheaper alternative to real time PCR-based (rt-PCR) methods for VTEC identification. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Subinhibitory quinupristin/dalfopristin attenuates virulence of Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koszczol, Carmen; Bernardo, Katussevani; Krönke, Martin; Krut, Oleg

    2006-09-01

    The semi-synthetic streptogramin quinupristin/dalfopristin antibiotic exerts potent bactericidal activity against Staphylococcus aureus. We investigated whether, like other bactericidal antibiotics used at subinhibitory concentrations, quinupristin/dalfopristin enhances release of toxins by Gram-positive cocci. The activity of quinupristin/dalfopristin on exotoxin release by S. aureus was investigated by 2D SDS-PAGE combined with MALDI-TOF/MS analysis and by western blotting. We show that quinupristin/dalfopristin at subinhibitory concentrations reduces the release of S. aureus factors that induce tumour necrosis factor secretion in macrophages. Furthermore, quinupristin/dalfopristin but not linezolid attenuated S. aureus-mediated killing of infected host cells. When added to S. aureus cultures at different stages of bacterial growth, quinupristin/dalfopristin reduced in a dose-dependent manner the release of specific virulence factors (e.g. autolysin, protein A, alpha- and beta-haemolysins, lipases). In contrast, other presumably non-toxic exoproteins remained unchanged. The results of the present study suggest that subinhibitory quinupristin/dalfopristin inhibits virulence factor release by S. aureus, which might be especially helpful for the treatment of S. aureus infections, where both bactericidal as well as anti-toxin activity may be advantageous.

  1. Phylogeny of Alternaria fungi known to produce host-specific toxins on the basis of variation in internal transcribed spacers of ribosomal DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusaba, M; Tsuge, T

    1995-10-01

    The internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS1 and ITS2) of ribosomal DNA from Alternaria species, including seven fungi known to produce host-specific toxins, were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction-amplification and direct sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequence data by the Neighbor-joining method showed that the seven toxin-producing fungi belong to a monophyletic group together with A. alternata. In contract, A. dianthi, A. panax, A. dauci, A. bataticola, A. porri, A. sesami and A. solani, species that can be morphologically distinguished from A. alternata, could be clearly separated from A. alternata by phylogenetic of the ITS variation. These results suggest that Alternaria pathogens which produce host-specific toxins are pathogenic variants within a single variable species, A. alternata.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Virulence profiles of bacteremic extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli: association with epidemiological and clinical features.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús Rodríguez-Baño

    Full Text Available There is scarce data about the importance of phylogroups and virulence factors (VF in bloodstream infections (BSI caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli (ESBLEC. A prospective multicenter Spanish cohort including 191 cases of BSI due to ESBLEC was studied. Phylogroups and 25 VF genes were investigated by PCR. ESBLEC were classified into clusters according to their virulence profiles. The association of phylogropus, VF, and clusters with epidemiological features were studied using multivariate analysis. Overall, 57.6%, 26.7%, and 15.7% of isolates belonged to A/B1, D and B2 phylogroups, respectively. By multivariate analysis (adjusted OR [95% CI], virulence cluster C2 was independently associated with urinary tract source (5.05 [0.96-25.48]; cluster C4 with sources other than urinary of biliary tract (2.89 [1.05-7.93], and cluster C5 with BSI in non-predisposed patients (2.80 [0.99-7.93]. Isolates producing CTX-M-9 group ESBLs and from phylogroup D predominated among cluster C2 and C5, while CTX-M-1 group of ESBL and phylogroup B2 predominantes among C4 isolates. These results suggest that host factors and previous antimicrobial use were more important than phylogroup or specific VF in the occurrence of BSI due to ESBLEC. However, some associations between virulence clusters and some specific epidemiological features were found.

  6. Monogeneans from Pangasiidae (Siluriformes in Southeast Asia: VII. Six new host-specific species of Thaparocleidus Jain, 1952 (Ancylodiscoididae from Pangasius polyuranodon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pariselle A.

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available The examination of gill parasites from Pangasius polyuranodon Bleeker, 1852 (Siluriformes, Pangasiidae revealed the presence of six new host-specific species of Monogenea, all belonging to Thaparocleidus Jain, 1952 (Monogenea, Ancylodiscoididae as defined by Lim (1996 and Lim et al. (2001: T. caestus n. sp., T. crassipenis n. sp., T. legendrei n. sp., T. levangi n. sp., T. slembroucki n. sp. and T. virgula n. sp.

  7. Pyrokinin β-neuropeptide affects necrophoretic behavior in fire ants (S. invicta), and expression of β-NP in a mycoinsecticide increases its virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yanhua; Pereira, Roberto M; Kilic, Engin; Casella, George; Keyhani, Nemat O

    2012-01-01

    Fire ants are one of the world's most damaging invasive pests, with few means for their effective control. Although ecologically friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides such as the insecticidal fungus Beauveria bassiana have been suggested for the control of fire ant populations, their use has been limited due to the low virulence of the fungus and the length of time it takes to kill its target. We present a means of increasing the virulence of the fungal agent by expressing a fire ant neuropeptide. Expression of the fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) pyrokinin β-neuropeptide (β-NP) by B. bassiana increased fungal virulence six-fold towards fire ants, decreased the LT(50), but did not affect virulence towards the lepidopteran, Galleria mellonella. Intriguingly, ants killed by the β-NP expressing fungus were disrupted in the removal of dead colony members, i.e. necrophoretic behavior. Furthermore, synthetic C-terminal amidated β-NP but not the non-amidated peptide had a dramatic effect on necrophoretic behavior. These data link chemical sensing of a specific peptide to a complex social behavior. Our results also confirm a new approach to insect control in which expression of host molecules in an insect pathogen can by exploited for target specific augmentation of virulence. The minimization of the development of potential insect resistance by our approach is discussed.

  8. Rearing history affects behaviour and performance of two virulent Nasonovia ribisnigri populations on two lettuce cultivars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broeke, ten C.J.M.; Dicke, M.; Loon, van J.J.A.

    2014-01-01

    Many aphid species have become virulent to host-plant resistance, which limits the sustainability of insect resistance breeding. However, when this adaptation to resistant plants is associated with fitness costs for the aphids, virulence can be lost in the absence of resistant plants. For two

  9. Virus-Inspired Nanogenes Free from Man-Made Materials for Host-Specific Transfection and Bio-Aided MR Imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jing-Yi; Zhang, Ming-Kang; Ding, Xian-Guang; Qiu, Wen-Xiu; Yu, Wu-Yang; Feng, Jun; Zhang, Xian-Zheng

    2018-05-01

    Many viruses have a lipid envelope derived from the host cell membrane that contributes much to the host specificity and the cellular invasion. This study puts forward a virus-inspired technology that allows targeted genetic delivery free from man-made materials. Genetic therapeutics, metal ions, and biologically derived cell membranes are nanointegrated. Vulnerable genetic therapeutics contained in the formed "nanogene" can be well protected from unwanted attacks by blood components and enzymes. The surface envelope composed of cancer cell membrane fragments enables host-specific targeting of the nanogene to the source cancer cells and homologous tumors while effectively inhibiting recognition by macrophages. High transfection efficiency highlights the potential of this technology for practical applications. Another unique merit of this technology arises from the facile combination of special biofunction of metal ions with genetic therapy. Typically, Gd(III)-involved nanogene generates a much higher T 1 relaxation rate than the clinically used Gd magnetic resonance imaging agent and harvests the enhanced MRI contrast at tumors. This virus-inspired technology points out a distinctive new avenue for the disease-specific transport of genetic therapeutics and other biomacromolecules. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. 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.

  11. Whole genome sequencing revealed host adaptation-focused genomic plasticity of pathogenic Leptospira

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yinghua; Zhu, Yongzhang; Wang, Yuezhu; Chang, Yung-Fu; Zhang, Ying; Jiang, Xiugao; Zhuang, Xuran; Zhu, Yongqiang; Zhang, Jinlong; Zeng, Lingbing; Yang, Minjun; Li, Shijun; Wang, Shengyue; Ye, Qiang; Xin, Xiaofang; Zhao, Guoping; Zheng, Huajun; Guo, Xiaokui; Wang, Junzhi

    2016-01-01

    Leptospirosis, caused by pathogenic Leptospira spp., has recently been recognized as an emerging infectious disease worldwide. Despite its severity and global importance, knowledge about the molecular pathogenesis and virulence evolution of Leptospira spp. remains limited. Here we sequenced and analyzed 102 isolates representing global sources. A high genomic variability were observed among different Leptospira species, which was attributed to massive gene gain and loss events allowing for adaptation to specific niche conditions and changing host environments. Horizontal gene transfer and gene duplication allowed the stepwise acquisition of virulence factors in pathogenic Leptospira evolved from a recent common ancestor. More importantly, the abundant expansion of specific virulence-related protein families, such as metalloproteases-associated paralogs, were exclusively identified in pathogenic species, reflecting the importance of these protein families in the pathogenesis of leptospirosis. Our observations also indicated that positive selection played a crucial role on this bacteria adaptation to hosts. These novel findings may lead to greater understanding of the global diversity and virulence evolution of Leptospira spp. PMID:26833181

  12. Species-specific interactions between algal endosymbionts and coral hosts define their bleaching response to heat and light stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abrego, David; Ulstrup, Karin E; Willis, Bette L

    2008-01-01

    The impacts of warming seas on the frequency and severity of bleaching events are well documented, but the potential for different Symbiodinium types to enhance the physiological tolerance of reef corals is not well understood. Here we compare the functionality and physiological properties...... and a potential role for host factors in determining the physiological performance of reef corals....... of juvenile corals when experimentally infected with one of two homologous Symbiodinium types and exposed to combined heat and light stress. A suite of physiological indicators including chlorophyll a fluorescence, oxygen production and respiration, as well as pigment concentration consistently demonstrated...

  13. 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.

  14. Compound- and position-specific carbon isotopic signatures of abiogenic hydrocarbons from on-land serpentinite-hosted Hakuba Happo hot spring in Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suda, Konomi; Gilbert, Alexis; Yamada, Keita; Yoshida, Naohiro; Ueno, Yuichiro

    2017-06-01

    It has been proposed that serpentinite-hosted hydrothermal/hot spring systems played a significant role in the origin and early evolution of life on early Earth because abiogenic synthesis of organic compounds may accompany serpentinization. However, production mechanisms for apparently abiogenic hydrocarbons that have been observed in the ongoing serpentinizing systems are still poorly constrained. We report a new geochemical study of hydrocarbons in an on-land serpentinite-hosted hot spring in Hakuba Happo, Japan. We have conducted both compound-specific and position-specific carbon isotopic analyses of the observed C1 to C5 hydrocarbons. A positive linear relationship between the δ13C values and the inverse carbon number is found in C1 to C5 straight-chain alkanes in the Happo sample. This isotopic trend is consistent with a simple polymerization model developed in this study. Our model assumes that, for any particular alkane, all of the subsequently added carbons have the same isotopic composition, and those are depleted in 13C with respect to the first carbon in the growing carbon chain. The fit of this model suggests that Happo alkanes can be produced via polymerization from methane with a constant kinetic isotopic fractionation of -8.9 ± 1.0‰. A similar carbon isotopic relationship among alkanes has been observed in some serpentinite-hosted seafloor hydrothermal systems, indicating that the same process is responsible for the abiological hydrocarbon in general serpentinization fields, not only in the Hakuba Happo hot spring. Moreover, our model is also applicable to other potentially abiogenic natural gases and experimentally synthesized hydrocarbon products. For the first time, the intramolecular 13C composition of propane from a natural sample derived from a serpentinite-hosted system was determined. The intramolecular 13C distribution in propane shows the important potential to identify different polymerization mechanisms that cannot be discriminated

  15. Xylose donor transport is critical for fungal virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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. Phenotypic Variation Is Almost Entirely Independent of the Host-Pathogen Relationship in Clinical Isolates of S. aureus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian D Land

    Full Text Available A key feature of Staphylococcus aureus biology is its ability to switch from an apparently benign colonizer of ~30% of the population to a cutaneous pathogen, to a deadly invasive pathogen. Little is known about the mechanisms driving this transition or the propensity of different S. aureus strains to engender different types of host-pathogen interactions. At the same time, significant weight has been given to the role of specific in vitro phenotypes in S. aureus virulence. Biofilm formation, hemolysis and pigment formation have all been associated with virulence in mice.To determine if there is a correlation between in vitro phenotype and the three types of host-pathogen relationships commonly exhibited by S. aureus in the context of its natural human host, we assayed 300 clinical isolates for phenotypes implicated in virulence including hemolysis, sensitivity to autolysis, and biofilm formation. For comparative purposes, we also assayed phenotype in 9 domesticated S. aureus strains routinely used for analysis of virulence determinants in laboratory settings.Strikingly, the clinical strains exhibited significant phenotypic uniformity in each of the assays evaluated in this study. One exception was a small, but significant, correlation between an increased propensity for biofilm formation and isolation from skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs. In contrast, we observed a high degree of phenotypic variation between common laboratory strains that exhibit virulence in mouse models. These data suggest the existence of significant evolutionary pressure on the S. aureus genome and highlight a role for host factors as a strong determinant of the host-pathogen relationship. In addition, the high degree of variation between laboratory strains emphasizes the need for caution when applying data obtained in one lab strain to the analysis of another.

  18. Comparative genomics of the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and neospora caninum: Coccidia differing in host range and transmission strategy

    KAUST Repository

    Reid, Adam James

    2012-03-22

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan parasite which infects nearly one third of the human population and is found in an extraordinary range of vertebrate hosts. Its epidemiology depends heavily on horizontal transmission, especially between rodents and its definitive host, the cat. Neospora caninum is a recently discovered close relative of Toxoplasma, whose definitive host is the dog. Both species are tissue-dwelling Coccidia and members of the phylum Apicomplexa; they share many common features, but Neospora neither infects humans nor shares the same wide host range as Toxoplasma, rather it shows a striking preference for highly efficient vertical transmission in cattle. These species therefore provide a remarkable opportunity to investigate mechanisms of host restriction, transmission strategies, virulence and zoonotic potential. We sequenced the genome of N. caninum and transcriptomes of the invasive stage of both species, undertaking an extensive comparative genomics and transcriptomics analysis. We estimate that these organisms diverged from their common ancestor around 28 million years ago and find that both genomes and gene expression are remarkably conserved. However, in N. caninum we identified an unexpected expansion of surface antigen gene families and the divergence of secreted virulence factors, including rhoptry kinases. Specifically we show that the rhoptry kinase ROP18 is pseudogenised in N. caninum and that, as a possible consequence, Neospora is unable to phosphorylate host immunity-related GTPases, as Toxoplasma does. This defense strategy is thought to be key to virulence in Toxoplasma. We conclude that the ecological niches occupied by these species are influenced by a relatively small number of gene products which operate at the host-parasite interface and that the dominance of vertical transmission in N. caninum may be associated with the evolution of reduced virulence in this species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Aging and sarcopenia associate with specific interactions between gut microbes, serum biomarkers and host physiology in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddharth, Jay; Chakrabarti, Anirikh; Pannérec, Alice; Karaz, Sonia; Morin-Rivron, Delphine; Masoodi, Mojgan; Feige, Jerome N; Parkinson, Scott James

    2017-07-17

    The microbiome has been demonstrated to play an integral role in the maintenance of many aspects of health that are also associated with aging. In order to identify areas of potential exploration and intervention, we simultaneously characterized age-related alterations in gut microbiome, muscle physiology and serum proteomic and lipidomic profiles in aged rats to define an integrated signature of the aging phenotype. We demonstrate that aging skews the composition of the gut microbiome, in particular by altering the Sutterella to Barneseilla ratio, and alters the metabolic potential of intestinal bacteria. Age-related changes of the gut microbiome were associated with the physiological decline of musculoskeletal function, and with molecular markers of nutrient processing/availability, and inflammatory/immune status in aged versus adult rats. Altogether, our study highlights that aging leads to a complex interplay between the microbiome and host physiology, and provides candidate microbial species to target physical and metabolic decline during aging by modulating gut microbial ecology.

  1. Hidden diversity and host specificity in cycliophorans; a phylogeographic analysis along the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Obst, Matthias; Funch, Peter; Gonzalo, Giribet

    2005-01-01

    In order to elucidate the evolutionary history and the population structure of the membersof the phylum Cycliophora, which live commensally on three species of lobsters, we studiedsequence variation in the mitochondrial gene cyctochromecoxidase subunit I. Overall 242sequences from 16 locations.......0504). However, itwas low for commensals onNephrops norvegicus(6 haplotypes,h= 0.3899, ππ= 0.0035), andintermediate for cycliophorans onHomarus gammarus(5 haplotypes,h= 0.3020, ππ= 0.0140).Although two of the host lobsters co-inhabit the coastal waters of Europe, a strong geneticstructure (78.45% of the observed...... genetic variation) was detected among populations on allhost species, indicating the existence of a reproductively isolated species on each lobster.In addition, genetic structure over long distances exists among populations on each hostspecies. Such patterns can be explained by the limited dispersal...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. The structures of bacteriophages K1E and K1-5 explain processive degradation of polysaccharide capsules and evolution of new host specificities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiman, Petr G; Battisti, Anthony J; Bowman, Valorie D; Stummeyer, Katharina; Mühlenhoff, Martina; Gerardy-Schahn, Rita; Scholl, Dean; Molineux, Ian J

    2007-08-17

    External polysaccharides of many pathogenic bacteria form capsules protecting the bacteria from the animal immune system and phage infection. However, some bacteriophages can digest these capsules using glycosidases displayed on the phage particle. We have utilized cryo-electron microscopy to determine the structures of phages K1E and K1-5 and thereby establish the mechanism by which these phages attain and switch their host specificity. Using a specific glycosidase, both phages penetrate the capsule and infect the neuroinvasive human pathogen Escherichia coli K1. In addition to the K1-specific glycosidase, each K1-5 particle carries a second enzyme that allows it to infect E. coli K5, whose capsule is chemically different from that of K1. The enzymes are organized into a multiprotein complex attached via an adapter protein to the virus portal vertex, through which the DNA is ejected during infection. The structure of the complex suggests a mechanism for the apparent processivity of degradation that occurs as the phage drills through the polysaccharide capsule. The enzymes recognize the adapter protein by a conserved N-terminal sequence, providing a mechanism for phages to acquire different enzymes and thus to evolve new host specificities.

  6. A nitrogen response pathway regulates virulence functions in Fusarium oxysporum via the protein kinase TOR and the bZIP protein MeaB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Berges, Manuel S; Rispail, Nicolas; Prados-Rosales, Rafael C; Di Pietro, Antonio

    2010-07-01

    During infection, fungal pathogens activate virulence mechanisms, such as host adhesion, penetration and invasive growth. In the vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum, the mitogen-activated protein kinase Fmk1 is required for plant infection and controls processes such as cellophane penetration, vegetative hyphal fusion, or root adhesion. Here, we show that these virulence-related functions are repressed by the preferred nitrogen source ammonium and restored by treatment with l-methionine sulfoximine or rapamycin, two specific inhibitors of Gln synthetase and the protein kinase TOR, respectively. Deletion of the bZIP protein MeaB also resulted in nitrogen source-independent activation of virulence mechanisms. Activation of these functions did not require the global nitrogen regulator AreA, suggesting that MeaB-mediated repression of virulence functions does not act through inhibition of AreA. Tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) supplied with ammonium rather than nitrate showed a significant reduction in vascular wilt symptoms when infected with the wild type but not with the DeltameaB strain. Nitrogen source also affected invasive growth in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae and the wheat head blight pathogen Fusarium graminearum. We propose that a conserved nitrogen-responsive pathway might operate via TOR and MeaB to control virulence in plant pathogenic fungi.

  7. A Nitrogen Response Pathway Regulates Virulence Functions in Fusarium oxysporum via the Protein Kinase TOR and the bZIP Protein MeaB[C][W

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Berges, Manuel S.; Rispail, Nicolas; Prados-Rosales, Rafael C.; Di Pietro, Antonio

    2010-01-01

    During infection, fungal pathogens activate virulence mechanisms, such as host adhesion, penetration and invasive growth. In the vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum, the mitogen-activated protein kinase Fmk1 is required for plant infection and controls processes such as cellophane penetration, vegetative hyphal fusion, or root adhesion. Here, we show that these virulence-related functions are repressed by the preferred nitrogen source ammonium and restored by treatment with l-methionine sulfoximine or rapamycin, two specific inhibitors of Gln synthetase and the protein kinase TOR, respectively. Deletion of the bZIP protein MeaB also resulted in nitrogen source–independent activation of virulence mechanisms. Activation of these functions did not require the global nitrogen regulator AreA, suggesting that MeaB-mediated repression of virulence functions does not act through inhibition of AreA. Tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) supplied with ammonium rather than nitrate showed a significant reduction in vascular wilt symptoms when infected with the wild type but not with the ΔmeaB strain. Nitrogen source also affected invasive growth in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae and the wheat head blight pathogen Fusarium graminearum. We propose that a conserved nitrogen-responsive pathway might operate via TOR and MeaB to control virulence in plant pathogenic fungi. PMID:20639450

  8. Antimicrobial medium- and long-chain free fatty acids prevent PrfA-dependent activation of virulence genes in Listeria monocytogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternkopf Lillebæk, Eva Maria; Lambert Nielsen, Stine; Scheel Thomasen, Rikke; Færgeman, Nils J; Kallipolitis, Birgitte H

    The foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of the invasive disease listeriosis. Infection by L. monocytogenes involves bacterial crossing of the intestinal barrier and intracellular replication in a variety of host cells. The PrfA protein is the master regulator of virulence factors required for bacterial entry, intracellular replication and cell-to-cell spread. PrfA-dependent activation of virulence genes occurs primarily in the blood and during intracellular infection. In contrast, PrfA does not play a significant role in regulation of virulence gene expression in the intestinal environment. In the gastrointestinal phase of infection, the bacterium encounters a variety of antimicrobial agents, including medium- and long-chain free fatty acids that are commonly found in our diet and as active components of bile. Here we show that subinhibitory concentrations of specific antimicrobial free fatty acids act to downregulate transcription of PrfA-activated virulence genes. Interestingly, the inhibitory effect is also evident in cells encoding a constitutively active variant of PrfA. Collectively, our data suggest that antimicrobial medium- and long-chain free fatty acids may act as signals to prevent PrfA-mediated activation of virulence genes in environments where PrfA activation is not required, such as in food and the gastrointestinal tract. Copyright © 2017 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  9. CorA, the magnesium/nickel/cobalt transporter, affects virulence and extracellular enzyme production in the soft rot pathogen Pectobacterium carotovorum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersey, Caleb M; Agyemang, Paul A; Dumenyo, C Korsi

    2012-01-01

    Pectobacterium carotovorum (formerly Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora) is a phytopathogenic bacterium that causes soft rot disease, characterized by water-soaked soft decay, resulting from the action of cell wall-degrading exoenzymes secreted by the pathogen. Virulence in soft rot bacteria is regulated by environmental factors, host and bacterial chemical signals, and a network of global and gene-specific bacterial regulators. We isolated a mini-Tn5 mutant of P. carotovorum that is reduced in the production of extracellular pectate lyase, protease, polygalacturonase and cellulase. The mutant is also decreased in virulence as it macerates less host tissues than its parent and is severely impaired in multiplication in planta. The inactivated gene responsible for the reduced virulent phenotype was identified as corA. CorA, a magnesium/nickel/cobalt membrane transporter, is the primary magnesium transporter for many bacteria. Compared with the parent, the CorA(-) mutant is cobalt resistant. The mutant phenotype was confirmed in parental strain P. carotovorum by marker exchange inactivation of corA. A functional corA(+) DNA from P. carotovorum restored exoenzyme production and pathogenicity to the mutants. The P. carotovorum corA(+) clone also restored motility and cobalt sensitivity to a CorA(-) mutant of Salmonella enterica. These data indicate that CorA is required for exoenzyme production and virulence in P. carotovorum. © 2011 THE AUTHORS. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY © 2011 BSPP AND BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD.

  10. Life history trade-offs and relaxed selection can decrease bacterial virulence in environmental reservoirs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauri Mikonranta

    Full Text Available Pathogen virulence is usually thought to evolve in reciprocal selection with the host. While this might be true for obligate pathogens, the life histories of opportunistic pathogens typically alternate between within-host and outside-host environments during the infection-transmission cycle. As a result, opportunistic pathogens are likely to experience conflicting selection pressures across different environments, and this could affect their virulence through life-history trait correlations. We studied these correlations experimentally by exposing an opportunistic bacterial pathogen Serratia marcescens to its natural protist predator Tetrahymena thermophila for 13 weeks, after which we measured changes in bacterial traits related to both anti-predator defence and virulence. We found that anti-predator adaptation (producing predator-resistant biofilm caused a correlative attenuation in virulence. Even though the direct mechanism was not found, reduction in virulence was most clearly connected to a predator-driven loss of a red bacterial pigment, prodigiosin. Moreover, life-history trait evolution was more divergent among replicate populations in the absence of predation, leading also to lowered virulence in some of the 'predator absent' selection lines. Together these findings suggest that the virulence of non-obligatory, opportunistic bacterial pathogens can decrease in environmental reservoirs through life history trade-offs, or random accumulation of mutations that impair virulence traits under relaxed selection.

  11. 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.

  12. Examining the virulence of Candida albicans transcription factor mutants using Galleria mellonella and mouse infection models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara eAmorim-Vaz

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to identify C. albicans transcription factors (TF involved in virulence. Although mice are considered the gold-standard model to study fungal virulence, mini-host infection models have been increasingly used. Here, barcoded TF mutants were first screened in mice by pools of strains and fungal burdens quantified in kidneys. Mutants of unannotated genes which generated a kidney fungal burden significantly different from that of wild-type were selected and individually examined in G. mellonella. In addition, mutants that could not be detected in mice were also tested in G. mellonella. Only 25 % of these mutants displayed matching phenotypes in both hosts, highlighting a significant discrepancy between the two models. To address the basis of this difference (pool or host effects, a set of 19 mutants tested in G. mellonella were also injected individually into mice. Matching fungal burden phenotypes were observed in 50 % of the cases, highlighting the bias due to host effects. In contrast, 33.4 % concordance was observed between pool and single strain infections in mice, thereby highlighting the bias introduced by the pool effect. After filtering the results obtained from the two infection models, mutants for MBF1 and ZCF6 were selected. Independent marker-free mutants were subsequently tested in both hosts to validate previous results. The MBF1 mutant showed impaired infection in both models, while the ZCF6 mutant was only significant in mice infections. The two mutants showed no obvious in vitro phenotypes compared with the wild-type, indicating that these genes might be specifically involved in in vivo adaptation.

  13. 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

  14. Virulence patterns in a murine sepsis model of ST131 Escherichia coli clinical isolates belonging to serotypes O25b:H4 and O16:H5 are associated to specific virotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azucena Mora

    Full Text Available Escherichia coli sequence type (ST131 is an emerging disseminated public health threat implicated in multidrug-resistant extraintestinal infections worldwide. Although the majority of ST131 isolates belong to O25b:H4 serotype, new variants with different serotypes, STs using the discriminative multilocus sequence typing scheme of Pasteur Institute, and virulence-gene profiles (virotypes have been reported with unknown implications on the pattern of spread, persistence and virulence. The aim of the present study was to compare virulence in a mouse subcutaneous sepsis model of representative ST131 clinical isolates belonging to 2 serotypes (O25b:H4, O16:H5 and nine virotypes and subtypes (A, B, C, D1, D2, D3, D4, D5 and E. Fourteen out of the 23 ST131 isolates tested (61% killed 90 to 100% of mice challenged, and 18 of 23 (78% at least 50%. Interestingly, different virulence patterns in association with virotypes were observed, from highly rapid lethality (death in less than 24 h to low final lethality (death at 7 days but with presence of an acute inflammation. This is the first study to assess virulence of ST131 isolates belonging to serotype O16:H5, which exhibited virotype C. In spite of their low virulence-gene score, O16:H5 isolates did not show significant differences in final lethality compared with highly virulent O25b:H4 isolates of virotypes A, B and C, but killed mice less rapidly. Significant differences were found, however, between virotypes A, B, C (final lethality ≥80% of mice challenged and virotypes D, E. Particularly unexpected was the low lethality of the newly assigned virotype E taking into account that it exhibited high virulence-gene score, and the same clonotype H30 as highly virulent O25b:H4 isolates of virotypes A, B and C. In vivo virulence diversity reported in this study would reflect the genetic variability within ST131 clonal group evidenced by molecular typing.

  15. Studies on the virulence and attenuation of Trypanosoma cruzi using immunodeficient animals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basombrío Miguel Ángel

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Tissue invasion and pathology by Trypanosoma cruzi result from an interaction between parasite virulence and host immunity. Successive in vivo generations of the parasite select populations with increasing ability to invade the host. Conversely, prolonged in vitro selection of the parasite produces attenuated sublines with low infectivity for mammals. One such subline (TCC clone has been extensively used in our laboratory as experimental vaccine and tested in comparative experiments with its virulent ancestor (TUL. The experiments here reviewed aimed at the use of immunodeficient mice for testing the infectivity of TCC parasites. It has not been possible to obtain virulent, revertant sublines by prolonged passaged in such mice.

  16. VarR controls colonization and virulence in the marine macroalgal pathogen Nautella italica R11

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa eGardiner

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence to suggest that macroalgae (seaweeds are susceptible to infectious disease. However, to date, little is known about the mechanisms that facilitate the colonization and virulence of microbial seaweed pathogens. One well-described example of a seaweed disease is the bleaching of the red alga Delisea pulchra, which can be caused by the bacterium Nautella italica R11, a member of the Roseobacter clade. This pathogen contains a unique luxR-type gene, varR, which we hypothesize controls its colonization and virulence. We show here that a varR knock-out strain is deficient in its ability to cause disease in D. pulchra and is defective in biofilm formation and attachment to a common algal polysaccharide. Moreover complementation of the varR gene in trans can restore these functions to the wild type levels. Proteomic analysis of bacterial cells in planktonic and biofilm growth highlight the potential importance of nitrogen scavenging, mobilization of energy reserves, and stress resistance in the biofilm lifestyle of N. italica R11. Moreover, we show that VarR regulates the expression of a specific subset of biofilm-associated proteins. Taken together these data suggest that VarR controls colonization and persistence of N. italica R11 on the surface of a macroalgal host and that it is an important regulator of virulence.

  17. Virus and host-specific differences in oral human herpesvirus shedding kinetics among Ugandan women and children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matrajt, Laura; Gantt, Soren; Mayer, Bryan T; Krantz, Elizabeth M; Orem, Jackson; Wald, Anna; Corey, Lawrence; Schiffer, Joshua T; Casper, Corey

    2017-10-12

    Human herpesviruses (HHV) establish lifelong latent infection and are transmitted primarily via shedding at mucosal surfaces. Each HHV causes a unique spectrum of disease depending on the infected individual's age and immunity. We collected weekly oral swabs from young children and mothers in 32 Ugandan households for a median of one year. We characterized kinetics of oral shedding during primary and chronic infection for each virus. Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and HHV-6 were shed at high rates following primary infection. The rate of oral herpes simplex virus (HSV) shedding was lower overall, and children and mothers with chronic HSV infection had lower shedding rates than children with primary infection. CMV shedding rate and viral load were higher in children with primary infection compared to children with chronic infection, and even lower in mothers with chronic infection. HHV-6 shedding rate and viral load were similar between children with primary or chronic infection, but lower in mothers. EBV shedding rate and quantity decreased less dramatically in mothers versus children, with HIV-positive mothers shedding at a higher rate than HIV-negative mothers. Each HHV has a distinct pattern of oral shedding which depends partially on the age and immune status of the host.

  18. A next-generation dual-recombinase system for time and host specific targeting of pancreatic cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachtler, Christina; Zukowska, Magdalena; Eser, Stefan; Feyerabend, Thorsten B.; Paul, Mariel C.; Eser, Philipp; Klein, Sabine; Lowy, Andrew M.; Banerjee, Ruby; Yang, Fangtang; Lee, Chang-Lung; Moding, Everett J.; Kirsch, David G.; Scheideler, Angelika; Alessi, Dario R.; Varela, Ignacio; Bradley, Allan; Kind, Alexander; Schnieke, Angelika E.; Rodewald, Hans-Reimer; Rad, Roland; Schmid, Roland M.; Schneider, Günter; Saur, Dieter

    2014-01-01

    Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) have dramatically improved our understanding of tumor evolution and therapeutic resistance. However, sequential genetic manipulation of gene expression and targeting of the host is almost impossible using conventional Cre-loxP–based models. We have developed an inducible dual-recombinase system by combining flippase-FRT (Flp-FRT) and Cre-loxP recombination technologies to improve GEMMs of pancreatic cancer. This enables investigation of multistep carcinogenesis, genetic manipulation of tumor subpopulations (such as cancer stem cells), selective targeting of the tumor microenvironment and genetic validation of therapeutic targets in autochthonous tumors on a genome-wide scale. As a proof of concept, we performed tumor cell–autonomous and nonautonomous targeting, recapitulated hallmarks of human multistep carcinogenesis, validated genetic therapy by 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase inactivation as well as cancer cell depletion and show that mast cells in the tumor microenvironment, which had been thought to be key oncogenic players, are dispensable for tumor formation. PMID:25326799

  19. A next-generation dual-recombinase system for time- and host-specific targeting of pancreatic cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönhuber, Nina; Seidler, Barbara; Schuck, Kathleen; Veltkamp, Christian; Schachtler, Christina; Zukowska, Magdalena; Eser, Stefan; Feyerabend, Thorsten B; Paul, Mariel C; Eser, Philipp; Klein, Sabine; Lowy, Andrew M; Banerjee, Ruby; Yang, Fangtang; Lee, Chang-Lung; Moding, Everett J; Kirsch, David G; Scheideler, Angelika; Alessi, Dario R; Varela, Ignacio; Bradley, Allan; Kind, Alexander; Schnieke, Angelika E; Rodewald, Hans-Reimer; Rad, Roland; Schmid, Roland M; Schneider, Günter; Saur, Dieter

    2014-11-01

    Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) have dramatically improved our understanding of tumor evolution and therapeutic resistance. However, sequential genetic manipulation of gene expression and targeting of the host is almost impossible using conventional Cre-loxP-based models. We have developed an inducible dual-recombinase system by combining flippase-FRT (Flp-FRT) and Cre-loxP recombination technologies to improve GEMMs of pancreatic cancer. This enables investigation of multistep carcinogenesis, genetic manipulation of tumor subpopulations (such as cancer stem cells), selective targeting of the tumor microenvironment and genetic validation of therapeutic targets in autochthonous tumors on a genome-wide scale. As a proof of concept, we performed tumor cell-autonomous and nonautonomous targeting, recapitulated hallmarks of human multistep carcinogenesis, validated genetic therapy by 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase inactivation as well as cancer cell depletion and show that mast cells in the tumor microenvironment, which had been thought to be key oncogenic players, are dispensable for tumor formation.

  20. NleB/SseK effectors from Citrobacter rodentium, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella enterica display distinct differences in host substrate specificity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    El Qaidi, Samir; Chen, Kangming; Halim, Adnan

    2017-01-01

    proteins with N-acetyl-D-glucosamine to inhibit antibacterial and inflammatory host responses. NleB is conserved among the attaching/effacing pathogens enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), and Citrobacter rodentium. Moreover, Salmonella enterica strains encode up to three Nle......B orthologs named SseK1, SseK2, and SseK3. However, there are conflicting reports regarding the activities and host protein targets among the NleB/SseK orthologs. Therefore, here we performed in vitro glycosylation assays and cell culture experiments to compare the activities and substrate specificities...... of these effectors. SseK1, SseK3, EHEC NleB1, EPEC NleB1, and C. rodentium NleB blocked TNF-mediated NF-κB pathway activation, whereas SseK2 and NleB2 did not. C. rodentium NleB, EHEC NleB1, and SseK1 glycosylated host glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). C. rodentium NleB, EHEC NleB1, EPEC NleB1...

  1. Evolution of Salmonella enterica virulence via point mutations in the fimbrial adhesin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dagmara I Kisiela

    Full Text Available Whereas the majority of pathogenic Salmonella serovars are capable of infecting many different animal species, typically producing a self-limited gastroenteritis, serovars with narrow host-specificity exhibit increased virulence and their infections frequently result in fatal systemic diseases. In our study, a genetic and functional analysis of the mannose-specific type 1 fimbrial adhesin FimH from a variety of serovars of Salmonella enterica revealed that specific mutant variants of FimH are common in host-adapted (systemically invasive serovars. We have found that while the low-binding shear-dependent phenotype of the adhesin is preserved in broad host-range (usually systemically non-invasive Salmonella, the majority of host-adapted serovars express FimH variants with one of two alternative phenotypes: a significantly increased binding to mannose (as in S. Typhi, S. Paratyphi C, S. Dublin and some isolates of S. Choleraesuis, or complete loss of the mannose-binding activity (as in S. Paratyphi B, S. Choleraesuis and S. Gallinarum. The functional diversification of FimH in host-adapted Salmonella results from recently acquired structural mutations. Many of the mutations are of a convergent nature indicative of strong positive selection. The high-binding phenotype of FimH that leads to increased bacterial adhesiveness to and invasiveness of epithelial cells and macrophages usually precedes acquisition of the non-binding phenotype. Collectively these observations suggest that activation or inactivation of mannose-specific adhesive properties in different systemically invasive serovars of Salmonella reflects their dynamic trajectories of adaptation to a life style in specific hosts. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that point mutations are the target of positive selection and, in addition to horizontal gene transfer and genome degradation events, can contribute to the differential pathoadaptive evolution of Salmonella.

  2. The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii communicates with the insect host Galleria mellonella during infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Krishnendu; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    Parasitic fungi are the only pathogens that can infect insect hosts directly through their proteinaceous exoskeleton. Penetration of the cuticle requires the release of fungal enzymes, including proteinases, which act as virulence factors. Insects can sense fungal infections and activate innate immune responses, including the synthesis of antifungal peptides and proteinase inhibitors that neutralize the incoming proteinases. This well-studied host response is epigenetically regulated by histone acetylation/deacetylation. Here we show that entomopathogenic fungi can in turn sense the presence of insect-derived antifungal peptides and proteinase inhibitors, and respond by inducing the synthesis of chymotrypsin-like proteinases and metalloproteinases that degrade the host-derived defense molecules. The rapidity of this response is dependent on the virulence of the fungal strain. We confirmed the specificity of the pathogen response to host-derived defense molecules by LC/MS and RT-PCR analysis, and correlated this process with the epigenetic regulation of histone acetylation/deacetylation. This cascade of responses reveals that the coevolution of pathogens and hosts can involve a complex series of attacks and counterattacks based on communication between the invading fungal pathogen and its insect host. The resolution of this process determines whether or not pathogenesis is successful.

  3. Novel IgG-Degrading Enzymes of the IgdE Protease Family Link Substrate Specificity to Host Tropism of Streptococcus Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spoerry, Christian; Hessle, Pontus; Lewis, Melanie J; Paton, Lois; Woof, Jenny M; von Pawel-Rammingen, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Recently we have discovered an IgG degrading enzyme of the endemic pig pathogen S. suis designated IgdE that is highly specific for porcine IgG. This protease is the founding member of a novel cysteine protease family assigned C113 in the MEROPS peptidase database. Bioinformatical analyses revealed putative members of the IgdE protease family in eight other Streptococcus species. The genes of the putative IgdE family proteases of S. agalactiae, S. porcinus, S. pseudoporcinus and S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus were cloned for production of recombinant protein into expression vectors. Recombinant proteins of all four IgdE family proteases were proteolytically active against IgG of the respective Streptococcus species hosts, but not against IgG from other tested species or other classes of immunoglobulins, thereby linking the substrate specificity to the known host tropism. The novel IgdE family proteases of S. agalactiae, S. pseudoporcinus and S. equi showed IgG subtype specificity, i.e. IgdE from S. agalactiae and S. pseudoporcinus cleaved human IgG1, while IgdE from S. equi was subtype specific for equine IgG7. Porcine IgG subtype specificities of the IgdE family proteases of S. porcinus and S. pseudoporcinus remain to be determined. Cleavage of porcine IgG by IgdE of S. pseudoporcinus is suggested to be an evolutionary remaining activity reflecting ancestry of the human pathogen to the porcine pathogen S. porcinus. The IgG subtype specificity of bacterial proteases indicates the special importance of these IgG subtypes in counteracting infection or colonization and opportunistic streptococci neutralize such antibodies through expression of IgdE family proteases as putative immune evasion factors. We suggest that IgdE family proteases might be valid vaccine targets against streptococci of both human and veterinary medical concerns and could also be of therapeutic as well as biotechnological use.

  4. A pilot study on interaction between donkey tetherin and EIAV stains with different virulent and replication characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Qiucheng; Ma, Jian; Wang, Xuefeng; Guo, Miaomiao; Li, Yanfei; Wang, Xiaojun

    2017-05-01

    Tetherin (BST-2) is an important host restriction factor that can inhibit the release of a diverse array of enveloped viruses from infected cells. Conversely, to facilitate their release and spread, many viruses have evolved various strategies to overcome the antiviral effect of tetherin in a species-specific manner. During the development of an attenuated equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) vaccine in our laboratory, we found that serial passage of a field-isolated virulent EIAV strains in horse and donkey as well as the cultivated donkey cells, produces several typical EIAV strains, including EIAV DV , EIAV DLV , and EIAV FDDV , which exhibit distinct virulence and replication features in vivo and in vitro. However, the role of host restriction factors in EIAV evolution during the serial passage is not well understood. This study aimed to evaluate whether these newly generated strains adapt differently to donkey tetherin (do-tetherin) based on their virulence. We found that do-tetherin exerts an inhibition on the release of the viral particles produced by all three strains, albeit with varying intensity: EIAV DV   EIAV DLV  > EIAV FDDV . These results indicate that donkey tetherin is involved in shaping of EIAV evolution during serial passage. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Characterization of host immune responses in Ebola virus infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Gary; Kobinger, Gary P; Qiu, Xiangguo

    2014-06-01

    Ebola causes highly lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans with no licensed countermeasures. Its virulence can be attributed to several immunoevasion mechanisms: an early inhibition of innate immunity started by the downregulation of type I interferon, epitope masking and subversion of the adaptive humoural immunity by secreting a truncated form of the viral glycoprotein. Deficiencies in specific and non-specific antiviral responses result in unrestricted viral replication and dissemination in the host, causing death typically within 10 days after the appearance of symptoms. This review summarizes the host immune response to Ebola infection, and highlights the short- and long-term immune responses crucial for protection, which holds implications for the design of future vaccines and therapeutics.

  6. Distinct Metabolic Requirements of Exhausted and Functional Virus-Specific CD8 T Cells in the Same Host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schurich, Anna; Pallett, Laura J; Jajbhay, Danyal; Wijngaarden, Jessica; Otano, Itziar; Gill, Upkar S; Hansi, Navjyot; Kennedy, Patrick T; Nastouli, Eleni; Gilson, Richard; Frezza, Christian; Henson, Sian M; Maini, Mala K

    2016-08-02

    T cells undergo profound metabolic changes to meet the increased energy demands of maintaining an antiviral response. We postulated that differences in metabolic reprogramming would shape the efficacy of CD8 T cells mounted against persistent viral infections. We found that the poorly functional PD-1(hi) T cell response against hepatitis B virus (HBV) had upregulated the glucose transporter, Glut1, an effect recapitulated by oxygen deprivation to mimic the intrahepatic environment. Glut1(hi) HBV-specific T cells were dependent on glucose supplies, unlike the more functional cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific T cells that could utilize oxidative phosphorylation in the absence of glucose. The inability of HBV-specific T cells to switch to oxidative phosphorylation was accompanied by increased mitochondrial size and lower mitochondrial potential, indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction. Interleukin (IL)-12, which recovers HBV-specific T cell effector function, increased their mitochondrial potential and reduced their dependence on glycolysis. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial defects limit the metabolic plasticity of exhausted HBV-specific T cells. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Distinct Metabolic Requirements of Exhausted and Functional Virus-Specific CD8 T Cells in the Same Host

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Schurich

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available T cells undergo profound metabolic changes to meet the increased energy demands of maintaining an antiviral response. We postulated that differences in metabolic reprogramming would shape the efficacy of CD8 T cells mounted against persistent viral infections. We found that the poorly functional PD-1hi T cell response against hepatitis B virus (HBV had upregulated the glucose transporter, Glut1, an effect recapitulated by oxygen deprivation to mimic the intrahepatic environment. Glut1hi HBV-specific T cells were dependent on glucose supplies, unlike the more functional cytomegalovirus (CMV-specific T cells that could utilize oxidative phosphorylation in the absence of glucose. The inability of HBV-specific T cells to switch to oxidative phosphorylation was accompanied by increased mitochondrial size and lower mitochondrial potential, indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction. Interleukin (IL-12, which recovers HBV-specific T cell effector function, increased their mitochondrial potential and reduced their dependence on glycolysis. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial defects limit the metabolic plasticity of exhausted HBV-specific T cells.

  8. The Role of Antibiotics in Modulating Virulence in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodille, Elisabeth; Rose, Warren; Diep, Binh An; Goutelle, Sylvain; Lina, Gerard; Dumitrescu, Oana

    2017-10-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is often involved in severe infections, in which the effects of bacterial virulence factors have great importance. Antistaphylococcal regimens should take into account the different effects of antibacterial agents on the expression of virulence factors and on the host's immune response. A PubMed literature search was performed to select relevant articles on the effects of antibiotics on staphylococcal toxin production and on the host immune response. Information was sorted according to the methods used for data acquisition (bacterial strains, growth models, and antibiotic concentrations) and the assays used for readout generation. The reported mechanisms underlying S. aureus virulence modulation by antibiotics were reviewed. The relevance of in vitro observations is discussed in relation to animal model data and to clinical evidence extracted from case reports and recommendations on the management of toxin-related staphylococcal diseases. Most in vitro data point to a decreased level of virulence expression upon treatment with ribosomally active antibiotics (linezolid and clindamycin), while cell wall-active antibiotics (beta-lactams) mainly increase exotoxin production. In vivo studies confirmed the suppressive effect of clindamycin and linezolid on virulence expression, supporting their utilization as a valuable management strategy to improve patient outcomes in cases of toxin-associated staphylococcal disease. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  9. 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.

  10. Proteomics Analysis Reveals Previously Uncharacterized Virulence Factors in Vibrio proteolyticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann Ray

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Members of the genus Vibrio include many pathogens of humans and marine animals that share genetic information via horizontal gene transfer. Hence, the Vibrio pan-genome carries the potential to establish new pathogenic strains by sharing virulence determinants, many of which have yet to be characterized. Here, we investigated the virulence properties of Vibrio proteolyticus, a Gram-negative marine bacterium previously identified as part of the Vibrio consortium isolated from diseased corals. We found that V. proteolyticus causes actin cytoskeleton rearrangements followed by cell lysis in HeLa cells in a contact-independent manner. In search of the responsible virulence factor involved, we determined the V. proteolyticus secretome. This proteomics approach revealed various putative virulence factors, including active type VI secretion systems and effectors with virulence toxin domains; however, these type VI secretion systems were not responsible for the observed cytotoxic effects. Further examination of the V. proteolyticus secretome led us to hypothesize and subsequently demonstrate that a secreted hemolysin, belonging to a previously uncharacterized clan of the leukocidin superfamily, was the toxin responsible for the V. proteolyticus-mediated cytotoxicity in both HeLa cells and macrophages. Clearly, there remains an armory of yet-to-be-discovered virulence factors in the Vibrio pan-genome that will undoubtedly provide a wealth of knowledge on how a pathogen can manipulate host cells.

  11. Plasma membrane lipids and their role in fungal virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rella, Antonella; Farnoud, Amir M; Del Poeta, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    There has been considerable evidence in recent years suggesting that plasma membrane lipids are important regulators of fungal pathogenicity. Various glycolipids have been shown to impart virulent properties in several fungal species, while others have been shown to play a role in host defense. In addition to their role as virulence factors, lipids also contribute to other virulence mechanisms such as drug resistance, biofilm formation, and release of extracellular vesicles. In addition, lipids also affect the mechanical properties of the plasma membrane through the formation of packed microdomains composed mainly of sphingolipids and sterols. Changes in the composition of lipid microdomains have been shown to disrupt the localization of virulence factors and affect fungal pathogenicity. This review gathers evidence on the various roles of plasma membrane lipids in fungal virulence and how lipids might contribute to the different processes that occur during infection and treatment. Insight into the role of lipids in fungal virulence can lead to an improved understanding of the process of fungal pathogenesis and the development of new lipid-mediated therapeutic strategies. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Sporangiospore size dimorphism is linked to virulence of Mucor circinelloides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Charles H; Cervantes, Maria; Springer, Deborah J; Boekhout, Teun; Ruiz-Vazquez, Rosa M; Torres-Martinez, Santiago R; Heitman, Joseph; Lee, Soo Chan

    2011-06-01

    Mucor circinelloides is a zygomycete fungus and an emerging opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised patients, especially transplant recipients and in some cases otherwise healthy individuals. We have discovered a novel example of size dimorphism linked to virulence. M. circinelloides is a heterothallic fungus: (+) sex allele encodes SexP and (-) sex allele SexM, both of which are HMG domain protein sex determinants. M. circinelloides f. lusitanicus (Mcl) (-) mating type isolates produce larger asexual sporangiospores that are more virulent in the wax moth host compared to (+) isolates that produce smaller less virulent sporangiospores. The larger sporangiospores germinate inside and lyse macrophages, whereas the smaller sporangiospores do not. sexMΔ mutants are sterile and still produce larger virulent sporangiospores, suggesting that either the sex locus is not involved in virulence/spore size or the sexP allele plays an inhibitory role. Phylogenetic analysis supports that at least three extant subspecies populate the M. circinelloides complex in nature: Mcl, M. circinelloides f. griseocyanus, and M. circinelloides f. circinelloides (Mcc). Mcc was found to be more prevalent among clinical Mucor isolates, and more virulent than Mcl in a diabetic murine model in contrast to the wax moth host. The M. circinelloides sex locus encodes an HMG domain protein (SexP for plus and SexM for minus mating types) flanked by genes encoding triose phosphate transporter (TPT) and RNA helicase homologs. The borders of the sex locus between the three subspecies differ: the Mcg sex locus includes the promoters of both the TPT and the RNA helicase genes, whereas the Mcl and Mcc sex locus includes only the TPT gene promoter. Mating between subspecies was restricted compared to mating within subspecies. These findings demonstrate that spore size dimorphism is linked to virulence of M. circinelloides species and that plasticity of the sex locus and adaptations in pathogenicity have

  13. Listeriolysin S Is a Streptolysin S-Like Virulence Factor That Targets Exclusively Prokaryotic Cells In Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan J. Quereda

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Streptolysin S (SLS-like virulence factors from clinically relevant Gram-positive pathogens have been proposed to behave as potent cytotoxins, playing key roles in tissue infection. Listeriolysin S (LLS is an SLS-like hemolysin/bacteriocin present among Listeria monocytogenes strains responsible for human listeriosis outbreaks. As LLS cytotoxic activity has been associated with virulence, we investigated the LLS-specific contribution to host tissue infection. Surprisingly, we first show that LLS causes only weak red blood cell (RBC hemolysis in vitro and neither confers resistance to phagocytic killing nor favors survival of L. monocytogenes within the blood cells or in the extracellular space (in the plasma. We reveal that LLS does not elicit specific immune responses, is not cytotoxic for eukaryotic cells, and does not impact cell infection by L. monocytogenes. Using in vitro cell infection systems and a murine intravenous infection model, we actually demonstrate that LLS expression is undetectable during infection of cells and murine inner organs. Importantly, upon intravenous animal inoculation, L. monocytogenes is found in the gastrointestinal system, and only in this environment LLS expression is detected in vivo. Finally, we confirm that LLS production is associated with destruction of target bacteria. Our results demonstrate therefore that LLS does not contribute to L. monocytogenes tissue injury and virulence in inner host organs as previously reported. Moreover, we describe that LlsB, a putative posttranslational modification enzyme encoded in the LLS operon, is necessary for murine inner organ colonization. Overall, we demonstrate that LLS is the first SLS-like virulence factor targeting exclusively prokaryotic cells during in vivo infections.

  14. Archaeal and Bacterial Communities Associated with the Surface Mucus of Caribbean Corals Differ in Their Degree of Host Specificity and Community Turnover Over Reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frade, Pedro R; Roll, Katharina; Bergauer, Kristin; Herndl, Gerhard J

    2016-01-01

    Comparative studies on the distribution of archaeal versus bacterial communities associated with the surface mucus layer of corals have rarely taken place. It has therefore remained enigmatic whether mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities exhibit a similar specificity towards coral hosts and whether they vary in the same fashion over spatial gradients and between reef locations. We used microbial community profiling (terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism, T-RFLP) and clone library sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to compare the diversity and community structure of dominant archaeal and bacterial communities associating with the mucus of three common reef-building coral species (Porites astreoides, Siderastrea siderea and Orbicella annularis) over different spatial scales on a Caribbean fringing reef. Sampling locations included three reef sites, three reef patches within each site and two depths. Reference sediment samples and ambient water were also taken for each of the 18 sampling locations resulting in a total of 239 samples. While only 41% of the bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) characterized by T-RFLP were shared between mucus and the ambient water or sediment, for archaeal OTUs this percentage was 2-fold higher (78%). About half of the mucus-associated OTUs (44% and 58% of bacterial and archaeal OTUs, respectively) were shared between the three coral species. Our multivariate statistical analysis (ANOSIM, PERMANOVA and CCA) showed that while the bacterial community composition was determined by habitat (mucus, sediment or seawater), host coral species, location and spatial distance, the archaeal community composition was solely determined by the habitat. This study highlights that mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities differ in their degree of community turnover over reefs and in their host-specificity.

  15. Archaeal and Bacterial Communities Associated with the Surface Mucus of Caribbean Corals Differ in Their Degree of Host Specificity and Community Turnover Over Reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro R Frade

    Full Text Available Comparative studies on the distribution of archaeal versus bacterial communities associated with the surface mucus layer of corals have rarely taken place. It has therefore remained enigmatic whether mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities exhibit a similar specificity towards coral hosts and whether they vary in the same fashion over spatial gradients and between reef locations. We used microbial community profiling (terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism, T-RFLP and clone library sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to compare the diversity and community structure of dominant archaeal and bacterial communities associating with the mucus of three common reef-building coral species (Porites astreoides, Siderastrea siderea and Orbicella annularis over different spatial scales on a Caribbean fringing reef. Sampling locations included three reef sites, three reef patches within each site and two depths. Reference sediment samples and ambient water were also taken for each of the 18 sampling locations resulting in a total of 239 samples. While only 41% of the bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs characterized by T-RFLP were shared between mucus and the ambient water or sediment, for archaeal OTUs this percentage was 2-fold higher (78%. About half of the mucus-associated OTUs (44% and 58% of bacterial and archaeal OTUs, respectively were shared between the three coral species. Our multivariate statistical analysis (ANOSIM, PERMANOVA and CCA showed that while the bacterial community composition was determined by habitat (mucus, sediment or seawater, host coral species, location and spatial distance, the archaeal community composition was solely determined by the habitat. This study highlights that mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities differ in their degree of community turnover over reefs and in their host-specificity.

  16. The population genetics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from different patient populations exhibits high-level host specificity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa van Mansfeld

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To determine whether highly prevalent P. aeruginosa sequence types (ST in Dutch cystic fibrosis (CF patients are specifically linked to CF patients we investigated the population structure of P. aeruginosa from different clinical backgrounds. We first selected the optimal genotyping method by comparing pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE, multilocus sequence typing (MLST and multilocus variable number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA. METHODS: Selected P. aeruginosa isolates (n = 60 were genotyped with PFGE, MLST and MLVA to determine the diversity index (DI and congruence (adjusted Rand and Wallace coefficients. Subsequently, isolates from patients admitted to two different ICUs (n = 205, from CF patients (n = 100 and from non-ICU, non-CF patients (n = 58, of which 19 were community acquired were genotyped with MLVA to determine distribution of genotypes and genetic diversity. RESULTS: Congruence between the typing methods was >79% and DIs were similar and all >0.963. Based on costs, ease, speed and possibilities to compare results between labs an adapted MLVA scheme called MLVA9-Utrecht was selected as the preferred typing method. In 363 clinical isolates 252 different MLVA types (MTs were identified, indicating a highly diverse population (DI  = 0.995; CI  = 0.993-0.997. DI levels were similarly high in the diverse clinical sources (all >0.981 and only eight genotypes were shared. MTs were highly specific (>80% for the different patient populations, even for similar patient groups (ICU patients in two distinct geographic regions, with only three of 142 ICU genotypes detected in both ICUs. The two major CF clones were unique to CF patients. CONCLUSION: The population structure of P. aeruginosa isolates is highly diverse and population specific without evidence for a core lineage in which major CF, hospital or community clones co-cluster. The two genotypes highly prevalent among Dutch CF patients appeared unique to CF patients

  17. 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.

  18. Characterization of ApB73, a virulence factor important for colonization of Zea mays by the smut Ustilago maydis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stirnberg, Alexandra; Djamei, Armin

    2016-12-01

    The biotrophic fungus Ustilago maydis, the causal agent of corn smut disease, uses numerous small secreted effector proteins to suppress plant defence responses and reshape the host metabolism. However, the role of specific effectors remains poorly understood. Here, we describe the identification of ApB73 (Apathogenic in B73), an as yet uncharacterized protein essential for the successful colonization of maize by U. maydis. We show that apB73 is transcriptionally induced during the biotrophic stages of the fungal life cycle. The deletion of the apB73 gene results in cultivar-specific loss of gall formation in the host. The ApB73 protein is conserved among closely related smut fungi. However, using virulence assays, we show that only the orthologue of the maize-infecting head smut Sporisorium reilianum can complement the mutant phenotype of U. maydis. Although microscopy shows that ApB73 is secreted into the biotrophic interface, it seems to remain associated with fungal cell wall components or the fungal plasma membrane. Taken together, the results show that ApB73 is a conserved and important virulence factor of U. maydis that localizes to the interface between the pathogen and its host Zea mays. © 2016 THE AUTHORS. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY PUBLISHED BY BRITISH SOCIETY FOR PLANT PATHOLOGY AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

  19. 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...

  20. Day-to-Day Dynamics of Commensal Escherichia coli in Zimbabwean Cows Evidence Temporal Fluctuations within a Host-Specific Population Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massot, Méril; Couffignal, Camille; Clermont, Olivier; D'Humières, Camille; Chatel, Jérémie; Plault, Nicolas; Andremont, Antoine; Caron, Alexandre; Mentré, France; Denamur, Erick

    2017-07-01

    To get insights into the temporal pattern of commensal Escherichia coli populations, we sampled the feces of four healthy cows from the same herd in the Hwange District of Zimbabwe daily over 25 days. The cows had not received antibiotic treatment during the previous 3 months. We performed viable E. coli counts and characterized the 326 isolates originating from the 98 stool samples at a clonal level, screened them for stx and eae genes, and tested them for their antibiotic susceptibilities. We observed that E. coli counts and dominant clones were different among cows, and very few clones were shared. No clone was shared by three or four cows. Clone richness and evenness were not different between cows. Within each host, the variability in the E. coli count was evidenced between days, and no clone was found to be dominant during the entire sampling period, suggesting the existence of clonal interference. Dominant clones tended to persist longer than subdominant ones and were mainly from phylogenetic groups A and B1. Five E. coli clones were found to contain both the stx 1 and stx 2 genes, representing 6.3% of the studied isolates. All cows harbored at least one Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strain. Resistance to tetracycline, penicillins, trimethoprim, and sulfonamides was rare and observed in three clones that were shed at low levels in two cows. This study highlights the fact that the commensal E. coli population, including the STEC population, is host specific, is highly dynamic over a short time frame, and rarely carries antibiotic resistance determinants in the absence of antibiotic treatment. IMPORTANCE The literature about the dynamics of commensal Escherichia coli populations is very scarce. Over 25 days, we followed the total E. coli counts daily and characterized the sampled clones in the feces of four cows from the same herd living in the Hwange District of Zimbabwe. This study deals with the day-to-day dynamics of both quantitative and

  1. The host plant Pinus pinaster exerts specific effects on phosphate efflux and polyphosphate metabolism of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Hebeloma cylindrosporum: a radiotracer, cytological staining and 31 P NMR spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Aquino, Margarita; Becquer, Adeline; Le Guernevé, Christine; Louche, Julien; Amenc, Laurie K; Staunton, Siobhan; Quiquampoix, Hervé; Plassard, Claude

    2017-02-01

    Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) association can improve plant phosphorus (P) nutrition. Polyphosphates (polyP) synthesized in distant fungal cells after P uptake may contribute to P supply from the fungus to the host plant if they are hydrolyzed to phosphate in ECM roots then transferred to the host plant when required. In this study, we addressed this hypothesis for the ECM fungus Hebeloma cylindrosporum grown in vitro and incubated without plant or with host (Pinus pinaster) and non-host (Zea mays) plants, using an experimental system simulating the symbiotic interface. We used 32 P labelling to quantify P accumulation and P efflux and in vivo and in vitro nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and cytological staining to follow the fate of fungal polyP. Phosphate supply triggered a massive P accumulation as newly synthesized long-chain polyP in H. cylindrosporum if previously grown under P-deficient conditions. P efflux from H. cylindrosporum towards the roots was stimulated by both host and non-host plants. However, the host plant enhanced 32 P release compared with the non-host plant and specifically increased the proportion of short-chain polyP in the interacting mycelia. These results support the existence of specific host plant effects on fungal P metabolism able to provide P in the apoplast of ectomycorrhizal roots. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emelie eNäslund Salomonsson

    2011-02-01

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

  3. Molecular adaptation of a plant-bacterium outer membrane protease towards plague virulence factor Pla

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Omptins are a family of outer membrane proteases that have spread by horizontal gene transfer in Gram-negative bacteria that infect vertebrates or plants. Despite structural similarity, the molecular functions of omptins differ in a manner that reflects the life style of their host bacteria. To simulate the molecular adaptation of omptins, we applied site-specific mutagenesis to make Epo of the plant pathogenic Erwinia pyrifoliae exhibit virulence-associated functions of its close homolog, the plasminogen activator Pla of Yersinia pestis. We addressed three virulence-associated functions exhibited by Pla, i.e., proteolytic activation of plasminogen, proteolytic degradation of serine protease inhibitors, and invasion into human cells. Results Pla and Epo expressed in Escherichia coli are both functional endopeptidases and cleave human serine protease inhibitors, but Epo failed to activate plasminogen and to mediate invasion into a human endothelial-like cell line. Swapping of ten amino acid residues at two surface loops of Pla and Epo introduced plasminogen activation capacity in Epo and inactivated the function in Pla. We also compared the structure of Pla and the modeled structure of Epo to analyze the structural variations that could rationalize the different proteolytic activities. Epo-expressing bacteria managed to invade human cells only after all extramembranous residues that differ between Pla and Epo and the first transmembrane β-strand had been changed. Conclusions We describe molecular adaptation of a protease from an environmental setting towards a virulence factor detrimental for humans. Our results stress the evolvability of bacterial β-barrel surface structures and the environment as a source of progenitor virulence molecules of human pathogens. PMID:21310089

  4. 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

  5. Lineage-specific serology confirms Brazilian Atlantic forest lion tamarins, Leontopithecus chrysomelas and Leontopithecus rosalia, as reservoir hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi II (TcII

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte L. Kerr

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease in humans, has a vast reservoir of mammalian hosts in the Americas, and is classified into six genetic lineages, TcI-TcVI, with a possible seventh, TcBat. Elucidating enzootic cycles of the different lineages is important for understanding the ecology of this parasite, the emergence of new outbreaks of Chagas disease and for guiding control strategies. Direct lineage identification by genotyping is hampered by limitations of parasite isolation and culture. An indirect method is to identify lineage-specific serological reactions in infected individuals; here we describe its application with sylvatic Brazilian primates. Methods Synthetic peptides representing lineage-specific epitopes of the T. cruzi surface protein TSSA were used in ELISA with sera from Atlantic Forest Leontopithecus chrysomelas (golden-headed lion tamarin, L. rosalia (golden lion tamarin, Amazonian Sapajus libidinosus (black-striped capuchin and Alouatta belzebul (red-handed howler monkey. Results The epitope common to lineages TcII, TcV and TcVI was recognised by sera from 15 of 26 L. chrysomelas and 8 of 13 L. rosalia. For 12 of these serologically identified TcII infections, the identity of the lineage infection was confirmed by genotyping T. cruzi isolates. Of the TcII/TcV/TcVI positive sera 12 of the 15 L. chrysomelas and 2 of the 8 L. rosalia also reacted with the specific epitope restricted to TcV and TcVI. Sera from one of six S. libidinous recognised the TcIV/TcIII epitopes. Conclusions This lineage-specific serological surveillance has verified that Atlantic Forest primates are reservoir hosts of at least TcII, and probably TcV and TcVI, commonly associated with severe Chagas disease in the southern cone region of South America. With appropriate reagents, this novel methodology is readily applicable to a wide range of mammal species and reservoir host discovery.

  6. The effect of immunodeficiency on the evolution of virulence: an experimental test with the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barclay, Victoria C; Kennedy, David A; Weaver, Veronika C; Sim, Derek; Lloyd-Smith, James O; Read, Andrew F

    2014-08-01